Welcome to another Friday Foraging!
This week, there’s an Anima Monday double bill! If you aren’t already following them, go do that thing.
The first is an exploration of magic, wonder and beauty: Animism and Magic: Walk in Beauty Outside and you Walk in Beauty Inside. I love this post, it articulates so much of what I feel is lacking in traditional definitions of magic like Crowley’s “change in accordance with will”. True magic comes from encountering and appreciating nature, not trying to bend it to your will.
Magic is potentially all around me all of the time. I don’t think I need someone else to tell me how to live authentically. I don’t need to buy dust collectors to accomplish magic. The exchange system in the land of magic is radically different. Magic wants me to pay attention rather than to pay money….
…We live in epic times. Climate change is happening in real time. The forests are disappearing. Fascism creeps through our backyards. War is in perpetual motion. A catastrophic extinction event has already begun. The life around us needs energized people. Maybe that can happen through the magic of paying attention and the magic of sharing stories — the stories that remind us of past mistakes, tell us how we are most powerful and help us discover what makes life worth living.
The second Anima Monday post is an Interview with Joanna van der Hoeven. Joanna is a Druid, Hedge Witch and author, as well as Director of Druid College UK. Both in person and in print, Joanna’s words and example are a wonderful guide into the forest of Druidry and a demonstration of how to walk your talk.
A Hedge Witch is a bit of an anarchist. She likes to work alone, and she works in her craft daily, honing her skills and always learning more. She may think differently from those around her: she may see spirits and talk with the ancestors, she may talk to plants or animals, and she certainly walks her talk. She takes full responsibility for everything that she does, and chooses carefully. She reveres the natural world around her, but she may not necessarily view it as a religion or spirituality. For the Hedge Witch, the path may be simply one of life’s work, of a way of life that honours the cycles of nature around her, without needing the label of religion or spirituality attached.
Nimue Brown at Druid Life discusses Druidry and Relationship with Space, questioning Capitalist assumptions of “ownership” and looking instead at ideas of “Belonging”.
To feel belonging is to feel part of a community of place. When we belong, we don’t have to feel rivalry with anything else that also belongs. That includes other people. Any number of beings – seen and unseen – can belong to a place. It’s a more spacious idea than ownership, which capitalism has taught us to see as individual…
…Belonging takes time and the investment of care and attention. It means getting to know the space and the community of living beings already in it. It means recognising that you are not more important than the other beings that belong to the place.
Lupa at The Greenwolf has an excellent piece called Nature Sacred As It Is, which is a deep contemplation on nature’s intrinsic value, rather than seeing nature through our limited human perceptions and ideas of what is valuable and important.
I want people to be able to look at rare, amazing things in nature and not have their immediate thought be “I need to change that!” I want more people to be able to have the appreciation for nature’s intrinsic values that existed long before we ever did. I want us, just for a moment, to stop corralling nature in with our economic and religious beliefs, and just let it be its own thing, massive and terrifying and magnificently beautiful from the tiniest atom to the entire universe. Stop telling stories about how much money you can make off of it, or how it has all these supernatural properties that we can exploit, or any other ways in which nature supposedly revolves around us.
That’s it for this week, but as I’m off to see the mighty Behemoth in concert tonight, I will leave you with one of my favourite tracks from their latest album, I Loved You At Your Darkest. Be warned, the video is NSFW in places, and the song will enter your brain and set up home there for weeks after hearing it!