TWH – Earth Day is this Friday and a variety of events are planned around the world. The theme for this year’s celebration from EarthDay.org is “Invest In Our Planet,” with their stated goal being “to engage more than 1 billion people, governments, and institutions, along with businesses … we aim to push aside the barriers erected by the fossil fuel and economy and redirect all of our attention to creating a 21st-century economy that brings back the healing and health of our planet, protects all of our species, including our own, and provides opportunities for everyone on the planet.”
The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, and is now an annual global event with 193 countries participating. The first Earth Day was created by Senator Gaylord Anton Nelson (D-Wis.), resulting in over 22 million Americans demonstrating in cities across the U.S. for environmental preservation and policy change. The result of such widespread support was followed by the launch of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December of that year.
Pagan and Pagan-adjacent groups around the world often host or participate in Earth Day celebrations, though due to the pandemic many groups have either canceled or taken their celebrations virtual the past two years.
Selena Fox, the founder of Circle Sanctuary, has long been involved in helping celebrate Earth Day since its inception in 1970 when she helped to organize the first Earth Day celebration while attending the College of William and Mary in Virginia. This year, Circle Sanctuary will resume in-person festivities for Earth Day, and hold their celebration on Saturday, April 23 at their Nature Preserve in Barneveld, Wisconsin.
Some other Pagan organizations are hosting events, like the Gaea Retreat Center, whose mission is “to provide a recreational retreat center in a natural setting for the purpose of cultural and spiritual education.”
While EarthDay.org provides a global directory of celebrations, only those events that have registered with the organization are listed, so finding a local event can require checking in with local resources.
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TWH – The peak night of the Lyrid meteor showers this year coincides with Earth Day, occurring on the night of April 21 and into the wee hours of the morning on April 22. According to NASA, the peak number of meteors is expected to be between 10 to 20 per hour.
The Lyrid meteor shower is one of the oldest on record as being observed for over 2700 years, dating to the first recorded observation by the Chinese in 687 B.C.E.
While the Lyrids are not as copious as the Perseids in August (100/hour) or the Geminids in December (140/hour), they have periodically surprised observers by putting on a larger than expected display. The most recent occurrences of a much higher than anticipated average number of Lyrid meteors were observed in Greece in 1922, Japan in 1945, and then in the U.S. in 1982.
One of the interesting things about Lyrid meteors is that they frequently leave glowing dust trains in their wake as they plunge through Earth’s atmosphere, which allows their trajectory and trains observable for several seconds.
The moon will still be at about 67% illumination which will make it harder to see any meteors and they may appear fainter in brightness. The best practices for viewing are to pick timing either before moonrise or after it has set and to pick a location away from city lights and other light sources.
The next pair of meteor showers are Eta Aquarids which span from April 15 to May 27 and have a peak of roughly 40 per hour meteors that are expected May 4-5.
- Circle Sanctuary is holding its annual Earth Day 2022 celebration at Circle Sanctuary’s Nature Preserve in Barneveld, Wisconsin on Saturday, April 22, from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm (CDT). Activities listed include rituals, workshops, an herb walk, and a guided tour of Circle’s green cemetery. There will also be activities for children. Pre-registration is required, and attendees must provide proof of vaccination.
- Gaea Retreat Center is hosting an Earth Day event April 22-24 that features rituals, a variety of workshops that include sustainability and self-care, a rummage and upcycling sale, community feasts and fires, and a hot dog truck. Pre-registration is required, and attendees must show a CDC vaccination card and photo ID.
- The group Faun announced that the release of their new album, “Pagan” is scheduled for April 22. The limited deluxe edition of the release is already sold out during pre-release ordering, and while the vinyl edition is still available it is only available through their webstore.
In other news:
- In an update to a previous article TWH covered, Crafting for the Ukrainian Cause, Witch’s Garden Crafts reports that they have raised over $20K which was donated to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). While the cross stitch pattern is still available online for download, Witch’s Garden Craft suggests making a donation directly to the UNHCR.
- Restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has been underway since the devastating fire that caused horrific damage to one of the world’s most iconic religious structures and landmarks three years ago. A recent announcement by archaeologists noted they will soon open a human-shaped lead sarcophagus found underneath the floor during excavations as part of the restoration of the cathedral. Archaeologists were only allowed to excavate a small section as part of the operation to secure stable and safe scaffolding as part of the restoration to rebuild the spire. Among the historical artifacts discovered were painted sculptures, tombs, and sections of the lost rood screen which was a sort-of fence that was constructed in 1230 to separate the choir from the congregation. Archaeologists believe the sarcophagus dates to the 14th century since it was found under items from that period. France’s National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) will attempt to date and identify the remains. The sarcophagus and remains will be sent to and examined at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Toulouse.
The earth supports an amazing and diverse population of all manner of species. While Friday is officially Earth Day, every day can be “Earth Day,” by celebrating the wonder all around us and promoting conservation wherever possible.
Deck: Dreams of Gaia Tarot, (Pocket Edition) by Ravynne Phelan, published by Blue Angel Publishing.
Card: Major arcana, 0 (Zero) Choice
The week ahead holds the potential for a myriad of choices and opportunities, some may have a connection to the past. Careful and focused deliberation should be employed, and incorporate the awareness that all decisions bear consequences and/or rewards.
Conversely, procrastination or a failure to choose is still a choice and does not negate the responsibility or consequence attached to the decision.
Decks generously provided by Asheville Pagan Supply.