The festival of Borrowed

Some years ago, I started the festival of Borrowed. It’s on February 28th or 29th, and is a reminder that the Earth is precious and ecosystems are fragile. It seems even more relevant in the face of the climate emergency.

The festival of Borrowed 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.

For the festival of Borrowed, you’re invited to organize a group to plant some trees, plant flowers for the bees, clean up some litter, or tend your garden.

If the ground outside is still covered in snow, then plan and organize some tree planting for when the weather improves.

There are some wonderful posts about tending the land, wildlife gardening, and land healing, at The Druid’s Garden, including this: A Framework for Land Healing.

If you wanted to do a ritual for Borrowed, here’s a poem I wrote for it a while ago.

The world hangs in the balance,
a blue bauble on a pendulum

swinging in the void.
Change begins with a butterfly’s wing,
a tiny flutter gathering into a storm.
We can all be butterflies.
If you worship the green growing things,
if you honour the three-toed sloths
and the hummingbirds and the pandas,
and the strange beasts of the deep places,
the furry, scaly, leafy textures,
the divine exuberance of life,
then please remember
we are living on borrowed time,
borrowed places, hallowed spaces,
and tread lightly on our sacred home.

If you’re unable to plant trees or do gardening, you could also donate to an organization that plants trees and/or takes care of woodland and wildlife, such as the Woodland Trust (UK), Trees Canada, Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund, county wildlife trusts in the UK, and so on.

Let’s do something for the Earth.


If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy my books, Dark Mirror: the inner work of witchcraft and The Night Journey: witchcraft as transformation.

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