Thursday, April 05, 2007


People here mistrust organized religions, many are trying to overcome orthodox upbringings, certainly all are working on their own spiritual paths. Monday was Passover, this is Easter week. What does that mean, where are we, where am I in connection to it all? I was raised a secular pagan: fairies and spiritual beings surrounded us but were not ritually celebrated. Growing up on the west coast of Scotland one is familiar with the catholic-protestant issue: orange walks were a common summer occurrence. I hated them with the same passion and fury as I hated the fox hunters who came in the autumn and winter. I despised the organized battles between the boys of my school and those of the catholic school in the town 6 miles away. My village was white, and just as bland in its spirituality, I knew no Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, or any of the hundreds of other variations of faith until I moved away. We were the only pagans as far as I could tell which meant that my spirituality grew out of my own beliefs and ideas, guided by nothing bar a strong dislike of ‘the church’. As a waldorf teacher I was exposed to cosmic Christianity and began to be less afraid and intolerant of it. I’m always drawn to what lies behind and my nature searches for connection, for what is universal. When Guy invited me to a Passover celebration in pachamama I went. There was fire and smoke and wine and celebrants, dried cranberries and chocolate. There were instruments and singing, playing, dancing. There were people trying to find their own way, coming to terms with their spirituality and those of their families and friends. Guy spoke of Passover as a birth of freedom, as a beginning and asked us to think of our own peoples, of the struggle to be free: culturally, socially, individually, spiritually, emotionally, physically. I sat by the fire looking at the faces watching in them the affects of the flames, the music, the smoke, the evening – it meant something different to all: freedom , and with it responsibility. All sorts of memories, emotions, connotations, associations flit around the circle, were thrown into the fire. Freedom, it’s what we all want. A week ago on Friday we were all of us sat round a bigger fire being asked to throw our doubts, our fears and a piece of ourselves, the good as well as the bad, into the shamanic fire. Again the invitation to be free.
On the walk home up the hill we came across a big snake, easily the biggest I’ve seen, perhaps 8 feet and thick. Hoss was alert and quiet, it lay by the path, easily within striking distance. I held on to Hoss and switched on my torch, it raised up but I think my jumping backwards and squealing frightened it and it slithered off, albeit slowly. Snake is transformation, fertility, power. Freedom? On the full moon after fire. Surely something to think about.