We discuss Bill Plotkin’s work as a depth psychologist and wilderness guide exploring the stages of a soul-centered, ecocentric life. We begin by examining his definition of the soul as a person’s “ultimate place” in the universe, taking up the question of what we can learn from comparing the human soul to the concept of the ecological niche. From there, we delve into the world of archetypes to discover the deepest impulses of the human psyche that move us through childhood, adolescence, adulthood and elderhood.
We share some fascinating examples of how cultures from all over the world have looked to the sun, moon and stars for guidance in crafting meaningful liturgical calendars. Ali wishes everyone a Happy Diwali before delving into the mysteries of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, and Jeff ponders the lost zodiac of the ancient Celts and how the Coligny Calendar and the Gundestrup Cauldron can give us clues to how our ancestors might have seen the stars. In our Pro Extension, we bring you the stirring conclusion to the saga of the ages — and we find out why exactly everybody hates hipsters.
We continue our conversation about the cyclical nature of growth and decay in ecology and human society. We wrap up our exploration of Doug Pagitt’s book, Church in the Inventive Age, with an in-depth examination of the Inventive Age and how it’s shaping our ideas, values, aesthetics and tools in powerful new ways. What defines shared sacred space in an age of virtual worlds and virtual lives? How does this new vision of religious organization and leadership lead us to more sustainable, eco-friendly spiritual traditions? And what are some of the potential problems that might arise as a result? Then, we look at the evolving nature of the American Dream and how it shapes the political and social landscape of whole generations.
We try very hard not to talk about the election and its aftermath, instead exploring the fascinating subject of ethnoastronomy. We delve into some of the unique relationships human cultures have had with the stars throughout history, including a look at the Mescalero Apache and the Australian Aborigines. In our Pro Extension, we turn from astronomy to astrology for an in-depth analysis of President Obama’s birth chart and what it says about his presidency, and a brief look at how Pluto influences the attitudes of whole generations — that is, until the Mercury Retrograde gets the best of us and crashes our equipment!
Our discussion has been so narrow, our mainstream discourse so dismissive of third party candidates and their platforms, that most voters don’t even know what questions they’re asking or which solutions they’re offering. When the only perspectives the gatekeepers allow to flood the national airwaves are those of Big Red and Big Blue, the only reaction left to many observers is to pick apart their positions, ignore their overwhelming similarities, and squabble over their minute differences. But when a third, or fourth, or fifth, or five hundredth perspective is allowed to come forward, championed by some passionate groups that coalesce around a common goal or a common cause, suddenly we are not faced with a false and unrealistic black-and-white choice. Suddenly there are many shades of grey.
We look at the cyclical nature of growth and decay in ecology and human society. We begin by checking out the salmon who are now returning to the creek a couple of miles from our home here in Seattle — their life cycle, humanity’s role in destroying or restoring their hatching grounds, and what these fish can teach nascent religious communities concerned with sustaining a love of nature from one generation to the next. Then we turn from fish to the fishers of men: Christianity. The church is undergoing massive changes as it struggles to accommodate technological developments and rising environmental consciousness. We look at the theories from the emergent Christian movement, including Phyllis Tickle and Doug Pagitt, who think that larger cycles of social change, which have been at work for thousands of years, are driving the church’s development; and we talk about the implications of those social changes for other religious and spiritual groups, and for society at large.
We revel in stories of creepy critters, cyborgs, zombies and vampires (including the gut-wrenching vampire squid that lurks in the abyss)! We find out why scary music freaks us out, and for all of our listeners looking forward with mingled dread and excitement to NaNoWriMo, we explore how to transform fear into freedom and anxiety into creativity. During an extended music break this week, we feature OMNIA’s live performance of Edgar Allan Poe’s famous work, “The Raven” — we promise you’ll never think of this poem the same way again! — and we wrap up the free portion of this week’s episode with some listener feedback that might just explain why cat people really are a little bit nuts. In our Pro Extension, we share the bone-chilling stories passed among homeless children living in Miami who claim to have seen a demon stalking the streets, one so evil she is feared even by Satan himself: Bloody Mary.