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Author Topic: Pagan things which hurt nature  (Read 5057 times)

PetitAlbert

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Pagan things which hurt nature
« on: October 12, 2013, 07:58:18 am »
I see so many ritual practices which are actively harmful to the natural world.

I cringe whenever a book recommends I bury used ritual salt, spread it across windows or doors, or use it to create spirals in outdoor rituals. Putting salt into the environment kills plants - it was used as a punishment during ancient wars because it would wreck the earth for generation.

Another one is ribbons hung on trees for Beltane - I'm still removing ones I find in my local wood. Unnatural dies and materials harm both trees and local wildlife.

I'm aware there are environmental issues around the production of crystals too, though I don't know much about it.

Those are my two bugbears. Can anyone else think of more?
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Tana

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Re: Pagan things which hurt nature
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2013, 08:45:26 am »
Quote from: Unmutual;125052



Well, being pagan doesn't include making people suddenly considerate or clever or anything else besides being - you know - pagan.

A new agey pet peeve of mine?

Discarding 'used' semi-precious stones. 'Giving them back to the earth' or such a crap. Yeah, that is so awesome, esp. after you consider, that they've been ripped from the earth in ways that are harm- and hurtful to the environment and the poor people who dig them out. (Not to mention the part where you might finance some warlords by buying those stones and so on...)

Long story short: if you have gem stones, treasure them. They are way older than the human species, they can handle some of your 'negative' energy.

That's only topped by using said gem stones in earth healing rituals and burying them to send out healing vibes... yeah. Ok.
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Liadine (dragonflyeyes)

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Re: Pagan things which hurt nature
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2013, 10:09:07 am »
Quote from: Unmutual;125052
I see so many ritual practices which are actively harmful to the natural world.

I cringe whenever a book recommends I bury used ritual salt, spread it across windows or doors, or use it to create spirals in outdoor rituals. Putting salt into the environment kills plants - it was used as a punishment during ancient wars because it would wreck the earth for generation.

Another one is ribbons hung on trees for Beltane - I'm still removing ones I find in my local wood. Unnatural dies and materials harm both trees and local wildlife.

 
Yeah, both of those make me cringe as well - especially since there are ways to do (some) of those things right. Go ahead and put salt on your windowsill and doorway, but it doesn't have to be a thick line; a few grains spread across the threshold will do the trick without damaging anything when it blows away. Tie ribbons onto trees all you want, but tie them to thick branches which won't be damaged by your handling, and remove them when you leave. If you're desperate to leave something, dye plant fibers (like dried corn husks) with beet roots and tie those to the tree.

I find it amusing and frustrating that it's the sort of pagans who describe themselves as being on nature-based paths that generally do things like this. Not that other paths/religions can't have their environmentally messed up practices, but I rarely see it written into the 101 books there, and it's particularly weird that it's usually a page away from "oh man nature is the best" in some earth-path books. (Of course, the better ones tend to emphasize the campsite rule and don't go in for the burying of salt, so I don't mean to imply that I'm painting all 101 books with the same brush.)
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Wildfire

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Re: Pagan things which hurt nature
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2013, 03:39:22 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);125069
Yeah, both of those make me cringe as well - especially since there are ways to do (some) of those things right. Go ahead and put salt on your windowsill and doorway, but it doesn't have to be a thick line; a few grains spread across the threshold will do the trick without damaging anything when it blows away. Tie ribbons onto trees all you want, but tie them to thick branches which won't be damaged by your handling, and remove them when you leave. If you're desperate to leave something, dye plant fibers (like dried corn husks) with beet roots and tie those to the tree.

I find it amusing and frustrating that it's the sort of pagans who describe themselves as being on nature-based paths that generally do things like this. Not that other paths/religions can't have their environmentally messed up practices, but I rarely see it written into the 101 books there, and it's particularly weird that it's usually a page away from "oh man nature is the best" in some earth-path books. (Of course, the better ones tend to emphasize the campsite rule and don't go in for the burying of salt, so I don't mean to imply that I'm painting all 101 books with the same brush.)

 
The corn husk thing is a really great idea. I think people underestimate the power they can generate by crafting they're own ritual tools.

Aside from that, a good rule to remember for pagans might be 'pack it in, pack it out.' This is an ethical guideline for just about any outdoor activity and I believe rituals should be no exception to that.
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dionysiandame

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Re: Pagan things which hurt nature
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2013, 03:57:34 pm »
Quote from: Unmutual;125052
I see so many ritual practices which are actively harmful to the natural world.

I cringe whenever a book recommends I bury used ritual salt, spread it across windows or doors, or use it to create spirals in outdoor rituals. Putting salt into the environment kills plants - it was used as a punishment during ancient wars because it would wreck the earth for generation.

Another one is ribbons hung on trees for Beltane - I'm still removing ones I find in my local wood. Unnatural dies and materials harm both trees and local wildlife.

I'm aware there are environmental issues around the production of crystals too, though I don't know much about it.

Those are my two bugbears. Can anyone else think of more?

 

Ritual sex on top of ant-hills. Does no one think of the poor ants? Their homes are their survival, you can't just go flopping limbs all over the place. What about their tiny lives? What about your completely chewed up and bitten ass the delicate balance they bring to the natural world?
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Re: Pagan things which hurt nature
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2013, 03:59:02 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;125114
Ritual sex on top of ant-hills.


How kinky. :p
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
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Confuzzled and proud. :p

Aiwelin

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Re: Pagan things which hurt nature
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2013, 04:09:51 pm »
Quote from: Unmutual;125052
Another one is ribbons hung on trees for Beltane - I'm still removing ones I find in my local wood. Unnatural dies and materials harm both trees and local wildlife.

 
Hmm, this is something I've done on occasion, though I use undyed cotton that I spice up with my own vegetable dyes.  Is it the unnatural materials that harm or the leaving of anything which is unhealthy?
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veggiewolf

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Pagan things which hurt nature
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2013, 04:32:23 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;125114
Ritual sex on top of ant-hills. Does no one think of the poor ants? Their homes are their survival, you can't just go flopping limbs all over the place. What about their tiny lives? What about your completely chewed up and bitten ass the delicate balance they bring to the natural world?

Pack it in, pack it out. :whis:
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SerpentineSorcerer

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Re: Pagan things which hurt nature
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2013, 10:40:17 am »
Quote from: dionysiandame;125114
Ritual sex on top of ant-hills. Does no one think of the poor ants? Their homes are their survival, you can't just go flopping limbs all over the place. What about their tiny lives? What about your completely chewed up and bitten ass the delicate balance they bring to the natural world?

 
Don't knock it til you've tried it, I hear the fire variant of this ritual can be quite exhilarating. :ange:
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Re: Pagan things which hurt nature
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2013, 10:53:19 am »
Quote from: Unmutual;125052
Another one is ribbons hung on trees for Beltane - I'm still removing ones I find in my local wood. Unnatural dies and materials harm both trees and local wildlife.


I tear strips from thin, old (formerly) white cotton bedsheets and use that instead of ribbon when I do anything that means tying something to a tree.  The birds pick at the ragged edges and the elements take their toll. I don't think I've had a strip last more than a year. Most don't make it that long.

Also, I run the sheets one last time through the washing machine with with only water and no soap before I make strips. If'n a bird takes one for a nest, I don't want laundry soap residue hurting the wee ones.
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stephyjh

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Pagan things which hurt nature
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2013, 11:34:35 am »
Quote from: Unmutual;125052
Another one is ribbons hung on trees for Beltane - I'm still removing ones I find in my local wood. Unnatural dies and materials harm both trees and local wildlife.


Except for the ones used as nesting materials by local birds. The use of the word "unnatural" when people really mean "synthetic" bugs me, because WORDS MEAN THINGS.
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Thorn

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Re: Pagan things which hurt nature
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2013, 12:44:01 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;125121
Pack it in, pack it out. :whis:

 
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Aisling

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Re: Pagan things which hurt nature
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2013, 01:38:09 pm »
Quote from: stephyjh;125195
The use of the word "unnatural" when people really mean "synthetic" bugs me, because WORDS MEAN THINGS.

 
*feigns shock/horror*  This is on my list of pet peeves as well, right beside the assumption that natural means 'not harmful'.
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stephyjh

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Pagan things which hurt nature
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2013, 03:07:14 pm »
Quote from: Aisling;125211
*feigns shock/horror*  This is on my list of pet peeves as well, right beside the assumption that natural means 'not harmful'.

Yup. Coconuts are natural, and if I eat one, I'll die.
A heretic blast has been blown in the west,
That what is no sense must be nonsense.

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Re: Pagan things which hurt nature
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2013, 03:20:23 pm »
Quote from: stephyjh;125215
Yup. Coconuts are natural, and if I eat one, I'll die.


Arsenic is natural too. :whis:

Humans have a strange way to discern 'natural' and 'not natural'. Animals just discern between 'helps to survive' and 'helps not to survive'. I've seen bird nests, where there was plastic wrap built into it, racoons sure don't mind un-natural garbage tons and so on.

What is a no-go imo, is leaving trash out in the nature. Pagan or not, ritual or not. The other day I was on a walk and ended up collecting soda cans. Because some people are just assholes and can't be bothered with taking their trash home again.
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

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