Column: Ásatrú Ritual and Climate Change Ethics, Part One

The Ásatrú religion can offer new perspectives on climate change ethics via examination of the modern practice of historically grounded ritual known as blót – a rite that foregrounds reciprocity with the earth, inherent value in the natural world, transtemporal human relationships, global connectedness, and the consequences of human action. In addition to discussing Ásatrú textual sources and examples of ritual, this column offers a new ethical model for responding to issues of climate change. Ásatrú is a religion with a life that already relates to reality in a way that addresses major issues raised by climate change ethicists. Practitioners are both certain and competent in a life-practice that directly engages relationships within the transtemporal human community and with the wider world. Through study of lore and celebration of ritual, the practice of Ásatrú reinforces understanding of reciprocal relationships with the natural world, inherent value of living things, connections to past and future peoples, interrelatedness of all human actors, and consequences of human actions.

Druids Down Under organize a national gathering for 2018

SYDNEY — Australian eclectic Druid group Druids Down Under is set to host its first national event in the Pennant Hills this weekend. The gathering will include workshops, musical performances, meditation, creative spaces and nature walks, with organisers expecting around 60 participants from a range of established traditions such as Ár nDraíocht Féin, the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, and the British Druid Order, as well as eclectic and solitary practitioners. Organiser and eclectic Druid Julie Brett hopes the gathering will be significant and uniquely Australian. “It focuses on what it means to follow the path of Druidry in the Australian landscape specifically,” Brett says. “This is the first time that we have met in large numbers from around the country in person.

Prison Samhain ritual brings together Druids, Wiccans, and Heathens

CONNEL, Wash. — On Nov. 4 – 5, 2017, ADF members and prisoners hosted a pan-Pagan Samhain, ritual and mini-conference at Coyote Ridge Correctiosn Center in Connel, Washington. This mixed minimum- and medium-security prison has a capacity to house 2,468 prisoners. About 60 Heathen, Druid, and Wiccan prisoners participated.

Filmmaker James Myers wins award for Druid-themed film

SAN FRANCISCO — Filmmaker James Myers was presented with the “Excellence Narrative Film Award” at this year’s San Francisco International New Concept Film Festival for his film Awen The film is described as an inspirational short that “follows the Celtic goddess Brigit as she spreads inspiration to others.”

Myers, who is a Druid and member of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF), began his film career after spending four years in the Navy. He attended the the University of Southern Mississippi, where he majored in film and minored in theater. When he graduated, Myers went to work in the television industry. “I’ve worked for major networks like CNN, Good Morning America, ESPN, the Outdoor Channel, and Al Jazeera. I have also spent a great deal of time in local news markets as a photojournalist,” Myers told The Wild Hunt in an interview.

Pagan Community Notes: Hugh Hampton, Mexico City, Dan Halloran, and more

TWH – Ar nDraiocht Fein: A Druid Fellowship lost one of its long times members: Hugh Hampton (1956-2017). Hampton was best known as ADF’s office manager, and had been serving in that position since 2003. Due to that work, he was known, even if only by name, to a good portion of the Druid community nationwide. According to Archdruid Jean ‘Drum’ Pagano, Hampton was “tireless,” “served with distinction,” and “could be found online seven days a week and at many different times of the day and night.” Hampton reportedly received a number of ADF service awards.