5 Books That Examine The Spiritual And Scientific Wonders Of Seeds And Stars

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that you are part of the natural world, but humanity has been in relationship with the stars and seeds for millenia. Whether you’d like to learn about the fantastical world of fungi or you’re interested in Indigenous-centered perspectives on modern land stewardship, here are five books that will make you look at the natural world a little differently.


Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit

If you’re seeking a book that feels akin to wandering through the mossy woods and listening to the trees tell their secrets, this is the book for you. Through a series of engaging essays, author Lyanda Lynn Haupt explores through a series of essays the scientific benefits of walking barefoot, examines the language we use around the natural world, and encourages us to reexamine the way we look at our relationship with animals. Read this book laid against your favorite tree or curled up in front of a cozy fire to stimulate both your spiritual and scientific sides.  

(source: Goodreads)

The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light

Have you ever been able to see the Milky Way at night? In most cities and towns, it’s impossible to see more than a few stars. However, a starry sky was once something that every human saw daily; it inspired ancient civilization to study their path. Paul Bogard argues that a starry night is still your birthright, as he follows the ways that artificial light disrupts your sense of sight, internal clocks, and even sense of wonder. This book blends history, science, and personal narratives to illustrate there is still much to gain when we connect with the primal force of the night sky.

(source: https://www.paul-bogard.com/)

Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes Through Indigenous Science

For so long, indigenous science has been sidelined as primitive or backwards. However, Maya Chorti and Zapotec scientist Jessica Hernandez makes a case that Western conservationism is failing because it is based upon colonial practices. Hernandez clearly breaks down the concepts of eco-colonialism and outlines indigenous resistance in urban and rural spaces. Through case studies and personal narratives centering Latin American women, this book creates a vision for the future where native caretakers use ancestral indigenous science to heal and care for the land and water for generations to come.

(source: Penguin Random House)

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures

When Fantastic Fungi appeared on Netflix, many people were introduced to the world of spores and mushrooms. This book gives you a chance to dive deeper into this magical kingdom of life that is neither plant nor animal. You may be thinking of mushrooms, but they are simply the fruiting body of fungi, which have many more forms, like veins of white mycelium run underground to communicate between trees and distribute nutrients to each other. Merlin Sheldrake focuses on the array of powers that fungi hold, whether they remediate polluted landscapes, alter our state of consciousness, or delight our taste buds when sautéed with garlic. 

(source: Penguin Random House)

The Triumph of Seeds: How Grain, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History

Seeds are so tiny you often forget about them until you’re spitting them out while eating a cold slice of watermelon on a hot summer’s day. But Thor Hanson zooms into the world from a seed’s perspective and how they manipulate the world around them to spread their kingdom, soaring on the wind, hiding in delicious fruits. kick starting the Enlightenment. Whether you love coconuts or coffee beans or cotton, you’ll find every seed, packed full of essential minerals and proteins, powers the world, even if they have to sit dormant for 2,000 years before they bloom. 

(source: Hachette Book Group)