“A Common Craft is a series of podcasts about the archetype of the Witch, Witchcraft and magic and how these subjects may affect our daily lives- sometimes without us even noticing. Through interviews and storytelling, each episode will present a journey of occult ideas, feminism, healthcare, gender and popular culture. As Witchcraft becomes increasingly popular, I ask what we can learn from it's unorthodoxy and how it might make the future more magical for us all”.
A few years ago when I completed my Herbal Medicine Making course and Herbal Immersion Course with Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, I came across a teacher who really resonated with me, Asia Suler of One Willow Apothecaries.
Asia taught us a module on Plant Spirit Medicine and has since gone on to develop her own in depth course on Intuitive Plant Medicine. This year I decided it was time to take this practice a step further and signed up.
Nurturing our intuition is a practice that honours nature, self care and ritual.
I am of the firm belief that we are a part of an animate world, meaning all things are alive consisting of an innate energy. This energy interconnects EVERYTHING. By virtue of this magical weave we are all a part of, we should determine the value of all things as sacred and treat them as such.
As we are reminded on a daily basis these days, through our own actions, we DO NOT value all things as sacred, we DO NOT believe that they are connected to us, in fact, we believe that it is our right to continue to abuse and disrespect them - Take the basic four elements of Air, Fire, Earth and Water as the most obvious examples!
We do not have a consensual relationship with the world around us, we just continue to TAKE without ever asking for permission.
Intuition at its most basic form is your GUT - We all have intuition we just have to learn to re-connect with our bodies, with our land, to listen and feel. To be aware of our senses and to become a little bit wild again.
G O R S E Ulex europaeus, Fabaceae. Such a misunderstood plant. It is prolific in the West of Ireland and all around Baile Mheiriceá and Connemara. For a native wild thorny plant it offers such an exotic, subtle and sophisticated flavour. Once you brave and pass the thorny spikes, this plant offers the most delicate, sweet smelling tropical blossoms.
For the past two years the Gorse flowers have bloomed earlier than the previous 4 years. They have been at their fullest bloom around February / March and have begun to disappear and go to seed in April and May. Since Bealtaine and during this moon cycle the flowers of the Gorse have nearly all dissapeared, especially those growing near the coastal areas around south Connemara. Between 2013-17, we would still have be picking Gorse flowers well into June.(FYI our last batch of Wild Gorse Syrup for this flowering season is now available online and in our Tasting Room).
B O G M Y R T L E Myrica Gale, Myricaceae. Bog Myrtle, along with Gorse will be a plant which we will focus on for our Wheel of the Year notes. The image above, taken in early April captures the illustrious orange catkins of the plant. Now we are in May, Bog Myrtle has developed green foliage and has become more camouflaged amid the local terrain.
With each year comes more of an appreciation and deeper understanding of the beauty of this plant and its aromatic, resinous charms.
Aít - Gather/Land Connection
Place, Land energy, Community - What makes a place..?
A particular position, point, or area in space; a location.
A portion of space designated or available for or being used by someone.
One thing that we have learnt from folklore is that those who came before us were deeply rooted in celestial patterns and the rhythms of nature. We have dis-connected. I believe that in our modern world there is a need to re-connect with these simple, nourishing natural rhythms. Living a conscious life in tune with the natural world brings us clarity, connection and space.
As part of this Journal we will delve deeper into the cyclical change of the seasons, the ‘Wheel of the Year’ and observe how nature behaves throughout the seasonal cycle. We will be keeping notes on plant behaviour during each cycle - what grows and how, the moon cycles, daylight, darkness and moods…
Cultivate a habit of giving thanks. Gratitude is good for us. By giving thanks we focus on what is good, it deepens our values and connects us to one another.
“Generosity does not require material abundance. When I think back on the many people who have been so generous toward me, I never think of money or “things.” Instead, I think of the way they gave me their presence, their confidence, their affirmation, support, and blessing — all gifts of “self” that any of us can give.
And where does generosity come from? Perhaps from another life-giving virtue, the one called gratitude. When I take the time to breathe in my life and breathe out my gratitude for the gifts I’ve been given, only one question arises: “How can I keep these gifts alive?”
I know only one answer: “Become a giver yourself, pass your gifts along, and do it extravagantly!”