Friday, 14 October 2011

The Crossroads of Perception

Autumn blows through the world around us in a swirl of damp leaves and musty smells.  Here in the Peaks it is proving a good year for acorns, conkers, apples and hawthorns but the toadstool surge seems to have come and gone earlier than usual, back in September

A good time to step back and consider, perhaps, as the tides of winter gather. So here is an opening extract from "The crossroads of perception" by Shani Oates

"Every Microcosm, every inhabited region, has a Centre; that is to say, a place
that is sacred above all."
                                                                                                    Mircea Eliade
If we were to speak of the centre of the world in metaphysical terms, this may be expressed as ‘everywhere and nowhere.’ Though often couched enigmatically, the greatest mysteries are nonetheless almost always ‘hidden in plain sight’ indicating the essential and requisite shift in our general perspective; that is to say from the profane to the sacred. To further demonstrate this vital and frequently overlooked key to our engagement with the quality we deem ‘sacred,’ we must examine what usage we articulate by intent.
While many of us may consider how our prehistoric ancestors viewed the numinous realms, beyond conjecture, we remain uncertain. In contra-distinction to this, the later classical world has gifted us a rich legacy of philosophy and experience in that regard. To them it seems, the word ‘sacred,’ rooted in the Latin ‘sacrum’ referred to the gods and all things associated with them, be they animal, mineral or vegetable. Architecture in particular, if dedicated to the gods was described as a ‘sanctum’ – meaning that which is not profane, set apart,’ including a personage of ‘awesome’ (in the correct sense of the word) distinction, in whom the numina of deity resonates.
All derivatives of ‘sacer’ imply a designated space denoted by a boundary surrounding a holy core, foci/altar. The priest in attendance here becomes the one imbued with that essence -‘sacer,’ enabled to fulfill his sacerdotal duties (hence sanctity and sanctuary).[i] As a heightened meta state it finds variant expression within other mystical traditions and praxes ranging from mana to haminja. Of course the generality here may be explained by cynics as the wish-fulfillment induced under impressionable circumstances. Implying that wherever we might sense something other, even if entirely subjective, we will attempt to clothe it with the ‘supraenatural.’

Shani is also the author of The Arcane Veil - ten discourses on the Craft and the history of Magic, and Tubelo's Green Fire on the mysteries of the Clan of Tubal Cain also published by Mandrake, Shani's books with Mandrake

and, as ever, if you want to read the rest of this extract, contain yourself in patience, and watch for The Wanton Green (the book) as the leaves fall, or with the first frosts or maybe when the snow hits...who knows!  Wanton is as Wanton does, but the moment draws closer!

1 comment:

  1. c.1300, from pp. of obsolete verb sacren "to make holy"

    I have found the connotation sacred as making holly, as in complete, a powerful statement. Something which is sacred is a part of the great mystery reflecting the whole of the great mystery.

    It gets paradoxical if I think about it for too long, but that is a good thing.