You’re Forgetting Something…
The Pagan culture has forgotten something, very dire, and very central to who we are. (And I say this with no degree of arrogance, because I forget it, too) We lie docile in armchairs or on couch cushions, meditating for some time each day and quietly hoping divinity will swoop down and come to us in the midst of our internal peace. Which is all fine and good-
-For a while.
But there is, undeniably and importantly, something else. There’s another kind of divine contact, another way to get to the core of who we are. I have often contemplated that perhaps we like to quietly go about our spirituality because it’s easier that way. We like to think that if we sit in quiet for a few minutes that we can manipulate energy and reach the divine – it is, after all, much easier than “the old fashioned way”.
So, what is “The old fashioned way”?
To break your leashes. They may have been put there by the media or today’s society. But break them, every now and again, in thousands of little ways.
Be natural. We have the ancestors of empires that ceased opportunities, we have tribal blood in our veins, and even back further we have our cousins in the animal kingdoms, of apes and chimps, and back even further we even have the spirits of other creatures; if you go back far enough we are the gazelles on the grass plains, and we are the cheetahs who are hunting them.
We’re like a plump house pet. A tubby dog or cat. We laze around the house. Our idea of excitement is dinner time (just for the sake of the food) . But common house pets, if you give them a chance, can race through the rainforest chasing prey – even if it’s a rainforest of garage tools.
Now, animals are capable of things that many humans, me included, find unacceptable. Gang rape and cold blood murder aren’t foreign in the animal world. But think: mothering instinct, playfulness, and a respect for the harshness and caring of nature are parts of the animal world too. Is it not unreasonable to think that there may be some part of spiritual wisdom that comes from the chaos of the natural world, maybe even a kind you can’t get from reading books and meditating?
Think about it. How often do your eyes flash with an animal instinct? How often do you race through the forest? How sacred is the feeling of the earth on the soles of your bare feet? When the wind whispers to you, do you hear what its saying? Do you know the smell of rain or drought? Can you tell when it’s going to snow based on the pinkish color of the skies?
There are ways of reaching the divine, or some altered state of consciousness, from exhilaration. From going off our instincts. The bears and the snakes know the earth better than we do.
But in every house cat, there is the spirit of a lion or tiger or panther (oh my!) and in every dog there is a wolf or coyote; in every canary there is an eagle. And no matter how ‘cushy’ they seem, they have that instinct inside of them, there are still their roots in the feral realm, they have a deep connection with the earth, and maybe ours will never be that pure.
But it’s still there. The living things of this world are our cousins. We have that wild spirit inside of us too, we have a pack instinct somewhere, even if it’s buried under “does this make me look fat?” or “Darn you, Microsoft! Why won’t you open Word?” It’s there, but you have to get rid of your quiet house pet nature to get to it, even if just for a minute.
When was the last time you pounced an unsuspecting sibling? When did you last roll around in the soil and not worry about your clothes? Do you know how bright a butterfly’s wings are when you hold still, and let one land on your nose such that you can see the light through its wings? Do you ever chase the dragons made of incense smoke around the room? Do you know the best mattresses or furniture in your house to jump on?
Can you play tag with your cats? Do you climb just to climb and play just to play? When was the last time you ran just to see how far you could go? Can you feel Divinity when you swing from tree branches? Because it’s there…
Most of us like to think that we don’t care what others think of us. But that isn’t totally true, no matter how much you think it is. And I’m guilty too, here…Otherwise, I would probably walk around public naked whilst chasing and pouncing on strangers (To clarify, I don’t) .
But there is a kind of divine peace that comes with the excitement of getting in touch with that childlike, wild part of ourselves. Even if we can’t be animal, we can still make snow angels and roll down grassy hills.
And you can do this in your back yard; with your parents, kids, friends or siblings; you can be alone in a deep forest; you can be puddle-jumping across the parking lot. You can do it in your dreams, the astral plane, or anywhere, because it’s all a way of discovering Divinity “the way nature intended” so anywhere you can be with the Divine you can let loose.
Sometimes I think that we’ve forgotten our roots as people. We come from so many diverse cultures, and we come from such a rich earth and animal kingdom that there must be some profound glimmer of it left – but where?
It’s in the parents that still have contests to see who can go the highest on children’s swing sets. It’s in those of us that know how to talk to the trees and grass. It’s an animal part of us, and a childish part of us, but it is vital. Maybe society can’t take us impersonating lions in the middle of the grocery store. But I’m sure we won’t shred the fabric of life as we know it too much if we dance to music on a whim, or if we race to the car, or roll around in the park.
You can’t forget how to play, how to run, or how to climb. Some part of it is always going to be there, and you have to be able to connect to it when you need to.