I don't prefer the Anthropocene or the Sociopocene. My favorite word for these times is the Chthulucene. A term coined by Donna Haraway in her book "Staying with the Trouble." Both Anthropocene and Sociopocene are too fatalistic for me, not that I don't enjoy being fatalistic when there are creative possibilities in doing so. But both the above terms feel like dead ends or boxes that deny the multidimensional, multi-origins, and infinite potential of the universe, including the potential that the beauty of humanity can be cultivated.
I can't help it. I love humans and people of all species (ok maybe not ticks but they do have their medicine) and I love the Earth.
The Chthulucene is the "time of the thick now" derived from the word Chthonic. A word for ancient, underworld, and "subterranean". The place where all life is birthed from. Where we emerge from the the humus, the compost, the mycelia (the constellation of stars underground), all that has ever bled, all the tears that have fallen, all the deconstruction, all of the bones, and the hot sun that burns in the center of the Earth.
I don't like the new age cliche "we are spiritual beings having a human experience." I don't want to leave, escape, go to heaven. I want to be here now and always.
I am an embodied being, married to matter, having a divine experience with light, carbon, gravity, density, the swords of love, and the sacred heart. I am making compost. When I die I want to turn into soil, hopefully beneath a cherry tree so my blood can feed it's sap. The Chthulucene turns our bodies into sap.
My best friend is a polluted river.
That river is the most beautiful thing in the world to me. I sing it songs and offer it prayers. I have no idea what my life would be without it.
In the Chthulucene I take the hair from my brush and put it outside on branches for the birds to make nests from.
The Chthulucene doesn't expect purity and it's open-ended allowing for the full and holy cycle of life, death, and rebirth that all of the vital thermal radiant forces of the universe can never cease to generate regardless of human sociopathic behaviors.
The Chthulucene takes the compost and grows mushrooms, it makes use of what's at hand, it innovates, it imagines.
Our neurotic collective complex is also entangled in the Chthonic. The Chthulucene is the time of our entanglement. Where our despair, grief, fear, nuclear loneliness, and greed are not dead ends. They're not isolated, although they might feel that way. No, our feelings are entangled like tentacles that twist and turn from shadows like strands of DNA make its way from egg to egg to egg in the steep dark of the womb through time asking us "how will we live now, what is to come?"
The Chthulucene is tentacular. Like Medusa with the ability to strike an enemy stone cold. It isn't nice.
It's like Baba Yaga who will put our heads on her fence post if we don't know who we are.
It's the time when we remember our collectivity. That our survival depends on us joining in a circle each morning to share our dreams. The dreams that tell us what the work of the day is and what each of us must do as our part in the narrative of present. What fields must be planted. Whose turn it is to use the press to make olive oil. Who will allow themselves to be arrested today.
The Chthulucene is the time when we remember why one myth can speak to a room full of individuals. One myth can speak to thousands. When one myth from 4,000 years ago means everything to us now. When we need to know why Aphrodite tested Psyche so ruthlessly. When we need to know why Psyche had to rebel.
So for me, I'll pass on the Anthropocene myth and the Sociopocene myth. They have their truths but not for me. I'll take the Chthulucene because it deepens my breath and unclutches my heart with the black Earth it puts in my hands and the weight it carries in my body where my spirit belongs.
For some words on the Anthropocene and the Sociopocene: