i gotta say folks (and i’m speaking to mostly white women here – i’m trying to collect my people), watching and feeling the tension before, during and in the wake of the women’s marches has been deeply painful. there are people getting defensive about critiques. there are people who are exhausted, trying to make critiques in a meaningful, respectful way. there are people who are using shame and lateral violence because they feel unheard.
i think that most of us want desperately for this march to mean something. for it to represent a meaningful shift towards a better world. some of us felt this. some of us did not. some felt included. some felt pensive. some felt excluded. many of us did or now do feel confused. some of us felt like we did an amazing thing and then felt hurt that others did not see it in the same way. some felt like it was bullshit from the beginning, which is usually related to a deep feeling of non belief that things can get better through mainstream or liberal change. or not believing things can get better period.
what i see over and over and over is people feeling a lack of connection. people struggling to listen to each other. people struggling to see critique, not as personal attack, but rather as an invitation to deep profound work. work on self and work in community. i see those invitations being offered from a place of pain, rather that from a place of trust. and i think it totally makes sense why this is the case.
the ways we connect with each other are fucking broken.
we need to listen more and see the humanity in each other. and we especially need to learn to do this towards the most marginalized and traumatized in our society and communities. i’m not saying we shouldn’t have boundaries. or that we should accept the impacts of lateral violence. these things do not help tend meaningful connection. what i am saying is, before you type a comment -breathe- allow yourself to feel. allow yourself to connect to the profound humanity of the moment – the humanity in you and the humanity of the other person/people you are interacting with.
allow yourself to feel powerful, because you are. we are. we are powerful beyond measure. and it is precisely that power that is being turned back on us.
we are struggling and trying not to drown, and in the process we are drowning each other, especially those who are the most oppressed. we are stepping on each others faces, forcing each other underwater as we try to reach sunlight and it doesn’t need to be like this.
the wound is open, once again. let. it. breathe.
multiple truths can exist simultaneously. its possible that these marches were profoundly meaningful AND exclusionary. what i know to be true is that a march is a momentary show of force and without long term organizing and relationship building the force of this mo(ve)ment will dwindle to nothing. so go out. listen. build relationships. read. share your story. and most importantly. learn to believe each other. this system feeds on systematic violence and deeply internalized feelings of isolation and difference. we can’t over come this difference by acting like it does not exist. we need to see it as our greatest strength.
because it is. and we should tend to it like we believe that to be true.
i’m writing you with a particularly heavy heart. the moons rising in the season of dwindling light have worked me hard. since i last wrote to you all i have left my home, the homostead, as well as my life-team-mate who i shared a home and baby with. this transition has been challenging for me. it’s set me deep into a cocooning, transforming time – much like the plants and forest that surround me.
i am not yet ready to emerge back out of the cocoon, but as i sit here, i am visioning. i am breathing and healing and crying my way through it. basking in the warmth and support you all have been offering me in this tender time.
i have ideas for the future and announcements about pieces i am laying to rest. read on to discover the shifts i’m envisioning.
the big news is: i am closing the public side of my apothecary
as many of you know, this summer my apothecary was reported to the government. in response i removed many products from my shop and decided to shift towards a consultation based model, still planning to make and share physical remedies. then chaos ensued and i found my apothecary packed into boxes. this physical instability showed me how much my practice was tied to housing stability and to the land i gathered from, unceded sinixt territory. i have no idea what my future holds right now, but i do know i can’t commit to making, packaging and providing remedies on a consistent basis without a stable home base.
the other reason i am choosing to close the public side of my apothecary is due to the balance of financial security as compared to magical and emotional labour my practice requires. i spend hours and hours gathering medicine, as well as writing about how i gathered it, sharing and packaging it, consulting with people, answering their questions, sharing ideas and offering emotional labour. while some of this work is paid, much of it is not. i love engaging with community in this way, and i also need to have financial security so that in times of chaos and trauma my work allows me to meet my basic needs like feeding and housing myself.
so what will come in the place of my beloved apothecary?
the other part of my work that i love deeply is creating learning spaces with and for witches, herbalists and femmes. weaving heart-centered anti-oppression through magic making. my plan is to focus on these aspects of my business and create downloadable education resources, as well as host in-person and online workshop spaces.
this means you all will have more and more chances to increase your own relationship to the plant world as well as to communities of like minded witches and femmes who wish to lift up your dreams and affirm your wisdom.
i may still make and share some herbal products, but they will be far less of my focus in the coming year. at this point i also plan to keep writing, reading tarot and providing herbal consultation care. that being said writing and community education will become my main focus.
how can you get your hands on what is left of the witch cabinet’s medicines and remedies?
good question. one way is to make an order through my etsy.
you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to make an order if there is something specific you are interested in that is not on my etsy – such as mandrake salves, mugwort and pennyroyal tinctures, sunscreen and bugspray. i am open to offers around price, because i want to sell and trade as much of the remaining products as i can, so i can use the money to launch my new endeavours. and i want these remedies in community because that is where they belong.
at this point my plan is to attend 2 solstice markets in east van, un-ceded coast salish territory. the radical spirits market and the homesteaders emporium market. you can join me at both these markets as a chance to connect and purchase remedies on a pay-what-its-worth scale.
in the coming months i plan to close my etsy and re-open the shop on my site with loads of educational resources, poetry, consultations services and anything else i’m selling. this is no simple undertaking, and i hope this consultation will serve me AND the community i serve as well.
speaking of which, i’m on the look-out for a savvy and witchy web and graphic designer who would like to work with me through this transition. you can email me at email@example.com if you are interested in working with me.
i really can’t say enough how much your support and kindness means to me and the continual existence of my work. it would be literally impossible for me to be a community supported witch without you, my community.
from my fierce and tender heart to yours,
ps: if you love my work and want to see it continuing, in ways where i can consistently meet my basic needs, even through trauma and chaos, you can support my work by committing to make a monthly donation. every amount counts, and while money is not the main reason i do this, it does make the work possible in the long term.
<3 <3 <3
and here is a sweet picture of me and my pup dolly..
at this point it’s not totally clear to me what will happen to me or my business if i don’t comply to the rules. from what i understand a breech of the rules would be treated on a case by case basis and the majority of herbalists either adhere to the rules or go underground. i’m not sure i want to do either of those things, so i’m still pondering my next steps.
all that being said i’m starting to understand what the rules are and how they work. i’m coming to understand the pieces i disagree with and the pieces i can see myself adhering to.
one piece of the health “canada” regulations is that it becomes easier to share herbal medicine with folks who are under my care. what this means is that if you want to keep (or start) purchasing herbal products from me, it will be a lot easier for you to do that (now and into the future) if you book a consultation with me.
booking a consultation will give you access to my apothecary at a 10% discount as well as free shipping for whatever i send you, as long as it can be sent in october 2016.
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book today. <3
i look forward to hearing from you.
and as always, i’m deeply grateful for you support.
if you believe in my work and want to support me on a monthly basis for $3 – $20 you can sign up to do so here. you can also book a tarot card reading with me where 50% of the money goes to #blacklivesmatter.
Make no mistake dear ones: learning how to say no as a femme, that shit is a radical act.
Learning how to set boundaries can be a raw, challenging, revealing and healing process. This workshop is for witches and femmes – magical creatures that we are. It’s a space where we can sit together, breathe, listen and validate. A space where we can practice consent based, well boundaried support and skill sharing. It’s a space where we can own our shit and take care of ourselves – and if we like – each other. Here we will share practical skills but we’ll also share magical and herbal tools to help us bolster our boundary setting tool boxes.
You can sign up for this workshop by sending an email with the subject line BOUNDARIES to email@example.com
Boundaries are the bedrock of healthy, sustainable and nourishing relationships. Often we conceive of boundaries as a tool to push people away, which they sometimes can be, but boundaries can also be a tool for deep intimacy. Boundaries work to keep us safe and also to foster clear communication and mutual support. Boundaries are profoundly anti-opppressive because the teach us to nurture and respect self preservation (in ourselves and others) in the face of constant demands on our bodies, minds and spirits.
Boundaries are survival skills.
And sometimes they can be confusing to set. They often require sacrifice, sitting in our triggers, and challenging old and tired scripts inherited from people in our lives who have taken from us without our consent. There is no such thing as a perfect boundary, but it is possible to set boundaries that are clear, effective and consensually negotiated.
This workshop will happen both in-person and online. Here are the details…
East Van Coast Salish Territory The Toast 648 E Kingsway
Monday September 19th 6 – 9 pm
One session for a $30 – $90 sliding scale – payment plans, work trade (for anyone who needs them) and scholarships (for BIPOC folk) are available.
The Toast has a ramp and there is a wheelchair accessible bathroom near by at Matchstick. You can see more details of the space here.
This workshop will be a scent reduced space. Meaning participants are required to not wear scented body care products (including essential oils) and to not wear clothes that have been washed with scented laundry detergent. This requirement is extremely important and contributes profoundly to the access abilities of others in the space.
This workshop is limited to 15 participants.
Tuition includes a ‘break borders not boundaries’ patch from fruit fly distro and a yarrow hawthorn elixir for heart protection and strong boundaries.
Online Workshop Series
Wednesday September 28th and October 5th 6 – 9 pm PST on Zoom.
2 sessions for a $50 – $150 sliding scale – payment plans, work trade (for anyone who needs them) and scholarships (for BIPOC folk) are available.
25% discount available for participants who share screens.
This workshop is limited to 20 screens.
Tuition includes a patch from fruit fly distro and a yarrow hawthorn elixir for heart protection and strong boundaries. *shipping of your package is not included in tuition*.
You can sign up for this workshop by sending an email with the subject line BOUNDARIES to firstname.lastname@example.org
This zine is for all the femmes carrying wounds from masculine folks who didn’t treat us right. It’s for all of us tending, surviving, healing and grieving. I know the work of tending our fierce hearts is fucking hard and exhausting. I know they will never see even a fraction of our struggle or our brilliance, let alone own up to their part in causing all this pain.
Know that I’m with you. I got you. I feel it too.
I believe you.
I’m looking for submissions from femmes that both tell our stories and also share strategies for healing, justice and resilience. I’m partial to poetry, short stories, spells, hexes, tarot, recipes, plant allies and visual art – but i’ll review submissions of any genre.
Because I want to encourage participation of BIPOC voices I’m both going to prioritize those submissions and I’m offering herbal gifts to any BIPOC folks who submit. If you’re BIPOC please include a few ideas for areas you could use herbal support with, in your submission.
And hey femmes – do you wanna learn some skills to set effective and clear boundaries? Skills that are practical, magical, nestled in community and connected with plant allies? then I’d suggest checking out my upcoming workshop Hawthorn Heart. This workshop will take place in person in East Van (unceded coast salish territory) on September 19th and online on September 28th and October 5th.
This type of community organizing and resource creation is my full time work, on top of growing food, brewing herbal potions and doing loads of emotional labour and reproductive justice work. If you believe in acknowledging femmes for our endless labour and want to support this femme to continue their work in the world you can donate monthly by clicking here.
in the past few weeks a lot has been going on for me. i’ve done hours of emotional and supportive labour working harm reduction. this work saves lives, and it also left me with a wicked lung infection. while i was away doing this work someone in my family was placed in a drug induced coma after sustaining a brain injury very similar to my little brother’s – which happened 7 years ago. understandably this has brought up waves of re-emerging grief and trauma for me. tomorrow i’m heading back to vancouver (coast salish territory) to support my family – to cook and clean and kitchen witch them as best as my tender heart can manage.
there’s alot going on. and that’s not all.
after my most recent courting pennyroyal workshopmy apothecary was reported to the government. i can’t be 100% sure who did this as the report is anonymous, but while i was in vancouver i was receiving threats from someone, telling me they would shut me down. this person feels very strongly that my work shouldn’t exist. they feel that what i do hurts women. all of this coincided with the painful end of a long standing relationship with someone who refused to have my back through this onslaught.
it wasn’t easy and my heart is still hurting.
these allegations were deeply painful to receive and i believe they are untrue.
those of you who are friends with me, who follow my work, eat the food i make, have been soothed by the remedies i make -you know that the goal of my work is to fight oppression and facilitate deep healing. i do what i do to love others, not to harm them.
as a result of my apothecary being reported i’ve agreed to take my hand-made, hand-harvested pennyroyal and black cohosh tinctures off my etsy. i also have to stop selling my bugspray and sunscreen by october 31st. i’ve been asked not to make or sell any of these things in future. its unclear at this point if i have to shut down my public apothecary entirely in order to comply with being reported in this way. it’s also unclear to me if i will choose to comply, but for now i am stepping back to ground and create a new long-term strategy.
i need time to research and re-group. i need time to bolster myself for potential recurring lateral violence.
the person who reported my apothecary is using the power and violence of the state as leverage against me. obviously when this happens to people with less privilege than me the consequences are more dire. i will always aim to center that reality in my work. and right now, that pressure and coercion is coming down on me, my work, my family, my home.
the work i do as a public witch is being threatened for fear of liberation. crushed for fear of interdependence. pushed back against for fear of community reliance.
what i do – what we do – scares people. what i am learning is that when you become a threat your power is leveraged against you. the person who reported me. the state. they want to take my power away. and there is absolutely no way i will ever let them do that.
part of how i’m weathering this next period is by asking for help.
if you believe in my work.
if my words or medicine have supported you in some way.
if you believe in femme magic.
then you can support me in the following ways:
1) become a donor to my site. donations happen monthly and range from $3 – $20/month. if you’d like to make a one-time donation you can send it to me at this email address through e-transfer or paypal. and if you’d like to make a larger regular donation you can email me back and we can arrange that.
2) buy something from my apothecary.because i need to sell all of my remaining sunscreen and bugspray by october 31st i am selling the final bottles and jars at a sliding scale. no reasonable or generous offer will be refused. keep in mind there are only about 20 bottles of sunscreen and bugspray left so you’ll wanna get them before they run out. you can order them on my etsy or message me back to this email.
4) send me words of support. give me consensual hugs. and most of all, don’t let what’s happening to me scare you from being brave, bold or fearless with your magic. the best thing you can do to support me is keep making, creating, loving and pushing back against injustice.
let’s keep our hearts fed so we can keep fighting and more importantly, keep loving.
one of the things i miss about eating (mostly) grain free, is sandwiches. partially because i think bread is delicious, but mostly because sandwiches are easy, filling and can be nutritious.
today i discovered a simple and delicous alternative to one of my favourite sandwiches: tuna salad.
i made this salad by combining wild canned salmon with a few tablespoons of home-made mayonaiseand keeping the juices from the salmon in the bowl. then i tossed the thin wet mixture over mixed lettuce greens and voila! delicious, grain free, nutritious salad.
this recipe is quick, easy and most of all satisies my tuna salad cravings.
if you appreciate my recipes and want me to keep sharing them, considering support my work by donating or sharing. <3
You can connect to this workshop on facebook here.
This workshop will take place in person on Sunday July 24th at the Toast Collective from 9 am to 5 pm. This workshop is taking place on unceded Coast Salish territory.
**new online offering!!**
There will be an online offering of this workshop on Saturday August 20th from 9 am to 5 pm PST. Participants from any location can take part in this workshop.
To register for this workshop send an email to email@example.com with the subject line Courting Pennyroyal East Van/Online. Space in this workshop is limited so I suggested registering early, payment can be arranged after registration if need be.
It is possible to purchase a recording of an earlier and shorter version of this workshop here. To purchase the poster here. And to purchase the tinctures here.
For thousands of years fertile and menstruating people around the world have worked with herbs to affect our moon cycles. Many of our ancestors experienced dire persecution during the rise and imposition of colonial capitalism for holding this sacred knowledge, simply because it is and was so powerful. This violence continues to this day. For generations these skills have been forced deep underground, nestled safely in the dark-dampness of forest tree roots, leaving the present day generations of witches, healers and bleeders without the knowledge so many of us crave.
It is time to dig this knowledge back up from the roots.
Today it is often challenging to find accurate information about herbal contraception. Often the available information is decontextualized or fear mongering, so as to turn people away from the power that lies dormant in our blood, bones and dream life.
This workshop is designed to give people the skills to become more deeply in touch with our moon cycles. Much will be covered in this workshop including cycle charting, myth-busting, safer sex practices, herbal allies and medicine making, ethical wild crafting, harm reduction, and the spiritual/energetic aspects of herbal contraception.
Access and container:
Access and container:
This workshop will utilize 8 community agreements, which will be reviewed and amended if necessary when we meet.
This workshop will take place on Sunday July 24th 9 am to 5 pm at the Toast Collective on un-ceded coast salish territory. This link will give you info about access details for the space.
If your access needs require accomodation that is not available in the space at present, send me a message and I’ll see what I can arrange to accomodate your needs.
An online version of this workshop will take place on Saturday August 20th from 9 am to 5 pm PST. The workshop will utilize the programs Zoom and Prezi. It would be great if folks can share computers with others taking the course. A 20% discount will be offered to participants to share screens. Please let me know if you plan to share a screen in your registration email.
Its my preference to record the online workshop, with the intention of sharing it with others. If you are *not ok* with me recording this workshop, please let me know in your registration email. I will check in about this on the day of as well.
People of all genders are welcome at this workshop.
This workshop aims to be inclusive of a wide range of lived experiences and in doing so strives to challenge systems of power and oppression such as racism, capitlism, colonization, ableism, classism, sexism, whorephobia, homophobia and transphobia.
The sliding scale for this workshop is $50 to $100. Payment plans are available. Trades for medicine making supplies, outreach for this workshop, or home grown food are also available.
Folks participating online will also pay for shipping for their poster and tincture. A digital copy of the poster is also available, if folks prefer that.
*You must arrange the trade with me over email through the registration process.* Trades that have not been consensually agreed upon by both of us before the workshop will not be honoured.
There is a recording of a three hour version of this workshop available, for folks who would rather learn online or who can’t make it on this date. You can order the recording here.
What participants receive:
All participants will receive access to a prezi that includes a list of resources, as well as a paper copy of my herbal abortion poster and a tincture of either black cohosh, mugwort or pennyroyal – depending on what herbs I have available at the time. If there is one you strongly prefer over the others, let me know in your registration email and I will set a tincture aside for you.
Participants will also receive 10% off everything in my etsy the witch cabinet for up to 1 month after the workshop.
Folks participating online will receive their poster and tincture through the mail.
Your registration email will give you more information about my background in this work and my teachers. For now if you want to learn more about my work you can read these links:
when i first tasted home-made mayo a part of my brain exploded in a really pleasurable way. since learning how to make my own, and swapping secrets with inspiring friends and neighbours, i could never go back to store bought mayo. plus we have a flock of 25 chickens and are always looking for creative ways to eat eggs.
when my mayo is homemade i know all the ingredients are well sourced. i can tweek the flavours to specific meals and it’s actually cheaper to eat home-made than to buy mayo in the store.
it saves me money to make mayo that is good for me and more delcious than what i could buy in the store.
basically home-made mayo is a dream and a half and i’m so excited to share it with you.
when my mayo game really leveled up was when i discovered i could infuse herbs into it. this means my mayo is made with eggs from my yard, organic canola that is robust with omega 3’s (similar to flax oil) and nutritious delicious wild crafted herbs.
and it tastes so good!
lots of mayo recipes say you should discard egg whites, i disagree. personally i think discarding whites is wasteful and unneccessary. but really, its all up to you. this recipe is how i make mayo, take it as a template and play with it. what matters is that your food tastes good to you and nourishes your body and soul.
here’s the recipe:
2 large eggs or 3 small eggs
2 tsp lemon juice (or herb infused apple cider vinegar)generous pinch of salt
generous pinch of pepper
generous pinch of chili powder
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp of honey
2 cups organic canola oil (could be a wide variety of oils and could be gently infused with herbs)
to make mayo i crack the eggs into a 1 liter mason jar and add all the ingredients other than the oil. I blend the mixture well with a hand blender, but you could do this in a stand up blender or with a whisk if that’s what you got.
you can play with the salt/sweet/spice ratios to get a blend that makes the most sense for you. what i’ve listed here is the recipe that tastes great to me. when i first started making mayo i used rosehip infused ACV and it was divine. you can infuse ACV by adding a small amount of herbs to the bottle, or putting herbs in a mason jar and covering them with ACV. some herbs i’d suggest playing with are nettles, calendula, roses, plantain, garlic, dandelion – but really anything that tickles your fancy and tastes good could work wonders.
once the blend is all mixed up i turn on the hand blender and slowly drizzle the oil over the blender in a delicate little trickle. the oil has to be added in a slow drizzle until the emulsion sets in. the emulsion usually unfolds at the half way mark. you can tell because the mayo will change consistency to a thick mixture that has less movement through the blender blade. the mayo ceases to be a liquid. once this happens you can add the rest of the oil as quick as you like.
if you are going to play with infusing oil for mayo i’d suggest going easy on the herbs. oil is the main ingredient in mayo. if you go to hard the mayo will taste very strongly of the herbs you infused. the infused oil i use for mayo has been infused for a day with a few tablespoons of herbs, rather than a full jar of herbs infused for weeks or months – which is what i would use for a salve. i encourage to you play with it. be creative and send me the recipes you come up with and absolutely love.
i hope you enjoy this recipe! <3
ps: on the regular residents at the homostead eat this mayo mixed with homemade nettle pesto. it’s divine and i highly suggest you try it.
if you appreciate this recipe and want to contribute to my abundance as a community-supported-kitchen-witch please consider becoming a donor to my site. donations start as low as $3/month and make a big difference to the financial security of my family. <3 <3 <3