Table of Contents

Introduction to Gatherings

Introduction to the Winter Issue
~ Amy Lenzo

The Naming of ‘Gatherings’
~ Amy Lenzo

Holding the Vision
~ Betsy Barnum

EcoPsychology Sangha ~ Rich Coon

~ Sylvie Shaw

Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom: A History of Ecopsychology
~ John Scull

A Personal History of Ecopsychology
~ Robert Greenway

What is Ecopsychology
~ Robert Greenway

Book Reviews
~ John Scull

Activism and 20th-Century Science
~ Betsy Barnum

Statement to the Court ~ Betsy Barnum

Walking Trees
~ Betsy Barnum

Nature and Childhood Trauma
~ Sylvie Shaw

Speaking of the Sea: Psychology, Language and Natural Communication
~ Amy Lenzo

Let the Land Sing: Lessons for a 21st Century Eco-Psychology ~ John Croft

Three Poems
~ Robin VanTine
Ecotone Shaman

Delux Buffalo Burgers

Hualapi Spirits

~ Marianne Worcester

Tropic of Capricorn
~ Alan Keitt

The Move
~ Susan Wilson

Rainbow Sundogs
~ Betsy Barnum

Rude Awakening
~ Robin van Tine

The Heron and the Otter ~ Linda Hill

~ Robert Worcester

Gift from Nature
~ Mike Cohen

ICE Survey
~ John Scull

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Seeking Ecopsychology

Winter Issue: 1999 - 2000
Winter Editor ~ Amy Lenzo
Illustrations by Alexi Francis

The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Welcome to the 1st issue of Gatherings!

Ecopsychology is a new, inter-dependent way of thinking that links a complex number of subjects, including ecology, environmental science, philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, education, imagination and spirituality. We’ve gathered here on this page from all around the world to share our ideas and dreams and fears about this compelling matrix.

In the exchange of energy we hope to create around the ‘fire’ of our electronic connection here, we'll be using many different kinds of language; telling stories and making music out of academic discourse, poetry, the beat of heart-felt rant, the chimes of laughter and the shrill saxaphone blues of lament. We hope that you find this e-zine enjoyable, and a way 'in' to your own exploration of Ecopsychology and what it might mean to you.

Since this is the first issue, you might want to begin with some of the background and vision behind this e-zine in The Naming of ‘Gatherings’, or Introduction to the Winter Issue, which explores why winter is a particularly apt season for us to begin ‘Gathering’ together.

Minnesotan writer and activist Betsy Barnum’s work on Holding the Vision models an active engagement with the material we’re working with here, and Richard Coon, from the Sociology Dept of Carroll College in Wisconsin, writes In Praise of an Eco-Spiritual Sangha about the importance of a support group for maintaining this level of engagement. In a whimsical prose piece, Australian post-graduate student Sylvie Shaw describes the Dance of social and spiritual interaction such a sangha gives rise to.

As an introduction to the subject of Ecopsychology, practicing Ecopsychologists John Scull and Robert Greenway give two perspectives on this dynamically emerging sphere. ICE founder, Land Trust activist and behavioral psychologist John Scull offers a critical overview of the history of Ecopsychology in Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom, while wilderness therapy pioneer Robert Greenway reveals his experience with a more Personal History of Ecopsychology, and questions the basic tenets of our assumptions in his provocative What is Ecopsychology?

John Scull lends his experienced practitioner’s eye to a Review of two recent books on applied Ecopsychology: The Healing Earth: Nature's Medicine for the Troubled Soul and Ecotherapy: Healing Ourselves, Healing the Earth.

Using Margaret Wheatley’s dynamic organizational systems theory as a guide, Betsy Barnum’s article Activism and 20th-Century Science makes explicit the links between this new science and an organic activism that can make use of natural models of organizational behavior in order to promote effective change.

Barnum recently appeared in court to defend her ideals, when she was arrested after all-night vigil protesting the clear-cutting of four ancient sacred oaks for a highway extension in her Minneaoplis community. This is the Statement she wrote to read at her hearing. Some of her personal appreciation of the relationship between humans and trees is expressed in a short piece entitled Walking Trees, which is illustrated by Michel Durant.

Sylvie Shaw combines her environmental and academic interests in a paper on Nature & Childhood Trauma, first presented in a national conference at Victoria’s Monash University. In it, she makes some intriguing links between witnessing environmental destruction and/or personal trauma in childhood and later expressions of adult activism.

The complex interchange we call "language" is rooted in the non-verbal exchange already going on between our flesh and the flesh of the world.

--David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous

In Speaking of the Sea: Psychology, Language & Natural Communication, writer, environmentalist and Gatherings’ Winter Issue editor Amy Lenzo explores Abram’s suggestions of listening and responding to nature’s voice within the echo-chambers of modern urban culture.

John Croft, co-founder of the Australian Gaia Institute, shows what we can learn from the spiritual and environmental integration of the indigenous peoples of Australia in Let the Land Sing: Lessons for a 21st Century Eco-Psychology. This article has a particularly lucid account of the often misrepresented phenomena of Aboriginal ‘Dreaming’.

with this reed I make music
with this pen i remember the word
with these lips I can remember the beginning of the world

~ Kamau Brathwaite- Voice

For those of you who have already heard of Canadian songwriter Caroline McDade and Singers of the Sacred Web, the amazing women’s choir who performed her songs in concert last summer, or for those who just love music from the heart; CHECK THIS OUT!!!
Their new double album CD, "We are the Land We Sing" is available on:

Poetry & Prose

Marianne Worcester, one of the Singers of the Sacred Web, wrote a poem, Voices, about nature’s voice being ‘mediated’ by human speech. And Robin van Tine shares some of his own vigorous poetic thought in: Deluxe Buffalo Burgers, Ecotone Shaman, and Hualapi Spirits. Alan Keitt wrote this poem, Tropic of Capricorn, about a favorite secret childhood place on his family's retreat on the shores of ‘Lake Wisconsin’ (a euphemism for dammed Wisconsin river) 15 miles downstream from Aldo Leopold's shack and 20 miles from where John Muir once toiled for his father. And finally, The Move is a poem by Susan Wilson, written when she was seven years old and had to leave a very special place.

"This morning there were Rainbow Sundogs around the sun over the river", begins a lovely short piece of ‘nature prose’ by Betsy Barnum. Robin van Tine presented his Rude Awakening, about an encounter with the full moon, at the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment’s Second Biannual Conference, and Canadian disability advocate Linda Hill describes a thoughtful encounter she witnessed between two animals in The Heron and the Otter.
Canadian Robert Worcester, whose credentials range from the academic (he teaches Psychology at Langara College) to the poetic and theological, takes us deeper into the mood of the season by sharing vibrant images of how
Solstice was celebrated in Vancouver this year.

Each time dawn appears, the mystery is there in its entirety.

~ René Daumal

Ecopsychology is all about our relationship to nature, and while there is obvious benefit in thinking and talking about our ideas on the subject, it is crucial to actually get out into the ‘field’ and experience it first-hand. Mike Cohen, founder of the educational and therapeutic environmental program, Nature Connect, has made it his life’s work to remind us to accept no substitutes for a direct communication with nature. To this end, Mike has created a Special Interactive Exercise for this issue, which will guide you in your own personal explorations of your relationship with the natural world.

John Scull has designed an ICE Survey to assist our continuing explorations of ecopsychology. All the responses that have been given so far are available for you to read, if you’d like to participate. The survey question has two parts: "If you could recommend one book about ecopsychology, ecology, or psychology, what book would it be, and Why?"

We hope you've enjoyed your first experience of Gatherings; the next issue will be coming out in Spring of 2000. If you have any comments on what you read in this issue, suggestions or contributions you'd like to see in the next 'gathering', please contact the editor at