"The psychotherapist knows that reclaiming, redeeming, stories can provide the keys to healing. The Bard knows this as well – knows that stories can not only enlighten and entertain, but can also act like a healing balm."
“My point, once again, is not that those ancient people told literal stories and we are now smart enough to take them symbolically, but that they told them symbolically and we are now dumb enough to take them literally.”
"Not the wretchedest man or woman but has a deep secretive mythology with which to wrestle with the material world and to overcome it and pass beyond it. Not the wretchedest human being but has his share in the creative energy that builds the world . We are all creators. We all create a mythological world of our own out of certain shapeless materials."
John Cowper Powys
"Community is not something that happens because people have similar ideas. It is the working and living relationships that we have with each other, with the spirits and with the Gods. Community is work and it is processing and it is uncomfortable self-reflection and it is compromise. It is an ongoing dialectical process between many different individuals and many different philosophies and many different cultures and that is a good thing."
"Tradition can be double-edged. It can provide a map for us, guiding us along routes that others have taken, and give us heart in difficult times. It can also condition us to experience reality in a very narrow range, fogging over the freshness of the world with a dullness of expectation and belief."
"Here, then, is another rule about the soul: it is affected by symbol, ritual and image. None of this has to be understood or registered intellectually. It is enough to experience the transition."
"Ritual is not really something that dwells in a literal somewhere. Rites are choreographed actions; they exist in the moments of their enactment and then disappear. When effective, their traces remain – in the heart, in the memory, in the mind, in texts, in photographs, in descriptions, in social values, and in the marrow, the source of our lifeblood."
"We all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves."
"It [awen] is a welsh word meaning "inspiration" but what is it to be inspired but to be in-spirited, to be taken over by Spirit, be it in the form of the Muse, Poetic Genius, Goddess, a creative frenzy, a fire in the head."
“We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words — to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.”
"A sad soul will kill you quicker than a germ"
"if you submit to the ocean, you drown. If you try to control the ocean, then you are deluded. You learn how to live with the ocean, you learn how to float, to swim, to be a part of it, to be with it. That is the nature of the Pagan's relationship with nature."
“There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.”
“I hope there isn't,' [a final answer] said Colin. "I'm for uncertainty. As soon as you think you know, you're done for. You don't listen and you can't hear. If you're certain of anything, you shut the door on the possibility of revelation, of discovery. You can think. You can believe. But you can't, you mustn't, 'know'. There's the real Entropy.”
"We control nothing. We influence everything."
"In old traditions those who acted as elders were considered to have one foot in daily life and the other foot in the otherworld. Elders acted as a bridge between the visible world and the unseen realms of spirit and soul. A person in touch with the otherworld stands out because something normally invisible can be seen through them. The old word for having a foot in each world is weird. The original sense of weird involved both fate and destiny. Becoming weird enough to be wise requires that a person learn to accommodate the strange way they are shaped within and aimed at the world.
An old idea suggests that those seeking for an elder should look for someone weird enough to be wise. For just as there can be no general wisdom, there are no “normal” elders. Normal bespeaks the “norms” that society uses to regulate people, whereas an awakened destiny always involves connections to the weird and the warp of life. In Norse mythology, as in Shakespeare, the Fates appear as the Weird Sisters who hold time and the timeless together.
Those who would become truly wise must become weird enough to be in touch with timeless things and abnormal enough to follow the guidance of the unseen. Elders are supposed to be weird, not simply “weirdos,” but strange and unusual in meaningful ways. Elders are supposed to be more in touch with the otherworld, but not out of touch with the struggles in this world. Elders have one foot firmly in the ground of survival and another in the realm of great imagination. This double-minded stance serves to help the living community and even helps the species survive."
Michael Meade, Fate and Destiny: The Two Agreements of the Soul
“Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing.”
Rachel Naomi Remen
“All children, as long as they still live in the mystery, are continuously occupied in their souls with the only thing that is important, which is themselves and their enigmatic relationship with the world around them. Seekers and wise people return to these preoccupations as they mature. Most people, however, forget and leave forever this inner world of the truly significant very early in their lives. Like lost souls they wander about for their entire lives in the multicolored maze of worries, wishes, and goals, none of which dwells in their innermost being and none of which leads them to their innermost core and home.”
Wounding and healing are not opposites. They're part of the same thing. It is our wounds that enable us to be compassionate with the wounds of others. It is our limitations that make us kind to the limitations of other people. It is our loneliness that helps us to find other people or to even know they're alone with an illness. I think I have served people perfectly with parts of myself I used to be ashamed of.
Rachel Naomi Remen
"The way other people practised a sport, learned a dance, I sat with my feelings to learn who I am."
S Kelley Harrell
“I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh