26 episodes

a podcast and gathering place for stories of embodied ecology.

What happens when we rub on the body of the earth, how does it brush back against us?

There is a certain fidelity required when we return over and over again to be shaped, imagined even, by the beings, the weather, the land forms, and the elemental powers where we live.

Let us seek:
intimacy across language,
intimacy across culture,
intimacy across species,
intimacy across consciousness.

Woman Who Rubs the Mountain Kendra Ward

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

a podcast and gathering place for stories of embodied ecology.

What happens when we rub on the body of the earth, how does it brush back against us?

There is a certain fidelity required when we return over and over again to be shaped, imagined even, by the beings, the weather, the land forms, and the elemental powers where we live.

Let us seek:
intimacy across language,
intimacy across culture,
intimacy across species,
intimacy across consciousness.

    Microanimism: A Conversation with Siv Watkins about Being in Relationship with the Smalls

    Microanimism: A Conversation with Siv Watkins about Being in Relationship with the Smalls

    Welcome to the world of Microanimism with microbiologist, independent scholar, and ritualist, Siv Watkins, PhD. Siv introduces us to the enigmatic yet ordinary realm of microorganisms, with whom humans have been entangled with since our very beginnings. She says that “the microbial world dares us to identify our human selves within the rest of the living and dying world.”

    Listening to Siv, I could feel the crisp lines of my human-centric viewpoint get wondrously blurry. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation:


    As a young girl, Siv had an intense fear of throwing up and inquisitively threw herself into learning about the dynamics of vomiting, which in turn led her to study pathogenic organisms, toxins, viruses and so on.
    Every human simultaneously has a unique microbiome and individual relationship with the smalls, while also sharing a connection to the vast, collective ancestral realms of the microbial universe.
    We hold a misunderstanding of some kind of universal benevolence about the smalls which is just as unhelpful as thinking that they are all out to hurt us. We live in a “kaleidoscopic universe with a range of beings who have a variety of temperaments.”
    It is impossible to make sweeping generalizations about the microbial universe; they are a bunch of promiscuous sorcerers, genetically switching, swapping, merging, some doubling every 20 minutes, others lying still in the earth's crust neither growing or dividing.
    Living in a highly faceted universe, so much is unknown and uninterrogated by humanity. If we want to push the boundaries of our limitations we must be willing to explore the more esoteric aspects of scientific understanding, while also respecting the mystery and all that is unattainable to our human understanding.

     

    More about Siv Watkins, PhD:

    Microanimism: a platform created by Siv to examine how human beings and human culture engage with microbial organisms

    Microanimism Online Courses: Thinking Like a Plague, Microbiological Dark Matter, And So Ad Infinitum (Microanimism Trilogy) Instagram

    Other Microanimism interviews to check out

     

    Resources:

    Kendra’s Book Recommendations

    I Contain Multitudes – Ed Yong   

    Animism: Respecting the Living World – Graham Harvey  

    Reasons to Include Viruses in the Tree of Life (scientific article)  

    Most Microbial Species are Dark Matter (Scientific American article)  

    How the Microbiome Challenges Our Sense of Self (scientific article)

    • 54 min
    Embodied Elements Series: The Earth Element & Nourishing Our Dark Centers

    Embodied Elements Series: The Earth Element & Nourishing Our Dark Centers

    The migrating birds know. The slowing, dying bumble bees know. The gnarled, wild pear tree knows, its fruit thumping to the earth. Something has been released, a heaviness is settling into our limbs, the tree’s limbs, the earth’s limbs. The cosmic axis has shifted, moving us into what is potentially one of the most challenging transitions of the seasonal wheel. In this episode we explore all things Earth Element: in our bodies, in our minds, how have we been digesting our world? 

    We also wonder...


    What do our animal bodies know about this time of year. How does the Earth element live in us? How can we take our cues on how to live from the more-than-human beings around us?
    How might we be more discerning about our digestion and what is truly nourishing?
    How does looping, excessive thinking, or worry act as a psychological knottniness, not only in our minds but also within our bodies?
    How does the Earth element help us better know how to love, nourish, and mother ourselves? What does soul soaked deep nourishment feels like, and how do we really get ourselves full?

     

    Mentioned Book:

    Braiding Sweetgrass (for Young Adults) by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Monique Gray Smith, Nicole Neidhardt

     

    Five Element Resources:

    Rhythms of Change by Mary Saunders

    Five Spirits by Lorie Dechar

    In Our Element by Lindsay Fauntleroy

     

    Earth Element Resources:

    Mindful Eating by Jan Chozen Bays

    Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh

    Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and the World with the Practice of RAIN by Tara Brach

     

    Fire Spirit Question:

    The spirit question of the Earth element asks: What does it mean to nourish ourselves well?

    • 35 min
    Ecotherapy & Reclaiming Our Wholeness: A Conversation with Beth Stephens about Holding Ourselves in All That it Means to Be Human [Episode 29]

    Ecotherapy & Reclaiming Our Wholeness: A Conversation with Beth Stephens about Holding Ourselves in All That it Means to Be Human [Episode 29]

    I’d call it Beth Stephens superpower: creating spaces that help women cherish the messy, mucky, imperfect wholeness of themselves. As an Ecopyschologist, Beth guides women through journeys of deep self-inquiry, working with nature while remembering themselves as a part of nature. Our conversation beautifully weaves through questions such as, why are we humans the only species who seem to have forgotten their essential completeness and what does it mean to get out of our own way so that mystery can dream through us?

    These inquiries were quite slippery, but I felt like Beth did a beautiful job allowing them the complexity and respect they required. Here are a few more highlights from our conversation:


    Beth grounds us in place at her home in Suffolk, a land of flat marshes, vast skies, salt-licked trees and raw coastline. One of the reasons she loves this place so much is because “it is a land that does not give up her stories easily.” Mystery and melancholy palpably linger in the many layers of battle history and suppressed sacred sites that live deep in the ground of Suffolk.
    Ecotherapy is “a journey that invites people to reconnect with their wholeness, exploring all that it means to be human and reclaiming any parts we may have banished in order to fit into Western culture.” Ecotherapy may involve eco-somatic practices, creative expression, dream work, conversations with other-than-humans, or working with archetypes and deep imagery.
    Returning to the muck and the mess of our earthly entanglements is a relief; we can finally relax into our lives as they are. What a relief to stop all of the striving and instead allow ourselves grace in the disordered complexity. Here there is a deep honoring of the authenticity of nature and of ourselves being a part of nature.
    When we court Mystery, we see everything as an expression of Earth’s dreaming. Perhaps we can practice getting out of our own way and allow Mystery to dream through us, the same way it dreams through Oak, Snake, Thrush, and all of the rest of life.

     

    More about Beth Stephens:

    Nature in Mind: Beth's website

    Ecotherapy: 1-1 ecotherapy for all humans

    Rewilding for Women

    IG nature_in_mind

    Natural Academy: accredited training in Ecopsychology (and Beth's alma mater)

     

    Resouces:

    Kendra’s Book Recommendations

    Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God

    Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche by Bill Plotkin

    Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche by Bill Plotkin

    Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind edited by Theodore Roszak

    • 1 hr 5 min
    The Embodied Elements: The Fire Element & Deepening Our Intimacy with All of Life [Episode 28]

    The Embodied Elements: The Fire Element & Deepening Our Intimacy with All of Life [Episode 28]

    It may be the longest journey we ever take- those 18 inches between our heads and our hearts. Here in the Fire elemental season, we can find new dimensions of healing through heart connection and widening our sense of relational intimacy with everything around us. But summer themes of full unfurling are mixed with emotionally-intelligent discernment so that our hearts are able to use their deepest sense of knowing, responding well to each individual moment. This prevents the over-extending, boundary-leaking, or over-consuming that can sometimes happen when we are swept away by the natural enthusiasm of summer spell-making.

    In this exploration of the Fire Element / Summer Season / Heart Energy, we wonder:


    What do our animal bodies already know about summer? How does it live in us? How do we embody the archetype of Fire in all of its expressions of peak aliveness? 
     How can our hearts open more fully in eco-adoration, waking us up through joy and relatedness?
    With a healthy Heart spirit, our authentic self moves us to honestly communicate the needs and knowing of ourselves to others. 

    There is even more heart-deliciousness in this episode as I tell a story about enormous ladles, starlight and our cosmic essence. Oh, and the kindled magic of fireflies is in there too. It is my hope that in these explorations you are reminded to love and love and love some more and in doing so, remember to let everything love you back.

    Mentioned Books:

    Kigo: Exploring the Spiritual Essence of Acupuncture Points Through the Changing Seasons by Lorie Dechar

     The Secret Teachings of Plants: the Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature by Stephen Harrod Buhner

     

    Five Element Resources:

    Rhythms of Change by Mary Saunders

    Five Spirits by Lorie Eve Dechar

     

    Heart Element Resources:

    Deep Listening

    Heart Coherence Meditation

    Integral Anatomy with Gil Hedley: Look for the video called "Unwinding the Heart Center"

     

    Fire Spirit Question:  How are you expressing your truest self, and in turn, your truest joy?

    • 33 min
    Regenerative Partnering with Nature: A Conversation with Chara Armon about Moving Beyond Eco-Anxiety [Episode 27]

    Regenerative Partnering with Nature: A Conversation with Chara Armon about Moving Beyond Eco-Anxiety [Episode 27]

    Perhaps our human worry is the last thing the earth needs at these trickster crossroads. This is the core inquiry of Chara Armon, PhD., founder of The School for Humans and Earth: how can we actively move from eco-anxiety to eco-inspiration? Because how we view life on this planet and our place within it as human beings, directly determines how we choose to contribute or not. With a dash of neuroscience, a sprinkling of informed optimism, and a wallop of animist celebration, our conversation is an exploration into how humans might still be good medicine for this planet.

    Here are a few of the highlights:


    We explore some of the mysteries of what it means to “feel at home,” and how it’s entirely possible for home to be small, local, and delicately close while at the same time varied, vast, and shared by many places, even the entire planet Earth.
    Our nervous systems are entrained to the earth and vice versa. In this way, our individual flourishing is intertwined with the Earth’s flourishing.
    Perhaps one of the most radical acts we can make is to use our love and creativity instead of fear and extinction-mongering to lead us forward. When we feel hopeful about our future we are more likely to take action or feel motivated to explore how we can hold a frequency of regeneration.
    It is from the seeds of animism that all world religions have grown. When we feel into our animist roots, it’s surprisingly pleasurable and intrinsically sane.

     

    More about Chara Armon, PhD.:

    The School for Humans & Earth

    Podcast

    Courses & Programs

     

    Resources:

    Kendra’s Book Recommendations

    Christian Kyriacou- the House Whisperer

    Gaia Alchemy: the Reuniting of Science, Psyche, and Soul by Stephan Harding 

    Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia by Stephan Harding

    Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence by Gregory Cajete

    *I don't love supporting Amazon but at least these links offer all of the book's information so that you might find them elsewhere.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    A Wild, Undomesticated Heart: A conversation with Jen Hudziec about the Intimacies of Summer [Episode 26]

    A Wild, Undomesticated Heart: A conversation with Jen Hudziec about the Intimacies of Summer [Episode 26]

    In celebration of the summer solstice, End of Life Doula, Ancestral Lineage Repair Practitioner, and Ritualist, Jen Hudziec is back on the podcast to talk about the unabashed sensuality of summer, the joy of loving and being loved back by the living world, and using pleasure as an essential earth-honoring skill. Jen also shares some of her insights and experiences as a Fire Walk instructor, working with fire as an ancestor who demands our full dedication and attention. At the end of our conversation, Jen guides us in a beautiful summer solstice meditation.

    Here are the highlights:


    Skin of the earth, skin of our bodies, skin on skin, Jen’s body-felt sense of summer and its sensorial pleasure arises in liberation! Not just a freedom from all of the layers of winter clothes but also in deepening her relationship with the fluid, floating, levity of water.
    Co-opted by our hyper-sexualized culture, Jen describes her experience of freeing pleasure from only being equated with sexuality. Her personal shift came through a relationship with the Divine Feminine, when she began to experience true intimacy as beginning from within to then be shared outwards.
    Jen describes the pivotal moment in a Fire Walk ritual when an essential inquiry comes forward: Who is going to help you make it across? Are you going to try and go it alone or are you going to invoke the help of the people in your lineage who know fire intimately?
    Peering into their erotic inner worlds, flowers bring forward a certain kind of glorious witchery this time of year. Now we better understand that flowers aren’t just attracting bees by their colors and smell but also by their electromagnetic fields. So the really exciting part is when we start to tune into how our fields and those of the beings around us come into coherence with each other.
    Having descended from ancestors who were domesticated, who taught us to domesticate the land around us, domesticate our food growing methods, domesticate our bodies, even domesticate our hearts, Jen explores the question of what it means to have a wild, free, undomesticated heart.

     

    More About Jen Hudziec:

    Ancestral Pathways

    Solstice Fire Walk

    Dreaming into Death- 6 week series

     

    Resources:

    Kendra's Book Recommendation List

    The Secret Teachings of Plants: the Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature by Stephen Harrod Buhner

    Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good by Adrienne Maree Brown

    Matter and Desire: An Erotic Ecology by Andreas Weber

    • 1 hr 7 min

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