Finding an ethos that resonates with you and that you want to live by, is no easy feat. Finding your belief, your calling, your religion .. your way of life. What ever you wish to call it. This is something I'd neglected to commit to properly for years, and I'm so grateful to have done the inner work and finally found my path. It's transformed my life for the better, for which I am eternally grateful.
The belief / culture / religion that resonated most with me was Paganism and Wicca, and I identify as an Eclectic Witch, meaning that I follow my own spiritual path, combining a mix of Pagan and Wiccan beliefs. I have a deep, loving respect for Mother Earth, I give thanks to the deities of old, live alongside the moon, work with the elements and believe in the ethos of: If it harm none - mote it be.
So, what does that mean exactly? Different people will interpret this differently. No two people are the same, hence no religion or belief will mean the same to two people. I suppose this is way everyone prays / gives thanks / practises differently. We will all have our own versions of what's right, what's wrong and what should be. For me the ethos of 'If it harm none, mote it be' translates to: be the best person I can be, have as positive an impact on this planet as possible whilst I am here, and to try to live alongside nature as much as possible - not against it.
My belief as an Eclectic Witch revolves largely around Mother Earth and the cosmos, being grateful for what I have, and showing the powers that be, what my desires are, to enhance the probability of those desires becoming my reality. I do rituals regularly that show the universe what I am grateful for, and what I would like from my life. This is known as sympathetic magick; the process of portraying to the world what it is that you want, and to significantly improve the chance of those things coming to pass - as long as the desire is pure, and aligns with the creed of 'If it harm none, mote it be'.
From writing in my journal, speaking with the moon, ritual candle making, crystal healing and reading messages that come up through nature, runes and tarot cards. There are endless ways to practise witchcraft and to make your desires a reality. Many call this the Law Of Attraction, I call it Magick. I believe in magick with every fibre of my being, I've witnessed its wonder, and embraced it's rewards in many ways.
Magick is real - and it exists for everyone.
Along with the magickal aspects of witchcraft, there are many practical aspects that fall in line with the belief of 'If it harm none' too. Living consciously is the main one for me. To ensure I leave a positive impact in my wake, not a negative one. It's a rewarding way to live now that I've embraced it fully, and it's helped me to become a happier, healthier person.
Unfortunately, being human, it is virtually impossible to cause zero harm during our time here on Earth. Thats quite a depressing thought but true. Every time we drive our car, take out our rubbish, leave a tap running by accident - the list goes on. Even if you're a devout environmentalist and go out of your way daily to help others, as a human in todays modern day society, we will all leave an impact in our wake. It's up to each person as an individual, and the daily choices we make, to determine how good or bad that impact will be. Do we live our life for good, for bad or in that murky grey area?
Many of us are in that murky grey area unknowingly. Doing things daily that cause harm to our planet but not realising it. Making purchases that decimate our environment and contribute dramatically towards climate change, but thankfully, with a selection of lifestyle adjustments, we can rectify many of our wrongs and put them right. If enough people start to live consciously, our planet can thrive once more.
Little things to help our planet recover are:
*Recycle & compost - send as little to landfill as possible.
*Reduce & reuse - buy second hand where possible and donate things you no longer need elsewhere
*Shop consciously: Switch to recycled toilet paper / stationary / paper etc
*Avoid single use plastic: carry your own reusable shopping bag / thermos / bottle / cutlery etc
*Use a handkerchief instead of tissues
*Females: Switch sanitary towels / tampons for a menstrual cup (OrganiCup etc)
*Parents: Switch regular nappies/wipes for re-usable or biodegradable ones
*Grow your own fruit and vegetables
*Order a 'Save the bees kit' or a 'bee bomb' and plant in your garden
*Plant a tree / plants / flowers - lets make the world green and colourful again!
*Refrain from cutting your grass - let 'weeds' blossom into wildflowers - bring back our native flowers
*Encourage your family to embrace 'Meatless Mondays' - perhaps eat vegan/vege a min of one day a week or better yet - try signing up to Challenge 22 or Veganuary
*Avoid buying products with Palm Oil in the ingredients
*Switch from cows milk to plant milk (Soy / Coconut / Oat / Hemp etc)
*Walk / cycle or take public transport where possible instead of using a car
*Make sure all the lights / heating / water etc are switched off when you don't need to use it.
*Switch to eco friendly companies that sell reusable energy (Ecotricity / Bulb etc)
*Adopt dont shop - if you're looking for an animal companion dont buy one, go to your local shelter and take in a rescue dog / cat / rabbit etc instead (please!! So many euthanised daily that could be saved if we rehomed them)
*Research Veganism. If you're open to making the changes, sign up for helpful tips, advise, recipes etc via: https://veganuary.com/register/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMItfevz4nc3gIVL7vtCh19Bg08EAAYASADEgIHdPD_BwE
*The big one: share what you're doing with others! The more people that live consciously, the better chance we have of healing the planet. Word of the mouth plays a vital role in inspiring positive change.
More simple ways we help the planet: http://www.50waystohelp.com/
Once I got into the habit of trying to live consciously, it helped me get out of that murky grey area I was living in before. Once I'd opened my eyes to what goes in the natural world for me to make the choices I used to, I couldn't close my eyes to it again. I won't ever revert back to my old lifestyle habits - it would be selfish and hypercritical of me to do so.
I try to encourage others to live consciously too, but; this can be abit tricky. Not everyone wants to change and sometimes we can become defensive about the way we live and the negative impact we have on the natural world around us. However, the more of us that make these changes, the better chance we have of making a really big difference to the world we live in. If we don't try to save our world, who will?
This was the inspiration for me to write my debut novel Earthlings, my form of peaceful activism to hopefully inspire positive change, and one of many lifestyle adjustments my practise as an Eclectic Witch helped me to bring into being. It is my hope, and my current ritual that I'm working on presently, that after reading the Earthlings tale, readers will have similar intent.
If it harm none - mote it be.