B is for Bioregionalism

Sorry its a day late everyone but I had literally no time yesterday to write a post. Anthropologists tell us that it place is very important to the human psyche, especially the “local.” Today I want to write about the topic of Bio-regionalism and how building a bio-regional outlook can help us as Naturalistic Pantheists.

So what is Bio-regionalism? It’s about focusing on specific naturally defined areas called bio-regions. Bio-regions are geographical areas with their own unique ecologies – plants, animals, geology, climate, water features & human cultures. The boundaries of these bio-regions are not based around political and language barriers but around specific physical natural features e.g. different terrains or water boundaries.

English: Wild plants, Leenankeel Some the loca...

English: Wild plants, Leenankeel Some the local flora (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all live in unique physical, ecological, historical and cultural areas and our particular bioregion is the part of the planet that we are ultimately responsible for. The Naturalistic Pantheist community is passionate about protecting the environment but the world is such a big place and there are so many places to save and causes to help….how can we do it all? The answer is to take responsibility for our place, our bioregion…and to focus the majority of our efforts there. We can’t learn the names of every plant, animal and species in the world, but we can learn to be aware of the life that makes up our own bioregion. We can be mindful of our local environment, of the history of our communities and we can seek to live sustainably, and respectfully in harmony with it.

We can become knowledgeable about the places we live, we can get to know our local land, our local water sources, our local weather, our local plants, our local animals, our local land features, our local soil types, our local neighbours and our local communities. And we can commit to making choices that enhance the ecology, economy and culture of the places we live. And we can live a rooted life, making the lands rhythms our patterns and its fruits our bounty.

In the book “What Do Pagans Believe?” Harvey writes that the original pagan was “an inhabitant of a particular place.” he goes further to describe them as “someone who belonged, someone who celebrated where they lived, someone who knew their local shrines, springs, hills, tress and neighbours, and could trace their decent from local ancestors.” A Pagan or a Naturalistic Pantheist is someone who’s relationship with the land and bioregion he lives in, is the source of his religion and culture.

So how does one become bioregional? It’s all about taking responsibility!

1) Become knowledgeable about the place where you live – the local animals and plants, what the local water supplies are and where they come from, where your rubbish ends up, what the soil is like, what endangered species there are, where your energy comes from and how the weather and climate works locally. Find out all you can about your bioregion.

2) Learn about the human cultures that have occupied your place in the past & respect their way of life. Learn about your ancestors.

3) Vote in local elections and campaign to protect local areas from destruction.

4) Support your local economy – buy products made locally, bank with locally owned banks, seek out local entertainment, support small local independent traders.

5) Buy local food or grow your own. Perhaps join a Community Supported Agriculture scheme.

A single week's fruits and vegetables from com...

A single week’s fruits and vegetables from community-supported agriculture share: peppers, okra, tomatoes, beans, potatoes, garlic, eggplant, squash. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6) Volunteer to help improve the community and your local area e.g. do beach cleans.

7) Plant native species in your garden.

8) Go outside every day at the same time and sit and observe. Make offerings to the spirits of the place. Say thanks to the land and your ancestors. Keep a journal of whats happening.

9) Let the changes in your land dictate your rituals and the timings of celebrations.

10) Hold a pot-luck, invite your neighbours and get to know who lives around you.

There’s ten ways to be a bio-regionalist Naturalistic Pantheist. What do you do to support your bio-region???

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