In response to the close-minded fundamentalist protestors outside of last year's & this year's May Day Fairie Festival, telling people they were going to go to hell:
From Kevin Crossley-Holland's book The Arthur Trilogy Book One: The Seeing Stone:
Chapter 15-- Nine
Merlin and Oliver often argue, and Oliver sometimes gets angry.
I walked several times round the moat with them today, and they began by agreeing that the complete and flawless number is nine. But then they disagreed why. "The reason, Merlin," said Oliver, "is perfectly obvious. Lord God is our Father. He is the Son and he is the Holy Ghost. Three-in-one and one-in-three."
"And three equals nine," said Merlin.
"No, Merlin! Three does not equal nine."
Merlin waved his hands impatiently. "Constipatus!" he muttered.
Oliver took no notice. "Three is the divine number, and three-fold three is nine," he went on. "So nine is the flawless number. Quod erat demonstrandum."
"I get the idea," said Merlin.
"You get..." snapped Oliver, and he blocked one nostril with his right forefinger and blew snot from the other onto the ground.
"I'll tell you nine," said Merlin quietly. "The nine spirits, each with a bottomless chalice..."
"That is blasphemy!" said Oliver loudly.
"Nothing of the kind," replied Merlin.
"Do you deny Christ?"
"Not for one moment," said Merlin.
"It's as well for you," said Oliver.
"Are you threatening me?" asked Merlin.
Oliver glared at Merlin. "Your own tongue is your enemy," he said.
"My tongue is my servant."
"And it often leads you into mortal danger. There is no room in the house of Christ for nine spirits."
"One person sips from the chalice of poetry," continued Merlin, "and shapes poems for us. Another person sips from the chalice of song, and delights us."
"Cow dung!" shouted Oliver. "A load of cow dung! And you know it!" And he turned his back on us, and flounced off.
"Who are the other spirits?" I asked.
"I will tell you," said Merlin, "in a little while and soon. In the meantime, you must find your number."
"What do you mean?"
"Each of us is born under one star, and it guides us. In each of us, one element is most powerful. Each of us is true to one number, and it is time for you to find it."
12 hours ago