Tag Archives: action

Protect Sherwood Forest

People of Edwinstowe: Sherwood Forest needs you!
Tues 27 February — Sat 3 March 2018

Fracking firm INEOS wants to hunt for shale gas in Sherwood Forest – and its fracking plans threaten a swathe of central England. But INEOS’ invasion has awoken a sleeping legend – the legend of Robin Hood. Now he and his merry band of outlaws are riding out from Sherwood Forest to do battle with the fracking industry. Join Robin this Spring to say: no fracking in my ‘hood!

Friends of the Earth and local community group Frack Free Sherwood & Edwinstowe are organising a series of free lantern making workshops, fun family-friendly street theatre performances and a grand dress-up lantern parade.

Search ‘Robin Hood vs Fracking in Sherwood & Edwinstowe’ for more details.
Contact robinhoodvsfracking@gmail.com and fracking@foe.co.uk.

Free Lantern
Making Workshops:
Street Theatre:
Street Theatre, Facepainting,
Music and Games
Lantern Parade:
All ages, under 10s must be accompanied, materials provided. Limited spaces. Booking recommended on eventbrite.co.uk search for ‘Robin Hood Vs Fracking in Edwinstowe’. Private groups sessions available.

In partnership with:
Frack Free Sherwood
and Edwinstowe

Tues 27 February
Outside The Cave
10:00 18:00 19:00 20:00
South Forest Leisure Centre
18:00 19:00 20:00

Sat 3 March
Edwinstowe High Street
various times.

Sat 3 March
Edwinstowe High Street to the Major Oak. Optional Dress-up: Robin Hood costume, accessories or forest green.
Departs 18:00

Weds 28 February
Outside The Cave
10:00 18:00 19:00 20:00
South Forest Leisure Centre
18:00 19:00 20:00

Thurs 1 March
Outside The Cave
10:00 18:00 19:00 20:00
South Forest Leisure Centre
18:00 19:00 20:00

Fri 2 March
Outside The Cave
10:00 18:00 19:00 20:00
South Forest Leisure Centre
18:00 19:00 20:00

Sat 3 March
Outside The Cave
10:00 11:00

Sign the petition here – https://act.friendsoftheearth.uk/act/save-sherwood-forest-fracking 

Is depression a soul ailment?

The UK national health service identifies the following as signs of depression – Loss of identify and self-esteem. Sadness, when there is maybe nothing to feel sad about. Extreme guilt over minor matters. A sense of failure, when this is not realistic. Loneliness, even among other people. Tearfulness, when there is nothing to cry about. Constant exhaustion. Feelings of hopelessness, misery or despair. Difficulty in concentrating or making decisions. Thoughts of death or suicide.

To help people recover, it encourages sufferers to be more socially active, less judgmental about ourselves, and to participate in more things that make us happy.  There’s an underpinning assumption that if there’s no apparent external source of unhappiness, it’s a cognitive-behavioral glitch to fix. I have no doubt that for many people, this is entirely workable.

So what happened when I think about this as a pagan and a Druid? I look at the list of symptoms, and think about our relationship with the planet. My relationship. The world I live in doesn’t make much sense to me and is driven by values I neither like nor respect. How can I be myself in a context like that? Sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be any room for who I am and how I want to live. I feel sad and I’ve carried that for a long time. Sad about the human suffering in the world, animal extinctions, loss of beautiful places, climate change. I don’t know how it’s possible to live in this world and not feel sad, unless you undertake to be carefully oblivious to what’s happening everywhere, all the time. Extreme guilt – how can I not be conscious of my carbon footprint and what my existence costs other life forms? A sense of failure… I look at the world I live in, and I do not feel good about it. Loneliness, because there is so much around me that feels alien and wrong, how can I feel connected? Tearfulness – when is there not something to cry about? How can I not mourn what I see? Constant exhaustion – that goes with lack of inspiration for me, which is a soul ailment and goes with all of the above stuff. Hopelessness, misery and despair – I challenge anyone who is paying attention not to feel this way. Difficulty in concentrating and making decisions – the more aware you are, the more readily you can see the flaws and failings in every available option. Choosing becomes bigger and harder. Thoughts of death and suicide… aware that the planet would benefit enormously from the absence of humans.

Is depression irrational? No it isn’t. Is it an inevitable consequence of being more aware? Possibly. Does that mean it is insurmountable and that anyone who cannot tune out reality is doomed to abject misery?


We have to choose otherwise.

No one single person is going to be able to put all to rights. One single person’s contribution isn’t going to make that much direct odds in the scheme of things. But if you are soul sick, disconnected and in pain, you can either try and find a new way to blot that out (learn a new skill, the doctors recommend) or you can see about fixing it in a deeper way.

Depression is a sickness of realization. The cure is not jumping back into the oblivion pool where most people are still quietly drowning themselves. The cure is action, and making things better. The process of wake up and realization is painful, but we need more people waking up, not more means to drug and befuddle ourselves into not noticing.

Conscious Choice

For me, what matters most is action. While action comes from will and intention, those aren’t always knowable. Action can be seen, judged, responded to. Action has a tangible reality in the world, far more significant than the interesting, ephemeral nature of belief and ideas.

It is not enough to believe. It is not enough to hold nature sacred, or reverence the old gods as a personal, emotional thing. Being a pagan, is an act of dedication. It is a willingness to sacrifice. Not blood, but time, energy, and the comfort of not knowing.

Every choice I make is a conscious one. That’s hard work, and even so I get things wrong, speak with insufficient care, fail to hear properly, and make bad choices. Sometimes a shortage of cash wins out over ethics, or personal need seems more important than environmental awareness. In April I flew to America and back. That does not sit easily, but the man I love is on the wrong side of the ocean. There are seldom many easy choices, and in being consciously, actively pagan, we sacrifice comfortable disinterest in favour of being uncomfortably aware. Choosing, consciously, when not to care and when to give up and walk away is one of the most painful things to have to do. Conscious choice means becoming aware of inaction as well.

Moment to moment we make choices about how we live and who we are. In every communication, every act of consumption, every waste, every sharing of inspiration. To live with that kind of awareness is sometimes to court misery and hopelessness. With so much wrong in the world, it can be overwhelming. However, we can also choose to embrace the beauty around us, to notice more, interact with our world as we encounter it. Conscious living is not just about opening yourself to the wrongs of the world, it’s about seeing nature as it exists around you, and being able to appreciate it. There are many rewards to be had this way. Every good conscious choice is a small triumph, and a way of improving things.

 To be pagan is to know what you are doing, and why, moment to moment. Expressing belief through action, and recognising that the small details are important too. It is easy to go blindly, ricocheting from one experience to the next with no feeling of control or purpose. In choosing awareness, we take control of our lives, our actions, we become more fully ourselves and life becomes a lot more real and meaningful as a consequence.

Walking the talk

The family creates a space in which we are, all of us, able to share, express, promote and make real our values. When we are operating within other people’s systems, that can be harder to do, but in our own homes and family groups, we have the freedom to construct our own ways of doing.

Part of the joy of this, is that there is no one true way. It just requires some thought, creativity, discussion and willingness to explore. If you have beliefs, or ideals, how can you best express those in your private life? Every choice we make, every action we undertake and everything we choose not to be, contributes to the sum of who we are. My feeling is that while what goes on inside anyone’s head is important to them, the real measure of a person lies in what they do.

Here’s a few areas of life to consider. Do please post comments, it’s great to hear how other people handle things.

How do you resolve conflict within your family? How are rules decided (if you have them, and you might choose not to), and who has the right to question, change or shape them? Is there authority, and if so, why, and how does it function? Do you take votes, seek consensus, or does someone make all the decisions?

What responsibilities to individuals have, for themselves, and as duties to each other? What responsibilities do people have for maintaining space, connections, for celebrating, care giving, listening etc?

What do you prioritise? Is your household governed by financial concerns? Is sustainable living the ideal that underpins everything you do? Is family life geared for maximum ease and convenience? And if so, whose? Does earning power equate to the right to make spending decisions? Do you give equal weight to non-economic activities that support your clan? How much energy is given to those outside your clan? Who much time and energy is invested into care and mutual support?

If we look at older cultures for inspiration, the Celts and Norse alike had guidelines about hospitality, care giving, duty, loyalty, responsibility and justice. These are things that, as pagans, we should take seriously and manifest in our lives. Changing our entire culture is perhaps ambitious, but the more we can do at home and with those immediately around us, the more scope we have for creating change.

It’s impossible to live ethically, or honourably without thought. Contemplate what you do, and why. Imagine how you would like the world to be, and where you can, act as though the world was already like that. You don’t need the folk around you to be pagan for it to work.