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....
Church of All Worlds: The Chicken arose from dinosaurian ancestry at the dawn of avian emergence. In the fullness of Time, the Chicken crossed the K-T Boundary in order ultimately to reach the compost heap, where it's Sacred Mission is to incubate a network of information, mythology and experience to awaken the Chicken within and to provide omelets and buffalo wings, along with a context and stimulus for reawakening The Great Hen and reuniting Her chicks through barnyard community dedicated to responsible brooding and the continuing evolution of galliformity. Even though we are all but Eggs, the Chicken knows that the Rooster came first, which is why the True Chicken will always be a bit cocky! Thou Art Fowl!
Church of the Subgenius: Huh? Chicken, what chicken? *burp* Praise Bob!!!!
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.
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...
Feri: 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 what 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 of her lessons to learn in this life. Besides, there was so much incense and bright, white corn to explore on the Other Side.
Posting on an Online Discussion Group: What do you mean "why did the chicken cross the road?"???!!!??? Haven't you read **any** of the previous posts? We've been [expletive deleted] debating every word of that question, painstakingly trying to come to some kind of answer. I know you wrote "all i wnted to know 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 IMHO we were properly trained; we *didn't* just read a book and think we were full-fledged chickens LOL (whew, feeling much better after ranting ;-D )
Radical Faeries: We Fowlies are Gay cocks and other Queer birds who flock together to explore our unique ways of dodging traffic and hatching eggs of cluck-CLUCK consciousness. Some Fowlies roost in cock-only coops. Some roost in panfeather coops where Gay cocks frolic with roosters who prefer other monikers to describe themselves, as well as hens and chicks, and chickens who choose not to be called roosters or hens, and beings who choose not to be called poultry. Fowlies often attempt to create community out of ritual, sharing and cooperation, except for those Fowlies who are attempting to create community out of subversion of process and structure, as well as some who simply enjoy clucking around celebrating chaos, chicanery, and chic enthusiasm. Sometimes we peck at each other, lose our heads, and then bake more quiche. Many Fowlies are “spiritual,” lifting all or part of their road from any one of the world's religions or spiritualities whereas some find their road in reacting against spirituality and religion as its own evil. Some Fowlies love to get gussied up and display their plumage in the woods, some like to flaunt their feathers anywhere they can, and some Fowlies don't look particularly different from chickens on any other street. Sometimes Fowlies stay up until cockcrow to drum, strut and cluck by a campfire, while some cross the road to get far away from all the squawking and get some sleep. This is what Fowlies are, except for Fowlies for which none of this applies.
Reclaiming: "Didn't we settle this in the November meeting?" ...."Yeah, why do we have to keep revisiting consensus all the time?" ...."Actually, in November we decided that the chicken did cross the road, but we ran out of time for why." ...."Well, I think the chicken came before the egg." ...."Can we stick to the point here!? Was it an organic free-range chicken, or did it escape from one of those awful factory farms?" ...."OK, everybody—breathe!! Remember that we're here for all the chickens." ...."I see lots of hands. Pondweed, then Mudflap, then ..."
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?
Vodun: After the feast we gather in silence. On the ground, a mambo draws the gatekeeper’s sacred veve with cornmeal while several drops of rum are also offered. At the syncopated signal of the drums and rattles, we begin chanting our invitation to the guardian of the crossroads: “Papa Legba!! Open the gate for me!! Ago eh!! Open the gate for me, Papa!! For me to pass, when I return, I will thank the Lwa!” More offerings are made: tobacco, sweet potatoes, plantains. Then, seizing the black rooster, with one hand on its head, the houngan wrings its neck. The remaining chickens wait anxiously with us for the other Lwa to arrive as the drummers and dancers continue to ride the waves of ecstatic rhythm.
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.
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 empower ourselves to live in harmony with the Earth who gives life to all chickens and Who has been terribly scratched by roosters. Exercises: Dance the Spiral Chicken.
Issac 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 the "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 "Chiccans." 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 ...
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 --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...
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. It 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 Chicken 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....
“Seth"/Jane Roberts: Session 666; Wednesday, Dec. 2, 1969; 9:00 p.m.: Now, you create your own chicken, each of you individually and en masse. Your physical senses fool you into believing you are seeing a chicken crossing the road, when instead, the chicken has already crossed the road, and hasn't even begun to cross the road. There is a probable chicken that never crossed the road as well. Further, because you each perceive a chicken, there is not only one chicken but, in fact, many different chickens. As I have said before, time is simultaneous. All probable versions of the chicken--past, present and future--exist at once in the spacious present. It is only because you *believe* [emphatically]that time is linear, with each moment followed by another in one-line kind of fashion, that you perceive the chicken taking chicken steps to get to the other side of the road. It does no good to ask "Which came first, the chicken or the egg," either, for they both exist at once in simultaneous time.
[9:10 p.m.] Now, there are families of chicken consciousness. All life seeks value fulfillment, for consciousness is consciousness. What you perceive as a chicken may be something far different in another reality. The chicken may, for example, be a fragment personality of your entity. The chicken is no less than you are, however, simply because it is a chicken. Now, the chicken has its reality, and you have your reality. But the chicken is more than a chicken [emphatically], and *you are more than you think that you are!* [Pause one minute]: The chicken crosses the road because it *believes* it can, and it does. It knows that it is sacred and that it will not die. You (underline 'you') also are sacred and you will not die. But as long as you believe that it is unsafe to cross the road, you must take chicken steps and obey the laws that you have agreed upon to get to the other side safely. [End at 9:30 p.m. Jane came out of trance easily. She didn't remember a word she had spoken as Seth.]
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.
No, I didn't write any of this joke. When I asked my friend the source, he said that he had compiled the jokes from myriad internet sources and written maybe 5% of the rest. He did not want to be credited for this. So, we have no source but probably many!