Nature isn’t here for you

A leaf with natural heart cutouts, lit from behind.


If we are the universe embodied and if we are here to experience the universe, it makes sense that there would be rewards built in to connecting with the natural world. As we serve the cosmos, we receive happiness, serenity, and maybe some healing as a side effect.


I see a lot of headlines like “How to harness nature’s healing power”, “How forests heal people”, and “How to use nature to improve your health”. Their version of nature is lush, green, and peaceful. There’s no red in tooth and claw; there’s no predator, prey, and parasite. Theirs is a tamed nature that exists as a tool for our benefit.


To me, respect for nature means understanding that it isn’t here to serve us. It can be the soothing green shade with bird song, but it can also be the disease carrying deer tick picked up in that same idyllic place. It exists for itself alone. We are lucky that walking through the natural cathedral of old trees or observing a wild flower conveys spiritual, mental, and physical benefits, but framing nature in terms of how we can use it maintains the same paradigm that led to animal extinctions, rain forest clear cutting, and vortexes of plastic waste in our oceans.


Get out into the green when and how you can, for the personal benefits or as an act of worship, but don’t mistake your reasons for nature’s purpose. And wear insect repellent as needed.

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Nature isn’t here for you was originally published on We're Made of Mud and Magic


Balance one; balance all

I had a beautiful weekend. On Friday evening, Silver Spiral had a belated Litha. It was a gorgeous ritual. In the power raising, the group was given a fairly simple poem to turn into a chant. It started as just rhythmic speaking, than acquired melody, then evolved into a call and response with a complex…

Balance one; balance all was originally published on We're Made of Mud and Magic

The Pagan value of vulnerability

Due to some mysterious symptoms and random pain, I went from a very active person to being mostly house-bound very quickly in 2017. In the search for answers, I’ve been shot with lasers, radiation, electricity, ultrasound, magnetic resonance, and xrays… I should be a superhero by now.   I’m very lucky that my job let…

The Pagan value of vulnerability was originally published on We're Made of Mud and Magic

You owe it to the universe

  You are made of elements created in the depths of a dying star. You are made of the universe. You are the universe embodied and breathing, and the universe experiences itself through your senses.   That swept through my mind as I watched the moment of totality during the August 21st’s solar eclipse. I…

You owe it to the universe was originally published on We're Made of Mud and Magic

If only the activists see your activism, does it mean anything?

Every year, I go to a big local literary festival. I typically buy tickets for six or more events over the course of a week and come home with a pile of new books. I’ve mentioned before that this particular festival includes a territory acknowledgement before each event. This is something that started a year…

If only the activists see your activism, does it mean anything? was originally published on We're Made of Mud and Magic

Privately taking it seriously

I’ve been a vegetarian for about two decades. I keep my reasons for becoming and staying vegetarian quiet and I don’t talk about my vegetarianism much – I don’t want to be one of those vegetarians. Unfortunately, in an effort to be just “cool” about something that matters to me, I end up in uncomfortable…

Privately taking it seriously was originally published on We're Made of Mud and Magic

Consent culture at Vancouver Pagan Pride Day

Last night, some members of Silver Spiral gathered to rehearse the ritual we’re presenting at Vancouver Pagan Pride Day (VPPD) on September 10th. Jamie Robyn and I had worked to create a very inclusive, accessible ritual that empowered the participants to participate. Our pre-ritual speeches include explicit permission to leave if needed, information on how…

Consent culture at Vancouver Pagan Pride Day was originally published on We're Made of Mud and Magic

Thoughtful consumption

My new washing machine arrived today. It is a thing of beauty, and so quiet compared to my old one that I actually watched it for several minutes before I reluctantly came to believe that it was actually running correctly. The clothing came out free of soap residue without an extra rinse cycle and were…

Thoughtful consumption was originally published on We're Made of Mud and Magic