Zoom Meeting Sermon February 26 2023

 Topic: Sacred Fauna of the Path

The animals sacred to the Path are: Cats, Squirrels, Crows & Ravens, Goats, Amphibians, Turtles & Tortoises, Whales, & Elephants.

Most of these animals are intelligent, or at the very least, clever, but all of them are sacred for their own reasons.

Cats teach us how to truly relax and live in the moment. Cats also have the ability to do nothing when there is nothing to do, a practice that many humans could benefit from. I like cats on a philosophical as well as visceral level.

Squirrels are sacred because they are my father’s Spirit Animal, and he is a Patron Saint of the Path. They also teach us how to put something by in case of lean times, whether that is a stash of acorns or a savings account.

Crows and Ravens are often depicted as trickster archetypes, challenging established authority, and there is a certain element of that challenge in the practice of the Path. We are not a branch of any other religion, and we question the lessons of conventional religious authority.

Goats are not only the most intelligent herd animal, they are also, according to legend, the ones who discovered coffee, which is a sacred herb to the Path. There are plenty of mythological beings who have attributes of goats, including satyrs and even the Devil himself, although the association of the goat with evil mostly came about because, unlike sheep, goats can think for themselves. Humans do not appreciate that in their livestock, but I like it well enough to have a certain affinity for goats, in spite of their slightly-creepy eyes.

Amphibians, mostly frogs, are sacred because they undergo great morphological changes in their life cycle, but they remain amphibians. This teaches us that you can make massive changes to your appearance, but you will still be the same person deep down, where it really matters.

Turtles, Tortoises, and Whales are all symbols of Patience, because they live so long that everything takes a long time, but they are content to let things take as long as they take. If  we could communicate with them, they would have a lot to teach us about how to be Patient.  They are able to see more of the pattern of the Universe’s Ka because they just have more life experience to draw upon. The Turtle is one of the Beam Guardians from the Dark Tower, and plays an important role in that story.

The Elephant in particular is sacred mostly because it is the spirit animal of my mother, who is a living Saint of the Path. Like Whales and Turtles, it can represent the Virtue of Patience, and is also one of the Beam Guardians. Elephants are also some of the most intelligent land animals.

Are there any animals that you consider sacred to your own practice of the Path? Can you think of animals that may represent some or all of the Eight Virtues to you?

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