The Family of Things

Event Details

Date: Saturday, October 18th, 2008
Time: 12:01 PM- 12:01 PM

The Family of Things

Reconcilation and Relationship with the Natural World

with Donato Thomas Jaggers and Sage Magdalene


…Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

Wild Geese

~ Mary Oliver


In a technological, time-crunched world, many of us struggle to find meaningful ways to relate to our own humanity, our fellow brothers and sisters, and to find a meaningful and balanced relationship with the earth and the more-than-human world. How might we learn to move beyond a worldview in which other people’s cultures and lives are somehow less than our own? How might we learn to move beyond a worldview in which nature consists of products to be reaped, mined, and utilized for human commerce and consumption, or serves as a mere playground for escape from the stress of our working lives and the intensity of the daily news?

In this experiential nature-based workshop we will open our eyes to the separation from nature and from our own humanity so prevalent in our society, and begin the process of reconciliation with our past and present actions and attitudes. We will begin to engage in cooperative conversation with the natural world, moving toward an experience of belonging to the family of things, exploring respectful relationship with all that exists, including each other, non-human species, and the land itself.



Donato Thomas Jaggers is the Academy’s Associate Director and Special Assistant to Aaron Stern. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology. An experienced teacher, editor and translator, he is also a member of the Academy’s facilitation team.

Sage Magdalene supports the Academy in developing and deepening sacred relationship with nature. Trained in mathematics and science and experienced as an inner city educator, she holds a deep commitment to listening to all voices, especially those of the more-than-human world: plants, animals, mountains, stars, rivers, Moon, oceans, and Earth herself. Her human teachers include nature-based soul guides, Bill Plotkin and Geneen Marie Haugen. The natural world is her greatest teacher and she guides others in attending to the wisdom available where the human meets the wild.



This workshop is part of the Rites of Passage Series

In times of great change it is necessary to practice and perfect the skill of letting go of the old and opening to the new. However, in our culture we are taught the opposite – to hold on at all cost. We are unskilled in one of the most basic human processes: learning to let ourselves die to new life. Yet, collectively, we are being swept forcefully into the death of our current unsustainable paradigm and the birth of something new.

The Academy’s Rites of Passage Series will help us develop the capacities and practices that will reconcile and loosen our holding patterns, by delving deeply into life passages — including death and dying, gender reconciliation, self-renewal and reflection and our roles in social change. These ceremonies and explorations will give passage to deeper levels of our humanity and guide us into ways of honoring the past while inviting new ways of being and doing. Each season we will be introducing new courses and trainings designed to guide us through these passages of death and rebirth, transforming our selves and therefore our worlds.

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