The Best Sacred Arts Artisans

Foundations

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iracles,

I have already share a list of my favorite resources for herbs, roots, and plant allies and I thought it was time to share a few more of my favorite spiritual suppliers and Sacred Arts artisans.

Spiritual Supplies are commonly understood to be oils, incense, powders, perfumes, waters, washes, candles, altar goods, statuary, talismans, and the list goes on.

As always, I do not receive any kind of kickback or financial incentive for these recommendations, they are simply folks I know and have worked with and have found to provide consistent high quality supplies.

First, pride of place goes to the sacred arts artisans who are also graduates from the Miracle Tree Sessions. Obviously, I am partial to these fine folks as they are students of mine who have gone through the MTS and I know them all personally and adore them.

Three Cats and a Broom — Jen has all kinds of magical goodies from a Rue water that is delightful to a wonderful breast health formula.

Candlesmoke Chapel — Sara and Joseph offer wide variety of spiritual supplies with a focus on oils and cleansing/blessing kits.

Kunst Magic — this is Jacquelyn Tierney’s site for bespoke, vintage, and one of a kind magical objects of art.

Paige Zaferiou — is a good witch who makes great tea. Sit down, have a cuppa, and throw down some cards!

Gatheress — Shelley Henry’s one of a kind magical goodies – her scent based alchemy is beyond exquisite.

Aidan Wachter — makes incredible talismans of all kinds. Pure magic in metal.

Stone Angel Studios — Jennifer Kaufman creates one of a kind works of art, sculptures, and jewelry that honors the Sacred with every step you take.

 

 

Other incredible sources for magic:

Rosarium Blends — Wonderful oils, incenses, and alchemical concoctions.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab — specializing in oils and perfumes

Twilight Alchemy Lab — sister company of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab selling mostly oils with a Conjure/Hoodoo bent.

Black Arts Foundry — Sarah does lovely work specializing in flying ointments

Lotus Wei — Flower Essences, sprays, perfumes

Green Man Essences — another excellent source for single note flower essences.

Big Dipper Wax Works — beeswax candles including pillars, tapers, and devotional glass candles.

Alchemy Works — Harold stocks oils, incense, seeds, medicinal, magical, and poisonous plants.

Apothecary’s Garden — Dan stocks fine frankincense, a number of different resins, and hard to find ingredients like Civet musk. He has incredible ethics in his business as well – something I very much admire.

Lucky Mojo Curio Company — specializing in hoodoo and conjure supplies.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Magical Missives: A Ceremony for Healing

Alchemy and Magic

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iracles,

When I asked my Sacred Artists community earlier this week what magic they were really yearning for right now the answer was clear: healing.

Healing of course takes many different forms. There is healing of the body and then there is healing of the heart. There is healing that occurs internally, healing that is external, and healing that is both.

In fact, sometimes when we start thinking about healing we become confused about what the term even means. One answer lies in the sister words that are linguistically related to the word “heal”; when we look at the words root we realize that to “heal” is to become whole and holy once more. Another way to look at healing is this: to heal is to be strong enough to remain tender.

Much magic is devoted to healing. In fact, magic and medicine are sister arts that grew up together, each study informing the other.

Faerie and so-called witch doctors, cunning men and women, root workers, shamans, and sorcerers all were called upon to assist in healing on all levels and many had prodigious skill.

On the flip side, not that long ago, doctors, midwives, and those with medical gifts were regarded as suspicious, eerie, and uncanny for their abilities to mend bones and soothe troubled minds. Once upon a time, not so very far from our time here and now, the serious practice of medicine – especially when taken up by women – was seen as just another form of heresy.

And in a way this makes sense, for healing, when done correctly IS radical. When we heal for real, we heal deeply, the medicine goes all the way down to the root.

So for those of you who are in need of healing of any kind; who are looking for the ways to continue to be strong AND soft in what can feel like an ever-hardening world, here is a ceremony just for you. It is a specific form of a spiritual bath. For more on spiritual bathing and spiritual cleansing, please see this very comprehensive article.

What you will need:

A quiet place where you can bathe undisturbed – it may be a shower, bathtub, or natural body of water.

Answers to the following questions:
What am I ready to wash away?
What am I ready to restore?

Kosher salt/Sea salt
Rose Water or Orange Flower Water (I recommend culinary grade waters used in cooking and drink mixes, usually you can find them at a good, higher-end grocery store. Rosewater is used in Indian, Middle Eastern, Persian, and some African cuisines so you might also be able to find it in the “ethnic” or “exotic” food aisles).
Water to drink
Honey or the sweetener of your choice
Clean clothes to put on after you bathe
Any other ritual items you might desire, like candles, incense, or a talisman

Ceremony:
Make the potion: On the day that you decide to take your healing bath or the day before, prepare a bottle of water to drink after the bathing ceremony is completed by adding a splash of rosewater or orange flower water and some honey/sweetener of your choice. This is a potion that you will drink AFTER you take your spiritual bath.

Make sure that your clean clothes are accessible to you after you bathe.
Cultivate Calmness

Take a moment to become aware of and connect to the earth beneath your feet, as you do so, breathe in the deep, green, energy of the earth and breathe out in gratitude – thank you.

Take a moment to become aware of and connect to the celestial skies above your head, as you do so, breathe in the high, bright, energy of the stars and breathe out in gratitude – thank you.

Take a third moment to become aware of and connected to your physical body and all that it does for you and breathe our in gratitude – thank you.

Cupping the salt in your hand, breathe over it and then state out loud what you are ready to wash away.

Bathe yourself and use the salt to scrub your body gently in long strokes starting at the neck and shoulders and then going all the way down your body (do not scrub back and forth, rather continue the stroked starting near the top of your body and then moving them down towards your feet.

Take a moment to really address your feet, starting at the ankle and then with the salt scrubbing down to the toes.Once you have finished bathing, say out loud the things you have washed away like this:

“Thank you water for removing my sadness, may it be carried forward by your depths and transformed into something that is of good use.“
Follow this style for every thing you wish to wash away.
Once you have finished, come out of your water and allow yourself to air dry naturally.
Put on your clean clothes.
Then, taking your bottle of potion, breathe over it and say out loud what you are ready to restore.
Drink it down and once you have done so affirm, it is done.

Final act:
Healing is, in most cases, a gradual experience and one that often occurs in phases. Be patient and also track your progress. Spiritual bathing is an act that can be repeated several times a month or every single time you take a bath.

For those who are interested in internal healing and cleansing, there is no better first step than to drink more water. Simple and effective as much good magic usually is.

The above image is one of many gorgeous artworks created by Brian Froud. Learn more about his work with faeries here and here.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

My Favorite Resources for Herbs, Roots, and Plant Allies

Foundations

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lants were some of my earliest medicine teachers. Learning how to sow and grow, harvest, and prepare herbs, roots, leaves, and bark for various medicinal and magical uses is something that was handed down to me grandfather to mother to daughter.

Nowadays I am fortunate to be able to grow my own plants and to responsibly wild harvest more for my own medical and magical recipes. For those who want to learn from plants the first step can be the most intimidating – there are SO many choices and where does one begin?

Here is my list of favorite books, sites, and people who love plants, roots, herbs, and all that is good and green. This is by no means comprehensive and it covers both the medical and magical uses of plants because I have worked with them in both contexts.

 

Start with what is already in your kitchen.
And then…

Books:

Witchcraft Medicine is my all time favorite.

The Modern Herbal (vols 1 and 2) are classics for good reason.

Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs is actually an industry standard.

Anything by Michael Moore

Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic is a classic by catherine yronwode https://www.amazon.com/Hoodoo-Herb-Root-Magic-African-American/dp/0971961204

The Encyclopedia of Aphrodisiacs: Psychoactive Substances for use in Sexual Practices is very thorough and fascinating.

And the Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants by the same team is also quite good to have on hand.

I also really love the book Braiding Sweetgrass for an exploration of what it means to be in right relationship to plants.

Websites:

Alchemy Works is Harold Roth’s wonderful website and shop dedicated to green magic-making.

The work of Kiva Rose at Bear Medicine Herbals is some of my favorite.

Sophia Rose’s site La Abeja Herbs is lovely.

Rebecca’s Cauldrons and Crockpots is delightful.

Sarah always has good stuff on tap.

Matthew Wood is excellent.

Sam Coffman is local to me and one of my faves.

The Enchanted Healer – wonderful and comprehensive look at what it means to heal and live with plants.

Gatheress – I love, love, love everything that Shelley Henry does.

Rosarium Blends – wonderful blends of incense, potions and oils

 

Magazines:

Plant Healer Magazine

Taproot Magazine

Orion Magazine

Earthlines Magazine

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Purify, Protect, and Bless: How (and why) to make a Salt Jar

Ceremony and Ritual

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he salt jar is a simple homemade sacred vessel, the purpose of which is to purify, protect and bless not only the spaces you inhabit, but also your aspirations and intentions. This is one of the illuminations we are working with in this month’s Spinning Gold coursework and I decided it would useful to share here as well.

Cleansing and blessing are two fundamental acts we find across the broad spectrum of the sacred arts; they are essential skills. The salt jar is a specific version of cleansing and blessing – one that is portable and that has a long history starting out (as did honey and sugar jars) as a special type of Jewish bowl blessing. Just as creating a sugar jar for yourself can bring sweetness into your life in accordance with the sympathetic magical traits associated with sugar, creating a salt jar can create an opportunity for purification, protection and blessing.

Salt is one of the oldest magical substances, entire books have been written about this ingredient alone. It has long been seen to have protective and preserving qualities and is used as a food preservative even today. Salt is also deeply associated with cleansing as the many cleansing and baptism rites calling for either the use of ocean water or water to which salt has been added attest to. The substance is understood to both remove and absorb negative influences or damage caused by the evil eye. As such it is also a blessing ingredient and I take this part quite literally, for without the right amount of salt in our bodies we would die.

A few years ago I began making salt jars on behalf of some of my clients, we have found them to be extremely effective at dealing with the following:

  • hitting a magical “reset” button for relationships that have been recently plagues by illness, fighting, distrust, or heavy stress
  • supporting and encouraging individuals who are breaking the chains of addictive behaviors, thoughts, actions, or emotions that keep holding them back
  • protecting and blessing new babies and families who have been blessed with new children
  • removing streaks of bad luck and difficult times
  • recovering from illness and/or trauma either chronic or acute in nature
  • cleansing an individual who is undergoing or about to undergo an initiatory experience
  • protecting pregnant women
  • protecting and blessing elderly family members
  • restoring peace to fraught relationships
  • to avert jealousy and ill wishes away from an individual and their family

 

Making the Jar

1. Choose a glass vessel. Vessels can be plain and simple as a little mason jar or elaborate as a colorful blown glass. If you use colors, be aware that traditional colors for this kind of work would be blue or red. Whatever you choose, keep in mind you will need to be able to shake it.

2. Salt – Kosher salt is recommended as it has been blessed.

3. Create a petition and place petition in jar. (See below for instructions)

4. Fill jar with salt, giving the jar a little space at the top.

5. Breathe into and the cap and seal the jar.

6. Hold it your hands. Bless it in whatever way you want.

 

Writing the Petition

You will need a pen and a piece of paper the size of a post-it note. Use whatever quality of paper you wish. Write your full legal name on paper three times. Turn the paper 90 degrees clockwise. Write the following over your name:

“May I be cleansed, purified and protected, today, yesterday and all of my days.” Finish by writing “Amen”, “May it be so” or “It is done”.

Fold paper, or roll it up and place in jar or bottle.

Other additions to the jar

There are some traditional ingredients that are often added to these jars and many of them live in your kitchen, they include:

  • Rue – the Greek word for this Mediterranean herb means “to be set free” and the leaves of the herb are shaped like little eyes. It has long been an additive in rites and ceremonies designed to address and remove negative influences caused by envy, jealousy, bitterness, and the “evil eye”.
  • Gold – a small bit of jewelry or even a broken gold chain will work just fine. Gold is added to a salt jar when one especially desires to protect their wealth and/or good fortune. It may also be added for salt jars made on behalf of expectant mothers or newborn children to ensure that they prosper in all ways.
  • Rosemary – another Mediterranean herb like rue, rosemary has long been associated with blessing and keeping the peace in a home and family.
  • Cloves – these pungent spices are worked with in numerous folk magic traditions to restore clarity and open the road for reconciliation in relationships that have been damaged.
  • Garlic – perhaps the best known protective herb, five single garlic cloves when tied together and placed into a bag or a salt jar are considered symbolic of the blessed “hand of Solomon” the wises man to have ever lived. Adding garlic ensures stronger protection and increased clarity and wisdom.
  • Sugar – for couples or families that are having a rough time I like suggesting that they make a combination sacred vessel working with both salt and sugar – the sugar keeps things and people sweet while the salt confers the benefits mentioned above.
  • Onion/wild onion – this is one of my personal favorite additions as it grows naturally where I live in both spring and autumn. Onions are worked with in both sweetening rites and as absorbing forces for harm and negativity.

Working with your salt jar

Like sugar jars, salt jars can be worked with in several different ways. Provided you use a vessel with a fireproof lid you can burn a candle on the top of the salt jar and pay attention to how the candle burns. You can use the jar much like you would a ritual rattle – shaking it rhythmically while singing or praying and also shaking it over people, places, or objects that are in need of cleansing, protection, and blessing.

Finally, for the plant people among my readers, you may have noticed that many of the additions I recommend are edible. You can indeed make a salt jar filled with delicious herbs like garlic and rosemary and then use it to season your foods. This has the extra step of allowing you to take the blessing of the salt jar directly into your body. NOTE: rue is NOT edible.

What I love best about the salt jar is what I love best about folk magic traditions world – over, the profoundly transformative is so often found in the every day – enjoy!

 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Down to the Roots

Lunar Letter

heart made of roots

Spring in South Texas is the time to make the most of it.  Before this precious window of lovely weather closes, before the Heat with a capital H sets in, I give myself to long hours spent outside with gloves and spades, with dirt and roots.

For me, gardening is a spiritual practice, an opportunity to reflect and deepen my relationship with first things, with the root matters of life.

Whenever I put spade or blade into the rich, dark earth, whenever I see winter dulled roots stir awake in a soft spring rain, I too am stirred. Crouching down, moving soil out of the way to make room for new life, I sense a line of ancestors standing behind me, touching me on my back and my shoulders, bringing my attention to the many roots of farmer, rancher, gardener, wild-crafter, and plant healer from which I descend. I hear their whispered voices and songs on the breeze as it blows through leaf and branch, as it blows through my hair — remember how to sow and reap, remember how to grow and tend.

Who were these people? I can make some educated guesses based on the scattered stories I have collected, but in many cases I really don’t know. One thing I do know: they were wonderful storytellers and they could tell you what kind of a plant you were looking at and six ways to work with it in one minute flat.

Among my dead are also thieves and murders, philanderers and neglectful mothers, cheaters and liars. It is quite possible that one side of my family stole land and home from another side of my family. Among those who came before me are deeply wounded ones who, because of skin color and native tongue were not seen or heard or included in so many ways. There are names and lives that have been forgotten because the people who came before me did not see fit to remember them and pass them down. There were ways and traditions that may be native ground for me, but that I must learn or remember anew because they were not ever part of my inheritance.

Here is the truth: every single one us descends from broken, torn up, and bruised lineages.

Each family tree has suffered many droughts, many fires, many windstorms, and deep wounds from the axe. Every single one.

Because we all come from fractured lineages, it is all-too-easy to fall prey to two traps. On the one hand, we easily romanticize those roots or lineages. On the other hand, it can often seem more soothing, more immediately satisfying to forget, to cut ourselves off and distance ourselves from those crazed roots.  But both are errors of seeing and recollecting correctly.  Romanticizing the past or cutting the past off from conversation with present and future — both actions trade momentary peace of mind for long term healing.

We find our blessedness in and among what is broken and that means that we, those of us living right here and right now, we, are the medicine that is needed, the medicine that pours right down to the roots.

It is through the ways we live our lives, the actions we take, the words we speak, the choices, we make and the ones we love that we make our stories, individual and communal, we make our roots, whole, healthy, and holy…or not.

And one more truth to keep with you as you go forward throughout this day: as long as the root is healthy the plant can come back, it can and it will return. Tending to the roots of things — be they family, idea, creative work, physical health or spiritual practice, is exactly the act that allows for new life, for the new shoots of tender green leaf, for a vital, healthy, and lush garden.

 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Snaps of Spring

Divination and Dreams

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ear Miracles: It is Springtime–one of my favorite seasons which makes sense because in the Western Esoteric traditions the season of Spring is of course attuned to the Element of Air and being a Libran, I’m an airy — faerie kinda gal! Spring means more time outside and less time inside. That has been especially true this year because the weather has been, in a word, INCREDIBLE. We had a cool and moist April and Beltane dawned crisp and glorious. Since I am in South Central Texas we always need more water but thus far the plants are thriving and delighting in the cooler than usual winds.

A basket full of herbs straight from the garden–for medicine, magic, and cooking alchemy. Lavender for love and peace, Rosemary for clarity of mind and purpose, Oregano for prosperity blessings and sensuality, roses for beauty, and lemon balm for zest! Some of these green goodies will be worked with as I make my own florida water for spiritual cleaning. Part of the Rosemary was tinctured for a respiratory health elixir, part of it was baked into bread, and a bunch of it was dried for ritual work I create around academic success.


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And more roses because really, can we ever get enough? These petals are from two antique varieties–Le Vesuve and Dame de Coeur. Roses did not make the top twenty list of magical herbs that live in your kitchen, but they make my personal short list of plant allies I always need to have on hand. My mother is somewhat of an antique rose expert–in Texas we call them Rose Rustlers, no joke, and she has over 200 varieties–so yeah, I guess you could say it runs in the family.

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Our Faerie light and grapevine chandelier hangs over our bed and blesses all it sheds sparkly light upon.

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And there has been a lot of bread making! (Note how the geese measuring cups look on with serenity).

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I hope everyone’s spring has been as delicious as ours has been!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Many Branches–Something Witchy this way comes with Sarah Anne Lawless

Learning and Community

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ear Miracles: Many of those in my audience already know our latest guest in the Many Branches series–Sarah Anne Lawless. She is an occult author, witch, herbalist, and artist living in the Pacific Northwest. Her blog is well known in the Pagan community and beyond. Her knack for crafting a brilliant flying ointment is one that I can personally attest to, and her devotion to her Gods is inspiring. Please give her a warm welcome!

bio-pic-2In her own words: A professional artist, writer, and herbalist, Sarah’s work has been published in various books, magazines, and online in The CauldronHex MagazineWitches & PagansWitchvox, Serpent Songs, and Hoofprints in the Wildwood. She is a carver, painter, and illustrator working in the mediums of bone, wood, ink, and paint creating original artwork, talismans, and ritual tools. Sarah is an animist, initiated witch, and wortcunner with a love of otherworldly beauty, folklore, mythology, poisonous plants, wildcrafting, wild places, and bones.

Find Sarah on the web at:

her website: sarahannelawless.com

Facebook: Black Arts Foundry

Twitter: @forestwitch

 

In the occult and magical community you are known for making excellent spiritual products, your writing, and your fine artwork, but you are also one of the few voices out there talking about working with animals and zoological talismans in an ethical and sustainable manner. This subject is a bit controversial but one that I think the magical community needs more familiarity with. What led you to begin working with animals and animal parts in a ritual setting?

For me it started with collecting feathers and escalated from there and I’ve found that others who consider themselves bone collectors often say the same thing. Taking home a feather you found on a forest walk isn’t really so far off from taking home a sea-washed bone or a small skull picked clean by scavengers. Once people find out you’re a bone collector they will suddenly start calling you about bones, feathers, or dead animals they found and ask what to do with them. Then people will start showing up on your door step with boxes of bones and any friends that hunt for food will start giving you bird feet, wings, and sometimes even organs that they don’t want to waste. Often people don’t want to use or give me the animals they find, they just want to know how to bury it safely and give it a respectful send off to the spirit world. A bone collector can find themselves taking on the role of an animal funeral director.

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I think the reason why many find my use of animal parts in magic controversial is because, though the use of zoological remains is still common in modern rootwork and the magical traditions of Central and South America, it is not common in modern witchcraft despite all the documented historical links and traditions. Many people are so far removed from nature, husbandry, and dirty hands-on folk magic that they find the use of zoological remains to be appalling and unethical without trying to first understand the context and history. Many assume that bone collectors such as myself are actually killing animals to use their parts in magic when this is very much not the case. You can find hearts, tongues, and feet at the butcher and you can find bones, skulls, teeth, claws, and hides from taxidermists, tanners, farmers, or hunters who don’t like to waste any part of an animal that’s been hunted or raised for food.

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Another reason I think this practice is controversial is because many people assume you are using a dead animal’s parts solely for cursing and other black magics, when again this is simply not the reality. Indigenous cultures who’ve held onto their animistic beliefs and traditions use animal parts in a sacred manner – they are used to better connect with animal spirits and the whole of nature itself. Feathers are often used to fly prayers to the spirits so they may hear them. Teeth and claws are used for protection against harm and to give one strength. Organs are more often used for healing and offerings than anything else – anyone with a grandmother who still buries dead fish in the garden for the fertility of the plants may best understand this. In rural areas of North America you can still find farmers hanging deer antlers or bull horns over their barn door. They may have forgotten why, but once upon a time it was the belief that doing so would protect your livestock and also ensure their health and fertility.

Modern butchery and hunting practices are wasteful and unethical for treating animals as soulless resources. By doing this work and using animal remains in a sacred manner in our spiritual traditions, we make those animals sacred. By showing them respect even in death, we make their lives have the same value as our own.

 

You are well known for crafting various flying ointments, often using ancient recipes. Why flying ointments and when did your love affair with them begin?

I first took notice when nightshades I had not planted started to grow in my garden plots and containers. Instead of weeding them, I researched them and became fascinated. This led me to growing other varieties like henbane, belladonna, datura, and brugmansia. I had a lot of fresh plant material on hand and at the same time I realized that no one I could find was making and using flying ointments today. Considering that flying ointments were one of the very few genuine direct links to the ancestral magical practices of preChristian Europeans, it puzzled me greatly that modern witches and pagans weren’t using them. Later I discovered this was largely due to fear of the plants as governments had been churning out frightening propaganda against them for centuries and our modern governments continue to spread the fear through misinformation. Tales of wild hallucinations and near death experiences come mainly from youths not seeking a spiritual experience, but who simply wanted to get high and who used these plants without research, proper preparation, and with no regard for dosage. They were using these sacred plants at a toxic level instead of in the much safer ways our ancestors would have and have consequently given these plants a much maligned reputation.

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I mainly work with plants in the solanaceae (or nightshade) family. Though many would believe we no longer use them today, the constituents of these plants, such as atropine, are actually considered “core” medicines on the World Health Organizations “Essential Drug List.” Aside from the nightshades’ long history with witchcraft, they are also some of the oldest and most potent medicines used by humanity. How could an herbalist fascinated with ethnobotany not fall in love with plants that were both powerful spiritual allies and incredibly potent medicines? Though my original intent was to use the solanaceae and artemisias for spiritual purposes, the more I worked with these plants, the more I found people came to me for their medicinal uses as well.

And so, after A LOT of research and careful testing, I started to make ointments with the plants I grew along with dried European mandrake roots. I found them to be very useful in aiding in dream work, spirit work, and trance work along with being excellent topical pain killers for relieving migraines, sore backs, and other muscle and joint pain. I started making them for shamanic and pagan groups who wanted to use them for rituals and ceremonies and I started bringing them to my own rituals and teaching workshops on these plants. With all my experience, I learned that much of the fear and propaganda surrounding nightshades and flying ointments is simply not true and that those of us who have learned their history and proper preparations should pass on our knowledge so it is not lost to future generations as it has been to generations past.

 

A lot of folks in the magical community struggle with that to call themselves. You have referred to yourself as an animist, witch, and spirit worker. What do those words mean to you and what is your advice for someone who has not figured out what the right title is for their work and beliefs?

When I call myself an animist, I am referring to my religious philosophy just as others would call themselves a polytheist or a monotheist. I do not worship gods, but instead see all things, all of nature, as being imbued with spirit, anima, life force. Interacting with and honouring the local animals, plants, rivers, lakes, mountains, forests, and larger land features is what matters most to me in my spirituality – the local spirits, great and small. Within animism there is also room for ancestor reverence and so I also honour those who have come before me, both my own blood ancestors as well as those who lived upon this land long before I was born. Animism is believed to be one of the oldest forms of spirituality in human history and still permeates surviving forms of folk magic, folk religion, and common superstitions.

When I call myself a witch I am referring to the practice of witchcraft, not a religious path. It is the folk magic I do, the early modern witchcraft lore I study, and the rituals I put into practice.

When I use the term spirit worker, it is to reference my work with spirits, both is in this world and the other worlds of folklore. It is my dream work, trance work, and the rituals I perform to interact with spirits – usually plants, animals, or ancestors.

I don’t personally believe in putting too much stock in labels and finding the right one as everyone has their own definition of a term, some using the archaic meaning and some using a modern derivative. It is far too easy to waste a lot of time trying to find a label that fits all we believe and do, when we could instead spend that time actively practicing and developing our own beliefs to suit our individual spiritual needs. I think it is a better use of our time instead of trying to fit into a role someone else has defined and be constantly fretting over it.

I wrote a whole article tackling this subject last winter as it comes up over and over again in spiritual communities: “Ducking Pigeonholing.”

 

You art is gorgeous, tell us a bit about how you got started and what your current favorite artistic project is?

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Thank you! I got started in art at a young age. I was always drawing and painting. I took art classes in every year of school because it was something I always enjoyed. I had a lot of support from family who kept me well supplied with paper, ink, and paints. I even used to illustrate stories I wrote and bound them into little homemade books. Today I’m lucky enough to be in a position to get paid for my art and to illustrate the writings of others as well as my own. Falling more under the umbrella of a folk artist, I’ve been able to explore just about any medium I’m interested in – woodcarving, bone carving, pyrography, textiles, calligraphy, and jewelry to name several.

Right now I have a bit of an obvious obsession with drawing plants and skulls. I hope to do more pieces with plants and animals native to my beloved Pacific Northwest in the near future.

 

If you could give one piece of wisdom to my readers today, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams and passions so you can live your life in joy and wonder, but at the same time be honest with yourself about how you’re going to pull it off in a practical manner.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.