From magic

out with the old

support the survival of radical witchcraft

friends,

i’m calling on your support to help me through a huge transition.
i need you to help keep the magic i make alive.

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 workshop my 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.

in the brilliant words of my teacher and friend rain crowe, “the burning times never ended”.

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.

 

3) book a tarot card reading with me. 50% of my readings will still be donated to #blacklivesmatter. let’s spread the love and support around <3.

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.

from my tender and fierce heart to yours,

a

Courting PennyRoyal(3)

courting pennyroyal comes to east van! + online!

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 andi@andigracewrites.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.

Description:

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.

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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.

 

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Juniper twig with berries

Registration Details:

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.

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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.

 

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My background:

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:

Herbal Abortions: Questions, concerns and clarity
Pros and Cons of Herbal Abortion
Moontime as Ritual
Empress Sitting Above Everything

I look forward to connecting with you all. ♥

** this workshop is for educational purposes only **

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as embers cool across the forest floor

it is terrifyingly humbling to drown in smoke

witness chimneys made of old growth

watch mushroom clouds rise from the canopies

warm our bodies at mountain range hearths

wade through plumes of smouldering incense

 

you can watch it all from our front stoop

or the passenger seat of our beat up butch toyota

see the sun set neon clementine between the western ranges

watch the gleaming blood moon rise from the eastern cedars

 

tears are chased burning from our vision

while breath clings hidden deep in the roots of our lungs

begging for lungwort. usnea. cabbage and cottonwood.

every living thing is bent in prayer for rain

 

i can’t help but wonder, is this our life now?

will we ever see the river from this perch again?

will smoke masks keep arriving in the mail?

is this what breathing has become?

 

as the smoke clears we bath in the sweet milk of relief

relief that our home still stands, surrounded by sprinklers

relief that we have last minute refuge in every direction,

but we didn’t need to use it

we didn’t pack our goats and chickens and memories

into a pick up truck and drive in any direction where the road is still open

relief that the the rain has washed away the ash from our windshields

relief knowing that “burnt to the ground” happened across a different highway,

than the one in front of our house

relief in the sweet sunbeam of temporary blue sky reprieve

 

we are dancing cautiously with a fleet footed fever

our backs turned, we’re whispering about her

bouquets of yarrow in our hands

 

we are praying at a hearth brought to our feet

an altar built of our desire for convenience

we are being smudged clean by lessons we neglected

ancient wisdom we turned away from, called primitive

our path is a trail of spilt blood and gunpowder across the forest floor

we are walking blindfolded, into the end of days

our hearts yearning to be cleansed

palms open, waiting to be kissed by lightning

 


if you’d like to support my work, you can purchase my poetry chap book 13 months feral. it’s also possible to become a monthly donor to my site, order a tarot card reading, an herbal consultation, or purchase something from my shop the witches cabinet.

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glitter rebellion workshop tour

workshop details:

Glitter Rebellion is a workshop where participants are invited to connect to the resilience that lives in their bones, blood and spirits. Those of us who fight the patriarchy, glitterbomb homophobia and work tirelessly to free our genders from binaries all carry timeless rebellion in our hearts, whether from our blood ancestors, or from our ancestors of struggle. In this learning space we invite folks of all genders and sexual orientations to gather together, create, play, explore, connect, be consensually vulnerable and tell stories. The work seeks to vision both our histories of rebellion and the gifts we wish to cultivate in offering to those who will call us their ancestors.

This workshop space will prioritize imagination, intuition, visions, dream world escapades, magic, creativity and play as primary learning modalities.

your hosts:

Your hosts will be andi grace and Kori Doty as well as the local space organizers they are partnering with. Neither Kori nor andi consider themselves experts on this topic, but rather see themselves as willing space holders. Both andi and Kori have european ancestral ties and access to white privilege. They also both identify as queer witches and medicinal story tellers. They both use they pronouns and live on a rural queer and trans homesteading project called the homostead, that sits on un-ceded sinixit territory. Like everyone, their identities are more complex than brief social location markers can offer. If you have questions about their identities or approaches feel free to peruse their websites or send them messages through facebook or email.

exchange:

to help cover our travel costs and make this work our livelihood we are asking $20 to $60 sliding scale from each participant. We are also open to trades for things like food, medicine making supplies and promotion of our work to as-of-yet un-tapped networks. We are committed to access in such a way that we will not turn people away for lack of funds. However we request that other options be pursued before a request for free participation is made, such as asking for support from allies and other workshop participants, looking into local grants (which we are happy to help write), offering trades etc. We don’t want to turn anyone away from the work because of a lack of financial resources, but we also need to be realistic about those expenses coming from our livelihood, when we consider the larger sustainability of our work. Also we believe that our communities are rich with abundance and generosity, even if that abundance is not necessarily cash driven. We want to encourage de-stigmatized and supportive conversations about class, money, access and the value of labour as an aspect of the learning offered here.

dates and locations:

 

Winlaw Sinixt territory on March 5th.
Bindus 1 – 4 pm.
Details available on Facebook.

East Van Coast Salish territory on March 10th.
Hammock Residency 6 – 9 pm.
and March 20th at The Toast Collective from 1 – 4 pm
Details available on Facebook.
*space at these workshops is limited. please send an email to koridoty[@]gmail.com to confirm attendance.

Quest University sḵwx̱wú7mesh territory on March 13th.
Details available on Facebook.

Victoria Coast Salish territory on March 17th.
SPARC 6 – 9 pm.Details available on Facebook.
*space at this workshop is limited. please send an email to koridoty@wordpress.com to confirm attendance.

We are open to bringing this workshop to more places. If you have questions about the existing workshops, or want to book us for another location please send email to andi[@]andigracewrites.com and to koridoty[@]gmail.com.

 

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Making a Mandrake Flying Ointment

This past winter solstice I made a mandrake flying ointment.

The magic I weaved with this ointment was to call in abundance.

Financial abundance.
Accepting loving touch.
Bravery to speak hard truths.

This was my solstice magic.

The magic and medicine seemed to resonate with folks. The ointments sold out in about one week. I’ve decided that this time around I will show you how I make a mandrake ointment. That way you can make one yourself, or know exactly what you’re getting when you order one from my witch’s cabinet.


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The first step is to find mandrake root. I bought the mandrake root for these salves from Self Heal an apothecary in Victoria. Mandrake grows in Southern Europe (though it made it’s way through trade all through-out europe). This means that the climate where I live (an inland canadian mountain valley on unceded sinixt territory) isn’t ideal for growing mandrake. Maybe once our greenhouse is constructed it’ll be a different story, but for now, this source feels good to me. Self Heal can deliver to you through the mail, if you want to source from them.

If you can’t harvest or grow mandrake yourself, look out for wild crafted, sustainably harvested sources. You can smell when a plant is healthy, it’s medicine strong. The colours will be more vibrant. Feel the plant in your hands and notice how it feels in your body.

Trust your intuition as you get to know the plant.

The other ingredient in this salve is cottonwood buds. I harvest cottonwood from a healthy patch near my house. Cottonwood helps soothe the skin and is used in many european witch craft practices to aid in astral travel. It’s a beautiful partner for this salve and can be harvested in many places.

I made the oil for this salve in a 1 liter widemouth mason jar. I added 1/2 cup of lightly dried cottonwood buds and 1 cup of thinly grated mandrake root. Then I covered the root and buds with olive oil (you can also use grapeseed, sunflower etc), put on the lid, labeled it with the date and ingredients and left it to sit for a month, in a cool dark shelf in my apothecary.

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I prefer to let the medicines I make to sit for 3 to 6 months, if possible. This means the medicine is strong and well infused. You can also play with astrological influences in your medicine. I try to bottle and make medicine on significant days. New and full moons. Solstices and equinoxes. I also prefer passive or lunar infusion over heat infusion because I feel it is more gentle and maintains more healing properties in the medicine. That being said, the best infusion method depends on what kind of medicine you’re making and how soon you need it.

Lately I’ve been playing with gentle heat infusion in my medicine making, because it helps me make medicine more quickly. For this mandrake salve I added half the jar’s contents into a double boiler (I left the rest to infuse in the jar) and gently heated the medicine til it became fragrant and the herbs looked spent. You want to avoid heating the oil til it bubbles, because that generally means the oil is too hot and that can kill off the nutrients needed for a strong medicine. Gentle heat is better, thats why double boilers are awesome for medicine making.

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Once the oil feels ready I strain the herbs out. You can see the cottonwood buds and mandrake root pretty clearly in this picture. For many medicines, especially those that are passively infused, you may want to strain the medicine with cheesecloth or even a press. There is much medicinal content that can come from pressing the last medicine out of the plant matter. I tent to avoid pressing with cottonwood buds because of how sticky they are. Heat infusion can work well for decocting roots, that’s another reason why I use gentle heat for mandrake root oil. Pressing, I have found, works best for petal, leaves and flowers. Or roots that soften a great deal upon being processed.

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Then I added the oil back to the double boiler and added beeswax to the mix. I used to make salves with a 1:5 beeswax to oil ratio, but this time I used a ratio of 1:4 because I want to make a slightly harder salve. I like using less beeswax so there is more plant matter in the medicine, but the downside is the salves are not as solid. More thick salves travel better, spread a bit more thick on the skin, and are less likely to melt in someone’s bag or back pocket. I definitely prefer beeswax of emulsifying wax because it is harder so you can use less of it. I also find beeswax feels better on my skin and I love the medicinal properties it carries.

Some other things I have used to thickeners are coconut oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and carnuba wax. I have also found that when I make salves using pig fat (which my ancestors would have done) they stand alone without thickener. I’m lucky cause I can source pig fat from my buddies who lived in the front yard, but you can also source it from a trusted local butcher and it is usually pretty inexpensive. It does take love and time to render fat though.

While I prefer to not make my medicine with vegan ingredients I can do it as a special order. If you’re interested in a vegan (no beeswax) version of this salve feel free to email me with your order at andi(@)andigracewrites(.)com

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Once the wax has melted I pour the salves into jars and leave them outside to cool. You can see from these two pictures how much the colour changes as the salve hardens.

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And there you have it. That’s how I make a mandrake salve.

Some folks have also asked how I use this salve. I use it on sore muscles primarily and have found it to create great pain relief. I also use it as a massage oil for me and my partner if we’re intending to have sexy times together. We find it makes us giddy, relaxed and more connected to each other. I also use the medicine almost like a solid perfume, particularly when I’m wanting to call something in like loving touch or money. The salve has an earthy smell that I really appreciate and I have found it be an amazing luck charm for abundance of all kinds. It has literally delivered what I’m looking for and often more, every time I use it.

You can order a mandrake salve here and learn more about the magic in this medicine here. The article about the magic of the salve will also direct you to resources to learn more about mandrake as a plant. Mandrake has a rich history and I highly recommend learning more about it.

Check out the product listing for contraindications. As a rule of thumb folks who are pregnant, nursing or allergic to aspirin will want to stay away from this medicine. That being said if you want to get pregnant, but you aren’t yet, this medicine may appeal to you.

If you have additional questions about this medicine, feel free to send me an email (andi(@)andigracwrites.com) or connect with me on facebook.

Best of luck in your medicine making <3

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Mandrake Flying Ointment: finding abundance in money, love, food, touch and truth telling.

This year I decided I wanted my winter solstice magic to call in abundance.

Financial abundance, food security, loving touch, self confidence, bravery to tell hard truths. This is what my winter solstice magic was all about.

I wanted to get specific and work with a plant ally to aid the magic.

Mandrake was the absolutely perfect fit.

mandragora mandrake root

Mandrake is perhaps one of the most well know witches’ herbs. Though it grows naturally in southern europe it was used widely through-out Europe because of robust trade relationships. This means that many people of European ancestry will have a connection to this medicine. Personally I find the smell earthy and comforting and I find the medicine very familiar, even though this is one of the first times I’ve worked with it, in this life anyways.

Mandrake has many medicinal and spiritual uses. Medicinally it is a powerful emetic (vomit inducing) and sedative, especially when taken internally. It was even used as an anesthetic by doctors for a brief period before other more predictable medicines became more popular. Many herbalist will caution against using it because of it’s powerful emetic qualities, however I find it quite calming when used as a salve.

Mandrake has properties that are similar to but distinctive from nightshades. This salve’s effects bare a very close resemblance to belladonna, another night shade that I absolutely love. The salve is very relaxing and can be used as a balm for aching muscles or as a sensual massage oil. I’ve also used it as a magical ally at parties where I want to get my flirt on.

I find mandrake makes me feel relaxed, giddy and hopeful.

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One of the other widely known qualities of mandrake is its power as an aphrodisiac. The plant was used widely as a fertility medicine and was often credited with assisting in conception. To me it’s pretty obvious how all of these qualities relate to calling in abundance. Plus mandrake was widely used as a good luck charm for calling in money, which I have personally found it to be very helpful with since I started using it.

My experience of using this medicine is that it has helped me to lean more deeply into trust. Trust that I am valid and worthy. Trust that my work will be well received and supported. Trust that I can say both yes and no to my partner and lovers and either will be heard and respected. Trust that the spring will come and with it will come flowers, fiddleheads, seedlings and goats milk.

All my medicines are small personalized batches which means I only have a small amount for sale. If you would like to purchase this salve you can do so here. And if you feel called to this medicine but would rather not exchange money, you can email me at andi[@]andigracewrites.com and purpose a trade of food or medicine making supplies in exchange for this salve.

To your abundance and mine.

<3


if you want to learn more about mandrake check out these resources:

The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra

Witchcraft Medicine by Muller-Ebeling et al

A Druids Herbal by Hopman

A Modern Herbal

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witchy holiday gifts with a whole Lotta <3

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Are you looking for holiday gifts (for yourself or your loved ones) that are sweet, healing, practical, affordable and non-toxic? Would it be extra-special if these gifts supported the livelihood of a community-supported-witch? Then perhaps I have what you are looking for!

With a few exceptions, all of my medicine is wild crafted from the land I live on: a queer and trans land project called the homostead, located in the Kootenays on unceded sinixt territory.

All my prices are sliding scale, but I can give you a sweet and simple total if you send me an email to andi[@]andigracewrites.com with what you are looking to order. I accept payment through a wide range of means including paypal, interac etransfer, cheque, money order and some trades. Soon I will make the medicines available in my shop, but for now just send me an email and we can work out the price and availability and price of your order together. Ingredients lists for all of these gifts are available upon request.


 

Here’s some things I have on offer right now:

12333157_798457686950224_857473339_oGood morning sunshine glycerite: this tincture is sweet and nutritious and will help brighten your mood and calm upset digestive systems. 10 to 50 ml bottles available. $10 to $25 sliding scale depending on size.

Arthritis salve: this salve is a soothing and anti-inflammatory mix of catnip and calendula, with an optional mama mary jane addition. 1 oz and 2 oz availble. $15 to $35 sliding scale depending on size and ingredients.

Witches Flying Ointment: made with henbane, rose and cottonwood this salve is great for anyone seeking to learn more about western european magical plant traditions. Great for prayer, magic making, ritual and muscle pain. 1 oz available. $20.

Herbal deodorant: this deodorant is the best! It’s the best deodorant I’ve ever used. Plus it is also gentle and healing to damaged and sensitive skin. I can add many different medicinal and essential oils depending on your needs. 1 or 2 oz available. $10 to $30 sliding scale depending on size.tumblr_nnpfg9JmKk1rlozhio6_1280

Toothpaste: simple, non-toxic, vegan and nourishing this toothpaste can include mint stevia or not, and it’s is easy to use. 1 or 2 oz available. $7 to $27 sliding scale depending on size.

Incense: this loose blend is packed with beautiful wildcrafted plants. It’s great for clearing spaces and calling in ancestors. 1 oz and 2 oz available. $10 to $20 depending on size.

Sweet Rose Kiss Balm: made with rose, plantain, calendula, beeswax and sweet almond oil. These salves also include fat from our sweet and very happy pigs. This balm works amazingly to heal chronically dry or damaged skin. 0.25, 1 and 2 oz available. $5 to $35 depending on size.

Photo on 2015-09-15 at 4.59 PM #6Single glycerites and salves: I have loads of medicines that are gentle and effective including usnea, fir, calendula and catnip salves and rosehip, ginger, burdock and oregon grape glycerites. Glycerites are sweet tinctures that are safe for folks who would rather not use alcohol and often gentle enough for kids to use as well. All of these medicines taste and smell amazing and I can offer advice on what you can use them for. If you think you could use a sweet and gentle herbal medicine, let me know and I’ll help you make a match. <3

Herbal consultations: are you curious about working with herbs but literally have no idea where to start? Or maybe you have been working with herbs but you need a bit more guidance or just a second opinion? You can book a consultation with me where I will walk you through a needs assessment and whip up a special blend of medicine, made just for you. You can also offer this gift to a loved one through a gift certificate.

DSCF4224Tarot card readings: Beyond herbalism I’m also a tarot card reader with very affordable rates. Plus I have a money back guarantee: if you don’t get something out of your 1 hour reading I will give you a refund no questions asked. You can purchase a reading for yourself or a loved one here.

And finally.. maybe poetry is more your thing? Great! I just released a poetry chapbook that is all about healing, magic and sweet queer love. You can purchase it here.


If you are interested in ordering any of the plant medicine listed above, send me an email at andi@andigracewrites.com with your order. Payments can be made through pay-pal, e-transfer, money order or cheque – or direct through the website for tarot readings and chapbooks. I will often offer discounts for larger orders so buying more will usually save you money.

All of this medicine is made lovingly in small batches so these offerings only stand as supplies last. That being said I am always making medicine and you can keep abreast of my offerings by joining my mailing list or following me on facebook. All salves are made with beeswax but many can be made with vegan wax, upon request.

I and very much looking forward to hearing from you. <3

a

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Kitchen Witches for the Revolution: expanding diversity of tactics to include magic and homesteading

“Eradicating these practices was a necessary condition for the capitalist rationalization of work, since magic appeared as an illicit form of power and an instrument to obtain what one wanted without work, that is, a refusal of work in action. “Magic kills industry” “ – from Caliban and the Witch

Read more