This is a the fourth in a five-part miniseries about the intersection of Paganism and science by Trellia. This article first appeared at Trellia’s Mirror Book.
The other day, a friend and I found an article about how tiny arachnids live on our faces. If you have a fear of spiders this is probably a rather unpleasant truth to deal with. But I try to see it another way…
Your body is a rainforest. It’s absolutely teeming with life. It has its own ecosystems from head to toe. Its daily rhythms create its weather and climate. You sustain the lives of literally trillions of tiny creatures living all over you, inside and out. Because our survival instinct makes us fear infection, we may find the idea of other organisms living within our bodies repulsive as some of the time those organisms interrupt our delicate bodily ecosystems — they make us sick. But the majority of microbes within our bodies are harmless. Many are in fact beneficial — some are even essential to our existence and we would die without them. If we hold all life to be beautiful (and many Pagans do), we should see that our own bodies, and all the creatures living within them, are truly things of great beauty.
To the creatures living within you, you are their existence. You are Gaia, the living, conscious world. In this way, perhaps more than any other, you truly are a God or Goddess incarnate. Just as we see the rainforest and all the life it supports as a thing of wonder and beauty to be protected and preserved, please try to see yourself in the same way. Treasure yourself.
The Author: Trellia
Although I’ve been interested in Paganism for many, many years, I have only recently started practising Paganism on a regular basis. As suggested in Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, I’ve decided to start a “Mirror Book;” a journal of my progress and thoughts in discovering my own spiritual path. You can read this progress online at The Mirror Book.
I would definitely describe myself as an Eclectic Pagan, borrowing from many different traditions, but I have a particular fascination with Shinto, the “indigenous” Japanese religion. This is partly because of my own background – I studied Japanese at university, lived in Japan for several years and currently work for a Japanese non-profit. It’s also partly because, as there is a thriving family of foxes living very near my house, I venerate Inari, a Japanese deity closely associated with foxes, as a patron deity; I have a shrine to Inari in my courtyard.
I’m also more than a little interested in the Gothic subculture; you can view my “Gothic Stereotypes” art here.