[personal profile] asthefiretree
“Writing is easy. You only need to stare at a piece of blank paper until your forehead bleeds”–Douglas Adams

At my first glance of the list of virtues, I was certain that I would have the most problems with fertility. Everyone knows that fertility is about having lots of kids, right? And I'm not particularly interested in having kids at this point in my life...even if I were, I am not in a position where it would be a realistic goal. However, this aspect of fertility is a vital one for humans, or any species to continue to exist. There is a stigma, even to an extent in the most advanced countries, on people who are unable or chose not to have children. In less advanced areas, or among the more superstitious, a woman who is unable to have children may be thought to have a curse. In some places, the very idea that one would grow up and actually make the choice to not have children is inconceivable. (No pun intended)

One other commonly considered aspect of fertility is that of the land: farms, fields, fruit-bearing trees...our lives depend on the fertility of vegetation and animals; it is how we obtain our food. We would die without it.

Even today, two of the very common things that people pray for are for fertility of the body- to have children, and (depending on the area and religion)- fertility of the land. Most if not all pre-Abrahamic religions are said to have been, or at least to have started out as- cults of fertility. All cultures that I have come across in research have at least one, and usually several if not many deities relating to grain, vegetation, animals, sexuality, birth, reproduction...all of which are connected to fertility.

But these are not the only aspects of fertility. Intellectually, I know this but I was still having some problems getting past the "fertility means making babies" aspect. If I had any mental hang-ups before, this Beltane has presented the opportunity for me to better understand and embrace fertility in another form.

After doing research on Belenus and Epona, and in the week leading up to Beltane, I suddenly had ideas popping out of nowhere. I was waking up in the middle of the night, writing a poem and falling back to sleep. My invocation to Belenus practically fell out of the pen and onto the paper. By the time Friday rolled around, from out of nowhere I had a grand plan to start a local group for studying Hellenic tradition, and for things that could be done within ADF to facilitate other people's study. I have a list of things that I want to accomplish, books to read and interests to pursue. How I will work this all into my life in a realistic way, I'm not sure...but that, I have no doubt will be at least a part of my lesson in moderation.

Creativity and ideas are often not thought of immediately when one hears the word, however they are vital aspects of fertility as well, without which we would not have any of the things which we do- no one would design and build our houses, offices, schools, modes of transportation. We would not have conversation or telephones or computers- communication, We would be without music, art, books, movies, television, plays, dancing- no entertainment or ways for learning...we simply would not be.

I believe that it may be concluded that of the nine Pagan virtues, fertility in its many forms is the one that without, the human race simply would not exist. Without any of the others, we would live greatly diminished lives, but we could still survive and continue. Without fertility...we would have nothing.
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