This talk aims to illustrate the all-pervading nature
of Wicca. If a system of natural laws or beliefs is true, it can be
applied to virtually anything. I intend to try and apply parts of Wiccan
beliefs to my other passion, biking.
There is a peculiar sort of bonding between a real biker
and his machine. The biker will put the well-being of his machine far
above his own. I have seen men cry over a bent bike, or after an accident
tell the driver off for hitting his bike rather than him. I have personally
fought off two ambulance men so that I could hop to my bike to inspect
the damage before being taken to hospital. My theory for this strange
bond is that the motorcycle and rider form a sort of Gestalt being,
a complete entity, either part of which is incomplete or useless without
The motorcycle represents the male part of this entity.
It provides all the force and power, but lacks control and direction.
It is all potential, in Wiccan terms, the God force, waiting for the
female aspect, the Goddess, in the form of a horrible grubby motorcycle
rider. The rider takes the force and harnesses it, giving purpose, form
and direction. Controlling the raw male potential, and together, in
harmony, they will be capable of reaching heights impossible to either
on their own.
The motorcycle can be seen as a way through which to tap
a source of cosmic energy. The energy which we in the Wicca use for
healing, spells, divination, as a gateway to alternative universes.
Just as a witch wouldn't attempt to tap this awesome power without protection,
neither would a biker. The biker will put on boots, gloves, helmet and
leathers in a similar sort of way as a member of the Craft would surround
themselves with a protective circle to preserve the power and keep out
undesirable spirits. In the biker's case he is also aiming to keep in
the heat, and protect him from the road, onto which demon car drivers
possessed of evil spirits (gin, vodka, whiskey etc.) would lure him
to his death!
This brings us neatly (?) to the subject of reincarnation.
Most of you reading this will have some knowledge of the ideas of reincarnation;
i.e. that we are born, live in the world, die, and are then reborn to
develop further. Not many of you will realize that motorcycles go through
a similar process. They leave the factory to roam about the face of
the earth, then some parts wear out, and they descend into the dark
underworld of the workshop. Here they are consoled and repaired by the
creative force of the female, who is the biker, to emerge re-born in
Spring, once more blooming with refreshed color of restored paint work,
and the cycle starts again. Many British machines go through this every
year. About Yule they are ready, and in the first days of Spring they
roar about in the first flush of youth. Then at the peak of their power,
at Lammas, they are cut down, usually due to some terminal mechanical
problem. They dwell for the remainder of the year in Hades, the garage,
thus mirroring the cycle of the God.
The spirituality of bikes is perceived by man in different
forms, and each has its followers. Here are some of the major religions:
This newcomer to the spiritual motorcycle rides a modern
Japanese bike. He pays little more than lip service to his religion.
He has few rituals, all he has to do is turn the key and start the starter
engine. He tends to be into power and speed, tearing past older machines
which he regards with contempt. He cares little for the inner workings
of the machine, running to his priest/mechanic whenever he has a problem.
Should his machine pass on, i.e., wear out, it will believed to be irreparable,
i.e., too expensive, and gone to the great scrap heap in the sky. The
makers of this are the great salesmen and evangelists of the bike, not
to mention the profit makers.
He will typically be an older bearded gentleman, who
rides an immaculate old British motorcycle. They are into status, and
will pootle along at 40 mph all day, imagining themselves the envy of
all who see them. They are into ritual and mystery. The performance
required to summon some older bikes into life is awesome and dangerous.
Yet these fellows will watch in silence as a machine spits at a new
initiate and breaks his shin. They will endlessly pontificate on the
correct shade of color for the petrol tank, or whether a part is the
right year for the model; mostly that's all they do.
The bike will most likely be filthy, not from lack of
care, but from constant use in all sorts of conditions. The rider knows
and understands the inner workings of his machine, its every click and
whistle. He relies on no guru for his understanding, he is not afraid
to try things out and see if it works. Not for him the search for power
or acclaim. He is just out to explore the universe and glean its mysteries.
He will get there in the end, there's plenty of time. He will rebuild
bikes time after time, not sticking to rigid formulae, but with whatever
comes to hand. he enjoys his bike and is in-tune with it.
As a biker-witch, I am now going to use two useful tools
to explain my theory of Life, the Universe and Everything: i.e., the
Kaballah and the four-stroke cycle.
Firstly the act of invocation and the four-stroke cycle.
For those of you who are not mechanically minded, I'll try and keep
this simple. Officially the four-stroke cycle is referred to as Induction,
Compression, Power and Exhaust. I prefer the much more evocative Suck,
Squeeze, Bang, Blow. There are a few parts that really matter: the crank
shaft, the con rod, the piston and the inlet plus exhaust valves.
Suck: Initially the piston is at the top and both
valves are closed. As the crank shaft turns, the inlet valve opens,
the con rod pulls the piston down which draws air and fuel in. At
this point in an invocation, the invoker is opening his chakras
and drawing the cosmic energy which surrounds us into his body.
Squeeze: The crank shaft continues around, the inlet
valve shuts, and the piston is pushed up, squeezing the gases together.
This is when the invoker says the invocation and passes the power
to the invokee.
Bang: The fuel/air mixture ignites and pushes the
piston down. The priest/ess takes on the aspect of God/dess being
Blow: The exhaust valve opens and the piston pushes
the charge into the exhaust pipe. The God/dess charges and shares
his/her power with those assembled.
And now - motorcycles on the Tree of Life:
Kether - traditionally the godhead from which all energy
flows. It is formless. This is the high tension spark which ignites
the fuel and without which the bike is naught.
Chokmah - Formless, directionless energy, raw untamed
power. In the engine this is the burning fuel mixture.
Binah - this takes the raw force and starts organizing
and forming it. The piston, conrod and crankshaft takes the power of
the expanding gases and converts it to rotary motion.
Chesed - Takes the potential energy of Binah, gives it
order, and makes it more solid and usable. In the engine, the gearbox
and final drive take the power from the crank shaft and make it usable
to the whole machine.
Geburah - An essential breaking down. Where there is life,
there must be death. In an engine when you have got two lumps of metal
thrashing about in violent motion, they must wear each other away.
Tiphareth - This is the image of the godhead, the wayshower,
Lucifer, Prince of Light. In the bike this is represented by the electrical
system and the ignition system, and the lights, which on British machines
are provided by Joe Lucas, Prince of Darkness!
Netzach - This is the spirit of nature, intuition and
sexuality. This is more concerned with what bikers do. They are in tune
with nature and tend to get drawn to ancient sites, e.g. Stonehenge,
Avebury and Wayland Smithy, or just standing around in a muddy field
communing with nature and the local brewery. This is also the source
of the sexual bond between man and machine.
Hod - Communication, intellect and travel. It is also
where your will produces power. The traveling aspect of motorcycles
is fairly obvious, and hordes of dispatch riders fulfill the communication
role. This is where we get the knowledge of the workings of the bike.
It definitely takes Hodic willpower on a cold, wet morning, along with
highly verbal expletives, leaping up and down on the kickstart to get
the bugger moving.
Yesod - This is the lunar aspect of biking, linked to
Tiphareth on the Middle Pillar (refer Joe Lucas, Prince of Darkness).
Many bikers will, by the light of the Full Moon, switch their lights
off and ride by moonlight in their lunatic hunt for the local hostelry.
In the event of a biker meeting his death through this ridiculous activity,
look into the sky. For there you will espy, on his silver machine, the
spirit of the biker riding across the astral heavens. Scientists tend
to think these are meteors. There is also the illusion of security one
gets from riding around with one's head in a goldfish bowl, colloquially
known as a blood bucket.
Malkuth - The concrete world, reality. On a bike you are
cold, wet, tired, frequently uncomfortable, and very vulnerable, and
no-one in their right mind would do it if it wasn't for something else...
Despite Malkuth, biking opens up other realms, other worlds
(Birmingham, London, Glasgow, etc.) and puts you in tune with the inner
and outer universes.