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Pagan Activist is a blog for liberal Pagans to write their experiences, calls to action, and inform the general public of what's going on from a Pagan perspective.

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Heeding Mother's Call

The other day I was in my car sitting at a red light. In front of me was a large vehicle with a pentacle sticker on it. The license plate had the word "hex" in it. This indicated the occupant, or at least the owner of the vehicle, as Pagan. I sat behind this vehicle and shook my head. A large, gas guzzling vehicle with Pagan stickers on it. I wondered if the occupant noticed the irony. Then, just as the light turned red, the occupant tossed a cigarette out the window and continued on her merry way. Had the light still been red, I would've jumped out of my ten year old econo car, picked up the discarded butt, handed it back to her while saying "excuse me! You dropped this!"

Pagans who participate in the destruction of Mother Earth through seemingly small acts like throwing used cigarette butts on the ground most certainly participate in the large scale destruction of our planet through tar sands and other human-made environmental catastrophes. This was the basis for my inaugural post, A Call to Action I was asked in the comments what resisting Keystone XL has to do with Paganism. My response: everything.

This is not the first time I've lamented about the lack of large scale participation by Pagans in the movement against climate change. Obviously the idea of living lightly on Mother Earth has not occurred to all Pagans. When calls have been made to step up and practice treading lightly the responses have been varied: from outright vitriol to pleasure the Pagan community is taking notice.

There are lots of environmental issues Pagans can involve themselves in: tarsands, mountaintop removal, unsustainable hydro, protection of crops amongst a myriad of others.

Jason Pitzl-Waters asked "But how far are Pagans, collectively, willing to go in defense of an Earth they call sacred?" It seems to me not very far. If Pagans can't make refrain from throwing cigarette butts out of their SUVs, I can't imaging them willing to risk arrest to prevent coal from mountain top removal in Appalachia being delivered to a coal fire plant in southern New England.

The call to action across the planet has been heard by many Christian sects. Already we are hearing about churches who are choosing to divest from fossil fuels. Yet I have not heard such a call from large Pagan worship centers such as Circle Sanctuary or Temple of Witchcraft or even the Reclaiming leadership. Small groups and covens have also remained silent. I find this terribly distressing.

Not all Pagans are Earth worshipers. So even if you do not worship the earth as a deity worship her as the only place we have to live: there is no planet B.  

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Michelle Hill is Gaian, locavore, climate change, pro-choice, peace activist living in New England with her husband and cat.

Pagan Activist on FB and @paganactivist on Twitter.

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  • Christa Landon
    Christa Landon Thursday, 27 June 2013


    Perhaps most Pagans don't directly own stock in energy companies, etc., but certainly we all consume! As Unitarian Universalist minister Charley Kast used to say, "All I need to tell your REAL religion is your checkbook registry and your calendar."

    My husband and I have reduced our trash to less than two 13 gallon bags a week, by using recycling, repurposing, and composting. Gardening improves our diets, lowers our grocery bill, and provides regular light exercise daily; it's also a way to synch into Mother Nature's rhythms. We grow enough to share with the neighbors. We don't have a car and mostly bus or walk.

    For me, Paganism is the cultivation of reverence for Nature, the embodiment of the Divine. Collaborating with Nature to produce bountiful harvests in my backyard "farm" is a religious practice.

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