it is the season of wild crafting, one of my favorite past times! over the years i've made a mental map of all of my favorite places to gather various herbal allies + these places are very sacred to me. it's been difficult to watch some of these spots becoming more + more popular through word of mouth or internet articles for tourists + i try to honor the spirits of those places as best i can while also communing with the plants i've grown to know + love.

here's a little list of suggestions to keep in mind when you want to try wild crafting:

1)) GET A CORRECT I.D. never harvest or ingest a plant without making sure what it is. there are some look-alikes out there that can seriously mess you up! if you aren't sure, make a note of where you found the plant + come back later with a book or a friend who can make the correct i.d.

2)) LISTEN. how is the wind blowing around you? are there birds or other animals making noises? how does the environment feel to you? these sorts of things can be called omens or messages; they are one clear way of how the spirits of place communicate. do you feel welcome or like an intruder? never harvest plants if you are not welcome to, always ask for permission.

3)) ASSESS. is there a large stand of the plant you'd like to harvest or just a few? NEVER TAKE MORE THAN 1 OUT OF 3 PLANTS + TRY TO NEVER TAKE FROM THE ROOT (unless it is the root you are after, but that's another story). take only as much as you need + no more.

4)) LEAVE AN OFFERING. each plant has it's own personality + sometimes you will intuitively know what sort of offering it prefers. i generally find that song, hair, a stone, a pinch of tobacco, or sacred smoke are usually accepted. at this time, you should be tuned in to how the environment feels or sounds, look for signs of acceptance. when working with any type of spirit, it is a good idea to agree to an arrangement ahead of time, or you may have an irritable spirit on your hands if you can't provide the offering it needs.

5)) ALWAYS HARVEST WITH THE INTENTION OF PROCESSING THE HERB THAT DAY. it is a waste of time + a plant's life to harvest + then do nothing with it. i try to bring tincturing supplies with me when i go out wild crafting, or make medicine as soon as i get home. 💚have fun, be respectful + scatter the seeds of wild plants around you!💚

Melinda Stock