Saturday, February 20, 2016

Be the bioregion, not a bioregional animist.



One thing I've found in people new to BRA, is that there is a draw to plug animists, or animistic tradition or practice into BRA, or use BRA as an attempt to explain it.
European witchcraft is BRA, this tribes tradition is BRA, that is BRA.
When I wrote about BRA it came from a vision during a San Pedro ceremony, a vision I actively engaged with for many years in further dialogue with the spirit of place. If was not an academic way of describing animism or other peoples animism.
So is the animism of the Shipibo people of the Amazon bioregional animism? Is the Cherokee peoples animism bioregional animism, is it there to define or describe their animism and beliefs? No, and if it was that would not be respecting their personal sovereignty to speak for themselves. Ultimately each peoples animism is their own, it is not my job or anyone elses to label it, other then their own. If a people of animist heritage see some of their own way in bioregional animism it may be because animists are animists across cultures. But they are their own animists. Not to be put under some label such as bioregional animism.

In that respect, my goal in sharing my vision and communion with place, was to share that vision NOT so that everyone can go around claiming to be bioregional animists. Or to follow my communities animist relational dynamic. This has been a trend over the last few years, and its sadly missed the point of BRA. But to find their own through the example I've drawn with BRA.
In some ways I can blame face book for this, we had a wonderful community on tribe.net that is still online but unused. So the information is there for people to explore, but when that community became interrupted by people moving to FB, things became disjointed, people that were new to BRA split off started blogging about it, and sadly people started to focus on identifying with being bioregional animists. This was never, ever the real motivation behind this work. The real goal was not to create BRA communities or TO USE bioregional animism as a way explain everything academically as bioregional animism but to help people through BRA, to find their own animist practice regionally through developing intimate relationships with place and the other than human persons of place, as well as themselves as the spirit of place (genius loci) itself.
This allows the spirit of place to work with one, as place itself, to allow newly emergent synergistic systems of relationship to emerge like a seedling from the dark earth. The spirit of place physically, emotionally, and spiritually moves us then, guides us, is us, and new animist ways are formed, not from human creativity but through co-creative expression of humans in synergy with the intelligence of the life place, or bio-region.
Through acting in synergy with place, the land itself as us names itself what it is, it claims it's own sovereignty, it's own unique self expression and definition as something unique in time and place.
BRAs entire point was to help new traditions to form, not to be bioregional animism, but to identify as new expression of humans as one with the intelligence of place with its own names and identity for itself.
We bring many things to a relationship, and through bioregional animism we bring our life experiences, our history and heritage to our relationship with place and that shapes these newly formed emergent systems. Nature throws nothing away.
So we find people today integrating their historical and traditional practices and beliefs into bioregional animism. This is great and exciting work, traditional witchcraft practices, folk traditions, animist practices from other regions, shamanic practices, adapting to where they are, BRA, is a way of relating to that adaption in such a way that they allow the spirit of place to help guide that process, that they humbly walk behind that spirit that is so much larger than them and includes the entire biotic system they are a intimate part of. The hope is that the newly emergent systems are not a product of pure human creativity, but human and spirit of place synergy. My hope is that through further writing and through past writing on the subject BRA can help guide people to do that, or to find that this is already what they are doing and find a great deal of inspiration and validation that others are as well.

And so again, I implore you, do not identify as a bioregional animist, but ask the land what it is, as you

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