Monday 4 April 2022

Review: Practically Pagan – Planet Friendly Living

Most pagans I know are environmentally aware and try to do their best to minimise their impact on the world. However, I've also come across a few pagans online - particularly some starting out on their path - who haven't completely joined the dots between following a nature religion and the more practical aspects of taking care of nature. I think we can all still learn a few tips for being greener too.

Practically Pagan – An Alternative Guide to Planet Friendly Living is a new book aimed at pagans offering ways to do more for the planet. It should be just as much essential reading for newcomers on the path as beginners' guides to witchcraft. I'd recommend this book above any general book on sustainibility because it's specifically aimed at at pagans. 

The description on publisher Moon Books website says: "In Practically Pagan – An Alternative Guide to Planet Friendly Living, Mabh Savage brings pagan paths and green living together. Mabh Savage explores the connections between environmentalism and paganism, shedding light on the small but powerful changes individuals can make to live a planet-friendly lifestyle."

It covers recycling leftovers from spells or rituals, and points out it's fine to reuse old items from around the house. One thing I often see beginners ask is what containers they should buy to store herbs or for bottle spells. I rarely buy new containers, but instead repurpose things like jam jars. New witches don't always believe it's okay to do that. Well, it is, and this book puts it clearly in writing. There's also suggestions for more experienced practitioners, including upcycling tips for making tools of the craft and other things to use in our pagan practice. There are ideas for incenses from plants that grow locally, and poppets made just from grasses - perfect to avoid pollution if you are intending to leave them in nature.

One of the biggest issues for pagans is environmental concerns at sacred sites. It seems remarkable that so many people seem to need reminders to take away everything they brought and not leave litter - or toxic "offerings" The book goes into details about ways of celebrating at ancient places or sites of natural beauty without causing any problems.

What I particularly like about Practically Pagan – An Alternative Guide to Planet Friendly Living is the way it's written. It's gentle, supportive, sensible, but not preachy. It also offers practical suggestions to try out. Mabh Savage recognises that we all have different needs and requirements. It's okay to buy ourselves treats from time to time too. For those, like me, who have been trying to live a greener lifestyle for decades, this book encourages us that we are doing well already, but reminds us of - or suggests - things we could do to boost our efforts in future. 

Mabh Savage is a Yorkshire witch with a particular interest in Irish spirituality. She’s been a member of the UK Green Party for many years, and believes firmly that it’s possible to reverse the damage being done to our planet with the right focus and action now.

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