People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Pagans tend to have a unique view of the sacred. Because we recognize and respect divinity in so many forms, it goes to follow that in some way, we would view those forms as sacred. The basis of the definition of sacred is respectworthiness. All of existance, at some level, is part of a sacredness of the cycle creation and destruction. The very act of be-ing is sacred. The body is sacred, sex is sacred, joy, pain, anger, hope…the earth, the land, the sea, the sky…each other.
We are sacred. Children of the gods, of the Divine, of the Earth, or of the Universe…whatever you want to call us. Because Life is sacred, so are we that live–not just human kind, but all our kin. Sacred does not mean up on a pedastal. Part of the reverence for creation and existance comes from revering its destruction as well. Life exists on life–even plants feed from life on a celestial scale, and from the microbes and organic matter decaying in the soil. Respecting the life we take to feed our own, respecting the lives of those that help make ours possible, and respecing the life of those that have passed before us are all part and parcel to respecting the sacredness of life.
Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.
Perhaps the most sacred of things, after life itself, is the Earth. Though the land is sacred in its own right, the spirits of place, the Landvættir, nymphs and naiads, “the something old and mysterious that inhabits a place”, etc steep the land in sacredness…as do the spirits of one’s ancestors and of its inhabitant, or the designation of a prescribed sacred space (even one that may be temporary) such as nemeton, frið-garðr, circle, or jinja. When we make a relationship with the land, the bay, the lake, etc, we recognize its sanctity with our own.
The body is a sacred garment.
As the land and the sea and the air are the sacred garments of the Earth, our bodies are sacred as the tangible sign of ourselves. If life is sacred, than we that are and have lived are sacred. It is our right, as sacred beings, to choose the manner in which we decorate and adorn orselves, the manner and place in which we dedicate or give ourselves to another, the actions that we choose to use our body to complete…but it is our responsibility to do so in a manner that is in keeping with our integrity. Once again, it all comes to respect–respect for oneself, and respect for that same sacredness in another.
Pagan practices and beliefs vary widely, but in essence they are all about respecting the sacred as it is revealed in the manner of one’s understanding. Really, that could be said about any religion, but the sheer multiplicity of views and manners that we recognize as valid within Paganism makes our view of sacredness unique. (warning: deep thinking ahead) Confoundingly, it is our williness to recognize the sacred in the profane that creates a paradox…when everything is sacred, nothing is. And when nothing is sacred, we are infinite…and sacredness itself.
…this has been another blog in honor of International Pagan Blogging Month (albiet, a bit after the fact–and I still have one more left!!)