I was just reminded of this, which was said to me once by John Male, on seeing a post from Mark Green about a new festival called Wolfenoot, made up by a 7-year-old boy.
“If all the Pagans and all the Pagan books disappeared tomorrow, Paganism would still reappear, because it’s part of the Earth.”
My first thought on reading about Wolfenoot was that the boy inventor had almost succeeded in reinventing Lupercalia – which led on to my second thought, which was being reminded of what John Male said to me once.
That led to my third thought, that Paganism is about how we, as physically embodied beings, relate to the Earth – which is, I think, what my friend John Male meant when he said that Paganism would return no matter how many times anyone tried to eradicate it, because it’s natural for us to relate to the Earth.
The thing that’s clever about Wolfenoot is that it is about the relationship between the wolf and the dog, the wild and the tame. So it has enough elements in it to be a bit mysterious. We could also use it to reflect on our relationship with Nature.
Thinking about our relationship with Nature reminds me of my own attempt to create a new festival, the festival of Borrowed, which highlights the idea that we do not own the Earth and its finite resources, we only borrow them, and share them with all other life. The idea of Borrowed is to go out and do something for the Earth. It’s on the nearest weekend to 29 February (which is also Rare Disease Day).
Given the recent very disturbing news about climate change and species loss, marking the festival of Borrowed seems like a good way to raise awareness.
One of my favourite new festivals is the interfaith festival of Bridge of Light, a celebration of queer spirituality. I’ve celebrated this on New Year’s Eve for some years now, and it makes that event a lot more powerful and spiritual.
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5 thoughts on “It’s in the Earth”
Lovely! I like the idea of “Borrowed”, too. Have you seen my post on Slogg, the Winter Demi-Sabbath?
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I like it. In England, mid-January is when Wassailing and/or Plough Monday are celebrated. But in Canada, the ground is still covered in snow and the apple trees are pretty unlikely to be anywhere near waking up. As to putting your bum on the cold ground (a Plough Monday tradition), good luck getting it through the snow.
Both of these festivals might work in California though!
I absolutely love organic festivals and rituals, ones that aren’t from some (real or imagined) ancient text, but are utterly rooted in people’s lived experience and imagination. If “Paganism” is to mean anything as the world moves on to an uncertain future, it has to be in and of the Earth – it has to grow, and change and take on new and hitherto unimagined forms.
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Great comment — yes! That’s true.
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