What Modern Environmental Law Can Learn From the Celtic Druids
At the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, we contend that our current environmental laws fail to recognize and reflect the interdependent relationship our human race shares with the rest of the Earth community. The inherent anthropocentricity of our legal system creates a flawed foundation on which our policies are built. The ever-increasing environmental degradation we witness is a symptom of this flawed foundation and utilizing a more Earth-centered approach to our laws and governance systems will re-balance our relationship with the Earth community and ultimately address the negative impact humans are having on it.
As we celebrate the Irish cultural holiday of St. Patrick’s Day, we can look to the ancient wisdom of the Celtic Druids for guidance on how we can re-balance this relationship. At the center of Druid spirituality was the understanding that humans are not above but are a part of the Earth community as a whole. This reflection of our interdependent relationship is central to Earth jurisprudence advocacy. They recognized a familial relationship with non-human entities. This is something we commonly see in many ancient indigenous wisdoms that we look to for guidance as we re-imagine our current legal understanding of rights and responsibilities. Today, during this cultural celebration, let’s take a few moments to consider how these traditions can help us reshape our current laws to reflect our actual relationship with the Earth community and not the one we have historically forced.