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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Gods I have known, Part 2: Macrocosm

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What is the relationship between the gods of my psyche and the gods of nature? They are not the same, but the are connected, connected through me. The morning sun rising in the east and the Bright Youth are not the same, but the sun I see through my window in the morning does call to the Bright Youth in me. And the Bright Youth responds. The earth I touch with my fingers calls to the Mother, in both her guises, Nurturing and Devouring. The bright green shoots rising from the earth and the green leaves on the trees on my street in the spring, these call to the Stag King. I am a clearing where the gods within and the gods without meet. [Read more...]

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Where the sidewalk ends: Suburban enchantment

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The chill wind was blowing gently and the cattails waved back and forth like they were animate. And I felt, for all the world, like they were talking to me. Not talking with words, but saying something nonetheless. What were they saying? I think this is what they said to me: “This is real. You are here. You are alive.” [Read more...]

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