If, like me, some of your most important relationships have been with birds – or with trees or flowers, amphibians or reptiles, insects or stones, or particular places – you may well have been following recent debates about ‘new’ animism with great interest. This blog has been set up as a space for musing upon the broad theme of dialogue with sentient worlds, and thinking about the interface between animist spirituality, natural history, and cultural politics, in a postmodern Western context.
New posts will appear from time to time – when the demands of Life permit or the Muse insists. Recent published articles can be found here. Previous jottings include:
Responses to the natural world on our doorstep (and beyond): A Right Royal Visit, There’s Toads About, Yellow Bird’s Nest, Late Snow, Praising Limestone, Ground Nesting at Midsummer, Alienated Nature – Representing Invasive Species, Humankind and Ashkind/Shadow over the Ash, Something Astonishing is Happening, Age and Beauty, Some Portraits of Older Birch Trees. Midsummer Moments Summer’s End: Back to the Limestone. Beech Trees in Autumn. A Cloud Walk with Raven Conversation Operation Newt. Life Through a Lens.
Animism and ‘natural history’: Animists, Naturalists and Spirituality, Peregrine Dreams-1, Befriending Beech Trees, Birds and other People, Humankind and Ashkind/Shadow over the Ash, The Personhood of Trees, The Beauty of Vultures, Eco-Animism, Astrology, and Underworld Deities – Part One, Animism on T.V? Part 1 – Gordon Buchanan with Guillemots and Black Bears, and Part 2- Charlie Hamilton James in Peru, and Other Rainforest Stories. Jim Crumley on Eagles, Swans, and Bears. Entanglements in an Anthropocentric World, Thom van Dooren on Crows and Hospitality.
An Animist’s Bookshelf: Thoughts on Graham Harvey’s books: Handbook of Contemporary Animism, Animism, Respecting the Living World, and other titles and Food, Sex, and Strangers. On Emma Restall Orr’s Wakeful World, Molly Scott Cato’s The Bioregional Economy, a U.K View, Deborah Bird Rose’s Wild Dog Dreaming, Nigel Pennick’s Natural Magic, Peter Fenwick and Elizabeth Fenwick on End of Life Experiences, Geoffrey Samuel and Jay Johnston on Subtle Bodies, Andy Fisher’s Radical Ecopsychology, and Michael McCarthy’s The Moth Snowstorm. Wing Beats, British Birds in Haiku.
Animism in Poetry and Stories: Two Corvid Stories, Ted Hughes’ Crow and the Battle of the Birds, Ted Hughes, Shaman of the Tribe? Notes from the Tuning Fork, Ted Hughes and the Calder Valley, Part-1, Part -2, Part 3, and Part 4. The Poetry of John Burnside. Love in Death. Ted Hughes and Oracular Corvids. Wing Beats, British Birds in Haiku.
On Aspects of place: Ground Nesting at Midsummer and Walking by the Weorf Spirits of Place, Notes on Animism as Deep Political Ecology. As Summer Fades (memory, image, symbol). The Biggest lake in England, Once.
On Animism and social justice: Protecting the Vulnerable, Animism on T.V? Part 2, Charlie Hamilton James in Peru and other Rainforest Stories. Spirits of Place, Notes on Animism as Deep Political Ecology. Alternatives to Austerity. Nurturing the Emotional and Spiritual Base of our Communities. Protest in Context, an Astrological Note on the U.K 2015 General Election. Economy as Ecology, Postcapitalism in the Writings of J.K Gibson Graham. Austerity Watch – Cut to Death.
On extra-ordinary encounter and relationship: Peregrine Dreams – 2, Roe Deer Rite and The Common Kingfisher, a Personal Story, Birds and Me, Two Personal Stories, The Blackest Earth, Reclaiming Alchemy Telepathy (feeling at a distance): Animism, Healing, and Science. Am I Going Mad? A Note on Hearing Human and Other Voices. Spirit Possession, Deities, and Gnats. Near Death Experiences and Cultural Change.
On astrological showings: Equinox Greetings, Is Anybody Out There?, The Beauty of Vultures, Part 2 , Appropriating Sedna , Reconnecting Astrology with its Animist Roots, A Crescent Sun: Time for Some Citizen Astrology? , Protest in Context, An Astrological Note in the Wake of the 2015 U.K Election , Photographing the Underworld? A Note on NASA’s Pluto Fly-by , Taking Soul Birds Seriously.
On other aspects of animism: Animal Rites, Animism and the Moment of Death, Changing Men?, Those Cruel Wars, Part 1 and Part 2, We Are Stardust, A Quick Look at Paracelsus, and an ‘issue’ of the Animist Blog Carnival on Birds
On Animist Ethics: Respecting Other (Human) People.
The photograph of a Bee Orchid was taken at Conwy R.S.P.B reserve, in July 2012. Bee Orchids not only mimic the appearance of a female bee, but emit pheremones in order to lure male bees into ‘pseudocopulation’ as a method of pollination. The species’ northward spread is being monitored in relation to climate change.All photographs are my own unless otherwise stated. If you wish to use them please credit Brian Taylor.
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