Friday Foraging 8

A brief forage this week, but let’s get into it!

Dana at The Druid’s Garden has an utterly brilliant post called What Can Druidry Offer in Dark Times? If you only read one article this week, make it this one. In a world that seems broken, Dana shows how traditionally Druidic practices: the Bardic arts, Ovate healing and Druid philosophy can help create solace, stability and hope.

If you think about what druidry does, what the different paths do, it very much is a way of reconnecting us with those things that are the most important: our connection with nature, our connection with core practices that sustain us, and our connection with our creative spirit. It offers us tools, strategies, and powerful metaphors to help us adapt, relfect, and ground.

Druidry as a spiritual tradition is a response to our age.  As druidry develops, as we figure out what the druidry of the 21st century should be (as opposed to the druidry of the 19th century or even druidry of the 20th century), I think all of us have much to contribute to this conversation.  I would love to hear your own thoughts on what druidry–or other earth-centered spiritual practices– do for you, how they help, and what potential it may have for us during these dark times.

There’s a fascinating article on The Conversation about language, indigenous culture and how that shapes our understanding of the world: How the Loss of Native American Languages Affects our Understanding of the Natural World. I am deeply interested by the idea of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and how indigenous peoples and their relationship to the land can be a current of deep knowledge and understanding, and see in these cultures echoes of how our ancestors may have lived with the land.

Embedded in indigenous languages, in particular, is knowledge about ecosystems, conservation methods, plant life, animal behavior and many other aspects of the natural world…In English, the word “herb” can have numerous meanings, including a seasoning for food. The closest English word to herb in Blackfeet is “aapíínima’tsis.” The elders explained this word means “a tool that doctors use.”

Fenifur at Wild Waters Patchwork Paths has a great article called Mushrooms – Where to Start that can help us all put some ecological knowledge into practice, and connect to the land, by foraging for tasty mushrooms!

I used to go mushroom hunting, but haven’t done so since moving from the woods and fields of Cheshire where I grew up to the less familiar East Anglian fens, mostly because I’ve been nervous about identifying edible mushroom varieties. Fenifur outlines some common edibles such as the Chicken of the Woods, Beefsteak, Porcini and Giant Puffball, and provides useful hints on how to identify, verify and collect mushrooms. Now that it’s Autumn, it’s peak mushroom season, so the next time you go for a walk in the woods, keep your eyes out for fungi!

There are around 14,000 known species of mushroom on earth, with 10 times that many suspected as the true number. There is such variation on how much people delve into the world of fungi, and numerous different reasons why they choose to…

Mushroom hunting can seem daunting but really it’s all about careful looking. It’s very good for de-stressing, a bit like beachcombing but in the woods, your mind switching off as you concentrate on spotting little blobs of colour amongst the grass and leaves.

That’s all for this week. There won’t be a post this Sunday, because I’ll be busy with my first study weekend for my Second Year with Druid College UK, so see you all next week!

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