A lichen story.
Shielded from human influence, a colourful lichen could path its way into existence—an existence born from a beautiful mutualism among a plastic-eating bacterium, a eutrophic algae, and a fossil-digesting fungus jointly chewing on the dragon’s remains.
Lichen altar with weaved plastic items and bones
Lichen emerging from the ice
When members of a nearby living human community encountered the new specimen, they were deeply touched by its beauty. It evoked memories of the sun – golden and warming. After a while they observed how the organism interacted with its surroundings, creating new soil from lifeless material. As a gesture of gratitude they started to nurture the lichen and crafted little altars with plastic and organic offerings that they found on their daily strolls.
Children of Entanglement hanging out at a sacred place
Soon the humans experienced vivid and colourful dreams, which turned out to be the lichen’s invitation to a sacred, mutual relationship: Digerendis Creo (DC) — the ones who eat the past and prepare the future.
As years went by, the community deepened their spiritual practice and eventually became part of the lichen. The children of entanglement were born.
Travel lichen is being prepared for a long journey
A reoccurring dream depicted melting ice shields causing floods of mud. It showed sinking settlements, hordes of mosquitos and the emergence of unknown diseases. The age of mud soon became a collective dystopia, and the coven wondered what to do when the big thaw reached a tipping point.
Created with Midjourney
Contemporary paintings depicting the age of mud
One new moon night, they dreamt of a distant group of humans that hoarded highly dense carbon items as by-products of their magical practice. They saw lichen-made bridges of solid soil; there remained plenty of mud but also roots, mycelium, and plants. It was a mysterious vision, and the coven felt compelled to investigate.
They knew the dissociated pieces of the puzzle would start making sense once they embarked on a quest to find and connect with the strangers.
“Gaia, what will await us when we go on this journey? Nehalennia, we call you; may the spirits of the ocean be with us. May DC help navigate and connect with the realms ahead.”