Numa Tradition: Turn Around and Sit

Turn round to pay adoration to the Gods; sit after you have worshipped.

Plutarch says:

One of the delights of Plutarch is how prosaic he is. He often comes up with very mundane and logical reasons for things that might or might not originate in common sense and logic. And even if we turn around because it’s a matter of architecture, humans tend to elaborate and embroider meaning onto such acts, especially in a religious context. That we are mimicking the turning of the universe (a sort of Pythagorean thought) fits well with the rest of the doctrine, so why not?

Sitting after worship, according to Plutarch, is both a sign of good omen and lets the blessing of the gods come upon you, but also is a punctuation in worship, allowing the gods to spur the worshiper into more worship or move on as the situation requires. This is not as prosaic as the turning round because the room requires it, but is again Plutarch interpreting by way of the least complicated explanation. For those of us who meditate, the idea of a quiet time to sit after praying seems natural. Also it amuses me how many things from my Roman Catholic religious education, such as purifying with water and this notion of sitting and standing for different religious emphasis, come straight from pagan Rome.

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1 Comment

  1. June 22, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    […] Numa Tradition: Turn Around and Sit ( […]

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