Spirit & Sustainability
The Importance of Spirit and Energy Work
When I learned to make a distinction between religion and spirituality, I was able to open myself to the great forces/energies at work in our worlds. With the help of many I have learned the importance of breathing and staying grounded and connected to the earth. Of being anchored to my core self and being authentic in my voice and practice. I’ve learned about the power of intention and the importance of working with allies – seen and unseen. These are powerful tools and practices when one is in the midst of struggle – especially conflict with the State.
I have learned to trust my instincts and my intuition and am training my eye to better see the dynamics of power in any given situation. I have watched again and again, in the midst of heated protest, the pull of spirit and the hunger of so many people to be connected to themselves and each other and to the energy we generate together in the streets. When we are in the midst of all that power, energy and chi we are most fully alive. People are desperate to feel alive.
This work with spirit naturally lead to a consciousness and interest in protecting the earth and all living things – I love the animals, the winged creatures, the plants and trees way more than people really ! : )
Over the years and through the protests, my primary collective – ACT, the Alliance of Community Trainers, has been weaving together magic, activism and ecological sustainability. We have been learning and working and incorporating permaculture, natural design and bioremediation it into our resistance and liberaton work. Whether it be greywater filter handwash stations in Cancun, to a mobile toliet in Miami, to toxic clean up in Brunswick, GA and in New Orleans, to composting toliets in Scotland, Texas and California. We are promoting sustainabile systems and practices that pre-figure the a world we desire.
Below are some resources and groups we work with.
What is Permaculture?
I like how the Austin Permaculture Guild describes it…
Permaculture is a worldwide movement for sustainable design. It was founded in the late 1970s by two Australians: Bill Mollison and David Holmgren.
Mollison defines permaculture as “adesign system for creating sustainable human environments.” Another definition, coined by Austin area permie Selwyn Polit, is “practical sustainability.”
The cornerstone of permaculture design is observing and mimicking patterns found in nature. People often arrive at permaculture through an interest in gardening. And certainly, growing food where people live is an essential component of creating a more sustainable society. But permaculture isn’t a gardening system per se, and it isn’t (necessarily) about growing your own food or living out in the country. In fact, the worldwide permaculture movement is as much about co-designing more sustainable cities, towns, villages, neighborhoods, workplaces, professions, companies, schools, economic arrangements, financial institutions, and social organizations as it is about making our agricultural practices more sustainable.
Permaculture design draws on natural patterns to create human systems that are healthier and more productive. Using this design approach, human beings can actually have a positive impact on the land and on all other species (as opposed to merely reducing our negative impact).
Ever feel hopeless about all the bad news you hear, and powerless to address the problems of the world? Study and practice permaculture. You’ll come to know that making positive change is much easier and closer to home than you think.
Basic Content of a Permaculture Course
A permaculture design course consists of classroom instruction, field trips, hands-on projects, and a site design project. Intensive courses include rustic accommodation (camping or other simple arrangements), supplementary evening programs (videos, guest speakers, etc.), and communal meals.
Topics covered include:
– Orientation; introductions; state of the world — and our typical responses
– Introduction to Permaculture ethics and design principles
– Designing from patterns to details
– Observations, pattern, and design
– Methods of design (hands-on site observation)
– Ecosystems, bioregions, climate, bio-geography
– Soils, water (incl. ponds, rainwater, greywater), earthworks
– Forests & trees; food forests
– Edible landscaping; use of edible perennials
– Small-animal systems
– Small-scale, intensive cultivation
– Techniques and strategies for the urban environment
– Broadscale (rural/large-site) design
– Wildlife management
– Ponds, aquaculture, mariculture
– Energy production and use
– Appropriate technology
– Natural building
– “Waste” management; treatment; re-use
– Biological “pest” control
– Designing/retrofitting your home
– Designing your landscape
– Invisible structures (laws/norms; institutions); toward more sustainable arrangements
– Alternative business/economic/financial structures; right livelihood; attitudinal principles
– Intentional community; eco-cities; eco-villages
– Tools for the designer
– Finding your right livelihood
– The global permaculture organization; how you can get involved
Permaculture & Sustainability Resources
- Earth Activist Training
- Permaculture Resources from Starhawk
- Rising Tide North America Resource Packet, tons of games, information, resources, and ideas for explaining and coping with climate change
- Permaculture Resources
- Carbon Enshroudment Diagram
- Demotech Design for Self-Reliance, how to build just about anything by yourself
- Composting Toilets
- Living Outside the Box
Magical Resources & Writings
- Reclaiming Community
- How to Organize a Council Circle – a magical approach to consensus-based meetings
- Magical Chants
- The Magic of Brunswick: Bridge of Resistance and Hope, by Juniper – a description of the work of the Pagan Cluster
- Weaver, Weaver song lyrics