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“How monotonous our speaking becomes when we speak only to ourselves! And how insulting to the other beings — to foraging black bears and twisted old cypresses — that no longer sense us talking to them, but only about them, as though they were not present in our world... Small wonder that rivers and forests no longer compel our focus or our fierce devotion. For we walk about such entities only behind their backs, as though they were not participant in our lives. Yet if we no longer call out to the moon slipping between the clouds, or whisper to the spider setting the silken struts of her web, well, then the numerous powers of this world will no longer address us — and if they still try, we will not likely hear them.” David Abram, Becoming Animal
I write this to you in the early hours of the morning as the day wakes up around me. The sound of a persistent barred owl woke me, a frequent call in the dark here in the trees of the Bluestone Wild Forest. It’s commonly said that the hoot of the barred owl sounds like the owl is asking “who cooks for you? who cooks for you-all?” So Owl stirs me out of bed and I am now thinking about cooking. I head out in the blue dawn to collect some nettles to steam for my omelet this morning & for the teapot. I am lucky to have many growing on the land I inhabit. Before picking a few of the still-small, clustered leaves, I recite a hymn that I wrote last spring during the nettle month of Herbal Mystery School.
One of the lines is: Iron spiral, you show the way to Belonging, Deepest of gifts to the body, taste of wild earth and everything beneath. Bring us the sting of your fire, the kindling of beginning, the precision of your spear.
I am now in practice of reciting this hymn every time I work with Nettle, even in deep winter, when nettles are still a hibernating dream and I am pulling my jar of dried leaves out from the apothecary for tea on a snowy evening. One of the practices of Herbal Mystery School is writing hymns to the plants we work with each month. I believe that becoming familiar with the tradition of invocation is a foundational part to building relationship with plants. Hymns are not just praise songs but they are also a respectful calling, an invitation to that living essence of the plant that we are entering into relationship with. Invocation calls us to the numinous, the sacred. With our words, we bring ourselves into presence. We sing with the plants.
In early May I’m offering a workshop with my friend Holly from Poetry Forge on Plant Poetics. Together, we will explore plants as muses, the subtle poetry of flower essences, and a few of our favorite ways to poetically collaborate with the green beings who share this world with us. Perhaps you will lean into the art of invocation, of conjuring, of speaking to and with the plants in your poems. 
You will receive two parcels in the mail from us, an essence and a book of poems with suggested rituals and practice. We will meet together in the zoom room to invoke our personal practice with plant poetics that will inspire throughout the seasons. Let us foster our kinship with the plant realm. Let the green ones, with the tender stems and delicate stamens, touch us, and teach us, and speak to us. Let us listen. Let us encourage these affinities. Let poems emerge from our encounters.
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In other news... do you want to PLANT PRACTICE with me? For the past few months I have been in my friend Marlee Grace’s coworking cohort and it has been such a huge anchor to accomplishing tasks and crossing things off the to-do list that need to get done. I love it and can’t wait for the next session to begin. Having the container of folks that show up each week was so helpful for holding me accountable to the work I wanted to do each week. About a month ago I had a dream that there was a similar group that held a container for plant practice, so I decided that I would just host it to honor the dream and see what emerges. If you’re anything like me, there’s endless ways that I want to connect with the plants. I often say that I will set aside time in my life to make my infusion of tulsi and spend 25 minutes journaling with the plant. Or meditating with a new flower essence that I have made. Or researching a particular plant. Or doing a lavender foot bath with a rose face mask. And those things don’t always happen because there’s a lot of other stuff (dishes, emails, bookkeeping, emails, class prep, emails, cleaning) that pulls me from my personal plant practice, even as a “professional herbalist.” Come join PLANT PRACTICE for an hour on Tuesday, April 26th and work on a project with plants that you have been meaning to work on. It's free and open to all. 
a one hour zoom room for enriching your practices with plants. 
Tuesday, April 26th at noon EST / 9 am Pacific
Anyone who wants to have a committed time on their calendar to focus on plants for an hour during their week. This can be for herbalists, artists, writers, parents, anyone who just wants to relax with a cup of nettle tea, anyone who needs to carve out an hour in their schedule to create intentional time with a plant or two.
We will open the zoom room and share in the chat what plant we are hanging out with for that hour. We keep our microphones muted so each person can go about their biz accordingly, without distraction, but you can use the chat if you’d like to check in with each other. We will have a little break half way through our hour or you can keep on doing what you are doing if you are in the zone.
Bring an infusion, a medicine making project, a plant book, a journal, tinctures you’ve been meaning to strain, whatever you’d like.
Plant Practice is FREE and it would be so fun to have you. 
I'll be there working on my plant hymns. 
You'll receive the zoom link after registering.  I’ll see you next Tuesday!
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Staying forever in awe of the millions of ways we are invited to be in relationship with the plants. Thanks for reading. I hope your spring is full of flowers. 
With heart,
x Liz