[Welcome to the April edition of ev0king the Moon! This month, author Mabh Savage discusses her guide to planet-friendly living — Pagan style!]
Writing Practically Pagan: A Guide to Planet Friendly Living was eye-opening for a number of reasons. Not only did I learn even more astonishing statistics about just how desperately our beautiful Planet Earth needs us to make changes now, but I found out that some ecologically minded members of the Pagan community are already doing their part in a number of different ways.
The reason I wrote the book was to gently encourage spiritual people to consider how to practice their faith or walk their path in an environmentally kind way. This includes thinking about the impact of the products we buy, how we perform rituals, and even disposing of offerings in non-harmful ways. Why is this so important? Well, the fact is that humans are not, as a whole species, treating Earth very well. In the UK alone, the government has outlined significant risks from climate change including:
- Risks to wildlife due to loss of habitats
- Soil erosion and loss of soil quality due to a combination of drought and flooding
- Overheating of buildings causing danger to human health
I’ve literally picked just three of the many “risks” highlighted, but it gives you an idea of how serious climate change could be. There are a number of global conferences talking about climate change in 2022, conferences which often frustrate both activists and scientists who recognise that action, not talking, is required now.
While we wait for larger organizations, corporations, and governments to make the drastic changes required, many people who feel a deeper connection to the planet are already living mindfully. Many of the people I spoke to have aspirations towards at least partial self-sufficiency, and are working towards that goal – quite effectively, in some cases.
Many people grow their own food. In some cases, it’s simply a few pots of herbs on a windowsill that means they don’t have to buy them at the supermarket. Other members of the community have transformed their entire garden into a small vegetable plot. Still others use allotments, not just to grow fruits and vegetables, but to sit amongst nature and absorb the beauty of it. Watching robins hop down to pluck worms from freshly turned soil has its own special kind of magic.
Near where I live, there’s a park with many beautiful flowerbeds. Local members of the community have transformed one of these flowerbeds into a vegetable patch, with a sign stating anyone in need can help themselves. No one abuses this system, which is testament to how kindness breeds more kindness, in many cases.
Others embrace traditional crafts, keeping them alive for future generations. I was impressed by photos of intricately carved godposts, practical and serviceable baskets and other wicker creations, and even religious symbols like pentagrams made from willow branches. Candles made from the ends of other candles, handmade soap, and any number of gorgeous upcycling projects made me realise just how dedicated a large portion of our community is to being sustainable and kinder to the world. It’s not just about “making do” – managing with very little because that’s all you’ve got. Although, that may be at the root of some of these crafts and ways of life. It’s more about realising that there’s no need to constantly consume. We can happily live a spiritual and fulfilling life by using our skills and our intellect to create wonderful things and look after each other.
Of course, not everyone has the time or ability to learn a special crafting skill and there shouldn’t be any pressure to do so. After all, communities succeed by everyone having their own strengths. Some people sing; some tell stories; some plant food; some cook, and some craft. Embracing a diversity of people and skills within our communities can help us accept the importance of diversity within the wider world – within society and within the many fragile ecosystems of our planet. In the meantime, it’s reassuring to know that so many Pagans are already making small, daily changes and seeking more ways to be kinder to Earth every day.