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Marcus F. Griffin



Advancing the
Witches' Craft






Ask TWPT: The Veil Between the Worlds
by Marcus F. Griffin

During a recent interview with Magick Mind Radio, I was asked an intriguing and timely question: “Do you believe in a veil between the worlds of the living and the dead? I was further asked: “If so, do you believe the veil thins at Samhain as is often suggested”? As creator and lead investigator for WISP (Witches in Search of the Paranormal), the veil between the worlds is a topic that I am frequently asked to give my opinion on. Unfortunately, the veil is a very difficult topic to broach without evoking a great deal of controversy and debate. Be that as it may, let’s take a look at the veil between the worlds and see if we can draw a conclusion that is spiritually meaningful and scientifically sound.

I am first and foremost a metaphysician, but as a serious researcher and investigator of the paranormal, I must also be a full time scientist. The metaphysician in me believes in a veil between the worlds. The metaphysician in me believes that the veil thins at Samhain or “summers end”. Samhain has always held great spiritual significance for me personally, and is arguably one of the most mystical times of the year for many neo-pagans. That being said,
“belief” isn’t proof of a veil between the worlds. “Mystical” isn’t physical evidence of a veil, and causes the scientist in me to raise a skeptical eyebrow. Belief isn’t evidence in the vaguest sense of the word, and in no way scientifically supports the existence of a veil between the worlds of the living and the dead. Or does it…although belief isn’t something tangible, and its affects on the physical plane cannot currently be quantified; belief in itself is a very powerful thing. Some occult practitioners (myself included) incorporate into their magickal practice what is known as thought equals form. This is the ability to create change in the physical world using only the power of the mind, dispensing with the traditional rituals and elements of spellcasting. Many non-practitioners use thought equals form to affect change in the physical world all of the time without ever realizing it. How many times in your life have you heard of someone “thinking” them self sick, or “thinking” them self into a state of depression?

If a person can make him or her self ill (or healthy for that matter) simply by utilizing the powers of thought and belief, it would stand to reason that a large number of people believing in the same thing at the same time could in one form or another bring that “thing” into existence; even a veil between the worlds. While I’m not suggesting that a hundred thousand Yeti enthusiasts are capable of conjuring Bigfoot out of thin air simply by believing in him, the metaphysician in me has seen enough evidence of thought equals form to know that it’s a real power, and not the whimsy of an overactive imagination. The problem with such evidence however, is that it is not of a type that can be collected and analyzed scientifically. The scientist in me therefore, cannot consider such evidence legitimate, and the evidence must therefore be discarded unconditionally. Perhaps one-day scientists will identify the layer of energy that we refer to as the veil between the worlds and be able to study it. Perhaps they will discover that the thinning of this layer of energy occurs naturally every year on or around the 31st of October, and is caused by atmospheric conditions or the distance of the earth from the sun, not by supernatural forces. Perhaps a veil between the worlds will never be scientifically identified, and will forever be reserved for the mystical mind and the deepest recesses of our imaginations.

So all things considered, my conclusion about a veil between the worlds is thus: No tangible evidence can be produced to support the existence of a veil between the worlds. The case for a veil between the worlds is therefore scientifically unsound. On the metaphysical side of the coin, believing in the existence of things unseen and immeasurable only requires faith, which is a belief that isn’t based on proof. So the next time someone asks me if I believe in a veil between the worlds that thins on Samhain, the scientist in me can honestly answer no. The metaphysician in me however, can answer yes, and all you need to experience it is a little faith.

Samhain is nearly upon us, and there are thousands upon thousands of people out there right now who believe in a veil between the worlds, and who believe that the veil is growing thinner by the minute. The Witch in me is excited about the pending Samhain ritual, and yes, even decorating the yard and doling out candy to costumed marauders with cavity-filled grins on Halloween night. After all, perhaps even they have some small part to play in the thinning of the veil. On All Hallows Eve, the world is crawling with witches and wizards, with ghosts and with ghouls. Some are real and some imagined; some are mimics, and some the real deal. And if should decide to go in search of them, as a hunter of ghosts and things that go bump in the night, I offer you this one warning: Be careful what you go looking for. If you seek out the unknown, the unknown just might seek you back…

Ask TWPT: Politics and Religious Tolerance
by Marcus Foxglove Griffin

Tolerance –noun    a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry. 

Greetings reader. This month's question comes from Sandra (Kat) H. inOmaha,Nebraska. Sandra asks: Would having a female or minority President in the White House mean more religious tolerance for pagans and other minority religions?

Good question Sandra! With both the Senate and House of Representatives back in Democratic control of Congress, history tells us that voters will most likely follow suit by electing a Democrat President in 2008. Just this morning (1/16/07) Illinois Senator Barack Obama announced that he has formed a Presidential exploratory committee, and on February 10th is expected to officially announce his intention to run for President of theUnited States. If Obama (a minority Senator) decides to run, he is expected to join frontrunner Hillary Clinton as a leading candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination, giving us the real possibility of electing the first ever female or minority President. But would having a female or minority President in the White House translate into more religious tolerance for pagans or other minority religions? Doubtful. At least not right away.

Another lesson we can learn from history is that people are slow to change. Even though electing a female or minority President would demonstrate willingness by American voters to deviate from the norm and accept change, when it comes to religious tolerance, people hold fiercely to their beliefs. For example, Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, caused a huge uproar recently when he was sworn-in on a Koran instead of a Bible. The Koran (once owned by Thomas Jefferson) was nothing more than a prop used in a photo-op (the official swearing-in doesn’t require a book of any kind), but the mere mention of using anything other than a Bible for swearing-in a government official sent millions of God-fearing Americans into a tizzy. Official or not, however, Ellison’s decision to use a Koran instead of a Bible has far reaching implications and may entice future elected officials that practice minority religions to follow suit. (Can you imagine a country in which a Wiccan congressperson could be sworn-into office on his or her book of shadows without causing a riot?)

A change in religious tolerance and societal patterns comes in baby-steps. Although electing a female or minority President will probably do little to hasten the process, the more we become used to change the more tolerant we become of people who look and act differently than we do. Just as we need more religious tolerance in our country,America is in need of political change. If given the opportunity, I will strongly consider casting my vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Not only because these potential candidates represent change, but also because doing so will quicken my own tolerance: Tolerance for other religions, other races, other nationalities…even Presidents.