Stardust Society


ROOTED | ADVENTURE UNDER THE ANCIENT FOREST

- Stardust Society Autumn/Winter 2020 adventure -

"Nature...seems increasingly better understood in fungal terms:..as an assemblage of entanglements of which we are messily part."
- from Underland by Robert Macfarlane

During these strange times the noise is loud, our reserves for stress and change are low. We crave quiet, depth and richness. It is time to reconnect with our earth. It is time for depth and observation and learning and understanding. It is time to feel rooted again.

Join me and fellow starry-eyed learners in the Stardust Society as we search for the low hum of long-lived relationships and connections deep underground. In the Society’s first virtual adventure* we will come together this autumn to journey under the ancient forest – where trees and fungi talk. Together we will notice, wonder, discover, create and connect with this landscape and the messy, entangled world of mycorrhizal networks. Together we will emerge with a renewed sense of belonging to a more-than-human world.

*this will be an experimental adventure where I’ll be testing out ideas and looking for feedback from the first group of ‘pioneer’ Stardust Society members.

Fly agaric and Porcini mushroom illustrations on wooden table with ink pen, brush, mushroom ID book and a cloth

What is the Stardust Society?

"Every one of us is a memorial to long-dead stars. Every one of us was quite literally made in heaven.” – Marcus Chown, The Magic Furnace

I invite you to step inside the Stardust Society and join a nourishing community of starry-eyed learners. Together we will embark on virtual seasonal adventures each of which deepen our connection with and belonging to an aspect of nature – from fungal networks deep in the earth to fiery stars billions of miles away.

Each expedition will take us on a journey of learning and discovery through science, creativity and mindfulness through art and connection to the earth and each other through community. Guided by me, Agnes Becker, in this Society we are all equal in our learning. We support each other to make space for more moments of wonder in nature. We inspire each other with our discoveries about and creative expressions to the Earth and our place in it. We collectively deepen our sense of belonging.

At the end of each seasonal adventure, you’ll feel enriched and more deeply connected to the area of natural wonder we have explored, as well as having met a group of like-minded, lifelong learners.

Stardust Society members join anew for each seasonal adventure.

About Rooted | Adventure under the ancient forest

- where trees and fungi talk -

Under the earth of the ancient forests is a deep network of roots, connecting, interweaving, whispering, supporting, competing, nourishing. Explore this mycorrhizal network of roots and fungi under the earth of our oldest woodlands through Autumn and Winter. Guided by me, Agnes Becker, this adventure will deepen your knowledge and awaken your creativity and playfulness all with the support of a community of fellow starry-eyed learners. During this first adventure I will be trying out new ideas and experiments and I welcome your feedback – you have the opportunity to shape the 2021 adventure.

  • When: Monday 26 October – Friday 13 November 2020
  • Doors close for registration: Wednesday 19 October 2020
  • Investment: one off payment of £85 or three £30 instalments taken over the three weeks. Dialogues with Nature Network members receive £25 off - please use your code at checkout.

What will we explore?

Week 1: Enter The Forest | Notice

Over the three weeks we gift ourselves time in the forest. But once inside, the noise in our heads is loud – the ‘to do’ list tumbles around our minds and we hardly pay attention to what to the trees overhead and the fungi under our feet. Through nature journaling we start to record and take notice of what is around us. Trying the creative ideas in the guidebook sees us starting to experiment and play.

Week 2: Under The Forest | Wonder

Noticing is the start. Knowledge gives us a deeper understanding of the forests, leaving us filled with wonder. Listening to the podcast, I guide you through the science stories of the mycorrhizal (fungi-root) networks under your feet. We awaken our curiosity and creativity through nature journaling prompts in the guidebook. We share our findings and learn from books, quotes and videos created by fungi scientists. 

Week 3: Emerging From The Forest | Belong

As we begin to return home from the forest, we explore how our deeper understanding is something we can take with us into our everyday lives. We look at how mycorrhizal (fungi-root) networks have changed the way we think about nature - our sense of individuality starts to blur and we realise how interconnected we also are. We acknowledge our belonging in nature - indeed we are literally part of nature - and how we can continue spending time in the forest as an act of self-love. We share our creations and reflections to be documented in our community creative project – the ‘Rooted’ chronicle.

Welcome pack on rustic table

What will joining the Stardust Society will gift you?

  • Before we start you’ll gather your kit for your adventures and receive your seasonal we are stardust welcome box (worth £35) with:
    • 2 notelets
    • 2 greetings cards
    • 1 print
    • Stickers and print outs to help you get started with your nature journaling
    • BONUS: The first 5 people to sign up get an original artwork in their welcome box - SOLD OUT
  • An opportunity to explore the forest with your nature journal and work through a handful of short exercises to do on your forest adventure using your guidebook
  • A guidebook of journaling questions and short creative exercises that will help you:
    • discover more about the relationship and partnerships between trees and fungi happening under your feet
    • create and play through words, pictures and drawing to get you thinking more deeply about the mycorrhizal (root-fungi) networks and how they challenge the way you currently view the world
    • connect more deeply with the more-than-human world we are exploring
  • You’ll also get
    • A welcome and introduction around the virtual campfire to help us get to know each other - time 10am BST, 26 October 2020
    • A live nature journaling session in week one to help you get started with filling your nature journal with your sketches, words and musings - 11am BST, 30 October 2020
    • A podcast episode by me, Agnes Becker, in week two taking you on a journey under the ancient forest with science and folklore stories to enrich your experience
    • A reflective session with guest speaker self-care coach Tamu Thomas in week three to help you reflect on what you’ve discovered and learned during the adventure, how it’s changed how you see the world and your place in it and what you’ll take with you as we slowly walk home - date TBC
  • A safe space and supportive community** to connect and share your findings from each week’s prompts and creative exercises with like-minded starry-eyed learners
  • Inspirational posts – quotes, videos of fungi and tree roots interacting and interviews with scientists
  • A chronicle booklet of the Society’s journey created from nature journaling pages or creations shared by Stardust Society members during the adventure (PDF emailed to you after the adventure)
  • Access to the Dialogues with Nature Network content for the three week adventure. Stardust Society members will have the opportunity to join the Network at the end of the adventure.

**Our community will be hosted by the Dialogues with Nature Network on Mighty Networks. I like that we will be learning about mycorrhizal (fungi-root) networks within a virtual network of our own!

Agnes Becker sketches outside - close up of hand sand sketchbook

Who is the Stardust Society for?

The Stardust Society welcomes you with open arms if:

  • You want to enrich your experience of being in nature with learning and creativity but don’t know where to start
  • You want to connect with the Earth and all her living beings more deeply but never find the time or headspace to do this
  • You love learning about nature from all disciplines and people but have never found a community where learning is free of judgement
  • You want to learn more about the world through science but feel what you read when you look things up is too complicated and overwhelming or believe you aren’t clever enough
  • You want to respond to your experience of being in nature with creative art projects but don’t know where to start or believe you are “rubbish at drawing/writing/making”

The Stardust Society may not be the best place for you if:

  • You want to learn technical terminology and get very specific about scientific methodology
  • You want a step-by-step guide to exploring the world through science and art
  • You are looking for a very directed course with a leader to take you through learning about an area of nature (I will act as more of a guide, encouraging others to share their findings and creations)
  • You feel some areas of learning about the world are superior to others, e.g. science is 'better' than art
illustration of two trees intertwined in their roots on wooden table

Join the stardust society

  • When: Monday 26 October – Friday 13 November 2020
  • Doors close for registration: Wednesday 19 October 2020
  • Investment: one off payment of £85 or three £30 instalments taken over the three weeks. Dialogues with Nature Network members receive £25 off - please use your code at checkout.