Towards an Imaginal Ecology

This essay, originally written in May 2013, has now been published in the inaugural issue of Re-Imagining Magazine, a publication created by the Chicago Wisdom Project.

“To speak, to ask to have audience today in the world, requires that we speak to the world, for the world is in the audience; it too is listening to what we say.”[1] With these words James Hillman opens his essay “Anima Mundi” in which he speaks of the return of soul to the world. Such is the task we face as a species, as human beings, as we learn to cultivate a different kind of relationship with our planet, the Earth which supports our very existence. But what eyes can we use to see the soul of the world? What languages can we speak to call out to the anima mundi? With what ears shall we listen to hear the Earth’s voices in reply?

To read the rest of this article please see: “Towards An Imaginal Ecology

Imaginal Ecology

[1] James Hillman, The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World (Putnam, CT: Spring Publications, Inc., 2007), 91.

10 Replies to “Towards an Imaginal Ecology”

  1. Towards an Imaginal Ecology: Going Deeper

    What is it that makes Becca’s reshaping and articulation of something so profound that it radiates with my mind?

    How is it that Miss Tarnas is susceptible to these new modes of understanding?

    Why does she concern herself with an ocean of consciousness that would make her an alien in a man’s world and a god in an archetypal world of transcendence and universal oneness?

    So what? After it is all said and done so what if one is able to transform themselves into a butterfly?

    That which binds or unifies the four questions above can be rendered as number one here below. For the One in that which Becca mysteriously ascends is through a chain of metaphysical principle, made possible through the faculty of imaginal perception, and in conjunction with all the other evolved psychic modes of understanding, it has allowed her to open to what is known as the middle way.

    “If everything becomes one, then where does the one return to…” and though the answer has remained enshrouded in silence for countless of aeons, it is through the mouth of a youth that the spark has been rekindled. The High Priestess now sits at the entrance of what every wisdom tradition has sought to realize and yet her flower of humility draws sustenance from the earth, claiming she is without answers, quoting this one and that one in attempt to reinforce the axiom of the enlightened philosophers who have tread the earth before her gentleness reached the season and time to behold in its fullness the signs of Heaven, that which primitive soul-creatures once beheld without pretence and distortion.

    A High Priestess she stands not, but sits in quiet reflection before the entrance of wisdom, open to all the forces that complete every form, a reflection of the great Archetype. For no one can pass through unless they give way to her gravity, “the dissolution of ego boundaries and reality structures.”

    Alas, a sojourner I am, a pilgrim on a long road to find out what I am, and here it is that all roads lead back to one. =)

    Again, thank you Becca for exercising the courage & virtue to put into form the lost language of the woodland Elf. For I believe this is “your realm, and the heart of the greater realm that shall be… the new age is begun; and it is your task to order its beginning and to preserve what must be preserved.”

    My spirit is with yours,


  2. I just bought Wild Law by Cormac Cullinan who is an ‘eco-lawyer’ – it’s about legislating for the rights of the non-human – fascinating. And as we are losing habitats and species at an alarming rate not to mention climate change it should be a priority on everyone’s agenda!

    1. “Wild Law” is definitely an important book for our time! I took a course at CIIS with Linda Sheehan called “Earth Law” where we read that book as part of the curriculum. Both Cormac Cullinan and Sheehan were inspired by Thomas Berry in their Earth jurisprudence work. I hope you enjoy reading it!

      1. I do know of Dark Mountain! I find their work very inspiring, and especially love the design for their website. When we were re-designing the website for Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology, I wanted it to echo what Dark Mountain had done. However, our website ended up taking on an aesthetic of it’s own which I am quite pleased with:
        It would definitely be a dream of mine someday to publish a piece with the Dark Mountain Project. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. Reblogged this on Laura Bruno's Blog and commented:
    A deep exploration of the power of the imaginal realm that connects story, Faerie, and Earth healing — this insightful piece weaves together Joanna Macy, Tolkien, and all of us. Thank you, Becca, for another beautiful articulation of the interconnectedness of all beings, including those most people don’t normally consider as “beings.”

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