I was able to help Stephanie. I was able to bond with the child—a beautiful, baby, boy. In those first years, well two to be exact, I was with them all the time.
(I could describe a scenario of Chris delighted with baby and comment upon how a well loved child completes and gives purpose to normal life—the deep joy of it. But considering what is about to happen, I think it best if we remain more detached. S.)
But I really did not have to work to support them either. Steph’s family is wealthy. So, after a while, I felt free to continue my more esoteric interests.
Invoking rainstorms was part of last summer’s work. I did it to test my talent for such things. In doing so, I traveled from the place of ‘primary ignition’ for the spell in western Montana to the place of ‘primary impact’ in eastern Montana. I was hitchhiking and was given a ride by a young couple in a new car. We drove across a land nearly empty of the Twentieth Century but for us. I was surprised that they picked me up. They looked affluent in the mid-western way of middling wealth. They were well-groomed, clean, in summer whites with spots of pale color. We passed quickly the usual information of wherefrom/going, and why. We were silent for a while. The wife (I assumed marriage) turned to me and said, “I just feel moved to talk to you about the Lord.” “Oh”, I said. My first and several other rides on this trip had been with born-again Christians or ex- Catholics who told me about their religious experience. “I want to ask you if you know the Lord.”
I didn’t want to say that I was into rain-making and raising elemental dragons at that moment. So, I talked about the Lord for a while, some- what professionally. We, all three it turns out, were professional evan- gelists. I, a Catholic, on leave so to speak; they worked with a Protestant guru in Michigan and were on their summer break from their mission.
They planned to start a new mission in a rich Virginia suburb at the end of the summer. I told them that they should avoid being a pseudo-Gospel stamp of approval to the values of the rich and powerful as so many other Christian apologists had been. I felt pretentious about saying such things but what did I have to lose? I’d be back on the road soon anyway.
When we got past that, they told me about their plan to found a chain of houses for unwed, pregnant, teenage girls. That seemed to be a good idea as well as being profitable. In the midst of this conversation, I found out that their summer was being spent driving recreational vehi- cles and new cars from coast to coast for dealers who wanted to help them through financial rough spots of their lives in ministry. They were apparently in just such a rough spot until they were to start this new mission in Virginia. All they owned was in the trunk of that new car. The wife was enthusiastic about the value of fasting and hardship. The husband was less enthused and generally resented the experience if not the idea of poverty.
They dropped me off near a town as sunset illumined a silhouette of roadside landscape. We were then in a part of the state, that seldom, if ever, I was told, got rain that time of year. And that was a year of drought. It was dry—from the parched sheaves of wild oats along the road, to the cracked earth where I chose to lay for rest. I could not rest for long though. Some strange disturbing energy urged me on. After several hours of walking through the night, I found a place of refuge, near a special hill that seemed to have a strong geomantic energy about it. I rested and waited for the storm that hit the next day with lightning, hail, wind and torrential downpour…
I didn’t like the way those Christians used language when they talked about the “Lord.” It seemed fake. It seemed to me that each word stepped away from the vital experience of a spiritually enlivened being. Yet, I liked them somehow. The surprising point that I want to make is that they helped me effect that rain ritual. They might be chagrined to know that. But the expression of their real aspirations added to mine empowered the ritual and now has left me with a sense of quiet, washed-clean, effective enchantment.
P.S. I should note that also during this week’s duration my parent’s ranch home burned. Within the next month, I met in Yemen, the fiercest dragon energy so far—violence, sexual violence and fire—I had to run—(there is a certain sexual element in the rain ritual described above). On the day of my return home, my father had a fatal heart attack—due to the fire that burned the ranch, no doubt. On that same day, an airliner crashed into the neighborhood to one side of where I was living and there were violent riots on the other side, at the beach— it was Labor Day weekend. Soon after, my car’s engine caught fire as I drove into a parking structure. Then my beautiful baby son got sick. He was diagnosed to have leukemia. Thereafter, the energies of this ritual pilgrimage seem to diminish.