Rik Garrett‘s “Earth Magic” photo series has recently been collected into a book, and is now for sale here (US) and here (International). “Earth Magic” portrays women in nature, in a raw, but very natural way. The women are one with the landscape of the wood, mysterious weavers of the weird within the forest’s primordial depths.
In the making and binding of the book, Garrett was inspired by the style of the Malleus Maleficarum, which was a sort of pocket-book for witch hunters in the 15th century. Garret’s intent is obviously more positive, but his theme is similar. If you are looking for witches in the forest – this is what they might look like.
Each book contains 13 photos (like the number of members in a coven) and each book is different. The pictures are picked from a pool of 30 total photos and randomized. So even if you buy two books, they will most likely be different.
Here are some photos from the Earth Magic series:
Nature Is Speaking – Julia Roberts is Mother Nature | Conservation International (CI)
Nature has been here for billions of years. She has made and broken species greater than us. Our actions will determine our fate. Nature is prepared to evolve, are we?
After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on – have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear – what remains? Nature remains. ~ Walt Whitman
“Once we were strong; we lived as gods in nature; but we became arrogant and greedy. we consumed other cultures, instead of killing them, we enslaved them in our arrogance only to let them falsely assimilate and poison us with age old hatred; we forgot to listen to the winds and to watch the world grow; we fed ourselves with lust not born of flesh, but rather the lust of possession. Once we were strong; we lived as gods in nature’s bosom. Our folk and faith we believed, were from heaven and soil. Our heaven so far away, our soil we could and did.. kneel upon. Once we were strong in the hunt and in the harvest, slowly and surely we will starve and die. and in the final words of our generations not yet born they will wonder and cry ‘how did we ever have anything.'”
Many of man’s greatest inventions are mere mimicry of nature. Have you ever noticed that the flight of a helicopter resembles that of a dragonfly or hummingbird? Hovering birds such as eagles, vultures and pelicans inspired the designs of a plane. Reptiles basking in the sunlight inspired solar panels (Human Inventions Inspired By Nature).
Now we are at a critical moment in history where once again, we need to learn from nature. As climate change accelerates and the modern world becomes more polluted – we need to learn once again how to coexist with the Earth. Total destruction of the environment is not a necessity for progress unlike what we have been lead to believe. So how can we live on the planet without jeopardizing our own future?
Here Are Some Lessons From Nature
Recycle: Nothing is wasted in the natural world. All excrement and decay is brought back into the Earth and reused as a fertilizer for plant growth or food for insects and worms. Nature’s “trash” becomes a treasure when it adds new life and richness to the soil. We need to find ways to recycle our own trash back into the economy. We can do this via donating old goods rather than throwing them away, having a compost pile, recycling on a regular basis and reusing many of our goods.
The Perfect Balance of Order and Chaos: Whatever type of government or system we choose for ourselves. It must be one that benefits the planet as well as the people. It must benefit the ecosystem through which we live and lead to the creation of new life, even if this means the destruction of old ideas. Right now most people live under destructive governments with destructive world systems. These systems are powered by war, terror and the destruction of the planet. If these governments cannot reform themselves, they will self destruct and something else will take their place.
The principles of Humanism and Christianity are not sacrosanct. They are not the ideals for the whole planet and everyone on it. We must switch to a system that follows nature’s law, for nature is a complex of chaos and order that protects the whole of life.
Nature Creates Its Own Energy: We must find sources of energy that are renewable and replenishing. We must invest more in solar and wind power, because these are sources that do not damage the surrounding landscape. There is no such thing as “clean coal,” “clean nuclear” or “natural gas.” All of these sources are dirty and toxic to human health. We must phase out coal, nuclear, fracking and oil like we would wean a drug addict off their addiction. Solar and wind will be the vegetables and fruits to a system pigging out on alcohol and potato chips.
I invoke the land of Ireland
Shining, shining sea
Fertile, fertile mountain
Abundant river, abundant in waters
Fish abounding waters
Fish abounding sea
Irruption of fish! Fish there
Bird under wave! Great fish
Crab hole! Irruption of fish
Fish abounding sea
Among the ancient Celtic people, there was a primitive nature magic that permeated the land. The verse above is a proclamation from the poet of the Milesians, Armairgen, before the Milesians invaded Ireland.
WORSHIP OF THE ELEMENTS
It was common for folk to invoke the elements when taking an oath. People could swear by heaven, earth, sun, fire, moon, sea, land, day, night etc, and these things would punish the oath breaker if they did not keep their word. Even the Gods would swear by the elements. Such oaths existed at a time when people believed the elements to be a divine force. Similar beliefs were practiced by the Greeks and Scandinavians.
It makes sense that people would worship the basic objects of nature. As the comedian George Carlin said in one of his sketches, “I’ve begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It’s there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, and a lovely day.”
SPIRITS OF THE LAND
Yet the Celts also populated the Earth with spirits, both friend and foe. Some of these spirits may exist as fairy in a meadow or as a demonic being haunting a lonely place. The druids were known to send forth mischievous spirits called siabra. These were spectral bodies they could raise from the ground. And of course there are the The Tuatha Dé Danann (a mythical race of people who were defeated, moved underground and resided within the Earth as spirits or fairies).
One of the most important elements of nature to the primitive folk was the moon. The phases of the moon offered an easy way to measure time. The Celtic year was lunar before it became solar. There are still many cultures today that use a lunar calendar (the Islamic calendar for example). Night also preceded the day.
The moon dictated when certain tasks would be carried out. The moon waxes and wains, therefore it was a symbol of growth and decay. Crops would be sown on a waxing moon and harvested on the waning moon. If you needed something to grow – you would do it while the moon was waxing. If you needed to finish a task, you did it when the moon was waning.
In Greek Culture, Artemis and Diana – the moon goddesses – had power over all growing things.
There is evidence that the primitive peoples of Europe may have worshiped animal deities: Wolf Gods, Bear Gods, Deer Gods and Bird Gods. The current theory is that as humans became more agricultural and asserted more power over the land – anthropological deities replaced animal deities. As nomads, humans were more subject to the whims of nature. The might and power of a bear could certainly seem divine. Yet as a farmer, man not only asserted himself over the land – but began to assert himself more in the spiritual realm as well (Native American and Hindu Mythology are rife with traditions of Animal Deities).
Also, as the Romans took over the Continental Celts (The Gauls), they forced the Gauls to abandon their more animalistic deities in favor of purely human ones.
What is the evidence that points to the worship of animal Gods? Many of the Gods the European pagans worshiped were shape-shifters who could turn into animals. The Morrigan, the phantom queen of battle, strife and fertility, often took the form of a raven or a crow. Moccus was a Swine Agriculture God. Epona was a Gallic/Roman horse Goddess. Then there is Cernunnos the horned God, a liminal God connected to the hunt, the underworld and sexuality.
Even in their more humanized form, certain Gods still had an association with an animal familiar. For example, there is the wise Roman Goddess Minerva who would often be associated with an owl. Even today the owl carries a connotation of learning (just watch Winnie The Pooh).
Most of the information in this post came from “The Religion of the Ancient Celts,” by J.A. MacCulloch. If you go to the listed link, you can read his ebook for free. A great comprehensive source on the religion of the Celts.
Nature represents a struggle for power, an exertion of will over one’s surroundings.
This is the beating heart of existence.
Anyone who has spent any length of time observing the wild understands this fact.
Wolves will fight a bloody struggle over who will be the alpha of the pack.
Even a vine will overtake the trees and flowers of the forest, oppressing what it can in order to live.
Dominance and submission are the natural state of all things. All relationships are a struggle for power in their own way. Even in the intimacy of romance – there is always one person who holds more power than the other. There is a chaser and a person being chased. Of course nothing is so black and white – but the power struggle is there nonetheless.
Magick is the most primeval form of the human will to achieve this power.
Anthropologists have found that the evidence of ritual is as old a humanity itself.
Druids and shamans of old wandered the forest, and learned how wield their power over the spiritual realm. It is said that a true shaman could command rain from the heavens, invoke fertility from the earth, ask for victory in battle and discern visions of the future from the flight of birds or patterns in smoke.
One who could manipulate the spirits, held a fire that an army of men could not smolder.
Over time priests realized that they could control large groups of people, towns and civilizations through the arcane power of spirituality.
Eventually Christianity came on the scene. Priests told their followers that they must submit themselves to God’s Will. In Pagan times, a powerful, strong, cultured and intelligent person was superior. Yet in Christian times, leaders advocated meekness, mildness and mindless submission to authority. In short: the qualities of the ideal slave.
But of course, there was always a Shepard needed to stand watch over subservient sheep: A pope, priest, etc.
Through the tool of organized religion a small group of elite old men could command several civilizations to do their bidding.
In the Christian world, people were convinced that nature was a mere tool for man’s use. And within this world, the machinery of the industrial revolution took place. Man developed science, a most crude magick, in an attempt to subvert the elements and conquer the Earth. Man arrogantly believed that he could control the rains, the floods, pestilence and fertility through the use of his science. The druids of old attempted these things too, but understood that they were working with a complex life force.
Two competing world ideologies emerged from the industrial era: Capitalism and Socialism. While they may seem as opposites, they are both two sides of the same coin. Socialism spreads the lie that all men are equals and that if they just all act the same they can live in a harmonious and peaceful world. Capitalism is the notion that life is a meritocracy – where all men have an equal chance to grab their slice of the pie if they just work hard enough. Yet in both systems, a small group of elites command large swaths of the population. Much like the Christian Shepard commanding his passive flock.
In ancient times, a just king would rule over a population of people. If this king became corrupt, the people would rise up and kill him. People today are too passive to do such a thing, even when their oh so wise Shepard is leading them to the slaughter house.
The forces of Capitalism and Socialism competed with one another over who could make the most progress, not realizing that the progress they so desired was an idol and empty prize. Like a tireless leviathan, the machinery of civilization churns on, and we cogs on the spokes of the wheel of torment. We are consuming and destroying all the resources we need to survive: poisoning the skies, the water, and the soil of the Earth. We have killed a large majority of the species of animal on this planet.
So does this mean we are winners in nature’s game over power? Hardly.
Even the most blood thirsty wolf will not kill all the deer in the forest. For the wolf knows that some deer must survive in the future so that it will have a continuous food source.
What compels the wolf to know this fact? Text books on Biology? No. Primitive, gut instinct. It is instinct that calls flocks of birds to migrate to the warmer south in winter time. It is instinct that compels a mother bear to viciously defend her cubs. Instinct that sends the animals of the forest into a frenzy in the face of a coming storm. Instinct is the primordial call, the knowledge that shoots forth from the back of the mind like a weed bursting from Earth. A subconscious truth communicated in dreams. It is the hairs that prickle on the neck when one is about to walk down a dark alley. It is that feeling when you wake up in the morning and know that something bad is going to happen.
Art, music and spirituality are the expression of the human subconscious. This is our version of calling to one another in the forest. Within the world of art and music we are awakening to a coming storm. There is a global realization that the current culture we live in is synthetic, unnatural – and not just dysfunctional – but evil.
Yet the power of nature is persistent. Weeds and vines will always threaten to overtake a well manicured garden. As people emerge from a Christian World Order, the power of sex and violence too will overwhelm our nice neat little astroturf lives.
Shamans will walk the forest again and hear the call of the wild. They will open their eyes to the darkening storm clouds and warn others of the thunderous tumult to come. These shamans will manifest themselves as artists, writers and musicians – rather than as politicians. For art and music are hundreds of years ahead of politics. They will be masters of listening to their instincts – to the voice of nature – the primeval power of the forest. Those who listen to this voice will survive. Others will try to numb it with drugs, alcohol, and television – they will perish.
We must hear this call and return to a natural system. A system in which we realize our own power within and pay attention to our instincts. We must understand that the heart of nature is a brutal struggle for survival and be strong enough to endure.
Are you a passive sheep my friend, or a hungry wolf? Does the ferocious gleam of the predator yet shine in your eye?
The music for this video is from Behemoth’s “Ov The Fire And The Void.”
The Bacchae is a story of drunkness, intoxication and self destruction. In this story, the cult of Apollo reigns over all. It is a cult of order and society. Yet where it once represented ideas of enlightenment and knowledge, it later came to represent a politically corrupt authority, an authority that was drunk off of power and wealth. The ruling authority was a senile group that was far removed from the people and the Earth – and stuck in their own ways.
The God of chaos and hedonism, Dionysus enters the situation to shake things up. There is a vacuum of power into which he surges. As a long haired, non conformist, he arrives at the capital city with an angry mob. This demigod is arrested, interrogated, mocked and thrown into prison.
Yet the authorities could not imprison the violent forces of the primeval. An earthquake leveled the royal palace, destroying the symbol of the Apollonian World Order. Wild women tore cattle to bits with their own hands. Then these women proceeded to dismember the current authorities just like cattle. They played ball with their arms and feet, and then impaled their heads on sticks.
Our current world order is only 200 years old. It’s currently headed towards a path of destruction with its unsustainable policies. In a vacuum that lacks true and noble authority, a void will consume all and release a force of bloody revolution.
Everyone has those days when they get overwhelmed
Overwhelmed by the stress of the daily grind
You had a fight with a lover
You have a soul crushing job
You’re tired of being trapped at a desk and breathing the same recycled air
You work in customer service and have to wear a shit eating grin to people you don’t like
Going out and emerging yourself in nature
If there is any around you
Walking on a forest path
Looking up at an eagle overhead
Gazing over a pond that reflects the sky
Reminds you that your life and your problems are just a small part of a complex system
That there is a world billions of years old all around you
And that the problems you stress yourself about
Will disappear like a drop of water in the stream of time.