Turning Season Podcast is here to hearten you with regular doses of Active Hope in this uncertain, perilous, beautiful adventure we call The Great Turning. We bring you enlivening conversations with people rising to their own unique roles in our worldwide shift to life-sustaining societies. This show is for every one of you who's aware of our multiple crises, feels your love for life on Earth, and chooses to participate in cultivating ways of life we can believe in.
Show notes: www.turningseason.com
Music by East Forest.
(Episodes 1-35 are The Dreamers' Den Series, where I dive deep with experienced dreamworkers. We help you engage your dreams for insight, inspiration, and connection with community.)
How Restoring the Water Web Relieves Drought, Fire and Flood (with Alpha Lo)
Alpha Lo caught my attention when I heard him say, "All we have to do is…" and then lay out a sweeping plan for how California can effectively restore rain, prevent both wildfires and floo...
Personal and Collective Healing in Chinese Medicine and Deep Ecology (with Leilani Wong Navar and guest interviewer Lydia Violet Harutoonian)
Our bodies are just like the rest of the living world: coursing with healing, life-affirming intelligence and capacity; and suffering the effects of being out of balance. The body is one setting for what Joanna Macy called "the three stories of our time": Business as Usual, the Great Unraveling, and the Great Turning. We've explored these stories many times on this podcast. In this episode, I talk with Lydia Violet Harutoonian about how I see all three stories playing out in the landscape of the human body, and in the field of medicine.Lydia is the founder and director of School for the Great Turning, a music maker, and a longtime, dedicated student and friend of Joanna Macy. She's a friend, comrade, and inspiration to me. You'll get to hear some of her potent way of articulating things during this conversation - but in this episode, I'm the guest, and she's the interviewer. We talk about The Great Turning in relation to illness and healing, through my explorations as a Chinese Medicine practitioner and a lover of Deep Ecology.Click Play now to hear us get into:* how Deep Ecology and Traditional Chinese Medicine are natural companions that help us understand human beings, and the system of Life on Earth* emotions as key to both personal health and collective well-being* the energy it takes to repress emotions about what's going on the world, the toll that takes on our health, and the energy that's liberated when we acknowledge the truth about our experience* how Qi flows through the landscape of the body like water in rivers* what happens when we relate to our bodies with a Business as Usual mindset, how illness is like a Great Unraveling, and how the body is always moving toward a Great Turning* the life-honoring changes happening in medicine today* thinking about medical treatment holistically, and seeking gentler, more life-honoring choices* plus a few approaches to well-being that are part of the Great Turning, like acupuncture, self-massage with acupressure, therapeutic movement, and caring for our microbiomes… and have a good time talking about it all!I love hanging out with Lydia, I love talking about this stuff, and I hope you'll have fun listening to this one. I'd love to hear what you think, too! Please share your reflections with me by commenting on social media, or replying to my emails (you can subscribe to my twice-a-month-or-so emails at turningseason.com (https://turningseason.com)).This conversation was part of The Great Turning Summit, held online on June 17, 2023. It was such a heartening day, full of learning and music from a diverse range of activists, visionaries, artists, and elders. You can purchase access to the recordings of this event through the link in the show notes, at turningseason.com/episode36.
Regeneration and Resilience for Refugees and Host Communities in Uganda (with Gloire Mudekuza)
Ready for a dose of Active Hope? Listen to Gloire Mudekuza, a young refugee, a social entrepreneur, a climate activist and a mentor in Uganda, making an impact in the refugee community. He is passionate about regenerative agriculture, climate action, and entrepreneurship. He is the founder and director of Plethora Social Initiative, a refugee-led organization that works to develop the inner potential and capacities of refugees in Nakivale Refugee settlement and their host community, developing a regenerative culture and building a resilient local community.This conversation with Gloire was part of the Great Turning Summit, a daylong online event that we at School for the Great Turning hosted a couple weeks ago, on June 17. We got to hear from a diverse range of activists, visionaries, artists, and elders speaking about how they're participating in the movement for life on this planet. We talked about how we're collectively making a pivot toward a livable future, in collaboration with millions of people and the more-than-human world, all vying for life.As part of the Summit, I had the opportunity to speak about The Great Turning in the intimate landscapes - the ecosystems - of our own bodies, and what Chinese Medicine and Deep Ecology teach us about illness and healing. I also hosted a panel on parenting during the Great Turning, and this conversation with Gloire Mudekuza. Click Play now to hear about:* Gloire's arrival in Nakivale Refugee Settlement 6 years ago, having fled from his original home in the Democratic Republic of Congo* his choice to focus on helping his community, and the shift from identifying as a victim to identifying as a survivor* local farming, impacts of climate change, and the value of learning permaculture* participating in the Gigaton Challenge to reduce carbon emissions and create green jobs for youth in Nakivale Refugee Settlement and the host communities* how he sees the Great Turning happening now, particularly in terms of leadership - and what the Great Turning means to himplus more!This conversation was powerful for me, and for many who attended the Summit. I hope you too enjoy it, learn from it, and feel inspired in your own way.Turning Season Podcast is dedicated to offering regular doses of Active Hope in this Great Turning toward life-honoring, life-sustaining ways of being human, bringing you deep conversations with people who are rising to their own unique roles in this worldwide movement. This show is for every one of you who's awake to our multiple crises, feels your love for life on earth, and is finding your way to participate in cultivating ways of life we can believe in, making a life honoring present, even in the face of an uncertain future.Learn more about and support Plethora Social Initiative and sign up for email updates here: turningseason.com/episode35 (https://turningseason.com/episode35)
Afro-lachian Herbal Remedies, Past Stories & Current Conversations (with Ruby Daniels)
In this planet-wide, diverse movement we can call The Great Turning, one of the threads I'm personally following is medicine. I'm all in for the shift to a life-honoring, life-sustaining approach to understanding illness, treating disease, and promoting health and healing. Ruby Daniels is part of this shift, too, growing medicinal herbs and making botanical medicines at her home in West Virginia.I connected with Ruby because she's on the board of United Plant Savers. I heard her talking about protecting wild ginseng, and about her mission to change the narrative of African American relationships to woodland botanicals, and educate about the herbal traditions of African Americans, which have been practiced since the time of slavery.Ruby is the founder of Creasy Jane's Herbal Remedies. She comes from a creative and inventive family who were enslaved in Virginia and moved to the Southern coalfields of West Virginia to build a new life after emancipation. Ruby refers to her heritage as “Afro-lachian.” She spent many childhood summers in the mountains of Raleigh County, West Virginia, with her great aunt, Ruby, her grandmother, and other wise women of the community, learning about herbal traditions, God, and the plants of the mountains. After earning her Master’s of Science in Herbal Therapeutics, she returned to West Virginia, where she runs Creasy Jane's, named after her great-grandmother, Creasy Jane Pack. Creasy Jane’s offers custom-made herbal teas and tinctures, herbal soaps, and other topical herbal remedies. All her herbal products are formulated with a combination of Appalachian herbal traditional remedies, science and research and spirit.Listen in to our conversation to hear about:* Ruby's research into how slaves in the region used herbal medicine* her experiences as a Black woman in her master's degree program and in the business of herbal medicine* Ruby's family's history and "permaculture" lifestyle after emancipation* her town's history, and herbal medicines for today's coal mining-related illnesses* protecting wild ginseng* the forest and garden botanicals she works withand more.I'm so grateful for the chance to hear from Ruby, to learn from her and to get these glimpses of how the Great Turning is moving through her in multiple ways, from making sure history is remembered to helping local coal miners with their lung health, from bringing her perspective into academic and workplace conversations to cultivating garden food and herbs. Enjoy this conversation with Ruby, and be sure to check out Creasy Jane's online shop, the research Ruby talks about, and historical photos of Ruby's family and recent photos from her garden. Links and photos are in the show notes: https://turningseason.com/episode34 (https://turningseason.com/episode34)
Becoming an Earth Regenerator (with Joe Brewer)
How about these goals: * Avoid human extinction* Cultivate healthy economies of living systems at local landscape, continental and planetary scales* Emerge into these systems on the other side of whatever crises and collapse(s) are aheadWhat would that take?Joe Brewer has dedicated his life to this question, and to a "living laboratory" of bioregional regeneration and community collaboration. He is the founder of Earth Regenerators and co-founder of the newly established Design School for Regenerating Earth.I have learned so much from Joe. He's been a source of information, inspiration, techniques and strategies, and also the reason I've found many other people I'm now so grateful to be connected with (including Charles Upton, whom you heard from in Episode 21). Joe gave me a big grin and two thumbs up when I said that I frame these conversations in the language of Joanna Macy, so we have that in common. His roots of study spread wide in many other directions, though: He's a complexity researcher and transdisciplinary scholar who has studied cultural evolution, physics, atmospheric sciences, and cognitive linguistics, among other things. Joe is also a father, and someone who is trying to embody the pathway to Earth Regeneration. I know through community photos and stories that he's out there digging swales and planting trees, and participating actively in all the realities of community cooperation.I've been looking forward to having a conversation with Joe Brewer for a long time, and I'm excited to share it with you now.Click Play now to dive into:* working for regeneration on the scale of larger landscapes, even if we live in cities (how did water move through this bioregion before these cities existed?)* in thinking about sustainability, how much depends on the regenerative capacity of the land* having children, being with children, and being there for children, in these times (I loved this: "children are such a profound source of human emotional regeneration")* the tapestry of local projects being woven together in the High Andes Tropical Dry Forest ecosystem of Barichara, Colombia - a living laboratory for a bioregional-scale regenerative economy * the human species being in ecological overshoot, what that probably means about the future, and what Joe is "actively hopeful" for, in light of that* how to have effective, cooperative groups - both the knowledge about how to do that, and the actual practice of doing it* and Joe's words of advice on following your heart, and being ready for people to be confusedI continue to learn so much from Joe and the Earth Regenerators community. Maybe for some of you listening this will also be a doorway into what's next for you, in your journey toward embodying life-sustaining, life-honoring, regenerative ways to live in the web of Life.Come to the show notes for links to connect with Joe Brewer, check out the Design School for Regenerating Earth, and learn about other topics we touched on: turningseason.com/episode33 (https://turningseason.com/episode33)
Protecting Sacred Groves in India (with Radhika Bhagat)
"Somehow, we were only touching the symptoms, whether it's poaching, whether it's the destruction of forests, or unsustainable development." So said Radhika Bhagat about her 12+ years of conservation work with leading organizations in India, as she explained to me why she founded the Sacred Earth Trust. Radhika now focuses on reviving spiritual connection to the Earth, as well as scientific research and education, in her work to protect India's thousands of Sacred Groves.This conversation was wide-reaching, and once again I am so heartened and inspired to connect with someone who's reflecting deeply on how to relate to both the Great Unraveling and the Great Turning – and who is enacting her Active Hope every day. I feel an especially strong resonance with Radhika and what she's doing for Life on Earth, and I'm looking forward to hearing what comes up for you as you listen.Click Play now to hear us explore:* sitting with our pain as a teacher, and letting it move us to change the things we cannot accept* Radhika's experience working for a leading conservation NGO in India, and why she changed focus to reviving spiritual connection with the Earth* what Sacred Groves are* how Sacred Earth Trust has approached learning about Sacred Groves* and why it's so important to protect both these groves, AND the belief systems that have kept them alive until now* how Radhika has seen culture change in India since her teenage years, and what might revive a perspective that all life is sacred, in a modern context* why a two-pronged approach, speaking to both science and spirituality, is essential* and stories: change on the "mythic" level of human society's sense of itself; stories from indigenous protectors of sacred groves in India; and Radhika's reflections on the Three Stories of Our Time (Business as Usual, The Great Unraveling, and The Great Turning)plus redefining "development" to include a more comprehensive experience of life, and more.Enjoy, please share what you think about all this, and if you know anyone else who would appreciate this conversation with Radhika, please send them the link.Show notes: turningseason.com/episode32 (https://turningseason.com/episode32)Music by East Forest