There’s a bit of ancient Egyptian ritual poetry that speaks of the time before creation as “before there were two things”. I’ve always loved that line, that concept, the idea that a thing in isolation is little distinguished from potentiality, that there need to be two things – and with them the concept of observation, of comparison – to define existence.
I play a lot with two-thingsness. It’s not quite an obsession, but I find a lot of energy and power in dualities – along with a lot of risk in playing with them, because so often people collapse them into black-and-white rather than the grand kaleidoscopic pageantry that well-displayed pairings can produce.
(You know what I mean there, right? Male/female light/dark projective/receptive passive/active sun/moon aggressive/nurturing heaven/earth … and isn’t it funny how many of them line up consistently in a lot of people’s stuff? If I asked people to put them in associative columns I’d expect no more than a couple differing between most people’s lists. But every time you add a duality pair, the range of possibilities in the world doubles.)
One of the two-thingsness I play with is the dance between reconstruction and religious witchcraft. I dig into ancient practice, ancient structure, ancient liturgy, on the one hand, and I work my own Craft on the other. And I’m not going to say “never the two shall meet” because what I have learned over time is that they are – in the forms I do each – working the same music. Maybe one does melody and one does harmony on these measures, but there is the creative and moral heart, and there are the worlds, and there is the starry sky.
The sycamore tree, more precisely the sycamore fig, is one of those motifs that comes up a lot. And it is never explicitly – at least not as far as I’ve seen – mentioned as the World Tree. But it is a form of many goddesses, including Hetharu (Queen of Heaven, married to the sky), Nut (Heaven Herself, married to the earth), and Aset (Queen of Heaven also, and married to the unseen realms). (Hathor, Nut, and Isis, for those who know the Greek names.) There she is, the Tree Goddess, loving all the worlds, and the stars are the reborn, cradled in her branches.
So that is where I start. Two things. The Craft and the Nile; the Tree and the Stars.