The Druid's Garden

Spiritual Journeys in Tending the Land, Permaculture, Wildcrafting, and Regenerative Living

Druid Gratitude Practices – Nature Shrines and Offerings November 25, 2018

Black Raspberry in fruit

Black Raspberry in fruit

Every year, I look forward to the black raspberries that grow all throughout the fields and wild places where I live. These black raspberries are incredibly flavorful with with crunchy seeds. They have never been commercialized, meaning no company has grown them for profit. You cannot buy them in the store. You can only wait for late June and watch them ripen and invest the energy in picking. Each year, the black raspberries and so many other fruits, nuts, and wild foods are a gift from the land, the land that offers such abundance.  If I would purchase such berries in a store, my relationship with those berries would be fairly instrumental–I pay for them, they become part of a transaction, and then I eat them. There is no heart in such a transaction.  But because these berries can’t be bought or sold, when I pick them, the land is offering me the gift of sustenance.  Gifting is a much different kind of relationship, a powerful and connected relationship, a relationship that asks not only for reciprocation but gratitude.

 

Gratitude is an incredibly important aspect of reconnecting and reciprocating with the living earth. Given the recent cultural holiday of giving of thanks, I wanted to reflect on the idea of gratitude practices and share ideas for what we could do in the druid tradition to offer gratitude to the living earth and her many aspects. So in today’s post, we’ll explore how to develop a gratitude practice and why it matters.

 

What is a gratitude practice?

There are lots of words you might use to describe a gratitude practice: honoring, venerating, giving thanks, respecting, and so forth. What I’m calling a “gratitude practice” puts us in regular contact with the living earth and allows us to express our respect, gratitude, and offer our thanks to the living earth and various aspects of nature.  Nature provides everything for us–even if we are mostly disconnected in the western world from that process.  Re-imagining our relationship as one full of gratitude helps us reconnect to the living earth in incredibly powerful ways.

 

There are many, many ways to engage in gratitude practices–speaking them, writing them, saying them. One common gratitude practice is ancestor work, which I wrote more about in an earlier post, and where we are in gratitude towards those who came before. Today, I’ll explore a long-term strategy for gratitude practices surrounding the living earth–through choosing aspects of nature to honor, creating shrines, and making offerings.

 

Choosing Aspects of Nature to offer Gratitude

The word “honor” refers to treating someone or something with admiration, respect, and recognition. If we think about the way we honor humans–soldiers, guests, or dignitaries–we may offer gifts, set aside special spaces for them (statuary, memorials, etc), or hold various kinds of celebrations for them. For example, in American culture we have presidential monuments, days honoring Martin Luther king and others of importance, monuments to fallen soldiers, and we offer regular respect to those humans who have done something extraordinary. If we use this same kind of thinking to honor nature and aspects of nature, we can develop a deeper relationship to nature over time and make this a core of a gratitude practice.

 

Some druids may choose to honor all of nature or focus on “the land” or “the earth” as the center of a nature honoring practice, while other druids may choose to focus and work with a specific aspect of nature intensively. Working to honor that aspect of nature—say, an element manifested in the world, an animal, a tree or plant, a mountain, a river, a natural phenomenon (storms), etc, can put you in a very deep relationship with that particular aspect. Thus, choosing who or what to honor in the natural world is important and is highly individual. Some druids may have already been drawn to a particular animal, plant, place, or other aspect of nature, while others may need to seek out different aspects to honor. Perhaps you have a plant species you have always been drawn to, or perhaps an animal species frequently visits you.  Perhaps you’ve had powerful experiences in a particular place, or along a particular mountain ridge.  Perhaps you feel energized and excited by the storm. You can select one, or multiple aspects of nature, to honor. As you choose to work with nature or aspects of nature, recognize that gratitude is work of the heart. The most important choice, then, deals with your own personal connection to the living earth and her spirits. What aspect of nature is deeply meaningful to one person may not be to another—the point of all of this is to develop, for yourself, deep relationships. Follow your heart and intuition.  In this section’s activity, a specific ritual is given that can help you choose which aspects of nature you want to develop a devotional practice towards.

 

In an animistic perspective, we recognize the difference between matter and spirit, and in this case, both can be honored. For example, one druid decided to honor the black bear, so she begins by bringing in black bear imagery and statuary into her home; learning about the black bear; and creates a small shrine in the woods near her home to honor the greater spirit of the bear.  She also learns about a local movement to protect bear populations and volunteers her time. In doing these kinds of honoring activities, she is able to deeply connect with the bear energies and bring those energies into their life. In a second example, a druid chooses to honor the local mountain range where he was born and raised. He learns about this mountain range, its history, and what lives there and grows there; he spends time hiking and backpacking on various parts of the mountain range; and he does regular ritual to protect the mountain from harm. He also carries a piece of wood in his pocket from the mountain and places a second piece of wood on his home altar. He connects to the spirit of the mountain through deep meditation and journeying work.

 

Nature Shrines as a Gratitude Practice

Poison Ivy shrine

Poison Ivy shrine

One way of engaging in a gratitude practice is through creating a shrine or special space inside or outside of your home to honor the living earth and/or specific aspects of nature. In the druid tradition, a “shrine” is typically dedicated to a specific aspect of nature, while an “altar” is typically more of a working tool where you might engage in various kinds of rituals and practices. “Sacred spaces” are larger areas, perhaps containing a shrine or altar, that are dedicated to sacred activity. However, these can blend together, and we druids don’t get too picky about the differences.

 

To create a nature shrine, you need to consider four aspects: where the shrine will be, how you will construct the shrine,  what the goal of the shrine is, and how often you will interact with the shrine. There is no right or wrong way to answer these questions–but you should give them some thought.

 

To start getting your own creative juices flowing, I will now share a few shrines I’ve built over time:

  • Honoring the Fallen Shrine (Outdoor). The “honoring the fallen” shrine was a large shrine on a recently cut stump. The shrine consisted of sticks, stones, and bones, with a stack of stones in the middle. The sticks, stones, and bones came from sites that were damaged or hurting. The shrine honored trees, animals, and others who were passing on due to human interference. I would honor species going extinct, trees and forests that were cut, making regular weekly offerings at the shrine.
  • Protecting Waters Shrine (Indoor). The “waters” shrine was to honor the waters of all kinds: rain, lakes, rivers, streams, springs, and so on. I gathered water offerings from all over the world (and asked friends to bring me water from various places) and I would put the new waters in little glass vials with a label. The shrine held the glass vials. This shrine had a beautiful large bowl of water as the centerpiece, which I kept regularly filled. This shrine was near a large tub I had in my bathroom, up on a little ledge.
  • Poison Ivy Shrine (Outdoor). Everywhere I’ve lived, poison ivy has lived with me, and I’m one of the very sensitive people who get it easily. The poison ivy shrine was created to honor the poison ivy on the property and ask it not to harm me or my guests. I built this shrine in the winter when the poison ivy was more dormant after scoping out a place with the most poison ivy on the property. I created a small shelf with several rocks and then created a clay statue that was my personification of poison ivy. I put the statue on the rock shelf. And then, I let this shrine alone.  As the poison ivy grew back into the space, it mostly covered the stone and statue.  I left this shrine largely be, as poison ivy wanted to be left alone!
  • Land Healing Shrine (Outdoor, Group). I created a land healing shrine with a group of druids was a land healing shrine, also on a large stump. We took fallen wood from the property, cut it into wood rounds, and then woodburned protective and healing symbols and ogham onto the wood. We left these on the shrine along with aspects of the four elements. The goal of this shrine was to send healing out to the land.
  • The Mother Earth Shrine (Outdoor). This shrine was created to honor the entirety of the land and all of her spirits. I would frequently gather new things for this shrine from wild places and add them to the shrine. Over time, the pile grew quite large! The shrine itself was wild—I never cleaned leaves off the shrine but rather let everything layer just like it does in nature. I left regular offerings of cornmeal here as part of my daily spiritual practices.
  • The Animals Shrine (Indoor). I created a small shrine, using only photographs on a wall space, in my office. I wanted to honor certain animals in my local ecosystem and also draw upon aspects of those animals while at work. The cluster of photos didn’t appear to anyone as a sacred space, but I understood the intent of the work.

 

One the things you might notice about the shrine examples I’ve offered above is that the shrines don’t just have a theme—the have an intention or goal. Your goals and intentions may evolve as you work deeply with the spirits of nature, so you can see these kinds of shrines as evolving things. I do think as you create a shrine, the shrine will evolve just as you evolve!

 

Earth Shrine

Earth Shrine

Sourcing Materials for Your Shrine

Sourcing materials for your shrine is also a critical choice, and sends a particular kind of message to the land and her spirits. For outdoor spaces, it is a good idea to make sure anything that you leave will not cause harm or pollution to the land. Further, you want to make sure that the earth was not harmed in the creating of that thing or the taking of that thing. This means you might use more naturally-oriented things or representations: sticks, stones, collected objects, secondhand objects, handcrafted objects, and so on. You can make beautiful shrines, altars, and sacred spaces using materials only from the land around you in many cases. Using things directly from the land allows them to break down and return to the land gracefully.

 

Building Your Shrine

Spend time planning and building a shrine to nature or to a specific aspect of nature. The process shouldn’t be rushed—often, the process of building a shrine takes time and unfolds in unexpected ways! First, you want to source the right location. Whether indoors or outdoors, it takes time to find the right spot. If it is in the house, you want to think about where it might be, and how visitors and other family members may interact with it (or not), and may respect it, or not. I once created a beautiful shrine in a guest bedroom, which worked except when I had guests who didn’t understand it and didn’t respect it well.

If it is outdoors, you again want to think about other people who may have access to the shrine and how public or private the shrine will be. I prefer to keep shrines as private as possible, unless I’m working with a group of fellow druids and we are co-constructing a shrine (as one example explored above). When sourcing a location, I recommend taking some time and doing multiple visits to ascertain the right location and if the spirits of the land would welcome the shrine. There are lots of considerations for location, particularly in terms of the weather, seasons, accessibility, visibility, and human interaction.

 

Once you’ve selected your spot, now comes the fun part of building the shrine.  I like to see a nature shrine as an evolving thing—just as the wheel of the year turns in nature, so too your shrine evolve as you find new things for it.  Shrines do not have to be complex, even a small stack of stones or ring of sticks works beautifully for a shrine.

 

The timing of initially setting up your shrine also can be important. Choose a day or time that is meaningful—a new or full moon, one of the druid holidays (solstices, equinoxes, cross quarter days) or some other day that lends itself well to the energies of your new endeavor.

 

Tending Your Shrine

After you have your shrine built, you’ll want to think about how you might regularly tend it.  Regular attention to the shrine assures that you are connecting deeply with the energies of the shrine and connecting with that aspect of nature and that you are investing time, energy, and care into the shrine.  Regular tending may include clearing the shrine of debris, replacing objects, and so forth. It may also be quietly sitting with the shrine, meditating near it, and simply observing it during the various seasons (if outdoors).  There are lots of ways you can regularly tend and visit your shrine.

 

Offerings

Offering on a stone cairn

Offering on a stone cairn

Another thing you can do regularly at your shrine is make offerings–this helps you “give back” and engage in a more reciprocal relationship with the living earth.  Offerings are often symbolic representations of our understanding of the give and take relationship we have with the earth that provides abundance. One of the ways you might think about offerings within a druid framework is that they are part of a larger gratitude practice. That is, through offerings, we are giving thanks, acknowledging, and honoring nature.

 

In terms of what to offer, the general principle here that I like to follow is this: my offering should be an offering of something that I value and that is important to me, not simply an empty gesture of something that I purchased.  These things may be physical or non-physical.

 

On the side of physical things: many things that can be purchased are problematic because their purchase put additional strain on the land (the resources that produced it, the shipping and fossil fuels, the packaging that creates plastic waste, etc.). So you want to give any physical offerings some careful thought.  One of the ways you might get around this is by either growing offerings, finding them, or wildcrafting them. A great offering could be something as simple as acorn caps gathered in the fall with a symbol painted on them in a natural ink. You could gather small stones or pieces of bark and bless them with the elements, and then use them as an offering. Another option is to create or grow a sacred offering blend of herbs (I use home-grown tobacco, lavender leaf, and rose petals as my current mix, see this post for more information).  You can also purchase offerings that are sustainably created—go to a farmer’s market and buy a bottle of locally produced organic wine or locally milled cornmeal or flour, for example.

 

Non-physical things make wonderful offerings as well.  Bardic practices, like drumming, dancing, singing, and so forth can be a great offering of your time, energy and spirit. I will also note here that music in particular is a great offering if you want to honor the spirits of the land while others are around—I like to take my flute to majestic places (which often have other people visiting them) and play a song or two.  The intention of the song is an offering to the land, but it doesn’t hurt to have others hear it too.

 

I hope that this post was useful in thinking about one way–among many–that we might engage in a regular gratitude practice as part of our paths in honoring and connecting with our most sacred earth.

 

Wild Food Profile: Black Raspberries + Fruit Leather Recipe July 16, 2013

Black raspberries (Rubus occidentalis) are one of my very favorite foods. This year we have a bumper crop–everywhere I go, the black raspberries seem to be growing! I have been harvesting at several spots, including in my own yard. Black raspberries have a very unique flavor–slightly sweet, with a hint of floral undertones, and tart, rich.  So delicious. They grow on canes that get up  to three feet tall (taller if they grow up trees) with tons of thorns.  The stems of the canes are typically either a dark purple (indicating an older vine) or light green. Both kinds of stems have a white powdery layer (which allows you to clearly distinguish them from black berries or other red raspberries.

Closeup of Black Raspberry

Closeup of Black Raspberry

Black raspberries come into season in July in most of the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Mid-Atlantic states.  This year, we are a little later than previous years (usually 4th of July is around when we really start harvesting them).  The season lasts only a few short weeks (and they are followed by blackberries, so you can have fresh berries for quite a while if you know where to pick!).  Generally, if you want them you have to pick them yourself because like most wild foods, they aren’t commercially available.  I have seen them occasionally at the Farmer’s Market, however.  We’ve had a lot of rain and cold spring weather (and a dismal harvest last year) and I think all of these things contributed to the bounty of berries that we have this year.  Here are some of the bushes I have been picking–you can see how they are just loaded with fruit.

 

To find black raspberries, you want to look to the edges, the places where fields meet forests.  They like dappled sunlight.  They won’t fruit if they are too deep in the forest.  The berries will dry up if they are in too much sun.  I’ve found them in both hardwood forests and pine forests–and in my front yard :).  You an identify them year round by looking at the cane stems.

Fruit bushes overflowing!

Fruit bushes overflowing!

Fruit bushes overflowing!

Fruit bushes overflowing!

Black raspberry fruit makes stunning jam, syrup, sauce, fruit leather, dried berries, and so much more.  They freeze ok, but I find that they get too tart and lose their sweetness with freezing, so I prefer other methods of preservation.  I use canning recipes from the Ball Book of Home Preserving, especially, the raspberry jam and sauce.  I’ve also dried some this year, and they are pretty good.

Recent harvest of black raspberry!

Recent harvest of black raspberry!

In addition to the fruit, the leaves make a fine herbal remedy.  Matthew Wood indicates that Raspberry leaf is a mild astringent, good as a tonic for relaxed tissue.  It was used by the native Americans used them for pregnancy, preventing morning sickness, preventing miscarriage, and aiding in healthy births.  Its also used for diarrhea (pg 308- 309, The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to New World Herbs).

 

Black Raspberry has been one of my sacred herbs for quite some time.  Its one of the fruits that I find “welcoming” when I enter new wild areas.  Despite their thorny qualities, which my friend and herbalist Jim McDonald discusses in detail, the plant is a nice one, telling you to be cautious but come closer for some fruit.

 

Here is a recipe that another good friend recently taught me, which is making fruit leather.  Fruit leather can be made with all sorts of berries and they keep a really long time.

 

 

Black Raspberry Fruit Leather

Fruit leather is like a fruit rollup.  You can choose if you want a more crunchy fruit leather (by keeping the whole fruit, including the seeds) or a soft leather (by straining out the seeds).

 

  • 6 cups black raspberries
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup (or more to taste; you could use sugar but I’m trying to keep my sweetening local if possible)
  • Food dehydrator with plastic inserts and/or parchment paper

 

The recipe is simple:  put your raspberries on the stove on low and mash them up.  As soon as you start to see steam coming off of them, pull them off the heat and add in the honey.  If you want to strain your berries, cook them at least 10 min, then strain, then add honey.  You can add as much honey as you want, but the more you add, the stickier your fruit leather gets.  I found 1/2 cup to about 6 cups berries (unstained) gives just a hint of sweetness and flexibility to the fruit leather.  After honey is added, wait till its cooled down about 5 minutes, then put it in a thin layer on your dehydrator.  Dehydrate about 12-15 hours on the fruit setting till its leathery.  Store in airtight jars (I stored mine in canning jars).  This is a great trail food!

 

Here are photos of the process:

Black Raspberries washed and prepped!

Black Raspberries washed and prepped!

Fruit leather cooking

Fruit leather cooking

Fruit leather before drying!

Fruit leather before drying!

Finished Fruit Leather on Dehydrator (parchment paper)

Finished Fruit Leather on Dehydrator (parchment paper)

Finished fruit leather (the one on the left has no honey and is kinda brittle, the one on the right has honey and is perfect!)

Finished fruit leather (the one on the left has no honey and is kinda brittle, the one on the right has honey and is perfect!)

PS: My posts will probably be sporadic in the next few months.  We have a bumper crop of just about everything I like to eat–black raspberry, blueberry, apple, cherry, etc.  After work each day, I’m rushing out to harvest, harvest, harvest! And then I come home and preserve, preserve, preserve!  But I’ll try to sneak a few blog posts in :).

 

Making Berry Inks (Huckleberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Pokeberry, etc.) August 29, 2012

Inkmaking is a wonderful way to use up some of the fabulous berries that you can forage for outdoors or grow in your garden. With a berry ink, you can do wonderful water washes, use a dip pen and write great letters, or use it for various drawings and sketches!  You can also use your ink for spiritual journaling or magical work.  Having an ink you’ve made yourself allows you to be creative while making use of sustainable materials that are locally harvestable!

Which Berries to Use?

You can use any berry that has a nice dark stain when you cut it open.  The list that I’ve made ink from, and the colors they produce, are as follows:

  • Huckleberry (Garden, Wild) – Produces a nice denim blue ink (PHOTO BELOW)
  • Pokeberry – Produces a hot pink ink (please don’t eat these berries, they are poisonous) (PHOTO BELOW)
  • Buckthorn, common – Produces a hunter green ink (yes, the ink looks purple, but wait 15-30 minutes and it will radically change.  A little goes a long way!) (PHOTO BELOW)
  • Black Raspberry – Produces a light purple ink (after 1-2 years, it will darken to a brown)
  • Red Raspberry – Produces a medium pink ink
  • Blackberry – Produces a purplish ink
  • Black Cherry – Produces a purplish/pinkish ink (depending on the kind of cherry)
  • Red Cherry – Produces a light pink ink or red ink (again, depending on the kind of cherry)
  • Walnut – Not a berry, but does produce a nice brown ink.  I’ll have another post on how to do this as its slightly different.  (PHOTO BELOW)
Samples of inks (four kinds)

Samples of inks (four kinds)

There are others you can try as well–these are just the ones I’ve experimented with.

Berries that do not work include Autumn Olive/Autumn berry (more will be added as I continue to experiment).

Harvesting Berries

Berries should be ripe (never under-ripe) or slightly over-ripe.  When they are best for eating (for those that can be eaten) that’s the best time for ink making.  You don’t have to worry about stems or small leaves; they will be removed during the ink-making process.

Huckeberries

Huckeberries from the garden

Ink Making Supplies

Ink Making Supplies

Ink Making Supplies I

More Supplies

For ink making, you will need:

  • a pot to cook your ink in (preferably, stainless steel)
  • a potato masher (which you will use to mash down your berries; you could use a large fork in a pinch)
  • 1-2 bowls (glass or stainless steel; buy them used at a thrift store).
  • You’ll need an assortment of strainers and cheese cloth or tulle netting to remove any larger organic bits from your ink; depending on how refined you want your ink, you may also find it useful to have some muslin.
  • Natural inks need a preservative, for this, you can use vinegar (I have apple cider shown, but I actually prefer white vinegar)
  • Rubber gloves – unless you really want to get your hands stained with berry juice!

This last ingredient you don’t NEED, but I highly recommend it.

  • Gum arabic: Gum Arabic improves the viscosity of your ink, meaning it will flow nicely and have a bit more body.  If you want to use a dip pen, you really want it to flow nicely.  But if you are experimenting with various inks and ingredients, I wouldn’t bother with the gum arabic.

I should say some more about gum arabic – you may find it also listed as acacia gum.  You can get it in several forms: for painting in a refined liquid form, in a powder form, or in a resin form.   I don’t recommend the resin form; its hard to get all the lumps out even if you grind it with a mortar and pestle.  I’ve had the best luck with the liquid gum arabic used for watercolor painting.  If you get the powdered form, add some water to it and let it sit overnight–you should end up with a thinnish gel once it is all dissolved.  I have not had much success adding the powder right to the ink.

The Ink-Making Process

I’m going to be using a berry called a “Garden Huckleberry” as a demo for the photos (if you want some, you can find seeds for them here).  But the process is identical regardless of what berry you choose to use.

Step 1: Start by putting your berries in a pot, turning your burner up to medium, and mashing down your berries.  Depending on the berry, you may find that you need to add liquid at this stage–if so add vinegar.  Never add water: it dilutes your ink and you need the vinegar as a preservative anyways.   For 2 cups of huckleberries berries, you’ll end up adding a little under 1/2 cup of vinegar to get a good amount of ink.  And yes, this will make your house smell like vinegar!

Berries in a pot!

Berries in a pot!

Step 2: Continue to mash and cook down your berries.  You are looking for some liquid in your mash–if you don’t have much, add more vinegar.  You want enough so that it will strain easily, but not so much that you dilute the ink.

Very mashed berries (but in clear need of more vinegar!)

Very mashed berries (but in clear need of more vinegar!)

Step 3: Simmer your berries for 10-15 minutes, mashing and stirring to prevent burning.

Step 4: Remove your berries from the stove and let them cool.

Step 5: Once your berries are cool, begin straining them into one of your bowls.   The principle of straining is simple–at this stage, you want to get all the non-liquid plant matter out of your ink.  You will start with a strainer that has a thicker weave (bigger holes) and then work your way down.  Alternatively, you can use a cheese cloth or piece of tulle netting that you’ve folded several times.  For most of my inks, I send them through several strainers, working my way down to smaller strainers as the particles get smaller, till the ink flows smoothly.  You may find the need to force the ink through the strainer during the 1st and second pass, but don’t force it through after that or you’ll end up with some stuff that shouldn’t be in there.  After straining once, rinse out your strainer, and then strain a second time into your clean bowl.  Repeat this process with more fine straining materials until you have a nice ink that doesn’t have any bits or particles in it.

Straining Berries with netting

Straining Berries with netting – you’ll notice I always use more than 1 strainer!

Step 6: If you are using Gum Arabic, this is where you add it.  I generally add about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons for each 1 cup of ink.  Stir it in well.

Add in gum arabic

Add in gum arabic

Step 7: Bottle up your ink!  Some inks aren’t very lightfast, so keep that in mind when you are considering storage options.  You can keep your ink in the fridge if you like (sometimes they do grow mold if you don’t have enough vinegar in there…) but I usually don’t.  The inks just hang out in my art studio so I have easy access to them when I want them!

Pouring ink into jar

Pouring ink into jar

And please make sure you use good rubber gloves.  I couldn’t find mine when making the ink, and the cheap plastic ones I used didn’t work so well…luckily the berry ink doesn’t last that long (unlike Walnut, which you won’t get out for weeks…)

Crappy gloves

Crappy gloves

Using your ink

Berry inks are going to be a little more watery and lighter than a traditional synthetic/processed ink.  To counter this, you can add a lot of ink as you are working; alternatively, you can add a 2nd layer of ink if you are working on a surface that can take repeated application.  Second, berry inks will oxidize as you use them–Huckleberry ink starts out a beautiful reddish-purple, but after several minutes, will dry to a lovely navy blue.  So experiment with your ink and application before using it.  Third, inks have varying degrees of lightfastness–meaning that some of them do fade in sunlight.  Keep this in mind when you are creating!

You can use your ink in a number of different ways.  My favorite way to use it is with a calligraphy pen (dip pen) on smooth Bristol board or vellum.  Its a wonderful writing and drawing ink.

You can also use it for washes (just like you’d use a watercolor paint).  When you use it in a wash, you may find that different variations of color are present as it dries–so experiment and have fun!

I’ve also experimented with putting it in stamp pads (although stamps prefer a more concentrated ink, so cook it down more).  I’ve used it in mixed media art projects as well.  The options are really, really broad with the ink, so be creative and have fun!

Ink Drawing/Painting with Walnut, Huckleberry, Buckthorn, and Pokeberry Inks

Ink Drawing/Painting with Walnut, Huckleberry, Buckthorn, and Pokeberry Inks