ADF’s style of “druidry” is really a pan-Indo-European devotional polytheist practice, and in this kind of practice there’s a lot of preference placed on learning about things unknown through the process of divination. When we’re left wondering about possible outcomes: cast the runestaves. When we’re fearful about the future: pick a card. When we’re looking for the hidden bits of causality, and answers to the question of “why”: consult the oracle.
Much of what’s happening when we engage in divination is us trying to find where to place the blame for misunderstandings, failures, hopes, and fears. We’re seeking to assuage our feelings of being wronged because things didn’t go how we wanted them to.
Whenever you find yourself blaming providence, turn it around in your mind and you will see that what has happened is in keeping with reason.”
(Epictetus, Discourses, 3.17.1)
Remember when “shit happens” was making the rounds in the U.S. vernacular? According to the Dictionary of American Proverbs (Yale University Press, 2012) the phrase first appeared in print in the late 70’s in Wesley Brown’s novel Tragic Magic. Brown, very astutely, said, “Once you know the reason why shit happens, you shouldn’t have to ask the question anymore.” It’s awareness that helps us know those reasons… but it’s our ego that convinces us those reasons have to be something special, magical, or metaphysical.
Usually, things come to pass because of complex causality. Nothing happens “out of the blue”. Everything has reasons for becoming.
In Buddhism there exists the principle of Pratītyasamutpāda (Sanskrit: प्रतीत्यसमुत्पाद). Commonly translated as dependent origination, or dependent arising, it’s a key principle in their teachings. Essentially, what’s being said is: all phenomena arise in dependence upon other phenomena. In other words, if this exists, that exists; and if this ceases to exist, that also ceases to exist.
We can’t always see the whole story, but one thing I can say for sure:
Like our lives, there are a LOT more quotidian experiences than there are miraculous ones.
One day, it’ll all make sense… even if today isn’t that day, remain aware.
Like Shakespeare wrote in “The Merchant of Venice” - truth will out.
(See y’all tomorrow)