In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, I share the story from Welsh mythology of Mabon, son of Modron, in honor of the coming autumnal equinox. This story was originally published on the former site of Meadowsweet & Myrrh back in 2009. In the comment section of the original post, a reader asked, "I've never understood the connection between this tale and the Equinox. Can you help with that connection?" This was my reply: "In Druidry, the autumnal equinox is not actually called Mabon, but instead goes by the name Alban Elfed/Elued (Welsh, meaning 'Light of the Water/Sea'). ..."
In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, I follow up on John's recent coverage of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline with a video from the Tar Sands Action protests in Washington D.C. this past weekend, where activists, environmentalists and ordinary citizens gathered to demonstrate their opposition to the proposed pipeline. Naomi Klein speaks on the manipulative corporate ad campaign to rebrand the Tar Sands as "Ethical oil": "I’m from Canada, and let me tell you something. We don’t have ‘ethical oil’ in Canada. We have Tar Sands oil, which is like regular oil, but a whole lot dirtier. It ravages the earth as it is extracted. Ravaging bodies, ravaging the land as you just heard from our brothers and sisters from the Indigenous Environmental Network. And it ravages the earth at the point of combustion. ..."
In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, I gush about the amazing, evolving story of Phipps Conservatory, a local "green" garden conservatory and greenhouse in the heart of Pittsburgh, inspired by a recent video they shared in their membership e-newsletter about their continuing plans to transform Phipps into a "living building" through sustainable landscape and architecture: "Jeff and I spend a lot of time hillwalking and hiking through the woods of Frick Park, but on rainy days like today, and especially during the long winter months when green is scarce in the woods, we love to head on over to Phipps to indulge in some 'green therapy.' ..."
In my latest post over at No Unsacred Place, I tongue-in-cheekly declare Julie Bass "the Rosa Parks of sustainable gardening" for her refusal to comply with city officials demanding that she remove her vegetable garden from her frontyard and move it to the backyard, and explore ways in which choosing an eco-friendly lifestyle can be an act of civil disobedience: "This summer, the U.S. continues to face devastating floods, droughts and fires that threaten large swathes of midwest farmland and bring the consequences of human-caused climate change into inescapable focus. Political and cultural leaders all over the world acknowledge that environmental destruction has become so dire and so wide-spread, it is perhaps the single most difficult, most vital challenge we will face in our lifetimes..."
In my latest post over at No Unsacred Place, I take a look at the controversial measure under consideration in the UK for a large-scale "DIY" badger cull to reduce the spread of bovine tuberculosis, and consider some of the potential consequences that threaten the extinction of this iconic animal, a protected species under British law: "Animal rights activists and other opponents of the cull argue that better regulation and testing of the cattle industry, along with vaccinations of infected badger populations, could do much more to combat bTB outbreaks without risking the potential extinction of the English badger. Instead, the government has backed itself into a corner..."
In my latest post over at No Unsacred Place, I explore some of the reasons why Jeff and I chose to "go green" when planning our upcoming wedding in September, and the basic principles we adopted to help guide us during the long decision-making process: "We’re trying to craft a wedding which, like our marriage, will embody our earth-loving, environmentally sustainable values as much as possible. As physical creatures, we participate in the web of interconnection. Our clay arises and takes on form and meaning from the ancient clay of our earth mother, as does that of our children, and their children — it is to this clay that we all eventually return. Jeff and I try live our lives as deeply as we can with this awareness of our relationship to the earth and its ecosystems, our impact on the beings, entities, organisms and landscapes of the natural world… and their impact on us. ..."
In my latest post over at No Unsacred Place, I talk about my mixed reactions to the news of the hydro-fracking spill up in northern Pennsylvania last week, and my struggle to stay grounded in my love for the local landscape as a living, holy presence while I confront the injustices and ignorances that cause such saddening destruction. I also highlight some of the inspiring news coming out of local communities in Pennsylvania, where citizens are standing up against pressure from oil and gas companies and working together to protect the lands they love from harmful development: "Local communities are fighting back, resisting the enormous pressure from gas and oil companies (and the politicians they've financed into office) to take advantage of the Marcellus Shale deposit that lies beneath nearly two-thirds of the state's mountains, forests and fields..."
In my latest post over at No Unsacred Place, I take a look back at the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill that occurred last April, one year ago tomorrow, to asses long-term damage and on-going clean-up efforts in the area. Though no longer making headlines, clean-up and restoration in the Gulf continues to be slow going, with harmful and unpredictable consequences effecting wildlife in the area for decades to come: "Of the nearly 5 million barrels of oil and 9 million liters of chemical dispersants released by BP into the Gulf of Mexico last year, approximately 25% remains unaccounted for, with another 50% forming surface slicks, ..."
In my first post over at the new Pagan Newswire Collective blog project, No Unsacred Place: Earth and Nature in Pagan Traditions, I explore the Problem of Justice from an earth-centered perspective, and discuss its implications for the new Law of Mother Earth set to pass in Bolivia establishing the rights of nature: "The Problem of Justice for us is not so much why [suffering and evil] exist, but how should we respond to them? While monotheists might model themselves after an all-loving but ultimately transcendent deity who provides an example of justice and righteousness separate from and beyond the muck and mess of the world, our desire to 'attune ourselves to the earth' and model ourselves..."