Betrothed to the Unknown

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

- Victoria Loorz

Here we are. In a liminal, unknown, untested world. People all around us (and within us) are fearful, grieving, struggling for their life, confused, losing their income and stability, unsure about how to plan for, well, anything. Could this be the collective Descent we’ve all been waiting for?

It’s so much more interesting as a concept. We know that the disconnected, divisive, desecrated ways of living on Earth must change. And we know that the pascal mystery, the pattern of life-death-new life IS the way transformation happens. But, the reality (surreality?) is a whole different story.

I vacillate between grief/fear and something close to joy/excitement, which sounds a little macabre saying it out loud. And revealing my privilege. But, I have this deep sense that we were born for this transition. That the hard STOP that activists and religious leaders and visionaries have been exhausting themselves trying to ignite over the past decades has been accomplished, at least for now, by a tiny little organism with a funny name that almost sounds like a Raven’s species, an bird signifying for the ancients the presence of the divine.

Who could have imagined that a global cooperation, a wake up call that transcended even capitalism and the stock market and personal economic hardship could happen? Who else could accomplish such a response but a pandemic? Pan: All, demic: People. All of them. This has never happened before. A time when we are all at once, even for a moment, members of a human community. Even now, as some forces of resistance — those who are fighting hard to keep the old ways intact, benefitting only the most wealthy and most privileged—are strong, we are all called home, to listen and wait before the Unknown.

Friends on this wild seminary list, I trust it. I trust that we are the ones who are saying YES to the whispering call from Spirit, from Earth, from our own souls. We are among those who have heard the groaning of separation and the longing for reconnection. No matter how fast we all Start Shopping again, something real has shifted. The felt sense of interconnection will not, I suspect and pray, go away quickly. New questions are being asked. And the church, the old way of doing church, does not have answers.

I sense that your gifts and your insight and compassionate, prophetic knowing will be desperately needed in the coming months and years. This is what Seminary of the Wild is all about: support to step into your own calling, gifts, and leadership at this uniquely profound moment in history.

I offer you John O’Donahue’s blessing, below. The line that stands out to me is “betrothed to the unknown.” Whether we like it or not, we are. We, the whole human race. The whole creation. Will you enter into this eros relationship with the Unknown with your full and whole self? Will you allow yourself to fall even more deeply in love with the world, with the people, with the trees and the deer and even the bacteria, with your own soul, with Christ? If you are feeling the call to betrothal to the unknown, to Mystery, you may want to join other like-hearted wild ones this year in one of our programs.

“To create a space for all our words,

Drawing us to listen inward and outward.

We seldom notice how each day is a holy place

Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens,

Transforming our broken fragments

Into an eternal continuity that keeps us.

Somewhere in us a dignity presides

That is more gracious than the smallness

That fuels us with fear and force,

A dignity that trusts the form a day takes.

So at the end of this day, we give thanks

For being betrothed to the unknown

And for the secret work

Through which the mind of the day

And wisdom of the soul become one.”

ECO-MINISTRY PROGRAM. There are a couple more spaces left in the yearlong Seminary of the Wild Eco-Ministry Certificate program. A year of journeying deeply with a cohort of like-hearted companions who are also dwelling on the edges, capturing glimpses of what is being asked of them at such a time as this.

The program now begins with a six day online/onland retreat April 20-25, where we will meet together every morning via Zoom for teachings, councils, prayer and each of us will wander during the days in our home watersheds. The in-person retreat originally scheduled for this April will now happen at the END of the program, next Spring, 2021. The mid-year intensive in Michigan is still scheduled for September (God willing! I’m using that old phrase again these days!) Register Here or contact to schedule a zoom conversation for deeper discernment.

WILD LUMINARIES WEBINAR SERIES. Seminary of the Wild offers virtual master classes from the top eco-theologians and scholars of our time. In the face of unsurpassed climate change and uncharted territory for our species, discover a wild wisdom and hope - heed the call to awakening to a new way of being human. One that is life enhancing rather than destructive, authentically imaginative and participatory rather than conformist and competitive. The cost is only $35 per hour long webinar, and $300 (an $85 discount) for all eleven webinars! Click here to Sign up today:

  • Joanna Macy: Tuesday, May 5th - “The Power of Our Belonging”

  • Bill Plotkin: Tuesday, June 16th - “Wild Mind, Wild Self”

  • Mirabai Starr, Sunday, June 21st - “The Feminine Web of Interbeing”

  • Andreas Weber, Tuesday, July 14th - “Matter & Desire: An Erotic Ecology”

  • Michael Dowd, Tuesday, July 21st - “God and Evolution”

  • Matthew Fox, Tuesday, Sept 22nd - “The Cosmic Christ Today”

  • Brian McLaren, Tuesday, Octover 13th - “Wild Theology”

  • Lisa Dahill, Tuesday, August 25th - “Rewilding Spirituality”

  • Veronica Kyle, Thursday, December 3rd - "An Eco-womanist Response to the Church"

  • Andrew Harvey, Jan 19th, 2021 - “Provisions For the Journey”

  • Laurie Ferguson, February 2nd, 2021 - “Wild Coaching”

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