Web-of-Life

“Our culture will go vegan, transform, and flourish, or it will continue brutalizing animals, humans, and the earth to its self destruction. We are not the only species on this planet, and we cannot continue to usurp the wisdom of the web of life here.”
— Will Tuttle
Photographed by Hof Butenland Farm Sanctuary. (Don’t delete caption)

Honor the Tree People. You can burn copal resin, the blood of trees, to honor the Tree People for providing our first breath, which is spirit, and to call upon the ancestral spirits for their oversight, insight, and protection. 

“Trees are our closest relatives. What we exhale, they inhale. This is a constant relationship that no one can afford to live without.” —Sadhguru

Teach your children what we have taught our children - that the Earth is our Mother. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons and daughters of the Earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. This we know. The Earth does not belong to us, we belong to the Earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood that unites one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons and daughters of the Earth. We did not weave the web of life; We are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the Web, We do to ourselves.

~ Web Of Life , Chief Seattle 

I want to reinstate a respect for soil. We must touch the soil. How many times do we touch our mobile phone every day? Maybe 100 times. How many times do we touch the soil? Hardly ever. We must give dignity to peasants, farmers and gardeners.

We are all part of this healthy web of life maintained by soil. The Latin word humus means soil. The words human, humility and humus all come from the same root. When humans lose contact with soil, they are no longer humans.

—  Satish Kumar, “The Link Between Soil, Soul and Society
The practice of shamanism is intimately personal and unique to every individual practitioner. No places, cultures, or peoples own these universal energies or the practices that access them. Animism, the Web of Life, Spirit, and sacredness are omnipresent; they are everything, in everything, and belong to everyone. Your personal, homemade, Spirit-directed ceremony can be just as effective as a traditional cultural ceremony when practiced with heart, focus, energy, and right intention. To effectively practice shamanism in our culture and modern environment we need only wake up to our awareness of self, life-force, energy, and Spirit; reap the rich experiences available to us right here, right now; and make a difference in the world around us.
—  Colleen Deatsman, Seeing in the Dark: Claim Your Own Shamanic Power Now and in the Coming Age

Spotted salamanders and green algae make for an odd couple, but they share a close bond that begins when the algae start growing in the salamander’s egg. Just because it’s an intimate arrangement, though, doesn’t mean it goes smoothly for both parties, a new study by Museum scientists shows. While salamanders seem to take the connection in stride, it leaves algae cells struggling to get by. 

This rare “cellular roommate” relationship between two very different species—which you can learn about in this episode of the Museum’s Shelf Life web series—has intrigued scientists for decades. That’s in part because, while algae are known to form similar relationships with invertebrates like corals and cicadas, this is the only algae symbiosis that involves a vertebrate species.

“Science shows us the many ways that life is interconnected, especially on the microscopic level, where we see how many organisms depend on close contact with or internalization of other species for food, defense, or reproduction,” said lead author John Burns, a postdoctoral researcher in the Museum’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology. “But the relationship between this particular alga and salamander is very unusual.”

Read more about this research on the Museum’s blog.