We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Fiorino aka Tempist Jade and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Amanda, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?

“You are conditioned to be in desperate need of a future.” Alan Watts

At a time where immense change is afoot (ecologically, politically, culturally, spiritually etc.), urgency resounds. Clarion calls for action and activism abound as responses to the increasing needs of all species. Honorable efforts are being made on behalf of life, and pathways for repair and responsibility are confronting the endless injustices of the world. However, within the ground from which many of these pathways spring lives a particularly popular narrative. A narrative that governs and guides many of our actions and activisms. A narrative of saviorism.

I love this quote by Alan Watts because it confronts this narrative with simple audacity, and brings into question colonial-industrial-capitalistic understandings of purpose and belonging. If there is always a future in peril then we are always pulled away from what is happening right here, right now. We are pulled away from our ecologies of belonging, from our experiences of love and loss, and from the thrumming web of inter-specied collaboration. Rarely are we invited to consider what such a narrative is instructing us to save, let alone the hubris that inspires such a narrative.

When I’m not spending my precious life-force on saving an uncontrollable future, all manner of possibilities open up and out around me. Right here is where I can wonder with willow trees, dream with dragonflies, grieve with ground foul, rage with red-winged blackbirds, mourn with mycelium, and rejoice with raccoons. For me, this isn’t visionary futility. Rather, it’s a holy practice of placing my tender trust in the larger web of creation; of allowing my impermanence to be inspired by the distributed agency of all who have come before, all who are here now, and all who shall come after.

For me, futurism isn’t inherently linear, and imagining what might be (with the ecologies of my belonging) invites me to inhabit my life more intentionally. By dreaming with the world, I am saying yes to courageously collaborating with the unknown and yet-to-be. This holy practice of tender trust both informs my work with others, and reminds me, daily, that I inherently matter because I exist right here, right now.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

I am an interdisciplinary guide and writer with a focus in personal development and embodied transformation. My work is a confluence of many traditions and practices, from nature-based underworld guiding and eco-depth psychology to animism and feminist psychology. I love this shapeshifting world, and my work is an articulation of that love. By supporting others through passages of transformation I am supporting the evolution of life itself, and honoring the mystery of existence.

Foundational to my approach is the examination and deconstruction of well-established narratives (personal and collective) that guide and inform the way we are all in relationship with ourselves, our communities, and the world at large. Stories that serve as the ground from which our belonging springs.

For me, stories are living ecologies that shape the world. They are expressions of inter-specied and multi-ancestral collaborations rooted in place-based intimacy. This became clear to me when I was six years old, and still living with ancestral territories in Maine. I began to see the smiling faces of my Passamaquoddy ancestors in the trees. Their soft, beaming gazes opened my awareness up to the holographic nature of time, and they continue to invite me to wonder about humanity’s purpose in our world’s magnificent and terrifying turning.

My own understanding of ancestry (and by extension, kin) extends well beyond humanity, and includes ancient beings whose material forms have long-since composted. From a young age, dinosaurs, lipoterns (hoofed mammals), eurhinodelphids (long-snouted dolphins), and otodontidae (sharks – past, as well as present) have engaged me through the dreamtime. Their presences, much like the faces of my Passamaquoddy ancestors in the trees, transmit wisdoms that ongoingly guide and inform my work with others. Wisdoms that point to future articulations of life as being present in our every breath and step, and an understanding of belonging as a vast network of emergent re-membering.

I believe each of us inherently belongs to these times, and the greatest gift we can offer is listening deeply to all the ways we are called to participate. A participation that is informed by our personal and collective stretches of transformation.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

As a small mountain town, Pagosa Springs is a place where folks have ample opportunities to connect with the land, learn about First Nations and their histories, as well as partake of some great cafes and restaurants. I love many of the river trails, and find refuge in some of the aspen groves that dwell in the deeper stretches of the forest.

Though I’m not someone who eats out much, I really appreciate restaurants like Meander and cafes like Higher Grounds. I also love to spend time at the hot springs, and really enjoy soaking in the rock pools open to all along the San Juan riverwalk that runs through the center of town.

As for shopping, stores such as Tangled carry work by local artists and have some great gift options for family and friends. I’ve even had some of my own bead work for sale in there.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My ancestors, human and more-than-human. They have been with me my whole life – surrounding me in my times of loss and loneliness; remembering me through my dreams; inspiring me through visions; reminding me that I matter when I feel like I don’t. The lands that shape(d) me – the ocean and forests of the Dawnlands. My mother, Debby Hughes, and father Anthony Fiorino, for making my life possible, and for shaping me in unforeseen ways. My Hanai mother Sally Takekawa whose love invoked the presence of my own strength, and whose tenacious courage continues to inspire my own rebellious heart. My former mentor and friend, Robin Saltonstall, for her incredible ways of looking at things differently, and for supporting my curiosity and wonder. My partner, Matt Huntze, for his tenderness and intelligence, and his willingness to live radically and raucously; for the ways he supports my longings and challenges me in following the paths that feel risky. My wee creature, Areion Raven, whose will, trickstery wit, love, and dreaming body root me into a kind of vulnerability that feeds my passions for this world. My feline kin, equine kin, canine kin, and winged kin who deepen my inter-specied linquistics. My soul kin who see and love my multiplicitous nature, and encourage me to continue saying yes to my shifts in shape. Wonderers and thinkers like Donna Haraway, Bayo Akomolafe, Stephen Buhner, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Audre Lorde, and Joy Harjo.

Website: www.feralmysticism.com

Instagram: @feralmysticism

Facebook: Feral Mysticism

Other: TikTok: @feralmysticism My bead work: TikTok @adornmentsofdisturbance and IG: @adornments_of_disturbance

Image Credits
Matt Huntze Brittany Ference Areion Raven

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.