I've always relied on my intuition like a life-raft in high seas. Often those waters have been my own emotional troubles, indecisiveness, fear, all the confusion that comes from simply being a live, a body, in these wild times. In moments of uncertainty I try quiet all other voices in my head, the one's of my family and loved ones, teachers, authors, sages, leaders, the whole society of mankind, and find that small, still one of my own; strain my ears to hear what she has to say.
Sometimes, what my intuition tells me goes against, reason, good sense, the expectations of others, but it's always worked out fine, in the end. I've followed that voice across the oceans and continents. I've followed it to protests, to adventures, to creative endeavors, and epic battles. I've let it pick my friends, and followed its warnings about people who might not have my best interest at heart.
This spring (watch out, here comes That Time In California, The Sequel), it starting whispering about two distinct, but intertwined things. The second one I'll held close to my chest for a while longer, but the first one was about my Hedge Witching, Weed Wifery, Folk Herbalism, practice.
As I mentioned in my post , I like the term Hedge Witch, because in the traditional sense, she's someone who operates slightly outside the margins of the ordinary world. Mostly she's alone with the plants, animals, and elements of it. It's kind of how I view myself in most situations: the outsider, the misfit, the odd one out.
But what my intuition was telling me, as I visited, met, and bonded with all these amazing herbal women in my path, was this: You're not alone at all. You're part of a wonderful circle of women, healers, people to learn from, people to teach. You've got something to give. It's time to get into the fray.
The fray, by the way, is not where I'm comfortable. That in mind, I mulled it over a while, and decided, that yes, perhaps I did have something to offer. As some of you may know, I've sold vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, and all other kinds of crafts, and ephemera online. Expanding that into a little herbal shop, didn't seem like much of a stretch after all. I'm calling it Fireweed&Nettle Mercantile, because it will feature anything from herbal goods, to dresses, smudges, zines, and Tarot readings.
Before we get too carried away, I just want to outline some of the principles of my herbal, and wildcrafting practice, just so folks now what they're getting when they're shopping from me:
1. I only use botanical herbs that I've organically grown myself, or wild ones sustainably harvested from my bio-region. While the mediums (oils , beeswax, alcohol, vinegar), are mostly from commercial sources (always organic or best quality possible), I do not order herbs from commercial sources. This is a big part of my personal practice. Rather than bulk (even from good providers like Mountain Rose), I want my herbs to come from where I live, because the whole point of making my own medicine, is learning from plants. If a plant, no matter how effective, is dry and no longer living when it comes to me, how much can I really learn from it? (Personally, if I buy any medicine more exotic than what grows in my own backyard, I get it from herbalists in different bio-regions. It's a great way to support witchy women, and learn from them as well.)
2. As much as they can be, all my mediums are, organic, and as close to local as they can be. Same goes for the small amount (less than 20 drops per batch) of essential oils I sometimes use in my salves.
3. The medicine I create is seasonal to the Pacific Northwest. I literally make medicine with the seasons. While some herbs take more time to prepare than others, I try to create herbal remedies that are both made from what's available, and needed, in a given time of the year (cough syrup in the winter, allergy medicine in the spring).
4. This is what I treat my family with, and gift to my friends. One of the reasons, adding herbal goods to Fireweed&Nettle seemed logical, is that I already generate a surplus of tinctures, flower essences, salves, teas, and oils. When you purchase my goods, you are taking the same medicine I trust to nurse the health, and well-being, of my nearest-and-drearest.
5. This is slow medicine. I'll be adding things in as I make them. Most likely, I will continue to make small batches, and many of the items will be available for a limited time only, because I like explore new avenues often. Of course, there are old-favorites, and standbys that will come around again and again, but a big part of following one's intuition around plants is seeing who happens to show up.
6. I'm a Good Witch. (Or at least try to be. ;) If you need something, just ask. Should you feel drawn to my goods, or services, but are short of dollars, just let me know. We'll work something out. Also, I love barter, and trade, so regardless of dollars, feel free to approach me with that. Each time I add stuff to the shop, I will also announce a cause I'll donate 15% of my profits to. These can be anything from small local campaigns, to kickstarter-projects, to big issues close to my heart. This time around the funds will go to Migrant Offshore Aid Station.
7. This is about interaction with that circle of women. If you have questions, or something else you need, please, feel free to ask. I try to answer all queries in some sort of an orderly manner.
And now, friends, Welcome! The doors are open! Come in, have a cup of tea. (And please excuse any kinks that still persist. The roof is raised, and we're busy putting trim on, I promise.)
*GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED-THANK YOU, DARLINGS*
If you made it this far, you'll be delighted to find out, that anyone who leaves a comment, gets their name entered in a draw of one of my flower essences, AND a Tarot Reading! That's right, just leave a comment, and you're in!