Spirituality and Environmental Awareness/Action

Every once in a while – I get stumped for a topic to write about. Not typically because there’s nothing rolling around in that cement-mixer of a brain…but mostly because there is too much stuff rolling around in there. So, its refreshing when I get a nice topic to play with from somewhere else. On the facebook page “Environmentally Engaged Paganism” the following was posted:

Meical AbAwen asked, “We live in a time of increasing acceptance of our openly displayed paganism. We live in a time of religious change and, I think, the further development of spirituality within religion. We have an opportunity to present an engaged awareness that communicates our beliefs. We have the opportunity to be more than just weekend tree-huggers; we have the opportunity to make a difference.

But first, we have to know what bringing our “spirituality into the realm of environmental awareness and action” actually means.

So, what does that mean to you?”

So, it looked interesting…Meical is one of my friends…and I decided to tackle it. Here goes…

I guess that the best way to describe the entire perspective of bringing my spirituality into the areas of environmental awareness and action…that would mean doing what I already do: live what I believe. When I walk my neighborhood, I always carry a bag to pickup trash in. When I get back to the house, I separate the trash and the recycling. But that’s the really mundane stuff. I have been described quite a bit as a “tree-hugging hippy” – so that entire descriptive fits me quite well, and its a descriptive I am more than happy to embrace. I spend a lot of time with my trees in the back and front yards. I water them, I check their roots, I leave offerings for the squirrels, the birds and the circleGods. That’s right, I leave food and water for the Gods too. I do not see Nature as a single entity – I see the Gods everywhere. The deer that roam the edges of Lewisville Lake and in the middle of the night make their way into the various suburbs that have sprung up on its edges – they have the Gods wandering with them. With Coyote and Crow constantly at the edges of my perception – I know the Gods ARE THERE. Its difficult to explain the way that I know…but I do know. I realize that it sounds all “touchy-feely” and “fluffy-bunny” in a way – but honestly, that perception does not matter to me. What matters to me is that I know. How it looks to other people is none of my concern.

But how to integrate that giant, messy ball of explanation – into a course of action and awareness that is aimed towards my own environment? For me, this means living what I believe. I am a Pagan. I follow the Gods in my rites. I believe that part of my calling is to be a caretaker of my own environment….to be a part of my environment, not a conqueror. And that one aspect, for me, is the primary difference between Pagans and the members of other faiths. Pagans see themselves – for the most part, I am not trying to speak for every single Pagan on the planet – as being PART of the environment. We do not see the planet as a giant bundle of resources that were presented to mankind to use by some divine entity. And this is where I believe the action and awareness parts become important. Instead of just telling people – “you’re doing it wrong” – we can show them why we believe we are right, and why choosing to be a part of the environment instead of dominating can actually help to bring our environment back into balance. And we do that by living our beliefs, living our choices…

Let’s also be realistic too. We are not going to solve the global warming problem overnight. It was not created overnight – and it will take time to resolve it. So we have to take the first steps before we can start running. There is legislation that can be supported by writing your political representative and letting them know how you feel. Let them know that you will only support politicians that will follow through on campaign promises to work towards bettering the environment. When elections come due – follow through on your commitment. Support your chosen candidate by helping with their campaign. Past that – plant trees. Plant bushes. Plant flowers. Plant gardens. Learn how to tend each item you plant. Spend time with your fingers in the dirt. Get to know your immediate environment intimately – and you cannot do that sitting indoors looking out the window. If you live in an Easy Bake Oven (like here in Texas), do your gardening in the early morning. Whatever it takes. And when planting – leave offerings for the animals, and offerings for the Gods. Show them – both the animals and the Gods – that you love and respect them. Add your spirituality to the mix.

Ok…that’s known as “stream of consciousness writing. All of that was writing – as is (minus typos) – in a little under thirty minutes.  Hope it makes sense.

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