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As a last day Pisces swimming into Aries, Libra Moon, Taurus ascendant, I am prone to fiery impulsiveness, passionate, poetic outbursts, and oceanic dreaming. I am driven by light and intrigued by darkness, which can be seen in my range of interests, choices in clothing, music, and in my art; but I have found a way to express this through plants too.
Things got witchy pretty early on with me; as a child I was really into mixing water with glitter then adding little rocks, bits, and baubles, pretending every ingredient was a powerful message. Later on, as a teen, I created potions for friends. Mysterious concoctions of flowers, rocks, plastic toys or mutual memory place holders, and bugs (and more glitter). These to me, meant connecting heart to heart, spirit and memory with another. It wasn't just tacky and glittery, it was also me reaching for creative ways of healing and connecting, of putting my will and heart into action.
The path to herbalism -or; wort cunning- began to come clear around 2004, during my time living in California. Little 'seeds' of inspiration were planted in my daily life by my surroundings and the people I knew at the time. I moved around CA a bunch and did a stint in VT. It took awhile, but I am on the road I was meant to be on.
I've come to believe I'm here in this life to be a facilitator for self-care, improvement, self empowered nourishment and healing. I want to help people find the patience, strength, humor, and will to live a life of adventure, integrity, and compassion. I work to support growth not just in plants as a gardener, in animals as a farmer, but in people as an herbalist and witch...from the womb to the rocking chair.
I have learned that communicating with plants is an intimate experience, intrinsically we all have the intuition to listen and observe the plants all around us; you can learn quite a lot from the universe on your own if you really want to ... With all that said; I'm lucky and privileged to live in an area where generous teachers live and hold classes, who offer to pass on their knowledge of the plant world.
Besides self teaching, experimenting with all manner of herbal books, exploring the physical plants themselves, and working with loved ones, I have completed in depth courses with amazing local teachers such as Chris Marano of Clearpath School of Herbal medicine and Brittany Wood-Nickerson of Thyme Herbal, taken classes with Deb Soule of Avena Botanicals, and Nancy Scarzello of Forest Bay Institute. I also worked for six years at a local herb shop + apothecary where I sculpted my personal magickal and herbal language by diving into the depths with customers. I formulated and poured and blended many herbs for many people over the years, and have so much love for that process, but now I'm focusing on honing in on the magickal framework for my herbal practice.
To be true to myself, I am on the lifelong magickal path, working with no-bullshit, genuine intention, and cultivating grace in my approach, but I never forget my sense of humor. That's a key ingredient in all I do in this life.
I like to get to know plants a few at a time, first and foremost to respect and honor them, within nature and through out the process of use. I work diligently and thoroughly for every item I offer, research, cross-referencing, testing periods/prototyping, etc. I also practice hedge witchery, which is much more personal journey to me. A hag at heart, awakened.
My passions are numerous, but plants and art are up top. I will always be a painter and write flowery, psychedelic poetry. I also make jewelry, collect crystals, bugs, and bones, I take lots of photographs (especially of flowers), sew all sorts of things, sculpt doo-dads, play musical instruments, weave, etc. for a million years.
I find comfort in exploring the occult, the deep and dark crevices of the human mind, I like to remind myself of the beauty of the darkness as much as of the beauty of the lightness. I do not adhere to any specific belief systems. Paranormal experience stories will have me coming out of the woodwork to listen and I could tell you a few of my own...
Driven by a cosmic love and curiosity to learn and process the life we all live by creating art in as many forms as I can! Art that hopefully will inspire kindness and fierceness that echoes and ripples outward for years to come.. .♓♆ ☽ ● ☾ ◯
Below is the final draft of the poem from which the name Branch & Beak came from, penned back in March of 2011:
"Cranes, crouching in a sedge under full moon, luminescent feathers fidgeting restlessly.
The minute makes a sound as it passes, a sound of wings ruffling, the swoop of them flinch.
Water tries and ripples outward, little whispers travel across mirrored pitches, night forgets them.
Trees sway like heavy heads, closed curtains on an open window, droplets of water hanging from branch + beak.
As fresh necks, outstretched, seek the hour's death. Night calmly keeps on, thick and slow as mud..
While every stillness waits, the heart is beating under wings in chaos."