Currently I am steeping in a pot of Priestess Training. It is as Mystical and Intense and Spiritual as it sounds and, secretly, it is also rather humble, just kinda normal… I haven’t learned how to levitate yet 😉 But it is doing exactly what I wanted it to be doing; making me address and ask the hard questions. Making me look the boogey man right in the face and try to understand what he is saying. I have begun to follow the tracks of Inanna and descend to the underworld to meet Erishkegal, her forgotten, rejected sister. More on that another time.
Along the way I have picked up some books, additional reading you could say. I finished reading Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance about a week ago and… It’s an interesting read but something in it seemed to be falling a bit short. It could be that, in much of the pagan traditions, the people who developed them lived a little further south than I do so, at this time of year, early February when we are in the season of Imbolc… the celebrating of spring returning from under a foot of snow just seems bit ludicrous. I’m all for positive thinking, I know winter ends at some point (like… mid April?) but I’m also about observing the real reality around me and doing justice to it’s presence. There are NO snow drops poking their heads up from under the earth, no sir. We might be seeing them and crocuses in the next 10 weeks. Maybe.
I began her second book, The Earth Path, and thankfully it leaves a lot more room for finding your own sacred ideas, rituals and pathways. It does more to encourage witnessing the world around you, the flow of nature from where you are and honouring it for what it is. She also has a section in the beginning of the book for making a Sacred Intention Statement. I haven’t gotten quite that far yet because I was a bit hung up on the first question; What do I consider Sacred?
I mean really, I could have so many answers to that, but what’s the one thing that I would stand up for, that I would defend, that I would speak out about without worry for what would happen to me.
It’s funny because my first instincts were immediately shot down as being unoriginal, done before, too simple. And yet those are all perfect reasons to celebrate the sacred. Sacredness doesn’t require anything other than my witnessing, my honouring, my truth telling. If it is unoriginal, great, there are more people on my team to do The Work. If it has been done before, perfect, there is a foundation on which I already stand, from which I can build higher and add my contributions to the movement. And if it is simple, well thank the holy hole that it is because complicated is just too much effort right now. I could do with a dose of simple.
The other funny thing is that I have already been working in the realm of this sacredness. From the title you already know what the answer is. The Body is Sacred. The body is what I would stand up for (and have) is what I would defend (and do) and is what I would speak out about (and do) without worry of what may happen to me. When I finished high school I basically just moved out and cleared my head out for a few years. Took my time figuring out what to do with the rest of my life. Took a bit of trial and error but go figure… I settled on Massage. I am a registered massage therapist in Southern Ontario. It just felt right. It had come up many times throughout my life that this is what I would do. And even in my conversations with my clients and colleagues I would talk about the body, it’s right to pleasure, health and autonomy (and thus our rights to our pleasure, health and autonomy) and offer guidance on how people can honour their rights, or at least acknowledge that they exist. Through working I was getting closer and closer in a sidewise sort of way… Like when you need to see in the dark, the peripheral vision works better than looking directly at it.
And now here I am making the statement that to me, the body, my body, your body, our bodies, are sacred. I could go into a bit of a rant about the injustices but really, it’s been done to death. You already know. The body has become weaponized. I want to free myself from all of that nonsense. Perhaps help the rest of us become free of it too. I see the body as worthy of praise, as something to marvel. It’s kind of incredible that these soft, squishy, terribly vulnerable things propel us through the world, give us the capacity to sense, observe, take in what is around us and interpret it, turn it into something that is ordered and rational. These bodies allow us to interact with our world, they are the physical manifestations of who we are. With them we create everything, without them we are dead… Whatever that means.
The body is sacred.
What more is there to say on that?