In Melbourne this week the turning of the season has properly arrived with cool nights, shorter days and the dreaded turning back of clocks. If you were lucky you might have escaped the city and seen a basking wombat, which is what this season is famous for according to the Kulin People.
This little seasonal turning is perhaps a reminder of what deep ecologist Joanna Macy calls “The Great Turning” – a shift from an industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization that she says is happening now. It’s an “epochal transition” that is gaining momentum. The three key dimensions of the Great Turning are:
- Actions to slow the damage to Earth and its beings (political and direct action)
- Analysis of structural causes and creation of structural alternatives
- Shift in consciousness
It seems our community is very keen on the third element this month, with a higher number of workshops than usual exploring things like shamanism, Daoist meditation, geomancy and the nature of intimacy. However we pretty neatly cover all three.
“Epochal” is a pretty big word. But it’s only when you add together each individual leaf changing colour, each lone wombat to moving into a patch of sun, and all the single drops of dew forming in the morning, that you see the much bigger transition into autumn. It’s all the little turnings that add up to the Great Turning.