One of the first things I did as a new Pagan was roam the hills and woods near my home looking for flower faeries. I felt, at the time, like I had seen a few, as well as the faery of the tree in my back yard. When I did my self initiation as a solitary eclectic Wiccan (I don’t call myself Wiccan anymore) I used fronds from a local willow tree to form a circlet to wear. Weeping willow is still sacred to me to this day. I’m typing this with a willow frond in henna on my arm, and “willow” remains part of my magickal name.
If you don’t respect the earth, you starve. –Eli Sheva.
Since Michelle first asked me last year if I would contribute to Pagan Activist, I’ve been struggling with the very idea that I might be an activist. I’m not someone who participates in protests, or writes letters, or anything overt. If I am one, I am an activist in my day to day living. When airlines first started offering carbon offsets, and the discussions came up as to their effectiveness, I decided that I would make a donation of a tree through Heifer International every time I flew. I stopped eating Nestle brand anything 20 years ago when I learned of their atrocious policies around baby formula. I share what I learn. And over the years I have discovered that other people have taken my mentions of doing these things as inspiration. It feels like an Emerald Tablet approach to activism.
In April, an idea started to brew in my head. There was Shauna’s excellent post here about not accepting offerings distributed in nonrenewable materials., and a post I now cannot locate on Tumblr about alternatives to sage for smudging. My overt magical practices are being revived and I have noticed that my ethos has reshaped how I handle my spiritual life. Some of what I am doing is coming a lot closer to my physical home. Alchemy happened in my brain and the idea came forth.
I am a pagan, a polytheist, a practitioner of magic. Surely I am not the only person looking at this blog who does some form of spellcraft or puts out offerings for the spirits.
Perhaps instead of talking about current events or activism in the theoretical I can start to go into the practical applications. A series of posts covering ways in which our actions, our supplies, our ritual work, our outlook, can reshape and be a form of activism. Let us consider the ways in which our desire for certain plants and stones can damage the environment. The pollution from all those candles. Let us consider that our actions have reprocussions.
Let us also consider bioregionalism. Lupa’s documentation of Therioshamanism over the years has shown a path morphing from animal spirit work to one tied heavily to where she lives. My friends Beth and Jo have made great strides in tying Heathen festivals to the weather patterns of their new(-ish) home of Eugene, Oregon, as well as development of festivals based on local celebrations. On my own front, I have been learning over the last few years of how the three Kemetic seasons of Innundation, Harvest, and Fallow Time can be felt even as I cycle through New England spirngs, summers, autumns, and winters.
If Lykeia can find the rhythm of the Olympians while living in Alaska, they can be found anywhere.
Perhaps I am preaching to the converted here. Perhaps not. I feel the need to discus these matters and hope that you will accompany me along this ride.
As of right now, here are my planned topics of discussion:
(possibly) earth healing rituals
If there are any topics you would like to see me cover, feel free to leave a comment.
In the meantime, perhaps you will consider perusing some reading material to spark your mind on these matters.
James Endredy. Ecoshamanism.
Yasmine Galenorn. Embracing the Moon. (includes land and species protection rituals)
Marian Green. A witch alone.
Lupa. New paths to animal totems. (One section is about working with bioregional totems)
Rosa Romani. Green spirituality.
Starhawk. The earth path.
Peter Lamborn Wilson, et. al. Green Hermeticism. (because even “high magic” workers can find something in this discussion.)
Sarah Anne Lawless (formerly Witch of Forest Grove)
Wytch of the North (my friend Beth, mentioned above.)
Strip me back to the bone (my friend Jo, again above.)
Beloved in Light
A Forest Door