Monday, March 01, 2010

Deep Snow, Deep Winter

I spent the last three days camping with friends up on the Arapaho National Forest.

I have done a little deep-winter camping before, but never before on skis with a sled.

I learned that my sleeping bag is not really warm enough for -18 F. (-27 C.) nights. Must remedy that.

Even after that short time, it is hard to make the transition back to the writing life. And things like Facebook--or even blogging--seem so trivial.

But I am developing some new blog posts, so check back after a couple of days.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Dark of the Moon

I tend to get into some bad places psychologically when it's the dark of the Moon and work is not going well. "No one respects me, no one pays any attention to what I say"—that sort of thing.

The best cure is to take a dog (who may or may not pay any attention but who can be bribed) and go for a hike, interrupted with geocaching, as described at the other blog.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Photos from the Edges of the Festival

M. and I have returned from the smallest of the three Colorado Pagan camp-out festivals held at Wellington Lake, a large private campground. Wellington Lake is dominated by a large rock formation called (imaginatively) The Castle.

The photo above, however, is the west (back) side, which most festival attendees never see. But if you are a boundary-crossing transgressive Hagazussa, then, perhaps you might find yourself on the Rolling Creek Trail into the Lost Creek Wilderness.

RIGHT: Some Pagans spend so much time at Wellington Lake that they feel a certain sense of ownership.

LEFT: The wet weeks of June meant that more mushrooms were available in the forest than usual for this time of year, including this and other boletes.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What Happened to Ecopsychology?

Lupa posts on bioregionalism, animism, and ecopsychology.

When M. was in grad school in psychology in the 1990s, she hoped that ecopsychology would be the Next Big Thing. Articles on the psychological affects of interacting (or not) with the non-human world were popping up in places like McCall's magazine. Addressing "nature-deficit syndrome" would be a component of it--even the Girl Scouts are onto that.

But as an overarching concept--even without acknowledging "spirits of place"--ecopsychology does not seem to have caught fire except in a low-level therapeutic way: "Gardening makes you feel better."

Possibly related is the way in which a certain kind of self-righteous environmentalism may be ripe for mocking. Are we still too leery of assigning spiritual value to non-human nature? Doing so has been a component of American spirituality since around 1800, as Catherine Albanese wrote in Nature Religion in America: From the Algonkian Indians to the New Age. But it has always been a minority position, although a well-established one.

I used to start my nature-writing students with the "Where You At?" quiz. It offers a quick immersion in bioregional thinking and blends both non-human and human cultural material.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Gallimaufry with Frankincense.

¶ Burn more frankincense in your rituals: it is psychoactive.

¶ From this side of the pond, I would say that if not enough young people are not taking up Morris dancing, they are not getting drunk enough first. (In England?! -- ed.) Will it be only the Pagans and that sort who keep it going?

¶ Five top faked memoirs of recent years.

¶ Aiieee, it's the end of the world! The solar storm will wipe out all our gadgetry!

¶ Aiieee, it's the end of the world! The Ice Age is coming!

So learn some basic skills and have a plan, I reckon. And burn frankincense.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

These Witches Have No Covens

The New York Times profiles a California water witch (dowser).

How many rural witches are still around is an open question. Water witches have no trade unions — or covens. Few advertise, or dowse full time.

I learned dowsing on a construction job, and I had no "intuitive sense" of where the rural gas line in question was, so I do not buy that explanation of how it works.

There is a national society of dowsers, headquartered in the same little Vermont town where M.'s father grew up. (A civil engineer by profession, he accepted dowsing too.) It used to be all practical dowsers like this guy, but in recent decades the "earth energies" crowd seems to have a growing impact.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2003

More mammoths!

Bringing back the woolly mammoth would be a good thing. I want animals to go with my religion.


Australian "nature religion" grows

And in Australia, self-identified followers of nature religion grew 140 percent between 1996 and 2001, say census officials.

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