I enjoy frolicking in forests, playing my flutes for the flowers, and listening to the voices of the trees. I spend copious amounts of time seeking edible and medicinal treats from the wild lands of Western Pennsylvania and wherever else I happen to visit. I love sustainable living and practice permaculture design. I am frequently covered with dirt, paint, or both.
When people ask about me, they usually want to know about my druid stuff, art stuff, nature stuff, or something else. Its important to understand that these different aspects of me intersect and align, even though I present them separately here. So here’s a bit of a snapshot of me in my various roles:
Druidry and Nature Spirituality
I enjoy learning and consider myself a lifelong student of nature spirituality. I’ve been practicing druidry for over ten years–Revival Druidry is my home and path. I am a Druid Adept and the Archdruid of Water in the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA) and a Druid-grade graduate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD). I am Chief Editor of the AODA’s annual journal, Trilithon: The Journal of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (which is now in its 3rd year of publication). I am also a Bishop in the Gnostic Celtic Church (affiliated with AODA) and study the Celtic Golden Dawn system of magic. For a story of how I came to druidry, please see my post “The Mystery of the Stumps and the Spiral Path: How I came to Druidry.”
Permaculture Design, Herbalism, and Plants
I am a Certified Permaculture Designer, having completed my PDC through Sowing Solutions at the Sirius Ecovillage in 2015. As part of the work of my AODA Druid Adept project, I spent three years intensively studying permaculture design principles and applying them to nature-based spiritual practice and my homestead in Michigan. I am a founding member of the Oakland County Permaculture Meetup, a large group in South-Eastern Michigan that has been going strong (with 500+ members) for the last four years. The meetup focuses on educating the community about sustainable practices using permaculture design principles. I also am a graduate of Jim McDonald’s Four Season Herbal Intensive and am currently studying with Rosemary Gladstar; I have been practicing herbalism for a number of years. I’ve also taken various college-level organic farming classes, apprenticed with local farmers, vended at a local farmer’s market, and spent five years homesteading on my 3 acre property in Michigan. Along the way I’ve also learned about natural building, sustainable crafting, foraging and mushroom hunting, mushroom cultivation, and so much more!
Artwork and Expression
In addition to my druidic pursuits, I create many kinds of art (watercolors, jewelry, ceramics) and wildcrafted functional crafts (handmade papers, inks). I also play the panflute and enjoy sneaking off into the forest to play haunting melodies for unknowing passerby! In 2009, I self-published a tarot deck, called the Tarot of Trees–you can learn more about it on the Tarot of Trees website. Its currently in its 3rd edition. I don’t share much of my art on this blog, but I do create it in honor of the trees and of the natural world as often as possible. I’m actually working on two new artistic/divination/nature spirituality projects at the moment, but I’m not quite ready to share those yet!
Teaching and Learning
By day I’m a university professor, where I teach classes in various forms of writing and in research methods. I study how people learn and how they take knowledge with them. I also have a keen interest in linguistics, so you’ll see a bit of that on this blog. I also do freelance editorial work, primarily for projects of interest to me (herbalism, nature-spirituality, some fiction, etc).
About this Blog
I began this blog in 2010 to document the work of my druid adept project for the AODA, and it has evolved and grown quite a bit since this time! In 2010, I purchased a home with three acres and a pond. This home and land, which required much clean up, healing, tending. Using permaculture design principles, reskilling, herbalism, systems thinking, and a lot of hard work, I transformed the land from a consumptive space to a productive one and to a sanctuary for all life. In 2015, I was called back to the land of my birth in Western PA and am now working on work with the land here in many ways.
One story expressed on this blog is my growing concern about the disconnection between human beings and the land and how issues of sustainability and permaculture need a stronger voice if our species is to find our balance within the greater world. I blog on ways to make that happen. This involves taking better care of ourselves rather than letting corporations do that work for us–making our own medicines, growing our own food, and finding better ways of living in harmony. Finally, this blog also covers intersections of sustainability, permaculture, deep ecology, and druidry–how we as druids and other spiritually-minded individuals can help lead the way to a greener tomorrow. It covers issues of importance to how local communities can make the transition (like building community and transitioning our community). It also covers issues intersecting our lands here, like oil pipelines, fracking, and legal issues.
Another story expressed on this blog is the important work of healing and wildtending our lands–learning how once again to be positive and nurturing influences on the world around us.
The goal of this blog is to present approaches for thinking about the relationships between what we believe and what we do, how spiritual practice can be sacred action in our everyday living, and how we can address the growing predicament of this age. Thank you for joining me on this journey!