It all started when I was eight years old standing in the prairie land of Katy, Texas, just west of Houston. That was 1976, and I was there because my father was building houses on what used to be grazing land next to a rice farm. The rice farms and grazing lands are all gone now, paved over and forgotten by all but a few. It was there and then I decided that I was anti-"progress". My grand vision was to become wealthy and buy all the land I could, tear down anything human on it and let Nature exist uninterrupted by humans. I didn't know it then, but the land was speaking to me, no it was pleading to me to protect her. thirty Eight years later and I still hear her call. That is just one of the many reasons I support the efforts of groups like the Native Prairies Association of Texas.
I never let go of that idea and over the years met others of a like mind, but all we ever did was talk about how grand it would be if everyone shared this idea. Then I read Rewilding Witchcraft by Peter Grey and those old stirrings started to come to the surface again, I even mentioned it in my Savage Sorcery post. Like many different souls within our greater community of witches, I agreed wholeheartedly with Mr. Grey, at least in spirit anyways. Beyond that I have been searching for ways to revive my vision and manifest it, enter this months issue of Smithsonian Magazine.
This months issue is perhaps one of the greatest mainstream media pieces about Pagan topics presented in a non judgmental way I have ever seen. The cover article is about new discoveries at Stonehenge, there is an article about a 9000 year old North American mans remains and the article that captured my heart; a piece about biodiversity expert E.O. Wilson. The article in question is titled "Can The World Really Set Aside Half The Planet For Wildlife?" My resounding answer is YES. In fact, I believe along with many others that if we are to survive we have no choice but to do this. Please read this article and the one on Rewilding Witchcraft, these are the issues of most importance to our ongoing survival.
After reading the Smithsonian article, I was renewed with passion for my old vision. Heartened by the knowledge that others not only shared this vision but were actually working to make Half Earth a reality, I began doing research to discover what I could do to help. Currently financial support is all I can lend but without money nothing happens in our current environment. I found the following groups to contribute to; the Rewilding Institute, the Rewilding Foundation, Rewilding Europe, and Rewilding the World. The last site also has news from all over the world, letting one keep up on progress being made.
Lest one think that I am anti-human or anti-civilization, let me introduce the Rewilding of Humans. The ReWild University and Rewild Portland are two great examples of this ethos. Being both a Green Anarchist, and an Anarcho-Primitivist, I have a more extreme vision than most, but I am cognizant enough to realize that everything starts with baby steps. Although I do feel strongly that Rewilding will lead us to a more anarchistic state of being. I guess I am a bit opposed to "civilization" as it currently exists, in order to be truly civilized the rights of all creatures must be respected.
I would like to introduce you to fellow from my ancestral homeland of Wales, George Monbiot. His Manifesto for Rewilding the World is a must read for anyone interested in the topic. Perhaps not as exciting as Mr. Grey's piece but still essential reading. I would also recommend Mr. Monbiot's book Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding, and judging from the essays on his website I am sure this will be a welcome addition to any animist's library.
I am going feral, in the best sense of the word, that of having escaped domestication and going wild. We humans are only domestic primates after all, and not very good at it. I believe that if we can Rewild the world and ourselves with it we will finally be truly civilized, not merely domesticated.