Follow your bliss Quotations

A Chinese parable by Hermann Hesse

Bochum, Germany. A handfasting ritual. Handfastings are  traditional Celtic ceremonies of (temporary or permanent) weddings. II Modern Witchcraft is practiced across Europe, the USA and the rest of the Western World. It is extremely diverse; with beliefs that range widely from polytheism to animism, to pantheism and other paradigms. The largest movements of this self-termed Neo-Paganism are Wicca and Druidism; the followers of which call themselves Witches or Druids, sharing beliefs of Magic, Witchcraft and Nature's Power. They respect their environment and celebrate eight Sabbats in the Wheel of the Year where they praise the divinities of nature. They often hold rituals - called Esbats - on the Full Moon. In part, they return to some of the old Celtic traditions.

While Wicca is a very young religion - formed by Gerald Gardner not more than 50 years ago, its roots are much older than Christianity. It has no relationship to Satanism, which is one of many misconceptions held by the public. Ancient pagan beliefs have begun to make their way into the Neo-Pagan community in many ways, making our spiritual path a very deep one, rooted and grounded in the very earth that supports us. From its origins in England it is now widely spread across Europe, America and the rest of the world.

At the present time, Neo-Paganism is a large network of small communities with its own organizations, festivals, magazines, shops, workshops, gatherings and ceremonies. Witches can be found everywhere: in the supermarket, in the streets, as well as in our own neighborhood. And you would not know these Witches unless you were told who they were or were one yourself.

‘How do you know?’

An old man called Chunglang, that means ‘Master Rock’, owned a small estate in the mountains. One day, it so happened that
he lost one of his horses. And so his neighbors came to express their condolences for Chunglang’s misfortune.

But the old man asked: ‘How do you know that this is a misfortune?’ And lo and behold: a few days later, the horse returned and brought a whole pack of wild horses along. Again, the neighbors arrived and wanted to congratulate him for his good fortune.

The old man from the mountains thus spoke: ‘How do you know that this is good fortune?’

Since there were so many horses at his disposal now, the son
of the old man began to develop a liking for horse-riding, and one day he broke his leg. And again they came, the neighbors, to express their sympathy. And again the old man said to them: ‘How do you know that this is a misfortune?’

In the following year, the commission of the ‘Langen Latten’ appeared in the mountains to draft strong men to serve the emperor as palanquin bearer and for other lowly works. The son of the old man, who still had damage on his leg, wasn’t taken.

Chunglang smiled.

By Hermann Hesse


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