Unethical paganism

Grey Catsidhe has written an interesting blogpost about using silver in Druidic rites while Diandra Linnemann has written about using crystals in magickal work. Or rather, they have both posted about how unethical both of these are. I agree fully with their opinions and I feel this is a matter that needs to be brought up as often as possible. The first book I ever read on witchcraft was very centred on crystals, as are most of the witches I have contact with. Actually, I can’t name anyone except myself who doesn’t use them at all. It bothers me that some of the most popular witch/wicca-books out there present lists of important crystals and how to use them without mentioning that if you buy them you also abuse Mother Earth. They should tell you that. Everyone doesn’t think about that by themselves.

I know a lot of people who gets aha-moments when you inform them about things like this. Not everyone is hard-wired to analyse what they do or what they read. I don’t blame them because everyone is different. But! If you’re going to write books that will reach a big audience  you have to analyse even if it’s not in your nature. You can’t write a book on magick aimed towards beginners if you can’t mention that those crystals are good for a lot of things, but people and nature gets hurt while mining them.

I personally do not buy any crystals. I’m not going to say that it’s ok if you do because I don’t actually think that. If you buy crystals I think you should stop. I don’t care if you pay it back to nature through offerings afterwards, the best for nature would still be to abstain the crystals. And let’s not forget about the people. The miners. The people who gets used and abused so you can have your crystals. Is it worth it?

There are tons of material to work with all around us, no matter where you are. There are cones, rocks, plants and feathers everywhere. You can find substitutes for crystals, I promise!

Us Collectors

Last night I found trouble sleeping (as usual) and instead of staring into the roof I looked around for new podcasts to listen to. I found one called A Pagan Heart in Maine, aired by Greywolf Moonsong. In the first episode he was interviewing Michelle “Shelley” Hanson about shell divination. It was very fascinating and when Shelley spoke of collecting and studying things on default only to one day realize it means something more I just felt “wow, this is me!”. Actually I think this applies to many collectors.

I collect all sort of things and I never really thought about why I choose a certain object and discard another. I was really inspired to start looking at my collected things in a new way after listening to Shelleys story! Now, I don’t have any shells even though I live by the ocean. Actually I’ve never even seen one so perhaps they are rare in the Baltic Sea but this thinking can be applied to all sort of things, flowers, rocks, insects and so on.

This one, I actually stole from my mother of whom I inherited my magpie gene. A branch from her witch-hazel.

I’m not sure how other collectors are but I can loose all boundaries when going to a stony beach or take a stroll through the woods. I can spot a perfect cone from a kilometre away (not really, but you get the point). Anyhow what I found interesting is where in my home I have placed these objects after bringing them home. On my writing desk, for example, I have “always” had a really nice pine cone. I literary do not remember how and when it got there. This is interesting because when I searched for the meaning of pines I found this description in Jane Giffords book Wisdom of the Tree: From its lofty position above the tops of most other trees, the pine reminded ancient peoples of the importance of taking the overview, encouraging objectivity and farsightedness. We are advised to cleanse ourselves of negativity, neither dwelling on mistakes nor apportioning blame. Pine is a symbol of the elevated mind and the birth of the spiritual warrior.”  These are things I always think about and want to accomplish when I write! 

A really old thimble, a piece of heart-shaped coral and a stone with fossils.

A daisy from two summers ago, three favourite rocks, some flower and a fir cone.

The more I look into this the more interesting it becomes and I started adding things that were not actually collected to this project. For example I have a butterfly garland in my window, which I can see from all places in my home except the bathroom. I just kinda woke up one morning and thought; “Hey, I should totally make a butterfly garland”. After exploring the internet for some 30 minutes I’ve come to conclusion that butterflies represents freedom and courage. Two things I try to aim for but always have to remind myself about to not fall back in my old “don’t mind me I don’t even exist” pattern. I start every morning with opening my windows (yes, even in the winter) so these little symbols of independence is basically the first thing I see every morning!

Now, I realize this is starting to get a bit long but I’m having a serious spiritual realisation here! Are there any collectors who’s reading this? Have you ever tried to find a meaning with the things you surround yourself with? If not, you should totally give it a go!