Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Doing Paganism Right

Here is a wonderful article about what it really means to be Pagan, and indeed, what Paganism is for.  Some of the quotes are by people I know, like Anne Niven -- it's always fun to cross paths that way.  For my part ...

I do magic because it works.  I am a devout empiricist; I don't care what other people say, I care what I can observe.  What I observe is that I get better results from behaving as if magic works than as if it does not, as if there are divine beings than as if there are not, and so forth.  I'm always looking for the model that delivers the best results.

Hence Paganism, doing science to magic and magic to science, and often annoying people on both sides of the field.  But to me it's not a pair of pigeonholes.  It's a torc, bent so that the two ends face each other and sparks dance across the gap that holds things like quantum mechanics.

One thing I've noticed is that climate change is changing how magic works.  This is not actually new, same thing happened when the Ice Age conked out, and wow was changing the climate inside a human lifetime something I did not  need to see again.  But at least I know how fast Gaia can move when she feels like it: quite a lot faster than most humans think.  Anyhow, it used to be the case that weather was fairly amenable to human input, if one had the relevant talent, skills, and/or knowledge.  Moods, yes, but mercurial ones; the clouds might ignore a request sometimes, but most of the time would mind a good weatherworker.  Now, not so much.  Trying to talk to the weather spirits now is like trying to talk to someone on a rampage beating cars with a bat.  O. Kay. Then.  0_o  So I learned, partly with input from some Pagan friends, to nudge the weather in less psychotic directions by asking the land spirits to intervene.  "Hey, could you ask them to tone it down enough to avoid tearing loose the trees?"  It helps.  

Another thing is thinking about context.  I've landscaped the yard for wildlife and human benefit.  Much of it is modeled after ecosystems -- the prairie garden, the savannah, the forest.  So too the magic is built into it, layers of shields for protection, and one other thing.  I created a kind of large-scale deadman switch, so that if civilization collapses, it will pull the handle on what amounts to an ecological life-raft.  Energy comes up from the node, hits the tight package of biodiversity, and then spreads outward carrying the plants and animals with it into what is currently barren monoculture. Hopefully we won't need it, but it's there just in case. 

Even in its dormant form, that kind of magic has influence.  One day a storm snapped a tree about 20 feet up from the ground.  I did a little quick research, discovered that standing snags are useful, and decided to leave it.  But there was all the rest of the tree in the way.  So we had that cut into firewood and reduced to wood chips.  Yay, mulch pile!  And here's where it gets interesting.  The mulch pile came into existence, and then it rained for two days straight.  On the third day, I went out to look at the new mulch pile.  It was already fully inhabited.  I could see webs of fungus spread over it.  There were pillbugs, beetles, centipedes, and spiders crawling through it.  Curious, I poked the chips with my trowel, and out hopped a toad.  The detritus food chain here at Fieldhaven is three days to apex.  Three days,  mind you, not three weeks or three months.  That interfaces with the macro food chain through small vertebrates such as toads and birds.  The whole process worked in miniature as soon as a situation called for it.  Great job on the storm drill, folks.

A lot of what I do with magic just comes down to making things work better, faster, more focused.
Tags: environment, magic, nature, networking, pagan, personal, reading, science
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