This Years Learnings, Mulching & Feeding Me Like Fallen Leaves…

So the temperature outside is crispy cold and the sky is bright blue, the leaves are in the midst of changing from green through yellow, red and russet. I love this time of year. As the leaves begin to drop and create their crispy brown litter all around I too find myself shedding much of what the year so far has been to me. Just as the fallen leaves mulch down around the base of the trees providing nutrition as a slow release to be reabsorbed through the winter roots I will use the lessons I have learned this year, the joys and the sorrows, to help inform my path and feed me with insights for what is to come.

fallen autumn leaves

fallen autumn leaves

I have only 2 evening sessions of teaching remaining before this year ends, my energy is turning inwards, so that the darker months can be spent brewing, gestating new ideas to birth when the days begin to lengthen once more and the fresh new growth begins once again. Already I have quite a lot in place for next year with regards to teaching but I do feel a change coming and a need to deepen, to take it further.


My first offering of 2017 begins at the time of Imbolc midway between the lunar and calendar dates for this seasonal acknowledgement of the cycle of life; the return of fresh growing leaves from the dark underground depths. Amazingly this series of evenings is already full ~ mass consciousness of plant consciousness is growing ~ what a wonderful thing! How wonderful to witness this growing hunger for listening to the call of the wild, to our green relations.

In response I have added a new set of dates for the evening series “Sacred Plant Teachers ~ the art of the invisible” that will run through April. In May I will be running an “Introduction to Communicating with Plant Spirits” day, and later in the year a week long “Sacred Plant Medicine Immersion”. If you are interested in any of the workshops I have mentioned please go to my workshops page for more details.

Also beginning in April will be “Sacred Ecology: A Rewilding Apprenticeship“, this will be the second year that I am running the apprenticeship. This years apprenticeship was an amazing journey into rewilding and I was truly delighted that even during the first weekend my apprentices were suggesting that they would like a year two, to continue deepening and exploring their own wildness and wild connections. So I am also working on “Weaving Wildness” which will be the follow up for previous apprentices. To read feedback from some of this years apprentices click here…



As I sit in my office it is cold, and I am thinking a lovely hawthorn decoction would warm up my chilly little fingers. The hedgerows are still full with many gifts, so if you have not yet stored up for winter it would be good to do so soon. I am going to drain off my last tinctures of the year and pot up some little cuttings salvaged from a dying house plant -not really the right season for this, but hoping the newly emerged roots will take the slow winter months to grow strong – time will tell. While I wait to find out I think I’ll go and put a pan on and simmer up some of those beautiful deep red haws…


Staying Warm

At this time of year despite the moments of brilliant blue cloud free skies there is a very noticable, almost daily, drop in temperature.  Just two weeks ago I could leave the house in a t-shirt and flip flops with no extra layers and be confident that I would be comfortable.  Now, despite the clear skies, even when indoors I am layering up with socks, slippers and a hoodie.  Maybe it is my crumbling Victorian home that breathes so wonderfully, keeping deliciously cool even on the hottest of days, that as autumn arrives begins to be a disadvantage.

So as I contemplate turning on the heating, just for a few minutes, I rack my brains for my usual cold weather survival techniques.  I need not think for long.  At the weekend I attended a friends birthday in London and as always when visiting the city travelled by train.  Looking at the passing countryside on my journey I noticed the hedgerows dripping red.  The hawthorn bushes are full of rich, ripe, red berries or “haws”.

Haws make a lovely tea which boosts the circulation helping to keep you warm even when you inhabit a chilly home.  You can use the haws fresh or lay them out to dry so they can be stored for later use.  To extract all the medicinal qualities you will need to make a decoction, that is simply simmering the haws for 10-20 minutes.  Use 2 teaspoons of fresh  or 1 teaspoon of dried haws per mug, and drink a maximum of 3 mugs a day.  To save fiddling about I usually make enough for 3 days and store it in the fridge.  Each time I then fancy a mug I take enough from the fridge, put it back in the pan and gently heat it ready to drink.

I love how nature always has the right remedy at the right time, and will even give you a visual nudge to remind you it has arrived.  Now please excuse me I have a few haws to pick…

Please note: avoid using during pregnancy or whilst breast feeding, and check with a herbalist for contraindications if you have an ongoing medical condition or are on medication. 

If you are interested in making a selection of winter remedies with seasonal plants then please join me on my Remedies for Winter workshop.

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