To Be is to Be Related

Sri Yantra – a Hindu diagram of union

The entrance into traditional PaGaian Summer Solstice ceremony is with this initial part of the Breath Meditation: 

Breathe deep, and sink into the weight of your body – feel Earth holding you. This is how She holds you – feel your weight, Earth holding you. With this same power Earth is held in orbit around Sun, Moon around Earth. Feel this Power in you … this relationship with Earth, Sun and Moon – this Cosmos. Breathe into it.[i]

Summer Solstice, like Winter Solstice, is particularly a celebration of the relational Mother quality of Goddess, who is resonant with the communion quality of Cosmogenesis.[ii] Both Solstices are sacred interchanges … the former a return to the dark, our source of being, and the latter a return to the light, and to this manifest form that we are and that we inhabit temporarily. This communion quality may be summarised with: “to be is to be related;”[iii] and our primary relatedness, personally and collectively, is with Earth, Sun, and Moon. We may feel this relationship in the everyday, every moment experience of “weight”, which is not actually weight, but how Earth holds us: and the sensation is the same power (gravity) that holds Earth in relationship with Sun, and Moon in relationship with Earth. It is that apparent.

As philosopher Linda Holler describes the effect of gravity: it is the dynamic that links us to our Place, to “that which is.”[iv] Held in relationship we lose abstraction and artificial boundaries, and “become embodied and grow heavy with the weight of the earth,”[v] she says. We then know that “being is being-in relation-to.”[vi] Holler says that when we think with the weight of Earth, space becomes “thick” as this “relational presence … turns notes into melodies, words into phrases with meaning, and space into vital forms with color and content, (and) also holds the knower in the world.”[vii] Thus, I at last become a particular, a subject, a felt being in the world – a Place laden with content, sentient.

And the poiesis of Summer Solstice is that this gift of sentient being, is encouraged to come to fullness, like our radiant Sun, and pour itself forth, feeding the world with our everyday actions: this is the communion we are born into, the relatedness we may celebrate and enhance.


NOTES:

[i] Glenys Livingstone, PaGaian Cosmology, Summer Solstice: https://pagaian.org/book/chapter-7/ .

[ii] See Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, p. 77-78.

[iii] This summary definition is on the editorial page of issues of Original Blessing, 1990’s, Matthew Fox. 

[iv] Linda Holler, “Thinking with the Weight of the Earth: Feminist Contributions to an Epistemology of Concreteness”, Hypatia, Vol. 5 No. 1, p..2.

[v] Ibid.

[vi] Ibid.

[vii] Ibid.

REFERENCES:

Holler, Linda. “Thinking with the Weight of the Earth: Feminist Contributions to an Epistemology of Concreteness”. Hypatia, Vol. 5 No. 1, Spring 1990: 1 – 22.

Livingstone, Glenys. PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion. Nebraska: iUniverse, 2005.

Swimme, Brian and Berry, Thomas. The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

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Naturalistic Paganism

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Celebration of Gaia

Marking Our Time on Earth

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Blog posts/essays & photos by William A. Young, linking travel, hiking, mythology, and some associated odds-and-ends

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