We Are The Mythic Cartographers We Have Been Waiting For

Author and researcher Lynne Kelly has done tremendous work in investigating how landscape, memory, knowledge, lore, all intersect in traditional and indigenous systems. I recently finished her book the Memory Code, which I encourage you to buy, devour, and reap inspiration from. Not only has she personally investigated a myriad of traditional knowledge keeping (aka memory palace)… Read more »

Animism and Adam Frank’s ‘Mind, Matter, and Materialism’

first go to Adam Frank’s blog post regarding ‘Materialism’s claim that it alone is the obvious, the straightforward, and the sober explanation of consciousness’… …and then come back This blog post by astrophysicist professor Adam Frank both refreshes and maddens me. Because really, really, if we really want to question materialism (and make no mistake I think… Read more »

The Thermodynamics of Emotion

I’m starting a new project in support of the work I do here – if you’ve been following along and enjoying the posts and interviews on constructal law, and Immediate Moment Theory, come check out our new site for gatherings and news on this topic – The Thermodynamics of Emotion.

The Emotional Battery, Another Conversation with Kevin Behan

In this third conversation with Kevin we continue to explore a completely fresh approach to animal behavior, one that I think will become a fundamental part of our skill set as trackers.

Hold Your Answer Lightly

All “masters” (a difficult term but one I’ll use) eventually come to a particular ethic, the practice of holding all answers lightly. One can have passion, faith, move with confidence, but when it comes down it it all “answers” act as doorways to the next layers of question – or they hold you back. By… Read more »

Grief For Breakfast

Thoughts inspired by this Washington Post article: Historian believes bodies of 800 babies, long-dead, are in a tank at Irish home for unwed mothers “God knows who else is in the grave,” one anonymous source told the Daily Mail. “It’s been lying there for years and no one knows the full extent of the total… Read more »

Walking in the Garden of Wonders

What is Magic? In an interview with David Charvet in the October 1999 Magic magazine, Doug Henning speaks of his first awareness of the contrast between the perspectives of the performer and traditional tribal wizards: “…I was invited by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to perform on Christmas shows for the troops. At one point on… Read more »

Animal Behavior Science Through the Lens of the Heart

An Inquiry Driven by Both the Heart and Brain Tune in to the Art of Tracking radio show where, with host Garth Olson, I interview Kevin Behan, author of Your Dog is Your Mirror and Natural Dog Training. We dive deep into an approach towards understanding animal behavior (including the human animal!) that requires both our… Read more »

Language Making Nature: Week 3

And our adventure goes on! With three new chapters this week, our book group discussing David Lukas’ Language Making Nature continues to generate deeply meaningful conversations. This week we read aloud and discussed the chapters Blossoming Language, Wisdom Sits in Places, Bibliography, and Patterns in Nature. We had an extensive conversation about when artistic creations feel… Read more »

Language Making Nature: Notes from the Book Club

You may remember I began facilitating a small group of peers in reading aloud and playing with the ideas found in David Lukas’ book Language Making Nature. We have made it 6 chapters in (out of 75!): Voices and Gods, Crossing Boundaries, Three Dimensional Words, Contractions, Word Manufacturing, Word Boundaries. I present some images of my language play… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    What Deserves Knowing

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    The world of tracking still appears small – but compared to just five years ago it has grown huge. Huge enough to contain many conflicting opinions  – but then again, almost from the beginning, trackers differed on ‘what is worth knowing’ [sic] – what deserves our attention and curiosity. The larger world of science worries and… Read more »

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    the Art of Tracking Radio Show: Design in Nature with Adrian Bejan

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    Join host Garth Olson and me as we interview Duke University Professor Adrian Bejan, author of Design in Nature, on the new Constructal Law of physics, which I have blogged a bit about. I think we all blew each other’s minds several times during the show. Listen here. And consider subscribing to the Art of… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    “Hesh!”, or, “the Heroic Roadkill”

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    Every once in a while I run across the Dead, lying in gutters, their faces sometimes peaceful, sometimes locked in a final grimace of pain, eyes milky or shriveled shut. I almost always stop to witness and pay my respects. A teacher of mine, Martín Prechtel, talks about an old Tzutujil Mayan practice of throwing… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Endless Blessings

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    Play games, my friends, play games. Cultural creation starts with play – and matures as structured play, what we call “a game”. The folks doing the most important work culturally I often find in the world of games. I offer up Bernie De Koven, of DeepFun, as a fantastic example of this. I’ve long known… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    The Paradox That Wasn’t

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    The animated video below explains “the Fermi Paradox”, a paradox only to the infantile or insane. The idea that knowing the high probability of life on any one of billions of habitable worlds, that it must naturally beg the question, “Where are all the ‘advanced civilizations’ – where are all the spaceships?” The madness of this… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Accelerating Self-Decolonization With A New View of Life

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    My ancestors go back through Ireland, England, Denmark, Germany, Austria, all the way back to the cradle of the earliest form of my recognizable ancestry on the Central Asian and Eastern-European steppe. My people worked for empire and civilization for a long, long time. And so decolonization looks very different for me than for indigenous peoples… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    High Contrast Thinking

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    In my opinion, you can “be right”, or you can learn. As simple as that. The pursuit (or belief in) Rightness closes doors, closes perception, closes awareness. The avoidance of Wrongness creates hesitation, cowardice, smallness. It diametrically opposes bravery and discovery. Rightness also misleads, because the universe simply doesn’t work that way. However, I’ve come… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Literacy and Tracking

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    A person could argue that most of the living world “reads” constantly. Like introverts in the library, we never want leave the constant unfolding stories carried by winds, scented earth, star positions, ocean currents, body languages. All beings – whether bears or bees, clouds or cormorants, lichen or lithic giants slumbering under the sky, we all… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    The Landscape Within A Track

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    Controversy swirls around author, teacher, and tracker Tom Brown, Jr., I can’t deny it. As founder and head instructor-for-life at The Tracker School in New Jersey, he has made a career out of having strong opinions without any apologies. And yet one thing, that he said in the very first class I ever took, has… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Serve Your Community – Find the Lost and the Missing

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    Recently attended my second class with man tracker Fernando Moreira. Had an amazing time – night tracking with flashlights, blind-folded tracking by feel, tracking across debris, sand, grass, gravel, approaching vehicles in a search and rescue scenario, tracking as a team, and on and on. In my current opinion, every tracker must have the ability to… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    The CoMC Archives Are Now A Hard-Copy Book

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    I tried the zine format and it didn’t quite work – the zines came out very thick, over a hundred pages on several issues. So, remembering that god created bound books for just this purpose, I’m going the Lulu route. You can buy the gathered archives from 2004-2013, over 500 pages of animistic musings, for $35.00,… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    The CoMC Archives Are Now A Zine

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    Alright, I’ve changed my strategy here – I know there are those of you interested in a more readable form of the old writing here, but I’ve gotten very few buyers of the ebooks. So, I decided to experiment with making the ebooks into a zine format. The first zines I’m making are of course… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking, Tracking Journal

    For the Love of Tracking

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    The College of Mythic Cartography originally came into this world to really celebrate the interface between Story and Land, and as a love letter to animal tracking. It has grown beyond that to encompass much more, but its roots lie there. For all that, I don’t talk much about the practice of animal tracking –… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    The CoMC, years 2004-2005, Now In Ebook Format

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    So, I’ve been working on making the archives of this blog more accessible, and more readable. To that end, I’ll release ebooks for each year, combining years for those times when other priorities distracted me too much to keep blogging. Each book should run at least 40 pages. If enough folks buy them, I’ll combine… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    To Tell – And Retell – A Story

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    One of the few other folks blogging about rewilding animist stories – meaning, as non-indigenous, long-ago colonized people who perpetuate colonization to this day, re-indigenising and de-colonizing our oldest tales, on a never-ending path of re-becoming traditional for we who have long forgotten our original traditions – Heather Awen at Eaarth Animist responded to my… Read more »