I am an echo within the multitudes.
Many mindings find me.
To be within holarchy means to be a place,
Emplaced in an exposed mind.
The other you is like ripples in an ocean of memory and time.
You rhyme to the signs of their kind,
Rhythm an endless find.
Wherever imaginations come together,
The world is thus created.
For in agreement with their shared meanings,
Comes shared ways of being and knowing.
Introduction – Waking Up to the Dream
The mists began to settle in as twilight came. The mossy forest floor, jutting out with rocks and fallen leaves, a living breathing layer upon decades of death. Ferns unfurling to catch the mists, the fireflies hopping up into the sky to sing their song of lights like patterns of sacred geometry in a twinkling beat. I settled into the tree, fitting into its rooted grasp, seeping into its dreamy sway. To awake into the dream of a forest is like being thrown into an alien world, where the words of a song are like a far off memory of an ancient future. A trance that pulls you into something wyrd and wild, where your civilized mind just gets in the way like a bumbling drunkard.
I settled into a quiet rhythm. Letting my wizard’s sight take over as I read and heard the weavings of the night. Other creatures began to emerge, small brown woody folk, horned folk, warted toad like beings, feathery bipeds quietly dancing aloft the branches, all partaking in the woven song of this forest. I didn’t speak. I was a visitor here. A visitor with generations of blood in the ground true, but I was smart enough to know when to keep my mouth shut and my mind quiet. Besides, what was there for me to do here? It was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.
Wizardry has taken me on a path I never could have prepared for. Visions while I’m awake, awakenings while I slept, entire sequences of synchronized prophecy by which I played into a role written by creatures far more intelligent than me, mysteries both mundane and absolutely alien to me. Wizardry is not what you expect. It’s a journey, a never ending journey into one’s enchanted life; a kind of roaring madness unexpectedly contained by thin membranes of tender attendance to possibility. And right when you think you understand the meaning of it, new gods come into play, new roles emerge, and you find yourself at a crossroads, being asked to participate. Being asked to once more, step into the unknown.
Every new and strange happening is yet another initiation into the mythic. Here in the forests of my family, in awe and in terror, I came to this understanding. I came to hear the Forest sing and the great sky spirits, alighted upon the treetops, spoke to me about the power of words. The power of meaning. How the meaning of true names shape the dreams of our world. How I could partake in the songs of co-creation, preservation and transformation. It was here that my life was utterly destroyed and made anew. I did not know it at the time, but the forest of my ancestors was preparing me for the new roles I would be asked to play.
Now when I look back on these initiations, I wish I would have payed more attention to them. Well, I guess I had to pay one way or another in the end, and in some cases I’m still paying. But that is the way of things, to own up to the consequences of one’s power will ensure one’s word maintains the necessary integrity required to inspire the Dream’s transformations. For if your word is not heart felt, if you do not own your power and its consequences, you will lose your voice among the Woven Song, the jam session of the dreaming Earth. And the shadows you generate lying to yourself? They aren’t something you want to deal with on a regular basis, for the more shadow that trails you, the shadier you look to the beings within the mythic, and the more work you have to do to fix it. This is a hard learned lesson for many practitioners, but absolutely essential to the cultivation of their power.
The Dreaming Tree taught me all of this and more, but most importantly it taught me what it meant to sway into the power flows of a shared dream, and what it meant to be influenced by it and to inspire it in turn. There are fundamental rules that come into play here that we MUST take seriously if we are to be accomplices with the Mythic Ecology, the realm in which dreamers dream together an ancient tomorrow, growing from the woven songs of our ancestors, so that we may awake into its dream and flow into the powers of our destiny. Underneath the dreaming tree, I awoke to the Dream.
Part 1 – Mythic Ecology and the Dreaming Earth.
“The storm passes through, bringing with it the dreams of the sky. The pressure of it’s gaze drips shadow into our souls. And there in that mystery, we dream up the world. Our minds and bodies deeply sewn into the tapestry of the world soul. It speaks to us of becomings and goings. We are intermediaries of the world knowing itself and experiencing itself. An eye upon the many-eyed god of dreams”
So what exactly is Mythic Ecology anyway? Well from the sense of a science I would say it is the study of nature as story and how we emerge from and descend into the various paradigms that both make up our lives and incorporate them into an even larger life. But in a more poetic sense, Mythic Ecology is the experience of life as narrative, it is a world filled up of characters all emplaced within one another, co-creating a shared narrative of interbeing that shapes them into who they are as a network of inter-animistic and inter-psychic beings. To delve into the mythic ecology of a landscape is to divine the purpose of each being and the shared meanings those beings have with one another. Even further, it is to divine how one’s whole being is itself an emergent property of many beings sharing meaning together!
Mythic Ecology is about the swelling of shared narratives into a teleodynamic cacophony of enlivenment, where being is a matter of interbeing, an inter-animistic affair. And “story” is the point of it all. For within story a purpose emerges to give weight to one’s life. Purpose and meaning are not something that exist outside of the being, but rather they are generated from the process of interbeing itself, they emerge as possibilities and are taken up by each being as a sort of destiny to which they bond themselves too.
Every ecosystem works in a way that strives towards a bio-mutualistic harmony. It isn’t always the prettiest sight mind you, but the balancing of each being’s place is an eventual outcome of how the overarching paradigms of ecology enroll each being into its shared story, into its cycles of ancestry and rebirth which formulate its mythic ecology. There are cycles of power flows within an ecology which necessitate a web of life to generate various types of vessels for this power so that the power itself can be managed and mitigated by living beings. But to practitioners of magic, that have awakened to the dream, it goes even further than this, in order to balance out the ecology and its power flows, beings must come into an agreement with one another and honor each other’s rights to the weaving of this web. It is a law that to be affected by the ecology is to also have the power to affect it (what is done above is done below and vice versa, intra-action within paradigmatic networks). And this law is a fundamental basis for many types of sympathetic magic itself.
So sharing in the power flows of ecology requires in sharing meaning and purpose in it as well. In fact power is deeply affected and balanced by how it is meant to empower. This eventually leads to Kinarchy, the political aspect of magic which takes into account agreements and bonds within the mythic ecology and our responsibilities to the power flows that come from our shared narratives. Of course this will be left for another day as it is a whole other treatise in its own right. Suffice it to say that Mythic Ecology is how the world enrolls itself to the shared meanings that empower it.
From forest people that have created thousands of years of tradition to ensure that balances are maintained between people and trees, to plains folk that ensure the roaming herds are maintained and seen as kin. The world becomes a family to us in its multitudes when we began to share in its meaning and its power. But the price we must pay to do so is one of shared sacrifice. We must also let ourselves be eaten up in this great web of life, we must allow ourselves to honor the agreements that enliven the world.
What emerges from these agreements, from thousands of years of balance and tradition between all kinds and ways of life, are overarching patterns of transcorporeal intelligence. I say transporporeal because the intelligence emerges as a shared pattern of interbeing between the myriad of life forms involved. This ecological intelligence that emerges isn’t just something that exists as an extension of the beings that make it, but it too has a phenomenology of being its own person. And just as you are made up of millions and millions of tiny beings all creating ecosystems to live within, so to does this being emerge into its dreaming selfhood. Which came first doesn’t really matter, as it’s probably a consistent transformative process from one thing to another as the webs of transcorporeality change and interanimate each other.
Life forms are the eyes and tongues of ecology. They are the constituent dreamers from which ecology emerges and preserves. Biosemiotic assemblages that are the manifest mindings of nature. They are formed through the universe communicating to itself, and in the understanding of those communications, can then imagine new ways of acting within the world. How we speak to the living, is how we communicate with the world soul. How we speak to the dead is how we honor its memory. How we treat one another is how we relate to the gods. So each being of an ecology, from mineral to plant to animal, shares in the dreaming of that ecological story, and emerging from the unifying dreams are the god’s we inhabit.
Life is an interanimated process, an inspiring process, through which the beautiful builds itself up into co-creators of beauty, to share in the spirit of another. In communicating beauty to one another, they inspire one another, this enlivens matter to act and work in ways directed towards purpose. So the purpose of life is to be the creator of beauty, thus co-creating new forms of purpose that guide the fires of the Cosmic Imagination, from which all being flows forth like a fountain of revelation.
It is an interesting proposition is it not? Egregories all the way down the rabbit hole? And yet, here we are, a multitude of beings culminating into a waking dream we call consciousness. Every transcorporeal being exhibits its own personalized phenomenology, its own experience of being and knowing. And each of these beings also experience time relative to the patterns of interbeing that make them whole. How these beings experience existence is really what I want to convey to you. It isn’t just a matter of being conscious of self-hood, but of being engaged in a dream of interbeing that culminates in self-hood. All beings are dreaming themselves into awareness.
Part 2 – The Narratives that Divine Us
Now an average waking person would surely take issue with this assumption. Yet an average waking person isn’t really fully awake are they? How much of their mind is asleep to the subconscious and collective unconscious processes that govern their own habits and behaviors? How many of their shadows have their minds shaded in the dark, keeping them blind to the obvious cracks in their psyches? To say that humans are truly aware of themselves in a totality is in a lot of ways an absurd statement, when in reality, humans are ever barely aware of themselves at all, especially when it pertains to the myriad of tiny beings that make up their bodies and minds. So what is our consciousness in light of this strange mosaic of unawakened parts other than a dream of being awake to who and what we are? Dreaming is the standard of knowing and being, not its deviation.
What human consciousness is, as far as I’ve come to see it anyway, is actually a mosaic of spot lights filtering through biased lenses that allow for the fragile ego to be capable of operating day to day in its given environment. A variety of environmental and genetic circumstances build the conscious awareness of the being. The mind is incredibly malleable and capable of changing perceptions depending on the various cultural motifs available to it. Depending on how the culture orients you to various cultural or physical constructs, your mind will adjust and adapt so your sense of self can navigate it. But what happens when human culture unroots itself to the dreaming land? The dream it once partook in becomes a living anthropocentric nightmare of alienation from anything non-human, and establishes itself as a hierarchy of supremacy between not only humans and non-humans, but between different versions of humanity as well. And what happens to malleable minds in a socio-cultural environment dedicated to dominating everything that isn’t the perfect human? The mind becomes deaf to the Woven Song, eyes blind to The Dreaming Earth, they fail to perceive the personhood in all things, and they fail to extend themselves into an inter-animistic world. Humanity is suffering from an existential crisis of Nightmare, where they are unable to resolve finding meaning in being human or perfecting the “human” archetype. And so they are doomed to a meaninglessness and an alienation from the connective consciousness that is the Dreaming Earth, which eventually drives them into a frothing fear of forgetfulness they call death.
The Dreaming Earth is the heart of our enlivenment. It is within dream that all beings participate with the shared stories that make up our destinies. It was in shared dreams, our collective yearnings, that single celled organisms began to share in body. And it was in dream that atoms awoke to shared atomic structures that gave them stability and structure. Our purposes and our meanings emerge as beautiful evolutionary narratives, alive and ever changing, pulling and pushing us into the wild unknowns, giving us a role to inhabit, a part to play in building harmony for the web of life that weaves us all together. The Dreaming Earth gives us a way forward, a mystery to play within, a destiny to take up and wear as a chosen mantle.
When you begin to study how trees communicate, you start to build an appreciation for the beauty that is apparent in their mycorrhizal networks. Sending various chemicals to and fro, sharing and helping one another, becoming aware and alive with a symbiotic being; they operate in a slow methodical rhythm. Steady and enlivened, ancient beings that know their families, they move through dreams. Inside their dreaming symphony emerges new kinds of life, intelligent dryads that tend to their needs. Intermediary intelligences that are transcorporeal, and yet just as real as them. What stories are they writing together? What do they value and cherish? What does sugar mean to a tree or a dryad? To think outside of human perception, to empathize with these beings, to fall into their dream and seek out their ways, that is at the heart and soul of Mythic Ecology. That, to me at least, is what being a wizard is all about.
It is in uncovering the narratives of a being, that you are able to understand its personality. As an animist, or more precisely an inter-animist, the world is made up of persons. But people are not just beings, they are also knowings as well, the synthesis of their being and knowing is the phenomenological experience, and it is within each person’s experience that they become a mystery to another, a kind of ontological objective truth. And yet the hilarity is that their truth exists within their positionality! So it is that their personhood, their ability to speak to us about their position IS how we come to know them. But humanity has ceased listening to the people that make up our world, and in doing so they have objectified their bodies while stealing all of their souls for slavery to the human Nightmare. Each person is a character in many overlapping stories, and within their phenomenological experience are the roles which give them meaning. These meanings are not just self realized, but shared within the many cycles of mythic ecology which make them what they are today. They are people who have a shared purpose within the narratives that divine our world. To seek truth is not a matter of definition, it’s a matter of divination! This is the sympathetic epistemology of Mythic Ecology!
Part 3- Ecotheosis (How The Gods Emerge From the Land)
Let us touch back upon the overarching patterns of intelligence that become the transcorporeal phenomenologies of ecology and interanimated cultures. It is the emergence from these steady patterns that the web becomes more and more self realized in its own right. Of course such patterns have existed for thousands if not millions of years, but at a certain point they came into being because they broke through a paradigm that held them in, and in their novel becoming, grew into their own awareness of self. This process of new paradigms emerging from the cultivation process of collective dreaming is something I like to refer to as Ecotheosis, how the Gods emerge from the land.
The Gods are entities deeply and heavily rooted into overarching paradigms of any ecosystem. Some may exist astrally as part of a larger story involving the birth and death of stars, some may exist even as fundamental laws of existence, some may exist as rooted patterns of intelligence that make up a bioregional network, and some may even exist as the patterns of intelligent awareness that link cycles of life to the climate. No matter how many there are, They all share at least two things in common. First they have an ability to conspire with the dynamic systems which make up their transcorporeality. And second, they are all aware of being able to do this.
In my studies of evolutionary biology one strange thing kept popping up again and again, that creatures adapted to fulfill certain roles that keep the ecosystem running smoothly. And if by some chance creatures were unable to make that evolutionary adaptation, the system would have to change and rearrange, usually through some cataclysmic event that can reorient it to a new shared narrative. I do not think that evolution is a matter of creatures slowly adapting through nature’s mutative whimsy, no …there is a personal element scientists keep leaving out; that all beings have a striving towards some kind of teleodynamic balance, a shared role that gives their lives meaning. All enlivened beings strive for a meaningful life, no matter if they are a single celled organism or an elephant. This is at the core of animist philosophy and the concepts of enlivenment.
What I believe is happening in these bouts of evolutionary substitution are new pathways are being created for creatures to become something more for the sake of the God they inhabit. That the God is giving them the ability to divine the new possibilities of their future and giving them a new purpose to take part in. They share in the dream of their Gods. I believe that the transcorporeal being that is aware of its collective dream is seeking to give balance to itself for the sake of the many beings that make it up. This is not as far-fetched as it may sound. Biologically, many animals find ways to exhibit this kind of adaptability in their own biological process to the point that it becomes a genetic norm. Adaptability and variability gives nature a way to balance its interbeing process. The Gods are beings that shepard this collective dream of interbeing. They connect the land and its peoples. They give guidance to the process of adaptation. In other words, they create the destiny of beings everyday as a way of changing them into something more connective to their dream.
Ecosystems exhibit a variety of intelligent maneuvers. Old growth forests bonding with mycorrhizal networks and sustaining whole families of trees, along with utilizing their pressure regulating ability as environmental lungs to cause cloud seeding. You have planets shifting and moving in ways that may go beyond simple cosmic coincidences, effectively responding to its own ability to maintain life on itself. And who knows what the Sun is up to, but I expect that a being that great pulls all of us into its dreaming gravity. The real point im trying to make here is that we keep assuming that we live in a world made up of mechanical robots rather than beings with various types of intelligence that seek meaning and purpose. Beings that probably have methods to dream new dreams. Methods that science continues to overlook because it does not recognize their personhood. Yet, we have thousands of documents showing that indigenous people have navigated a living world, full of mythic ecology, in a way that kept them alive for thousands of years in given areas. They survived by holding on to their stories and by realizing how to connect their own lives to these stories because these stories weren’t just stories after all, they were maps to the wisdom of the Gods. Myth was how the dream of a local God translated into the human experience of it. And within these myths were a plethora of environmental wisdom that kept them alive and even gave them the ability to balance the web of life.
Other forms of intelligent behavior can be seen in how the land seems to engage in recurring motifs. Things such as similar mythic patterns emerge over time from different people. Places will reach into us and dream with us so that we may understand them. I suggest looking into the study of Terrapsychology for more examples of this as Craig Chalquist has documented these phenomena in a variety of ways. The results are beyond fascinating.
It is the Gods that dream up the web of their interbeing. They emerge into a position of total awareness of an ecosystem that the individual could never know. And it is the Gods that give their people, those that incorporate into their systems, new paths forward. These emergent transcorporealities see a need and call upon us to fill it. They know what is missing or harmed, they know because they are feeling it. It is because of this that they often call upon the creatures that co-create them to take up new mantles of destiny so that healing may occur, or sometimes they need a person to even become a hero so that the heart of their dream may keep beating. Heroes from Myth still serve a beautiful purpose; they take up a task and accept their destiny so that their collective dream may be saved in one way or another. It is to Destiny that we now must turn.
Part 4 – The Mantles of Destiny
Destiny isn’t really a choice or a precondition, it is a request to take on the mantles of those stories which seek players. Destiny is the enrollment into greater paradigms of intelligence. In this paradigm you are no longer just yourself, but a character in a greater narrative, a hero, a sage, a villain. You become someone that drives the fate of that story, of which without you, becomes stagnant and unmoving. The problem with ignoring the requests of greater entities which bind you to them, is that sooner or later they will break you for your inattentiveness. But to listen and accept how you are enrolled, (or perhaps as a wizard does, through the inspiration of Magic, changes the hearts and minds of these greater beings, and being changed by them in turn), you become an ally to a greater power that not only seeks to dramatize your initiation into its story, but seeks to give you the powers necessary to play that story out into its fullest.
You see, the Gods create our paths into the future, and these paths are parts that we need to play in order to share in the greater meanings of our interbeing. In many ways, the reaching out to you, the calling that you feel inherent in your bones, that is the dream trying to connect with you. Unfortunately, so many people are terrified of the initiation process that they never step into their callings. Or worse, they are so preoccupied with developing anthropocentric forms of purpose that they abhor the Gods calls to take on their mantles.
Destiny is the path to power, for when the Gods share in a common purpose with you, they also share in the power that sees their purposes fulfilled. But this power is not something you wield for the sake of yourself, it is a power you wield for the sake of everyone. It is the power to save the dream that brings life into harmony. Power is only useful when it’s used wisely. And who is more wise than a God? This is the point of the hero’s journey. It is to take on the mantle of destiny that the Gods have placed upon you so that you may fulfill their narrative and save the dream that keeps them dreaming.
When you pull back the veil from your eyes, not only do you see the world, but the world sees you back. It recognizes your recognition. The dream knows it has been noticed. So it beckons you. It looks into you and sees a well of potential that needs direction. Destiny is its gift to you so that you may have a way to access that potential and grow in the process. Gods are beings that see you in all the varieties of potential you could possibly become, and because of this, they know you are not ready for the task at the end of the journey. Rather, they know you need a destiny that readies you for the purpose of the story; because destiny isn’t something you are ever ready for, it is something that readies you for the ending itself. Whether it is your story that ends or the ending of another chapter of your life, you may never know, but so often it is the fear of an ending that keeps us from accepting what we can become. The journey is what readies us for the destination. And when faced with the unknown, the most meaningful way to live is to step into it with a yearning to uncover the mystery. There is nothing worse than to pass up the chance to know your potential, for that is a path to a meaningless life.
The dreaming call of destiny pulls us forward as we flow into the oblivion of imagination. And all the while courage in the face of the narrative’s mystery is the key to reweaving heaven’s tapestry. Becoming of united mind and experiencing the sincerity of nature lifts the veil of disenchantment from the second sight of our Minds. And in Beauty we can see the fingerprints of spirits and gods. Destiny is the force generated by the ancestral power flows. The progression of the narrative into mysteries and the bound embeddedness of being a place within a place. Of being kin with the cosmos.
Power comes in all types and forms, but the ethics of its use are always the same. Power is made to flow, from the sun to the earth, from the sky to the plants, from the plants to the animals, from the animals to the soil, from the soil to the plants and so on. Endless fire flowing into an endless night. Waking up to the dream at the end of the world, we find an apocalypse of magic awaiting us. Revealed in all its glory is a language to which we may speak with the Dreaming Earth, the language of beauty and mutual inspiration that is Magic. A destiny that none of us are ready for, but a journey we are all dying to begin. I believe it is time we start trusting in the yearning of the Cosmic Beings that gift this power. I believe it is time we stop trying to provide a formula for control so that our destiny is assured like a cheap product on the shelf. Perhaps it is time we listen to older beings than ourselves in matters of the world. Perhaps it is time we pick up the mantles of destiny thrust upon us and trust in the Dreaming Earth to give us meaningful journeys with honorable ends.
To step into one’s destiny is to be given power and to accept that power’s responsibility. For your dream is now flowing with the greater dream, and you are now an infinite differential in the process of co-creation with the greater dreamer.
To accept destiny is to see the world with a sense of purpose and meaning. For destiny is the narrative of the Woven Song. The only way to change destiny is to embrace it and be a new source of meaning inside its dreaming mind.
Destiny is how the world makes room for you.