Initiation makes us into something we weren’t before. Successful ritual transforms our consciousness, expanding our minds beyond a little circle of desire and gratification, connecting us to the more-than-human world of nature all around us, the ecosystem we depend upon, the creatures who are our earthly kin, as well as connecting us to the spirit of life in the cosmos itself. This is what we used to get consistently in premodern society and what some people in more traditional societies, which are more resistant to the modern disease of disconnection, still get.

For those of us born into large-scale modernising cultures, religion tries to fill the gap, which is left as we turn away from this world of animistic life, but it gets so cold in those dusty halls and generally misses the meaty, gristly, blood-pumping point of the matter. That is, the living matter …

The best book I ever read on this subject was “Nature and Madness” by Paul Shepard. He pointed out what we had lost, how the turn towards technological domination of the planet came at such a great cost, as we allowed our initiation rituals to become severed from the word around us, and led by new types of elders, whose loyalties were to king and army rather than our fellow animals, our ancient homes in the forests and the mountains, the deserts and the seas. It’s a great book, but like my PhD on the meaning of light, it spends most of its time diagnosing the problem, leaving us to find solutions.

So I wrote this song, as a hint towards some things we could be doing to take our power back, as a signpost, a call to arms, an ecopoetic symbolic evocation of that world, as it calls us back to ourselves and to its living significance, within and without …

I called it “I Parent Myself” and it can be found at

It’s taken from the new Severins album “Reconnect”, which is available here. The vinyl album will be launched at the Northcote Social Club in Melbourne, Australia, on Friday the 28th of June.

I Parent Myself

Well you know there were times when your mummy and daddy weren’t there

And I seem to recall there were times when they didn’t even care

But this history was passed on since before the times of the fall

We were cut off from nature and that’s not no that isn’t all

So I parent myself, again

Yes we parent ourselves, in the end

So I’m gonna do a better job than I’ve ever done before;

Yeah we’ve gotta do a better job than we’ve ever done before 

Each generation is initiated with the wisdom that’s on hand

But now we’ve got the web we don’t listen anymore to the land

It is culture that teaches us to learn to give up our blood

But it’s nature that asks us to make sure that we make the cut 

We were left alone by this stream

Having to create a new dream

While the captains of industry sailed away

Now we’re here with all our new friends

Just enough time to make amends

Got to link up and grow through the cracks in the fence

Take control of your destiny

Join your local rebel army

Change the way that we do things immediately

Hear the voice that resounds within

All of matter and all of your kin

Got to stand up and starve out that faceless machine

Whip up all of that energy

That arises endlessly

Place awareness in potentiality

Take the cut, take the cut, take cut

Make the cut, make the cut, make the cut

Take the cut, make the cut, take the cut, make the … cut!