Yesterday I stayed in the wilderness near a very small, very remote rural village in the east. A german saying goes: "this is a place where fox and hare greet each other a very good night" - I am pretty sure there were lots of foxes and hares out there. We had an work related overnight stay in this village because there is no internet connection and no mobile connection available - pretty perfect conditions to held so called intensive workshops so people don't get distracted from work by the outer world. We had to stick together in a small camping side / hotel only visited by some nature loving tourists.
After the first day work was finished, in the late afternoon, some decided to have a quick run at the riverbank or take a nap and I found something very interesting to do for myself. I met with a local witch or better "shaman" who offered me a 1 hour guided tour into the nature to look out for herbs.
First we had a ritual to open the inner eye because she said, that most medical or witchcraft plants where found because those plants will call out for you, but first you must connect with the earth and spirutal world. Afterwards you have to walk into the nature and the first plant reaching you curiosity is something special / has a special meaning for you. Each and every step we found some plants to cure body or mind. To be eaten, or to be drank as tea or for scented oils or alcoholic infusions or rubbed onto your skin or burned as insence to open your mind (those mind opening plants where really something - rather dangerous laugh). Mostly we found some sort of nettles, thistles, galium, sweet clover, evening primrose, angelica, night shades (it is magic!) but she also talked about trees and mushrooms and snakes. Lots of otters out there - I was a little bit uneasy because we trampled right into the rough where all those otters live. She was a strong believer of every plants has it's good use and if it is strongly poisonous you have to use it for rubbing, insence or you should dilute it to mere nothingness. One of her saying, after I asked "what is honeysuckle good for?", was, that this plant must have something to do with inner tubes (organs) because the blossoms remind on tubes. Afterwards I found out that in chinese medicine honeysuckle is used to take care of liver problems. She was right!
And now to the witchcraft:
Another thing she told me was, that the plants are coming to help or guide you. If you own a garden and suddenly some plants appear and crowd together, they were coming to take care of you. In my garden the foxgloves are running wild.
She told me therefore I have to take care of my heart. Beats me. Didnt I mentioned the honeysuckles? Lots of honeysuckles at my wall which I did not plant, so I will have to stop drinking or eat more thistles...
Later on, after she asked me some questions about my impressions of some places and plants, she told me that I have the "eye" and should try to learn more and become a shamane myself.
Thinking about it, I guess it is a good idea to learn more about plants and herbal medicine and become a tour guide for our local moor excursion center. Could be fun when I am retired. I even know a local gallow tree hill where mandrake may grow, but I will need a dog to harvest it.
A new career at the horizon and a well spend one hour.