Elemental Ethos: Water

Collecting the best water on the planet, as a gift of the ecosystem.

The metaphysical associations with water tend to be the realm of emotions and felt experience. These associations do not surprise me, particularly when one looks at the symptoms of dehydration: sleepiness, irritability, dizziness, delirium, heart palpitations, confusion, fuzzy thinking, seizures, and nausea. Is it any wonder that our ancestors then associated Water with emotional experience? [Read more...]

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The Burning Heart of the Forest

DSCN2759

The Burning Heart of the Forest will never die out: a photo essay [Read more...]

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Pagan is Latin for Redneck

“Paganus” is an ancient term of otherness. It was disparaging, much like the “redneck” of today. [Read more...]

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Elemental Ethos: Air

Snow absorbing sound in the Maine woods. January 2015.

It’s snowing again today. The forecast calls for an additional 8-12″ blanket to top off the 30″ already on the ground. It had been a light winter until this week; certainly 3+ feet of snow on the ground changes one’s experience in the landscape substantially. For me, the most striking thing about the snow is the blanket of quietness it creates. [Read more...]

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Elemental Ethos: Earth

By Elmschrat (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The local ecosystem is our home, our host. I have come to realize that, for me, it is disrespectful to an ecosystem to bring food into it, particularly if the food was processed industrially. By learning and mastering foraging techniques, we can learn to accept the ecosystem’s hospitality. When we bring extrinsic food into our ecosystem, it comes with an implied message: I am not willing to even try to subsist in relationship with you directly, so that we can thrive cooperatively with one another. I am a mere visitor, and will not stay long enough to develop such a relationship. [Read more...]

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Elements of Nature

Snow and ice in Maine.

Here I am. I feel you on my skin. I feel your power, but rather than overwhelming me, it is energizing me. I feel the cold air blowing through the hair on my body. I feel the moisture condensing on my skin, and the fire of my breath blowing its being back at the storm. I stand, barefoot, in the same spot long enough to feel all the snow underneath melt away, until finally my bare feet are once again directly on the earth. [Read more...]

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By Way Of Introduction

First snow of autumn. Maine 2014.

I look at all my friends in the sky, and to all the energies in the forest around me. I hail them, lifting my drinking horn full of mead — a sweet, traditional mead that I brewed with local honey, fresh maple sap instead of the wild spring water I normally use, wild chaga, and wild staghorn sumac — and pour an offering to the ground, saying words that have become familiar to many of us in Maine and beyond:

From the Gods, to the Earth, to Us;
From Us, to the Earth, to the Gods.
A gift for a gift. [Read more...]

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