Finding the Pagan Way

September, 2015


In many ways, my spiritual journey has brought me beyond the more publicised aspects of paganism and deeper into a rediscovery of shamanism. Whereas much of what is practised in the names of many long lost systems of belief is, largely, a modern reconstruction,- there is still a strong shamanistic tradition in many of the surviving indigenous peoples around the world.

At a time when the western societies are floundering under the unsupportable system of capitalism, we have much to learn from societies which have lived in a sustainable fashion for most of mankind’s history. But ironically, at a time when we need their wisdom the most, the attack on indigenous peoples has been renewed as the corporate world eyes their lands with its habitual greedy stare.

The hunger for timber, minerals and new sites for hydroelectric dams has forced many peoples from their ancestral lands. We have seen the same crimes repeated over and over again as, what we foolishly call, civilisation spread across the globe. Forests are cut down and overworked until nothing but deserts or dust bowls remain. Rivers become polluted and the native flora and fauna became extinct. Respect for the land and for other life becomes replaced with arrogance and a total absence of compassion. Prejudice and hatred become the norm as the native inhabitants are forced out and the “settlers” attempt to justify their actions.

The time has come for those who claim to believe in a better world to stand up and tell their governments to act now. We have a duty to save what is left of this planets natural reserves and to protect the rights of those groups who are still living in a sustainable way. They are the teachers of the future who can show us how to regain our sense of balance and humility before we destroy this planet on which we depend.

A Warriors Tears.

What will we make of our new world, where all the roses died,

When all alone we stand upon the naked earth, where once the weeping willow cried.

Once the cheerful sparrow chirped upon the leafy bough,

And now, across the Barren wastes, the wind blows soft and low

And when our world has gone,

Where will we go?

Where once a mighty river flowed, now runs a ragged little stream.

No fish still swim within it’s dark and murky flow,- no lovers float and dream.

No dragonflies above the bare, baked clay that guides its weary way.

No butterflies delight our eyes with colourful display.

And when our world has gone,

Where will we go?

Take the seeds of mother earth and scatter them wherever you may go.

Plant ten trees for every tree that dies.

Cut the fences, chop the posts and let the buffalo run free.

Take the earth back from the greedy, let us share it as we did in days of old.

For when our Mother dies,

Where will we go?

Patrick W Kavanagh 21/07/2013

by Bill Oliver




My ancient friend

I lay beside you on the cold damp earth,
My tears where mingling with the early dew.
I ran my fingers down your cold coarse skin,
Your wisdom torn from me,- what shall I do?

Your silent counsel,- from me gone…
The quiet dreams you gave me through the years
Your towering strength that sheltered from the storm,
Where once was calm, I now find only tears.

I must stay centred,- must keep anger from my breast,
They tore you from our mother earth,-still in your prime.
No more your shelter for the birds to rest,
You lie,uprooted, long before your time.

I wish that I could set your spirit free,
Release your ancient heart to ash with sacred fire,
And when you go before me to the source,
Please tell,- at least one human loved a tree.

Our Mother now lies stricken, Bones bare, Her Beauty laid to waste
Despoilers!..Stop! must learn how to listen,
The source of all will not much longer bear this foul disgrace!
Learn your purpose,-Learn your place,
Our time grows shorter in this sacred place.

Patrick Kavanagh

Connecting with Nature

October, 2013

What I Learnt About My Ecological Footprint


I recently took an ecological footprint quiz to see how big my footprint really was. Thinking that it would be pretty low compared to others as we recycle a lot and are environmentally conscious. Did I get a wake up call! Despite the fact that we recycle, have less than one garbage bin a week, compost, have compact fluorescent bulbs, energy efficient appliances and turn things off when not using them, we are still using a lot of resources.


The purpose of calculating your footprint is to measure humanity’s demand on nature and to see how much ’nature’ our lifestyle requires.  I went to and took the 27 question quiz. It measures your carbon footprint, food footprint, housing footprint and goods and services footprint. The result was that if everyone on the planet lived my lifestyle, we would need six earths to sustain us! Six! Certainly not what I was expecting! After hanging my head in shame for a few moments, I vowed that I would change that!



Now where to start? Luckily they provide you with lots of ways to reduce your footprint from transportation, housing to food. Based on those suggestions, I vow to start doing the following:

–          buying more of my food local and take advantage of the farmer’s market before winter comes. I’m also going to try making some dried mangos in the oven instead of buying them pre-packaged at the grocery store (I’ll write about that outcome on my blog);

–          look into adding more insulation to the attic and caulking around windows;

–          turning off the computer at night;

–          drying clothes outside when possible (okay, now is not the best time to make that vow as the rainy season is starting in Vancouver but I will do it when I can);

–          try going meatless for one meal a week;

–          use less water;

–          drive less on days off.


There are many things that I didn’t add to that list that we are doing already such as keeping the thermostat low in the winter, having water saving fixtures, using biodegradable non-toxic cleaning products and choosing foods with less packaging.


What is your ecological footprint? What kind of things are you already doing and what do you vow to do differently?