Fragments

October 9 2007, numerologically a 10 or a 1
“The Prophet’s Bible” says that 1 is the sun with its power.
For sure the garden knows all about that. We’re still in a hot drought. On Monday we picked the last of the tomatoes and of this year’s huge crop of peppers. The dry weather has been good for the peppers, though not so good for the shiitake logs. We hope they didn’t dry out too much while we were traveling. (Have you seen the t-shirts reading “Full of shiitake”?) Gavin cut the lawn and generally closed the garden down. As soon as we get some rain, we will till it and let the cold break up the clods.
Apart from the garden this has been a busy week, with something new and different every day. Tuesday on a trip to the eye doctor in Lewisburg/Fairlea we chose to drive along the Greenbrier River (the longest undammed river remaining in the US). Old Man Winter had started using his paintbrush on the trees. On the mountaintops the maples were gloriously red, as were the Virginia creepers along the river itself. We saw a flock of Canada geese flying a vee down the river, gearing up for their departure southward. We felt very grateful to the Mother for such wonders.
Gavin passed his eye exam okay. Yvonne had to return on Friday for a laser interlude to clear the mist from her year-old replacement lenses. Can anyone tell Gavin why they can’t pre-treat those lenses before they install ’em in the eyeball? (It would stop him moaning about the reluctance of the medical establishment to try any innovation.)
Wednesday a trip in the opposite direction over Sandstone Mountain for Gavin to see a nephrologist in Beckley. Here’s a really interesting guy : played soccer against Pele–so he and Gavin had a lot to talk about. Gavin played soccer in school and college. That day he got a verdict of “okay for his age”, whatever that means.
Thursday a chance to finish one of our new books, “Termination Tango”. We plan to publish it with a companion piece “Wicked Waltz” as a double book. Both are detective stories in the modern–more sexually explicit–mode, with the wounded (Wiccan) fisher king as detective-protagonist.
Friday back to Lewisburg for the laser work, then on to the UU fellowship in Beckley for work with a small group to help them detach from their bodies and go astral. We are now convinced that before meditation in any mode, dark chocolate and red wine help those who don’t want to generate endorphins in a more natural way.
Add to that schedule three sets of water aerobics, and you can see we keep busy.

Pagan Temple
We agree with you that sacrificing someone or even burning an image is not an acceptable practice. Unfortunately current entertainment seems to glory in blood and guts. So I guess audiences like a lurid story if it has even a single virgin sacrifice a la the Meso-American cenote sacrifices.
For some reason Caesar Augustus hated Druids. In his Commentaries he wrote they burned prisoners in wicker cages, though the allegation seems unlikely. Judicial murder–execution–capital punishment–came into Celtic law only when Patrick imported Roman ecclesiastical law. The Irish Brehon law and the Welsh law of Hywel Dda were wergelt law, stipulating fines for causing the death of others, whether by accident or deliberately. Such fines depended on the honor value of the decedent. The culprit was expected to pay the fine; if s/he couldn’t, he had to substitute his own labor to make restitution. Because of this principle, slavery is said to have been part of both Brehon and Welsh law. Call us nit-pickers, but we see a significant difference between
a) paying a fine for a death with your day labor and
b) being enslaved.
So along with many other benefits of ecclesiastical law from Rome, Patrick brought judicial murder to Ireland. If we read between the lines, he himself had been fined for some act and had fled to England to avoid paying. We do not know why he was fined; but he must have committed some criminal act, for these events do not happen randomly from the clear blue. The Christian version is that he was enslaved, whereas we Frosts surmise that a pagan/Wiccan version of events would read rather differently.
In the old pre-Patrick law we see a reverence for the sanctity of life. The community needed every contributing hand possible to sustain themselves. So, Pagan Temple and others, you’re right : the killing of a sacred virgin would not have been tolerated–would have been unthinkable–in that society. Another facet of the same thinking : When two armies faced one another, each army elected a champion. Those two fought instead of the armies engaging. The system was still in place at the time of the early battles between Cisalpine Celts and Romans. The Romans outlawed it in 340 BCE. The outlawing of champions to represent nations may have been occasioned by Roman fear of the Celts, who had smashed a Roman army 40,000 strong at the battle of Allia on 18 July 390 BCE and had occupied Rome.

A Couple of Additional Notes
We enjoy Peter Beresford Ellis’ works on the Celts. He is a genuine historian, considered by many to be the foremost modern Celtic scholar, and a member of three royal societies. If you don’t like his historical works, read some of the Celtic fiction he wrote as Peter Tremayne, particularly the Fidelma works.
For the statisticians among you, the copyright date of “The Witch’s Bible” is 1972 CE. The text remained unchanged when it appeared as “Good Witch’s Bible”. All that happened was that we added approved chapter lead-ins to clarify text material.
We don’t find any new questions this week via blog. We hope we haven’t scared blog-visitors off or bored ’em. If we ever stop making people think, we’ve lost our touch.
Blessed be those of open mind. Gavin and Yvonne