I’m really excited to announce the release of my new book: The Sacred Actions Journal: A Wheel of the Year Journal for Sustainable and Spiritual Practices. The Sacred Actions Journal is a follow-up to my 2021 book Sacred Actions: Living the Wheel and includes additional information on sacred actions, new insights on spiritual journaling, new…The Sacred Actions Wheel of the Year Journal and Earth-Based Spiritual Journaling — The Druids Garden
Embracing Ancestral Fires and Fire-starting at Beltane
An awen-shaped sacred fire, created from my flint and steel
The tiny sparks from my flint and steel shower down on my char cloth. This flint and steel set was a gift from a fellow druid from almost a decade ago, a gift that has long offered me a connection with my ancestors. It takes me a few moments to remember the technique he taught me, striking the steel against the flint in a particular way with a particulary angle to my body. Starting a fire in an ancestral way isn’t just a mental act; its an emboded one. I breathe deeply and remember, and the tiny sparks fly from my tools to the char cloth. After a few more attempts, a single spark lands on the cloth and starts to glow orange. I carefully pick up the char cloth and blow on it to increase the ember size, then…
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Recipe: Wildcrafted Herbal Blessing Oil
A herbal blessing oil is a simple magical tool that you can make that directly comes from the living earth. The herbal blessing oil can be used to bless tools, seed balls, trees, yourself, other people, or anything else you like. You can include it as part of your Druid’s Crane Bag. Your own unique blend of herbs and wildcrafted ingredients will make it an amazing and potent tool for your practice. While druidry doesn’t use oils extensively, other traditions, like the American folk magic and Hoodoo, use oils a lot to dress candles and do other kinds of energetic work.
Choosing Plant Material
You can harvest material from one plant or from a variety of plants and combine them. Here are some possibilities for you:
- Lavender, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Lemon Balm, Majoram, – Garden herbs that offer healing and protection. Add one or more of these as…
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Plant Spirit Communication Part IV: Medicine for the Body and the Soul
In the last few weeks, we’ve considered various ways in which we might communicate with plant spirits, work with them, and engage in spirit journeys with them. In this post, I am beginning to make the transition to talk about plant medicine and herbalism for a few weeks–both medicine of the body and medicine of the soul. I think that herbal medicine is something incredibly powerful to add to any earth-based spiritual based practice, both to keep you in good health and to create inter-dependency between you and the living earth. In order to do that, I wanted to talk today about plant spirits and the connection between medicine for the body and medicine for the soul. To do this, we’ll delve into animism and an animistic worldview as well as consider deepening plant relationships.
Medicine of the Body
Plants have physical bodies and various…
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Plant Spirit Communication, Part I: Your Native Langauge
When I was new to my first job, a colleague had given two of us both who had been recently hired an elephant ear plant seedling for our offices. Our offices were next to each other, both with the same window. Each plant was planted in an identical pot and in identical soil. My elephant ear plant grew quite large and beautiful, while my colleague’s plant kept sending up small shoots and dying back. Finally, she said to me, “Why is your plant doing so much better than mine?” And I responded as a druid, totally without thinking, “I just talk to the plant and it tells me what it needs.” She rolled her eyes at me, let out an exasperated sigh, and walked away. She was never a very pleasant person, but she was particularly nasty to me for some time after that. Perhaps she thought I was mocking…
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A Druid’s Guide to Connecting with Nature, Part IV: Nature Reciprocity
The principle of “seven generations” comes to us from the Iroquois nation, where is considered to be the “Great Law of the Iroquois.” This principle said that each decision that was made needed to consider not just the immediate future but the 7th generation, those yet unborn. This principle has become closely tied with modern sustainability movements, where there is a growing understanding that for any society and ecosystem to endure, they must be treated in a way that nurtures and sustains, rather than pillages and depletes. This is a fairly radical idea to a Western culture, where concepts like manifest destiny and the relentless pursuit of growth that have driven westerners literally spent centuries pillaging the land, colonizing new places, driving out native peoples, stripping forests bare, and so forth. This idea of recirpocation is essentially foreign to most growing up in the shadows of that exploitative past.
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A Druid’s Guide to Connecting With Nature, Part VI: Nature Reverence
Respect. Honor. Reverence. Admiration–these words are often used to describe people, in our lives, afar, or in history that we hold in high regard. But these same words can also be used to describe many druids’ feelings towards the living earth–plants, animals, oceans, rivers, forests, trees, natural wonders, insects, mycelium–the soil web of all life. The world is a wonderous, incredible place, and those of us who follow a path of nature-based and nature-rooted spirituality recognize this. Reverence is having deep resepect for something, treating it with value and worth. Those of us who are drawn to druidry and nature-based spirituality inherently have reverence to the living earth–it is part of what sets us on this path and encourages us in this direction. But as we deepen our spiritual connection with nature, I believe that our reverence also deepens over time.
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Building Deep Plant Relationships at Lughnassadh
Nicotiana Rustica Botanical Drawing
Last weekend, some druid friends came over for a retreat with a focus on land healing. As part of the ritual we collaboratively developed, we wanted to make an offering to the spirits of the land. I went to my sacred tobacco patch and carefully gathered leaves drying at the bottoms of the plant and flowers for use in this offering, humming a song that the tobacco had taught me and making sure that none of the leaves hit the ground in the process. The ritual went beautifully well and the offering was well received by the spirits. After the weekend, it struck me how long my relationship with these particular tobacco plants was–more than a decade at this point from seed to leaf to flower to seed. And how I had something to share about cultivating this relationship over time.
So I thought I’d take…
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A Druid’s Guide to Connecting With Nature, Part III: Nature Engagement
I’ve heard a lot of conversation in the nature spirituality community, including the druid community, about not touching nature, leaving it alone, to simply “be”. I remember one influential druid speaking at an event and saying, “The best thing you can do in nature is pick up the garbage and get out.” From a certain standpoint, this perspective makes a lot of sense. It is the same perspective held by many conservationists trying to preserve pristine lands or lands that have been replanted and are healing; the best thing that can be done is figure out how to keep people from mucking them up, pick up garbage, and leave them undisturbed. Because people have a tendency to come in, move things about, pick things, disrupt ecosystems, and generally cause havoc. Or worse, much, much worse. Further, in a world where most humans can’t identify even five…
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A Druid’s Guide to Connecting with Nature, Part I: A Framework
A Druid’s guide to connecting with Nature – Part I: A Framework
A lot of people find druidry because they want to “connect” with nature. They want to attune to nature, feel part of it, gain knowledge and wisdom about it. But what does “connecting” to nature look like in practice? Going out in the woods and feeling good? Knowing the name of trees? Walking with sacred intent in a natural place? Spending time in nature? All above the above? And so, over the next few posts, I want to spend more time with the concept of “connecting to nature” and share some strategies for what people can do to connect with nature in a multitude of ways.
As I’ve written about earlier, part of what I see as the core of druidry as a spiritual tradition is the work of “connection.” In that post, I talked about connecting to nature, connecting to the spirit, and connecting to the creative practices as…
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