The Teal Party: A New View on Ragnarok

What is the Teal Party? Well, here’s how Diana Paxson described it in her blog:

I have long held the theory that the Jotnar are personified forces of nature. The ones that the gods interact with in the Eddas are those that maintain the cycles of nature in a more or less orderly and positive way. Eventually, this Age of the Earth will come to an end, the balance will be upset, and the unbalanced, destructive jotnar, such as Surtr and Hrym will take over. The gods expect to fight, and lose, when that time comes– however it seems reasonable to assume that Odin and the others would prefer that humans not unbalance things and bring it on ahead of time.

Global Warming, if unchecked, is likely to do just that. So whether one accepts the validity of god-possession or not, the logic of doing something to fight it seems reasonable. If you are not convinced, watch An Inconvenient Truth.

My personal belief is that as a heathen it is my duty to stand by my gods in this fight, and that the reason Odin has become so pushy in recent years is because he was recruiting.

At an event this past January [It was in 2007], attended by most of the core members of Hrafnar, everyone present to swore to help in the fight against Global Warming.

I would feel more apologetic about having provided the means to entangle everyone’s wyrd, except that we’re all affected by this already. And one hardly needs to flyte (challenge) this oath– if we fail, we’re all going to be in deep do do. We may be anyway, but I’d rather go down knowing that I tried.

The gods can work on the Jotnar, but given that human activities are creating the CO2 surplus, we are the ones that need to diminish it, in particular those of us who live in the US. Lots of small choices are causing the problem, and many small choices can start to solve it. It will need an effort at the level this country achieved in World War II, with local action working along with government regulation. Just recently there have been some promising moves in Washington, but the motivation has to come from all of us, until the Hundredth Monkey gets the idea. I saw a generation transformed during the Sixties; I saw the Berlin Wall go down –it can happen.

My personal first step is to buy more locally grown vegetables, try to use less energy at home and plan my driving more carefully. I’ve already written to encourage my Congresspeople–Congresswomen, actually, in this district–to put government funding and legislation to reduce use of fossil fuels in place. They are already committed, but encouragement always helps. We need to encourage friends in other parts of the country to do the same.

As for the “Teal” Party– that’s Lorrie’s quip about what happens when Odin goes Green.

So, that’s the genesis. It’s less of a “party” (although we’ve been approached about making it one in California) and more of a green/libertarian movement based on pagan and heathen notions, with no more eschatological hangups than are strictly necessary: the focus is on fending off the ecological overbalances that humanity has caused. Not, necessarily, for Life’s sake (it’ll find a way), but for our own.

How do you join? It’s easier than joining the Alice’s Restaurant Anti-Massacree Movement. Every time you go to a store, every time you get in a car, every choice you might make, ask yourself: “How can I do this in a more environmentally responsible way?” Simple things like:

  • Replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact flourescent ones.
  • Using one’s own bags at the store instead of the plastic ones.
  • Looking for food grown locally, and in-season.
  • Considering alternative methods of transportation to school, work, and other errands.
  • Replacing toilets with low-flow models.
  • Telling community leaders that you would like them to make more environmentally responsible choices–like recycling programs in your community if none exist.
  • Voting for elected representatives who support the above ends.
  • Buying wooden plates and recycling flatware from thrift stores for events instead of using disposable paper plates and plasticware.
  • And so many more!

There’s no public registry, no newsletter, just committment in word and deed.

Forward the Teal Party!

— Diana and Lorrie