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Archive for the ‘Animism’ Category

I’ve written elsewhere about bringing our practice home, and with the help of my current working group (D, C, D, K, H, J), building on the work of the New Moon group (S, B, C, D) I’ve been doing just that.

Welcome to the beginnings of the Central Texas Wheel of the Year:

In central Texas our year is divided into two halves: the Long-Hot (May – September) and the not-as-Hot (November – March).  Moisture flows during the two liminal periods of May and October – the time between,  the dance of the twins.

The Long-Hot brings southeasterly winds and rare gift-of-life thunderstorms.  The not-as-Hot is normally dry.  But this story, like so many others, depends….

It depends on Little Sister and Little Brother. When Little Brother (el niño) comes to visit the not-as-Hot turns cold, as well as wet. Some say this is because the Hag of the North swoops down to steal him away from his sister, and as he is carried away his tears fall frozen.  But when Little Sister (la niña) raises her fiery head searching for her brother we are dry as a bone and our throats are parched by her anger.  Little Sister often brings with her The Wild Mother whose winds push all things down and whose wetness drowns cities.

Life here begins in the dark, with the stirring of the winds; The North Wind.

Blood; blackland prairie
Bone; llano uplift
Ash; edwards plateau

The Guardian of Bone arrives on the North Wind.  Vulture, wings spread soaring high.  The eye of god.  The Starry Gate of transformation and rebirth. Guardian and Gateway, we enter the womb of the Milky Way through the starry vulva. You know, until we buried our dead Vulture ate all our Ancestors.

The point of balance between the hottest and the coldest temperatures of the year  (October 31/November 1) is the Autumn Equitherm.  Our first harvest begins now…all things in pairs.  Pecans fall and we remember those who have fallen. We remember what has been sown and harvested. What is remembered lives …along the starry path.

The longest night, Winter Solstice (Dec 20-23), we dream; dream the Guardian of Ash who emerges from the Starry Mother, God Hirself.

At the Winter Thermistice ( January 6), the peak climatic temperature for the colder time of the year, we begin to smell change, the rising of life, the stirring of loins, and the arrival of the Guardian of Ash.

Some years that may be Gray Fox (January 6 through May 1), with their full body environmental awareness, their relaxed effervescence and curiosity, some years it may be someone else.

At the Spring Equinox (March 20) we cross the celestial equator, no longer stirring we now roar full force into our first Time of Planting. Bluebonnets, Mountain Laurel, Mexican Plum run riot.

The balance of the temperatures at the Spring Equitherm (May 1) whispers the approach of the Long-Hot.  Dread, even as rain soaks us, stirs in our heart.  Second harvest begins; peaches, blackberries and tomatoes are ripening.

With the dread of the Long-Hot on our minds, the Guardian of Blood – Snake – arrives. It’s time to digest, absorb and integrate. The egg with the Golden Yolk inside.

Summer Solstice (June 20-22) – the Sun is ready, eat it. Open wide. Become whole and complete unto yourself.

And as we burn, as we digest, as we integrate under the sweltering malefic sun, the peak of the climatic temperature, the pinnacle of the Long-Hot, approaches.

Summer Thermistice (August 6), the Dying Time.  All fields are withered and bare, the grass is brown, leaves crisp, the land is ripe for wildfire. We propitiate the fire, call the water and digest the sun into night along the cosmic path to the Starry Gate. But….what if it’s too much? Did we bite off more than we can swallow?

The time of The Knife’s Edge (mid-August to mid-September) is the “danger” time.  We have ingested the Sun but are still integrating, absorbing.  It could go either way.  Tricky, Dangerous.  Wildfires or Hurricane.  We balance and wait….

Then hope arrives, the sun slants, it crosses the celestial equator again and Autumn Equinox arrives (September 22) bringing the second Time of Planting.  We sow our seeds. It is the turning time, the liminal gateway, and rains come.

As we await the beginning of all things, which rides on the North Wind…..

Enchanted Rock

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Or Watch Here

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Graham Harvey discussing Animism at: The Religious Studies Project.

Animism is often taken as referring to worldviews in which spirits are to be found not only in humans, but potentially in animals, in plants, in mountains and even natural forces like the wind. It was of central importance in early anthropological conceptions of religion, most notably in the work of E. B. Tylor. More recently, however, Graham Harvey has challenged the traditional conception of animism, seeking to understand it as “relational epistemologies and ontologies”; in other words, it is a way of living in a community of persons, most of whom are other-than-human.

Dr Graham Harvey has been Reader in Religious Studies at the Open University since 1993, and is also the President Elect of our sponsors, the British Association for the Study of Religions. Other than Animism, his work has covered a wide range of subjects, from Judaism, Paganism, Indigenous Religions and Shamanism.

His most important publication on animism is his 2005 book Animism: Respecting the Living World. It is supported by www.animism.org.uk, which features essays, articles and interviews which expand on the material in this podcast.

 

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rdzx0

Episode five of a thirty-part series made in collaboration with the British Library Sound Archive.

Around the world charismatic individuals claim the ability to change the weather, heal illness and help crops grow. Professor David Hendy explains how sound – and its manipulation – is central to the shaman’s power.

David introduces the eerie rituals of Siberian reindeer herders as they summon spirits, before coming closer to home to hear a mysterious singing angel high in the facade of Wells Cathedral.

 

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imagine

‎”Aborigines openly and unaffectedly converse with everything in their surroundings—trees, tools, animals, rocks—as if all things have an intelligence deserving of respect.” —Robert Lawlor, “Voices of the First Day”

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The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness
“Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.” They could also have included fish, for whom the evidence supporting sentience and consciousness is also compelling.

To read more: http://m.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201208/scientists-finally-conclude-nonhuman-animals-are-conscious-beings

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