BunniHoTep and the Farmer – a story for Yule

thalassa:

A wonderful lesson any day…no matter what age you are (my kids LOVE the BunniHoTep stories)

Originally posted on Adventures and Musings of an Arch Druidess:

Once upon a time there was a farmer who used to visit BunniHotep’s Temple. She always brought the best carrots and the most succulent lettuce. She came about once a week during the harvest season and BunniHoTep was most grateful to her.
Every time she came to the Temple she had the same prayer. “Dear BunniHoTep, please make me rich beyond my wildest dreams.” Now this became upsetting to BunniHotep. It was the same prayer over and over and BunniHotep thought she had been doing a pretty good job for this farmer. She didn’t understand why she kept praying the same prayer over and over and even a Goddess can get annoyed after awhile.
So the next time the young farmer came to the Temple BunniHotep heard her prayer and went out to talk to the young farmer. “Farmer! I will make you rich but you have to promise me…

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What is it like to be a bat? (exceprt)

I assume we all believe that bats have experience. After all, they are mammals, and there is no more doubt that they have experience than that mice or pigeons or whales have experience. I have chosen bats instead of wasps or flounders because if one travels too far down the phylogenetic tree, people gradually shed their faith that there is experience there at all…

…Now we know that most bats (the microchiroptera, to be precise) perceive the external world primarily by sonar, or echolocation, detecting the reflections, from objects within range, of their own rapid, subtly modulated, high-frequency shrieks. Their brains are designed to correlate the outgoing impulses with the subsequent echoes, and the information thus acquired enables bats to make precise discriminations of distance, size, shape, motion, and texture comparable to those we make by vision. But bat sonar, though clearly a form of perception, is not similar in its operation to any sense that we possess, and there is no reason to suppose that it is subjectively like anything we can experience or imagine….

Our own experience provides the basic material for our imagination, whose range is therefore limited. It will not help to try to imagine that one has webbing on one’s arms, which enables one to fly around at dusk and dawn catching insects in one’s mouth; that one has very poor vision, and perceives the surrounding world by a system of reflected high-frequency sound signals; and that one spends the day hanging upside down by one’s feet in an attic. In so far as I can imagine this (which is not very far), it tells me only what it would be like for me to behave as a bat behaves. But that is not the question. I want to know what it is like for a bat to be a bat…

…Even if I could by gradual degrees be transformed into a bat, nothing in my present constitution enables me to imagine what the experiences of such a future stage of myself thus metamorphosed would be like. The best evidence would come from the experiences of bats, if we only knew what they were like.

~from the article on consciousness and the problem of mind-body reductionism “What is it like to be a bat?” by philosopher Thomas Nagel, 1974

I think there is a big lesson to be had here, for the Pagan community (aside from the more obvious though provocation on consciousness)…my experience is not yours, is not that guy’s over there. And when it comes to religion, all we have are our individual and collective experiences, which are as diverse as we are (and as similar). Arguing over whose experience, whose grok, is right is an exercise in futility, doomed to fracture and fail.

Before the Frost

Originally posted on The Burnt Marshmallow Diary:

The fallen asters light up
their barren brothers- brush
straw trampled beneath the
long fingered pines and hooves
of a lumbering old cow and
her blood red boy of autumn,
who stops to sniff a dying
bloom that shudders in half-
flight from his steaming exhale.

This breath is music to thin
clouds that spell prophecies
in snow, and the black nights
when December Moon shrinks
from her own pale loveliness
to acknowledge the clarity of
stars holding court: the frozen
goddesses of a winter temple
of dark woven willow and stark
grasses that spread immaculate
arms to welcome an ancient cold.

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The spiritual adventure of city walking

Originally posted on Sermons in Stones:

I took up regular walking because I needed to tend my physical self better. Most weeks, I walk five days, and usually, I’m walking around San Francisco. I took it up as exercise for the body, but it’s turned out to be an important spiritual practice too.

Walking brings things into focus that just aren’t visible from a car or bus, or even a bike. I start to wonder: why is there so much trash in the street in this neighborhood, and not in that neighborhood? Do the street cleaners skip this block sometimes? Do people just throw more stuff onto the sidewalk here? The city trash cans are often overflowing on this block–why is that?

A street planted with trees feels completely different than an otherwise identical street one block over.

The city’s many murals become intricate paintings at a walking pace. I’m in an art gallery now.

Walking…

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Celebrating Harvest Home 2014

Originally posted on Nature is Sacred:

The Autumnal Equinox, also called Harvest Home, Mabon or Alban Elfed is a time of transition and change, a time of honouring the changing seasons and a time of reflection and thanksgiving (in fact it is often called “The Pagan Thanksgiving”). It is also a time of balance. The Autumn Equinox is the midpoint between the summer and winter solstices, when the day and night is of equal length and light and dark are balanced. It marks the beginning of the dark half of the year for the northern hemisphere, when nights are longer than days.

By the time of the Autumnal Equinox, the earth around us is showing the signs of the journey into winter – with later dawns and earlier sunsets, the weather is cooler and the leaves on the trees are turning wonderful colours. The animals are busy preparing for winter – squirrels collecting nuts and acorns…

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Mabon – The Myth of Progress

Originally posted on Works of Literata:

I’m continuing to republish a series of articles on the Sabbats originally written in 2011.

Mabon, the autumn equinox, is something of a blank slate. In the Wheel of the Year, the “cross-quarter days” are Celtic fire festivals; the other solar festivals – the solstices and the vernal equinox – are grounded in proto-Germanic cultures. In those Germanic cultures, though, the autumn equinox has no strong history of celebration; it doesn’t even have a distinguishing name. To keep the Wheel of the Year in balance, Gerald Gardner included the autumn equinox, but left most of the details open to interpretation. The name Mabon, drawn from Welsh mythology, came into common use later on, but doesn’t do much to specify the nature of the festival.

As a result, different ways of interpreting the multiple harvest festivals have sprung up. Some groups focus on the Celtic roots of Lunasa and leave the…

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To Savor the World or Save It

I arise in the morning torn between the desire
To save the world and to savor it–
To serve life or to enjoy it–
To savor the world or save it?
The question beats in upon the waiting moment–
To savor the sweet taste of my own joy
Or to share the bitter cup of my neighbor;
To celebrate life with exuberant step
Or to struggle for the life of the heavy laden?

What am I to do–
When the guilt at my bounty
Clouds the sky of my vision;
When the glow which lights my every day
Illumines the hurting world around me?

To savor the world or save it?
God of justice, if such there be,
Take from me the burden of my question.
Let me praise my plenitude without limit;
Let me cast from my eyes all troubled folk!

No, you will not let me be.
You will not stop my ears
To the cries of the hurt and the hungry;
You will not close my eyes
To the sight of the afflicted.
No, you will not!

What is that you say?
To savor one must serve?
To savor one must save?
The one will not stand without the other?
Forgive me–
In my preoccupation with self,
In my concern for my own life
I had forgotten.
Forgive me, God of justice,
forgive me, and make me whole.

- Richard S. Gilbert
The Prophetic Imperative

 

 

I came across this wonderful piece in the comments of an interesting blog post by one of my favorite bloggers as I was taking a respite from report writing at work.  I recommend the blog post that inspired the sharing of this poem, as much as the poem itself!!