Is the Rise of Wicca in Response to Environmental Pollution

May 18, 2016 at 10:07 pm (Christianity, Climate Change, economic justice, environmental, Goddess, herbalism, magic, metaphysics, paganism, philosophy, prophecy, religion, shamanism, social justice, Wicca)

Triple Moon Pentagram

Triple Moon Pentagram

Is the Rise of Wicca in response to environmental pollution?

Introduction and Thesis

We live in a world marked by social and financial inequality. Furthermore, we live in a time rife with environmental degradation and pollution. The roots of the exploitation go deep. It began with a foreign religion taking hold of Western Europe by force that largely viewed Nature and women as evil (Ellerbe 1995), a source of temptation and as a result spiritual ruin (Berry 2015). In addition, it also put humans as center of the Universe, and gave man divine sanction as the undisputed lord of creation. All other species were subordinated to him, as the Bible puts it, he was granted dominion over all the Earth and her creatures (Gen 1:26).

This society languished under the yoke of theocracy, rise giving rise to the Dark Ages (Ellerbe 1995). Learning was set back hundreds of years, and if it were not for the Arab peoples, we would have lost even more of the great works of antiquity. During this period followers of the Old Ways, or the indigenous religions of Western Europe(Norse, Druidic, pagan in general) were branded as evil, forcibly converted, and if they refused, tortured and murdered, in the most horrific ways possible. Their knowledge and healing arts were regarded as heretical (Ellerbe 1995), and their wisdom, a wisdom in harmony with nature, was almost completely lost as they were forced underground (Conway 1997).

Yet somehow, someway, the stranglehold of faith lessened, and with it came the Renaissance, with great thinkers who not only challenged the Churches anthropocentric view of man and the Earth in relation to the cosmos, but also produced great works of philosophy that revolutionized everything politically to metaphysically. In spite of these changes, there still were intellectual limitations, in part from the Church still retaining enormous power both politically and spiritually, in part from the arrogance it bred to be placed at the center of creation for so long. Descartes, father of the principle of Sufficient reason was known to cut open animals while still living to demonstrate these “lesser” beasts felt no pain. Man still relied on reason solely, continuing to deny the intuitive. Even after Kant published his Critique of Pure Reason, elegantly pointing out that rationalization will only get a person so far; that there must be something else, as truth is one can rationalize anything, cold reason still prevailed. This continued reliance on reason only allowed for all sorts of atrocities to continue, as much as it allowed for great scientific advances (Ellerbe 1995). Whether it be from feeding man’s arrogance in thinking that he is better than all other creatures on the planet, or in the case of the East India company, allowing the concept of Imperialism to take hold, reason, and only reason, still didn’t solve the problem. In many ways it gave more power to it.

Imperialism is of great import to the discussion that will unfold in this work, as Imperialism is largely responsible for the social, financial and environmental mess we are in. One could argue that it no longer exists, but I would argue, that yes it does, the powers that be just changed the name to Globalism. The practices remain the same however, whether its forcing the Chinese to smoke Opium leading to the Boxer rebellion, or using them to manufacture goods cheaply with pittance wages and no environmental standards so that China is a disaster area in terms of pollution, or wars waged on foreign soil for Oil (Iraq) or Uranium (Afghanistan), the story remains the same. We (as a former colony of England I would include the United States) force others to do what we want, we take their resources, human or natural, and we exploit them. Underneath it all, it cannot be argued that Western society is responsible for environmental pollution & exploitation globally as others adopt our methods, or are forced to source and support our way of life whether they want to or not.

Out of this tragic din of human and environmental suffering has arisen what some scholars would classify as a new religion, but in reality is the reconstruction of a very old religion, older that Christianity, older than Judaism. It is as old as Taoism and Hinduism if not older than them (Buckland 1995). Today, this resurgence is known as Wicca. But throughout the centuries, the term “Witch” has been one to stir up a potent mix of fear and respect on the part of the hearer. Works such as the Malleus Malefic arum were written to identify possible witches during the Inquisition, and it has remained a constant theme throughout the West’s recorded history, that there existed certain people capable of supernatural things. There is no real way to know how accurate the reconstruction of this Art really is, we are left with only a few scraps of paper in essence, a few leafs from books largely burned by the Church, or stolen. But some spell books did survive some pre-Christian religious texts as well. Wicca is the only “nature centered” religion wholly generated by western culture; it is based off of indigenous European traditions that are varied and multifaceted. In this paper I will argue, that yes Wicca is a nature centered religion, it is a response to environmental pollution and it is the natural immune response of a threatened planet targeted at the very society responsible for the threat. It goes to the root of the problem, and is destroying the beast, from the inside out.

Methodology

The primary purpose of this paper is to illustrate the correlation between the rise of the religion known as Wicca and the progression and then abatement of environmental pollution. It is to elucidate not only the connection between the two from a sociological/historical standpoint, but also from a more profound purposeful perspective. Furthermore it is to fill the gaping void of scholarly works on Wicca as a legitimate religion, especially credible philosophical works on the religion’s practices and beliefs. However it is also intended to be accessible to the “lay” readership, non-scholar adults interested in religions, and environmental issues, whether they be Wiccan or not. That being said, the arguments and to whom are those arguments directed are a myriad group of people. Scholars, environmentalists, ecologists, sociologists, politicians, theologians and others, will find informative value in the subject I am covering.
To do this I considered multiple sources of data, they are:
• Demographic data
• Political data (legislation primarily)
• Historical data (history of witchcraft and the modern Wiccan movement, as well as EPA pollution data)
• Personal perspective (statements from Wiccan authors as to the purpose and philosophy of the religion)

I am taking a scholarly approach to analyzing this data, as a glaring weakness of the Wiccan movement is a lack of scholarly works, weakening valid claims of legitimacy as many writers within the religion are simply not writing in this manner, for what reasons I could only speculate. Furthermore as a Wiccan myself, I want to give a perspective on the religion to outsiders, scholars specifically, that simply is impossible to give unless intimately involved with the religion, as I have been for over 15 years.

As this is a paper largely dealing with religious and ecological subjects, it helps to define exactly what I mean in the usage of the various terms associated with both subjects. I speak of ecology, both in environmental sense, as in a biome of interrelated creatures; but in the sense of religious ecology, a grouping of interdependent ideas, practices etc. that make up a religion, as well as the indigenous understanding of “religious ecology” where there is no separation between Humanity and Nature, and separation is an artificial construct (Grim & Tucker 2014). I primarily focus on the definition of religion attributed to Paul Tillich, “Religion is the state of being grasped by an ultimate concern” and I define spiritual as being concerned with not only religious matters but again in the indigenous sense, spirits as in entities possessing humans, flora, fauna and the elements themselves.

As to understandings present about the connections of “religion”, “ecology”, and “environmental degradation”, a Wiccan would almost intuitively grasp, much as a native would, that the separation of religion from the environment/natural world is the source of environmental degradation and as it pertains to my thesis, pollution. As Wiccans invoke the elements of Nature in all rites, there is no separation between one and the other, religion is in no way separate from the ecology of the natural world, nor is there any separation between the individual and the perceived world. This separation quite plainly is an artificial illusion Wiccans in no way subscribe to.
Wicca’s earth centered spirituality, and religious ecology is indeed useful and hopeful for the issue at hand, not only from the standpoint of environmental stewardship, but also in the concept of Magic (belief), one person does have the power to change the world for the better. This idea that the individual, or a group of individuals can effect change, change that is seemingly miraculous and/or supernatural, is essential to Wicca as an antidote to the systems that have brought us to the place we are now. However, the converse of this is that Witchcraft can also be used for self-serving ends if the philosophy and ethics behind it are not understood, or disregarded. As is the case presently with the lack of concrete philosophical works on the subject it is all too easy to abuse the Power. As King Solomon puts in the Greater Key of Solomon, to do such a thing is taking the name of the Lord in vain (MATHERS 1888). Too many are attracted for self-serving power, when selfishness, separateness and anthropocentricism are what got us in this mess in the first place.
Finally I borrow from Grim and Tucker’s “Ecology and Religion” their elucidation of the process by which to analyze the data and put it in perspective. They laid out retrieval, reevaluation and reconstruction. As it applies to Wicca, I will use this method to retrieve what was Wicca, or as it is referred to historically, Witchcraft, to reevaluate it, as where it went wrong, and what it had right, and reconstruct witchcraft as a system of beliefs, a religious ecology that has reconstructed itself to form the religion we now call Wicca.

Body/Analysis

Part 1 Modern resurgence of Witchcraft-Wicca

Retrieval
To begin with, there must be an understanding of where “Wicca” came from. Etymologically speaking, Wicca is an Old English term for Wise Man or Sorcerer, whereas Wicce is the feminine form of this term meaning Wise Woman. It should be noted that Wicca is part of a greater Neo-Pagan revival, and so it is important to understand what practices it borrows from. Within the context of the greater Pagan community, Wicca at present mixes elements of Asatru, the revival of the old Norse religions, that look to the Icelandic Sagas and Prose Eddas as their “sacred” texts; it borrows mostly from the reconstructed Celtic Druidic traditions, and it also uses elements from what would today be classified as Hermetic or Ceremonialist Texts, a tradition almost inextricably linked with Masonry, Thelemics and the Works of King Solomon, who acknowledges a legendary figure, Hermes Trismegustus, as their founder.

A thorough analysis of the various historical teachings and practices of these paths would be impossible in the context of this paper, so instead I will focus specifically on the works that the founder of the modern Wiccan movement, Gerald Gardner, used to formulate his system. It is important to understand historical witchcraft from the perspective of the meanings of different label used in association with the practitioners of the Occult. A witch may be understood to be a practitioner of magic, proficient in spell craft, he/she may be considered benevolent (white witch or right hand path), or malevolent (black or left hand path) or some combination thereof, typically referred to as a grey witch. A sorcerer should be defined as a conjurer of the black, left-hand arts, and usually practicing a Craft closely associated with hermetics or Thelema. An adept simply is someone who has mastered the magical arts, no matter the ethical bent, white, black or gray.

Reevaluation
Part of what scares people when you tell them you are a witch, is the history of that word. Whereas some within the community would insist it is undeserved, I would say such a statement is disingenuous and naive. It is well known that Roman historians documented practices of human sacrifice among the Druids in Britain, and whereas we can argue as to whether that was simply a form of political slander to justify conquest, or actually the truth, the perception of it being factual is there, and that is what matters for the eventual success of this “new religious movement”, the proverbial court of public opinion. Furthermore, there are plenty of instances of the practice of blood magic and necromancy, rumored or factual again being irrelevant, and let us not forget that the ancient religious ancestors of Wiccans, the pagans, took great delight sacrificing Christians to the lions in Rome for their refusal to take the vow of state allegiance to Jupiter. There is a reason there are Biblical injunctions again sorcery (Lev 19:31) and that allegations of witchcraft were enough to make the entire town of Salem Massachusetts lose their collective marbles.

But there are the elements of the old pagan paths, parts of witchcraft that should be revived. The old wise men and women were known for their healing arts, their knowledge of natural medicines in the form of medicinal plants and herbs. Wise women were midwives, as well as the angel of death with a brew of Deadly Nightshade to ease the suffering and transition into death for the terminally ill. The acknowledgement of Feminine divinity alongside the masculine, as well as an understanding of elemental power (Ellerbe 1995). By that I mean understanding that we, like the Earth are a balance and combination of the four natural elements, and through this mystical understanding, seemingly magical change could be effected. Druids on either side of battles in ancient Britain lended aid to their king’s troops, by calling up fogs, or blighting the opposing force’s crops or kings (Cowan 1993). Some might say these are only stories, but to many these stories are fact.

Reconstruction
It is important to note that the sociological ground was fertile for something like Wicca to arise, even though when looked at specifically it would seem to have come out of nowhere. Evan Barry in his book “Devoted to Nature”, not only documents the religious framework of the Middle Ages and earlier that lead to Nature in essence being demonized, but he also chronicles the shift from those attitudes beginning in the Enlightenment with Rousseau and others. Nature slowly evolved from a spiritually dangerous thing, to something that could not only offer redemption, but salvation as well. Specifically towards the last half of the 19th century, and gaining steam in the 20th, great ecological thinkers, such as Thoreau, Muir and Leopold gave this transition steam, viewing the land in radically different contexts than their medieval forebears. I would note that this shift occurred, and gained steam the most, at the same time the Industrial Revolution, and all that came with it, occurred. There is a correlation.

Not surprisingly then, the precursors to the founding of Wicca as a religion occurred at this same time. During the Victorian era there was an interest in Orientalist philosophy and the occult, in the form of mediumship and séances. This is also the time of the Theosophical society, Madame Blatavasky’s “Isis Unveiled” and in general an uncharacteristic interest in subject material that only a century or so earlier would have been branded heretical and quite possibly punished by death. One could argue it is precisely because the stranglehold of the Church had been broken, allowing such things to resurface, but I would argue the stranglehold had been broken a good century before, negating the idea that this was a product of that.

It is in the context of this renewed interest in alternative philosophies and occult ideas that Wicca arose. Wicca attempts to be the modern incarnation of these ancient paths pieced together, quite the challenge when the corpus of texts was by in large destroyed or stolen. There is a legend surrounding Gerald Gardner in the early days of World War Two. When faced with the very real threat of Nazi (who also were deeply interested in the Occult and specifically the resurrection of the Old Norse religion) occupation, he and his coven got together on the chalk cliffs of Britain, and performed a ritual. This ritual, or spells intent was to prevent said feared Nazi occupation. As history proves, whereas the Nazis did bomb Britain repeatedly, they never made landfall. By all appearances Gerald’s spell worked. So much so that not only did it help to repeal Britain’s antiwitchcraft laws, but made Gardner famous, meeting with Winston Churchill among other things.

Gerald Gardner’s Craft was a mix of various practices (Gardner 1949). He had apparently read the Greater and Lesser Keys of Solomon, a work attributed to the Hebrew King himself. A lot of his ritual formulations come from there, most importantly the concept of a circle and sacred space in which to do magic. Solomon also deals with the raising of spirits to do ones bidding, commanding them in the name of God. This is not to be confused with necromancy, or the raising of the dead, it’s a hairsbreadth worth of difference, but a difference none the less. Being English, he borrowed heavily from the traditions handed down ancestrally in his homeland, specifically referred to as British traditionalism. This in turn comes from the Craft of the Druids, and their greatest contribution was the concept of elemental Magic, invoking the power of the forces of nature to achieve a desired end. I cannot emphasize this enough as it is the main crux of my argument that Wicca is nature centered. In every rite and ritual, the four elements are called and invoked, incense made of plants and resins is burned, each element is represented on the altar, salt for earth, incense smoke for air, candles for fire, and water for water (Buckland 1995). Rituals are mostly (although not always and they do not have to be) conducted outdoors. Characteristic of Gardner’s brand of Magic however, was an almost folksy romanticizing of Nature, his notion of redemption through nature only echoes the voices of Rousseau and Thoreau, Gardner just takes it a step further and puts a magical/supernatural bent on it.

What he did however spawned a movement whose true reach and size cannot be fully accounted for. His ideas gave rise to a philosophy completely unique in the West. Goddess worship is usually something we think of in regards to Hinduism, but Wicca acknowledges feminine divinity as an equal partner to masculine divinity (Moura 2003). Whereas some Christian theologians may balk at this, it cannot be argued that Yahweh, the Canaanite precursor to the God of the Bible, had a wife, the Goddess Asherah. From my perspective, this is already restoring a major component of our image of the sacred that should have never been lost, as the Goddess, no matter if She is called Asherah or Isis, serves as a counter balance to male power. If God is rational, the Goddess is intuitive, if God is the Conqueror, the Goddess is the Nurturer. This balance between opposing forces can be best understood from the Taoist perspective and the concept of Yin and Yang. All of Creation and Destruction is a balance and interplay between two forces, and either at the extreme, without the other, becomes evil.

It should come as no surprise then to any Wiccan that the reason we have the wars, the financial exploitation and environmental destruction is because the Feminine was stripped of her rightful place. Symbols have power, and just as the symbol was stripped, so was the physical manifestation, the Earth has been raped, as have the women who are her earthly incarnations, as well as been blamed for man’s fall and shortcomings, both forced to bear, to the point of death.

In addition to the unique facet of Wicca that is Goddess worship, is also the four elementals. Technically there are five, as spirit (aether) is considered one, but for the sake of brevity I will focus only on the four physical. They are Earth, Air, Fire and Water and they are to be understood as not only in the physical sense, but as living conscious entities and active in the psycho-spiritual sense (Wolfe 1996). Interestingly enough, Grim and Tucker without being Wiccan to my knowledge honed in on this in their work. “The elements of earth, air, fire and water are important in religious ecologies as biocultural realities that literally and symbolically weave humans into the vibrant processes of earth and the cosmos. However as biocultural symbols, air, earth, water, and fire can be seen as corresponding to religious ecological processes of orienting, grounding, nurturing, and transforming humans” (Grim & Tucker 2014). They speak of the elementals, without even knowing it.

Part 2 Coincidence with Modern Environmental Movement

As an American, I am the most familiar with events in American history, and so I will study the rise of Wicca from the American perspective. In modern times the first “Wiccan” in the United States was Raymond Buckland. Known affectionately as Uncle Bucky, he was born in London, his mother English, and his father Romani, or as we would better recognize, Gypsy. He was influenced and later initiated into Gerald Gardner’s coven. Not soon after, Gerald Gardner died and the two never met again. Buckland arrived in the U.S. in 1962, bringing Gardnerian Wicca with him. He established a coven, known as the Long Island Coven, and every Garderian Wicca in the United States pretty much can trace their magical lineage back to this coven. There are some exceptions, but by in large, they all come from him.

The 60’s are known as a turning point in American social history, Haight-Ashbury and the Summer of Love, the civil rights movement. While the hippies were better known for free love, drugs and rock and roll, the social revolution of the 60’s also included the Occult. It is in this atmosphere, that Gardner’s/Buckland’s new religion found fertile ground. Whereas demographic data can be very hard to find as the census does not require people to self-identify their religious affiliation, independent sources show a very clear trend of increasing membership. In short, Wicca caught on like wildfire.

It should first be noted that I could not find any data for the number of Wiccans in the United States before 1970. However after that, a sampling of the data I was able find is as such:
• 1972, “John Godwin estimated in “Occult America” that “there were at least 20,000 organized members in this country.”
• 1980: J. Gordon Melton of the Institute for the Study of American Religion estimated 30,000 to 40,000 adherents to some form of Craft doctrine. The estimate was based on data collected at the 1979 Pan Pagan Festival.
• 1990: The US Army published a book for the guidance of its chaplains when dealing with a soldier of a non-traditional faith: “Religious Requirements and Practices of Certain Selected Groups: A Handbook for Chaplains.” 3 In the 1990 edition, the author comments: “MEMBERSHIP: Because of the complete autonomy of covens, this cannot be determined. There are an estimated 50,000 Wiccans in the United States.”
• 2000: The Covenant of the Goddess conducted a year-long poll of Witches and Pagans, starting 1999-JUL. They estimate that the total number of Witches and Pagans in the United States is about 768,400.
• 2001: On MAY-13, Stats Canada reported on the religious identification of Canadians, as determined by the 2001 census. Unlike the U.S., the government of Canada asks religious questions during their census data collection. They found that Wiccans and other Neopagans showed the greatest percentage growth of any religion in the country. They totaled 21,080 members in 2001, an increase of 281% from 1991. “If we assume that Canada and the U.S. have similar cultures and thus have a similar percentage of Wiccans, then there would be on the order of 197,429 Wiccans among the estimated 277.60 million Americans, compared to the 29.64 million Canadians. ” ((http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_nbr2.htm))

These numbers are expected to continue to grow, and some estimate that not only is it the fastest growing religion in the United States, but it stands to be the third largest religion in the U.S. by 2020.

In the same year as Raymond Buckland arrived in the United States, the modern environmental movement was born with the publishing of Racheal Carson’s “Silent Spring”, 1962. This work cannot be overstated in its importance and effect. It was the impetus for The Clean Air and Water acts, which in turn lead to the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Those two pieces of legislation in turned spawned many other acts, the Safe Drinking water act as well as the Superfund Act among others. Conservation already was part of the national agenda, but no one exposed the endemic issue of chemical and industrial pollution quite the way Carson did.

Part 3 Rise of Wicca as a natural “immune” response to pollution threats to nature.

I am not a believer in mere coincidence. Formation of the modern environmentalist movement occurred at exact same time as rise of Wicca in United States; just as Silent Spring signaled a major shift in resource policy for the nation, so did Wicca signal a major socio-religious shift.

There are two ways in which one could look at this. The first is from a directly causal correlation/relationship. Most Wiccans would self-identify as environmentalist, and so one could argue that people already concerned with the environment saw what I saw in it, that is a religion that grasps the sacredness of incarnation, and the Earth better than any other commonly available in the West. Or one could look at it from the other perspective that as Berry argued religious attitudes were already shifting in a more ecologically friendly manner and Wicca just somehow sprung up in the midst of all this. Certainly the data backs up the claim that there is a correlation between the two. Whether one caused the other or vice versa is up for debate, but the connection definitely seems to be there in some way.

But I think there is something deeper going on here, and far more profound. For centuries we have regarded the Earth as inert, a lifeless hunk of rock with a molten core that just so happened to generate a magnetic fields that keeps us all from frying to death in the solar rays, and just so happened to have all the conditions to create and support life and did so, in all of its myriad forms for millions of years. It seems so odd to me to conclude that something that seems to heave forth life from every orifice and cranny, would itself be lifeless, especially when one looks at that magnetic field as very similar to the aura surrounding humans and every other living thing.

James Lovelock along with Lynn Margulis developed what is known as the Gaia Theory in the 1970’s, again extremely close to the time frame when Wicca and environmentalism (as defined by natural resource managers as someone whose primary concern is pollution) also appeared. In it they state that the biosphere is a self-regulating entity, able to maintain and adjust the balance within the environment to sustain life. It goes on to say that not only is the biosphere self-regulating, but both organisms and environment affect each other and co-evolve.

Consider systems theory in general. The earth a biological, geological and chemical system, whose parts are so numerous and complex that quite frankly the odds of it all working right for a day, let alone billions of years, are astronomically against life continuing. In fact if looked at from that perspective it does actually become impossible that it has worked, and the fact that it has, is nothing short of a daily miracle. But perhaps it isn’t all random, perhaps there is a consciousness guiding it all. Then the odds change from being stacked against life, to wholly in favor of life.
What if this inert lifeless hunk of rock hurtling through space isn’t lifeless at all, what if the Earth is not only alive, but conscious as well? And what if coevolution is exactly the way of things, and by what we are doing with massive industrial and chemical pollution, an entity that moves slowly by the laws of physics (greater inertia to overcome, dimensional scaling), cannot keep up with the rapid changes created in the 20th century? What if we truly are killing our mother and all other life on this planet? What is a being with complex agency supposed to do when one group of her children seem hell-bent on killing her?

As crazy as such a theory sounds, we are just now discovering that trees communicate with each other in ways never realized before, that the network of mycorrhizal fungi under the soil surface acts as a neural network. We are discovered that plants are far more complex than we ever thought. Even soil itself is teeming with life. If the trees are speaking to each other, is it so farfetched that the entity they grow from might be alive and capable of communicating in some way? And how would such a being communicate and what would it say to us? I admit I am in the realm of pure speculation at this point, but in the face of the myriad threats facing us I’m pretty sure that that being would try to communicate to us to stop, and in some way to show us she’s alive. There have been messages over the years, the dust bowl in response to over plowing the Midwest, increase in earthquakes around fracking injection sites, mine collapses, storms of increasing intensity, the signs are all there, if one ceases to look at it as all random. And if this being were very wise, She would understand the most potent symbolism known to man are the unconscious symbols of religion. And considering She has born witness to everything that has gone, on more than likely she would see the toll an anthropocentric unbalanced religion devoid of feminine influence has caused the predicament we are in and somehow, someway she would find a way to make us remember what was lost, that should not have been forgotten. And I imagine such a being would not speak in words, for the Earth does not have a mouth, but rather in unconscious thoughts and feelings. Quite simply, the Earth speaks to us in the language of dreams. Every indigenous shaman on the planet would agree. We in the west just had it beaten out of us for 2000 years. In the words of Merlin, “For it is the doom of men that they forget”

Conclusion

All that being said, yes, Wicca is a nature centered religion, it is a response to environmental pollution and it is the natural immune response of a threatened planet targeted at the very society responsible for the threat.

If I’m right, I must also impart to you the reader why you should care, of what import is this theory? Quite frankly if I must explain to you the profoundness of the Earth being alive in terms of the shift in consciousness and ethics it would entail, I would seriously question your intellectual and ethical capacities in general. We are using, and abusing and in danger of destroying the being who gives us life, with everything from climate change, to geoengineering and seismic weaponry, among other things. We suck the blood of the earth, oil, out like vampires. We chop down Gaia’s lungs, which are our lungs. We genetically tamper with creatures with no real respect for the virulent potency of life, and what happens when it is profoundly changed without millennia of evolution to stabilize it in the context of the environment. Such a revelation, changes quite simply, everything.

In terms of what it means for the legitimacy of Wicca, a religion that is quite possibly the voice of the earth, it means it becomes more legitimate than the Judeo-Christian traditions in terms of the mouthpiece of the profound. No longer is it the angsty fringe, for losers and weirdoes who couldn’t fit in, but rather the haven of prophets in a society that thinks God is dead. It means that magic isn’t delusion, and that we were meant to live a life far more meaningful, miraculous and frankly mind-blowingly blissful, then what the powers that be have prescribed for us. In short it would revolutionize society. Do I think the religion is ready for it? By majority, no. I think far too many lose sight of God, and project themselves in It’s place. They emphasize formula and hierarchy over truth and what works. Their egos and quest for power make them lousy servants of the Divine. But there are a few that truly get it, and more than likely for that very reason, lack of ego, you don’t know their names, although there are the rare few like Buckland who were forced into the limelight when they didn’t want it, divine providence in action, for if he wasn’t, would we in the United States know about this? Wicca is a nature centered religion, it is a response to environmental pollution and it is the natural immune response of a threatened planet targeted at the very society responsible for the threat. Let’s hope we have the sense to keep listening and get over ourselves.
Bibliography-Is the Rise of Wicca (divine feminine) in response to environmental pollution?
Berry, Evan. Devoted to Nature. Oakland: University of California Press, 2015.
Buckland, Raymond. Complete Book of Witchcraft. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1995.
Conway, D.J. By Oak Ash and Thorn. St Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1997.
Cowan, Tom. Fire in the Head. San Francisco: Harper Collins Publishers, 1993.
Ellerbe, Helen. The Dark Side of Christian History. San Rafael: Morningstar Books, 1995.
Gardner, Gerald. High Magic’s Aid. Clevedon: Aurinia Books, 1949.
MATHERS, S. LIDDELL MACGREGOR. The Key of Solomon the King. London: British Museum, 1888.
Moura, Ann. Green Witchcraft. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 2003.
the Holy Bible. n.d.
Tucker, John Grim and Mary Evelyn. Ecology and Religion. Washington: Island Press, 2014.
Wolfe, Amber. Druid Power. Woodbury: Llewellyn, 1996.
Ball, Caroline. Wicca, Witchcraft and the Goddess Revival: an examination of the growth of Wicca in post-war America. University of Derby-Academia.edu
Clifton, Chas S. Her Hidden Children, the rise of Wicca and Paganism in America. Lanham: AltaMira Press. 2006
Taylor, B. R. Dark Green Religion, Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2010
Pitzl-Waters, Jason. Environmentalism, Modern Paganism, and Civil Disobedience. The Wild Hunt, January 23, 2013 http://wildhunt.org/2013/01/environmentalism-modern-paganism-and-civil-disobedience.html
Sanders, C. Wicca’s Charm: Understanding the Spiritual Hunger Behind the Rise of Modern Witchcraft and Pagan Spirituality. Colorado Springs: Shaw Books, 2005
JENSEN, GARY F. & THOMPSON, ASHLEY. Out of the Broom Closet”: The Social Ecology of American Wicca, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 47, Issue 4, pages 753–766, December 2008
Carson, R. Silent Spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1962

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: