When was the last time we stopped and gave thanks for the local supermarket? When did we take a moment and think about safety and protection for the transportation of our food?
We have stopped believing in the old ways, the old gods, the old beliefs, as Neil Gaiman points out in American Gods.
Have we lost something? As some celebrate Beltane, they will give thanks and ask for protection for the newly ploughed and sowed seeds. Rituals of bonfires and other esoteric events create spells, enchantments and covenants to protect the land in order for it to bear fruit.
Yes, superstition… but why did that become a dirty word?
Many join in with these rituals without a care or an iota of faith or belief in what they are celebrating. Religion and spirituality have always had that element within.
I stand outside the town’s Co-op mini market. They won’t appreciate a bonfire lit in front of their display window. Will probably think I am one item short of a BOGOF, if I attempt to summon a spirit of protection in the entrance. But at the very least I should not take this shop, and others, for granted.
We abdicated our food production to the farming and retail industry. In return, we demand the right to eat. A human right even. We are able to obtain food and eat it. We don’t take part in the creative ritual, although we do offer a donation of coin in return for sustenance; an offering at the collection plate. This is contactless food production.
We swapped ritual for a transaction. We have lowered our very survival to a financial exchange. Let’s pray the system doesn’t fall apart.
As I think about Beltane, I think about what it has meant, and what it could mean. Is there any symbolism that I can use in my own ‘year’?
At the very least, I should not take what I have for granted. And I wonder, are there any symbolic bonfires I should be lighting this day, for there is no such thing as a mere symbol.