What is eco-magic? Ten years ago, I thought I knew, but now I'm not so sure! What is certain is that eco-magic works and we urgently need to learn how to weave it more effectively.
There is a wealth of eco-magic knowledge and wisdom in our community, but until now no public E-Group devoted to it. The Dragon web site, e-mail discussion list and talks have been useful tools to move the debate forward, but I hope this Journal will provide a more accessible space to explore, record and debate the subject in depth.
The Journal will not be a newsletter or a campaigning magazine. The articles published will part of a longer-term exploration of eco-magic, and each issue will be themed on a particular aspect of the subject.
We begin with a series of papers presented at the first Dragon Eco-magic Conference held in London on July 22nd 2000. Speakers were asked to respond to the question ‘How Green Is Our Magic?’ The result was a highly stimulating day offering a variety of approaches to the question. As expected, the discussion raised more questions than answers, but those issues are now open to a wider E-Group of debate.
I very much hope that you don't agree with all you read here. We need dissent, discussion and debate. We need ideas, experiences and techniques. What works, and why? What doesn't work?
Given our history, some may be dismayed that the Journal will not include campaign news, but the focus of Dragon has shifted over the years for good reasons.
At the outset the key idea was to link practical environmental action with magical practice. The practical work grounded the magic, and the intent was to create a synergy between the two.
The concept was a great success, and through the '90's the network steadily grew. Our range of concerns broadened accordingly, and Dragon became involved in projects stretching from human rights to conservation.
But towards the end of the ‘90’s there was a growing awareness that with increased breadth, we'd lost depth. Dragon had become part of a wider movement of people and groups many of whom did campaigning far better than we could. So our focus began to shift to what we did best - eco-magic.
Dragon is now a network of individuals and groups who work eco-magic, with no hierarchy and only as much organisation as is required to be effective. Our primary role is to encourage the development and practice of eco-magic. This Journal is the latest expression of that work and as such marks a historical moment in our evolution.
The Journal will initially be published once a year, though if resources and demand permit, it will become more frequent. The next issue will publish papers from our forthcoming conference, ‘Exploring the Roots of Eco-magic’ which will be held on October 6th 2001 in London. The focus will be on eco-magic work with Nature Spirits.
Our speakers will be from wide-ranging backgrounds, but all share extensive experience in eco-magic: William Bloom, Andy Lechter, Caroline Wise, Jani Farell Roberts and Jack Gale.
I very much hope to include readers' feedback in the next Dragon Eco-Magic Journal, so please send in your thoughts. Proposals for articles are also welcome, especially around the theme of Nature Spirits.
I'd like to offer special thanks to our contributors, who were approached long after the Conference with a plea to submit a written version of their talk. I hope the success of this Journal will reward their work. We were unable to contact Debbie Gallaher whose powerful presentation concluded the Conference, but hopefully we can publish her work in a future issue.
Love and Power,