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.)