Creating the Bestiary for the Gaian Gathering

by Hector Aristizabel with Uri Noy Meir & Ilaria Olimpico

Recording by Gabo Aristizabal

Shayontoni Gosh and Hector Aristizabal were invited to join in the week-long celebration of the Work That Reconnects (WTR) network, particularly on the day dedicated to honoring our collective pain for the world. Our intention was to involve other WTR practitioners in the process, both in shaping our activities and imagining how others could participate. The inspiration for this endeavor came from Joanna Macy’s 1981 poem “Bestiary,” which emerged from a shared exercise of grief for the numerous species that had vanished by that time.

Recognizing the enormity of the task, we pondered how to navigate the ongoing environmental crisis, the 17 active wars, the breakdown of social institutions, the global issue of male violence against women, and the pervasive sense of meaninglessness in today’s world.

How could we collectively mourn the beauty and life lost in our world?

How could we collectively mourn the beauty and life lost in our world? How could we grieve the futures we had envisioned for ourselves and our children, futures that might no longer be attainable?

Acknowledging the profound impact of Joanna Macy’s life’s work and the wisdom of the Work That Reconnects, we knew this process had to be collective. Leveraging technology, we crafted a simple invitation to gather diverse voices from our networks. Participants were asked to respond with a short video, performing a condensed version of Joanna’s original poem “Bestiary,” skillfully adapted by Reconectando’s Liliana Acevedo. Within days, we received video contributions from various countries in different languages.

ImaginAction’s Uri Noy Meir edited these clips into a short video, complemented by music from Clare Hedin. This compilation was then shared at the online gathering. 

The video builds on ImaginAction’s efforts to give voice to the more than human world through embodied artistic expression. It was beautiful to see more than 50 faces and voices worldwide, each in their native language.

Post-viewing, Ilaria Olimpico guided us in an emotional and poetic response to the video’s imagery, weaving together a collective mandala of grief for the current state of our world. The experience showcased the beauty that emerges when we collectively mourn and derive meaning from a collapsing world.

Staying-with is an ability more than ever needed in this current time.

In the Spiral of the Work That Reconnects, before going forth, we need to listen to “ the vast sadness of our hearts” and “ the wild anger in our throats.” Only then can the pain lead us towards a transformation, towards a new birth and rebirth.  Staying-with is an ability more than ever needed in this current time. Often we numb ourselves to protect ourselves, and our hearts may remain unbroken and frozen. We prefer
Joanna’s invitation to “Walk through life with an open, broken heart.”

Courage, on the contrary of what commonly is perceived, is the twin of vulnerability.

After the viewing, We took moments of silence. This pregnant emptiness was necessary for possibilities to arise. We found ourselves in a dance between tears and smiles, sadness and hope.  Hope is not just wishful thinking. As Joanna says, active hope is “a readiness to discover the strength of our hearts, our love for life, the unsuspected depth of patience and diligence, our innate authority, and our capacity to lead. None of these can be discovered from a sofa or without risk”. Yes, it takes courage. And courage, contrary to what is commonly perceived, is the twin of vulnerability. 

Having Joanna’s blessed presence during our virtual ritual was a source of great joy. Our souls expressed the power of shared mourning and together, we sought an antidote to the collective trauma stemming from the separation and destruction we face. Collectively transforming our pain and freeing our energy so we can fight for a new world to emerge.

Links to previous video works that led to this offering:

2022 – Back to Earth and Conference of Beings I
https://imaginaction.org/unlockthenews/back-to-earth
https://imaginaction.org/cob-i-i-am-mother-earth-and-we-are-all-related

2023 – Bestiary
https://imaginaction.org/bestiary-gaian-gathering-2023


This article is an edited transcription of a talk given at the Gaian Gathering of the Work That Reconnects Network in November 2023.  A video of the full talk is available on the WTR Network website here.



Hector Aristizabal
is a eco-psychologist and the current director of
Fundacion Reconectando dedicated to reconciliation in Colombia among humans and nature as well as perpetrators of violence and their victims. He combines healing rituals with the Work That Reconnects and social theater to create spaces for healing.


Uri Noy Meir
 is a father, an artist and creative being. He seeks to
collaborate with life to heal himself with other through greater connection to nature, self and others.



Ilaria Olimpico
is mother of two daughters, social arts facilitator,
Focusing trainer. She combines participative storytelling, listening practices and theater to accompany people and communities in the paths of awareness and reconnection.

The Other Side

By Gretchen Sleicher

This song came on the descent from snowy Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic Mountains on 02/02/2020, when, unbeknownst to me, COVID was about to unfurl itself across the globe. It is a song for singing together during the Great Unraveling the world is now experiencing. It reminds us that the descent can be full of beauty, coming together in rough weather. It invokes deep time through the image of mountains slowly eroding over vast stretches of years, and the immediacy of crumbling glaciers, the rapid changes we are living now. It encourages us to take the long view, and to embrace both life and death. And it also asks us to sing out for life, and live with the presence of the future ones in our hearts and minds. We can’t know what awaits on the other side of these times, but we can take actions and live in ways that open up the possibility that there will be people to sing our songs, and that they will be sung on the other side.

The slideshow accompanying the song is especially poignant for me because many of the beautiful images in it were taken by my father, Charles Sleicher, who died on January 23, 2024, at 99½ years old. Maybe he’s smiling from the other side, knowing that his images are combining with my lyrics in hearts spread far and wide.


Gretchen Sleicher is a singer, songwriter and songleader who lives at the Port Townsend EcoVillage. Her original songs are largely inspired by wild nature in her Cascadia homeland. She’s worked extensively with Joanna Macy, and delights in weaving group singing and harmony-making into facilitation of the interactive group processes of the Work That Reconnects. She curates the website songsforthegreatturning.net, a collection of songs for group singing that help us experience in the body our connection to each other and the planet, summon our collective courage, enliven us and inspire us to face the great unraveling and reach toward a great turning. The website includes recordings of some of her originals

Time Marronage

Excerpted (by Kevin Lay) from Jo delAmor’s interview of Bayo Akomolafe 

 What is ‘marronage’?

This act of doing that, of refusing the terms of captivity, is called marronage.

Bayo mused, “…my mind is immediately taken to the escapades, the agency, the history of slaves … and how they suffered not just in the United States, in Brazil and other places across the Caribbean, but how they often performed escape, how they removed their bodies from the labor of the plantation. This act of doing that, of refusing the terms of captivity, is called marronage.”  

I think we’re grieving today collectively in ways that cannot be set to clock time. 

Time-marronage, Bayo explained, is “All the ways that we don’t fit within clock time.  Not reducible to intentions, not a project of activists, but all the ways that we are molecularly called away from Universal Time. For instance, the American Psychological Association in its 2022 publication basically says that healthy grief happens within one year.  So, grief becomes a product:  grief is tethered to a notion of time which is already in service to capitalist relations or to patriarchal relations. It’s that if you want grief, you know, yeah – grieve within this time, but beyond this time, then there’s something wrong with you somewhere. Then we need to lean in and pay attention to what’s happening. I think we’re grieving today collectively in ways that cannot be set to clock time. Right?” 

Jo responded.  “Yes, actually, that leads into how this concept of time or this structuring of time, this force of linear boxed-in-time, is a product of this larger project I’ve heard you talk about, as like a project of modernity. I was listening to a podcast you did with Ayana Young in For The Wild, where you were talking about the posture that this project of modernity requires of us, a kind of upright forward moving rectilinear posture. Can you explore that a little bit, about what you mean by posture?”

The posture of marronage is scurrying by, is hiding, is squeezing oneself through cracks, is of becoming animal.

  “Since we’re still dancing with themes from plantations and ideas of marronage in slavery and slave ships, I mean to say that one never leaves the plantation with his head held high.  That’s not the posture of marronage.  The posture of marronage is scurrying by, is hiding, is squeezing oneself through cracks, is of becoming animal. The posture in this [shows an opened hand, chopping left to right], that’s the posture of arrival of the gentleman, of the elitist, right? of the citizen. But the posture of the fugitive is, is bent, and, you know what I mean, is animalistic.  It’s animist, it’s vitalist.  It’s more in keeping with the elements.   You want to hide and to render yourself as invisible as possible.

If you we stand upright, it’s a function of our intrinsic worth, our divinity divorced from ecology.

“Indeed. You could say that that uprightness is funded and subsidized by Universal clock time. If you we stand upright, it’s a function of our intrinsic worth, our divinity divorced from ecology.  We stand upright to ennoble the city, the nation state, right?  We stand upright, almost, it seems, like it’s a corporal gesture for the transcendent.   Like, the more we straighten our backs, the more we are in tune with something that is beyond the natural, that disses or kisses at the mundane, the poverty of the mundane, the ordinary.  It’s almost like we are holding our titles or badges of being strangers to the material world by keeping that posture. 

Whiteness is white modernity, this whiteness that is jiving and vibing with modernity, the flattening of worlds

And the way white modernity subsidizes or resources the individual is with time, is with the idea that we are marching forward, we’re going forward. That this project of white modernity, and again, whiteness is not white people, I believe, white people were captured right into the machine. White people were captured. The black people were captured. Brown people were captured.   It is the clearing that is whiteness.  It’s the enforcement of a neuro-typicality that is whiteness. It’s the racialization of bodies and situating power at the top of this pyramidal scheme, and the idealization of a default type of body, that is whiteness.  To reduce that to white people would be to reinforce the morality of this whiteness in its production of particular kinds of worlds, to the exclusion of other kinds of worlds. I feel this whiteness is white modernity, this whiteness that is jiving and vibing with modernity, the flattening of worlds, and it’s vibing with capitalist relations, and is vibing with apartheid, and is vibing with neurotypicality.  

DanceAbility is disability: it’s kind of losing yourself. It’s giving your body to forces beyond you, to the excess around you.

“You know, there isn’t a call to wade in the water that presumes walking upright is the way to do it.  To wade in the water is to become water, is to take on those attributes as much as you can. That’s what I mean by adopting new postures. The ways we’re trained to think, the ways we’re trained to understand the world is being disrupted–it is being syncopated. This is what I call white syncopation. And, and in a sense, we are being forced to dance. Syncopation is connected with rhythm and DanceAbility. If there is no syncopation, there is no DanceAbility, is just boom-boom-boom-boom and that becomes boring over time. But if you boom-boom [with accents on some beats], then you have syncopating rhythm and the groove, and now DanceAbility comes in. And when you dance, you are given to forces at large.  I like to say DanceAbility is disability: it’s kind of losing yourself. It’s giving your body to forces beyond you, to the excess around you. That’s what it means to dance. So, in a sense, postures change when we dance; we’re not standing strict. You go into the ground, you’re moving, you’re expressing yourself in ways that are open ended, and yet to come. So, we are being forced to dance now, sister.  The straight and narrow have to dance now, because excess is coming in, is expressing itself, is teasing the borders, is inviting us to slow down and to take on new shapes.

We are all in this colonial space together.

“We are all in this colonial space together. What that does is cuts us off from other postures, from other ways of seeing, other ways of being. It’s a form of captivity really. I’ve been thinking about the spin-off of this idea of clock time, that is called emergency.  You probably would think of emergency in terms of climate emergency, the idea that time is scarce. We don’t have enough of it now and we must act to save ourselves. That’s the trope now, the topos.  That’s where we are.  It’s like, ‘we’re in trouble, folks, you know, there isn’t time, there isn’t enough time to do anything’. 

Jo asked.  “But how do you find that posture that relates to this climate emergency sense of we need to do something … Many of us coming to this work and who are listening to this call are concerned about the world.  What might you invite us into in relation to shifting our posture to time and moment?”

A framework of emergency…doesn’t really allow for creative manner of ability.

  Bayo thought a moment and replied. “The problem with a paradigm or with a framework of emergency, is that it collapses agency into pre-constituted options. Right? It doesn’t really allow for creative manner of ability.  It kind of collapses everything, it squeezes the richness, the multi dimensionality, the expressive ability, the fluidity, the indeterminacy of the world, to a set of functions that have already been predetermined. The world becomes some kind of button system. You press this, or you press that, that’s all there is. I’m thinking of Gaza right now. And the situation there, and how that has been described in terms of an emergency. Right? And basically, our ethical response to it has been button like, almost app like.  You press this and you stand for Palestine; you press this, and you stand for Israelis. And that lends itself to repeatability. It kind of preserves the conditions of war. 

Rectilinearity, the gait of a proper citizen…is a practice that has been impervious to flows.

“Rectilinearity, the gait of a proper citizen, the propriety of goodness, the uprightness of the individuated or individual self, the final Imperial magisterial subject, citizen subject that rectilinearity is, is a practice that has been impervious to flows, right?  It’s almost like the eye that refuses to see that it is movement. And the ‘I’ that refuses to notice how it is already imbricated and entangled with things that are out of time and out of whack and will not be resolved within the airtight measurements of the clock. 

And thinking about trauma, there is a sense in which trauma marks the boundaries of the proper subject. It’s political, the way we name trauma, it’s a civilization or a civilizing ethic, this naming of trauma. Our bodies are doing things that we don’t intend for them to do, our bodies cannot be fully contained within the labor camps of the modern, right? We try to contain the outbreak, we try to define it beforehand, to reduce the impact on the labor that we’re doing. And it is labor. 

We are laboring in resourcing our separability – that’s what we’re laboring in.

“This is how I want to conclude, sister: it is labor. Even the idea of safety is a form of labor, that might even be conceived in Marxist terms, that to be safe is to labor within certain preconditions, or pre-conceived tendencies. There were ships that suffered the losses of slaves jumping overboard during the transatlantic slave trade. They would just jump – and that was loss economically. So, what some of those captains did was to put nets on the sides of the ships to catch the slaves, to keep them safe. Right?  Think about the insidiousness of safety then.  They might have [painted] on the walls of the slave ship, ‘We care about your safety’ because they needed them to be productive within the plantations.  I’m thinking about the ways that dynamic of safety is labor.  And we are laboring in resourcing our separability – that’s what we’re laboring in. We’re laboring in plantations, all of us today. We’re not producing cotton, we’re producing individuals.

And we are kept within that safety bubble. We’re told that to prevent hegemonic relationships and Imperial relationships, we need to be safe. We need to reduce risk as much as possible and predefine social realities and social spaces before we enter those social spaces. But the stickiness of that is that we find that those relationships we want to avoid repeat themselves because in predetermining how I meet you, prior to meeting you, I might, at my meeting you, become a method, instead of emergence.  I might become a voting pushing notion, or investigation or, or a search for conformity instead of an invitation to the open ended-ness of love in its becoming.” 

Jo enjoined, “Yeah. Thank you. It feels like an invitation to really just be with what is and be curious about what’s emerging.”

I would say let’s be radically hospitable to the fugitives and cracks.

  Bayo continued.  “I would say let’s be radically hospitable to the fugitives and cracks. I want to invite people to notice that we are not as well put together as we think. We are late already. And if punctuality is stabilization within clock time, then there is a sense in which we’re all late and that is, ironically salvific emancipatory. I invite people to lean into the cracks of that. 

“We’re confused, we’re not exactly sure where to go, where we spill over without grief.  And there is a sense in which all of these things: the cloud, the confusion, the grief, the not knowing, the uncertainty, all of those ways that white modernity cannot resource the individual any longer. Those are the cracks. A psychologist comes and says ‘One year has passed’. Such are the places where becoming monstrous and monstrous time is the invitation to other kinds of time.  

There are spaces of doings that open up when we find ourselves in those cracks and openings.

  “There are places we can gather and create artistic enterprises of listening and falling together. There isn’t something to do that is a project of the human. But there are spaces of doings that open up when we find ourselves in those cracks and openings. Those things that sprout are invitational.  And that is my invitation to people. By what I mean when I say the times are urgent, let us slow down.”

 

“Thank you Bayo.”

“Thank you, sister. Thank you.”


This article is an edited transcription of a talk given at the Gaian Gathering of the Work That Reconnects Network in November 2023.  A video of the full talk is available on the WTR Network website here.


Bayo Akomolafe (Ph.D.), rooted with the Yoruba people in a more-than-human world, is the father to Alethea and Kyah, the grateful life-partner to Ije, son and brother. A widely celebrated international speaker, posthumanist thinker, poet, teacher, public intellectual, essayist, and author of two books, These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home (North Atlantic Books) and We Will Tell our Own Story: The Lions of Africa Speak, Bayo Akomolafe is the Founder of The Emergence Network and host of the postactivist course/festival/event, ‘We Will Dance with Mountains’. He currently lectures at Pacifica Graduate Institute, California.  See www.bayoakomolafe.net  and www.emergencenetwork.org.

Pachasophical Explorations & The Great, Golden Turning

By Adrián Villaseñor Gallarza

To facilitate such a shift in consciousness…we depend on the availability of psychic energy.

For cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and systemic change to take place, there needs to be energy available. To facilitate such a shift in consciousness, the third dimension of the Great Turning, we depend on the availability of psychic energy. This energy, however, is primarily perceived as pertaining exclusively to human endeavors. How may we mobilize inner resources in service to Life? How do we liberate such energy into its eco-psychic expressions?

We need a variety of myths that speak to a broad eco-cultural spectrum.

Visionaries such as Thomas Berry  and Joseph Campbell suggest that it is not a matter of fixating upon the newest, “greenest” technology, but on connecting with the skillful means to psychically dethrone the industrial paradigm and magnetically connect with a life-affirming story. We know that psychic energy is nourished by myths, stories, symbols, and archetypes. In the case of the Work That Reconnects, there are a few guiding stories that take preference, one of which is the Shambhala Prophecy. As wonderful and necessary this story might be to ignite our inner landscapes, we need a variety of myths that speak to a broad eco-cultural spectrum. 

These stories speak of the intimate connection of the human family with an animate, cyclic world.

Given my cultural background, one of such essential stories is beautifully exemplified by the Prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor, which speaks of the unification and harmonious integration of the three Americas. Other Original stories from the continent include the Mexica myth of the Fifth Sun or the Hopi Creation Myth, in which various cycles of creation and destruction oversee humanity’s evolution. These stories speak of the intimate connection of the human family with an animate, cyclic world. The popular Mayan myth of the end of the “long count” conveys a message of fresh potentiality at the onset of a new cycle. I’ve shared elsewhere about the relevance of the Mexica teaching of the “Flower Warriors” (in xochitl in cuicatl) to cultivate intimacy with creation and harness inner resilience.[1] The various legends of El Dorado and particularly the myth of the lost city of Paititi are valuable stories that may further assist us in conjuring the energies to partake in the Great Turning, not without a necessary journey into the underworld. 

Honoring the Underworld

In Lower America, we find communities and ways of living with scarce economic resources, which paradoxically are closest to the Earth.

I want to invite you to envision the American continent divided into three broad areas: upper (North), middle (Central), and lower (South America) as representatives of a three-world cosmology found in many pre-industrial cultures throughout the world. We’re called to dive into “lower America,” the underworld, geographically, somatically, and metaphorically. At the body level, we ought to go beneath the neck, to learn from the intelligences of the heart and the gut, our intuition and so on. Geographically, we find communities and ways of living with scarce economic resources, which paradoxically are closest to the Earth. The historical repression of the “South,” of that which is “beneath,” has translated into massive amounts of pent-up psychic energy.

To honor our pain for the world, we journey into the underworld and touch with compassion the previously unavailable energy so that it may liberate and reorganize itself. This is tantamount to a shamanic journey or an initiatory ordeal that most industrial citizens are not willing or are able to embark on. Yet, in many respects, we are trained to undertake such an endeavor via the Work That Reconnects. Visiting the underworld is, of course, a metaphor that helps us honor our pain for the world in which a process of positive disintegration would unleash the freer expressions of our pain.   

Years back, I remember inviting Joanna to come to Mexico to offer an intensive WTR training. She looked back to me and just laughed. She said, “No, that’s up to you.” I took her word for it, and ever since we’ve been offering the Work in various Latin American contexts. Often, the awakenings that take place amid the various WTR participants are informed by the vibrant source of ancestral wisdom of their inheritance.

Many of the stories and symbols incorporated in our offerings aim to honor and connect us with this deep, ancestral mind

Interestingly, the underworld and its association to “death” and the “dead” is related to the realm of the ancestors. Knowing this, many of the stories and symbols incorporated in our offerings aim to honor and connect us with this deep, ancestral mind, in turn informed by the experiential revelations of participants—a virtuous cycle of reconnection.    

Ancestral Deep Ecology

The reconnective experiences of the mostly mestizo participants in these Latin American workshops can be seen as a reclamation of eco-cultural heritage and ancestral continuity. For the late psychologist Manuel Aceves, the unconscious dimension that shapes Mexican identity is intimately connected to an ancestral, pre-Hispanic mind, whereas the egoic personality is associated to the European influence [2]. This polarity is not exclusive of the Mexican identity, but it’s shared in the hybrid identities of Latin America and other regions with a considerable degree of cultural mixture. When the often repressed, but potently alive, ancestral mind finds a way to break through, it helps restore a sense of participation with the living roots of life while hinting at the possibility of psychic wholeness. In a WTR context, we may refer to this self-organizing intelligence as an expression of the deep ecology at the core of life’s web. 

Less known is Panikkar’s and Guattari’s work on the shared notion of ‘ecosophy’ that can enrich our understanding of deep ecology and its applications.

As is known, Arne Naess is credited for coining the concept of ‘deep ecology’ in a 1973 article where he advances a long, deep, and relational perspective to the ecological challenges of our time [3]. Joanna’s work initially developed without an awareness of deep ecology and its core tenets, including its critique around anthropocentrism, or notions like the ‘ecological self’ or ‘ecosophy’. Soon after, a deep resonance ensued, to the point where the work of ‘despair and empowerment’—one of the earlier names of the WTR—came to be known as ‘deep ecology work’, which has endured in some communities until this day. Less known is Panikkar’s and Guattari’s work on the shared notion of ‘ecosophy’ that can enrich our understanding of deep ecology and its applications. 

 For Raimon Panikkar (1918-2010), intercultural theologist and philosopher, ecosophy has to do with listening to the Earth, perceiving Her as a living entity, and as an ultimate reference for human endeavors. One of the chief inspirations for Panikkar’s ecosophy is the Vedic concept of bhumijnana or spiritual Earth wisdom. In addition, ecosophy implies an opening to the experience of a living Earth as the harmonious participation of three dimensions: cosmos, human, and the sacred.

On his part, philosopher and psychiatrist Felix Guattari (1930-1992) developed an understanding of ecosophy as the fruit of the interactions between the environmental, social, and mental ecologies proposed earlier by Gregory Bateson. Guattari’s ecosophy would render an ethical, political, and aesthetic undertaking. This rhizomatic understanding of ecosophy is greatly enriched, largely preceded, and made presently available by the wakeful experiences of mestizo WTR participants of belonging to a living Earth.

Pachasophia…is but an expression of ancestral deep ecology, or a participatory worldview and practice of eco-cultural belonging to the living Earth and its cosmic context

‘Pachasophia’ or ‘wisdom of the Mother Totality’, Josef Eatermann has proposed, entails an awakening to a lived sense of relationality, correspondence, complementarity, reciprocity, and cyclicity amongst humans and creation.[4] Pachasophia, I suggest, is but an expression of ancestral deep ecology, or a participatory worldview and practice of eco-cultural belonging to the living Earth and its cosmic context (Pacha). This earthly realization of cosmic import, of homecoming, discloses a set of refined, ancestral understandings about the role and purpose of the human family amidst creation.

Ancestral deep ecology helps deepen a de-centered, rhizomatic understanding of deep ecology and the WTR. This approach celebrates the contemporary import of ancestral worldviews of the Americas, while valuing multicultural understandings and experiences in service of a more beautiful world. The flowering forth of Pachasophia allows for a potential integration between the European-informed conscious personality and the Earthly, unconscious mind. 

The Great, Golden Turning

It’s said that Paititi is the residence and temple of Viracocha, the Incan creator god. The lost city deep within the jungle is replete with gold, great wisdom, and technological advancement characteristic of the Inca peoples. The great riches of Paititi have been feeding greedy dreams of material wealth for the last five hundred years, and many unsuccessful expeditions have taken place by the colonizers ever since. Safely guarded by various trials and powerful guardians, the lost city symbolizes much more than material wealth—it is the haven of Inkarri or “Inca King,” who shall return to reinstate peace and justice in the world and inaugurate the next, golden era of humanity. Popular beliefs suggest that “Everyone’s life depends on them,” referring to Inkarri and the rest of the awakened Inca of Paititi, “because they are the ones that govern everyone’s destinies.”[5]

The spirit of Inkarri is found deep within the human heart

From the ancestral deep ecology of the Americas emerges this mythical figure, Inkarri, representative of spiritual gold, the “Earthly Sun,” and the ancestral wisdom to restore peace in the heart and harmony with the cosmos. Akin to the lost kingdom of Shambhala and its warriors, illustrative of the compassionate figure of the bodhisattva, the spirit of Inkarri is found deep within the human heart. In freeing psychic energies from their repressed, trauma-laden, industrial-driven expressions, the quest for Paititi serves as a guiding, life-affirming story, connecting us to the liberated energies of the world—the Great, Golden Turning.
___

  1. Villaseñor Galarza, Adrián. “Eagle, Condor & Quetzal.” A Wild Love for the World: Joanna Macy and the Work of Our Time, edited by Stephanie Kaza, Shambhala, Boulder, CO, 2020. pp. 322-327.
  2. Aceves, Manuel. Alquimia y Mito Del Mexicano: Aproximaciones desde La Psicología de C.G. Jung. Grijalbo, 2000.
  3. Naess, Arne. “The shallow and the deep, long‐range ecology movement. A summary.” Inquiry, vol. 16, no. 1–4, Jan. 1973, pp. 95–100.
  4. Estermann, Josef. Filosofía Andina: Sabiduría Indígena para un Mundo Nuevo. ISEAT, 2009; Estermann, Josef. Filosofía Andina: Estudio Intercultural de la Sabiduría Autóctona Andina. AbyaYala, 2015; Villaseñor Galarza, Adrián. “Ancestral Deep Ecology of the Americas.” Deep Times Journal, 2022. http://journal.workthatreconnects.org/2022/09/08/ecologia-profunda-ancestral-en-las-americas/ 
  5. Urbano, Henrique. “Las tres edades del mundo. La idea de utopía y de historia en los Andes.” Mito y simbolismo en los Andes: La figura y la palabra, edited by Henrique Urbano, CBC, Cusco, 1993. p. 294.

This article is an edited transcription of a talk given at the Gaian Gathering of the Work That Reconnects Network in November 2023.  A video of the full talk is available on the WTR Network website here.


Adrián Villaseñor Galarza, PhD, is passionate about human transformation in service of the living Earth. Adrián is an integral ecopsychologist, international facilitator, contemplative teacher, author, and ritualist whose work weaves the psycho-spiritual study of the Earth-human relation, animist principles, and contemplative wisdom. He’s Core Faculty in the East West Psychology Department at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Adjunct Faculty at Naropa University, and founder of the Bioalchemy Institute and Work That Reconnects Latin America. Visit: living-flames.com for more information.

Deep Ecology and the Conservation of Nature

By John Seed

Edited from a transcripted presentation by Martha O’Hehir
Note: In this talk, “we” and “our” often refers to people in the globally dominant socioeconomic system, not all humans.

The world is constantly cycling through us and we through it.


Deep Ecology is a philosophy of nature. The term was first coined by the late Arne Naess who was a Professor of Philosophy at Oslo University. According to him, all the symptoms underlying the environmental crisis lie in the illusion of separation between humans and the rest of the natural world. All we need to do to understand exactly what he meant is to hold our breath for five minutes while we think about it. And then we realize that however we conceptualize ourselves, we are inextricably embedded in this world. There can be no separation. The world is constantly cycling through us and we through it.

Naess said that the illusion of this separation is a result of  “Anthropocentrism,” or human-centeredness–the idea that humans are the center of everything.   We are “the crown of creation,” “the measure of all things.” We are the only thing that has intrinsic value. Everything else may have instrumental value, as a resource for us, but nothing else has intrinsic value, including the Earth itself. It’s just dirt until we transform it using our intelligence or our labor.

What we need is an ecological identity, or ecological self. 


This arrogant mistake is deeply embedded in us and stretches back at least to the Old Testament where we learn that humans are to subdue and dominate nature and nature is to be in fear and trembling of us. Naess said we won’t be able to think our way out of the mess. Every institution of our society and every strand in the fabric of our soul is corrupted by this anthropocentrism. Ecological ideas won’t be enough to save us. What we need is an ecological identity, or ecological self. 

And, in order to nourish our ecological identity, what is needed are community therapies to heal our relations with the rest of the natural world, the more-than-human world.

(Here, Seed describes how he worked with others as an activist and had a great deal of success in the 1980’s protecting rainforests in Australia. In spite of these successes, there were thousands of forests that had been lost.)

We cannot protect the planet, one forest at a time.


I learned we cannot protect the planet, one forest at a time. Unless we could clearly address the underlying psychological or spiritual disease that allows modern humans to imagine that we can profit from the destruction of our own life support systems, these actions were going to be of no particular significance so far as the future of the world was concerned.

When I met Joanna Macy in 1986, the next step in the unfolding of the community therapies that Naess had been calling for was able to proceed. I went to one of Joanna’s workshops which was then called Despair and Empowerment, and at that time, I learned from her the importance of feelings in this whole picture. She taught us how we live in a society where there is profound denial of a huge part of our humanity, that is, what we call “the bad feelings” such as rage, terror, anguish and despair. We are taught to fear these feelings, we’re taught to suppress these feelings.  We don’t understand the consequences of doing this. It turns out that these feelings are a hugely important part of our intelligence. When we look back upon our pre-human evolutionary history, we have to recognize that there is an extraordinary pedigree of success that every single generation, for four billion years, every single one of our ancestors was intelligent enough to reach the age of reproducing itself before it was consumed. 

What we call feelings inside ourselves now is what remains in us of this ancient intelligence that preceded thinking.

All of this was done without the benefit of thinking. This intelligence consisted of what we now call “feelings.” We can call it instinct, or intuition, but whatever we call it, what we call feelings inside ourselves now is what remains in us of this ancient intelligence that preceded thinking.  And, in spite of tremendous challenges and dangers that faced our ancestors in every single generation, the accuracy of these feelings to lead us out of danger, towards safety, was tested. 

So, we suppress these feelings at our peril.

The passion necessary to rise up and to take a stand is missing.


Although thinking is also very beautiful, it turns out that without the passion of feelings to support it, thinking is kind of sterile. Although we may know what it is that is happening, without that passion we are not really in a position to do anything about it.  Thus we are confronted with a world of tremendous precariousness as we watch nature disappearing around us and many of us feel utterly paralyzed and unable to respond. I suggest this is because the passion necessary to rise up and to take a stand is missing.

What I learned from Joanna is the extraordinary importance of these feelings. Because they are being pushed up by instinctual forces, an equal and opposite life force is necessary  to suppress them, and therefore a huge part of our life force is squandered by this futile struggle between instinct and social conditioning.  Then we are left feeling helpless and hopeless; “what can one person do, anyway?”

When we learn how to create a safe container that invites and honors these feelings and       allows us to metabolize and integrate them, a tremendous amount of energy that we experience as empowerment ensues. I was influenced by Joanna, and she was equally influenced by the philosophy of deep ecology. Within a week of meeting at her workshop, we were walking together through the rainforest in NSW as we constructed the Council of All Beings. This was the first of the experiential deep ecology workshops of the Work That Reconnects, which brought together the philosophy of Deep Ecology and the profound engine of personal change which she represented in the despair work that she taught. Both of us have gone on to work with this ever since.

Because the facilitator, after introducing the activity, becomes a part of the circle, this is my spiritual practice now. This is where the empowerment comes from, which I can place at the service of my continuing work in the conservation of nature.

(At this time, Freida Nixdorf, the host, asked John, “How can we access this idea of ecological identity, of deep ecology?”)

The original intelligence returns and the whole area flourishes and expands with native plants.

[The answer is best described through] a metaphor that requires background information. There is a system of regenerative nature called the “Bradley Method of Bush Regeneration.” It (the Method) requires no heroic tree planting effort, but only that you identify the native plants from the exotic [non-native, invasive] ones. Then, all you do is remove the exotics and allow for the natives to grow when their seedlings appear, without treading on the natives. Year after year, the original intelligence returns and the whole area flourishes and expands with native plants.

 We may be tempted to begin in a horribly degraded part of the environment. Yet, if we start there, the method fails. We have to start with the fullest expression of natural intelligence and vigor. We have to start with the strongest natural area and work backwards from there, to expand it… Maybe in ten years, we will reach the degraded area.

Ecology teaches us that  we are part of the earth. So, I take the biological metaphor of the Bradley Method. Until people have begun to recognize the problem, they are like the degraded area, and we berate them or harangue them or cannot do anything for them. But if we help people who are moving in this direction, then this community grows, and maybe one day we can reach into the hearts of the executives of the oil companies and the government leaders.

(Seed continues with a description of some of his conservation of nature, especially in Ecuador, and how it feeds his work with WTR. It is great to have examples of things working well.)           

Through experiencing the Work That Reconnects, we understand intellectually that we are part of the world.

We put ourselves out in the universe to be directed to the role that is there for us to play.

Through the rituals and ceremonies and processes of WTR, we have an ever deepening experience… In the Going Forth, we have the opportunity to deliberately visualize ourselves as one cell in the body of the living earth. Depending on where we are in that body, there are many different roles that need to be played for the flourishing of the earth. Thus we put ourselves out in the universe to be directed to the role that is there for us to play, which may be very different from the role someone else is called to play.  

Just as the human body emerges from a single cell, and some cells migrate to become the brain, or others the liver, there is no “correct” answer to the question of “What is there for me to do?” Really the question is: “How do I learn to surrender in such a way that clear direction comes to me that is authentic and I can trust?” 

To me, this learning to surrender is one of the great gifts or rewards of the ceremonies of the Work That Reconnects. They help us hear those directions and allow them to actually move our life  in the direction of: “How am I to serve the earth, serve my people and future generations?”

The processes of the WTR are synchronous with, or a continuation of, the kinds of ceremonies that Indigenous peoples have practiced throughout time. Without exception, every Indigenous society which has maintained its ceremonial life, has done so through their ceremonies  which are practiced throughout the year, every year, that allow the human community to teach the children to remember and to honor the more than human world. It is only we modern humans who have forgotten this.

We all have Indigenous ancestors.

We all have Indigenous ancestors.  When we are drawn to this work, there is something tremendously familiar   it, and it feels like coming home because it is such an important part of our heritage, stretching back – at least hundreds of thousands of years — to our true heritage, only recently forgotten and eclipsed by modern illusions of separation.

We find ourselves both aligned with our ancestors and also inspired and obliged to protect those areas of Indigenous life that continue to exist. Nature is being pushed back, year after year, land is lost, languages are lost, societies are lost. It is as important to protect these as to protect nature.

(Seed goes on to describe some phenomenal examples of Councils of All Beings, especially with children and in a beautiful and moving video.  He describes a project to protect koalas, using a film called “On the Brink,” which is essentially a Council of four Australian animals, including the koala. The script was written over several Councils of all Beings in WTR workshops.)

The power of the Council of All Beings…to be an engine of much larger social and environmental change.

We used the film in the run-up to the upcoming election, and handed out leaflets for the show, provided the film and four tables at the back of the room with stationary for letter writing for protection of the habitats of these species. About 70,000 people saw the film and wrote letters.  A few weeks before the election, the Premier of NSW announced that if he was re-elected his party would protect those forests, and a month later, they were protected. This shows the power of the Council of All Beings to do more than just create the conditions for personal change, but to be an engine of much larger social and environmental change.


This article is an edited transcription of a talk given at the Gaian Gathering of the Work That Reconnects Network in November 2023.  A video of the full talk is available on the WTR Network website here.


John Seed was involved in the creation  of experiential deep ecology/the Work That Reconnects with Joanna Macy in 1986 and has been facilitating the workshops that they designed together ever since. At present he is offering such workshops monthly around Australia as well as online. He is also a regular contributor to Work That Reconnects webinars as well as podcasts and other forums. He came into deep ecology via his work in protecting the world’s rainforests which started in 1979 and continues to this day. In 1995 he was awarded the OAM (Order of Australia Medal) by the Aussie Government for Services to conservation and the environment. He is an accomplished film-maker, bard and author (see https://www.rainforestinformationcentre.org/john_seed )

I am an ongoing-ness without a name

By Bayo Akomolafe

Jo delAmor asked, “So who are you in this moment as an emergent being connected through time?”

I am an ongoing-ness without a name.
I am a playful dancing,           infiltration of identity
that refuses to alight at a point,
that refuses to succeed
or to tether itself to a metaphysics of dots.

I am a lingering meandering line
that is at once
father and son,
brother, and sister,
mother and father,
uncle and auntie,
atom and mountain,
spirogyra and human,
and poet and philosopher,
and perpetually confused partner.

And all of these
are the on-rolling
………..and rolling
………………..and tumbling forces
and unspeakabilities
that bring me here
today.


This poem was part of a talk given at the Gaian Gathering of the Work That Reconnects Network in November 2023.  A video of the full talk is available on the WTR Network website here.


Bayo Akomolafe (Ph.D.), rooted with the Yoruba people in a more-than-human world, is the father to Alethea and Kyah, the grateful life-partner to Ije, son and brother. A widely celebrated international speaker, posthumanist thinker, poet, teacher, public intellectual, essayist, and author of two books, These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home (North Atlantic Books) and We Will Tell our Own Story: The Lions of Africa Speak, Bayo Akomolafe is the Founder of The Emergence Network and host of the postactivist course/festival/event, ‘We Will Dance with Mountains’. He currently lectures at Pacifica Graduate Institute, California.  See www.bayoakomolafe.net  and www.emergencenetwork.org.

Joanna Macy at the Gaian Gathering

By Linda Seeley 

Joanna and Linda viewing the Gaian Gathering

I had the great privilege of being with Joanna during the five days of the Gaian Gathering, helping her tune into the various workshops and gatherings throughout each day. Every morning, she awoke eager to see what was coming. She looked forward to sharing Gratitude much like a new baby awakens with a big appetite and a bright smile.

Her amazement at the innovative ways the Work has blossomed was a sight to behold! Though she often just observed workshops, she relished the creativity and heartfulness in them. She loved listening to Woman Stands Shining, the songs of the Great Turning, and seeing and hearing those longtime facilitators who have digested, manifested, and transformed the deep lessons in the Work that Reconnects. And seeing how the seeds of her teachings have spread to so many areas – nature connections, Eco-dharma, collective liberation, Gaian structures, ancestral wisdom – along with the tried-and-true experience of the Spiral, delighted her down to her bones. She was impressed with how the Gathering was organized and especially how many fresh faces she saw. 

The last morning, accepting praise and love flowing over and through her, helped her understand to her core just how much her life’s work has influenced the course of life on Earth. Gratitude.

________________

Linda Seeley has served as Vice-President and spokesperson for San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace since 2009 and has been a member of the Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel since its inception in 2018. She retired from a 32-year career as a certified nurse-midwife. Mother of 3, grandmother of 3, and great-grandmother of one baby boy, she understands the existential threat of climate change effects on the aging fleet of nuclear reactors. She is very concerned about the triple threat of sea level rise, vulnerable radioactive waste storage and the connection between nuclear power and nuclear weapons. Linda lives in Los Osos, California.

Do que a sua dor é capaz?

por Bruna Buch

Para honrar a dor pelo mundo,
é necessário acessar um espaço que atravessa o nosso corpo.
Aprendemos, na Sociedade de Crescimento Industrial,
que a dor emocional deve ser assistida pela medicina
e que são necessárias sessões e medicamentos.
Ora, ninguém marca uma consulta quando está sentindo alegria.

Assim como a alegria, a dor vai e vem sem que possamos segurá-la.
As emoções flutuam em nosso corpo,
como os ventos no céu e as ondas no mar.
Há ventos e ondas de todos os tipos, eles surgem e passam.

Às vezes uma brisa, às vezes um tornado.
Às vezes uma marola, às vezes um tsunami.
Como o sistema-planeta poderia bloqueá-los?
A sabedoria reside em perceber a intensidade do fenômeno que quer se manifestar em nós.
Preparar o ambiente e acionar os recursos.

A alegria é um tremor superficial, uma vibração prazerosa.
A dor é um terremoto que abre fendas, rasga a terra, reconfigura a paisagem.
A alegria é relaxamento. A dor é criação, é nascimento.

A dor é a mais profunda expressão e precisa atravessar o corpo.
Não precisa ser bloqueada, desligada ou medicada.
Precisa emergir.
Precisa falar, cantar, dançar, escrever, pintar, mover a energia viva.
A mais ancestral das medicinas: a arte.

Um núcleo denso explode em estrela.
Uma semente se rasga em árvore.
Um corpo se parte para outro corpo vir à luz.
Do que a sua dor é capaz?


What is your pain capable of?

In order to honor our pain for the world,
we need to access a space that crosses our body.
We’ve been taught, in the Industrial Growth Society,
that emotional pain must be treated by physicians
and that it requires therapy sessions and medication.
However, no one makes an appointment when they feel joy.

Just like joy, pain comes and goes without us being able to hold it in.
Emotions float through our bodies,
like the winds in the sky and the waves in the sea.
There are winds and waves of all kinds, they come and go.

Sometimes a breeze, sometimes a tornado.
Sometimes a tidal wave, sometimes a tsunami.
How could the planet block them up?
Wisdom lies in perceiving the intensity of the event that wants to manifest within us.
Prepare the environment and mobilize the resources.

Joy is a superficial tremble, a pleasurable vibration.
Pain is an earthquake that opens cracks, tears up the ground, reshapes the landscape.
Joy is relaxation. Pain is creation, giving birth.

Pain is the deepest expression and needs to pass through the body.
It doesn’t need to be blocked, turned off or medicated.
It needs to emerge.
It needs to speak, sing, dance, write, paint, move the living energy.
The most ancient of medicines: art.

A dense core explodes into a star.
A seed rips into a tree.
A body breaks so that another body can come to light.
What is your pain capable of?


 

Bruna Buch lives in the countryside of São Paulo, in a town that makes songs for its river, the Piracicaba. She is a biologist and conducts workshops and studies on Gaia Theory and ecological awareness. She is also a co-facilitator in the WTR Brazil Learning Community. She writes about life sciences for good living in the digital magazine Travessias Bambual (in Portuguese).

Reflections on the Gaian Gathering: Preparing for the Gaianthropocene

By Mary Oak

Recorded by author

Despite the deep throb of our shattered world –the hottest year on record, old and new wars raging– we gathered, each of us stepping away from business as usual into the Gaian Gathering. We gathered in gratitude to our beloved Gaia, to honor Joanna, and to participate in generous offerings constellated around her work. We gathered from many time zones and from numerous countries. We gathered to network and connect and reconnect with the Work That Reconnects, to navigate the Great Unravelling we find ourselves in. We gathered in grief and found strength through solidarity in acknowledging the many breaches and ruptures we are called to suture. 

Each of us was encouraged to discover ways to re-envision and reimagine our broken world.

In gathering, we were renewed by drawing from a deep source of living teachings and practices. We were invited to open our hearts and eyes to new and ancient ways of seeing, listening and being. Each of us was encouraged to discover ways to re-envision and reimagine our broken world. We found sustenance through “…a mycelium of soul” in the words of Hector Aristizábal.  Each of us, as newcomers, experienced participants or emerging facilitators, became invigorated and inspired. 

I attended the gathering out of a desire to find others engaged in Joanna’s work. Thirty years ago, I trained with her in the Council of All Beings and it deeply influenced my engagement with sacred ecology. Through the years, I have led councils in a variety of settings and have brought Joanna’s work into my teaching in the undergraduate program at Antioch University, Seattle. Now, turning towards elderhood, I was curious to find out more about the Work That Reconnects (WTR), beyond the peripheral awareness I had of the organization.

a harmonious nonhierarchical organism, encompassing a number of ways to deepen into the Work That Reconnects.

What a beautiful community I found! — a harmonious nonhierarchical organism, encompassing a number of ways to deepen into the Work That Reconnects. I had a visceral sense of cooperation, each person bringing their particular gifts through ceremony, conversation, and presentation. We participants were warmly welcomed. I engaged wholeheartedly at my own pace as I attended a number of sessions over the five days, moving through the Spiral. I appreciated the range of creative and ceremonial activities as well as opportunities for conversation.

Of course, a highlight was having Joanna present in some of the sessions and to be able to honor her. Her joy was palpable and contagious. What a gift to have an opportunity to express our gratitude to her for all she has given, and for her to see how her work has grown so gracefully and is flourishing. 

I am thankful for having found a sense of sangha, of kindred spirits.

I appreciated discovering that there is not one set training to take to become a WTR facilitator, no required rules or stern imposition of structure, but rather a consortium, as it were: a choice of trainings to go deeper into what, for me, is sacred work. This choice of offerings is in accord with finding new sustainable structures as we usher in what Sean Kelly calls the Gaianthropocene[1]. I am thankful for having found a sense of sangha, of kindred spirits. As a result of this gathering, I’ve become a member of the Work That Reconnects WTR Network and look forward to deepening connections ignited here. I am still taking advantage of the recordings to follow up since the gathering  (and these will soon to be available on the Work That Reconnects website). So for me, as I imagine it is for others, our Gaian Gathering continues. 

[1]Kelly gives us the name Gaianthropocene as an alternative to the geological epoch now called the Anthropocene — which connotes a solely human focus. The invitation embedded in includes awakening, “to our deeper nature as living members of Gaia, the living Earth in and through whom we have our being.” (Sean Kelly, Deep Times Journal) 

_____________________


Mary Oak is a senior lecturer at Antioch University, Seattle, and teaches classes at her Pegasus and Sisters Writing Studio in Seattle and online. She is especially passionate about her course offering,
Nature Writing in the Time of the Great Turning. She is author of Heart’s Oratorio: One Woman’s Journey through Love, Death and Modern Medicine (Goldenstone Press, 2013). Mary holds degrees in Mythopoetics and Sacred Ecology and an MFA in Creative Writing–both from Antioch University. She has a background in Psychosynthesis, Pastoral Counseling and Deep Ecology. Find more about her here. {www.MaryOak.com}

 

March 2023 Issue

by Molly Brown

Recorded by Molly Brown

Welcome!

For this March 2023 issue of Deep Times, the editorial team decided to have an open theme. Yet, like in previous issues for which we didn’t have themes, a theme emerged from the submissions. Guess what?  It’s emergence!

Emergence seems to be in the air these days, as we humans grapple with ever more challenging crises–climate disruption and pollution of air, water, and soil; racism, oppression, and caste systems; financial/economic inequality and breakdown; species extinction, and so much more.  We obviously can’t resolve these crises with our current worldviews and institutions, so we must look beyond the known to what is trying to emerge from the living system of Earth.  That’s how living systems evolve: through creative and unpredictable emergence. 

Recently, my spouse and I were reflecting on the words “emergence” and “emergency.”  It occurred to us that an emergency is when something emerges so quickly and/or so unexpectedly that we don’t know how to respond.  We have to rely on our instincts and intuition in such moments, and we may be surprised at what emerges from within.  

Can we learn to “tune into” what is emerging and what is trying to emerge, as frightening and unfamiliar as it may be?  Can we open ourselves to mystery and make ourselves available to support healthy emergence?  Many of the practices of Work That Reconnects help people do just that, often through the exercise of what Joanna calls our “moral imagination.”   Even though the poems and articles in this issue may not speak directly to emergence as a theme, they all have emerged from the creative life of the authors in response to themes, concepts, and practices of the Work That Reconnects.

The Spiral begins with gratitude, with poems by Kent Wittenburg and Patricia Samper celebrating trees and gardens, and Rebecca Selove describes how she sees our editorial team working with emergent strategy in our meetings. 

In Honoring Our Pain for the World, Leo Murray offers a “Dirge for the Ocean.”  Michael Wellman shares his understanding of the necessity of grieving that came through his graduate work and dissertation.  Kirsi Jansa eloquently describes her process in honoring her pain for the world, followed by Will Falk’s poem “Gaia’s got a lot to do.” 

Three poems by Andrea Bradney, Sophie Hayat, and Danielle Vogel invite us to See with New and Ancient EyesJessica Zeller challenges us to expand the boundaries of our identity and Pegi Eyers shares her “truth-tales” of immersive experiences in nature.  

Our Going Forth section shows how the Work That Reconnects can inspire and support: climate activism (by Kirsty Heron and Tom Deacon), sustainability researchers in academia (by Eileen Laurie),  and musical expression (by Linda Chase).  Poems by Cheryl Pallant and Susi Moser grace this theme as well. 

Michael Wellman explores identity and community in Evolving EdgeResources include a review of a new book by Debora Eden Tull and short reviews of books and magazines in “Our Editors Are Reading.”  The Network section features news of a Gaian Gathering, new website, and new Weavers.

The editorial team put out a call for “words that reconnect,” which Valia Papoutsaki is now collating for our September issue.   This is an invitation to co-create, (re)imagine and (re)interpret as well as (re)embrace an emergent (or latent) vocabulary for a deeper sense of connection that reflects our current times and the need for socio-economic, cultural, and environmental change–a vocabulary that also reflects the diverse contexts in which the Work That Reconnects is now being practiced.  Valia has already received over a dozen emergent words and would like more.  Send us your choice of one to three “words that reconnect” with up to 100 words describing what this word means to you and how you could use it. Send to  [email protected]

May we support one another as we grapple with the Great Unraveling and work for the Great Turning, knowing that we can neither predict nor control what will emerge from the creative interactions of the living systems of Earth.


Gratitude

Tree of Knowledge

Poem by Kent Wittenburg

The Deep Times Editorial Board’s Emergent Strategy

by Rebecca Selove
Drawing on the work of adrienne maree brown and other authors, Rebecca describes how the editorial team of Deep Times uses "emergent strategy" in creating each issue of the journal.

Un jardín para una montaña mágica

Poem by Patricia Samper

Honoring Our Pain for the World

Dirge for the ocean

Poem by Leo Murray

Rewilding Activism

Interview with Michael Wellman by Molly Brown
Part One of a two part interview focuses on Honoring Our Pain for the World as explored in Michael's dissertation.

Moonshot

by Kirsi Jansa
An eloquent essay inviting us to deeply honor our grief for the world, "to come to our hearts and our senses."

Gaia’s got a lot to do

Poem by Will Falk

Seeing with New/Ancient Eyes

The Counsel of Trees

Poem by Andrea Bradney

Expanding the Boundaries of Our Identity

by Jessica Jean Zeller
The author challenges us all to expand our identity to become cells in the greater body of Gaia, of Earth.

It’s Not About Me

Poem by Sophie Hayat

The Interbeing of Animism

by Pegi Eyers
This narrative shares a collection of “truth-tales” drawing on the author's encounters with the more-than-human world, and immersive experiences in nature.

The Frequency of Flowers

Poem by Danielle Vogel

Going Forth

Seasonal Forecast

Poem by Cheryl Pallant

Love, Rage, Rebel: Hope in climate activism

by Kirsty Heron and Tom Deacon
The authors recount how they are supporting movements for climate justice with the Work That Reconnects, drawing on their experience with Just Stop Oil, Insulate Britain, Extinction Rebellion and global activists during COP26 in Glasgow

The Work That Reconnects in Academia – Visioning an imperfect but possible future

by Eileen Laurie
The author describes her 2022 Spiral workshop "Visioning an imperfect yet possible future: Art-based methods for sustainability researchers," at Lund University’s Agenda 2030 Graduate School in Sweden.

The Spiral – a musical journey

by Linda J. Chase
The author explores how music and poetry can help us grapple with our fears and articulate a vision of hope.

learning to say good-bye

Poem by Susi Moser

Evolving Edge

Reconnecting with Identity: Locating commonality in intersections

by Michael Wellmann
The author explores how activists can expand the intersections of our identities to find more common ground while also continuing to embrace our individual diversity.

Resources

Luminous Darkness: Book Review

Book review by Valia Papoutsaki
Debora Eden Tull’s book aims to reinstate the “darkness” as part of the whole by bringing to our attention this basket of ancestral and emergent knowledge.

Our Editors are reading…

by Deep Times editorial team
Here are books and an online magazine that members of the Deep Times editorial team are currently reading and recommending.

Network

Network News

by Network staff
News from the Work That Reconnects about a 2023 "Gaian Gathering," a new website, and two new Weavers.


Deep Times: A Journal of The Work That Reconnects

Vol. #8 Issue #1 – March 2023

Editor: Molly Brown
Editorial Team:  Karina Lutz (poetry editor), Rebecca Selove, Carolyn Treadway, Erin Holtz Braeckman, Evangelia (Valia) Papoutsaki, Shayontoni Ghosh and Silvia Di Blasio.  More about the team here.

Graphic Design: Frieda Nixdorf
Webmaster:  Silvia Di Blasio & Shayontoni Ghosh

Deep Times is published online twice a year by the Work That Reconnects Network.

The Network provides support, guidance, and inspiration to people all over the world in their work for the Great Turning. We welcome your donations to support the Work That Reconnects Network and Deep Times. The Work That Reconnects Network is currently a fiscal project of Inquiring Systems, Inc. so all donations are tax-deductible.

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0.