Tipping the Vessel

I’m trying to work through a concept, so I apologize if this seems a bit rambly.

There’s a concept in the Shinto religion known as yorishiro, a concept that embodies something suitable as a vessel for a visiting spirit / god. Take, for example, an immense oak that brings you a feeling of awe when you see it. That would be yorishiro.

It embodies the idea that while a vessel may be worthy of a spirit / god (and -all- of the connections to the rest of the world that this spirit brings with it), the vessel does not necessarily have that spirit / god in it 100% of the time.

Think about this idea long enough and you understand that anything -can- be sacred and that the difference between a dead body and a live one is that in one case the vessel is empty and the other is full.

Where am I going with this?

In a number of stereotypes, the male hunts. We see this through our lens: there is a resource, food, that the male gets by turning something alive into something dead. Too bad, so sad, for the live thing, although we think of ways maybe to deal with it. Lack of factory farming. Ritual / prayer to honor the ‘sacrifice’ made by the animal. Etc.

What if we framed this differently?

In other words, what if our survival is about ‘tipping the vessel’?

Tip the vessel and see hows the spirit pours out. If the spirit is moving on. It’s okay to take it. But if it doesn’t, you go hungry. That’s what’s meant to be.

Why is this important? Because you need to pay close attention. A vessel that bursts upon touching may be cursed. Don’t use it. Taking vessels and breaking them without paying attention, the gods curse you. Don’t do it.

Or, if you want to be logical, an animal that’s dying on its own. Too easy to hunt may have a human-communicable disease. Hunting down animals without regard to their relationship to their environment risks population collapse and famine.

Standard predators do this all the time. They target the young too far from help (the spirit is manifest in their connections). Or the older ones who stumble. Human tribes have done this all the time as well. For example, even buffalo culls only cut the population down to a point.And therefore those left have plenty of food to thrive off of. Which wouldn’t have been possible with a larger herd.

I suppose I’m using ‘tipping the vessel’ rather than hunting or gathering as a way to re-shape intent. After all, each thing is a small sacred. And therefore how does my impact on its spirit benefit or harm the flow of spirit (life) around me? And if I see a large sacred thing, how can I enhance not only its beauty but all of the connections that make it sacred so that this flow of life spreads?

What does this have to do with males? I don’t know. I’m thinking of us as Eyes-Facing-Front. We are sent out to scout and investigate and be an active principle for our family / people. By ‘tipping a vessel’ instead of hunting, we would be expected to engage in the forces that are distant from our home. Puzzle them out, and be able to not only report on them but ALSO enhance the health of lands on our borders, so that abundance surrounds our home.

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