PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
...In the Neighborwives’ Garden
In the twilight
The highway’s rhythm a few blocks away
Creates a lulling to cradle the occasional barking dog, crying child
And basketball dribbled down
The center of the street
Streetlights overtake the stars in the city,
Punctuated with flashing lights from the police in the distance
Deep in this city
On a good block in a not-that-good neighborhood
Lives the Neighborwives’ garden
Today's Airy Monday edition is full of fascinating science: what's beneath Stonehenge; a "clear glass" solar collector (imagine powering your cellphone with one!); "greening" a German power plant (literally); an analysis of why more women die from Ebola (and what it means to defeating the epidemic) and why the world smells different after a rainstorm. Enjoy your week!
Stonehenge will never be the same -- or, so says this report from Smithsonian, detailing the (literal) groundbreaking work of a team of scientists who have discovered its underground secrets....
When I first started writing for W&P my intent was to focus more on nature and Spirit here, more technical, interfaith, and political issues over at Patheos. Such plans are nice, but rarely maintain themselves, and that one was no exception. On either end.
I just published what I think is an important post on Pagan religion and environmentalism over there as part of a big discussion on the topic. Perhaps some of you who do not watch that site regularly might want to take a look at it.
Got plastic bags? Many businesses offer or sell reusable shopping bag swag, but we still haven't totally eliminated the old standard disposable sack. If you have any of these lying around, reuse them as much as you can, and then up-cycle them. This is important work, and one of the best ways to honor the earth and leave a smaller environmental footprint. Even the rattiest plastic bag can be made into something cool: a heavy duty tote, an apron, place or door mats, even a shower curtain; the list is endless. Use extra care when doing this work with children as ironing and cutting are involved. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Assorted plastic bags (garbage, food, store) in different colors, sizes, patterns
- Wax paper
- Ironing board or table covered with a heavy towel
Cut the plastic bags so they lay flat (no handles or folds at the bottom). You'll need between five and seven layers to make one sheet of material, so plan ahead to make sure you’ll have enough! In order to know how many plastic bags you will need, you have to decide what you are making. A tote bag (which will require sewing or stapling) will require more than a change purse. Of course if you use large bags, then you will need fewer. We made an apron, and used five medium store bags for the fabric, and four smaller bags that we cut designs out of to decorate it....
Trees are wisdom keepers. They stand in a single place on the earth’s surface and faithfully witness the unfolding of time. Like people, trees observe their surroundings, root where welcomed, reach toward nourishment, and hold close where limited. They form scar tissue when wounded and can adapt to change. Examining the lives of trees offers critical insights for human wellbeing and survival, showing us when life thrives and falters.
“Witness tree” is an expression used for trees that mark boundaries, act as signposts and directionals, or witness key events in history and local culture – celebratory and tragic. Trees also witness the in-between moments that are precious and informative in their own right. Through this collaborative witnessing of trees and people, we hope to foster a world that is richer and more sustainable for both.
My dear friends Rebecca Power, John Steines, and I partnered over a year ago to create Witness Tree, an art exhibit at Commonwealth Gallery in Madison, WI – with the two of them as artists (along with many others they invited) and me serving as facilitator of group activities and community conversations. The above is our statement of purpose, and below is a picture of our world tree gallery where we gathered for circles of story, poetry, meditation, conversation, and leaf-making.
More recently Rebecca and John joined with other tree-minded artists in a fabulous follow up Tree of Life art exhibit at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, WI. Again, my role was to support the artists by facilitating a community conversation at the gallery to draw people into a more intentional experience of the Tree of Life exhibit. To kick of the conversation, we guided participants to reflect on their experience of the art and then to share in single words on slips of paper how the art inspired their personal connection with trees and the Tree of Life as metaphor for the connectivity of all living things.
We then collected the words to create a word cloud as a collective representation of everyone’s experience of the Tree of Life art. Perhaps you can imagine the diversity of art in the exhibit through this “reverse experience” of viewing the visitor’s words rather than the works of art themselves.
As you view the trees in your home place over the next days and weeks, you might collect your own words of response and create a word cloud as an alternative, or in addition, to a journal. You can create your own word cloud with the tree or other shapes at http://www.tagxedo.com/
In alliance with the trees,
Credits: Thanks to Math Heinzel for the Witness Tree panorama, Amy Fenn for creating the word cloud, and the many others who contributed to the art exhibits and associated programming.
It's almost Spring, a time to celebrate the return of the flowers, the awakening of the animals, and the renewal of the earth. Forest, farmland, the wilds, and the animals that depend on them need our help to maintain a clean environment and safe habitat (and humans need this as well!). Here are a few organizations working to make us all aware of the special balance between Nature and people everywhere:
Forever Forests is a group started in California by Gwydion Pendderwen, a Pagan folk singer and writer. He strove to help re-forest the areas of logged-over lands in California. Although Gwydion passed away in 1982, other Pagans have continued the work. Tens of thousands of trees have been planted since 1977....