Magic in the Mundane
Carry wood, chopping water
Greetings Lovelies and a happy new year to you all.
I distinctly remember trying to work out in 1987 how old I would be in the then far off 2020 and with the feeling that I’d never make it. The enormity of living was still so much to envision at my not so innocent and rather weatherworn age of 15, that it was hard to imagine navigating through life let alone hanging on enough to be still around at the grand old age of 48. Now I figure (math is still a weak point) that I’ll be 88 if I live long enough to see 2060 and the enormity of not living is what I contend with now when I let my mind wonder to my future possibly old self.
The wheel is turning as it turns and turns and here we are at the beginning of a new year and the feeling we all get, glimpsing the brief light coming over the horizon. And I find myself here in my full ripeness as I witness and wander though a very dynamic world. It is Extraordinary.
Which leads me up to an exciting announcement. I have started a new (paywalled) Substack specifically for readers interested in a deep dive around all things herbal. A place where herbalists - beginners and practiced alike - can exchange experiences, ideas and thoughts about herbal medicine and our health. It is called simply The Herbal Health Forum and hopefully will take advantage of the substack infrastructure with open comments and chat as a way for us to become part of a community. Where we can reach out with enquires about how better to use herbs and in what situations. Check out Herbal Health Forum
Herbs are perfect for home health and there is a lot of great information to tell you how best to use them. However I find over and over in my practice and teaching a need for a Herbal Grandma, in the background, to confirm that the choices you make for yourself and family are the right ones, which will do no harm, and give confidence and guidance. So I thought it might be groovy to take all these elements; sharing what I’m harvesting, why and how I’m using herbs as well as chatting, exchanging and supporting ideas and choices amongst you, dear readers and hopefully building a little gathering place.
Every week or two I will be writing about what I am up to herbwise which will include:
1 Rambling about the magic of mundane as I prepare, sort and create simple home remedies that are effective for general well being.
2 Every now and then rants about herbs and supplements that are victims of aggressive and misleading marketing and what they might be really good for.
3 How to start the slow delightful unfurling that is you listening to your bodies needs.
4 Posting my podcast the “Herb Hunter” recorded out in the wild as I collect my medicines.
5 I might occasionally post some seasonal and other than human inspired meditations.
6 And most of all I will be answering and asking questions, in the comments and the chat and hope you do the same.
So if you are interested in becoming part of the community check it out and see if you want to subscribe. It’s $8 a month and $60 a year. And if you want to join but can’t afford to pay, email me. I have some free spots open and all are welcome.
So thanks for listening and bearing with me while I try and drum role out this new Substack. And please pass the word on to anyone you know who might benefit from some help and support and would like to belong to a place where we empower ourselves with Medicine from the Earth, for the People.
Because if one thing is standing out for me this year it’s that it’s not enough to find the truth within ourselves, it also has to be recognized in some way amongst our communities. So having a community to plug into seems to be important.
The role of community is something that I will be writing more about, inspired by a great article from The Forests of Arduinne and also insights from Greg Isenberg when we glimpse into the future about how commerce has become more exclusive, filled with rewards and gaming stunts so we can earn points, maybe win a prize and as a sweet side effect, pledge our loyalty, so we can feel a sense of not only belonging but of being valuable. With the added benefit that it notches up that dopamine hit. Here’s a quote:
”My friend owns Saintwoods, a fashion brand that everyone from Justin Bieber to Kaytranada rush to buy their stuff.. Most of the time, the website says it's closed and everything is sold out. You literally cannot buy from them.
They do limited drop releases where they open their store at a random time, or for certain hours of the day. To stay updated, you need to follow them on Instagram. This is a glimpse into the future of ecommerce using game-like tools to create demand.
Other ecommerce brands are using trivia, lottery, digital collectibles, mini-games, seasons or competitions to win access to their product. These are killer community builders and compounds quickly.
Rule of thumb: if it works for Fortnite, there is a good chance it can work for your ecommerce brand.”
Being Gamed and Gaming the system are right in our faces right now.
One of my favorite reminders of that is how The Shed became #1 of Tripadvisors reviewed restaurants in London with a minimal psyop
This video is well worth the watch as its rather funny in the way games can be when done well and points to the dissonance between what we know, what we experience and what we feel as we marry the very real with the very virtual and how easy it is to merge the two. As my former Russian husband would say, you have to know how to play properly.
So what happens when collectively we have a false reality that everyone takes really seriously? And how does that effect how you experience it? My long lost father likes to tell me “people vote with their feet Natasha” and that is what I am interested in writing more about this year, how we can hold our truth and be so sure of our truth and yet, if that truth is not reflected by the wider whole just how true is it? And who do you trust in that reflection? And are we even curious?
As far as I know, context and community play a big part so stay tuned.
I also want to welcome new readers and hope that you enjoy this newsletter which is far from regular (2 times a month at most) and rather divergent. I tend to focus on what interests me and more and more that has become matters of the heart. Which I could make into a little jab of a joke but it’s actually so far from being funny I wont.
So saying a farewell to outrage and injustice, from all sides and perspectives as I am looking forward to sinking into compassion when ever I can with a year filled with heart to heart connections and the ability to meet each other eye to eye. Seeking connection through our differences, as well as our similarities.
This newsletter will reflect that as well as chatter around what I’m up to which includes what herbs are calling to me and what I am making medicine wise as well as travels and observations of the more than human work we all do.
Thanks again for listening lovelies, do check out The Herbal Health Forum and pass the word and here’s to 2023
something that is often not acknowledged is how when people are in deep pain, experiencing terror or hunger they usually don’t have the capacity to be curious at all. Its always good to do a check in with yourself and others around to see if you can receive enough support to start becoming curious.
The 5th of the 4 Toltec Agreements come to heart 'listen but be sceptical'! Really enjoyed the video link and the questions you pose afterwards. Very timely here as I am invited to present my 'platform' as part of a book proposal to potential literary agents. It's paradoxical and ironic, but I wonder if 'community' isn't being used as a force for creating separation rather than communing within the context of the present moment?
" ... matters of the heart... little jab of a joke..."