Western culture gives us so much to enjoy. The sheer quantity and quality of music, theatre, literature, art and film is impressive, and all of us have a passion for at least a small corner of it.
But Western culture is also deeply flawed. What defines a culture are the shared beliefs and assumptions that is held in common by the people who participate in it. And the great myth that binds us all together is progress.
All of us have grown up with the idea that we are going somewhere, and that where we’re going is bigger and better than where we are now. Our industrial growth society is built around this myth.
Even if we have come to the conclusion that this kind of progress is not sustainable, even if we make life choices that directly rebel against the idea, it’s a very hard assumption to break. But if we want to survive as a species, and keep many others on this planet with us, that is exactly what we have to do.
Permaculture started life as an alternative to industrial agriculture. Its founders were looking for a way to do agriculture that was sustainable and therefore permanent. As time went by, Permaculture practitioners realised that it wasn’t just agriculture that isn’t sustainable, and that the same principles could be applied to just about any aspect of life. Permaculture is ‘permanent culture’, a culture that measures its success not by how much money is made but by the abundance and quality of life. It is an alternative to Western culture as we know it.
This life sustaining culture is not a pipe dream. It is growing and thriving already, all over the planet. Any practice that helps to create harmony with ourselves, with each other, and with the Earth is part of it. If a culture is defined by its shared beliefs and assumptions, then any practice that values harmony and abundance is part of it.
As a Druid, I have many assumptions and beliefs in common with Permaculture and the life sustaining culture it is helping to grow. Many of the practices of Druidry are aimed at creating harmony between people and the Earth in all her facets. As we connect more deeply to the Earth and the living beings around us, we feel more at home in the world, with other people and with ourselves. These connections also generate an abundance of creativity that adds beauty to our world.
Sharing our practices and creativity is only part of Druidry’s contribution to a life sustaining culture. We also bring a number of skills that we have learned or developed in our Druid communities. Over the years I have learned to hold ceremonies, and have had many opportunities to practise my skills as a group facilitator. Together with my non-Druidic skills as a teacher and a communicator, I have much to contribute to a culture of permanent abundance.
What beliefs do you have in common with the life sustaining culture? What are your skills and interests? What practices can you share with the world? Don’t be afraid to name them. You possess valuable resources and our world needs you.