Friday, March 22, 2013

Paying Attention

On our hearth altar in the kitchen, there is a wand-length wooden dowel with a round sleigh bell on the end.  It was a gift given to me a few years ago, and I use it on the hearth to open and close my daily devotions - 3 mindful slow rings to start, and again to finish. 

That it sits next to the refrigerator and is essentially a rollable object, one might think it's a fairly common occurance that he closing of the refrigerator door might cause it to move and make sound.  But that has never happened in the 3 months that it's been there, until today.

I closed the door of the refrigerator - not hard, just closed - and I heard, "ring.... ring.... .... ring". Three times, silence between, and so exactly like the rhythm I use that our dog, Sadie (who has developed some sort of Pavlovian attraction to the entire hearth ritual, and unfailingly spends it dancing around the kitchen like a maniac) ran out to see what I was about to do.

So ok... I'm listening.  I stopped to think, 'what was I thinking of when this happened?' and I was mulling over my Dedicant's work, and that I am feeling motivated and ready to begin - as a result, I'm reading through the completed Dedicant essays of some of my Grove-mates.  Just before I'd come into the kitchen, I'd come across Ashley's book review of  "The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory", which is one of the three books I plan to read - and she highlights something I'm annoyed with (and why I plan to read this book) - the unnecessary venom that seems to occasionally happen between those who believe something minus evidence, and those who don't. (this happens in all sorts of contexts - in this particular case it concerns the now mostly-debunked view of many 20th century Goddess worshipers that there was a period in pre-history where women ruled and were significantly honored in a way that was destroyed by the rise of patriarchy).

My thought as I walked into the kitchen was this:  Why do pagans who honor older myths as having meaning, regardless of their historical 'truth' - who seek to understand why these sacred stories mattered, what their purpose in being told was, as well as to understand what they meant - why do so many of these same people deride their fellow pagans for the modern myths that crop up?  We aren't outside of history - we have myths developed in the why aren't those also worth honor and respect even if they aren't a myth we personally believe?  There is a reason the myth of matriarchy came up - and deriding that is a rejection of our history and of many who worked to make paganry, in all its forms, a growing spiritual movement.  Instead of getting overly hung up on fact (it is fine to understand that fact - but sneering at the myth is unnecessary), perhaps the more mutually respectful approach is to understand why the myth was needed, and why it may or may not be necessary anymore.  Let's leave literalism to other people.

And  then the bells rang.  I don't know exactly what I'm meant to do with that - but I lit some incense in thanks for signal that this line of thought is something to consider further, and I'm recording it here so I don't forget.

Hail  the Kindred!

No comments:

Post a Comment