From wild order to human order: in making one small impermasculpture I have learned an enormous lesson of my own purpose.
The hunted gives their life to the hunter and in doing so gives of themselves to the world. The hunter took out each feather from the carcass for the wild, precise purpose of sustenance, rejecting what is not needed and keeping what is. On the sodden ground a bunch of seemingly chaotically tumbled feathers lay in disarray. I picked them up one by one and placed them in a wheel, quills facing inward and the wet strung-out feathers facing outward. On that in the centre I placed a bright lichen and a softly rotten acorn; too old to germinate, it too lost its chance of life and is slowly returning to the land.
By making order from seeming disorder I could have missed the truth of the story: what is wild is not chaos. What is wild is the REAL truth that my impermasculpture is pretending at. By touching the artistic I opened to the message of the feathers and the true meaning of my life. Who is trying to tame this wildness in me? Who is not seeing the meaning to my tumbled feathers?
I do not offer structure and plans. I do not offer systems nor do I offer theory. I bring you to your wild edges, of tumbled and sodden feathers lying meaningfully in disarray and I bring the entirety of the Earth to your heart. The feathers were part of a story that began days, weeks, months, years and eons before (perhaps so far back as to share a cousin with me) and still are telling that story.
I bring you Earth because the Earth is bringing Herself.
Level one; healing of the Self, connecting to self, to one’s own path of healing
Level two; healing of the human/nature rupture, stepping beyond dichotomy and dualistic thinking into realising on an embodied level that what happens to the Other happens to the Self.
Level three; stepping into Service for all, human and non-human communities where the soul’s call clearly asks for us to step into Service for the Earth, the cosmos and Their inhabitants. Embodying the lessons from the spirals of initiation we have been through.
On reflection I realise (and experience) that these are not tiered but spiralling. One can and does move between these on a personal level, perhaps embodying more than one at a time. I can be of service while still needing to do soul work on a personal level. Or I am needing to realise the truth of my embodiment within the Oneness of it all, for perhaps this is not my lived experience all the time; sometimes I feel very detached from the world, other than knowing I am connected on a rational knowing. The work then needs to be done for tier two to be enacted within me.
Do we have a robust enough structure in place for this, as practitioners? Where do we turn for this? I am so blessed that the places I volunteer (RadJoy, DA, CPA) all support me enormously, as well as ask a lot from me as a volunteer, and their support in turn supports my private practice. But still, there are times when I do not tell of the full extent of my suffering; it stays between me and the Land. The goddess. Only She knows the true grief upon my shoulders. It is almost as if it’s too enormous to be shared in the human world. So both exist at once; needing human understanding and support and knowing that it can only be healed through the land.
In sum: these are not tiers in a cake, floating disconnected, but part of a great spiral dance, or a turning of a wheel that is both infinite and eternal.
What we have mislabeled “climate change and chaos” is actually biospheric trauma, which we are now experiencing both psychologically (e.g., ‘eco-anxiety’) and physically. A way to resolve trauma is by focusing awareness on the inappropriate, unnatural relationships that give rise to that trauma, and coming into right relationship. With climate trauma, that means coming into proper relationship with Earth and the natural world as an obvious and natural extension of oneself.
Until we collectively awaken to the personhood of Earth by naming them, perhaps with the name Gaia, and see ourselves as an integral part of their body and ‘mind,’ there is no real basis in awareness for coming into proper relationship with them as a being going through trauma. We will continue, in other words, to experience their trauma as human anxiety over ‘climate change,’ or as an external threat (not seeing the pandemic as their auto-immune system kicking in, for example, but disconnected to inflicted trauma), or as discrete weather events happening somewhere else as irrelevant to oneself. We will continue to view the world we are trying to save from ourselves as “our planet.”
I am delighted to share with you an article for the magazine “Fellowship and Fairydust” I wrote about my own druidic path and the relevance of earth based spirituality in there chaos days. I share it here with you.