Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...

Earth Pages

[Show all]

Views: 612,996

Week of: August 4th. 2013 ...

The Deeper Meaning of Harvest Celebration

Week of: March 31st. 2013 ...

Harp! Sing For Me: Musings on a More Sustainable Future.

Week of: March 24th. 2013 ...

Women Walk to Heal the River

Week of: March 3rd. 2013 ...

Artisan Sea Salt: Organic, Traditional Healing, Medieval Re-creation, and Cleansing Magic!

Week of: December 30th. 2012 ...

Four Thieves Vinegar: History, Uses, and Recipe

Week of: October 28th. 2012 ...

Samhain: a New View

Week of: September 2nd. 2012 ...

A Pagan Chaplaincy Perspective

Week of: August 19th. 2012 ...

More Than Animals: The Totemic Ecosystem

Week of: July 22nd. 2012 ...

Thoughts Are Energy: "The Dark Knight Rises"

Week of: July 8th. 2012 ...

Spiritual Learning and Social Change

Week of: July 1st. 2012 ...

Animal Religion: a Proposal

Week of: June 24th. 2012 ...

Loving Balance: Competition and Community

Week of: April 10th. 2011 ...

Better People = Better World

Week of: October 24th. 2010 ...

Fernwood Glen

Week of: September 12th. 2010 ...

Peek-A-Boo: Finding the Sacred

Week of: August 1st. 2010 ...

Compost and Natural Fertilizers: Practical Offerings to the Land

People Are Part of Nature Too

Week of: June 27th. 2010 ...

Cell Phones: A Rude Awakening

Week of: April 25th. 2010 ...

How Magic Can Save the World

The Sanctity of Ancient Hunters

Life at Lizard Holler

Week of: April 4th. 2010 ...

The Delicate Dance of Balance

Week of: March 28th. 2010 ...

Everyday Things Have Ancient Roots

Pagan Carbon Footprints

Week of: March 21st. 2010 ...

The Prayer of Transcendent Smoke

Week of: February 21st. 2010 ...

Time Passages

Week of: November 22nd. 2009 ...

A True Inspiration for Healing Our Planet

Week of: November 1st. 2009 ...

Nature's Way

Week of: October 11th. 2009 ...

I Buried Maia Today

Week of: May 10th. 2009 ...

The Abuse of Parents and the Abuse of Mother Earth

Week of: March 8th. 2009 ...

Why Hug a Tree - Or To At Least Pay More Attention To One

Our Mother Crystal

Week of: December 28th. 2008 ...

Connecting To The Land

Week of: September 21st. 2008 ...

Healing Children, Healing Earth

Week of: April 27th. 2008 ...

She Needs You to Listen, Her Children...

Musings About the Land: The Turning of Spring to Summer

Week of: April 20th. 2008 ...

Baba Yaga in the Sacred Landscape--a Witch Approaches Another Earth Day

What We Can Do For The World

Week of: March 23rd. 2008 ...

Paganism is a Dirty, Dirty Word

Week of: January 20th. 2008 ...

Pagans and Environmental Issues: Can We Save the World?

"An Ye Harm None" On A Global Scale

Week of: January 6th. 2008 ...

Higher Knowledge: The Enriching and Enabling Factor

Week of: December 30th. 2007 ...

On Being a Pagan Omnivore

Week of: December 23rd. 2007 ...

A Sacred Retreat

Week of: December 2nd. 2007 ...

Saving Mother Earth from Us Nasty Humans: A Contrarian P.O.V.

'Earth Is In Trouble', So Let's Capitalize On the Trend

Week of: November 25th. 2007 ...

The Spine of the Love

Week of: September 9th. 2007 ...

Nature Spirits: Tree Spirits

Week of: January 21st. 2007 ...

Eco – Witch (Part I )

Week of: July 16th. 2006 ...

Think Your Paganism Isn't Nature-based? Think Again...

Week of: May 8th. 2005 ...

On Seeds and Connection

Week of: April 24th. 2005 ...

Act Up

Natural Allies

Week of: April 17th. 2005 ...

Where the Christians Go Wrong and Why the Pagans Don’t Get It

Week of: March 19th. 2004 ...

Confessions of a Dirt Worshipper

Week of: April 20th. 2003 ...

Night Vision: Where Did the Stars Go?

Week of: April 22nd. 2002 ...

Every Day is Earth Day

From the Waterfront...

Pagans and the Environment: Leaders or Laggards?

NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Article Specs

Article ID: 15063

VoxAcct: 420276

Section: earth

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 655

Times Read: 1,757

RSS Views: 15,267
Animal Religion: a Proposal

Author: Trottola the Cat
Posted: July 1st. 2012
Times Viewed: 1,757

I asked my human friend to write down these words for me. You may wonder why a cat wishes to express an opinion on a subject – religion – usually considered of exclusive human interest. But the problem is exactly that for too long it has been considered only a human matter.

For millennia humans have been told that they are the ‘masters of the planet’, made on image of a bossy all-powerful god. That made them feel free to use and abuse the environment and to take the lives of all other living beings at will. Unsurprisingly, most people still have no problem in believing this convenient absurdity. Which thief or murder would not like to believe that it is in his right to perform heinous crimes?

In relatively recent times some people have begun to raise doubts about the idea of an old man in the sky that allows them to do everything they want to those – like me – who are different from them. Those doubts grew and brought many changes in language and thought, except in the most important one: humans continued to feel ‘special’, ‘superior’ to all other living beings, no more because of their ‘soul’ but because of their ‘reason’. What a progress! The god of reason has proved to be as destructive and oppressive as the old creator god from whom it was derived. It has produced the most extensive disappearance of species and natural habitats in the last sixty millions years. It has produced uncountable sufferings to human and non-human animals and represents the greatest threat that ever existed to life on this planet, as the pressure on the environment as well as on human societal structures is approaching a breaking point.

Modernity (no matter if late or post-) is like a drunk driver speeding up in the night: unless he stops soon, the result will certainly be a disaster. But it is very difficult that he will understand the danger as long as he continues to believe that something (god or reason, it does not matter) will protect him from the consequences of his foolishness. No amount of technological power can suffice when the problems to solve are also those caused by that same power.

Certainly human beings are powerful: I can see it every day when my friend can provide me with the equivalent of a long hunt’s bounty simply by opening a can. And I admit without problems that I enjoy the comfort of the house that we share. But when I look at him I see another animal like me, someone – like me – who can do certain things but not others and whose life – like mine, like those of all living beings – is surrounded by mysteries.
Mystery: does this word surprise you? Of what does it make you think: ghosts? Aliens? The Bermuda Triangle? If so, this is another evidence of how much humans have deluded themselves. Reserving the word ‘mystery’ for those arguably dubious phenomena is equivalent to denying its presence in all other aspects of everybody’s experience. Only hubris can make someone believe to know what happens around him and what he can expect from the world.

Any other animal recognizes that she lives in an uncertain world that has to be taken one step at the time, sniffing around cautiously. ‘Is that bush hiding a prey or a predator?’ ‘Is this plant eatable or poisonous?’ ‘Will I find a place of solace or a trap behind that corner?’ These – and many more – are the questions that even without words all animals must ask themselves at each step. And do not believe that this condition is limited to life in the wild, on the contrary. Human society, with its complexity, has only added to the mystery. Every day you can receive announcements about the dangers represented by substances or activities that seemed perfectly safe just a short while before. Events occur all over the world: how will they affect you and me? How can they be better understood? Who can be trusted or not?

For a very long time, the answer that humanity in its pride has given to mystery has been deeply contradictory. Monotheistic religions on one side affirm the ineffability of their god: ‘God moves in mysterious ways’ is a common saying. But, at the same time and without finding any problem with that, the followers of those same systems of beliefs can assert to know very well what God wants, beginning with their ‘ten commandments’ to whatever prohibition or enterprise to which they wish to give divine support. One God, one faith, one certainty, zero mystery.

What if, just for a moment, perhaps a moment of madness, humans would consider to embrace mystery instead of rejecting it? What may be the consequences of such a radical step?
To begin with, it would mean the end of that old trick called ‘truth’. Like all other animals, humans would have to recognize that what they grasp are only fragments, partial images of what occurs inside and outside of their minds. They could find patterns based on the data in their possession, but they would have also to admit that their collection of data is pathetically limited and that any apparent order may dissolve as soon as more data are acquired.

Ethics would be another delusion to be left behind. That would not mean that any kind of destructive behaviour should start (as if there is an absence of destructiveness now!) but that it could not be possible any longer to call ‘evil’ others’ positions and ‘righteous’ our own. Time would come for a real search of agreements and compromises. For sure it would not be easy nor always pretty and peaceful, but it would remove forever one of the most powerful weapons in the hands of those who exercise power over others: the pretence of ‘moral superiority’.

It would also mean the possibility – perhaps for the first time in the last ten thousands years and more – of recognizing all impulses and desires (those of ourselves as well as those of others) as equally valid and respectable, even if not necessarily all equally achievable. For too long ‘bestial’ has been the insult launched against all that challenges the conformity and the familiar ways of living. Humans without certainties would not have any claim of excellence above all other animals.

But perhaps the most important change would occur exactly in religion: all the religions and systems of beliefs (even if they emphatically deny to be religious) that profess to hold the explanation of what is beyond ‘appearance’ would loose their foundation. That would not mean – at all! – that a narrative of nothingness would prevail. Currently, the world is mostly divided between those who believe that there is a unity beyond the ‘confusion’ of experience and those who affirm that there is nothing. The humans who recognize their animalness could finally retrieve an ancient forgotten path: that of multiplicity.

Ancient Polytheism, in its many forms, is now mostly remembered as a collection of fanciful tales. Even when a sort of serious attention is paid to it, it is mostly to affirm that ‘at the end, in reality’ all the Gods are One. That is not Polytheism in its richest potentiality, but monotheism in disguise. The Many who are countless, not only in their number but also in their attitudes and inclinations, are powerful representation of the plurality of experiences and sensations for all living beings. They offer infinite images of what is and can be, not of what should be.

This is not the time to discuss what or who the Many are, to provide lists of names and to narrate their stories. A radical, consistent Polytheism can never close its Pantheon nor make definitive its theogony. This is a very important point: the acceptance of Mystery is also and primarily an embrace of creativity in all its forms and applications. Without certainties, without a god/reason that forces humans to believe and behave in only one way, an infinite realm of possibility would open to all, humans and not. Efforts would be necessary and the transition would not be easy, but the reward would be the greatest that could ever be imagined.

The message that I want to give you – as a non-human living among humans – is one of hope. Life is hard and precarious and suffering is everywhere, but so is the possibility for joy. Non-human animals have much to share with their human cousins if these are open to listen and watch. There is a great strength in a worm that endures its daily struggle for survival. There is a great wisdom in birds, rodents and reptiles as they adapt and flourish in ways that may seem impossible. Strength and wisdom are offered to human beings as gifts: now more than ever, you may need them.


Trottola the Cat

Location: London, England

Author's Profile: To learn more about Trottola the Cat - Click HERE

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Trottola the Cat... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)

To send a private message to Trottola the Cat ...

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World

Search Articles

 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide

NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).