Summary: Herbs provide an abundance of magic, health, and joy. I adapt to my environment when I forage. My ancestors and the Gods, Herne and Elen, bless my harvest of chickweed and other greens.
I call herbs The Little Father, a term I coined years back to express my experience that herbs are one of the places Herne—the Green God of the forest—most sustains me, with all His immense power.
I also call herbs The Little Horns, a term I made up because Herne and Elen—She is the Green Goddess of the Forest and is horned like Herne—are particularly accessible to me in herbs. Their magic and worldly blessings move toward me when I even touch an herb. The horns of those two Gods appeared to me in a vision as a way those Gods weave Their power throughout all of creation; Their antlers extend out until the tips encircle the furthest stars and the tiniest plants, imbuing all with love and power.
It is important for me as a shaman to adapt to—and integrate with—the environment. (I call myself both witch and shaman because the terms are often used synonymously in ancient European based traditions.) Mid winter, the only place I can forage where I live is my refrigerator. Okay! But right now, oh my!
Chickweed and dandelion, considered by most to be troublesome weeds, are great additions today to what I grew myself.
A pot that I left out all winter filled with chickweed! I interpreted that tasty blessing as a message to walk my property. Part of how I adapt to my environment is by watching for signs in it. The potted chickweed is part of my environment. I’m now munching on a wee salad.
Along with the chickweed, my bowl has dandelion flowers, which is one of my favorite things in the world. Here’s more about my love affair with dandelion blossoms: https://outlawbunny.com/2012/04/20/dandelion-blossoms/
The salad also includes plants I grow intentionally: there are chives, Egyptian onions, young comfrey leaves, and some garlic tops. All the greens for my salad are in the picture at the top of this post.
I must’ve planted garlic 15 years ago, but some still pops up now and then. My disabilities don’t allow me to dig into the earth to harvest the few remaining bulbs, but I do harvest the tops.
I am part of the environment, so adapt to my own needs. My disabilities keep me from having much of a garden. I adapt by growing a few things that are hardy. Chives, Egyptian onions, and comfrey are among them.
My salad was tiny, but packed with delicious ingredients and health.
Afterwards, before I ate the rest of my lunch, I sat for a moment to just be with whatever my body felt like from eating super fresh greens.
My ancestors were calling, smiling, and laughing a bit at me about what a big deal I made about the salad. It was good humored mockery. They agree that the salad is as powerful as I feel it is. They laughed at me because my ego was a little overinflated with pride about my relationship with herbs. Healthy pride is a good thing. Overinflated ego is not.
Important aside: though this post focuses on herbs I forage or grow, many of my experiences with them also occur with store-bought and dried herbs. I adapt to my environment, and the Old Gods do, too.
Another important aside: If you want to forage for chickweed or other herbs, research first. A lot of harmless weeds have toxic look-alikes. I always check three or four sources on a plant before I harvest it wild. There’s too much careless information on the web. To get you started on chickweed, here’s one source I used: http://thegoodliferevival.com/blog/chickweed
I try to apply my shamanism to everything. To learn more about that, subscribe to my free Faerie witch newsletter.