Hawaii looks to expand its offshore wind farms. Evidence arises that viruses have guided the evolution of humans. And a facts-based look at gun violence in the United States and around the world. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
Most of us grow up knowing about heaven and hell. Whatever our faith or place of birth, and by whatever names we might choose, the split of light and dark into above and below seems to be a fact of our heritage as human beings. It is reflected in myriad cultures ancient and modern, from indigenous peoples’ oral narratives, to the tales of Sumer and myths of Greece, to the Christian traditions where the realms of God and Devil, salvation and eternal torment, may haunt imaginations.
And while this split is not inherently dangerous, we have been deluded for one reason or another (the Abrahamic faiths and colonialism are noteworthy for their influence) into equating the below and darkness with malevolence and the inimical—as in the Devil example just mentioned. This poses real challenges and hinders, I believe, our ability to fully honor the psycho-spiritual journey as well as the world in which we live....
Taking Responsibility. That is such an odd phrase. There are so many ways to understand it depending where you put the emphasis. As children we learn to take responsibility for our actions. Often this relates to something we’ve done wrong. Instead of blaming the mishap on someone else, our parents want us to “fess up”. They tell us to assume responsibility so that they can deliver the consequences. This is an imposed system, made extremely explicit and structured by the grown-ups to demonstrate how life really is. We learn the law of cause and effect early and it can help keep us out of trouble. Being responsible becomes an initiation into acting like an adult.
Soon “taking responsibility” can be worn like a badge of honor. We learn that being responsible has great rewards and helps us advance in life. Telling the truth, showing up on time, and sticking by our word all become ways we are responsible. We often talk about teenagers that get good grades and hold a steady job as being responsible. It is an important distinction and these adolescents thrive on the compliments. Soon being responsible can become a dangerous source of pride....
The Gods made only one creature like them—man. Greek TV documentary
The sight of a reptile or an amphibian usually provokes, at the very least, a feeling of repulsion in most people. Natural History of Lesbos
In the past days and weeks the two tortoises with whom I share my garden have woken up from a long winter’s sleep. Henry, testudo marginata, has been up for a while now. More than a month ago when I was cutting back and weeding in the area of the garden where he had been sleeping, Henry roused himself to sit in the sun near me for a few hours each day before creeping back under a shrub. At first I thought I had disturbed him, but when he came back out day after day while I worked, I began to wonder if he was coming out to say hello.
Scotty, testudo graeca, was nowhere to be found. As I moved my work around the garden, I did not find him in the corner where he had slept the previous winter. This worried me slightly, but I figured he must be under the rue in the one area of the garden still to be trimmed back. Imagine my surprise when I almost tripped on him on my way down the stairs to the cellar. Clever boy, he must have found the garden entrance to the cellar open one day in early winter and slipped in. The fact that I found him at the foot of the stairs and not in a dark corner was evidence that he too had heard the call of spring.
What we love we protect and what we know we love. Natural History of Lesbos
Earlier this week Bill Nye, the "Science Guy", debated Ken Ham, founder of the creationism museum in Kentucky, and it was billed as "Science vs the Bible", among other things. I watched it, and participated in a Twitter discussion for a short time during it, and then moved over to a Facebook discussion among a friend and others who are all Atheist, as far as I can tell. When the debate was over, I was left with a few thoughts.