Gods&Radicals—A Site of Beautiful Resistance.

Equinox Musings: Fighting Talk

Now is the time for us rise up, to take direct action against the injustices we see in this world, all injustices, whether to other people, animals or the environment, however we can.

I wake early as I often do and slip from the bed. This early it’s cold and so I put on one of my partner’s jumpers. He must have worn it last night because I still catch the faded scent of his cologne mixed with the smell of him, and I’m tempted to slip back between the sheets and doze the morning away. Instead I head down to the kitchen and make myself a coffee, strong and black, and take it into the garden.

This early the street is quiet and all that can be heard is the dawn chorus. Already in the east, the sky begins to lighten, starting with a bright splash at the horizon that slowly seeps into the rest of the sky. My eyes alight upon a single blackbird perched in the cherry tree, among the buds that will soon open to reveal clusters of perfectly tiny cherry blossom. There’s usually three pairs of mating blackbirds in my garden, but this morning, I am treated to a solo performance as his crystal clear bell like song fills the air.

Here, in this moment, everything feels as it should be. I’d like to say some words that describe the special feeling that this special morning, for it is the spring equinox, brings, something that would do poetic justice to the beauty of the day, but the truth is every morning feels like this, outside in my garden, beneath the boughs of the trees, when darkness hides all of the horrors of real life.

Yes, today, as I sit and write this, it is the spring equinox, and whilst the rest of the pagan sphere rejoices in this day (and rightly so, we should rejoice in the beauty of everyday), I am here to rally you.

It is time for action.

I’ve been doing a lot of research into the folklore of trees and birds (not because of any project, purely because I am a nerd!) and it is truly fascinating. Trees are like gods, if we take a moment to consider them. These magnificent beings, if given the chance, will live for untold years, thousands even. To us they may as well be immortal. And look at what they give us. Life itself! Without them, we could not live for they give us the air we breathe, the food we eat, shelter, fuel. And spiritually, the planes of existence are likened to a tree, the world tree, the axis mundi, with their roots reaching down into the darkness of the underworld, the trunk at ground level is our mundane, everyday realm, the upper trunk is the celestial realm and the branches reaching skyward, are the spiritual realm.

There are countless stories relating to individual species of trees, and even more about birds. Many species are messengers or carriers of some sort, whether that’s the humble sparrow, fluffy little cute garden critter, carrier of dead souls, or the devil’s own bird, the magpie. What is almost universal about our feathered friends, in terms of folklore at least, is that they are messengers between the worlds, carriers of souls or gifts (in some middle Eastern countries, Afghanistan I think, the owl is seen as the being who gave fire to humanity). They are intermediaries between us and higher beings, consciousness, the divine or whatever you want to call it. Physically and spiritually, they ascend the world tree, the axis mundi and deliver to us their secrets, if only you are the right kind of quiet for long enough.

The point is that whether spiritual or mundane, we are linked to nature, we are a part of it. And now it needs our protection. It needs our direct action.

It seems that with everyday, there is some new horror that Capitalism forces upon nature and thus us. Fracking and fox hunting (illegal, I might add and carried out by the upper classes and the law is never enforced, even when police are handed video evidence), the loss of nature areas and green space, pollution and deforestation and many more travesties besides are forced upon nature and nothing is done about it. And yet, given the chance, governments raise ‘green’ taxes for their citizens, higher car emissions tax and fuel tax, congestion charges and so on and so forth. There are many such schemes by which governments extort money from their citizens. That these taxes affect the working poor the most and do almost nothing to combat the destruction of nature is evident, but what is worse is the contradiction of the government when it comes to big business and capitalism. They relax planning laws for the likes of the fracking industry or the building of the HS2 (the proposed high speed rail network that will cut through rural England, including ancient woodland) or the selling of green open spaces. No, the capitalist governments care not for nature, only for profit, even when that profit hurts the very people they are meant to rule for (and not over).

The latest horror I have discovered that happens in the UK, and no doubt further a field, is the ‘netting’ of trees and hedgerows. And it is as monstrous as it sounds. Trees, shrubs and hedgerows are literally covered in huge nets, from top to bottom ( you can read about one example here, and another here, but a quick google search will show you many stories). These are used by building developers as there are some strong laws about nesting birds and their disturbance when it comes to building works. These nets are to stop birds nesting in these areas, which enables building developers to bypass these laws. Of course, we are told that this is done for the birds own protection, however they put these nets up even when birds are in the trees, and disturbing pictures are emerging of common and not so common birds becoming entangled and dying in these nets. The very practise of netting should be illegal in itself, but it is not. Again profit rules supreme and where there’s money to be made, who cares about the casualties, right?

Well I care! And if you are here reading this, then I guess you do to. Now is the time for us rise up, to take direct action against the injustices we see in this world, all injustices, whether to other people, animals or the environment, however we can. Even if the only thing you can do is to cut down one single net, then it is an action in the right direction.So this equinox, as the power of the earth grows, as summer creeps nearer, so let us grow in power. Let us remember our connection to this earth and to nature and recognise it in ourselves. Let us become wild things once more. Let us grow tooth and nail and fight for it!

Emma Kathryn

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My name is Emma Kathryn, an eclectic witch, my path is a mixture of traditional European witchcraft, voodoo and obeah, a mixture representing my heritage. I live in the middle of England in a little town in Nottinghamshire, with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs, Boo and Dexter. When not working in a bookshop full time, I like to spend time with my family outdoors, with the dogs. And weaving magic, of course!

You can follow Emma on Facebook.