Day 49. Ascending to Imbolc. 'The View from the Oak': a magical book about animals

The View from the Oak: The Private Worlds of Other Creatures’ by Judith and Herbert Kohl is a beautiful book inspired by the work of Jacob Von Uexkull. He created the word Umwelt to mean the world as it’s perceived by an individual creature, based upon how their senses work, their size, their values and priorities.

We all live in the same world, but we experience it completely differently. 

The book has some really clever illustrations pondering how different creatures like bees and ants see the same field, and shares some of the work of animal behaviourist Niko Tinbergen.  

It really encourages us to remember that humans aren’t the only creatures on the planet and that our ways of perceiving aren’t the only ways. This feels like such an important thing to remember - it feels like a key step in healing the Cartesian split, and living a human life that’s more honourable in relation to the other creatures on earth. 

It’s a gorgeous book to have in your collection if you’re interested in animism, animals, nature conservation, animal welfare… anything to do with how we think about and connect to other creatures. 

If you would like to learn more about this way of appreciating and understanding animals, you can come and join us for A Year of Wild Wisdom, a magical journey through the year with a host of wise and wonderful creatures. 

A year of wild wisdom animal guides