about the center
A Mycelial Hub for the Emerging Wild
a note from founder,
Our Mission Statement
The Center for Wild Spirituality nurtures the emerging movement of edge-walkers who are re-connecting spirituality with the rest of the living world.
A Land Acknowledgment
This work is done in many places throughout the world, in countries made by colonized violence. We understand that intimate spiritual connection with the land was and continues to be held by countless tribes of indigenous people long before the modern eco-spirituality movement. We seek to honor and learn from their stories and wisdom and intend to avoid appropriation.
Illustrations throughout this website by the remarkably talented Manne Green.
The time has come to lift that veil of fog and return to intimate relationship with the living world. More and more of us are taking our place, once again, as full participants in the web of life, which we remember is held together by love.
There are no magic words to incant, no spiritual laws to memorize, no ruby-slippered heels to click three times. You don’t need to read a hundred new ecotheology books or leave the church or become an animist or pantheist (but you can if you want to.) You simply need to learn how to listen. And allow your heart to be broken, just like you do every time you fall in love.
Because the holy is in your place too. You open the gates into this enchanted land, your home, with hands muddied from the soil outside your house and a raw, scabby, and unprotected heart. You enter naked and brave.
from the preface of Church of the Wild: How Nature Invites Us into the Sacred by Victoria Loorz
I've been involved in the field of restoring sacred relationship with the land for several years, particularly through the co-founding of Church of the Wild, Seminary of the Wild and the Wild Church Network.
Through this calling, I've learned that there have always been a few people on the edges of the mainstream -- edge walkers -- who have walked out of the dominant, destructive empire into the wilderness, like Francis of Assissi. Or Jesus. Or just about every spiritual leader of every institutional religion. They remembered how to listen to the sacred wild voices whispering through the wind. What they heard, they brought back to the village and caused profound shifts. They drew the people back into relationship with the land and waters and beings of this planet, their own souls, with God and into the reality that they belonged to a larger story.
Thomas Berry called this work repairing the broken conversation with the wind, the waters and the trees. He called it the way through into the New Story.
Over the last thirty years I’ve wrestled with this broken conversation as a pastor of indoor churches, a climate activist, a mother, and now as a guide who leads people in spiritual practices that reconnect them with the natural world. I’ve discovered something I’ve known deep down all along but never had the cultural, religious, or even internal permission to embrace: spirituality and nature are not separate. Attempts to keep them apart break the world.
The Center for Wild Spirituality is a container, a hub, a wild seed bed for those stepping into to this larger story of interconnected relationship with the sacred in all things. I'm guessing you might be one of those edge-walkers. This is a place to invest in your own calling and find kindred relationship with a group of like-hearted companions. We need one another to find the courage, clarity and collective energy to offer a new, more compassionate way of being human in the midst of a declining Old Story intent on mindless domination. The New Story of kindred reciprocity is indeed emerging through us.
While rooted in the mystical Christ tradition, the vision for the Center for Wild Spirituality is a larger circle that includes and also transcends those who are rooted in the Christian story. The boundaries between denominations and religions are becoming more and more troublesome as a new (and yet ancient) story of interconnection emerges.
The reconnection of spirituality and nature -- wild spirituality -- is a vision larger than a set of programs. It is a movement that is growing like wildflowers after spring rain. This is a movement growing in kairos time, which is a Greek word that means the most appropriate time for something new to emerge.
The Center for Wild Spirituality seeks to become a collective to support a new kind of spiritual leader listening for the sacred wild voices rooted in the soil of their own place and exploring how they are being called to bring back that wisdom to their communities.
The vision for the Center is rooted in a metaphor of underground mycelial connectivity. We gather to provide nutrients and strength to one another, to help transmute death of an old system into life for a whole new system. I like how the feminist theologians call it the Kin-dom of God, a way of being in intimate, kindred relationship with all others, human and more-than-human.
The new story is emerging through us, and our presence is already causing a profound, yet still underground shift. Let us bring our hearts and minds together as we step into the unknown and respond to the call of the sacred wild.
With many wild blessings,
All of our programs are guided by a team of visionary elders, people who can be trusted to hold space well for people who are used to holding space for others. None of us consider ourselves gurus. We are committed to serving participants with respect and high regard for the seed of genius lying within each person.