Walking the Poison Path

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Since I was a young child, I have had a fascination with plants. I loved working in the garden with my grandfather, helping plant seeds and pull weeds. The majority of my basic gardening skills I learned from watching and helping him. Of course the plants that I found the most fascinating were the exotic carnivorous plants that look like they are from another planet. I even had my own Venus Flytraps as a kid. At recess instead of playing sports I could often be found gathering strange flowers, and ball-shaped fungi with spores that puffed out in clouds of smoke. Another quirky hobby that I had throughout childhood was “potion-making,” which my grandmother patiently allowed as I made a mess of her kitchen. Taking ingredients from the cupboards and who knows where else, I would brew my concoctions with fascination. I definitely believe these were early signs of my…

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Canarian Folklore: The Eve Of Saint John’s Day

Connected With Life

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The Eve Of Saint John’s day happens in the night from June 23 to June 24, and is one of the most magical nights of Canarian folklore. It is also celebrated in the rest of Spain, and in other countries as well, but on this blog post I will focus only on Canarian traditions.

Although not specifically on the same day, Summer Solstice celebrations predate the Spanish invasion – the Guanches believed that the days around the summer Solstice were specially propitious for connecting with their Dead, whom would come back as human-shaped mists coming from the sea.

Today, Saint John’s Eve is entirely devoted to the power of fire and its ability to clean negativity, and its main magical element is the bonfire. Created on public spaces (rural and urban alike), the bonfires are made entirely of salvaged wood – old furniture, pallets and any wood scraps from home…

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Yarrow: On Love & Marriage & Ale

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Yarrow is blooming here on Vancouver Island! It’s one of my favourite herbs and I’m so happy to see it’s all at once delicate and sturdy white blossoms again. I plan to incorporate a lot of yarrow into my upcoming summer nuptials. And this is where I segue into my big announcement: I’m getting married in July…in the woods at the lovely Cedar Haven Weddings ..to Danielle’s brother, Christian. This promises to be Gather’s biggest project yet—so if wedding stuff bores you, you may want to avert your eyes for a couple of months. Though we will try to make it interesting. Promise.

yisfor.jpg via On Blueberry Hill

Now where was I? Yarrow! It’s Latin name, Achillea millefolium, is attributed to the Greek hero, Achilles who was said to use it to heal his warriors wounds—at least according to Pliny the Elder. Turns out Achilles’ relationship with Yarrow is a little muddy……

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Sweet Magic: Summer Solstice Honey Cookies

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DSCF4104Then followed that beautiful season… Summer…
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Looking for a festive way to celebrate the upcoming summer solstice? Well these aromatic sunny cookies may be just the ticket.  Made with sacred herbs and flowers of the sun, they’re filled with the gathering magic of midsummer traditions. And served up at summer solstice picnic, they will delight young and old. After, all doesn’t everyone love a pretty cookie?

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And what better way to capture the magic of the longest day of the year? This is the day the sun’s powers are at their peak, from now on the sun will recede from the sky a little earlier each evening. For our Northern European ancestors summer solstice was the turning point between the waxing and waning…

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