Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Dialogue on the Sacredness of Land



Blogger SiegfriedGoodfellow said...

Transcript :

Look at this beautiful landscape.

It's so open and lovely!

I wish there were more open spaces like this.

I wonder why there aren't.

Well, land isn't sacred anymore. It's been converted almost entirely from odal status to feudal status.

What does that mean?

Do you hear the word fee in the word feudal? Fee comes from the rune feoh, which originally meant cattle, but in general refers to chattels or personal property, the kinds of movables that people have traded using money.

Ok, so? Hasn't land always been sold?

In fact, no. Tribal systems work on an odal basis. That means that land is sacred and warded over by a kindred that has formed especially close connections with that land. In an odal context, it's extremely important to keep land within the family.


Well, the family and the land are linked.

What do you mean linked?

It means that it's almost impossible to distinguish who you are from the land on which you live. It means that there are connections of spirit. The spirits of that land and the folk have entered into sacred connection.

What happened if it were sold?

Would you sell your grandmother?

Well, no, of course not! But what has that got to do with land?

The family land was as much family as any individual human member of the family.

Wow, that's a whole new way of looking at things.

Ancient, actually. The whole idea that land is simply a commodity didn't really begin affecting Northern European tribes until the 11th century, when land began to be alienated for money. Land becomes desacralized when it is turned into a mere commodity. That desacralization is what allows developers to colonize landscapes at will.

How so?

Well, who cares if you cut down the trees in this meadow if the trees have no recognized being-ness, no sacred quality, no aliveness, no spirits associated with them? Many see trees as objects, barely alive if at all and only of value to serve human beings. This is a monstrous idea to a tribal people.

Are you saying that preservation of land was part of the RELIGION of tribal peoples?

Precisely! When the trees and rivers and meadows are sacred presences with whom you commune, you don't just rip it up for top buck. It has some value, some real value.

Wow, it's kind of a shame that we've lost that perspective.

Well, it may have been lost to history's mainstream, but it is being revived.


Really! There are people all over who are reconnecting with their tribal, ancestral past to reclaim this deep spirituality.

Reconnecting with their ancestors? That kind of scares me. Didn't many old tribes have barbaric practices?

Well, reconnection doesn't mean conformity! It's a creative search for renewal, not a blind copying of every custom without critical thinking. Let's face it : unfortunately, human beings are capable of barbarisms, at any level of society, and loving, intelligent people have to be able to throw out the bad and take the good. But the point is, let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater!

Wow, that's kinda cool!

12:55 PM  

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