venkmanInspired by events on a Facebook message board after two crop circles appeared near the Long Man of Wilmington our local moot chose to discuss our feelings and views on this kind of event/phenomena. We didn’t want to stick with just crop circles though. Why not include Nessie, UFOs and ghosts. So after a little discussion on what we should call the topic we landed upon ‘weird shit’.

Now don’t forget, this was a Pagan moot. With Pagans that Weird-shit-o-meter is a very movable thing. For some, ghosts aren’t weird at all, for others the Ouija board is a useful tool, to some the Gods are real, for others they are archetypes, to some crop circles are fascinating and spiritual phenomena, to others they are artistic, others still see them as blatant vandalism. We stand in judgment of others’ weird shit having to honestly admit that, to most of the general public, pretty much all that we do is weird shit.

grey ladyHere’s a confession. Weird shit was one of the things that put my feet on the path that finally led me to Paganism and my spirituality. At school you’d often find me in the library looking at the Occult and Supernatural section reading about psychics, ghosts, poltergeists, esp, spontaneous human combustion, the Faerie. I wasn’t really into UFOs, more the unknown phenomena that happens in the human and Earth realms. It all fascinated me. The photo of the Grey Lady on the stairs always drew my eye, the visions of Victorian mystics with ectoplasm coming from their bodies were, quite frankly, freaky. Later, I loved the X Files, Fringe, anything like that, and I still do.

I remember when crop circles were in their height and I was as fascinated by them as most people. Huge geometric patterns appearing in fields overnight. I was drawn in. I’ve only ever seen three and each one took my breath away with its complexity, size and shape. Over the years some people have come out as crop circle creators and have demonstrated how they do them. There’s now a crop circle makers website community. It would seem that the bubble must burst right? Surely those few crop circle makers have proven that they are all fake. Well, no, not really.

Bigfoot, the Yeti, the Yowie, it seems that many areas of the world have this huge ape-like figure wandering in the wilderness. I remember seeing the video below of the Bigfoot back in the day. Do these vast areas of wilderness still hide a yet to be discovered life form? There was a program on the TV recently where a scientist was given hair samples from people who had seen the Yeti. These hair samples came from all over the world. Each one was put through DNA analysis, and the results were shared in the program. It was proven that most were from bears, one was from an ‘unidentified human strain’, and that was weirdly washed over and not really explored, and another was found to be from a type of ‘ancient bear’ that was thought to be extinct, but they are obviously still roaming around in the mountains. That too wasn’t really explored. But to the producers of the show they had proven that bigfoot didn’t exist. Are there still bigfoot enthusiasts? Of course there are.

There have been so many ghost hunter programs on the TV that always seem to find a spirit or ghost from which to run away screaming that ghosts must be real right? One of the most popular psychics in the UK was found to be a fraud and was sacked from a leading ghost hunting show. Did the viewing figures go down? No.

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins was a best seller a few years back. It created an atheist out of a theist friend of mine so I thought I’d read it to see what it was all about. Atheist websites sprung up all over the internet and an army of newly converted Dawkinsian Evangelical Atheists took up the book and ploughed into any religious community they could find to spread the word of the Truth. Are there still religious people in the world? Of course there are.

I have a very open mind. I like being in that space. To me this stuff is a little like politics – too far to the left or right and you run the risk of becoming zealous about your beliefs of what is right and wrong, and making that decision for everyone. Discussion and debate become impossible if we cannot bring ourselves to see another’s point of view. People are bombing each other in the Middle East right now because of this way of viewing each other. I never want to be like that. I still see gaps in the arguments of those who would have everyone only believe what the nice people in white coats prove to exist. Discoveries are fluid, as is science and I love science, but I also love to speculate, to create ideas, to explore all of the ‘what ifs’ deeply.

What if not all crop circles are made by humans, what if only one or two have been created some other way? What did it? Who did it? Why?

What if one of those old black and white photographs of a ghost is real?

What if a person in a trance state really can channel the voices of Otherworlds?

I love that stuff.

I’m still a fully paid up subscriber to Fortean Times and readily consume my monthly dose of weird shit when it arrives on my iPad. The Mysterious Universe podcast keeps me company in my car once a week.

I say close doors carefully. You never know what you might be closing behind them, and losing forever.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, 
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. 
– Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio