The world as we know it that is dying. The planet will survive, life will survive, but it will be a tough future for those human and non-human animals (and those non-animals) that are around to experience it. So what can we do to lessen the pain?
JMG suggested that we should collapse now and avoid the rush. Simplifying life, reducing expenses to a bare minimum, growing our own food, getting out of debt etc. are all wise moves but is there anything else we should do? For me it is three connected things leadership, personal responsibility and education.
Firstly, eco and political activism require leadership. These are easy outside of a Druid context and I am always involved in a range of campaigns, but my Druidry gives me that sense of a whole picture, helps me join the dots and gives me that drive to carry on. It helps me really understand why I do what I do. It also motivates me – my commitment to the Earth and the gods drive me forward. I can’t rest or become exhausted while there are huge injustices and injuries to our fellow animals, plants or the Earth.
I think too that there is far more that I should do in terms of Druid ritual. I’ve led one small rite as part of the Warrior’s Call and I particularly like their mantra of Action as Ritual, Ritual and Action. I’ve led other occasional rites but I ought to do far more and seize opportunities to do these (it occurs to me that I missed an excellent opportunity last weekend).
Secondly, I lead a C21 lifestyle – it is almost impossible not to – but within that there are red lines that I won’t cross. These are the most polluting and destructive activities, for example I won’t fly or eat meat. As an avid reader of John Michael Greer, there is a whole bunch of things that I toy with doing from his work on green wizardry and voluntary poverty explorations, its often very hair shirt though and doesn’t always go down well with my family!
But we are not going to lead a C21 lifestyle forever. Energy will become scarce in the future and those who are most dependent on it will suffer more than those who live on less. Learning the skills that our fathers and grandfathers had will see us well for the medium term and it will help preserve those skills so that we can pass them on too which leads us on to…
Finally education! Personal education, learning skills and how to cope but also teaching others. I was at a great Pagan festival last weekend and the workshops were superb: beekeeping, fire making etc. – real skills that society has largely forgotten but will be essential as things get tougher. We need to ensure that people can learn the skill they will increasingly need and that means that those of us who can, teach (and those of us who can’t, teach PE… to quote a great film ;-))
So my triad is complete… Druid actions in a dying world: responsibility, leadership and education.
Inspired by a discussion at The Druid Network