Sacred Actions: Doing our Bit in the World

Sacred action is all about us learning how to align our outer lives with our inner core of nature spirituality and connectedness, and ultimately, help us live more regeneratively and with care.  Sacred action is about doing small, slow things in our own lives to better align with our sacred nature-based spiritual practices and the living earth.  It is through these seemingly mundane changes that we create a better today, a better tomorrow, and a better world.

Sacred Actions – A new graphic for the Sacred Actions wheel of the year

Sacred refers to things that are connected, meaningful, reverent, or somehow tied to our sense of the spiritual or the divine.  Most of the time, this word is used in relation to things that are not part of mundane life: these are the special moments, ceremonies, or spiritual insights that impact us deeply.  When we experience a sense of the sacred, it fills us with wonder, awe, and purpose.  Of course, what I’m describing often requires cultivation, it requires us to seek out and manifest experiences and mindsets that allow us to experience the sacred.

Action, on the other hand, implies doing something.  It implies that we offer our time, energy, and effort toward some goal.  We get up, we do, and we act.

The idea of “sacred action” is both an extension and synthesis of these two definitions.  The basic idea is that in order to live more earth-honoring and aligned lifestyles, we can engage in everyday actions that move us from the mundane to a sacred space.  We can work to sustainably and regeneratively live in alignment with the living earth through small, purposeful steps. And these steps can be taken regardless of who we are, where we live, how many resources or supports we have, or any other aspects of our identities and lives.  The important thing is not doing a specific thing, but rather working towards this goal.  Thus, sacred action is about each of us working to make small but fundamental shifts in not only the way we think about the world but the impact of our specific actions in it. Sacred Actions focuses on creating more connected, reverent, and holistic lives.

In the five months since my book Sacred Actions: Living the Wheel of the Year through Sustainable Practices has been released, I’ve heard from many people about their response to the work and in how they are engaging in sacred actions in their lives. I wanted to take some time today to reflect on some of these stories and feedback from people about the book, and share some additional insights that have arisen from this conversation.  I also hope that this post can encourage some of my readers to share their own stories about their sacred action in the world. The ultimate goal of sacred action, of course, is to help us live regeneratively and sustainably today so that we can create a better vision for tomorrow.

Sacred Actions and Small, Slow Solutions

One of the big pieces of feedback I’ve gotten from the book is how simple of a concept this seems in practice, and how it has really helped people realize the importance of everyday, mundane, and simple actions towards making large changes. It puts people in a place of personal empowerment, where they can go out and do their own bit in the world, feel good, and spread that sacred action to others!  Another big piece of feedback is how hard it is to do this, given the many challenges we face as a culture.  What is easy for one person may be impossible for another, and so “growing where we are planted” becomes a resonant theme. Thus, the specifics of sacred actions comprise a lot of the book: how you can use everything from solar cooking and hay boxes to save energy to converting lawns to gardens. The book is a wealth of specific practices tied to sacred practices that you can build into your life in powerful and meaningful ways.

And of course, these practices can be joyful, fun, and extremely rewarding.

Sacred Actions, the Physical, and the Metaphysical

So why sacred action?  One of the big reasons this concept is needed has everything to do with the present problems of our age. The human-driven age of the Anthropocene has put our entire globe at risk: every life, every ocean, every forest, every waterway, every life.  Extinctions are increasing, habitats are being destroyed, fires are raging across the globe–and with alarming and increasing frequency.  Human life is not faring much better: mental health, happiness, and physical health are also challenged globally.  It is abundantly clear that modern ways of living and being are not working for humanity, and that we quickly need to pivot to something new. That’s the physical reason that a concept like sacred actions is so resonant here and now.

But, there are also deeply metaphysical reasons for sacred action, both larger scale, and individual.  On the larger scale, humans metaphysically and spiritually have been disconnected from so much: from the living earth; from our own intuition, subconscious, and spirit; and from our traditional human gifts and awareness.  Mass culture, mass media, technology, and so many other pieces of modern culture work hard to disconnect this from our inner ways of spirit.  And because of that disconnection, as a collective, we need to find ways to deeply return to nature and to our own experience.  We need to find ways of reclaiming and honoring those ancient connections–because the spirits of nature need us to.  Because the metaphysical affects the physical, and a huge part of this predicament we are in will be a realigning of spirit.  We can’t get through this predicament without attending to it both physically and metaphysically.

On the personal spiritual side, there are at least two factors.  First, there’s the disconnection we have with being a whole human being in these western cultures, feeling the need to be true to our paths but also protect ourselves.  Because of the stigma of druidry, paganism, and nature spirituality (at least here in the US), many of us find ourselves in the broom closet, so to speak, and long to show some of our real or authentic selves to the world–and be accepted.  But in many places and settings, we cannot express who we really are, the things that deeply resonate with us, or the real work we do in the world. Doing so would risk confrontation, prejudice, or religious intolerance.  But through sacred action, we can make a dedicated effort to living our inner truths in an outer manner.  This is actually one of the best things someone told me about the book–they loved that Sacred Actions allowed them to be a druid in their daily life without worrying about how they would be perceived.

The other piece is, of course, very personal.  It’s about aligning one’s inner principles with outside activity–not just as an activity in identity, but simply because it is necessary to a deepening spiritual path. The more we align our inner and outer principles, the more that inner spiritual work will flow in new and exciting directions. This is another big part of the feedback I’ve gotten on the book so far–people are excited and enthusiastic to practice that alignment and see what rich rewards it offers.

Doing our Bit in the World and Visioning for the Future

I think what a lot of this comes down to for many people is how we can feel good about who we are, how we live, and how we can create a better tomorrow. I’ve written before on this blog about visioning and the importance of visionary work.  If we can start living even a small piece of that vision today, we will be able to bring about a brighter tomorrow. I think a lot of us fear for the future–for our world, for our families, for our young, for this planet and all life on it.  Sacred actions is a small yet powerful way of helping us move forward to a better place, a better vision, and a better future. I hope that it will become one of many tools that we can use to create a better tomorrow.

I would love to hear more from you–if you’ve read the book or are working through it, what is resonating? What is meaningful to you?  What questions or thoughts do you have?

15 thoughts on “Sacred Actions: Doing our Bit in the World

  1. talisspinning

    This message of aligning my path in both inner and outer worlds came at the perfect time for me today. Thank you. I also had a particularly powerful PSO ready today that I’m grateful for, that’s aligns with this message, too.

    Reply
    1. Dana Post author

      Sounds awesome, Meredith. I love when the universe is in synchronicity like that, and the messages are clear from many directions!

      Reply
  2. H.IsForHerbs

    As soon as I opened this email alert my eyes went to the part of the diagram that shows sustainable spirituality and I realized I haven’t been channeling this as much as I’ve intended this season so thank you! I needed the reminder. I haven’t read the book but as a fellow Mainer and esoteric I’m so interested! I’ll add it to my birthday list for sure!

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Sacred Actions: Doing our Bit in the World – Glyn Hnutu-healh: History, Alchemy, and Me

  4. Sarah Justine Packwood

    Dear Dana, I follow your blog with great interest and I find you are such a source of wisdom, encouragement and practical guidance as I walk along my druid path. This post particularly touched my heart and spirit. Thank you. I look forward to buying your book so that I can dip in and out throughout the year. Peace under the Garry Oaks, Sarah

    Reply
    1. Dana Post author

      Hi Sarah, thanks for your comments :). I am glad to hear that you enjoy the blog! Comments like these make me want to keep writing. Blessings, Dana.

      Reply
  5. petetheplan

    Dear Dana — you surely realise you are not saying anything new. The human problem has been with us for many millennia. However, as it has a shelf-life, which has almost expired, things are coming to a head and people — like the Druids — are noticing and doing something about it, besides complaining like most alarmists. Well done you!
    As you say, “It is abundantly clear that modern ways of living and being are not working for humanity, and that we quickly need to pivot to something new.”
    You must have received my email replies to your previous posts (if not, please let me know), but if so please reply — we’re on the same side!
    The ‘something new’ you mention is present and at hand, and available. It isn’t “modern ways of living and being.” And THAT is what I’d like us to share and discuss.
    Please answer and let’s reason together as concerned people; the ‘greater works’ — forecast some two thousand years ago by the Great Physician — are more than a one-person job. However, two or more in agreement with life shall accomplish what’s now required. Let’s talk.
    Kind regards, Peter

    Reply
  6. Peter Watson

    Dear Dana — you surely realise you are not saying anything new. The human problem has been with us for many millennia. However, as it has a shelf-life, which has almost expired, things are coming to a head and people — like the Druids — are noticing and doing something about it, besides complaining like most alarmists. Well done you! As you say, “*It is abundantly clear that modern ways of living and being are not working for humanity, and that we quickly need to pivot to something new.*” You must have received my email replies to your previous posts (if not, please let me know), but if so please reply — we’re on the same side! The ‘something new’ you mention is present and at hand, and available. It isn’t “*modern ways of living and being.*” And THAT is what I’d like us to share and discuss. Please answer and let’s reason together as concerned people; the ‘greater works’ — forecast some two thousand years ago by the Great Physician — are more than a one-person job. However, two or more in agreement *with life* shall accomplish what’s now required. Let’s talk. Kind regards, Peter

    On Sun, 10 Oct 2021 at 13:32, The Druid’s Garden wrote:

    > Dana posted: “Sacred action is all about us learning how to align our > outer lives with our inner core of nature spirituality and connectedness, > and ultimately, help us live more regeneratively and with care. Sacred > action is about doing small, slow things in our own l” >

    Reply
  7. Heather

    Hi Dana, I got your book a month or so ago and am enjoying it very much! I realize I am already doing many of the things you recommend, mainly because my mother believed in regenerative practices. My one complaint, and this is not to single you out at all, is that so many books such as yours, talk a lot about local food, gardening, etc., but fail to mention clothing at all. Textiles are one if the most polluting industries, as I’m sure you know. I wish more people were taught textile production, such as sewing, knitting, spinning, weaving, natural dyeing, etc. Nowadays these are considered arts, therefore beyond the abilities of many people, but in the past, most people partook of many of the crafts needed to produce clothing, such as raising sheep for wool, flax for linen, and then all the spinning, weaving, dyeing, clothing construction that went into producing textiles for home use or to sell. It’s something I think about a lot, especially since I practice some of those skills.
    Anyway, I am enjoying your book and thank you for writing it.

    Reply
    1. Dana Post author

      Hi Heather, actually, I do cover clothing in the Samhain chapter–but its specific to ritual clothing. I wanted to include that information in Ch 3 or 4, but it was so long already! 🙂 But yes, “fast fashion” and all of that is so horrific on the environment. I’m so glad to hear how you are producing your own textiles and doing that wonderful work! 🙂

      Reply

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