Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 9th. 2014 ...
Healing the Witch Within
Discovering Wicca as a Young Child
March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless
The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence
Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
Building a Magick Mirror
The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Importance of Belief (Or The Sun is Not a Ball of Gas)
Article ID: 14621
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,003
Times Read: 3,317
RSS Views: 12,166
Author: Fire Lyte
Posted: June 12th. 2011
Times Viewed: 3,317
Recently, while browsing the depths of the ‘Watch Instantly’ section of Netflix in the Fantasy genre, I came across a movie called The Color of Magic. For those of you that are fans of UK author Terry Pratchett, I offer up my humble apology for having never read his books or seen any of the movies based on his books until now. I realize what a grievous error I have committed. After coming to the same conclusion everybody else seems to have over the past 3 decades - that Pratchett’s Discworld is a delightfully humorous, magical world worth visiting as often as possible - I found my way to another story from the world on top of 4 elephants on top of a massive turtle, The Hogfather.
I have never loved a Christmas/holiday movie as much, I think, as I loved The Hogfather. It was as hilarious and original as it was sincere and touching. The originality of having the character of Death wind up playing Santa is just about the best combination of ludicrous and fantastic as I’ve seen in quite some time.
But, this isn’t a “go out and by this movie” article. Though you should. Right now. In fact, you can stop reading - because unlike TV, this will still be readable in 5 minutes - and go to Amazon.com and purchase the movie. Or, go to Netflix and watch the movie instantly.
For a quick plot summary (don’t worry, no spoilers will be revealed) : There are some folks called the Auditors who are in charge of making sure that logic and order are maintained. They’ve decided that the Hogfather (a character that looks and performs all of the functions of Santa Claus, with the exception of not being called Santa Claus) and a belief in said Hogfather is no longer conducive to logic and reason. So, they’ve decided to assassinate him. Yep, they want to kill Santa. They hire a guy named Teatime to carry out the inhuming, and hilarity ensues as Death gets wind of the plot and takes over for the now-missing Hogfather.
Why does Death - who already has quite the busy job as a psychopomp - feel the need to put on the jolly fat man’s suit? Because, as he puts it, if the Hogfather does not make his rounds on Hogswatch (the Christmas equivalent) , and belief in the Hogfather dissipates, then the sun will not rise tomorrow. That’s right. The fate of the world hangs on getting presents one night a year.
The entire movie revolves around this idea. They must save the Hogfather, along with appearances by a few other mythic beings, or else the sun will not rise. But, towards the very end of the movie, the meaning of this statement gets a bit of a twist. Death has a granddaughter, naturally, and her name is Susan. She asks her dear old granddad to expound on what would happen instead of the sun rising. Death tells her “a burning ball of gas would illuminate the Discworld.”
Then and there he makes the distinction between a sun that rises each morning and sets every evening and the scientific nature of the burning ball of gas, which our planet revolves around and is illuminated by daily. See, it is a small bit of suspended reality, a bit of belief and whimsy to call it a sunrise or a sunset. Because, we know that to be a technical fallacy.
Death goes on to say that humans live in a world run on belief, on fairy tales and Hogfathers and Tooth Fairies. We need to believe in the little things so that we can believe in the big things. Of course, these “big things” aren’t things like a belief in Deity/God-in-a-Box. Death says the biggest things are ideas like mercy, compassion, and justice. When Susan pushes him further, he says that if you take all that the Universe is and condense it down to its most pure form and sift it through the finest sieve, you would not find one atom of mercy, or compassion, or justice.
See, a child’s belief in Santa or the Tooth Fairy isn’t a huge stretch for a child. These are small, pleasant beliefs. There’s no bad side to Santa. The Easter Bunny doesn’t have some famous dark side - though that would be a movie I’d pay to see. As we get older, we choose to believe in the Divine. This is a bit tougher, because for every one thing that goes right, one thing we “thank God” for, there are 5, 25, 125, to infinite things that go wrong on this world on a daily basis. People die too young or too healthy. There are people around the world, millions upon millions of them, that are poor in a way that we cannot even fathom being poor. And, there is starvation in parts of this world that the very thought of makes one sick.
So, it’s hard to believe in a good god, a fair god, or a just god, but it’s not impossible. People do it everyday. It’s sort of why they believe in Divinity. Because, even though life might suck, I get a better one after I die.
The part that stuck with me through all this, and the part I want to share with you, the reader, is that the idea of mercy, compassion, justice - all those good and fair things in the world - is an even bigger leap of faith humanity makes. Attributing unfairness to “God’s will” or karma is using the divine as a kind of scapegoat. Not in a negative way, necessarily, but it helps to write off the terrible questions of why bad things happen to undeserving people. When you get right down to it, Death was right. The Universe, humanity, is not inherently compassionate. It is a kill or be killed world, and the very fact that we have created these notions of fairness is a beautiful example of the human spirit’s ability to believe.
We believe that the stop sign works and that everyone will adhere to its power. We believe that humans are mostly good deep down. We believe that we can appeal to someone’s compassion for a second chance. We believe. We believe. We believe. It is these very large beliefs that keep our little ball of dirt and foliage spinning.
This is a new concept for me, considering our everyday beliefs as the bigger leaps of faith, but I think it is a truer concept. A child does not question the veracity of the Santa mythos. An adult can live with the struggles of life, because they can lean on their Deity of choice. But for any of it to happen, for us to continue as a species, for us to live and thrive, and for there to be a sunrise tomorrow, we have to make the greatest leap of faith of all and believe in the improvable, unknowable, unverifiable, unseen, untouchable, improbable compassion of the person in front of us.
Happy Hogswatch, everyone.
Copyright: (c) Fire Lyte - Inciting A Riot - 2011
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Author's Profile: To learn more about Fire Lyte - Click HERE
Other Articles: Fire Lyte has posted 32 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Fire Lyte... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
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, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ 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.
of The World
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).