Mythos & Mater is a place of thinking, feeling, and learning with the natural world. In order to survive and pass through this era of unprecedented destruction and suffering caused by the delusions of modernity and the Western world, we must relearn how think and act in reciprocity with our fellow creatures, humans and non-humans alike. To move beyond the Capitalocene and the Chthulocene into an era of equality, social justice, and ecological regeneration requires small and stupendous acts of magical realignment with the forces of Nature, both individually and collectively. In this movement, we must remember old skills and lifeways and learn new ones as well: how to study the patterns of the natural world and truly listen to our more-than-human teachers; how to be in service to the trees who are our guardians and stewards of the air; how to grow food and tend the soil; how to repair our relationships with the sacred waters; how to heal ourselves with natural medicine and sustainable modern tools; how to build and grow powerful political movements to defend the sanctity of all life which is under threat by capitalism and Western modernity; how to cultivate healthy communities which support us in the struggle to survive through these challenging times; how to educate ourselves and stay sane at a time with unlimited access to deception, distraction, entertainment, and propaganda; how to be in active solidarity with marginalized and oppressed communities, including Indigenous communities who steward the majority of the world's wild places and biodiversity; how to reclaim our magic and the wisdom of our ancestors in order to re-enchant our world and re-dedicate our lives to the Earth, letting go of those poisonous delusions called escape and transcendence.
At Mythos & Mater, we engage with this work in three primary ways: 1) Education through classes and podcasts. 2) Writing (articles and books). 3) Building a community of practitioners of revolutionary magic.
Photo by Jason Mallery
Mica McDonald (they/he) is an herbalist, ecologist, and writer living in Wabanakik (so-called Vermont). Mica received their B.Sc. in environmental policy from the University of Vermont and their clinical certification in Traditional Western Herbalism from the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism. Mica is co-founder of Railyard Apothecary where they served as herbal dispensary manager and chief medicine-maker. They have been active in numerous social justice and environmental movements over the last 20 years at the local, state, and federal levels, including work for Senator Bernie Sanders, 350 Vermont, the Vermont Natural Resources Council, Vermont Workers Center, and the Vermont Legislature. As a gender outlaw and enchantivist thriving with chronic disease, Mica's perspective is informed by their transformative experiences of both wounding and wellness. They are the author of two novels: Miach & Airmid, a vision for a just and sustainable future of Vermont, and Poet, Prophet, Fox, a queer mytho-history of ancient Ireland.
“Reclaiming means recovering what we have been separated from, but not in the sense that we would just get it back. It means recovering, or recuperating, from the very separation, regenerating what it has poisoned.” -- Isabelle Stengers, Reclaiming Animism
“…The magical practices, or the magical traditions that I’m suggesting, is at the core of each of the mystical traditions. The magical tradition is, in many ways, a body of practices and experiences that are a direct holdover from the older, indigenous, pre-religious animistic bodies of insight and knowledge that were our human birthright for 98-99% of our human tenure here within the biosphere. So I see magic as very much connected up with, and part and parcel of, the indigenous ways, as multiple as those ways are—each place, each bioregion, each ecosystem yielding a different modality of practice that held the human communities there in intimate relation and reciprocal relation with the surrounding terrain.” -- David Abrams, Magic and Ecology podcast
“Our hypermodern societies currently possess only a kindergarten level understanding of the deeply relational nature of reality." -- Charlene Spretnak, Relational Reality
“Aiming at controlling nature, the capitalist organization of work must refuse the unpredictability implicit in the practice of magic, in the possibility of establishing a privileged relation with the natural elements, as well as the belief in the existence of powers available only to particular individuals, and thus not easily generalized and exploitable. Magic was also an obstacle to the rationalization of the work process, and a threat to the establishment of the principle of individual responsibility. Above all, Magic seemed a form of refusal of work, of insubordination, and an instrument of grassroots resistance to power. The world had to be “disenchanted” in order to be dominated.” -- Silvia Federici, Caliban and the Witch
“To the ancient Greek theologoi, cosmogony and theogony were closely connected; the gods personified cosmic powers resulting from processes of love and generation. The world was a living organism, the divine source of all living beings, the gods included… ‘Matter’ had become the divine Being itself, which worked in it and was one with it.” -- R. Hooykaas, Religion and the Rise of Modern Science
“…While there are many conflicting truths, wisdom is the ability to appreciate and see as many of these truths as possible without allowing any of them to dominate… This is an insight at the very heart of a pagan metaphysics: only in plurality and difference is there truth." -- Kadmus, True to Earth: Pagan Political Theology.
“We need acts of restoration, not only for polluted waters and degraded lands, but also for our relationship to the world. We need to restore honor to the way we live, so that when we walk through the world we don’t have to avert our eyes with shame, so that we can hold our heads up high and receive the respectful acknowledgment of the rest of the earth’s beings.” ... “Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world, receiving the gifts with open eyes and open heart.” -- Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass