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Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?


Alexandrian/Gardnerian:

To reveal this would be to break my oath of secrecy. I can say, though, that it really is an ancient rite, dating far back in time, back even before 1951, and I have learned it from an unbroken lineage. As Gerald said, it takes a chicken to make an egg.

Asatru:

First, we don't believe in a "One Chicken" or a "Hen and Rooster." We believe in many chickens. Second, "crossing the road" is part of the three levels, or worlds, and the chicken simply crossed from one level to another. Hail to the Chickens!

British Traditional:

The word "chicken" comes from a very specific Old English word ("gechekken"), and it only properly applies to certain fowl of East Anglia or those descended therefrom. As for the rest, I suppose they are doing something remotely similar to crossing the road, but you must remember that traditional roads are not to be confused with the modern roads....

Celtic:

In County Feedbeygohn on Midsummer's day, there is still practiced St. Henny's Dance, which is a survival of the old pagan Chicken Crossing fertility rite. Today, modern pagans are reviving the practice, dedicated to the Hen and the Green Rooster.

Ceremonial:

"Crossing the road" is a phrase that summarizes many magical structures erected and timed by the chicken to produce the energy necessary for the intention of the travel across the road. For example, the astrological correspondences had to be correct, the moon had to be waxing (if the chicken intended to come to the other side of the road) or waning (if the chicken intended to flee to the other side of the road), and the chicken had to prepare herself through fasting and proper incantations. Note: certain forms of invocation (summoning an egg *inside* your chicken self) can produce abnormal or even dangerous eggs and should only be conducted inside a properly erected barnyard. ...

Chaos:

Thinking in terms of "roads" and "crossings" is simply looking at the formal, typically perceived structure of chicken crossing space-ti me. We, instead, focus on the possibility of chicken crossing itself; what appears to be a random act is thus actually the norm ---- it is the road which is the freak of chance. Indeed, quantum mechanics now demonstrates what we knew all along: two roads can simultaneously exist in the same place at the same time. Thus, by attuning ourselves to the dynamic energy (called "crossing"), we can manifest the road. Of course, to the unknowledgeable, this appears as a chicken crossing the road.

Dianic:

The chykyn ("chicken" is term of patriarchal oppression) sought to reclaim for herself the right to be on the other side of the road, after it had been denied to her for centuries. By doing so, she reawakened the power of the Hen within herself.

Discordian:

cock-a-doodle-doo!

Druid:

To get to the sacred grove, of course! Keep in mind that 99% of everything written about chickens-crossing-the-road is pure hogwash, based on biased sources. Yes, there were a few unfortunate chicken sacrifices in the past, but that is over now...

Eclectic:

Because it seemed right to her at the time. She used some Egyptian style corn and a Celtic sounding word for the road and incorporated some Native American elements into her Corn-name, Chicken-Who-Dances-and-Runs-with-the-Wolves.

Faery:

In twilight times and under sparkling stars, those properly trained can still see the chickens crossing the roads. Reconnecting with these "fey-fowl" as they cross is crucial to restoring the balance between the energies of modern development and living with the earth.

Family Traditional:

Growing up, we didn't think much about "crossing the road." A chicken was a chicken. It crossed the road because that was what worked to get her to the other side. We focused on what worked, and we worked more with the elders of the barnyard and less with all this "guardians of the chickencoop" business. We didn't get our concepts of "chickens" or "the other side" from Gardner, either. You can choose not to believe us since we did not "scratch down" on paper wh at was clucked to us orally (which, at certain times in history, was the only way to avoid becoming Easter chicken soup!), but that doesn't change the facts: there were real chickens, and they really did cross the road!

Kitchen Witch:

The chicken crossed the road to get food, to get a rooster or to get away from me after I decided to have chicken for supper!

Left Hand Path:

White, fluffy chickens prancing across the road ! Do you think that is all there is to crossing the road? Do you dare to know the Dark Side of crossing the road and the other path to self-development?

New Age:

The chicken crossed the road because she chose this as one her lessons to learn in this life. Besides, there was so much incense and bright, white corn to explore on the Other Side.

Newbie:

well, 'cause I read in this really kewl book that said, like, chickens are supposed to cross the road, right?

Posting on an Online Discussion Group:

What do you mean ???!!!??? Haven't you read any of the previous posts? We've been debating every word of that question, painstakingly trying to come to some kind of answer. I know you wrote "Was: why chickens cross the road, I'm not looking for any chicken spells" but I'm fed up with newbies who can't even bother to REEEEEEEEAAADDD the posts on that very topic! No, this is not a flame. But, I and several others here have the maturity to properly explore and respond to this question, and we were properly trained; we didn't just read a book and think we were full-fledged chickens. ""

Solitaire:

The chicken didn't want to be part of a coven or an oven.

Shaman:

Crossing the road is a way to reconnect with the healing, visionary lifeways of the past. Chickens have long known this, but increasingly the Rooster's Movement is adding more roosters to the crossings too.

Snert:

Hey, are you guys really chickens? Can you give me a spell that will make a chicken cross the road?

Wiccan:

The chicken crossed the road because she felt like she was finally "coming home." She could do it alone or with others, but she had to call to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the Barnyard first ... uhm, after casting the circle.

How Some Pagan Authors Might Respond:

Margot Adler:

The recent chicken resurgence, it can be argued, is directly based on a response to the suburban middle class experience. While I found that chickens-who-cross-roads who responded to my survey are of a wide range of ages and backgrounds, I discovered some trends in the "why" of crossing the road. For some it is was freedom. For some it is chickenism. Many chickens told me they crossed the road for intellectual satisfaction. One thing is clear: the growth of road crossing by chickens is expanding in the numbers of chickens and in the ways they cross the road, including at chicken festivals and for political blocking of roads.

I. Bonewits:

Real crossing-the-road, we have seen, is a very interwoven and complicated subject. Our conclusion could be that real crossing-the-road is the build up of chicken emotion in conjunction with chicken concepts to vary the modulation of chicken energy so as to effect the modulation of the road's energy. That's all! Perhaps it is unfortunate, though, to use the word "chicken" in relation to it, since t he "C" word is being used now in a way it was never used before in the English language and is an utterly meaningless term without a qualifying adjective. And this, of course, is the fault of the medieval Christian Church, through the Gothic Chickens it invented and used as the basis of persecuting men, women and chickens. The word "chicken" itself comes from an Indo-European root, "cheeka/e" meaning "one who lays eggs," and it has no relation to the later Anglo-saxon word for "wise spirit of flight," as so often stated by certain contemporary "Chics." An'Chk'Rrhod ("Our Own Chickens on Our Own Roads"), an authentic Neo-Chicken Rooster tradition, offers the best of paleo-, meso- and neo- Chickenism ...

Carlos Castenada

4/10/1964 I spent 14 hours, without food or water, sitting on the dirt and under the sun in front of Don Juan's house, grinding chicken feed. I asked Don Juan if I could have a drink of water, and he told me that it was always this way, that a man who wanted to cross the road with the chicken c annot have any food or water till the chicken feed is ground. I asked Don Juan if the chicken is an ally, like the little smoke. Don Juan seemed to get angry and stayed silent. After I completed grinding the corn, I hallucinated from heat exhaustion, and D on Juan said I was ready. As I collapsed to my side, I spilled the chicken feed around me. A chicken appeared to be eating the feed around me, and I became strangely absorbed in the vision. I heard Don Juan's voice tell me, "You must let the chicken cross the road into you. It is very painful, but for a man of knowledge it is easy."

Scott Cunningham:

A chicken passes between the grasses, clucking. The wind blows, and the chicken knows, knows, that this is the time. She puts her energy into taking the steps, in harmony with the gravel and the stones of the road. She is across; it is over, and the chicken stands in the field on the other side of the road.... Natural chicken crossing is unique among most other branches of the art of chicken road crossing. I t doesn't require years of collecting or fashioning coops, feeders or hen houses. Indeed, the most important tools of natural chicken crossing are free: the road, the chicken and you, your personal chicken power. You're already familiar with it. You've felt it. You are a chicken. Crossing the road is you, with your chicken need. And, you can do it on your own. After all, who initiated the first chicken?

Janet and Stewart Farrar:

Since so many editions of Gardner's Chicken Book of Crossings have appeared in print (some accurate, some not), we think it won't "lay an egg" too much if we clearly present "The Chicken Crossing Rite," especially if we do so after two and half pages of well researched introduction set in six-point type. In version A of the Chicke n Crossing Rite, we find many pseudo-archaisms (e.g., "Yea, Ye Anciente Rite of Ye Chiks and Ye Rodes is a moste powerful Crafting, taking thy athame ..."); however, Doreen Valiente notes (in version C, which is what we present), and we agree, that underlying it all is a basic ritual for summoning the astral road through the spirit of the Chicken (drawn down in the person of the High Priestess, holding the black handled feed bin; of course, a second degree may assist or perform the rite when....

Llewellyn's Practical Chicken Magick Series:

To some people, the idea that "chickens crossing the road" is practical comes as a surprise. It shouldn't. The whole idea of Crossing the Road is practical for chickens. While Crossing the Road is also, and properly so, concerned with spiritual growth and psychological transformation \endash the "why" of crossing the road-- every chicken's life must rest firmly on material roads. Crossing the Road is the flowering of chicken potential. And the profits from publishing all those books on how to do so? Well, that ain't chicken feed...

Starhawk:

The chicken crossed the road to reclaim the crossing experience, the experience of being fully alive, with streams and earth and rocks and road, in the fullness of her chickenhood after thousands of years of roosterarchy. The chicken crossing the road ---not a chicken laying eggs, not a chicken being roasted and eaten - a chicken strong and free, crossing the road, this is something I can believe in. We chickens, as chickens, can reclaim this in harmony with the Earth who gives life to all chickens and Who has been terribly scratched by roosters. Exercises: Dance the Spiral Chicken.

Doreen Valiente:

Old Chicken really did exist, and she really did cross the road. Gerald talked about her often, but she didn't cross the road 'til before I began studying with Gerald. Still, there are records of Old Chicken which confirm her reality. As for all the comments that Gerald had a "thing" for chickens, that is simply not true. The reason we worked with chickens is really quite simple: it worked!

Silver Raven Wolf:

Although many times people have asked me why exactly the chicken crossed the road, I often wonder myself. My point is that every chicken comes to the road in a different way, and there is no one correct way for the chicken to get to the road to be crossed. The study of crossing the road is hard work if the chicken is going to develop any degree of proficiency. It is not something where you can just cluck yourself across the road. The first time my chicken crossed the road was for my chicken's friend, whose rooster was being abusive. The chicken worked the steps for crossing the road after carefully considering all the reasons for crossing the road and all the steps she would have to take. Finally, my chicken just started clucking and flapping her wings and started across the road. When she reached the other side, her friend's rooster was respectful! Afterwards, the chicken ate some corn to ground herself.

RJ Stewart:

All the chickens we will be visiting in this meditation will be real. The chickens will be crossing the road in their own time. They are alive in their present, not dead in our past. Please understand that doing work with the chickens is not a replacement for therapy

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