Just One More Check-In With My Blog Followers Here At Therioshamanism

Hi, all,

So it’s been a month since I switched over to the new blogging platform at my website, A Sense of Natural Wonder. I wanted to make sure those of you who wanted to keep following my posts there were able to do so.

I’ve had some people tell me that they can still follow using their WordPress.com accounts. Anyone having any limitations there? For those for whom it works, would you mind describing briefly what you did since following a wordpress.org blog seems to work a little differently from a WordPress.com one?

Also, for those who prefer email subscriptions, if you go to any page at A Sense of Natural Wonder, there’s a simple subscription form on the right sidebar–just plug in your email address. (Assuming you’re not using the mobile version of the site, that is.)

And if you want to add my blog to an RSS feed, here’s the info.

I do hope you’ll keep reading my writing; I’ve enjoyed sharing my ideas here for the past six and a half years, and I’ve love to keep engaging with you through writing and comments and the like. Please let me know if I can help in that endeavor!

Important Addendum If You Want to Subscribe to the New Blog

I had several people who were disappointed that they wouldn’t be able to subscribe to my new blog because WordPress.org doesn’t work quite the same way as WordPress.com. I have, however, found a decent substitute plugin that will allow you to subscribe to posts at the new blog via email! It’ll be on the right sidebar of A Sense of Natural Wonder, as well as each individual blog post (I just posted one today, BTW).

I’m still looking for a workaround that will let you subscribe to the blog via your WordPress.com account; if anyone has any good ideas there, please do let me know. And thank you!

Therioshamanism To Be Archived

greenwolf-new (1)smallAfter six and a half years at this spot, I’ve decided to pull up stakes and move to a new location. Why? Well, I finally gave my primary website, the Green Wolf, the first major overhaul it’s had in about a decade. Among many other reconfigurations, I opted for a built-in blog as a way to consolidate my online stuff and things. So please change your bookmarks and other links to http://www.thegreenwolf.com/blog/, and title is A Sense of Natural Wonder.

As for Therioshamanism? It’ll stay up, archived and available as always. I know there are some posts that I’d like to keep referencing, and I bet some of you have favorites, too. So Therioshamanism isn’t going away completely; it’s just going to enjoy a much-needed retirement while A Sense of Natural Wonder picks up where it left off. You can find out more about the changeover here.

And finally, thank you to everyone who has supported my blogging and other efforts over the years, for the comments and discussions and likes and so forth. It’s good to know that someone’s getting something out of my writing here, and I hope I can continue to offer up worthwhile words.

May I Have a Moment of your Time and Attention?

Hey, all! I wanted to bring to your attention a couple of new projects of mine that I really want more people to know about. I would love it if you’d take a peek at these, and I’d be especially honored if you’d pass one or both links on to folks you feel may be interested. (And my thanks to you for that!)

First, the BIG one–on February 1-2, 2014, right here in Portland, OR, I am running Curious Gallery PDX, a weekend-long convention dedicated to the appreciation and creation of taxidermy and other natural history specimens, artifacts old and new, and other things you might find in a well-stocked cabinet of curiosities. From the official website:

Long before public museums became a feature of many cities, private citizens in Europe and elsewhere formed their own extensive collections of scientific specimens and cultural artifacts meant to educate and inspire their beholders. A longtime collector of natural history specimens, Portland artist and author Lupa wanted to increase awareness and appreciation of wunderkammern (“wonder cabinets”), or cabinets of curiosity, and their eclectic contents. Curious Gallery is the result, a weekend of exhibits, presentations, hands-on workshops, and special programming for lovers of taxidermy, natural wonders, and strange treasures old & new.

I’ve been planning this for a while and the time was finally right to make it happen! It’ll be two days of workshops, panels and other programming, an art show and fashion show, exhibitors of all types, and other goodies related to taxidermy and other natural history, ancient and modern artifacts, and anything else to be found in a cabinet of curiosities.

If you want to keep up on news, updates and special deals, here are the Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Google Plus page for the event. Early bird ticket rates are available now on the main site.

So, that’s one. The other is that I started a new art blog. But it’s not just any art blog! Lupa Makes Stuff is sort of similar to Therioshamanism, in that it’s a record of my explorations. However, this time it’s me exploring new artistic media and techniques, showing you what I did and how I did it, and even rating the eco-friendliness of each project! If you have a Tumblr account feel free to follow me.

I’ve already explained how I woven pouches on nothing more than an old board and some tacks, and the process of giving a rocking horse a makeover. And I have so much more planned!

Happy 6th Birthday, Therioshamanism! And a Question For My Readers

Hey, you! I’ve got a question for you! (And by “you”, I mean anyone reading this blog, whether regularly or sporadically or just by chance.)

So I’ve been writing in this space for six years now. (Yay, happy birthday Therioshamanism!) Over time the focus has shifted and evolved; it went from being a fairly uptight “I’m going to make my own neoshamanism–here’s how I do it!” blog, to a more laid-back place in which I’ve done everything from profiles of different totems to records of outdoor excursions and even ruminations about environmental and sustainability issues and activities, among others. (I wrote a little more about this transition here.) I still consider all these to be integral to my spiritual path, which ceased being its own independent entity years ago and is now part of the whole woven tapestry that is my life, each and every day. So this blog has become a place for me to share these things, whether overtly spiritual or not, with you folks.

I know what I get out of the blog, then–a place to organize thoughts and share them with others. But I’m curious as to what you get out of it. Why are you here? What do you like to read when you’re visiting this blog? What do you want to see more of? What could you not care less about? I’m not so much trying to let other people decide what I should do with my little space here on the internet; rather, I’m curious as to how it may be benefiting others. I get emails and messages now and then from people who were inspired by something I wrote and grew because of it, and that always makes me feel like I’m doing my job as a writer well. So consider this a friendly invitation to fill me in on what brought you here, what keeps you bringing back, and sure, what would you like to see in the future? Let me know what’s helpful to you!

A Short But Sweet Update

I have been utterly crazed as of late. I’m halfway through my temporary stint as a mental health counselor at my old internship site, and while it’s going quite well, I don’t have a lot of time for art and writing (comparatively speaking, anyway). The past few days have been especially busy; I’m vending at Faerieworlds again this year (and presenting a workshop on shapeshifting dance on Sunday) and so I’ve been busy trying to make enough stuff to fill my booth. I spent the weekend making artwork, though, and it was absolutely glorious being able to immerse myself in creativity again.

One of the costume pieces I've been working on for FaerieWorlds, featuring a real peacock tail and wings obtained from a taxidermist.

One of the costume pieces I’ve been working on for FaerieWorlds, featuring a real peacock tail and wings obtained from a taxidermist.

If you’ve been missing out on my writing lately, you may wish to check out my new spot over at PaganSquare. Since this blog has become fairly conceptual, I’ve made my PaganSquare venue into a how-to blog, and I’m starting with some basics before moving on to more specialized topics. Right now I’m in the middle of explaining the basics of how I work with spirits; feel free to go take a peek.

Also, I’ve been fortunate enough to score a spot at the community garden a few blocks from my home, after being waitlisted for three years. It was pretty badly overgrown with weeds when I inherited it, but I’ve managed to get most of them pulled and piled for compost, and am getting prepped for fall planting.

Finally, a bit of good news on the book front: Facing North gave a good review to New Paths to Animal Totems. As an aside, while buying a book directly from me gets me the most money for it, I also know plenty of folks are on a budget. Amazon currently has copies starting at $1.50 each, and hey, if you buy used it’s extra eco-friendly!

Also in the book realm, I’m working on the revision of Plant and Fungus Totems: Connect with Spirits of Field, Forest, and Garden (formerly New Paths to Plant and Fungus Totems), which should be out from Llewellyn next summer. I’m quite pleased to say that Christopher Penczak was gracious enough to write a beautiful foreword for it, and overall the editing process has been going well, too. So I feel pretty good about the book in general, and I’m looking forward to inflicting it upon my now-forewarned audience.

A Much-Needed Overhaul

Back in 2007 when I started this blog, I wasn’t all that concerned about design. I wanted to write about all these neat ideas I had, and so I opened an account with WordPress.com, picked a theme that had a tree on it, and got down to the important business of writing.

And I still get so distracted by the writing that I don’t spend as much time on general blog upkeep. So I finally took the time to do a pretty significant overhaul of the appearance, pages, and other such things. I changed the theme, and finally took the time to figure out how to upload a custom header image. The image itself isn’t anything really snazzy, just a few of my favorite photos I’ve taken stitched together into the proper 276 x 1015 pixel format. I made sure the pages were updated, especially since the new theme features them more prominently. Oh, and I pulled the search box further up the page to make it easier to access. Basically it was everything I could do without A) spending the better part of $200 porting the blog over to WordPress.org or B) learning CSS from scratch to tweak this one more fully.

Also, I updated the links on the sidebar. I admit I’ve been putting off editing the blogroll; even though I mainly just deleted blogs that hadn’t updated in a good long while, adding more blogs is a nerve-wracking experience. I’ve spent the past two hours (amid various tasks) thinking “What if I forget someone important and obvious? What if there are all sorts of people who have been kind enough to link to Therioshamanism all this time and I should probably link back to them but I don’t know who they are or I lost the email where they requested reciprocal links? What if a blog or site just isn’t really a good fit and I have to try to explain this to the person who’s been putting their blood, sweat, and tears into it? WHAT IF SOMEONE HATES ME FOREVER BECAUSE I DIDN’T LINK TO THEM?” Okay, it didn’t get quite that dire. But there are a lot of really good blogs out there, definitely more than what I have listed. So if you have suggestions for good blogs and sites along a nature paganism or related theme, let me know. I won’t promise I’ll add all of them, but the worst I’ll say is “no thanks”.

Finally, you may have noticed that the quote under the blog’s title has changed. From the beginning, I had had John Muir’s quote “In the silence of the wild, we find the home we lost in the city”. A long while back, I wrote about why I felt the quote needed to be changed for something more appropriate, but it wasn’t until recently that I found a suitable replacement:

All spiritual life begins with a sense of wonder, and nature is a window into that wonder. – Richard Louv

This is a much better fit for where my path is these days. Over time, as I’ve moved away from abstract symbols and more into direct contact with nature as the center of my practice, I’ve rediscovered the sense of wonder I have about the world–not just the wild parts, but the human-altered ones, too. My stock response to the complaint that the physical world is too mundane and boring is “Look at photosynthesis. That plant? It’s absorbing sunlight into its leaves, and making it into food, into measurable amounts of sugars. How is that not absolutely breathtaking, especially because we know more or less how it works?” But I feel that way about a lot of things; the amazing technology that launched rovers onto Mars so we could gather better data is nothing short of amazing to me. And my sense of wonder about these things and more presses me to know and learn and experience more; it drives me out into the world to explore it and my place within it, and entreats me to supplement with the observations of others through books and film and classes and more.

Note that Louv says that nature is a window, not the window. But for many of us, it’s not just a window but the door itself. For me, this wonder helped to bring me back to an entire home–whether in the city or the wilderness, I am home in the world.

Brief Commercial Break: My New Book is Here!


Just wanted to drop a quick note here that my newest book, New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism, is now available and I have a bunch here in my hot lil’ hands! (Though not as many as before I filled all those preorders–thanks, y’all!) If you’ve been reading this blog in part because your answer to cultural appropriation is to create your own traditions instead of ganking from someone else’s, you may find this a good source of inspiration! And it’s geared toward a general audience; if you’re new to this whole animal spirit thing, there’s plenty to help you get started–but there’s also a good deal for more experienced practitioners to chew on, too! And if you’ve been reading my previous works, never fear–this isn’t a rehash of my older works.

Here’s where you can order your copy–and thank you 🙂

(P.S. I have a couple of content posts sitting ready to go on my laptop; I promise I’ll try and get them uploaded here later this week! However, the garage needs to be cleaned, and we’re trying to overhaul the apartment here, and lots of other stuff and things. But I did write stuff for you!)

Updates to FAQ

First off, I tweaked the FAQ. Mostly some minor changes and updates here and there, but also an update to the question How can I support your blogging efforts?

Second, I’m going to start writing some posts more tailored towards helping folks “play along at home”, as it were. Some of these will be more theoretical, reorganizing and condensing things I’ve written about sporadically here. Others will be more hands-on–I eventually want to have instructions for the various stages of the first six months and so forth. I don’t have a set date when these things will start appearing; just making a statement of intent.