Sunday, October 31, 2021

Herbs and the Touch of Our Ancestors

My new ritual begins on Samhain, 2021, the gateway to winter. At the moment, there are two main goals: (1) To approximate which generation of my family took the most significant step away from the natural cycles of the planet toward the more mechanized Anthropocene. (2) To begin imagining a system of reconnecting to the planet’s rhythm on a daily, if not permanent, basis.

I have been part of larger occult and pagan communities for decades, and I am grateful for the many things I have learned with these friends. Most of the contact with these communities has been attending Lunar and Solstice festivals. My favorite conversations at these gatherings have always been around our everyday magic. What are we living with after the festival?

My ancestry is Danish and Irish, and to begin my reunion, I am focusing on herbs used for healing and prevention of illness. Which generation started having more bottles of pills in the house than healing plants like Henbane, Goosegrass, Boneset, Feverfew, Meadowsweet, and many others? Over the centuries, what was lost that was too valuable to lose, and what have we gained? How to supplant some of the ancient wisdom alongside the new so both humans and the planet can thrive?