Oases of Amazonian Rainforest (an ecosystem restoration story)

Recently posted on the BBC, this delightful video news clip tells about the work individual farmers in Ecuador are making to restore small oases of pristine Amazonian Rain Forest on their land, rather than using it for crops. It also discusses a crowd-funding idea that could help similar projects. Enjoy!

World Druidry Book – update!

Just for fun, here is a copy of the current rendition of the TOC for the World Druidry Book…

“World Druidry: A Globalizing Path of Nature Spirituality” by Larisa A. White

(This is still very much subject to change, as I am at this point only finishing up the first draft of Chapter 3, and working on the analyses for Chapters 4 and 5. You can probably tell from the page numbering which sections have been outlined/drafted, and which are still place-holders awaiting content. I am still striving to have the book completed by next year, Beltane-ish, about the same time as the Mt. Haemus paper comes out. Philip C-G still has to decide which bit he wants me to focus on for that paper. All of it will be in the book, though I may be a bit overly-ambitious with my deadline goal. If the work is not yet brilliant, I will delay publication of the book until it is really ready. But… it is coming!)

Table of Contents

Preface ……………………………………………………………………………………….iii
Acknowledgments ……………………………………………………………………….v
Chapter 1: Concerning “Druids” …………………………………………………..1
What does it mean to be a Druid, circa 2020 C.E.? ………………………1
A Brief Review of Existing Literature …………………………………………..3
Chapter 2: The World Druidry Survey ……………………………………………5
Participant-Researcher Background & Motivations ……………………….6
Research Design ……………………………………………………………………..8
Questionnaire Development Process………………………………………….9
Encouraging Global Participation ……………………………………………..11
Protecting Participant Privacy and Data Security………………………..12
The Unprecedented Response…………………………………………………13
Making Sense of the Stories (Analytic Techniques) …………………….16
Chapter 3: A Geography of World Druidry……………………………………19
Modern Druids and their Natural Environments ………………………….20
Connections to Celtic Culture and the Lands of Ancient Druids…….21
Modern Druids and their Local Communities ……………………………..23
Privacy & Safety Concerns of Modern Druids …………………………….23
Modern Druids at Home ………………………………………………………….39
Druidry, with Children ……………………………………………………………..48
The Role of Geography in the Evolution of World Druidry…………….55
Chapter 4: Crafting a Personal Path of Druidry ……………………………99
Overview of Factors Influencing Druids’ Spiritual Paths ……………….99
Influential Authors, Books, and Media ……………………………………..101
The Impact of Druidry Groups & Curricula ……………………………….103
The Process of Becoming a Druid…………………………………………..103
Chapter 5: Themes & Variations in Druid Theology ……………………105
The Many Varieties of Druid Theology……………………………………..107
The Role of Ancestors in Druidry Practice ………………………………..229
Religions and Spiritual Traditions Blended with Druidry ……………..229
Global Variations in Druid Theology ………………………………………..229
Intergroup Variations in Druid Theology …………………………………..229
Emergent Themes in Druid Theology………………………………………229
Chapter 6: Druid Rituals & Celebrations…………………………………….230
Elements of Druid Ritual………………………………………………………..230
Druid Festivals and Holidays ………………………………………………….230
Places of Druid Ritual & Celebration ……………………………………….230
Group and Solitary Practice in Druid Ritual & Celebration ………….230
Global Variations in Druid Ritual & Celebration …………………………231
Intergroup Variations in Druid Ritual & Celebration ……………………232
Emergent Themes in Druid Ritual & Celebration……………………….232
Chapter 7: Sacred Duties in Druid Life ………………………………………233
Nature Related Activities ……………………………………………………….233
Artistic Activities ……………………………………………………………………234
Educational & Activist Activities ………………………………………………235
Leadership Activities……………………………………………………………..235
Fields of Study and Scholarship ……………………………………………..236
Chapter 8: Druidry’s Spiritual Common Core …………………………….237
Afterword …………………………………………………………………………………238
Survey Instrument as Teaching Tool………………………………………..238
Appendix A: World Druidry Survey Instrument…………………………..241
Appendix B: World Druidry Demographics ………………………………..242
Appendix C: List of Participating Druid Groups …………………………246
Index ………………………………………………………………………………………..253
Notes & Bibliography………………………………………………………………..254

Writing the Book

Data analysis and writing for the World Druidry Survey are well underway. I just passed 42,000 words of text, not to mention all the charts and graphs and tables, and the coding — the seemingly endless coding — all of which must be completed before I can begin the statistical analyses.

I took a break, last week, from the ongoing analysis to go back and write the academically necessary but soul-crushingly boring bits about the research design and methodology.  In the coming weeks, I will finally get back to writing about the many varieties of Druid theology, among other things.

Wow! Druids are an interesting bunch. Apparently, they not only like to read a lot; they also like to write a lot! I received many hundreds of pages of meaty information from the 725 respondents who participated. Many people wrote short essays for each of the 12 long-answer questions, in addition to completing all the short-answer tick-box style questions. After having read through it all, thoroughly, once, I realized there  is more than enough rich information in there for several Mt. Haemus papers in it. So, I talked to Philip C-G of the OBOD, about it, and I will be offering one of the subtopics for my Mt. Haemus paper (he will choose which one), and all of it will become a book on World Druidry, circa 2020 c.e. Chapters (so far) are to include:

World Druidry Demographics
Privacy and Safety Concerns of Modern Day Druids
Effects of Physical & Cultural Environments on Druidry Practice
Themes & Variations in Druid Theology
Global Variations in Ritual Practice and Celebration
Sacred Duties in Druid Life
Druidry’s Spiritual Common Core

The list of chapters may change and expand somewhat, as the analysis and writing continues. New patterns and themes may emerge from the data, as I continue coding responses. So, back to work for me.

I am looking forward to sharing it all with you!

Vertical Forests in Italy

In the following clip, the BBC reports on a new architectural design solution to global climate change: apartment buildings designed to support vertical forests, providing habitat, shade, and CO2 depletion and O2 creation, all while making the buildings more beautiful.  What a superb idea for humanity’s cities!

(Video by Jack Burgess and Anand Jagatia)