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...]

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...]

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

Neo-Paganism is a nature religion which, like other nature religions, perceives nature as both sacred and interconnected. From this perspective, humans in the developed world have become tragically disconnected from nature, which has been desacralized in both thought and deed. Healing this rift is possible only through a profound shift in our collective consciousness. This constellation of ideas can be called [Read More...]

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...]

Who is Reading this Blog? (Survey)

Jason Mankey recently raised the question “Who are we writing for?”  This got me thinking. In the interest of getting to know my readers better, please answer the short 10-question survey below …   Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool. [Read more...]

Why I don’t trust the gods (at least not if I’m alone with one)

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I think it’s a mistake to assume the gods are benign. The word “worship” derives from the Old English word for “worthy”. I wonder then, why have I rarely seen the question asked whether the Pagan gods are worthy of worship. To put it another way, why should we assume the gods can be trusted? If the gods are paragons of virtue, are they not also paragons of vice? The polytheistic gods, as I understand them, are not necessarily good and they are not omni-benevolent. If the myths are to be believed on any level, the gods are just as flawed as human beings — they just have more power. Why bow down to power, if it is not paired with virtue? One answer perhaps is that the gods should be worshiped because they are — just as nature can be worshiped because it is. Nature is not moral or virtuous, but worship (or reverence) is a natural human response to it. But worshiping something and trusting it are two different things. I don’t ever assume that nature is benign or trustworthy. Why should we assume the gods are trustworthy? [Read more...]


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