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Green Despair

Discussion in 'Neopagan or Revival Religions' started by The Hammer, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. The Hammer

    The Hammer White Wolf - kvite ulfh
    Premium Member

    May 24, 2009
    Environmental destruction and Paganism.

    How do you deal with climate change as a Pagan?

    Has climate change impacted your Spirituality in any way?

    I certainly have noticed changes as the years have gone by. Hotter temperatures overall. And over the time that I have been paying attention to my local ecosystem, over the last 5 years, I've seen things like changes in growth cycles. Mushrooms that once started popping up in November, don't make an appearance until Dec/Jan, for one. Raging wildfires in a once wet PNW. The blackberries in the summer have a much shorter growing season. This has impacted my Spirituality, in that I am focused much more on finding ways to give back to the environment, through Sacrifice ritually, and physically by doing things such as changing my eating habits to reduce meat consumption, and having a weekly no power day, where I use as minimal electricity as possible, to include candles for lighting.

    Three Signs a ‘New Arctic’ Is Emerging
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  2. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    It's difficult, and there are many words I could write on the topic. For now I will tell just one story.

    When I first learned about contemporary Paganism and began developing the foundations for my tradition, one of the things I did was adapt what is usually called the "wheel of the year" to my ecoregion. I discovered the need for this because the sources available at the time were still strongly influenced by the British origins of contemporary Paganism. The way seasonal events and climate was described made sense for Britain, maybe, but was noticeably out of step with what I observed in the world around me. Thus, I made adjustments.

    One major adjustment I made was to the tone of what I call MidWinter and what others call Imbolc. The literature would talk about this tide being the first signs of spring.

    Hah! HAHAHA! Yeah... uh... nope.

    The land here is firmly gripped in snow and ice here at MidWinter's inception and throughout its tide. Thus, when I tailored MidWinter themes and rituals to my path as a new Pagan (this was something like 16 years ago), what I wrote very much reflected what was then the reality of the climate here.

    What was then. Then there's now.

    It is harrowing. It is harrowing to realize that things I wrote not even two decades ago are already becoming out of synch with the ecological realities of where I live.

    I feel this. I notice this. It wasn't just my imagination that the last 5 years in particular have felt very out of synch relative to what I remember growing up with and what I wrote for my traditions those years back. This past year, 2020, is tied for the 2016 record (see 2020 Tied for Warmest Year on Record, NASA Analysis Shows – Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet). There are many lessons to be had here about the power of the gods and the place of humans amongst these gods. They are not lessons most of my people want to hear, much less act upon. That is part of why we find ourselves in this situation.
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