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Tag: wilderness

Worldwide Wilderness

A long, long time ago, when I still thought that Drupal would turn out be a good choice for a new website project, I founded Well, actually I found, because I didn’t know that ‘worldwide’ is spelled as one word. And, then I found, because I thought that hyphens in domain names are really cool—so cool, in fact, that I was on the Dashing Domains fanlist for years. Apart from all the hyphens, I still like the Worldwide Wilderness, so much so that I’ve recently been considering building an interactive map of all the remaining wilderness areas in the world under the brand.

Because of Rule 4—the rule of 4—I will not work on this idea any time soon, and the best way to get an idea out of my head is to put it on paper (of sorts): the idea is to have an interactive map of the world in which wilderness areas are marked according to the threats and protections that are present. Vetted specialist users should be able to amend this information and every site should include information about all the actions that concerned visitors can take to improve the protection of the wildernesses.

For archival purposes, below is the blurb I used to describe the project on

I’m a wild ape and civilization is a bad joke I didn’t get the punchline of. Somehow I’m supposed to be excited about all the freedom that my ancestors didn’t have because they were too busy staying alive. I have to be grateful for all the stuff that I can fill my life with in the absence of the struggle for survival. Instead of hunger and hungry predators we have gotten a pack of paper predators chasing us through life. The whole pack is being digitized so that we can run even faster.

Constantly, I feel threatened, because I am supposed to feel threatened for things that are simply not threatening, no matter how you turn them around or blow them out of proportion. As a social animal, nog taking these “threats” serious does feel seriously threatening to my social status. But I’m taking my chances. Fuck you and your self-imposed cages! I do not agree to be lifestock. I claim the right to be the wild animal that I will be regardless of your (and my) attempts to control me.

Self-control is a delusion. Self-improvement is masturbation. Because who would be doing the controlling and who would be doing the improving? Not me, that’s for sure.

Hi, My name is Witchbane and I like witches

2017-12-30: The below post was my first post on, a project I abandoned in the form it was then intended to take: a series of blog posts and hopefully videos to enthusias young people about wilderness. Here, for posterity’s sake…

My name is Rowan. The Rowan tree is a common tree carrying small red berries of a bitter taste. Because the tree got ascribed many magical properties in the past, it used to be planted in front of farms as a protective from witches and other evil things. Hence, the old folk name witchbane. Myself, I can better identify with another folkloric name for this tree: witch wood. Druids used to lean on their witch wood staffs for support and power. Similarly, I want to support the growth of a new generation of witches by promoting the world of wilderness.

The Rowan Tree: From the misty coils of morning / there rises on the hill / In hesitating sunlight / and tendrils clinging still / Crowned it is, for power / and magic drapes its lee / In all the hues that red may show / the Rowan-berry tree

The Rowan Tree: From the misty coils of morning / there rises on the hill / In hesitating sunlight / and tendrils clinging still / Crowned it is, for power / and magic drapes its lee / In all the hues that red may show / the Rowan-berry tree

Witches to me are a symbol of unkempt wilderness, their repression a symbol of the illusion of the tamability of our wild nature. When I think of witches, I think of women—of course, enough witches are men but, as a male, I prefer to think of witches as (preferably sparsely-clad and sexy) females—women who live in the periphery of our neatly combed culture, beyond the edge of our cultivated fields and forests, in the realm of the unknown where they’re performing their unfamiliar rites and rituals.

Different and deviating from the known, witches are repressed, because, for long, there has been just one right way to think about and to perceive the world in which we live. But, the world has been shrinking lately. Also, increasingly, time has been compressed and we’ve been shown that people have lived long before us, all of them in different ways. We’ve even been shown that some people are still living independently from the authoritarian belief structures which we’ve built. The evidence against the divinity of our species keeps piling up and it gets harder and harder to keep believing that anyone’s particular version of what is right and what is wrong is correct.

In the right time, Darwin would have been a witch. In this time, to many, I am also a witch because my relation with wilderness is not sterile. You could even call it dirty. It’s an unhygienic blood bond, overgrown with mosses and fungi, a link rooted in ancient times which ought to not even have existed.

Luckily, in this time, there are many who feel that witches are o.k. There are many witches too. So many, that soon they’ll disappear. Soon, we’ll all be witches. According to some, soon, the exploration of the unknown will (have to) move from the periphery to the mainstream. To make this a little sooner, I’m going to convince you that embracing the wilderness within and around us is stimulating and exciting. Yes, exciting! Better prepare yourself for some barely-clad, sexy hexes whom are waking up wilderness together.

And now for one of those sexy witches: (You can look safely; the witch wood wizard’s staff is carefully covered with a cloth.

Rowan is moving sand from point A because he want more flowers at point B

Rowan is moving sand from point A because he want more flowers at point B: The photograph is courtesy of and copyrighted by Jeroen Dekker, 2007


2018-01-03. The below was originally published by Myrna on I copied it here while discontinuing that site in its current form.

The deepest love of my life is the World on which we live.
She gave us all we have in her abundance, she will take us back into her bosom, into her breath, at the end of our lives and make us into yet another of her creations.
She deserves our love and respect; our fear and disregard of her are clearly harmful to her and ourselves.

The disconnect that is caused by our way of (not) looking at the World begets so many of the problems that we can observe around us.
The fear of people for our Earth has its roots in a fundamental misunderstanding of her nature, mistakingly thinking of Wilderness as destructive, dangerous and brutal in her untamed state. The fear has scared out of our heads the understanding that this is just one side of the duality, overshadowing the positive and creative, which lies not only at the opposite of the destructive side, but is also to be found within it.
My understanding of Wilderness is of resillience and strenght, because in that, both priciples are recognized. I often take pictures of mushrooms, flowers and insects on the roadside or in the middle of the city. It proves to me the power of Nature to incorporate and generate even in the most difficult circumstances.
My preference for taking pictures of mushrooms also stems from this idea. A thing as beautiful and special as a mushroom (remember that it does not need it’s possible bright colours to attract insects for polination or anything else …) can only grow where there is dead material to feed on.
This is also why I love taking pictures at my father’s place. Fifteen years ago it was a spotless garden and three meadows, and now, after much digging, piling, planting and pulling down trees, it has become a piece of Wilderness akin to my idea of paradise, where rare flowers and animals can be found. All that can be seen there depends on something else to die or live for its own journey through life, into death. Without use of massive amounts of dead plant and tree material it is a long and arduous task to stimulate the growth of new life, patiently waiting for Nature itself to undertake the task of accumulating the wealth of death on which to grow.

Seeing these things, and taking part in helping them along, has taught me some of the most important things that I now know about the power of the Wilderness that brought fourth a species as strange as us humans. It has also given me the precious insight that this Wilderness lives on inside of us, its creatures, with both its destructive and creative sides showing in our actions. Accepting the dominance of Wilderness in our creation makes it easier to understand our dual nature, and steer away from the emphasis on our destructive side that is so prevalent in our current culture of fear.

Recognizing, accepting and dealing with this fear should, in my view, be the main priority of our culture in the decades to come. Stimulating this in myself and others is the main motivation in everything that I do. The sight of the Earth and her human inhabitants recoiling from each other in horror is one that I long to replace by a rapt fascination for everything that is and shares our World, and through that, have all conciousness around us marvel at the beauty and wholeness of us as a part of this marvellous creation that is our World.

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