Species Loneliness and the Wood-Wide Web

This is an inspiring and hopeful time to be actively involved in work with nature. So many disciplines are coming together, seeking to develop a common language that can be used to describe and work with the many other-than-human-life forms and communities who coexist with us on earth.

One situation we humans are experiencing now is a general sense of what some scientists are calling species loneliness – the sense that we are separated and alone. Counterpointing this is a growing awareness of nature’s mutualism and the existence of what some scientists are calling the wood-wide web - several complex natural systems by which plants and trees communicate with each other over long distances.

Atala n Grandma

Connecting with Friends

For centuries the different disciplines who intersect with nature have tried hard to explain – or explain away – the experience many humans have of spontaneously connecting to, and communicating with, some aspect of the other-than-human world that co-exists with us.

Connection may be with an animal, plant, or intelligent being who looks shadowy because they are being seen through the veils of different frequencies or dimensions. These interactions frighten, intrigue or seem normal, depending on the orientation of the person experiencing the event.

Sphagnum Moss Being

One day, many years ago, as I was walking in the forest, a moss being spoke to me. He explained to me that sphagnum moss could be used to alleviate mental imbalances and Alzheimer’s. I researched his statements and learned that Native Americans use this plant to soothe mental stress. Years later I read a news article saying scientists had discovered this ability of that moss.

The nature being also told me that humanity was beginning to awaken, and to explore how to more authentically relate to nature. It would be when this relating got down to the microfungal level that real progress was being made.

We’ve reached this point in our scientists’ botanical knowledge. Many studies are being done of aspects of the mycorrhizal network that connects plants and trees and is part of a wood-wide web of communication. Books such as Underland by Robert Macfarlane and Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer describe the significance of this process.

Parallel to this burgeoning environmental knowledge are studies and dissertations being written by academicians in the fields of ecology, environmental law, religion, ethics and philosophy about the legal and moral rights of the other-than-human-life forms with whom we humans share earth.

New Animism

There is a revisiting of the animist traditions that exist as a substrata throughout history, mostly in traditional cultures and now being termed the new animism and the new Paganism.

The Handbook of Contemporary Animism edited by Oxford scholar Graham Harvey contains 581 pages of articles by scholars at educational facilities around the world. These scholars are studying conscious life forms who mutually sustain various collaborative societies. We humans are inherently a member of this vast collective - we are not alone - but we have forgotten this reality.

Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture is a scholarly peer-reviewed publication that carries cutting edge studies examining traditional cultures going back into antiquity who have animistic understandings of the cosmos that are far different from Western contemporary ones.

Other-Than-Human-Life Forms

Much of this work has been going on in isolation from each other but has burgeoned into such a large body of common discovery that connections between the disciplines are now being recognized.

Into all this exploration, I have been adding my own contributions. For over twenty years, I have been visually documenting these other-than-human-life forms – nature beings – who in their culture, in their dimension, choose to work with nature in a far different manner from what we humans do.

Nature beings are, and work with, the life force energy of the tree, plant, rock, water, air. Their society is as complex as our human one. Sometimes their work is manifested in living images in trees and rocks and this occurrence can be our human entry point into their realms.

Just Adjust Your Sight

Trees and rocks are life forms who exist in both realms; they have long been known as bridges between the worlds.

Images created in the nature realm can be seen in our realm, by observant humans. Digital photography has advanced to point of being able to record these images.

If you can accept the fact that these beings actually do exist, then you have energetically granted yourself permission to refocus your sight and recognize their images when they appear in a tree, rock, plant, water, fire, sky...

Seen here are some of the nature beings whose images, crafted in their realms, are seen in ours. You can visit my website and its visual encyclopedia to see more nature being manifestations. You can share your own images, and see those of people around the world, on my private Facebook group, Nature Beings Around the World.

May you walk in beauty,

Atala Toy


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