I enjoy frolicking in forests, playing my flutes for the flowers, and listening to the voices of the trees. 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 druidry, nature/permaculture, or art. In druidry, we don’t see these things as separate, but rather, as three paths that make up who we are: paths of druid, bard, and ovate.
Druid Path: Druidry and Nature Spirituality
I enjoy learning and consider myself a lifelong student of nature spirituality and druidry. I’ve been practicing druidry for over15 years–Revival Druidry is my home and path. I am a Druid/Bardic Adept and currently serve as the Grand Archdruid in the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA) and I am a Druid-grade graduate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD). In 2018, I was made the OBOD’s Mount Haemus Scholar for my research on cultivating the bardic arts. 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.” For more about my role(s) in AODA, see here.
Ovate Path: Permaculture Design, Herbalism, and Plants
I am a Certified Permaculture Designer, having completed my PDC through Sowing Solutions (Kay Cafasso and Keith Zaltsberg) at the Sirius Ecovillage in 2015. I also am a certified Permaculture Teacher, having completed my teaching certificate at Omega in 2017 (with Pandora Thomas and Lisa DiPiano). 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 committed to wild plants, plant crafts, and herbalism. For the last 5 years in Pennsylvania, I give regular plant walks focusing on the edible, herbal, and craft uses of plants. I also am a graduate of Jim McDonald’s Four Season Herbal Intensive and have also studied with Rosemary Gladstar. I’ve been homesteading for about 10 years, currently at a 5-acre homestead in Western PA with my partner Rob, 21 birds, 3 cats, and a tortoise. Along the way, I’ve also learned about natural building, sustainable crafting, foraging and mushroom hunting, market gardening, mushroom cultivation, and so much more!
Bardic Path: Artwork and Expression
In addition to my druidic pursuits, I am very committed to my bardic arts. One expression of that is my writing here on this blog.
My second major expression of the bardic arts is visual arts. I love to create many kinds of art (watercolors, jewelry, ceramics, leatherworking, handmade paints) and wildcrafted functional crafts (handmade papers, inks). I am a generational artist, having been first trained by my parents, Mark and Bonnie, who both had careers as artists. I am continuing my studies in Botanical Illustration through Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. But beyond that, most of my experiences are self taught! You can find my work on Instagram (@druidsgardenart) or at www.druidsgardenart.com.
I work in three primary media: watercolors, leatherwork, and natural arts (including pyrography, gourd art, etc). In terms of watercolor art,I have two divination decks. First, 2009, I self-published a tarot deck, called the Tarot of Trees–you can learn more about it on the Tarot of Trees website. We are currently in the 5th printing of that deck. I am also the artist/author of the Plant Spirit Oracle, which was released in 2020.
If you want to see more of my bardic side, please follow me on instagram @druidsgardenart.
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 my ancestral homelands.
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.
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!