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Dr. Craig Chalquist, Wild Soul Module

Stories are what we navigate by. The tales we tell ourselves explain who we are, who other people are, what Earth is, what Spirit is. Change the story imaginatively and the actions, values, and norms change too. If we recover the ability to imagine together, we can create beautiful and inclusive new stories about how to live peacefully on Earth.

Brief Bio. I am a professor, author, and consultant who writes and teaches at the intersection of psyche, story, and imagination, with one foot in the academy and the other in the world. As a loreologist, I provide resources for exploring the limits and possibilities of the personal and collective stories we navigate by in order to deepen, expand, or replace them so we move from being confined by them to authoring them.


As a former Associate Provost at Pacifica Graduate Institute and former full professor in the Department of East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, I have designed and launched more than forty psychology, philosophy, mythology, and ecotherapy courses for graduate students and undergrads. I have a Ph.D. in depth psychology, and a master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy, which I have practiced for nine years. I am currently working on a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program at CIIS.


​I am the founder of the world’s first ecotherapy certificate program, and on the board of Holos Institute and the editorial board of the journal Ecopsychology.

My work in the world is in service to creating and supporting the sustainable, just, and delightful communities of belonging he knows we are capable of scaling up. Chalquist.com



What are the lands that raised you, and how has your own connection with the natural world influenced your path?


I was born in San Diego, which looks from high above like the face of a witch, and lived mostly in coastal California. I’m also an ecopsychologist and trained as a Master Gardener and Permaculture designer, so a sense of place has been central for me.


You have coined two new terms to describe the work you are bringing to the world, “terrapsychology” and “enchantivism”. How do you define these words?


Terrapsychology refers to the study of how the things of the world - valleys, mountains, seas, streams, plants, animals, but also the built environment - move inside us, showing up as dreams, complexes, and other aspects of our felt psychology. Terrapsychology has developed a qualitative research methodology in use in higher ed.


Enchantivism is the name I’ve given to forms of storytelling - verbal, performative, artistic, etc. - that may start in rupture or injustice but expand to invite us into how things could be if we reimagine them together.


In your experience, what are some of the barriers or challenges individuals or communities face in developing a deeper connection with nature?


We are raised in cultures whose heavy industries turn nature into commodities and therefore educated to see the natural world as nothing more than a backdrop or resource. Many of us also come from hyper-individualistic cultures whose members feel narcissistically wounded when confronted with our interdependency with the natural world. Also, shaming people and bombarding us with depressing facts is less effective than inviting us to experience the sacred in the natural world.


How do you understand the importance of storytelling and imagination as a bridge in reconnection to the Earth?


Stories are what we navigate by. The tales we tell ourselves explain who we are, who other people are, what Earth is, what Spirit is. Change the story imaginatively and the actions, values, and norms change too. If we recover the ability to imagine together, we can create beautiful and inclusive new stories about how to live peacefully on Earth.


What are you looking forward to offering as a guide in the eco-spirituality certificate program?


Teachings and exercises from terrapsychology, enchantivism, ecotherapy, and my second PhD research topic on inspiration and fiction as a wisdom/spiritual path.


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