“Before the discovery of agriculture mankind was everywhere so divided,
the size of each group being determined by the natural fertility of its locality.”
– Sir Arthur Keith (1866-1955)
I personally divide fertility in three categories. The first one is our capacity for reproduction, having babies and adding them as members to our growing family tree. The second is fertility linked with agriculture, being able to grow vegetables, fruits and herbs to nourish ourselves. The third is more intellectual, and is related with our possibility to creates and be productive by using our ideas and imagination. I can see myself fitting in only two categories. I grow some herbs and I keep plants at home. I’m also an artist and I create various pieces of arts. I also do lots of researches and text editing on Irish Paganism that I compile in a large electronic eBook. However, I’m currently thirty-six years old and I’ve decided that I don’t want a child on my own anymore. I’m feeling good with this choice and being fertile in two categories out of three is not too bad in my own opinion!
Now, let’s look at the ADF Dedicant Manual definition of ‘fertility’:
FERTILITY: Bounty of mind, body and spirit, involving creativity, production of objects, food, works of art, etc., an appreciation of the physical, sensual, nurturing.
It seems to effectively regroup most of my ideologies about fertility. Here is the definition from the Oxford dictionary:
FERTILITY noun. – The quality of being fertile; productiveness. The ability to conceive children or young.
I clearly prefer the definition from ADF, as it has more depth and elaborate on more than two concepts. Oxford only define the word with the productiveness and the reproduction concepts, it misses the growing of food from my thinking and from the ADF text. Here is my own definition:
FERTILITY: The quality to be productive involving creativity. The ability of a person, animal or plant to reproduce by natural means. The capacity of harvesting and growing food and herb by using agriculture techniques.
Like I did for the previous values, I have combined both definition and reworded the sentences, to make my own meaning. I preferred to add ‘by natural means’ in the ‘reproduction’ concept to justify the inclusion of the agricultural part ideology, as agriculture is not, technically speaking natural. It becomes a value as time and patience are invested in the project. Fertility by itself is an important value and it makes us grow. I think that being infertile, or lacking any sense of ideas or imagination, is likely to push us downward and life by itself will suddenly feel faded and meaningless.
Word Count: 375 words (excluding the introductory, the Oxford and the ADF quotes)
- Corrigan, Ian. Our Own Druidry. Tucson: ADF Publishing, 2009.
- Oxford Dictionary – “Fertility“