We use the word ‘sacred’ in a religious context – and this is apt, if one widens it to envelope our bodies and the Spark of the Creator we all have within us.Hallowed. Blessed. None of these require us to bow down before a specific deity. We can create a sacred space without recourse to a church. Our physical beings can be held as sacred. We resonate with many influences, some sacred. The roar, metaphorically breathed into me, into us, by an Ancient Egyptian goddess, is one of them.
The knowledge of Sekhmet has been a gift to my recent years, and the triggering of my Inner Lioness (both at ritual level and in everyday life through the love of a close friend) has been such a boon in recent months and years.
We are composed of all the elements – but their strengths, and our ability to access them, vary hugely. My weakness, all my life, has been accessing fire and one of its human sparks, anger. Creativity, another flame of inner fire, has never been a problem. But letting out that vital and life-giving roar of fury HAS.
I recognise that, for much of my life, air has predominated in the emotional sphere; in other words, I have intellectualised everything and sieved my feelings through a mesh of cerebral wire.
But, fighting this, is my earthy nature: I am an Earth sign in the astrological sense and very much attuned to both body and feelings in the raw. And here is the rub: We are trained, in all too many cases, to substitute thought for feeling, to over-analyse the promptings of the body until they are squeezed out as safe and acceptable little homily pastes. We coat our pain in philosophy. We discuss how we feel – until the actual feeling, ignored, packs up its bags in despair and goes away.
There are reasons for this: The Yoke of Societal Thought is, in its own way, a modern-day Matthew Hopkins, a Witch-Finder General bent upon the immolation of all hags – because, let us not kid ourselves, the open and untidy display of emotions have an eerie similarity to the cackling and alleged insanity of the toothless elderly women who, steeped in other people’s prejudice, were so often tortured and then burned as witches.
But civilisation does not begin and end with blanketing thought. In fact, I would say that true civilisation pays homage to, and encourages, all the elemental parts which, together, create human potential. If we wish to transcend humanity, we must, first, learn what it is to be fully human – and that means feeling with our bodies as honestly as we can – and, if possible, limiting our need to cover feelings with an acceptable thesaurus of borrowed words. We can trot out pages of synonyms for anger, or fear, or sadness; but, until we feel the roar and the fire and the deep inner wound and the floods of tears and the muscles contracting, bowel threatening adrenaline torment of raw bodily feelings, we are not fully in touch with our bodies, let alone the Divine Spark that resides within us all.
Fire burns and destroys. But it also cleanses – and razes that which needs to go in order that something better be built on its scorched site. Fire allows us to feel, and to feel deeply and painfully. It strips away the stubble of pretence and lays our fields bare for all to see.
Sometimes we are wordless. Sometimes words do not suffice, are but a weak echo of the overwhelming bodily response. We rarely intellectualise orgasm. It is the ultimate roar of leonine sex. Yet that honesty becomes the pallor of yet more verbalisation in other spheres of life.
We are, I think, afraid – as a species – of our inner animals, of feelings, of expressing the truths of the body, of the body itself.
Our bodies are harps – and they vibrate to the winds of the world and produce notes at different frequencies. We do no one a service by putting a harp-case over the fragile and beautiful instrument in order to limit the play of the breeze upon its strings and so deny the full wonder of humanity’s earthy song.
We confuse the issue. The body is not rational or thinking. Expecting an air response from a bodily reaction is, therefore, to confuse two very different parts of the self. The roar is pure fire. It does not think. It merely is.
I am not saying there is anything wrong with analysing and discussing our feelings after the event – but there is a freedom in just feeling which too many of us deny ourselves.
To be fully human is to recognise the true nature of the sacred. To live exclusively in the mind is not.