Humans have been running rampant over the planet for centuries, but really, it wasn't until about 100 years ago that our impact really began to be felt. It was right around the time of the industrial revolution that humans were able to poison the land, sea, and air in such a widespread way. It wasn't until our technology enabled us to have such widespread power that we were able to enact such widespread destruction.
I consider environmental consciousness to be one of the core virtues of my spiritual path. The earth is my Mother, the earth is my home, and all of the earth's children - whether they are stone, leaf, bone, fur, scale, shell, or root - they are all my brothers and sisters. My spiritual path demands that I understand that I am connected to these things; and if one suffers, everything on the planet suffers.
Because the dodo bird went extinct 300 years ago, the tambalacoque tree is now on the verge of extinction. The tambalacoque's seeds need to pass through the digestive tract of the dodo in order to properly germinate. No dodos, no new tambalacoque trees. No new tambalacoques, no new life forms - bugs and birds and lichens that will live there. No more wood or medicine from that tree. Three hundred years later do we finally understand the further implications of the dodo's extinction.
So, what of all of these species that disappear in record numbers now? Though the numbers are hard to pinpoint, the World Wildlife Federation estimates between 200 and 100,000 species go extinct every year. While species go extinct on their own due to natural causes, the rate that the WWF estimates is 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate. Humankind is directly responsible for the loss of most of the biodiversity on this planet.
If this happens, what will precipitate is a desertification of our planet, a collapse of biodiversity, because it's all linked together. Life feeds on itself, and when the body is poisoned, life is poisoned. Humanity has that power to make it happen. We are making this nightmare come true, but will we listen to the sages and the seers, the scientists and the activists who are ringing the warning bells, or will we ignore them as we blunder into self-destruction?
The problem is that while we humans are short sighted, our intelligence has allowed us to have a large reach. This is a dangerous combination. I often look at humanity's stewardship of the environment as one might look at a five year old child carrying a chainsaw. We have got to evolve a consciousness of awareness to the earth, and our impact upon it. It has to happen for humanity, as a whole.
Things are seriously out of balance. I feel it all over the energy currents as a whole. And it's going to take a change in ourselves as a whole, our whole species, all of humanity, to fix it and prevent our own extinction. Our cleverness is going to kill us, but our wisdom can save us.
I call the earth "Goddess." She is family and home to me, and I have pledged my allegiance to her, that I may protect and honor her. It's important for me to take care of her, because it is important for me to take care of myself. Awareness of the Goddess has brought me to an understanding that She is me, and I am her, that I am humanity and humanity is me, that I am life, and life is me. I am one thread in the web, and I am the whole web; I am one drop in the ocean and I am all of the oceans on all of the planets in all of the universe.
Every day, may we realize that we are connected to everything in the web of life, and act with responsibility as a result.
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
- Cree prophesy
I grew up in a Catholic church. Every Sunday, we'd get all dressed up and go sit for an hour while some man I didn't know, but apparently who had the right credentials, would tell us all about what God thought, did, and wanted from us. He would then magickally transform some wine and crackers into human blood and flesh, we'd all have a nibble and a sip, and then it was off to the hell that was called "Sunday School" for me. Sunday School was pretty much the same - more telling us what God wanted from us and what he thought, only I had to fill out worksheets to prove I was listening. By age 14, I had enough of that crap. I hated that church for a number of reasons.
I hated being told what to think.
I hated someone else saying, "I know what God thinks, but you do not. Listen up."
Mostly, I hated someone else being a gatekeeper between humans and divinity.
I've always felt very in touch with the mystical mindset. As a child, I frequently pondered the divine, spending long nights staring at the stars, but it made no sense with what the Catholic church was saying. If this is so joyful, then why am I looking upon the face of a bloodied, tortured man every time I walk into his home on earth? I hated that crucifix above the church door. If it's the true story of how things are in heaven and earth, then what about those pesky fossil records?
At this time of year, I love warm beverages. In addition to being delicious, they're good on the throat and warm in the belly. They're full of healthy stuff to enjoy on a chilly night. One of those classic images from witchcraft is of the witch, leaning over her cauldron, stirring the brew inside. Given what she's usually wearing – warm weather clothes – I guess that perhaps she's making something warm to drink on this chilly evening.
One by one, she's gathered the fruits from her kitchen herbs from her cabinet, measuring and preparing them. She blesses each, each its own unique spirit, grown from the body of Mother Earth, nurtured in the soil from seed to leaf to fruit. She describes to each component its purpose, then adds it to the pot.
She's whispering her intent over the herbs and roots she added to the pot. Over and over she chants a short, hypnotic-sounding rhyme, stirring deosil or widdershins, depending on her intent. On the surface of the swirling fluid, she watches her dream manifest. As it solidifies in the potion she brews, she knows that she will soon take that vision into herself, and make it a part of her reality.
In Magick, all who seek are welcome.
If you are willing to do the work to truly grasp the magick, you are welcome here.
If you put in the effort to open your heart to appreciate and deepen the mysteries you experience, you are welcome here.
If you are able to be humble, to say, "I messed up," and "I was wrong," to apologize and correct your mistakes, and to forgive others theirs, you are welcome here.
This is a little group spell that I put together in which I invited everyone at my Yule party to participate. At Yule, we're so busy with gifts for one another, that we forget to ask for a gift for ourselves. It's a hectic time of year where we sometimes forget our own needs.
The purpose of this spell is to remember that we need to ask for things for ourselves, too, and know that we deserve success and happiness in our lives, and we make room to receive them. As I see Yule as the Pagan new year, I think it also appropriate at this time to focus on our dreams and goals for the upcoming year. So we carve them on candles, visualize our goals, light them, and know that they'll manifest in the future. It's a gift you, and the Gods, give to you. Enjoy it - you deserve it.
I loathe Black Friday. If you aren't aware of the origins of the name, the "Black" in Black Friday means that this is the day the retail stores go into the black - that is, they start making a profit. And they are pulling every string, using every marketing trick known, to herd you into the stores like cattle so the overpaid CEO's of these big box stores can shovel even more of your hard-earned dollars into their bank accounts.
Today, this Black Friday, I'm going on a double-date with some friends to a hockey game this evening. Before that, I'm going to bake some bread. I'm going to work on getting my house nice and neat for my upcoming circle this weekend. I'm going to read, write, and if I'm feeling like it, I may do some yardwork. What I will not do, however, is shop.
If you feel the urge to participate in this consumer madness, here's a list of 50 things you could be doing instead. Please refer to it as often as necessary.
Remember, kids - consumerism leaves you with a cluttered home and an empty heart.
I'm a big fan of good ritual. It pleases me every time I conduct a ritual that transports me and those who share in the ritual with me into another time, another place, somewhere fantastic and awe-inspiring. The product of good ritual is transformed consciousness of all who share the ritual space.
I love masks. I love costumes. I love make up and props. I love music - both on the mp3 player and made by ourselves. I love good things to eat and good things to smell. Though minimalism has its place, I'm definitely appreciative of the maximalist ideal when it comes to ritual. Engage the senses. Speak to the inner child, and invite her to come out and play. Cultivate the land of make-believe, of wonder and wide-eyes.
I love words and motions that inspire the heart, rouse the spirit, and awaken the mind. Along with the surface trappings, though, must come depth. Just as the inner child must be satisfied, so must the higher self. The externals should reflect a powerful story, an important message, a moment of awakening, something that will touch the core of all who are there. When the hairs on the backs of the necks of everyone there have stood up, then you have done your job. An understanding of myth and psychology and how they overlap can be a powerful aid in this area.
My partner, Onix, in the middle of his high school years, moved to a very rural area in the deep south where the value placed on education wasn't nearly as high he was accustomed to in his hometown of Long Beach, California (talk about culture shock). He told me that his principal, at their graduation, made the following remark which made Onix cringe. He said:
"For most of you, this represents the end of your education..."
Perhaps what the principal should have said was, "This represents the end of your formal education." Then he might have been accurate. Ideally, the day you lay on your death-bed should be the day that represents the end of your education. Until then, you should be learning something new all of the time. The idealist in me loves, cherishes, and respects learning in all of its forms, whether formal training or teaching, learning by experimenting and exploring on my own, or gathering that often dreaded, often wonderful life experience that causes one to spontaneously develop in a new direction. Keep growing. Keep becoming.
- Responsibility in the web of life
- Do-it-yourself Priesthood
- Magickally Potent Potables
- All who seek are welcome here.
- The Cauldron of Wishes - A Yuletide Spell
- Well-directed anger.
- Anti-Black Friday - 50 better things you could be doing
- For the love of ritual
- Learning consciousness
- Riddikulus - A useful bit of real-world Harry Potter magick
- The Magickal Scope of Influence
- Memphis Pagan Pride 2012
- Witchy charms and chainmaille
- We are all made of food
- The Witches' Ladder
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I weave the forces of nature. I speak to the spirits. I enchant the future and divine the unknown. I dance in the moonlight and sing to the stars. I am a witch.
thesilverspiral: http://t.co/cxECnmseMb A mini travel altar that I just finished putting together, to be sold in my booth.
thesilverspiral: http://t.co/prOe9NSusW "Why Rituals Work" by Scientfic American. More stuff about scientists proving what we witches have known all along.
thesilverspiral: My grandma is going to live. She had surgery and she made it through it. She's a fighter! I'm so proud of her, and so happy.
thesilverspiral: @farmerdarrell @WitchHazel74 Thank you both. We are going to the hospital shortly to visit with her. I want her to be well again so badly.
thesilverspiral: @dharmamoose I wish it did help, but I am totally selfish and want my grandma with me forever. But I know that she'll be fine either way.
thesilverspiral: @rainbowshank Thank you dearly.
thesilverspiral: It's been a very emotional past few days. Grandma is still here, but I don't know for how much longer. She may even pull through. WHo knows?
thesilverspiral: @dharmamoose Thank you for your kind words. Though I know my grandmother will be moving on soon, it still hurts unbelievably.
thesilverspiral: @_Root__ I'm glad I get to as well. I respect and appreciate that woman so much. I'd hate to not see her on this side of the veil once more.
thesilverspiral: @bettybirdyfeet Thank you kindly, sweetheart. It's been a very rough time for me.
thesilverspiral: I will be getting to see my grandmother to say goodbye after all. It feels so surreal, planning your last visit ever with someone.
thesilverspiral: @GreenEyedLilo I am so sorry to hear that. My mom was going to call me, but I called her first, completely not expecting this.
thesilverspiral: @WitchHazel74 Thank you so much. It hurts terribly. Love to you and your family as well.
thesilverspiral: That thought gives me peace and happiness, knowing that in this time she has left, that she is surrounded by so much love.
thesilverspiral: My grandma will die knowing that she is dearly loved, surrounded by kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, and having lived a long, happy life.
thesilverspiral: @GreenEyedLilo I expected to have a nice chat with Mom this morning. Instead, this. At least I got a chance to tell her how much I love her
thesilverspiral: @GreenEyedLilo I live far away from her, so I don't think I'll be able to see her, but I did talk to her on the phone today. Tearfully.
thesilverspiral: I talked to Grandma. I told her that I love her and that I am honored to have her in my life. She's a strong, amazing woman.
thesilverspiral: Death, why must you take everything I love from me?
thesilverspiral: I phoned my mother for Mother's Day, and I learned that my grandmother is in the hospital, with death close at hand. My heart is breaking.