Stránka:roll 1917.djvu/56

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Woodcraft Manual for Boys

Salute

The salute is given with the right hand with all the fingers closed to the palm, except the little finger and the thumb and the hand raised level with the head.

The Meaning of the Council Ring

Why do we sit in a circle around the fire? That is an old story and a new one.

In the beginning, before men had fire, they were forced to sit up in the trees and shiver aU night as they looked down at the shining eyes in the bushes below — the eyes of fierce creatures ready to destroy them.

But fire, when it was found, enabled man to sit on the groimd all night, for the brute beasts feared it and stayed afar. It afforded him protection, warmth, a place of meeting and comfort. All the good things that we think of when we say "home" belong to the place around the fire. And when man began to think of such matters, he accepted the fire as the Great Mystery. Still later, as he realized that the Sun was the Great Mystery by day, he reasoned that there could not be two great mysteries; therefore, the Invisible Cause behind these two must be the one Great Mystery; and in this was the first thought of true religion.

All of these things are deep in oiu: nature, groimd in through the ages as we sat about the fire of wood that was our nighUy guardian in the forest. And all of these ancient thoughts and memories are played on, whether we realize it or not, when we galther in a circle about the Council Fire.

Then, too, a circle is the best way of seating a group. Each has his place and is so seated as to see everything and be seen by everybody. As a result each feels a very real part in the proceedings as they could not feel if there were corners in which one could hide. The circle is dignified and it is democratic. It was with this idea that King Artibur abolished the old-fashioned long table with two levels, one above the salt for the noble folk and one below for the common herd, and founded the Round Table. At his table all who were worthy to come were on the same level, were brothers, equal in dignity and responsibility; and each in honor bound to do his share. The result was a kindlier spirit, a sense of mutual dependence.

These are the thoughts in our Council Ring. These are among the reasons why our Council is always in a circle and if possible