Every Pagan Is An Activist

If we are to have any kind of relationship with any aspect of the natural world, we have to be activists. I firmly believe that it is not possible at this point to be a Pagan without being an activist. The person who feels entitled to simply take from nature – be that magically or practically, has a destructive relationship with this planet and everything on it.

There are, however, many ways to be an activist. If you are working from a place of care to try and protect, nurture, and support life, you are already doing this work. You might want to consider dialling it up, making it more explicit and more visible. There is always more that can be done, but if everyone did something we’d be in a much better state.

All compassionate work is a form of activism – up to a point this also includes self care. Promoting rest and health means pushing back against the idea that we should work and consume endlessly. When self care is sold as a product, it becomes part of the problem. When self care is the excuse we use for not bothering, then it stops being activism.

We have to be careful to avoid things that are primarily undertaken to put ourselves centre stage. Activism that is mostly ego doesn’t get much done. 

Pagans are especially well placed to talk about power. Anyone on a magical path has a considered relationship with power. There’s a lot of philosophy in Paganism around power-with rather than power-over, and this is key around activism. Mainstream culture teaches people to feel powerless and ineffective. Paganism teaches people to stand in their own power and use it well. If we can model how to do that for people who are not Pagans, we can help people overcome the feelings of futility and powerlessness that stop many from acting.

Everything can be changed if there’s enough willpower to make a difference. We have the resources. We have the knowledge. Anything can be changed, but only if people believe they can change things. What we know about will, belief, and intent could make a great deal of difference. 

And so I write this to remind you that you are powerful. The things you do make a difference. Your words are spells. Your actions have an impact. Your will affects the world. 

(With thanks to Helen Woodsford-Dean for the prompt to write this.)

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

2 responses to “Every Pagan Is An Activist

  • Huw Edwards

    I don’t think I have come out yet as a pagan person to myself or to others, but I love the earth find a huge spiritual connection to our planet and wild places and as a child was lucky enough to grow up on the edge of Dartmoor a truly spiritually pagan place. I agree every pagan or aspiring pagan is and must be an activist.

    There is so much to defend (fight for does not seem the right word for me) and so little time to defend it, while thinking too much can drive me crazy I also find that ignorance is in no way bliss.

    I try to strike a healthy balance between trying to be informed or more importantly be open to listen. Listening is so important to me, listening to friends, colleagues & customers really helps me get by. I also enjoy listening to local and international news events and have a real passion for and constantly trying to find an optimistic perception on life although sometimes when I experience or look into dark spaces in time its sometimes hard to see the lighter side of life.
    I have yet to chain myself to any railing or stand on a picket line but that is not to say that is not something I would not do. I’m more of an advocate for pagan views, philosophies and perceptions than a physical activist. I hope there are many ways to be an activist and I try to be one in my own way.

    When you try to listen to what others have to say or gain an insight into what their truth is, I find it helps to then possibly share ideas with them and be an activist for planet earth and an activist for an alternative point of view and change and highlight a respect for wild places and nature.
    Once people know you take the time to listen to and care for them and others too then there is more of a chance that they then might even listen to you, not a guarantee mind but it does happen though. I try to subvert others into being lovers of life, planet and people in order to promote and protect pagan places and people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: