Today is Summer Solstice, the point in the Wheel of the Year to celebrate the power of the sun and the bounties of the first harvest.
(To my shame, I forgot the Solstice was today until I saw an article on the celebrations at Stonehenge.)
I’m a Neo-Pagan, though I still pray daily the last couple years I have lapsed in ritual practice. At my core I believe that the divine is simply too massive, complex and subtle for the human mind to comprehend. Certainly more than one culture or religion can comprehend. I think that groups of the human race find way to connect to the divine that work for them and so long as they don’t harm anyone, it’s all good. “All religions are true,” said Gandhi. I’m totally down with that. For me, I connect to the divine through the Lord and Lady, the Divine Masculine and Feminine in balance. After all, for most of the species on the planet, it takes two, male and female, to create life.
The various Neo-Paganist traditions are cobbled together from of the mostly European pre-Abrahamic religions. (I hope by now most people know we do not worship Satan. He does not even exist in our religions.) While we know some of the ancients rituals and beliefs, there is no unbroken line of traditions (as much as many of us in the community may wish otherwise). What we have now is a modern approximation of adapted beliefs and rituals, but that does not make it any less potent a spitual force in people’s lives.
Human beings, Homo sapiens, have existed for 195,000 years. We spent most of that time as hunter-gatherers, dependant on the cycles of nature to tell us when and where to migrate, where food was going to be when. It was an integral part of our lives. Large scale argiculture giving rise to civilization arose 10,000 years ago, and we still lived our lives by the turning of the seasons. Even when the church took over, they used Pagan holidays, elements of Pagan rituals, Pagan pilgramage sites, even adapting some of the Gods and Goddess into Saints. The industrial world we live in now is only 200-250 years old. Many humans around the world still live in the ancesteral lifeways of their ancient forefathers, but we in the developed world live in a technological society almost completely divorced from the nature we lived in for the vast majority of our species’ existence. That’s not to say that technology is detrimental to human existence. For the most part, it’s a great boon. But there is a gaping spiritual hole in our society. Is any wonder that people are looking back to connect to a past the we evolved for? To find spiritual fulfillment in the world we were made to live in, the lifeways we spent 194,800 years living?
Now, another thing I forgot was that today was that this guy:
…is starring in this play…
They had their preview performance tonight and apparently it was a smash success. Congratulations to him and the rest of the cast and production team. I hope the rest of the play’s run is sucessful and lauded and that Richard Armitage’s dreams and goals for this artistic challenge are fulfilled. Break a leg fella.