Finding the Pagan Way


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

Art by Bill Oliver boysoblue.com




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!..you 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