..just a note.. I debated the posting of the following post quite a bit, it seems somewhat a bit of a controversial topic (or so I hear).. in the end I decided that it was to be so, I have never strayed from the hard road overmuch and I go where my path takes me, regardless of ease or non-ease as it may be.. and I felt it an important topic as well as curious to explore the different views it may bring..
Recently I was given the opportunity to collect the bones of animals taken for food. A person close, who grows/raises/hunts as much of their food as possible, mentioned they often discard what is not eaten.. for no other reason than lack of use for. I asked if I could collect some of the bones and if it would be okay for me to help with/attend at least one death. This person, though not a practitioner, knew me well enough to know that I wasn’t asking for some twisty, nefarious reason.. he didn’t even ask the whys. The husband, on the other hand, opted to ostrich the entire idea of his lady love taking a life (he’s such a kind soul). I felt really bad about this, wishing I could get him the understanding he needed but in the end I realize that I chose to walk this path (and again, no one said it would be an easy go). I have to do what is necessary and I am still (as of this post) waiting for the call.
These two reactions really set me to thinking about collection methods and the taboos associated. Here is my thought.. collecting bones for magical use (regardless of source) is a very heavy burden on the collector. I doubt any take it lightly. We must do what we can to ease the spirit and it is never an easy thing to bear. We feel the responsibility and we feel the loss. I made the request to take part because I felt that I needed to actively understand and honor the sacrifice these animals make (or we make of them) to provide us with food, warmth, and yes.. tools. I wondered, of course, on the opinions of others who walk this same path or similar. All I spoke to felt it was okay (in varying degrees) and would, through their own processes, honor the spirit thusly. My fellow hedger also made a very good point about the bones of sport.. why should we turn them away? Certainly they are not for use in tool crafting but what about easing the spirit? What about trying to restore balance? A very wise thought indeed. This makes so much sense to me.. wouldn’t those who’s being was so disregarded need our help most of all?