For the Record
2 months ago
Undermining the Patriarchy Every Chance I Get -- And I Get a Lot of Chances Please find me at my new blog: hecatedemeter.wordpress.com
The gardener’s art, after all, requires a close attentiveness to time, and in particular to dimensions of time that contemporary culture doesn’t grasp as well as it should. We’re so used to thinking of time as an abstract numerical measurement – so many minutes, hours, days, or what have you – that it’s often easy to lose track of the fact that for living beings, time always has a qualitative dimension as well as a quantitative one. In the temperate zone, for example, four o’clock in the afternoon is a completely different time for living things in January than it is in August, and twenty days means something completely different for living things at one season than it does at another.
Skilled gardening depends on these qualitative differences. Most of the best gardeners I’ve ever known made it a habit to go out into the garden first thing in the morning and stand there, hands in pockets, doing nothing in particular except trying to get a sense of what the garden was doing, or ready to do, on that particular day. Most of them also had a collection of ground rules setting out the basic rules of garden timing, with wiggle room so they could be adjusted for the vagaries of weather and the like. Choosing the right time to plant particular crops, in particular, is a fine art, and usually ends up supported by traditional incantations that are handed down from generation to generation.
It might behoove us to open up our ideas of priesthood. Not everyone need go through the same initiation. The hierarchy of current initiatory systems only works for a few people. Why? Because the mystery of their particular service, creative spark, or connection to the Gods is not served by the rituals that exist. Those rituals are most often rituals to help people lead covens, or teach a certain pathway of magical practice, or marry a particular set of Deity forms, or often, to pass on that particular initiation.
What about the priest who whispers to the plants in the garden at midnight or dawn, and is initiated by the fecund powers of the earth and the effects of the moon and sun? What about the priestess who is the weaver of fine cloth and who ministers to us all through the mystery that flows together on her loom? What about the priestess who serves as a paramedic, doctor, or nurse? Or the priest who cares for children or the dying? All of these are sacred acts with their own trials and rites of passage. Each of these has a power that I cannot begin to understand. When did we cease to "labor along different paths of holiness" in order to best serve our own souls, our own Gods, our own communities? When did we begin to believe the lie that equality means equivalency? My theory is that because we come from broken traditions, we forget the householders and physicians and set our sights only at those who sat on the high seat or made the sacrifices for the community. We forget that every person had a different role to play and that this helped to keep the community healthy and strong.
Brutally beaten, made to eat human waste, ostracized, denied work and earning opportunities, forced to live in isolation – this is the story of Rubiya Bibi, a poor Muslim woman in Jharkhand, India, branded as a ‘witch’ by men in her village.
A mother of four children – all under 10 -, Rubiya’s husband is mentally unstable and oblivious to what is happeing. Rubiya’s in-laws have supported her tormentors and driven her away from her husband’s home.
Rubiya now lives at her father’s home. Her father, a poor labourer, struggles to feed so many mouths with his meager income. Rubiya’a children can’t go to school as their mother is a ‘witch’. They can’t play with other children because everyone teases them as the ‘witch’s children.
Water Dance from Alex Cherney on Vimeo.
“We don’t sacrifice goats in the middle of the field,” Driscoll said.
And for that matter, there’s no dancing in the nude. No flying broomsticks. No wiggling of the nose to get things done. And no devil worshipping (pagans don’t believe in the devil).