Saturday 3 October 2009

Praying with Pumpkins

Now that the universe is still here, we can look forward to tonight's Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ritual.

Symbol is very important to the Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley.  In Symbol we can come close to touching the divine.  And the great thing about the use of Symbol is that it means we can avoid all that tedious reading and studying books that so many other religions such as Christianity, Islam and Dawkinism are into.  
Symbols have the benefit of being both powerful and ambiguous.  So if we spend half an hour looking at, for example, a sea-shell or a collection of rose-hips, or if we are feeling particularly post-modern and meditate on that burnt-out speed camera that Drogin brought back from the A5 last week, or if we are feeling particularly worshipful and use a nice big picture of Stephen Fry - then our meditations are our own.  We don't have to waste weeks in late-night, Diamond White-fuelled discussion-forum abuse with other like-minded obsessives, rowing about whether that last semi-colon in Isaiah was inspired by God, or whether we were designed by hyper-intelligent aliens.  No, instead we get what we need from our worship and then we head off to the pub, or the woods in the case of the Fertility Folk, or a spot of late-night moon-gazing if it's clear, and get on with our lives.

Among the powerful symbols of our faith, the Pumpkin is important.  Although the Pumpkin is generally regarded as an American import, we believe that they were grown in England in Beaker times, but were ritually smashed by the so-called "Celtic" invaders as the Bronze turned to the Iron age.  In celebration of which, most Celtic races seem to be ritually smashed most days of the week.  That there is no evidence of this Beaker Pumpkin culture does not prove anything.  Pumpkins are edible and rot easily.  Where would you look for this evidence?  Inside a beaker?  Precisely.
Pumpkins as a symbol of the sun are a central point to this time of year. As we watch the dying sun sink earlier and more to the south each day - fleeing to the warm regions - we light our tea-lights inside our hollowed-out pumpkins to encourage him to return.  Glowing warmly on our Worship Focus Table in the Moot House tonight, our pumpkins will remind us that, though the wind may blow over Husborne Crawley, the warm days will return, bringing times of hay-making, harvesting, fruit-picking and other things that we subsidise the farmers to do for us.
The nice and oh-so trendy white pumpkins, representing the moon, will be brought into the Moot House tonight, as we remember that it is the time of full moon.  Not just any moon, either, but Harvest Moon.  But at this time of month and year, when the moon rises as the sun sets, we will remove the orange pumpkins as the whites enter.  It's gonna be so moving, I can't wait.

1 comment :

  1. "these intriguing white orbs are all the rage when it comes to chic autumn decorating".... Surely the Beaker folk have not sold out to the demands of chic trend setters....

    there must be money in it for the Beaker Sop somewhere....


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