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Friday, 7 May 2010

Festivals And Harmony

Festivals And Harmony Cover
The supermarkets where we all shop today disconnect us from nature and its rhythms, and they create a great distance between us and nature. Almost any time of the year, we can buy fruits and vegetables which are, as we say, out of season according to nature. This means that our diets do not follow the natural harmony to which our bodies have been attuned to for thousands of years. Not only that, but the abundance in the supermarket means that we continually overeat, much as if we were faced with a false cornucopia.

Let us take our mind back to the diet that sufficed for millenia, the diet to which our bodies adapted and evolved: in wintertime, roots and meat; in springtime, fruits, greens, eggs, and meat as well as milk and milk by-products; in summertime, grains, fruits, and all sorts of greens; in autumn, more fruits and grains with maybe a little meat starting in again. If we lived near the coast or a major river or lake, seafood all the time. Some milk would be available from spring through summer. In most places, things like salt and any spices would be a rarity, although a range of natural flavorings would be available from herbs and seeds.

What would happen if you tried today to emulate an ancient homo sapiens? Well, you could do it very easily. That would give you an interesting varied diet as the year progressed. Tantrists in their practice vary their diet in a monthly cycle, going from meat to fast as the moon goes from new to full and returning to meat as the moon goes from full back to new.

When you change your diet from month to month, eating in a that your body was evolved for, think of the seasonal celebrations. If you like, you can use them to mark the change points in your diet. Winter takes firm hold when Imbolc, the festival of milk and fluids, is due. Spring is ushered in with the fire festival of Beltane. Soon the Summer first fruits festival will appear, to be celebrated at Lugnasad. Autumn is ushered in as the hunter's moon rises and Samhain is on the calendar.

Notice here that we do not have any "-mas" observances. To use a "-mas" echoes the Christian church, whose ultimate belief is that man is above and rules nature. This glaring fallacy is proven wrong every time there is an earthquake, hurricane, or whatever. Nature will survive; but unless humanity adjusts to natural rhythms, he will not survive. Notice that we have specifically said "he"; for ultimately women are more in tune with nature than are men, as a woman's body responds more readily to the monthly lunar rhythms.

It seems to us that such variation as this attunes you to the natural rhythms and cycles of nature: cycles that are sadly lacking in our lives. We all understand that the earth and nature are responsible for our diet and our well-being; and in the past few years people have finally begun to realize that man's ambition and greed can destroy our future by destroying nature itself.

The only way to return to harmony is to make a conscious effort, first through our diet and then through other parts of our daily lives, to re-tune ourselves to the harmony of nature.

What other simple things can we do to help re-attune ourselves to what our bodies and our spirits need for serenity? First on my list is sitting quietly and contemplating: what you might call a meditative exercise. Before the modern world came into being, there were lots of times in the lives of ancient peoples when they had simply to wait doing nothing. Or if they weren't waiting, they were doing repetitive habitual tasks that required no decisions and allowed their minds to wander and to rest.

Secondly, any time you plan a journey, always plan it so that you end up going sunwise: clockwise in the northern hemisphere, counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere. In other words, so that you make right-hand turns instead of left-hand--even if that means driving an extra block going sunwise. This makes you far less accident-prone than going against nature makes you.

Third, get in tune with the cycles of the moon, which of course are in tune with the tides of the ocean. Our bodies are largely fluid and we react to the phases of the moon, whether we like it or not. Study after study shows that crime rates peak within three days of full moon, and that post-operative bleeding to a fatal extent also peaks in this period. Obviously if it can be avoided, a journey should not be planned at full moon, nor should any surgical operation.

Fourth and lastly, to get back in tune with nature, plant something. Start with something very simple such as curly cress. In four days you will have sprouts and in less than a week, you will have have something that you can add to your salad. Now grow something more ambitious: maybe some bulbs or herbs. Most herbs take very little cultivating because they come from very hardy stock.

To bring your life back into harmony, therefore, get in tune with the seasons of the year, the phases of the moon, and nature itself. It's easy; it's simple; it's fun. It adds a little something to your life, to know that you are following the ways of your ancestors.

As usual,we invite your comments. We are not trying to offend anyone or scorn their tradition, so please be constructive. Our hope is that we all may arrive at a shared understanding of what we are doing. If you know a better way and the reasons behind it, please share that better way with our community.

Blessed be.

Free e-books (can be downloaded):

Andrew Lang - Myth Ritual And Religion
Aleister Crowley - The Star And The Garter

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