Tag Archives: climate emergency

Druid roles – voicing the voiceless

What does it mean to practice Druidry during the climate emergency? What should we be doing? What is the role of a Druid right now?

One of the roles we can take on is to give a voice to the voiceless. All the non-human life of this world, and all the people who do not speak the languages of dominant western cultures need hearing. The land needs a voice. Future generations need a voice. Someone must speak for the oceans and rivers, for the droughts and the fires, the storms and the instability. We can do this.

It’s not just about raising awareness. We need to inspire people with feelings of care and compassion alongside helping them feel they can make a change. Climate chaos is frightening and overwhelming, and balancing the honesty of this horror against the necessity for hope is a delicate thing. I tend to feel Druid work is inherently about balance and standing between things that need bridging. One foot on a goat and the other foot on a well, we can find and share stories that both illustrate the threat and the means to overcome it.

One of the key things here is not to be doing it at the last minute and in desperation. To start speaking for the land when the developer has made a bid for planning permission, is to start rather late in the day. Better late than never, but even better to start before the crisis hits. Speak for your trees, speak of their worth and beauty before anyone shows up to cut them down. The more we speak up for what is good and inspire those around us to love what is wild and natural, the more people there are ready to defend the land.

It’s important to speak from a place of love and valuing and not simply from a place of fear. Again it helps to start before there’s a threat. Fending off threats is emotionally exhausting. This is why, for example, when I’m doing my voluntary bit for The Woodland Trust I spend more time on tree love than I do on specific campaigns to protect trees. Without the love of trees, there won’t be the energy to protect them. Meanwhile, it is the love of trees that will sustain anyone working to keep them safe.

We exist in a culture that undervalues anything it can’t exploit for profit. We need new stories. We need stories that fill us with empathy and place us back in the natural world, and stories that help us see all living beings as just as valid as humans, and ecosystems as precious sources of life that need our care and respect. We can do this work with songs and stories, with poems, pictures, photos and more. It’s often easier to engage people with softer things, and more hopeful things. There is too much horror already, and such a great need for hope.


Accidental Gods

A guest blog by Manda Scott

A year ago, at the winter solstice of 2018, my partner and I sat with the fire, as is our practice, to reflect on the past year and ask for insight into what we might do in the year to come.  We’ve done this for most of the fifteen years of our partnership, and for most of that time, I’ve been writing books and teaching shamanic dreaming and she’s been creating beautiful things: a felting studio; an organic clothing line for children; websites and memberships for other creative people. For both of us, the fires were often simply support and a suggestion of ‘more of the same’.

But last year’s fire was different.  ‘More of the same’ was definitely not on the menu.  I was told to start teaching at scale. I was told to go to the US (actually, I was shown an image of teaching large numbers of people in the US – TED talk scale…) and writing books seemed remarkably low down the priority listing. In fact, if I hadn’t kept bringing it up, it wouldn’t have been there at all.

Pretty soon, the year became an exercise in asking for help.  Because I had no idea what ‘teaching at scale’ meant and I had no intention of getting on a plane.  XR notwithstanding, I haven’t flown since 2000 and wasn’t planning on doing so.  And yet… when the offer came to teach – at scale – in the US, I took it.  (one flight heading out is better than thirty coming over here, right?) Which meant that I had to start working out what it is that might be taught at scale that would be both safe and constructive.  And somewhere in the early days of that, I was introduced to the Deep Adaptation paper – and so ‘urgent’ was added to the list of essential criteria.

And now, just over a year later, as we head towards the third decade of the third millennium, Accidental Gods has just launched – a website, a podcast, a blog and a Membership Program, all heading the same way.

Here’s what we got to:

  • We know that evolution happens in any species under moments of intense pressure.
  • This moment is about as intense as it gets – or at least, we’re heading fast into pressures humanity has never seen before. We are the generation that gave ourselves the power of species level extinction, a thing that has never happened in the entire history of the evolution of consciousness.
  • We’re due an evolutionary shift. But we don’t have time for the slow incremental steps of DNA tweaks and minor phenotypical adjustments.
  • Which is interesting, because this happens to be the moment when we could conceivably make the next evolutionary step one of

    So, this is what ACCIDENTAL GODS is about – facilitating the evolution of consciousness. Because we believe it’s possible, necessary – and urgent.

    Human conscious evolution is not a new idea – but to date it’s revolved around theories of how we could get there by thinking more, or meditating more, or – recently – implanting chips in our brains.

Which is missing the point so badly that it would be laughable if it weren’t such a clear evocation of everything that is out of balance in our world.

Because we don’t have all the answer.  We never do.  I think it’s not our job to have the answers. It’s our job to be.  To be whatever it is – each of us – that only we can be. It’s our job to be open to connection with the More Than Human world and to free ourselves from ego, projection, judgement and fear so that when we as ‘What do you want of me?’ we can hear clear, coherent, constructive answers.

Which is to say, we need to ditch the bullshit and self-delusion that can often cloud our capacity to connect.

And clearly, we have the tools to do this.  Connection is our heritage and our birthright. It’s not that long ago that our ancestors lived fully in context with the earth and there are indigenous peoples across the world who still live this way: we can relearn it.

At the same time, we can use all the ancient and modern tools of meditation/contemplation and harness them to the latest neuroscience – specifically our understanding of neuroplasticity – to reshape the way we feel/think/act/BE in the world.

When we can do this, when we can stand flexible, open and receptive and ask ‘what do you want of me?’ and hear clear answers, then the last step is taking the empty handed leap into the void – that point where we let go of everything we believe to be true – because no problem is solved from the mindset that created it and we’re still in the old mindset.

This – the not-knowing— is the nature of emergence from complex systems.  But this has to be our baseline.  Everything else leads on from here.  Because if enough of us can do this, then, together, the whole that we make can be so very much greater than the sum of our parts.

So… the aim is to build a worldwide community of people who get this, who want it badly enough to give up the time in each day to connect, to practice coherence, to walk towards the edge of letting go.  And none of this is trivial.  But it’s not impossible, either.  We can do it. The more we work together, the easier it will be.  And then another world is possible. If we listen carefully, we can hear her singing.

 

Manda Scott 31/12/19

 

Find out more here – https://accidentalgods.life/


Climate Strike

Today, a great many people are striking for the sake of the climate. I won’t be out there – as a self employed person my striking would be almost invisible and I’m not very good at crowds. I am however writing in solidarity and encourage everyone else who can’t join in physically to do the same.

We need radical change, and we need it now.

We need to be willing to make radical changes in our own lives. There’ s a fair amount that we can do individually right now, but the biggest thing will be our collective willingness to adopt massive changes when we’re enabled to do so.

We need clean, green energy. We need a farming industry that doesn’t harm the environment and that provides everyone with affordable food while paying farmers a viable living. We need to radically change how we do work and transport, to eliminate commuting and get cars off our roads. We can’t simply replace fossil fuel driven cars with electric ones because there are too many resources needed to make them. We have to radically cut back on flying and we have to entirely change the fashion industry. We have to largely eliminate single use plastics.

It won’t be easy, but it’s that or go extinct, taking a lot of innocent life forms with us. This year, people seem to be waking up to the climate emergency and becoming more willing to make changes and demand changes.