Druid’s Blade and Witch’s Broom: An Ode to Mistletoe

Druid’s Blade and Witch’s Broom: An Ode to Mistletoe

They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but that’s only half the truth.

In the face of our assembly-line obsession with efficiency and expendability, keystone species like mistletoe serve as powerful reminders of why individuality is so essential to abundance. True prosperity lies in the diversity of our communities and the ways that we support that diversity with our own unique gifts. It can be lonely, even a little frightening, to be different. But nature is messy. Nature is wild…

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Making Ancestor Prayer Beads: A Samhain Craft Project

Making Ancestor Prayer Beads: A Samhain Craft Project

In my last post, “Honor for the Dead,” I mentioned that this year as part of our family Samhain celebration, we crafted prayer bead bracelets to help us connect more deeply with our ancestors. A bunch of you have asked for more details on how to make prayer beads of your own, so I put together this handy-dandy step-by-step tutorial. Let’s do some magic!

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Honor for the Dead: Crafting Relationship with the Ancestors

Honor for the Dead: Crafting Relationship with the Ancestors

There is always pressure to either romanticize or demonize the past. As it recedes into the distance of memory, its complexities are all too easily lost in the mists. The veils of time fall across our vision and we glimpse only vague impressions of a landscape, a culture, a handful of faces on the edge of our perception that seem to change and fade when we turn to look again. What does it mean to part this veil, to honor the ancestors?

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Lughnasadh: Honoring the Harvest Through Grief and Gratitude

Lughnasadh: Honoring the Harvest Through Grief and Gratitude

Today is Lughnasadh, and I find myself returning to the strange mixture of work and rest, grief and celebration that always marks this time of year for me.

It is the acknowledgement of fear and loss during the most fruitful time of the year that marks this as a holy season. It is this mingling of love and sorrow, hope and grief that transforms the cycles of production and consumption into something more: a sacred harvest. When we forget the hard work of our ancestors, when we distance ourselves from the sweat, blood and tears that connect us to the living reality of those who have come before us, when we anesthetize ourselves to the grief we feel at the struggles they faced and the sacrifices they made — that is when we risk becoming mere consumers. Grief serves a sacred purpose, for we cannot grieve what we have not loved. Grief is one of the fruits of love, even as joy and prosperity are the fruits of labor.

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The Joy of Hidden Things: Tidepooling on the Salish Sea

The Joy of Hidden Things: Tidepooling on the Salish Sea

Tidepooling is a practice in patient observation. It’s also a reminder that some things happen in their own sweet time. That’s the thing about low tide. Sun, moon and earth turn through the steps of their celestial dance, and once in a while you get lucky and the three of them meet just right in a moment of revelation. You have to be ready.

I’m often humbled to realize how oblivious I can be to the wonders of the natural world all around me. And what treasures might yet be hiding right in front of me, in plain sight.

After all, there are so many different ways to hide.

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The Familiar

The Familiar

This post is about small things. It’s about moments that we take for granted. There is no big revelation here. I took a bunch of pictures of my cat and put them on the internet. I write this post in defiance of the expectation that only big revelations matter. I write in homage to the repetition of small rituals, in honor of grounding and self-care.

This post is about the simple companionship of ordinary objects and creatures and beings, and the way their presence shapes our lives even when we think we’re not paying attention.

A part of us is always paying attention.

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