E-journal · Herbalism

Just Journaling … yarrow flowers & working on the land.

I collected a bouquet from the garden in the mountains, a place we have worked on collectively for a while now.

This place is a collaborative project and the work is on going. Here is one day, a family work day, with the help of my sister & dad collecting rocks, my mom using power tools, and myself enjoying the scent of these medicinal flowers.

In this tarot deck, Yarrow, which represents the Ace of Air also stands for affirming limits & boundaries.

From the Herbcrafter’s Tarot.
E-journal

Firewood

Leaving the forest for a little while, a trip to my homelands called me away — But I’ll be back.

Just before leaving we began dreaming up plans: little projects of sharing this space and transforming the forest we caretake, us & others.

So here I am, collecting wood and taking walks along with my best friends in these Sierras, cats & kids included on the bestie list, of course!

More than simply collecting wood and appreciating the scenery, we are learning to actively participate in the ecosystem that surrounds us.
We are also planting seeds for future projects.

Mystery seeds that we aren’t sure exactly what they will grow into, yet 🌱

E-journal

Garden Journal :: and some personal notes too

In the search for land of our own …

… we have discover new places & landscapes.

One such place is a magical trail to another little village.

Previously we thought you could only get there by the highway but it turns out the longer we live here the more alternative, bike-friendly routes we find.

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Walking through the woods with a friend plus her hija & hijo. She is also on the search for land so we sometimes search together.

In the garden ::

I have been poting plants to prepare for fall – repotting herbs that have outgrown their original pot and planting greens that do well during the colder months.

Garlic, calendula, lentils, and other random plants of the season are going into the ground with compost and a thick layer of leaves as mulch.

happy gardening – chloe calendula

E-journal

* Transformation *

So cliche – I know – to use a picture of a monarch to represent transformation. But, I do love these creatures and want to celebrate the images I have captured this past week or so in the garden as the monarchs emerge from their chrysalis and fly out into the world.

A beautiful South American monarch butterfly visiting zinnia flowers in our garden ** all photos in this blog were taken by me **

Something similar is occuring in my own little life – a transformation – that I hope to work it out through this and upcoming journal-like blog post.

First, I will address a question I get all the time, almost hourly when at work :: how is it that I ended up here, in Argentina. The answer is simple and also not simple at all.

Here is how – a few years ago when I had just started out on my travels I let go of the need to control my destiny. Instead deciding to go with the flow of time and follow my destiny where it guided me.

Destiny (or something) guided me south and ever more south. It guided me to meet my current partner, to dozens of farms and work-trades, to cross countries on bike and hitch hike for days and days.

We were guided to make sudden turns, to continue on even when weary, to camp under the stars and roadside, to this very farm, and to this upcoming adventure.

Everything is changing now …

… we are Transforming.

E-journal

Garden Journal :: herbs of autumn + reading list

The autumn equinox has passed and was celebrated during many days along with my partner’s birthday on the 25th. In the garden the summer fruits like cucumber and tomato are in their last weeks while the leafy greens are being seeded for fall and winter to come.

Basil, lemon balm, and marigolds are all going strong and keeping the garden landscape beautiful during this transitional time. All around the garden in the surrounding hedge rows the trees are turning yellow and loosing their leaves. The sun has changed course and every day is at more of an angle which makes for interesting lighting and photography opportunities.

Reading List ::

As the morning sun is slowly making his way over the mountains, I am spending these chilly first hours each day with a cup of tea, often a cat (or two, or three) nearby, and a book as I continue on in my studies. I wanted to share my herbalist reading list with you all::

– Planetary Herbalism by Michael Tierra — my fav. herbal reference book ever! I go to this book again & again to check out remedies for symptoms as well as research new herbs. There are no pictures in this book, so it isnt for identifying. But what I do love about it is that this book ties western herbalism in with Traditional Chinese herbalism as well as Ayurveda. I found it via thrift books.

– del Cuerpos a las RaĂ­ces by Pabla Perez & others — this book is a bit eclectic and was originally published as a zine years ago. It contains stories, interviews, and herbal profiles about medicinal plants common all over & local to Chile. In some ways it is an ethnographical study of herbalism in rural Chile, in other ways it is quite a radical perspective of rural ladies using their herbs and their powers to heal themselves.

– BotĂ nica Oculta : Las Plantas Mágicas — my honey gifted me this book for the New Year and it is quite fascinating. Both magical and medicinal properties are listed for each herb as well as a bit of theory about plant alchemy which is a subject I am just starting to dive into. This book is available in English & many other languages too!!

E-journal

Crafting with Moon Magick

Maybe it is the changing of the seasons. Or maybe it is the influence of the homesteading and green witch videos I have been watching lately. Either way I have been busy each day crafting, preserving, and making medicine.

Echinacea :: root medicine

Three springs ago I planted Echinacea seeds which bloomed into flowers each successive summer. Now it is fall here and I am beginning to harvest the roots because their immunity-supporting medicine is most potent after 2 or 3 years growing.

During the three days surrounding the full moon I have been preparing all kinds of medicinals – marmalade and teas and this immunity supporting tea with Echinacea roots & leaves as well as orange peel harvested in winter. In order to charge the tincture with the healing vibes of this most recent full moon in Virgo, I left the tinctures (sealed) outside in the garden to soak up the rays of the full moon.

Medicinal Marmalade

Since moving to this farm I have gotten to know a truly magical tree that lives on the edge of the woods. This tree is called Hawthorn and is abundant with medicine – flowers in the spring and bright red berries in the fall. Last spring I collected and dried a huge jar of the flowers and now I am working on recipes to encorporate the heart healing medicine of the berries.

Besides hawthorn, quince and rose hips are also in season so I made a marmalade with all three plus a little ginger & cinnamon to add some extra warmth as I we plan to eat these during the winter months.

I will post the recipe for this marmalade and pictures of the final product soon. Until then I wanted to share a few of my favorite magical channels that have been inspiring me, my herbalism practice and crafts lately:

E-journal · Gardening

November, December: my time in California

5 weeks in my hometown went by so quickly! I feel there is so much left to do. But, maybe this is normal for all gardeners and those who work on projects that will take years, or decades to be completed.

And the work days on Rabbit Ridge::

This year my family bought a few acres of land in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Back in summer I visited the land for the first time and this trip we focused on a few key projects in what will someday be a food forest and cabin.

Like so many projects I write about on this blog, this project is a work in progress and will possibly never be completely finished. I wonder if it is even possible for a food forest to be completed as the objective is to create a living and evolving ecosystem. This is all to say that this post is … to be continued!

E-journal

Home in Two Places

Where is home? – I wonder. Somedays I would say that home is everywhere on our planet Earth. Somedays I feel very much out of place everywhere I go. But, as I get close to my 29th birthday I am increasingly feeling at home where I am and where I am going.

A snapshot of our Argentine home and the warm clothing that shelters me everywhere.

This week marks two years living in one place – which hasn’t happened in my life since 2013 & 2014 when I was living in a big house with friends in Oregon for two consecutive years. Then after it was constant moving: a few months in an apartment, camping in backyards, road trips and then years of woofing though Latin America.

Adventure was the goal. But, it couldn’t last forever.

Eventually the constant motion had to end and now I am in a cycle of movement between two homes. One is here in the mountains of Argentina with my guy ❤ + our cats, chickens and garden. The other home is where I was born in California (USA) with my parents, sister, and the little herb garden I tend to there.

My little California home, on my parent’s land in the Sierra Nevadas.

Home is here

Maybe the reason for feeling more at home is my making a place of my own in the ethereal: my imaginal realm, the career I am forming, and this very blog post that are all threads being woven together. Now, from this point of view, I can see those threads trailing all the way back to my childhood when I dreamed of other worlds & adventures from inside the forts made with friends. Other threads began as I secretly read books on mythology, hidden inside a boring school related text.

Magical myth making guided by my favorite writer right now – Silvia Linsteadt.

And another began as I saw my mom & sister sewing and working with fabric and began to learn with them too.

Most likely these threads go way, way back to before I was born, starting with my great grandmother who taught my mother to sew.

And the love of myths, stories, crafting and dreaming would be sourced to the ancestors for whom these activities were daily life.

Magic in the making

With this sense of purpose and clarity of my paths and my home, I am ready to begin a new phase of life and work. My sewing craft is in transition. My writing is too. I am planning my next voyage to my other home, in California now as well. This may be the subject of another post, or maybe, I am not ready to share just yet but in short: my future trips will involve community and resilience in a way they haven’t before. (And in a way that is needed now more than ever).

…. to be continued ….