Justine Huxley shares about a new book. She describes witnessing a time of global liminality and explores how we can be sustained by trusting in the vaster cycles of life.

“From  rites  of  passage,  to  the  cyclical  seasons  of  nature,  to  unexpected chaos  events,  the  liminal  time  and  space  that  arises between  the  structure  of  what  was  known  and  the  wholly  unknown  future is  ambiguous,  uncertain,  disrupting  and  deconstructive.  As  such,  the shadowy  interval  between  here  and  there  is  both  dangerous  and strangely  full  of  unseen  potential.  The  future  of  individuals  and  groups  is often  determined  by  what  transpires  during  that  in-between space,  as  old worlds  pass  away  and  new  ones  emerge.”  
(Revd. Timothy L. Carson)   

Liminal times are the spaces betwixt and between, when one cycle ends and another begins.  They are times of dissolution and reconstitution.   We know liminal space between every in-breath and out-breath.  We feel it in a deeply personal way, when a life chapter draws to a close.  And we see liminal space on a much bigger scale at the end of an era or a civilisation.  The first happens thousands of times a day, the second a handful of moments in our lifetime, the third perhaps once in thousands of years. 

As we come to the end of the anthropocene era, we are witnessing a global dissolution.   The values of consumerism distort our dying culture, bringing us face to face with catastrophic climate breakdown, as it unfolds in different forms around the world.   Though we often hesitate to name it, we sense that human extinction is one way this could end.  

It can be hard to face this reality.  But there is a deeper wisdom within us, that knows life has cycles of expansion and contraction, light and dark, order and chaos.  If we change our time-frame – look through a different lens – we can tune into a much bigger story, far beyond our own individual incarnation.  

Maybe one day, after several generations have wandered in, or been lost to, the bleak wastelands of collapse, humanity will emerge from the ashes anew.  No longer homo sapiens, but perhaps even a new, subtly different iteration of our species – with a new cosmology, a new way to live, not as dominators, but as co-creators with this ancient, wise, living, breathing being, who we call Earth.  

But for now, we face many decades of escalating chaos.  

So, how can we live in a liminal space of such vast proportions and terrifying possibilities?  How can we trust – when we may never live to see the new cycle come to fruition?   How might our vision and our sense of meaning change?  And how can we plant the stories of rebirth, like seeds under the soil, so they can sustain us as we make this transition through liminal time?

These are the questions I try to answer in:  “Seven practices for Living in a Liminal Age,” a chapter in a new book, The Liminal Loop.


The Liminal Loop: Astounding Stories of Discovery and Hope edited by Timothy L. Carson (The Lutterworth Press) is a collection of eighteen international voices exploring liminal reality through many perspectives, disciplines and contexts. It also includes chapters by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee and poetry from Carrie Newcomer.  Find it here

Image: solar eclipse by Brian Goff, with thanks.

Justine Huxley

Senior Consultant

Formerly CEO for eight years, Justine has been responsible for guiding St Ethelburga’s strategy and mission to sit at the intersection between climate and peace. Justine is now Senior Consultant, seeking new partnerships and opportunities to collaborate. She leads on the programme Lighthouse in a Storm, and continues to innovate new projects in resilience and spiritual ecology. Her twin passions are building inner/community resilience for climate breakdown, and how humanity can awaken to a new understanding of kinship with all life. She has a Ph.D in psychology and a diploma in integrative counselling. Her first book, Generation Y, Spirituality and Social Change is a reflection of seven years of work with the younger generation at St Ethelburga’s.

07989 545 958