June 17, 2017

I recently returned from a week in the Northern California woods, surrounded by second generation redwoods, douglas fir, and a spattering of madrone, oak, blackberry, thimbleberry, and others. I had gone to gather to learn, teach, and grow with a group of amazing people from all backgrounds and walks of life connected by a red thread of reproductive justice work and activism. Though it was, in and of itself, an eye-opening experience that jump started some amazing progress as a group / collaboration / network, I took away so much more from my time spent there outside of the confines of the group itself and the topics discussed. 

Most notably of which was a reality check. I hadn't realized just how much I have shifted over the last year or so as a Being. Before the trip in months past, and especially since my cycles have returned, I have become even more highly sensitive to sensory input, energetic input, etc. and have been navigating how to manage that. Being overstimulated can res...

May 5, 2017

Motherhood isn't all kittens and rainbows, sunshine and bliss. It's bloody, dirty, tear-stained, and fucking hard. 

I find myself looking through other moms' photos on platforms such as Instagram, in particular, and see these beautiful, down-to-earth, goddesses breastfeeding their babies while sunbathing in the grass or walking together topless by the river and picking foods from their bountiful gardens. And my heart breaks, and I weep for that. Then I am angry at myself for coveting. I see these moms living the life I wanted, living the life I want for myself and for my children, the life I was so close to having and then had it ripped from me. That I am struggling to get to. I'm left with this emptiness in my heart as I sit fighting depression in a cluttered house with my kids watching TV and eating cereal because I don't have the energy (or the ingredients) to make something more nourishing and healthier for them -- not that my son would want it anyway, though my daughter is a lot le...

April 14, 2017

 Deep in my bones, in the blood of my veins, swirls the blood of a hundred thousand ancestors who came before. From here in this land, from across the great sea to the east. Ancestral memories of Turtle Island, the Northlands of Europe and the Islands, the Continent, Eurasia, and Western Africa pool in the recesses of my mind. And among the blood of those human ancestors, runs the tiniest veins of those nonhuman. Other. Beast and Faery, both. Something I had suspected, known really, buried in my bones, long, long before the Others told me. Before Brighid and the Morrigan, before Grandmother Bear and other Spirits told me. I knew. I knew a longing deep within me, I knew a shape I ached to take, I knew a sea I yearned to swim, I knew a cave I yearned to claim. It is a strange melancholy, to be seal-kin without a sealskin to find, never being able to return to the Sea. It is a strange heartache to feel the salmon writhing in your paws and the warm blood in your mouth, life stirring within...

April 7, 2017

It's that time of year. Spring is upon us here in the Northern Hemisphere. For some it has long since arrived, for others it is just now unfurling from its sleep within the dark earth. Buds have opened, pollen is dispersing, green things have begun to spring up from the still-cool earth. This time of year is also when most foragers, or those new to foraging, begin their year of forays out into the wildwood in search of those lymph-moving, chi-stimulating, nourishing spring green edibles. 

I should say upfront that I am not a master forager, though I am learning and exploring. Always be sure that you are cross-referencing your finds from multiple field guides and state or government botany websites (NOT blogs, including this one!) and are absolutely sure of what you have found before eating or ingesting any herb or wild plant that you have come across. Many have deadly poisonous look-alikes! Also be wary of plants that are growing too close to roads (my bare minimum distance is 100 yards...

March 30, 2017

Alas it is always in the wee hours when I am called to write. When my mind is exhausted from the thoughts of the day, when my heart is weary, and my bones heavy. When the words just spill forth, my fingers flying across the keyboard as they once did with pen on paper. I find myself sitting here in the red velvet chair in the quiet of the hour after the children are finally in bed, and oh how weary I am. 

I fight with myself even now as I type this, whether or not to share these words. These thoughts. Because we are constantly under a barrage of commentary in our life-that-is-social-media to only be (or only share) positive things. To speak positively, to tell everyone everything is ok, even if it really fucking isn’t. Told that we’re not manifesting what we want in life because we’re too negative, belittled and attacked when we share our vulnerable truth, our grit and our pain because people only want to see our sunshine and rainbows and posts about herbs. We keep everything inside beca...

March 10, 2017

I am haunted.

I am haunted by the desert, by the red rock, by the blooming rosemary and the cactus fruit.

Haunted by the coyotes laughing in the pre-dawn light, haunted by the cracked earth in the dry wash and the ravens cawing overhead.

I cannot escape these ghosts. They torment me whether I sleep or am awake, my vision overlaid with mirages of towering rock faces catching fire in the sunset and juniper berries scattered in the dirt. Before I left to go to the desert, before I even set foot on that dry red earth, it came to me in my dreams. In an ecstatic state just as I fell asleep one night the Spirit of Psilocybin -- an entity I have never before worked with but have always been drawn to -- came to me in a vision and made love to me under the moon and stars in the desert. She told me that she could heal me, heal my mind. Release me from the bonds of anxiety and depression. 

When I arrived in Sedona, I could feel the energy skittering across my skin. I could feel the earth h...

February 23, 2017

I have always been an intuitive, sensitive person, able to pick up on subtle energies, occasionally seeing auras, having prophetic dreams... But before, it was almost as if it was muted, dulled, a thin gauze pulled over my vision or cotton stuffed in my ears. There but not strong, not vibrant, a hint of what could be. When I got my Reiki attunements last year and dedicated my healing and birth-work to the Bear Mother, Brighid, that gauzy veil was lifted. Since then (and possibly influenced I'm sure by various celestial events and the shifting Collective Consciousness and grief/anger that has been flooding the collective psyche the last few months) my ability to sense and feel energies, and my sensitivity to sensory input, EMFs, and other energy has increased a hundred-fold, resulting in both profound spiritual experiences and healing sessions with others, but also debilitating sensory overload and crippling anxiety.  

I find myself in a constant pendulum-sw...

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© 2017 by Femme de la Foret // Aileen Peterson

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