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56. The History of Witches Oct 30, 2020

Updated: Jan 26


Did you know that European Herbalists in the Early Middle Ages were systematically killed off after being labeled Witches by wealthy landlords and the Church? For Herbalists, their "church" was the vast landscape with its abundance of healing plants. These were financially autonomous women involved in organizing protests against landlords transferring common land, that had always been used for hunting and gathering, to their estates. These women also healed people without help from the church, so they were thought to be working with the devil and were killed. Feel like shaking things up in this season of witches? Spiral Herbal Remedies is now offering Herbalism courses. Join me in defying history. You can now learn Herbalism from a trained Herbalist and former Registered Nurse. My ancestors were Herbalists in Ireland during the Early Middle Ages. Their legacy ended for other reasons - British Colonization. After running an Herbal Medical School for 300 years in Ireland, my father’s family were forbidden to practice Herbalism under the British Occupation. My mother’s family had been Herbalists as well. Her maiden name is a derivative of the Gaelic word for medicine. In the 1700 laws were passed that made having a profession, owning land, being educated, and speaking Gaelic illegal There are two starting dates for the courses, one meets on Tuesday evenings and the other on Sundays. Check it out online for more details. As Halloween approaches let's consider the roots of the holiday. In pagan Ireland, the Indigenous Irish held 4 annual ceremonies in relationship to the changing seasons. (Pagan meaning folks who were linked to the landscape and a pantheon of gods and goddesses.)Samhain was a celebration held at the end of the harvest season. The Celtic day began at sunset, so this holiday started on the 31st of October and continued into Nov 1st. Many Neolithic passage tombs in Ireland align with the sunrise on Samhain. It was thought that on this day the tombs opened. Supernatural beings and the souls of the dead could pass into this realm, visiting their homes in search of hospitality. Because Covid has presented problems with Trick Or Treating, perhaps this year you could set a place for your ancestors at your dinner table. Maybe give thanks for your existence and ask them for help navigating this troubling time. When I speak with my ancestors, I feel an abundance of love. Whether they were perfect or not during their lifetime, it is thought that our ancestors exist in another realm and in this transformed state are able and willing to help us here on earth. On another note, a recent survey by the National Center for Health Statistics found that 4 times as many people are reporting symptoms of Anxiety and Depression during this time of great unrest. Watch this video for my recommendations. There are things you can do and plant medicine available. These include our all-organic CBD, Ashwagandha, and a variety of teas. Reach out or stop by the shop if you need to talk.



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