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Breath and Blood

By Magpiemason

[Snip] Many cultures see the soul as being intertwined with the physical breath (önd, like Greek pneuma and Latin anima, carries a primary meaning of breath, and a secondary meaning of spirit/soul), with the soul entering the body on the first breath and leaving on the last. It’s no mistake that the word inspiration etymologically stems from the act of drawing a breath: Those things (or Powers) which inspire us literally breathe into us. It is the gift of Their breath which enlivens us, impassions us, compels us.

We know humans didn’t start as two chunks of wood on the seaside that three Gods felt compelled to turn into sentient hominids—anymore than the sky is the skull of a slain giant being held up by four Dwarfs. As modern Pagans, it’s sometimes hard to know what to do with the myths, these “just-so stories” that just ain’t so; we cast them aside, relegate them to something vague we call “the Mythic Past”, and with a bit of uncomfortable throat-clearing we move on.


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