Seeding Up by Sara Wright

Every spring it’s the same… the hunger to begin starting seeds. As a woman and an eco -feminist I am convinced that this need to work with seeds and soil is an ancient pattern that stretches back to our egalitarian matriarchal beginnings.

Some of us like me come from a family of gardeners so there is something to say about the influence of our ancestors directing this process on a personal level. Both patterning and ancestral influences seem to work together. Another “both and”.

After I broke my foot last year I was forced to cease gardening altogether out of necessity because I could no longer use a shovel. If I am really honest I can say I was more than ready to let go. I have grown both vegetables and flowers since I was a child, then while raising a family. At mid – life when I moved to the mountains I made (what seems today) a radical decision. I decided to plant trees, plants and flowers primarily for non – humans in a small area around my house. Nature determined what grew and thrived on the rest of my land. Today people call this re-wilding but then my intention was simple. I wanted to give back to nature what S/he had given to me. I wanted nature to be the receiver.

Continue reading “Seeding Up by Sara Wright”

Answering a Call by Sara Wright

“Shamans bridge the night flow…” the first lines from a poem I wrote long ago keep coming into my mind. Frustrated because I can no longer access the poem, I accept that the first line is what I need… ‘bridging the night flow’ of intrusive negative feelings/actions on the part of others (as well as myself) is precisely the edge I am on. Even smoke – filled rooms remind me that I need personal protection.

 An Indigenous healer and impeccable scientist and naturalist friend of mine reminds me of what I know, spiritual forces are moving. When I told him of my dream his response was to focus on protection, create the intention, and let it go… I tried to do this in my mind with limited success but apparently our discussion around this subject opened a door for me or we both did as I remembered how important it is for me to ground my intentions in something concrete. How had I forgotten?

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When Betrayal Makes Sense by Sara Wright

 When I was a young woman, a divorced mother of two, working as a waitress I became obsessed by a window hanging in a local store. This cluster of grapes was fashioned out of thick, uneven hunks of stained glass that the artist had retrieved from bombed cathedrals in Europe. The grapes shimmered – ecclesiastical purple with limed green leaves. Although I could hardly afford to, I paid an outrageous $50.00 for this piece and hung it above my bedroom window. I never regretted the choice. Whenever I looked at the stained glass, I had the strange sense that there was a message hidden there. I ignored it.

After my brother’s death two years later (my youngest son was two) I lost most of myself, but held on to my love for plants tending to them with deep affection and attention.

My first word was ‘fower’ for flower so my relationship with plants stretched back to babyhood. I believed the flowers plants and trees that lived around my grandmother’s house were my close friends.

Continue reading “When Betrayal Makes Sense by Sara Wright”

Saying Goodbye (Refuge), Part 2 by Sara Wright

Part 1 was posted last week. You can read it here.

When I first came to this area 40 years ago I was ‘called’ to land about 15 minutes from here. That first summer I was out in the field picking blueberries when the field rose up around me and held me like a mother. For the first time in my life I felt loved. Shortly afterwards I visited an area that had been brutally logged. I had never seen anything like this and just the scent of weeping pines sickened me. That night I had a dream: the terrifying picture of dying trees and slash and then superimposed over it the image of my beautiful land. When I awakened I thought that the dream was telling me that loving my land was somehow helping the ravaged forest I had seen the day before.

 Soon after this experience frightening tree dreams began… whole forests were being slaughtered all around me. The waters were receding in my brook and destructive uncaring neighbors moved in. Two were already living here.

Continue reading “Saying Goodbye (Refuge), Part 2 by Sara Wright”

Hemlock Haunting by Sara Wright

When I stand under

one of these giants

I sink into the dark

 spiraling into

Deep Time.

 If Hemlock

does not succumb

to insects

 a poisoned sky

 this tree might 

live out a natural life…

 800 years is eight to

ten times longer

than this piercing pain

of mine –

So why is


stretching me

into ‘forever’

mourning trees

without hope?

One difference

is that Hemlock

lives in community

with others that care

the kindness of kin

both young and old

Roots entwine, support…


Comfort seeds the air.

Hemlocks can tolerate

the darkest forest

gloom, the sparse

spongy needle strewn

floor stores

 a multitude of seeds…

for hundreds of years…

Witch hobble thrives

above, golden

beech composts


400 million years

of Life

buried a few

feet deep….

If nature’s patterns

wed to genes

story a future

when Earth

is ready to birth,

these trees

might rise again

as Blessed

Green Beings

once despised

and rejected

insect infected

Now thriving

in Balance

with All That Is…


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When Earth Meets the Son by Sara Wright

As I curl up

in my hatchback

open to sky

I am a snail

loving her shell
sun warms

me from behind
Autumn light
shimmers, leaves
a testament
to breeze

 some withered

by a freeze.
Burnt umber
the understory
in full glory
Bare hardwoods 

peer down

 sentries stationed
Acorn browned oak 
leaves smudge

 sage greens

dark crimson

geese fly by

haunting goodbye
A dragonfly lands
on my foot
Not a grouse 
in sight
in thickets
too thorny
for stealth
live to see
another dawning
Scarlet pockmarked palms
lie face up

on the ground.


 Signs are everywhere.
Insect ridden leaves –
puncture marks
deform once

smooth hands
some shriveled

beyond recognition.

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Elf and Seed Woman Stories by Sara Wright

Elf House

The older I get the more important the forest becomes to me because it is a place where I find inspiration and peace. I also play in the woods! During the month of October and what I call the “Witching Moon” that has just passed I think of all the women healers that lived alone in the forests with their animal and plant ‘familiars’. These women learned that nature instructs those who apprentice themselves to her. Animals and plants spoke to these women through intuition, sensing, feeling, or through their dreams because these women listened to them. Did these women play too? Westerners fear nature because they are so separate from her. Unable to imagine conversation (let alone play) occurring between women animals and plants, even today women who live close to nature are viewed with suspicion. I know because I am one of them.

I spend a lot of time in a 12,300 acre wood that one family has preserved for perpetuity. Recently these generous people have leased the land to the local land trust so it is getting more attention. I am not sure that this is a good thing. I note the amount of motorcycle and four wheeler use has increased dramatically on the roads that run parallel with the forest; some of the once quiet woodland paths are either echoing or  saturated with sound.

Continue reading “Elf and Seed Woman Stories by Sara Wright”

Grief Overshadows Joy by Sara Wright

Fall is the season of ‘the cutting away’, a poignant time to celebrate the deepening darkness as we turn inward. I think the powers of the goddess are strongest at this time of year… I wrote this wistful poem in celebration of Autumn as I am experiencing it this year… perhaps the personal reflection that follows is the kind of thinking that is capable of opening a door to a new way of perceiving?  

Autumn Gold

Autumn gold

stains the maples

beech hay ferns too

each day

 a deeper glow

bittersweet bleeds

into lemon

liming veins

scarlet sears a leaf

or two

salmon rose blurs…

 fir balsam hemlock

spires reach


forest green


soak in drops

of rain.

Continue reading “Grief Overshadows Joy by Sara Wright”

The Miracle of Becoming by Sara Wright

We use the word “transformation” very casually in our culture. Humans including feminists have ‘adopted’ the word to describe an inner shift in mental awareness, and of course this can happen, although not usually after a weekend spiritual retreat. The dictionary defines transformation as a dramatic change in form or appearance. In animals, transformation becomes a metamorphosis – a true change in form during that creature’s life cycle. In physics the word denotes an induced or spontaneous change of one element to another by a nuclear process. As a naturalist and ethologist it seems to me that humans may not really know what the word transformation really means. Doesn’t transformation include both mind and body? Perhaps we need to turn to nature to find out! One point becomes abundantly clear. Transformation is fraught with danger and only some creatures (and humans?) are able to survive the shift. What follows is a story of transformation that moved me to tears.

When the extraordinary creature emerged from a split translucent capsule I could hardly believe my eyes. Although I have witnessed butterfly transformation many times over the course of my life none have moved me like this butterfly birth did.

Continue reading “The Miracle of Becoming by Sara Wright”

Mabon and the Warbler by Mary Gelfand

Small, perfect, magnificent!  The creature lay in Mark’s hand, unmoving.  Stunned or dead—we couldn’t tell.  Some birds recover from impact with our sliding glass door and some do not.  This was a hard hit—I could hear it from another room—and as I gazed at the beauty of this bird—a blue-winged warbler Mark said, I felt pretty sure the Goddess would call home it soon.

As I write this, fall equinox—Mabon to some of us—is two days away.  Already here in Maine the days are noticeably shorter.  The dark times are upon us now.  Daylight will diminish minute by minute until winter solstice when the sun will grace us with nine whole hours of light before the Wheel of the Year turns and the days begin to lengthen, almost imperceptibly.  The anniversary of my first husband’s death is a few days after equinox so this is always a hard time of year for me as I face into the darkness and the inevitably of death.

Continue reading “Mabon and the Warbler by Mary Gelfand”

Legacy of Carol P. Christ: “Calling All Women” to Save the Earth, signed and shared by Carol P. Christ

This was originally posted on April 1, 2019

I contend therefore that we have allowed these chemicals to be used with little or no advanced investigation of their effect on soil, water, wildlife and man himself. Future generations are unlikely to condone our lack of prudent concern for the integrity of the natural world that supports all life. Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own – indeed to embrace the whole of creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder. Wangari Maathai

I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. Greta Thunberg

We are calling all women and our allies to come together to save the earth that sustains us all. Is it any wonder that from Rachel Carson to Wangari Maathai to the emerging young leader Greta Thunberg, women have been in the forefront of environmental movements for a century? As daughters, sisters, mothers, grandmothers, and aunts, we have long cared and advocated for the most vulnerable among us, the very young, the very old, the disabled, those who are the first to suffer the consequences of climate catastrophe and the many kinds of pollution that are poisoning the earth we share.

Continue reading “Legacy of Carol P. Christ: “Calling All Women” to Save the Earth, signed and shared by Carol P. Christ”

All these sexist movies turn me red by Trelawney Grenfell-Muir

*Warning* – contains spoilers about the movie “Turning Red” as well as “Brave,” “inside Out,” and “Encanto.”

Imagine something with me for a moment. Imagine there is a movie about an adolescent boy who discovers that he has magic shapeshifting powers to become a fierce, powerful animal. The males in his family have had this power for generations because a deity granted the power to a male ancestor in order to help him protect his family from enemy invaders. The boy has to learn to control the amazing power and potential of this fierce warrior alter-ego. What’s the next part of the story?

Would he save his family from an evil ruler trying to harm them?

Would he save his town from an earthquake that almost destroys a stadium full of people?

Would he save his city from an evil power that wants to enslave the population?

Or… would he get in an argument with his dad about going out with his friends and end up doing intense emotional labor to heal intergenerational dysfunction in his wider family?

Do you think boys and men would ever, in a million years tolerate that last option? This boy superhero uses his superpower to… do emotional labor for his family. The end.

Continue reading “All these sexist movies turn me red by Trelawney Grenfell-Muir”

Women, Birds, and Feminism by Sara Wright

When I was about forty years old I discovered a clay deposit on a beach that I visited frequently. Intrigued, I sat down and began working with the river’s gift. I remember my astonishment when a beaked bird – woman emerged out of the clump of damp earth. I could feel a surge of fire pulsing through my body so I took the figure home and placed it on my bedside table, hoping to discern its message.

Shortly thereafter I discovered the work of Marija Gimbutas in the book The Language of the Goddess. There were a number of beaked goddesses pictured in this volume, some uncannily similar to mine. Had I tapped into the world of the ancient bird goddesses? I believed so. Although I had no idea what this might mean these images of Marija’s captured my imagination and kept me questioning. It wasn’t long before I also dreamed  other bird goddess images and rendered each of them in clay…

Continue reading “Women, Birds, and Feminism by Sara Wright”

“Calling All Women” to Save the Earth, signed and shared by Carol P. Christ

I contend therefore that we have allowed these chemicals to be used with little or no advanced investigation of their effect on soil, water, wildlife and man himself. Future generations are unlikely to condone our lack of prudent concern for the integrity of the natural world that supports all life. Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own – indeed to embrace the whole of creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder. Wangari Maathai

I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. Greta Thunberg

We are calling all women and our allies to come together to save the earth that sustains us all. Is it any wonder that from Rachel Carson to Wangari Maathai to the emerging young leader Greta Thunberg, women have been in the forefront of environmental movements for a century? As daughters, sisters, mothers, grandmothers, and aunts, we have long cared and advocated for the most vulnerable among us, the very young, the very old, the disabled, those who are the first to suffer the consequences of climate catastrophe and the many kinds of pollution that are poisoning the earth we share.

As cooks, gardeners, and small farmers providing sustenance for our families throughout the world, we speak for the soil and the water, the air and the crops that feed us. As Congresswomen, diplomats, lawyers, doctors, CEOs, artists and scientists we are calling for fair and equitable public policies that address the crises we are facing together. As those who create homes and maintain households, we are speaking out for our first and only home, the planet earth we share.

Today as never before we are witnessing the destruction of the intricate and delicate balance, the miraculous conditions on earth on which all life depends. At this moment as a drastically changing climate and a deluge of poisonous substances, from plastic to coal to pesticides threaten the habitats of living creatures world wide, we are confronted by unprecedented loss of species, what some are calling “the sixth extinction,” a tragic loss reflected in the epidemic of disease in our families and communities.

Like indigenous communities and people of color, because women are so often marginalized, as outsiders we have a crucial perspective including valuable insights into what has caused the frightening and destructive events we are witnessing. We see a world too often governed by ruthless attempts to dominate and win, placing profit above every other value, framed by a world view that describes nature as inferior, lacking in intelligence or the inviolable integrity that all living beings possess. In response we call for an ethic of peaceful cooperation with nature and between nations.

Faced with the consequences of heedless, ignorant and ultimately violent policies that threaten our lives and all we love, wild fires burning our forests and homes, floods and mudslides destroying our towns, fierce storms battering our coastline, lakes and rivers becoming too toxic to drink, as our oceans and the fish that swim in them are choked with plastic, as our air becomes heavy with particles that threaten human health, we are calling for women to unite in an effort to recognize and respond to the failures of political, economic and moral vision behind these crises.

As nurses, teachers, waitresses, secretaries, wives, partners, those who respect and nurture life, we understand we are all dependent on each other and every other living being on earth. And we know too that together we have the creative vision to stop the advance of climate change and the sixth extinction, to put an end to the poisoning of our earth, to build societies that, taking inspiration from indigenous cultures, respect nature’s rights and learn from nature’s wisdom. In this light we urge you now to speak out, organize, rally, protest and step up in every way you can to protect the future of life on earth.

Susan Griffin, Vandana Shiva, Alice Walker, Alice Waters, Vijaya Nagarajan, Maxine Hong Kingston, Deirdre English, Ayelet Waldman, Jane Hirshfield, Arlie Hochschild, Joanna Macy, Jodie Evans, Medea Benjamin, Claire Greensfelder, Belvie Rooks, Jennifer Berezan, Ruth Rosen, Elizabeth Rosner, Joyce Jenkins, Nancy Shelby, Anita Barrows, Rebecca Foust, Joan Miura, Carol P. Christ

Here are some actions you can take and organizations you can join and support:

Learn about the environmental issues in your own neighborhood. Educate your community and organize to while demanding an end to pollution and the emission of CO2 in every form. Work to empower our communities to allow us to make decisions that protect the environment and our families and all lives Ask your senators and representatives to support The Green New Deal. Call for and support public transportation. Ask the businesses in your communities and chains such as Trader Joe’s to adopt practices that support the environment and cease those that are destructive, such as the use of plastic. Take action to ban poisons such as Glyphosate found in Monsanto’s Round Up from our communities. Boycott Monsanto and companies that fail to adopt green policies. Ask your governments to stop exporting environmental destruction, in every form including dumping waste, mining, drilling for oil, selling pesticides, altering and patenting seeds, internationally. Oppose war and investments in warfare. As the largest source of pollution on the planet, armed conflict and the manufacture and storage of weapons cause irreparable and vast damage all over the earth.

Below is a list just a few of the organizations working to save our planet that can support your efforts and which you can join and support., Bioneers, Black Belt Citizens, Greenpeace, Mothers out Front, Rain Forest Action, Seed Sovereignty, The Nature Conservancy, The Southern Environmental Law Center, Women Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), Women’s Environmental Network (WEN), Women’s Environmental Action, Women’s Voices for the Earth, Collaborative on Health and the Environment, CODEPINK.

Call: written by Susan Griffin with Vandana Shiva

Painting: Mother Earth by Jennifer Cortez-Perlmutter

Note from Carol P. Christ: “Women’s knowledge” that we are part of the earth stems from women’s work: caring for the weak and the vulnerable in all cultures and caring for plants and trees in horticultural and forest-cultural societies. This knowledge is available to men as well but only if they are willing to challenge long-standing cultural assumptions about “manhood” based in the separation of men from women and nature.


Carol P. Christ is an internationally known feminist writer, activist, and educator living in Lasithi, Crete. Carol’s recent book written with Judith Plaskow, Goddess and God in the World: Conversations in Embodied Theology, is on Amazon. A Serpentine Path: Mysteries of the Goddess is on sale for $9.99 on Amazon. Carol  has been leading Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete for over twenty years: join her in Crete. Carol’s photo by Michael Honneger.

Listen to Carol’s a-mazing interview with Mary Hynes on CBC’s Tapestry recorded in conjunction with her keynote address to the Parliament of World’s Religions.


A Victory for the Environment: For Birds and for Us by Carol Christ

On February 20, 2018, the Greek government issued a Presidential Decree mandating the formation of government bodies to monitor and protect the more than four hundred bird and wildlife habitats in Greece designated as part of the European law Natura 2000. This decision came after decades of government inaction regarding the enforcement of the Natura law it accepted as part of its entrance into the European Union.

Whether the Presidential Decree will result in protection on the ground remains to be seen, but it is an important step in the right direction. The Presidential Decree was issued after years of negotiations initiated by the European Commission to compel the Greek government to comply with the law. A Complaint to the European Commission regarding failure to protect the Natura wetlands of Lesbos on which I was the first author formed part of the basis of these negotiations.

a ditch drains a wetland to produce agricultural land

Almost as soon as I became a birdwatcher in 1999, I began to notice the degradation of bird habitats by dumping, drainage, and building, especially in wetland areas. Wetlands are seasonal bodies of water created by winter rains that dry out in the summer heat. Generally, they are shallow, which means that they are a perfect stopping over place for migrating birds. The most common visitors to wetlands are wading birds that stand in shallow pools and puddles without immersing their bodies in the water. Lesbos, the island where I began to watch birds, has some of the most important wetlands in Europe, visited by birds migrating from Africa to Europe in the spring for rest and feeding. Because of this, Lesbos is also a destination for birdwatchers.

Wetlands are not only important for birds. In rainy periods they act as a sponge between rivers and the sea and dry land, absorbing water that otherwise could cause flooding. The devastating flood damage to New Orleans in recent years is the result of building on wetlands. Similar damage occurs regularly wherever wetlands are drained, including on the island of Lesbos.

In 2001, I wrote a petition that was signed by over 600 birdwatchers and others urging the Greek government to protect the wetlands of Lesbos. I presented it at an open meeting in May 2001 organized by the Mayor of Kalloni, Lesbos, Aris Eleftheriou, to explain the plan to protect the wetlands of Kalloni which had been funded by the European Union. Instead of being congratulated for his work and vision, the mayor was met by an angry mob. Many of the Natura wetlands are privately owned fields traditionally used for grazing sheep and goats. As local economies were transitioning to tourism, landowners did not want any restrictions placed on their ability to drain and build on their land.

flamingos are now permanent residents of Lesbos

It was in this context that John Bowers, a longtime birdwatcher in Lesbos, an environmental economist, and the first to sign my petition, formed Friends of Green Lesbos, an international internet-based group dedicated to protecting the wetlands of Lesbos that soon counted over 800 members. I became its Vice President. In 2003, Friends of Green Lesbos, in co-operation with Idatinos, a local environmental group, drafted an internet letter and petition, that was automatically sent to the Greek government every time it was signed, asking the Greek government to fulfill its legal responsibility to protect the wetlands of Lesbos. The government responded that it was required to enforce the Natura law even though no specific Greek law had been passed specifying how this was to be done. A committee in the department of building and land development in Lesbos was created and charged with the responsibility of protecting the local wetlands.

We did not understand that this committee would not be monitoring the wetlands on a regular basis, but would only respond to complaints. This was clarified at a meeting organized by World Wildlife Fund in Athens in 2005. I was then put in touch with a new local environmental group, Nautilos en drasi that was also formed to save wetlands. Together with WWF, we began to draft complaints about the degradation of individual wetlands. These complaints, numbering well over fifty, were all decided in our favor. Fines were issued, but there was no mechanism to ensure compliance. Numerous meetings with the Governor of the island resulted in promises that were not kept. We finally realized that he was more interested in currying favor with landowners and developers than in enforcing the law.

In 2008 while lecturing at a conference in Ireland, I met a Green Party member of the European Parliament who encouraged me to write a complaint to the European Commission. After six months of intense effort, I completed a formal complaint of over 100 single-spaced pages, supported by two large files of documents, detailing the government’s failure to protect the wetlands under the Natura law. It was immediately approved by Friends of Green Lesbos and Nautilos en drasi, but it took over two years for World Wildlife Fund and Hellenic Ornithological Society to revise and sign it.

The complaint was submitted to the European Commission in September 2011. After several requests for additional documentation, the Commission found Greece in violation of the Natura law in Lesbos in October 2014. In August 2016 the Commission informed us that it had made our case part of horizontal negotiations with Greece regarding its failure to protect all of its Natura sites. The February 2018 Presidential Decree is the fruit of these negotiations. It is certain that the European Commission will continue to watch the situation in Greece to ensure that the government follows through with the monitoring and protection mandated by the new law.

This has been a long and tiring and often discouraging struggle of nearly two decades and it is still ongoing, but if the end result is the protection of all of the Natura sites in Greece, it will have been well worth it.

Others involved in Natura struggles in Lesbos besides John Bowers and myself include Eleni Galinou, Michael Bakas, Costas Zorbas, and Stellios Kraonakis, and in Athens, Foteini Vrettou, George Chassiotis, and Elias Tzirtzis of World Wildlife Fund Greece, and Malamo Korbeti of Hellenic Ornithological Society.

Carol P. Christ is an internationally known feminist writer and educator currently living in Heraklion, Crete. Carol’s new book written with Judith Plaskow, is Goddess and God in the World: Conversations in Embodied Theology. FAR Press recently published A Serpentine Path: Mysteries of the Goddess. Carol  has been leading educational tours based on the religion and culture of ancient Crete for over twenty years. She is active in the Green Party Greece and has run for office in regional and national elections. Carol’s photo by Michael Honegger.

The Importance of Religion for Eco-Feminism by Ivy Helman

untitled.png“Why is religion important to ecofeminism?”  A student, in the Master’s course I teach at Charles University, asked this as we began the class session dedicated to the topic.  Given the overwhelming presence of atheism in the Czech Republic, I wasn’t too surprised by the inquiry.  Nonetheless, the idea has been at the back of my mind ever since: what does religion have to do with ending patriarchy and bolstering the health of the planet?  While I may take the connection as obvious, it is clearly not for many feminists out there.  Here is how I understand it.

First, it is true: many of our inherited religious traditions have been and still are considerably patriarchal.  Because of that, some feminists outright reject religion.  In fact, some feminists even consider religion dangerous and threatening, as it is often utilized to contradict many feminist aims.  Yet, there are many, many feminists who find, within their given or chosen tradition, non-patriarchal elements that can be recovered, remembered and/or (re)created.   Religious feminists work tirelessly to transform religions in life-sustaining and post-patriarchal ways not just for themselves but also for those women and men who belong to the same communities.   Continue reading “The Importance of Religion for Eco-Feminism by Ivy Helman”

The Great Dragon, Níðhöggr by Deanne Quarrie

Deanne Quarrie, D.Min.I am a student of the Northern European/Old Icelandic worldview known as Seidr. What I find particularly fascinating in my studies are not the deities but rather the creatures living on the World Tree, along with the Primordial Giants who predated the gods. One such creature is Níðhöggr, the “Derision Striker.” Níðhöggr is a great dragon who lives at the base of Yggdrasil, the World Tree. She gnaws on the roots of the tree, stimulating new growth. Her home stretches from icy Niflheim, near what is called the “Roaring Kettle”, the sacred well of all the rivers of Niflheim, all the way to Dead Man’s Shore in Helheim where she devours the piled corpses.

NíðhöggrNíðhöggr embodies the principle of rot, which is that all things must decay to make room for those things that are new. It is Níðhöggr’s job to clean up the mess! She is involved in acts of undoing. She reminds us of the impermanence of life and that eventually, all that is must become undone. It is important to know this so that we can be prepared for unexpected or difficult changes in our lives.

Níðhöggr is there to devour nasty things in one’s self, both physical and emotional. She is there to take away anything that no longer serves us, as long as we are willing to give it to her. She also is there to help anyone working to clean up the environment, especially from our own pollution.

Many fear Nidhogg because of the job she must do but without this part of the life cycle there would be no cycle at all. We make every effort to hide things that are unpleasant. We flush our human waste into our water supply instead of simply giving back to the Earth where we can restore it and use it as nourishment for new life. Menstrual blood is hidden away as if somehow shameful. We hide all that is ugly or that which makes us uncomfortable. And so it is too, with creatures and characters in mythology. Somehow in our dualistic world, the lines between good and bad, negative and positive are clearly drawn. So often those things we suppress, hide and call negative are actually, what save our lives. They are the things in our basic natural spirit that propel us forward into becoming better human beings.

Níðhöggr also serves us as a moral agent, reminding us that our own cruelty, especially harmful acts that undermine another’s sense of self. Bullying behavior is a good example. She reminds us that our actions always have consequences to the energy of the whole, not just our own lives.

Her work is much like that of the vulture, a bird so ugly it is beautiful. I have always thought of vultures as the great recyclers, returning what is lifeless and no longer useful back to the Earth to make ready for new growth.

She is truly all about roots, and keeping them clean. As that, she reminds us that real strength is found in one’s roots.

In her story, at the end of days, Níðhöggr chews through a root and upends the World Tree. Clearly if this were the root upon which all else depended, the mighty tree would fall. Perhaps this would represent our own failure to clean up after ourselves, both in our own lives as well as here in this place we call home, the Earth.

Deanne Quarrie. D. Min. is a Priestess of the Goddess. She is the author of five books. She is the founder of the Apple Branch where she teaches courses in Feminist Dianic Witchcraft, Northern European Witchcraft and Druidic Shamanism. She mentors those who wish to serve others in their communities. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Ocean Seminary College and is the founder of Global Goddess, a worldwide organization open to all women who honor some form of the divine feminine.

For the Love of Gaia by Jassy Watson

For the Love of Gaia Jassy WatsonOn January 26, 2013 a rare, devastating tornado hit our community in Queensland, Australia, a coastal town on this sub-tropical coast. My family experienced nature’s elemental force firsthand and hopefully will never again. The tornado viciously shattered houses, peeled away roofs, uplifted cars and trees, and took down power lines, tearing apart everything in its path. With absolutely no warning, literally out of the blue, it formed over the churning sea, rapidly intensifying before striking land, awakening the vulnerability and fragility of all life in its midst.

When it struck, our four kids and I were waiting in our car while my husband ducked into a mate’s house to borrow a tool. We heard the sound of a roaring jet plane overhead, as my husband came running, screaming at us to get out of the car. Turning to my left, in a vision imprinted forever, a spiral of debris flew toward us. Scrambling, we got the kids out of their harnesses and safely indoors. I lagged behind, taking care of the children first, and fell out of the side door of the van with the wind’s impact. As I got up to run, a large piece of roofing tin flew straight for my head. I dove, seeking safety under the front of our running car. My life flashed before my eyes. All of us in a state of shock, the tornado was gone as quickly as it had come, we were unscathed except for a few minor cuts and bruises. It was only a few moments before the immediate danger passed. We ventured outside to inspect the damage, destruction surrounded us. Continue reading “For the Love of Gaia by Jassy Watson”


Greece is in the throes of a terrible economic crisis. National elections were called last week and will be held on Sunday May 6.

I am one of the 5 candidates for the Greek Parliament on the Green Party ticket in electoral region of Lesbos. We are a small country of only about 10 million people. The Lesbos district includes about 100,000 people. It is truly amazing that I as an immigrant have been asked to run. It is also amazing that though most of our politicians are corrupt, our electoral system has not yet been completely bought. No polls are allowed during the last 2 weeks of the election. The final poll indicated that the Green Party will have a voice in parliament for the first time on May 7. No Green candidate from Lesbos is likely to become a member of parliament, but all of the votes we gather will be counted towards the party’s total representation. Unfortunately two right wing fascist parties are also likely to get seats, and no party looks poised to gain a ruling majority. What will happen next is anyone’s guess.

Ecofeminist Petra Kelly was one of the founders of the European Green Party of which we are part. Due in part to her good work, the Green Party’s goals include: sustainability, social justice, nonviolence, and participatory democracy. Not a hard platform to run on! Continue reading “WHY I AM RUNNING IN THE GREEK NATIONAL PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS ON MAY 6 by Carol P. Christ”

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