Wild Minds Podcast logo

Episode 21:
Indigenous Spirituality

Guest: Angharad Wynne


Marina Robb

Hosted by: Marina Robb

Angharad Wynne

Angharad Wynne

Angharad Wynne is a writer and storyteller, a place-maker and heritage specialist with over 25 years of experience in the field, working both within Wales, in the UK, Ireland and US. She is also a writer, speaker and retreat and expedition leader.

Angharad has spent much of her life exploring the landscapes and lore of this land. Since childhood, she has followed her feet along pathways back through the portals of ancient myth, folklore, history, song and poetry of Britain, and particularly of her native Wales.

Today, she draws together the fragments of our tradition, that can help guide and sustain a living spiritual practice, connected to this land and her creatures. She shares her learning and explores understanding and contemporary practice through retreats, storytelling gatherings, ceremony, dreaming circles, writings and pilgrimages. These are conceived as radical acts of re-membering our soulful, deep humanity and re-weaving ourselves back into fully engaged participation within the web of life.

Angharad is a published poet and writer, a storyteller, speaker, teacher and expedition leader.

She is the founder of Dreaming the Land and Animate Earth Collective and leads Dadeni, a three year programme exploring the native spiritual traditions and practices of the British Isles.

In this episode, We dive into:

  • Indigenous Spirituality from this land.
  • The superpower of vulnerability
  • What arises from the connection between people and place?
  • Experiencing the world as inspirited.
  • What is sacred reciprocity?
  • The need for mythos and logos.
  • Honouring our known sense of connection.
  • What does the Winter Solstice mean to us and our ancestors?
  • A message of forgiveness, peace and caring for the other.
  • What are we committing to with the returning light!

Music by Geoff Robb: www.geoffrobb.com 


For further information visit:

Magical and mythic programs and spiritual adventures in the wild www.dreamingtheland.com

A three year program of enquiry into the native spiritual traditions of Britain: www.dadeni.org

Talks, courses, events and resources to help remember a world that is alive and ensouled, an animate Earth where everything has place, purpose and meaning, and all life is sacred. www.animate-earth.org/

INSTAGRAM @dreamingtheland
FACEBOOK: dreamingtheland

You may also like....

Subscribe to listen to your favorite episodes!


The Outdoor Teacher Ltd owns the copyright in and to all content in and transcripts of The Wild Mind Podcasts, with all rights reserved, including right of publicity.

You are welcome to share an excerpt from the episode transcript (up to 500 words but not more) in media articles, in a non-commercial article or blog post, and/or on a personal social media account for non-commercial purposes, provided that you include proper attribution and link back to the podcast URL. For the sake of clarity, media outlets with advertising models are permitted to use excerpts from the transcript per the above.

No one is authorized to copy any portion of the podcast content or use Marina Robb's name, image or likeness for any commercial purpose or use, including without limitation inclusion in any books, e-books, book summaries or synopses, or on a commercial website or social media site (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) that offers or promotes your or another’s products or services. 

(transcribed by AI so there maybe some small errors!)

Marina Robb: Hello, and welcome to the Wild Minds Podcast for people interested in health, nature based therapy and learning. We explore cutting edge approaches that help us improve our relationship with ourselves, others and the natural world. My name is Marina Robb, I'm an author, entrepreneur, Forest School outdoor learning and nature based trainer and consultant, and pioneer in developing green programs for the health service in the UK. You're listening to Episode 21 indigenous spirituality. For this episode, my guest today is an Harrowed when a published poet and writer, a storyteller speaker, teacher and expedition leader, she is also founder of dreaming the land and animate Earth collective.

In this episode on Christmas Day, we go on an ancient journey through time of myth, folklore and spirituality of pre-christian Britain. We explore animistic philosophy, and we have a deep and wholehearted conversation, and I am sure you will enjoy it. So, welcome to the Wild Minds Podcast. I'm very grateful to be here speaking with you. Angharad particularly, would love to start with some gratitude. And before I came on air, I was really thinking about that I'm grateful, actually for the possibility of making mistakes. And actually, beginning and being honest, sometimes about my own limitations. And I'm always, and it's a deep thing for me to have the belief that there are people out there that can love me when I can't love myself.

So, yeah, I wanted to start with and I appreciate that's quite a, that's quite a dive already. But it felt important to me to remember that and to be really grateful. Grateful for that. And would you be happy to share some gratitude?

Angharad Wynne: Absolutely. Add to that, actually, I have found in my life that exactly what you've just shown gratitude for is actually a superpower. It takes us to a place of vulnerability. And I think vulnerability is human blue. It's where we find connection. So I think the capacity that we have to be vulnerable to say, we don't always have the answers. That's where we can really build strong foundations for the future for. So yeah, really great gratitude for that.

Marina Robb: Yeah, Thank you, gosh, to already think about vulnerability, and it makes me think about forgiveness, because I'm hoping all being well that this podcast will come out on Christmas Day. And that feels really significant. And I wonder, one of the great hopes for me to be able to talk to you today is to think a little bit about spirituality, and to think about what that means on this land. And people talk about indigenous. Well, they use the word indigenous, and I don't think that's necessarily a word that everybody understands, or everybody has different, you know, will put different meanings upon. But I'm wondering for you, are you able to share a bit about what indigenous spirituality may mean for you and for this land, and we might need to even think about what This land is but yeah, would you mind starting with that?

Angharad Wynne: Let's start with that word to begin with. It's a very hot word. And it's one of those words that has become problematic and that it's almost it's becoming broad in its meaning. And yeah, and also controversial in many ways, because in some some areas it's been, it's been used to exclude as much as to embrace, you know, in its original meaning it essentially means of this land of this place. And, of course, you know, being Welsh, in the true sense of the word, yes, I'm indigenous to Wales, in as far as I know, my family stretching back on both sides go back for a very very long time. In a small patch of land in south west Wales, we traced them back to the 17th century and beyond, in this area, and I've just moved back to the area which feels great, all my molecules have very much soothed being in relationship to this birth land, deep rootedness.

But the spirituality, the land, the indigenous spirituality, the land everywhere, has layers upon layers of story. And it has layers and layers of history, high story. And layers and layers of I Sense. Same as we have somatic sense, since we hold our somatic history within our bodies, so too does the land, it holds the energy of all things that have happened to it, its geology, shapes, everything. And within that there is spirituality. But of course, when we start to talk about spirituality, we're talking about the relationship between people. And that place, how we've responded to it, how we've listened to it, the stories that have emerged from that place the spirituality, in a way, the inspiration, I suppose, to have wonder for that land,  to honor it, to be with it, to be in relationship with it that has arisen from that place. And here in this corner of this land, you know, we we talk with the Welsh language, we we we always think that the land gave us that language, the sounds of the language coming from the land, and the same for the stories we believe the stories come from, from the land. And that's a very, very old belief.

But that's, we're at a time now, where there is far greater mobility in populations than has ever, ever been before. And one of the biggest questions that the most commonly asked question that I come across in the work that I do is, I'm not from this place, can I connect to this land? Am I allowed to? And my answer is always yes, of course you are. We are called, I think, to respond and connect to the land that we find ourselves on. And I've never come across a patch of land that has gone though bugger off, I'm not interested in having a relationship with with you. Not not in any, any sensible way. And so my I fit that my work in I have the I've been lucky, if you like we're all different, I was lucky to grow up with a real sense of rootedness from growing up in one place and a deep sense of that land and connection to that land. And so I have some tools and my work is to offer those tools to anybody who wants to know so that they can develop a relationship with that land because ultimately, that deep connection that bond between humanity and the land in which we stand. And the love that we can develop for that is what will turn the tide in the ecological disaster that we're heading into. If we don't, if we can't fall in love with the land and with creation around us. We cannot care for it. And, you know, one of the things that indigenous tribes across the world say A they feel themselves Guardians of the land in a very potent way because not because of dint of birth, but because of this deep connection, and the deep love that inspires them to be to be guardians, they cannot be anything but guardians, not just of their piece of land, but to speak up for, for for nature for creation as a whole.

Marina Robb: Can I ask you about these tools, because I'm wondering about how we, we build those tools in a way. And I'm also wondering about if those tools are in some way universal, because in your description, in your beautiful description of that kind of intimacy with a place in that relationship with a place and how that fosters where you use the word inspiration, and no doubt many other things. Would you say that there are common tools in order to build this spirituality, this living, sense, body sense, perhaps of love?

Angharad Wynne: Yes. And I think they are found in spiritual traditions all across the world, especially very early spiritual traditions which are animist in their nature. As the know if we look at the Pythonic tradition here that the tradition of Britain and its earliest form, like most spirituality, it arises from that early and very primal connection between people in place, it's very animist, it's a sense of seeing the whole world as in spirited as a life, all of creation as and ourselves as being an intimate and very vital relationship with all things. So across the world, there are practices from sitting, being in nature from making offerings, from honoring, from looking at what it is to consider a place sacred. What does it mean, to make sacred now, my sense of that is, as human beings, it's very difficult for us to go about our daily lives, with a sense of the whole world is sacred. So what we have done since time out of mind is to make proxies make certain places that maybe have a special energy about them.

We've enhanced that by making it a place of pilgrimage by making it a place where we go to make offerings, by honoring that place and understanding it as sacred and becomes a proxy for the whole of creation. What does it mean in this day and age to do to go back and do these practices, things like sitting on the land overnight, sitting in vigil, patch, fundamentally changes our our experience of place, to spend a whole night with it, and in a time which we are different chemically, we are going through different processes, we're not designed to be awake through the night. And of course, the night is not a realm that we are, we tend to be alive and awaken. We are guests very much guests, in that night time, of landscape and creation. Whereas we are much more at home in the daylight. And the vulnerability coming back to vulnerability again, the vulnerability that opens up, spending a night out, awake through the night in nature, it opens to a deeper connection. So there are all these practices that we find in traditions across the world, the Platonic tradition, because it's, it is so fragmented. You know, we have 2000 years of Christianity that has fundamentally changed how we think of ritual and ceremony, how we relate to place into into life, but more strongly than that, we've got 300 years since kind of the, the time of the Enlightenment and the separation, that kind of rationalization of everything that everything can be broken down to the sum of its parts, everything mechanistic in some way.

Here in the West, we are somewhat separated. So the Masonic tradition, it's in a we only have tiny fragments left through the mythology, the poetry, the traditions that are left down to us. But what we can do and what you know, I found found great generosity from peoples across the world sharing their own traditions. And to be curious then about ah that practice keeps turning up and all this must have value. So what would that have been? What would it be like for us to try that within the context of this land and this place? And even before we get to those practices, there is that thing of sitting and listening to the land, researching it understanding its history, its story, looking at what grows there, the plant life is telling us about it, what does it want to verse, how can we be in this place without without trashing it? I suppose, how can we be with it? And so yeah.

Marina Robb: So, I've been thinking about sacred reciprocity. And wondering about when you use this word offerings, number of things come up for me around that. One is that, you know, on a very simple way, when we're doing some nature based practice with children in the woods, we'll often get them to take a little bird seed before we're going to cut a willow, because they're going to use the willow to make some craft. And it's, I suppose that's a very, for me quite an approachable way of thinking about an offering about saying, thank you that I'm going to take something. And I'm going to remember that actually, if I didn't take that thing, that perhaps that Willow would grow to a big old tree, but actually, I'm going to be, you know, cutting it Flyff short, because of something that I'm taking, and I don't even, I wouldn't even say all those words, necessarily, but it's that act.

So this sacred reciprocity, I've been thinking about that in terms of the practical the every day, but also this feeling about giving, what we can give, whether it's to the land, to support the land thrive, or to a fellow human, you know, there's giving rather than what I can receive. And it seems to me from what you're talking about already, and perhaps that goes way back in our history, this real, embodied, understanding that we are receiving, we're in receipt, and this sense of remit really remembering that, you know, trying to remember that, and maybe we have these offerings, perhaps you'll talk a little bit about that within some of the traditions that you are more familiar with, but I'm thinking about offerings like singing, or dance, or I don't know, there must be many ways to remind us to remember that we are, in a way, always receiving something. And I wonder whether that's something that has broken us and I don't know about the enlightenment, how that fits into the history yet, you know, perhaps we'll get to that. But just something happened, definitely something has happened, where we're not really aware of what we're receiving anymore. We're just taking,

Angharad Wynne: You know, we started this podcast with an act of gratitude. And that in itself, energetically, is an offering. It's a piece of recognition. Let's look at you know, the the body of mythology that we have here in Britain. And it's, you know, the same principles apply to the mythology and the folklore, tradition, folklore, folkloric traditions of across the world. Fundamentally, the law, that LORE that is contained and enshrined within that body that has been handed down to us by generations because they understood that the next generation needed that guidance is about maintaining balance. It's about maintaining balance between humans, between neighbors, between the masculine and the feminine, between humanity and nature, so not taking more than we give and between humanity and the other world.

So the ancestors and the spirits of place. So when we look at fairy tales very often, you know how we interact with the truth tag in the Pythonic tradition, the fairies, proper interaction with the other world proper respect for all beings is enshrined in all that mythology. And we've forgotten that we fundamentally forgotten that as soon as we lost an understanding that there is consciousness in all living beings, just as we have consciousness, even though it might look and feel different. It gave us permission to take without maintaining balance. And some, you know, some people have have suggested that one of the reasons why we are in such great malaise as humanity right now, is that because we have taken so much and given so little back, that we have a burden, and that burden is like, it's like guilt upon our shoulders. And it's really weighing us down. So it feels as if there's a lot of work to be done.

You know, I'm not sure if we never address that. But my sense is, is that every time I take a handful of votes or birdseed, or I sit with a tree, and I sing to it, likes it or not, it doesn't matter. I'm offering something of myself, I'm saying I really appreciate I know myself to be in connection with all of you. And I know that that I need to support this, this balance, I'm giving what I can. I'm giving what I can't do in this moment. And James Hillman has a lovely thing that he said in one of his lectures, got back by probably the 80s I think he thought that humanity had been given the wrong Latin term homosapiens he thought that we should be home appreciate Artus because that's fundamentally one of the things that we are designed to do we wield metaphor.

Naturally, we're story makers. He sensed his his opinion was the part of our reason for being on this earth was to offer appreciation back to it. Because we we are a conduit for appreciation we can, we can be awestruck. We have the capacity to be awestruck. But we tend to hoard that to ourselves, we tend to take the photo of the landscape, and and hoard that just as Oh, we've been awestruck, instead of actually part of that or part of what was up in me needs to be communicated back and offered back in praise poetry, or in song or an offering, or simply just in a moment of acknowledgement, with all creation, because it's phenomenal. It's phenomenal that we live on this amazing blue planet, in the middle of this huge galaxy, when life has unfolded, and life wants nothing more than more life, you know, we have there is there is within life, an intrinsic yearning for more life. And so whatever we can do as human beings to support that more life is I think, partially what we're here to do. 

Marina Robb: So I'd like to explore what may have led us to be so radically disconnected from this animistic worldview.

Angharad Wynne: I think we began life, we've begun our existence, you know, or at least very much of our existence, we have been hunter gatherers. For the vast majority of humanity on Earth, we have been hunter gatherers, which by its very nature has to be in deep relationship, and with a deep and profound knowledge of the natural world around us. As soon as we became farmers, that relationship changed because we started to husband nature. And the suggestion from the archaeology and the evidence we have is that we were a bit ambivalent about farming. We adopted it and it spread very slowly, actually. And then there were times here in Britain when we rejected it, and we went back. We tried to go back to the early ways because presumably we preferred it and there was less risk because if you're crops failed, you know, that you were done for whereas if you had knowledge of where the roots were, where the bounty of nature was, and what to hunt when, and you kept it in manageable, you didn't collect more than you needed, then it was a pretty good life as a hunter gatherer.

And then, of course, you know, we travelled down the ages, and the relationship with nature changes when we hit 2000 years ago, and the time of Christianity, and I really don't want to make this a blame thing at all. Because I think what we have is a misinterpretation, possibly. There's that line in Genesis, And God gave man dominion over all the creatures of the world, and all of creation. Now, some Hebrew scholars have suggested that that word dominion, it's not necessarily a good translation, or even an accurate translation, it only requires the dots above the Hebrew word to be slightly different or slightly differently read, for it to mean something more aligned to care of the natural world. And again, that's, it's not the fault of the text. It's what we as humans then do with that interpretation. And, of course, what we do is that we take the interpretation of dominion over. And it gives us carte blanche to do things that many, many years before that we wouldn't have dreamed of doing, to nature, to natural world, to our fellow kin, animals. It sets the scene for what later becomes an increasing use of the resources of the natural world of creation.

Without any giving back. Our hunter gatherer ancestors, were very careful to maintain balance. And even now in hunter gatherer societies, there is so much ceremony or before going hunting, and then when the quarry is brought back in, and when it's killed, there's so much ceremony and gratitude that  there is an exchange of energy. We've totally forgotten that. I've heard people talk about some of the malaise of humanity at this moment in time being because we are so out of kilter, if we just think about the amount of let's just say, just the animals that are killed, to put food on our plates, we consume far more meat than we ever, ever have, whatever we're designed to do. And of course, we do that without propitiation, we do that without giving gratitude or doing any ceremonies. So there's a we are very much out of whack, with a whole balance, energetic balance of creation. Take it step further. And we get to the enlightenment and when everything the scientists strip soul out of the universe, completely, and we're down to the building blocks, the chemistry, the physics, in the bare essentials, the very rational. And what's interesting, of course, in the last 50 years in particular, is that scientists are now going back and redressing the balance and actually realizing that without talking about consciousness, and without talking about God, particles and things, science doesn't work. But there is something more that they are edging towards, which continually brings us back to a very old indigenous worldview, of the aliveness and their consciousness that is inherent in creation.

Marina Robb: I remember hearing you talk about the idea or the reality that in that period of time, and now we see something like the dog as as a such a sum of its parts, you know, the anatomical features of a dog, and that's how we kind of relate to a dog. But of course, we also have this emotional relationship to the dog. Could you just speak a little bit about that?

Angharad Wynne: Yeah, sure. I think I was speaking about The Enlightenment and some very horrific experiments went on with dogs and with other animals during that time, because they didn't believe that they had a capacity for feeling or any sentience, I suppose they would be anatomically take taken apart. And they were understood. You know, say for example, a dog was understood as the sum of its part, its bones, its flesh, its muscles, its tissues, its sinews, its brain, its in its, but of course, that can't explain. And this is where the enlightenment and its science falls down, is it can't explain what any dog owner knows, when you look into your dog's eyes and the dog is looking back at you that there is connection there that there is what we would describe as love. There, there is sentience, there, there's a consciousness at work that seems to want to live, it wants more life. And scientists looking at these things. And now understanding that one of the principles of life is that life wants more life. And that we can understand this as well, on a very primal level, we have so much in common with the natural world, if you hear an animal in its in its death throes wanting to live.

We fundamentally as human beings understand that there's a connection between us we understand that it's, it wants, it wants to live, as do we, and that it has a consciousness, and that I propose and you know, an animus for view would propose extends to other living things as well. So the same thing for a tree. Just because the consciousness of a tree is not like mind, it doesn't mean that it has no consciousness. You know, and increasingly, we know about how trees have their own communities, and how they look after their own community, how they communicate within those communities. But just because we don't share a language doesn't mean that we can't be in communion with each other. There's a very beautiful African word called surety, the word surety, that Colin Campbell who I've worked with quite a lot, he taught me and it's about that sense of beingness, the very beingness of a tree to be in its presence with that great presence of a tree to be in with its facility. And I suppose in the Welsh language, the closest we have is amnion.

It's the Beingness it's the nature of something. And we also understand that, that you and I can be of the same amnion we can kind of be of the same nature kind of of the same mind, but the tree and I can be the same amnion as well. And language is important, I think, when we're exploring these things, one of the things that old languages such as the Welsh language have is that it terms everything as a he or she so it's not an it's we don't have an it's, we don't have an IT in the Welsh language. English is different. Most things are in the world, in the English language. And that I think impoverished is it strips out an easily easily easy way of thinking, and languaging how we can be in relationship with the natural world. And I think it's something that, you know, I'm very keen that in the groups that I work with, we are keen to try and find language, re language, some of the experiences that we feel we have, because they have dropped out of largely of the English language.

Marina Robb: And I'm forever curious about you know, how it has dropped out when I think of a whole history when you go back to like the Greeks and this sense of incredible stories of gods and goddesses that from somebody that's not very schooled in that I listened to it and it sounds very, very fantastical. And yet, it's from the Greeks that we've had deep thought and philosophy and and there seems to be this kind of in the modern world is kind of it's hard to sit with both and yet, because one, one almost like the scientific paradigm is almost seen as more real than the imaginative world. And I know I mean, I've had the privilege of listening to you tell stories, and I know that you're immersed and have so much knowledge about all these things. Would you also share a little bit about that as well like, these differences?

Angharad Wynne: Yeah, so the, some of the Greek philosophers, they have this idea that for human beings to be balanced in their way of, of being and conceiving of the world, they had to walk a path with one foot equally in mythos, and one foot equally in Logos. So one in lot one in logical the rationality of life and the other one in mythos and the mythopoetic, in the deeper soulful, aspects of life. And of course, in the Western world, we tend to live and value the rational and discount, the mythopoetic, the mythic the aspects of the deep aspects, the soulful aspects of life, the poetics of life, if you like. And yet, when we when I, it's how I experienced the world. And this is my truth, of course, and this comes from my life. And I suppose my experience of living with land and with story with myth is that creation is constantly in communication with us. Most people listening, I suspect, today will be able to identify a moment in their life where either they knew something was about to happen, or they were in extremists in some way.

And a bird flew and landed by them, or a cat just came up, rubbed against their legs out of nowhere, or there was some interaction that seemed extraordinary and out of the ordinary at a particularly important or poignant moment of life. And so my sense is, is that the universe creation is speaking back to us. We are in conversation all the time, but we miss it. Because we miss the fact that it's speaking to us in metaphors and poetry, essentially. And that poetry comes in the forms of beings that cross our path, rainbows appearing in the sky, butterflies, clouds, or butterflies arriving around us, just at a particular moment. And if you're not attuned to noticing these things, I think the conversation, lessons and gradually, if nobody's isn't, if somebody isn't listening, it can't be heard and the conversation dwindles. But as soon as you start to be open to the possibility of conversation of this mythos in your life, the conversation becomes louder again, you begin to notice it, and it becomes fascinating and engaging, and somehow, life simply becomes richer.

Marina Robb: I mean, I love that. And I love that. The many, many experiences I've had both personally as an adult, but also working with young people, in particularly the early years, how there's just this such a natural conversation that seems to be happening, when you're playing in a puddle, or when you're, I don't know, sitting under a tree and the raindrops fall on your face. And this this kind of conversation that keeps happening that seems so real and responsive. And it does feel that as we often get older, we do miss these things, and we lose this attunement and where we stay with this, what we can touch and see and hold and objectify rather than the possibility the imagination and yeah, I think it's such a an important aspect of what it is to be human that we seem to, in many ways, at least in the world that I've grown up in, don't value as you say,

Angharad Wynne: One of the most profound things that happens in groups and communities that I work with. And I love watching it happen is the very simple thing of being allowed to speak of these things and to have them witnessed and heard and valued and not ridiculed. And to understand that there are plenty more people in the world that understand and believe in what we're talking about here, than the community of the Western world that largely doesn't. And there's a catharsis for that. And it's, very beautiful to witness people coming back to honoring that knowing that known sense of connection with creation, as opposed to feeling shamed, of having this sense of it.

Marina Robb: Yeah, it's true. And it makes me think about how if we could feel that and have that experience, and see, perhaps a tree as a stranger, a powerful stranger, that's very different to ourselves, then I think it follows that we would care for and understand this deep reciprocity that exists between living things in a way that would, I think, really help the future, you know, be a help us to find a way of being, as you've said, several times this more imbalance. And I, whilst I'm saying that I'm, I was thinking before speaking to you today, about not only the Greeks, because I don't know much about Greek, Greek times, but also the Roman times, because it's, it's quite understood that the Romans came to this land, and, you know, in, I guess, warfare, I've read lots of stories of the tribes that lived on this land 2000 or more years ago, obviously, they went way back before that, and at the same time, I'm struck by the Jesus because it is Christmas, when this goes live, or being well, that Jesus was born at a time of the Roman Empire. And I think, being brought up on the one side by a Catholic mother, that there was this sort of sense in the kind of Catholicism that I was brought up in that, you know, God was out there and in a way, I had better behave, because if I didn't behave, I'd be punished. And, but even so, as a child, I would really feel, but if there's a God out there, he and it was often a he would have to understand, you know, I think I must have been about eight years old.

And I would think, surely the gods out there would understand what was going on, if they were so clever, right. And the reason why I'm saying that is because there's something about the kind of, let's say, the roots, the Christian roots, which has obviously Christ in it, which feels that the modern kind of way I got to receive that was one of dominance. You know, you've talked about that word was one of dominance and, and fear, you know, and I think I will always carry that somewhere, even though no, it wasn't that it came from, directly from my mother, it was more of a kind of, I don't know, the stories I was told of, you know, so there's a sense of fear, and yet what I'm imagining what I've read since about Jesus, and a little about the time that he was born into, that his message was really about forgiveness, and about peace and about caring for this for the other, and actually loving, you know, the land and the people. And, you know, I understand, my dad used to say, to me, like, you know, like this idea of, I can't exactly remember what it was now, but it was something about it's matters more the penny that the poor person gives to somebody to help them the rich person who might give loads of money because that Penny is worth so much more. And these are all in the stories of Jesus right? So again, this seems to be something that's happened around what could be really beautiful messages and understanding about loving each other and not othering each other compared to the some of the stuff I was taught

Angharad Wynne: I think this happens in most religions at their core very, very beautiful, and have wondrous teachings. It's what we as a society and as culture does with that and the dominant class says generally do with that it becomes propaganda. And that's where the problem lies. That's one thing I like about animism. It's not a religion. It's just a way of being. It's a philosophy, if anything, but it works alongside all the world religions really and has done for for a very long time. And we will probably mostly animus Christians here until the 17th, middle of mid 17th century. But yeah, all the world religions have been weaponized, not all of them, but vast swathes of them have been weaponized to other, each other. And I think one of the things that we have to do. And it's, it's a good time to, I suppose committed to this at this winter solstice, it's the time of the returning light. Time with the returning sun here in the north, it would have been the time of Saturnalia, the sun Festival of the Romans, and of course, Christianity aligned the birth of Jesus to that date. It's time to look at how we want to move on in the world, how we want this new dawn, this new light, what what are we committing to, it's very difficult to for one human being to conceive of how they can change the world.

But the world is very local to us. Our world is very local to us. And it is in our own actions, one by one that we change the world there's a an old known magical thing, that Now scientists have discovered and named so psychologists have understood that this thing about three degrees of influence, that if I managed to say this, I was a smoker. But if I managed to give up smoking, it enables people within three degrees of my influence to also do that. So if I stand, in my truth, for something, to do something different to welcome the stranger, rather than other, the stranger, it enables three people within my sphere of influence, to do the same. So personal responsibility taking, taking responsibility for the way we choose to be in the world, is incredibly important and to find kinship once more with the natural world with all creation, all the beings of creation feels, it feels as if that ties in with a message of love and kindness that most of the world the great world religions have at their core.

Marina Robb: Yeah. Well, I think that's a wonderful way to close this time together. And yeah, is there anything else you'd like to just say to to, to close this bearing in mind that it's both Christmas and as you said, it's a winter solstice on this land,

Angharad Wynne: it's a really beautiful time of rebirth, I think we understand the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. at the winter solstice, in the northern hemisphere, more than any other time, this miracle that even while the world looks dead, and cold around us, the seed is already stirring in, in the soil is in itself, a major miracle. And if nothing else, it would be wonderful if you could gather together during open your homes and gather together around the fire or around the heater, and just set share some stories and conviviality with with somebody, even your next door neighbor during this time, it has traditionally been a time when we have gathered because there is there is comfort and solidarity in people coming together to see these long, long nights through. And we've been doing it since well, as far back as any history or archaeology can tell. And so it's there's some of these old things of humanity. We've been doing them for a very long time, because there's a very good reason for them. And sometimes just by practicing them, we discover what that reason is and we discover that we have a lot to learn from our ancestors, and that reweaving some of what has been lost may help us into our future.

Marina Robb: Thank you so much and wish you a happy Christmas Miss Anna Anna Happy Winter Solstice.

Angharad Wynne: Thank you Marina

Marina Robb: Thank you so much for speaking to me, Angharad. What a wonderful conversation. Join me in 2024 on the eighth of January for a New Year's special and have a very Merry Christmas. Thank you for listening to this episode of The Wild minds podcast. If you enjoyed it and want to help support this podcast, please subscribe, share and leave a rating and review wherever you get your podcasts. Your review will help others find the show.

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Wild Minds Podcast. If you enjoyed it and want to help support this podcast, please subscribe, share and leave a rating and review wherever you get your podcasts. Your review will help others find the show. To stay updated with the wild mines podcast and get all the behind the scenes content. You can visit theoutdoorteacher.com or follow me on Facebook at the outdoor teacher UK and LinkedIn. Marina Robb,

The music was written and performed by Geoff Robb.

See you next week. Same time, same place