What is Rewilding?

Virginia waterleaf

Last night we hosted a discussion on “What is Rewilding”.  It was a great event with a great turn out. We had Curly dock bread and Dandelion pesto. We served Rose hip tea, Pine needle tea, Stinging Nettle tea, and Chaga tea. The discussion lasted 2 hours and I will lay out the basic premise for you now.

What is Rewilding?

Kenton Whitman of rewild university Defines it As:

You are physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually amazing. The answer to your problems is available to you within your own innate wisdom.

Like our environment, which is forever altered due to human intervention, human nature has also been irrevocably shifted. Rewilding isn’t about trying to go back to living as hunter-gatherers. Rather, it is about examining our cultural paradigms, seeing how they affect our physical, mental, and emotional health, and reclaiming our birthright as human beings.

Rewild.com says:

Rewilding means restoring ancestral ways of living that create greater health and well-being for humansand the ecosystems that we belong to. … Rewilding learns from the examples of indigenous people past and present provided by anthropology, archaeology, and ethnobiology.

and Wikipedia says:

Rewilding means to return to a more wild or natural state; it is the process of undoing domestication. … Rewilding intends to create permanently wild humancultures beyond domestication.

I like to think of it along these lines.

The culture of 21st century humans on the planet earth does not work very well for very many people. Of course some people thrive and succeed in it, but they do so at the expense of most other people. for 7,000,000 years humans evolved in a manner directly in line with nature. We hunted and gathered, and we held our communities close. We used plants as medicine, and held reverence for the earth and the animals.

Then about 12-15,000 years ago a small group of humans started planting crops. Very quickly with this came monotheism, hierarchy, a sense of ownership of land and resources that had never been seen before. This idea swept the land and with a new sense of food security came cities and towns. and war and disease. You all know the story. In very short time human culture was completely changed and people abandoned or were taken from there appropriate lifestyle. 7 million years of evolution had been swept away in a heart beat.

Now fast forward 12,000 or so years, and for the most part humanity has lost all connection to nature. Of course there are a few hold out cultures, in South America, Africa, and a few islands, but by and large it is gone. In place of our connection to the earth, we have create a waste land, where we Mine, and log, and chemically synthesize everything that our fat lazy selves could ever want. Those at the top of the financial heap have convinced us that we will be happy if we buy enough stuff.

There are a growing number of people who know that this is wrong.

We want the world back.

But we can’t have it

What can we Do?

We can take our collective memories from our time as true members of the ecosystem, and combine that with our knowledge of how things are now and we can move forward toward a feral self.

So, what does rewilding encompass:

virtually everything. The list that I like goes something like this.

  1. Nutrition
  2. Movement
  3. Spirituality
  4. Community
  5. Family
  6. Connection to nature
  7. Awareness
  8. Sexuality
  9. Sleep
  10. Everything

In the coming weeks and months I will break this down to reasonable bite sized pieces. we will explore this together. What do each of these things mean to us, and how can we implement meaningful change in our lives. we can change, and we must change. This is our path forward. With love, respect, understanding, awareness, and a strong connection to nature.


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