A wonderful new CD of Pagan songs honoring the sacredness of Nature has just blessed us. I have enjoyed it immensely and hope many of you will as well. That’s the elevator speech. Here’s why.
The Green Album is a collection by many of our best contemporary Pagan musicians contributing their original music to honor the earth. At a time when the fate of the place we love is being threatened by greed, ignorance, and fear, music can strengthen those of us who feel powerless given magnitude of the forces we oppose and even penetrate minds and hearts closed to argument and evidence. This collection does so for me.
For Earth Day this year, I suggest keeping it simple. Pack a handful of your nearest and dearest in a roomy auto and go road-tripping. It could even be more fun if you have no particular destination in mind. You can call on the directions to help guide you to a beneficial place for all. There really are only a few prerequisites to make for the optimum road experience: gas, tunes, and snacks.
To be fair, why not have each rider pitch in with a playlist of road-worthy songs and take turns playing them? Speaking of pitching in, if you're not the driver, don't forget to offer some cash for fuel. The other kind of fuel you require is of course, munchies. You should cover sweet, salty, crunchy, protein-rich, and throw in something healthy if you can. Veggie Straws, celery and carrots, apples, grapes, cheese, hummus, trail mix, and fair trade dark chocolate all make my list. These don't really require a cooler, either. The other thing you don't want to be without is beverages. Water, iced tea or coffee drinks, and juice are all good bets.
Try to get rolling by high-noon so that you still have plenty of daylight to get out and go for a hike, if you choose. Crank the windows down, sing along, and let the good times roll. There is a lot of gorgeous green earth still out there. Get out and enjoy her while you can.
COLLEEN'S CRAZY TRAIL MIX A perfect blend of salty, sweet and spicy. organic dark chocolate-covered cranberries organic Dried Turkish Figs sesame sticks (Cajun) brown rice miso crackers roasted, salted Peanuts organic raw pumpkin seeds Greek yogurt-covered pretzels wasabi peas All of these items should be available in your friendly neighborhood bulk foods section. You can use equal parts of each, or go heavy on your favorites to create your own mix! (Recipe concocted by Colleen DuVall, due to the tree-nut heavy trail-mixes already out there)
BEET HUMMUS Start to finish: 20 minutes Servings: 5 This hummus is a vibrant bright pink thanks to the addition of steamed beets. 1 beet (small, trimmed and peeled, cut into chunks) 1 1⁄2 cups cooked chickpeas 1 clove garlic (coarsely chopped) 3 tablespoons tahini 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1⁄4 cup water (plus up to a 1/4 cup more if needed) 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cumin 1⁄2 teaspoons salt Place the beet in a steamer basket above simmering water and steam, covered, until tender, up to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the beet pieces. Place the garlic and chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the tahini, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of water, cumin, salt, and cooked beets, and process until smooth and creamy, adding more water, a couple tablespoons at a time, to reach the desired consistency. (Recipe adapted from www.dailyburn.com by Willy Street Co-op in Madison)
Many Pagans define themselves as "Earth-centered," and yet, so many of us fail to actually live in harmony with the earth. I've written before on the Pagan Activist blog about environmentalism. And I admit that--in my frustration--I've written a few harsh and perhaps even incendiary posts on the topic. I don't know that those have done anything to change anyone's mind.
However, environmentalism is a part of Pagan leadership and community building, which is why I'm writing about it here.
I just posted a bit about Pagan environmentalism and the connection to Pagan leadership. It was a bit philosophical, so I thought I'd follow up with a more concrete post on specific things you can do as a Pagan leader and event organizer to reduce your use of resources and reduce environmental destruction.
Have you ever been to a Pagan festival or other event where there was a ton of trash left behind at the end? Have you ever been to a Pagan ritual where people were using styrofoam cups, or using plastic plates that just got thrown out? Have you ever been to a Pagan event where the land was left in a far worse condition than when you arrived? Or where there weren't recycling options, or where, despite there being a recycling dumpster, Pagans failed to sort their trash?
Author's note: I'm re-running this article in honour of Earth Day - April 22, 2015
I've spent the last month examining my practices and interactions with the Elements. It's one of the core pieces of magic I teach in the Reclaiming Tradition. I revisit this work every so often as a teacher and as a student. In my last three articles I've chronicled my explorations with Air, my connections with Fire and my dive into Water. I'm turning now to the Earth.
I have just returned from a Women and the Landconference held in Point Reyes, California.It was a wonderful series of panels, whose presenters were almost all women authors: poets, essayists, and fiction and non fiction writers. Given my interest in how the feminine and ecology fit together as a unified theme in needed cultural changes that might yet save our nihilistic Western culture, I expected to enjoy it. And I did, far more than I expected.
That said, this column and the next will deal with an error I heard there, and with its solution. I think the error runs through the thinking of many women and men whose hearts are in the right place. And its solution is easy once we recognize it and take the time to digest its implications. It is also very relevant to Pagans.