It is time to go for a ride with the next luminous Spinning Gold Caretaker, Jen Rue of Rue and Hyssop!
Jen is a magical woman who crafts glorious herbal goodies and brings her infectious joy, spirit of wonder, and good cheer to everything that she does. She isn’t afraid to get real, rowdy, and her relationship with our plant friends and allies is one of the deepest and most sincere I have ever come across. Spinning Gold is blessed to have her as part of our course caretaker community! And now, let us hear what Jen has to say about all things faerie…
1. What’s your favorite faerie tale / folk tale from childhood? Why?
As a child I liked any tale where animals talked and interacted with humans. I was so sure that animals wanted to talk to me, and that I was merely moments away, at all times, from being spoken to by a cat, dog, bird, or any beast I stumbled across. I rather liked the tale of the frog prince. I wasn’t really looking for a prince of my own as a child, but I was smitten with the idea that I could form a friend out of a frog with a simple kiss. Though I caught my share of tadpoles and small frogs, I can’t recall ever kissing one – I think the old wive’s tale that kissing frogs would result in warts, is what thwarted my curiosity in that area.
2. What’s your favorite faerie tale / folk tale these days? Why?
This winter I spent an inordinate amount of time at the river that runs along the edge of my town, talking with the swans that overwinter here, and in the evenings I would linger over some of the many variations of the Swan Maiden tales. I am bewitched by the idea that I could put on a robe of swan feathers and take flight as a remarkable white bird. I am still not finished with swans, I think.
3. What is it to live an enchanted life?
Life is is not an easy adventure. It can be terribly painful, and there is such loss. It can disappoint, and it can be unkind. But it is astonishingly beautiful too. It is truly breathtaking. It offers so much joy if we will just get out of our own way and look and listen and taste and touch, and take time to really experience what we are living. I had a difficult winter this year. But even in my bleakest moments, I was absolutely fascinated that I could feel such pain. I was enraptured by an experience that could offer such staggering feeling. Living an enchanted life means finding enchantment in everything – even the not so nice things. I see magic everywhere. In dandelion seeds, in the storms that roll in over the hills, in making my nieces laugh, and in my own tears. To me, it’s all this amazing life. It’s all magic.
4. How do you spin gold?
I was fortunate to grow up around people who, though they didn’t understand my imagination and sight and strangenesses, encouraged me to seek wonder. Wonder in nature, in stories, in play, and in everday activities like gardening, baking or housework (though it took me a long time to find the wonder in cleaning the bathroom). Today, I find that I blend some kind of enchantment into every part of my life. I toss herbal blends on my floors and sweep them up. I create room sprays that infuse my space with scent and energy. I mow sigils and runes into my lawn before cutting it. I sing charms over the mixing bowl when I’m baking. My gardens get offerings and prayers and sweet whispered words of encouragement. I used to draw sigils on my nieces when I hugged them, before they left for school, to help them through their day. I don’t know that a day goes by that I don’t find or weave some sort of magic. It’s become the best habit I have. I’m always spinning…
Ready to add you story to the mix? Join us for Spinning Gold – registration closes on August 18th.