[Got Garden Shamanism? – We MUST Trust Nature!] In her exquisite, transformational book, Love, Nature, Magic: Shamanic Journeys into the Heart of My Garden, Maria Rodale opens up a window into the mysterious, profound, inspirational, and wholly “other” realm of nature’s authentic intelligence. Unlike the “AI” of the artificial variety, this AI – authentic intelligence – is an ancient, timeless reality in which our ancestors of yore immersed themselves, and from which we may learn some of the insights and “ahas” required to transcend and heal the myriad systemic and psycho-spiritual challenges plaguing modern humanity.
Indeed, there’s a special form of intelligence to be found in nature – uniquely expressed by her many diverse creatures – that may provide us the key insights, understandings, and knowledge/wisdom that we need in order to survive the Anthropocene and thrive in the emergent Ecocene of our shared near-term future. In other words, it behooves us to connect intimately with Mama Gaia’s non-human creatures, to open ourselves up to a receptive mode of listening – of really hearing them – in order to liberate ourselves from the bondage of our anthropocentric constructs, narratives, and myopies. Or, at the very least, to listen to and learn from those among us who are directly doing so themselves. And Maria is just such a voice.
Published by Chelsea Green Publishing and heralded by Leonardo von Übergarten as “one of the most important books of our lifetimes,” this work is exquisite, brave, and illuminating. And, in my humble opinion, it is among the 100 most important books to read for those of us engaged in the “Regeneration Renaissance.” Among the subset of us engaged in the quaternary professions (accountants, consultants, executives, directors, lawyers, and technologists), it is in the top ten must-reads. You’ll understand why once you’ve read it yourself.
About Love, Nature, Magic
Maria begins the book by introducing us to her shamanic practices, namely the ancient tradition of inducing an altered state of consciousness through drumming and breathing (as opposed to ingesting entheogenic plants, fungi, or secretions). The rhythmic sound of the drum, Maria tells us, opens her consciousness up to a modality in which she is able to communicate with various creatures in her garden. There’s a chapter on the Aspen, another on the Cicada, one on the Mosquito, and another on the Milk Thistle. Perhaps one of the more mind-bending chapters is the one in which Maria communicates with Weather itself, and hears from the force that maintains climatic and regional ecosystemic balance in the context of a giant, living, planetary being. At the end of the book, you’ll be delighted by Maria’s “Parent’s Creed,” and her wisdom that “healing needs to start in our hearts.” You’ll experience insights about the “tyranny of tidiness,” “falling for a false story,” that “we are all capable of becoming fascists,” and her incisive distinctions in our psycho-spiritual orientations, narratives, and leadership frameworks, including invitations to choose between “control vs. play,” a “race vs. a festival,” and a “war vs. a dance.” What’s more, Maria reveals the true identity of beloved children’s book author known by the pen name Mrs. Peanuckle!
About Maria Rodale
Maria Rodale is an explorer in search of the mysteries of the universe. Author, artist, activist and recovering CEO (Rodale Publishing: Men’s Health, Prevention, and myriad books), she serves on the board of the Rodale Institute and is also a former board co-chair. Throughout her career, she has advocated for the potential of organic regenerative farming to heal the damage wrought by pesticides and industrial agricultural practices. She is the author of Organic Manifesto, Scratch, and Love, Nature, Magic, and is a secret children’s book author. She was also featured in the documentary Kiss the Ground. Maria is a mother, grandmother, and crazy gardener who lives in Pennsylvania, right near where she was born.
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