In the old days there wasn't that division: Guys with animal heads would come into your tent in the middle of the night and cut you into a million pieces, and after the longest night they would put you back together stronger, with a crystal in your skull and all that poison just puddled on the ground, and you could speak the language of birds and dreams. Or for Maryann and her sisters: The messengers looked different, but they did the same thing. Now, we tend to medicate.
Miss Jeanette fucked it up by thinking visions follow the same rules as the sympathetic magic that worked for Lettie Mae: She thought killing the black-eyed girl was just like killing the possum. The difference is that in a vision, the possum is you, because everything is you, and you can't kill any part of yourself without opening a hole in the world. And now you've got Lettie Mae, who crossed that line from psychology to shamanism from the other side and found that it worked -- and more importantly, came from the same place as her faith, which Tara also denigrated -- looking at a mirror of herself in those days, and feeling what it was like when there was nobody to catch her.
"If you don't, God will judge you," Tara says, going for the next weak spot, but Lettie Mae assures her that God's the one telling her not to. It was tough love that day in the jailhouse, too, and she was right to do it. She didn't get what she wanted, but it did get her daughter into a treatment program that sidestepped every rational defense she had.
"Uh-uh, it is Satan. That's Satan in your motherfuckin' Sunday hat. Satan has been telling you he is God for a long time, and you've fallen for it hook, line, and sinker." Lettie Mae swears she's wrong, and she is, but Tara can sense her sudden weakness. "Yes, it is," she presses sincerely. "I see it in your eyes, and it's looking right back at me. Like it has ever since I was born. God? You've never been a real woman of God." That's closer, because it treads on the concept of faith, which has plagued Lettie Mae for a long time; it's closer too because Tara believes every word. Tara doesn't need faith, and is too smart for faith, but she has something better: Direct and ecstatic contact with God. "You never stepped outside your own ignorance and fear," Tara weeps selfishly, "And done something selfless for me or for anybody. Well, God is knocking on your door right now, Mama. It couldn't be more loud and clear. Are you gonna let him in?"