Rewilding and Conservation Biology
Rewilding is a large scale, intervention process of restoring ecosystems back to their endemic, native state, by re-introducing native plants and animals and specifically, top predators. The word “rewilding” has several decades of history, as well as several claims to it’s inception. I seek to use this word in my Celestial work, for it’s evocative efficiency in expressing my core mission, in just three little syllables. To learn more about current conservation efforts, visit the Rewilding Institute, of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
I read the stars and translate what I perceive, into paintings and into words. This work - the hands and the feet of my contribution - joins my life with a rising tide, an oceanic swell of people alive on the planet today, who labor to transition humanity back to our natural place in the environment. Together, we will restore the whole of the environment to health, when we establish our balanced place in the ecosystem as a conscious, language based species, and the dominant, top predator.
As top predator, no animal exists on this planet to restore our natural place in the ecosystem, so we look, as we always have, to the skies. We look to the natural order of the Cosmos, of the stars and the planets and our harmonious movements among them, to learn again, who we truly are. And then, from that authentic and rightful position, the builders and the business people, the artists and the architects, the teachers and the bankers, the musicians and the mothers, the scientists and the politicians, can make different choices and take different actions, on behalf of our ravaged environment.
In August of 2009, I received the honor of spending about a month in the wilderness of the Gila National Forest, on a botanical and wildlife sanctuary, with Kiva Rose, her little wildling, and her partners, Loba and Wolf ( Jesse Wolf Hardin ).
Wolf originally purchased the land and began the long effort of restoring this precious piece ravaged wilderness. He coined the phrase “Rewilding” in the mid eighties, as an expression of following the direction of one’s own inner compass. He lives his life as service to Humanity and The Planet, to points most would call the very edges of extreme, and pure, undying devotion. In an interview with Amber Magnolia Hill, Wolf talks about his first notions, as a child in military school, of what it is to be an authentic human being, and how this authenticity is inseparable from our intrinsic wildness.
While in Military school, he would climb up an Avocado tree during their marches…
“it was the only tree in the heavily walled military school yard, and I watched them while snickering up above, at the degree of, not only their obedience, but the degree to which obedience prevented them from independent thinking, actually prevented them from even being aware of my absence, or from being aware of anything besides their feet and what they’d been told to do. So indicative of their parents in fact, who are doing the same for jobs or to fit in to society in other levels.
And from that tree, I was able to look over the wall to the other side, on what may have been one of the last undeveloped lots in the city, where there were kids who were either too poor to go to school or had ditched school. They were running around, making animal noises, jumping on each other and hooting and hollering and grab assing and sexual innuendos and back and forth - an entire fantasy world, an entire mythology that was playing out right in front of me and constantly creating and developing. While on the other side, was this endless marching where everybody is putting their foot down at the exact same time.
I think that was probably the first awareness I had of the absolute stark degree to which what we are, as natural beings, is a part of nature, and what we become in order to become domestic, dulled obedient creatures of society. And that really, those are the two choices that come up for humanity, as well as for us as individuals in our various existential and spiritual crises.
Wild is our original state.
Wild means, rather than out of control, it means self - directed. Rather than brash or loud or abrasive, wild means, dancing to your own tune. All of the natural world is wild and therefore it’s all authenitic, it’s all acting out of it’s own natures, but how few of us humans truly act out of our own nature? How many of us are even aware of, or can define our needs, let alone do what it takes to meet those needs?”
From that day to this, I could never have predicted how my experience in the canyon would inform my work with Astrology, and as I tell this tale now for the very first time, it’s intricate weavings wind through the hidden places of my mind and my heart and into my immediate and embodied memory. I craft this story now, from a profoundly painful time in my life, into literature, to share with the world.