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Author Topic: Druidry and Environmentalism  (Read 3438 times)

Sage

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Druidry and Environmentalism
« on: July 03, 2011, 08:25:26 pm »
Not too long ago at the last forum, I posted a question about the intersection of Neo-Druidry and environmentalism. I feel that's a conversation that definitely needs to continue here.

I would like to expand on the idea of "environmentalism" because I realize that might be too limiting a term. How "green" is your Druidry - not just in the sense of doing "green" actions like recycling and composting, but what place does nature have in your spiritual path? How do you relate to the ecology and spirits of your local environment?
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

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Asch

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Re: Druidry and Environmentalism
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2011, 08:55:08 pm »
Quote from: Sage;510
Not too long ago at the last forum, I posted a question about the intersection of Neo-Druidry and environmentalism. I feel that's a conversation that definitely needs to continue here.

I would like to expand on the idea of "environmentalism" because I realize that might be too limiting a term. How "green" is your Druidry - not just in the sense of doing "green" actions like recycling and composting, but what place does nature have in your spiritual path? How do you relate to the ecology and spirits of your local environment?

 
Your name change confuzzled me for a moment.

As I said before my environmental interest is literally academic and ideally vocational once I finish school as well. I'm still working on how to incorporate it into my faith. Now that it's finally summer here and I've managed to tame a good portion of the front of our land at least I am working to clear more and 'introduce' myself to any spirits in the neighborhood.

Additionally I try to make my own tools/items as much as I can such as candles and incense. I do have several stone bowls I use for offerings and the like but I'd like to learn more about stone and wood carving that I can expand my tools personally in future.

To me it isn't just a case of treading lightly but trying to repair what we've already damaged. The worldview of my ancestors was that the wild was a dangerous and powerful place and taming it a sacred thing (in some cases) but nowadays, when we've not only tamed but crippled the wild a shift in thinking is needed to preserve and embrace what wilds are left to us.

/rant :)

Sage

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Re: Druidry and Environmentalism
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2011, 09:07:27 pm »
Quote from: Asch;525
Your name change confuzzled me for a moment.


I'm sooooorry! I added a little descriptor to my signature, but I wonder if I should make an avatar that says ELLEN WUZ HERE. ;D

Quote
Additionally I try to make my own tools/items as much as I can such as candles and incense. I do have several stone bowls I use for offerings and the like but I'd like to learn more about stone and wood carving that I can expand my tools personally in future.


Awesome, that's something my friend and I are doing as well. :) She's a whiz in the ceramics studio and has made several different altar items (offering bowls, mortar and pestles, athames, and chalices, to name a few). Creating something - especially working with raw clay - has a very centering feel to it. Not to mention the results usually mean more than anything bought in a store.

Quote
To me it isn't just a case of treading lightly but trying to repair what we've already damaged. The worldview of my ancestors was that the wild was a dangerous and powerful place and taming it a sacred thing (in some cases) but nowadays, when we've not only tamed but crippled the wild a shift in thinking is needed to preserve and embrace what wilds are left to us.


I think that's an excellent point. Most of us live with very clear divisions between nature and civilization in our world, and even those who live further from cities/suburbia don't have to worry about nature's danger. For example, I'm visiting a friend who lives a mile deep in the woods. There are other houses around, roads and such, but beyond the back yard is deep forest. Driving up here, I feel like I've left our small city far, far behind - and I'm keenly aware of the different vibe out here than that of my manicured college lawns. I'm also sitting beside a lamp and in front of a widescreen television after raiding the well-stocked refrigerator upstairs. The wilderness right outside our door hardly has the same meaning for me than my ancestors hundreds or thousands of years ago.

I don't want to tame nature - I want to get to know her better. I almost feel like I need to apologize, sometimes, and I certainly feel the need to aid in her healing.
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

Sage and Starshine (my spiritual blog): last updated 2/25.
Friday Otherfaith Blogging: last updated 2/27
Join the Emboatening Crew over on Kiva! Emboatening the boatless since Opet 2013.

AlisonLeighLilly

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Re: Druidry and Environmentalism
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2011, 09:44:19 am »
Quote from: Asch;525
To me it isn't just a case of treading lightly but trying to repair what we've already damaged. The worldview of my ancestors was that the wild was a dangerous and powerful place and taming it a sacred thing (in some cases) but nowadays, when we've not only tamed but crippled the wild a shift in thinking is needed to preserve and embrace what wilds are left to us.

 
Quote from: Sage;529
I think that's an excellent point. Most of us live with very clear divisions between nature and civilization in our world, and even those who live further from cities/suburbia don't have to worry about nature's danger. For example, I'm visiting a friend who lives a mile deep in the woods. There are other houses around, roads and such, but beyond the back yard is deep forest. Driving up here, I feel like I've left our small city far, far behind - and I'm keenly aware of the different vibe out here than that of my manicured college lawns. I'm also sitting beside a lamp and in front of a widescreen television after raiding the well-stocked refrigerator upstairs. The wilderness right outside our door hardly has the same meaning for me than my ancestors hundreds or thousands of years ago.

I don't want to tame nature - I want to get to know her better. I almost feel like I need to apologize, sometimes, and I certainly feel the need to aid in her healing.

 
I'm so glad you guys brought up this idea of "the wild." I think that's also a key part of my understanding of my spiritual path - this engagement with wildness and wilderness. For me, the whole mystical/ecstatic approach to the spiritual life centers on this experience of the "wilderness of the sacred," how spirit cannot be tamed or controlled but is and always will be beyond us and our comprehension to some extent. (Back when I was still a Christian, my favorite "symbol" of God was Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia - after all, he isn't a tame lion. ;))

I see this as somewhat in contrast with the "fertility cult" approach of many Pagan traditions, which focus on taming the land (or at least a small part of it) through agriculture and petitioning the gods and appeasing them to keep them safe from natural disasters that could jeopardize their livelihoods. I think there is still a place for that in our modern society - we are far from immune from natural disasters, as this year's floods and droughts all over the U.S. have proven - but I also think that a lot of where modern society has gone wrong is in assuming too much comfort and too much control over the natural world. We're going to be reminded of the earth's essential wild(er)ness one way or the other, even if it's through climate change and the drastic weather conditions it's likely to bring.

So an aspect of my spiritual life - and my environmentalism - is deliberately entering into relationship with that wild(er)ness and learning how to navigate it with grace and respect. And that means not just the outer world of landscape and weather and such, but also the "inner wilds" of the human animal.

--Ali

P.S. I'm really loving this multi-quote feature. ;)

Finn

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Re: Druidry and Environmentalism
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2011, 01:19:57 pm »
Quote from: AlisonLeighLilly;624
I'm so glad you guys brought up this idea of "the wild." I think that's also a key part of my understanding of my spiritual path - this engagement with wildness and wilderness. For me, the whole mystical/ecstatic approach to the spiritual life centers on this experience of the "wilderness of the sacred," how spirit cannot be tamed or controlled but is and always will be beyond us and our comprehension to some extent. (Back when I was still a Christian, my favorite "symbol" of God was Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia - after all, he isn't a tame lion. ;))

I see this as somewhat in contrast with the "fertility cult" approach of many Pagan traditions, which focus on taming the land (or at least a small part of it) through agriculture and petitioning the gods and appeasing them to keep them safe from natural disasters that could jeopardize their livelihoods. I think there is still a place for that in our modern society - we are far from immune from natural disasters, as this year's floods and droughts all over the U.S. have proven - but I also think that a lot of where modern society has gone wrong is in assuming too much comfort and too much control over the natural world. We're going to be reminded of the earth's essential wild(er)ness one way or the other, even if it's through climate change and the drastic weather conditions it's likely to bring.

So an aspect of my spiritual life - and my environmentalism - is deliberately entering into relationship with that wild(er)ness and learning how to navigate it with grace and respect. And that means not just the outer world of landscape and weather and such, but also the "inner wilds" of the human animal.

 
I think it is this thought -- the thought of the wild -- that still attracts me to druidry in a religious, "deliberate relationship" sense, and to ecophilosophy/ecopsychology in a general "considering myself to be part of the community of Earth" sense.
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darashand

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Re: Druidry and Environmentalism
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2011, 09:15:35 pm »
Quote from: Sage;510
Not too long ago at the last forum, I posted a question about the intersection of Neo-Druidry and environmentalism. I feel that's a conversation that definitely needs to continue here.

I would like to expand on the idea of "environmentalism" because I realize that might be too limiting a term. How "green" is your Druidry - not just in the sense of doing "green" actions like recycling and composting, but what place does nature have in your spiritual path? How do you relate to the ecology and spirits of your local environment?

 

My path is budding green. :)  I try to do what I can, slowly incorporating more as my time and budget allows.  Right now, I try not to use plastic bags, paper plates and other disposable dishes.  I reuse containers from the store as "free tupperware."  I am going to the farmer's market this weekend in order to support local business and farming (this was sparked from the bookAnimal,Vegetable, Miracle).  I don't leave the water or electric running needlessly. And I try to educate myself and others about environmental.

For me, Druidry is about the Trees and the Forests.  Now, I imagine that is very Romanticized, but even so, I feel that my approach to Druidry is (pardon the pun) rooted in nature.  There is a sacredness that cannot be ignored in these wild places.

Auress

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Re: Druidry and Environmentalism
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2011, 10:08:18 pm »
Quote from: Sage;510
Not too long ago at the last forum, I posted a question about the intersection of Neo-Druidry and environmentalism. I feel that's a conversation that definitely needs to continue here.

I would like to expand on the idea of "environmentalism" because I realize that might be too limiting a term. How "green" is your Druidry - not just in the sense of doing "green" actions like recycling and composting, but what place does nature have in your spiritual path? How do you relate to the ecology and spirits of your local environment?


Here's how I live and I'll let everyone else be the judge of just how environmentalism would fit in for me.

I make my own household cleaners, I've been doing this for a few years, now. Laundry soap as well. The soap I use to make it is made of coconut oil and tallow. Unfortunately, my community doesn't have a recycling program or facility. The nearest is 65 miles away, so we can't do that. But, I am working to reduce our plastic purchasing and consumption. I buy glass whenever possible. I tried to plant a garden, but my area of Texas is sickeningly void of a bee population, it concerns me. My garden died because our soil is also in hideous shape. We are looking into moving to Maine to live on a homestead, I really hope we do. We would live off the grid, solar powered.

Other than my own personal relationship with the environment, I don't really get involved in anything beyond my own boundries. My path has been like this for far longer than I've been looking into druidry, but I can't yet call myself a druid.

PerditaPickle

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Re: Druidry and Environmentalism
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2016, 10:54:11 am »
Quote from: Sage;510
the intersection of Neo-Druidry and environmentalism


I'm finally getting around to reading through some old threads in this SIG, so likely to be reviving a few of them over time.

I live in a city and it's difficult for me to travel anyplace which feels particularly natural, for various reasons, so sadly I mostly miss out on the chance to connect with nature in the way I'd like, these days.

I do feel a duty to preserve the natural environment, have done ever since I was quite a small child.

I'm big on recycling, minimising our use of resources such as electricity and water (and encouraging others, like my work colleagues, to do the same - but not in a really pushy way).  I try not to buy plastic, or if I do have to buy plastic (such as washing up brushes) I try to get, say, the EcoForce ones, and after it's life is done as a washing up brush I will reuse it for other household jobs.  I either buy cleaning products etc which are ecological ones (not tested on animals, too - that's my personal preference; same for toiletries), or homemade.

I do 'online volunteering' when time and energy allows, because I am no longer up to 'physical' volunteering (like this: https://www.penguinwatch.org/#/classify).  I sign lots of online petitions, occasionally go on protest marches or other events organised by the likes of Greenpeace, again when my energy levels and time allow.  Most of my friends have probably stopped following me on Facebook, to be honest, because I mostly use it as a way to try and raise awareness of environmental issues (as well as certain animal protection ones, and sometimes social causes).

I use a search engine which raises money for charity with every search (and even more with certain online purchases) - my current cause is RSPCA, but you can pick from lots of different causes (including, for instance, Friends of the Earth).

I try to incorporate a kind of environmentalism into my practice, too - I have a kind of chant I composed, which is a request for healing energy from the universe, and it concludes with a line about returning the energy I don't need (i.e. any 'surplus) back to the earth, with my thanks.

I find it hard to put into words, but I feel like where our ancestors used to depend on the natural world for their subsistence, I feel as though us modern folk have a duty to do the reverse.

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