Thursday, January 31, 2008
Interview with Glenys Livingstone, author of PaGaian Cosmology
A new online friend and author, Glenys Livingstone, has created this page on her website: PaGaian Cosmology: One Garden at a Time. She is the author of PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion, which "brings together a religious practice of seasonal ritual based in a contemporary scientific sense of the cosmos and female imagery for the Sacred."
I interviewed Dr. Livingstone via email (she lives on the other side of the planet from me!), and here is what she had to say.
CD: Where do you get your inspiration for your writing?
GL: Mostly from sitting still. I find that when I meditate, the Well of Creativity gets very active. I am in the habit of taking pen and paper with me to sitting on my cushion ... I had to do it for my doctoral research, since this was one of my methods: I had to note what was happening. So I still do, though I don’t have to write so much thankfully, and I have less desire to note it all anyway. Still, I usually come away from meditation with a list of notes. For me it all centres around the Seasonal wheel, and my ritual celebration of the whole cycle. I start preparing for a Sabbat ritual 3-4 weeks before and it takes about 2 weeks to wind down ... that’s 40 weeks or so occupied with how Creativity proceeds right there. And that is mostly what I write about. That has been my Pathway.
CD: Do you have a garden? What do you grow?
GL: I mostly grow roses these days – and some herbs, and I am only just learning about that! My partner does most of the food growing – including mostly making soil right now. I have done vegetable gardens at times myself, and certainly participate in what my partner does. We grow tomatoes, green beans, lettuce, chillis, beetroots and chard. The herbs I grow are parsley, coriander, mint, oregano, and marjoram. We also have a small fruit bush that is quite abundant, but I can’t remember its name. The possums love it too. The garden is a work in progress at the moment. We await the maturing of some soil plots and worm activity, and the construction of cob walled garden beds, as well as getting the three chooks contained. The three chooks are doing a good job of digging it all up right now .. they are like tractors! So I guess we grow eggs ... they lay well and are probably the happiest chooks on the planet – completely spoilt.
CD: Do you have a favorite simple ritual for attuning with the earth?
GL: Well my whole Path is built around that, aligning myself with the Earth-Sun relationship. And it's all quite elaborate. The simplest thing I suppose is walking. We gave up our car 5 years ago, and started doing a lot more walking. We became car(e)free as my partner said. It is a very different reality ... I notice the plants, the flowers and a lot more besides. Walking up town (its about a half hour walk) can sort a lot of things out.
CD: What are you working on now?
GL: I write articles and teach classes. We are building new ritual space in the backyard this year and creating new classes, and coming up to speed with technology. We are creating some videos of the rituals to put on-line. I want to write a new version of my book PaGaian Cosmology. I am also becoming a grandmother – with a one year old already, and more on the way. I am always “working on” my relationship with my beloved partner ... spending time together. That’s where I learn a lot about relationship in general ... and that’s what its all about I think.
GL: What do you think is our hope for healing on the planet?
GL: Learning to care more. Whatever it is that makes you care more. And I like to write it with a capital actually ... Care. It is a Power of the Universe, and what I think the Universe is ultimately on about. Sometimes that takes drastic measures, to open a heart. Sometimes it might simply mean slowing down. I think there is an enormous amount of goodness and intelligence and creativity already making a huge difference on the grassroots level. It is not on the 6 o’clock news – but it is happening. A lot of people do Care, and do their best everyday. I guess that is the other thing: how the story is told ... one can tell it how one wishes. So I think storytelling is very important – how we speak it, spell it. That will be the reality we co-create, that will be the world one lives in.
To learn more about Glenys' work and her book, PaGaian Cosmology, visit her website, http://pagaian.org.
Written by Clea Danaan
Clea Danaan grew up in the Pacific Northwest; she now lives in Colorado. she is the author of five books relating to nature-centered spirituality and natural family living. She writes about nature mysticism, chickens, homeschooling, permaculture, and more. Her books have been published in more than six countries and translated into several languages, including French and German.