Iggdrasil by Leila Brown, 2002

What does action in the world by non-heroes look like? What if we replaced arguing, shaming, and moralizing with storytelling, empathizing, and inspiring?

“In its own quiet way, Enchantivism.  draws on the power of imaginative vision through telling and retelling of old myths, fairy tales, reborn legends, surfacing fantasies, and personal accounts.”

“Enchantivism describes the many ways we make lasting change by telling reenchanting stories about our relations with ourselves, each other, or our ailing but still-beautiful planet; sharing our reflections and inviting others’ on the relevance of these stories; and then letting the stories impel creative and thoughtful responses to how things are. The stories can be narratives, displays of imagery, humor, even dance and ritual.”

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We do this not with direct political action, but by awakening people through inspiration and hope. Enchantivism is analogous to the advice given by organic farmers: tend the soil, and the plants look after themselves.

Being an enchantivist requires no shouting or preaching. The quiet can use it so long as they possess a lively imagination, a deep care for life on Earth, and a willingness to plant stories in the space of fertile soil between real and ideal.

In its own quiet way, enchantivism draws on the power of imaginative vision through telling and retelling of old myths, fairy tales, reborn legends, surfacing fantasies, and personal accounts. Unlike lecturing or debating, storytelling invites us into a shared imaginal landscape, leaving its interpretation, if any, to the listener. It seeks common ground by collecting visions of times and places that can delight us. In story, the activist and corporatist, rebel and cop, artist and financier come together in a commons of image and language as fellow humans dwelling in more-than-human terrain.

The enchantivist approach recognizes the importance of stating facts but sees clearly that this will not suffice to change actions or worldviews, especially when the facts bounce off an entrenched story tenaciously held. Only a better story movingly told can meet that. Not louder words or cleverer arguments.

Whether telling stories, linking myths to current events, changing consciousness through photography, dance, or art, saving forests with poetry, or finding other ways to build relationships and knowledge through creative endeavors that inspire and delight, enchantivism aims in the long run to mobilize energies needed to bring about abiding change, change both personal and collective.”

Craig S. Chalquist, PhD, founder of Worldrede Academy and its imprint World Soul Booksand founding executive editor of Immanence Journal.