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we all have our own mythologies
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The rise of industrialisation and the fact that the state religion is a specif brand of christianity, means that we are really disconnected from the land, unless we work it for a living or we actively choose a spiritual path that is land conscious and land honouring (and even then i think it often pans out as something more metaphorical than a practical. physical relationship with the land.)We don't wake with the dawn, we don't eat seasonally, we don't think about how what we use and what we waste effects the land.

Land has always been important to me. the house I grew up in backed on to farmland and nature reserves, so I grew up being intimately equated with life cycles and year cycles: when the fields were fertilized, when the lambs were born, when the sheep were shorn, when the crops were harvested, when the fruit fell from the trees, when the nests were built and the eggs were laid, when the caterpillars became butter flies,when the leaves turned to flame, the long stretch of cold dormant wintertime

I am made from the land I have lived in, the land I Have loved. My feet are made from chalk and flint. The waters from the Test, the Itchen, the Avon, the Towy and Swansea bay run through my bloodstream. I'm really sensitive to weather patterns, I can tell when its going to rain, snow or thunder, if its foggy in the mornings I know weather it will stay foggy all day or if it will burn off.

I think that whatever religion we are we all need to carry around with us an acute awareness that,regardless of our thoughts on the afterlife, that we come from the land and we go back to the land, and if we do not honour the land then we are not honouring our selves or those that come after us.

Christianity has been notoriously bad at land honouring, partly because I think any religion that becomes a state religion is always used as a way to gain power and money and partly because of various interpretations of christianity as god being outside/away from the world and the rejection of the material world. I do think god is outside the world, but not in an off to the side looking on way. I believe god contains the universe inside herself

so that god not only made the system but is part of the system and everything we have, own, are is part of god.

somehow the phrase "of the world" came to mean sinful, unspiritual but from where I'm standing in this lifetime/incarnation/part of the circle our physicality is the most important part of who we are. Everything about us is mediated through our physicality so being physical beings is part of our spiritual experience.

I really think we as humans really need to connect back to the land, back to the year cycles. Even if we can only do that in small ways, even if we live in city sprawl we can grow window boxes, watch the sunrises and sunsets, maybe eat seasonally, take photographs of trees at intervals through the year so we become aware of how they change with the circle.

But we need to not romanticise the land either, surviving on the land and tending the land is hard work and the land doesn't care what happens to us. it is not our friend. it is not a benevolent entity. Viewing it as a benevolent mother goddess figure is far too simplistic. (As far as I know all cultures that have/had the idea of a mother/fertility goddess embeded in them, also had the same goddess as a war/chaos/destruction goddess.) But this is the land, it is the only thing we have and if we don't tend it, look after it listen to it, our spirituality, and with it, our humanity will be irevocably damaged.


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October 2010

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