This morning, I got up – went downstairs and made a cup of coffee. Then I stood there in the kitchen, my cup in my hands, and looked out the kitchen window at my backyard. In the darkness, I could barely make out my little stone circle with my Kokopelli statue in the center of it. Everything looked quiet. What a strange way to phrase the statement, but that’s the impression I had as I watched the light slowly grow in intensity as the Sun rose – fulfilling its promise from the evening before when it dipped below the horizon in the west. The colors of the sky started with mellow, almost muted tones, as the sun started its climb into the sky. Those tones got harsher and brighter with each passing moment, as the sun’s intensity grew. I closed my eyes for a moment, and silently thanked the sun for its return.
If you have read this blog with any regularity, you recognize this as my morning ritual. My greeting of the sun and the day. Its a simple process, and to be completely honest, its not always the same. Sometimes, I stand outside. Sometimes, the sky is too cloudy to see the sun. Sometimes, I oversleep and get up long after the sun has risen over the horizon. Regardless, I still take a few moments in the morning to look out at my backyard and see how the day is going to be striped – to steal an American Football analogy.
I’m not a person who really enjoys staid rituals. I’m a bit more improvisational in those terms. Why? Because each moment we have is unique. A few moments ago, is not now nor will it be a few moments from now. It may have similarities, but its not the exact same moment. Now, before the folks that really get into practiced, rehearsed, very formal ritual processes freak out – I am not advocating a removal of all that in favor of improvisational ritual. I am merely pointing out that this is what works for me. I am not the type of person to make an empirical statement that everyone should do things exactly as I say. In fact, I do believe that even within my own Spirituality, there is a place for formalized ritual. Just not in my daily, morning practice.
Which brings me to where my thought is (did ya’ll enjoy that short ride to here?) this morning. It revolves around a simple question that another Pagan once asked me: “Why Crow?”
Its a fair question. My immediate DNA heritage is primarily European/Germanic. Should those Gods not call to me? Why am I not drawn to Teutonic or even Celtic Gods and mythology? Looking through my family tree, there is an instance of one First Nations (I like that term better than “Indian” or “Native American”) ancestor, but no more than that. So why a First Nations God??
Well, first off, I don’t believe we get to pick and choose which God or Goddess will speak to us directly. We can definitely frame our worship and our rituals around a specific God or Goddess or even an entire mythos, but when we are approached, chosen and claimed by a specific God or Goddess — its not that simple. My relationship with Crow came in a round-about manner. I was wanting to work with a Trickster God. Loki was never a strong pull for me. However, Coyote provided a lot of qualities that I was wanting to explore. A semi-serious side, along with a playful aspect as well. I formed my meditations around Coyote. I learned to not take myself so seriously. I learned how to play within my Spirituality. And I eventually encountered Crow. I wasn’t seeking out Crow. I was sought out by Crow. I didn’t get to choose.
Second, and perhaps far more important for me, is that I have no idea who and what I may have been in a previous incarnation. I hear the moans and groans of people not wanting me to bring reincarnation theory into the conversation, as well as those who are muttering about cultural misappropriation under their breaths. I get the point of both aspects, but I don’t agree. Furthermore, I’m not really going to debate either perspective. That’s not my point nor would it ever be. Why a First Nations God? To be perfectly frank – I have no way to explain it to you. However, my ritual focus resembles nothing of a First Nations ceremony. In this incarnation, I am a white, European-based male. I can only approach my spirituality from what calls to me. Not from where my DNA comes from.
Again, I am not looking to debate the “right” or “wrong” of Crow choosing me. If you are looking for a debate on cultural appropriation or something along those lines – you’ve reached the wrong blog post. But this is my attempted explanation of why this particular mythos seems to call to me. And as a way of a third explanation, perhaps its because of where I live. This particular geographic area is very well connected with First Nations Gods and Goddesses. But in the end, whatever the reasoning does not matter all that much to me. And to be perfectly frank, I gave up trying to figure out whether any of my theories of “why” are right or wrong quite a while back. Whatever label you may want to put on it…go ahead. In the end, its what is right for me at this unique moment in time…for whatever reason. I gave up on reasoning why a long time ago….