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Ecotheologian and ethicist Larry Rasmussen powerfully posits that “We are not so much at home on earth, as we are home as earth.” The integrity of the natural world renders our most basic and fundamental task: to live in such ways that ensure a flourishing and regenerative life for all of the created world and for all future generations within it. So how we live in our particular places matters as we are meant to be in deep interrelationship with the whole assembly of creation. And how we live in our particular places very much determines whether ecosystems within a bioregion will thrive. Rewilding becomes the process by which we support and live into healthy and whole ongoing relationships within the natural world; I would venture that rewilding becomes a process of returning to a state of belonging, to a state of home. However, we cannot begin to talk about rewilding the Earth, or our particular places, until we begin to rewild our understanding of God. When we begin to engage this sort of divine wholeness, we begin the critical task of rewilding ourselves as well. I believe that through rewilding our bioregional ecosystems, we begin the transformative work of rewilding the image of God. We carry wildness within. This inner-landscape (what I would call a soulscape) has historically been accessed by stories and myths, and sacred rites and encounters with Mystery. Western civilization has told stories of human separation from the natural world, built upon traditional interpretations of foundational Judaeo Christian scriptures that places humanity hierarchically at the top of the great chain of being, and essentially, God’s vice-regents on earth. Interpretations of scripture such as this has resulted in humanity seeing the natural world as secondary to ourselves, and reducing it to a resource, its value in its commodification and contribution to a Western way of living. This has also resulted in the mental framework that has allowed humanity to extract, denude, deforest, and destruct Earth and her living systems. And, it has resulted in humanity’s own sense of homelessness.
If we are to truly rewild the Earth, we must rewild ourselves and how we see humanity as the image bearer of the Divine; we must bring our sacred stories and our soulscapes back into full and whole relationship with the more-than-human world.
Like the presence of the interlacing petals of the Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum), which only grows in restored and rewilded forestscapes, we must see ourselves within an inter-animating relationship with the whole assembly of creation. For the whole of this blog post and more from this week's podcast guest, Mary DeJong, check out her WEBSITE HERE!!
This Week on the Podcast:
We continue Season Four with Mary DeJong, the author of the above wisdom. Mary lives in Seattle, Washington's Rainier Valley in Columbia City, at Hedgewood, a home that for over a decade has hosted community connection through the reclamation and restoration of a neighborhood forest. Mary finds herself an eco-theologian and urban naturalist who delves into why place matters, the sacramentality of creation, and how together this informs the development of our ecological self.
Mary terms this work “sacred eco-awakening” and sees this as a critical and holy endeavor as it allows us to come to grievous terms of our human history and to posture ourselves once again side-by-side with the whole of creation, putting our souls back in conversation with the anima mundi, the soul of the world.
Her husband, four children, St. Findus and the Flock (a feral kitty and ten chickens and a duck!), medicinal and herbal “Hildagarden,” and yard—a Certified Wildlife Habitat—keep her busy when her pen does not. On this episode, we unpack what it means rewild, not only our outer landscapes, but mostly the inner landscape of our soul. We discover why wholeness and communion with the natural world so valuable and how rewilding our own stories can help us to reimagine our images of God, ourselves and even our parenting. Mary is passionate, brilliant and gentle. As you listen to this episode, you will find yourself immersed in your own inner soulscape, a place that longs to be restored to its beautiful wholeness. You'll feel both invigorated and at peace as you listen. You can find Mary's work, Waymarkers, at the following: Instagram: @waymarkers
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Your Year-long Seasonal Rewilding Journey
Commit to a soul journey through the whole wheel of the year! Every season that we move through throughout the year has tremendous potential and meaning for our soul formation. In the Wild Seasons rewilding courses, you will be companioned around the calendar of the year, deepening into the ways the more-than-human world resources you and expresses aspects of the Sacred Wild. The Wild Seasons Series will reconnect you to the much-needed personal and collective response in tending to the Earth as a spiritual expression and practice. The Wild Seasons series bundles together the four rewilding courses of Wild Winter, Wild Spring, Wild Summer, and Wild Autumn. With the Wild Seasons investment, you will receive 60 professionally produced instructional videos that will offer theoretical and expert practical teachings on surveyed topics such as: Sacred Biomimicry Spiritual Ecology Creation Spirituality Christian Animism Sacred Bioregionalism Applied Mythology Somatic Ecology and so much more!
Mary has so generously offered WILDAUTUMN20, a 20% discount code for Wild Autumn or the entire Wild Seasons series. Learn more about Wild Autumn here, and the bundled Wild Seasons series, which includes Wild Autumn, Wild Winter, Wild Spring, and Wild Summer. It’s wonderful teaching in a self-paced format, and provides a jumping place for families to begin exploring nature as their own holy place of worship, communion, and sacred connection.
Can't wait until Tuesday and need just a little snippet from our podcast episode. Here's something to whet your appetite and hold you over until then!!
One last thing. We want to remind you that we are so glad you are here. We wouldn't be the same without you. You will always find GRACE for where you've been and who you are now, and SPACE for who you are becoming and will be.
Carry on, our new-found friends. Welcome to the twisty-windy, full -of-adventure faith path that's laid out before us all. Love,
Lizz & Esther P.S. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER HERE!