Notable and quotable 1

Inspired by The River Crow’s Friday Foraging, I decided to create a roundup of posts that I found interesting, inspiring, or important over the last week.

Consent culture

I was interviewed this week by the excellent Star Bustamonte of The Wild Hunt Pagan News. The resulting article: Consent Culture: are we there yet? has raised the profile of my public pledge that people can sign not to attend events that don’t have a code of conduct.

Educating people on rape culture and consent is an ongoing important effort that must pervade the entire Pagan community. 

The ocean of gender

I was very taken with The River Crow’s post Gender is an Ocean. I felt that it beautifully described the fluidity of gender, and was a delightful counterpoint to my post, The landscape of gender.

Gender is an ocean. It is vast, mysterious, and mostly unknown. It flows and changes, waves rising and falling, moment to moment, and is never the same, yet is eternally present. It has its shallows and its deeps, it has its tides, its ebbs and flows. It has its weather, its calms and storms, its sunshine and rain. It has its terrors, and it has its wonders.

Paganism: could do better

Dayan Martinez gives the Pagan community F for effort on a number of issues in his post, Paganism has failed us and we have failed the world.

We are meant to be a healing balm for our ancestors and our modern cultures, going forward. We are meant to make peace with a tortured past so that institutions might be restructured. We are meant to be the chorus of the dead, for those beings that pass without notice. We are meant to give voice to those that yet remain, and affirm the relational bonds that weave the Immanent Divine.

What to do about it

Dana at The Druid’s Garden offers some actions we can all take in response to mass extinction with her latest post, Druidry for the 21st Century: Druidry in the Anthropocene. I would urge everyone to read and act upon this vitally important post.

I’ll share what I consider to be my key method for responding this kind of extinction level event: building refugia. Refugia is a concept discussed by E. C Pielou in After the Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America. In a nutshell, refugia (also called “fuges”) are small pockets of life that were sheltered from broader changes that destroyed most habitats. Pielou describes specific isolated pockets of life that survived as a sheltered spot, a microclimate, a high point, and so forth, while the rest of the land was covered in ice. When the glaciers receded and left a bare landscape devoid of topsoil or life, it was these refugia that allowed life to spread outward again, repopulating areas in North America stripped bare by glaciers.

Caves and apotropaic marks

Apotropaic marks have been in the news a fair amount since the discovery of witch marks at Creswell Crags in Derbyshire (UK). The blog Heritage Calling has a post about caves that show evidence of human occupation, from the Ice Age onwards.

Some of our best preserved prehistoric caves represent rare and fragile time capsules of cultural and scientific information. As scientific dating techniques have advanced, our understanding of the specimens found in caves around the world has revolutionised the way we think about the earliest humans.

Literary Tarot

I was musing about the Tarot in T S Eliot’s poem The Waste Land on Instagram. A day or two later I noticed that the Bad Witch has written an excellent blogpost on that very subject.

Anyone familiar with Tarot will recognise that while some are recognisably traditional cards, others aren’t. Eliot himself noted: ‘I am not familiar with the exact constitution of the Tarot…from which I have obviously departed to suit my own convenience.’

Synchronicity strikes again!

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