Does anyone remember this commercial?
I’ve seen this clip a dozen or so times in syndication. It’s dated, a bit stereotypical but for the time period it expressed a view that was just becoming a reality for mankind. A period of life when people were beginning to open up their eyes to the destruction they had caused Mother Earth. It was just two years later, in 1973 that people were rocked by an oil crisis that made them consider their actions just a little harder over their eggs and bacon. Was it really worth driving that giant, fancy car around if it meant that we would be causing our own annihilation in the process?
It caused rifts in families that were still married to the idea that the earth was created just for the benefit of mankind and those of the younger generation that were first hearing the spiritual call of a world that was bigger than just small-town notions. The point of that commercial is that the land that we humans build upon is sacred and we are ignorantly destroying that fragile place. Pagans should not become ignorant, complacent or contented. We should always hungry, strive and seek to conquer for ourselves the land where truth is alive. Otherwise, we are the ones that are conquered in our inability to enact our will.
Let’s just get this one fact established. All land is sacred. Human beings are the only creatures that terraform the land and take away it’s inherent beauty. We create things around us as the image in our mind dictates must be our reality. We do it with our hands when we create buildings, structures, farms, parks. We literally tear life from the land around us in order to create ‘beauty’ without much thought or regard to the larger consequences of our actions. We also do it with our minds. As Pagans, we do it with our WILL.
Upon first setting foot on my Pagan homeland of Deeply Rooted, I knew it was a place like no other. When I lived there, I used to joke that it hurt to re-enter the ‘muggle world’ after passing the driveway. It gave me strength when I had none, health when I was challenging death during lifetime illnesses and it provided me with the setting in which I found my true family. Deeply Rooted is all that to me. It’s different to every individual who steps foot there and that’s exactly why I’m writing this piece, to get people to see the ‘bigger’ picture and how our actions directly impact the place we consider cherished homeland.
Trying to raise a banner to protect that sacred land is challenging for someone like myself. I’m not really a warrior. I’m neither physically imposing or quick-witted with calculations. I’ve had a life that I’ve lived where I’ve done many things that I’m not proud of and I still make some of the same mistakes from past lessons. I’m just a person who sees the land as more than just a place I inhabit for a weekend or so. I also know that I am a Pagan. My thoughts, actions and intent are all a part of my will. Will is a very powerful tool. It can bend and shape the world around you. The more you believe in the power of your own will, the stronger it becomes and the more damage it can potentially do.
Unlike the Native American in the commercial, I’m going to do more than just shed a tear for my land. I’m going to communicate my will and act on it. I’ll do it by building shrines, attending every work-weekend I can possibly attend and push my body and mind past the original programming. That’s because I see the need to terraform Deeply Rooted but by doing it conscious of the larger impact that it will have. Unlike the ignorance of generations before me, I will tread carefully on that sacred land to ensure that it yields the best possible harvest.
Huh? What? Well, as modern humans we have this drive or craving to understand life in a basic manner. What we reap from this sacred land will be more than just a garden patch of vegetables. It’s a place to foster our younglings on their path to understanding themselves and potentially becoming a new generation of Pagans. Deeply Rooted provides nutrients in it’s ‘soil’ that can transform an individual 180 degrees and leave them open to pursue their wildest imaginings. I’ve personally seen people change in ways I could never imagine and I have a big imagination. Our sacred land can do all that and a lot more. But I want you to think that a harvest is only as good as the work we put into it and the fertilizer that we use.
Are we out to pollute the water table with negativity and bitterness or can we sustain our crop with intellectual debates and challenging mental concepts? How about something simple like laughter? Laughter doesn’t build out-buildings, trails or shrines or does it? Getting along seems to be the most productive way to herd the cats so to speak.
Oh yes, that fertilizer is our day-to-day interactions with each other because we are all crops of the land that we hold dear. Keep the fertilizer simple. If you’re sad, fine. It can’t always be avoided but don’t complicate the ingredients with unkind acts or thoughts. If you truly believe that you’re Pagan, then you will take stock that your WILL feeds the crops around you.
And weeds? Yes, they happen but they aren’t always a ‘bad’ thing. They can choke the life out of the plants around them. But as Pagans, we don’t see weeds as just weeds. Just because they don’t produce a beautiful, sweet smelling flower or a tasty meal doesn’t mean they don’t have value. Those weeds can be medicinal. They can be transplanted, nurtured and shaped into something that will benefit everyone. Sometimes those weeds aren’t innocuous and need to be identified properly to manage them best. That’s also where our mighty will comes into play. We can use that ability to change our world to make the land the best yielding, most surreal and treasured place we can see in our mind’s eye.
We really are stewards of our land and each other because we call ourselves Tribe. Let’s act like that and be mindful of what we’re putting in the soil. If we poison the land, we poison ourselves. It causes no good to come from those actions and is a waste of our small time on this planet. Deeply Rooted can be our legacy if we so will it to be and we can all make our marks on the land in a positive way. This comes from every single action we engage in as a way of bettering ourselves as Pagans and as a collective. If we were one small tree in a grove, we’d get trampled by a spring storm or eaten as a young shoot by a deer. If we’re a fully-functioning and producing place, we stand less of a chance of being consumed if we stand together.
While a lot of people might think that this is a sappy commercial about emergent environmentally conscious from the 70’s. It has a lot more meaning to my life than that. It gets me thinking, “Is it worth it to be right no matter what even if it means not only annihilating myself but also the land around me?” Heck no. I want every action to be of stewardship and protection because that is my will. I am a Pagan and therefore I believe in the power of my will and know how those actions and intent will impact the harvest. Deeply Rooted is more than just the idea of a homeland for me. It’s a place that is alive, reacting to the day-to-day interactions of the people I misunderstand and cherish. It’s where my crop is growing and where I am both the harvest and harvester.
If I fight for a land that is being burned and salted behind me and I have no consciousness of that fact, then what am I fighting for in the first place? Just an idea? Ideas have to have tangible roots in reality or they remain ideas and are nothing more. That’s why will and action go hand and hand with each other.
I’m not the original author of “Pagan Homeland.” This piece is just building on that idea in so much as the references to Pagan land. That article, which is worth a read if you haven’t read it, can be found here: Wade Mueller speaks on the need for Pagan homelands
It’s written by my friend Wade who sees an even bigger picture than I can imagine and has a will even stronger than mine. Take a look.