Hearing as a Tree: Make Harvest

Fractures, rifts and divisions may intrude upon our lives, yet, the rhythm of nature comes to our aid. We are never completely separated from nature, and we often find its inquisitive fronds deep at work in our plans.

The trees long for us. Bend your knees. Look at your fingerprints. Why do your elbows go that way? Could it be we are children of the forest?

You have a long ancestry in vine and leaf. You have lineage as a climber. Trees welcome you. The fruit beckons your pluck, the big momma sighs and shivers her boughs with relief. You are a guest of honor among trees.

Conversations with trees might include topics on humidity and the water content of soils. Some convey the itch of mite or aphid and predictions for wind. Old growths might brag about touching bedrock and the cool constant of the water table. Even more, trees will be talking about a good harvest.

Harvest now and store wholesome provision and foodstuffs. Gather the fruit, seeds and nuts.

Prepare for winter. Make your harvest. Examine your cupboards. Add to your stores now, just as the southern hemisphere makes ready to plant. This is the dance to which you are invited.

Consider your stores and the area you will require. Ensure your provisions are kept cool, dry, and without infestation. Portion smaller containers within larger storage and in a closet close at hand. Mark date and contents. Consider contaminants, pests, sources of toxicity, impurity, and loss. Fill cupboards and lockers, pantries and storage chests, cellars and ice sheds. Gathering and storing the harvest is gratifying and natural. Harvest to participate in ancient rhythms and find timeless friendships. Bond by sharing and comfort. For your consideration, my pantry checklist:


Corn flour

Wheat flour

Soy bean




Black bean

Kidney bean

Lima bean

Soy bean

Chic pea


In cloth and wood set cool:










In crepe and apart, garb:





And never too ripe. Dry kale and leafy greens.


To discourage rodents, in the corners of the cool place set ammonia in smallest of vessels and replenish these if they evaporate. Gardeners have their own ways, and this seems to work for me.

Tend your stores as rows in the garden. Cull and cook as foods ripen, aware of what is due and which will keep. Examine for evidence of infiltrators, see that their efforts are persuaded elsewhere. Keep work areas clean and tidy and let your harvest sleep. Outside, let sun and rain cleanse and replenish. Blanket tender perennials with sawdust before frost and store tubers and bulbs apart, where it is dry and cool. Grow sprouts, sweet grass and herbs in window boxes. Spread sea shells near entrances to discourage pests, hang chimes to ward off mischief and entertain visitors. Set bouquets of seasonal grasses and trimmings to offer cheer and a pleasurable view for neighbors.

Do not burden yourself in labour. Find pleasure in the harvest and invite the scents and clatter. Meet local farmers and attend markets. Sample the fare; enjoy the abundance brought forward and celebrate life’s bounty with neighbors. Share gifts of homemade treats, when perhaps, with inspiration, a guest will chance by and enjoy your audience.

Attend online and see the tips and experiences of others. Find demonstrations, journals, and almanacs. Gather a little this day and that. Look to the breeze and note times. Consider the height of the sun and the weight of the cloud. Some provisions are stored easily, and some must last the winter to ensure nutrition. Consider what is best stowed in cans and jars. Plan days to work outside, and other days to store foodstuffs. Make opportunities to prepare bounty with neighbors. Inquire to the successes and experiments of other harvesters. Keep a list of your stores.

Tend to crops hung and dried, let the breeze do its work before rain or snow. And when the rain comes, let it find welcome in screen-topped barrels and underground cisterns. Foster the moss and shade tree. Make hedgerows to stop erosion. Persuade deer elsewhere with grasses spread far afield and deter them from your garden with small vessels of ammonia and rags set at intervals.

Consider your neighbors and apportion storage and of your provision for them. A feast is greater than a meal. Offer as you are inspired and without recourse. Some pay a tax to ensure privacy,  instead, open your door and set a spare plate at your table. Give and receive in your house.

Stores I strive to maintain include boiled and canned quantities of:




















wood preserves



In jars or cisterns, I keep from infestation and ruin:






Some I always seem need:







dandelion root


pepper corn



dried mushrooms






lemon rind

orange rind




(I can find a nook for Turkish Delight.)


Dry and stow:


seeds of sunflower, millet






Gather to eat with the tools you were given, using your knees, elbows, wits, spine, and fingers. Your stomach, spine, and muscles need these tasks to perform their functions. The motions and activities of the harvest will feel comfortable and natural. Healthy seedpluckers, root pullers, harvesters all, your body and frame decide what you eat.

Of flesh, who weighs the virtue of the living against my need? Do you have talons, claws, and fangs? Be wary that arrival upon your plate does not require another to depart. I do not choose fate, lest I be chosen. I have no need for flesh within my bounty, instead I impart nourishment without mortal cost.  If you have need for dairy and perishables, make it an outing to visit the market and share conversation and community, knowing you are also well provided by your harvest at home. I do have a penchant for creamery butter. Take only as you need.

You might choose to offer your gifts to guide and heal. I keep if needed:



stinging nettle

frog leaf

blackberry leaf



red clover


tinctures of willow, also for sprouting




Consider what you might need in emergencies: a handy first aid kit and your vital gear. Replenish or maintain items such as: rubbing alcohol, sterile wipes, wraps, slings, bandages, adhesive tape, needles, surgical thread, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic, epi pen, asthma inhalers, any prescriptions you need on hand, nitrile gloves, butterfly bandages, surgical tube, razor, tweezer, splints, duct tape, 12v rechargeable flashlight, candles, sealable bags, mirror, toothbrush, floss, comb, brush, waterproof lighter, circuit sensor, marker, emergency blanket, lifejacket, bike helmet, good shoes, good jacket, good leggings, gear belt, pencil, paper, pocket knife, wool gloves, hood, rain cloak, walking staff.

Keep souvenirs and trinkets for barter, being one piece of silver at the onset and one tenth at the end of winter. Sprinkle nothing shiny of notice, unless you procure thieves.

Walk glens well before the close of autumn with preparations for wood. Twenty nights to a cord, eight for the season and again for your neighbor. This is for comfort in a modest lair with a small iron stove. Barter before your hour of need.

Consume what you must and examine your stores for quality and quantity. Replenish and barter. Check your water source. Nature purifies our world, electrifying the air and cleansing the rain. My own stores are purified with ozone, easily maintained by the sun. Some draw water from air itself, others burrow in rocks. One might use the stream. Listen to the junco and jay. Those familiar will share their bounty. Heed the chatter about water quality and air. Ensure your stores are plentiful and below the grip of winter’s frost.

Prepare for refuse and waste. Choose a winter compost to discourage predators and rodents. Ensure septic and personal toiletries are maintained and stocked. Keep an axe, a hammer, a saw and nails, a driver and screws, good glue, duct tape, and a sealer.

Keep aware with checks of your realm. Observe the carrion and count the ranks of the pack, wary of opportunists. Know your garden’s flock and listen. The young and brisk trumpet alerts and only for your praise. They warn of visitors as even the crow may invite his partner to share your tranquility, serving as watchman.

A dog might find you and will know your rank by your resolve, some try a challenge, yet your superior eye places them and then you have a worthy pack member. A cat teaches humility and for that we gladly pay with comfort. Know what competes and what aids you, as with individuals. Care for your friends and recognize common ailments, and what to treat, and how. Apportion their foodstuffs with consideration and to their hydration. Stow morsels to spread on cold days among local flocks, ensuring their patronage in summer. Keep sunflower seed for the chickadee and find delight in their vivacious conversation. Keep a trinkets for the children of guests, and a kind ear for the parents. Make your harvest with many in mind.

It will ever humble me to think you consider these thoughts worth regard. I live apart, yet give welcome to sincere company, and with fewer words, perhaps a song, a tale or two, fashioning ways in curious conversation, offering consult to the seekers. Please, my dear traveling companions, do not allow ill will to shadow your aura. Let a color above golden radiate from the momentum of your being. Connect with your circle and extend your harvest. Enjoy these wonderous gifts ripened to fulfillment. Gather among the greenery and fields. You are a most welcome friend of trees, so I hear.

Offered as inspired. Fare thee well.

Singularity of All

In my experience the Garden of the Witch is a level of consciousness where we realize and enter the singularity of all life on this planet. it is becoming Gaia, the unified entity that is mother earth and of whom every individual witch is a reflection. As you create your new abode remember that in our duality we are always a part of the whole, and though we are separate, as plant, animal, or element, there is something between us that connects us indivisibly forever within the cycle of creation and destruction that leads us down the paths we walk.

the words of Micha-El

Submitted on 2014/03/28 at 5:59 am
Thank you Micha-El for your window on our journey.

What Will Be – Curse of Premonition

There have been too many dreams and happenstances to count. Serendipity becomes anxiety. Coincidence has long faded.

As a child, little occasions arrived on the coat tails of deja vu and these incidents triggered no great wonder or epiphany, only playful expectation. It was part of existence. Knowing “what will be” was a tool for planning surprise or greeting opportunity. However, with age, acting on premonition becomes less important. Social obligations, conformity, and tribal values begin to take precedent. Someone who “knows” quickly learns discretion.

The appreciation and respect of people is a tribal necessity — it’s part of bonding. Expressing one’s unique talents, like knowing what will be, requires just as much practice as learning to draw or play guitar. The visionary needs validation and encouragement. Yet, premonitions without appreciation can cause self doubt; the same as an artist’s doubt. The tribe recognizes the talent and offers patience to the young student, or rejects it. The glimpses and intuitions of premonition can be as brash and unnerving as listening to someone learn clarinet. And like a musician, the seer becomes reluctant to expose their own faults and mistakes. Isolation sets in.

Loneliness and the curse of premonition is common among practitioners. Who can empathize? Who shares this experience? Cassandra is one. The experiences of this seer have found their way into our lore and a psychological complex is named for her — the Cassandra Complex. There is reference to Cassandra’s plight below. Discovering familiarity in this characteristic can help ease the apprehension of one who sees and intuits, and then suffers the dishonor of prophecy. Many have shared this angst.

Something to learn or something to teach

A good mantra which might have saved Cassandra some woe — The teacher will teach when the student is ready. Therefore, if the students are not ready, the teacher has something to learn. This perspective can offer relief from the responsibility to impress others with their imminent fate, or convince another that premonition is an actual resource. Some individuals are not at a stage in their journey where premonition and intuition play a big role. Material existence is a large responsibility and people can become overwhelmed in the art of living. Many people miss the subtleties that accompany premonition. Knowing what is premonition is a skill, and knowing is honed with practice. Experiencing denial can significantly distract the seer, especially within a culture that denies the ability.

Knowing can be like following a ribbon, or clasping a strand of web on a breeze. Knowing comes on its own schedule. One must disrobe from their own will and leap, figuratively, on faith. A determination that the seer has something to learn, or something to teach, provides a sturdy platform to approach the experience: It’s all about learning.

Expectations, intentions, and notions do not spring from the experienced seer. Premonition is not conjured to meet an agenda. The seer becomes host to premonition and in disregard of their own will. The seer witnesses and interprets Divine will, often unannounced and unwelcome. The seer is led to ‘under stand’, and the seer, in the act of teaching, also becomes the student of the Divine.

No curse shall I set upon your path

It is vanity to utter curses without a clear doorway to the resulting experience. The doorway can close — when it should — and leave ill will before the footsteps of the instigator. Outcomes are very peculiar. If a curse is granted, what is being taught to the person who makes the curse? What other reason is there for the singular power in the universe to allow such deeds. For an example anyone can try: There’s a tree of long ancestry called willow. Enjoy the shade and the song birds perched in the flowing boughs, but if you muse or ponder beneath its leaves… be careful what you wish for. Notions under a willow, with its roots spread outward and limbs stretching to the sky, can evoke joy, or disappointment, or any range of possibilities. Is it the willow? Or is it the Divine with an open conduit during your meditation? Clarity in one’s own intentions are advised before making pleas of the Divine. Curse, and receive in kind. A selfish intention inevitably humbles the inexperienced seer.

“Loosen the blinders slowly from the horse,
lest the beast run amok and upset the cart.” The Witch

When is premonition a curse? When glimpses are unfulfilled like a message written and never sent. When understanding falls like beads from a broken string. The walk in knowing is precarious. Peace of mind is elusive, anxiety can leave the seer in constant chant and prayer, searching for objectivity and pleading for Divine oversight. The ‘wys’ or seer becomes reclusive, living humbly and without desire to affect or manipulate. To be disbelieved, ridiculed, and persecuted can be some of the woes of premonition. Society fears what they don’t understand. Often, the seer has just as little insight to the meaning of premonitions, yet is cursed to recognize what others do not. It’s okay. You have a gift to see the extraordinary. Go slow. The Divine won’t  charge you with a task unless you are ready for that task.

Premonitions might blossom for no apparent reason. Deja vu can seem unrelated to your world. Dreams and visions might appear confusing and unwelcome. The gravity of knowing can be intimidating. A desire surfaces: to have the gift of knowing taken away — to wake and know nothing, to walk in peace as a child, to live in harmony without responsibility. Go slowly, and recognize that you are priviledged to know, and the Divine grants only what you are strong enough to carry. There are others who will help to convey the message of premonition, just as you will speak when others cannot. Together, we have a circle of knowing and each will do their part.

Déjà vu (literally “already seen”) is the experience of feeling sure that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation, even though the exact circumstances of the prior encounter are uncertain and were perhaps imagined. The term was coined by a French psychic researcher, Émile Boirac (1851–1917) in his book L’Avenir des sciences psychiques (“The Future of Psychic Sciences”) – wikipedia

The Cassandra metaphor (variously labelled the Cassandra ‘syndrome’, ‘complex’, ‘phenomenon’, ‘predicament’, ‘dilemma’, or ‘curse’),  applied in situations in which valid warnings or concerns are dismissed or disbelieved. […] From Greek mythology – Cassandra, daughter of Priam, the King of Troy, is desired by Apollo who provides her with the gift of prophecy. When Cassandra refuses Apollo’s advances, he places a curse: no one will believe her warnings. Cassandra, with knowledge of future events, can neither alter nor convince others of her predictions. […]  Layton Schapira: Cassandra complex results from a dysfunctional relationship with the “Apollo archetype”, referring to any individual’s or culture’s pattern bound by, order, reason, intellect, truth and clarity that disavows itself of anything occult or irrational. “The intellectual specialization of this archetype creates emotional distance and can predispose relationships to a lack of emotional reciprocity and consequent dysfunctions.” – wikipedia

Edited Aug. 25, 2015 

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