The Rites of Spring Cleaning

This was posted 22 March 2021 on From The Forests of Arduinna through Substack.
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(Links to recent works mentioned in the piece are compiled at the end)

Periodically I’ve found myself undergoing a process in which I start re-evaluating ideas and opinions about things that have accumulated over the years, and I’ve noticed that this often happens around the Spring Equinox.

The process itself is a bit difficult sometimes. We accumulate ideas and opinions like we accumulate any physical item. Sometimes it’s like a t-shirt or some other bit of clothing that we picked up somewhere, or were given, or that someone left with us. Sometimes it’s big stuff, like furniture or appliances that we specifically chose to adopt into our lives because we found we needed them. Other times it’s like all the empty jars we hold on to because we suspect they’ll be useful later, or because they felt too pretty to toss out.

And then spring comes. After long weeks and months of being amongst those things, we eventually start realising things are getting a bit cluttered, or some of those things are broken or too old to use any longer. Favorite items of clothing we’ve patched up repeatedly that maybe don’t fit us any more or cannot be held together any longer, things we held on to that we thought we’d use but never did, things we thought were useful but later found they didn’t fit, or broke easily, or maybe even made other parts of our life more difficult.

So we start sorting, gifting away some things, recycling or tossing other things. We “clear out,” make space for us, prune away old bits to make room for growth.

And of course other things we decide to hold on to, things that are too important, or things that have really proven to be useful, and beautiful, and merit being parts of our lives.

So I’m doing that with ideological frameworks, opinions, and other mental things right now. A recent essay I wrote gives a clue to this. In that work, I write about one of the primary ideological architects of American Antifa and how his current employment (he’s basically working for Empire now) prompts a re-evaluation of the framework he created. I’d found that framework had proven to become less and less useful and more and more wrong-headed over the last few years. I noticed it compelled a focus on policing left-wing thought, “canceling” people with slightly deviant ideas from an undefined leftist dogma, and most of all urging capitalist social media companies to “deplatform” certain ideas, ignoring that those companies then turned that power on leftist thought, too.

So I’ve found myself looking at some things I’d ignored the last few years, events and processes that I’d tacitly seen as acceptable, accounts by critics of mobbing and other excesses that I’d dismissed as mere “right wing” propaganda. And I’m finding a lot of what I’m seeing quite uncomfortable. I’m sure eventually I’ll write about those things later.

Speaking of writing, I’ve done quite a bit of longer writing these last few months that you may have missed because it’s scattered across multiple sites.

In January, I wrote “The Vampiric Gaze,” a deep look into the notion of the Evil Eye and the concept of Ressentiment. That was first published at Another World but is now public here.

Also for Another World I’ve written two other essays (and another one is coming 1 April). In February I wrote a long analysis of conspiracy theory and the notion that people with non-secular world views are more likely to adopt them, called “Mythic Politics.” And in March I wrote “The Fires of Meaning,” which tells the story of the land and history of the place where I live and the Pagan continuations that breathe in the air around me. Both of these essays are available at Another World (requires membership) and also on my Patreon (likewise).

Shorter works (and more accessible and more fun) that I’ve written recently include several installments of the Pagan Music List (collections six and seven) and an interview with one of my favorite musicians, Rúnahild. Also, I slightly re-worked a very old essay and re-published it, called The Time of Your Life.

And of course, there is my recurring Druid Journal video series. I just posted journal 39 to Patreon supporters, but the first 20 are public and listed here. The next ten will be made public this week (I’ll let you know when this happens).

I hope you are all well. Look for more stuff from me, especially as I clear out all these old things to make room for the new.

Much love,

—Rhyd



Works mentioned in this dispatch:

The Time of Your Life
The Church of Social Media
The Vampiric Gaze
Mythic Politics (Another World or Patreon)
The Fires of Meaning (Another World or Patreon)
Pagan Music List: 6
Pagan Music List: 7
Songs Of Seiðr: an interview with Rúnahild
Mission Creep: Exorcising the “antifascism” of Alexander Reed Ross
Druid Journals (archive 1-20)

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