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Stina Swesey  Plant person making plant things in communion with plants. Blue Ridge Mountains, NC www.mothermountainherbals.com


Winter is a crystal weaver. I always experience a child-like giddiness when waking up to the first snow. Especially when it’s unexpected and you look out the window to see everything covered in tiny white crystals.

It’s cold outside! What kind of tea are you curling up with tonight? Spicy Nettle Chai is caffeine-free and perfect for chilly evenings like these. Plus nettle is mineral rich and is nourishing to just about every system of the body. Beautiful photo by @theeternalchild

Tonight, at @centerforcraft art gallery, join me for the @sheltercollective / @shelterprotectsyou fundraiser holiday pop-up and party. 6pm-10pm in downtown Asheville.

Rose hip November, autumn I’'ll remember.
Gold landing at your door, catch one leaf and fortune will surround you evermore.

When we resist our work, it shows up time and time again wearing a slightly different mask. My lesson right now is don't try to hold smoke in your hands. What the deeper self work is below that I am unsure of. But I do know who my teachers are, my mirrors. I chose them and they chose me to walk the spiral path of being human. Sometimes teachers come in the form of strength and support from people or experiences that uplift us. And sometimes they come in forms that burn and sting and crack our hearts wide open in the most unexpected and ridiculous ways (just when we thought we were immune to being human). Regardless, I thank them, bless them, love them for showing me the parts of myself that need work. In times like these assistance from the plant realm is never far out of reach. On the night of the new moon, yarrow came to me in a dream with an offering of healing to my warrior wounds. And then it occurred to me that the the only thing I have been fighting is myself. So I will sip yarrow tea, let the lessons sink in, not wallow in other people's bullshit or my own, and choose that I am living practice and that practice is life. We are all students.

One of my favorite MMH products released this past summer. A refreshing energetic mist inspired by the magic of the in-between, when the day shifts to darkness and everything is bathed in lilac tinted light. Twilight Body + Spirit Nectar is a holy offering to the soul, transmitted through the skin and permeable energies surrounding the body. Butterfly pea blossoms, tulsi hydrosol, and sacred datura flower essence help to form a bridge between reality and the worlds beyond. Datura is a potent ally for assistance with facing darkness, guiding us through shadow work, or helping us to hold space for others doing the same. Contains : USA artisan distilled tulsi hydrosol, Florida grown Butterfly Pea Flower, Datura flower essence (contains no active constituents of the plant). 🖤

Daily divination: Justice. "We utilize justice to get back to balance. When we need to rid ourselves of something holding us back. We feel her in our innate yearning for equilibrium. We call upon her to fight for something we believe in. We return to her when we've betrayed ourselves, rely on her when we have strayed from our center and keep her counsel when faced with impossible choices." From Bakara Wintner of @everyday__magic and her newly published book WTF Is Tarot. Deck is the highly collectible second edition of Mountain Dream Tarot by Bea Netttles, who resided here in Western North Carolina while photographing and collaging it. See my stories for accompanying music.

Mark your calendars! @shelterprotectsyou / @sheltercollective has teamed up with @centerforcraft to bring you an awesome fundraiser pop-up. MMH plus 29 other wonderful makers will all be exhibiting and selling their wares. I hope to see you there!

Admiring the beauty of invasive pampas grass. Bless Stephen Buhner and his wise words on invasive species. "Invasive plants—Earth’s way of insisting we notice her medicines." Oftentimes medicine is hidden beyond physical uses.

..SCORPIO SEASON.. In this time of shedding and exploring the empty spaces of self, I thought it would be appropriate to share an excerpt of my musings I did over the summer with Datura. The work has come full circle and I will continue to burn away layers to make room for new. Think Arthur Brown's song "Fire". Working with Datura hasn't been easy. She isn't a "nice" or easy breezy plant spirit to work with. Nice is passive. Kindness is courageous. If something isn't resonating, give it death in the most straight forward and compassionate way possible. If you haven't read @onewillow_apothecaries blog post "Nice Girls vs Kind Women", now is the time. It's applicable to all humans, not just women.

Datura unfurls her spiral flowers at dusk under the darkening sky and rising moon. Her fragrance is heady and intoxicating, easily filling the entire space of a garden with the alluring scent of her night blooms. She is striking, but her alkaloid poisons deadly. She is everything that is beautiful and everything that frightens us. Datura (aka Moon Flower) embodies an archaic form of feminine strength and mystery. The connection between women, darkness, and the moon is salient in the female archetypal story. Nature itself embraces the cycles of the moon and changing seasons, the balance of night and day. We are nature and we vacillate between shadow and light, loss and return, nurturing and destroying. When we recognize that our darkness is just as valid as the blessings of our light, we illuminate deep patriarchal distortions, calling us to reclaim what has been misunderstood and suppressed. Of course we have gifts in the lightness of our being, but that's not all that we are. When we are cut off from the deepest regions of our psyche, we live a one-sided and disempowered life. When we honor the great mystery of life and death, the wholeness of nature and the intrinsic cycle of all beings, we step into the power that the "light" feminine is missing. Datura illuminates our shadows and simply asks us to become a little more comfortable with the dark and the mystery it symbolizes.

Fall feels in the tenderness of the mountains... with Sweet Annie wreaths and hag's tapers.

The shop is now open again after a short moving break. Happy Saturday, friends!

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