In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.
When I was in middle school, I attended confirmation classes (not entirely willingly; I think in the grand scheme of things, it was the beginning of the end for me as a Christian). Apparently in the “good old days” the class stood up at the front of the church and people asked them questions of doctrine; by the time I got there, someone realized that putting a bunch of 7th and 8th graders on the spot was maybe not a good idea, so we were to write essays about our favorite Bible verse and what it said about our faith.
Most of my friends and classmates picked things from the New Testament about love and redemption…I picked Genesis 1:1. (Yes, I was a strange child, even then). But the thing is, where we came from is often germane to how we got to where we are, and that seemed to me to be an important step.
But where we came from – where we begin – is not an easy thing to understand. It comes down to what we see as True (as opposed to what is true – factual) – that Truth that lies at the heart of how the universe works.
What is Truth, and what is God?
We Pagan folk believe in a lot of different creation stories. All of them are True, even when they contradict themselves and each other, and even when none of them are true.
There’s the Descent of the Goddess, as told in the Vangelo Delle Streghe. The Norse have a myth of ice that becomes a cow, who then frees a man from an ice block, who becomes the father of Odin; Odin and his brothers kill a giant and make the world from him. The Egyptians have Nu, the chaos of churning water, and when it recedes, the land appears…and then many different stories about how the earth and all its creatures come from that. Floods and formless voids abound, but the details differ from culture to culture, each telling the people where they came from.
Truth then, is our beginning, and it tells us where we have come from, and who we are. It doesn’t necessarily tell us where we’re going, but it gives us a firm foundation for making that journey.
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