Myth and Action – About the History of the Craft


How do myths shape the way we interact with the world?

Willi ran across an essay by Ruth Wynn Owen, titled About the History of the Craft, describing her understanding of what is commonly referred to as witchcraft. Ruth provides an interesting insight into how the understanding of mythology creates an operative worldview.

In trying to understand the tools necessary to create a society based on sustainable values, placing focus on the integral stories that shape our understanding of the world is important for getting to the core of what motivates society. Bron Taylor’s concept of Dark Green Religion is a more purposeful use of mythology to bring about ecologically sound lifestyles, but the same impetus can be found in spiritual practices that come from relationships to more abstract ideas.

What is now known as ‘the Craft’ has a long and honourable descent from the most primitive of religions known to man, the worship of the Great Mother. A child, surrounded by the unknown, a stranger here, needs a mother; even so, when mankind was in its childhood it turned to a mother, who could make all things well, who could protect and save, who gave, as mothers do, food and warmth, shelter and comfort. So, all over the world, the worship of the Great Mother arose, spontaneously. She was the earth, from which they gathered and collected their food. They also fished and killed beasts for their food, and, so that the beasts might be allowed to fall to their spears and arrows, they asked the god of the beasts they hunted, the Great Stag, the Great Salmon and such, to grant them of his children; and, in return,they would give him honour and gifts. They acted out the hunt in mime, a living-through of the hunt, as they wished it to be, with no hunter hurt, and with the killing of the one acting the hunted animal. When they started to till the earth, Mother, the earth, gave birth to their crops. A woman was magic, as she could make another man inside her, so was the earth, who from ‘dead’ seed brought forth food. Later the God became the Lord of the Mother, and so the father of men, and the father of the crops. The mother bore the crops,and the god became her son, the crops too; killed with the cutting of the crops, and reborn from the mother each Spring.” – Ruth Wynn Owen – About the History of the Craft

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About [ open myth source ]

The [open myth source] project gathers conversations, symbols, songs, visual art and stories. Building a house for Myth in the Sustainability Age.
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