The Isolated Animist: Respectful Relationships in Postmodern Individualism
As above so below, within as without, except for with other people. I've worked with others as a modern shaman since 2000, and the hardest facet of that role to impart is creating balanced relationship with All Things--especially each other--and live it in our "I" culture. It's easy to feel interrelated in trance, to idealize it in solitude, but to reach beyond the isolation of how capitalistic culture has created us and fosters us poses significant challenges. We end up living the collective experience alone. In this blog I explore new approaches to being an introverted, suburban American animist in an individualist culture, and living that connection out loud.
The Weekly Rune - Mannaz
Mannaz - human- Again we have another reversed Rune presenting us with an opportunity to go deeper within. As Mannaz reminds us of the strength in human connection, the power of acting with All That Is, so it's merkstave position calls us to be aware of when we are not connected, when we don't feel part of the greater flow. Note that Mannaz is pictured upright, or bright-stave.
Last week, Eihwaz encouraged us to change, and Mannaz may be asking us to sit with the effects of that change. It calls us to put down rational thinking and go with gut feeling, which for some may be frightening to do.
Likewise, as this Rune is about connecting with other people, its reversed position gives caution to the way in which we socialize this holiday season. Calling to mind community concerns, it may be helpful to tend the web, itself. It may not necessarily be about any personal need, but to be aware of our interconnectedness, and perhaps give a little extra to the care of our bonds.
Also, Mannaz illuminates the human in balance with itself. Take time this week to address Mind/Body/Soul/Emotional needs. Just as you draw on support around you, truly, deeply support yourself. This act of self love is your calling, your gift, and your greatest secret potential.
As you come to terms with your own challenges in connecting, know that you're not alone. Even through our isolation, we are joined. Everyone you know is going through something that leaves them feeling separate.
Mannaz isn't without bright notes, regardless of position. Just as merkstave, it indicates feeling outside the web of All Things, so it portends our rejoining.
Originally published at Soul Intent Arts.
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