From self love

out with the old

rebirth of the witch cabinet: closing my public apothecary

friends and community,

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.

you can purchase this salve on my etsy.

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.

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you can purchase this salve on my etsy.

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.

you can purchase my poetry book on my etsy
you can purchase my poetry book on my etsy.

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 andi@andigracewrites.com 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 andi@andigracewrites.com if you are interested in working with me.

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you can purchase this salve on my etsy.

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,

a

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..

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stop romantacizing people who hurt you

I Believe You: A Zine for Femmes Surviving Toxic Masculinity

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.

vulnerability is a radical act

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.

Please send your submissions here.

 

from the body is not an apology.
from the body is not an apology.

 

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.

If you’d like to learn more about my work you can check out the rest of my site my column on Little Red Tarot, and my Etsy the Witch’s Cabinet.

You can follow this event on facebook here.

hawthornAnd 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.

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

boundariesimage

Radio Interview: Boundaries

Last week I was interviewed on Gender Trouble CFUV.

I talked about boundaries: why they are important, how to set them, who my teachers have been, as well as plant and magical allies I work with.

You can listen to the interview here.

If you want to connect with the teachers I mention you can connect with Pavini here and Safeteen here.

If you’re interested in learning more about plant allies you can book an herbal consultation with me by emailing me at andi(@)andigracewrites(.)com.

If you’re interested in booking a tarot reading, a tool I have found immensely helpful to work with in setting boundaries. You can book a tarot card reading with me here.


The gorgeous image for this interview comes from Auberon Wolf. You can see more of their work on their site here.

If you would like to share your art work as feature images on my site, check out this artists call out.

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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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I QUIT! Naming toxicity in non-profit work environments.

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From Pinterest

Last week I quit my nonprofit job. I’ve decided to step away from nonprofit work in favour of focusing on homesteading, reading tarot cards online and writing. And I’ve decided this will be the last nonprofit I work for. Maybe I will take contract work here and there, but it won’t be my main income source anymore. In some ways this was an unexpected change. I was planning to stay with this job for another year or two – to gradually work my way out of the position and into self-employment.  But then I spent a week having panic attacks and received one of the most emotional harsh (dare I say abusive?) emails I’ve ever received in a work place and suddenly my limits showed up hard. I had been having a feeling of unsafety in my gut for about 2 weeks before this all happened. I couldn’t quite figure out where it was coming from.

Now I know. Read more