Making Sacred, gods, reality and finding a place to stand

There was Red’s inspirational blog here – and some fine comments on this blog too – Tony talking about sacrifice as making sacred, Jenny talking about that in terms of transformation. I’ve been aware over the last few days of a need to go deeper, asking questions of myself and trying to figure out how my thoughts fit. Cat commented that she sees my blog as a much sacrifice as her own. I don’t.

I can say with all honesty that I think about what I do, and I put a fair amount of effort in trying to do the right things for the right reasons. I have a sense of the sacred, closely tied to my sense of the numinous. It’s all about the poetry, the flow of awen, accidental art, and about the best of what we are and can be. I could spend a lot longer trying to pin that down, but hopefully it will suffice for today. That sense of sacredness has the potential to permeate all things. Spirit, and wonder, can be anywhere.

Now, my world view has plenty of room for gods in it. I’m comfortable with the idea of there being deity. I just don’t experience deity at the moment. There was no sense of the divine in the periods when I was brought to my knees in pain and fear. I have been through plenty of dark nights, but it’s always been people who have brought me through, not gods. I look for my sense of the divine in the world around me, and the people around me. So I do all manner of things in the context of relationship. The idea of offering up something to the gods, is beyond me. I’d have to believe they might care what I do, and I don’t think they do. That leaves plenty of room for other people to have entirely meaningful relationships with deities where that offering up has resonance, but I do not have that in my own life.

I’m deeply wary of dualist thinking – sacred and profane, mundane and magical, all those ways of cutting the experience of life into tidy pieces. How can I make something sacred? How can I make it not sacred? The only space for difference that I see lies not in the object, or the moment, but in my own understanding of it.

Since starting out with Druidry, I moved rapidly towards wanting my sense of spirit, of wonder, my ideals, aspirations and ways of seeing the world, to be part of every aspect of my life. I take it with me into checkout queues, public toilets, courtrooms. In the most banal situations, I’ll find the flower pushing through the cracks, the dash of humanity, the unintended poetry. I’ll find something with heart and resonance, because I refuse not to. But I can’t make anything sacred, I can just choose to experience it as sacred.

I think so much of how we practice, especially round ideas of prayer, service, sacrifice, communion, depend on what kind of relationships we have with the divine. If any. A person who experiences deity is in a very different place from one who does not. I don’t know if it’s possible to tease out ideas and ways of being that embrace both the deist and the atheist, that have room for those who love gods, and those who suspect gods might exist but who don’t have relationships, and those who suspect that all the gods are bastards. (I have days…) Who do we offer to? Who do we pray to? And why? These are such huge questions, and I am nothing like close to having answers for me, much less anything to offer anyone else. I will keep questioning and see what comes.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

2 responses to “Making Sacred, gods, reality and finding a place to stand

  • Alex Jones

    I see that all the spirits in the Celtic are dualistic, but also cyclic. The Mother Goddess, has death and rebirth; the Lord of Forests has strife and renewal.

    The Knight on the quest for the Grail faces many challenges ending in his death and rebirth.

  • silverbear

    I recently moved into a new home in the same college town I grew up in. On my property there is a small grove of Pine in the woods behind the house. I have made it my sacred space, whereby I intend to practice ritual. What makes the space sacred is what it means to me. I see it as a place where I can more directly commune with the natural world and learn to respect my own place within it. The tools I wish to “make sacred” are really not any more sacred except to me. The spirit and energy that flows through me and is irrevocably changed by that passage, in turn becomes a part of the tools I choose to wield in the course of my offerings. When I offer something to the gods, it is merely the energy that has passed through me, changed by my presence and being, returned to the earth. Sacred, for me, is what I choose it to be and that choice is often intimate. There are things that I find sacred that most people don’t and that makes it all the more sacred to me.

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