Driving to Alaska, Coming Back Home

The familiar shapes of fluffy horsetail, sleepy hemlocks, greeted us from the ground and the sky. The familiar smells of skunk cabbage rolled through on the damp forest breeze, and the vibrant green of spruce tips, plumed in new growth speckled the dense texture of endless trees. The salty air licked our skin, along with the seemingly endless golden hour of the soon to be midnight sun. 

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Field Notes: Harvesting Chaga Mushroom

Chaga has been called King of Mushrooms, touted as having the largest concentration of antioxidants within any organism in the plant kingdom of our Earth. It enters the tree through a wound or spot where a branch has broken off. And the large charcoal encrusted growth that erupts from the tree is the woody mushroom we refer to as Chaga. Called a 'parasite', Chaga is said to kill it's host in a matter of years, how many is unknown. Yet, during my interactions with this magical and potent ally I have observed it's medicine, and I question the role of parasite that it's been given.

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Embracing Ancestry on Tir na nOg Farm

Skye and I have arrived to Tir na nOg Farm, also known as 'the Otherworld', "the Land of the Young" in Scottish- Gaelic, which is one of the many names for 'the Otherworld', an earthly paradise inhabited by the pre-Christian Gods of Ireland. Skye is Scottish and Irish, as well as me, and we too find a deep satisfaction in studying the ways of our ancestors. It's no wonder we both feel in love with the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and the Northern Landscape so deeply, the ocean, the forest, salmon, bear, raven, this bioregion and these animals have been home to our blood for generations.

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Cleaning Up Our New Alembic Still

We recieved our still! Itwas hand crafted in Portugal, from a family company that has been doing this for a long, long time. We will be using to create artisan essential oils as well as other wildcrafted products from the other mystical component of distilling plants, hydrosols. This alembic still design is from the Islamic Golden Age circa the mid 700s, the dawn of alchemy, the original chemistry. The word 'al ambic' in Arabic means 'that which refines and transmutes'. Which describes exactly what distillation is; a way of distinguishing and purifying certain constituents from plant material.

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Imbolc | The Stirrings of Spring & Dark Winter Visions

February 1st-2nd marks the festival of Imbolc on the Celtic Wheel of the Year. The meaning of this holy day derives from Old Irish 'i mbolc' or "in the belly". This is physically referring to pregnant livestock, and metaphysically referencing being incubated in the womb of Mother Earth, as the Northern Hemisphere is now mid way between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. This being my first winter in the Northern Hemisphere with no snow, the imagery of being suspended in some sort of womb state is visceral.

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