Finding the Pagan Way

I often wonder what it is that makes some people spend their whole lives searching for truth or enlightenment. For myself, I believe it was an effort to justify the feeling of being ‘different’ from those around me. Now I can accept that I am neither better or worse than those around me. I am simply fascinated by the challenge of making sense of a very complicated universe.
My own father disparaged the idea of any fairness in the world. I disagreed totally.
Intuitively, it seemed to me that there had to be a pattern and a plan to the world.
In the ideas of spiritual evolution and reincarnation, I saw a process that might make sense of all the suffering around me.
Strangely, it was the writings of Aleister Crowley that persuaded me that we had much more power over our lives than most of us realised. Were all those who claimed to witness miraculous healing and other strange happenings totally deluded? I began to experiment with magic, while still making a determined study of the various schools of psychology.
I read the tarot cards for many people and I was puzzled by the incredible accuracy of the readings.
I wondered if it was telepathy. I used to sit upstairs on a bus, as it slowly travelled through the centre of Dublin and stare at people to see how many became aware of my gaze. Over sixty percent of people looked around immediately. About another twenty percent looked around before the bus passed them, but too late to count as a “hit”. But, simple telepathy had to be ruled out by the many occasions that confirmations came long after I had given tarot readings.
The ‘I Ching’ proved a useful Oracle, and the appropriateness of the hexagrams was impressive.
Obviously, there is some mechanism by which people may steer their way through life, but if people had power, why did they so often fail to use it in their own favour. Were we truly choosing our own path to pay back some sort of Karmic debt/. The idea of souls choosing the challenges of their next life is quite a common one. Or was it just some type of divine punishment for past mistake and crimes? I really could not decide.

How Many Lives

A thousand lifetimes filtered into rhyme,
Scattered memories across the span of time.
Do I dream?, or are they fleeting glimpses of a stream of lives that really were.
Am I mad, and indeed, if madness brings such clarity of vision,
Do I care?

So many wars, as if the lust for blood has run unceasingly throughout my veins.
So much violence, all too many suicides, and so much pain.
Have I truly learned from all of this, or was it all in vain?.
Are there lessons I must learn again, and yet again?
I do not know.

This vessel I inhabit, this aging body, I call me.
Is all That I am certain of, the rest is gone, or yet to be.
This body is my altar, this mind is all I know.
This fading life, the only one I now possess.
The only path I have to go.

Though this path be strewn with petals, or with thorns, this path is mine.
But, it is my choice to play the hero or the villain, or to dull the pain with wine.
Sometimes on those dark and dreadful days, I wish this trail of tears would end.
Those morbid times I wonder if the gods and Goddess truly are my friends.
Those awful days that sorrow seems to have no end.

Then those, days of glory, dawn with pink and golden rays that turn the world into a wonderland.
Or clear, still nights beneath a bright expansive moon, that paints the trees with silver strands.
Those times when possibilities are shining for us bright and clear.
And we awaken to the love around us and the people and ideals that we hold dear,
Then, suddenly, the path ahead of us seems very clear.

Patrick W Kavanagh

By the age of sixteen I was living what was almost a schizophrenic existence. I was working, in what was then, a highly paid job for a manual worker. A good friend and mentor, Norman Croakes, was a shop steward where I worked and also a member of the communist party. We spent many breaks discussing socialism and politics. And usually after work, I would spend the rest of the day drinking with workmates.
My mother had never recovered from her grief, and had relapse after relapse, and would end up being signed into hospital for her own protection. Each time I would clear all the unpaid bills and try to establish some type of normality at home.
I still read avidly.
In the writings of Carl Jung, I found a mysticism that tried to keep its feet on the ground, and began to understand the difficulties of building a rapport with our own subconscious mind. I found in the concept of the ‘Racial Unconscious’, a posible pattern which could explain much of what was considered ‘paranormal’. If we are all linked, then the information I received by Psychic means was a function of, as yet, unknown scientific laws.
I felt that, perhaps, we were causing our own suffering because of unresolved conflicts. One thing was certain, we are not ever as rational as we believe or in total control of our own actions.
I wondered if magic and ritual were attempts to build that rapport and control our own futures.
According to “The Golden Dawn” , the gods exist but man created them,- it seemed to me, that if we were truly powerful spiritual beings who choose to struggle for some higher purpose, then we could end our own suffering at any time,- if only we could remember who we really are.

Endless Journey

Drifting, floating, warmth caressing skin, the gentle lapping of the river soothes my wandering mind,
A summer breeze sends fluffy clouds across a pale blue sky that scarcely shades the sun.
Along the banks, a host of white and yellow flowers softly, mutely tell me to unwind,
To leave my cares and woes behind and wallow in their beauty and their scent until this blessed day is done.

Coat for blanket, bag for pillow, savouring each moment of this restful day,
Lying, dozing, drifting in my tiny, rented skiff, which barely fits from end to end,
The rivers mine for just one day, the singing of the birds just seems to say,
Just rest a while, our little friend, as if the beauty of this day may never end.

Paddles overboard, the rudder long ignored, I lie in reverie and drift down to the open sea,
Idly wondering if I drift for long enough, my little skiff may take me to eternity,
Or will I simply drift ashore and start anew , just simply be a different me,
Another day, another life, another world, another way to be.

Patrick W Kavanagh


Picture by Tina Kavanagh