Thursday, August 11, 2016

What I Need

This post will be my usual ramblings inspired by a number of unconnected thoughts. My first inspiration was thinking how heart-rending it is to see a homeless person with a teddy bear. The tales that are probably attached to those bears, of love, hate and abandonment. Whatever, the bear must have significance to the person, even as a comfort.
What are the things that I couldn't live without if homeless, as least in my persona of witch? I'm honestly not sure, since the next reflection prompting this post was that I find as a freeform sort of witch, I don't need very much. Even the Book in my own hand of write consists of things which I have rather internalised over time and thus don't tend to refer to the book that much. In fact I find the universe brings new things to my attention all the time.
As a witch I believe that I embody and contain all things in a sense, and thus have a connection to everybody and everything which I can call upon as needed. I was certainly influenced in this approach by an exercise in one of Phyllis Curott's books where you are yourself the altar and ditch the tools for a time. It was so successful for me that I never really picked them up again. This is perhaps the extreme of the witch figure, and in fact has ancient precursors, perhaps best embodied by the classical motto discussed in this passage from the website of a scout troop (once again things come full circle since the Scout movement was one of the movements which fed into modern witchcraft):
' Omnia mea mecum porto       
    "All my things I carry with me"
'    Our Latin Credo carried a dual meaning. The obvious meaning, “All my things I carry with me,” is very appropriate for it describes our minimalist backpacking philosophy and desire to rid ourselves, physically, of burdensome impedimenta, extra unnecessary camping equipment, etc. Our traditional version of “Playing the Game of Scouting” requires that on every outdoor event, each Scout carry all of his own equipment, as well as his share of patrol and troop equipment. This requires the Scouts to decide what is absolutely necessary and what can be done without, and necessitates cooperation, adaptation, invention, in using only the equipment that can be carried.
'    But this credo has a deeper meaning, perhaps not quite as obvious, as explained in the following excerpts from classic Romance and Greek philosophy:
"Cicero, in his Paradoxa Stoicorum 1.1.8, tells a story about Bias, one of the "seven sages" of ancient Greece:
I shall also often praise that famous sage, Bias I think, who is included among the seven. When the enemy had captured his homeland and others were fleeing in such a way as to carry many of their possessions with them, and he was told by someone to do likewise, he said, "I am indeed doing it; for I am carrying all my things with me."
"nec non saepe laudabo sapientem illum, Biantem, ut opinor, qui numeratur in septem; cuius quom patriam Prienam cepisset hostis ceterique ita fugerent, ut multa de suis rebus asportarent, cum esset admonitus a quodam, ut idem ipse faceret, 'Ego vero', inquit, 'facio; nam omnia mecum porto mea.'
'Valerius Maximus 7.2.ext.3 seems to follow and elaborate on Cicero:
"When enemies had invaded his homeland Priene and all (at least those whom the savagery of war had permitted to get away safe) were fleeing loaded with the weight of their precious possessions, Bias was asked why he was carrying none of his goods with him. He said, "Indeed, all my goods I carry with me," for he was carrying them in his heart, not on his shoulders, things not to be seen by the eyes but to be valued by the spirit.
'In his Epistulae Morales 9.18-19, Seneca tells this story about the Greek philosopher Stilpon (c. 380-300 B.C.):
"    For when his homeland was captured, his children lost, his wife lost, and he was walking away from the public conflagration by himself and yet unconcerned, Demetrius (whose nickname was Poliorcetes, after his destruction of cities) asked him if he had lost anything. He said, "All my goods are with me." Behold a strong and stalwart man! He was victorious over the victory of his enemy. "I have lost nothing," he said: he made Demetrius doubt whether he had actually conquered. "All of my goods are with me": justice, virtue, prudence, the very fact that he considered nothing good that could be snatched away.
'Just as these classical sages acknowledge that all of their most important “possessions” are carried within, we as Scouts also understand that while the uniform, equipment, knives, axes, compasses, tools, flags, banners, etc. are important game pieces in the “Game of Scouting,” the real important acquisitions, such as the habit of living in accordance with the Scout Oath and the Scout Law, and the fundamental  principals of  Honor, Respect for the beliefs of others,  Duty to God and Country, Duty to others, and duty towards oneself, are those that we carry with us, always, on the inside.' (
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