ethnobotany feralculture local food tending the wild

feral world

Hey, everybody, my main focus really is on obtaining Right Relationship with the planet. We’re living in some dark times in many ways, and it is clear that the infrastructures of the past few generations are dissolving before our eyes. Unfortunately, they are trying to take the Earth with them. When trying to make sense of this, I’m really sick of constructs and abstractions when the phenomenon is in our faces, and more and more so each year. We should actually strive to create something better rather than taking the Earth down with our pathological self-destruction. Even as I write these words I feel the arguments and criticisms of what I say, as if to dismiss the spirit of what I’m saying because of a linguistic rationalization. Global Warming is real, but yet isn’t adequate to describe the much bigger phenomenon that is happening. On human terms, I think it is a changing of the cultural memes, paradigm shift, a new way of living and being. I feel that a sort of cure-all is reconnection with the Earth, and the return of Right Relationship. I believe this will cure cultural sicknesses (many of which manifest physically) at the same time addressing immediate environmental concerns. If anything, I think it is the most respectable way for our species to die.

The details that I gravitate toward however, are with the sacred knowledge of the living beings and landscapes on the planet. So often, enthusiastic concerned Earth citizens become globe-trotting (carbon emissions!) political environmentalists and authors who don’t have a realtionship with the non-human world. I was on this path not so long ago, and now I’m trying to learn all I can about my local ecology and develop personal relationships with its inhabitants. I believe it does little good to be a global earth steward without being rooted in the local. Indigenous cultures . . . this really translates to mean ALL cultures before “the fall” (or whatever you want to call it) and a few remaining that haven’t been consumed by it . . . nearly always had their Axis Mundi — the center of their universe. It was a local place, and from it was the archetypal spirit of their local ecology, including its cultural, personal, and spiritual dimensions. Indigenous cultures are expressions and extenstions of their environment. We in modern culture, cannot “go back” to much of anything. (Actually the entire “going back” construct annoys me as if time were a linear thing, when in fact summer follows winter follows summer is more of time’s beat.) There is not much to “go back” to. Most places cannot go back to eating only native plants because native plant communites are decimated and replaced with a drastically different ecology. Now, a post apocalyptic ecology — with so much devasting change happing in such a tiny amount of time — is what we have to work with. Not an ideal reality of making your ecology look like some faraway place or in the exact pristine way that it was before European (or other Taker culture) invasion. These are abstractions. I’m trying to actually engage and access the reality of my environment, learn about it, and teach others. We either create a new culture, or it will be created for us, or I guess there might not be any culture at all.

Feral isn’t a regression. That implies that civilization is a goal and time is linear and the emporer has clothes. We used to have Right Relationship and all humans were wild humans. Then the big extinction happened and with it came this current global civilization and domestication. We became tame humans, losing our wits (our brain size actually dimished). Going feral is a step forward, a beginning on the climb to reclaim our former splendor. Feral is like moving from idiot to student. It is a blessing and an excitement, but also a reminder of how much we’ve lost. Feral is like the first tiny warm spell of the winter, after the sun has just begun to increase, giving birth to a miraculous dandelion flower.