Originally posted over at Midnight’s blog, Storms & Spirits, December 14, 2012.
I stand relaxed, swaying slightly, moving to my own inner rhythm. Slowly I stretch my senses, exchanging one sight for another as I close my eyes and let my other senses paint an image for me. More important than that I feel what is around me. I feel the faint sparks of energy, of life in the tree. I bow to it, fluid, formal, a gesture of respect.. I whisper to it. Lay my hand on it, long-fingered dark-skinned hand against rough bark. For a moment I feel the connection, I am part of something beautiful. ( I honestly cannot say more than that.. I have tried and nothing suffices. So since I can’t explain it well I will just say that it’s beautiful. ) I hear a pulse deeper, stronger than my own. Then I am myself again. Myself with something more, some faint lingering of the pairing, some residual connection. At the edge of my mind, another consciousness; the tree no longer so soundly asleep. Faint feelings of curiosity and other emotions, more and less than human rub against my mind. Herbed smoke wafts up from the coals, tongues of it wrapping around us with vaporous fingers. I reach down grabbing my bowl and with deliberate care empty the contents around the tree. Circling again I bend low and touch the roots that stand above the ground. Words form in the back of my throat. Liquid, they flow from me. At last I sit amidst the roots and earth, herbed smoke and fallen leaves, and I laugh, long and clear.
And so have the first few have been taken. It has been long-coming, and tedious, but our journey has commenced. Our Facebook page is staying pretty active; our Etsy store is almost ready to be launched (keep an eye out for a 10% off coupon good for the first 72 hours the store is open); our first article (and class-to-be) on Shapeshifting is almost complete and is the first part of our book-in-progress.
The seasons are shifting faster than I can blink and it is already almost Summer. Our son is growing as fast as the wildflowers in my yard, it seems. And our garden is in the very beginning stages of what will hopefully end in a bountiful year of herbs, entheogens, and vegetables. Considerations are being made in regards to progressing even further with a potential land-share opportunity in the coming year or so.
Midnight sits and smokes his mugwort and anise while I paint a blend of beeswax and olive oil onto my cedar wood beehive. The taste of bee pollen coats my tongue as I dream up designs to paint afterwards… runes for productivity and protection; foxglove, poppy and dandelion flowers…
Over the next few weeks among real-time posts, we will be transferring older personal blog posts over from our respective blogs to this one so everything is in one place. So watch for those as well as updates on the launch of our Etsy store and up-coming class on Shapeshifting (which will be either a webinar or recorded teleconference).
Have a class topic that you would like to take or see us offer? Let us know in a comment below!
You have been walking for some time now, so long that you have forgotten, in fact, where you have come from or where you are going. You have traveled from the sea, over rolling hills and mountains with their snow-capped peaks reaching towards the stars. At last your trail has brought you to a forest. As you walk along the deer-trodden path, you realize that you have surely left civilization behind you. There seems to be no touch of man in this place. The trees grow strong and thick of trunk, their boughs creating an ever-denser canopy above you, letting little sunlight through. You see sign of beast and bird as you go along, and every once in awhile you meet eyes with a large buck before he bounds off into the underbrush. Birds sing all around you as they eat berries from the bushes that line the way. Rabbits peak their twitching noses out from underneath the fruit-heavy branches, they themselves dining on the bounty within their own reach. A sense of calmness envelopes you as you walk, and you begin to daydream. Suddenly you realize that the sun is kissing the horizon, and you know not where you are nor where to set up camp for the night. Most of the creatures have gone silent. An owl beckons to the coming night from its tree, golden round eyes glowing in the dimming light of a dying sun. A chorus of frogs erupts from somewhere near by, so there must be water, you think to yourself. The frogs are singing the sun to sleep, and with the cover of the canopy above, it grows darker faster than it would have otherwise. Your pace quickens as you scan the darkness for a place to make your bed and light your fire against that which comes with the darkness. You spot a clearing up ahead, and as you burst through the treeline you find yourself upon a cottage. White-grey smoke curls up lazily from the chimney and a candle lights a window where a black cat lounges on the sill, its tail twitching. You push open the small gate and follow the stepping stones past mammoth sunflowers, lavender bushes, blood-red poppies, datura trumpets and foxglove bells that are all now quiet– the bees have gone to sleep in their hives for the night. The scent of moonflowers greets your nose and you look around you, spotting them crawling up a trellis leading into another garden space. You take the path to the right, which leads to what you assume to be the front door. Knocking, you hear a woman’s voice call out from within.
“Come in, Traveler, if you mean my house and kin no harm. For friends and weary wanderers there is ale and bread upon my table and a bed by the fire.”
You gently turn the knob and swing wide the heavy oak door, that you now notice is etched with runes ’round its edge. The scent of fresh bread and drying herbs greats your nose and you breathe deeply. Stepping across the threshold, a tingling skitters across your skin as you pass through the home’s ward– it has allowed you to enter unharmed. Shutting the door and the sudden chill of the coming night behind you, you are greeted by the warmth of a hearthfire and the smile of a woman, hair of dark brown and fox-red, a babe upon her hip; as well as by the curious gaze of a man, skin like the dark night, who is seated already at the hardwood table with spoon in hand, about to take a sip from what smells of lamb and thyme in a rich bone broth. After a pause, he finishes bringing the stew-laden spoon to his mouth, closes his eyes momentarily as he savors the meat and herbs, then opens them once more casting his gaze your way. Still silent, he nods, and looks to his wyfe. She sets the baby down on the bench beside his father and begins to ladle stew into a wooden bowl, placing it on the table at the seat across from her husband. “Sit, eat, drink,” she says and pours a hornmug of ale for you. Hunger overcoming your hesitance, you drop your bag by the door and sit at the place she has set for you and begin to eat.
This blog will be a collection of magical musings and experiences, original stories, and store updates from two wytches– owners of the budding business The Twisted Tree~ Apothecary & Occult Shoppe. Our workings, writings, and business reflect the kind of magical practitioners that we are. Be prepared for ‘darker’ things upon these pages– things of bone and blood and dark moons and deep ocean. But also things of the green earth, of the sun moving through its cycles of spring and summer, fall and winter– of dark sleep, rebirth, returning, high reign, and decline once more. We will speak of shapeshifting, flying ointments, charms and curses, bardic storytelling, priestess-hood and polytheism, bioregional animism, spirits, and more; as well as share store updates, coupon opportunities, contests, information on custom work, etc.