Just last Tuesday, like so many others I saw the headline that Trump silenced the EPA, USDA and it's scientists and a whole host of other horrifying events. I found myself hunched over my laptop or over my phone, white knuckled, jaws clenched, shoulders caved in, knots in my stomach. I went to bed that night my mind a swirling chasm of dread. Crushed under the weight of what to do, how to act, we're doomed I thought. It's happening.
It's happening. And so very fast.
Times are fucking scary and very intense right now. For all of us, and even more so for so many other people. As I laid in my bed, unable to move from anxiety and the depression I have felt the past several weeks I realized, this is the exact reaction they want. Several people and friends I follow on Instagram talked about this very crushing weight we're all feeling right now and that we need to take care of ourselves and each other. We need to connect with each other and reach out. Build community or further strengthen those bonds, however that manifests for you.
Yesterday morning I woke up and dove into the news first thing, not the best idea for mental health. Somehow I surfaced from the deep current of it all and grabbed a breath of air and began a list for myself. I'm sharing this list with those who will pass by this. It's a reminder that small acts, the tiniest acts do in fact have an impact. Even if it means taking a hot bath with crushed red cedar leaves you found in your local forest. Resistance can be as subtle as a weed growing out of a crack in the concrete, or as bold as hanging signs in front of the White House and defying orders to stay silent.
So, this is my list of actions, prompts for more learning and understanding and self care for the witch in these times.
- Buy plant and tree guides for your bioregion, study them, touch them and listen
- Learn how to save seeds
- Make and drink bone broth, share it with loved ones, teach them how to make it
- Support your local CSA
- Buy goods from herbalists and better yet, herbalists within your local range
- Protest works
- Get involved with your local community garden if possible, or volunteer
- Learn how to make your own safe plant medicines. Some great safe starting books here
- Understand what it means to be a good ally
- Make some fire cider and share it (scroll down for recipe)
- Get a tarot reading, or learn how to read tarot for yourself
- Getting into activism? Learn what to do and not to do in intersectional feminist spaces
- Make gentle everyday herbal infusions and drink them (consider nettle, skullcap, passionflower)
- Join or make a donation to United Plant Savers
- Remember to get outside and move around in nature as often as you can, even if it's just in your neighborhood
- Don't beat yourself up you can't do everything, pick your battles
- Remember that self care is an act of resistance
- Read Rewild or Die: Revolution and Renaissance at the End of Civilization
- Find or carry your herbal ally with you, sleep with them under your pillow
- Learn and practice breathing techniques that calm and sooth you
- Reach out to friends and loved ones, in real life or on the internet for connection and support when you feel bad
- Know that you are not alone
- Practice mindfulness right now
- Show up, or don't, know when you're over extending yourself
- Learn resistance/resilience and potency through weeds and wild plants (see: yarrow & research pioneer species)
- Nice Girls vs. Kind Women
- Read the news from various sources, but be mindful of becoming consumed & crushed by it (that's what they want)
- Don't start you day by reading the news! Meditate, drink your infusions, breathe
- Exercise and take care of your body in ways that feel right to you: yoga, lift weights, walking, running, etc.
- Watch Pema Chodron videos
- Call and contact your local elected officials when shit goes down, here's an easy way to find them
- Get your hands on some great plant/witchy zines: Herbal Roots, The Cauldron, herbal zine list from Microcosom
- Reclaiming Our Ancient Wisdom: Herbal Abortion Procedure and Practice for Midwives and Herbalists
- Connect with your ancestral heritage if that is available to you, honor them
- Respectfully learn about the land you live on and its indigenous peoples that were here before colonization
- Sign up to Plant Healer Magazine
- Honor your land spirits, spirits of place and leave them offerings, speak to them
- If you have spare dollars, donate to Planned Parenthood, The Sierra Club, Black Lives Matter, National Parks Service, Standing Rock
- Read the books, Apocalyptic Witchcraft & Blood of the Earth
- Read the essay Rewilding Witchcraft, by Peter Grey, all this is happening now
- Also see, Forging the Body of the Witch, Raw Power: Witchcraft, Babalon and Female Sexuality
If you're reading this and have something to add, please leave a comment. This is by no means a list of perfection. Its things that feed and placed to start.
Be well, be strong.