After a bit of a mental-health break, Friday Foraging is back, so let’s get into it.
Mark Green at Atheopaganism reposted an old blogpost in a recent Facebook discussion where I asked what the point of doing ritual and Pagan practice is when the world is in such a state. Mark’s post, Living in Dark Days, is brilliant and much-needed, and (sadly) as relevant now as ever:
The world is still magnificent. Life is still miraculous. Love is still sublime. And the truth is that we face the greatest challenge of our lifetimes now. We need each other more than ever. We need our sense of spiritual connectedness more than ever.
The Guardian has an excellent piece called The Season of the Witch on the relevance and resurgance of Witches and Witchcraft in pop-culture, from the excellent A Discovery of Witches to the new Charmed and Satanic take on Sabrina. Witches are coming back into public consciousness for many reasons, and one which I would suggest is that they represent an old-yet-new kind of power: the power of the outsider, the oppressed, the female, the queer, the magical:
Even if she falls out of vogue – which doesn’t look likely, given this autumn’s TV programming – the witch is always with us, says MacCormack. “The occult never goes away. People are desperate for alternative paradigms of practice and activism because the current ones simply don’t work.”
In dark times, we need to remember to shine. Joanna van der Hoeven at Down the Forest Path writes about the Flame of Samhain. Her words are so striking and moving I used them in my own Samhain ritual on Wednesday night:
Shine, in the coming darkness. Let the spark of awen light the flame within your soul. Guard that flame, the truth against the world. Let it be your guide, let it be your light, to shine out into the world.
The WWF, one of the nature-based charities of which I am a supporter, has a website devoted to showing ways we can bring some light to the world. Along with the social media hashtag #FightForYourWorld, the WWF is asking everyone to stand up and do something to counter the destruction and threats nature faces daily:
Our world is under threat like never before. We’re the first generation to know we’re destroying the world, but we could be the last to do anything about it.
Go to 12 Ways to Fight for Your World to find practical things we can all do to help. Pick one or two from the list of 12 and go do it. Be the change.
And finally, The Spirit of Ghost is a relatively new blog all about the people and fandom behind one of my favourite bands, Ghost. Their music has got me through some dark times, and their themes of living and loving in the face of death have helped me a lot. So, I was thrilled to see that after a call on Facebook for fan comments, I was chosen to be among the fans featured in the post What Does Ghost Mean to Us?
Ghost means finding hope and wonder in the midst of darkness, dancing in the face of death and living life to the fullest while we’re here. Honestly, I love how a band that makes music about death, hell and Satan can bring so much joy to so many people.