Nathair/|\ Posted May 15, 2011 Share Posted May 15, 2011 As I said in another thread, I believe that the loss of enchantment in the world is one of the most significant root problems in the world today, being a major factor in many of the problems of our age. As I promised, it's time to discuss the loss of enchantment and what some of us are doing to bring it back. Before the modern age and the rise of scientific materialism, we saw the world as full of magic. The river you are crossing had it's own genius loci, that tree might be a home for a Dryad, or the hill behind your village might be the dwelling of An Daoine Sidhe. The world spoke in the wind in the trees or the flight of birds. Even man-made places could become the homes of extra-corporeal beings. Brownies and pixies even lived with humans, helping with chores, caring for livestock or pulling pranks on those who displeased them. The Faeries PleaWe who dance beneath the hillWe who dwell in the oak and elmWe hidden ones of legend and songWe entreat thee Come dance again in the toadstool ringLeave your gifts in the De’ils croftPut your songs in standing stones,And we repayA thousand times and a thousand moreWe return all gifts and honors,To your wise men, your bards we impart great loreFor the price of a song or spellYour fields will bloom; your herds will be fatFor a little butter and porridge The veil thickens, the pathways closeWhen you forget us, your friendsThe garden withers, the wasteland grows,Because you no longer invite us in. So remember us, call us backEre we are gone forever.And with us goes the life of the landAnd the hearts of your children will fail.It seems to me that this perspective provides a great deal of protection. It's a lot harder to pave over a grove of trees when you understand that it's the home of an intelligent being with rights to life and happiness. It's harder to be unkind to another person when you know he or she is a divine being. Beginning in the industrial revolution, philosophers, scientists and businessmen began to systematically destroy the perspective of enchantment. Rene Descartes taught that even animals didn't have spirits or awareness. He believed that one could, with perfect ethics, vivisect a conscious dog because it didn't really feel pain or awareness, but was merely responding to stimuli. His world was one where bodies, even human bodies, were nothing more than machines. From this point of view, there is nothing wrong with clear-cutting a forest to build a strip mall or dumping toxic waste in the river as long as humans aren't harmed. Some have even gone so far as to see other humans, especially those outside one's monkeysphere, as not worth caring about, leading to driving ordinary people from their homes to build a factory or high-rise office building. In Druid philosophy, as in many similar systems, all life depends for it's survival on what Taoists call chi, the life force, an energy that makes the difference between mere matter, like concrete, and something that's alive. Those who can see it are reported as saying that the life force is weak, sickly, or even absent around areas of industrial pollution.I think it's clear that from my perspective, our world desperately needs more enchantment, especially if those who predict a collapse in our present society are correct. If we can no longer depend on cheap energy, functioning economic systems and stable government, we will have to find other solutions. But even in our present conditions, a return to enchantment would be a powerful boon in our everyday lives and in our relationships with each other and with the world.Fortunately, there are methods to do so. Sometimes, I like to stop at a tree and express my appreciation for it's beauty and it's work in absorbing poisons and releasing oxygen, food and shelter. Others like to plant gardens, something I hope to do more of in the future, or talk to their houseplants. Even storytelling, imaginal play, and other forms of bardcraft can be important. Enchantment literally means "to put a song into" something. One more method, which I am participating in to the extent of my small abilities, is the same method by which enchantment was put into the world in the first place, ie. magic. A mage can "charge" an object, whether it be a tool, or something like a standing stone with the life force and tune it for his bidding. Some have done such things as inviting chi into an area that has been neglected or polluted, anchoring it in place to provide healing. One community, Findhorn, turned one of the most unfertile spots in Scotland into a place of unimaginable yields by listening to the genius loci and working with it to bring healing and fertility.Yours under the magical oaks,Nathair /|\ Link to comment
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