True North

Beltane                                                     Beltane Moon

Went outside a moment to look at the stars.  A clear, calm night.  Darkness may blanket the earth, but in the heavens the lights are on.

Right now ursa major hangs upside down, pouring its contents over polaris and down to earth.  As I continue to wonder and ponder reimagining faith, I’ve looked into a Buddhist sect that worshiped the north star.  Hokusai, the early 19th genius of the ukiyo-e print, followed this belief, which originated in China.

The north star does not move; aligned with earth’s axis it sits over the north pole and is the center point of this time lapse photo. (above)  Since it did not move, and since the other stars seemed to rotate around it, especially ursa major, some Chinese believed it was the center of the universe and transmitted its messages through ursa major.

We nod toward the same sentiment when we talk about our true north, our pole star.  Gazing up at polaris, seeing the stars pointed at it, knowing the revolution ursa major is always in the process of making, I could imagine the north star as the center, the hub of meaning.

One of the virtues of a pagan perspective lies in its simple access to wonder.  Stare at the north star, imagine its constancy, see its relation to, say, vishnu, to your need for a still, calm place at the focus of your soul and embrace it as the message the universe has offered, high up in the darkness, a light that holds its place.

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