How spiritual a person was Jim?
A great deal more spiritual than most people are willing to give him credit for being. Of course, his spirituality did not take any sort of traditional form: It manifested itself most strongly in his art, and it had begun to carry over into his personal life as well.
The most obvious example of that, certainly, was his choosing to marry in an occult tradition. And, let there be no mistake, NOBODY, EVER, got Jim Morrison to do anything Jim Morrison did not want to do. Not by tears, whining, threats, cajolery or spells (and NO, that does NOT mean I ever tried spells on him; if you know anything about paganism, or Jim, or me, you would know that that’s something that just never entered into it). If he had not wanted to wed me in a handfasting ceremony that is more binding than any Christian marriage there is, it would never have happened, and it happened because he wanted it to happen as much as I did.
But Jim’s spiritual nature goes much wider and deeper than that: You have only to look at his poetry (“O Great Creator of Being/Grant us one more hour to perform our art/And perfect our lives”) or his songs.
The private poems he wrote for me, that will be published in Fireheart, reflect this strongly, and in even more eclectic ways. In one, he uses a beautiful metaphor (“She shake her hair, she jar the river”) that, though lovely and loving in itself, is also an unequivocal reference to abstruse Egyptian lore: The Goddess Isis restores her dead husband, Osiris, to life by shaking out her hair over his body; and in the annual ceremony of purification held at the Nile, river water in a jar was held up before the people, exactly as the Christian chalice now is at a mass. Isis herself wore a jar-shaped amulet, connoting creativity and fertility, and Isis and Osiris — even as Jim and I — were wedded with the hieros gamos, the Sacred Marriage… A masterful pun; but coincidence? I don’t think so!
On the other hand, Jim was passionate in his opposition and scorn for traditional religion, once remarking to me that in his opinion the motto of organized churches was not “Feed My sheep” but “Fleece those sheep.” I have to say I agree with him…
I don’t think Jim and I would ever have ended up running a chic New York coven together — he wasn’t exactly the joiner type, and despite my participation in the two groups I was involved with, I’ve always been more of a solitary myself than a covener. We probably would have been, after his initiation, High Priest and High Priestess for each other, committed magical partners, and celebrated the holydays with a small group of carefully chosen friends and co-religionists — in fact, much the way we do now, actually.
But he ABSOLUTELY wanted to be initiated as a witch, and for what I and others considered the right reasons, the needs of his own spirit; and he would have been initiated on his return from Paris. That’s a given; you’ll read about that too in Fireheart, where he talks about it to me in letters sent just before his death. He knew what it meant, on all levels, for both of us, and what it entailed for all his lives.
All you gormless idiots out there wondering why he’d be interested in me are also the ones who go around so free and easy and clueless calling him a shaman: ‘Ooooh, Jim was such a shaman, and he was so in love with Pam, why would he have anything to do with a witch?” Well, duuhhh! What the hell do you think — if indeed you are capable of any such higher intellectual process — that a shaman actually IS? Right! A WITCH!!! At least in all the basic particulars (go check it out!): Jim was already deeply intrigued and interested in that sort of spirituality, and then I came along — of COURSE he was going to be interested. I already was what he wanted to become. How could he NOT be interested in me?
One more time, for all of you out there who just can’t or won’t get it: Witchcraft as I practice it, Celtic paganism, is nothing more than the ancient religion practiced by the pre-Christian inhabitants of Europe, more specifically, the British Isles. I live it in my life, every hour of every day; and I write about it in all my novels; and I was married in its tradition to a man who not only believed in it but accepted it for himself.
We call it witchcraft for lack of a better term. The native Celtic terms — words like “Draoícht” and “dewin” — are a little too exotic for most people to get behind; so we use the English word “witch” in spite of the negative connotations it still holds for the ignorant and the biased. Magic is part of what we do, sure, but the worship is what matters most to us; it is how we choose to do our soul work in the world, how we worship and honor and build a personal relationship with the One, the Uncaused Cause, the Creator: the worship of a Deity Who is both the Male and Female Principles of the Universe — the Goddess and the God. We do it in Celtic ways because we are Celts, or because that way speaks to our deep souls; but that’s not to say other ways are not right for other people and other souls, and we are a million times more tolerant of their ways than they are of ours.
Magic is actually the least of what we do; but it is nothing to be afraid of. You’ve all done magic, whether you know it by that name or not: A spell is just a concentrated form of prayer, a focused ritualized way of asking a higher power to do something for you that you can’t do for yourself. Or thanking that Power, or simply saluting and being and rejoicing in the presence of that Power. The Christian mass is one of the most magical and powerful rituals there is, or at least it was until Vatican II came along and stripped it in one stroke of two thousand years of accumulated mana and mystery.
As for certain accusations made against me regarding the nature of the magic I do choose to practice: I say again, I have never in my life worked what is commonly known as black magic against anyone, and anyone who says I have is lying. I wouldn’t, for many reasons, chiefly because black magic is only ever more trouble than it’s worth, but mostly because I don’t want their icky karmic cooties all over me, and I’d surely get ’em if I tried anything of that sort. If bad things have befallen enemies of mine and Jim’s, it is their doing, not mine (though I can’t say I’m exactly sorry to see it happening…but then, I’m not Christian! I don’t have to be sorry!).
Now I certainly lit a candle or two to remove Pam’s influence from Jim’s life (boy, we see how effective that was!), and another candle or two, at Jerry Hopkins’ own request, to get her to talk to him for No One Here Gets Out Alive (a bit more successful: she called him a week later, after months of continued refusals), and I’ve done the odd ritual of warding and self-defense, especially over the past four or five years — quite justified, considering the mass of hatred and ill-will aimed my way by the very same people who are condemning me — and of course protective rituals for Jim, always, ever; but that’s it, and so what?
Hey! People! Anyone who has ever lit a candle in a church and said a prayer for a sick friend or to get a desired job or to pass a final exam has done exactly the same thing. THEY’VE PRACTICED MAGIC — candle-magic, a very simple, innocuous magical method indeed. But they have worked magic. So have all you people who throw spilled salt over your shoulders, or who chant or meditate, or who attend mass or synagogue or prayer services, or who throw a coin in a fountain and make a wish, or who do anything else in a ritualized format in order to obtain a certain result.
Sin? Evil scary Dark Side stuff? Black magic? I don’t think so! But certainly magic.
My religion is no more than the way of worship practiced by my Irish ancestors, by Jim’s Scottish ancestors, by the ancestors of all of you out there with Western European antecedents; we who call ourselves witches have merely returned to it, after a slight two-millennium detour… That’s what it is.
Here’s what it is not: It is not black magic, it is not Satanism, it is not even Aleister Crowleyism. And, again, anyone who says it is is lying; and anyone who’s afraid of it is a moron and a wuss.
It is the true original religion of the European people, only to be feared in the same way any great spiritual system of power is to be feared, or rather respected: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, Buddhism. That’s why witches won’t diss the tenets of any other faith (though the politics and the banking practices and the contents of the garages of those who head up those other faiths are, of course, fair game).
Because, no matter what we call it, it is all the same thing in the end, it all comes from the same place. It is blasphemy to put limits on That Which is by glorious divine nature unlimited; where is it written, save only by men (and “men” is the operative word) that God must be held to a single name and worshipped in a single way? Witches would never be so presumptuous as to think theirs was the one true path. All we say is that it is the one true path for US…
If all this doesn’t sound to you like something in which Jim Morrison would have been deeply, honestly interested, or if you can’t see why he would have fallen in love with someone who practices this quite matter-of-factly, as part of her daily life, or wanted to marry her, to have it and her in his life always, so be it. You are choosing willfully to stew in ignorance and bias and hate, and you are hurting yourself and your own soul worse than you can ever hurt Jim and me and ours. You are practicing the real black magic. I don’t how to say it any simpler than that, and though I do not forgive or forget, I will pray for you all the same.