As we wrap up 2015, it’s important to think of what has been accomplished and what more needs to be done. While pagans are still a pretty small, religious minority, it is indisputable that our numbers are growing along with our influence in public life.
Since the beginning of the Neopagan movement in the 1950’s (along with more ancient traditions dating back to Medieval Times), pagan and occult practices have been limited to small (and mostly secretive) gatherings.
But now as public religious acceptance grows, these gatherings are becoming less secretive and more public. In fact, we have seen things happen in 2015, that have not occurred in hundreds – and perhaps even a thousand years.
In the beginning of this year, Scotland saw its first gay, Pagan wedding.
Then plans were announced in Iceland to build the first temple to the Norse Gods since the Viking Ages.
Meanwhile, the U.K. announced the creation of a druid college.
In April, Northern Ireland certified its first pagan priest since the time of St. Patrick. Ironically, the name of the pagan man himself is Patrick. Who says the Gods don’t have a sense of humor?
Another big story in April was when a Wiccan Priestess was invited to give the opening invocation before the Iowa State Legislature.
In terms of other big news, the U.S. Supreme Court made gay marriage legal nation wide this June.
And of course, last but not least, the metal heads of this blog will be mourning the loss of the metal god and legend Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead who recently passed. I realized since I wrote my last article, that I shouldn’t say RIP, because I can’t really see Lemmy sitting around quietly for too long. It’s more likely that he’ll be rocking out with the gods in Valhalla and writing some of the best damned metal anyone ever heard with Dio.
So this new years raise a glass in toast for all the good, bad, and ugly that happened this year. And let’s hope to make 2016 even more exciting and eventful than 2015.
In the days of old, our ancestors told the stories of their people by the fire side.
Today there is a podcast called the “Celtic Myth Podshow” that provides a modern version of this tradition. You can go to their website and hear the old Celtic myths told through the modern media of the internet. You can also download their app on your phone.
I in particular love hearing these stories aloud because I can never understand nor pronounce those weird Celtic names when I see them written down.
But in January they need to pay over £100 of web hosting fees, update their website and much of their recording equipment. They have been paying all these costs themselves to provide a free service to the public, but now they need help, since they can no longer afford to do this alone.
Check out the Celtic Myth Podshow and click the donate button, that’s on the left side of their website.
Here’s the latest episode, for the curious
Learn more about Odin from the links below:
Currently the 2015 Climate Change Conference is being held in Paris, France. It will go from November 30th – December 11th.
Yet how effective have these climate ‘talks’ been? And is that all it is? Just talk?
Since the first climate summit 20 years ago, carbon dioxide emissions have soared (not decreased) and the pace of destruction is accelerating. Climate scientists say that sea levels, for example, are rising three times faster than predicted and that the Arctic ice is vanishing at rates unforeseen.
If we allow carbon dioxide concentrations to reach 550 ppm, that means the global temperature will continue to rise for at least another century. We have already passed the 400 mark – a figure unseen on earth for 3-5 million years, and in the last ten years, we’ve seen the nine hottest years on record.
But of course greenhouse gasses aren’t the only issue at hand.
The reality is that humans are presiding over an era of mass destruction on planet earth. Scientists are calling the human era (the Anthropocene Age) an era of mass extinction. In 40 short years, our economic systems have destroyed half of the wild life on the planet according to the world wild life fund.
This is not to mention that little is being said by global elites about the most environmentally destructive industry in our time – the agriculture industry. While it was barely mentioned in the climate talks, these big agriculture businesses account for nearly 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
So what we have is an era in which the leaders and elites deliver feel good sound bites and lofty rhetoric. There are always ‘talks’ about change and endless ‘conversations.’ Sure, around twenty countries have taken a pledge to reduce their CO2 emissions, but what rules have been put into place to force these promises into action?
And even if these countries do reduce CO2 emissions, that’s not the complete problem.
The real problem is that today’s societies and governments are based on a system of endless growth that cannot possibly be sustained. The same leaders who deliver happy talk about saving the rain forests and cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions, are the leaders who profit from the machinery of environmental destruction and corporate greed.
The truth is that we cannot live by systems of endless growth on a planet with finite resources.
So the truth is that a corporate cabal has hijacked our democracies and governments. Our so called liberal leaders have done little to nothing to stop the break neck speed of climate change and environmental destruction. Many of the so called liberal reformers who deliver rhetoric about saving the planet and climate change, are also the people who voted yes for the TPP and cheer on fracking. It’s okay, it’s called ‘natural’ gas – so that means it’s natural right? Never mind the fact that this process releases methane into the air, which is 20 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.
So in our time we have the growth of environmental fads, such as buying $50 dollar light bulbs and fair trade coffee. Things like this make people feel like they’re doing something without changing the actual infrastructure of the problem.
This would be like if a dragon were flying around, raining hell fire and destruction from above, and people cheered one another on for painting the dragon’s toe nails green (instead of…you know…slaying the dragon).
So a lot of this feel good talk and fake reform is dangerous – more dangerous than doing nothing in some ways. It’s dangerous because it creates the illusion that we’re doing something about our problems, when we’re actually not. This way, people don’t rise up and demand change, because they’re fooled by the lies of the fake reformers.
But the reality is that if people don’t push for REAL change, Mother Nature will push these changes herself. It’ll just be a change that human beings won’t like very much.
The reality is that the coming destruction as a result of humanity’s excesses won’t happen in a linear fashion, as part of some carefully calculated trend. The destruction will happen all at once because our ecosystem is interconnected. It’ll be a widespread domino effect. We’ll see the crash of our food systems, destroyed due to a lack of genetic diversity, and the death of natural pollinators – like the bees. We’ll see the rise of droughts, disease, coastal flooding and mega-storms.
So the reality is that change is coming one way or another.
We can either be a part of the change or be on the receiving end of it.
It would be great if our leaders could peacefully put through needed reforms. And it’s great that people are talking about environmental reform. But if real environmental change doesn’t come, there will be a need in our time for people to put forth new political ideologies – for people to be willing to take down the current infrastructure of runaway corporate greed. This may involve violence. This may involve civil disobedience. But it’s near certain that the people benefiting from the planet’s destruction are not going to stop unless someone makes them stop.
The people presiding over this system are not good people. The problems of today aren’t a temporary hiccup in a gleaming machine of progress. What kind of people would preside over the destruction of half the planet’s wildlife? What kind of people would abide the greatest income inequality of our time? The answer, is sick, disturbed people. These people are spiritually and mentally sick, and they are a byproduct of the fact that the world has been run off of sick religious ideas for a while now.
In our time there is a need to become spiritually attuned to Nature – as our ancestors were in the days of old. Soon Nature will call for warriors to take a stand against evil and greed. Will you heed the call of the Earth?