Recently, I had the chance to sit down with Athena and interview her on reverence.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a mystic.
“Spiritual” tends to seem hippy dippy, while “mystic” is magical, I see the world from a mystical perspective, as the nexus point of the Mobeus strip of magic and mystery. Mysticism is how I deal with everyone and everything, be that family, kin, strangers, or work. There’s an inherent mystery in everything that’s life.
How do you approach reverence in your daily life?
Reverence for me is about respect. It’s the way in which you treat someone. Reverence is the sentiment and the act of deep respect. In daily life, I see everything as sacred. That’s the cause for me to approach everything with deep respect. It’s also having deep respect for the pains and challenges that come to me and others- deep wisdom and transformation comes from this. I see reverence for myself and my experience coming through a practice I have. I struggle to stay embodied here, so I have a practice where everything has it’s place and there’s a sense of gratitude that goes with that. My work keys go a special place when I get home, for example, and the show of gratitude is that there’s a place. Making a place for something is gratitude, is reverence in action. With people, it would be focusing on them when I’m with them, to listen (whether they’re speaking or not, they’re conveying something). Ritualistically, reverence is showing honor and appreciation. It’s easier to do that in a ritual setting, showing I have deep respect, appreciation, gratitude for life and everything in it.
What do you think deserves reverence that doesn’t receive it in our culture? How do you respond to that?
I think the nature of being deserves reverence. “The nature of being”- it sounds esoteric, but if I say “women” or “children” or “nutrition” or “birds” or “the stars”, etc- they boil down to the same thing. We lack reverence for the nature of being, by which I mean if we had deep respect for being- the act of existing, through thought and expression (ocean, stars, social systems are all beings in different ways) we would treat each other better. Our lack of respect and understanding has disabled us. We treat this deep, big interconnected problem as individual issues. We’ve set up this idea that racism is this, you know, quirk that’s hanging around, or that identifying is “alternative” somehow- alternative to what?! If we had respect for the nature of being, we wouldn’t have all this violence and oppression woven into the fabric of our lives. If we could do that, hold reverence and respect for the nature of being, it would be healing and burst through our lives.
Why do you feel reverence is important?
It’s important to me because I have suffered a lot through violence and oppressions, all these things which happen when there’s a lack of reverence for one’s being. I used to do a lot of overt activist stuff to try to change things. Now, I’ve come to a place where I simple begin with me. Reverence has to start with me and ripple out into the universe.