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Switching To LED Lightbulbs Is The 33rd Most Effective Way Of Reversing Climate Breakdown

June 12, 2019
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I first learned about the 'Light Bulb Conspiracy' in Tara Button's book 'A Life Less Throwaway'.

The story goes that representatives from Osram, Philips and General Electric formed a group called the 'Phoebus Cartel' in order to commit the first known act of planned obsolescence. Previous to their scheming, lightbulbs lasted an average of 2,500 hours; however, since this crew loved money more than light, they hatched a plan to increase their sector's sales by collectively bringing the lifespan of their lightbulbs down to 1,000 hours. 

LEDs REVERSE CLIMATE BREAKDOWN
Light bulbs contribute significantly to global heating due to their high use of energy (which is powered by the burning of fossil fuels). According to Project Drawdown, by simply swapping our lightbulbs from regular to LED, we can avoid 7.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide, halting one contributor to climate breakdown.

LEDs use around 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and half as much as compact fluorescents. Making this swap is the 33rd most effective way of reversing global heating making it one of many changes we can make at home or at work that has an incredible impact overall.
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LEDs PROVIDE A SOLUTION TO LIGHT POVERTY
LEDs work like solar panels but in reverse, converting electrons to photons instead of the other way around. Because of their lower energy needs, they can also be powered by individually captured solar energy. This is an amazing reality for the billions of people around the world who do not have access to power, offering a significantly safer and cheaper solution to the noxious kerosene lamps currently relied on. ⁣

You can aid the LED revolution by swapping your bulbs. For screw-in bulbs, check out Cree (3-year warranty) and for fancier looking ones with a 10-year warranty, check out Plumen. To help reduce light energy poverty, I’ve also selected some @kiva.org projects you can invest in. Each time your investment gets paid back, you can invest in another one, making it a gift that keeps on giving through the magic of impactful microloans. ⁣
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* some affiliate links mixed in // IMAGES: Unsplash

The Most Effective Ways Of Reversing Climate Breakdown

June 06, 2019
“The trouble is, you think you have time” ... 

Many of you probably saw the (eco)anxiety-inducing headline brought on by the resurfacing of a 2018 report by Australia’s Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration. The independent think-tank, whose work aims to inform the conversation around our climate's emergency, was welded around the web yesterday as mainstream news agencies worked 'World Environment Day' into their rhetoric. The lead information pulled from the study offered a startling warning, that global heating of 4°C or more could reduce the global human population by 80% to 90% within the next 31 years.  

Right now, our world's climate is sitting at 1.1°C, and even if we're choosing to ignore it, we’re already experiencing the effects of this heating. Currently, the Red Cross estimates there are as many as 50 million climate refugees (15 million more people than the entire population of Canada).

With each increase, our collective reality is predicted to worsen, and it is important to understand just how much at each interval in order to be driven to prevent it from becoming our shared reality.

At 2°C degrees of warming, 153 million people will die from air pollution alone (more than the entire population of Russia, the 9th most populated country in the world).

At 3°C rise in temperatures, the changes we've created in the climate will become irreversible, creating room for record-breaking heatwaves and wildfires, more intense flooding, sea level rise and intense hurricanes, killing many and making much of the world unlivable, increasing the climate refugee numbers.

When we reach 4°C or more, the global human population is expected to reduce by 80% or 90%", and there is no certainty amongst scientists that we, nor any other living thing, will be able to adapt to this.
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SO WHAT CAN WE DO?
We can stop it while we have the chance. Currently,  there are more than 100 solutions to reverse global heating with technology we already have available, to put it all in effect, each of us, and our governments, need to get off our butts (NOW) and do all that we can to ensure every single solution available is put into practice through revolutionary action.  

"We need such dramatic interventions in every sector of our world, from our energy to our transportation, to our infrastructure, our agriculture," David Wallace-Wells said in a recent interview, "absolutely every aspect of modern life has a carbon footprint, and we need to not just reduce those carbon footprints, we need to eliminate them entirely."

FACING YOUR ECO-ANXIETY
I know this information creates eco-anxiety, as I type this I'm quaking in my boots out of a combination of fear and too much coffee. But we have a choice; fear the future and be fueled to change it, or ignore it, and allow our civilization to perish at the hands of collective inaction.

This is the story of our lifetime, what we do with it will write history in a way that human existence never has before. Our actions today, tomorrow, this month, this year, and this decade will decide on whether there is a future, ou si c'est la fin.  

That's the choice. It's as black and white as decisions come, and it's time we stop pretending there's any grey area to swim in.

If we can adopt drastic new politics, put people in positions of power that will take radical action in response to climate breakdown, if we can transform our communities to reflect future living, then a livable future for all of us is still an option. But no one is going to do the work for us, each member of our species has to explode into action both individually and collectively.

I’m as guilty as the next person in falling for the falsely that we can buy our way out of this mess. Capsule wardrobes, plastic packaged vegan food, and zero waste lifestyles are not going save the planet, nor halt global heating, no help reverse it. These ideas and ideals help, every little bit helps. I’m not trying to minimize the efforts anyone is making, but we have to be honest with ourselves and know that we don't have time for baby steps, we need leaps and bounds.  
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THE FIRST STEPS 
Each step towards a brighter future starts with us. Through the wee pearls of wisdom I've gathered over my years of writing on this subject, I'm going to share the most effective ways (as far as I understand) to invest in fixing this situation as quickly and concisely as we can.  

First, you need to understand CARBON IS NOT THE ENEMY, the problem we have right now is too much carbon has been extracted from the bedrock of our planet and pumped out into the atmosphere. This overpopulation of carbon has caused global heating and climate breakdown. But carbon plays an important role on this planet, and when drawn down into the soil and sequestered, it feeds life and all living things. Carbon isn't evil, we've just put it in the wrong element.

Once this is understood, we can look at our lives and explore how we can reduce our carbon footprint, prevent further global heating, and even, reverse global warming. Not just as individuals but as a society:

The aviation industry is the most polluting form of transport per kilometre (mile) travelled and the 6th largest polluter in the world. Cheap flights have encouraged a rapid increase in plane travel, and undercut greener forms due to low or non-existent taxes on aviation fuel. Just this Thursday, France proposed a new tax on flights in Europe to encourage travellers to switch to less polluting forms of transport. A few of my blogger buddies, as well as 10,000 others, have taken a pledge to stop flying completely, and many more who have family who live far away, have committed to only taking one flight a year (including me).

2. JOIN IN THE UPRISING
Join the actual uprising against the 1% who are responsible for the climate crisis we are in. Force governments to declare a climate emergency and meet Extinction Rebellion's demands, join the Sunrise Movement, join Idle No More, align yourself with Decolonize This Place ... it's all connected and all important, invest in branches of these movements going on in your community to help make drastic and powerful change.

3. VOTE FOR CLIMATE CONSCIOUS POLITICIANS
If they don't have the climate emergency at the top of their list, they're probably not the best people to deal with this.

4. MOVE YOUR MONEY TO AN ETHICAL BANK
Divest from banks funding climate breakdown, click here for the how to.

5. DECLARE YOURSELF AN EARTH PROTECTOR
Ecocide Law is simple, powerful, and possible, and together we can make it happen. All you need to do is click this link, declare yourself an 'earth protector' and donate 5€. You can read more about what Ecocide Law is, here.

6. DISPOSE OF YOUR REFRIGERATORS & COOLING SYSTEMS RESPONSIBLY
I know it's nuts and completely random, but it is one of the most effective ways of preventing climate breakdown. Read more here.
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GLOBAL HEATING REVERSAL
In Maslow's hierarchy of needs, there are five sections of human motivations which work in sequential order: physiological, safety, belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.

For any of us to pursue the next step, the one before must be met.

Right now, the majority of Western culture is focused on 'esteem' and 'self-actualization'. For most of us, the first three tiers we enjoy were gifted by our 'forefathers' actions. But this gift was only made possible by preventing others from having their 'basic human needs' met, which is a shit gift to give to anyone.

If climate breakdown and global heating continues, the false foundations we've built our ‘freedom’ on will be ripped out from under every one of us. So while the tip of the triangle might feel like a beautiful thing to bask in, the truth is that these pools of privilege we swim in are directly responsible for the web of problems our world is wrapped in.

We with apparent 'self-actualization' met, were/are accountable for continuing to drive change; However, we stopped paying attention to anything but ourselves, making space for the disturbed members of our society to dash around doing the dirty deeds that propped the hoax of our hierarchy, perpetuated pain, and polluted our air, soil, and seas.

In reality, as a society, until EVERYONE has their basic 'physiological', 'safety', and 'belonging' needs met and secured, there is no real authenticity nor substance in the top tiers.

Those of us sitting in that spurious space, need to adjust our attention away from the mirror and do what we can to repair the future we wrecked and the past we darkened.

Climate resilience and social justice walk hand-in-hand, they’re inseparable. That's the way mama nature intended things, and that’s possibly why acts which address climate breakdown are so magical. Each solution to filling and securing the triangle of another also happens to be amongst the most effective options we have for reversing global warming/heating. Powering the possibility for a regenerative equality that our species has never seen.
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The first step is the physical requirements for our survival: food, water, sleep, shelter. Investing in securing all of these for EVERYONE in your local community, and abroad, WILL REVERSE GLOBAL HEATING and PREVENT CLIMATE BREAKDOWN. If we can achieve just this first tier for all in the next 5-10 years, we'll have legs to stand on.

FOOD
The most effective way to ensure we have food while also reversing global heating is through eating a PLANT-RICH DIET (does not need to be vegan) produced through REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE (AGRO-ECOLOGY) and REDUCING FOOD WASTE while we're at it, these acts combined can reverse global heating by over 200 gigatons by 2050.

Regenerative food is produced through no-till, pesticide/fertilizer/herbicide-free farming, which keeps carbon in the ground sequestering it to build more soil, feeding life above and below ground. It creates healthy soil aggregates, increases the nutrition value of the plant,  conserves groundwater, and aids in the resilience of drought and flooding. This type of food production is a gift from the world's indigenous people, offering a way of producing food that leaves the planet better off for the fact that it has occurred.

We must also stop eating foods which are out of season and/or shipped thousands of miles to get to us. Investing in the future of food means investing in regenerating local lands and supporting your local economy. Learn how you can invest in your local community, eat well, build soil, and regenerate the planet by making conscious purchasing decisions with this free guide: CLICK HERE Kiss The Ground

** There are various types of REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE (AGRO-ECOLOGY), combined, they would be the second or third most effective way of reversing global heating. The wisdom behind this type of agriculture has multiple benefits and is the intellectual property of Indigenous Ecological Knowledge. 

WATER
REDUCING WATER CONSUMPTION is key, from individual use to the supply chains of major corporations, like GE. Every time we use water at home, it consumes energy, so when we take a shower, have a bath, do laundry, wash dishes, flush toilets, run taps, water plants, not only is fresh water consumed, and if that water is hot, or if a machine is used, it also consumes energy, which is produced through burning fossil fuels. If 95% of us adopted low-flow taps and showerheads, we could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 4.6 gigatons by 2050. If in addition we can invest in solar water heating, and the market for this grew by 25 per cent, the technology can deliver emissions reductions of 6.1 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050.

REDUCING WATER POLLUTION is also important that we take some individual action (and lobby for industrial action) in stopping plastic microfibers from escaping into our waterways through our laundry, using toxic-free laundry detergents, using toxic-free beauty products, buying clothing which has been dyed with natural dyes rather than toxic ones to reduce water pollution. You can also build a rain garden to help filter rainwater and prevent water pollution.

Throughout the UNITED STATESCANADA, and the world, Indigenous communities still do not have access to safe drinking water. Find out what is going on in your Province or State and aide in ensuring the rightful owners of the land have access to its elements. 



SHELTER
Our shelters use huge amounts of energy, cause huge amounts of pollution, and are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. For every new house built, the equivalent of another ends up in the landfill, so making what we have more efficient is a great way to aid in the reduction of fossil fuel burning and drawdown. GREEN ROOFS and COOL ROOFS could help create better energy efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 0.8 gigatons


When it comes to lighting our homes, there is far more efficient lighting available from advances in LED. If we were to replace our lights with efficient LED lights, 7.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions could be avoided in residences. PLUMEN lights from BUY ME ONCE use 80% less energy and lasts ten times longer than the bulbs most of us have in our homes. 

RENEWABLE ENERGY is offered by a number of companies in several different states and provinces. In general, all you need to do is sign up for it. Most electric companies will incorporate the charges into your electric bill, drawing the equivalent amount of energy you use from renewable sources. You just need to get in touch with your local provider and find out what your options are. If you can retrofit your roof with solar, or have land to put an onshore wind turbine on or start a solar farm, DO IT.

The combinations of these shelter efforts, if made the norm, could reverse global heating by over 200 gigatons by 2050.
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IMAGES: Annie Spratt

Ethical and Sustainable Underwear Brands For Men

June 01, 2019
BLUEBUCK 
British brand Bluebuck creates top of the line organic cotton underwear for men, free from the synthetic fertilizers and insecticides, from crops watered with drip-fed irrigation. Their cotton is hand-picked further reducing the pollution-producing machinery and protecting soil health. The entire production line including all components is produced in Europe. Once assembled, all products are moved by road, rather than by plan, producing 75% less CO2. To add to their green goodness, all of their factories and offices are run using clean energy. 
WHERE TO BUY? bluebuck.net

WAMA
Made from 53% hemp / 44% organic cotton / 3% spandex, Wama offers what my husband says is the "most comfortable underwear on the planet"(he also says he can wear them for multiple days without them "smelling like ball sweat"). They're breathable, anti-microbial, durable and comfortable. Hemp is a super-regenerative plant, helping draw C02 down into the soil. As a crop, it needs neither pesticides nor fertilizer and requires very little irrigation. Patagonia recently put out a great mini-doc about all hemp's benefits, which I wholeheartedly suggest you put on your watch list!
WHERE TO BUY? AzuraBay.com
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SLOGGI
Sloggi has been creating briefs since 1979., each made with high-performance premium fabrics. What really sets them apart is their EverNew collection, promising an unconditional, unlimited lifetime guarantee, for shape, colour, finish, and everything, even with a lifetime of weekly washing.
WHERE TO BUY? Buymeonce.com 

RAWGANIQUE
Producing underwear for men that is completely elastic-free, Rawganics produces 100% organic linen undies which are chemical-free, hypoallergenic, regenerative and ethically made in Europe. They also make 100% Hemp Knit Boxers from organically grown European hemp!
WHERE TO BUY? USA Amazon.com EU Rawganique.com
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ICEBREAKER
Icebreaker​ makes (musling-free) merino undies which are breathable and wick off sweat. A great choice for anyone into sports of any kind.
WHERE TO BUY? Amazon.com
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We All Use Plastic, Here's How To Close The Loop And Go Plastic Neutral

May 30, 2019
I live a ‘zero waste’ lifestyle, making every effort within my power to follow the steps I can control for a life without plastic. But even with my best intentions, me, and every other human on this planet (zero waste or otherwise) produces an unavoidable plastic footprint. 

Plastic has been built into the very fiber of our society. So, even when we make the effort of buying in bulk, use plastic-free bags, take to-go in reusables, or clean our homes with non-toxic and biodegradable products … there is plastic hidden in every step.
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THE PLASTIC PROBLEM

Reuse, reduce, recycle, is the mantra most of us have committed to, but we can’t follow our footprint to its grave, and the reality is that less than nine percent of plastic gets recycled in the end. 

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Diverting our hundreds of thousands of tons of plastic pollution thousands of miles to India, Thailand, and Malaysia is about as useful as diverting leftovers by hiding it under a mattress. It's still there rotting away, even if you can't see it. Adding to the pile-up of atrocities which makes the West the world's big bad bullies.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

The first step in taking responsibility for our plastic footprint is understanding our impact, and luckily, social enterprise rePurpose has come up with a way for us to measure that. Once we understand what our contribution to pollution is, and we offset the unavoidable plastics our society forces upon us, we can work in habits of waste reduction which will help us control all we can.

STEP 1
DISCOVER YOUR ‘PLASTIC FOOTPRINT’

Being aware of the waste we cannot avoid, while concurrently supporting recycling systems that handle it, an essential step as our society attempts to move towards a circular economy that is both fair and efficient. 

This is where rePurpose comes in, upgrading you to a 'reBalancer' once you’ve signed up to their platform. They understand that empowering waste workers to deal with the mess we’ve made is the first step of investing in the circular economy of the future. 

By clicking HERE to take their 3-minute interactive survey you will discover your own personal plastic footprint and how to take responsibility for it (come back here after for the next steps).

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STEP 2
#GoPlasticNeutral & OFFSET YOUR PLASTIC FOOTPRINT

As you saw at the end of the survey, the estimated footprint offered by rePurpose helps you offset your plastic pollution by taking responsibility for a vetted waste worker organization who will collect the equivalent plastic your annual actions create. 

The system rePurpose has established, which I believe we should all support, helps intercept waste before it turns into pollutants. Simultaneously, it ensures waste workers are paid fairly for collecting, cleaning and processing waste sent to the recycling.

Through their program, rePurpose is investing in positive plastic processing systems which establish product-recovery models grounded in the circular economy principles we need for the present and future.

(if you skipped the 3-minute interactive survey In STEP 1, Click HERE now to discover your ‘Plastic Footprint’ and invest in this circular economy)

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STEP 3
REDUCING YOUR PLASTIC WASTE

There could be more plastic in the ocean than fish by July 2042, so reducing your plastic output wherever you can, is a paramount part of the process as well. 

rePurpose offers bi-weekly tips beyond the zero waste hacks I’m offering, personalized to your unique footprint and where you are geographically. To help you along your journey, I thought I’d also share the ‘this-not-that’ swaps I’ve welcomed into my life to control what I can in terms of personal output. 

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I've got a VIDEO with my top ‘zero waste’ swaps HERE, and my friend Kathryn of Going Zero Waste just published a book titled '101 Ways To Go Zero Waste' with even more guidance to offer.
OUT AND ABOUT
Reusable Coffee Mug vs Disposable Coffee Mug read more >
Reusable Water Bottle vs Disposable Water Bottle read more >
Reusable Product Bags vs Disposable Produce Bags read more >
Reusable Bag vs Single Use Bag read more >
Biodegradable Chewing Gum vs Conventional Chewing Gum read more > 
Reusable Straw vs Plastic Straw read more > 

BATHROOM 
Reusable Safety Razor vs Disposable Razors read more >
Bamboo Toothbrush vs Plastic Toothbrush read more >
Reusable Cutlery vs Disposable Cutlery read more >
Shampoo Bar vs Shampoo Bottle read more >
Conditioner Cube vs Conditioner Bottle read more >
Bar Of Soap vs Bodywash In Bottle read more >
Mooncup vs Tampons read more >
Reusable Qtip vs Qtips read more >
Toothpaste Tabs vs Toothpaste Tube read more >
Biodegradable Dental Floss vs Nylon Dental Floss read more >
Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper vs Virgin Toilet paper read more >

BEAUTY 
Glass Cased Beauty Products vs Plastic Cased Beauty Products read more >
Lipgloss In Biodegradable Case vs Plastic Cased Lipgloss read more >
Zero Waste, Toxic-Free Makeup vs Plastic Cased Makeup read more >
Wooden Hairbrush vs Plastic Hairbrush read more >
Plastic-Free Hair Elastics vs Plastic Hair Elastics read more > 
Reusable Cotton Rounds vs Disposable Cotton Rounds read more >

KITCHEN / HOME
Beeswax Wrap vs Plastic Wrap read more >
Stasher Bags vs Ziplock Bags read more >
Stainless Steel Containers vs Plastic Containers read more >
French Press vs Coffee Maker read more >
Teatowels vs Kitchen Roll read more >
Charcoal Water Filter vs Plastic Water Filter read more > 
Compostable Sponges vs Plastic Sponges read more >
Wooden Cleaning Brushes vs Plastic Cleaning Brushes read more > 
Coconut Husk Scrapers vs Plastic Based Scapers read more >
Stop Microplastics Guppy Bag vs Polluting The Ocean With Your Plastic Fashions read more > 

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SPONSORED POST: This post was sponsored by rePurpose. The story, including all content, experiences, suggestions, and opinions, are my own. 
PHOTOS: SHANE WOODWARD

How To Practice Spirituality Without Cultural Appropriation | STEP 2 | We Are The Children Of The Witches They Couldn't Burn

May 25, 2019
FOR PART 1 of this THREE PART series, click HERE
This 'thought piece' was sponsored by KINDOM SHOP

The examples of appropriation I shared in the previous post, along with the history of immense pain western culture has caused Indigenous people around the world, is just a portion of the reflections we must embrace when altering our spiritual practices in consideration of cultures we claim to 'appreciate'.

A CALL TO NATURE
The Draw To Indigenous Spiritual Practices

On the path to 'finding ourselves' outside traditional religions, there is a portion of the journey we often miss. It is the thread that connects us to our own history, one mirrored by Indigenous spirituality.

We have been taught to pull our identity from carefully constructed history books about 'our country', to spend our lives in hot pursuit of power and money, and to find satisfaction in popularity and accolades.

But in truth, our spirit is tied to none of those things. We are children of the earth, and no matter where our bloodlines stem from, or what religious group(s) we subscribe to, all our ancestors once practiced an earth-centered faith. 
Today, we identify religions who worship the divinity of nature as 'pagan' or 'heathen'; derogatory umbrella terms essentially meaning 'peasant' and implying inferiority, used to identify those who did not follow the three main Abrahamic faiths:
- Judaism which started when God revealed himself to Abraham in 1812 BC (over 3,800 years ago)
- Christianity which started when Jesus died in 1 AD (2,019 years ago)
- Islam which was revealed to humanity during the life of the Prophet Muhammad around 632AD (1,387 years ago).

Before these three faiths were found(ed), as well as during their reigns, earth-centered spirituality continued to be practiced. Though the specific rituals and beliefs vary depending on culture, most 'pagan' religions share threads of similarity. They're polytheistic (worshipping several gods or goddesses), pantheistic (considering all living things to be godly), and animistic (believing objects, places, and creatures all hold spiritual essence). 

It is no surprise, that in this day and age when so many of us feel disconnected from nature and from ourselves, that we would be drawn to spiritual paths which bridge that connection.

EMBRACING EMPATHY BY FACING HISTORY
We Are The Children Of the Witches They Couldn't Burn

As the few surviving 'pagans' on this once green planet, the wisdom Indigenous people have gathered through multiple millennia of spiritual alliance with the earth are now being 'proven to be valid and true' by scientists; trees talk, plants heal, animals are sentient, resources are finite, and our words and actions affect our surroundings.

The multifaceted depth of Indigenous intelligence has long been lost by dominant society who busied themselves instead with suppressing sagacity. 'Witches', 'pagans', and 'heathens', were not a broom-riding sects of 'savages' driven by mal-intention (In Indo-European languages, 'Witch' actually means wise or wisdom). They were the healers, wisdom keepers, and storytellers. People who offered medicine, medical help, spiritual guidance, and emotional support to their communities.

At the beginning of the 15th century, 'pagan' practices fell in direct competition with Christianity. The Church needed to secure its power, but realized it could not reign in the way it wished to without the support from the desperately impoverished who made up the bulk of the population.

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The role of 'pagan' healers as medical practitioners gave them legitimacy as community leaders, threatening the Church's authority. In response, an oppressive PR campaign was created in a bid for social control, deeming the use of herbs and medicines by 'pagans' as an unchristian manipulation of the supernatural. It enhanced the fear of 'otherness', a mentality which justified simultaneously occurring atrocities like the colonization of the Americas, the transatlantic slave trade, and witch trials. These acts of extreme violence were rationalized by the promise that anything done in the name of God and country would be dutifully repaid in the afterlife. A mentality which today, continues to thrive.

While witch-hunts in Europe and the Americas lead to the torture and death of at least 200,000 people, 80-85 percent of whom were women over the age of 40, they were only the tip of the iceberg in terms of damnation and suppression of nature's wisdom keepers. The persecution of indigenous groups in the Americas, Australia, Africa, and Asia resulted in such genocide of culture and human life, that it wiped out entire ethnic groups, killing over 90% of Indigenous people of the Americas. Simultaneously, the African slave trade dumped bodies in such great numbers on route to 'America', that even today sharks still follow the routes taken by slave ships.

No sooner had the Americas been 'conquered' and claimed (1776-1867), the Industrial Revolution concurrently began (1750), directing the gaze of abuse to the natural world at levels never seen before. Swiftly securing the cycle of oppression for both nature and its protectors.

THE CALL OF YOUR ANCESTORS
Finding The Path To Your Ancestral Rituals

Despite violent persecution for the past 2,000 years, and still today, Indigenous spiritual practices are amongst the few to survive incessant invasions. Those of us drawn to Indigenous sacred plants and rituals act like moths to a flame, trying to find our way home again. We become blinded by the beautiful sense of belonging, taking no notice of the pains caused by our ceaseless fluttering.

Though most often intentions are pure, our own culture's custom of seizing what we want, simply because we want it, perpetuates. We're not used to giving up things we like, nor are we used to reflecting on our actions in consideration of other beings. Making it easy to justify our needs over another's healing.
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"I think because we are so spiritually starved here in the West we find it very attractive to latch onto a ready-made and still vibrant culture. The intentions behind this are good, I feel, but for me personally, I always felt it was more powerful to connect with my own Ancestors - the ones still rooted deep inside the lands that I am from", says Eddy Elsey, an English Shamanic Practitioner and creator of the Street Spirituality podcast.

"I have spoken with Indigenous Elders about this and most of them have the same opinion. They have come to share their medicine as a framework for us to rekindle ours. Drink Ayahuasca, sure, but lets look beyond the medicine for a minute - the people who traditionally use this medicine pray to the plant, they honour it, use it for divination and healing, they learn its songs - shall we travel to the Amazon and mimic this, or can we use this as a framework for our own teacher plants? We hear beautiful songs about the Condor the Jaguar, wow - they are incredible. What would happen if we did the same thing the owl and the fox? What about the animals that have their nests and burrows outside your window? Would you honour the icy rivers of Dartmoor with the same reverence as the Ganges? I think it is incredibly important to honour these amazing sacred practices, medicines, and customs of the different cultures that share them so generously. But, if you’re not honouring your land, your ancestors and your community at the same time - is it not all a bit hollow? We are the sons and daughters of Cunning Men and Wild Witches - their stories and their ways are still sealed inside the earth we walk on and the hundreds of Sacred Sites scattered across the Country. The Indigenous peoples have been incredibly generous to provide us with the keys - it is now up to us to find the locks they fit inside".

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The thing about depth and discovery is it's not a bite-sized meme we can pin to our wall nor a series of objects we can buy. It's an uncomfortable, awkward, painful, lifelong journey, which takes reflection and time. So wrapped are we in the darkness our ancestors laid out behind us, that we don't trust the light at the end of the tunnel, which promises a brighter future for all. One which looks nothing like the recent past or present 'perfect'.

It is only as we walk through the darkness of our collective history, balancing the energy of everyone's our ancestors on the way by asking for forgiveness and making reparations, that we can begin to see the soulful glimmer which drew us this way.

No matter what spiritual practices you follow, or what rituals you're drawn to, the light you fly towards stems from the truth all life shares, which is bound in Love of one another and our biosphere.

We must find ways of tapping into that truth without perpetuating the pains of the past because there is no spiritual solace to be found when you separate individual well-being from the health of the whole.

We are the children of the witches they couldn't burn. We are children of the earth, the daughters and sons of healers, wisdom keepers, storytellers, and protectors of the natural world. Be in communication with the living planet and all that lives on it, rather than leaping towards the transcendent. Dedicate yourself to harmony with nature and fellow beings, so our collective conscience can be synonymous with social cohesion.

In PART 3, coming up in a few weeks time, I will share a list of books, Indo-European spiritual leaders and resources, as a toolkit for the path back to ourselves and each other, allowing us to honour our ancestors and the plants native to where our spirits stem from, as well as the plants and people native to where we live now. 

This was PART 2 in the three-part series on decolonizing your spiritual practices. STEP 1: Arrete, Acknowledge and Apologise showcases four tales of appropriation, a brief (and incomplete) history of colonization, and a list of Indigenous resources, which you can read



** This post 'thought piece' was sponsored by KINDOM SHOP, rather than advertising their ethical and sustainable story, they have chosen to support conversations intended to enhance our collective reality. 

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SPONSORED POST: This post 'thought piece' was sponsored by Kindom Shop, rather than advertising their ethical and sustainable story, they have chosen to support conversations intended to enhance our collective reality. 
PLEASE NOTE: I want to be clear to any followers of Abrahamic faiths who are reading this that I by no means intend to disrespect your religions. This piece is a guide for those who are appropriating religion from oppressed communities, as well as anyone carrying white privilege, in facing the hard truths of our history so we might begin to repair the violence of our past as well as misconceptions of what surpassed.

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