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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in River worship

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

When my heart is sore, I go to the river. When I want to forget my human separateness and remember how I am merged with nature, I go to the river. When I wish I had a sister to talk to, or a lover to hold me, I go to the river. The river is always there.

Sometimes it is in a fierce mood, with a strong current and leaves and debris sweeping down. Often it is gentle, the water soft as it washes around me and the view above – a ribbon of sky, with clouds, birds, framed by tall trees on either side – holds me serenely, telling me of the changing constancy of this place. Today there’s a bird, tomorrow clouds, the next day I watch leaves falling down the height of the tallest tree towards me, swimming underneath. Sometimes the mood is sleepy, the water not moving if it hasn’t rained for a while, leaves gathering undisturbed on the surface and the temperature layered down, mild on the surface but cool, colder, cold as it chills down through the water’s depths.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms. Meredith, Thanks for sharing that! I also honor the local river gods, but the water is too polluted to swim in. Textile mills

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Rite for the Father of Waters

Procession to riverbank. People bear flowers, branches, and gifts for the River. Drums, incense.

At the river’s edge, officiant strips off robe (attendant receives it), and enters the water to the waist

Down drums.

Massed conch shells sound.

Libation Prayer (officiant).

Threefold Libation (officiant) [milk, wine, river water]. (Blasts on conch shells punctuate each libation.)

Hymn to the River (everyone).

People pray, make offerings.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Prayer to the Mississippi

Father of Waters,

bison horned,

god that flows

through the center

of our lives:

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  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Sacred River of the Witches

If you look at a map of England, you'll see on the southwestern side of the island, between Cornwall and Wales, a large waterway reaching inland from the Atlantic. This is the Estuary (in Witch, it would be “Firth”) of the River Severn.

The Severn, Britain's longest river, is traditionally considered a “female” river, its patron deity a goddess.

In its valley and throughout its watershed there dwelt, some 1300 years ago, the Anglo-Saxon tribe known as the Hwicce, from whom, some would say, derive the witches of today. And indeed, plenty of witches still live along the Lady Severn, though most of us now live elsewhere.

In any given landscape, the names of the largest rivers will always give access to the oldest reachable underlying linguistic substratum. (Think of the Mississippi, Ojibwe for “Big River.”) And so it is for the Severn.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Old Ways Endure

A rural Anabaptist commune in mid-20th century Manitoba seems an unlikely time and place for a sacrifice to a river.

But that is the story that journalist Mary-Ann Kirby tells in her autobiography I Am Hutterite.

Some memories, it would seem, live long indeed.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Bean Cakes

In 1802, the Fulani sheikh Usman dan Fodio declared jihad against the Hausa. Thirty years later his successors moved against the Yoruba.

The disunited Yoruba city-states fell rapidly before the Fulani onslaught. By 1834, the cities of Oló Iyé, Ikoyí, Offá, and Erín had been taken, with massive destruction and forced Islamization. The huge Fulani army then turned south, and in 1840 camped outside the city of Oshogbó at the great bend of the River Oshún.

Oshogbó had grown into a populous city, its population more than doubled by refugees. (Those years are still known in Yoruba as itán isá isá, the 'time of running.') As Yoruba cities go, Oshogbó was not a particularly ancient city; at this time, it had seen only 10 obás, kings.

The city had been founded by the obá Laró, who led his people there after a dispute over succession in Ibokún, and was built in pact with the goddess Oshún. Laró first planned to build in a grove on the river bank, but the goddess herself emerged from the river and told him that the grove was sacred to her, and that he must build instead on a nearby hill. If, she promised him, he would protect her grove, she would protect his city.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Minoan Salute

As we search out a vocabulary of gesture—articulate action—with which to embody our old-new worship, we turn both to the ways of the ancestors and to our own experience.

A gesture of reverence that occurs again and again in the glyptic art of Minoan Crete is the gesture known to scholars as the “Minoan salute.” The worshiper stands before the deity with right fist raised to brow, elbow held high. Generally the left arm is held at the side.

The gesture is clearly a formal act of reverent attention, perhaps of greeting. Sometimes the fist is held with the thumb up, sometimes with the thumb to the brow. The standard reading of the gesture is that the worshiper is shielding his or her eyes from the radiance of the deity. Try it out and see what you think of this interpretation. I do not find it personally convincing because one shades one's eyes with an open hand. This, I suspect, is something else.

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  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    No offense taken, Steven. I'm just so used to people assuming I'm a fluffy bunny that I tend to take comments that way. Sorry I mi
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    No offense intended, Laura. If anything, my critique was directed both at myself and what I perceive as a general tendency to idea
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    So where do you draw the line between 'accurate reconstruction' and 'projecting our own visions of the ideal culture onto the past
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I find the salute increasingly natural when greeting Sun, Moon, River...even geese in flight, a tree in full, flaming color, or (s
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    I love the way you're working with this gesture. I can't say I agree with many of Nanno Marinatos' assumptions in the kingship boo

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