Plant Spirit Communication Part IV: Medicine for the Body and the Soul

The Druid's Garden

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.

Amazing reishi! Amazing reishi!

Medicine of the Body

Plants have physical bodies and various…

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Plant Spirit Communication, Part I: Your Native Langauge

The Druid's Garden

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 Druid's Garden

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.

Land and ocean worth protecting! Land…

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A Druid’s Guide to Connecting With Nature, Part VI: Nature Reverence

The Druid's Garden

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.

A beaver dam in the early fall at Parker Dam State Park, Pennsylvania A beaver dam in the early fall at Parker…

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Building Deep Plant Relationships at Lughnassadh

The Druid's Garden

Nicotiana Rustica Botanical Drawing 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

The Druid's Garden

Leading you in deeper! Leading you in deeper!

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

The Druid's Garden

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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~ Ostara ~ Spring Equinox ~ Ye Olde Dark Arts

By Dark Witch

Source: ~ Ostara – Spring Equinox ~ – Ye Olde Dark Arts

 ostara

Vernal or Spring Equinox, the Rites of Spring, Lady Day, Alban Eiber and Bacchanalia.The Spring Equinox occurs between March 19th and 22 in the Northern Hemisphere and between September 19 and the 22 in the Southern Hemisphere. Ostara marks the day when night and day are equal and balanced.

Altar decorations: Colored eggs, seeds, earth, flowers and herbs appropriate

Animal: Hares, Lambs, Rabbits, Snakes

Colors: All pastels, yellow, pink, green, blue

Drinks: wines, dandelion, lindon teas, hyssop

Flowers And Herbs: all spring flowers. Irish moss, crocus flowers, daffodils, Easter lilies, honeysuckle, iris, jasmine, roses, strawberry, tansy and violets. Acorn, Celandine, Cinquefoil, Dandelion, Dogwood, Honeysuckle, Iris, Jasmine, Rose, Tansy, Violet

Foods: Eggs, honey, bread, seeds, sprouts and green leafy vegetables

Incense: Jasmine, African violet, rose, sage, strawberry, violet flowers, orange peel, rose petals, lotus, magnolia, ginger

Oils: Magnolia, ginger, lotus

Spells: Healing, purification, psychic awareness, fertility and Air Magic

Stones: Amethyst,  aquamarine, jasper, moonstone and rose quartz.

Traditions:  Decorating Eggs,  getting rid of old and unwanted items that are no longer used, planning and preparing land for herbal, floral and vegetable gardens.

Copyright © 2002 – Present Ye Olde Dark Arts

Witches of America | Alex Mar

“Witches are gathering…”

When most people hear the word “witches,” they think of horror films and Halloween, but to the nearly one million Americans who practice Paganism today, witchcraft is a nature worshipping, polytheistic, and very real religion. So Alex Mar discovers when she sets out to film a documentary and finds herself drawn deep into the world of present-day magic.

Witches of America follows Mar on her immersive five-year trip into the occult, charting modern Paganism from its roots in 1950s England to its current American mecca in the San Francisco Bay Area; from a gathering of more than a thousand witches in the Illinois woods to the New Orleans branch of one of the world’s most influential magical societies. Along the way she takes part in dozens of rituals and becomes involved with a wild array of characters: a government employee who founds a California priesthood dedicated to a Celtic goddess of war; American disciples of Aleister Crowley, whose elaborate ceremonies turn the Catholic mass on its head; second-wave feminist Wiccans who practice a radical separatist witchcraft; a growing “mystery cult” whose initiates trace their rites back to a blind shaman in rural Oregon. This sprawling magical community compels Mar to confront what she believes is possible—or hopes might be.

With keen intelligence and wit, Mar illuminates the world of witchcraft while grappling in fresh and unexpected ways with the question underlying every faith: Why do we choose to believe in anything at all? Whether evangelical Christian, Pagan priestess, or atheist, each of us craves a system of meaning to give structure to our lives. Sometimes we just find it in unexpected places.

Source: Witches of America | Alex Mar

ArchDruid Emeritus Ian Corrigan Visits Candelo’s Corner

 

ian-corriganMonday, February 18 at 8pm est, Candelo’s Corner on KDCL Media, welcomes ArchDruid Ermeritus Ian Corrigan.

Ian Corrigan has been teaching, learning, singing and playing in the American Neopagan movement since 1976. He has decades of experience in a variety of occult, pagan and magical topics.

Having received his 3rd degree initiation in Celtic Traditional Wicca in the early 80s, Ian has led eclectic study groups, a traditional Wiccan coven and a Druid Grove. Ian has been well-known for decades at Pagan festivals as a bard, ritualist and teacher.

For the past 30 years Ian’s primary path has been Celtic polytheism and especially Neopagan Druidism. Ian has been a primary author and teacher in Ar nDraiocht Fein (ADF). He is a founder of Stone Creed Grove, ADF’s oldest working congregation, and served as ADF’s first Chief Liturgist and first elected Vice Archdruid.

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