Urban Nature and Tree Shadows

Myth, Belief, Art

Ivo Dominguez, Jr. in Casting Sacred Space recommends—I’ll call it an exercise—but he recommends engaging in your own mythopoeisis. Write your own myths. Reach inside and articulate your myths. Now, I’ve recently done something similar as a series of trance utterances that remind me of the rune poems—my powers and abilities and tricks and knacks and so forth. I’ve worked on that project as part of retraining Talker (Dariar in my idiosyncratic system of “How Has Crowess Renamed Concepts for Her Own Use”) away from halthaya, hurur, and mul-ol (i.e., psychic censor and disenchantment of self). But Dominguez recommends starting with three myths in particular: (1) the creation of everything; (2) the creation of humans; (3) the first meeting of humans and the divine.

Here’s what I wrote in Fog-Choked Choirs for my myths along these lines.

The Otherworlds have always existed, and so have realms like this one. As Odin has said, Ragnarokr is always going on, and worlds burn away, and new life and times emerge elsewhere. The Great Tree, Elethis, grows until She dies, but She spreads Her seed far, and She has had many children. Beyond Time, or beyond our narrow view of it, Elethis stands in a forest stretching into eternity.

Otherwise, if you go deep enough, or far enough, you will find the Shores of Chaos and the Wylds. You see the Wylds have Trees spread all around, seeds of structure and form and concreteness in a Wyld of utter Chaos and potentiality and impotentiality. And as some of those Trees spread seed, some take root, and new islands of the real emerge, grow in the fertile Wylds. And sometimes, Trees and islands die, wither, and dissolve back into the Chaos beyond.

There was no beginning—there is no end to it. No Great God started it. The Star Goddess, Elethis, Whatever Name You Want to Use represents the totality of it all, having children who are themselves in the great expanses of potentiality and impotentiality.

The fae emerged in the in-between, a bug in the branches and Otherworlds, in the fertile Near Wylds. We began, perhaps, a bit elemental and gained awareness and selfhood. We walked and explored and played. And we adapted. We found the Great Gods, the Old Ones, and Wyrms, and we learned to shape and sing, to weave meaning out of the Night and Day,–the Wyrms and Gods taught us experientiality and its path to power and Making Real, and we brought that power with us as we wandered. We found the fringes of realms like this, the walls around them solid but porous, and some humans found the fringes, too. They stared out & saw us look back.

We shaped ourselves after patterns of nature & animals—making families and lands and communities. We took in or stole those humans who wandered into the Otherworlds, adopted or changed them. Others would seize on others, lure them in, and reproduced themselves by shaping minions or like a virus does, but Others Again did something similar. Their games and obsession with matter confused us—their desire to constrict themselves down. In others, they were ravenous to consume and expand on whatever they could.

We sought other paths, often, though we can calcify and grow hideous and monstrous and cancerous. Some sought to become like the gods and dragons more directly, and that meant, often, learning what it meant to be alive, to die, and to see so little until you burned to see it all, create it all as art, including yourself, in the end.

Humans others, the Seekers and mystics and speakers, they came to the edges of themselves and their concrete worlds, and they had to imagine. And in doing so, they came near enough to the Otherworlds to see and to be seen, to desire and to get our attention—and many sought to tell them what the gods and dragons knew.

Dominguez encourages us to go back and revisit these myths periodically, partly to see if we still agree with them and to see how our own sense of sacred space comes out in these myths.

It probably goes without saying at this point that I like Dominguez’s book, and I experimented with several of the forms of casting sacred space he describes therein, albeit I find myself not using most of them. The book remains a good reference to have on my shelf, though. His book is nicely evocative in many places and ways, as well.

Image: Urban Nature and Tree Shadows by cobalt123

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