Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Understanding Natural Spirituality And Religion

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Tonight’s full moon is a “Wolf Moon,” which is the term given to the first full moon of the month, which ironically, this month occurs on the first day of the month, and on the first day of the year. Astronomers also tell us that tonight’s full moon is a “super moon” (an unscientific term) because of it’s closeness to Earth, which makes it appear larger than usual, and will climax around midnight. (I love that word, ‘climax’, especially in context of around midnight.😘)

The reason we’re able to see the Moon is because it reflects the sun’s light. The Moon also orbits Earth, though unlike Earth, it does not rotate on its axis, and “cycles” approximately every 28 days, meaning it waxes and wanes through “crescent” phases from “new” moon, which is unseen, because it is directly between Earth and the sun, through to full moon, and then wanes to a “new” moon.

When photographing the moon, one must expose as for daylight, precisely because it is reflecting the sun’s light. So instead of thinking it is dark, it is light. VERY light. Sunlight bright, in fact.

I have long called women “Earth’s natural time keepers” precisely because around the approximate age of 14, for the next 30 years, every 28 days or so, women will “cycle through” menstruation – if no other reproductive problems exist, such as with fibroids, endometriosis, abnormally heavy, or prolonged bleeding, etc. – meaning that their bodies will regularly prepare for procreation. We, male and female, like other animals, are driven to the sexual act by hormones, yet unlike other animals, the female of the specie is fertile every month, unlike some which are only fertile once a year, or every several months.

I find it fascinating that the lunar cycle and the human menstrual cycle are very closely timed. Since the beginning of time, or recorded history, women have been, and sadly continue to be subjects of ridicule, fear, and subjugation by men, for whatever reasons, none of which are justifiable. When natural peoples celebrated regularly occurring seasonal events such as harvest, women were integral parts of such celebrations. Even Easter, the season revered by Christians worldwide, and one of it’s holiest holidays, is timed upon a religious cycle based upon the moon’s phases in conjunction with the solar year, according to Jewish religious custom, which is why Easter does not occur on the same date, or even month, every year.

And the term Easter is widely thought to have originated among Germanic peoples, and in the 8th Century, the Venerable Bede noted that Anglo-Saxon Christians derived it from Eostre, or Eostrae, which was the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility. Languages neighboring the Anglo-Saxons used use a variant of the Latin word “Pascha,” which also meant “Easter.” Some orthodox Christian denominations, such as Catholics, Episcopalians, and Anglicans, etc., refer to Jesus the Christ as “the Paschal Lamb.” Of course it’s also easy to see that the word “estrus,” meaning a time of fertility, and “estrogen,” meaning the female hormone, is similarly derived from Eostre.

But regarding the correlation of moon phases, and menstrual cycles… that fertility is associated with the like-clockwork calculably predictable regularity is not by mistake. When Christianity began to disseminate throughout the Byzantine and later Ottoman Empire region, and up into the area now known as Europe, evangelists encountered many cultural practices closely associated with lunar cycles and female fertility.

As Christianity further began to develop, its proselytizers sought to extinguish such practices which were largely associated with pagans. The word “pagan” stems from the Latin word “paganus” in the 14th Century, and simply referred to those who lived in the country. But there was more to the meaning of the word than being a mere country dweller. The word paganus referred to one who was ignorant, or unlearned, which today we would call a hayseed, hillbilly, or ignorant country bumpkin. The reason why, is that, like today, cities were the centers of education, learning and commerce, where various cultures intermingled. Those who lived outside of those metropolitan areas were, by extension, unlearned, and ignorant. The word paganus was also used even earlier by Romans to describe an incompetent soldier, or civilian, c.202.

But today, we associate the word “pagan” with strange, unusual, or even “idolatrous” religious practices, and it is because of the efforts of the early Church fathers to force cultural change through religious beliefs upon others. The modern use of the word pagan, as applied to modern pantheists and nature-worshippers, occurred from 1908.

It’s said that we often fear things we do not understand. And, it’s often easier to cast aspersions upon those things, and by extension to demonize, or outlaw them when we are merely intellectually lazy, and either do not desire to learn, or sense that our strongly held beliefs are, or may be challenged. For example, why does the female human body regularly cycle every 28 days? We can explain the mechanism that causes it, and describe the processes which it brings about, but we still do not know why fertility occurs every 28 days. It remains a scientific and medical mystery.

Sigmund Freud

One of Sigmund Freud’s slightly younger contemporaries, Carl Jung, was a polymath, whose efforts not only included scientific research, but art, architecture, and extensive authorship, whose innovative thinking was much more inclusive and broad than Freud’s, and included work in theology, anthropology, philosophy, and archaeology.

Carl Jung in his study.

While Freud was a skeptic and objectivist, Jung studied numerous religions including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Gnosticism, Taoism, and others, and came to the belief that life had a spiritual purpose beyond material objectives, and that all religions possessed a mystical heart, which purpose was to enable one to discover and fulfill deep innate potential, and to understand that spiritual experience was essential to human well-being. And in an indirect manner, Jung was influential in the formative tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous by encouraging spiritual experience.

In his 1938 book “Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype,” Jung wrote that, “Emotion is the chief source of all becoming-conscious. There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.” Jung’s later work expounded upon what he called “archetypes,” which included figures, events, and motifs, such as “the shadow, the wise old man, the child, the mother … and her counterpart, the maiden, and lastly the anima in man and the animus in woman,” birth, death, separation from parents, marriage, the great mother, father, child, devil, god, wise old man, wise old woman, the trickster, the hero, etc. Archetypes are the foundations upon every event in life occurs, directs our thoughts and behavior, and forms the stages of life.

The anima is representative of man’s biological expectation of women, but is also symbolic of a man’s feminine possibilities and tendencies, while the animus is the analogous masculine image occurring in women.

In “Four Archetypes,” Jung wrote in part that “…all those influences which the literature describes as being exerted on the children do not come from the mother herself, but rather from the archetype projected upon her, which gives her a mythological background and invests her with authority and numinosity.”

The Great Mother archetype represents feminine mystery and power, and appears in forms as diverse as the queen of heaven and the witches prevalent in myth and folktale.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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