As the Solstice and the return of the light approaches, it’s good to be reminded that the Solstice is a turning point (which is the probable meaning of the name “Yule”).
Wrycrow: Winter and Christmas
Christmas shouts, and it shouts with two voices, proclaiming the doctrines of Christianity with one and the commandments of consumerism with the other. To Pagans who have neither the religious inclination to celebrate the mythical birth narrative of a 1st century Jewish preacher, nor the greed and selfishness of the capitalist overculture of buying more and more things we don’t need, Christmas leaves little room to breathe.
Pagans and politics
The perennial topic of Pagans and politics is now being discussed among Druids. I have never understood the assertion that Pagans shouldn’t be political. It seems to be a claim of those who are satisfied with the status quo and don’t recognize their privilege.
Both Ryan Cronin and Nimue Brown have written excellent posts addressing this topic.
Ryan writes, in Political Druids:
The Druid’s Prayer, a staple in modern Druidry since Iolo Morganwg, talks about “the knowledge of justice”, “the love of it” and “the love of all existences”. At a plain reading this is a clarion call for a Druidry that is engaged in the social-political process, that is involved in issues of social and ecological justice. Iolo himself was a radical reformer, and he was well aware of the political dimensions of his Druidry.
And Nimue writes, in Druidry and Politics:
Vote for the future you want to see. Vote for what matters most to you. Vote like lives depend on it – because they do. …
What you do, matters. Business as usual is destroying life on Earth, killing us with air pollution, flooding our homes, depleting our soil and exterminating the bees who pollinate our food. To do nothing is to enable this.
The status quo is very likely to get totally upended if we don’t do something radical in response to global heating and widespread extinction.
Radical Honey: Becoming Hope: Imaginal Cells
This post is very helpful for those struggling with despair at the state of the world (climate change, ongoing oppression of Indigenous Peoples, war, the turning away of refugees):
It isn’t easy to stay hopeful whilst we wait for change to come and so it matters to have images at our fingertips to help us. For me, one of these is imaginal cells.
These are cells that ‘imagine’ a butterfly into being, holding all the potential for what will come to be. When a caterpillar is ready to transform, previously dormant cells within its body begin to awaken and multiply. Even as the caterpillar retreats into its cocoon there is no part of it that is recognisable as a butterfly. Inside its chrysalis the caterpillar dissolves into a formless organic gloop and this is when the, previously dormant, imaginal cells begin their work.
At first these change-provoking cells are detected as a threat and attacked by the caterpillar’s immune system. But they continue with their work. Initially acting alone, they begin to multiply, connect with one another, passing information until they reach a tipping point, and then, WINGS, a BUTTERFLY! Here, is an everyday miracle, like any birth.
This is a perfect analogy for the way in which we can be the imaginal cells for the ‘body’ of our own species…