THE WILD WAYS
soul, the natural world & the ecological imagination
I don’t think we have an imagination apart from the environment . . . And I don’t think we have an existence apart from the environment either. And if the imagination isn’t about our existence, I don’t know what it’s about. (W. S. Merwin)
EARTH COSMOS PSYCHE
The ‘tired’ conversation – the old paradigm – is that of ‘man (sic) vs nature’. The conversation we need so urgently concerns interrelationship of human and all other species as peers within the great web of nature. Nothing is more important, I believe, than re-visioning our place in this web that holds us all.
‘The Wild Ways’ is an ecopsychology project designed to help re-establish a heartful and strong relationship with the natural world, as well as with our own imagination and the lost, forgotten or conflicting parts of our inner lives. We explore, too, our relationships with human others.
It’s something like: how might we live with depth, creativity and connectedness, honouring all, including the other-than-human, in a society and era in which dissociation, fragmentation and damage seem the norm?
And then there’s soul: the intermediary, we could say, between individual and collective, and between earth and cosmos.
In this work the land is a constant companion and collaborator. We make use of silence, slowness, stillness, mindful walking (sometimes barefoot) and writing. We work with story, poetry, land art, discussion. We listen to the land, pay attention to Other and remember how to be fully alert with all our senses, including the non-physical ones. Along the way, the animals, birds, plants, trees, rocks, seasonal changes and weather patterns co-create or shape our experience. And we remember, too, how to play.
The work happens through courses and workshops, and through mentoring. Most of the work involves direct experience outdoors, and all the workshops involve aspects of creative and reflective writing, but you don’t need to be a ‘writer’ to come along. (My other more writing-based website is fire-in-the-head).
You can read more about the what, how, why and where here. See below for the ‘who’.
The Who & the Work
All the work is informed by deep ecology. It’s been shaped by Jungian and depth psychology, Zen mindfulness, my own work as a professional poet, author, and workshop facilitator, and my training in Transpersonal Psychotherapy. I also bring to it a lifetime spent outdoors in rural West Britain and a wide knowledge of and passionate affinity with the plants, trees, animals and birds we encounter, plus what have been described as eco-bardic ways from the British Mystery Tradition.
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Click here for my books.
Freedom. It isn’t once, to walk out
under the Milky Way, feeling the rivers
of light, the fields of dark –
freedom is daily, prose-bound, routine
remembering. Putting together, inch by inch
the starry worlds. From all the lost collections.