Natural vs Manmade

Area mediations and more

One of the things I have never understood is the separation that some neopagans make between the "natural world" and "manmade" things. I say neopagan because the distinction doesn't necessarily exist for other Pagans.

I have talked about it before. It doesn't make sense that someone wearing a pendent, four rings, and two visible tatoos can proclaim a computer as "unnatural."

Me, I like running water, showers, and clean sheets.

What these folks seem to have forgotten is that for the ancients, many sacred places started with a natural feature and were then built up by people at the time.

The Temple at Delphi started as a crack in the ground with some funky volcanic fumes, but the building didn't appear out of nowhere.

I really believe that to make a space sacred, it requires the dedication and effort of the worshipper. It might be nothing more than clearing leaves off the stone altar. And it might be some pretty intensive gardening on a regular basis. But that is just as big a part of the sacrifice as anything the rite might demand.

One of my workaday sacred spaces is a simple raised area in my backyard. There are a couple of small flower beds surrounding it, I am that much of my mother's son. It's not my only outdoor area, but it is the closest and it is used the most. That certainly makes it sacred to me.


I suppose I should mention one of the things that prompted this.

My stepfather is now mostly bedridden. One of the things we have done is planted bird feeders near any windows that he might be looking out of. At first there were just a few birds, now there are dozens and they empty the feeders every other day. The birds have gotten quite aggressive, they will let humans within ten or twelve inches before flying away. And they will scold you if there isn't enough in the feeders.

Meanwhile, the cats have discovered the birds at the folk's house. At any given time during the day there are probably about four or five cats skulking around over there looking for an opportunity.

Both the birds and the cats are doing what comes naturally. Mom's contribution is just the birdseed.

Did she alter the "natural order?" Well, now, that is a good question. She already has more flowers than anyone else I know of, beds and beds of them. Those already attracted insects and birds.

She hasn't caged any of the animals, she has just concentrated some of the things that attract them. She hasn't introduced any new species.

That makes her yard one of the most magical places I know. My yard is special too, but nothing like theirs.

Posted: Tue - July 3, 2007 at 01:53 PM
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