|The Boyhood of Raleigh by Sir John Everett Milais 1870, Tate London|
“If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. “ ~ Barry Lopez, in Crow and Weasel
“It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story.” ~ Native American saying
“In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story.” ~ Walter Cronkite
I like a good storyteller, singer, poet or bard (I’ll refer to now as storyteller). A day off from work in the winter equates to snuggling up in an afghan with my nose in a book. And that dreaded housework, blast some good songs out and it seems to get my mind off scrubbing the tub. Every culture has someone who has these gifts that go beyond entertainment. This person is able to manipulate their medium to instill moral lessons and provide inspiration to move us beyond what we are. A good storyteller makes you say: what if or I can do that or how can I change the world?
One thing I have enjoyed this past year is reading all the blogs on the Pagan Blog Project. Each person has been my guide in shaping my journey towards the Light. Each has continued to challenge me to review my personal truth and stories and most often changing my perspective in how I live magically. The Pagan Blog Project has allowed me to hear multiple stories from different and the same faith tradition. Each is a piece of the puzzle or a beautiful square in a quilt to wrap around myself.
I think it is human nature to want one way of knowing – a single story to hang our witch’s (name your faith) hat on. I believe it’s very easy to resist hearing others’ ways of seeing holy and spiritual even when you are practicing the same faith tradition. When we do this, I believe we’re ending up with an incomplete story. Our story becomes one dimensional and dulled as we look through our single lens. And, ultimately what winds up happening is discord and lack of respect for those who have a different story because we are in The Only Truth zone – us versus them. I believe our experience is flattened by this dependency of having one story or one recipe for the truth.
I recently read the minutes of a spirituality group I’m part of. I’m not able to attend many meetings due to being a soccer mother and going to college. I was very saddened to hear a person who offered to teach for the evening was disrespected. The teacher was presenting an element of his practice. Apparently, there was a lot of heckling and jeering to make him lose his train of thought. The more I read the minutes; I felt the audience was caught up in their single lens story and not opened to hearing something new.
I’m guilty of immersing myself in a single story. I tend to fall back to my favorite books and authors that started my journey. The same can be said on the Pagan Blog Project. I’ve found myself leaning to the familiar – specifically looking at what my age group is saying and those with similar practices. When I have caught myself doing this – with purpose I get on the home page and read subject matter that I’m not familiar with. I have discovered ideas that I are strengthening my magical living - such as learning about Norse faith, seeing Goddess symbols out in nature, learning more about herbs, or learning new ways to celebrate the holidays.
Pick a spiritual subject and read three different blogs about the subject.
Go to a meet-up on a spiritual topic and be open to learn something new.