Yesterday was an unusual day. It started with the red army arriving unexpectedly ontime, corresponding perfectly with the full moon, and then spending an hour or so reading while Gabe played at the park. Starhawk's Earth Path is a book I just pick up and start reading randomly, never getting the same place twice yet. It was good to sink my mental teeth into that kind of reading, it's been too long, and her writing just makes so much sense. For me the constant struggle is between living both outside and inside, trying to be both political and spiritual, but not at the same time, trying not to be too 'hippie dippie' as a new friend describes it, but at the same time being true to myself and how I feel/percieve the world around me. My reverence for the sun, for wind in the trees, for toes in the ocean, for hands in the dirt, isn't faked or put on for people around me; it IS ME but it's something that I hide. People don't like it when you get spiritual around them, and no, it doesn't matter what kind of spirituality I'm talking about; we (as a culture) are awkward around faith. There's a stigma that those with faith are unthinking automatons, or rabid fundamentalists, or against science and education. Yes, there's some out there of all faiths like that, but it's a small (vocal) fringe element. Most Pagans and witches I know are pro-science as it helps to understand the sacred living systems around us. Science and education don't take anything away from our rituals and ceremonies, they only add to it. Our deities exist comfortably alongside the periodic table of elements or Newton's theories. Science can't explain everything yet, and for the rest, we have the Mysteries.
So after an afternoon of reading in some lovely shade while the breeze whipped about and kept us all cool at the park, I made dinner and then hurried off to an esbat. An esbat is a Wiccan full-moon ceremony. (Note: Not all Pagans are Wiccans, but all Wiccans are Pagan.) Many cultures and faiths practise some sort of full-moon ceremony, (I've been to a Ojibway Mide ceremony) but this was the first time I'd ever been to an actual Wiccan ritual. We met at dusk down by the ocean on the edge of a quiet lagoon with the moon rising out of a darkening sky, a great white pearl in the blackness. We moved opening to close without any interruptions or disruptions, following a guided meditation focused on Beauty as the main 'event'. We complimented each other and then had our minds blown, yes collectively, as the High Priestess shared that we can only give compliments if we have the quality we see in the other person in ourselves first. It's like it says in the Charge: And you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without."
We *know* that, most of us gathered last night, we read it and recite it but to have it said, pointed out, hit over the head with it while in circle, while still in that place between times and places, it finally hit home fully and completely. I could see it on the faces of those I was with, faces illuminated by the grace of the full moon. This also means when we recognize something we dislike in another, we see it because it resides in us as well. I think this has deep implications for fat acceptance and how we can move forward; the root of fat hate is noone wants to be like us, to be hated for being who we are, to be ostracized for something we can't control. It's why the prejudice of being fat, or disabled, or old, or poor, is so strong and deeply rooted. Deep down, people know that you can't control your weight, not entirely, just like you can't control having an accident and suddenly becoming disabled, or losing your job and suddenly become poor. It's fear, and loathing, rooted in their own minds and hearts, that they project on what they can see.
I'm being dragged off from my computer now, unfortunately, so the rest will have to wait for another day.