Vernal equinox: the sun rose at 6:22 am, entered Aries at 10:39 am, and sets tonight at 6:22 pm. And though the sun was hidden all morning by the rainclouds, the afternoon is beautiful.


artwork by Thalia Took:

I’m feeling strangely non-verbal today. March usually sees me tensing like a coil, ready to spring into action as the days get longer and the leaves unfurl. This year, things are definitely blossoming, but quietly; growing roots as well as shoots.

I’ve taken a step back from a full-time job that didn’t suit me. For now, I am a part-time assistant at our local apothecary, getting back in touch with herbal remedies – my first and abiding vocational love. It’s an incredible, unprecedented (terrifying, guilt-inducing) gift, to have the stability and security of a home with a low cost of living, allowing me the freedom of this choice. Appreciating this gift, and making the most of it, is my challenge for the season.

At this time of year I often get run down: the tell-tale sign is symmetrical red spots on my neck, above my glands. This lunchtime I checked my bank balance to see if I had enough for a bottle of tincture of cleavers, which is the best remedy I’ve found. I stopped myself – it’s spring, there is cleavers growing everywhere, and meanwhile I’m serving my notice at work with only one more paycheck left from my ‘proper’ salaried position.

So instead of picking up supermarket daffodils and pre-prepared remedies on my commute home, I will walk to the station through the woodland footpath. It means arriving home past 8pm, but it also means collecting my own wild remedies free of charge, to decorate my altar and to heal my body.* Precisely the kind of balance I am seeking.

Top of the season to you all /|\

*p.s. there is so much to say about the ethics of wild harvesting, but as I wrote above: I’m feeling strangely non-verbal today. I’m incubating so many ideas – ideas for writing about divination, foraging, healing, gardening and growing – but they are still only just beginning to bud, and I’m learning not to force them, and to trust that some of them will simply open up to be written when they’re ready. Another challenge for me, with my typical Arian impulse to do everything already!

p.p.s. found some!


4 thoughts on “re-balancing

  1. Did you give up your archiving job? Whichever full-time job you gave up, I’m glad to hear you’ve found something based on your vocational love and part-time – perfect! I really want to try more foraging and making this year, although I do have a tendency to make a mess of pretty much everything practical I attempt…

    • I did give up my archiving job. As a career it was interesting but maybe just too rigid. This is an exciting and terrifying time… hard to explain how happy I feel, working part-time for minimum wage! There’s a local herbalist who runs foraging walks around Lancashire / West Yorkshire / Wirral / Wales – would you fancy joining me on one?

      • Manchester might have been a possibility, but April 2nd is a bit short notice. And unfortunately I’m away the weekend of the Hebden Bridge one, which I think is doable on the train from Preston. One in these areas later in the year may good though. Or a meetup in or around Todmorden. Another of my friends, who I think you know from TDN, is moving to Todmorden soon!

      • A meetup around Todmorden will be great! And yes, any foraging walks around Preston/Burnley/in your general direction would be good fun. I’m thinking of going to the Wirral for the sake of nostalgia :)

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