This was a favorite saying of my teacher, and for the longest time I didn’t know what he meant. “Don’t stay in the Between,” he’d say, and I could hear the capital B. I knew I was indecisive, but my modis operandi at the time was similar to the Three Frogs parable. That is: Three frogs are sitting on a log and one decides to jump off. How many frogs are left on the log? Three. Because making a decision is not the same thing as acting upon it. My teacher would look at me and say, “Don’t stay in the Between. You can go there for a little while on your way to somewhere else, but don’t stay in the Between.”
When using spiritual power, wavering can have some really negative consequences, the least of which is you don’t get what you were aiming for. Worse is creating the opposite of your intentions in the first place. And if you want to lock horns with real power, you better be able to make a stand, and a firm stand, no matter what. Your opponent is always looking for a waver or a wobble because that’s a weak point. And the weak point can spell your doom.
I remember a time when I was driving in Wyoming with my then fiancé. It was twilight, and we were on the backroads of a national forrest. As we came over a rise, there in front of us was a herd of deer. The herd scattered to either side of the road, except for one fawn who couldn’t decide which side to cross to. It kept turning in circles, and I could see the panic in its movements: “Do I go left? Do I go right? Wait, left? Or right? Or…” And as a result, it remained in the middle of the road, in danger from my oncoming vehicle.
We stopped, of course, and the herd was able to rejoin as a unit and proceed. The lesson was as clear as day: Don’t Stay in the Between. Of course it’s difficult to know which side is better, but that doesn’t matter nearly as much as following through to one side and forsaking the other, come what may. Indecision can be paralyzing! As my father likes to say: “Panic in one direction!”
When conducting spiritual rites, it is important to do so with conviction. We Remember Our Intentions. We choose our actions and do not waver in our decisions. When we call quarters, when we draw the circle, when we give our prayers up to the divine, we do so in incomplete knowledge. We act in faith. If our faith is weak, our actions are weak. When we act in the conviction of our faith, we can safely cross through the Between to the safety on the other side.
When we learn precision, it can be fun to skate on that razor’s edge, perfectly balanced Between. When I asked my teacher why it was wrong to stay in the Between, he replied, “You can get stuck there.”
It reminded me of the Yule Rit when I couldn’t remember which way to breathe, and in that moment, I realized I could hold the ceremony here in this moment. I had all the power in that moment, and I could have derailed the rit. But there was a tug from the back of my mind that said, “Just choose and go! Don’t stop! Keep it going!” So I chose and lept forward.
I thought about the fawn, trapped in the middle, and wondered what it would be like to be run over by a ritual… I shuddered, and was happy I had followed my teachers advice before I knew it.
Don’t Stay in The Between.