I saw a hare today

Sep 18th, 2015 | By | Category: Articles

jhp55ddc04c930d1I saw a Hare today, on the M6, just north of Lymm, it was dead. It had, unfortunately, been hit by something and thrown into the central reservation to lie discarded on the edge of the road, its fur matted with blood, but the body was still intact. I could not see its eyes, yet I know they would have been open, glossy black and empty, perhaps with a preserved look of fear from its last few moments… Although its physical body was intact, its Spirit had definitely departed.

It got me thinking, the Hare is seen as one of the Witches ‘Animals’, (unlike the rabbit, which was introduced here by the Romans), it is a native animal of our shores, and one that in many areas is struggling… and in our modern society it seems that – as with many things – perhaps the Hare is an anachronism to most of us.

We work in jobs that leave us – in many cases – disconnected and unfulfilled, so we can earn money to pay for the things we can no longer make for ourselves, we sit in our metal boxes, hurtling along man made roads that urge us to move at ever faster pace in order to reach the next goal… I know virtually no-one else would have noticed the dead animal in the central reservation, and that those that did would not have identified it correctly… And yet, like the Hare – whose habitat we have shaped with our roads and our farms, to the point where it as a species is now marginalised and at risk – we of the Older Faith are also at risk of becoming irrelevant and an anachronism ourselves.

Most of humanity has reached a point where they are willing to allow the media to direct their interests, where they are content to allow their ego and their attention to be placed on the latest ‘must have’ electronic item and their awareness and self-esteem are focussed only on ‘keeping up with the neighbours.’ Yes, there are some few aspects of their lives that engage them, friendship, shared experiences, but for many they are more engaged with fictional ‘soap’ characters and celebrity than they are with their fellow men and woman, ready to believe the newspapers and to rally to their ‘battle cry’, how else can we begin to understand how hate groups and those who would point the finger at the weakest in society are able to get away with the drivel that they spout?

But also, beyond this, it seems that many of mankind have lost their spiritual side, most Europeans belong to ostensibly Christian countries, yet most people pay nothing more than lip service to their religion, they no longer ‘believe’ in the way their parents and grandparents did, they have lost touch with the spiritual side of life. Those who then display devout spirituality – of whatever type – are immediately suspect to most, you only have to switch on the TV or pick up a newspaper to read of the fear of Islam that seems to have gripped the nation, another stick with which the media can whip the populace with and be guided into following their ‘masters’ wishes.

There are those who are still devout, of many faiths – and to these I will pay my respects – if what you believe works for you, brings you solace or connection and allows you to grow, then you have my admiration and my respect.

And then there are those few who still follow a Traditional British Spiritual Path, those who are devout, who seek to recall the ways of our Ancestors, to understand their beliefs and practices and to bring them forth from antiquity and into the modern world, seeking those things that can have relevance and reworking them to fit our age, and yet, we are a minority… Are we Pagans? Well, that is for the individual to decide, whether the Old Gods are the object of the individual’s veneration or not is down to the individual to define for themselves. Are we mystics? Again, it depends upon the individual, but I would say yes, as we seek to divine the mysteries from the experiences we have had – seeking out those experiences in order to feed the mind and allow understanding, gnosis and growth… Are we Shamans? Well that would depend again on the individual viewpoint and definition, for myself I do not claim that title as I have not – as yet – the experience and knowledge to do so, but there is a part of me that thinks we as a community have the shamanic strands within our weave… Are we Devil Worshippers? Once more it depends upon your definition of the Devil and whether you believe in him as a separate entity, until you truly understand the context and the Lore – both of the right hand and left hand paths, accepting the influences of the Luciferian / adversarial current – then you cannot truly say… Are we mortals or are we more? Certainly we believe that life transcends the physical, and many of us work with ‘Spirits’, be they animistic interpretations of natural forces, our own Beloved Dead, the Ancestors or beings that are non-corporeal on this realm – it matters not as long as you are able to gain what you need from your interaction with them, but do we actually matter at all, have we – like the Hare – become outdated and an anachronism, a relic of an earlier and less ‘educated’ time…

Some would say so, others would disagree, in the final analysis it matters not to anyone but yourself, if you gain from your involvement in the Craft, if you find something that inspires, allows you to grow, to cope, to find solace or joy, or find something of worth in any way, shape, deed or form, then that is what matters… anyone else’s opinions are just that, opinions, your world view and reality are your own, shaped by your experiences and beliefs, none can gainsay what you believe, or know, this is right and proper, as it should be.

Suzanne Read


(Suzanne is a contributor to the Pagan Planet anthology)

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