Wildcrafted Druidry: Using the Doctrine of Signatures, Ecology and Mythology to Cultivate Sacred Relationships with Trees

The Druid's Garden

A stream in winter

Nature spirituality is most obviously tied to one’s local nature–the trees, plants, animals, landforms, and other features of what makes your own landscape unique. One of the formidable challenges before those of us practicing nature-based spiritualities in the United States and other “colonized” regions is that not only do we not have the right/access to native traditions on local uses of plants, we also have systems that are inherited from other places and may not properly fit. Ogham is a good example of this: if you use the traditional ogham in the US, it is kind of like wearing a pair of ill-fitting shoes: you can get by, but the system isn’t working with what is outside your door.

With that said, I have always been fascinated by the idea of a language of trees, a system that we can use for magical and divination purposes…

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The Magic of the Understory

The Druid's Garden

A path of evergreen mountain laurel at Laurel Hill State Park. Amazing to hike through in the winter, when the understory sings!

As you may have noticed, in the last month or so I’ve been working diligently on my “Sacred Trees in the Americas” series.  The truth is, I’ve worked through most of the trees that are well known and form the overstory of most of the forests in the US East Coast.  Trees like White Pine, Oak, Hickory, Sugar Maple, Ash, Beech, and Birch are dominant trees.  And when you do research on these trees, you find a rich tradition and lore from both the Americas and the Old World.  Recently, I’ve moved my attention to lesser-known trees like Ironwood and Devil’s Walking Stick, and have covered others like Witch Hazel (distinct and different from American Hazel) and Spicebush. There is a striking difference between the first group and…

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Planting Your Seeds | Moonthly Lunar Report Entering the Seed Moon

Planting Your Seeds | Moonthly Lunar Report Entering the Seed Moon

This new moon in Aquarius is bringing in a season of change and personal transformation. Old ideas about your life or yourself could shift a lot during this cycle.

Transformation can take place on many levels of your life. Let go of any lilimations you may be putting on yourself and be ready for a revolution from the inside out.

This new moon is a part of a very large stellium in Aquarius that includes the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn.

Planting Your Seeds | Moonthly Lunar Report Entering the Seed Moon

This week is going to shake things up! The new moon lands in Aquarius on the 11th and if the Water Bearer is considered the rebel of the zodiac, his cosmic counterpart is the asteroid, Lilith. And she is making a lot of squares this week.

The same day as the new moon, she squares both Venus & Jupiter, while Venus conjuncts Jupiter. Conflicts and drama in relationships can surface, so tread lightly. There could be an internal struggle with following your heart and going against others’ wishes and opinions.

Read original article at: Spirit de la Lune ~ Planting Your Seeds|Moonthly Lunar Report Entering the Seed Moon

Sacred Trees in the Americas: Rhododendron (Rhododenron maximum)

The Druid's Garden

A Rhododendron overlooking a foot path at Laurel Hill State Park

I remember the first time I saw the largest Rhododendron Maximum tree. I had recently moved back to Pennsylvania, and I was driving on 422 towards my parents’ house when I looked to the left and did a double-take!  An enormous Rhododendron, in bloom, at least 40 feet across and 20 feet high was in full bloom.  And, it was dwarfing the house it was growing next to.  After doing a little local research, I learned about how famous this rhododendron has been in our region. Ever since then, each time I pass, the Rhododendron and I exchange a little greeting.

As someone who lives in the Allegheny Mountains, Rhododendron has a special place in my heart.  It is one of the dominant understory trees (and yes, it often is the size of trees here!), growing both in…

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The Energies of February 2021

Good Witches Homestead

We are now just past the midway point between the solstice in December and the coming March equinox. Daylight hours are now expanding at an increasingly noticeable rate, bringing a welcome reminder that Spring is not so far away again.

Despite the winter cold, aconites, crocuses, snowdrops and the first delicate pink Hellebores are lighting up the corners in our garden and reminding us that it is nearly time for the next round of mother tincture making to begin. It is also a lovely reassuring reminder to us to connect in with the natural world any time we feel in need of a little extra stability and grounding.

As we venture forth into the energies of February there is still plenty of the same volatile intensity in the energy flow that we have experienced so obviously during January.

In general, we can expect a few more peaks of intenseness before…

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Sacred Trees in the Americas: Ironwood or Hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana, Carpinus caroliniana)

The Druid's Garden

Ironwood tree ecoprint from my upcoming Tree Alchemy Oracle!

There are actually two tree species that are known as both “hornbeam” and “Ironwood” along the US East Coast and into the midwest: The American Hop Hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) and the American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana).  After doing a lot of research and interaction with both of these trees, I see them as interchangeable.  First, they are both in the Beech family (Order: Fagales, Family: Betulaceae). They actually have a very similar growth habit and look to their bark (like muscles), their wood is quite similar, and the hop-looking fruits are similar on both trees.  Thus, if you can find either of these trees, you can apply the information I’m sharing.  I have primarily focused on Ostrya Virginiana (Ironwood/Hop Hornbeam) in my comments here as it is the more dominant tree in my specific ecosystem.

This post is part of my Sacred…

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Astrorisa Moon Forecaster – Leo Full Moon -January 28, 2021

Video Forecast
Happy Full Moon!
Thursday, January 28 2021, 02:16 PM ET
Moon 9°06′ Leo, in House 2
Sun 9°06′ Aquarius, in House 8
Sun opposite Moon
Moon opposite Saturn
Moon opposite Jupiter
Moon square Uranus
Moon square Mars

The Butzemann (Magical Scarecrow) Tradition at Imbolc and through the Light Half of the Year

The Druid's Garden

Last year’s butzemann, dressed in her finery (Technically, she was a Butzefrau!)

For the last three years, I’ve spent part of my Imbolc celebration making a Butzemann for our land.  The Butzemann is a really interesting tradition from PA Dutch (German) culture called the Butzemann (literally, Boogieman).  In a nutshell, the Butzemann is a magical scarecrow that protects the land for a season.  He is created at Imbolc from natural materials and given clothes and a heart. At the Spring Equinox, the Butzemann is shown the property and the breath of life is breathed into the Butzemann, naming him/her for the season.  Then the Butzemann is displayed prominently throughout the season to protect the and.  Before or on Samhain, the Butzemann is burned and the protective spirit is released and then at Imbolc, a new tradition begins. Today I thought I’d share this tradition with my readers, in case they…

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Hello January 2021

Good Witches Homestead

We wish you all a very Happy New Year and hope that you are feeling rested, rejuvenated and ready to take on whatever opportunities and challenges 2021 has in store for us.

2020 was an unusual year in so many ways, so much so that looking back it seems that it has acted as a bridge between two very different realities. We are left with a sense of completion and the recognition that there is no going back to how things were at this time last year, too much has changed.

Despite all the difficulties this feels like a positive step forward and we look forward to what is coming next, with both interest and curiosity.

The previous twelve months has been dominated by the effects of the Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn with its focus on destabilising and dismantling old worn-out forms, be these old thought forms or inflexible corporate…

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Purification| Moonthly Lunar Report New Moon in Capricorn

Purification| Moonthly Lunar Report New Moon in Capricorn

Happy first New Moon of 2021!

Set the intention to call in a beautiful, magickal, and healing year! We have a lot going on this new cycle, and there is going to be a need to find and maintain your center.

This cycle is an eventful one!

We are experiencing change on a global level and it will be apparent this cycle.

Each new moon, using our planners, and decks, we create the Moonthly Lunar Report.

It’s broken down in the 4 main moon phases, and explains the current astrology and how to best navigate it.


New Moon in Capricorn

Purification| Moonthly Lunar Report New Moon in Capricorn

The new moon in Capricorn helps us maintain our goals with discipline and order.

There is a need to not try to win at all costs right now though. Be careful to not step on others while you try to reach the top.

Now is a great time to plan the cycle ahead and make clear goals that you feel you can achieve. You will need to put in the effort and get your hands dirty in order to achieve these goals though!

Read original article at: Spirit de la Lune ~ Purification|Moonthly Lunar Report New Moon In Capricorn