Ravirer A digital garden about disrupting status quo

Hello, my name is Ariane Beaudin.
I am an anticapitalist writer and eternal generalist.

Welcome to Ravirer, my digital garden.


But what is a digital garden? Joel Hooks describes it as

a metaphor for thinking about writing and creating that focuses less on the resulting “showpiece” and more on the process, care, and craft it takes to get there.

If you want to know more about me or what I’m doing, you can jump to the /about page or the /now page. I also write poetry.

future/ing plant magic

My crisis of faith about writing/literature is over. Thanks to the full moon in aries and namely marvelous books I’ve recently read, I feel so inspired to create/write.

Actually, last night I had a download about composing a collection of stories, essays and poems that would be nammed future/ing plant magic. In this note, I’d like to compile all the sources I want to try to put in communication throught that project.

SOURCES :

Some of thoses resulting pieces would include one named to kill a politician with poisonous plants about (non-)violence and plants intelligencia and another one would be the oracle of invisible demons which would be a speculative future design essay potentially accompanied by a short story.

So themes that would be explored in this collection future/ing plant magic would be : [time], [violence], [transnationalism], [plant agency], [plant communication], [spirituality/religion], [climate change], [narratives], [death], [anthropocene].

burn the books, and other ways of relating

Prior to that note, another one named green religion, planetary conciousness and decoloniality never saw the light of day. I started it at the end of February, but never followed up with it. But it’s fun to see today that the thoughts that live within me right now already started to take root last winter. So here’s the pieces of content I wanted to talk about back then, which truly blew my mind at the time, for posterity and anybody’s curisosity :

Back then, I wanted to connect those to two pieces of fiction : the good old Lost City of Atlantis, which was one of my favorite childhood movie and that I had just rewatched back then and also the book The Overstory by Richard Powers, which truly moved me. But hey, time’s missing so I’ll just leave it on that. BUT, I remember that one of the general feeling I was trying to vehiculate was my eternal ‘‘urgh universities are outdated’’ as I was gasping at all this international relations theory that were thought outside of the framework of nation borders, (see digital garden entry from mars 2021, problems bigger than states on the topic).

Otherwise, since then, summer came and therefore I was back into my urban agriculture worker routine. And this year, I’m still so much in awe in front of nature, but I’m trying to truly act on it, honour it. Therefore, I’m reading and consuming a lot of content on the topic, and also I’m trying to truly and concretely feed my herbalist praxis.

The book that probably awaken the most my thirst for a deeper connection with nature is Braiding Sweetgrass by botanist and indigenous scholar Robin Wall Kimmerer. Truly, this book is life changing. I’m not done reading it yet, but it really speaks to me.

In parallel, the podcast Green Dreamer never stops to amaze me and feed my soul deeply. I could name so many episodes, but the one that recently brought me tears of joy is Mia Birdong : Deepening our interdependence with community . In it, the guest suggest the provocating idea that ‘‘Freedom is community’’ and I am absolutly embracing this paradigm shift. It resonates so much with this quest around connecting with nature and others, trying to think ecologicaly about the world and us in it. Truly, I’ll ponder around this one for a long time.

Another podcast that I recently discovered, but that I am already passionate about is Medicine Stories. In this one, the last provocating quote I’ve heard is the following : “The more a culture is intact, the lesser cookbooks it produces.’’ (from the episode Confessions, Ancestral Foodways, Modern Matriarchy, & The Power of Radical Honesty - Katya Nova). For me, the question of culture, nature, health and community is so much linked to food. Like (cultural and traditional) food as been one of my obsessions of mine in the past 6 months and I love this phrasing, and everything that is being brought to light in this podcast. It’s very creative and inspiring. I can’t wait to think more deeply into all of that.

And this cookbook quote made me want to ‘‘burn books’’. On another topic, I’ve been questionning my study fields, wondering if I should pursue in litterature as planned or rather in plain communication. I then I reached the conclusion that stuff I said about myself when I was a kid isn’t true anymore. Like I realized that nowadays, my passion is not about writing but about communicating itself (hail Mercury). Also, reading is also not the passion : the passion is learning and being in awe (communion), no matter what is the medium. And that made me want to burn books.

Because for so long I told myself I had to write a book to be sucessful, that I was better at writing than talking, in a way that distanced myself from others, to feel more safe, to hide my vulnerabilities behind dead trees. But if community is freedom than books are bandaids, bridges at best.

In many of those media about herbalism and ancestral ways of living, there is this saying about having forgotten the langage of the world around us, be in the one of plants, animals or even our own inner voice or the own of our ancestors. Humans are the only specie who needs to read book to be able to thrive, it was also said in that last Medecine Stories podcast episode mentionned.

So yeah, I’m having a crisis of faith around writing and literature in general. But my craving of radical embodiment of this need for anchoring and building within a community gladly compensates that. Only the tools have to change, maybe. It wouldn’t be the first time I argue for that change of tools…


Related content :

surviving and fighting, emergent strategies and buddhism

I was going through my old Obsidian file when I stumbled upon an old abandoned zine project (I suppose it was a zine project) that I had completely forgotten about. As I was re-reading it, I was like “wow, I wrote that? that’s relevant”, therefore I thought of sharing it here. I am somewhat too lazy to edit it though, so consider it a draft. After all, this place is a digital garden. I plant seeds, not complete and perfect ideas. So here it is :

Survival Guide For Those Who Aren’t in Denial

The state of the world is quite depressing. The fight for social and environmental justice will be a long and harsh one. The ‘‘awakened’’ privileged ones feel guilty. The less privileged ones are simply already suffering. A sense of powerlessness and alienation is everywhere. And yet, I think we can go collectively go throught this with our heads up.

WHEN WE ARE WONDERING IF WE ARE DOING ENOUGH (INDIVIDUALLY), IF WE ARE DOING THE RIGHT THINGS, IF IT WILL BE ENOUGH (TO MAKE CHANGES HAPPEN)

My strategies to cope rely on two simple things :

  • I trust that I can always prioritize actions that contributes to the greater good and that what I am doing is needed in the making of this new world we seek.
  • I trust people, I have faith they are doing the same, that they have the capacity to do the same, even if I don’t see them in actions.

The concept of holism is one of the many things to help us understand the power of micro-actions and social changes

WHEN WE ARE THINKING

The ‘‘why why why’’ strategy

CHOOSE A SURVIVAL STRATEGY (aka the way you will sustain yourself, i.e how will you nourish, house and take care of yoursel)

  • This can mean how you will make money
  • This can also mean to find arrangements that don’t require money
  • Financial independance litterature can help on the matter

CHOOSE THE FIGHT When we look at the state of the world, it easily becomes overwhelming when we think about how the work that needs to be done. This definetely cannot fit in our busy schedule. What helped me is to decide that this the fight for social change was my number one priority and all the rest was secondary. Well, to be more exact, my well-being is my number one priority, than social change is somewhat the second, but since my well-being is intrinsincly connected to social change those two goes hands in hands. The rest is means to achieve my well-being and social changes.

Of course, this approach might sounds very privileged, but it is not really. Like, yes, if you have a family, you need a survival strategy that brings you more riches than if you are single and without a kid. Here, I am not saying quit your day job for doing full time militantism. While I kind of did that on my side - stopped working to be able to get involved while living super frugally -, it doesn’t mean it has to be this dramatic. But truly, this one is all about mindset.

It doesn’t mean to stop having professional ambitions, it means to reather see the profesionnal advancement as a tremplin for social changes.

It doesn’t mean to stop going to school, it means what you are learning will help you build social changes.

It doesn’t mean to stop consuming culture, it meants what you are consuming in empowering you to co-create social changes.

Etc.

It mights sounds radical (and it probably is), but I think it’s one way to trick the brain into thinking everything’s (relatively) under control. Also, that’s the kind of commitment I think is needed from us at this point.

And let me be clear, it doesn’t mean always being political and starting debate. It might takes the form of always being kind to others, to take a post in the syndicate, to refuse to do something against your values, to suggest a new business partner in the meeting, who knows. It might even take the form of simply watching anime that night despite having the most eternal to-do lists. Because you are prioritizing yourself and when you are doing good, you can bring good.

BE MORE BUDDHIST AND ACCEPT SUFFERINGS

That the world is suffering is one of the most misunderstood buddhist precept. Yet I think it’s one that takes time to accept, but once it is accepted, it is so very helpful.

This section goes with the idea of ‘apocalypse’ and failure. With the COVID-19 pandemic, I came to think even more at the ‘end of the world’. I was trying to envision a future where it would be pandemic after pandemic and what we could do about that. Since the pandemic interrupted my climate activism efforts, those ideas were melting with the images of environmental colapse. I was trying to find a middle ground. Because there is this idea that the ‘‘end of civilization’’ could be beneficial for ‘‘nature’’. Without falling into the eco-fascist trap, I concede part of this is true. But note as I wrote the end of civilization and not the human race. Note how I’ve put nature in quotation marks. Because there is no duality between we humans and nature, we are one. And right now we are harming ourselves as much as we are hurting the ecosystems. If an angry person would start to destroy this appartment, one wouldn’t think “awn poor appartment, I have compassion for you”. No, the compassion would rather be directed to the angry person that, once the anger will be over, will realised all the backlashs it has made. We don’t do enough compassion towards ourselves. That’s namely why environmental activisim feels somewhat so abstract. “We need to stop cutting this forest we have never walked in”. “We need to stop the carbon emissions we cannot see.” While it is true we must do those things, we need to bring back compassion toward ourselves. And this centering exercise is to better decenter ourselves afterward of course. We humans aren’t superior living being just because we can write and stuff. But if we don’t understand our motives, or how much we hurt, we’ll never be able to persevere in our fight, we won’t act from a place of truth, merely a place of fear.

So, that we are humans or non-humans, animal, plants, spirits, there will be suffering in our lived experience. Buddhism holds no contradiction when it states that suffering is inevitable and yet ask their practicionners to vow to free all beings from suffering.

It is in this perspective that I do my activism. I know that there will be harm and exploitation and climate hazards in the future, that some are happening in the present moment even, and yet I can only vow to help reduce the amount of it. It doesn’t mean I’m a reformist, or a non-revolutionary. Contrary to the suffering in buddhism, “political pain” can be eradicated.

Buddhism’s suffering included sadness of losing someone we lost and pain linked to inevitable sickness. We will all die, we will all get sick at some point. Nonetheless, nothings says that we must all be oppressed/exploited/living in scarcity. This is only the result of the way we are organizing societies. Therefore, political pain can be eradicated.

Also, about the climate catastrophe, I like to remind myself that scientists aren’t prophets. Even if we feel like we can predict how things will evolved, I don’t think it’s completely true. The butterfly effect could change everything. The spirit world could come change the rules of the game. And also, maybe, the numbers we are seeing and sharing everywhere are not well interpreted. Who knows? And in all case, only the present moment exist.

But still, it would be very unprobable that the whole species disappear. And the ‘‘fall of civilization’’ might sounds like dramatic or at least rhymes with ‘‘harsh conditions to existence’’ but when you think about it, the amount of “harsh conditions” many humans already live for the profit of some lucky fews is not this much better.

Also, we can say that we were lucky as a species to have been granted such great environmental conditions to thrive in a very long time (think about those dinosaurs and their meteorit). It’s a shame we somewhat have ruined it, but it’s possible to still experience gratitude. Afterall, everything is impermanent.


Related content :

herbalism and decolonial gardening ressources

I felt compelled today the regroup the nice media I’ve consumed about the topic of herbalism and gardening from some sort of decolonial lens. It’s a logical continuation of the feelings I have found in myself while writing my last post in the mouth of the lion, i.e. that I am deeply sensitive and interested in gardening and interacting with plants as a way to nurture the collective dimension of human life.

So here’s some great podcast I’ve listened to these days :

  • Restorative Agriculture : Gardening, Homesteading, & Permaculture by Revolutionary Left Radio, emphasis on gardening/permaculture as a way to be resilient and useful for our communities in the incertain times to come + critique of the whiteness in the permaculture world, needing to reindigezine our practice
  • Ann Armbrecht: Healing with herbalism and its deeper relational values by Green Dreamer , covers herbalism at large, but talks more specifically about the commodification of plants, also includes an invitation to rethink our relation to healing and medecine in general, emphasis put on connecting with our local plants (Green Dreamer podcast is wholesome in general, probably my fav podcast at the moment)
  • To follow up with the Rev Left Radio episode, the guest of the already mentioned episode, Sole has his own podcast Propaganda by the Seed which I haven’t tried yet, but I am sure I will enjoy it because hey when comrades/revolutionaries meet plants, I always enjoy it
  • rise up! good witch podcast is also a good one I’ve been enjoying this last year, it is more on the spiritual/esoteric side, but still very militant, the host likes to highlight people’s plant origin story (that is, to cover how they came to herbalism) and it’s a very interesting way to approach herbalism in my opinion

Now time to turn to the interesting books :

  • I’ve added Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer to my ereader after the already mentioned Rev left podcast episode, which is a book about the indigineous ways of taking care of the land to what I’ve understand, and I’m very excited to start it. Sole said it adds to the poetic dimension of gardening and this book made him cry a lot. I also downloaded Gaia’s Garden following his recommendations, which is apparently a classic of permaculture litterature, but I feel like I will enjoy it less because it seems like a practical guide for people who owns landLa ré
  • The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming by Masanobu Fukuoka. This is a book I’ve enjoyed a few years ago. It’s, in some way, a japanese permaculture book but with a mix of anarchism and buddhism and it really resonated with me. I need to re-reagood it some day.
  • Radical Remedies by Brittany Ducham is a book about using herbalism for self-care and self-healing but it looks like uber wholesome. It’s like a kitchen witchcraft guidebook. It oftens cross my instagram feed and I always say to myself that I need to gift it to me.

Meanwhile, I also put my name in the waiting list for this online AEC en production maraîchère biologique of the Cégep de de Victoriaville (just in prevision for the next existential crisis you know). I’m already daydreaming of doing my intership at the farm of Santropol Roulant hahaha

Hopefully, I’ll update this post with time!

in the mouth of the lion

Lately, I’ve been experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions as I follow up with my decision to run for city counselor as an independant candidate. I’m so glad that I have found a buddhist mantra to hold unto while I was listening to the Green Dreamer podcast :

Illumination doesn’t happen in a cave, it happens in the mouth of a lion.

I wouldn’t say I feel near illumination whatsoever, but I do feel like I am in the mouth of a lion right now. I need to actively find ways to keep going and not let myself spiral in anxiety, self-doubts and scarcity mindset. My old drinking habits are also coming into play with these mental health struggles. But what I found helps me the most to go through the days is my spiritual practice and also, the already mentionned Green Dreamer’s podcast.

There has been a few very memorable episodes that made me felt like I should put them down somewhere, write something about it, well, to digital garden with. So here I am back to do just that and I took the opportunity to also revisit old posts of mine and my piece Witchcraft Is Social Change made a very good effect on me. I forgot I wrote that honestly. In the same line of thought, I received a mail yesterday from Etsy, telling that somebody put my product in their cart. Product from an Etsy shop I had somewhat forgotten about too. It was my anticapitalist tarot business I tried to set up after taking The Sovereign Witch class by Anna Joy. So it feels the universe wants me to think and reflect on spirituality again.

Also I want to mention, that in some magical divine timing, I found a wonderful job in my neighborhood in urban agriculture this summer that was so very much fullfilling. I liked the proximity with nature, it healed something in me (still healing now). I wouldn’t say it turned me into a ‘‘green witch’’ or anything, but it gave me a new direction for the future (I want to keep working in that field) and it feels very comfortable.

But yes, the episodes that marked me the most so far were :

Unfortunately, I do not feel like summarize them and truly make them echoed each others at the moment. I am more in the mood to expand on what they made me realize, that is that what moves me the most is collective work and that no matter how much I’m trying to be ‘‘serious and rational’’ I can’t help but be highly attracted by the spiritual/esoteric.

On the collective work side, my job actually helped me understand this sensibility of mine. I felt so invested in our collective garden and the other sites where we would garden for food sovereignity. And then when I came to work on my own little garden on my balcony I felt almost nothing, no motivation. It ties up a bit with my eating struggle : I have phases where I want to cook so bad, but I have usually no appetite to eat what I cook, unless I am with someone. Once again, I am so grateful for my job that gave me the opportunity to coordinate a team of volunteer-gardeners, like it truly empowered to hopefully, start a guerilla gardening collectif or something (maybe next summer).

About the spiritual/esoteric, I won’t go in depth here, because it is such a reccurent theme in my life, it would deserve it’s own separated piece. But basically, I guess that if I don’t get elected, I should truly try to pursue ‘‘the esoteric activist life’’ more seriously, like I think (am convinced?) it is part of my calling.