Plant, Animal, Human?


How does it work and how should it be?  I have been reading a few newsletters and articles that express this thought differently.  What I mean by this, is is there 2 categories of living species, or three.

  • Plant and animal; or
  • Plant, animal and human?

For myself for a very long time I know I view this as only 2, plant and animal.  For me humans are in the animal category as we are an animal.  I think I have trouble separating this into 3 as I do not see humans as any more or any less important than any other animal or plant.

Now the interesting thing about this is I also know that the people writing a few of the things I have been reading lately that do separate into 3, also do not believe humans are any more or any less important than plants or animals either, so why do I let it bother me?

I think this is because of the work I do in the environmental sector and in the business sector.  I see businesses and the people behind business put humans first in their business model and thus actually end up creating unsustainable businesses.  I also see what you can achieve when you respect all and create a business around working with plants and animals instead of destroying or disregarding them.

I see how words and how you describe things can create precedents or assumptions that are actually untrue.  So by describing humans as separate it can be perceived that they are more important, or higher up.  This reminds me of one of the very first lessons I did when studying 1st degree Inclusive Wicca – how do you describe yourself, Witch, Pagon, Wiccan, all three, or none?  And again really it comes down to what you perceive those words mean and then do they relate to you or not?

Then also remembering that some one else may have different perceptions on what the words mean so while you may think with your interpretations they would be all three.  They, with there interpretations of those words, may not.  And it is important to respect others points of view.

So in this I guess I really should be taking my own advice, know they do not mean humans come first or are more important.  It is just how they express their views which is basically the same as mine anyway.

After all, the more all of the different living species that live on this rock floating around a sun, floating around in space work together.  The happier we will all be.


Image courtesy of  Vitolef. at

The seasonal celebrations


As we move around the wheel I find myself thinking about the wheel and the dates of the celebrations and do they reflect my own geographical location?

I live in a rather large island, even in the territory that I live there is a vast difference in seasons 2000kms north in the top end to the arid zone in the center where I am.

People that live on the east coast again experience differences and then it also depends on how far north or south you live.  Same with the west coast.  So are the dates right, are the names of the seasons right or do we move them about?

There is no simple answer to that.  I find I use the current wheel of the year as it makes it simpler for me.  Makes it easier to mark in my diary and plan for.  Hang on, Right now in central Australia we have just had a bumper citrus harvest, so should not the celebrations represent this and be a harvest festival?

I think in truth every seasonal celebration, can and does celebrate all aspects of life.  While Ostara and Mabon can emphasize balance, so can other celebrations if you want them to.  Harvests happen all the time, we harvest different foods at different times of the year, death happens all year, as does new life.  In some ways I think that the wheel evolved over time to bring each aspect of the seasons to the forefront and help give us a way of celebrating it.

So is there anything wrong with celebrating something different, well in my opinion no.  I remember being at a druid weekend when we looked at death as part of Beltane, we even made skulls out of clay.  Not a normal traditional thing to do for Beltane.  I know I have celebrated different harvests in spring and summer which are not traditionally the harvest festivals.

I come back to that same important question – what is the intention?  If the intention is to stick by old ways and follow the traditional wheel then go for it if that is what you need.  If your intention is to celebrate the turning of the wheel and all that goes with it then fantastic do what you need to do.  For me I know the Wheel is a guide, it does make it easier for me to plan and give me ideas on how I can celebrate.  At the same time I know I pull inspiration from the place I live and where I am, which means some times I might just celebrate death in spring, or a harvest in summer.  And that is fine by me.

Sprit Animals



In researching for Ostara I again came across the story of the Rabbit whom used to be a bird.  When found by the Goddess Ostara as a bird whom was close to death, she changed into a rabbit giving him a new life.

In my resent Shamanic Journeying work I have been working with one of my animal helpers in more ways than I ever done before.  In reading the story again of Ostara and a voice in my head asked a question that I am still attempting to put into words.

How much more or less important are Sprit Animals relationships compared to your relationship with the Gods and Goddesses?  Are we more likely to form relationships with the Gods and Goddesses as they take on human form therefore easier to relate to rather than an animal (or other).

In the Ostara story the Rabbit produces the eggs as he wants to bring happiness to the Goddess (or in other versions is ordered to bring her happiness in payment of saving his life).  It then reminded me of how we often see Gods and Goddesses with animals doing there bidding, or being an important part of there life.  My mind comes to the ones that are pulled around in a chariot (or similar) by an animal or two.  Why not the animal being carried around by the God or Goddess, is this our own human perception coming in putting human at the top of the tree?

And it is this thought that has me troubled, or thinking (I am not sure which word to use there).  I personally put no one on top of the tree, I put everything in a circle as nothing is any more or less important than each other.  As all life relay on everything else for survival.  A factor that I think has been forgotten in years past as people separated themselves from nature.

And so I come back to sprit animals and how I am glad the current steps of my spiritual journey I have been working with a sprit animal and opening up to others as well (most recently the sprit of trees).  I wonder how come it took me this long but then maybe it is just as simple as now is the time they want to work with me and before they were not.  I am not sure, I am just glad they are.


Image courtesy of vectorolie at

What it is about trees?


Trees are for me a very important aspect of my spiritual path, my spiritual being.  And yet I have thought about it recently and I find it difficulty to put into words exactly what trees are for me.

Trees for me represent so much.  Connectivity, between roots, trunk and leaves, earth and sky, the elements of earth, air, fire and water, lower, middle and upper worlds, and the importance of energy that is connect and flowing through everything.  They represent strength, diversity, beauty, change, complexity, simplicity and fragile.

The mechanisms of a tree, how food, communication and energy is moved all around the tree and its different levels.  How each species of tree does this a little differently, some needing fire, others more water, insects and birds at different levels, some even need different types of trees to be near them, or different soil compounds or altitude levels.  This reminds me how we are all different and that being different is neither wrong or right.  It is just different.

We often hear people talk about our central Australian desert trees as hardy.  People assume they have to be to survive in this climate of intense heat, and bitter cold.  Well yes, sort of.  They have adapted to suit the arid climate, and for some only a small shift in what the trees would call a normal climate will put them under stress.  So in reality while they look very strong and hardy, they are actually quite fragile.

I can however see where this perception of hardy and strong comes from.  This is an intense place at times, and you only have to watch a young Red River Gum sapling that has been successfully growing its roots for 4 or 5 years into the sandy soils of the creek bed.  Then the flood comes, and if you have not put your roots down far enough then all you end up with is a sapling floating down the river.

So there is so much about life that is imbedded in trees, is this why they are so important to me, is it that I relate better to trees than other living things that could also teach me?  I am not sure and maybe one day I will work it out, and maybe one day I will not.

Ether way I know how important my relationship with trees is to me even if I do not quite understand the “why”.  And that is Ok with me.  After all, who said I have to understand it.

Photo: Camping at the bace of a Red River Gum in Emily Creek, 2015

Seeing with your eyes closed


So we are at the season of Mabon and I have again chosen to head out on my bike and sit in silence, with a coffee, and take in the beauty of our arid landscape here in Central Australia. My choice was again to go to Simpsons Gap, it is not to far out of town and it has such an amazing array of biodiversity.

So sitting there in quite meditation I was again astounded by how much you see when you listen. The sounds changed and moved depending on how much the air moved through the gap between the hills, some times strong, sometimes so still. We have had no rain since January, however some were over the waterhole there is water dripping into the water from above. Where this water is coming from I do not know. At a guess it is still making its way slowly down from storage placed buried in the rocks from that January rain.

The many different birds that call the water hole there home, that all make a different array of noises, including one so deep that to start with I was unsure of what it was.

The sound of the Black Footed Rock Wallabies as they dance and jump around on the rocks, though you only hear them when they brush against some of the shrubs.

And the sound of thunder as a hawk dives though the gap chasing its pray. The first time this happened I ducked and wondered what was falling from the sky. Then I spotted the little hawk as it spring on its pray, missing it by millimeters. How something so little could make so much noise with just the flap of its wings and the echo around the rocks. Three times the hawk came thundering through the gap, three times it missed by such a small amount. By the third time I had got used to the signs that the hawk was on its way. It was the quite before the storm, all the birds would stop singing less than a second before you would hear the swoop of the hawk. Then it would take a minute or two before the little birds would come back out and play their music. And in this time if the wind was quite you could hear the, drip, drip, drip of water coming from some were above.

Happy Mabon every one, and happy Ostara for those on the other side of this beautiful and diverse planet.

Self Belief

Today I am publishing the same Blog that I have just posted to my Coaching Blog.  It is all about self belief.  This is something I feel strongly about and crosses over into every thing we do, hence why I am also posting it here.  After all if you do not believe that you can learn and practice what ever spiritual path you are on, you will never do it and never really experience all that it can be for you.


Could you break a board with you’re the palm of your hand? Could you really? The board is 2 cm thick (or 0.8 inches). Could I break a board that is 2 cm thick, just like you see in martial arts? Really…..?

If you have only ever seen this done then I can understand your disbelief. I mean how could some one who has never done this before and is not trained in martial arts break a board? If you have done this yourself you will know just how easy it is. When you hit the board it is no more resistant to your palm than the thinnest paper. Your hand glides through and the only reason you know the board was even there is because it makes a sound when it breaks.

There are however two key elements.

First you need to learn the safe technique of breaking a board with your palm, shoulders square on, straight but not locked arm, planted feet, etc. That’s the easy bit.

Second, you have to believe in yourself. You have to believe that you can break the board. That when you palm comes in contact with the board it will break, that it will not hurt. You have to see yourself breaking it, hear it, and really, really feel it. That you can break this board easily and effortlessly. One moment of self doubt, one moment of “I can not do this” and you are going to end up with a very hurt hand and one very strong board. All the safe techniques you learnt on how to break it add up to nothing if you don’t believe in yourself.

So why break a board, I mean what’s the point? Well when you think about it that board can represent all sorts of things. For example, I have recently started my own business, could I have done that if I did not believe that I could? Could I have done that when people were telling me that it would be hard, there is no market here, with out believing in myself? Think on your own goals, pick one that you have achieved, did you ever have a moment of “I can not do this”, I bet if you did it was small and you changed it around. Now pick a goal that you have not achieved and check on the self doubt, is it there? Is that little voice telling you “I can not do this”?

Silencing that voice is not always easy. It can be done no matter what your goal is. Heck I managed to break a board 2 cm think like it was soft butter. I could have broken 10 boards that day and turned them into matchsticks with my bare hands (well maybe not matchsticks, but small kindling yep – easy). And if I can do that, I can do anything I set my mind to. And so can you.

The law of return and cycle of life


I have just finished reading a fantastic book that goes into the fossil fuel industry called “this changes everything” by Naomi Klein. As some of you may know I work in the environment sector and it is a space that bring both highs and lows. This book, or collection of story’s, pulls out just how tough it can be to work in this sector, made even tougher by the fact that the short term economics behind the destruction of our natural resources really makes almost no sense when you look at the long term economic situation.

Within the pages I found a description of the law of return that I hade never really thought about, even with working in this sector and with how much I am learning about growing food. The quote comes from a farmer who is part of a group looking at how from the moment humans started farming the earth, we have been taking from the earth and not putting back. The quality of the soil and the nutrients in the soil is what makes a good crop. In permaculture and gardening in general it is often said that you don’t feed the plants, you feed the soil. Healthy soil equals health plants.

So the quote from the farmer went like this

“The problem of sustainability is simple enough to state….It requires that the fertility cycle of birth, growth, maturity, death, and decay…should turn continuously in place, so that the law of return is kept and nothing is wasted”

In this case what he meant was returning the energy taken from the soil in the growing process. In the wild this cycle happens naturally, plants grow, the are diverse having many different plants in the one area (and you see this in the arid desert to the lush rain forests). And then plants die, feeding back into the soil as they rot and decay. When you farm, you plant the same crop over a patch of soil, then you pull the plants up. Current practices match this cycle by planting different crops in the same soil over different times in the year. Why do we do this, for the simple fact that different plants take and give different nutrients to and from the soil. This is why so many different plants do survive quite nicely in a small patch of soil in nature, in gardening this is called companion planting.

Current farming practices don’t really support this natural cycle, so we have used chemical fertilizers and industrial ways of recreating this natural cycle, as a way of feeding the soil. Different farms and farmers do it in different ways, some good, some bad and I am never going to even pretend that I know much about it, or in how good or bad these different techniques are. However one of the interesting observations made by the author of the book was that as the area where this test farm was went through drought, it was the only farm that had a good crop. They had managed to look after the natural soil condition enough that less water was needed for the plants to thrive. To me this was a really good example of just how powerful the cycle of life and the law of return is.

Image courtesy of amenic181 at