Of course, it is impossible to say exactly what will be big news in 2019 as we collectively stand just on the other side of the threshold of this New Year. But the news today can affect us for weeks to come. Here in the United States, the potential for continued political turmoil hangs thick in the air with a partial government shutdown still in effect, the Mueller investigation ongoing, and major shift in the House of Representatives soon to occur. We know that oil prices, pipelines and carbon taxes are major issues in Canada. Europe faces Brexit and Latin America and Africa both face financial challenges.
Today’s column comes from your humble Weekend Editor, Eric O. Scott. Eric was raised by witches. He has a PhD in creative nonfiction writing from the University of Missouri and has written for The Wild Hunt since 2012. The Wild Hunt always welcomes submissions for our weekend section. Please send queries to email@example.com.
This is part two of a two part series. Click here to read part one. Transtemporal Care
The Ásatrú practice of blót builds a concept of care in three temporal directions: sideways, backward, and forward. The ritual life of the religion nurtures a sense of both intra- and intergenerational solidarity. The sideways relationship exists between current practitioners.
MARIN COUNTY, Calif. — Pagans have participated in, and provided leadership for, Marin Interfaith Climate Action since it began in March, 2017. Marin Interfaith Climate Action is composed of Bahá’ís, Buddhists, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Pagans, Progressive Protestants, Unitarians, and members of the Unity Church. Aline “Macha” O’Brien of the Covenant of the Goddess has provided the Pagan presence in this group. In the aftermath of the 2016 election, congressman Jared Huffman of California spoke at a town hall meeting, urging the roughly 800 people attendees to build local leadership on the issue of climate change.
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.