Invasives: Enemies or Allies?

Invasives: Enemies or Allies?

Given how harmful an invasive species can be, it’s tempting to see them as wholly bad, the “enemy” of a healthy ecosystem that needs to be eradicated. For modern Pagans seeking to live an embodied spirituality grounded in the sacred land, invasives are powerful allies in coming to terms with our own ambivalent role in the ecosystems we inhabit, and the possibilities and choices that lie before us. Too often our modern society encourages us to see nature as fragile and untouchable, and humans as the worst intruders of all. Befriending invasives can teach us valuable lessons about how to be respectful, loving citizens of the planet that we call home.

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Salmon, Pagan Stewardship and the Lesson of Samhain

Salmon, Pagan Stewardship and the Lesson of Samhain

For me, Salmon has claimed her place along the year’s wheel at Samhain-tide. The salmon run at Piper’s Creek begins by the first day of November and lasts as late as the winter solstice. It is a time of cool, steady rain, a time of death and consummation. It is the in-between time, just after the Celtic New Year, but before the dawn of lengthening days. A time when new life begins in the dark, buried beneath the gravel of the streambed, invisible and silent.

I think in many ways, modern Paganism is in this twilight time before rebirth as well. Seeded and kept alive from generation to generation after two millennia of broken traditions and scattered, assimilated cultures. We strive to root our traditions in the land, in a sense of place and in the presence of earth, but the social systems upstream don’t make it easy.

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Earth, Ecology and Environmentalism: Walking the Walk

Earth, Ecology and Environmentalism: Walking the Walk

There are more of us out there than you think. We may not always be flashing our Pagan flair — sometimes we’re wearing worn old hiking books and mud-spattered rain coats instead of shimmering ceremonial robes, sometimes we put aside our pentacles and wands for a good pair of binoculars and a sturdy walking stick — but we’re out there. Walking the walk. Doing the work.

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Water on Water’s the Way

Water on Water’s the Way

When we eat, we participate with Spirit and the gods in a dance of growth, death, decay and rebirth, as even our waste returns eventually to the land to nourish and enrich the soil from which our food grows. Plants transform the energy gifted to them by the sun into forms that can be absorbed and exchanged, and when we work, we release that energy again through the efforts of our hands, legs, mouths and minds to shape the world. Our breath is the breath of our ancestors, but also of the atmosphere and the weather, the winds and storms that encircle the planet and rustle the leaves of the tree just outside the window. And when we drink of those waters that well up from the earth, blessed, guarded and sustained by the gods and goddesses of the oceans…

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