Roots of the Deep Ecology Tree: Aldo Leopold, “Thinking Like a Mountain”

“The land is one organism. … The outstanding scientific discovery of the twentieth century is not television, or radio,” wrote Aldo Leopold, “but rather the complexity of the land organism.” [Read more...]

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Roots of the Deep Ecology Tree: John Muir, “Prophet of the Wilderness”

John Muir’s language sometimes came close to pantheism, or even animism. His language would be familiar to Neo-Pagans today: “I will touch naked God,” he wrote in anticipation of a trip into Yosemite. Elsewhere he wrote, “The whole wilderness seems to be alive and familiar, full of humanity. The very stones seem talkative, sympathetic, brotherly. No wonder when we think that we all have the same Father and Mother.” [Read more...]

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Roots of the Deep Ecology Tree: The Transcendentalists, “An Original Relation to the Universe”

The Transcendentalists believed that studying nature was a way to comprehend the divine, another idea which found its way into contemporary Neo-Paganism. In response to the religious traditionalism of their day, the Transcendentalists argued that the human mind and the natural world were all that was needed for genuine spiritual experience. Nature was seen as a source of revelation available to all. [Read more...]

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Call for a Pagan Community Statement on the Environment

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Where is our declaration on the environment? Where is our action plan on climate change? We’re too busy scattering the proverbial cats to notice that the ale for our “Cakes and Ale” is in styrofoam cups. In 1986, Isaac Bonewits told Margot Adler that, while many Neo-Pagans were very concerned about environmental matters, “Most Neo-Pagans are too loose and liberal to be fanatic about anything, including their own survival.” Little seems to have changed. Prove me wrong. Let’s start with a Pagan Community Statement on the Environment. Anybody interested? [Read more...]

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The Allergic Pagan at Play: “wild” nature as soul food

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Even while I sat at home scratching my poison ivy, I never once regretted the trip to the woods. I enjoyed every minute of it. And I wondered what it was about this experience that that I find so satisfying. The vistas were beautiful. We saw some fascinating rock formations. And I loved climbing on the rocks. But it was more than that. I just loved being in the woods. Before the trip, I felt a profound longing to get into the woods again. While we were there, I felt like I was right where I needed to be. And when we left, I felt really satisfied, kind of like like I had eaten a really good meal, but in a spiritual sense. [Read more...]

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These aren’t the gods you’re looking for.

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At some point in your spiritual journey, you have to stop looking over other people’s shoulders and wondering what’s in their god box, wondering if someone might be having a deeper spiritual experience than you. I guess I am at that point. I like my god box just fine. I’m pretty sure it’s empty. In any case, it’s my box and I’m keeping it. [Read more...]

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