I recently discovered the Waterboys and their song The Return of Pan. While I feel a connection to Pan I do not consider myself an active devotee of the God. This song however is amazing, and I consider it a sort of metaphor for all of our Gods.
The song centers around the Christian myth (I love having those two word together btw) of the sea voyage and the sailors hearing the voice cry from above the great pan is dead. Source: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/hamlets_mill/hamletmill21.htm
However the last verse of the song states:
Some say the Gods are just a myth
Guess who I’ve been dancing with
The great God Pan is alive!
This verse resonates strongly with me, not just as one who loves Pan, but for all pagans who love their Gods, who worship them with abandon and don’t give a damn otherwise. I have no idea what the philosophical beliefs of the Waterboys are, but to this pagan, their song about Pan speaks to the soul and to the rebirth of paganism in general.
Listen and love:
A lot happens in five years. I’ve a divorce and a remarriage under my belt along with a myriad of other failures and successes. I’ve dealt with a lot of pain and experienced a great deal of loss. I mourned a marriage that was probably never meant to be, but nonetheless produced two wonderful children. They are my strength and my inheritance.
I have slowly picked up the pieces of my life after living dependant and dormant for so long. I am not all the way there yet, but everyday I try to put forth a greater effort. Tomorrow I close on a home, something I would not have thought possible a few years back. Yet, today I am here. I am saying goodbye to a space, despite all the woes of renting, I have grown to love. The spirits of this land have been good to me and I shall miss them. They in turn too shall miss me, for I have given them much respect and love.
On my path back to paganism, one of the earliest things I did was connect with the wights of my house and those that existed outside in the immediate area. It seemed the natural thing, as if some ancestral yearning was calling back to me. I began to leave offerings at trees, a compulsion I couldn’t explain but knew in my gut was the right thing to do. I remember having an a ha moment later on when I read somewhere how the early church forbade such offerings amongst the Anglo Saxons. After that, it also became an act of pride, that I was fulfilling the will of my ancestors, and that the Church did not triumph in me. I was carrying on a tradition many years strong, even if it had been long forgotten. Somewhere, in me, my ancestors had made sure I remembered.
Soon I will say goodbye to this beauty, a glorious Maple who has helped me on my way. I shall miss her, and before we part ways leave an offering of thanks to this place that I used to call my home.
I don’t miss Ramadan. I never felt a spiritual connection, not one day during my 17 year love affair with the desert god. An 18 hour fast just seems ridiculous at this point. I suppose I am a recovering Muslim. But honestly I am so glad to be out. Fuck that.
One oak gets the fruit that falls from another: It is each for himself at all times. Meanwhile, what were you doing? – The Lay of Harbard
I’ve been thinking of this poem and this verse in particular. I love the lightheartedness of the poem, the often humorous banter between Harbard (Odin) and Thor. But the above verse makes me think. I’ve seen various translations and have no idea which is the superior, but the meaning I draw from it is this: basically sometimes one person will benefit from the misfortune of another. Sometimes unintentionally, other times not. The each for himself line is pretty straightforward.
This verse holds some well needed wisdom for me. You see, I’ve spent the greater part of my life waiting patiently for other people to do right by me. Needless to say I’ve often been disappointed. I think the sooner one realized that most people do not have your best interest at heart the better off they’ll be. I’m not talking about those closest, or the strongest confidantes. I’m talking about all the other people you often cannot trust beyond a superficial level. Hell sometimes betrayal can even come from those closest to you; siblings or spouses, or those you have grown to trust. Too often in Judeo Christian cultures there’s the idea that by being constantly humble you’ll be rewarded, that life will be good to you. Not really. It’s dog eat dog. I’m not trashing the Golden Rule, or advising anyone not to behave honorably, however, good behavior and deeds come with a caveat. If someone constantly treats you poorly I don’t believe in turning the other cheek. One can only stand to be shit on so many times. Forgiveness can be a wonderful thing, but to merely forgive someone when no apology was ever given is beyond me. Coming out of an abusive marriage I would read so many times during my recovery that I should “learn to forgive” in order to heal. But how is it logical to forgive or show mercy to someone who never showed it to me, who still to this day believes the abuse was justified? If the individuals who wronged you truly seeks your pardon then so be it, forgive them. If, however they carry on business as usual then screw it.