‘Raeding’ Nature

Heard of Tom Brown, one of the most revered naturalists in America? His tracking skills and his spiritual philosophy offer us a rare insight into the habits of the natural world, but he is often overlooked by others as a new age loon.

In perhaps his most famous book, The Tracker, Tom introduces the concept of, ‘Concentric Rings’—->

…the first thing when learning concentric rings is to establish the base rhythm of the symphony [Environment/Forest]. Once the symphony is established, any disturbance in the flow becomes a concentric ring. Whether the symphony or disturbance becomes more dramatically loud or whether it becomes quieter, it is a concentric ring. Any change at all means something.

Tom Brown later explains the value of this systematic but silent appraisal of an environment. And with regards to Alchemy the CR concept has a great deal of practical merit. He offers a bridge between  the spiritual world and the real world, this is where most mystical literature falls short —->

A good way to practice is to learn to establish the symphony. Any time a fluctuation occurs, go quietly over to see what has made the disturbance and how far out the disturbances or concentric rings can be detected. Try to stalk so that you do not create a concentric ring that interferes with that which is going on at the moment. The more you practice, and it will be frustrating at first, the more will be the rewards of being able to read what is going on at greater and greater distances.

From The Tracker, 1984, published by the Tracker School

It was once said that a good Apache scout could read the concentric rings of one, ‘white man’ eight miles away.

In the big city, these rules are utterly real! With a suitably detached mindset, one can watch the Aristotelian Causal network in full flow. There is usually something, “keeping time”, perhaps a builders hammer, which dictates when the next event will occur, the real skill comes with noticing the flow and transference of meaning between Egregores, something that could be likened to Mercury, Qi or Tao.


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4 responses to “‘Raeding’ Nature”

  1. Sensual-Animist says :

    A very interesting skill that is worth cultivating and expanding on, most people are divorced from their environments. Reminds me of David Abram’s work (The Spell of the Sensuous) where he shows how literate people “read” artificial symbols, while non-literate peoples “read” nature.

    • otove says :

      Every single of natures fibres speak volumes about the past, present and future, they speak a living language we all have access to. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  2. jessicawritesnow says :

    I have heard of this. It sounds so much easier than it is to do. It’s a meditation of sorts. A heightened awareness while tracking. thinking/doing/identifying/following/finding(if that’s imperitive)all at once. An honest to God living and breathing computer…

    • otove says :

      In response to your other question:

      Sherlock Holmes’ approach is worthy of study, he ties a well trained memory to a child like imagination, using these powers of deduction can unveil unseen vistas in our lives and the natural World.

      Try this exercise:

      Every time you step outside your front door, Prepare your mind, take a deep breath an then ask this, ” what?, where? when?, why?, how?, who?”. Engaging with these questions turns on the receptive Imagination and unites it to our Intuition, joining heaven and Earth so to speak.

      This may also be of interest to you:


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