This review was first published in Funky Raw Magazine Issue 35.
If you are a regular reader of Funky Raw then many of the themes covered in this book will be familiar to you, although they are tied together with the overall theme of re-wilding ourselves which may be new to you. Rachel’s main premise is that we have come a long way from our original wild state, and that “re-wilding” is how we are going to fix many of the problems of the world today. She says “I believe the first step in reclaiming areas of land and habitat, to saving, refurbishing, rewilding them, is to find the wild place inside, to rewild yourself.”
The book begins by trying to understand what has gone wrong and the events that led to the current situation where humans are disconnected and separate from nature and destroying the remaining wild places at an alarming rate.
It then starts us on the process of rewilding ourselves, with practical exercises and ideas to move us in the right direction. Rachel suggests that all parts of nature are alive, from animals and plants to rocks, and that we can and should communicate with them all. This is how wild animals and indigenous wild humans survive in dangerous situations by listening to the messages from nature.
In the section “Embracing the Wild” Rachel looks at some specific exercises to help us including walking barefoot, sleeping under the stars, wild swimming, foraging for wild food and more. The next chapter then goes into detail on awakening our senses: hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste, again with exercises to help us fine tune these senses.
The contents of chapter eight will be particularly familiar to readers of this magazine “Eating your body wild”, all about the importance of eating a natural diet and raw food.
“Deep Nature Immersion” is also part of Rachel’s suggestions. She says “When you can, even if that is just once a year, or once in a lifetime, make the pilgrimage to somewhere truly wild and immerse yourself.” This leads on to Vision Quests, which can be doe as part of an organised group where there is someone watching out for you during your time alone in the wildness of nature.
Finally, entheogens are discussed as a way of seriously deepening your connection with nature and in many cases allowing you to experience actually becoming nature.
Rachel understands that over half the population of Earth currently live in cities, so her suggestions work within that limitation and doesn’t suggest that everyone needs to immediately move to the countryside; her ideas and exercises are designed to be used wherever you currently are and help you find the wildness are around your current environment, including the dandelions poking up through your lawn and the wild flowers growing in the cracks in the pavement.
I totally recommend this book to everyone, no matter where you are on your path. Personally I’ve been practising most of the suggestions in this book for many years but still found this book useful. Or it would make a great gift to help someone on their journey.
Available direct from the author at either as a printed book or ebook: www.gatewaystoeden.com