I stumbled upon Earth-based spirituality 25 years ago when learning to grow food organically. Understanding the relationships between the elements of Nature and putting myself into the web as just one actor among many opened my heart to receive the wisdom of the Ancients. When I took up oil painting, my subjects looked like ‘landscapes’ but it was my impressions of how ‘we are all related’ or Mitakuye Oyasin which is a Lakota phrase that also can be translated ‘All My Relations’ uttered as a prayer to the totality of the universe when giving thanks for being part of this wonderful life on Planet Earth.
Indeed, before I started the garden, I ran into a man at an Indian Market at the old Convention Center in Downtown Denver. His name was Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani) who sold me his book entitled Mitakuye Oyasin: “We Are All Related”
and autographed it for me: To Darlene, Best Wishes: AC Ross. This really was the inception of my neo-paganism, because even though I studied Physical and Cultural Anthropology and Psychology at the University of Michigan, I looked at religion with a jaded eye and Wicca is just another religion, but that’s another story.
Really, the classes I studied were: Anthropology of Religion, Ethnopersonality, Learning and Memory, Symbolic Anthropology, American Indian Survey, and Linguistics to name a few. My curiosity about the Human Condition vis-a-vis modern worldwide ‘Civilization’ led me to investigate ‘primitive cultures’ and what kind of wisdom they held for healing ourselves and the planet we live in.