Cultural Habitat Restoration: an embodied exploration of boundaries & flow in our relationships with Power, Money, Love & Sexuality, and the other currents of Human Culture.
As humans wake up to the harm we have caused on the landscape, many communities are making efforts to repair natural habitats like rivers, streams, and wetlands. Even in places that have been deeply damaged, these efforts help to restore the conditions necessary for life to once again thrive.
Cultural Habitat Restoration applies this frame to our cultural world. Our human communities have also received harm, and need help restoring the cultural conditions necessary for life to thrive. A healthy cultural habitat includes:
Repairing the false split between between the human and natural worlds, and reclaiming practices handed down over millennia to connect People with the earth, with their ancestors and the future generations, and with each other;
Individuals and communities attuned to the wisdom in their bodies and in their hearts, capable of honoring and nurturing their creative and generative capacities, as well as their limits and boundaries;
Reorienting the way we relate to money and resources, away from hoarding and exploiting, and towards supporting the free flow of exchange and sacred reciprocity;
Addressing unequal structures of power, both explicit and implicit, to ensure that all members of our communities are safe, secure, and able to live free lives and contribute to the broader good.
Over the last two years, Youth Passageways Co-Founder and Rite of passage practitioner Darcy Ottey has been exploring the practices and principles of Cultural Habitat Restoration, through an Earth- and Spirit-led organic process of study. She is excited to share what’s she’s uncovered, and dream with this community into what it would truly mean to restore healthy habitat for life-giving human cultures to thrive.
Our Monthly Community Calls are a place to meet, listen, learn and share: the intention of the monthly Partner Call is to find inspiration, get resources, and tap into the wisdom of our network. All interested in this dialogue are welcome.
Darcy Ottey (she/her)
Rites of Passage have been part of Darcy’s life since her coming of age journey when she was 13. This path has led her to guide wilderness trips for teens, serve as Executive Director of the program she took part in as a youth, venture to the lands of her ancestors to understand more of her history, and more. Currently, she serves as Co-Director for Youth Passageways. She loves dancing (especially under the full moon), learning to make Slavic folks dolls, and exploring ways to help herself and others with racial, gender, and class privilege understand their history; reclaim ancestral traditions and connections with their bodies and nature; and take responsibility for ongoing injustice. Darcy’s ancestors include early Quaker settlers of Turtle Island from Wales and England, British coal miners, and Ukrainian peasants, and she makes her home now in the Methow Valley in Okanogan County, Washington, the traditional territory of the Mətxʷú people.
*Photo of the Methow River, courtesy of David Moskowitz