Griannon is the name for the old Irish houses built around the central hearth representing the sun.
Many other European houses in various cultures also had either a central hearth or a central pillar representing the center of the sky--the sun-- and possibly the magical/spiritual center also. The center was also the point of connection and passage between the worlds. This hearkens all the way back to any shamanistic belief of passing through the "sky-hole" in the roof--also usually central -- to reach "other" places. And this should bring to mind stories of all those "witches" who would rise through their chimneys -- a sky-hole over a hearth--to reach their gathering place or place to meet their deity. When there was a central pillar, of course, the link was with the world tree, closely connecting the home with the other worlds.
So, another point we know. Something not erased by the conquering Judeo-Christian worldview. But how do we relate this to our lives? What does this mean? In every home a holy center, a connection with all the worlds? Personally, I think it certainly implies a decentralized religion. But think about it-- all these centers? It's obviously not the physical places that make these centers. It's the fact that these are homes. Homes. So the point we know is that homes were important. So important that they were held to be central connection points between the worlds and the effective centers of the world. The idea, not the place; but enshrined in a very real place.
The idea of Home. Is home the center of our lives? Do we communicate with the Gods there? Is the central connection to the worlds there? Are babies born there? Is this where we care for our dying? Is this even where we prepare our food and offer it to all of our family? Many people consider birth and death too important to be done at home-- and eating can be done anywhere. I think home is the important thing. Home is what makes things right by putting them, and keeping them, in context.
Home is the safest place to have a baby, the safest place to be ill, the safest place even to die. Home is the safest place to learn. Our homes are our safest places to be--and they are supposed to be. Most law reflected this until recently.
Ah, recently. Recently, Home has been getting marginalized, bashed, pulled apart, and uprooted. It's not just an attack on family when this happens; it's an attack on our very humanness. Indeed, it's important to realize that the undermining of the home, the attack on family and the demonizing of parents are all attacks on our humanity. Without our homes we cannot fully express our humanness.
Yes, we have dwellings -- though many people don't dwell in them for long. But they tend to be viewed more and more as consumer nexi. Places to fill with products and consume as much as possible and stay in long enough to be further advertised to and "educated". That's not the idea of Home.
Nobody -- well, not many - are willing to say they would prefer a "dwelling" to a "Home". Home is such a central idea to us that, even lessened as it is, people cling to it. Cling to it as an idea that is. It has great market potential still, for some things. We need to step back and consider our selves and our lives and try to gauge which idea of home we are really subscribing to in our lives, the manipulative one or the empowering pagan ideal.
It can help, I think, to take a look at both the daily areas of our lives and at the milestones that occur, and see where we choose to have these things occur. Is home seen as a safe, indeed sacred, place to hold these events, both large and small, or is it seen as devaluing these events or even endangering them by having them there? Remember that home is sacred. No matter how challenged it may seem to you or others. A home does not need to be grand or antiseptic or impersonal to be the best place for important things. Homey is fine, just fine. Fine enough to have a baby born at home, a toddler play at home, a child learn at home. It's fine to be well at home, ill at home and later die at home. It's fine to play at home and work at home. Fine enough to make our food at home and eat at home. These are all good things.
Now, no, home is not the only place to have these things happen; but it is the ideal place. Home is where humans are raised. A Pagan home is where Pagans are raised. Home is where we are fully Human.
©2007 Oak Hedge