Wildfires sweep the Pacific Northwest, sending clouds of toxic smoke into the air. Oslo construct a special "highway" just for bees. And FiveThirtyEight's
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
What's the geekiest place in the known universe? Could seaweed that tastes like bacon really be the key to saving the oceans? And what exactly does Obama's new plan to reduce fossil fuel usage in the United States really mean? Here in Earthy Thursday we gather the most interesting news about science and the natural world for your perusing. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
My friend Kelly Meyer reminded me of the Lorsch Bee Blessing today. The 9th century Old High German charm captures the importance of bees in the medieval world, something we're beginning to realise anew as we discover just how perilous life is when they're endangered. As I've written about before, the importance of mead, the alcoholic drink made from honey, cannot be overstated in the Germanic world.
In Old High German, the charm goes like this:...
Food, glorious food! After water it's easily the most vital resource we utilize (except perhaps for air). But in a world that's growing ever larger and where land fertility is under threat it can be a struggle to find new solutions to feed the hungry. Among the other stories we've gathered today, this week's Earthy Thursday talks about the different and creative ways by which people are trying to create new and plentiful food sources, from seaweed farms to insects. Continue below to learn more about these future possibilities.
In today's Earthy Thursday post, we've got: biggest British chestnut tree; amazing nature photos; big trouble for California's Big Trees, discovering America's forgotten tropical-style fruit; native American bees.
Check out this 300-year-old horse chestnut tree, declared the largest in Britain....
I’ve been thinking about the Ancestors a lot lately; it’s that time of year. In fact, they’ve even asserted themselves when I wasn’t seeking them, such as the day I experienced a vision of a Minoan priestess undertaking a rite of prophecy through the ancestral spirits. From the earliest times, the Minoans revered their ancestors. At the Autumn Equinox they held celebrations of the dearly departed, feasting and performing rituals in the shadows of the beehive-shaped tholos tombs where their ancestors’ remains were interred. Some of the tombs had pillar crypts beneath them, providing another place for offerings and communication with the dead.
My own experience with shamanic practice centering on the Ancestors and Minoan spirituality suggests a reason for the beehive shape of these tombs and the connection of the Ancestors with the Bee Goddess. Like many shamanic practitioners, I have experienced a particular sound when I connect with the ancestral spirits, a sort of multi-pitched buzzing that almost exactly reproduces the noise of a hive of swarming bees. And of course, honey being such a delicious prize in cultures that did not yet know how to refine sugar from beets or cane, I can totally relate to the idea of bees being sacred representatives of the Ancestors and, later on, the gods (or goddesses, to be precise). I keep a miniature beehive on my Minoan altar to remind me that the Ancestors were just as much a part of Minoan spirituality as the goddesses and gods....