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 »

The Land Makes Language that Makes the Land

I recently discovered a book that I have waited and waited – lacking the scholarship, craft, and patience myself to write such a thing – for some pugnacious and insightful soul to write. A book on reclaiming language as a folk art, as an engine of perception, as a cord connecting us to our ancestral selves, and… Read more »

Fairies, Lived Experience, and Meaning

I recently ran across a lovely talk by English historian of folklore and religion Ronald Sutton, wherein he showcases a remarkable poise and generosity to both the scientific tradition which trained him and the lived experiences of the people who live on this wild and wondrous world. Sponsored by the Manx Heritage program on the Isle of Man,… Read more »

  • The Family Round

    The Wandering Free Families

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    I watched the movie the New World the other day; it concerns the story of the woman we call ‘Pocahontas’, her people, and the Jamestown colony. While watching the story unfold, something really hit me; something so fundamentally different between the two cultures, something so at the root of everything that matters to me, as… Read more »

  • Games, The Family Round

    The Eloquence Showdown

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    Many versions of this game exist. Host vs. Guest Pick two sides, randomly or let them self-organize. You want the sides to number roughly the same. If no intrinsic Host/Guest role exists in your situation, flip a coin to determine which role goes to which side. Pick a team name, corresponding to a natural element… Read more »

  • Animist Language, Games

    Chinuk Jargon

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    If you live in the bioregion of Cascadia (and even if you don’t), you need to learn Chinuk Jargon! Not only do place-names across the region suddenly illuminate themselves once you’ve learned the trade language of Chinuk Jargon, but the language has always served as a cross-cultural talk for those living and working in this… Read more »

  • Aenigmatics and Riddle-Mastery

    Workshop – “A Supper of Raven’s Wings”: Riddles, Dreams, Myths, and Landscape

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    Join instructor Willem Larsen in unraveling the web that ties ancient Spoken Traditions with the human experience in the mystery and beauty of the land. Explore how far your senses can reach, the capacity of your memory to re-experience past realities with astounding clarity, your intrinsic ability to speak and write fluent poetry of place,… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Mythic Cartography Explained, Part Six

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    The Empathic Way cont’d: Awareness, Acceptance, Choice Places have Needs, Feelings, and Ways too. Life on a mountain, differs from Life in a valley. Life in a desert face different challenges than Life in the ocean. A vital aspect of Mythic Cartography involves seeing the spirit bundle of a place. To live in a place,… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Royal Blood

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    Call me King of my People I rule no one, yet all their will comes together in me I make no decisions, yet here I speak with you decisively I have no demands, yet of my strength and weakness I will sing sweetly A kindness done to me, you do to all of my kind…. Read more »

  • Deep Mythology

    Mythic Cartography Explained, Part Five

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    The Empathic Way cont’d: The Ways of Needs and Feelings Everything that Lives, has Needs. Everything that has Needs, has Feelings that signal those Needs. To meet its Needs, every living thing has chosen a Way. You can also call this Way, a “strategy”. For example, cougars live solitary lives, and hunt mostly through sight… Read more »

  • Deep Mythology

    Going E-Primitive: Writing in E-Prime

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    E-prime refers to the english language, without the verb to be. I’ve written everything on this website in e-prime, excepting a handful of old articles and stories (A Boy Named Num, Gold Coins For Copper Pennies, and one or two others.) Indigenous (non/pre-civilization) languages all seem to lack a to be verb. In fact, it… Read more »

  • Deep Mythology

    Mythic Cartography Explained, Part Four

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    The Empathic Way of Needs and Feelings The Universe consists of two kinds of beings: those we call Living…. and those we call Living, Growing. Everything in our community, Rock, Tree, River, Sky, Dandelion, Fox, all of them pulse with Life. All beings that Live, have Needs. All beings that have Needs, have Feelings. When… Read more »

  • Deep Mythology

    MYTHIC CARTOGRAPHY EXPLAINED, PART THREE

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    How do you do Mythic Cartography? How do you recreate and maintain Mythmaps? Well, now we get to the meat of it. In Lovesick Gods of Heaven and Earth we talked about the line our modern culture crossed, however long ago, from the living world as Family, to the abstract rule of Gods. From natural… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    A Storyteller’s Welcome

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    Welcome to the ways
    in which

    I, a storyteller
    born and bred
    now march among the living,
    and among the dead

  • Deep Mythology

    Mythic Cartography Explained, Part Two

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    What does Mythic Cartography mean? I developed the term Mythic Cartography to describe “the act of creating and maintaining sacred places, sacred paths, and sacred maps”. Some call these places, paths, and maps “sacred geography”. And the relationship we have to them defines our relationship to the entire universe. So Mythic Cartography involves the ongoing… Read more »

  • Deep Mythology

    Mythic Cartography Explained, Part One

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    Why Mythic Cartography? An abundance of resources exist, at this point in history, to explain and set the stage for this fundamental understanding, here on heels of climate change, mass extinctions, and reckless expansive human population growth: Something has to change. The way we live here, on the Earth, has to change. Our situation has… Read more »

  • Deep Mythology

    The Heart Shaped-Bed At The Beginning of Time

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    [Darkness. The void at the beginning of time. A SPARK enters, dressed in flowing white robes, androgynous, wearing the mask of an ancient face with long hair.] SPARK: Small, I wander, playing alone amidst the VAST DARK. My bright feet step here, and there, touching nothing as I drift. In sweet loneliness, I have seeded… Read more »

  • Deep Mythology

    The Voyage of the S.S. Palingenesia

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    A vast ocean. Deep blue sky enriched with sunshine. Sounds of wind and water. The light hits the waves with a million fragments of brilliant, piercing points of radiance. They dazzle and bewilder your vision. The sparkle on the waves, reminds you of the sparkle in your father’s eyes… Down, now. Silently, diving beneath the… Read more »