Druidry and the Art of Sustainable, Meaningful Offerings

The Druid's Garden

In druidry and in other earth-centered religions, its customary to make offerings to spirits, the ancestors, guides, outsiders, etc.  We usually do this as part of ritual or solitary practice. Recently, the issue of what to use as offerings came up in a discussion in one of my druid groups, and I’d like to spend some time thinking about this practice and its connection to sustainability and earth-centered living.

Why offerings? Offerings are usually made in honor of deities, ancestors, spirit guides, spirits of the land, the earth mother herself, etc.  I often leave small offerings on natural altars that I maintain, as well as use them at the start of rituals to show gratitude and thanks. A simple offering might be a plate of cakes left to honor the land for a bountiful harvest, a handful of seeds cast out of a sacred space to keep the outsiders…

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Tree Alchemy: Hydrosols and Essential Oils from Sacred Trees

The Druid's Garden

Nature can provide tremendous wisdom and healing, especially when we work with our local ecosystems and ecologies. One of the most powerful ways of working healing with nature, I believe, is to combine the innate healing properties of plants with your own various kinds of medicinal preparations. The plants and trees offer the raw material and your hands and tools shape that material into something that heals the body, mind, and/or spirit. Working to transform tree and plant matter through alchemical processes into medicine–and then taking that medicine–can be an incredibly powerful way of establishing deep relationships not only with the living earth but with the trees themselves. Today, I want to talk about a particular kind of medicine known as a « hydrosol » and talk about how you might make your own with plant and tree material.  This is especially beneficial for today as many of us are thinking about…

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500 followers and a bit of everything.

The Arty Plantsman

Yes, it is official. WordPress tells me that at least 500 people are deranged or kind enough to follow my blog.

This confirms my suspicions that there are lots of lovable eccentrics out there. Or 500 of you at least.

To celebrate this I decided on a post that includes a bit of everything you can expect to see on here. This gives you new followers a chance to say ‘sod this for a game of soldiers’ and disappear quietly.

Mental Health Updates.

Have not had one of these for a while. (For you newbies – basically I am fighting back after living with depression and anxiety for decades. ) I started seeing a counsellor a month or so ago, my first experience of Person Centred Counselling. Until this week I was not sure how effective this was being. At this weeks appointment I described feeling that I was walking…

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The surprising moral dimension of fights between rats :: Strong rats have to let their weaker opponent win 30 percent of the time. If they don’t…

PEP

When two rats fight it’s not always the biggest rat that wins. The biggest rat could win pretty much 100 percent of the time, if it wanted to. But that doesn’t happen. If the bigger rat chooses to win all the fights, then there will be no more playing. This fighting is a form of playing.

The bigger rat needs to let the smaller rat win at least 30 percent of the time.

It’s the smaller rat that asks the bigger rat for a fight or a match.

If it doesn’t win at least 3 out of 10 matches, it will stop asking for matches. So the fun is over for both of them.

Isn’t that amazing?

Rats keep score. They are wired for some degree of fairness. We are talking about rats.

If this is true for rats, shouldn’t it be so much more true for human beings?

Shouldn’t…

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Building Sacred Relationships with Food: Seasonal Food Rituals, Agricultural Blessings, Prayers, and Honoring Our Food

The Druid's Garden

Modern culture prevents many of us from engaging in a critical part of our human heritage—developing a sacred relationship with food. I’ve talked about developing such a sacred relationship with food on this blog before with regards to growing it and/or foraging it—how gardening allows me to develop a sacred relationship with plants, how seed saving and starting completes that cycle, how wild food foraging and medicine making allow for that connection, and how locally-based seasonal diets can help reconnect us.

However, I’m staying with my family for a few weeks before making my official move to PA, and trying to eat as I usually do (locally, seasonally, organically) has presented some serious challenges. The truth is that in poor, rural areas in the USA, organic and local food is simply not as available (or affordable) as it is in the cities or suburbs. In…

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Guest in Jest #44 The Arty Plantsman

Everyone Else Has the Best Titles

Summer 1988.

My wife Susan and I had been married just over a year. We lived next door to her parents (I know, believe me, I know…).

I was working shifts and often at home during the day. Susan was working standard days and usually out. Susan’s best friend Lynne would often pop in for a coffee with me when walking her dog. Susan’s mum had (unfounded) suspicions about this…

On this occasion, the sun was shining so we had our coffee sitting on the lawn out back. We could hear Susan’s parents chatting as they worked in their garden on the other side of the tall hedge.

After a little while Lynne’s dog, Jess, got bored of all this sitting around and started to mess around. Resulting in Lynne screaming at the top of her voice:

“GET YOUR TONGUE OUT OF MY EAR!”

Next door went totally silent……….

A…

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Dandelion Wine Part III: New Recipes and Insights

The Druid's Garden

I’ve posted on Dandelion wine before on this blog, and I wanted to follow up on my previous posts on dandelion wine – making the wine and racking/bottling. I’ve also written more generally about the dandelion as a beneficial plant–so why not 4th post on the glorious dandelion!

In this post, I wanted to spend some time talking about dandelion, review the last two years of dandelion winemaking adventures, share two new recipes, and talk about some flavor tests. For basics in how to make dandelion wine, please refer to my first two posts on the subject (linked above).

Bottled Dandelion Wine! Bottled Dandelion Wine!

Some Thoughts on Dandelions

I want to speak briefly about the spiritual side to brewing dandelion wine. First of all, dandelion is a plant that so many hate and eradicate. Many poison the land to get rid of it–instead of learning about why its growing, what it…

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