Feedback Archive - 2008 - 2016 Feedback Archive -2008 - 2016

2017 Feedback is here

Note:Read recent content top - down or to start at 2008 - read bottom - up.

I had two publishers interested in the book, one dropped communication, the other didn't have any publication date after holding onto it for a year, so out of frustration, I self-published with no promotion. No sales. So, I pulled it from Amazon, and want to find a publisher for it again. That's the plan. If you know of publishers or a community that would be interested in this, I'd like to collaborate, partner, mastermind, or find some suitable ways to bring this vision into the world. I believe that you'll find it consistent with your own vision.

The value of my book, as it relates to your work, is that 1.) it offers a shared global vision from polytheistic communities around the world of living in harmony with the environment; 2.) it offers resources in the back of the book to help these communities; 3.) it unpacks a shared vocabulary of spiritual assumptions that underly the ecological worldview; 4.) the communities addressed in the book are living, so the myths here related are actually functioning in the present, and are not simply academic, like ancient Greek myth, for example. Yup. So, that's an introduction to the book as it relates to your work.

I realize that a writer needs to be a community builder, blogger, and social media marketer to get visibility these days.

I need to update my marketing mindset. You have built a nice online learning environment. I like how your lessons break down into learning tasks for the student. I'd like to continue this dialogue.
Dave Alber: Author: "The Heart of Myth: Wisdom Stories From Endangered People" (Self-Published)

Hi, Willi: Totally consistent with what I am receiving. I will share this widely. Thanks for bringing it to us!
Myra Jackson

Bring flowers - Feed the homeless - Pick up trash
Great Council of the Grandmothers message

You have an impressive background and career choice. Would you like to have a chat sometime? Thank you.
Chad Adams, Vice President | Design | Innovation | Sustainability, Bio-Logical Capital

Hi Willi. I've written a book about myth and ecology (The Heart of Myth) and would like to place it into the marketplace.
David Alber


I do not fear Trump. I remain in balance, ready to pick my battles.
There seems to be a deep psychological need for fear now.
What not release your solutions instead?
WOX to Transition Palo Alto

"Permaculture and the Rocket Stove Myth - Light Fuel for the New Prometheus"

I made one of these (Rocket Stoves) and had to use it to warm Goat formulae during a power outage.

"Time to Rise" - Rock Music & #Mythology
#WilliPaul #Spirit #Resilience

Take your instinct by the reins
You'd better best to rearrange
What we want and what we need
Has been confused, been confused

"Winners and Losers" - Sermon by Willi Paul,

This is good. Thumbs Up! +1
Patrick Horn, deputymagistrate at

"All Soils Day" - An Alternative Thanksgiving Sharing Experience for the Community. New Myth #90 by Willi Paul

Potent... I will run with this Willi... Thank You,
Myra Jackson

"Earth Pod" - A Permaculture Oasis. Rendering: Leane Eberhart. Vision & Chime Song: Willi Paul, Mythologist, (see PDF)

liked your building post,,working on a homeless hut myself (still on pater, brainwaves) but have an architecture teacher with all his kids and "autocad" involved, plus the museum where I work may let us demo one there. Nico| sounds beautiful! juty blue | Very interesting, Karen Tate, ancientcultures at | This looks interesting! Mary Bencivengo | love to you, willi BE sweetpod. it's all one life past and present. all one. Mark Biddy

American Mythology?
New Mythology, Permaculture & Transition LI Group

Willi:- I am considering what American Mythology means. Any ideas? Could you share a modern American Myth with us please? I see a huge distinction between Babe the Blue Ox and classic myths; folklore and universal stories. American media is dominated by pop songs and guns. American myth is dominated by politicians, solo characters, heroes or anti-heroes, "characters", criminals and sports figures, business celebrities, powerful families; danger, innovation, visions, perseverance, hardship. Police Violence, Guns, Porn, Booze and Alcohol. The NFL. The American mythic canon is pushed by the American Dream. Rags to riches. Giving back, winning in business, making a killing at the Stock Market.

What are the examples of the universal stories in American mythology? The role Nature is also a key subject in our myths. National park system; fracking. GMO. The fight to rescue Nature from destruction.

FORWARDED COMMENT: "If you're looking for a current mythology, as far as the newest I've seen, I'd check out either Mr. Robot or Game of Thrones. Both seem to be about calling out people on their delusions, a movement toward truth and against the pop culture's mythology. As I said though, you're not going to get a mono-mythology, you're going to get pockets but those two shows seem to more where we're headed, the youth are very caught by them.

Others I've noticed the youth in particular are fixated on are the cartoon program Adventure Time (which is best seen as very dada-esque but has a lot of deep symbolism if you can get past the weirdness of it). I, personally, am really enjoying Westworld currently but I'm unsure if that will get as big as Game of Thrones. Definitely check out at least the first episode of Mr. Robot if you want to see a "millennial mythology". Hope that helps.
Richard Schwab, Mythological Consultant

Willi: RS - Thanks. Very helpful.

I would guess that the messages in Mr. Robot and Game of Thrones (both of which I have not seen) are far from the values and symbols in the permaculture mythology. The first are Hollywood generated, profit-driven while the latter is a penniless nuvo-agriculture Naturew movement. Such contrasts in our American delusional mythodrama?!

And you seem to say that commercial success matters is key now (i.e. - Westworld)?

Richard:I think the message in Mr. Robot is very much the consequences when things are disconnected. It uses technology as the metaphor for demonstrating this, the main character cannot interact with the world, and so he uses technology to understand people. However, there is a severely anti-profit driven message in the show. It features main characters dealing with debt slavery, and questions affluenza and the delight of purchasing shit we don't need. They even criticize Steve Jobs for being seen as a hero for making billions from the fingers of small children in China. It's amazing.

In one instance, some of the main characters manage to blackmail a high CEO or CTO of a huge company to pay them a ransom of $5 million or so. When he shows up in the public place to do it, a messenger arrives with a bag with instructions. He has to put on a mask (a deranged Mr. Monopoly mask) and dump out the money and ignite it. That's the ransom, to show that money is meaningless, and to make someone who represents these corporations demonstrate it. So there's a highly symbolic component to it.

As for Game of Thrones, there is a story arc of permaculture which revolves around a shamanic initiation of one of the main character's sons who keeps dreaming of a three eyed raven. In later seasons he uses trees as guides to have visions.

The core symbolism behind permaculture is the interconnectedness, and because these shows have a plethora of characters, they demonstrate the interconnectedness, both in harmony but much more so in conflict / out of balance. That's the human component that makes it all interesting.

Westworld is much more of a question of authenticity and responsibility. It's a futuristic park where people can come and live in the old west. The reason is they can basically do whatever they want to do the androids walking around without consequence. So it's more a study in our shadow, trauma, and having to put on a pretty face to accept things.

Willi: Thanks for the background material. Seems that there is a lot more profit-anarchy on the planet than I thought! Where did you get your permaculture connections to shamanism, three-eyed ravens and vision trees? Not real. In my experience, you are dancing with the pagans!!

One early idea here is to compare and contrast Millennials vs. Permaculturists. Two current camps, maybe movements, or not. What are their values? Symbols? Causes? Problems and solutions?

Could the Millennials be interested in my New Myths? Does sci-fi really play a role in permaculture?

Is there a hybrid movement?

And back to the original question: What is the modern American Myth?

Robert Pearson Flaherty, Ph.D. Maybe see: Alan Dundes. "Thinking Ahead: A Folkloristic Reflection of the Future Orientation in American Worldview."Anthropological Quarterly. Vol. 42: No. 2 (Apr, 1969), 53-72.

Shari Tarbet Good idea. I think American myth is overlooked. How modern? 20th/21st Century? Farther back? I address American Myth largely through movies. It seems this art form is the easiest and perhaps most prevalent way to convey American myth. Here are a few examples: The Wizard of Oz, The Pirates of the Caribbean (especially the first movie), The Matrix, Mrs. Doubtfire. From there in written or oral form: The Brer Rabbit stories, any Native American myths, La LLarona, Bless Me Ultima, Beloved, Moby Dick. I should probably add that I consider the meaning of American Mythology to be consistent with the meaning of mythology in any culture.

As I'm thinking, more and more American stories occur to me such as cowboy movies, Paul Bunyun, Pecos Bill. The more I think, the more that come up.There seem to be a number of similarities in our take on the usefulness of modern myths. Certainly the decay of the west has been accelerated by the prostitution of public symbology by corporate media for superficial material fundamentalist outcomes and the destruction of our heritage.


I also see myths as front brain scaffolding that facilitate a sufficient structure that the rather chaotic unconscious archetypes can be translated into. PTSD for example is simply an inability by the ego consciousness to form containers to assimilate affect bound information into. The 2 posters are attempts like your perma-culture symbology to utilise contemporary motifs to offer more profound insights than the current Fox channel sound bite anaemia.

The internet does offer a more zeitgeist penetration with its ability to share imagery based memes, sadly most of them are tools of petty domination as seems to be the uneducated hominid way. You will see my my Apocalypse Now warriors journey of personal redemption schematic I am using a relatively modern episode to connect to ancient myths with a contemporary symbolic language. For example Odysseus odyssey is in fact a bronze age PTSD manual and his 10 year return from Troy is all the psychological stuff a war vet goes through after the horrors of the combat zone.

I also note your schematic indicating that archetypes and myths are evolving like everything else. However like Campbells work with Lucas the foundational structures are universal and to resonate with the unconscious they need to follow his 17 stage monomyth.

I have also introduced the notion of an archetypal eco-system as a means of describing any individuals subset of the macro superset. Much of what I see in PTSD is the billabong looking like a Pearl phenomena, where an original irritant is glossed over but really only ends up a polished blockage. This analogy of what I call the Trauma Protection System defined as the habitual array of neural firing patterns, typically triage coarse grained ones that act as the defense from the original trauma. To me it looks like a billabong, which is a section of the river that only flows in flood time and the rest of the time is stank and lifeless.

How to convince a sufferer to ditch a habitual certitude of a malignant coping posture for fresher landscapes is part of the Jungian adjuncting to Shamanism experiment I am conducting here.
Paul Reynolds commented on your group "New Global Mythology" on Depth Psychology Alliance

Willi - I checked out your website and observed that your focus is on myths. My focus has been on cognitive biological metascience of autopoiesis and communicative competency jurisprudence in designing live speech communities of value. I just returned from Cannonball ND and Standing Rock where the Lakota oceti sakowin conversation of sovereignty is emerging in the water of life. I recommend you observe the MSTi Lakota Paradigm and Thoughts About the Lakota Part I and Part II by Javier Livas pointing to a Universal Management System of Governance and Stafford Beer's Viable System Model in designing useful and fruitful C21 virtuous cyber global citizens. I have a few papers I am willing to share in crafting a conversation with you.

What is your network of support? How do you define it and who specifically is involved? What is your vision of planetshifter? What are your major concerns today in this website? What do you want to become in this global citizen conversation? Thanks and best regards in your endeavor.
Mushin, AngelList

Willi: thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. And it's interesting that in your latest interview on 'new mythology' with Richard Schwab he mentions that the mythic figure we may need most right now in our culture is the Trickster, since cleaving too heavily to any one side of yin/yang runs the risk of succumbing to fundamentalism, a real problem these days.

And Dead Crow is nothing if not a Trickster. He contradicts himself, he posits ideas and solutions and just as quickly disavows them by saying, "Then again, maybe not." It's this kind of ambiguity I sought to create in the character, and which I believe people need to become more comfortable with in this fundamentalist age. Neither this nor that but both.

Since you're driving so much fascinating discussion of the 'new mythology,' I just wanted to let you know about an exciting event-the launch of my new poetry video Dead Crow: Prologue and the accompanying fall tour in the West Kootenay. The video has been in production for two months now and much loving care has been lavished on it, as you'll see when you visit the link to watch it online.

The live show will offer a whole other element to the performance, with Noel Fudge performing the soundtrack live, lighting effects, and more freedom of movement for the artist (me). The goal is to eventually produce a full one-hour show based on the character. The poems are already written but merely need to be adapted to the stage: take care,
Arthur Joyce

Post Convergence Update -The correspondence I had with you before-hand really helped me identify my intentions for the gathering and things end-up going very well.
David Wallace dw at

Hi Willi; Not sure how it happened but I didn't see you again at the convergings. Sorry- I was looking forward to a sit down & jaw a bit. I was worktrading due to poverty and that took a lot of my time. (more than they figured- I'll have to bring that up in the evals) and that's a big reason I think. My new partner and I had our time together, and then too she had a seizure, went thru death's door (by her account, which sounded familiar to me, a lifeflight veteran) and turned around and walked back out to us. We stayed pretty close after that. Next time eh? -Rick
Rick Valley, rickvalley at

Hi Susan + Lindsey -

The event was nice. Good vibes. You guys did great! I had thought I was getting 40 mins but either way people did not attend my gig because they were attending 1 hr workshops. Starting at 2:20 was a poor decision.

Furthermore, I did not get a solid return on the money I invested and the venue remains far too far away from the Bay Area. I calculated ~ 300 people were there on Sat PM.

Any interviews from were pre-event only.... I did some outreach pieces for you.
Cheers. WP

I guess my point Willi is that you could have totally taken advantage of the 500+ people who were there on Sat. (yes there were 500 people there!) to meet folks for future interviews, build some relationships... and maybe learn something at other workshops -- oh and have some fun too! Did you not dance to the live music? Listen to the amazing drumming and storytelling? Many people came up to me and said they had transformational experiences there. They experienced community, they experienced a future they believed in.

Yes thank you for the pre-event outreach. But leverage the opportunity at the Convergence too. You should have been in heaven there, with so many movers and shakers present! Again, it wasn't just about your presentation. It was about the possible connections you could have made, with a little bit of effort (and maybe you did meet some people?)

Maybe next time get creative too! People would have loved a Stories and Myths Tent -- with you listening and them talking... I thought about that but didn't have the time to make it happen.

Agreed, your workshop was not at an optimal time. We were experimenting with the 20-minute presentations as we had hoped that people would stay for all 3 slotted at that time. We wanted people like you to delve deep for 20 minutes into the topic, like a Ted Talk. If it didn't work it didn't work - you can let us know.

Anyway I apologize that you thought that the Convergence was not worth your expense but I'm gonna give you a little push back. If you want to have a phone call to discuss this further let me know.

Hello Willi, My apologies for not escorting you up today to look for clarification on your workshop.

Obviously the BRCC people owe you an apology for giving you only 1/3 of a workshop period without notification. I noted that they also gave presenters workshop spaces for power point presentations that obviously were too light for power point to work. Which was a drag for those workshop presenters.

I hope you got a turnout and participation for what you did do.

I wonder if you knew that you were scheduled for the BRCC part of the program rather than the NAPC part of the program? I wanted you to know that I was not part of the NAPC nor BRCC part of the organizing teams. I had resigned back in March. Sorry for this, With respect for your work,
Michael "Skeeter" Pilarski
Permaculture - Wildcrafting - Medicinal Herbs & Seeds

Hi MP - Nice note. Good vibes. Thank you. Actually I thought I was getting 40 min. but got 20. It was an expensive, low turn-out event with a few glowing peeps! The Convergence was like a hippie country club in part. Very PC! I look forward to yours!

Email Chat with Charlotte:

C: I have been surprised at how little interest there has been in the permaculture community in my project. Very few of the leaders have shared my fund raiser.
W: ?There are a lot of egos in this scene and a lot of passive hero worship.

?On Facebook more than 100 folks have shared the fund raiser. I was expecting a project like this, something that could make industrial farming obsolete, would bring a lot of support both with volunteers and with financial support.
W: ??I agree.
C: Could be that I am not in the in crowd. Michael Pilarsky said that I am the only one he knows that is getting any financial support.
W: ??Not enough....?

C: One thing I get from posting on Permies is that people are much more interested in theory or books or science than they are in practical applications.
W: ??That's interesting.

C: Maybe I am just to far out for them. Maybe I am not far enough along to have evidence they can understand.
W: ??Likely.

C: In Eugene there were a lot of folks who turned up for gardens, for food forests, for the propagation events, but maybe that was because it was Eugene.
W: ??Eugene is a different planet!?

C: I am interested in what is spiritual support.
W: ?This is my mission!
C: I read somewhere that especially men in this culture need a way, and do not have a way, to activate the need to be a hero.
W: ??I want the community to be the hero now....
C: What I see for myself is that what makes me alive is being on the edge where the unknown is becoming known.
W: ??We agree on this.

C: I would envision a support team for folks who are doing this. A support team is a group of folks (maybe 5-6) who meet regularly, maybe once a week (could be over the phone). They each get 2 minutes to say what they want to accomplish that week then for 11 minutes the group comes up with ideas that might support that goal. Then for 2 minutes the person who wrote down what the group brainstormed, asks the person which of these they want to commit to. This is the kind of support I want. There is a book by Barbara Sher called teamworks, where she describes this process and how it has helped people.
?W: ?Sounds appealing but getting a regular commitment from members is impossible.?

The Permaculture Convergence thru the New Mythology Lens - The 9th Annual Northwest Permaculture Convergence and The 2nd North American Permaculture & Building Resilient Communities Convergence

Good questions, Willi!
Linda Buzzell,

Willi, How is it I'm just discovering you now? You're amazing.
Thanks for your planetary service. Looking forward to connecting. Blessings,
Amara Rose,

" The Hillsborough Alliance for Local Food Security" - New Myth #87. Dedicated to 2016 Fall Permaculture Convergences in Fort Flagler, WA and Hopland, CA. By Willi Paul,

You could a add natural swimming pool ;)
Julie Phelps, BSc

As we still carry our ancestral experiences, knowledge and needs, some open area of (drought tolerant) lawn in the midst of forest allows our cells to relax and our souls to feel good, too!
Alisa Rose Seidlitz, CGBP, GreenAP, BFQDP, GLC

WP: What is the Buddha's role in today's world?

Harvy Kraft: the Buddha's wisdom is relevant today because (1) its scope is leading edge even in these times (2) sets forth the model that humans have the potential to evolve consciousness to an as-yet unappreciated upside. Article and radio interview...

WP: How does the internet impact the oral passing of scared sounds and info?

Harvey Kraft: I don't know. You probably have some thoughts on that.

WP: How can I tell if my life is in rhythm? This this bliss?

Harvey Kraft: Synchronicity of person and environment, alignment of body and mind... Joy, purpose and courage.

WP: Is the Big Bang you describe the apocalypse? Is there a chosen people now?

Harvey Kraft: The quote I shared is app. 2500 years old. At that time Indic seers focused on an apocalypse due to growing levels is sin. But the Buddhist Big Bang focused on the positive. The enlightened purpose of creation (emergence of holographic field of form) thru manifestation of a cosmic wave-desire facilitates evolution towards ultimate enlightenment. That said, he does predict an end to this manifestation, followed by the rebirth of the Universe which gets progressively more enlightened... In other words, the Universe evolves like all of its constituents.

WP: I think that humans are in charge of the apocalypse and outcome. We can choose enlightenment or destruction. But it will be in our hands.... not in a cosmic energy.... Thoughts?

I agree with your statement "Willi...that the "Origins of sound archetypes go back to the Paleolithic period when all humans were hunter-gatherers." My book tracks the unfolding paths and timelines related to your observation. When the Buddha lived 2,500 he was highly educated to the past "history" of his time, preserved in mythic literature and "sacred" sounds...chants, hymns, recitations of sutra, prayer and sounds of nature.

In fact, one of the mythic sound symbols he embraced from the tradition of the Lion-Sun shaman-seers (aka, Arya-sramana) was the sounding of "the roar of the lion" symbolizing the power to "open the heavens" with one's mind, i.e., raise one's consciousness to the highest levels which allows the seer to see the lay of the land from up high...until one exceeded even that level - enlightenment.

The Flower Garland Sutra describes the "Big Bang" (like a super blossoming composed of light and stars emerging from Universal Radiance Buddha (Vairoachana) symbolic of the Universe: "There is no end of worlds in all directions. No equals. No bounds, yet each is distinct. The Buddha's unhindered power emits a great light Clearly revealing all of those lands. Each tip of (Vairochana's) hair strands contained numerous worlds, the spaces between those worlds so far apart there could be no chance of interference among them, each world manifesting immeasurable spiritual powers and teachings for civilizing all living beings."

Everything we know about his Enlightenment originated from an ORAL history, which was then written down, which is the next step away from the real thing. Finally, the Buddha left behind the view that aligning one's being with "the frequency of enlightenment" -- in tune with the "Perfectly Endowed Reality of Ever-Vibrating/Ever-Evolving Life." In a cyclical manner, fitting the whole Universe inside of one's expanded consciousness, is accomplished by opening its portal within through vibration... thus skipping the need for the mind to go somewhere outside - i.e., afterlife. Instead it represents the experience of enlightenment by aligning one's life with the archetype of universal oneness. Many Buddhists regard "being in " as the synchronicity of meanings and experiences.
Harvey Kraft, Author of "The Buddha from Babylon" & "The Waker"

WP: Are you working with symbols and archetypes?

Symbols and archetypes are important for attracting attention and creating brand. They can also help to tell a story if it is interpreted. In both the Eearth and Ecophiny websites, there is a description of why the respective symbol is used.

WP:GAIA to some is a clique or worse. How are you refreshing this spiritualism?

Proving that the biosphere self-regulates will probably be beyond the ability of scientists for a long time yet. In the meantime, it exists in the realm of the supernatural and thus (with canons of conduct) is eligible as a religious belief (as per the definition of religion by the Australian Taxation Office).

Eearth is a Dark Green Religion and seeks to satisfy an individuals religious inclinations so that they fell less inclined to join an environmentally neutral or even dangerous religion. Eearth also seeks to elevate a sense of environmental stewardship to a new level. For example, if you talk about environment protection to business leaders, they will tell you that 'maximise shareholder value' takes priority. However, if these same people held a Dark Green Religion, it would make them more likely to make environmental protection a central pillar of their work.

WP: How are you including mainstream religion in your vision?

I regard Eearth as a complimentary religion - which is to say that you can be a Christian and an Eearthean at the same time. Eearth does not claim to have a god, with whom to compete with Jesus and Allah, etc. It simply says that nature is sacred and should be revered. I would also like to think that people would move away from mainstrean religion to Eearth (or other Dark Green Religions, for that matter). This is because I think that Mainstream religion has little to offer humanity in a time of ecological crisis. In the 800,000 words of the old and new testament, for example, there are vanishingly few references to environmental stewardship. Where in the bible, koran or the torah (or the other holy books) does it address how to deal with stratospheric ozone depletion. Where are the words 'biosphere integrity - functional diversity'... Its a rhetorical question, they are not there. If we want to avoid the ecological meltdown, we need to focus on the task. So our religion must have planetary boundaries, Gaia Theory, Long Future sustainability at its core, not as some small peripheral element.

Eearth also seeks to encompass the whole spectrum of though within the Dark Green Religion space from the Near Term Human Extinction (very dark) to the inveterate tree planeters, to the mountain hikers and the permaculturalists and pagans. Eearth is a celebration of these people as well as nature.

Eearth says focus on nature inspired holidays, such as the phases of the moon, the equinoxes, solstices, first rains, arrival of the migratory species.
Guy Lane, Sustainability Entrepreneur, Commentator and Novelist, Brisbane, Australia

This is works well here with my ongoing interest in new traditions and ritual via permaculture and Tradition movements. Onward.

Hi Eva - How can I assist your work?

Wow! Willi, How kind of you to ask! Actually, social media networking, teaching and getting some more of my work out into the world and published is my goal. Thank you for your own invaluable work at this time of unprecedented change.
Eva Rider,

Dear Willi, Hello from McFarland! It's been a while since we last spoke, and we wondered if you were still interested in pursuing a book project with us? We're happy to discuss any projects you might currently have in the works or potential topics you might have in mind.

Thank you. Sincerely,

Lacey Julian, Editorial Assistant, McFarland & Co., Inc., Publishers

Good Morning Lacey!

Thank you for getting in touch with me. I am eager to discuss how my work can support existing, and open new markets, for your firm. Please see my recent work at

First, I recently self-published an iBook and wonder if this you guys are interested in publishing the print version?

"MythicWarriors: Reader and Myth Engine, Permaculture, Nature, Transition and the New Mythology. Interviews, Articles, New Myths and Messages from a Mythic Journey." by Willi Paul and (iBook & PDF)

In terms of new books, I can produce a text about the New Mythology. My interviews and New Myths are also available to you. My vision is to support all my books with a dedicated web site that can support education and traffic.

This is a happy but busy time here as I am presenting at two upcoming Permaculture Convergences ...

( and

and running my own "Local Solutions" Online Roundtable. My charge is integrate Permaculture, Transition, SpiritNature and New Mythology while working with diverse disciplines and groups.

I am happy to deliver my extended network for promotion and speaking events, including my portfolio at By the way, my interview with Rachel S. McCoppin has done very well.

Recent Interview with Bio:

"We are Mythic Warriors"- On the Work of Co-Creating Consciousness. Interview with Willi Paul, by Bonnie Bright for Depth Insights™

Please let me know if we can talk via telephone or Skype.

Cordially, ?Willi

"Local Solutions" Online Roundtable

Hey willi, Sorry I missed this one. Huge inbox to catch up on. Send us some info and we'd be happy to post on our FB.

Marie who is cc'd on this is the one who can get it in our cue to get the word out. xo. Take heart, take action
Executive Director, Daily Acts
Board President, Transition US

The Northwest Permaculture Convergence is Alive!

Hi Willi, Great publicity on your site. Thanks! Here is what I just wrote after viewing it. What we need now is lots of publicity. Please help by alerting your email lists, posting on your website or Facebook. Here is the url of a great example by Willi Paul on his website.
Can you do something like this on your website (if you have one).
Michael Pilarski, Organizer

Conversations of a Higher Order is broken and out of commission. To devote time, tech, and resources to fixing it would pull us off the task of building the new website (parts of which are already active - we're rolling it out in real time), so we're leaving it alone for the moment. Eventually we'll port over and archive the content on the new site.
Stephen Gerringer,

Hi Tra - Good Issue. But it is filled with science and tech and little spirit-based action! More ju ju please! Best wishes, WOX

Love it. thanks for the feedback willi! xo
Take heart, take action

Good Day Willi, Thank you very much for your reply; due to your numerous highly interesting writings, great interviews and general presence in the community sphere - I really wanted to get a sense of where you stood on Permaculture's Media representation, as well as express my own interests and questions about this-.

Thank you for your insights and invites.

The first thing that comes to mind for your convergence media work is to do a live webinar. This can get you the pre/event and now that you seek. You could do interviews and reviews. A web-based reporter! My attendance at the local convergence is unlikely as my workshop idea was downsized to a 20 min talk and since fizzled. I will do the next Roundtable starting in late August and present at the NW Perm Convergence.

I built will a multi-channel approach and suggest this to you and rarely used this site for profit. One of my early partners told me that this journey is a marathon and not a sprint... But it may take a faster pace to address the issues in front of us.
Looking forward. WOX

"Luna Men Shine in Food Forest" - The Third Conversation with Stephen Gerringer, Community Relations, Joseph Campbell Foundation and Willi Paul, Mythologist,

Amazing conversation! Please read the entire interview! Thanks for posting this.

LinkedIn Permaculture Conversation (edited): "SpiritShield: Mythology in Transition at the Permaculture Convergence"- Plus Assignment & Questions. New Myth #84 by Mythologist Willi Paul

Peter Murray What the heck has mythology got to do with Permaculture? Permaculture is science based, not a place for mumbo jumbo. This is just going to muddy the waters and confuse people who are just starting to learn about Permaculture. It is likely to make the some think that Permaculturists are a bit weird.

Hi Peter - This is an old debate but here we are again! What I can say in brief is that permaculture needs to be much more than compost and seed balls! It must create more media to get the word out, and mythologists write the stories. What are the stories in the oil and gas sector? Have you looked at my work? Feedback requested....

Brandon Smith The fundamental "myth" of permaculture is that we should be mimicking the way nature grows plants. That a yard, garden, or farm should have the diversity and density of growing things that we would expect in a healthy ecology in that location.

The fundamental "myth" behind the vast majority of modern yards, gardens and farms is that the yard or garden should mimic the aesthetic standards set by the royal palaces of our culture's past, or that the farm should mimic the aesthetic standards of a factory set up for the most efficient operation.

Should we be trying to convince our culture to shift to an aesthetic that says mimicking natural plant growing is more beautiful than fitting the landscape into what a real estate agent would call "curb appeal"? Or that farming should focus more on sustainability than throughput volume and efficiency?

If the answer to either of these is yes, then we need new myths. Myths that change the aesthetics of landscaping, gardening and farming.

Willi Paul Hi Folks. A first to me! Synnecrosis is defined by one site as "the living together of two organisms in a mutually destructive relationship." Perhaps you are getting at humans and Nature? Please be careful how we use the word "myth" as it has many uses today. I use it to mean universal stories. I do make the distinction between old myths and new ones. If you wish, look at this piece for one take on my vision:

Brandon, yes and yes! My work integrates permaculture, transition movement, Nature Spirit and New Mythology. Yes, it's a stretch.

Geoff Lawton Ethical design science has the potential to save the world if we cooperate, everything else required for permanent stability will then evolve and forced mutations will only attract attention as weird interesting oddities.
This is just one of those weird oddities.

Good luck with it Willi I think you have found your niche : )
Howard Story For the a real understanding, there is few as good as "The Power of Myth" by Joseph Cambell. There is no need to "save the world" the world is fine, it has over much more yramatic events than the current Anthropocience Epoch, it will shake off homo sapien likeca fog does fleas. We need to save humanity and its civilization. Can that be done, after generations dominating nature and each othet, coveting riches, prejudices, and greed.
Willi Paul Campbell is a good start but he had no notion of permaculture. For an upgrade, try my new iBook?

Hi Willi Congratulations, your book looks very interesting. I will definitely be checking it out. I don't know how we can collaborate, but I think they're is alot I could learn from you. I'm currently working on a book that incorporates modern biological knowledge with ancient human perspective... I'm open to any advice you could offer on how to get it out into the mainstream market. I would also appreciate any advice you have on expanding my network and selling myself as an author.
Sarah Nix-Denmark, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Morning! As a colleague relayed to me many moons ago, we need to think of this life as a marathon not a sprint! Self-publishing and a wide social media net are critical, are is contributing to lists and groups like the ones in LinkedIn. If you are out for profit and fame then if you are in the wrong place!


"Digging up our Hunter and Gatherer Mythology." Interview with Gary R. Varner, Author and Mythologist by Willi Paul, Media

"Sacred Trees and Refuges" - Interview with Rachel S. McCoppin, Author of The Lessons of Nature in Mythology (+ PDF)

"Kids, Rewilding and the New Mythology" - A conversation with Dan De Lion, and Willi Paul

Transition Palo Alto Mid-Summer Share Faire
1:00 - 3:00 PM
August 14, 2016
Mitchell Park Bowl

Peter - I wish to contribute a mini-class under the tent in myth writing. I can share more details if you guys are interested.

Hi Willi, This is great.

I do want to make sure of something with you. You were one of the folks who tried a mini-class with us behind the old Common Ground store. They didn't work there. We THINK that we have figured out the logistics of running a mini-class or few in Mitchell Park, but we cannot be sure - promotion, signage, tent, chairs, barkers to get people organized. And we won't be sure until we try it. I don't want our teachers to be disappointed.

At Cubberley our mini-classes were well-received. Attendance varied from about 5 to 15. I'd like to think that we can do the same at Mitchell Park. But if the open spaces are the main distraction, then the attendance may be less - or even none.

If you're OK with the above, then let's try it. And if you are, then you should definitely promote to your listservs too, so that you have a greater chance of having an audience.
Peter Ruddock, Transition Palo Alto

Hi Willi,

Of course we would be glad to have you as a presenter at this year's NWPCC. You always come up with thought-provoking things and we'd be happy to see a bunch of interviews done of the young and old. I am reaching out to the first cohort of Northwest permies to get them to the convergence.

Your outreach must get better and better with all your activity and interviews. Thanks for all that. A nice contribution to the movement/network.

I will get the presenter letter and form to you soon as finished. Here is the current line-up and I expect it to expand fast.

Nice to share the workshop with you last year. Permacordially,
Michael Pilarski, Organizer, Northwest Permaculture Convergence

New Book: "MythicWarriors: Reader and Myth Engine, Permaculture, Nature, Transition and the New Mythology. Interviews, Articles, New Myths and Messages from a Mythic Journey"

... How can you get viral? How can you grow beyond your readership now and speak your message to the world, and become part of global culture at the same time? Change the World. How do we do that? Hope this helps, have to go mow the grass.
Eric Needle,

Congratulations. I'll look into your book. My life is winding down so I took Campbell's advice to focus on the light rather than the bulb. I still try to help give people alternatives. Your work may prove to be extremely valuable. I hope it is widely read.
Ron Cooper, Associate, Joseph Campbell Foundation

Trathen: Yo Willi, thanks for the love my man. It's been some time. hope you are rocking along well.

Willi: Yo Mentor Man!!

new iBook out in days!

MythicWarriors: Reader and Myth Engine
Permaculture, Nature, Transition and the New Mythology
Interviews, Articles, New Myths and Messages from a Mythic Journey
By Willi Paul and


Nice Willi!!
Trathen Heckman, President, Board of Directors at Transition U.S.

"A Permaculture Myth" by Charlotte Anthony,

permaculture has 20,000 members, i almost never get feed back from them. the people i get feedback from are permaculture california, permaculture oregon, organic north america.

regenerative agriculture has 15,000 but again no feedback. regenerative agriculture uncensored, few people but a lot of feedback. reverential agroecology is a group i started, small number of folks so far,

will probably combine my microbe teas, a fast way. . . with reverential agroecology and call it radical permaculture, hopefully will get to this tonight or tomorrow.

am getting serious flak for saying most permaculture people till so want to change it to many permaculture till if you can do that. most till but do not have a way to document it.

"Protest to Stop the Deforestation and Poisoning of the East Bay Hills, 6/29 at UC Berkeley, Interview with Isis Feral, Coalition to Defend East Bay Forests by Willi Paul,

Yes I am aware. I have been a part of a quarter century effort to stop UCB & LBNL from gutting the canyon above Berkeley.
Check out this video clip I recorded in 2007 with professor Mc Bride on the real history of the canyon and hills. It is all about development


and you might look at this "The Big Game"...

If you have the time you might check out another in that playlist called: "Walk, Talk, Buck the Fence: What's at stake in the Ecology of Berkeley's strawberry Canyon" Dr. Ignacio Chapela, Associate Professor, Ph.D He is really speaking to the entire east bay.
L A Wood,

Hi Willi- Thanx so much for getting it out there so quickly!

Thanx for sending the videos. I especially appreciated seeing the one about the Oak Grove, which I hadn't seen yet. Ignacio Chapella's presentation made some great points I hadn't heard before, putting the relatively small grove into a larger context. You might find this article about Joe McBride by our allies in San Francisco interesting:

In related news, here's the freshly uploaded, short video of the protest at the Sierra Club a couple of weeks ago:

Much appreciation.

Hi Willi,

Thank you for the suggestion. A couple of times you told me I should embellish my LinkedIn profile. I was quite slow in getting around to it. But finally, about two weeks ago, I updated my profile. On Monday I was offered a job interview for a job I accepted yesterday. A head hunter found me by searching LinkedIn skills. I'm not particularly fond of head hunters; but I think this will work out OK. I've a one year contract to do development work for a very small firm with the truly funky name of In spite of the questionable name they are very well respected, especially in the educational space.

So thanks again for the gentle prod. I hope your searches are equally productive.

Best wishes,

Hi Willi - we are set up as a non-profit.

Thanks for your other email. We changed some of the application based on your feedback, thanks so much!

We don't receive corporate money or very many sponsors, for that matter. We will be setting up a Scholarship Fund (like we did in previous years) for those unable to pay the full amount (which is still less than most other conferences!). We are trying to pay organizers their Fair Share.?

Hopefully you can attend this year - would be great to do some interviews with the organizers or keynotes?

Susan Silber
Program Director, Nature's Voices Project
co-Manager, North American Permaculture and Building Resilient Communities Convergence

Thank you for the email.
I guess this is why one shouldn't design and update their website live. I was messing around with titling the different series' of paintings I have completed. I made these categories just yesterday. Don't know if they will stay.

The paintings in the new mythology series were done with fictional stories in mind. Some were done for a death metal album titled Stranger, by the band Cretin. Their lyrics tell stories and I painted a few of them. Other paintings in this series come from the new mythology being created by homeless children, who are in and out of shelters in Florida. They have created their own mythology that pertains their dreams and fears. Their stories are amazing and heartbreaking. Others are simply my ideas for larger than life characters and stories.

I will check out your website. I'm just shocked that someone found me so fast. Sometimes I work and work and feel like no one is out there. Thanks again for the email. Best,
Emerson Murry

Writers and Artists Online Roundtable: Visions 2040" - 6/1 - 23.

Thanks so much for hosting the Artist and Writers Roundtable, as I also mentioned I have virtually zero experience writing outside of school papers, and having a chance to do something to be published in the real world was quite exciting and instructive to me.

I also wanted to mention: How much I liked to the format of the roundtable idea. In being a former activist and long-time Permaculture enthusiast, I have a lot of experience with the process of attempting to move ideas from a conceptual phase and into an applied one. What I have found is that this is in fact a huge deal!! Therefore, the set-up of an online submission gateway, coupled with both a real-time interactive dialog option and publishing is super! Although I am sorry the call-in didn't happen and that more people didn't get involved, I know from my own experience how much of a little-big deal it was to get my own basic submission together. This of course was in part was what made it feel like a really valuable exercise for me; just to have this experience alone, of having the pressure to perform.

In fact this is precisely what I have gradually realized is what is such a big-deal about doing stuff and actually making it happen; is just how much it takes to do even the simplest things well, or correctly; and that's just the beginning, of course.

I don't know if you would agree, but from my perspective Permaculture is definitely under represented in a cultural dialog and media, etc. While, of course, I want to see a lot more about it everywhere all the time - I don't want to be a CocaCola sign either, (haha:). Seriously though, we as Permaculturalists - have the implicit responsibility not to go hog wild, not only this - it also is impossible to sustain oneself and do TOO much, just ask Jerry Garcia.

Clearly, the development of not only media, and other material - educational, even promotional, etc., not to mention the ideas themselves, is of central importance to what we do want to be part of propagating. Therefore, this is why I liked to Roundtable as much as I did.

I hope I might have the opportunity to be involved in any other such project you may be sponsoring in the future.
Please let me know if there are other ways someone who likes to write, has a fair amount of computer experience and not very much free-time, but at least some time to dedicate to Permaculture Myth and Vision development and fostering can continue to be involved.
Best Regards,
David Wallace

thanks willi for all you do. i had a vision/insight this morning and you came up. the work i am doing which is so simple yet so profound, regenerating the soil primarily with easy to apply microbe tea is running aground with the mainline beliefs that the world is flat. (meaning people believe it takes a lot of work to regenerate soil.) people are very reactive. anyway so i came up with needing a myth and thought of you. i am not saying that i want anyting from you, just that knowing about your mythology and the need for it is helping me. hopefully i can come up with a myth today and you might make suggestions for me.

Hi and Good Day, I am an East Bay Permaculture person, I have responded to Willi's posts previously. I think I have some sort of greater connection to the ideas of Myth Making, but certainly I am centrally interested in the role of writers in the digital media sphere. I also work doing gardening and environmental landscape design, I am seeking to generate a synthesis of hands-on down in the dirt work and inspired metaphysical leadership/design collaboration/visioning roundtable, etc.
Cheers, David "Heron" Wallace

Thank you for the invitation, Willi. Sounds intriguing!
Megan Hollingsworth

Dear Willi, My colleagues at John Hunt Publishing have passed your letter on to me about the potential of publishing your work. I run an imprint at the company called Changemakers Books, and your note was turned over to me - there are other imprints that might work for you, but they have correctly thought that I might be the best point of contact.

I'm also based in the US, rather than the UK, which has some advantages.

I've taken a look at your website and sample ebooks. I would invite you, as a next step, to take a look at and see if you might feel at home on a shelf with our other authors.

(You might well find some of them worth interviewing - see for example, Preparing for a World that does not Exist - Yet).

I'm also an author, and find your new mythology work quite intriguing. I wrote a rather big book on mythology a decade ago called Savage Breast: One Man's Search of the Goddess, which has given me a great sense of how mythology underpins society, and how change begins with new myths taking root. This is only one of many things that makes your work appealing to me. It appears your mind operates on several parallel processes all at once - which is quite a talent - and it makes it difficult to settle on a single topic for a book.

When you've had a look, please write back. You are welcome at that time to describe a potential book to publish with us.It would also be very helpful at this point to get a sense of the scope of your "author platform" - that is the breadth and depth of connections and networks that you could engage to help spread the word about your book or books when they get published. The strength of a new author's network matters almost as much to a publisher as the quality of the text - because reading readers is of course what makes any book successful.


Tim Ward, Publisher
twitter: @ChangemakersB

Sounds, Samples and Songs: Tuning New Mythology with Permaculture, Transition and Nature. eBook 29.


From the Introduction:

Writing about visioning with sound samples is best equated to chasing after the wind. I do not know where to begin and end. I insist that my approach to the text + image + sound + video process is alchemic; at the border of consciousness and unconsciousness. It is in this mirage (in my digital cave in Burlingame!), that I mix permaculture, Nature, Transition and the new mythology into a "soul compost."

Here are my seeds. I am a reWilder, initiator and bliss cabler.

I try to make new sonic symbols and supporting sound archetypes here!

Part electronic painter, part sample miner and captioner, my initiation is to make green tea for the global kinder and trigger some warning Light on what's waiting for us at the end of the beanstalk.

Sound is part of my tool kit, on a vision quest at the beginning of the new world.

Please also enjoy my New Myths, interviews and workshops and eBooks.


Hi Folks - Would love to get connected with other writers and visionaries via JCF? I have manifest new thought leaders in my interviews and eBooks since 2009. Your bookstore, while nice / full of the old guard, is short of the (new myth) mark. But I wax redundant, eh?!
Cordially, Willi

Thanks, Willi, I'll confess I haven't been to your site in a while, so this is a good reason to visit your page and catch up on what you are doing - and possibly add some of your "new guard" to the online store.Bliss on,
Stephen Gerringer at JCF

"A world without the new mythology is the world in which we now live... " - WOX (via LI)

"As a myth maker for the now I celebrate this image and message. Hi Willi. Took a look at your stuff. Thank you for being a change agent and superb resource.

My myths trail through all my stuff. Have been In the mystics family for years...Campbell...Jung...Estes...and on. Webpage/Blog. Social media. My work is about self-empowerment. The teacher is within. I am another you. You are the monad. Creativity and imagination envision the new self- sustainable loving world with hearts that think and minds that feel. Integration of the opposites heals the split. Only do what you love... that's where healing magic lives.

Mary Magdalene hangs out with me and as we speak is pushing me to remember that I am to make her known. The Dark Goddess is shouting our new myth. The ground does talk. I listen and have other books to write. In a shift. Breathing into change for us all...."
sandy foster morrison, Author, Speaker and Psychotherapist, VA

"... I do believe you are the untapped resource amid the mountains of tools and treasures at"

"reinforcements" - Interviews 2014 - 2016: Spirit Healing | Permaculture & Nature | Transition Movement| New Mythology. eBook 28

Hi, Willi: Love this cover. You are exceedingly effective at curating all of this relevant content. Thank you,
Myra Jackson

Oh technology - I would rather be in the garden then on the computer!!!!! In Collaboration,
Hannah Apricot Eckberg, Hannah at

"Grief and Gratitude" - An interview with Maria Owl Gutierrez in Support of: "COMMUNITY GRIEF RITUAL - Tending to our Sorrow" with Maria and Mike Shea at A PLACE for Sustainable Living, May 7, 2016. Oakland, California. By Willi Paul,

thanks for this work. i'd be at the ritual if i wasn't organizing guy mcpherson's talk during the same time period. guy would be available to speak with you if you'd like i can connect you to his tour organizer, robin wagoner. i'm really quite broken up about not being at the ritual. i've had the opportunity to participate in two rituals with barry and maya spector and two with francis weller over the last year and a half. many blessings.
ps. i don't believe we've actually met but maybe at the next convergence.
Jenny Shore

The Sequestor (prayer for permaculture) Text | Spoken

This is beautiful Willi!
Karma Sohn

This is so lovely. Thank you!
~shahara~ TerraSoLuna at

Permaculture as a Gringo Movement

I appreciate the article for opening up a discussion. There is a lot of space between the sentiments expressed in it and the idea that nothing can change/nothing needs to change with the intersection between privilege, accessibility, and permaculture. Best word in the article goes to "pharisaical."

Willi, Thank you for this. It addresses things I have been uncomfortable with for a long time.

I often don't take the time for more "mythological musings", but this one captured me instantly. Love the intersection of privilege and permaculture being addressed openly. Trying to undermine the current paradigm by opening a community clinic for making alternative manual therapy affordable and accessible, I think about this stuff all the time. Glad not to be alone striving against the inflation of self-assigned value and wanting to empower everyone with knowledge that is their right to own. Really appreciate your passing it along,
Claire Darling, LMT

I have a friend from Central America who is a diehard advocate for all things organic. He eats organic, grows organic, and dedicates his time to working with small farmers across the region to help them incorporate more environmentally friendly production practices. I once asked him about what inspired the work to which he has dedicated his life. He mentioned first the ancestral agricultural practices of his Mayan ancestors but went on to mention more current sources such as the agroecology movement, biodynamics, traditional organic gardening, amongst others. When I asked him about the permaculture movement however, he laughed scornfully and remarked: "Permaculture isn´t anything but a movement of gringo hippies who are pretending to be farmers."

Though his critique was somewhat naïve and over simplified, I've been finding that throughout Central America and much of the "under-developed" (or perhaps better stated as "differently developed") world, this appreciation of permaculture as a movement of gringos is strongly felt and deeply rooted.

As I've talked with different farmers, researchers, academics and others interested in alternative agriculture and ecology, the main grievance that they have with permaculture is the steep costs associated with the courses offered and the literature sold. These prohibitive costs, they argue, turn permaculture into an exclusive club that can only be enjoyed by the affluent. They have very little argument with what permaculture actually teaches or advocates for, but they find that in a region where small farmers are usually severely economically marginalized, the exclusivity of the permaculture movement is a major impediment.

Most permaculture teachers offer a two week Permaculture Design Course (PDC). The running cost for most PDCs is around $2000 dollars, give or take $500. With prices like those, it´s hard to argue against the idea that permaculture is unaffordable to 90% of the world´s farmers who might be lucky to make that amount in a year of hard work.

Though there are a few permaculture institutes in Central America, the agroecology movement is far better established. This movement, in comparison with permaculture courses, tends to offer courses and classes for free to local farmers. True, participants may have to settle for eating beans and tortillas three times a day instead of organic hummus and other delicacies of the First World alternative health food movement, but nonetheless, it's free!

It's true that many of these Central American agroecology movements and organizations fund their work from grant money awarded to them by international organizations that fund development programs. Nonetheless, the money invested by 20 participants in a 2 week long permaculture design course is often equivalent to the funding for a three year agroecology project where hundreds if not thousands of Central American farmers will have access to information, agroecology courses, etc.

Another problem that many Central American academics and researchers have with permaculture is the cost of books written by supposed permaculture experts. One of the most recent permaculture books to hit the market was originally priced at $75 dollars on Amazon. Other permaculture authors even sell their books by the chapter. If it weren't for internet piracy and public libraries, the majority of books about permaculture that I wanted to read would still be on my Amazon wish list.

The actual permaculture courses can often seem like a publicity campaign for companies that market organic products. When I participated in a PDC back in 2012, there were hundreds of references or "plugs" during the two week course for different products and companies that produce organic inputs and of course for the essential books that any good permaculturist must read. It almost gave the impression that in order to farm and live permaculturally, you needed a bank account deep enough to buy this endless list of products.

Still other permaculturists advocate for the use of expensive machinery like bulldozers, Bobcats and backhoes. Where I live in Central America, big tractors and other heavy machinery are equated with mega-projects like mining, hydro dams, and industrial monocultures like the massive sugar cane plantations that dot the entire Pacific Coast of Central America. Farming tools are pretty much limited to a hoe, a machete, and strong back.

When I showed one video from a well known permaculture teacher about how to do build swales (water infiltration ditches) using a backhoe, one of the young Central American farmers raised his hand and asked sarcastically: "Is this guy a farmer or a miner?" Still another said that he could have built the same system of swales in a weekend with the help of a few friends and a six pack of beer.
The cost of renting a Bobcat in my small village here in Central America is $40 an hour. Most farmers make an average of $100 a month. Very few people would be willing to spend what they would make in 4-5 months just to rent a Bobcat to build a pond or a swale that they could build with a little sweat, a pick axe and a shovel.

Another point of tension between permaculture and Central American farmers is the issue of how knowledge is used. Some permaculture experts list knowledge as one of the main "products" or "income generators" from their farm. They argue that the knowledge they have acquired over years of study and work on their land can be sold to others.

The issue of knowledge as a profit generator brings up the debate as to whether knowledge should be considered a right that should be universally accessible to all or an aspect of private profit for individuals. In Central America, most farmers share their knowledge with one another. If one type of seed grows better than another variety, the majority of farmers will share that knowledge freely with their neighbors instead of trying to charge them for access to that knowledge.

Gene Logsdon, a farmer and writer linked with the agrarian movement in the United States, has said that farming is increasingly a part time occupation, especially for young people. If that means that someone who wants to embrace permaculture principles on their land has to work part time at a construction job so he can spend the rest of his time on the farm, so be it. It sure seems a lot fairer than having someone make their living by selling his or her knowledge for $2000 bucks per course.

I first heard of permaculture when I was around 24 years old. At that time, I was living in San Salvador and obsessed with the idea of socialist revolution and the end of the exploitation of the masses. I had read most of Marx's work and was convinced that the Marxist critique of capitalism leading to inevitable inequality and exploitation was dot on.

When I came across Bill Mollison, one of the founders of permaculture, I read about the three ethics of permaculture that form the backbone for the movement: care for the Earth, care for people, and redistribute surplus back into the first two principles. The first two ethics seemed pretty vague to me, but the third one jumped right off of the page.

Redistribution! That sounded pretty Marxist to me and definitely got me interested. I imagined permaculture advocating for land reform and supporting the cause of peasant revolution. I was convinced that permaculture was a way to tie my social/political ideas into my growing environmental awareness.

But as I learned more about permaculture and tried to find some affordable literature on the subject, I came to find that most people involved in the permaculture movement had no idea what the third permaculture ethic actually entailed. In fact, many permaculture leaders had different ways of defining the third ethic. Some permaculture teachers stuck to the more radical idea of redistribution of surplus, while others settled with the more ambiguous idea of "fair shares" while failing to ever define what is fair. Many a Central American farmer could ask if it´s fair for a permaculture teacher to rake in $20,000 from leading a two week design course while the small farmer toils daily for a mere $6 dollars a day.

We need a Marxist interpretation of permaculture's ethics. By that, I don't mean to say that we need government control of what we grow and how we grow it. The majority of political leaders have probably never shoveled cow manure or even stuck their hands in the dirt. Marx himself thought peasants were particularly dumb and subservient and that the communist revolution would be led by primarily urban workers who experienced the worst aspects of industrial, capitalist exploitation.

What I mean is that we need to understand that permaculture exists within a neoliberal capitalist system that continually tries to subtly subvert its "ethics" into some form of consumer, capitalist ideology. Care for the earth can be interpreted as allowing rich countries to pay for their waste and pollution through the pharisaical carbon credit program. Care for people can follow neoliberal ideology and argue that individual greed can miraculously lead to societal well being. And the issue of redistribution of surplus can either be shrewdly ignored (as it often is) or reduced to a largely symbolic offering of "scholarships" to economically challenged permaculture enthusiasts.

Some permaculturists argue that they need to charge $70 a book or $2000 a course to support their ongoing permaculture work and research. They may argue that maintaining an alternative, sustainable lifestyle is costly. And therein lays the problem. If living sustainably is an expensive luxury, then it is a privilege of the wealthy and affluent. Marx would be turning in his grave.

Permaculture desperately needs a new focus on the ethics of frugality, prudence and thrift. We in the so called "First World" need to learn to question certain things we take for granted about our lifestyle. A true permaculturist, as Wendell Berry says, would "achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do." Instead of relying on expensive organic inputs at the local permaculture store, we would learn how to shovel our animal manure and turn it into the fertility our plants need. As Henry David Thoreau admonished us so many years ago, we need to learn to "cultivate poverty like a garden herb."

If people come to permaculture because they think they'll be able to pull in fifty grand from organizing a couple of workshops per year, then permaculture is destined to remain a movement of affluent gringo hippies and continue to receive the ridicule of small farmers from around the world who understand that frugality and hard work are the keys to living successfully and sustainably on the land.

In order to truly live out the ethics that were first set out for permaculture, the values of frugality, thrift, prudence, and simplicity need to be reworked into how we care for the earth and care for people. The idea of redistribution of surplus needs to be taken seriously and knowledge needs to be included into that idea of surplus. What we learn from our readings and from long hours of working the land should not be considered a product to be profited from, but rather something to be freely and openly shared. Only then will permaculture have the possibility to grow into a worldwide movement capable of helping small farmers from around the world.

Tobias Roberts, International Development Worker,

I'd love to offer a few words about Jung's quote in Vol. 5, about "colour seeing." Harmonics is the "many in the one" note or vibration. One note is struck but contains many different tones. Resonance. All ideas we are familiar with today. I wondered what it was in Marion's writing that sounded a profound call to soul. I found rich passages that echoed esoteric Sanskrit text about creation and transformation. Just a curiously at first. Then a literary critical analysis then it flew up and out on wings. The Romantic poets still have this "note". Leonard Bernstein tried to talk about it....
Virginia D. Holmquist, Jungian-Oriented Psychotherapist, Clinical Supervisor, Mythologist

Hi Willi, I am hoping to get to editing tomorrow - life is being interesting. Thank you for being patient. And, of course, I can't stop myself and have come up with the idea to create a writing contest around your idea of creating myth and haven't quiet figured out how to put it together. As soon as it is ready to go life, you will be the first to know!

Catch's Complimentary Ad in Permaculture Magazine, North America (inaugural issue)? General Section:

"PERMACULTURE + Transition + Mythology x Willi Paul ="

Willi Paul's New Myth #18: "The Transition River Lovers" just published in the compilation of selected short stories from 1st Annual New Home Economics Short Story Contest, "Guidelines for the Future"
by Alexis Thompson,

"Geo-Political Archetypes vs. Nature-Sound Archetypes"

Big Joe Campbell fan here... Keep following your bliss and caring for nature. Appreciate comparisons and complex thinking. Good for you. Since you are comparing, I was looking for the "sound" archetypes for the geo political sides.
Best Elayne: wildgeesefly at

First, I would say that I would not have advised Willi to post our conversation in what appears to be a forum specific to Jungian Psychology. Our discussion surveys applications of storytelling and symbol-making to social and political causes. It's a mismatch. No harm done, just a little misunderstanding. What's left to do now is simply to offer clarifications in the form of the contexts appropriate to Willi and to the comments made to him.

But actually (and for those with no time to read this whole comment) the only real clarification necessary has already been made: mythology is understood differently when applied to personal or social spheres. If it is objected that the borders between these two spheres are not and should not be so facilely drawn (I would agree :) and) I would say then that the salient difference between Willi's work and the psychological work described by John Brusseau is in how those borders between social and personal have been defined within the work they do. It is certainly not a border between authentic and inauthentic use of mythology and it is certainly not a difference between vital and worn out uses of myth.
But to the Willi context and to a lesser degree, the me context: I first met Willi a few years ago when his voice was one of the most persistent and certainly the most distinctive at Bonnie Bright's Depth Psychology Alliance. His was also one of the only nonclinical (not focused on the individual) voices audible there.

As for me I am not an academic. (The questions Willi asked and the answers that I gave seem to have given John the impression that we were academics complaining in our complacency. If not that, then it was his impression that we were in some equally contemptible position.) Instead I was fortunate enough when I was 17 -- more than 30 years ago -- to have written and illustrated a novel length manuscript based on half remembered dreams. I'd had the dreams during my grandfather's final illness six years earlier.

After high school, intent on educating myself, during some wayward years before I surrendered and went to college, I revisited this manuscript. What became quite clear was that the images I'd thieved from my dreams had a miraculous power to anticipate my existential questions and, when I was capable of plumbing to the necessary depth, to answer those questions.

When my grandfather died I lost my childhood faith. When I discovered this presence of powerful images amid the other natural stuff of life a new substantiated belief was established in me.

This experience of mine, I believe, fulfills John's requirement that we follow our inner wise man's trail of images rather than take a class. And as for the metaphor of leaving mommy and daddy and sissy and bruddie as John Brusseau translates both the beginning of the individuation process and the Biblical verse, I had already physically left home by the time I was writing this manuscript.

For more than 3 decades I had been on the path that John clearly describes, seeking to map the speech patterns of the pictures sent by this "autonomous unconscious" something in oneself. I first encountered Willi after I had already spent more than a few years concentrating on the problem of mentoring, regarding it as a "problem" for much the same reason that John urges Willi to heed a call far deeper than that of the "Cognitive Mind."

How to impart life wisdom that likely can only be learned from experience? How to encourage the engagement with the images of the unconscious without converting those encounters into glosses and clichés?

As an artist I was at that time concentrating on instructing community groups in image-work so that they could design and execute their own murals. I was working with images and with spaces big enough to display their metamorphosis. It was a problem of translating the richness of the mythic image-storm of the personal myth to a social, decidedly -- even intentionally -- work-a-day setting while retaining the effectiveness of those images to transform individuals. It was also a lesson in being satisfied with "good enough."

Obviously my emphasis was decidedly social: mentoring is a form of social action and cultural transmission. So when I joined the Depth Psychology Alliance online, Willi's permaculture emphasis as well as his extraordinary output and extraordinary capacity for work impressed me as much or more than the polished and scholarly voices available in abundance on that site.

I became interested in talking with Willi when I noticed that he was repeatedly encountering the same question: "Yes, but how are these things you produce Myth?" To date he has published nearly eighty of what he calls new myths as well as musical pieces & videos as well as well over 350 interviews with people in fields as diverse as myth studies, psychology and agriculture with an unimaginable array of specializations. What unifies this diversity is the effort to forge new solutions for what will undoubtedly be a troubled future environmentally, economically and politically.

In comments accompanying many if not all of these new myths at least one person raises the objection, something to the effect of, 'yes, this is all remarkable but why call these things myths?' At the beginning and out of my own bias regarding what something must possess to earn the name myth, the question had arisen in my mind as well. I had my own requirements for someone else to be of interest to me. That was, essentially, that their work be able to further my own in precisely the direction I wanted to take it. This of course is not an attitude likely to lead to personal transformation.

Willi's myths were very often simple sketches of stories. Willi's New Myth #1 introduced the pattern of detailing an ecological problem and the attempt at addressing that problem aided by natural forces (animals, etc.). Other of his creations, found in videos on YouTube were even more sparse -- often simply making lists or putting captions on images of nature or tools or images of human-made disasters. And with those I was not sure whether these were part of a seminar he had run or what but the prevailing impression for me was one of an outline without content, like looking at slides from a lecture you have not attended.

You can imagine the content of the lecture looking at the slides, but that is not the same thing. And now and I again I have begun to think that maybe the point of this profusion of sparse offerings is just that: to get others imagining.

Besides the hundreds of interviews, the three or four fully packed and very frequently updated websites (and other things I'm forgetting but which are listed in his bio) he commonly runs seminars with children and workers in the various fields within permaculture he called Myth Labs. I can't describe Willi's activities in a comprehensive way, I can only say what I am aware of and to say that I am aware that there is more than I am aware of. Likely even Willi must make this statement on occasion.

To the frequent question about his productions, "Why is this myth?" Willy's responses more often than not were characterized by the same staccato language use that he used in outlining his myths here. I have engaged now twice in extensive back-and-forth discussions with Willi, resulting in two long interviews. And I can say in response to certain kinds of questions this is the language he used. If one investigates further and sees a transcript of a panel discussion in which he participated or watches a video in which he speaks it is quite clear that these are not the only ways in which he communicates, but for some reason on this most crucial subject, this is how he responds.

Some important background: As I have been given to understand, on Earth Day 2009 he encountered something that set him running in this direction of myth as a potent tool for social change. I do not know if he had any previous interest in myth that went to any depth. My understanding is simply that he saw something in it he could use against the environmental problems he had to address in his work in permaculture. His work in permaculture keeps him aware of the catastrophic size of these problems. That, and the hope he has invested in myth, has kept him running ever since.

Now to consider Willi's narrative in light of the assumptions made about him here.

This call and the fact that he has been running ever since receiving it is most certainly his discovery of his personal myth as John characterized it; this is his path as Willi himself calls it. Something extraordinary happened on Earth Day 2009 and he has been loyal to it: by his loyalty to it he has been cleaved from his family. He has not sought to save his own life but rather loves "it" more than he loves his own life. He gives his all and will continue to give his all.
His questions are sincere and I attempt to answer them sincerely. In fact, I can easily answer quite frankly because I know that there are thousands of others he has asked the same questions and certainly thousands more will follow me. I am happy to be among these thousands who give their own responses frank or otherwise from which people can learn, taking what they like, and continuing their work that much enriched.

Who knows where the solutions will come from? But it is certain that Willi offers much to those in pursuit of solutions.

Willi is not certified or credentialed in anything to do with myth so far as I know. If he occasionally takes a woeful look in the direction of social sanctions -- as his questions to me seem to have suggested to John that he was doing -- it is because he knows firsthand the way of the Pilgrim -- the way of ultimate rather than immediate rewards -- is one of deprivation and hunger. To be on that path and to look to one side and then the other and see people one's own age, one's peers, "doing well," able to afford leisure, offers no small temptation to the pilgrim.

To work twice the hours of a more standard worker and to still have to worry about covering the bills? And to see peers flourish seemingly without a care, paying merely with 8-12 of daily meaningless work -- sometimes with weekends off? The security afforded by a salary and medical insurance should not be dismissed as middle-class imaginative sloth. As someone who has been a "starving artist," I can tell you the choice between living with artistic integrity and a tooth ache or living without either is by no means an easy one.

Now, I don't want to make the same mistake that I believe was made here with regard to Willi. I don't assume anyone has avoided "the narrow way" or "the Gift of Screws" as Emily Dickinson has it. It is simply not the case that Willie has stayed at home, or chosen the easy way or the celebration of his peers or the academic chair and all the sitting one does in it.

He follows his Wise Man and this is all the more evident and all the more extraordinary given what he accomplishes combined with the fact that his language regarding myth is still in such a nascent stage. What is called "bitching" (whining) here being read into his questions to me are understandable expressions of frustration from someone who struggles for a higher purpose and as often as not is refused even the simplest of courtesies.
CarridinePoran at

NEXT ( is looking for invites to come other cities. They are self-organizing. I am presenting on How to change a system and point to Permaculture. Food Tank Conference is diving deep into these areas and many in the DC Urban setting are putting in mini-permaculture farms on their land. It is exciting to see it all going down. I planned to attend the Food Tank Conference in Sacramento in the Fall, and hope to meet up with you in person one day. Check this out:
Myra Jackson

Hello Willi, Really appreciate the work you are doing.
Howard Story,

"Giger's Harvest Tradition @ Root River" - New Myth #79

Wow - Very fun and packed full of juicy information, like blackberries in a ziplock bag. - Heron Wallace, eastbaypermaculture at

"Does Mythology Still Matter?

Willi: CP, You are a deep reservoir! One of the best pieces ever on

Did you get the pun in the title!?
"Still Matters? or Stopping Prima Mater?"

The latest run in with the intelligentsia was my visit to Pacifica for a tour of the PhD scene. This is the source of one interview question.

Racism in permaculture!

Actually, the journal of my work is here:

Bottom line is I keep moving, scattering seeds and tracking scents. Now:

Developing sound archetypes using the 4 seasons.

Peace. W

Don't expect to fit in your social surround or be celebrated if you follow after the kind of unconsciously driven insight presented in myth. You may be embraced by parroting Jung or Cambpell, but you won't have followed the inner Jesus to any kind of insight into the human condition, which of course is the whole point of myth...

This myth of following Jesus is terribly relevant to your posted discussion. You argue against the staleness of the academic view of myth. And this is a projection of your own tired views of myth; views you inwardly are wanting to break out of, but are afraid to pay the price for.

Stop bitching and choose. If you want to reignite the power of myth, leave home (your social/academic surround) and look for myth. Leave the rest of us to do as we see fit.
John Brusseau , LI Analytical Psychology Group (edited)

I doubt that it is a "genetically" passed on archetype John B; myths are socially constructed and built on archetypal energies shared, according to Jung and Campbell, by all humanity. Many myths have been recognised as built also on actual historical events, reconstructed in a way to "tell a story" about a society, especially one undergoing a major shift in the myth of Helen and the Trojan wars. This is, in part, the telling of a story of a society undergoing the transition from matriarchy to patriarchy: read Betany Hughes for more on that. The archetypes may well be then seen as unconscious patterns inculcated in members of a society, in order to maintain the structure, perhaps? A great deal more is now known/understood about some of the symbolisms to which Campbell referred, as being the result of altered states of consciousness where contact with spirit energies is experienced as an actuality (read Narby).
Christina Virago PhD,LI Analytical Psychology Group (edited)

Permaculture. Racism. Oakland." Interview with Troy Hudson, Organizer, Town and City Permaculture by Willi Paul, Media

Feb 21st: A Permaculture Social/ meet and greet will be happening at Qilombo Community center on 23rd and San Pablo cross street west Grand. Sunday at 1 to 5p. Key topics will be how to bring poor/working- class folks and youth into permaculture, in a diverse manner and in essence further our practice of the true purpose of permaculture. Be there!, NorCal Community Resilience Network,

Hi Willi,

Thanks for your email via my website. I've looked at your main website as well as number of the links that are connected to it. My initial response to your question would be, "Why not do both i.e. - work in theory and as an activist)"?

You've obviously spent untold hours developing the concepts featured on the site, along with all of the accompanying writing. I'm assuming that these are the foundations that would inform the projects that you'd like to do with youth. Perhaps shift most of your time into preparing and then presenting these programs to groups that could sponsor you. Unless you've already got a track record of working directly with youth (and you may have) it seems that working under the umbrella of a recognized group could be a good way to start. Putting your ideas into action in order to enrich the lives of young people and the health of the planet is a worthy endeavor.

One observation about your sites is that they're very dense-there's a lot to read and the material is probably quite challenging for the average person interested in myth, sustainability, the sacred, etc. I've found that myth "insiders" (like any area of inquiry) oftentimes don't approach the general public at a level that is meaningful for them as interested outsiders at various levels of exposure to the particular field. Perhaps an "entry level" website/portal for your work with youth, so that you don't overwhelm people before you can engage them.

All best to you!

mary antonia wood, ph.d.
Artist, Contemporary Mythologist & Artist's Mentor
Talisman Creative Mentoring | Santa Barbara, CA

Just getting back to you. I believe you are seeking someone to critique your myth projects. That's a very tough one. I know that to join the Pacifica community as a student involves expenses that you can't, or choose not to incur. And that really wouldn't be the only way to find others to critique your work. Pacifica's an educational institution. I guess its primary purpose is to grow those who can become so familiar with myth that over time they are experts in their own right, and in the process find many like-minded people. I'm sure you've already tried to find a small community whose critique you trust. As a clinical psychology student there, I can't offer any real help. But I fully support you in your work. Something very deep is calling you. I'm very familiar with that kind of vocational voice and know that it just doesn't let go of us. That's why during a 14 year journey I felt required to write Imaginal Figures, even as I did MANY other important things, and not so important things, to earn a living.
Mary Harrell , Psychologist, Author, Associate Professor Emeritus State University of New York. LinkedIn

"Crisis Mythology" - Essays and Conversation with Myra Jackson, Dan De Lion & Willi Paul

Willi: Hi! First that I have heard of the ARCHONS. The presenter has the imbalance between technology and spirit correct. Do you know the Archons?

I don't know much about them, but I have been dealing with the etheric implants for years - every time I get them cleared by my clairvoyant friend, and then reach new levels in my awareness, I get tagged again and brought back down vibrationally. The reason why I know this is because it is my direct personal experience....

1) I have a cathartic awakening and consciousness shift, leading to heightened clarity and vibration, and a sense of deep inner peace and knowing.

2) I begin to feel physically strange intermittent aches and pains that are totally unrelated to my own physical activity, and feel like someone is pushing something into my head, via my temple, forehead, or back of my neck; or into other parts of my body, such as my rib cage, ankle, wrist, etc.

3) I experience a dramatic shift in my clarity, begin to feel physically numb and heavy, energetically apathetic and depressed, confused and anxious. This is always a shift that seems to happen without any identifiable trigger.

4) I ask my clairvoyant friend why I am feeling a certain way physically in my head and body, and he confirms that he can see some kind of etheric box in my head, for instance. Then we work together to remove it as best we can, and my energy begins to come back as the heaviness and lethargy lift.

5) Then the cycle starts all over again, depending on how long it takes me to get right back on track with my vibrational ascension. Oftentimes, even with the implant removed for a period of time, i remain "in the weeds" so to speak, having veered off course and been led astray to pursue falsh paths and distracting deeds. It usually takes a while for me to see this and take a step far enough back to remove myself from these traps ~ and sometimes at great cost to my social interfaces.

So there have been many times that I have ventured out in search of answers to empower myself with ~ and usually, the information I find is so overwhelming and sounds so crazy I shut down and end up feeling like I don't know who or what I can trust to believe. But when I stumbled across this man and listened to what he had to say, it was like I was hearing Truth being spoken for the first time.

Because it seems a lot of people out there in these circles start to get some of an idea of what's going on, and then heap on a whole bunch of their own made up mind stuff in their attempt to understand and make sense of it, going out and spouting off about it at length. Whenever I listen to these people I feel confused and frustrated, because someting inside of me is saying, this isn't all right. I throw my hands up in the air and walk away then, so desperate for Truth and wanting answers, and having a lot of Truth-sense feelings deep inside that are left unanswered.

I struck gold when I found this man and listened to his interviews. He is so not sensational, reactive, or delusional it is amazing. I wanted to share with you because I admire your work and think you deserve to know the truth, as we all do, but also think you may just be open enough to hear it and feel it to be true yourself!

Peace, Elizabeth


Such an honor to work together, perhaps we can also do webinars or voice conversation as things grow and evolve. thankful! will be spreading this around soon!

I have been fully devoted to Mom and have been touched in a useful way by the work we are doing and the questions posed. My Morning pages are filled with fresh new insights that is nourished by your invitation. Thank you for your role -- a Composter and more you are...
Myra, Activist Mythology

Critique - The Pacifica Experience 1/23

Hi Nikole ( -

Some feedback for your group:

+ I wish that you had set-up one on one's with the prof's
+ I would have reviewed dissertations if they were available
+ I really missed being treated like an important writer and activist who is integrating and expanding the field
+ I felt like a sheep
+ What are the specific themes, controversies and edge players in the field?
+ I really recommend that you give participants an assignment to hand in prior to the event to break the ice
+ The large group presentations were expedient but insufficient in building trust and community

I left early, I had found the answers that I came with. Peace.


"Soul is Spiritual Mud!" - A New Vision of Human Soul & Glossary

Thanks, Willi, I really like this metaphor/truth. Can't quite tell from what you wrote if you're a pantheist - the entire universe is "god," or a panentheist - "god" is both the entire universe, and something beyond. Or maybe I'm just projecting, since I can't tell which one I am either, or how important the distinction is :-). Also curious, why "mud" in particular and not "soil" more generally?

I had to go listen to the Cockburn song. I do like some of his stuff, but in this case admit a preference for Sister Rosetta Tharpe's original: Life, John
John Abbe [epguild]

Hi John - I mentioned god primarily to include more folks, but my spiritual bias praises Nature first. I came up with mud as alchemic metaphor for water + soil = mud or life. And: I have followed Cockburn since his first release way back in College. I have a requested an interview with the artist.
Peace. WOX

"Pre-Mythic Symbols and Archetypes" - Biomimicry and the Hunters and Gatherers - Lecture Outline

Read this whole article - had to see the term biomimicry used in the context of a lecture. Well done.
Mary Harrell, LI

Please help fund the Barnraiser Campaign to Support Rooftop Farming and Urban-Adapted Seeds in the Bay Area. Interview with Benjamin Fahrer, Top Leaf Farms, by Willi Paul, Media

I read Willi Paul's interview of Benjamin Fahrer posted in yesterday's digest and had some questions that maybe Willi or others involved in the project can answer. As the article states, "This is not designed as a community garden, but rather a farm that is managed by skilled farmers to produce the most food possible per square foot." The farm is going to be on a rooftop of a new development that uses the farm widely in its marketing materials. See their website here. I doubt that the public will have access into the student housing to go visit this farm, at least not on a regular basis. I am all for rooftop gardens supported by private enterprise. Why though, if the developers are using this in their advertising, do they need to do a community fundraiser for this? It seems like there are other much worthier community based organizations that could use the $$. Looking forward to hearing a response! gain, I'm very excited that this project is happening. I just think it's pretty lame that they are using it as an excuse to do a fundraiser. I'm assuming that there isn't a fundraiser to build on site car share parking. Can't Nautilus break off 25k to get you guys up and running?
Luke Parkhurst, eastbaypermaculture listserv

This sounds like a very creative way to work with mainstream business and still support the farm and Permaculture communities. Much success to you! I look forward to hearing more and seeing the final project.
David Williams, eastbaypermaculture listserv

Thank you so much for reaching out and helping me put this together I really appreciate it.

I am seeking more followers and co-authors, more interaction with the members. How can I be more creative, more proactive in my outreach? How can you assist? Thanks.

Transition Community College - A Networked Localization Vision

Lovely image.
Helena Joshee, G+

WILDpermaculture - Mixing ReWilding and Permaculture with Symbols. Lesson Plan

Stay tuned....

You'll like this, by the way...

Right up your alley.
Steve Tibbetts

I like this very much, especially the recognition that our religious symbols and stories need to be reworked in a work that supports rewilding. As the dominant myths stand, they support the individual so that systems-thinking - which might save us all - is pushed out. It seems to me that we need to return as far as we can to the root of our myths - when our very ancient ancestors were foragers - to understand the trajectory they have taken since the Agricultural Revolution and, then, re-imagine them in a more ecologically-supportive fashion.
Helen Beers

'I see the need to find a way for people to get in touch with their abilities to actualize their visions and not be stopped by their fear, routine or whatever we fill our time with."

Visions are a nebulous thing to me
Once you have one
Another one comes calling

In my work, I try to build tools and share ideas that may help folks get clear on a purpose and a long-term vision.

Is fear a tool? Yup.

As an outlander in this trans-perm path, I enjoy pushing the edge and challenging the prevailing norms: " - Mixing ReWilding and Permaculture with Symbols. Lesson Plan is a good example.

As for the big picture- I do not give humans much chance to survive the calamities now under way.

Yes, I live with many paradoxes!'

-- Willi Paul comment in an email with Charlotte Anthony, Eugene, 12/11/15

When I think about my research and involvement with indigenous tribal cultures, I think their myths (and symbols) have always been an important part of their lives. Back in the day, traditionally, they lived the myths on a daily basis. With many of these groups today, and most other peoples, myths seem to be thought of or used only if they re seeking some truth, respite, or something new to believe in, often due to a life crisis.

Many modern myths, in a general sense, seem to satisfy an immediate need, whereas traditional myths were a way of life, e.g., the Taos Pueblo who sat on the roofs watching the sunrise, every morning. "The sun rises every day because we are there to welcome it and give thanks every day."
Dr. Jeff Hart, New Mythology LI Group

Thanks! Crisis Myths... hmmm. Willi

A Coloring Book for New Earth Kids" - Love from Willi Paul

This is wonderful - thanks so much for sharing it! Ties right in to topics we are currently covering in our "Songs for the Earth" tours. I plan to share the link with our ARTSmart Family Program participants next month!
Kathrine Walker Schlageck

"Dying Earth Syndrome" - lyrics by Willi Paul

Elizabeth: What is so interesting about this process of dissolution for me is the symbolism. It is during the times that my life has seemed the darkest when I have experienced the greatest breakthroughs. In moments when I was able to feel and receive or emit Divine Love during trials and tribulations, parts of the viral casing were broken down and dissolved. Perhaps this is why so many spiritual teachers have suggested that suffering has the potential to serve a great purpose in our own spiritual development. The meeting of intensely challenging life situations with loving action is an outer reflection of the inner process, the discovery and unveiling of the spark within, which we are destined to someday realize as our true being - our core self. As we transmute fear into love, a light shines in the darkness."

Willi: Nice. Recently I find myself visioning a world without capitalism. There is much dry land here. I have no casing.

Elizabeth: Right on. I feel like the dying is happening inside of us all as we progress on our paths of awakening. Gaia is wise indeed, and the nature spirits support this transition. The world without capitalism starts with collective spiritual evolution - a quantum jump. It is happening! The casing - I have dowsed that a percentage of the population have this casing to work through - it is a part of their path and their learning preparing them for the work they are here to do!The land there sounds lovely - I am down for a place by the ocean!! xoxoxo
Elizabeth Slate, Sun Heart Energy

"PermTrans" - It's Time to Merge the Transition and Permaculture movements. Agenda + PDF by Willi Paul, Media

?Dear Willi, I totally agree about the movements merging.
I was just in England at both the International Permaculture and Transition Convergences. Different sides to the same coin, as I see it.
I wanted to catch up with you to see how your projects are going. I will be working to start the ??North American version of Permaculture Magazine! It may be a good way to help promote your efforts, and a way to help bridge the two movements! I hope you are doing well.
PS, we met a few years ago when I was working for Eric Ohlsen when he first started the Permaculture Skills Center.
??Hannah Apricot Eckberg

Hi Willi - yes I read it. Combining Transition & permaculture is really the vision I have for the NorCal Community Resilience Network - really you are spot-on. The main issue I have with your article is that you really seem to diss people who "make a profit" from permaculture. We are not quite at the Gift Economy, where we can exchange kale for our mortgage payment. Everyone needs to make money somehow. The Just Transition Movement (with the Climate Justice Alliance) argues that we MUST consider Right Livelihoods - jobs - to be at the center of our movement. Everyone needs a job - why not have a job building a regenerative and resilient community? Greywater installers, community organizers, urban gardeners, permaculture educators - all need to make money somehow. Frankly I'm sick of simply volunteering my time to organize events and projects! Money is a tool - it's not simply about being greedy - it's about surviving in this world with a job that makes us feel good. I know that you criticize permaculture courses for being too expensive. Permaculture educators have to make a living somehow too!! $1200 for an overnight 12-day room/board course is frankly quite reasonable. They are not "making a profit" - they are simply trying to earn a living. But most of the rest of what you wrote I mainly agree with. The Convergence was all about combining these movements - you should have come to have seen it! Brenda would have been happy to have been interviewed by you. I can still introduce you, of course - but better if you had met her in person.
Susan Silber

Thanks Susan. I look forward to a new world without winners and losers; without bosses, profit-taking and institutionalized poverty.

"... Permaculture is already a basis of Transition."
Deep Simplicity @PermResInitDet

"might as well; throw in the trans/sexual movement as well - keep rockin bro!"
Nico, Eugene Permaculture Guild

How about the Girl Scouts?

"New Traditions and Indigenous Mythology" - A Conversation with Dr. Jeff Hart and Willi Paul (+PDF). Presented by Media

You can't prove advantages of having a phone if only you have it. You can't move a system (on a merged level) into a healthier direction unless you are big enough, convince someone big or famous enough to join or say something nice about you, don't appear on TV many times, or stupefy your mission statement (so everyone can understand it - "every real... is with us").
Aleksandar Malecic, DPA

These ideas fit beautifully with our Artist's Voice tour using the works of Jacqueline Bishop and K-State's Prairie Studies Initiative. I plan to share with my staff and rethink our tour a bit. Thanks for sharing this Guy, and thanks to Dr. Hart and Mr. Paul!!!
Kathrine Walker Schlageck

Willi, Thanks for the opportunity to share our conversation. I appreciate your 100% accuracy in sharing what we talked about regarding this topic. I would welcome any comments from LinkedIn members regarding my thoughts in our conversation. I would encourage others to take a look at planetshifter - There is an abundance of information here related to the thoughts of C. G. Jung and indigenous tribal people regarding reconnecting to nature and all that is natural in our physical world, and in our unconscious thoughts and dreams.
Dr. Jeff Hart

Hi Alexander - Love the visions at the pond. Are you folks developing an new rituals there? Any myths?

Hi Willi, I think I missed this message. We have not developed much in the way of myth, A lot of traditions about how things are done, and rituals are just starting. We are based a lot on the jewish tradition because of some members who come from that culture, but fitting it to a different, less religious situation. Circle dancing, dinner parties, very light, fun things, but certainly with elements of ritual. Do you find much in the way of new myth?
Alexander McDonell, - Workshop Presenter at The Phoenix Pond, Perth Area, Australia

If you are asking for my own assessment of your work at this stage, I can say that you are doing very interesting work, and that a book about the production of new myths should be interesting too for a certain audience
Arthur George, Mythologist

Hi Art - Good to hear your wisdoms! I have tried to hire an agent in the past. How would you go about this? Any recs? Ironically, content and network aside, my first inclination is to design a multi-web site, interactive tool kit - coffee table book and e-course. A product that grows with my work. This marketing plan could be "state-of-the-art!? Content is ready and must be the easiest part of this. Ideas? Thanks. Willi

Hi Willi, Thanks for reaching out :) The forests are crying. I can feel them drying and dying. We pray every day for rain. However, our land, the forest we steward and of course, our Aquaponics gardens are doing great! We own this to all the permaculture work we have put into the landscape. thousands of feet of swales harvest rain, then slowly allow it to seep into the soil, rather than run off to the creeks and streams. We are no using 90% less water than we were before we started growing food using Aquaponics. How are you and your projects?
Max Meyers - Aquaponics Expert. Creator of "Closed Loop Aquaponics", Permaculture Based Aquaponic Systems. Teacher/Designer/Consult

Hi Max - First, best wishes on your workshop at the Oct. Convergence. Unfortunately my submission was deemed "I think the topic was too specific, and we wanted fewer white males as workshop panelists besides." by Susan Silber. Weird. Bummer. Please see my newest eBook and the foundation of this workshop concept and resilience in general here:
My recent Convergence workshop in Eugene was stellar, garnishing 40 + participants. See for my myth vision. Tell me please, how do you integrate catchment, greywater and aquaculture technologies in poor communities? Keep in mind that I do not believe that technology alone can save us!

Hi Willi - Greetings from Ireland. I see you have designed in for wireless internet at your hub. This technology is de-sensitizing people, so I don't think it's at all sustainable. It gives me headaches and vomiting. It's the curse of the techno-optimists! One big sun spot should sort it out but.... I've been campaigning to raise awareness and reduce the EMFs hazard for a few years now, have many more files if you want any more. As I can see it, the US navy knew of these problems decades ago, tho their report was classified for a long time... The military have made use of this and have developed many EM weapons, the mobile phone itself developed from military applications. I had to get up to speed when my state of Victoria was the first to have 'smart' electrical meters installed in every household - broadcasting radio waves every few minutes into the neighbourhood microwave soup mesh. As a result of the rollout - I've moved to Ireland (where it's acceptible to just read the meter oneself, if necessary).All the best,
Alanna Moore

Hi Alanna - Not sure I understand the macro / micro issue(s) you raise; I am advocating a transition strategy here! A LAN...

I am wondering what your thoughts are on the following: "Does permaculture imply economic democracy?" Basically, I can't afford to live in this area, although I work my ass off, I have an MSc from Gaia U, a NABCEP solar cert., connections with multiple ecological companies etc etc. I work in the highest income zip codes in the country, where they don't take my food stamps card. If I am working for a permaculture landscaping company in these zip codes, and if permaculture comes along with "people care," and "fair share of the surplus," then doesn't it follow that we need to make collective decisions about money? How can a permaculture company engage in capitalism rather than economic democracy while still following the ethics of permaculture design?
Thanks, Daniel Brodell-Lake

Hi Daniel - I wrote this piece in 2011. I see permaculture as one component of a possible future. I live and hope and work for a new system that can only come to be after the demise of most things capitalism. This change will not be pretty. Ironically, the small clique of permie teachers and thought leaders that control this movement are using capitalism to move permaculture along so your question: "How can a permaculture company engage in capitalism rather than economic democracy while still following the ethics of permaculture design?", is poignant, indeed! BTW - I work two careers to afford the Bay hustle....

I think your work and research with symbols and symbolism is extremely important, just as symbols, instruments (the feather, sage, etc.) and rituals are important to indigenous tribal people. I think what you are doing with archetypes, myths and symbols in on the right track to helping people rediscover that which has always been there for anyone to see and know.
Dr. Jeff G Hart, Faculty Educator

Hi Willi, Thank you for sharing the link to your blog. I read some of the information and your works. They are very interesting and informative and I sense what your purpose is and what you're wanting to accomplish. I do resonate with it. Your consciousness is a bit more advanced than most people and you may find yourself misunderstood sometimes. But this is because most people can't grasp a complex mind like yours and vice versa. I am grateful that you have Malou in your life, though. She is your angel. :-) I'm glad I met you.
Maura Francisco, Manila, PH

I love the secret food forest... really lovely and magical.
Kharma Sohn

Thank you for the dialogue. You are doing important work!!!! Enjoy your PH trip!
Stephen Linsteadt

?Hi Willi, How synchronistic. I did an interview with you about five years ago ( I had no idea you were working with Bonnie. Such a small world. Yes, the paintings go with the docs. And you are welcome to use them in any order that suites your needs. Thank you for including me in your important work!
Great to connect with you again. Stephen Linsteadt

" The Pyrethroid Sunflower Man" - The ad campaign by Pyrethroid Working Group (AMVAC Chemical; BASF Corporation; Bayer CropScience; Cheminova, Inc.; DuPont Crop Protection; FMC Corporation; Syngenta Crop Protection; and Valent BioSciences Corporation). On BART with Willi

Thanks for pointing out the "song and dance". Personally, I find it quite discouraging the way business interests try to sell themselves with words like green and organic and natural and sustainable and stewardship. What they mean is "we think we aren't doing as much damage as we could". The same is going on in the food movement where business interests are using the buzz words of the movement but all too often really promoting a shift toward food as a luxtury item and status symbol.
ron chiarello, Eugene

hi Willi!
I am just so glad to have found this movement... having been led to it through many fascinating interviews etc... and have been reading and listening to some of your talks and ideas.

I want to tell you how much I appreciate your work and this field, and I am so looking forward to how this will shape my creative work.

For the last few years I have been searching for a container for the ideas that really inspire me and integrate symbols, myth and art with a current/relevant social and nature interactivity.

So here it is!!! Nice to "meet" you and looking forward to the path that unfolds ~~~ and you understand the function and power of music, so I'd like to share this with you.

There are a few tunes on our site that may fuel you. I play synth and sing in this band.
Karma Sohn,Depth Psychology Alliance


I love the music, some Band of Horses hear; Death Cab up there! REM in the basement. Thank you for the co-joining messages. You are rare in my world.

"Found Something."

I looked around the airport and I guessed that you folks are from B.C. Intuition I guess?


"Big Bang Mythology" - "Steve Tibbetts and 7 Sound Archetypes" by Willi Paul, Magazine (+ pdf version)

The Reservoir: Rock Music and Mythology - by Willi Paul, Magazine

Hitchcock and so forth.

Are you interested in a conversation? You are invited.


"Kids, Rewilding and the New Mythology" - A conversation with Dan De Lion, and Willi Paul

thanks so much for the extra trouble! this looks great! =) really happy with it, you asked great, deep, and mystical questions. will spread it around today.

Hi Willi -- this marvelous passage is taken from an essay by SEAN Kane called "Wisdom of the Mythtellers".

"...the definition of myth I follow is pre-agricultural. Myth means a dialogue between human beings and with spirit-beings of the Earth, engaged in by the myth-tellers of hunter-gatherer societies for the better part of perhaps 100,000 years and still going on in some places. ... That language is told in stories having a top and bottom level. The top side gives the human side of the picture; the bottom level (often with some irony) gives the Earth's view, and the whole myth, usually without meaning to, constitutes a dialogue. Exchange across this boundary between worlds is the central feature and the whole point of myth."
Peace, Roy

Hello Willi, My name is Alexis Thompson. I am a native Portlander and Food Educator who has been following your work through the PPG listserve. Thank you for the amazing work you do.
Young Abundance LLC


"I love what you are doing, I'm an activist myself. I have been reading your posts for like tow years or so now, just thought i'd friend you."
Nomadic Nyx,

Communion - A Glossary for Permaculture and Transition Children

your sensitivity for the future is amazing
and your visions as well
as for me
i am of the past
and live in the woods
that quite soon may very well be burning down
but I must say william
that see how your vision has progressed
and I think you may become a leader of some sort
and I hope you have the heart and mind to support
your followers
as for me
i follow jesus
love you bro
Jeff Evans

Willi, Thank for this nice compilation of thoughts. I have continually read and listened to passages from videos of Jung and from his writings, where he has referred to nature, myths, and symbols - related to the stages of life, consciousness and unconsciousness. My recent research has been looking at parallels between the thoughts of Jung and the thoughts of indigenous tribal people. Much has come from my readings, and much from my 20+ years of face-to-face relationships with North American Tribal people (First Nations, Isanti Sioux, Winnebago Hochunk, Umonhon, etc.). Particularly my Santee and Omaha Tribal friends have share much about their traditions, their symbols, their beliefs regarding spirit world, nature and mother earth, sun & moon, and much more. One of my significant findings has been their reference to "All my relatives" (translated from Umonhon /Omaha and Isanti Sioux/Santee languages). When they pray for all people, particularly the children, they pray "seven (7) generations in advance" (into the future, but a different view of what future is), and they pray to All My Relatives - all those who have come before me, which translates very near to Jung's "collective unconscious". My closest tribal friends often talk about finding time to "go upon the hill", to keep in touch with all living things & nature, and spirit world, which they would equate to the unconscious and collective unconscious. Considering all these thoughts in this PlanetShifter magazine are similar to why indigenous tribal people "go upon the hill". So, all these things that have been mentioned in this "Examining the Sharing Vision in the Transition Movement" - reminded me of my thoughts that I have shared above. If we are going to follow in this Transition Movement, we need to also look to and include all indigenous people. There are many "secrets of the elders" - They know.
Thanks for sharing Willli!
Dr. Jeff Hart, LI - Jungian (Analytical) PsychologyPrivate Group

thanks for doing this drought conference.

i have started my 2 acre dry land demonstration farm. this shows farmers how to plant trees and do small terraforming projects which help restore the ground. they get more money than they do from growing bt cotton (but more work as well especially to establish food forest). bt coton seems to be the preferred thing to grow in these dry land areas where i am.

my swales filled up on the last big rain we had, so that was exciting.

in this part of india, we are getting more rain this year than last, so drought situation is not so dire, but still the water situation here is critical with 1/3 of the farmers not growing because of not enough water, also in the past rain was predictable (the monsoon came within a several week time frame) and rains are not so predictable, especially there is some rain in june, and then 4 weeks later more rain, they need more frequent rains to start the plants and keep them growing, so makes it difficult for the farmers to plant. will update my website soon.
Victory Garden Team

Hi Willi, I am familiar with your work from your messages on this (eastbaypermaculture) and other online communities. I believe I first heard about when Sue Lubeck from Innovating Smart published an online interview with you, and then again from Transition US postings. Your work bringing online communities, permaculture, storytelling and media is intriguing, and I have spent many hours reading your commentaries and listening to or reading your interviews. On a much smaller scale, I have been supporting local permaculture and transition groups in Berkeley as a volunteer web administrator and promoting local events. I also do some freelance part-time web and publication design work along with garden design work when that is available.
Bonnie Borucki

Awesome interview with the perma pixie! I teach herbalism, foraging, and rewilding in New Jersey. My website is - Would love to collaborate in any way.
Much Love, Dan

Hey Willi -- I've spent the past hour on your proposition to collaborate on the vision paper (One Water, One Earth Vision by Willi Paul). As I'm going to be completely forthright ( meaning no diplomatic spit & polish bs), my only request is that you trust that this is in no way a personal attack but instead, purely my sense of the material in the context of the proposition. Honestly, this is such a 'sticky wicket' as the Brits are wont to say, that my reflexive impulse was to hop on a plane and jet up there for a marathon of chats to fully allow us both to flesh out the substance and more, the spiritual roots that are the needed foundation & drive that embody 'vision'.

You are as bright, savvy and motivated as anybody pitching their hat into forward thinking, ground breaking arenas of new mythology and permaculture as anybody I've seen or heard in the last few years. Besides that, you are amazingly gifted in the shaping of interviews or being interviewed.

To get back on point (new myths vision): My consistent takeaway from the roundtable through reading the outlines for the other roundtables, reading each myth as well as the overview material has been that I am not moved below the neck (heart) or in my soul. Meaning, it's just not speaking to me. The 'why' part of this is where I damn near showed up at your doorstep unannounced! It opens windows and doors to the vast vistas of building blocks that go into the architecture of my world view & yours.

I really resonant with this observation. I see that my work often gets past the heart and into the brain. I am a linear being struggling to create new global messages and myths and I get that I could be better trained in the mythologies of past eras. I admit that I do not trust 99% humans and their capricious badges and clubs. Mistrust is a block to my soul. How to connect the dots and integrate all of my vison kit with love? How to transform the present marque consciousness that weighs me down?

I take a more micro approach to vision vs the macro approach that I read in the outline. The missing link in what I've read here and previously is "us" -- people. And what moves people in what we read or see (articles/books/films/internet etc) IS what we recognize in ourselves, what reminds us of our humanity. And therein lies something long forgotten and now remembered -- that we are all made of the same stuff, thus connected. And in that is the unmistakable aroma of home.

You are an extreme idealist! I am a pessimist! So many people are asleep, buying things and reacting only when challenged materially. How can we transmute this? Looks like disaster after disaster is coming and self-interest is rock solid in response. What I see as connectors, the insurance companies and the drug companies, are really unsustainable puppet masters and we are all into the bad myths they spew!

Not saying your iconic symbols aren't valid. They speak to great observation & insight, Willi. But if they become the seeds of new myths, they read mechanically, analytically. And for thousands of years, the stuff that resonates and endures are the human truths we all need to be reminded of -- more, they create an uncanny sense of clarity.

Well, yes. Mechanical symbols. But my work is nascent but inspired and I trust that my alchemies will evolve and super-charge my symbols of permaculture and the Transition Movement. Equally, don't we all have different interpretations of new symbols? How do you see my work in Deep Psychology and archetypes?

To paraphrase the highly regarded mythologist Michael Meade: The word 'mythology', like all words, has a history. At one point, myth meant truth, knowledge. The word itself is derived from 'mythologos' -- the logic of truth. Myth in common language now means false. And one commonly hears "Oh, that's just a myth." That's what happened to mythology -- especially over the last 700 years or so -- there's been a collapse of the mythological perception of the world.

You could say there's no longer a shared perception of myths. In other words, there's not a spiritual psyche bound SHARED way of viewing the world. And when that happens, the bonds between people break. With the loss of a shared mythology, you lose shared ritual. When shared rituals are lost, unfortunately what happens is that people are no longer bonded to each other. One view of mythology is that it is the glue of the world. The imagistic glue that holds the world together. When it's no longer a shared experience, then people become more separate from each other.

Who makes the truth? Who owns the data? Who is sharing? Are you in this fight?

Again, this is a representation of Michael Meade's world view, but if I told you it was Joseph Campbell, Marion Woodman, Michael Moore or Carl Jung you no doubt would digest this easily. Why? Because it is inherently truth. Bedrock truth. And what interfaces with every particle of Michael Meade's take IS the human equation. The "I"/"we" that speaks deeply and that we're all, consciously or unconsciously, searching for in every story, every myth.

OK, I'll wrap it up here. While I could easily name several book recs here -- just going to offer up one that I have revisited many times: Iron John by Robert Bly. Its an awesome experience and one I think you'll quite enjoy. And mainly because it is IMHO very relevant to this dialog. Available at Amazon. Robert Bly, like many other thought leaders, came in and out back in University. To be honest, I don't read books.

Hope this did not mash any toes. Hope it gives you more of a sense of me, of things I've only alluded to in passing. True, it's just an ice breaker and only the threshold of where good questions begin to take shape. Before we jump headlong into any serious conversations of future myths, I think we need to have a fuller understanding about how older myths evolved. How/why they were abandoned. And the tidal waves of sad changes to human culture and our collective world view because of this. Most notably the tragic disenfranchisement of large segments of society in the wake of seismic ideological shifts.

There is an epidemic amount of 'wounding' the world over. Most of it unacknowledged -- but it all matters and it all becomes manifest in thoughts, feelings, actions. We need myths that address this. Because if action is an extension of psyche, wounding needs to be acknowledged and healing needs to occur. It is in this what is thematically and organically true for all of nature in this watershed time of transition -- for the planet and for human nature.

I see and feel this but cannot carry the weight of the human condition day after day. My wounded is now the Planet and the trashing of Nature. Is this the deeper mythic source that I should be tapping?

Email conversation b/w Roy Rosenblatt and Willi Paul, June 12, 2015

"Water" - A Glossary for Creative Kids

Hi Willi and welcome to Ideapod... I'm really liking your ideas and followed them back to your website. To say the least I'm intrigued by your work and would love to connect. As you can see in my namesake we have a deep commonality. I have been attuned to this transition of the last fairytale...towards the new myth since an epiphany back in 1979 that has forever altered my perspectives. Cheers, Mark

"Drought. Global Webinar and Call for Papers -- A DiscoverRIng Production... DPA Group

Thank you, Willi for this initial frame of a project. That is a potent image that you posted, a good one! It screams "Water" to me. And in fact, I am also called to the topic of WATER, as this meta-topic encompasses our group word of the day (for me), which is "Percolating"... as in flood waters percolating down into the drinking wells and soils via the fracture lines in Texas, as there is currently another storm inundating Houston and east Texas, while a rupture in a gas line has been burning in south Texas.
Julie Ann Perkins, DPA

Fire and Water: Perhaps this creates Steam, to be captured by our group to turn the turbines of change?

The #Sharing Center - A #Transition #Incubator for Small & Rural Towns

this is great willi. eugene had a lot of this stuff in the 70's.
Victory Garden Team

Thanks Willi! I'm going to pass this along to someone in Eugene who has been thinking along these lines. With Gratitude,
Benjamin Crandall,, "prosperity through community"

Nice idea. A little too siloed and templated, though.
Deep Simplicity @PermResInitDet

Good morning Wiili, Love this idea! Very similar to my transition kitchen idea. Keep in mind, the cost of outfitting a commercial kitchen is ~ $500K plus very high repair and maintenance costs ongoing.

Thanks for your thoughts Victoria. I may be missing something here! The Sharing Center is much more than the cafe so indicated....
Cordially, WOX

Great question raised in this piece:
"Is urgency part of resiliency?" By Willi Paul

... We require a catalyst to bridge the gap between knowledge and action; between analysis and participation!
David Wallace

Hi David - Your best quote is above: I think the Transition movement can be the bridge. Engineering the new world, transmuting systems: "Building Our Transition Streets!" Interview with Maggie Fleming, Co-Director, Transition US by Willi Paul, Magazine

Hi Willi, I know you have a great passion for your niche. We do need a very different set of stories and archetypes. I will send you a presentation proposal form that provides some direction for how we want to have coherence for the program. Those ideas will look pretty familiar to you. We want this convergence to be more thoughtful in content and context. Thanks.
Jan Spencer

Hey Willi -- if you are still in CR, hope its a marvelous experience. Re: your interest in alchemy -- sending this revelation of a film authored/narrated by Terence Mckenna. TM is one of my modern heroes who was actively speaking to Transition back in the 70s, 80s & 90s, right up to his sadly premature death at 54 in 2000. I see this as a look back to look forward in so many correlated themes. As well, it delves into shamanic practices as a parallel interface. Thought you might enjoy as well and -- who knows -- perhaps find some symbols/imagery that inspire ideas for new myths from the change of time period & perspective... peace,

Hi Wllli Paul, we have been listening to your videos, tonight... we fancy ourselves a bit of a mythologist and alchemist; fancier yet, we live in Oakland. You appear to be expressing views we have needed to consider more carefully for some time now. We are not a rationalist; as much as we like your introduction to permaculture we might be concerned that permaculture may represent a form of hyper-rationalism.
Grigori Rho Gharveyn

The combination of Myth and permaculture is fascinating. I live in Ojai and we are having a permaculture event this week. I work at Pacifica Graduate Institute in the Clinical department. Are you able to involve your community in a conversation that involves both myth and permaculture? I'm curious about how you do that! Regards,
Susan Hericks, Pacifica Graduate Institute

Hi Susan - I have made the combination or integration of perm and myth a sort of mission. Symbols, alchemy, sound and archetypes are bridges. Examples are many!


"Spiritual Resilience" - Interview with Rev. Julia Bystrova, Heart & Soul Group, "Transition Sebastopol

So appreciate your persistence and dedication to bringing much-needed consciousness to the community, Willi. Keep up the good work!
Bonnie Bright

Quick note to say I really liked your interview with Julia Bystrova. My sense is that this branch of your work is very promising.
Roy Rosenblatt

As a renegade catholic I very much understand how words like 'spirit' and spiritual' can be off putting. But as a permaculture practitioner I have a desire to work with the edges of personal interactions, not only edges in built environments or landscapes. After all the edges are where emergence of new things and ideas happen...
Delia Carroll, Permaculturist

Some sensible stuff here, but many of us are uncomfortable with labels including 'spiritual'
Chris Marsh, LI Permaculture Group

"Nature Points a Gun at Our Heads" - Drought Archetypes and Symbols

Walmart gets water from California.... as does Safeway and did Starbucks. The take away for me is that the city of Sacramento is calling the shots here by selling the water. Poor people shop at Walmart because they can't afford to shop at Whole Paycheck. :) I say this not in defense of Walmart, but as a defense of poor people. Although controversial in dry times, it is common for municipalities to sell water to bottlers and use the money to subsidize local use. DS Services of America, Wal-Mart's supplier, buys the water from Sacramento, then bottles it and sells it to retailers. Wal-Mart buys about 10% of the water DS sells. Other customers include large California grocers like Safeway.
Maybe the time will come when people realize that we can no longer put down stakes in a desert, artificially hydrate the land by importing and diverting water from far away sources to fill their swimming pools, air condition their houses to 68, and call it home. Maybe.
Debra King, Depth Psychology Alliance

Wow, I love all your focus on archetypes. Really important. The true power source of human energy. Thanks. I will study your links.
Allysyn Kiplinger, east bay permaculture

If only I could draw it: a suction pump below the earth, drawing out the moist soil goodness, with a pipe leading to a large waste paper basket or dustbin. Peace.
Mama D

"United Permaculture Workers" - Vision for a Global Permaculture Trade Union (PTU)

Might be too early. Or maybe something for Australia where there is a 'credentialed" profession of permaculture designer...
Kevin Bayuk

Willi, thanks for this informative post. The water wars have started in many places around the world.
Anne, Portland Permaculture Guild

Neighborhood Mythology Program

Looks fantastic, Willi. I'd love to implement such a thing with neighbors, should ever I find myself in a neighborhood with folks who would be available to such an idea. At the moment, I don't think I live in a community that could muster enough people to make it worthwhile. Still, great idea.

Hard to do experiential learning in an online environment. Although, people can have tasks that would allow them to go and have experiences, sort of like an artist's date. Online storytelling is an interesting concept too. Expand.
Douglas F. Williamson, Depth Psychology Alliance

Doug--Thanks so much for your observations--they are really relevant. I struggle daily with wondering how to do experiential learning (and connection) online. The more I try, however, the more I am convinced it can be done at least to a certain extent, and that it is uniquely enriched because we can have people for diverse regions/cultures in such an online environment. Not the same at all, of course, as face to face in person gatherings of people who have much in common from being in the same physical environment, but interesting nevertheless.

I'm hoping, with Willi's help, to implement more opportunities for theses kinds of events via the Alliance--and of course, you have some experience because of the Myth group you took with Craig Chalquist. What more do you think we could do to make the online aspect more "3-D"?.....that is, not only happening online but spilling out into the "real" world?
Bonnie Bright, Depth Psychology Alliance

Thank you! Great stuff. I seriously benefited from answering your questions and engaging your materials. I'll be reading your website for days and weeks to come - so much to absorb. I hope we stay in touch. Peace!
Gregory Gronbacher

Dear Willi: I found this exchange between you and Gregory helpful in a time when I am consumed by what is emergent along the lines discussed here. In fact, I owe your explorations into this mythos of our time as it relates to permaculture as one of the fire-keepers to the alchemical fires that consume me these days. I have been diving deep and have found the intelligence of Nature clearing the path of my return. You are right to see Permaculture as an entry point. Alas, there is more...stay the course. in Celebration of your great questions,

I have been checking out the massive amounts of content you have created in the last few years! Incredible. Cheers!
Matt Lawson

Thanks for connecting Willi. I currently follow & often share your content online. I feel that we definitely need a new "narrative, and that likely requires a new mythology. At the moment, I'm focusing on connecting and networking, as well as learning & educating "on the ground". Perhaps the ultimate value of all this will prove to be "emergent"; meanwhile I'll continue to share your message with my networks. Cheers!
Kit R

... I would love to get to know you better! We are having a potluck on April 24th, the night before the permablitz. Would you be interested in coming out to chat? Best,
Taelor Monroe, Executive Director, Austin Permaculture Guild

Dear Willi, thank you very much for your understanding, as well as your great patience!

I have been discussing your request, once again, with some of my JCF colleagues. We have no doubts, that you are a pleasant person and we have great respect for your dedication and your achievements (for example your interviews and presentations)! Some of my MRT colleagues have already been in touch with you, and they also reported that you are doing well. You have cultivated a respectable set of ideas about the collective hero, which is your personal admission and we appreciate this latest twist you have given to the hero's journey as your personal agenda.

Our point is, that the JCF Mythological RoundTable® Program is designed as a network of local representations of the Joseph Campbell Foundation. The idea is, to engage our JCF associates to have local gatherings, where they can discuss Joseph Campbell's ideas and related topics with other JCF associates.

Again, we don't have any problem with the fact, that your concept of the hero's journey and how mythology should be used properly, differs widely from what Campbell taught. Also, an exchange, for example, through interviews, as suggested in your recent email, could certainly be inspiring for both sides. (So please feel free to contact any of my JCF colleagues or MRT leaders individually!)

However, it would be somewhat inappropriate, if someone who questions the foundation's most basic assignments, acts as a representative of the same foundation.

For example, somewhere in your interviews your are saying:

"I have broken away from the Joseph Campbell crowd on the concept of the Hero. I no longer want individual Heroes but now support the community as the Hero. People with critical initiations and knowledge should return to the community from their journey to build resilience." (

According to our mission statement, our goal is, among other things, to foster the work of Joseph Campbell. I'm sure you will agree, that your viewpoint, as pointed out in the quote above, is not in accordance with our JCF mission. While it is highly acceptable as an expression of your personal mission, of course (and we don't take any offence!), it's difficult to imagine a representative of JCF who does not agree to what we consider as part of our most fundamental assignments. To become a representative of those you have been "broken away" from, simply doesn't make sense, right?

I imagine, a discussion about the collective hero, permaculture etc. would make a great MRT gathering, or two. However, the focal point of our MRTs should be more closely related to mythology, religion etc., in the spirit of Joseph Campbell.

There are so many mythology groups and presenters around, for example on All of these groups and indiciduals are most welcome, because they add a note to what Campbell calls the symphony of mankind (in his forward to the Masks of Gods series). However, while we appreciate the huge variety of viewpoints of our MRT leaders, it makes sense only to accept those as the local face of the foundation, who are agreeing to our mission statement and act in accordance to the JCF assignment.

Please let me add a personal note: I really like the idea of the collective hero. For example, I always considered my alltime favourite movie ('2001 - A Space Odyssee)' as a collective hero story of mankind. Also, I like the idea of collective responsibility, for example for ecological or social belongings. I fully agree, that far to many times, what started as an individual search, easily becomes an obsession with oneself. These are the dangers and challenges, we are all facing. On the other hand, I wouldn't ever demand that people need to be collective heroes, neither would I say, I "no longer want individual heroes", because I simply respect different approaches. Campbell has been stressing the necessity of the individual journey so many times (individual); he has also been stressing the importance of the return of the hero and 'bringing the boon back to society' (collective). That's what you're doing so well, however, the approach is somewhat different from ours.

I'm hoping this find you well, ....... Martin

Martin Weyers, Mythological RoundTable® Program, Joseph Campbell Foundation,

Thank you, Martin. For your time and honesty.
With a zillions of years of well -meaning Heroes, from the military, sports, arts and letters, the planet is now on the brink of death. There must be a better way to teach and lead our citizens. My forth Mythic Roundtable in Berkeley is in process.
In the same spirit as my ongoing investigations into Campbell's Hero, I am now also working on the idea of "collective initiation" (via ritual) and "activist mythology."

The bliss is good here. Peace.

Willi, thank you so much for your patience! I forwarded your request to my JCF colleagues. (The JCF leadership expects me not to make such decisions on my own, but to discuss it with a number of long-time MRT leaders.) We have been reading through your website and, based on the information posted there, believe that your personal admission is a bit different from our JCF perspective. You know, Campbell was supporting the idea of the individual journey, while you are promoting the idea of a collective hero's journey. That doesn't mean, there's anything wrong with your approach. However, we believe that it's just a different agenda, that is not really compatible with our own. So we decided, that the MRT format is inapplicable for the mission you're following. I'm hoping this finds you well, it's not to be understood as criticism. However, our MRT leaders are volunteers who are promoting Campbell's ideas in their local community. That's the idea behind our JCF Mythological RoundTable® program.

Wishing all the best for your journey .......
martin.weyers at

Thanks for the important feedback Martin.

First, are you or one of the inner circle at JFC interested in an interview? You can review my interview with Stephen.

Second, thank you for acknowledging my POV on the Campbellian idea of the hero. After 6 years of initiation, journey and reporting to the global community, community is the much needed hero to make the changes we require. Consider the integrated ideas of localization and sharing from permaculture and Transition. Individuals, of course, will continue to play a key role.

My Mythic Roundtables reveal a strong support for my work. Would my pending report from these 3 public sessions be of interest to the blog there? Have you read my contribution to the MythNow Blog? See: Mother, Sun, and the Compost Pile?

Transformation is required from all of us now! Peace.
Willi Paul

Love this powerful image and the idea of the "Remembering Chair" touches something very deep in my psyche. Excellent, beautiful post, Willi. Thanks for sharing. Bonnie Bright

the water petition is now over 20 now! i have had talks with CA farm link coordinators and other farm owners today. lease is up in june and santa cruz rent is out of control. are you in the bay area? i like your mythological approach, i have been reading joseph campbell and jung lately.
Daniel Brodell-Lake, MSc Integrative Ecosocial Design

Hi Folks - Wow, a great event today. Participation is up, as is the energy. There is Transition. I think the Stern locale made a big difference. The demos seemed to gel into one ecology.... pics attached.

Dan Popovichi
Self Sufficient Life
East Palo Alto

After a couple of recent conversations with David Cody about Transition opportunities in the Palo Alto area, I wanted to introduce myself and see how I might support the evolving vision at Self Sufficient Life. I earned my PDC with David and Kevin a few years ago at UPISF. My bio is here.

My myth work integrates permaculture with Transition values, Nature and mythology. For examples, please see:

Alice Greening and the Parking Lot Sharing Expo. New Myth #35

"Alice Greening and the East Palo Alto Permaculture Brigade" - New Myth # 36

"garden pilots: transition tools for kids." eBook #11

My third Mythic Roundtable for 2015 is set for April 1, sponsored by Transition Palo Alto. The first two are Santa Barbara and Davis.

The goal for a Self Sufficient Life workshop is to see art and beauty in the permaculture spaces, to help kids and their parents create a new narrative ("new myths") for the East Palo Alto community.

I look forward to your feedback.


Draft Project Vision for Emma Spertus, the Intersection Incubator Program Studio is an integrated mix of existing and evolving creative work leveraged on six years of publishing at Magazine. Key themes throughout include permaculture, Transition, Nature, alchemy, archetypes, Jung, Campbell and new mythology. The principal focus for the Studio is to collaborate and teach interested communities in localization and resilience. It is not a web site or graphic design shop.

The Studio will continue to utilize contractors and interns when required and will be virtual at first. An incubator site may be a second phase.

Studio Elements: Magazine - the publishing site for the Studio, including new myths, interviews and eBooks - will be re-focused to focus on the ongoing mythology investigations

Sound Project - How do sounds build mythologies? Vision includes collaboration with musicians

Book Project - A "tool kit" text and web site combo distilled from over 2250 posts and interviews from the Magazine

Prometheus EV - A high tech exploratory, mythic-driven, interactive VR machine for Silicon Valley investors

Mythic Roundtable - An ongoing community outreach service to explore new mythology. See Santa Barbara and Davis program archives. The third Peninsula Mythic Roundtable is April 1.

Consulting / Lecture -

Emma Spertus
Intersection for the Arts, SF
Hi Willi, So, I talked to Randy this morning. He reviewed your proposal, and doesn't think New Mythologist is eligible for the Incubator program at this time,

Can you explain why?

however he suggested the Affiliate Artist program

Is there any info yet?

that will be rolling out shortly could be a good way for you to be involved at Intersection. In terms of fiscal sponsorship, you should look at, although they are web-based, they have a very good reputation. Or if you are looking for a local sponsor, these guys might be good:

Very cool! Thanks Emma.

Great interview, Willi. Geoff is very concise and focused in expressing his work and vision. I've taken a couple of intensives with him at the M.A. Center in Castro Valley. You did a remarkable job of drawing out his boundaries and pathways for co-creating his version of Eutopia--a better place! I continue to be inspired by your writings and interviews--prolific and innovative. Permaculture for me has evolved---my son was suddenly and unexpectedly released into my home on Feb. 6, 2015 due to Prop 47--it's been a life and death challenge that we are facing with miracles, faith, hope, commitment, tolerance, much going on back and on stage. Onward to a better place! Peace,
Amy C

Big Bang Mythology - Steve Tibbetts and 7 Sound Archetypes

Strange, I was just listening to Pink Floyd's Soundscape from the Pulsar CD. And then this comes in. Synchronicity, I suspect.

Working on a book called The Magic Window. Looking through a crack , but then the seen enters in. So not sure whether it is from the in out, or the out entering. Huge presence of animals changed the tone, the animals just came in. The book is getting bigger than me. Don't know if I can quite handle it. Listen to music to calm down. And there is an Ayahuasca ceremony on a steep hill, trying to decide whether I should go. I might tumble off to the sea. The shaman is a close friend, very dear. This is where it's at. Life has become so suffused. Feels good.
Helena Joshee

Hello to you as well, am up near Hyderabad, India working on converting a very dry piece of wasteland into a garden of eden with lots of villagers looking on believing me to be crazy, but if it works they will be the first to adopt. the area is one of many waterless ones. part alchemist and part business woman sounds perfect.
Charlotte Anthony

Safe at Home

Hi Willi from the salt mines of my writing desk -- just saw your email, read your poem. Sure captures the sensibility of today; a population entrenched in their conditioning to live a life of frenetic "doing". There's a lot to be said for committing to daily rituals of finding quiet moments to connect w/the soil beneath our feet and by extension, the ground of our being. And your poem captures so well the breathlessness of what happens when we don't. Nice!
Roy Rosenblatt

Love the last line. My toaster is now broken, looking forward to a summer-full of toasting bread out on an open fire. Great image too, hope there is more in the cupboard!?
Mama D

Sounds so "normal" doesn't it?-yet there is so much we take for granted. I just started watching the "Outlander" TV series. I read the novels decades ago about this woman who, in 1944, "falls through the stones" in a circle of standing stones in Scotland and lands 200 years back in time in 1743. Talk about a paradigm shift! Conversely, I also recently read James Howard Kunstler's "A World Made by Hand," a novel set in the fairly near future when civilization has collapsed and none of the things, products, services, commodities and daily activities really survived. It all bears some thought, doesn't it?
Bonnie Bright, Depth Psychology Alliance

Nice post, Willi.
Hi Willi -- glad Davis went well. No doubt, the healthiest way to view the progression of these Roundtables is as an evolving process, which is what I sense you are doing. And in that spirit, gotta compliment you for your ability to pay close attention to each RT experience, process this thoughtfully and tweak your approach for subsequent RT's in the constructive light of a work in progress.
Roy Rosenblatt

Willi, I have looked though very quickly the one about the king. It is late here 11.30 p.m and I am very tired. I will read more attentively through the weekend... but what I know for sure, not everyone can write fairytales and create myths.. if you are lucky to be called to this, it is a unique beautiful blessing...
Tetyana Ochkur, C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich

Willi, These guys at this "Eden" site are nut cases. Or scammers. Haven't figured it out yet. They are mean little SOB's either way. I signed up a few years ago hoping to learn more about living in an intentional community, but these clowns are NOT what I was looking for. I keep meaning to unsubscribe but every time some person makes a post that does not stroke their tiny egos, I sit back and wait for the flame mails to fly. Like free reality TV. I really hope no innocent people take them seriously. What douchebags they are.

Greetings, Willi -- I was present for the journey at your Santa Barbara New Myth Creation Roundtable. Which I found fascinating. And hope to explore further in a conversation. Truthfully, I had hoped to heed your overture for me to contact you sooner. But admittedly, I searched your website for contact info w/o success -- probably more a comment on my computer savvy (lack there of). After several futile linking navigations, I resorted to using a comment space to reach out. Then of course & in perfect irony, found the contact info I had been searching for at the bottom of an enjoyable interview on creating new myths.

For carrying the trail blazing torch of illumination & inspiration to us crazed souls in search of resonant stories, and by extension, seeking context, meaning, a flashlight and a compass as we collectively speed headlong into an unknown future, you have my gratitude. When we met before the SB roundtable, you asked that I shoot you a sample of my writing. So I'm including a taste with a recent poem.


Waking in the embrace of darkness,
greeted instantly by Winter's chill. Movements come slowly at first
in this unseen neverland. Void-like yet not empty
as there is an energetic presence here
like the soft purring of electric current.

I reach deftly for the sweater at the foot of the bed
and amble unhurried past unseen, but not unknown obstacles
looming all around like islands in a tranquil sea.
Other senses roam freely here, informing playfully.
I am old friends with this sightless journey, the pneuma
of this wonderland.

The perfume of sleep wafts out from the receding cluster of bedrooms,
massaging, like always, the swell of gratitude.
In the kitchen, the gentle caress of fur against my leg --
Old Cat reminding me that I am not all alone
and I respond in kind, sweeping her into my arms.

We are one with the spacious stillness. Old Cat and I.
I never want to leave. And in this perfect moment, the spell is broken.
The creep of dawn yawns in the new day;
the curtain of darkness draining into facets of sunrise.
I feel the sharp gut-twinge of regret. Which then melts
into a sigh of surrender.

I look forward to hearing from you, when convenient of course. Again, my thanks for the SB roundtable. peace,
Roy Rosenblatt

Hi Willi Paul, thank you for your submission to the Racoon Observer.

The Observer intends to explore and celebrate the connection/integration of people and nature, and the inherent "wildness" that is revealed when we lose that artificial separation. We are inspired by ancestral life ways that predate agriculture and industrial technology. We dream of a time when we can once more roam the earth as nomadic hunter gatherers, healing the land and ourselves as we plant back the original indigenous wild foods wherever we pass for our children's children. There are seekers and visionaries today, who are already taking the first steps towards realizing this dream. Their view of Permaculture is very different from many others' views, (and fathoms away from a prepper/survivalist view of Permaculture). But when fully realized, it is profoundly sustainable and self-sufficient symbiotic relationship between people and the land itself. (If you are curious, you can catch a glimpse of their first steps here: )

Most people are not ready to follow those steps. So yes, there will be a transition time ahead of us, which will likely provide many opportunities to test secure "Permaculture Towns" as you have described. Transition is not Rewilding, although I can see opportunities for both groups to meet and interact and benefit from each other. But the focus of the Observer is Rewilding-specific. So thank you again for your interest, and also for your larger contributions to the idea of a new, bioregion-specific mythology.
Monica Roxburgh, Racoon Observer

hello Willi - i wanted to thank you for coming to Santa Barbara. Margie and i so appreciated your presentations. sorry we could not stay to talk
blessings. Wesley Roe and Santa Barbara Permaculture Network

"blood, soil, seed" - "An Integrated System to Create New Permaculture & Transition Rituals & Myths" by Willi Paul

Jason Schreiner: You are aware of the historical legacy of "blood and soil," I hope? and that "seed" has historically racial uses, as well? Just wanting to caution the juxtaposition of those terms, particularly in a context of myth. I realize, of course, it is not your intention to imply anything negative by these terms, but words and meanings do have legacies to be considered with care.

Willi: While I am unaware of the your concerns, the words are powerful in some important way to me. Please fill me in on your POV?

Jason Schreiner: no pov on my part, just asking if you are aware of the historical association of "blood and soil" with the Nazis. It isn't about me at all, but about how these terms have been used together. Your title caught my eye because I've engaged in some research on the terms, as part of my teaching environmental studies at the University of Oregon. Wikipedia (yes, poor source, but good as an intro here) has an entry on the topic: So, not a judgement or crusade on my part, just an observation and wanting to ask (unlike some others on this list, who tend to launch into statements to the whole list without ever inquiring; don't worry, I'm not posting any public message on this!).

I should also note that the terms "blood and dirt" (very similar) do have pertinence for me, such as in this quote found in Marx's Capital: "If money, according to Augier, 'comes into the world with a congenital blood-stain on one cheek,' capital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt." The specific historical reference is to the enclosure of the commons and forced removal of people from the land, and the general reference is to how capitalism exploits both people and the environment. I won't belabor all the details, as I've spent years researching this issue, but "blood and dirt" is a shorthand for rapaciousness (my family's history on both sides, as agriculturalists and peasants, is bound up intimately with enclosure and removal). As you can imagine, "blood and soil" is so close a term, that I've delved into its meanings and associations, too.

Willi: Can we reclaim the meanings / associations / symbologies of these words, re-track them, you think? Do you see any value in the system to create new rituals and myths?

Jason Schreiner: Not only can we, but we need to / must! In my experience, being able to speak to the various other meanings is helpful in bringing them back to coherence and health. Yes, there is great value in creating new rituals and myths. It is challenging work, to be sure, in this digitized age....

There may be no place in the future for isolated individuals.
If you are not part of a Community, then you will not have protection.
No one can vouch for you. And then you will die. That is the Plan.
The Community is like a Life Boat, like Noahs Ark.
That is the Secret of our Success.
Come dressed for the best, and forget the rest.
Eden Village is an amazing new EcoVillage Community,
now in the planning stages.

What we care about is Food and Energy Self-Sustainability,
eating fresh locally grown foods and Living Close to the Earth
in Passive Solar Homes within a Clean natural Environment, and
raising Healthy and Happy Children within a Natural Learning
and Healing Environment.
We meet on January 31st, in Northern California,
on Saturday Morning at 11am.

Hi Willi! Happy 2015! How are you doing? I've been thinking about you lately. Thank you for all the work you've done at the
intersection of permaculture, media, and mythology. I've been wanting to connect with you the last couple days because a friend of mine just created this video I thought you would be interested in:
Judith Katz

"You can't predict what a myth is going to be any more than you can predict what you're going to dream tonight. Myths and dreams come from the same place. They come from realizations of some kind that have then to find expression in symbolic form. And the only myth that is going to be worth thinking about in the immediate future is one that is talking about the planet, not the city, not these people, but the planet, and everybody on it. That's my main thought for what the future myth is going to be.

"And what it will have to deal with will be exactly what all myths have dealt with-the maturation of the individual, from dependency through adulthood, through maturity, and then to the exit; and then how to relate to this society and how to relate this society to the world of nature and the cosmos. That's what the myths have all talked about, and what this one's got to talk about. But the society that it's got to talk about is the society of the planet. And until that gets going, you don't have anything." from "Joseph Campbell & The Power of Myth, with Bill Moyers"
Shari Tarbet

Hi Shari -

Headed to Santa Barbara for the first of several Mythic Roundtables.

I have combined the current sub / conscious archetypes and their symbols and remain adamant that new myths can be generated by humans on a planetary scale. But I admit that bliss is a tricky road and more exploration and turns are ahead. The old guard is not rushing to acclaim. We need new myths, for the planet, generated and connected by the community. This remains a strong platform here.

The Sunday Share & Reskilling Festival (Permaculture + Transition):

Willi: Beautiful example of exactly what Linda is talking about: the gathering of community in "real time" and place to consciously connect and learn new skills that contribute to greater awareness. Love it! Wish I could go...
Bonnie Bright, Depth Psychology Alliance

Love it! I attended a reskilling fair with Transition Sebastopol and really enjoyed the whole day. I'd love to be part of planning and presenting at such an event. I could teach folks how to make and can apple butter. The process can be adapted to preserve many foods.
Debra Birkinshaw Harrow, Eugene Permaculture Guild

Hi Willi, I attended your discussion group a few weeks ago and am interested in exploring mythology and narrative for guiding people to create their own new myths and utopic visions that fit in with sustainability paradigms, specifically with the Earth Charter declaration. I am experimenting with groups and workshops and short courses in using theater and improv techniques, along with sustainability ethics thought, to allow for creating new myths and exploring narratives. I hope that makes sense. It's hard to get the idea out in a paragraph. Anyway, I'm new to the depth psychology and mythology fields, but I'm as engaged as I can be while I hold down a regular job promoting the Earth Charter and sustainable development worldwide. At the moment, I'm reading the Red Book, 1001 Arabian Nights, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, The Raw and The Cooked, and various other papers on sustainability issues. This is where my head is. I know you are an experienced member in this community and I would be happy to have your guidance and thoughts, and potentially we can put our heads and hearts together to create good things ensemble. Saludos from Costa Rica,
Douglas F. Williamson, Depth Psychology Alliance

I enjoy and celebrate all your posts. Happy New Years.
David Mudge,

Hope you're enjoying your holidays, Willi. You ought to join us at a potluck or other evening event some time. We had a good holiday potluck. I asked for a round of introductions, since we had a number of new faces, and asked them to break the ice by telling us what they thought "the spirit of the holidays" was. I'm told it was a really good way to get the evening moving. So what is it? It's probably not mainstream America. This is after all Transition. It had a lot to do with gathering, family, friends - much as we were doing at the moment, but not just that as people were looking forward to gathering with people they see less frequently. A tradition of meeting at this time of year; and other traditions as well, many of them family-oriented. People talked about the short days, the cold - some relished it, others said it made them introspective, which is a good thing. The only sour note was a pair of people almost gloating over being furloughed for the holidays. While they are not obsessing over lost income, which is obviously a good thing, the glee with which they were getting out of work was a bit odd - one could wish folks liked what they are doing for work better. No one mentioned shopping, or even gift-giving. They seem to want to share or exchange company and experiences more than things, by a long shot. Not mainstream America, eh? For whatever that is worth. It's pretty much what I expected. Maybe the cliche about "holiday spirit" has to be defined, there being more than one spirit at large. Perhaps "commercial" or "conventional" holiday spirit on the one hand vs. "traditional" or "communal" holiday spirit on the other. Worth mulling over.

BTW, Why the hell are you, who wants to be the great communicator not on Facebook? Or at least not under your own name? It's an incredibly useful tool.
Peter Ruddock

I love the way each ritual expands the idea of for self and for others and includes community ("Rituals of the Return (via Transition Movement").
Melissa Wadsworth

Hi Willi, sorry you are one of the people I am really meaning to get back to... I am racing to finish my dissertation... I've finished the mythosophia season and am going kind of inward until I finish, hopefully mid-end of January, which is when I will be ready for a real outward push again. Round Tables will start back up, your focus for permaculture could be great for the Ojai crowd...these are the kind of things I am looking forward to thinking about as I orchestrate a number of outward movements... Forgive me that I am kind of not there right now, and really focused - I'm neglecting plenty of my own matters too haha - there's something to the destruction of the Nebuchanedzar when Neo is making his final push through the matrix... But when I do get through the tunnel, all I'm going to want to do is collaborate with others for more outward ends.
Will Linn,

I think these are excellent talents ("10 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Mythologist at Your Start-up") to bring to any start-up, but I don't see much mythology here. However, I think (based on the interview we did together last year) that you and I think of and work with myth in profoundly different ways. Good luck!
Allison Stieger

John Sanders, LI

With a PhD in mythology and depth psychology and 30+ years in corporate world, i can totally agree with your premise--though i would add that all firms could use the same creative, intuitive insights. The broad cross cultural knowing that comes from studying the stories and thus the psychology of peoples in many lands provides immense value not only in marketing but also in seeing connections that are not evident.
Deb Talbot, Banking Consultant and Contractor, Pacifica Graduate Institute Myth Alumni

Regarding your idea, I am certainly sympathetic to it, but I'm not sure how realistic it is, based on my own experience in the business world of 30+ years. Companies will usually have their own marketing and advertising departments composed of graduates from business schools, who, needless to say, will be suspicious of someone coming from out of their box. Higher management too in most cases will likely take a conservative approach. Nevertheless, it is certainly possible that some innovative companies would like this idea. Even among the big companies these days, Google sets a good example. So I would not want to discourage you or other mythologists from applying. The applicants, however, would probably need to demonstrate some aptitude, knowledge, experience, etc., with business. That is among companies that sell products. Another idea that strikes me as possible is for advertising/marketing/consulting companies to hire mythologists among the others who serve their clients.

I neglected to mention start-ups. As you might gather from my original message, I think it is more likely that a bigger company or agency might find room for a mythologist. Start-ups hardly have budgets for even more standard positions, and outside investors such as venture capital companies would scrutinize every line of the budgets and probably would not be receptive to this kind of non-traditional position, however ingenious it may be. But I don't want to discourage you or others from trying. Maybe it will work in some cases.
Arthur George,

I think you are right. There are many ways to read and promote myth!
And there are multiple flavors, too! Creative, creation, classic, new, apocalyptic. This choice is a struggle for many in this sector. What flavor are you?!

Thanks for the links. You never cease to intrigue. Do you know about the work of Brian David Johnson on Science Fiction Prototyping (Morgan & Claypool, 2011), and his work on the Tomorrow Project at Intel ( I think the two of you might have a lot to talk about.
Anthony Filipovitch

I am anxious to read it ( Creation Mythology" - Article and Interview with Author Ray Grigg. I think we need to balance the stories we tell about our human condition. Currently we are bombarded with evolutionary and random chance mythology which is less relevant than the stories that acknowledge the reverent dependance on a complete design system where we are a part in need of finding our natural place. Good topic.
Brady Girt, LI

I want to bring Will Paul's attention to a beautiful passage in Carl Jung's Collected Works on the Benedictas Viriditas or the Blessed Greenness. Willi, you bring the material (prima materia) of this world into the discussion of myth which I believe is essential.
Susan Clements Negley, LI

re: Event Transcription - "Tools and Inspiration for Creating New Myths" - A Free Online Roundtable by Willi Paul - 2014-11-18

I really wanted to give Willi a proper introduction. I just don't know
anybody else who's done as much to foster conversations around how the creation or the identification of new myths can really effect change in our world. And really has dedicated himself to this work. You know it's a tested in the websites he keeps up. Including and also his site. If you look at any of those you'll see he shares original ideas. He does interviews with some thought leaders and he reports on a lot of the exciting and innovative ways that myth is really creating a shift in our planet. So, I've never seen anybody work so hard to do this for often what is very little reward, but this kind of banter I think is a reward in and of itself because it's an opportunity for us to come together and really have a meaningful conversation about what's going on. So, with that I just wanted to encourage everybody, if you're not a member of Willi's group, on Depth Psychology Alliance, please know that there is a group there, a New Global Mythology Group. Feel free to join. You just have to find it in the groups section and click on it and you'll be led though the process to join that. Willi shares a lot of his work there and it's just been a great showcase for the amazing things that can happen when we start focusing on the power of myth. And for some people it's a debate. I get that too so hopefully we'll get some of that tonight. Anyway, thank you so much and without further ado, here's Willi. Go ahead.
Bonnie Bright

re: "Adding Resilience to Joseph Campbell's Four Functions of Mythology" -

This makes me think of the Vedic as opposed to Western Astrology. Another way of stating our centrism as living we inhabit the universe or simply the Earth, and at what level is resilience important and needs to 'be taken care of'.

Pragmatically we'd best look after the planet first, but maybe it is like thinking globally and acting locally? Another story is to consider acting and thinking both globally and locally because there are those who are acting with impunity both locally and globally, so that if do not develop grand stories to enable/empower/cause us to recognise ourselves us to operate/as operating at both scales we will be eventually powerless in the global sphere. Ubuntu states we have an interdependency between the two that we cannot extract ourselves from and we'd do well to examine this 'field' of interdependence before we act in ways to change the order and balance between each element (the energies) within the field. The field vibrates at different levels or octaves (perhaps) and the field is relational. Do we use math or story to best understand and explain the Ubuntu field??
Mama D, LI

I like the sound of this. Planners and communities are both going to need to think outside the square to bring about this new sustainaility.
Pam Blamey, LI

Hallo Willi! This is Ingrid in Sweden, I´m sorry to tell you that I can´t join today´s seminar. I´m a part of a study in Environmental psychology, and we are buzy writing this week... - Is it possible to get the recording, I would be very glad - because (as you know) I´m really interested in myths and rituals and so on... we need new stories... - Have you seen the film that Nora Bateson has made about her father... Gregory Bateson... ?
Ingrid H-Lofstrom

Found this do we link the idea of future resilience to past resiliences: learning the stories of those who have passed through cultural traumas and survived? What Can they tell us and what does the mythology that arises from these cultures tell us. What new mythologies are their young people bringing which help us learn about coping strategies??
Mama D, G+

Hello Willi, I am enjoying reading through the content on your site(s). I greatly appreciate the art of story-telling... especially in myth. I like the aspect of using myths as it forces the reader into a new perspective, or a different self. Its always nice to step outside of the box and it takes a good story to do that. Not only pull someone in - but to then also challenge their process of thought. Quite the challenge with our society's constant need for instantaneous gratification. I commend you. Alas, we have moved on and are at the "farm" no more. I/we are working on our current project, The Living Bus Project. Our primary efforts with it will be to help raise awareness for the Cascadian Independence Project with it in the year(s) ahead.
The website can be found here:
We are attempting to tell our own story (which can certainly be difficult at times). Critique is certainly welcome. I am open to any and all possibilities with regards to a collaboration or shared story. Just let us know if you have any ideas or how we may be of help to you.
Sustainable Regards,
William Myers, The Living Bus Project

Hi, all. I recently joined this group so I'll join in on one of the current conversations. Mircea Eliade has a lot of interesting things to say about the myths we often live by in the present world (in his book titled Myth and Reality). One I recall him discussing is the myth of the rugged individualist that people in the U.S. hold dear. I also recall him talking about how the myth of Superman is our own wish to be more than we are-- the myth that within each of us is a hero that can burst forth when needed. And I recall his talking about the flights to the suburbs as representing a desire for restoring the myth of primordial perfection. There's plenty more in Eliade's book but these are the ones I remember best.
Pamelyn Casto, LI

Love it. Love the topic (Tools and Inspiration for Creating New Myths) ... I've always been very dialed in to symbols, archetypes, especially when they are universal, not language based and even transcend culture.

I experience a need to emerge from the soil of my foundations a new diagram, or pattern Willi, to bring forth a new myth of relationship between things that makes sense to al that I am immersed in and which underpins me. This is my sense of womb in deep senses of that as symbol and axis. I shall work on it. How can it emerge into the light? Do I need also to reimagine the sun??
Moma D, "Mother, Sun, and the Compost Pile" -

I think we live in different geographies, but virtual coffee would be swell. Right now I'm reading your website and enjoying the open myth source page a lot. Cheers, mate.
Sarah B. Stone, Arts Engine

re: Nature is not a Ritual - Online Roundtable Topic

Hi Willi, I posted on FB. Looks interesting. Good ideas.
Gayle Bowers, Horticulturist to Mother Earth

re: "CASCADIA: Community Mythology in Global Transition" - Download the "Online Roundtable Reader"

Great resource, Willi! Thanks for sharing, and I'm looking forward to the online event.
Bonnie Bright, Event Sponsor: Founder, Depth Psychology Alliance

re: Tools and Inspiration for Creating New Myths-A Free Online Roundtable

Without exception we are all subject to patterns of behaviour subject to an Archetype. Perhaps 'invention' may not be anything more than prevalence of one archetype more than another which is having its day... It's prevalence has reached our awareness! The image of Revenge is abroad at present. Mars dominates now. Along with the most well attended congregation of them the moment: Dionysus... The god of entertainment.. No need to 'invent' rather acknowledge!
J.D.Stephen Flynn,

Thank you so much for this Willi: Re: "Blackwater Rising" - Interview with Regina Hirsch: Organizer: Localizing California Waters Conf.
Charlotte in India

re: "Texting Joseph Campbell" - "Five Methods to Design New Stories & Myths" - eBook #18

@planetshifter Let's begin with intersectionality, in all its ramifications: voice, the word, the sound, the vibration... where's the space?
Mama D (via Twitter)

Should Transition have rituals? I am not sure. I don't think it's necessary, but I'm not sure that it's a bad thing. As long as these rituals are diverse and inclusive and folks guard against them becoming rote. Those need to be requirements of any Transition ritual.
Peter Ruddock

re: The Mythic Engine Kick-Starts a New Mythology Conversation with Mythologists Willi Paul and Shari Tarbet

Fascinating interview with many interesting points around community.
Melissa Wadsworth, LI

The job is so big and the tasks so various ... no one person or group can deal with it all. One of the best models is what Transition has used - "loosely coupled networks." The movement has general principles, but local groups run things their own way, sharing information and encouragement across a network. In this conception, both and Willi have an important role to play, as "relay nodes" - passing information and success stories on to the rest of the network.
Bart Anderson, Palo Alto Transition

Hi Willi! Not sure to know how to understand your post (I'm no native english-speaker). Ironic or serious talk? IMHO, a one web site approach is as safe for our common future than betting our survival on monoculture (GMOs) crops. Where is our beloved tenth principle, 'use and value diversity'? You should not mistake the equivalent of the biosphere / the Internet for the species / the websites.
michaël thévenet, permaculture designer & communication officer at Chengdu Waldorf School

Hi MT - Some of both! This is an "order out of chaos" approach. How many "all green things" (etc.) web sites do we need? Here, as you say, web site "diversity" is wasteful and only promotes inefficiencies.Be careful when you feel you must inject permie principles for a planet sick from greed and capitalism! - WOX

I've thought about your invitation and want to tell you why I haven't responded and often don't engage with the projects that you're creating. You and I seem to be on the same page about the type of world that we want. My husband and I manage our little place in the desert according to permaculture principles, for example. But I don't think that we can set out to create a myth. I think they emerge from corners of the cultural psyche that are not directly controlled by us... certainly we can shine light on the things that we see emerging and encourage the themes that we value but it's not something we choose and craft in my view. That is more of an ideology in my opinion. Anyway, there aren't a lot of us working social change and mythology so I wanted you to know where I'm coming from. Onward:)- Dr. Catherine Svehla Mojo-maker and Creativity Catalyst at Mythic Mojo

Hi Doc. First, I want to work with everybody. We need need ideas. I am very familiar with your POV and would hope that folks in your "camp", including current JCF leaders, would re-evaluate the impact / value of the classic myth base vs. the super planetary tragedy now unfolding. In my POV, "our camp" has precedence in Campbell's creative mythology to ignite new myths. Ask yourself: what have the classics done lately to "save" the planet? The power of myth must change.
Love, Willi

Thanks, Willi, for sending this exchange of views. Coincidentally, just yesterday I was reading a book by Alan Watts (Myth and Ritual in Christianity) in which he takes what you call the traditional (Jungian, my) POV and stresses that "mythological tradition cannot be deliberately constructed." I (like Catherine) agree with you 100% about the current world environmental problems that we need to overcome. One can't, however, on such grounds just "give precedence" to a consciously constructed concept of myth that is different from myth's authentic roots. I think Catherine is correct that this is more like ideology than authentic myth, even though it is an ideology that I agree with. This is not to say, for example, that myth always has to be a written narrative; the truths could also be communicated through a series of symbols. I see some of that in what you are doing. That's why I've been collaborating with you, because this shows promise.
Arthur George

Sweet! Thanks Willi! Perhaps I should put you in the book as a case study. The wheels are turning. Blessings,
Kris Oster, Writer, Drummer, Online Marketing Maven, Entrepreneur

Hi Willi. I am definitely interested in a collaboration like this. I did look at your myth engine via the JCF blog post. It seems solid and repeatable. Maybe sometime in November?
William Linn, Creator: Mythosophia

@PermacultureXch - I appreciate so much a mythos / ethos that draws from nature. That's why, as a Christian, I focus on "nature's God!"

Hi Willi, The tension is building up and different population groups are looking more and more anxious at each other. This is a process that has been going on for years. No idea where and when it is going to explode. I can see our interests still synchronize. Looking forward to see and read new material from you.
Herman de Roos, LI

Paranoia is curious... Because, when stripped of the irrational fear, it is really the insight that the appearances of things are not the reality.
The dark emotions that accompany paranoia is because we can intuit something is wrong, but we do not consciously face it. Like, a mass extinction event, for example. My friend yesterday came to me weeping because the food has gotten so expensive that an afternoon snack is about $10. I said, "This is what famine looks like." Let's be Marxist for a moment. The base (our fundamentals) is ravaged: the garden is desolated. But we don't see that directly. Instead, we see the effects in the superstructure: our cultural constructions on top of the basic material conditions. Scarcity becomes higher costs for City dwellers. That's how they are experiencing the biggest food security catastrophe in the history of the world. The delusion of abstract nominalism and quantification. It's one of several psychic plagues that has reached epidemic proportions.
Just thinking aloud,

Hi Willi! Among all the articles and interviews I had these past years, the one I did with you is one of my favorite! By the way, I always wanted to add your logo on the page on my website where I have your article (with link towards your page) but I didn't have your email or contact info! If you have a minute and want to pass it on I would be very grateful. Take care,

Hi, Willi -- I've had a chance to check out your website and, while I'm always happy to converse with fellow mythologists, I don't believe I can offer what you're seeking. I help people understand their own mythologies, but I sense that you've already done a good deal of this work for yourself. As to how to turn the vocation of being a mythologist into an effective livelihood, that's something I've little experience of. Initially, I did this work as one of several sources of income-earning and since semi-retiring I use it to supplement retirement income. I work on a sliding scale and regularly work pro bono and, for me, this is the form of service I wish to render in my elder years. Also, apart the work on my website, my marketing expertise -- mythic or otherwise -- is somewhat limited. All of that said, if you think I can help you in any way at all, I'd be happy to do an in-person informational interview with you here in Oakland.
soulmentor at

"Is rebellion coming?" What a powerful question. Reminds me of the dream processing Jung was doing with men from Germany after WW I who would "climb the Alps" to process dreams with the "great man." Jung knew from those dreams that a WWII would be coming, though few wished to even consider that possibility.....
Roberta Shoemaker-Beal, Jungian (Analytical) Psychology LI

We are consciousness. We are illiterate when we do not understand the allegory, hidden meaning, symbolic language. Have fun, continue with your great work.
Guðrún (which means: the secret of the gods), Iceland, LI

How to accelerate the values and practice of permaculture?

Thanks for the ideas and passions folks. Here is a summary from the responses:

+ Getting permaculture programs into each public school and university / PCC--outdoor projects etc.
+ more permaculture certifications
+ All Hands On Deck effort to roll out permaculture on the East Side--community gardens, pedestrian plazas, common space and so forth.
+ get permaculture going in the cities community gardens
+ signs are good, maybe with colored pictures or paintings?
+ increase outreach and education
+ more public discussion

My vision to accelerate the values and practice of permaculture are two-fold:

1. Increase partnerships (Quakers, Sierra Clubbers, Transition, Gov't, etc.)
2. Expand the Convergence model for increased spiritual and political work
Willi & Portland Permaculture Guild

Hi Willi, I work with all humans! For marketing purposes I chose a niche. The reason you intrigued me was your planetshifter and newmythologist websites. I'm launching a book called Collective Manifestation: Heart-Centered Blueprints for Creating Intentional Community. From your websites, it looks as though you have been focused on areas of this topic for a while now. My triangle focus is creativity, learning and energy, but like you I place the sacred in the middle of those combined focuses.
Melissa Wadsworth, Brilliance Unlimited, LLC

Very good piece however there are not enough Quakers. However most pagans also care for the environment and although suffered bad press are starting to spread and do what we can to help the environment. Permaculture, organic food, growing your own is all part of the modern pagan. So joining forces through Permaculture, environmental groups, etiological groups, Native American and indigenous groups and everyday gardeners who love nature. All together a formidable force to create the change before it is too late.
Julie Phelps, LI

Like the Quaker thread - many of our refers are Quakers and they are strong advocates of green and permaculture in the UK. Best wishes,
Maddy Harland, Editor, Director, Co-Founder: Permaculture Magazine | Permanent Publications, UK

"Inter-faith Gardens!" (Quakers & Permies)

... thank you for being there and doing what you do! :-)
Koreen Brennan

Whoa! This is cool. You've got such a massive body of work. Very impressive.
Tommy Orange, Facilitator, Center for Digital Storytelling

Seriously! Alchemy and mythology? This is a Permaculture forum. You're looking for New Age or Steampunk.
Robert Kroeker, LI

Nope. Looking for you, Robert! Try this classic vision to integrate our world: Journey to Cascadia: Building a New Global Mythology. For 2012 Study of Myth Symposium Work Shop.
Willi, LI

* * *

Hi Willi, It's great connecting. The relationship of sound and myth is definitely a central interest to mine, I'd love to talk more with you about it. As I finish the first season of Mythosophia on the radio, I'm trying to decide what all I want to do with my second year. I will definitely keep you in mind as I move forward, and am sure an ideal opportunity to collaborate will arise.
William Linn

The myth of myth is that certain archetypes are central to our being. As the contemporary electronic culture of western civilization confronts (and confronted) the traditional hunter gatherers and their early farming contemporaries our store of accepted lore, that bounteous library of creativity is diminished. People forget their roots. Communities have relinquished their honored traditions in favor of new, less deeply rooted certainties. Where once the strongly felt stories of old held sway now the sometimes fatuous inanity of the internet and teevee with their gormless advertising holds attention. But within that sordid matrix is the germ of the solution to the fading of the past glory that was a treasure trove of fantasy and invention. Electronic communication gods the key. By deviating from the established verities of the now, the juggling of multiple endeavors to be free of angst, where the ease of communication has led to a widening of horizontal outreach at the expense of intimacy - we can use the available means to straddle the divide. We adapt proactive sensibility with honest introspection using our dream selves to find the root of our being and create new old verities to bring the intimate freedoms to our waking dreamscape. Easily done- with a huge payback of extraordinary depth. Electronic dreams of the ancients brought to life in contemporary form. h I've been dreaming of postelectro life for some time. Water, wind, wave and woman power interwoven in a more simple life - where travel is curtailed, there are fewer people and food is the primary business of life. Simplicity elegantly lived. Hand and foot powered electricity. Bring back the treadmill. Windmills powering water condensation to power generators. Lower the standard of living!
David Wills, Artist, Entrepreneur and Graphic designer, LI

The last time I saw a concept like this (Permaculture Grid) was Mark Lakeman's talk on placemaking. Super of you to share! Very stoked to learn of this and see it evolve.
Monique Constant, LI

Hi Gunther - Very busy but I wanted to repsond to your excellent ideas! See below.

Hi Willi:

I checked out your site, good stuff.

+ What do you like? This sort of feedback is trite and leaves me wondering just exactly flips your switch?!

Your comments to my post(s) on G+ seem dismissive and assumptive,

+ Fair. But they are direct / honest. My values.

but I'll defer to benefit of the doubt. Perhaps I have occurred to you precisely in the way you have to me. I seem to have a fair amount of trouble with academics,

+ Not sure why I am in the academic box? I don't like labels.

for obvious reasons.

Bottom line, I'm doing a lot of complementary work, and I've experimented and built a lot over the years, particularly in the social technology space. I believe Hegel's phenomenological view of narrative is actually self-limiting, and mythos, ethos and logos are highly interoperable when experiences are conjured and/or designed differently. I believe narrative is actually a universal structure through which stories are expressed; the content is more or less the same in terms of form and substance (most of it isn't made equally), but function (the ways they are told) seems to be changing radically -- based on what I've seen in my own experiments. Further, levering that function can transform businesses from the inside out, taking us out of a demiurgic/dualistic mindset, and into the co-creative and imaginative.

+ This particular message (above) gets you the same feedback as my original comments. It's egotistical, complex and assumptive. Not desired here.

I'm also a Jungian, Adlerian, and have expanded significantly on Campbell's work.

+ How have you expanded significantly on Campbell's work? I have also extended his Creative Mythology tract for instance. And more.

I am willing to share what I have, if you're open to it. I can also distill some of the mechanics for you. We can compare notes, or even better, improve upon our approaches.

+ Write a New Myth with me!?

My intention is to continue to penetrate the nerve center of large organizations (like corporations/brands) and create new, dynamic value alignments that are mindful (if not downright loyal) to environment and ecology. As the value alignments are made -- policy, brand, operations, product dev, management, etc. -- I see an opportunity to fund emerging business units and startups that further align to human-centric needs.

+ My focus is not large organizations!

- I like the myth-making processes (videos) on your site, and I read your short essay on permaculture, which is also quite intriguing. I am curious as to how these elements can be applied more broadly to commercial domains.

If I have a constructive criticism, it would be that videos could do a better job of showing the process as a permeable experience (what do people embody, what do they take away, and what are the effects of co-created myths short- or long-term?). I understand the idea of permaculture, but I wonder about things like entropy and dissonance.
Gunther Sonnenfeld

Hi Willi ~ As we now share 30 LinkedIn connections, I'd like to find ways to co-work. After all, I sat on a Panel session with Bill Mollison beside me, at the Global Conference on the Future in Toronto, in 1980 - the precedent thus exists to meld, and all individuals follow the example of Bill and so network together - and not ignore our group, or compete.
Mel [MER] Erskine-Richmond ~Eco-Spiritual Futurist
CEO: First the Earth N-pft. ~ R&D *Heaven on Earth* Model Light Cities

The Permaculture News Hour:

Wow, some provocative ideas here. I posted in our Facebook group.
Koreen Brennan

the size of the problem with permaculture education is immense. our culture has an underlying premise that bugs are out to get us, we have to overpower nature every minute to get our needs met, In anthropology i once heard this called the concept of limited good. in permaculture there is an underlying system of cooperation and unlimited good. the preppers talking about self reliance is a bunch of piecemeal efforts that will help you. this is a a great strategy. in eugene there has been permaculture working with emergency groups and with religious groups. I have just started in on the practical level many times, as with the victory gardens providing gardens for folks and now in India showing farmers how to get their needs met, soils that retain water in times when they are not getting the water they need and yields are way down. i get discouraged. the farmer i am working with the most just made trenches to capture water and to create microclimates for pest predators, microbes etc. he has not had time to fill the trenches and he has cows so he is using what he calls cow wash, a mixture of cow manure, earth and cow urine that flows out every day as his workers clean up the cement area where the cows live. he decided to take the cow wash and put it in the trenches. when i suggested he put it on the area next to the trenches where all the soil is, so that it not go down below the root level, he was concerned that the weeds and plants growing beside the trenches might take it away from the coconuts he is trying to feed. i guess it makes some sense to him, that is what all the chemical people tell him. every day in as many different ways as i can, i am showing him how all the plants, microbes, bugs etc work together and he is occasionally telling me that he even sees how it is happening, so it is discouraging to hear him go back to his rut. he is eventually changing so it is worthwhile but as i said discouraging. what i am trying to talk about is that the underlying myth is very strong.
Victory Garden Team

I found you on a search. I'm in the process of expanding my LinkedIn network and I was drawn to your interests and the way you refer to yourself as a new mythologist. I'm a big fan of Joseph Campbell. I was blessed to spend two full days in a workshop with him at Esalen Institute in the early 1980's. I've already read Michael Meade's book Fate & Destiny and saw him speak in 2012 on Bainbridge Island. I'm a writer and I find LinkedIn rather dry and left-brain focused. So I'm wanting connections that are about more than just the usual exchange of info, but rather about the interesting things people are up to.
Victoria Fann, LI

"I'm Coming Out of My Skin":

oooooooooo............veeeeerrrry nice! Great song, magical harmonies........ thanks so much for sharing this! Who knew there was this talent right here in EPG-ville?!? I see you have a lot more stuff, which I will be checking out for sure. Thanks again, P-Willi (I knew you only as the other EPG person who gets up at dawn..... now I see there's a lot more!)

Super interesting interview, Willi, thanks to both of you.
(Interview with Koreen Brennan, Co-Organizer: 2014 North American Permaculture Convergence)
sherrill anne layton

We've been posting it all over, and will continue to do so! Thank you so much for helping to spread the positive word!

I am intrigued by this project. It seems slightly aleatoric? (Composer for Nature - Myth - Alchemy Soundtrack) - I am mostly a film composer these days and am quite used to building out ideas that are based on something external. I also wrote a piece in college for 5.1 that was aleatoric in nature, though electronic. Not dance music.
Benjamin Cleek

Well this looks very interesting... there is plenty of space and time for it to grow inside. More found sounds, maybe music is more of a connector than a constant. I am fascinated by the idea of the false serenity at the end, that's very interesting. I like it, it reflects our times, an incomplete journey, the acknowledgement of lessons not quite learned or something. But the hope is there. The canyon in the background is fantastic. I went to the Grand Canyon earlier this year, it is quite a place! very humbling.
Geoff Maddock

I can't say I have been acquainted with the term "sound myth" before,
but after looking over your diagrams I think I have a good idea of the
direction you want. If I understood correctly you have a set flow you
want the sound to journey and progress through. Creating soundscapes and design has been a passion of mine for a while now. I have a real talent for visualizing the way something should sound. I can really immerse myself in the environment I'm creating. I try to invoke the emotions I feel as well as the emotions you are trying to convey, so that the listener walks away feeling like they heard something meaningful.
Joey O'Neil

Hi Willi! I'm booked up for the time being, and traveling after I finish what I'm doing. How about Marc? He might have some time. Check into the Red Book by Jung. I have the reader copy and the big red book.
Steve Tibbetts

Wonderful. Thanks Willi!
re: "Building Our Transition Streets!" Interview with Maggie Fleming, Co-Director, Transition US.
Maggie Fleming, Co-Director, Transition US,

Thanks for doing this interview with Maggie and for promoting Transition Streets!
Linda Currie, Transition Berkeley

Willi, I saw the article about what should new global myths be. I haven't read it yet, but the idea of creating new myths is one that's been discussed for sometime now. At this point, I don't fall exclusively on one side or the other. I prefer to go to the 'old' myths first because they have so much to tell us that we haven't gleaned yet because we've lost touch with how to read mythic language and images. This is why I disagree with those who hold that the old myths are 'stale'. They aren't. they're still just as alive and vibrant as ever as well as still operating very much in the modern world. The thing is learning how to read them and situations in the world as mythic. On the other hand, that doesn't mean there isn't room for 'new' myths. For example, the Hero's Quest is a good example. Campbell brought into our awareness the archetypes of this kind of myth and it's archetypal purpose. He studied 'old' HQ myths like the Odyssey. However, new hero's quest myths, especially since Campbell's book on the subject, have abounded. Besides Star Wars, there's the Matrix and The Lord of the RIngs (which was either written before Campbell's book or about the same time). New Hero's myths now acknowledge that it can also be a Heroine's Journey. Myths and fairy tales showing this have been around for some time, but in what I would call the Modern Era they would include The Wizard of Oz and THe Pirates of the Caribbean (the first movie) because it's the young woman who is transformed, much like it's the young woman in "V" who goes through a heroine's transformation. The Myth, whatever it is, is always ageless, only the narrative seems to be updated.
Shari Tarbet, New Mythology, Permaculture & Transition (LI)

My daughters and I joined multiple fruit picking outings last fall and I hope to do that again this year. It's great to get together with people, you feel like you're doing good for the tree owner (avoiding a mess, if the fruit isn't harvested) and then half the fruit goes to food pantries, so that feels good too. And then, of course, you go home with a bag of fruit and that is most excellent!
Julia Winter,

i would have never thought to put permaculture in that line (Permaculture, Carl Jung and the New Archetypes"), but it fits perfectly. thank you :)

Thanks Willi. I have recently spent some time contemplating how we got here. I am sure the R and D folks were trying to help to create food-and not a problem for human's digestive systems(or ben for the digestive system of the whole planet?!) I wonder how we can move forward with a win-win for everyone-including how to take the genetic modifications that have newly been created by nature, pollen going to the famer's next door-how does one un-do this?
Penni Thorpe

Life will keep us working together in the same direction because of permaculture. I see you out there!
Gayle Bowers, Horticulturist to Mother Earth

There is a story how I started noticing the pattern of wolf, tiger, and butterfly. They appear in Geo's Vision Machine and some other strange places and more recently (after I had started paying attention) I found them in Jung's The Red Book, Aleister Crowley's Moonchild, and Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

+Willi Paul Thank you! Great resource for good #permaculture design. We included it in our pinterest board. ?

Where myth and permaculture have made a friendly alliance:,, @openmythsource

re: Kickstarter Campaign

i would pose another "myth", cutting edge permaculture for a new world where wealth comes from sustainability.

one where the person might look like willi but would be doing a type of permaculture that would lead to sustainability, meaning the film is actually teaching about ingredients of sustainability. like taking the central valley of california and turning in back into productive land.

a. returning the water, lot of great technics to increase water holding capacity of the soil and return the rainfall.
b. returning the microbes
c. the connection between water, microbes, stopping of chemicals and sustainability and ultimately the connection between real wealth and sustainability.

it is really amazing that here in india where they have been doing sustainable agriculture for 10,000 years they so easily dropped it all to do chemical farming. in the u.s. we had no myths about sustainable ag so one could see why we developed what we did. we had a lot of land and could make mistakes. but they had a whole culture to support them here and they threw it all away for they all say it is for money, but it is a myth really of a culture of affluence, which i truly do not get.
Victory Garden Team, India

Good luck on the this campaign, Willi. Super creative, and much needed work in the world!
Bonnie Bright

Ohh, it is SO cool - It looks amazing!
rani, Transition Palo Alto

Cool project Willi! I am happy to share the Kickstarter through my networks once you launch it!
Kevin Bayuk, Urban Permaculture Institute of San Francisco

Very interesting design pattern Willi. Is there a specific climate you plan to setup the village in? Or, is this a general plan that you are sharing for any climate? It does spark some good ideas. Why did you choose adobe for the homes? Why not cob or a wofati? I do not understand why zones one, two, and three and separated as they are. A neighborhood is a composition of homes and families with the intention of creating a community, and the resources (e.g. village security, shared tools, gardening teams, cooking space, family support) could be designated buildings and shared duties within the town. Like the vikings, you could have a feasting hall that everyone could use for cooking and dining. How would the food be cooked? Some ideas: rocket mass stove, double chamber cob oven (Ernie Wisner), solar cookers... How would water be cleaned? Some ideas: wetland ecosystem, ponds, solar heaters... How do you plan on handling fecal matter? Some ideas: wetland ecosystem, composting... From what I understand, this village setup could work like a communal house but on a larger scale. What do you mean by "village security unit"? Would this entail police-like people or just a militia? If the area is designed with an open floor plan with less sectionalizing, it could eliminate the need for a "security unit" because people would feel welcomed. Kinda as Benjamin Franklin described, the colonists that lived with the Native Americans never wanted to leave, and the Native Americans that visited the colonists never returned to the colonists after living with them for a year. This is kinda what I think you should aim for in the village.
Dave Burton,

eWorkshop on New Global Mythology

I'm thankful for everybody's contribution. "Subjectivity" is the first word that jumps to mind and "relativity," the second. You may have had a question designed for me, so you're welcome to ask it through e-mail if it's still relevant. Eclectic, engaging, commitment, movement, curiouser and curiouser are all words to describe the event ;) I felt you appropriately and gently spotlighting people. I'd like to look at your birth chart, if I may-d/m/y/time/place of birth...You asked Arthur "if we can 'do' depth psy. without knowing we're doing it"-this for me was the crux of the whole session. Of course we can, and that's what everyone was "doing" in their expression (your listening skills are admirable). My open question focuses on the relative and subjective definition of "doing." Jung said that there's a reason it is called the subconscious, ja, because it is, in fact, sub conscious [laughter]. Two questions I pose to you:

Why new myths, do they not sufficiently evolve on their own as we humans evolve? Is it not like wine to juice?

Perhaps it is Nature who has manipulated man to destroy to give the conditions where we can REcreate with a purified by trial and finely tuned consciousness...

Natural philosophy can be discussed ad infinitum; "what then must we do?"

You see, I come from a Gurdjieffian background. Having left the "groups" after studying the Fourth Way for half my life, I lovingly float to my next purpose, which appears to be nesting in "doing re-creation." I have a feeling that this concept makes sense to you and my center of gravity takes me to explore the idea further. Nature and its laws restore/activate perfect balance, always, and I am a witness. How can I be of active service? Who am I? And in that relative knowing of who I am, how can "I" contribute to an inward and outward natural evolution without just spinning my wheels of blah, blah, blah? As for my place in Israel and how people see the evolution of myth, I cannot offer much. I may be able to explain that in greater detail as I open to a better understanding of what "new" myth means.
Sherrill Anne Layton, ?Hidden Dragon Editing

Hi Willi, Many thanks for organizing and hosting the webinar, which I found most useful. It would be great to do it again after some time. I liked your contribution about the garden as a symbol in old and new myths, not only because of the Garden of Eden (old myths) but because I too think it can fit into the framework that you visualize, and which I had outlined in my own way, for the new myths even global myths. I'll be interested to see how you develop it. In that connection, you should find Chapter 4 of my book on the garden sanctuary interesting (though reading Chapter 3 first is essential). If you have any questions, comments, or anything to discuss, just give me a shout.
Best, Arthur George

I just came across your upcoming workshop via Depth Psychology Alliance. I'm not sure if it's too late for inclusion but I thought it worth a shot! I'm excited to take part - some of the submissions resonated strongly with me and I look forward to participating. My interests are a mishmash of interactive production, permaculture/systems thinking (Christian Shearer taught my PDC - I believe you know him), critical theory and analytical psychology. Songwriting and poetry are my two primary means of self-expression. The piece I'd like to submit for inclusion is a song called "Armagedom" (spelling intentional), attached.

For clarity, the lyrics are as follows:

the grass is green where they practice armageddon
the grass is greener where they practice armageddon with a hoe
there's a a cry going round that hits me with a sound like oh oh oh
and people standing next to people standing there alone

going home!

the grass is green where they practice armageddon
the grass is greener where they they took the time to leave it there alone
and the colonel said there'd be a full court press
and we said no no no
cos people never look like people
when they stand alone


nowhere nowhere nowhere
somewhere somewhere

some people go it alone
some people go through the eye of the needle
oh this fucker won't be
this fucker won't be
this fucker won't be the last one to explode

yeah the price is right when we practice armageddon
and the day burns brighter
when we throw it on the fire of our souls
you can see it in our eyes and our dark insides
that glow
glow glow
glow glow

Thank you for organizing this,
Ian Weatherseed

Here's my thinkpiece on the new myths/global myths for the eWorkshop. It was quite fun to produce. Almost all of its content has been swirling around in my head for quite a while now, but I had never taken the time to put it down in writing in organized form, so I'm grateful for this opportunity to do so. I look forward to comments and discussion from the group during the workshop. I will probably post a revised (and probably shorter) version of it on my blog.
Best, Artur George

I wish to learn a lot from you...
Alireza Hejazi, Shemiranat, Tehran, Iran

I am looking forward to the webinar and truly thank you for the unique role that you are playing in the grand drama underway!
Myra Jackson

Thanks in advance for all the effort you have and will put into this project.
Sherrill Anne Layton, ?Hidden Dragon Editing

Hello Willi, This sounds like a great workshop/series.
Christopher Kindig, Business Manager, The Fellowship for Intentional Community

Proposing a Puppet building theater experience for people I work with with kids; and story myth input idea? your workshop sounds great If I can make it i will. taking up the uke.

Hi Willi, Thanks for the invite to the eWorkshop. I'm interested in principle because I am keenly interested in the "new myths" and future global mythologies. In going down the list of categories in which participants would have to make submissions, I'm struggling to figure out how best I could contribute. The category of "New Myth" might be best broadly speaking, but I don't understand what is expected. For that category, are participants supposed to create a new myth? Or are "non-fiction" discussions/essays OK?
Best, Artur George

Thanks for sending the links. I've been watching your videos and reading articles (enjoy the Penny Livingston interview!) and see you are devoted to sharing and exploring the intersection between spirituality + our personal mythologies + permaculture and more. Important work. Exciting to continue to feel into the synergy.
Amanda Kay, Oakland

Nice article, thanks for posting (Transporting Crude Oil on California Rails?). I especially love that image at the top.
Best, Diane, NRDC

Wonderful Willi! This made my day...thank you so much! Such a great story (Carbon Fighters "Cool the Earth" at Coleman Elementary Interview with students Cayman Stein and Sam Testa).
Amy Bonetti Price, Founder, Big Mouth PR

It's an interesting choice of material you added there ("Gathering of the Tribes Radio" presents a live conversation on ozcat radio with Willi Paul Writer / Publisher of Magazine )
Aleksandar Malecic

Love the piece on food forests as spiritual support and I'd also add for ecotherapy! Thanks for all the great work you're doing to bring "inner" and "outer" permaculture together :)
Linda Buzzell

I just now stumbled onto your interview with Jeremy in his website, FoodForestDesignWorks. I am so pleased and thankful to you for taking time out of your schedule to share your thoughts, comments and suggestions with Jeremy (who, by the way is my son). My husband and I were just in Berkeley (from home in Dallas, TX) visiting Jeremy. I am so very proud of his endeavors in Permaculture and am sure he learned quite a few things from you during your discussions with him. Thank you again and continued success to you.
Regards, Nancy Watts

Hello, Willi, I left a voice mail Monday evening. Was looking through your work in organizing permaculture consciousness and Planet Shifter, and would like to broadcast your perceptions on the community radio show "Gathering of the Tribes", broadcast Thursdays, 5 to 6pm. It's a live show, with interviews and local independent music and artists. If you would like to schedule a radio interview on a Thursday at 5 to 6pm, please let me know.
- Dr.G.

Where is this: The Permaculture Potluck Cafe? I'd love to join in! :)
-Anthony Holmes, Portland Permaculture Guild

"Permaculture Ad Council for the Transition Age" - Thanks so much for this great ad work, Willi - marvelous!
Linda Buzzell

Willi, I was just invited to a music/art festival in June. It's supposed to be kind of new, green alternative to burningman. I thought you might be interested in pitching them your thing and seeing if they have a place for you to weave some myth there. If you are interested the website is and the password I was given is sasquatch. The next day I had this dream where myth-making had a central role in a situation like this. Remember wavy gravy? He kind of helped out the people having a bad time at the shows. What if all of those people were sent to you at the open myth lab and together you all came up with the story of what's really going on? The new stories could actually end up coming from all these tripped-out visionaries at festivals. Be well.
Jeremy Watt

Hey Mr. -

Sitting in yet another Friday afternoon coffee shop

I will be doing a workshop at UCB in support of the Farm sometime next week - can we hook up there?

I prefer blackboards over Black Sabbath!

Thanks for the dream
Mine don't seem to want to be captured!

Yes I agree, very cool. "The Permaculture Convenience Store"
D.H. Wallace

Convenient stores should provide items that can be readily available in case someone runs out of something. It sounds like the items should have a combo of Transition-related items plus everyday items that someone would need like food. Sickles, knives & machetes sound like items to battle someone with.

Nice concept Willi, apropros the earlier thread about the next steps to take, given the end of the world as we know it is nigh.

I thought that the components of the convenience store as you listed them would require a larger space than a 7eleven, or perhaps two locales: one, the resource center (educational and vocational), the other, retail/barter/lending.

This is a great idea Willi. We may have to make our yards part of the convenience. Gathering green vegies to go per meal. Knowing who has the "convenience store" for what we want.
John S, PDX OR

Thinking in transition sounds to me like anticipation as used by Robert Rosen. Rosen isn't (wasn't) as influential as a scientist as he should be. He called anticipation everything that makes living beings (some of them self-aware) different from machines. Long story short, anticipation understood this way sounds to me very, very similar to Carl Jung's ideas (including the mind-matter part) about active imagination and individuation and Joseph Campbell's Hero Journey. They are like different names for a "hero's" attempts to align his/her life story to the future and the surroundings. The success of such a journey depends, no matter how a hero might be brave and tough, depends on the context. Emergence isn't about something appearing out of nothing, but about constraints. Without constraints you would be a random pile of dust. With wrong constraints you would have a leg where there should be an arm. Some "pictorial" constraints are called archetypes and myths.
Aleksandar Malecic

Finally has some time to read this interview (Penny Livingston - I would like to see more explanation of permaculture appear in interviews with people who are practicing it. It isn't something I familiar with at all, and though it does seem to exist outside of N. Cali, it isn't in this neck of the woods. I'm guessing there are others you are connected with on Linkedin that aren't familiar with it either.

I liked Penny's comments on having multiple streams of income. I am working to do that too with subbing within the local school district, adjunct teaching at the college level, and jewelry making. I'm also trying to expand that with getting dream facilitation groups for cancer patients up and running. Also, I wasn't aware that permaculture was being taught in schools, it isn't surprising though that this is happening in Marin.
Shari Tarbet

Willi Paul I took some time to look at your website. You hold a beautiful piece about stories and myth that are so powerful. In this moment my partner and I are creating a story for +VillageLab and about what in our belief is the Village meme, the longing for BElonging and community. Perhaps and interview could be great after we finish this piece. Or did you have something else in mind? Economics?
Ferananda Ibarra, G+, Village Lab

The definition of "Permaculture". . .

An exercise in guilt-redemption,
and self-flagellation, by a small group of White, Well-off, Privileged, People who having recently realized the extravagances
of their youth, during which they raped the planet of resources,
unknowingly, unthinkingly, and to their own self-aggrandizement and benefit . . .

Now, in the sorrow of their adulthood, feel the necessity to promulgate a culture of White, Privileged, Upper and Upper-Middle-Class wealth attitude of how to "Fix All of That"

Wanting to assuage their guilt
yet now manifest it as somehow
a great Philosophy to the 1%
and also a great philanthropy to the unwashed

"We are going to Allow certain of those Lower-Income than us
to participate in our glorious self-congratulatory educational promotion",

and yet . . . . for the rest of you suckers,
to also gain a fat income while doing so
from the rest of the unwitting fatted sheep.

Permaculture . . .
the pseudo-bullshit benefit to the few
at the expense of the many . . .

at its most subtle, and yet its most Pernicious.
David Palnick, Owner, Finest Garlic Farms

To me the opinion piece is an opportunity to see what you and others are thinking about permaculture in juxtaposition with my interview with Penny Livingston. Only a couple of folks have responded so far. Perhaps the piece is too easily dismissed? That would be our loss. So how would you engage the writer with a counter POV? Is it likely that there are others in the movement with similar ideas? Permaculture has a long road ahead to have a global impact. There are bound to be many more "David Palnick's" coming down the path. We would be the wiser to be open and engaged.

I thought my rather thoughtful piece did engage in a dialog with the writer. Did it only go to you and not to the writer?
In general, research has shown that negative conversation and attacks do not engage people in dialog but rather turn people away.
I'm a retired PR pro (you and I are linked-in so you may know that) who is very good at reading propaganda. During the last election various right-wing groups were paying people (maybe still are) to infiltrate online conversations and shut down discussion by making obnoxious attacks. So, publishing something like this in the East Bay Permaculture group isn't going to stimulate dialog-- it's more likely to discourage some people from participating in the group.

(2) I think "turn and run" is an overstatement but remember that most folks are just dipping their toe into permaculture. It hasn't really coalesced into a community yet, it's barely even a movement. All the tech applications still mark the word as a misspelling ;-) While trying to build a community, it is good to reward people with a rich amount of new and useful information or opportunities in proportion to distracting and even distressful stuff. Personally, I've lately noticed a lot of looking-for-rental ads and political calls-to-action which would be more appropriate in a different group. People get a lot of emails and will get turned off it is too much and too irrelevant to them. Thanks for keeping this going,
Melody Haller

Hi Melody -
Your thoughtfulness twice shines through. I get the negative message paradox. The writer is in the Permaculture LinkedIn Group but was not privy to the threads. So you think permies will "turn and run" at this sorta thing? Interesting. I see much more arduous battles ahead for permaculturists and "regular folks" as regional and local fights for resources intensify. Will we hide in the backyard garden when the shit hits the fan? Anyway. We need to understand and strategize the coming transition. This is what my new myths are about!

I am already a little bit familiar with your work, having seen a number of posts while doing research on internet uses of alchemy. I'll give you a few impressions and constructive criticism I'm seeing from a quick read.

First of all, I'm very sympathetic to the use of alchemy as a set of mythic resources for thinking about environmental issues. But I'm not immediately sure about what you mean by things like "daily alchemy of the Tribe." Even when it's evocative, I'd like to see you help the reader to see what role it plays in the logic. What are the "alchemies of the post-1960s"? There's a lot that's hard to penetrate right away--or is this meant to be read only by folks who are already 100% down with your project and grokking fully?

love the Rush quote. I think those guys are great for inspiration in this area. been working on an interpretation of "Hemispheres" in the light of the work of Philip K. Dick and the "Bicameral Mind" theories of Julian Jaynes

When it comes to "initiation in the Shamanator" -- on the one hand I grok exactly where you're coming from. But I'm not sure about initiation as part of a movement you're trying to get people interested in. I'd like to see how you're going to grab people who aren't necessarily hardcore enough to be ready for the kind of "trial by fire" that alchemical initiation represents.

I see that you define how you're using alchemy with the 5 point plan, and dig the visual maps (although differences between levels not clear) And I'm interested in how you connect alchemy with making new myths. But I'm not sure if this is a concept of alchemy that the average eco-conscious person is immediately going to resonate with. I'd like to see more specific uses of alchemical symbolism and logic to support the permaculture and sustainable stuff (which is a resource I have access to so could hopefully offer some specific points from the emblems or scholarship in the history of science research if we end up doing business...)

Recycling of elements I think is a great place to connect alchemy and ecology. Alchemists historically had to be great with resource/time/work management. They needed to be paying careful attention to their lab equipment and process, or they could suffer some terrible consequences. How could this not be the
perfect metaphor for our situation?

You should read the academic Myth Studies e-list, there might be some good stuff going on there that could inspire you, and there are a lot of smart people to ask questions of, for example Robert Segal who writes on Joesph Campbell and knows theory of myth better than anybody.

There's a ton of stuff that reminds me of Kim Stanley Robinson in your work. He also connects alchemy to permaculture, in a way, at least making alchemy a source of inspiration for his scientist/eco/environmentalist characters. He's down with the idea that the myth of econ growth is not sustainable, the idea that we need a new myth to start changing minds and replacing it's attachments.
Ted Hand

re: "A Love for Creation" - Invite & Interview with Permaculturist Penny Livingston - Commonweal Garden, Bolinas, CA

Sweet! Thanks! Penny

Permaculture and New Mythologies in the digital space, I can see it!
Salvatore Delle Palme
Thanks for sharing these videos and stories from Palo Alto. Here is a youtube video of Tom Ward / Tomi Hazel during his annual winter storytelling this winter in Ashland. This vivid two-hour adventure is all about seasonality and light living in the Siskiyou Mountains : Enjoy !
Mitra Striclen, eugene permaculture guild

Hey I dig your writing! Reminds me of Hakim Bey's neo-shamanistic style. I like the propagating of the new story/new cosmology. Are you familiar with Brian Swimme's work? I might add to the dark green value system a fourth point, or add to the third point, that the science of ecology recognizes that all life is interdependent. So this is cool stuff. I want to be involved in what you are doing. We definitely need new stories..and there's so much information floating around now its hard to tease the grain from the chaff. I'm in an eco-centric rock group called invisibleworlds, if you ever do an event that you want a band to play at. We are working on recordings now, can send you something soon hopefully. It will take me a while to look through all of the links but it's definitely drawing me in! What projects are you working on now? What are your next steps? Where do I fit in?
Jeremy Watts

Thanks for this, Willi. Best wishes in your good works this year. Please visit for updates.

Hi! Doing well, no garden as I am too much of a gypsy these days but it's on my list of things to do in the summer :) All the best to you!
Dréa Drury,

re: "Barn Dance Media Center" (BDMC). "Integrated Accelerator for the Permaculture & Transition Movement".
Schematics are well-done. Where will this be built?
Patrick Horn

Cool stuff, Willi. I'm a fan of your blerbs on the east bay Permaculture yahoo group.
Jeremy Watts,

re: "Spring Holidays & Transition Tales 3." Transition Palo Alto's Spring Sharing Expo, March 16, 1 - 3 pm at Common Ground, Palo Alto. Video Interviews Hosted by Willi Paul

To give my quick answer to the question as to whether our transition to a new worldview calls for new holidays: Cultures always develop special days as the people feel moved. I see no need for a group to decide to create certain new holidays. People will naturally stop observing ones that they feel are not relevant for them, and observing those that are. More than that, we already have a perfectly fine set of holidays that fit the worldview to which we are transitioning -- really a return to an older worldview that honored Earth and sustainability. As hopefully everyone knows, the Christian holidays that have become the civil (nonreligious) norm in Euro-American mainstream culture are almost entirely borrowed and adopted from Pagan holidays that had been celebrated since the mists of prehistory (and still are by modern Pagans). Not only the general timing but the customs are lifted from Paganism. The Easter Bunny and eggs are obious fertility symbols for spring. Santa Claus and gift giving, decorating an evergreen tree, and general merriment at the time of the winter solstice all have Pagan origins. These holidays are naturally centered around the cycle of the seasons, from lambing season through mating and fertility, the ripeness of summer, first harvest, autumn harvest, and then the turning of the sun to start another year. All we have to do is remember the old holidays, and celebrate them again, as many are already doing.
Pete Benson, Eugene

re: Indiegogo Restorative Agroforestry Project in India by Permaculturist Charlotte Anthony - plus Interview
What an excellent post! Thanks for including the name of India's permaculture guru, Bashkir Save, of whom I had never heard. Interesting perspective on dryland farming, political pressure and making positive things happen.
John S, PDX OR

Sedona Spells -
I did finally get around to watching this. Your request for feedback about it never left my mind, so I figured I needed to dig back through my email and give it a look. I enjoyed the overlay of the imagery, flute and musings. A few of them I didn't understand at first, but enjoyed trying to unlock the poetry. (Had fun with ultra terra spawn). A few others I'm still thinking about. One of the gifts of poetry and myth are the many, many interpretations. And the upside down tree, really fantastic. I thought of the symbolic transformation of becoming unrooted and creating a nest. One form of stability to another, nature's way. Your work asks the viewer to slow down and explore. Inquire. Reflect. I watched it a few times through, and realized that it needed my full attention. This was a gift, actually. So few things get my full attention. Thanks, Willi,

You sound like someone to know! ;-)
Lidewij Niezink, PhD, LinkedIn

Just finished Starhawk's wonderful book The Fifth Sacred Thing and loved it, also reminds me of my animation with Willi Paul's story, The Bee Myth (
Celestial Elf

Yes, Willi Paul, I agree that all influences are connected and currently creating a figurative "Myelitis" of nerve bundles preparing to fire anxiety throughout every culture of humanity on earth.
Peace, Wendy? G+

* * * * * * *

Carridine: An online symposium sounds like a very good idea BUT I don't think two or three months is sufficient time to organize such a thing & have it be successful. This is especially true since I am now juggling far more responsibilities. So if you would like me to be a part of that project I can only say that I could participate if the timeline was extended quite a bit.

Willi: Got it. Let's focus on the next few months. Mythology symposium maybe should run after the fall semester starts. Students are a prime participant.

Carridine: As for continuing our conversation, that I believe is something to which I can commit. I think we can produce one substantial conversation a month. If we do that, in a year's time, we could have 12 conversations and quite possibly a fundamental document around which to organize the symposium or some other significant group conversation.

Willi: My initial responds was too frequent but I am in if the Q/A stays fresh and is perhaps ½ as long as #1?

Carridine: You speak of the egos and cliques in the conversation surrounding new mythology. I think there is a best way to challenge anything like that while at the same time making progress towards one's more central goals. That is to insist that in any contact with all these egos and cliques, one insist that they address a difficult and as yet unsolved problem that requires real world results. Without the requirement of real world results, egos will do with mythology what they have always done so far: which is "psychological doodling" as Joseph Campbell calls it in his lecture on aesthetic arrest (in the link I sent you). This mental self-abuse can continue forever and ever. It is proof of the familiar equation -- small stakes/big egos, big stakes/small egos.

Willi: Good strategy. My work "always" addresses a specific issue or theme.

Carridine: Obviously the unsolved problems which require real world results have to do with the climate crisis. I don't think there is any point to doing a mythology symposium that doesn't center around the climate crisis.

Willi: Nature and the climate crisis are key themes here but is not the only one!

Carridine: Your expertise and emphasis in permaculture along with your interest in myth, I believe, make your contribution central to any creative mythology symposium we organized. I think a worthwhile accomplishment for any future symposium -- or whatever we might build on top of it --is to bring mythology to bear on the problem of creating sustainable communities.

Willi: The challenge of creating sustainable communities is a good companion issue with climate crisis. I am seeking integration here-.

Carridine: Mythology now must speak for everything that is not human: it must seek to reestablish an ecology where humanity doesn't dominate the rest of nature. How can we make these stories an effective voice in a world where the predominant mythology is resulting in an accelerating depletion of our environment worldwide? I think that is the real question of mythology today.

Willi: Great! OK to include this ("How can we make these stories an effective voice in a world where the predominant mythology is resulting in an accelerating depletion of our environment worldwide?") in Conversation #2?

Carridine: The question is how can myth be useful in the struggle to take our world back from an transnational oligarchy which care even less for the environment than it does for the rest of humanity?

Willi: Add to Conversation #2?

Carridine: These are of course giant questions and luckily hundreds of thousands of people are addressing them. That is why I think your building of an online archive of conversations with such solution seekers is the most important part of your work.

Willi: That's a fair critique! Have you seen my videos?

Carridine: ie: "Although, what is getting to be an equally important part of your work is the devising of some way of indexing all your work so that it remains accessible and useful"

Willi: Yes. My content generation zeal has trumped a re-indexing-. I have so many channels for each piece that I hope folks will find the material. Suffice to say I had internships and interview swaps (for example) but lack the funds and assistance to up my search engineering, etc.

Carridine: As for our conversations together, I think we can pursue how myths (and our own efforts) address these giant question by examining the 50+ myths that you have already created in various media. How are you using them? How do you expect others to use them? By what means do you hope to communicate these useful myths to a community which has need of them?

Willi: I have archived the new myths. I send them out in conjunction with other work. I see the new myths as both ahead of time and controversial for the "positivism only peeps."

Carridine: In terms of continuing our conversation, as I said, I believe the next step follows from your questions and answers and my response to them, specifically with regard to the quarry. I take the quarry I to be a metaphor of Nature as the symbol-maker in dream and myth.

Willi: Yes, Con. #2 can be enlarged as above. I'm then in!

Carridine: You recently posted myth 51, I believe it was, about a character named Fang. I would like to examine this myth in depth, including your understanding of it and its intended use (that is, how you expect others to receive it and who this intended audience is. You say, "for children" -- how?)

Willi: I am integrating text, sounds, a story line and pix. The poem drives the show. In brief, this is another example of "sound alchemy." The piece is bold, short yet contains some tricky wordsmithing. Ironically it is about climate change and classic mythology. All of this means new myth to me.

Carridine: Just today, you posted a large number of links including one which brought me to a video-conference between you and a Geomancer from Australia. I think this is potentially a wonderful document. I think it can be improved by the addition of an introduction.

Willi: Fair, yes.

Carridine: You suggested that it might be easier for us to have clear conversation if we were to talk on the phone or Skype. I agree. I would be very happy if we could take our our monthly installments and post them on future on YouTube in the way that you have posted this interview with the Australian Geomancer. I think that would be a much easier format for people to absorb. And it is something easier for us to produce. Is it possible to edit such things? Is it possible to add images and video clips and other forms of illustration and demonstration? Can the talking heads be side by side, bigger and of equal size?

Willi: I have many, many video interviews. See the same link as above. Videos are fraught with potential hassles. I gave up on this format when I saw better reads in text versions. I would be willing to support your vision here-.

Carridine: The one last question that comes to mind in terms of what I'm trying to respond to, the question "how do we make our living as new mythology? The likely answer is "we don't." But my answer to that question so far terms of how I've chosen to live my life, is that I hire myself out as an art instructor and storyteller/story gatherer. Through these activities I facilitate the production of community artworks. For this work I get paid. The result is a Mural which narrates a neighborhood's struggle in a way that can touch the heart of every member of that community (or nearly so).This ability to touch everyone necessarily involves the construction of new myths.

Carridine: Another way of making money is to give talks. But to give talks one needs a message: that's where I think we are now - the message construction phase. We must use our conversation together as a means of solidifying the shape of storytelling necessary to effectively address the problems of climate change.

Willi: Are you proposing a new myth + political agenda?

* * * * * * *

WAY too depressing for this listerv (Blister). Transition wants positive messages, not doom and gloom. Wassup with that??
Susan Silber, Transition SF

I'm REALLY hoping this article (Blister) won't happen, I'm going for optimistic proactivism.
Tracy Thatcher, @FlowervineMom

Hey Willi, I think we did pretty good too ("The Quarry Men:" A Conversation on New Mythology with Carridine Poran and Willi Paul) and I enjoyed the experience. You qualify our achievement -- "Given that .... we did good" Can you elaborate on what you would like it to be if we weren't limited by circumstance? That way we can build toward that as we move forward. What I can envision for the future is simply our next step, which we've already laid out: our next conversation should arise out of your questions and answers and my responses to them.

At this point a lot of ideas are swirling around and are simply implicit in what has been said. I think we can continue to examine them and they will determine our course. By doing this, I think we will best serve our overarching goal, to explore myth to see how their aid can be enlisted in addressing the climate crisis. As a purpose and an activity, I think you already have this goal in hand and have been accomplishing it for some time, one myth at a time, one interview at a time, one workshop at a time. What I think I can add is a reinforcement of your sense that nature is the supreme source of your activity and of our salvation. I think I can add this and we can pursue this in our conversation through a thorough dialogue on the nature of the quarry and the nature of Nature's symbol making.

If this is our goal and correspondence is our dialogue process, I think what we have done so far is working. IN terms of it being "accessible" (a category of evaluation you didn't approach in your note) I would ask for your assessment. The only question left on your evaluation sheet is "final text/graphic" I like the graphic your created very much. I started to prepare another more surrealist image to head my post on a facebook group page of mine. I'll share it with you when I'm through.

I created a page (but did nothing with it) called STORIES FOR SUSTAINABILITY but I'm not sure I like that name. Should we have a facebook page for this conversation alone? I'm still collapsing and reinventing my online presence, so I am trying different things ...
Carridine Poran

Excellent post Willi. I believe that people in Portland are working on some edible public spaces in Sellwood. I am working on edible pathways in Bethany right now. Olympia also has a food forest and an edible pathway. Hopefully we will see more of this here on the West Coast.
John S, PDX OR

Thanks. Good stuff (City foraging)!
Penni Thorpe, Flower Essences, Yoga and Therapeutic Touch

Hi There, I enjoy the mythology on the permaculture email groups! Very dry over here in CA. Best,
Daniel Brodell Lake, Team Leader at GRID Alternatives

Love the gates and shrine (Rain Dance). A drum circle and musical blessing--what a great was to start the year! Excellent.

Hey Willi, I'm a big fan of your work and was wondering if you'd be at the Fancy Food Show this weekend. My company, Kuli Kuli, is debuting our Moringa Superfood Bars. We're the first company to sell moringa food products in the US and have seen increased interest in the superfood lately. I first began working with moringa in the Peace Corps and now work to help women in West Africa improve their health and livelihoods by selling moringa-based products in the US through Kuli Kuli. I've copied our press release below with more details. Let me know if you'd like to connect at the show or, if you won't be in attendance, if you'd like me to send you some samples.
Lisa Curtis,

Hello Willi - good to reconnect. I remember you well from your moderation of the Co-op America list...hoping that you are thriving! As far as my interests are, permaculture, and regenerative business, with a deep undergirding of interspirituality and indigenous tradition, Jungian psycho-spirituality, myth.....I could go on, but this doesn't do justice to the matrix into which it all fits.
Just now I'm working my way through an altogether unreasonable number of projects, so my time on the group will be limited, but I'm looking forward to exploring and joining in the discussion. Appreciation!
Phila Hoops

Great website and the work you are doing ... I would like to introduce you to my 1,200+ members spread out in 82 countries worldwide ... at ... promoting voices for the "voiceless" and giving them voices to tell their stories and finding solutions to their problems. Le'st network !
Vinanti Castellarin

re: "Collapsed Time Stress Disorder & Mythic Time"

Something in the nature of the way I, and others i have spoken to, experience time. It is different than it was twenty years ago, in a way that is not merely the speeding up I hear happened as one ages. It feels more like time can stand still or go very fast in a nonlinear way, and technology seems to give it three dimensions. Time used to feel simple, and now it doesn't.
Shaun Malone

W: Howdy Bud!

DW: Let's get together for tea sometime, even on line maybe.

W: Great. I am in Bangkok and stops in PH until late Jan.

DW: Problems and criticism. I would like to be able to write on your weblog (I do not like the word 'blog') How do you write on your weblog?

W: You can't. I removed the community comment tool many moons ago. People send me comments and questions via LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
You can read feedback from 2009 - present here:

DW: Why is it necessary to go to two addresses to see an interview?

W: Sometimes the magazine drupal platform is too simple and does not support a WordPress style look and feel. But key here is that I post EVERYTHING on and then link to openmythsource or newmythologist.

DW: Why is your typography so clunky when you have good taste? Why is it so unrelentingly ugly?

W: That's a fair but rare critique. is a kid site and is my organic creative drupal-hinged design.

DW: Why do you post the answers to questions you do not post?

W: Not understanding this one.

DW: Why is there no comment box?

W: See community comment tool response above.

DW: Why do you not use William, I do not like the name Willi, it sounds so juvenile and demeaning.

W: Again, kid centric....

DW: I do not like the picture you use posing like a nerd with your head in your hand.

W: Oh well!

DW: Apart from all that I think your site has a glimmer of interest... Your good friend David Check out my albums on Facebook....

Not a FB fan!!

See ya soon... half way in the Haight?
David Wills SF

Dear Willi - Thanks for your reply.

Yes! We can always collaborate. Such similar ways we have including new myths/paradigms/memes/solutions. Forests, forest gardening, permaculture. Sustainability. Crystals earth energy networks and I assume sacred ecology, deep ecology, reverential ecology and consciousnessness. Do you also have an interest in sacred geometry, dynamic design, tiny houses, the Age of the Feminine, the Age of Wave Energies (Aquarius) cosmic and earth cycles?

Can I interview you for my site

Can I post a key article from PlanetShifter on with a link to its subscription or registration page?

I will study more of you information ebooks and magazines soon as I've finished Buhner's "The Secret Teachings of Plants: The Intelligence of the Heart". Like ourselves, he teaches so well.
David Baiile

Great. Thanks Willi. If I had known you were headed to Manilla I would have thrown that in the examples of vulnerability. Do you live in the Bay Area? Best wishes for the New Year. Thanks for your efforts to change consciousness.
John Englander

Dear Willi -- Is the Sacred in Permaculture: A Global Certificate Course still going? Thanks, Love.

Thanks Willi, Nice to be in touch. Good ideas. Nice to have discovered the term "Dark Green Religion". The Rock Music you like, I may well like as there is wisdom in all things, all sound gifts information and the music on your videos sounds much more uplifting than the rock music I don't listen to :-)
David Baillie

i absolutely love this willi! RE: 5 New Nature-based Rituals for the Permaculture Transition

it's fox here.. i'm living in southern oregon now, joined by only a few other known, alternative-leaning land projects within an hour's drive.. and we're all visioning together, trying to creates rituals, rhythms for coming together, and a real-live land based community. The hope is that it'll be a veritable village some day soon. i totally dig this proposed yearly schedule of prayers, work & celebration. i'll remember it as we plan our year. i'm curious if you see these rhythms in action.. in the bay maybe? or even other pockets of sustainable, earth & people-based community around the world? keep it up!

Hi WP - I really enjoyed your rant brotherman
tho confused betimes
And how the shinylinkmessage brought inspiration to the local universe
You and Stella sssseriously need to link up because you have so much in common , and we are i the pattern recognition business .
I believe
Y'both ha brang much needed impulses t'move


Thanks for connecting AGAIN, hehe It is great to hear from you after all these years. I always loved your ideas.
Carolyn McDaniel,

Hi there - Do you happen to be the same Willi Paul that interviewed Keiron Le Grice? Thanks for the FR. I just added you. So... You -are- the Willi Paul I had in mind, eh? Small world. I'm so grateful to you for posting that interview; there's precious little material of Le Grice's out there.'s such a shame that he hasn't recorded any talks/lectures etc. Anyway, thanks again. Happy Solstice!
Terra Seraphim, temple illuminatus

I'm talking about (Building a new sound symbol library for global community storytelling). "

h) Is initiation like a meditation?

i) What is a mythic experience?"

- When you ask something like that, you are actually inviting another person to think outside the box and break the box (especially the videos), to feel another realm, to leave the comfort zone and never come back. Some would do that if they knew in advance at least some of the outcome.
Aleksandar Malecic, Depth Psychology Alliance

"h) Is initiation like a meditation? How?
i) What is a mythic experience?" - When you ask something like that, you are actually inviting another person to think outside the box and break the box (especially the videos), to feel another realm, to leave the comfort zone and never come back. Some would do that if they knew in advance at least some of the outcome.

Hallo Willi! Time for an answer... !! For the moment I´m again a student, writing an essay in ecophilosophy - about human and nature. I have also some studies going on about the science of religion, myths, rituals and so on. This morning I saw an interesting film: Queen of the Sun - about bees. Without bees, no food etc. You can find it on Vimeo! - The Myth I´m Living in, it´s a Beautiful one, Full of Hope and Joy - the Future is a Life, Lived from Our Hearts ;-) Nice to hear from You! Have a nice time! Greetings from
Ingrid in Sweden

Yes sure, I checked your website, it is very interesting. Let me know how we can cooperate, Best Regards
Ivano Aglietto, Czech Republic

I notice again and again people asking you, "Yes, but why do you call your stories myths?" I really admire what you are doing and was wondering if you wanted to talk -- interview each other -- about that very question "why are your stories myths?" and the related question, "What should a myth narrative, in and of itself, do?" Let me know if you are interested.
Kerry Dennehy

Joseph Campbell was often asked how a new mythology was going to develop. His answer was that it would have to come from poets, artists, and filmmakers. In this talk, Campbell explores what he called creative mythology-the way in which artists can and do give a sense of the transcendent in a universe apparently empty of meaning.
His lecture was recorded at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin in 1969.

@openmythsource ice melt uncaps volcanoes >melts ice fast
weight>seas &land rebounds fast >massive vulcanism too long
no sunlight >life ends

Hello there Willi Paul, It has indeed been a long time since we last communicated. I have decided to join the Machine by joining the United States Navy. There has been much animosity amongst my peers and some of my mentors about this decision. I feel, however, that there is something to be learned in my future experience as a sailor. I have been inspired by your past messages about the journey of creating new meaning and purpose for the things we do. I hope to gain experience in service that provides long lasting benefits, space from close ones, and ironic experience. For now the commitment is a 7.5 year commitment and counting. . . I will soon be documenting my plans as time goes on. Thank you for your inspiration Willi Paul.
Lauren Evans

"Pushing Away from Capitalism. Interview with Kim Krichbaum." Very interesting interview. I personally feel that we attribute many negatives the capitalism that are not the direct result of free markets but rather a distortion in the markets.
David McAbee, Sales Director at VoltDelta

"Science and technology by themselves aren't enough. We need to turn to the arts in order to infuse passion into the pursuit of sustainability and get real results that will heal the planet,"... from DELTA TRESTLE TRIBE, CASCADIA. 2028. NEW MYTH 31.
Will, Your post brings to mind the "everyone here is an artist" saying of the Balinese. I am a new permacutlure student and practitioner - put in my first "magic cirlce" yesterday - and I have been struck both by the intelligence and beauty of its pricniples and practice
Barbara Bowen, PhD

I saw your latest "Talisman" interview, where you disclose you were diagnosed with bi-polar disorder at 19 and had 12 manic episodes. I instantly had two reactions. The first reaction is to feel irritation at how the bogus language of psychiatry defines lives and experiences, and secondly, admiration for how you've used these extreme crises of consciousness to an ultimately good effect. I don't deny that these were difficult experiences for you, but I really hate how that incompetent professional clique has so shaped opinions about what those experiences are and why those episodes exist. I have much more to say on the topic, but I'll spare you a lengthy philosophical polemic. I would simply urge you to reconsider your language and concepts when thinking about how those moments defined you.

Hey Willi, Hope you are doing well. I like the semantics you've been using. Willi: I really don't get it though. I think it's obvious that we can effect the present, learn from the past and forecast the future. It's good to think about how time works. We can only 'do' in the now.
You can live in the past or daydream about possibilities and live outside reality. I think our world is totally trying to escape reality. That sucks, because we're in a death spiral... just thinking about it doesn't change anything. The more we 'do' nothing, the less attached we are..
If everyone, for example, spent an hour every day gardening, we could collectively clean up and beautify our surroundings. Instead we watch movies, burn time playing games, being online in useless pursuits that don't change our world. When I first read your post, I'm like, Willi's needs to lay of the weed, lol. So that all said, and knowing I care about all things Willi, what are you up to with this? Building on all you know and have done, what do you hope this work will do for you or humanity?
Eric Needle

Thanks e! for your time (!) and insights on the post. two things are key here: Collapsed Time Stress Disorder which came up as I read messages in my multiple lists recently; again, it seems that we are living in all times zones at once now! Mythic Time, my attempt to offer an alternative to the "big three" and to Campbell's complexity.

two things that come up for me around this article (Collapsed Time Stress Disorder) are: 1) that I don't think of the daydreaming state as a disorder but a place in which visions and inspiration happen along with insight and healing. I get what you are saying about some people being susceptible in this state, but I think we can learn to be aware of that and take precautions. 2) what I've learned about past time. SO many people love to say, just let go of the past in reference to trauma, sadness, grieving, you name it. But what I've come to see is that unless one consciously allows the past into the conscious where we can deal with issues we can't, in fact let go because we haven't resolved it. WHat I've learned is that when I have done that, what I needed to resolve, embrace, heal from the past lets go of me. I don't forget it, but it takes on a different presence because the hurt is no longer there.
Shari Tarbet

Hey Willi, That (interview) sounds great! I love the work you are doing, very resonant! Let chat potentials soon.
Hjeron O'Sidhe,

Thank you Sir for a masterful job (on the interview)! I am forwarding this to family and friends; that should drive some traffic to your site. Over the weekend FEMA called and I am being sent to Illinois to help following the recent tornadoes there. I likely will be gone through the holidays, back here first of the year. I will still have email access and such, just very little time. When I return let's see if there is some other ways I can help you.

Hi Willi, And thank you for adding me to the group. I loved your open ended question. It really helped me to look at what I am doing, or more accurately, view at what stage I am in the process of making the transition. The last several years have been about traveling, paring down possessions/bartering, learning to eat sustainably, discovering new mythologies through astrology, making art, living in various non-traditional communities and becoming a teacher. Over the last two years, I've been learning about permaculture online and been holding a void for where a longer-term community and connection to the land would be. While updating my LinkedIn profile, I saw your group, checked out Planetshifter. It looks like a wonderful resource and I look forward to exploring it further. So, to answer your question, I am working on the inside and awaiting manifestation. Where do you see transition now? All the best,
Shaun Malone

We'd be happy to do an interview at your convenience and I enjoy reading your posts via the twitter. With your ideas of creating new mythologies and narratives, I'd also recommend reaching out to Paul Nelson, who might also be able to give an interview. He is a longtime Cascadian, Poet, and Bioregionalist who runs SPLabs (Spoken Word Labs) in Seattle, and is a key organizer in the 2nd annual Cascadia Poetry festival. Cheers,
Brandon Letsinger, CascadiaNow!

re:Three Monoliths & the Crystal Triangle Network, 2066 AD

After a lot of conversation back and forth, Salli, as the most educated individual among the three of them, figured out what they actually had in their possession. I won't tell you details about how it works and such, because the discovery of it belongs to the future and all technological details about it should stay in the future. I'll still tell what those three monuments can do to the people who use them. Are you ready? It's something that can collectively, our species as a whole, lift to the next level of consciousness. And it belonged long, long time ago to aliens.

How does that "next level" look like? Well, people who want to participate in it must first and foremost accept their belonging to the community, to a functional group of people who will never again make decisions based upon their superficiality and habits. They bear in their minds local sufficiency and long-term planning, but at the same time are immune to any form of nationalism and racism. They (new humans) plan to stay here for awhile, to sustain some form of (adapted to accumulated experience and, yes, new level of consciousness) civilized and organized living.

How is it possible? Like I've already told you, I won't go into details about monuments themselves, but rather about how tools and technology should be used. It should fit in a large spatial and temporal context. Let's take for example Las Vegas. Due to all respect to people who live there, a town or country focused on short-term profit and totally ignoring the environment is very fragile. We need technology and tools that can allow our consciousness and empathy to bloom. This new level of consciousness can allow us to perceive (and apply this perception) the world as networks rather as things. People will for the first time ever be able to find a proper place for each individual within the larger constellation. Even if an individual person doesn't understand every interaction and its outcome, he/she still understands that much that people who pretended to know everything fought at least two world wars and almost destroyed the very everything they pretended to understand.

There is an anecdote that happened (will happen in the future) while our friends with the monuments were communicating for the first time. As I've already told you, Salli was the first one who understood what kind of toy they have in their hands. Dal and Ponder would ridicule the whole thing if a very strange coincidence hadn't come their way. Just before this event with the monuments, Ponder was listening to the album "Monoliths & Dimensions" by the band Sunn O))). Check out the song titles: Aghartha (a place of an "ancient world government into which Alexandre Saint-Yves projected his take on the idea of utopia), Big Church (Ponder had found her monument under a church), Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia) (the monument was found near a food forest and that "human face" from Mars was found in the region Cydonia), and Alice. It was like Jung's concept of synchronicity (That higher level of consciousness already showing its weird side?) manifesting in a very intense way. How does Alice fit in? That composition isn't exactly about that Alice from the Wonderland, but she fits nicely in the anecdote. As Ponder had said about Sunn O))) (it was all happening during their first conversation), Dal recalled that the latest musical composition she had listened to was Triangular Stare (like that triangular conversation from this story) by the band Dysrhythmia from their album Psychic Maps (even the album title for some strange reason sounds like the manual needed for the proper use of those monuments). There is on the cover a half-human face resembling the rabbit from the film Donnie Darko (a horror version of Alice's rabbit), but with ears cut-off from the frame of the picture. Both albums were published in 2009. Considering that both bands and a bunch of weirdos (Just listen to those albums!), this paranormal aspect of the story makes sense.

Watch Donnie Darko and you'll find some more spookiness in this whole story. Before I finish this report, I want to remind you of something. After all that environmental/societal mess, including Ponder's parents being killed, why we humans need to be pushed to the wall before adding some empathy and long-term planning in our collective "consciousness"? Is there some better world in the world of possibilities, ideas, and missed opportunities in which Ponder's parents survived the war, in which the war didn't happen? Perhaps that scary rabbit knows the answer. Or not.
Aleksandar Malecic, Pancevo, Serbia

Sedona Spells: Two hands clap and there is a sound. What is the sound of one hand? How can you stop a galloping horse while sitting still? Show me your original face before you were born. Zen koans
Aleksandar Male?i?

Sedona Spells: The combination of sparse poetry with beautiful scenes, sounds of nature, and indigenous music is interesting. To really have a sense of it, the production quality would need to come way up. One easy thing would be to pick a better font for the text overlays and position them intentionally. Check out the two overlays that I did on this video this morning:
I think hopi prophecy would be interesting poetry for a naturetoon.
Dave Room,BALANCE Edutainment/Pacha's Pajamas

What a great interview (with Matt Bibeau). Thank you for sending it out to share with others.
Bonnie Borucki, eastbaypermaculture list

currently (& concretely), I'm "transitioning" my yard to a permaculture system (composting leaves today). But, I've been an activist for 30 yrs, and continue to be active (slacktive?) online, as well as locally/regionally with local food/economy, transition, and permaculture groups. I've also been an online publisher, and aspire to revive my blogging; as such, I'm interested in your work and publication and will definitely check that out.
kit Robinson

Hallo Willi, this is Ingrid in Sweden. I´m on your mailinglist, and I want to tell you that I am always really interested in what you are writing about!!
Ingrid H-Lofstrom

Thank you for your wise counsel, WP. Where are you putting your time/energy these days? I'm fully committed to Praying True ( would love to have you join us there, be the MAN to open the floodgates for our male counterparts. ) and teaching Painting True which is a way of expressing true reverence for life - part of the new mythology for me... with admiration for all you bring into being.
Deborah Milton

Willi, I found the interview you did with me online again and wanted to let you know I appreciate you having interest in my ideas. I've shared it on my Facebook page a few times. It gives me a sense of honour to have been chosen by yourself to contribute to the breadth of work.So in reading my words/creative thought processes through your ability to focus in on amazing topics I have become inspired once again. So, thank you. I wish you all the success and joy you can dream of.
Tara Timmers

Wonderful! Thank you for posting eBook 13 to the Sustainable Contra Costa Network - we're spreading it around through our facebook page as well.
Tina King Neuhausel - President & Co-Founder, Sustainable Contra Costa

Thanks for your interest, Willi. (re: We Are All On Flight 93:
Bringing Spirit to R Evolution, By Derek Joe Tennant,

We have met one time I believe; I think it was a few years ago, likely at one of the first *conversation* evenings hosted by Cecile at Worldcentric. I haven't been attending many of the TPA events lately, I live in Santa Clara without a car, and have lots of irons in the fire so to speak and that limits my ability to get north. I would of course be happy to talk with you. About the *us*: I accept that right now I am way out on the fringe. There are just a few percent, if even that, of people like me who have awakened to where this dominant culture is heading, have tried the personal solutions that the system offers, and have found them lacking in substance or ability to truly bring about change. I speak from and as part of that small group, although I am unaware of any aboveground, organized movement in the Bay Area that I could *join* or speak for. Hopefully as more people reach a similar conclusion, more people will be moved to truly step out of the culture. That is the point of my book, along with balancing material concerns with an active and developing spiritual life, and bringing into manifestation the perspectives that will build a sustainable future. Equality, integrity, connection, participation, mutual aid, and good nutrition are some of the values I hold dear and feel will be our salvation, if we are to survive as a culture.
Derek -

Hi Willi! How are you? I was reading a few of your columns in your Planet Shifter Magazine. (see "Oh, PermaTrans, where art thou?" : Rant by Willi Paul, You raise some REALLY good points! I do think that some of your language is extremely polarizing; for example you say "One could even ask the elites themselves to lead this strategic plan." Who wants to be called an elitist?!

Capitalism vs. Transition? perpetuating profit lust while disguising our greed as global conscious change is ugly. -- what does this mean? Can you give some concrete examples to explain this? Again, it's really polarizing.

To me, it's about finding common ground with people, listening to what they have to say, understanding their point of view before you start calling people names :)

Also if you have some ideas about CONCRETE ways to organize movements -- please put them out there! I think that this would be much more helpful instead of "ranting" as you call it. As it stands, I am one of the lead organizers in uniting the permaculture/Transition movements -- and would love to hear your thoughts but they are not concrete enough as is.

-- Where are our debated visions of the future? Big templates for change? Have you heard any feedback from the recent 2013 NorCal Transition - Permaculture Convergence? -- what does this mean?

Would love to hear some CONCRETE strategies for action and not just rants! :)

Susan Silber - Program Coordinator: Green Star Schools Program, Steering Committee: NorCal Transition Network

Continuing the key lines for the food forest was very, very difficult for me. the whole time was like going through mud, almost like quicksand.

it seemed there was a very strong energy opposing the endeavor. my car broke down, my feet were much worse, making walking difficult (I have something called plantar fasciitis), i had no energy (very unusual for me).

when it was over i literally could not move for many days.

then i went on a pilgrimage of my own where spirit was talking through almost everyone i met with the message trust spirit to fill your needs. ( In my energy depleted stage i had been grasping at people in my community for help).

when i got back to laurelwood i immediately got sick. 10 sneezes an hour, lots of running eyes and nose, horrible headaches, fortunately no chest complications.

then the day the "cold" was pretty much over i had this vision:

it was of devas or plant spirits dancing and cavorting over the food forest slopes where we had staked out the key lines.

i watched for a while and then thanked them for showing themselves to me. they all stopped and looked at me and said thank YOU. i said what for. they said that by putting in the stakes for the key lines we had woken them up. (acupuncture?) they were excited to partner with humans after so long a time of being "asleep." the plant beings assured me that they would do everything they could to help laurelwood get the land next door (and they assured me they could do a lot),

i had another vision just yesterday of a tribe where there were circles that people called when their energy was low and they needed help.

the tribe had a ceremony after someone performed a heroic endeavor joining the spirit world to the physical world as happened with the key lines, encircling that person in the tribes strength, seeing if the spirit world wanted to share anything through this person.
Charlotte, Victory Gardens

It's not that I'm an expert in functioning of the collective mind and the emerging (I hope so) transition (and emergence, networks, anticipation, and thresholds in general), and I've found a lot of authors and texts pointing to the same thing from different angles. I find some interesting intuition in the stuff you are doing. Of course you've read and written a lot of texts, but I still find something primal and raw in your motivation and intuition. That mega hit rock band couldn't go at the moment much further than Muse and Pearl Jam. There is the so-called Cascadian black metal scene with Fauna/Echtra as the mentally/psychologically most dedicated and intense exemplar.
-- "Oh, PermaTrans, where art thou?" : Rant by Willi Paul, Magazine"
Aleksandar Malecic, in New Global Mythology on Depth Psychology Alliance

Just saw it and love it! I like that you were in it this time. I do think the sound is an issue for some of the time. And I liked before when you put the key question(s) on the black screen. Keep doing what you are doing!
Premiere Video, The Sharing & ReSkilling Show
I did hear from Peter that it was good this time,'the sharing was fun, and we are proud to have you. :-) hope you can join us again.
rani, Transition Palo Alto

This is fantastic!
Willi Paul's Children's Video:
"Forest Vibrations * Sacred Lights"
selected for Depth Insights eZine Fall 2013
Aaron Ableman

Hi Willi, Thank you so much for the additional information! Your writing and interviews are amazing!
Jane Lee -

"Willi, First of all, welcome.. I have heard quite a lot about you and I am surprised we never met in the past. Wiser is mostly based on status update, wikis and discussion forums. We do have our blog and we could have you become a guest blogger if you were interested."
Peggy Duvette,

(re: The LightDNA Boys from the Blue-Green Galaxy) -

OT. Agree. Completely OT.
Rosi and Jordan, Portland

It means off topic. For the record, I don't think it's off topic. I think permaculture has many facets. Not everyone is interested in money supply/federal reserve system, solar energy, electric motorcycles, or humanure, but I think they all apply. It took me awhile to actually understand how the stories and myths relate to permaculture. A word I would prefer to use is what is the culture that we are developing and choosing for our lives? Stories and myths are part of that culture. So are neighborhood garden markets, swales, and wildcrafting, but not everyone participates in every part. I think it's important for us to value all the parts, even if we don't actively involve ourselves in them.
John S, PDX OR

Should I post an announcement every time I complete a new piece of music? Or someone else post every time they have a new drawing or a poem? There are lists specifically for such personal expression but (PPG) isn't one of them.

Thanks Jonathan - I am a guest here, indeed. And my work is definitely OT by design, heart and vision. This is my charge.... to integrate and accelerate ... and my burden.
Willi Paul

"The Field" talks about light being produced at a cellular level based on scientific experimental evidence. It goes from there to talk about what that means, but you would have to read it yourself because I can't do it justice in an explanation.
Shari Tarbet

Excellent Interview (Hands on Resilience : Interview with Russell Evans, Director of Transition Lab), Willi Paul! This one's a keeper. Very grounded, very inspiring. Campfire, Burning Bush, what's the difference? Russell E. somewhere in this interview refers to YouTube as the campfire. I like the idea of it as, potentially here and there at least, as a burning bush. Thank you.
Kerry Dennehy

Wonderful! You have really helped me, (re: A Permaculture School Dream! Interview Joanna Claassen) thank you!

re: Jen Boynton Interview

Nice interview Willi, could have been five times as long and I would have read it.
Kerry Dennehy

JB: "I am cautiously in favor of fracking as a means to move us off of more carbon intensive sources of energy. Unfortunately, we're in a position where we need to choose the lesser of two evils. Of course, water contamination is a big concern and I believe we need more stringent regulation around water table contamination and protections for landowners."

This quote reveals the insanity and utter sickness of the corporate model. Boynton presents her views as being progressive, but in my view, they are more destructive because her paradigm pretends to care about the earth but is destroying it just the same. The corporations have taken over the word "sustainability" and rendered it meaningless. Sustainability is not wringing out the last of the earth's resources while ignoring the consequences. Capitalism is dependent on "growth" which is akin to cancer. In the end "growth" will kill us all. Sustainability means understanding your limits. We have to dramatically downsize, cooperate, change the way we live. That means the end of corporations, capitalism, profiteering, imperialist war, mining and much more.

Good points. Question: Do you credit Ms. Boyton as a "sustainability expert?" I also see grey in their logo / slogan: "people, planet, profit."

Who or what is against sustainability?
Anyone who claims to be against sustainability really doesn't understand it - the principles make sense for any business or political leader to get behind. Nearly everything marketed as "sustainability" is not actually sustainable. It's why I spell it Sustain-A-Bull.

New York Times
Our Decrepit Food Factories
Published: December 16, 2007

The word "sustainability" has gotten such a workout lately that the whole concept is in danger of floating away on a sea of inoffensiveness. Everybody, it seems, is for it whatever "it" means. On a recent visit to a land-grant university's spanking-new sustainability institute, I asked my host how many of the school's faculty members were involved. She beamed: When letters went out asking who on campus was doing research that might fit under that rubric, virtually everyone replied in the affirmative. What a nice surprise, she suggested.

But really, what soul working in agricultural science today (or for that matter in any other field of endeavor) would stand up and be counted as against sustainability? When pesticide makers and genetic engineers cloak themselves in the term, you have to wonder if we haven't succeeded in defining sustainability down, to paraphrase the late Senator Moynihan, and if it will soon possess all the conceptual force of a word like "natural" or "green" or "nice."

Confucius advised that if we hoped to repair what was wrong in the world, we had best start with the "rectification of the names." The corruption of society begins with the failure to call things by their proper names, he maintained, and its renovation begins with the reattachment of words to real things and precise concepts. So what about this much-abused pair of names, sustainable and unsustainable?

To call a practice or system unsustainable is not just to lodge an objection based on aesthetics, say, or fairness or some ideal of environmental rectitude. What it means is that the practice or process can't go on indefinitely because it is destroying the very conditions on which it depends.

How do you see the impact of fracking in CA? Which side are you on?

Fracking hasn't become a runaway industry in California the way it has in other parts of the country, but it looks like that may change. Given the immediate challenge posed by climate change, and especially the onslaught of wildfires we've had in the region, I am cautiously in favor of fracking as a means to move us off of more carbon intensive sources of energy.
Unfortunately, we're in a position where we need to choose the lesser of two evils. Of course, water contamination is a big concern and I believe we need more stringent regulation around water table contamination and protections for landowners.

Fracking is scraping the bottom of the barrel to keep the growth based system powered. It astonishes me that alleged environmentalists are so disinterested in basic math or the carcinogenic legacy of injecting toxic solvents into aquifers. I guess if the only thing one looks at is "carbon" one cannot have a holistic, ecological understanding. There has been some technical discussion that fracking around Monterey, CA is unlikely to be as productive as the energy speculators are claiming. California uses lots of fossil fuels, more than it produces in its borders.

Tell us about the challenges in branding sustainability? Is this different from a "regular" corp.?
Companies that choose to brand themselves with a sustainability message do face additional challenges in terms of public scrutiny, and they also have to offer increased transparency in order to demonstrate how they operate sustainably. This honesty is often rewarded in the court of public opinion, though. In the age of social media the public appreciates transparency and open discussions around sustainability, even if a company hasn't totally solved a problem yet.

There was a brief window in the early 1990s when the Federal government was considering how to crack down on greenwashing claims, but that didn't last long. Companies that push a "brand" of sustainability are almost always lying.

How is sustainability like a religion?
I wouldn't describe it that way, since most sustainability practices are based in science (consider Herman Daly's writing on the first and second laws of thermodynamics and how they should inform economics) rather than faith. Herman Daly writes about steady state economics, which is about as far removed from the greenwashing of "sustainability" as possible. Most of what's called "sustainability" is a marketing campaign, not a religion, although there is a cult-like attachment to the greenwashing aspects.
Mark Robinowitz

In my opinion there is nothing progressive about drilling for natural resources. Certainly the method of the process fracking is neither safe nor inexpensive. Replacing clean natural water sources is priceless and poisoning people and the planet is not safe nor inexpensive. This person is either being paid off for their opinion or they are insane in my opinion.

'Cautiously in favor of fracking'?!

In addition to the contamination of water in large areas of the country already, there are massive numbers of wells under water in Colorado right now, leaking dangerous chemicals. There have also been massive numbers of earthquakes caused by fracking in areas that have never had earthquakes, unlike here in California.

Fracking may not be a 'runaway industry' here compared to other states, but we have plenty of wells in the state already. More than a thousand are listed on a voluntary disclosure map here:

To get just a small glimpse of how wide-spread the associated problems are, you can see some of the more high profile 'fraccidents' here:

Increased regulation is not going to fix problems that are inherent in this technology. It's like trying to regulate mountain lions to switch to a vegan diet.

Choosing an evil, no matter how 'lesser' it may seem, has nothing to do with sustainability or permaculture. I expect a whole lot more creativity in problem solving from the permaculture community than jumping on the bandwagon, however 'cautiously', of the latest tech 'fix'.

And don't get me started on 'reducing' pesticides. There's no need to reduce: Just stop using them, period! Pesticides and fracking are not appropriate technologies.
Isis Feral


Very cool to see Portland doing this. It's these kinds of allies that I grew up with in Kansas. They were open, nor fenced off as in the first picture. The landscaping of each neighbor's yard went right to the pavement, and we biked and roller skated and chased each other up and down those allies as kids.
Shari Tarbet

Re: "New Sharing & Return Rituals & Their Symbols in Transition"

Other than personal rituals such as relationship anniversaries, the rituals that I have participated in in recent years have been the ages-old traditions under the rubric of Paganism, related to the seasons: especially Yule (winter solstice, marked by feasting and decorating an evergreen tree, and a sprite who came down the chimney to leave gifts for children), Ostara (spring equinox, with a custom of coloring eggs), Beltaine (May Day, with its phallic May Pole, celebrating the return of fertility to the land in spring), and Samhain (traditional start of the Celtic/northern new year, 31 October (when it is said that the veil between this physical world and other realms is thinnest, allowing discarnate entities to pass most easily for a visit to our realm). There are a number of other seasonally-related holiday celebrations observed or celebrated to one degree or another by those who identify in our times as Pagan: the lambing season, midsummer, first harvest, fall equinox, etc. Some modern Pagans also have celebrations around the full moon and other phases of the moon as well. Yes, these seasonal markings are observed by Pagans in the southern hemisphere six months out of sync with ours in the northern hemisphere; so Yule in Australia, for example, is on 21 June. Of course these observances, being thousands of years old, have nothing to do with the current cultural transition, but are more perennial. Over the most recent couple of millennia, Christianity adopted most of the Pagan celebrations, putting a particular Christian twist on them, e.g., Christmas (still with a feast, a decorated evergreen tree, and the gift-giving sprite), Easter (still with colored eggs), Halloween (still with ghosts and goblins). The term "Pagan" itself is not Pagan in origin but Roman: In Latin the word paganus just meant "rural person" (often with the same pejorative connotation as our modern English terms "country bumpkin" or "redneck"). Later the term came to be used to refer to those who had not converted to Christianity. Early people who celebrated the Pagan celebrations were, well, "the people". The timing of Christmas, so close to the Pagan Yule, is obvious, as is Halloween. The timing of Easter also reflects its Pagan origin, since Christians observe it on the first Sunday following the first full moon following the spring equinox (Ostara).

"Pagan holidays or seasonal celebrations that have manifested in universal myths today?" Hmm. A myth, seems to me, is not the same as a celebration, though one could involve the other. To your question, I immediately thought of Santa Claus, the Christmas/Yule tree, the Easter bunny, and Easter eggs (all of Pagan origin), because they've infused the mainstream culture at least throughout North America, and Santa Claus and the tree are universal also through Europe and Russia; not sure about the Easter bunny and eggs. They're universal because not just Christians and Pagans use those symbols; come the season, and every shopping mall and independent store puts up decorations with those themes, even if the point is to sell stuff and not to celebrate gift giving or fertility, respectively. Everyone, with or without a spiritual or religious identification, decorates their homes with evergreens and lights, and gives gifts. The Russian customs offer an interesting side note on Santa Claus and the tree. They do both, and have since pre-Soviet days. But the Soviets, being officially opposed to religion, not long after the Bolshevik Revolution moved Santa Claus and gift-giving to New Year's Day; and also changed the name from Santa Claus (originally a Christian saint, whose identity was glommed onto that Pagan sprite) to the Russian term that translates as "Grandfather Frost" ("??? ?????"). (Yes, I speak Russian; I'm a Russian-English-Russian translator.) Before 1917, Russia used the Julian Calendar, but the Bolsheviks also changed to the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes, although the Russian Orthodox Church never changed for its own liturgical calendar, and to this day Christmas in Russia, among those who observe it, falls on 6 January Gregorian, which is 25 December Julian. Russians refer to their decorated trees as either "Christmas trees" or "New Year's trees" ("?????????????? ????" or "?????????? ????"). They still exchange gifts on New Year's Day. But those are celebrations, not myths as such. Maybe I can't see the forest for the trees, but I'm having some difficulty even thinking of any mainstream American myths. Maybe they're represented by some common sayings that people (well, the mainstream) toss off as obvious truisms, such as "It's a dog-eat-dog world" and "Do unto others before they do unto you," or these two that are mutually contradictory: "The early bird gets the worm" and "Haste makes waste." :-) Or maybe the myths are buried in unstated assumptions, such as the one that rock stars and football players are better human beings than everyone else, or that we live in a democracy with a two-party system, or that we can keep on consuming petroleum and aluminum ore and trees without limit just because we can today and it makes life more pleasant, for us, today.

As for "rural person" and "localized person", yeah, that might reflect a shift in thinking among those who have become concerned about permaculture and sustainability. I know there have been attempts to reclaim the term "redneck". I'm not a fan of country music, but I heard that not too many years ago there was a big country music hit called "Thank God I'm a Redneck," in which the singer sang about all the virtues of having an agricultural background-feeding everyone else, that bending over in the fields, thereby tanning the back of your neck, is good honest work; etc. Pre-industrial peoples understood that permaculture is good; sustainability is good. They lived that way for many thousands of years before the Industrial Revolution and the rise of consumerism and competition. So we aren't inventing new values; we're just rediscovering the values of our ancestors. The myths that support those values may take new forms, though, since we've mostly grown up away from those values and therefore lost the old myths-including myself, since I grew up in a city, and my food came from a grocery store and my beverages in aluminum cans, too. A few people (Joseph Campbell comes to mind) researched and wrote down many of the old culture-supporting pre-industrial myths, thereby preserving them for us; and in the case of the First Nations of North America, enough remnants of the original culture survive that there are still exponents of their myths who can now teach those who want to learn.
Pete Benson, Eugene

Hi Willi, I would love (to do an interview about the permaculture preschool project). I just checked out your website, already learned something and am inspired. Thank you for your work and for your thoughtful offer. What are the next steps? Warmly,
Joanna Claassen

Very cool to see Portland doing this (Alley re-Design). It's these kinds of allies that I grew up with in Kansas. They were open, nor fenced off as in the first picture. The landscaping of each neighbor's yard went right to the pavement, and we biked and roller skated and chased each other up and down those allies as kids.
Shari Tarbet

HI Willi, (The Sharing & Re-Skilling Show!) sounds like such a special opportunity, and I just want to let you know that I can't be there. (We typically go to church on Sunday mornings) -- but I look forward to seeing the videos you create and hope that they can be posted (or linked to), the Transition PA website. Cheers,
Debbie Mytels

Williperm - This name ("The Sharing & Re-Skilling Show!") reminds me again that permaculture is a neologism (i.e. a complicated new word) made of "permanent" and "culture". Also, I suppose you want to be permanent, to stay on your course for awhile. This is perhaps the biggest psychological obstacle for the new mythology: to stay on the course AND trust that others will still be on the course (emerging by itself and ignored by big business, big politics, and even bigger nutcases trying to control and spy the situation) or at least not deviate too much from the course.

Every act a person performs, every relationship, every use of a tool follows the form of the person's psychological structure. If the person is organized around the fact and feeling of abandonment, for example, every act and relationship may be skewed by the simultaneous need for reconnection and inability to believe s/he can reconnect; or it may take the form of trying to connect in an unrealistically close way, perhaps an emptiness in the chest or belly causing a constant need to try to fill it with real or metaphorical contact. These attempts to overcome the original trauma and connect can actually drive people away, not surprisingly, recapitulating the original abandonment and convincing the person more completely each time that s/he will be abandoned every time. In this way the shadow-those qualities, characteristics and parts of us we're unaware of because we refuse to accept them as ours-seems to be trying to both call attention to and solve, and sabotage solutions. The same shadow also makes some of those people abandon others. Two other major traumas we suffer often are neglect, that is, failure to connect much at all to start with, and invasion-physical, sexual, verbal, emotional abuse or constant low-level invasion. Most of us suffer some combination of all 3. The reactions, which also include stopping the awareness of the feelings by restricting breathing, tightening muscles, living in our heads, work, play and `entertainment', fantasies, drugs and alcohol, sex-in fact any tool we pick up becomes a way not to be aware of what we know and feel-also known as an addiction-until we change that by becoming more conscious. Until we do we are mostly ruled by shadow.
Sacrifice in our society is mostly shadow sacrifice, the sacrifice of Iphigenia by Agamemnon, of Isaac (`Isaac' in Hebrew is yitschaq,' laughter') by his father Abraham, the bloody sacrifice of the Aztecs, removing the heart from the chest the driving of a goat ritually imbued with the faults of society into the desert-the scapegoat. Sacrifice in our society is done the way we do almost everything: in the service of hierarchy and patriarchy and unawareness. The young are sacrificed in the perceived interest of the old, whether in the abandonment and abuse of war, the neglect or abandonment of poverty (many on the right focus their attention and compassion almost exclusively on fetuses, grudgingly allowing programs like Head Start for some after, and absolutely refusing to countenance any help beyond that, abandoning children, teens and adults in a world the conservatives believe is harsh and therefore make harsh), women are abandoned by men, minorities by the powerful majority, future generations and the carrying capacity of the Earth by those addicted to the Earth's capital today, everyone by everyone. Without nature, and without close families and mature, healthy elders in a non-hierarchical society what little connection we can come by at the start is destroyed by either abandonment or invasion or usually, both. With so many attempts at sacrifice skewed into those shadow forms of it, it becomes even more necessary than usual to get right within ourselves if we expect to make any useful sacrifices in service of the biosphere. In an ideal world we'd do this first but with time pressures mounting over the ecological crisis, we need to do it, and make it up, as we go. We need to make the sacrifices we make serve as many purposes as we can-argument, education for ourselves and others, accomplishing tasks that are the equivalent of Gandhi's Satyagraha movement's spinning, weaving and salt-making. We boycott and learn, become resilient and form community. The daily acts of tending, becoming attuned to the individual members and collective flows of an edible forest garden, a group reading together about Transition or coming together to help each other with the emotions caused by honestly and unflinchingly confronting climate chaos are sacrifice in terms of becoming more in tune with the sacred-the ultimate purpose of all sacrifice. They advance our cause; they also advance our abilities to judge and make useful sacrifices in the future. We grow by attuning to more and more, through ritual, psychotherapy, love, difficulties and contemplation.
Jeffrey Harrison Cope

Thanks Jeffrey - When you say "attuning", what do you mean? How does this work?

By the way I love planetshifter - fantastic work! You might be interested in the Sustainable Learning website ( which includes (amongst others) permaculture research and blogs... it's quite a new project but seems to be going well. Maybe you might be interested in writing a blog for us? Best wishes,
Anna Evely, Director of eco enterprise project MAYA and SEEDBALL

Finally got a chance to check them out, these stories (New Myths - seemed to resonate with me more. I completely understand where you're coming from. I want to be interested but have found it difficult. Not exactly sure why. The way I have understood myths is that they are often based on real people, real things, and that they are told many times and in many different ways. I was looking at and thought of your project. I'm not sure we can drop old myths, or that we would even want to. Wondering how we would retell these myths in the new way. Perhaps you don't need to write any new myths but both find old myths that need to be retold. I bet you could also find other people to retell the new ones or even find people that are living them out right now. A general sense that I have is that we no longer need quantity. More is not good enough. What we need is better, we need quality in all the things we say and do. I wonder if you have found the right lever but are pushing it the wrong way? I hope you find what I say helpful, if not please feel free to disregard. Whatever you do I know you have latched onto something good.
Milton Dixon

Hi Milton! I see some entrenchment with the classic myths, a reluctance to challenge Campbell and vision for the future. Can the classics speak to global warming, toxic food, nuclear spills, etc? Can the Greeks work now, in our apocalypse? Do we want 'the Gods" mucking in our new myths? All good fodder but time is running out.... Yes - quality is better than quantity.

Again, I invent the future as I invent new myths.

Hi Jeanne Andrews - I mentioned presenting my work to your roundtable ( in the recent past.

Myth Lab ( )

Would love to set a date.

Hi Willi,

Thanks for the reminder. I did mention your program at our planning meeting and being we had two speakers already this year with an eco-psychology emphasis, they thought it might be better for us down the road.

However, permaculture is a concept embraced by many wisdom traditions. Would you be open to something about that, instead of something about what you define as the need for a "new mythology?"

Hi Jeanne -

Nice to hear from you. I am not really involved in eco-psychology per se; you must have inferred this by my fledgling myth group on depth psychology alliance? Also, my work in "new mythology" integrates permaculture, Transition, Nature and alchemy. What is New Mythology? Elements include:

1. Localization - back to sustainability and community; self-sufficiency
2. Nature- Centered; Nature First
3. Spiritual (not religious)
4. Future-based (25 - 50 years from now)
5. Universal themes, issues and warnings plus messages
6. Para-Normal in conflict or characters
7. Initiation, Journey and Hero (after Joseph Campbell)
8. Permaculture & Transition: ethics, principles and values

Have you reviewed my eBook 12 and Myth Lab (see link above)?

This is a good offering for your group.

I hope we can find a fit...



Jeanne - Okay, well, I'll give this information to them and let you know :)

Thanks for the Kindista shout-out Willi! (Permaculture Transition & Sacrifice)
benjamin crandall,

Hi Willi, Yes, those myths are neat concepts! I have been thinking along those lines, with the placement of nature in the town square. Also, I love the lighthouse concept. As far as supernatural goes: Years ago, I went to a preview viewing of an indi film at the Red Vic theater entitled : 'Wendigo'. One you might want to watch, if you have not already...about a Native American Totem spirit. Legend has it that when we take too much from the land, or from each other, the spirit shows its destructive side to 'teach' humans how to interact with nature in a more peaceful, mature way.

A couple of years before I saw this movie, I was with my (then) husband traveling over a mountain pass on our way to a campsite near the boarder of Canada. It was night in the pouring rain and we got lost so we stopped off at a gas station to get directions to an obscure roadside campsite where we were to meet our traveling companions and spend the night before continuing to our hiking destination in the morning. Once we arrived at the campsite, we pitched our tent and waited for our friends to show up. I recall standing by the tent with a lantern in my hand watching and waiting for them. Then we heard a very loud crackling sound in the forest behind us. We turned to each other in awe and fear. What was THAT? It sounded big. larger than a bear, though the thought of a big bear standing over my back scared me enough. We turned off the lantern then, and quietly crawled into the tent and whispered about the spirit totems. I didn't sleep much that night as I tossed and turned listening to every little sound around us. In reality, most likely, that sound was a big branch falling from a tree, though I really pondered the supernatural in nature.

The next day, the rain had passed and we found our two companions waiting for us at the foot of the trail. They asked us where we'd been. We asked them the same. Somehow, we'd missed them the night before. So the four of us continued up the seven mile hill, past the grizzly bear country warning sign, to our next camping spot at the top of a summit. Strangely enough, that night, there was another rain storm which almost washed us and our tents down hill. The next morning, we all decided to take a dip in the lake/hot spring. Somehow, my friend's dog went under and almost drowned. As she lifted her dog from the water, we heard another crackling sound on the other side of the lake, which we quickly left for dry land, and we began packing our gear to head home. None of us discussed what that sound might have been. We just instinctively knew it was time to go. We survived though, with a newfound respect for nature, realizing how small and powerless we really are. When I speak of 'supernatural', that is the concept I'm embracing. Maybe there is a great spirit out there. I wouldn't doubt it.

Willi, Just ran across your work on New Myth. wow.
Michelle Smith, Asheville Celebrant

Somehow the use of fairy tales (old versions, minus illustrations) seems related to Willi's original thread. How can a new, living mythology arise at least in part from some very old sources?

Hi Willi, I just joined Kindista. I am intrigued with your magazine. What kind of people do you wish to interview? I know so many perhaps I can be a good referral source. Would love to connect! Cheers, Kari Wishingrad

Willi-- Love the PlanetShifter site. It will take me a while to digest all of it. From the looks of your various activities, life is good.
Tony Filipovitch, Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Willi, Cool that you did this (Beemageddon & the Honey Bee!). Just wanted to let you know that the Albert Einstein who made that remark is Einstein the beekeeper, not Einstein the physicist. Everyone thinks it's the white haired guy with the big mustache but it's not, it's the bee Einstein. I am intrigued by what you're doing but I don't quite have the language down yet. I don't understand what the "myth" is. What's the way you define that word?warmly, Jacqueline Freeman, Friendly Haven Rise Farm

Beautiful! (New Myth # 47)
Emily Harris

Would be great if it really happened (New Myth # 47).

Hi Willi, I've just moved to Ann Arbor, MI from Chicago. My primary focus right now is to get myself established in this new ecosystem. That means lots of observation and exploration of both the physical and cultural worlds here! I've also got a collaborative project with my friend Sarah Spotten. We're working through how Integral Theory can enhance Permaculture, trying to create some new tools that can help enhance permaculture design. We should have a second blog post up soon (hopefully after our next work session on Sunday) at Nothing truly earth shattering but still plenty of work!
Milton Dixon

I like this one a lot, Willi ("The Roundabout Food Forest Gang" New Myth #47). It has a very leafy feel to it. I like the guardian in the hoodie, too. Made me think all sorts of things.
Kerry Dennehy

thanks for all your myth work!
Daniel Brodell-Lake

WOX: City Repair - I am looking for examples of how folks can tear-out streets to build community spaces, including gardens or food forests. Can you offer any resources / examples?

MVM: The folks in town who are working on that are 1) the group doing stuff on Alley Recovery, and 2) the Unimproved Roadway folks. It might be that both those groups are mostly populated by urban planning students from the university. We're not directly involved at City Repair, and they're so under the radar at this point I'm not sure how to contact them "officially." I've just seen the glossy booklets they've created... If you want to give me a little more info, what your project is, etc., I can pass it on to my friend who is involved, and give him the option of contacting you.

WOX: Hi Mia! BTW - I will be at my third NW Permaculture Convergence to present MYTH LAB in a week. I am writing new myth #47 based on a recent Lab in SF. The piece involves removing concrete from a roundabout and planting food and creating paths. I would love community input and some technical data.

MVM: That is perfect, because I am pretty sure Jonathan Brandt will be there. That's who I was thinking of. If not, his community mate Nataka will be, as he's speaking on Fri night and Sat.
Another connection to these folks Matt Phillips. They all three live at the Fosterville eco-village and I believe are planning to attend the convergence. Also, they all three are committed to this work, and solid technical hands-on folks with lots of gardening (especially Matt and Jonathan). If you can get with Jonathan, I think he knows all the folks in Portland doing the alleyway gardening movement. Seems like Jonathan is not going to be at convergence.

MVM: But here's the project contact:
and the web site of the graduate students:

And.... we did have one project during VBC that involves putting a garden in an unimproved roadway, Rabbit Hill.
I'm including it in a tour Thursday afternoon, so will know more about it then.

Mia Van Meter,

Thank you SO much Willi. MOST appreciate this ("Oil and Water" : Interview with Pat Moran San Francisco Mime Troupe).
Lawrence, L. Helman PR, SF

An important component of a functional (if there is still enough time and space left for such a thing) new mythology is willingness to deal with complexity, to reduce degrees of separation between those who care and those who can, to try and fail and try again.

Actually I mis-spoke, although the "great transition" is also a good term The term I meant to say was the "Great Turning", coined by the author Joanna Macy. Right now, trying to continue what I absorbed in my vision quest with School of Lost Borders which was a 14 day workshop which included a four day vision fast in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains in CA. My current practice includes reading, meditating, praying, and following the Four Shields (or directions, points, paths, etc) of Life. I was introduced to the term, the "great turning" by Joanna Macy in her book "Active Hope". Currently looking for Jungian, in Depth Psychology oriented therapist in my area (New London, CT). Still have a lot of healing to do.
comment in "New Global Mythology" Group on Depth Psychology Alliance

Projection + The Extended Mind ( ) = Mythic Imprinting

The "extended mind thesis" (EMT) refers to an emerging concept that addresses the question as to the division point between the mind and the environment by promoting the view of active externalism. The EMT proposes that some objects in the external environment are utilized by the mind in such a way that the objects can be seen as extensions of the mind itself. Specifically, the mind is seen to encompass every level of the cognitive process, which will often include the use of environmental aids.

The seminal work in the field is "The Extended Mind" by Andy Clark and David Chalmers (1998).[1] In this paper, Clark and Chalmers present the idea of active externalism (similar to semantic or "content" externalism), in which objects within the environment function as a part of the mind. They argue that it is arbitrary to say that the mind is contained only within the boundaries of the skull. The separation between the mind, the body, and the environment is seen as an unprincipled distinction. Because external objects play a significant role in aiding cognitive processes, the mind and the environment act as a "coupled system". This coupled system can be seen as a complete cognitive system of its own. In this manner, the mind is extended into the external world. The main criterion that Clark and Chalmers list for classifying the use of external objects during cognitive tasks as a part of an extended cognitive system is that the external objects must function with the same purpose as the internal processes.

Sounds fun. I read and listened to a lot of your information/workshops. It got me going so I wrote out these notes. They're attached. As you talked, I wrote. 7.11.13

Wave nt time : fluid passage vs discrete
activation nt repetitive ceremony
inclusive nt exclusive (brotherhoods)
Starwars nt new mythology but generic archetype that generate a group momentum based on fear of exclusion from brotherhood
passing on via completion nt cycling or even re-cycling, recycle, reuse, regenerate NO
nt even recycled art
IN-spire: in-spirit
Inspired manifestation nt manifest destiny: visualize and you shall have NO
Sharing the wealth to generate wealth vs copy rite or trademarks patents
bridge with helping hands: crossing over
open doors and windows
Light vs dark space
co - labor- nation: together we build a nation
composting is a material thought as a transitional thought the missing link is metaphysics: under what umbrella are all these efforts united?
Unified mind: Harmonic Resonance One running fork activating the next in concatination
The world vs universe as wave vs round (cycling)
change fr world (globe) to universe
nt about seasonal activity or nature it is beyond
sufficiency vs multiplicity
Campbell: hero > journey > imitation:
new frontier is the mind: each of us is a hero
new journey is w/o structure or from structure to content it is leaving or inciting the walk away from collectivity to unified consciousness
the collective reduces Vs united consciousness or creative power
lowest common denominator > structure > include all the challenged individuals > include all minds
equal access, employment, rights passage
Not about boy + girl + happily ever after = individual prosperity myth
about surfing the wave of awareness that well being to all who start out
no One's saved or rewarded
We are all enriched
the structure does not survive the initiates hold the space/light for others to cross over the bridge to peace
Valerie Solheim, PhD The Beehive Effect: Ancient Rites - Quantum Principles

(interview with Eric McCool for 2013 NW Permaculture Convergence) Your question: "Are there forces acting against the Permaculture movement?" - I have mentioned timing in one of my previous comments. There is a difference whether your "enemy" is getting stronger and more arrogant or weaker and more confused. The cash (and power) flow from those who produce and protect food, water, and "good enough" products to those who have money, technology, and marketing on their side is enormous. Especially if people in general are brainwashed (especially after industrial revolutions) to perceive financially poorer people as lazy, stupid, and inferior exemplars of our species.

Wow! Wonderful (interview with Eric McCool for 2013 NW Permaculture Convergence). Thanks Willi!
Robyn Wagoner, Event Coordinator, NWPCC

Building such a connection (Land Sky River Stars) between old land and the new world brings danger and rewards." -- Danger and rewards, two sides of responsibility. If and when things turn upside down, is it responsible if someone relies on dreams, visions, and similar sources of inspiration?

Wow! Great links. New myths. New stories. Getting back to this thread is on my to-do list now. Congratulations to the New Myth achievements thus far....exciting!
CarmelaBear, Joseph Campbell Foundation Forum

Hi Willi, After almost 3 months here in the New Life program at, I must say that I think this is a place you must experience. Specifically this 3 month program. With your project regarding new myths, I think it would be important for you to experience a community who has been developing much of what you're promoting, for 40 years here. There are so many layers to this community that it's hard to get into on this email, but I can say that it's taken up to the 3rd month for me to see even more of the magic that this place is. Maybe you've heard by now, or not, but their founder just passed away, so it's a very interesting time of transition here. I think it's especially important for them to have more people coming from the outside to inspire in both directions.

nice (tree of life) project! looks like you're at least having fun with it.
try and get people to bring what they create into the next stage beyond ideas and dreams. ;)
Simon Haiduk

WOW! (Faith in the Rain)
Penni Thorpe, Flower Essences, Yoga and Therapeutic Touch

Willi - great to hear from you again (Myth Lab #5) - a nice surprise. While my work with Sacred Passage and The Way of Nature continues some: see: I'm engaged in a new project that fits Bucky Fuller's admonition to create more compelling alternatives to the norm and build artifacts for "livingry". We are in the process of re-inventing the "classroom" - See the Agora Hot Spots web site (still being tweaked). Also our Restorascapes project fits your model of needing more demonstration projects and artifacts - this one is in the domain of the intersection and interconnectedness of Neuroscience, evidence based design, human health and Nature. I wish I could attend your event- we'll see - in the meantime, I'm delighted you kept me on your list and I wanted you to know about my latest endeavors. Inward and Onward, With Love and gratitude,
Bud Wilson - Founding Partner, Director of Creative Outreach, Agora Hot Spots

Tree of Life Mural - New Myth #46 / New Myth #5: Cool project! I actually got to see the mural last year on my way back from Mexico! The project is great, and the story of the mural is easy to read and engaging. I would suggest bolstering the beginning, because I felt it moved a bit quick for me to fully grasp what was being asked. Because I know about you and your project I was able to get it, but if your audience is going to be some people who aren't familiar with your work it would benefit from a little expansion/explanation. I would begin with a miniature introduction that sets the context for the myth-making. In the second paragraph you state why it's important to make a new myth, and it might be helpful to see the reasoning sooner, to help add context for the project: "One goal is clear: we need to build our own messages and new myths to support our new food and governance systems." For the first paragraph reorganizing to add clarity would be helpful: The "Tree of Life" mural is one of many urban art pieces that grace highway support beams in Chicano Park, San Diego, CA. To create a new myth around the "Tree of Life" mural, review the mural's history and the Myth Lab process model (hyperlink). Use your reactions, ideas, plots and visions to create a new myth that supports nature and the culture celebrated in the painting. All submissions will be considered and published at Magazine & Network. (I took out the myth lab interactive sentence because it's repeated in the next paragraph). The rest of it runs really strong: I would just be sure that people know what they're being asked to participate in and why. I think even grabbing a paragraph from your initial myth lab would add weight to the "why." Would the "live group" format you're talking about run sort of like a writing workshop? Is it performed in some kind of general meeting or is it through the submission of materials? It seems that it would indeed be an ideal format. Which websites are you using to launch the event? I might know some, I just don't know quite what this means. :-\ I would suggest adding something about the culture described in the mural to #3's list. I think celebrating its particular vision includes the culture it was born out of. Also might be interesting to think about the position of it (in the busy freeway underbelly) contrasted with its representations.
Jessica Cox

Thanks this ( is really interesting.
Anne in Portland

A well written article (Permaculture Kids). I totally agree that we've allowed the moguls of media to shape our children's views on myth, and have lost the art of creating environments that allow them to create their own.

Thanks for this event submission -- (Myth Lab @ Freespace) looks super interesting, ... Thanks!
Ilana Lipsett, Freespace, SF

A new mythology of sustainability - Permaculture Kids: Building Myths for the Future. This is where creative storytelling comes in. Thanks for pointing the way!
Frank Bruinzeel

Hi Willi. I would love for you to post ("Permaculture Kids: Building Myths for the Future" ) to the Sustainable Contra Costa network and I will re-post to the SCOCO facebook page. Thank you for all you do to spread these messages!
Tina King Neuhausel, President & Co-Founder, Sustainable Contra Costa

Thanks for all your hard work today (Myth Lab / Transition Palo Alto) - it was a smallish but steady crowd of our regulars and friends, which is always fun. Every one of you is now like a dear friend, and I am repeatedly awed by all you do.

I read Halo & Kat and Permaculture Motel. What turned me off seemed to be a celebration of the urban noir atmosphere. I liked the permaculture & creative solutions aspects but have never been a fan of dystopian stories. I get that the idea is to elevate the imagery to a mythic level, and perhaps provide a window into how things can really devolve on the course we're headed... Perhaps I'm just not into the urban vibe of it.
Kaye Hughes Kittredge

Good morning! To be honest, my penchant for implementing localization strategies dives the urban settings in the work. Oddly enough, I don't push a dystopian vision. I see tribes networked in a new post-oil Eco-alchemy!

Right, but how do we get their attention for these new myths??
These boys and girls start shaking like heroin addicts if they're away
from their screens for more than a few hours...
And, it's all mass-entertainment, right out of Burbank's culture factory...
And anything else is not legitimate and carries no authority...
Do we target DISNEY and NICK and get the ideas into their formula pieces??
Do we write permaculture songs for ONE DIRECTION???
How can we make SimFarm as cool a game as BlackOps3 or GrandTheftAuto???
How do we use the consumer gadgets to get the kids out of those and
seeding a community farm????
Because at the moment, all I see is national-brand food that makes the
kids fat and sick, and electric games that overwhelm their senses with
noise and flashing lights. I wasn't even aware that there still were
snacks sold with MSG!

Re: Myth Internship

Hi Willi, I finished my teaching assistant position at Santa Rosa Junior college yesterday - my class had an after-school celebration for some of the finishing students that I had to attend. It was a blast. :) I've just begun reading the Journey to Cascadia symposium notes, and I must say, you have a wonderful perspective and an interesting presentation with the future-myth opening and the forceful declaration: "we need a new paradigm shift." I am very much in line with your views and positive constructions. I'm interested in learning more about your influence on local schools and businesses -- that is, I believe, where we can begin to effect the most change -- in learning institutions.

I see in the talk the building theme of alchemical transmutation as not only the formulation of thought and spirit into action, but also as the mechanism by which our personal mythologies and archetypes can be built around the central theme of "dark-green religion." I think it is successful in not overtly stating, but spreading the roots of a idea large enough to be housed only peripherally in the talk: that we must and can form our mythology and inhabit it in order to bring heroes into existence. It's a similar push I was going for with the Conservatory: If we integrate magic and magical belief into our lives, everything will become magic and we can have a "Harry Potter" phenomenon if we shape our lives to that order of learning. It sounds great - you pack so much information in the symposium nicely tempered with anecdotes. Have you read it aloud for timing? I wonder how long it is?
Jessica Cox

I'm not at the moment in the mood (or situation) to write who I am and what I am doing right now. I understand what you are trying to achieve and I appreciate it. Still, people out there who are in positions that they can contribute more to the cause need a completed role model, a group of people doing something big (without focusing too much on financial self-interests) in the realm of networking, collaboration, coordination, and sustainability AND achieving a result. Flower power was capable to scare the system forty years ago, but the system (on its way to the breaking point) is now enormous and too well defined. If I didn't think that the solution (its psychological part) is probably very similar to your work, I wouldn't be writing this comment.

re: "Forest Vibrations - Sacred Lights." Children's Video. New Myth #42
Willi Paul • What does that mean!?
Sarathi Nice • Will , it means victory to the Word of the One

Hi Willi - Thanks for posting (community garden piece). are we connected on Facebook? That's where I give the love. Video turned out great - thanks for the exposure. You da man.
Best, Rob Joyce

Hi Willi, Good to catch up with you also, Willi! Thanks for being ok with the re-publish, and for your good wishes- Hope we cross paths sooner than later! Keep after the passion!
Owen Hablutzel

hi, so this was a great interview (with Rob Joyce). did i miss the one i gave to you? i can add to it in the future too. thanks, peace, cs
Christopher Shein

Willi: CG Jung... a permie?

Indeed! The Zepp Holzer of depth psychology :-) A great myth maker.
Olivier Fichant

Interesting work! Thanks for sharing! I appreciate. And you're not even a hippy or a psychoanalyst apparently ;-) Are you a kind of technophilosopher? I've been thinking about old myths myself and I agree with your assumption that they are fading and that we are in a transition period where they don't belong anymore. Actually CG Jung thought the same I think. On the other hand I also think that these old myths have a tendency to stick around and infuse modern knowledge like science for example. I think that the scientific explanation of the creation of the universe is just another version of the myth of genesis. It is disguised in a very smart way but the core meaning is still not new.Good day!!
Olivier Fichant



Hello, I am currently developing a strong interest in Permaculture and sustainability education. I'd be glad to exchange and learn from your projects. I had a look at your website. It seems very abstract :) I thought that permaculture was a way to organize abundant forest gardens or urban gardens! I also thought that myths are created unconsciously... All the best,
OlivierAll the best,
Olivier Fichant, Coach parental- Expert en anxiété scolaire. Toulouse Area, France

hello Willi, could I order a copy of "Forest Vibrations-Sacred Lights" from you? Many Thanks.
Hella Coenen, Kindergarten Teacher, NZ

Hi Willi, Thanks again for your posting in the Water and Politics via the Arts, and for the important work you do. Am thrilled to have been led to your websites, & youtube clips. Thanks so much for posting (New Myth #42), it is a really beautiful and inspiring piece. I'll be forwarding it on! Will the sacred permaculture website be returning? I'd love to see have a look at the course.
Claire Blennerhassett

In my case the symbol of my myth (or perhaps I'm just seeing things) is the combination wolf, tiger, butterfly. For some reason they all appear in your Geo's Vision Machine ( - butterflies instead of one butterfly). There are mentioned four myths. The record White Tomb by Altar of Plagues mentioned in one of my comments has four songs. It influenced a lot my current mindset in 2009, the same year when you posted that novella in which you mention the word "synchronicity" twice.

Greetings - I was just thinking about Geo's Vision Machine. It seems more timeless now. I don't have a personal myth or a symbol, just a compost heap of fears, joys and dirty soil... I listened to PJ on the train today.

Hi Daniel. You write: "All this quitting is simply an acknowledgement that the Hero's mythical journey runs in cycles. In each of the above instances, I guarantee you that the hero in question will not stay retired for long because the Hero's work is never truly done." And, obviously, Hollywood's profit movie is never truly done. Would like your take on my recent critique of pop mythology at: Peace,

Hi, Willi,
I did read your critique/comparison previously and would have left a comment but there didn't seem to be a place on the site for comments. My take on it is basically the same as my response from our e-mail exchange in that I enjoy and appreciate your focus on the sacred in nature and on the creation of new myths. And, of course, I also respect that you don't agree with some of my ideas. Personally, I happen to agree with much of what you say in your own writing. It's just that my writing, at present, has a different focus. I don't feel that these perspectives necessarily contradict each other, at least not entirely. You may feel differently. I also don't think that just because Hollywood is largely profit-driven that it means there isn't anything of value in what it produces. I'm what you might call an idealist when it comes to my own personal choices, values and conduct and a realist when it comes to other people's choices and values. I don't believe that Hollywood will disappear anytime soon, nor will it ever stop being motivated, to a fair degree, by profit. And I don't believe that people will stop consuming this kind of pop culture anytime soon, no matter what writers like you and I may say. And so I like to approach what some may consider to be merely escapist entertainment in ways that could hopefully add to its value in more redeeming and beneficial ways. If I succeed at all, great. If not, I still try my best. Thanks again for your comments (and for the critique). All the best.
Daniel Jun Kim

Permaculture Motel & the Barge 4. Venice Beach, CA. This is very cool Willi! ?
Clay Forsberg G+

fantastic Willi.....myth is reality, no?
Susan Cox G+

Willi Paul I looked at this on +John Kellden 's thread, and I am truly intrigued. I am a writer by avocation, primarily visual and auditory. I have seen the Primeval Forest in my dreams pretty much the way it is depicted in your video, and that reassures me, somehow. This is different than anything I've encountered, so I'm curious to know what I could contribute, dude.?
jd quinitchette G+

Hey thanks Willi. It's a (Myth Lab) great idea and I hope you get some good participants. I shared it on my FB Page. Sorry that I haven't found the time for participation myself. Always too many other things already on the go. Living within the myth of Damanhur is certainly very interesting and eye opening. Certainly some pros and cons to observe so far. The video is really low res and I'm wondering what program you used to create it?
Simon Haiduk

I often refer to it as us being between narratives, and the opportunity to use various tools, including social, online platforms, to help scaffold the transition. You do great work +Willi Paul good to have you here. Give me a shout if a separate topic eg Permaculture, would help/be of value... Myth Lab: Deeply meaningful and important, towards our future societies.?
John Kellden Google +

Dear Willi, Are there any "serious" scientific articles out there (hopefully available online for free) in the same vein as your approach to mythology? I need something to mention as a reference in a paper I'm writing about distributed energy production. I've found some similarities in (for instance) communities of practice and adaptive networks, but perhaps it would be nice to add something with that mythical flavor. I'm not forcing you. If something good comes to your mind as you are reading this, I would like to know it.

Hi Aleksander - Thank you for asking about the work. Not sure you will find "science!" You might see parallels with permaculture. Recent interview: Journey to Cascadia: Building a New Global Mythology. For 2012 Study of Myth Symposium Work Shop
Cordially, Willi

Very interesting post. A story writer creating "new myths." They hold all of the elements of established myths, but are new. Thirty or so of them? Kudos to you and keep up the very interesting work.
Joey C. Kantor

Hi. Loved seeing this re-purposing of our project photo. Love it. I have often envisioned turning our local golf course into a food forest.
dustin kahn

Jerome Osentowski in Colorado has been applying permaculture design to golf courses for about 15 years. Native species in the roughs, pollinator plants everywhere. It's not an oxymoron. But then, myths are always based on truth.

Hi Toby! Thanks for the reflection. But I'm not advocating creating a permaculture golf course here, right!? ;-) My vision share with this piece is the transmutation and re-use of a "burnt-out social scene and unjustified resource practice...."

Willi - Great to catch up with you here on Linked In. Forgive my tardiness though, but finally logged on Hope you're well. I hadn't realized you were in the Bay Area. I recently visited San Francisco & Berkeley on a Zero Waste tour.
Karen Carrard, UK

Hi Manu! re: Questions to Ask the Gilroy City Mayor: My approach: What are the current challenges that the City is working on? How can the principles and programs of Transition help? Can the citizens write a vision statement for their future?

Thank you for your comment and suggestions. Actually your first Question is what our Media Group was going to ask and your second Question is what I was interested in and I will wait till our media group brings up 'What questions we should ask the Mayor'. Being green to the Transition made me ask all others of the transition for suggestions. Your third Question is a simple question but will hard to come to consensus? The city already has a vision, maybe I should dissect this Gilroy's vision which is not moving towards the TRANSITION. Thank you and I will keep you all posted. Remember that I have an interest in Producing a Transition Community series where we can have guests interviewed and broadcast to the local community. Any suggestions and resources of HOW to and other communities which are already doing it.

re: Gaming Lore: The new Mythology by Sam Hawes ( "The universal themes that are present in the ancient mythology are brought through into modern stories through this game lore so we may think of gaming lore as the mythology for the technological age." That should spark a long dinner conversation with too much red wine, Sam. I'm game. Fast Forward? I think the classic myths are tired and should be put aside. My work, (see: energizes permaculture, transition and other Chaos Era movements for New Myths ( We can make New Myths together and not for passive electro-games!


Hi Willi, I have read through some of your reworkings and i agree that this type of innovation with regards to mythology is necessary. I do not however agree that the old myth can be completely disregarded. It was such an important part of our history and the forming of cultures that they should not be put aside but rather used in conjunction with new mythology. The whole point of mythology was to instill the ideals of one generation into the next and the study of mythology has given historians unique insight into ancient culture. I personally loved studying classical mythology as the characters were so different and nuanced that even though the events that they described happened eons ago they still seem fresh in my mind and as a scholar the insight into ancient culture is fascinating. I love the various interpretations of the myth that shows the many faces of human nature and i love that the characters that i treasured have their essence kept alive in a world that is moving ever more away from books and ancient sources and progressing onto the digital scene. As for this statement "We can make New Myths together and not for passive electro-games!" i must say that any method of keeping the mythology alive and striving is a good thing. Too many children now days do not give two hoots about something that they can't physically see or isn't a direct part of their immediate environment. By using video games as a medium of keeping those characters from mythology alive you promote interest in mythology as a subject. Many people i came into contact with at university had not a clue about mythology but mention a video game hero and ears are perked. By combining the two you expose a larger group of people to mythology and i do not see that as a bad thing, Sure you will always have people that just take the game at face value but you will always get a few inquiring minds that decide to investigate the origins of the heroes they are playing. Anyway that is just my 2 cents for the day, I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.
Sam Hawes

re: Permaculture & Terrorism: A Conversation Can Start Now:
Will, Recognising that poverty provides a seed bad for the development of terrorism, though of course not all are terrorists, helping impoverished communties develop their own wealth was seen as a potentional approach to tackling terrorism. Given the recent shift of Transition focus from peak oil and climate change toward localism and social enterprise, I offer an example of the latter in a proposal to prevent terrorism developimg in a peaceful community. An economic smart bomb.
Jeff Mowatt

hi willi, when we consider what market capitalism does to the planet and people as part of its everyday mode of operation the disruption, destruction, the advertising, pollution, the crass material culture it has imposed on hundreds of millions of people, economic extortion, the social dis-empowerment,,,, it's clear to me, our economic system is a form of terrorism; just because we are used to it doesn't make it not so; permaculture is an awesome tool for making other choices
all the best, jan spencer

Willi, If you visit the Study of Myth site, you will see a notice that the site is "sleeping." It will stay in that mode until at least late June. I will have some free time in May to put some energy towards redesigning the site, assuming we are able to count on some volunteer technical support that should be available at that time. Then, in June, the members of the original planning committee will meet to consider what to do about Study of Myth. At that time I will solicit input from members of the Study of Myth forums to see in what form, if any, they would like to continue this initiative. I doubt there will be another symposium in the near future - certainly nothing on the scale of last Labor Day's event (that took two and a half years to coordinate and cost a bit under $50,000); we broke even only because Pacifica generously donated the venue, tying up their campus and staff for three days (had we tried to leased that space elsewhere, I doubt we could have pulled it off). Study of Myth was originally envisioned as a community grounded in cyberspace, with the hope that an Association for the Study of Myth would grow out of that, hosting occasional conferences (though not on quite so grand a scale). However, whether or not that happens is up to the participants. I'd like to refashion the website so that the people can at least discuss the possibilities. I have to admit I'm not overly optimistic. We asked for volunteers to get involved at the Symposium; out of over 200 participants, we collected only two names. The difficulty is that those of us who donated our time and energies for over two years have full schedules and little disposable income. Every weekday so far in April, I have worked from 8 in the morning till 10 or 11 p.m., and Saturdays till around 8 p.m.; this Sunday was the first day I have taken completely off in a month. That schedule hasn't left a lot of free time to volunteer for Study of Myth. My schedule is not unique, which is why in February we couldn't find a date before June to coordinate a meeting of the Planning Committee. I thought I had mentioned in an email to you six weeks or so ago that Study of Myth would remain inactive until June. I apologize if I did not communicate that. Your enthusiasm is appreciated, however, and when the site is up again, I trust we can count on you to volunteer; if enough people dare your passion, we should be Abe to revive Study of Myth. No intention to excite and disappoint to it. With the site dormant, we generally don't get queries to an inquire@studyofmyth ; what you received was an automatic response. Thanks for bringing that to our attention; I will contact someone to change the content of the automated message to reflect the site is under construction (may take a few days to make that change). Thanks Willi, for your offer. A few more like you, and we can make this happen.
Blissings, Stephen Gerringer

There are artifacts that "serve no further purpose" and those that actually have their parallel existence in an imaginary (or documented) realm. I prefer the latter. Examples: Hesse and Lovecraft, films The Words, The Fountain, The Knowing. (Myth Lab) reminds me for some reason to this: "Sudden change is of a different order than feedback or evolution. Observe the whirlpools below a waterfall. For many seasons the eddies stay in the same place no matter whether the water is high or low. Then, suddenly, one more stone falls into the basin, the entire array changes, and the old can never be reconstructed." Ivan Illich, Tools for Conviviality
Aleksandar Malecic

And I trust you're all still out there doing what you do. I just came across what looks so far to me like a very interesting myth-focused site:

Your "Myth Lab" sounds fabulous. I love it. I'm completely in sync with your work. I would love to do this workshop, except my son is a little too young right now. The way to market this to Transition US groups, is to get it in the newsletter, offer a webinar, and / or market to the local listservs (for example, Transition NorCal). Transition US has a new co-director (Maggie Fleming) and then there's the other co-director, Carolyn Stayton - these are the best people to be in touch with on this. I can put a word in for you, but they call the shots in the organization so you need to get them excited about your work.
Raven Gray, Transition US

Thanks for your energy and ideas. Always good and always forward looking.
Christian Shearer, We the Trees

(re: "Power, privilege, oppression, compassion!") Thanks so much Willi! This is really great! In appreciation,
Kelly, Mother Earth School

Thanks Willi! Kelly and I are both greatly appreciative of your support of our trainings over the last year. The questions are deep yet simple, and I am actually excited to explore more of your past interviews. We'd also love to meet up in person in the next few weeks (are you in Portland?) and discuss how our orgs can weave together more in service of helping tell the story of interconnectedness of what we do. Best,
Matt, Mother Earth School

Willi, Thanks so much. I saw that interview you did with Peter and actually used a couple of Peter's statements from it for the article. oh okay, I see it now. Seems like you're speaking to a few different issues, all completely valid. In my view, I don't see Repair Cafes as the be all end all thing that's going to take care of all repair needs. I just look at them as one more way to bring awareness to the bigger issue, perhaps get a few more things fixed that would otherwise end up at the dump, and get the community to come out and connect with each other. I think it would be a great next step to connect with Goodwill etc, and perhaps a business model like a co-op, sure, why not? If people are ambitious enough with it to try to support repair people's livelihood, that would be great. Seeing how many repair shops have gone out of business in the last 20 years, perhaps Repair Cafes could fill that niche as well as inspiring a rediscovered demand. A great ongoing discussion to have, for sure. Thanks for all the great work you do! Cheers,
Sven Eberlein

re: New Myth #38 - The Transition Movement arrived as the people's hero, killing the evil high rise developers, I doubt "Transition" will become a violent guerrilla movement (I certainly hope not). It's not even that likely that Transition will get bigger than it is now. I like big goals but it would be nice to see the Transition Movement accomplish more modest objectives in the present. Have any Transition groups succeeded in getting limits to growth into a US city's planning, let alone created the basis for a radical cultural transformation? Have any of them managed to get highway expansions removed from long term plans? Have any of them made substantial improvements in local food infrastructure? Created local currencies that have at least several percent of the citizens participating? A friend who is part of a transition group in a larger town to our north tells me interest in the group has faded considerably. She is a single mom and doesn't have much time for meetings, so she has scaled back her own involvement. Perhaps it's possible to revive "Transition" but there's less discussion of "Peak" than there was five years ago and the model that Transition chose in many places (yet another activist group) didn't succeed. Overshoot is not an "issue," it is a fundamental fact that transcends activist group models. The big "climate only" groups are mostly stuck on pretending that a law that could be passed by Congress would somehow force changes to the laws of physics (as in, renewables would replace fossil fuels but we could still "sustain" middle class lifestyles). Most environmental representatives from these groups are unfamiliar or only vaguely familiar with "transition" and most are not engaged in using their networks to teach food relocalization. Transition is more of a nice idea than something that is being done. Sorry if this is an unpopular conclusion, I'd love to see examples that prove this analysis is wrong.
Mark Robinowitz

Beautiful painting (Graffiti on Myth Lab), Willi Paul.
Kerry Dennehy

In a vein similar to "The Rebirth of the Hero Mythology as a Guide to Spiritual Transformation" by Keiron Le Grice is Return of the Heroes: The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Social Conflict, by Hal. G.P. Colebatch, 2nd edition, 2003, Cybereditions, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Christian Gerike

As to the Hero myth, I just saw Finding Joe - good overview of the stages and a positive, encouraging presentation.
Ed Koffenberger

Hi Willi, Myth Lab Sounds interesting. While I think such a concept would be appealing to many groups, I feel like my communities would actually be interested in exploring/reinterpreting existing myths in light of contemporary ecological and social justice concerns. Just a thought. Hope things are well on your end.
Cheers, Abel Gomez

Willi, Might be similar to your visions. "In Vintage Tomorrows: A Historian and a Futurist Journey through Steampunk into the Future of Technology (O'Reilly Media), futurist Brian David Johnson and cultural historian James Carrott explore steampunk, a cultural movement that's captivated thousands of artists, designers, makers, hackers, and writers throughout the world."
David Hoffman

I like your project and think it could have some traction at Waldorf schools in the area, and other educational forums where there is a consciousness about the power of media. I'd suggest researching the Waldorf school movement in our area. What about the Jung Institute? They are of course always interest in the mythic content of everything. There are teen community centers throughout the region, which might have an audience in them, but as the youth of america seems to be media-addled, you'd have to pitch it in just the right way to get them to turn off their cell phones and stop texting. I appreciate the work you are doing with myth and stories - I think it is an essential piece in the transition that is underway

Rachel Kaplan, MFT

This is really cool Willi! I like the idea of extracting an idea of myth from graffiti, since it is graffiti that represents the repression of our youth, the stagnant tension of living within a poisonous system.
Anthony Holmes

Very good the site (, but for me is very difficult to read on black pages, by, thank you
Raffaella Raponi

Willi, The "Myth Lab" is all really awesome stuff, which I support wholeheartedly. I get on some levels what you're doing and I agree that it's necessary. What I don't know is how it can fit into any of our programs. What did you have in mind?

Hi Willi, I think Pop Mythology idea may be worth thinking through. You say "the pop icons... seem to fail to address" the things we assume myths address. But why not change it to a question? Can "The pop icons and their "transient entertainment value"... address "the deepest longings, hopes, desires and fears of humanity?" I would add a question: would pop songs also be considered as a part of pop mythology? Can it be denied that at the very least people seek expression of their longings and fears in popular culture? Consider what David Brazier said in another discussion here, "The Greek gods have always been more real to me ... They somehow reflect or are reflected in our experience in a way that all-good, all-wise, or all-anything gods such as dominate many religions do not." It seems to me that an effective myth is the "more real" one in two senses: first, they more strongly live in the imagination and second, they have the capacity to encompass more of the real in their stories. A good book can be an initiation ordeal, a rite of passage into a full serious and responsible adult identity. But the kind of goodness is the question: Consider Compare MOBY DICK to 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA in relation to the second notion of "more real." Which book would you say encompasses more of the real in its story and speculations? Which more fully wakens adolescents and braces them for the challenges of adult life? Consider the different "messages" (better: mood results or aesthetic effects) of two very popular songs, "The Motto" by Drake and "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen. Both present what I would call myths -- stories containing life wisdom -- what is the significance of the difference in the wisdoms they possess?

Very cool. I read the Cascadia Funnel and it opened out into your Blog at the Joseph Campbell site, the Journey to Cascadia presentation, your YouTube Channel and now the first among the links, The Mythic Mandate. This like another kind of chaos-theory -- infinitely branching. How is one supposed to fin one's way back to work? I just read The Reservoir: Rock Music and Mythology and really enjoyed. I see now that we are talking about the same thing and that you are way ahead of me! :)
Kerry Dennehy

Thanks for this, Willi. Good, thought-provoking questions raised here.
Peter, "Fixing Community" - Repair Cafe Palo Alto

Permaculture would not survive without the use of myths. Old myths provide Permaculture with a guide for how to apply food, community, and equity to society. The spiral, for example, holds great spiritual meaning that is also very relevant in the scientific world. We will find more relevant symbols, that also happen to be highly efficient, when we look toward our ancient brothers and sisters. I can't wait to look further into the Aztec and Mayan cultures. As our race gets older, new myths are going to be needed to stay updated on new finds in the social, economic and environmental world. I can't wait to be more involved in film and theatre to provide people with visions they haven't imagined. Permaculture isn't just involved in science, but also uses the metaphysics found in indigenous groups.
Lauren Evans

I love it! haha Good job. ... the mystical seed ball missile from god :)
Anthony Holmes

WP! Just saw your video on the Hayes valley farm. Good stuff! Hope you are well.
Garrell Herndon

Nice to see your posts. Keep it up and stay strong.

re: water sound symbol myth: building new nature-based myths.

I really liked that one! Stirring, provocative! It makes me want to do a little provoking right back! ;-) Here's what I was thinking as I watched: The sounds were AWESOME and moving, and the photography was really cool. The words? Eh. So I wondered, "What could Willi do with the words to make me FEEL like the sounds and the images did?" You know what came to me? Poetry. Ever try? In general, as I watch your stuff, I consistently feel like I want to connect with you but don't know how. The information is there, and it's really good info, but I'm looking for a heart. I know from talking to you that you are a warm, sensitive, caring, listening, astute, and patient person. (LOL, ya gotta be patient to listen to my rants!) So as I watch your work, I keep feeling like, where is Willi? The black slides at the end spelled out your message for us. I'd rather see, hear, and feel your message and learn to know you, the man behind the message, and FEEL through your words a connection to Gaia like the sounds and images made me feel. Poetry is just a shot in the dark idea that occurred to me. I'm sure there are other vehicles. Somehow, however it scares and thrills you to put your passion and heart in words onto the images, I think you need to put more of your beautiful SELF into your pieces, so that we can feel you. Hope that's not too brash, but we're here to be genuine, and that's my best at this point! :-) Here's a video that made me feel more connected to the planet:

Willi, I can't remember whether you've already been asked this, but I wonder whether you have shown the video or any other of your videos to young people in your life, and how that has gone. I'd love to hear about it. As you might guess, yours is a very different approach from mine, and I sort of love that it makes me feel a little uncomfortable. It sort of makes me want to pick your brain.

Back to the theme of storytelling---first and foremost, I think there needs to be some kind of heart connection for a story to sink in deeply. There needs to be true loving care coming from the storyteller. I think it's easier for kids to feel that caring energy when they're connecting directly with people and nature. It's harder to find that safe ground to stand on when you're primarily getting stories through technological gadgets. I think our kids' bodies and hearts feel that absence these days. How do they tell us, though, if they don't know what they're missing?

Your three points (joy, reward, harmony) are good, but there's also value in suffering, sacrifice, stress (Play Farm. Play the Game).

Nice! I just watched it (Play Farm. Play the Game),very fun! I liked the walk away ending and "I was talking to the wrong one" comment. I was zigzagging all over the map in the interview, and you managed to make it more round and whole. When you finished it, was it how you hoped? I thought T1 and T3 were going to have more of a role in "post-production", but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. I will post to the game queue. Much Respect and Appreciation Dear Willi!

I liked that one (Play Farm. Play the Game)! Especially like Jay's rules for doing it right. T1 and T3 kind of creep me out. They remind me of the matrix scene where Neo's face fleshes over. Could they have smiley faces? ;-)

I'm envisioning layers of myth in which I am a participant. There are my personal myths related to myself and my immediate relations; community myths; cultural myths, all the way to creation myths. The personal apocalypse occurs when two myths collide, forcing the creation of a new myth or, drastically, the destruction of the initial myth-making process for the creation of a new myth-making process.
Ed Koffenberger

Hmmm. Great stuff. But are we not in charge of the creation and telling of our stories, fables and myths? If not us, who? Why do these myth forces have to collide?! And yes, I agree that there is a matrix or mythic quilt that weaves and stores different levels of impact, stability and meaning.

Maybe integral permaculture fits best into this model ("Raising Permaculture Consciousness" - Three Roles & Synergies?") as the keeper of the permaculture conscience flame ? With connexion and interactions with the three apices? Personally , I find I'm endlessly preoccupied with the new governance nexus and that is why I believe permis need an interweb beyond the mammonist catastrophe of google , fb/FBI etc.there's a fourth emerging type - the Integral Permies. cos you'd have a hard time classifying us as any of those 3, don't u think? we're way off in another dimension ... :)

My concern as well. The "reflective consciousness" phrase brings together two human capacities that seem to be rarely valued or trusted. Could the reverse be also true, that our collective fate may be equally determined by our collective inattention and lack of conscious reflection? For me, this gap is the very space for new images, symbols, and narratives - or, at least, a new appreciation for the existing images, symbols, and narratives. The soul/spirit capacity of humanity may have to slip in the "side door" of the arts but at least the arts can still grab the level of attention needed before deeper reflection can take place.

Your link sent me to the three phase future. For me, it seems a bit deterministic and narrowly defined. Having gone through any number of different cultural end-times and global transformational periods without much change (and admittedly I may not be seeing change through my own clouded eyes), I wonder if in the act of seeing these changes the greater majority of folks have resisted the very process of change so that those change ideas arrived DOA or at least so weakened that they did not create a strong enough symbol to inspire change. Not that the transformation isn't coming, its just going to be agonizingly slow for those who have already glimpsed a brighter day. Your religious symbols below provided a wonderful spiritual Rorschach test for me. Checking to see if any of these symbols still held any numinous "draw." The only earlier image that caught my attention and filled me with dread was the Monsanto ad. The scarecrow wasn't from the Wizard of Oz but The Children of the Corn.
Ed Koffenberger, Depth Psychology Alliance

... grateful for your immense creative energy. We need it.

I have been spending quite a bit of time at your site and have found myself enthralled with the information. I'm just giving you an update on where I am with researching your work. I am writing the questions. They will be based around Cascadia's Light Network and some of your interviews. I will have my questions ready by later this afternoon. Hope all is well!

This is interesting, but I'm puzzled what "tattoo" has to do with it. But as I got the info, which had lots of graphics, I didn't see any actual tattoo designs anywhere, except maybe on the painted folks gathered around the symbols on the ground or the spiritual symbols. I think if you are going to use that word it would make it work better if you had actual tattoo symbols with each question.

Hi - I am pushing the definition of tattoo here for sure. I was originally trying to design "tattoos from the future" then my kid's design mandate kicked-in and I got this result! Tattoos to me are valid symbols / messages from our culture and part of of a road map....It's hard to know what will attract kid's in positive ways... But I'm trying!

A recent animated movie, 'Brave', would be an example of a 'new myth' - but, it is a very old story. 'There is nothing new under the sun.' There is a trend of new myths, and retelling of old myths, for present cultural entertainment - and perhaps enlightenment. As I see a trend towards what I will call the Divine Feminine stories begin to emerge to shape the social consciousness and perceptions around this regard. The story of 'Snow White' has recently been retold on screen. And, we have 'Brave', and Cinderella, and the list could go on. This is all very nice and well and good, but I would like to address what I see as the 'dark side' of the feminine principal in a more balanced and objective telling rather than blatantly calling it 'evil'. To achieve a sense of harmony and balance in this world we need the emergence of the feminine. All sides must be reconciled (brought to a center) in order achieve balance/correction. There needs to be a consideration of light and dark sides - for every capacity that exists, in the field of time, there is an equal and opposing capacity. I could just as easily 'retell' the story using Mary Magdalene versus the Virgin Mary - light and dark sides of 'Mary'. Women need to be empowered correctly - that is, in their true Power - which is NOT to be as a man. Women's lib made an effort, but in directions defeating for women. Medea lived in her power, for good or for ill - and one day she DID transcend her abuses, darkness, and depravity - but only after fully having lived it, unapologetically. Always she lived her power and was feared (as women living their authentic power are) for it. Medea becomes the reconciliation of the light and dark sides of the feminine - both exist within her (as it does in all of us) - but only after having first lived both sides. Hers is not a story of the good girl and the evil step mother as two separate beings. She is it, and she is transcendence - reconciled within herself. Present culture seems to be eating up these 'retellings', and I really would - as a woman - love to fairly and accurately represent Medea (all women - and men!) in a way that would be relevant, productive and empowering. And, I didn't choose her, she chose me - but, that's another story. :-) Thank you for asking.

Thanks for this. Storytelling is such a powerful tool, and one that is hardwired into our human makeup I think. We are human, we tell stories. For that reason, Joseph Campbell was an amazing soul because he picked apart the idea of myth, and what function it serves us humans. He also did not dismiss the magical element, but embraced it. Creativity, community building and storytelling all should be in the toolbox of anyone trying to make a change. Big social change really is a collaborative effort, and your points really made sense to me.

The strength of being a CROP YIELDER is food freedom at the top of the social hierarchy: and the benefits of being closest to the land itself and the processes of nature. The NATURE SPIRITS, as you call them, can anticipate event horizons to give direction, imagine possibilities where there is inertia and stagnation, and they also give comfort to grief, clarity to confusion, and courage in times of many hallenges.The ACTIVISTS and TRANSITIONISTS, in the ideal model, work for the redemption of public and private institutions, the reconciliation of conflicting interests, and in nurturing both co-operation and safe expressions of dissent, they promote the arts and science while birthing shared meaning and goals. These are not separate roles, and we must beware the tendency to become one-sided. In the Hopi oracle regarding this Transition, the Creator Mausau'u promised an abundance of food and peace if others would follow his model. He lives away from the city and all its artificial complications and surface sheen, and, with only a stick, a bag of seeds, a water jug, his smoking pipe, and a song-and-dance beneath the moon, he makes the desert bloom. He says: Follow my ways, and you will enjoy an abundance of food and peace. This is very similar in idea to the Silver Age of the Greeks, when the Golden Ones planted seeds by hand, while the others lived like idiot children until they were suddenly old then dead. This can be a good time, if we know what to do with it.

haha, OK Willi, level with me. Are you a troll? ;-) I like your thinking (Raising Permaculture Consciousness). Haven't had time to check into it yet, but I certainly will soon. I love big thinkers. Hope you allow comments there, cuz I'd love to engage with you.

Thank you for your inspiring video's and the treasure of information on your site! It promises to be a thrilling journey... has made a comment on Permaculture Ritualizer -- New Stories, Songs & Myths.
Stadswandelaar078, YouTube

I like the myth of Jesus as the Pacifist and his message was love. I like the myth of love.
I like the myth of Buddha as the Pacifist and his message was compassion and peace of mind. I like the myth of compassion. I have yet to achieve peace of mind.
I like the myths of Science (expanding universe, carbon dating, and all). I used to study metaphysics in college with EEG machines,... and believe we do not yet understand some of what is reported. Metaphysics will be the next science.
I like the myth that humans are mostly vibrational and heaven for me will be the place in the universe that fits me into its vibration after death. Maybe I am in it now.
I like the myth of circles. Our pattern of life is a circle within a circle (kind of like the solar system or the universe). We are only a point on that circle in time. In another time we will be somewhere else and maybe somebody else. Change is constant. Live within it.
I like the myth of growing. It fits within circles. I keep telling teenagers, they are like blossoming flowers. They are nearing their peak of beauty, of intelligence, of energy.
I like the myth of magic. The fact that we have tremendous power of mind to action within our life and that if we can imagine it, we can make it happen. We can heal sickness, we can heal pain, we can change the world. It's all coming from inside the mind to an outside manifestation. If the thought is not exactly right, the manifestation will not be either.

When I was young I was into alternative education in the ways that Sesame street teaches bilinguality and ethics. I was also into people like Jim Blinn and the mechanical universe (cartoons) to teach some of the higher level thoughts like relativity, mass, inertia and the like. People like Seymour Papert (MIT Media Lab) ("Mindstorms : Children, computers and powerful ideas") were inventing languages like Turtle graphics (Logo) that would allow children to grasp mathematics in a new way and build lego robots out of their ideas. We were learning amazing things in the neurosciences around learning. Myth formation is crucial to the human existence. But somehow people's best interest got usurped for profits on the bottom line and communication went awry. This includes education, polling and modern media and the power people grabbed the airwaves. I think this is our battle, first to frame the right focus and then to fix the issues. We cannot do this without the correct myths. So keep on trying new ones. Some will work eventually. I wonder how many new words are invented each day on facebook, on twitter,... I believe this is part of the American myth that we need to hang onto and what we share around the world. The fact that each one of us has a destiny to be unique, to be an individual and to create, refine and pass on the myths that individual finds useful. I still like the semantic notions of permaculture, peace, sustainability, ...
Mike Dill

I think you've done a great job at not being reactive and I also appreciate your myth weaving writings.
Thanks, Warren

Permaculture needs to plug deeper into culture if it's going to become relevant to those who will either make it permanent or snub it and let it go the way of all old folks. Willi's conversation about myths attracted me to this list. There are a lot of very different movements going on right now, hailing from all points along the physio-psycho-spiritual spectrum, which itself is a spectrum of MYTHS. These movement have some things in common that go far deeper than myth: a deeply felt experiential connection to the earth, living things, people in particular, and where we're all going. They all fundamentally contradict the basic premise of modern society: distrust. I'm interested in seeing how far we can go to cross-pollinate across mythological boundaries and connect with each other along lines of trust and love for each other and the planet. We are not helpless. Permaculture has so much to offer, especially when it comes to the necessities required to walk away from corrupt systems. However, if permaculture people can't connect with the reasons and meaning that make walking away worth it, all that good know-how will get severely underutilized, because those of us who don't know how to hoe a row don't think that hoeing rows alone makes life worth living. The earth needs to be connected to the sky. Neither alone is sufficient. So how can permaculture be made relevant as a piece of a plan to walk out on the slave system in a way that makes sense to younger people? I don't know Willi from a hole in the wall, but you can be sure that I'll make it a point now. I didn't even notice that he has a website, much less go there, until Jud slammed him. Ironic that you played right into his trolling schemes, isn't it Jud? I'm certainly going to check out the stuff of a guy who can evoke your kind of ire. As a newcomer I have a perspective that trumps all of your "knowledgeable" perspectives, that is, if you want to attract newcomers, because mine is the perspective that you play to every time you meet a potential PC recruit. People like Jud reek of bitterness. Leonard made a nice recovery, but he's obviously intelligent--playing ignorant of the import of his sequester suggestion just isn't credible. Willy sounded so much like an avid PC-er that the "brand" he's supposedly plugging was invisible to me. He generated some interesting, fecund discussion, something that none of his detractors managed to do. I'm no gardener, but I know enough to recognize soil that promotes growth when I see it.

...Thank you, Willi, for starting this thread and doing what you do. I read your article "Mother, Sun, and the Compost Pile" last night and really enjoyed it. I'm relieved to hear people talk about capturing, storing, and utilizing our own creative energy in addition to all the other forms energy permies are concerned with.

Hi Jeremy - I don't want to get all soap boxy, but I really want us to look at the urge to split this thread off from the main listserve from a deeper perspective than simple listserve logistics or catering to the need of some to not have to use the delete button. My understanding has been that Permaculture is meant to embrace the more "software" side of culture making as well as the "hardware" of zones, chicken tractors and no till farming etc. It seems to me that this string of conversation on myth-making is at the heart of such a "software" concern and as such should be embraced by the listserve. Making a separate listserve for the "social" aspects strikes me as a maneuver much aligned with the same old way of doing business rather than from a sustainable culture that I had hoped Permaculture was intended to help create. What do you think?
Tim Holbert

I find this thread ("Green Eggs and Ham") highly appropriate and interesting. Permaculture involves the whole of us: hands, head, and heart. Stories are essential to human well-being: if your stories are hearty, true ones, they nourish and sustain you. We humans are part of the systems we're observing and working with. We need to consider and work with our own needs and natures, just as we strive to do with plants and animals. p.s. I think this conversation falls under the heading of "People care."
Mindy Fitch

Is permaculture a means of escape from concerns like Willi's?
Millard Melnyk

Hi Willi, I'm connected to you through Bonnie Bright's group. I like your ideas for a new ecology conscious mythology. I love the sets you built (Cascadia Live!)! I am wondering if this is the complete first episode because if it is I think you could do more with your script to tell the story more fully and affectingly. Great work though, from what I've seen you're remarkably active and prolific!
Kerry Dennehy

I enjoyed my contact with you and appreciate your consideration very much. I will continue to enjoy your writing and vision and will hope there could be a future opportunity to collaborate in some way around work for adolescents. Also, if you do visit Portland in your permaculture and transition work, I would invite you to visit our program and meet our students.Kindly,

Great email John. John is picking up on the beginnings of the myth creation. He is the originator of those myths which is great. In subsequent generations, perhaps we can intertwine our myths with his in schools, play dates, his children dating mine etc. That is the origination and perpetuation of the myth, which is not necessarily rooted in some type of fiction. The "myths" that are carried forth in books like Being in Being by Robert Brinqhurst are cultural snapshots as well as truths passed forward. These cultural truths are woven in to the story to the point where the spectators of story are unaware of the knowledge being dispensed. These stories are not as linear and explicit as modern tales. For example, I have read tales of PNW culture which states that women in that time of month were not allowed to prepare the fish for smoking or eating. Those caught stealing and hording supplies were not allowed to go fishing alone or to manage the catch alone. These lessons are not the tale, but a tangent of the tale that imparts the knowledge about sanitary food handling, or cultural mores without explicitly saying so. Point is, when you pass on your tale of life experience it is a "myth" whether you say so or not, and it is not up to you whether that myth is passed on to subsequent generations and whether your lesson will be the one derived later. These myths are their own being, larger than you and I, spoken by you and I.
Michael Welch

Love this thread. Storytelling is essential to raising small children, it is integrated in every activity, from meals to laundry to bath time and especially bedtime. Not an optional activity. I am thinking about the canning party I had when my daughter was small, 8 mothers and lots of kids, washing and cleaning plums, boiling them on the stove, prepping jars. So much work, accompanied by lots of stories, not separate at all. The kids climbed trees, ate as many plums as they wanted, got covered with sticky plum goo, helped a little, made plum pies. We mothers shared stories and recipes and took home beautiful jars of plums and plum chutney. So work and storytelling are not separate in my experience.

I think this is an interesting discussion. As we develop habits that are more in line with the earth, we share our new vision of the world with our children. For example, every fall, my kids know that I gather deciduous leaves in bags and in the wheelbarrow. I also cover up grass and put leaves over the grass. They understand why I put them in my garden. Every late winter I whip and tongue graft fruit trees. This is now not just scientific practice, it is culture. Then they understand the stories of where the fruit came from. They understand why I put mason bee houses out. Neighbors want comfrey plants. Our neighborhood gardening exchange trades fruit and vegies. Now I'm preparing logs for growing mushrooms this time of year. It takes time, but it goes from science to story, to myth , to habit to culture. We share our ideas with others, such as on this list. Then others realize what we're doing and want to learn about it and we share. Now we have a full circle of spreading positive culture to others.
John Saltveit

My partner studied under Fukuoka and said he taught by painting and answered questions with koans. That being said, I'm not sure how I would feel if I saw Creative Writing listed as part of a permaculture course. Maybe telling stories around the campfire at night perhaps. I feel like we're so far behind on community food production as it is...
Kurent Journal

Mindy's stories are real too. And I have mine, and hopefully we all are daily aware of our carbon footprints, and seek to change the prevailing paradigm. Perhaps it is the word "myth" that confuses the matter. The connotation can be "story" or it can be "delusion". I think Willi meant "story".
Rick Stanek

Willi !!

Once again I am captivated by and LOVE your postings on perm board. you are if nothing else, an avid communicator as I would like to be if I could write,spell,and find the tyme. May I respond to this post? got the time? I am excited about storytelling (doing some at the re-skilling fair/symposium) I hope you are attending at "Arlene Francis Center" this Saturday the 19th at 12 till midnight . I will be bringing a lot there I hope... So here we are.

Face it; too many of us are stuck in "consumer gain" and the same old story sources. NFL football memories, old cop shows, oil spill ads, 45 minute religion, AM radio. We need a new story base â€" a new set of tales based in Transition and permaculture that's truly integrated and cooperative rather than science-moated and profit competitive. If we can vision and share new stories together, we can live into them together and create a better world:

I have "faced it", raised in a different paradigm can ride circles around it. and love hating it all at once.

First, we need to write new stories together..,YES a community assignment. ((for assignment we need an asigner )) Community building via imaginal collaboration.

( yes yes an InSPIREation confliguration )

Second, it seems that permaculture courses are not teaching creative writing or media production along with their science-rich ag diet.

((WELL YES although they do say DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT EVRYTHING )) A waste of creative synergy? kinda yes

Third, stories and new myth making are over-ridingly sidelined to a few,(US) to the soulless concerns of our dark days: tweeting, eating, browsing, and watching TV. Are Apple ads the new myths?(GAK)

Four, Permaculture Guilds are doing a sub-par job as a community storytelling space.

(( what permaculture guilds ? I cannot even FIND them))

Six, Transition Groups are better at gathering in celebration and spawning new solutions. But there are next to no Transition movies or bands calling us into the fray. SEE HUMAN KINDNESS OUT OF MENDOCINO

Human, is a young songwriter who is very on the mark as to current issues and creating our own story and MARIMBA PACIFICA (Music to Celebrate Life) out of Oakland

Hadley Louden is an old friend who distills african and carribian spirituality into a modern jazz context that is based around a real and strong community of Musicians and groovers who meet at least 7 times a year to celebrate life in the context of very real re evaluation of our current crisis, and how we can use the ancient diciplines in a new way to allow youth to save themselves from soul starvation ,and all of us from extinction at the hands of the lard ass fools who bought the lie.

Seven, we do not have a common vision map to the future with Transition or permaculture just yet. Many of have returned to the land in survivalist mode ?? FEW I'd say or find themselves wrestling in short-term mode with local governments, academic powers and big business as they harvest food for 30 on microscopic urban farms.

SO TRUE and food or Craft in competition with CHINA JUNKCULTURE is nest to impossible monetarily

Eight, most of us are not story writers but if we start by understanding the old myths and psalms that helped to fuel Occupy, permaculture and the Transition Movement, we can re-question Authority and build new traditions, hybrid dreams and rituals that matter.

Yes and Hybrid Dreams Like hybrid cars have to be constantly re- evaluated for their authenticity(do you want a car with $400 dollar headlights that is chained to dealership only maintenance?) this is a scam based on oil scarcity fear (Industry will always find us a way to have oil as long as we are stupid enough to keep "needing" it.)

Nine, lets promote Joseph Campbell's initiation, journey and hero triad alongside the cob oven and the sharing expo.

OK I got the Cob oven,and some stuff to bake,you bring Joseph..and we'll fry up some green spirit and build an egg incubator!! will the vegans tolorate the ham?

Ten, spiritual incubator or green eggs and ham?

LOVE dr. Seus he knew his story board we need to channel him and Bucky Fuller. Nice look forward to seeing you in person I will be there with Greg Trimble (storytelling and musical instrument making) and perhaps with Eartha the (Bio)Turtle, and the cycadelefunt creative re use development.

Good points regarding permaculture. I am venturing a bit into video production - the whole basis being the storyboard, so I understand the importance of focus and relevance. I watch from afar with a project in rural San Bernardino county near Trona, CA. I think the story will be many stories. The key is a centralized and de-centralized solution that works on both levels. There won't be just one story or way to approach things. Just as the climate is different throu