As I practice commitment to my Work and this seasonal cycle, I realize that I am centering myself in time and space. I am at the center of the ongoing cyclical spiral of the Wheel, where time ebbs and flows according to the great song of the world, the stories we have told since the beginning of memory, where space is defined not by our walls and doorways but by the beating pulse of the earth. Between these celebrations, I slip and slide out of sync with the cycle, concentrating in my daily practice on centering within myself and within my home, until the next ritual, the next holy day brings me back into alignment with the universe.
We look at the spiritual dimension of steampunk: a genre and aesthetic inspired by Victorian-era technology and social struggles. Steampunk’s rivets, boilers, clockwork, dirigibles, and gleaming brass-and-mahogany automatons inspire us to look again at our relationship with technology, while its deliberate subversion of Victorian attitudes towards women and empire provoke us to turn a critical eye on our own modern prejudices. We also discuss steampunk’s dangerous flirtation with cultural appropriation, even as it works to redress the legacy of European colonialism in a healthy and respectful way. Then Jeff leads us on his own journey into a steampunk-inspired inner landscape using the Steampunk Tarot by Moore and Fell, in which he works to deal with the stresses and conflicts arising from moving across the country to work on technologies that are breaking down the barriers between mind and machine.
We explore the paradox of sacred space and our relationship with holiness through the places that we set aside for reverence and usefulness. Drawing on parallels with art and the philosophy of aesthetics, we delve into the process of “framing” as a way of highlighting the spiritual aspects of the ordinary world around us. What does it mean to say that “everything is sacred”? How does our relationship change when we transform space into place? We look at the profound ways that our pattern-seeking brains shape our understanding of sacred space in religious and secular ritual.
We check out the many amazing ways that people all over the world are embracing “green space” through architecture, infrastructure and landscaping, inviting the natural world back into our homes and businesses as a vital part of our efforts to live sustainably. From street-side city gardens to snail-inspired biomimicry, from a real-life Hobbit Hotel to a table lamp that runs on moss — we explore what it means to approach the process of “placemaking” as a way of connecting to nature and restoring our sense of sacred space. In our Pro Extension, we ponder the implications of granting legal rights to rivers and forests; plus, we examine the “religious” aspect of the debate over hydro-fracking.
I grew up in the woods. I would come home from school, drop off my books, and immediately disappear into the acres of wooded park across the street from my house until dinner. I knew every inch of those trails, all of the oldest trees, which berries I could eat and which leaves would give me a rash. I would watch hawks hunt and squirrels gather and deer pace cautiously through the underbrush. Just before dinner, I’d spend five minutes in the bathroom scrubbing dirt and sweat and sometimes blood from my hands and face. It was magic, it made my life magical, and it put me in touch with something beyond myself but also immediate, at my fingertips, just behind the green and across the creek. I sensed a certain kind of potential there, the edges of that false boundary we’ve created between us and Nature and a way to pass over it or through it and experience the Other Side.