Domains

The building my office is in doesn’t have a free parking lot. Instead we often end up having to use the lot for the Catholic church next door. From the back door, it’s about a five to seven minute walk, usually, for me to get to my car, unless I park in the pay lot and stay at work until after 6 when the arm goes up and I can get out without paying.

Last month as I was walking out to my car, the moon having risen and night having settled in, I looked up and was amazed to see a great number of stars. Or, at least, more than I expected to see in the middle of downtown Arlington just a few miles from the cities of Washington, D.C. and Alexandria. As I always do when I look up at the stars, I looked for the constellation of Orion. I don’t know why I typically search for the hunter in the night sky except that he is one of the few constellations that I know. But standing there, walking to my car and staring up at the sky, I got to thinking about domains.

In Druidry and Celto-inspired paths, you can often hear about “land, sea, and sky.” I’ve felt a draw to that idea at times, but it still seems too generalized. “Where are the rivers?” I question. “The forest and the city are not the same land,” I argue. In Wicca (and neoWicca) you hear of the calling of the quarters for North, East, South, and West in circles. These domains with their numerous associations (elements, winds, and so forth) that have been popularized in many Pagan circles have no resonance with me.

As I looked up at the sky, I began to think of the divine domains. The gods of sky and earth, of forest and the underworlds. My view of the world and its geography is more nuanced and can’t be summed up in a few simple words. Hell, I could wax poetic about rivers alone – and have.

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One Response to Domains

  1. Andrew says:

    I’ve done some work around these domains, as you describe them, and indeed — there’s some serious challenges. The advantage of working with Land, Sea and Sky is that these are a great way to explore the number three; just as Earth, Air, Fire and Water are great ways to explore the number four; and the addition of Spirit makes it possible to explore five. Above and below can make six, planets are seven, and so on.

    Why get numeric when we’re talking about place, or region, or domain?

    We tend, today, to live in a world of wild differentiation. The room I am in is One, and yet it has openings; I characterize them as 2) doors and 3) windows. There are containers: bookshelves, boxes, bowls and baskets. There are surfaces, divvied equally between tables and chairs. There are images, divided between paintings and photographs. In one room, almost literally (and litter-ally) I live in a world of 10,000 things (and 10,000 thinks).

    But through the simplification to four, or three, or even two, I draw ever closer to the One. Maybe.

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