A young college student discovers a hidden world of lost folklore, ancient gods, and advanced spiritual abilities – through the captivating influence of a mysterious and charismatic young man.

This is Part I of the Immanence Series – a collection of short stories that take place in a supernatural infused, pagan themed, mythology driven, contemporary setting.

When I told my sister that I had time off from school for the summer, I didn’t expect for her to demand my attention so readily. Of course, she’s my big sis, so I can’t say no, but I wish she didn’t wait until Saturday night to tell me she wanted us to see a musical.

I get her text while sitting on some worn out couch at a friend’s house party near the college. I’m next to some random, scruffy stoner – curled up in the corner, with a half smoked joint, and he can’t be bothered to make more space on the couch. It’s then I decide to go into the other room – near the stairway, leading from the front door, to fully read what my sister had to say to me so urgently. I quickly wave off a few new friends from the party as they leave to head home with their designated driver, and hope that I don’t look too embarrassed while looking at the website for this musical production. I know that it’s one of my favorite musicals of all time, but she doesn’t need to know that, and I definitely don’t want my friends from the university to find out. I have a reputation to uphold around here!

Before I could lodge my complaints with my sister however, I see a new text from her. She already bought us both tickets, and she insists on driving the whole way there and back. And worst of all, she only knew to pick that particular musical because I left my browser open at her place.

Well, it looks like that ship has sailed, hasn’t it? Knowing my sister, she’s already told the whole neighborhood too!

The night of the musical came and went, and she got to see how much of an absolute theatre geek her baby brother is. My roommates found out about the event, but they were surprisingly good natured about it – especially when they found out that I got a few phone numbers from a guy and girl during intermission, and we got right back to our study and house party routine for the summer. During the week though, I decided to text back the people I met at the production. When I arranged a meeting at a nearby cafe with the girl, she was as attractive as ever, but boring as sin, and obsessed with her apartment full of cats. Needless to say, there weren’t any callbacks after that.

The next day, however, I message the guy, and find out that he is much more direct. He already picked out his favorite used book store, and after looking it up, I find out that it’s surprisingly close to the college I go to. He gives me a convenient time, so despite my reservations, I take the risk, and head straight over there. Driving through the downtown area near the colleges, I see the front of the used book store. It’s quite plain, and a little worse for wear – with faded white paint on the wood lining the old building, but it certainly has its charm.

After getting out of the car, I hesitantly open the front door of the bookstore – to the spritely chime of a bell above it, and feel a little startled before looking to the front. I get a silent wave from a largely disinterested girl with a pixie cut at the front counter, before hearing, “Hey Phillip! Come back here!” from an unknown voice somewhere in the bookstore.

I locate the direction of the person calling out my name to the back left corner of the bookstore, and head towards it. When I round the corner of the tall, slightly musty smelling bookshelves, I see a tall, statuesque, raven-haired man looking eagerly, with azure blue eyes, at the inside of an unknown tome of meager condition.

Was he that tall at the musical? Maybe I really am a dunce like Sasha’s always saying?

He looks up from his book for a moment, takes a quick glance at my clothes, and while meeting his eyes to mine he says, “This place is great, isn’t it?” Seeing someone with that level of enthusiasm makes me feel suddenly disarmed, so I wiggle nervously in place a little.

So that’s what that looks like from the other side?

Trying not to rely on my phone for once, I say, “It’s definitely interesting for sure! Lupin, right?”

Looking relieved to hear his name, he smiles brightly, and I become a little flustered for a moment before he replies, “That’s right. There’s a pretty funny story behind it. Maybe I’ll tell you about it later.” He gives me a knowing, somewhat quizzical look – like he’s waiting for something. He continues by saying, “I found this really unique book here in the store. It’s a little bit of history, and a lot of colorful folklore. When I met you at the production, you seemed like the kind of person who likes vibrant things.” He glances briefly at my red shirt with a smile before saying, “Would you say that’s accurate?”

Taken aback by all the personal attention, I almost stutter before saying, “I’ve always liked people and art that have something to say – however that manifests.”

“That’s great to hear!” Lupin remarks while closing the book. “Here,” he says, before handing it to me. “I decided to buy this for you, and it was a good price.”

I look at the book and then at him rather sheepishly before speaking. “Thanks. I’m not sure what it’s about, but I’m a fast reader, so I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough.”

This guy is a total mystery. I gotta find out more about him now.

It was at this point that he quickly picks up another book he had tucked away nearby and pays for it up front. We make plans to go across the street to the local mom & pop café – run by that old couple with the whacky, chipper family helping out between work or classes. We share some iced coffees in the balmy summer weather, and make small talk about both school and odd jobs we’ve been taking throughout the year since graduating high school. I find out that, at 23, He’s only a year younger than Sasha, but he has the composure of someone much older. I feel myself drawn into his charm and sophistication as the café winds down in the late afternoon.

“I’m sure you have studies and well-needed relaxation to get back to, Phillip, so I won’t keep you too much longer. Let me know when you read that book. If something challenging comes up, don’t hesitate to call me” Lupin says, with another one of his quizzical, knowing looks – making me feel just that much more vulnerable under his blue-eyed gaze.

“I definitely will, Lupin, but I hardly doubt it’s gonna be that difficult. I’ve always done well with literature, and history has always been one of my better subjects,” I reply back with confidence, and Lupin smiles warmly – giving me another soft glance.

We both get up, share a soft, friendly handshake, and Lupin puts his other hand on top of our grasp before finally remarking,” It was a pleasure, Phillip.” I flush again slightly, and the afternoon ends with a few friendly waves as we enter our respective cars and drive off.

“I wonder why he’s so interested in me?” I speak aloud as I drive back to the house. “Sure, it’s much better than the girl from the other day, but what am I supposed to do with all this attention?”

After parking on the street and heading in through the front door of the old craftsman style townhouse me and my roommates are staying in, I wave them off while they play some boisterously loud co-op game. I then make my way upstairs to my room to do some early studying for the fall semester – with some tunes and maybe a little nightcap for good measure.

I look down at the book – titled Celtic Folk Tales: A History, and smirk at the dubiously generic title of a book Lupin spent so much time raving about, before, otherwise respectfully, placing it on my study desk as I plop down, back first onto my bed, and reflect a bit about my first meeting with him. I turn on my stereo and listen to some classic pop punk for a bit before doing a short preparatory study session. A few hours pass by, and a lingering desire to read Lupin’s gift enters back into my mind. I finish writing material for my last exercise before closing my notebook, grabbing the worn old tome, and peeling it open – while propped up on my bed with a few pillows behind my head, and the dim light of my table lamp to accompany me.

You see, the reason why I was so hesitant to read Lupin’s gift wasn’t because I’m afraid to read technical historical material – quite the opposite in fact. In reality, I hesitate to read about history – particularly about Old European folklore, because of how woefully inaccurate it usually is.

When I was a young teen, I remember being absolutely bored by the surface-level history I was being taught in school, so I dove deep into online articles and chatrooms about ancient history. One thing led to another, and I eventually discovered ancient religions. Sure, some of the initial material I was exposed to was extreme cringe, but eventually I found genuinely detailed and meaningful material – finding my core focus with Celtic polytheism in my late teens. Though I initially had small hidden altars when I was living with my lax Protestant parents, I was able to form more considerable sacred spaces when I started living with more open-minded, or perhaps ambivalent young college guys over the past few years. I added religion and philosophy to my academic focus, at least as a minor, and continued having rigorous discussions about both ancient Celtic religion and polytheistic reconstructionism. Ritual became a regular, albeit quite hidden part of my life – even from my nosy big sister.

Though I know I’m not an expert, this is something I take quite seriously, and I would hate to let Lupin down. Either way, I’ll give this old book a proper effort.

As I first started reading the book, I was met with some of the generational biases of decades and centuries long past, but was refreshed to see Celtic folklore treated which such care. Absent from the book was the standard Christian condescension and primitivism inherent to talks about pagan religions, and instead were details that are rare outside of university libraries. It was then that I notice something in the text: a prominent section about solar and healing deities in Ancient Gaul. I find myself captivated by descriptions of Belenos in particular, and the almost reverent care he is given there.

As I look at the text about Belenos further, I feel a warm, almost electric sensation fill my body, and the sense of a presence in the room with me – large and imposing, but not aggressive. I get up and stand in the center of the room, taking in this experience. I then look at my modest bookshelf altar tucked away in the corner of my room. Walking over to it, I feel compelled to light the hearth candle towards the middle of the space. As I do, a fierce flame radiates outward, producing a warm glow that almost seems otherworldly.

“Woah!” I say aloud; I step back suddenly like an overly excitable teenager, but cautiously walk back over to the candle – enshrined by a modest assortment of simple cups, plates, and votive offerings from seasons past.

As I stand in front of it, and gaze at the fire, my inner vision opens up like never before. As clear as day, I see a green meadow beneath a blue, cloudless sky – with the warm, piercing glow of the burning sun above me. As I gaze deeper, I feel the cool air across my skin, and a violent rush of air behind me. I turn to look as I see a majestic male brown horse gallop past me – circling me for a few moments before the large beast stops abruptly in the grass in front of me. I hear the snorts of air rumble in his snout and a loud neighing as he bucks his legs up and then down back to the ground below him. Fixed in place, both from awe and a little fear, I witness the brown horse peer into my eyes and look at the rest of me – seemingly judging my presence in this place. It was in that moment that he lies flat on the ground, with a content expression on its face. He gently bows its head, and I exit the trance – noticing that the flame on the candle is completely extinguished. A gentle trail of smoke exits the candle wick, as if to remind me of the finality of the encounter.

I sit in silence at the edge of my bed for a long while – soothing myself with the soft texture of my modest comforter as I reflect on such a powerful experience. I lean my head back and look up at the ceiling – recalling the powerful visage of the mythical beast in my mind’s eye. As I do so, I feel a warmth spread across my body – as if the memory activated something deep inside me. I feel a sense of exciting confusion, but also a persistent sense of familiarity. I recall the name of the deity in the book I read, and quietly but intimately – like the name of an old friend, I say, “Belenos. Thank you.” Feeling suddenly tired, I decide to get ready for bed, and turn in for the night – seeing an image of the midday sun in my mind’s eye as I pass out.

Seemingly as quickly as I was wrapped in the calming embrace of the night, both the piercing light of the new day and my phone alarm arouse me from sleep, and the contents of vivid, intense dreams flow into my awareness. I recall the piercing gaze of the brown horse, sunlight, and the azure sky at first, but as I become more awake, I remember more of the content of my nocturnal visions. At some point I remember running in open fields among a herd of horses with a speed I’ve never experienced before. But as more clarity fills my mind, I see a vision of a beautiful young man with flaxen hair and a beaming smile – shining with a golden glow, carrying a fearsome spear and dressed in the garb of a Celtic warrior from many centuries ago.

As I take in the powerful images of my dream, it occurs to me that I should probably talk to Lupin today. I don’t know if he’ll understand this kind of experience, but I’d like to take a chance anyways. I don’t know if he’ll really understand, but I want to take the risk.

I go the head of the bed, grab my phone off the charger, and start texting Lupin.

Me: Hey. Are you awake?

Lupin: Yeah. What’s up?

Me: So, you know how you said I should message you if I encounter something challenging with the book?

Lupin: Yes, I do.

Me: Well… Something pretty interesting happened last night. I don’t know what you think about this sort of thing, but I’d like to talk to you about it anyways. In person.

Lupin: Don’t worry about it. I understand more than you might think.

Feeling nervous, I pause to look at his last text, and before I say something else, I see him typing.

Lupin: You wanna meet up again today?

I think back about everything I’ve already experienced – the intensity of last night, and the powerful dream I just had. I pause for a moment, and then proclaim, “Fuck it! What have I got to lose?”

Me: Yes.

Lupin: Good. Meet me at the bookstore in an hour.

Me: Okay. I’ll text you when I get there.

I quickly take a shower, get dressed, fuss with my appearance a little in the closet mirror, and grab a leftover protein bar from my gym bag before leaving the house. A bundle of nerves, I calm myself with some of my favorite tracks on my car stereo – opting for techno instead of my usual punk rock to clear my head of all the clutter. Parking in front of the store, I fiddle with my thumbs on the steering wheel before looking at my texts with Lupin. I see a new text from him already.

Lupin: Come inside. I’m waiting for you.

I enter the bookstore, and before I have a chance to look for the store clerk, she gets up from her desk, makes her way over to me, plays a little with her short hair, and gives me an all too familiar, odd glance – shouting over her shoulder, “So this is the guy?”

“Yeah, he is. Just trust me, Irene. You’ll see!” Lupin shouts with enthusiasm.

I gulp a little bit as the girl smirks, saying, “As you can already tell, I’m Irene. I don’t bite – much. You’ll be just fine.” She winks a little as she makes her way back to the register and dives back into the book she was reading when I entered.

Feeling like the tone of the place has changed, I walk a bit more cautiously towards the back of the store, but with the urgency of purpose to pull me towards him. Rounding the corner like before, I find him standing at the end of the aisle, but with less aloofness and subtle curiosity than before.

“Come with me” Lupin says. He firmly but gently grabs my hand, and opens a small door with his other hand – leading me down a short hallway that opens up to a cozy private study. The walls are a rich crimson color, with well-built black bookshelves lining much of the free space there. The books housed there seem just as old as the one I was given, and some of the titles are almost illegible at a glance. There are traditional, formal looking, darkly colored paisley armchairs framing a small wooden coffee table in the center of the room, and there is also a nook along the back wall. He takes me to the nook, and we sit adjacent to each other for a brief moment. Cutting the silence, Lupin says, “Before you say anything, wait here a moment.”

Sitting awkwardly for a few minutes, I see Lupin come back from a small kitchen area with a pot of tea, and a few modest white ceramic teacups. He places the whole setup on a nearby table, and pours out a few cups for him and I. “It’s loose-leaf black tea,” Lupin speaks quietly. “It’s meant to be savored – slowly. There’s honey on the table if you want some.”

I sweeten my tea a little bit – stirring the spoon while glancing curiously at Lupin. His demeanor is different somehow. He seems both forceful and consoling – almost paternal in some sense.

“This tea is so good, Lupin.” I coo softly. “I’ve never had tea this traditional before.”

Lupin takes a final sip of his tea, and deliberately places it back down on the table, before replying, “At one point, all tea was like this, if you can believe it. There are a lot of old traditions that people overlook. But I think you already know that by now, Phillip.”

I gaze at my tea for a little bit, take my own final sip, and place the cup on the table text to Lupin’s. Strangely, Lupin grabs both cups of tea, and while handing me my cup, says, “Look at your cup. Tell me what you see at the bottom.”

Gazing inside, I see the remainder of my tea in clusters at the bottom of the cup. Allowing my eyes to focus a little bit, I see the distinct outline of a galloping horse. In my mind’s eye, I recall yesterday evening’s experience, and place the cup back on the table. I take a deep breath, and look up at Lupin. He’s leaning his hand on one hip and giving me a knowing glance. “You saw the brown horse, right?” he says confidently.

“How did you know?” I said with curiosity.

“There’s more, Phillip. Take a look at my cup,” Lupin says. He hands me his cup, and sure enough, there’s an animal formed at the base. He continues, saying, “I told you my name had a funny story.”

I see the clear outline of a howling wolf, and it appears clearly in my mind’s eye for a moment before I look up. “You weren’t kidding. I see a wolf – as clear as day.” I say with amazement.

“I know what you’re wondering right now, so I’m gonna cut right to the chase.” Lupin says. “You saw one of the animal messengers of Belenos. My intuition told me that you had a connection to the same gods as me, and you have an almost solar glow to you that I noticed at the production. I considered Epona, but there’s just something about you, Phillip.”

Lupin pauses for a moment, before saying, “Your name has a funny story too, you know.”

“What do you mean?” I inquire.

“Your name means ‘lover or horses’ in Ancient Greek” Lupin remarks with an amusing glance. He continues, saying, “So tell me more about the experience you had last night.”

A little shyly at first, but with more enthusiasm as I progress, I tell him about the vision I had while standing in front of my altar, and the further expansion of those experiences in the dream I had before I woke up this morning.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve worshipped Celtic deities mind you,” I say, “but this experience was so vivid and intense.”

“It’ll only get better from here, Phillip” he says. “Not many people are receptive to this sort of thing.”

“How so?” I ask him with a curious expression.

“Mundanes can’t see the effects of spiritual abilities, or the genuine presence of deities – in many if not most circumstances” Lupin says. “Most people will ignore omens when they present themselves, and aren’t willing to do the kind of research and hard work it requires to learn about ancient pagan traditions. I just knew you were different the first time I saw you. That’s why I decided to get to know you.”

“Is that the only reason?” I say to him nervously.

Lupin perks up a little bit in his seat before saying, “I was drawn to you because of what lies beneath the surface,” he says intently. “Your spiritual abilities are just one part of that.”

“I’m glad,” I say with relief. “I have a lot I want to explore with you. I mean… who else makes tea as otherworldly as you do?”

Gods that was cheesy. He must think I’m such a dork now.

“You want to go to dinner? My treat.” He speaks casually to me as he puts the tea set away. “Shapeshifting definitely encourages an appetite, and I doubt that protein bar you finished in the car was very satisfying.” He looks pretty amused by his obvious dad joke.

My stomach growls in response, and we both chuckle a bit before making our way down the hallway and out of the private study room.

“So, you guys did it, didn’t you?” Irene says playfully.

What is it with this girl, anyways? Are you trying to blow my cover?   

“Fledglings always have that afterglow when Lupin gives them a tea reading” she says.

I look over at Lupin, and he smiles calmly. When I glance over towards Irene, she gives me the same knowing, mischievous glance she had when I arrived.

“Phillip and I are gonna go out to dinner down the street.” Lupin said. “Thanks for letting me use the backroom this time. That girl you brought around last time seemed pretty jazzed about it too.”

Irene makes a funny face at him, and returns back to her book before wiggling a little bit in her seat and saying, “You two enjoy yourselves then. I’m closing up soon anyways.”

Lupin and I exit the store, and after he sends me directions on my phone, we both head down to a corner restaurant – a cozy little Italian joint at the end of a row of shops downtown. We score a small table in the back, and place orders for hearty pasta dishes before settling in to our table. Lupin gazes at me, and motions for me to look at some of the tables behind him. It’s there that I notice them. As I look around me, I see folks with a certain air about them – not unlike Lupin, and a few even have more noticeable pagan jewelry.

“This place is kind of a hot spot,” Lupin says plainly. “A lot of college towns are, frankly.”

“Are the colleges themselves a part of it?” I inquire earnestly.

“Not really,” he says. “Paganism is usually very personal, and culturally sensitive. Most pagans are solitary, but some – particularly fledgling pagans, are taught by more experienced practitioners from the same or similar traditions.”

“Which deity called to you first, if you don’t mind my asking?” I say to him.

“Sucellos,” Lupin says. “I saw one of his statues while on a trip to France, and after a series of unusual dreams – particularly with wolves, Sucellos revealed himself. Fortunately, a polyglot pagan was staying at my hotel, and he had connections to American pagans I could contact stateside. I ended up learning a lot about Gaulish polytheism when I went back to the states, but nothing quite matches seeing Gaul in the flesh.”

Our food arrived, and we were absolutely starving, so we took some time to enjoy both our food and each other’s quiet company for a while. I was awe struck at some of the colorful people that wandered in and out of the restaurant, and he had some funny stories to tell about his first pagan experiences.

“How did you know the book you gave me would help bring about my initial revelation, Lupin?” I inquired intently.

“When I reflected on my initial impression of you – while wandering Irene’s store, I was drawn to looking at the books we have squared away in the back room. I had initially got a pretty solar impression from you, but I wanted to be sure. I decided to use bibliomancy.”

“What’s that?” I ask Lupin.

“Whenever you read a book, you can divine meanings by turning to a random page in a book” Lupin says. “When I used bibliomancy with the book I gave you, I found the really lovely section about Belenos – the one I’m sure you read.” Lupin smirks a little bit with that comment.

I smile a bit shyly before saying, “But why that book in particular?”

“It doesn’t always happen, but sometimes an object can be drawn to a particular person, and in rarer instances – like with you and I, such an object can help to encourage a spiritual revelation. The written word can have an even stronger impact, as you might expect” Lupin says – while playing a little bit with the pasta on his fork.

The waiter comes by to refill our glasses of ice water, and leaves the check on the table. We finish our meal, pay up at the front, and take a walk outside. I feel the warm night summer air on my skin and hear the active crickets in the distance. We find an empty bench outside a local gelato shop and spoon through our desserts for a while.

“The past few days have been absolutely wild for me,” I said excitedly. “I’m eager to take the next step in my journey with you. What’s next?”

Lupin explains to me that what we pagans experience of our gods is often enriched with devotional mysticism, and spiritual abilities we gain from our connections to various deities unfold through similarly powerful and often quite esoteric experiences. Though a single deity often initiates personal transformation, spiritual development is further refined through the deepening of relationships with a wide array of deities. For some, multiple cultural traditions may be involved, and this might also affect which abilities and practices are emphasized.

Since both of our traditions are the same, and we had already grown so close, we began to perform rituals to various Celtic gods. We would perform purification rites, make offerings and libations, and recite custom prayers – sometimes in the private study room of the bookstore, and other times in my house when my roommates were away. Fortunately, my roommates seemed to have already assumed I was dating Lupin, and though I’m still not sure how he feels about me yet, I was glad for the wide berth that such an assumption afforded my work as a fledgling pagan.

“Today I want to teach you about spiritual personas” Lupin said. “In various spiritual traditions, there are echoes of the idea that a person’s soul has different manifestations or aspects. Though it is understood differently from pagan to pagan, the general idea is that a person can embody the form of a particular animal or creature during meditation, scrying, dreams, and all sorts of other spiritual practices. Since animals are often messengers of various deities, animal forms are strongly connected to your devotional relationships with them – as well as any omens you receive. Do you remember what you felt when you had your vision Belenos vision?”

“Yes, I do,” I say plainly.

Lupin said, “I want you to focus on that feeling directly.”

Getting straight to work in the private study room at the bookstore, I bring my awareness to that sensation – feeling the permeating warmth and seeing glimpses of the imagery from before.

“Good, Phillip.” He smiled warmly at me. “Now, if you prefer to, close your eyes. Tell me what you see now.”

As I look in my inner vision, I see the open meadow from before, and I’m surrounded by a herd of brown horses. I focus more intently, I feel myself as a horse, and break off from them. As I make my way down the hill, I find a quite stream, and look into it – seeing my equine reflection.

“I see myself as the horse” I say to Lupin.

“Excellent” Lupin says. “Now that you have a clear connection to the spiritual essence of the horse, it can accompany you in times of need, and can be used in many different situations.”  

I gently allow myself to awaken from my vision, before shaking my hands instinctively and grasping them together for a moment – still feeling vivid details of hooves and rough fur in my extremities from my scrying session.

“That was so clear, Lupin!” I say emphatically. “Thank you for helping me.”

“No problem. You’re an absolute natural” Lupin says.

Lupin looks me up and down, and has a curious look on his face.

“What?” I say with confusion. “Is there something wrong?”

“There’s nothing wrong” he says. “There’s just something really special about a person who first awakens to their spiritual gifts.” He smiles at me fondly. “If you keep up this progress, you can start helping me and Irene with some of our clients – maybe even other fledglings.”

“That sounds pretty exciting, actually!” I say hopefully.

“Not every task is glamorous, but every case is valuable, and you get to meet a lot of really interesting people,” he says. “That said, there are definitely people to look out for.”

“What do you mean?” I ask with concern.

“Not every person has the best intentions,” Lupin says. “And some people who access latent spiritual abilities approach things completely the wrong way. There are people from certain traditions who don’t respect the gods and goddesses, and think they can exploit spiritual abilities to gain unchecked power. The gods give freely to everyone, but people have to choose what they do with their blessings.”

I think about this for a moment, before replying with, “So we end up being peacekeepers?”

“Yes, exactly” he says. “But many of us seek out our own spiritual pursuits. Irene is mainly a researcher, but there are also pagans who focus on teaching, or use their abilities to gain modest advantages in all sorts of other areas.”

“So, you’re telling me there are pagan chefs?” I say with amusement.

“Yes, actually,” Lupin says somewhat perturbed. “The Italian restaurant we went to on our first date has several pagans working there.”

He called it a date. Holy shit. Keep your cool, Phillip.

I fiddle with my hair a little bit and smile nervously before Lupin looks a little embarrassed by the realization. But he doesn’t exactly look displeased either.

“Well, anyways…” Lupin says a bit quickly. “We can talk about that more another day. I don’t know about you, but I’m starving. Would you like to go to the same place again tonight?”

“Absolutely!” I say excitedly. “Maybe if I ask for the chef’s recommendation, he’ll cook me up something truly magical.” I look at Lupin with a dorky smile and he just rolls his eyes as we make our way out the front door of the bookstore and across the street towards the restaurant.

I take a moment to look up at the full moon and the twinkling stars in the night sky – dreaming about the bold future ahead for both of us as young pagans. I’m sure they’ll be a lot of challenges, and people with ulterior motives, but I’m confident that there are more amazing, brilliant pagans to meet that are just like Lupin and I.

I look forward to where our journey takes us next.

Part II: Vision