Letter from Cressida Pryor
April 30, 2016
Beltane Letter 2016
It is now six weeks since many of us met at Huntington to celebrate and mark the 40th Anniversary of the founding of our wonderful fellowship. We felt connected to those who couldn’t be with us in Clonegal through our Equinox Festival on the Saturday afternoon and the inauguration of the Founder’s Sacred Grove on Sunday morning. You were with us in thought, heart and spirit. A connection that is able to transcend the everyday and enter more eternal realms.
I was reminded of this eternal paradox when I recently I heard this wonderful ancient Hindu legend told in a Unitarian service:
“...there was once a time when all human beings were divine, but they so abused their divinity by fighting each other that Brahma, the chief god, decided to take it away and hide it where it would never be found.
But where to hide their divinity was the difficult question. Brahma called a council of the Gods and Goddesses to help him decide. "Let's bury it deep in the earth," was suggested. But Brahma answered: "No, that won’t do because humans will dig into the earth and find it." Then the assembled deity said: "Let's sink it in the deepest ocean." But Brahma answered, "No, not there, for they’ll learn to dive into the waters and find it." Then others said: "Let's take it to the top of the highest mountain and hide it there." But once again Brahma replied, "No, that won’t do either, as they’ll eventually climb every mountain and once again take up their divinity." Then everyone gave up, saying: "We don’t know where to hide it; it seems that there’s no place on earth or in the sea that human beings won’t eventually reach."
Brahma thought for a long time and then said: "Here is what we’ll do. We’ll hide their divinity deep in the centre of their own being; for humankind will never think to look for it there!"
All agreed that this was the perfect hiding place, and the deed was done. And since that time humans have been going all over the earth, digging, diving, climbing, and exploring--searching for something that is already within them...”
I loved hearing this as there was a wonderful moment after the second rebuttal when I worked out the ‘answer’ and had to restrain my 6 year old self from shouting it out. There was the enjoyment of anticipation, some tension too but mostly the recognition and power of the story’s profound truth.
This legend could come from most of the world religions and pantheons...a widely held awareness that still easily gets over looked today. When I groan at the antics of a difficult neighbour or judge another’s efforts as hopeless I too have forgotten this basic truth...
Our Manifesto uses the word ‘communion’ to express it too; the first paragraph asks: “How can I experience a closer communion with her, the Goddess?...”
One way of understanding this much used word is to break it into its component parts; com, as ‘with, together’ and union ‘as one, oneness’. I believe uncle Derry* with his depth of theological training, reading and thinking would have carefully endorsed the choice of this word with this understanding of the divine indwelling.
So one of the FOI’s core purposes is to remind us that the Goddess is not ‘out there’. We are her hands, her eyes, her legs and her voice in the world.
Something that is both a huge responsibility and a delight.
So pick up your skirts and coat tails as you jump over and celebrate the Beltane fires this festival and rejoice in our fellowship.
*Cressida's Uncle Derry was the late Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, FOI co-founder.
FOI Letters & Correspondence
(Our thanks to Cressida for her seasonal letters!)
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