The fact is we are born with these primary cracks, cleavages, our fault lines, our fractional crystalline structure, just like any stone, igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic, we are marked by strata, vesicles, textures (just look at our labyrinthine brains) and these portals and pathways lead into our deep cavernous interior, with unrecognized fossils, generations of petroglyphs, symbols of old, our clandestine chambers full of passionate magma, our ancient water pockets, veins mineralized by silver, tungsten, copper, or flakes of gold…these ways in allow erosion to carve and expose us causing our souls secrets to stand out like cinder cones, monuments, mesas and cliff faces―landmarks for others to encounter.  Somehow through weathering we become more visible.  We are seen.  

– Matthew Cochran, geologist and tracker

I think about the way we are spiraling out of ecological control and the concomitant disturbance in the way we are entwined in the imaginal fabric of our home communities, an invisible renting of human-nature bindings. I feel this rent reverberate in my own body like the sound of a deadening rush of footsteps going nowhere or an oncoming army, a speeded sense of urgency in a void. I began wondering how the landscape and habitat of a home community inform the collective identity, and how this tear in ecological viability affects us, and what new frameworks of thinking can bring such events into our ken.  As I move along the pathway, the storied existence of this ridge comes into relief: the sensorial surround of smell, sound, texture, sight, and rhythm open up the immediacy of the living landscape. Yet it is my sense of intimacy and ‘attachment’ that makes me part of, that weaves me into the landscape, particularizing and intensifying these moments—an attachment that is continually relinquished and returned back to the other, that cannot be possessed. 

– Laura Mitchell, PhD, art therapist and depth psychologist

I have come to wonder if the onflowing stream of holy images sacred to humanity work somehow to beckon us back to the world. Think about all those sprites, naiads, and spirits of grove and hill known to our pagan ancestors. Or of Turquoise Woman, Sun, Coyote, Bear, and Spider Woman. Today we call them complexes, personifications, and god-images when they don’t show up as symptoms or bark like dogmas charged with spiritual fervor; yet they always seem to hark back to their surroundings. Follow them far enough, and we find ourselves led outside, from the heights of Zeus and Olympus to the wild places of Artemis and the Persephonic depths of Hades. The world speaks to us in the language of the divine, with psyche as intermediary, not as source. 

– Craig Chalquist, PhD, ecopsychologist and depth psychologist