The Way Beyond Death

In autumn, we embrace the dying. As the leaves grow spotted, then yellow and aflame, we watch the world around us begin to wane. We’ve grown so accustomed to the idea of autumn, the disappearing of the green, that we forget how truly profound it is. For those of us in the deciduous belt…

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The Ancestors’ Bonfire

Last month I traveled to Ireland to visit the old neolithic burial mounds and the seaside where my forebearers most likely made their home. I made a pilgrimage to the old sites— the hills shaped like breasts, springs tucked in a moss-covered hazelwood, the circles of stones. I went by myself Ireland, to put…

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Pilgrimage Project: Ireland

I began these pilgrimage trips last year, with a visit to Japan. Sometime last summer I got the nudge to begin visiting places in the world where the history of animism (the belief that all facets of the earth are conscious and alive) was still thriving. It began with Japan, place of Kami and…

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Working with Elementals

I feel like I need to get something clear right from the get go. I never believed in faeries as a kid. It just wasn’t a thing for me. Growing up in the wonderfully Seinfeld cynicism of the northeast, faeries were pretty much the last thing I was going to invest myself in (at…

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Become a Shaman of Your Life

For a long time I equatedhttps://onewillowapothecaries.com/wp-admin/upload.php shamanism with esoteric antiquity. Something practiced in the far past, or only pertinent to those who were born and raised in an indigenous culture. As an anthropology student in college, I was trained to see shamanism as an isolated practice of healing, one that was far more rooted…

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How to Undertake a Shamanic Journey

Shamanic journeying is a kind of meditation, combined with focused intention, to enter an expanded state of consciousness. In journeying, a Shamanic practitioner enters a kind of “trance state.” If you have ever had one of those moments of being lost in thought, like following the fading lines of a beach trail onto…

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Samhain: Practices + Reflections

Today the world is lost to its own thought. This morning found the last russets of maple leaves scattered beneath the trees and tonight we’re expecting our first killing freeze. It is Samhain, and the consciousness of the earth feels as fluid as the shadowy iridescence of a raven’s wing. Samhain, the ancient Gaelic…

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