|Homework: An account of the Dedicant’s efforts to work with nature, honor the Earth, and understand the impacts and effects of the Dedicant’s lifestyle choices on the environment and/or the local ecosystem and how she or he could make a difference to the environment on a local level.|
Living in a city, I do need to do some extra efforts to connect with nature. During my youth, I was not strongly connected to nature, as I always lived in cities. But with my interest in modern Paganism and the beginning of my Dedicant Path program, I multiplied the number of time that I actually visit forests near my town. All things considered, I always felt good when I’m nears trees or water strains, so this is a relief to be able to connect with nature in a way that I never did before. However, I do not go for camping, as I do like my comfortable apartment and can’t seem to be able to have a good sleep in a tent. To compensate, I go more often for a walk in nature, and if it’s quiet, I’ll allow myself the luxury to relax, or meditate under a tree. One thing I love to get an extra connection with nature is the smell of a forest during autumn, when you can smell the aroma of humid leaves of tree on the ground. I also love to listen to the subtlety of the myriads of sounds found in a forest or a tree grove. During my Druidic study, I found out that I’m connected to nature even when I’m in the city. My town has lots of trees, and lots of parks, and only seeing them is enough to feel the energy of nature surrounding me. I still love living in a big city, but I’m glad that this city is surrounded by a large Canadian forest that I can visit anytime I want.
To honor the Earth, I make sure to always include Earth Mother in my rituals and during my high day celebrations. Since I’m a follower of the Celtic/Gaelic/Irish tradition, I worship Earth Mother as Danu, which is the primordial Mother Goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Danu was considered as the mythic mother goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Celtic tribes that first invaded Ireland. The Celts included the cult of the mother goddess in their rites, as archeological evidence testifies. Sometimes, I also include Ériu, Banba, and Fódla in my rituals, as they are part of an important triumvirate of patron goddesses of sovereignty in Ireland. In the Mythological Cycle, it is told that the Milesians encountered three goddesses of the Tuatha Dé Danann, Ériu, Banba and Fódla, who asked that the island be named after them; Ériu is the origin of the modern name Éire, and Banba and Fódla are still sometimes used as poetic names for Ireland. I do not live in Ireland, but my spiritual journey is strongly connected with the Irish culture and because of that, I worship Danu as the Earth Mother, and I honor Ériu, Banba, and Fódla as the three matron goddess of Ireland, and protectors of the Earth. In a more mundane way, I’m part of the green committee at my workplace, and I participate in many environmental activities.
I’m aware that my lifestyle affects the environment, as everyone else, but I tend to be extremely careful. I do recycle a lot, and I’m only using a bag of trash for every two or three weeks. I cannot do compost at the moment, as I live in an apartment without having access to a personal garden, but I’ll gladly jump on the occasion if we are allowed to have compost bins. In the meantime, I do my best to eat everything or to keep leftovers in freezer. As for lighting, I’m using very few lights on, I like to live mostly in the dark, and if I watch the television, I generally close the lights. I’ll also turn the television off if I’m working at my computer. It’s great for the environment, and great for the electricity bills! As far as I can recall, I haven’t changed my behaviors since the beginning of my Dedicant path program. The only difference that I can think of is that I now feel hurt and upset when I see someone littering around me. If I can, I’ll ask the person to drop the liter in a garbage bin, or I’ll do it myself. I have a Pachira aquatica (money tree) and an Aloe Vera plant since a couple of years in my home. I water them every week and they seem to grow stronger and healthier than ever, which make me think that I’m doing this efficiently!
The difference I can make on a local level is to continue my work with the green committee at my workplace. To me, it feel right as it helps with the awareness of the employees in regards to the environment, and how they can help with recycling and restrain themselves of using plastic and polystyrene plates for food. To improve my implications, I might be joining a local environmental action group someday. I could help making a difference by helping the volunteers that clean the city river every year. From year to year, they actually manage to decontaminate larger surfaces, and one day, the river will be wonderful again. I would like to be a part of it, and be proud of the work I did with them. There is always room for improvement, and I’m pointing in that direction!
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