Ours for the taking?

1 Jun

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Witches are a really nature-loving folks. I’m the first to admit it. We use lots of natural ingredients in our spells and rituals, and outdoor rituals are strongly encouraged. At times, however, I wonder whether much of this practice may be “a bit” self-centered.

Some time ago I talked to a fellow witch who insisted on picking up every single feather she found outside, for those were signs for her. Personally. My suggestion that sometimes birds just lose feathers, and that other beings in this world might have better use for random feathers was met with utter surprise. It seemed impossible, in her mind, that the whole universe had not set about evolution, crafted birds from dinosaurs and sent them to shed their feathers in that special place at that time exactly just so she would gain insight into her thirty-whatnotsth spirit guide.

Similar attitudes are kind of regular occurences in the witching community – go and get branches, herbs, flowers, rocks, crystals, snail houses, seeds, basically WHATEVER you fancy, for witches are nature-loving, and as such we have a right to everything we find in nature.

Yeah, or maybe not.

I’ve ranted about the use of crystals and the conditions under which they are extracted repeatedly, so I’ll spare you that. But imagine if everyone started picking flowers in your garden, or on your balcony, how quickly that would turn into a sad wasteland. Or imagine people taking tiny stones from your house, everyone taking just one – eventually your house would collapse.

Now I am not saying that we should never ever take anything from the natural world. As humans we have to compete for ressources with other humans as well as with creatures from other species (or other planes of existance, while we’re at it). This goes for single plants as well as for food, air or water. And while I am not suggesting that we should stop existing so someone else can have our share, I do recommend, strongly, that we should only take what we need, and at the same time think about the ways in which we can give back. A few things I can think of are:

  • Plant wild flowers everywhere. Not just your place. Everywhere you might encounter bees is a great place to drop a few seeds and just walk away. (Of course NOT on other people’s property. But if you live near the forest or have a few meadows nearby, or a park, you might do some guerilla-gardening in favor of bees.)
  • Dry and grind egg shells and bury them in the ground. The minerals help fertilize the soil – and some animals use them as mineral sources as well. (Again, not on other people’s property.)
  • When you head out, collect the things other people drop – empty bottles, plastic wrappers etc. Make it a habit to take a bag with you and see how far you have to go before it is full.
  • Make realistic meal and snack plans before you go out shopping. This is something I often struggle with myself, and I end up buying too much and then throwing out all kinds of food because they have spoiled. What a waste of money, energy and natural ressources!

Do you have any suggestions to add to this list?

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2 Responses to “Ours for the taking?”

  1. endolex June 1, 2017 at 11:44 am #

    Even as a non-witch, I agree with most of this 🙂

    The only thing that I find a little contradictory: Do we really ‘have to compete’ for resources? Wouldn’t that consequentially mean that it’s always a good idea to grab as much as you can, because it *might* become valuable (if only as a trading resource to have an advantage over your competitors), and worry about sustainability only so far as it sustains your competitiveness / dominance in your field?

    I find it hard to strike a balance between the ‘competitive’ thought and the ‘interconnectedness’ view you presented so well, e.g. ppl gaining enough wisdom to see the big picture and their place in it. I would like to give up the former in favour of the latter.

    In essence: More communist witches, please! 😀

    • diandralinnemann June 1, 2017 at 11:58 am #

      The idea of competition is difficult, I guess … in this context I mean that we need ressources to survive, and that we have to come to terms with the fact that we will have to kill plants/animals and take things other beings might need as well. Many witches and general bleeding-heart hippies I know (and love) feel bad about this. But I think that we were put here to take good care of ourselves as well as of those around us. You are right, of course, that competing should not mean, “Grab what you can, this is an all-out fighting situation!” Maybe a balance between, “Take care of your needs” and “Trust the energies that put you here”.

      And yes, of course this is a kind-of-privileged, industrial-nations, white-middle-class approach to not hoarding stuff because we *migh* need it. I still stand by the fact that NO ONE needs “all the feathers”, though. ^^

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