PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
A while back I had a call from my friend and colleague, Macha Nightmare. She had a new book deal and was looking for reasons to take pride in being pagan. As one does in these situations, she was consulting peers on the subject. That's kind of how elder-ocracies like the paganisms tend to work; it helps keep us honest.
“Well, we were first at a lot of things,” I said.
“Like what?” she asked.
On Airy Monday we start the week with stories of the Mind and the element of Air. Today we have the recovering ozone layer (good news and the bad news); the Polar Vortex explained; archaeology for Pagans; esoteric journal Abraxas; webinars on women & nature.
A U.N. report has good news for the ozone layer: it's recovering faster than expected. Unfortunately, the world replaced the ozone-depleting chemicals with a greenhouse gas, so now the world is looking for a replacement for *that* chemical, too....
The English language is an amazing inheritance: every word a story.
In Norse thought we find the fascinating idea that, as with humanity, there are different tribes of gods. One of these tribes is known collectively as the Aesir. This is a plural form; the singular, unfortunately, is áss. In Icelandic, this rhymes with house, but there's no denying that it's jarring to the eye of the English-reader.*
The English-speaking ancestors knew these gods as well, but unlike the good old pagan word god, ôs came to refer specifically to a pagan god, and so fell out of common usage. Eventually the word became extinct.
Like a lot of American kids, I grew up on a steady diet of Saturday morning and weekday afternoon cartoons. I plunked myself down in front of the tv for hours, lost in the adventures of He-Man and She-Ra, the Lone Ranger and Tonto, Tarzan and Isis and Aquaman. And, of course, Scooby and the gang....
As before, I've been following the Facebook conversations around my vegan blog entries, and this time I've noticed further discussion around the idea of plant sentience. Some of you have argued that plants are no different from animals and so the eating of plants and animals should be considered on equal footing.
How very animistic of you. I would expect no less from my Pagan community.
It's an interesting question and one deserving of its own space, so I've decided to offer a vegan perspective here in advance of my next major blog entry in the series.
For the sake of argument, let's presume that plants possess independent minds and thoughts of sufficient complexity that they can deliberately communicate with the world. From this premise, a plant-based diet would still represent the most ethical choice and the path of least destruction, because every single animal life requires the consumption of many plant lives. There are a number of peer-reviewed studies explaining feed to meat conversion ratios, but here's a handy chart from NPR that shows the amount of grain, forage and grazing land required to produce a quarter-pound hamburger:
The three skulls seem to be staring at me through their empty sockets. In times past I would have felt profoundly unsettled, but now these ancestral skulls seem vaguely familiar. It makes me wonder who these people were and what caused their deaths. I turn my eyes towards the woman lying in the middle of the hall.