Trying something new

Hey guys, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, but I’ve been living off-grid for the last month, and it’s really inspired me to focus more on renewable energy, sustainable resources, and starting to make everything from scratch.  These are the things I think about when I’m hauling water so I can have a shower.  Seriously.  This is my life now.

Anyhow, I’ve started a sister blog to this one, called “Reclaiming the Wild” and I really think you should check it out.  I’ll continue posting the usual suspects here, PBP, poetry, recipes, foraging (oh my god, it’s almost that season), and herbal knowledge, but head on over there for posts on how to compost, what it means to live ‘green’, and whatever else my brain comes up with.

Oh, and I’m taking contributions.  So if you want to be a regular part of a eco-sustainable blogging community, give me a shout.  Or if you just want to guest post, or submit something you think is appropriate.  It’s a baby project, but I’d like it to grow.


Trying something new

PBP2014: D – For Divination

Divination has played a large part in my pagan lifestyle.  When I first discovered Wicca (as we all do), the first thing I learned was how to shield.  But the second…the second thing I learned was how to divine the future.  I started with throwing stones in the playground, and it transformed into using the Ouija Board (until my mother found out, and banned it from the house).  And that transformed into quartz crystals, and finally, tarot cards.

I can still remember my first tarot deck – a sultry purple, kept hidden in my underwear drawer until I felt comfortable enough to come out with my first altar (and that, I remember too – a pathetic thing, with four candles and a mirror – it took me a long time to realize that the “Wiccan” way of doing things meant little and less to me).  The Mythic Tarot, a play on images of my favourite Grecian myths, which lead me and guided me through the bulk of my teenage years, and well into my early twenties.

I can still remember my trepidation, as I realized whenever I used the cards, they told me of ill fortunes to come – nearly all of which came true.  I remember pulling the Death card, and the Devil, more times than I can count.  I remember them telling me over and over, no matter how many different questions I asked, that my life would be a struggle, and I would come out stronger for it.  My first breakup: you will come out stronger for this.  My first surgery: you will come out stronger for this. The first time I failed a course: you will come out stronger for this.

I didn’t believe them.  For the first time in my life, I didn’t believe them.  Nothing could be worse than this, my young adult brain thought.  This is the end of you.

And I put the cards away. I hid them, sequoistered within the confines of my altar cabinet, collecting dust.  Coming with me move after move, and never being touched for years.

I became afraid of my cards.  They only predicted the bad things to come, and I didn’t want to know.  I wanted to live in the present, or be stuck in the past, but I definitely did not want to know the future.  The future was a problem for my future self (and in some ways, I still believe this.)

Finally, two years ago, I bought a new deck of cards.  And I finally have a new understanding.  They don’t predict the bad things in my future.  They don’t predict anything.  They are a tool which lets me know, that if I follow on the course I’m on, they are one of a thousand likely outcomes.  Now, sometimes my fortune comes true, and sometimes, in a rare while, I make a conscious choice not to let that future become true.  And just sometimes, a bad thing still happens, but rather than wallow in my own self-destruction, I look for the other reasons that the fates have led me here, and I try to find joy in it.

Now, I have one tarot deck, two Rune sets (both handmade, one by me, and one by a long-distance acquaintance), and I can read the Homeric Oracle*.

And now, I let the Fates guide me, but I don’t let the Fates control me.

*For more information, please see my guest post over at 


PBP2014: D – For Divination

Pagan Blog Project 2014: A – Artemis

Surprise! This was my big plan.  I’m a few weeks behind, but I propose to catch up.  I’ve attempted a few times in the past to do the PBP, and have always met with failure.  This is because I have already tried to copy some of the great pagan bloggers, and write essays and beautiful rhetorics, and explain my beliefs in a public way.

But that’s not who I am, and that’s not how I work.  I work in prose and poesy.  I take words, wonderful words and wind them up and down the lines on the page like magic.  I take meter, and throw it out of the window, in favour of alliteration, allegories, and whimsy.

So that’s how I’m going to do this year’s Pagan Blog Project.

Starting with Artemis, who is the heart of my heart.


She wanders


through the forest
her feet lingering in the loam
as laughter from the lips of the wind
and joy from the mouths of the moss
caress her, howling
the wild of the night
and the smell of the hunt are hers.

Her wolves they –
– bark, growl and hiss
as antlers peak through the leaves…
and tremble.

(Precision and power)

a gift to the stag from the sister of the sun,
whose very heartbeat is an offering.

(An offering!)

Of blood to the mouths of the moss,
Of breath to the lips of the wind,
Of soul to the sex of the universe,
who accept such gifts greedily.

She wanders.


Pagan Blog Project 2014: A – Artemis


Once again, I don’t use this as often as I ought to.

I am out of work on time off right now, but I go back in a little under a week, where I will likely fall off the radar again.  I can’t help it, work has been crazy busy.  I don’t just mean “Oh, I worked a little overtime last week” busy, but rather I have been pulling 11-15 hours a day, 7 days a week, for three weeks straight.  I sleep 6 hours a night IF I’m lucky.

I love what I’m doing, but I’m just knackered, and the internet in camp doesn’t work so well at night.  So I thought I’d play a little catch-up while I can.

Drink of the Day: organic Santa Cruz cranberry delight

Forages of the week: I haven’t much time at home, and nobody takes care of my garden, so it’s gone a bit crazy, but in the last few days, I have harvested raspberries, strawberries, peas, lettuce, rhubarb, and calendula from my garden.  My mugwort will be ready to harvest next month when I’m home, and I can harvest my nettles now, I just have to get my lazy bum out there in proper clothing to do it.  My chives are good to go as well, but I don’t really like them dried, and I’ve been too lazy to go buy ice cube trays to store them frozen.  Maybe before the week is out…

As for actual foraging, today I picked a bunch of saskatoon berries in the local park, and tomorrow I have plans on stealing all the fireweed flowers from the railyard to make jelly.  If I get around to it, I’ve been canning and jamming lately, and I’ve got some recipes to share.  I just need some time to actually sit down at the computer.

Exercise of the week: cycling.

I’ve been trying to get out there on my bike every day that I’ve been home, to make up for the lack of it while I’m away at work, and I’ve done a pretty good job so far.  21km the first day I got home, 28km yesterday (followed by a massage!), and today I took off from cycling in favour of foraging this morning – but I made up for it by going to aquafit class this evening.  Such a workout!  I’m always surprised by how tired I am after just one hour of aquafit.  I can cycle for three before I start to hurt.  Hopefully getting back out there tomorrow, too!

And a little tidbit of exciting news.  I’m going through the process to buy my first vehicle!  It’s a 1994 Ford Aerostar in surprisingly good condition for its age, and I’ve already started making dirty-hippie-campervan plans for it.


Tea of the Day: Tazo Calm chamomile tea (the only one in camp that doesn’t taste like ass, really)

Thoughts of the Day:

  • I’m in bed sick with nausea today. I went to the medic and snagged some gravol this morning, and have been chewing ginger gravol all day. I spent most of this morning sleeping, and I managed to hold down fluids and a dinner of mashed potatoes and toast, so that’s something. I must have just caught a bug from someone here at work.
  • Apparently I missed a bear sighting today – someone left food in one of the ATV’s and a black bear tore the seat and the basket to shreds. Lesson: don’t leave food out in bear country!
  • Posts have been slower because I’m at work now. I work in a geology exploration camp, and I’m supposed to be pretty hush about things, so I can’t tell you where I work, or who I work for, or what we’re doing here. But I can tell you that I spend every day out in the thick forests and swamps, and that it’s been raining a lot, and it’s nice to be dry at the end of the day.
  • Only a few more days until my rotation is over and I get to go to Ontario! I’m excited about this, and it makes the days slower. Go faster, days!
  • All my pretty morels I picked (with the help of some co-workers) in the last post have molded, and I had to throw them out. This makes me sad. I wanted the kitchen staff to cook them for us, but it’s against regulation, so I started drying them in my room. It was going great, until two days ago, when it rained for 24 hours straight, and the humidity in my room increased. I woke up to a smelly room, allergies, and moldy soft morels. Sad pandas all around – we were going to share them once they dried out.

Blog Posts I’ve been digging lately: Well, lately is a bit relative. I’ve been working 10-11 hours a day lately, and until yesterday night, our internet didn’t work at all. I tethered my phone (we have 3G here, what?!) just to send off a few emails to friends the other night. So, internet gods, wherever you are, thank you! And anyways, since I’ve been sick today, I had a chance to catch up on my bloggy reading.

  • A thoughtful post about self hatred, which is probably something I needed to read. I really resonated with the first two sentences of this paragraph:

It is not that I am a terrible person, or that I have some unseen flaw that would alienate everyone if they knew. Instead, I am living a human existence full of pain, pleasure, joy, longing, sadness, loss, and the whole range of lived experience. Things arise and they fall away. We meet and are met, or we are not met and we must let go. Either way, none of it is permanent, and we don’t get any other chances in this form. I have had too many flutters of growth these past months to let myself retreat into darkness again. No, instead, I am choosing to embrace joy, fully and wholeheartedly. I find it in the twitter of birds when I am waking, the new leaves growing taller each day as the spring turns toward summer, the slight touch of skin on skin, the beauty of a simple meal, flowers left on the doorstep by a friend, the brilliance of the sky after the rain. Of course, there are wilder forms of joy that I hope to embrace too, but until those come, I’m learning to be with these small moments of possibility and connection.

…and a fox. She lives outside camp – we suspect she’s the pup of the camp fox last year. It’s a bit sad, really. She’s on the thin side, and hurt her paw the other day. I’m not sure she knows how to hunt for herself properly. She relies on us feeding her (which we are not allowed to do, for obvious reasons). I hope she makes it. Oh! And she has a name – we call her Orange Juice!


Tea of the Day: Vanilla Rooibos

Garden Thoughts: de-weeded my garden this morning. Silly chickweed – it’s tasty, but it spreads so bad! My entire garden was a carpet of chickweed. Fixed it up though! Fava beans are growing really well, and the string beans aren’t doing badly – growing a bit slow. About half my peas have sprouted, but I think it’s been too cold for my carrots. Going to buy another pack of seeds and re-till and replant. I want carrots, damn it.


Herby Things as of Late: I got a bit busy getting ready to head out to the field, so I completely forgot to blog about it, but the other day, after I picked arnica in the pouring rain, I started two sets of infusions. I did a stove-top infusion right away, and I started a second batch of sun-infused arnica, which is still happily infusing away, as is my dandelion oil (which I think is in its third week now…but I was silly, and forgot to write it down, so I’m not 100% about that). The stove-top oil I turned into an ointment the other day, and I’m going to be taking a jar to work with me. Hope it works! I bump and bruise and strain my self all the time at work. I’ll blog about the recipe when I get a chance – hopefully before Thursday!

Prayer of the Day: please don’t let me go crazy.