Posts tagged ‘nature’


Bioregionalism is one of many environmental ideologies- there are so many to study and comprehend- and I think there is something we can learn from all of them- environmentalists like many others can get into One True Way-ism and dogmatism and I think to avoid that a more “multi-pronged” approach is best. Bioregionalism seems to be one that I think could be very insightful and useful to developing a locally based spiritual practice and learning to engage with the natural world and local culture in a sustainable manner.  This website on Bioregional Animism was the first place I saw this idea proposed.

Bioregionalism is a political, cultural, economic ideology focused on bioregions- areas defined by ecological traits, such as the watershed, geological makeup and wildlife. Bioregionalism sees nature and human culture as interconnected, and seeks harmonious interconnection between the two. In that way it differs from other environmental ideologies that see human culture as “the enemy”. It favors decentralizing political power to bio-regions, which sometimes cross international boundaries.  Size-wise eco-zones are the largest, followed by bio-regions and eco-regions. (All this is kinda new to me, I’d only heard of bio-regions and biomes. )

Key points of Bioregionalism from Wikipedia:

*Ensure that political boundaries match ecological boundaries.[7]
*Highlight the unique ecology of the bioregion.
*Encourage consumption of local foods where possible.
*Encourage the use of local materials where possible.
*Encourage the cultivation of native plants of the region.
*Encourage sustainability in harmony with the bioregion.[8]

I’ll set aside the political boundary aspect for now, though it would be an interest idea to consider for organizing Pagan groups.


Radical Ecology: the Search for a Livable World by Carolyn Merchant

This is an excellent side-by-side comparison of different green/environmental schools of thought, from deep ecology, eco-feminism, to eco-anarchism etc.

Ideas for adapting spiritual practice to local ecology:

Re-Vamping the Nine Sacred Woods– a Witch in Texas “tweaks” the British Isles tradition of 9 sacred woods for a Beltaine fire with trees that live in her area

A Pacific Northwest Ogham– by  John Michael Greer ” The process of creating a tree-Ogham appropriate to the Puget Sound country – or any other environment sufficiently different from northwestern Europe — is not unlike that of translating poetry from one language to another. Inevitably, some meanings are lost, and others are gained which were not present in the original. The tree-Ogham that follows should be considered a first, rather exploratory venture in this direction. If Druidry is relevant to the whole world, though – and I believe that it is – it must be able to put down roots in forests very different from the ones where it originally grew. There must someday be a cactus-Ogham for the Arizona deserts and a jungle-Ogham for the rain forests of northern Australia.”

JMG & AODA in general really walk their talk in their efforts at both spiritual connection to nature and advocacy for sustainability in the broader world

Australian Wildflower Oracle– review of a lovely divination tool. This blogger is working on writing about Australian native flora & fauna herself.

Waincraft: Resources & Links. Waincraft is a new neo-Pagan tradition (originally an outgrowth of Vanatru) that is  a general religious framework that can be adapted to ones’ bioregion and cultural focus.

American Wights by Svartesol, Gullinbursti Press  A Heathen approach to American spirits may be useful to non-Heathens as well. I am having trouble finding a copy of this but have heard good reviews of it.

Kill You and Eat You! Or, a Well-Intentioned Celt’s Guide to Non-Celtic Bioregions

Another PBP post on Bioregionalism from Thalassa, Musings of a Kitchen Witch. (added Feb 3rd)

Please add to my lists of resources in the comments. They may need to get their own page(s).


January 25, 2014 at 1:19 am 2 comments

Spring Equinox: Failure to Launch

The Spring Equinox was yesterday, and I still haven’t figure out what to do for it. I’ve been sick for the past week, missed Paganicon and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations this past weekend. I was disappointed but felt lousy enough that I didn’t care that much! On top of that it is definitely not spring here yet, it snowed last Monday and the temperature is hovering from the 10s to the 20s.

Frankly, of the 8 standard Pagan holidays, the 2 equinoxes, so-called Ostara & Mabon, are the ones I have the most trouble with.There is not much folklore associated with it in Northern Europe beyond bunny rabbits & eggs. The Anglo-Saxon goddess “Eostre” is only mentioned by the Venerable Bede, which doesn’t give us much to go on.  But perhaps us Northerners should quit grumbling and look out our windows. Even if there’s not much green yet, the sun is shining and the days are longer. Many of the birds have returned, I’m not sure what they are finding to eat, but that’s a good reason to go out and feed them.  Go buy your annuals, and plan your garden (or even just a flowerpot)  And be thankful- we survived another winter!

March 21, 2013 at 3:54 am Leave a comment

The Irony of Imbolc

On the morning of Feb. 2nd Dan & I awoke and as we were making breakfast we noticed that the thermostat hadn’t kicked in as it normally would a little before we get up.

Yes, on the day of Brighid, goddess of the hearth, our boiler stopped working. On one of the coldest days of the year. Also we’d recently had a tenant move into the finished basement room.  So much for hospitality! We did provide him with a space heater, so I brought that upstairs, and another to the bedroom, which was even colder! So I spent the day huddling in front of the space heater, waiting for the fix-it guy to come.  I tried not to complain too much, though.  It reminds me how much I take something as basic as a heated home for granted, that I should be very thankful.  This winter has been nasty enough that the Salvation Army is raising money to help people with their heating bills. The counties (at least Hennepin & Ramsey) do provide emergency assistance but more help is always needed. That and with the recession the homeless shelters are packed to capacity- various churches around the metro (including Unity) have been taking in the people who are turned away at night. I know with all the struggles my family has gone thru homelessness doesn’t seem so distant.

Now it has been getting warmer this week, here and there. Freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw. Last year we had a mild winter with not much snow and an early spring. On the surface it  was nice, but in the long run a bad thing- the freezing & thawing cycle causes the running of the maple sap, so that it just going straight to thawing, much less syrup could be tapped.  Also the lack of snow (typically early in the winter, and early spring) and not much spring rain contributed greatly to the terrible drought last summer.  It just shows you how necessary winter is. (though I’m never sure what a “typical” MN winter is)

February 14, 2013 at 12:57 am Leave a comment

Samhain: Turning Over a New Leaf

(I was inspired to give this long-neglected blog another try after seeing that someone had subscribed. Hi!)

I had a relatively low-key Samhain & Halloween this year. I attended a ritual with the Mists of Stone Forest Grove, a group which I have been worshiping with in the past year. Due to various circumstances, I hadn’t been to one of their rituals since the Spring Equinox. I volunteered for the Nature Spirits invocation, though since it had been such a long time, I was a little rusty on extempore speaking. As I have in the past, I called on the animals of the land, water and sky. I named various birds and fishes, but oddly for land I picked the badger and hedgehog. The badger does live here in the Upper Midwest, though I have never seen one in the wild. The hedgehog, however does not live in the Americas.  I am going to think about what those animals mean, but I will save that for other posts so I don’t go off on a tangent…

Our Patron & Matron of the rite were the Dagda and the Morrigan. For the remembrance (an object used to help connect/remember the ritual) gorp was distributed. Obviously this was a last-minute choice that was rather silly. Phil tried to connect it by saying that the raisin was the crone aspect of the grape (Morrigan) and that the peanuts represented the Dagda’s club. A bit of a stretch, if you ask me. I thought some of these were going to be offered to the Gods, but then I remembered the Mists grove doesn’t use food for offerings.

The human focus of the ritual was on setting goals for the new year. Phil (one of the leaders of the grove) referred to the goal-setting as “planting seeds” but turning over a new leaf seems a better metaphor for this season. Some people wrote theirs down on pieces of paper that would later be burned. That is what they consider offerings.

My goals for this year are to once and for all finish the dang ADF Dedicant program, and to finish learning to drive and get my license. It sounds rather mundane, but it is a means to get to rituals in outlying areas and have more job options. This post is a part of the Dedicant path, as reviews of holiday rituals are a requirement. I have written a bunch of these in the past couple years, but the rituals are required to be 8 consecutive holidays.

November 2, 2011 at 6:32 am 4 comments

A Hawk Wind Blows

I just returned last night from a weekend trip with my partner to the Iron Range and Duluth, Minnesota. We had a wonderful time biking on the Mesabi Trail (20 miles in total!) through the deep pine and birch forests and saw a painted turtle on the trail. Yesterday in Duluth we went up to Hawk Ridge , the highest point in Duluth to watch the hawk migrations. Dan, an avid bird watcher had told me this was a great time and place to do this but I hadn’t realized it was an entire nature reserve. Northeast winds had just begun that day, which really favors flying conditions. Despite this we only spotted a few hawks. Still, it was a treat to see birds we rarely do in the Twin Cities and we had a gorgeous view of the city and lakeshore below.

Upon perusing MetaPagan today, an article by Lupa was highlighted relevant to avian ecology. While I was aware that possessing eagle feathers is illegal in the U.S., I didn’t realize that extended to other birds of prey. And no, the laws don’t distinguish how you acquired the feather (or talon, beak etc) as that is difficult to prove.

I’m surprised that I haven’t seen the issue she raises discussed before in the Pagan community. I know I have a collection of feathers I’ve found on the ground various places, but they are mostly from song birds and water fowl that are fairly common- blue jays, mallards, swans etc.  Just to be on the safe side though, I’m going to familiarize myself with these laws. And I suggest you do the same.

If we are to truly walk our talk about protecting and respecting Mother Earth and her creatures, we need to follow these and other environmental laws. I know modern Pagans often have a libertarian/anarchistic streak and reject authority, but these are not arbitrary bureaucratic regulations. I also think disregard for this also says something about the pursuit of ego and material things getting in the way of true spirituality.

September 30, 2009 at 7:58 am Leave a comment

Neamh, the Sky

The final of the Three Realms is Neamh, the Sky. Neamh is associated with the Deithe (pron. djay-Huh) the Gods, and the Future.  However, keep in mind that the Deities of Irish mythology are seen as dwelling within the Land, not above us in the sky, like that the Olympians of Greece or the Aesir & Vanir of the Northern lands. So perhaps that association is more of a general Indo-European one than Celtic per se. It’s associated with the future and seership, because by looking into the heavens, we can see far, far beyond our little planet.

The paradox of the Sky is that during the day, our concept of it is what is visible under certain layers of atmosphere. But at night, when the sky is clear, we can see far beyond the Earth’s atmosphere to the moon and the galaxies beyond.  What does this tell us? That things are not what they seem.  Actually we can get the same lesson with the other two Realms. If you didn’t know otherwise, would you ever imagine that there was molten magma beyond the surface of the Land? Or what creatures might dwell in the depths of the Sea, in places too cold for any human to withstand?

The Three Realms  are below, above and all around us. We are constantly learning more about them through the exploration of science and spirituality. And yet there is much that has not been revealed and maybe never will be.

April 11, 2009 at 12:43 am Leave a comment


March 2023

Posts by Month

Posts by Category