The Tumblers Turn and the Door Opens…

30 07 2008

Seshat’s Voice has been speaking about the great need in us all for a mythology. I’ve been thinking quietly about myth-making, mythology and neo-paganism for a while, in a particularly formless way; Some good ideas but no focus. Nothing I could pin down.

Seshat’s post struck home with me even more than it usually does, because she goes on to discuss the results of committing yourself to a course of action with no messing about. You want a mythology? Go find one that appeals to you and work with it. Learn it, immerse yourself in it. Find the universal truths inside it. Where is it different, where the same to what you’ve known before?  Above all, why are you attracted to it?

This can be the most revealing work of all, and some of the most important for any neo-pagan to undertake. Self-discovery cannot possibly come any more directly from the soul than this. So, it’s spriritual and personal growth. Not bad results for making a commitment.

Then she discusses the returns for committing yourself, consciously and subconsciously, to action. Your needs and wants suddenly begin to be fulfilled. Seshat’s were for companions, community and a teacher. I’m no different – I believe these things to be universals, more or less, in the path we follow.

I’ve discussed recently and in the comments thread of this post the difference between teaching and proselytising, so it ought to be clear that I see a distinction between the two states; I feel the need for some guidance. Teachers may provide many things; the raw materials of wisdom are the most important in my view. Not information, pre-digested; not a packaged world view or a mythology or even an opinion, simply ideas, vistas, fresh air.

So, suddenly my vague and uninformed ideas about myth have received some of that fresh air; an incisive and insightful commentary and expertise that I couldn’t find in my reading. Answered.




6 responses

30 07 2008

Which is more difficult? Finding a mythology? Or making a commitment?

I made a commitment before I found my mythology, and although I was sobbing about the mythology, I think I was partly crying in fear of making a commitment. I knew that without the commitment, without stopping myself jumping from spiritual pillar to religious post, I was going to get nowhere. That was commitment number one.

In some ways I think the mythology was always there waiting for me but I needed to make a commitment to witchcraft first and foremost, and then I needed to accept the mythology – harder than you think.

You know I have no time for table-knockers and pretenders. So it was difficult for me, a modern English-cum-German woman, to accept Egyptian mythology when I wasn’t part of the Egyptian-loving crowd running around in black eye makeup and a yashmak (doh! oh yeah, I did that 😉 ) and saying I was the reincarnation of Nefertiti or Cleopatra. That resistance to be associated with such people stopped me for ages – maybe there is something ingrained in us that still sees such mythologies (the non-Christian mythologies) as silly. It’s hard breaking that final chain to our Christian upbringing to take on another mythology seriously and really commit to it.
Could the issue lie with an unresolved commitment to Christianity, that stops a new commitment to the present?

30 07 2008
The Green Witch

I think that, without a doubt, commitment is the harder job. I am sure I have an unresolved commitment to the old religion; elements and hard knots in my personality to resolve. To be convinced by a new pantheon you have to actually resolve to make no comparisons in an emotional sense; you have to be prepared to throw yourself right out there. There’s not a structure, you’re reliant on yourself. This is frightening and hard to imagine. And the temptation to laugh is quite strong at times, I agree.

I appreciate your post; thank you for making it!

31 07 2008

It took me about 15 years of conscious agonising before I got there. Never let it be said I don’t think things through thoroughly! 🙂 Our childhood religion is often tied up with our relationships to our family. It’s a plate of spaghetti that we either need to start untangling or chuck the entire plate in the bin. I think I did half and half. Cut out a big portion of family and am still untangling the rest. Spirituality and family relationships go to the heart of us. Thankfully spirituality goes deeper than any family could reach. This is what I held on to and carried the heart-line back to the outer world, like leaving a line of wool on my way back out of the labyrinth.
Maybe we should do some labyrinth work together from that book I bought? Fancy taking some pebbles up the Black Mountains at some point to make a labyrinth?? 🙂

31 07 2008
The Green Witch

I love the way you describe this – I can see it so clearly. I’d love to do some labyrinth work – just what’s needed, I think. Thank you, my dear!

1 08 2008

I already have an idea of a ritual forming in my head. I’ll email it to you when done.

1 08 2008

What a lovely way to spend a lunchhour, reading this post, the one at Seshat’s Voice, and your link to So Who Should Step Forward and all its comments, which I’d somehow missed when you first published it. For all those who believe people practising paganism and witchcraft are flaky and a bit dim, these three posts and their comments provide a great illustration of the reverse.
I agree with Seshat’s comment here that we are in the UK so rooted in our Christian past that other mythologies can seem alien and, yes, “silly”.
I also agree (and as you know, TGW, I am a Christian) that a mythology is really important. It’s become less and less important to me over the past few years which bits of the story of Christ we believe literally. For me, the mythology supports people trying to live as the man himself did.
We human beings are lovers of storying. We’re lovers of ritual, of rich symbolism.
Anyway, I’m rambling. What I was going to say is that the part of your post here today that struck me the most is your question “Above all, why are you attracted to it?” That’s potentially a really revealing question that I know is going to give me some quality pondering time over the next few days. Thank you.
Ah well, back to work. A blessed Lammas to you.

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