It’s just three more sleeps until the BC Shamanic Conference! I’ve been trying to remain relaxed but busy and productive. There have been various bones, skulls, and organs soaking in jars of a reddening liquid, hydrogen peroxide, and a vinegar brine for the past few weeks. There is a pile of finished animal skulls upstairs, a pile of animal reliquary prayer beads on the table, and a few woodwork pieces in the workshop. Currently, the kitchen is full of salve-making equipment and newly poured Aves, Forest Spirit, March Hare, and Forest Healing salves. After this post I’ll have a lovely evening of labelling and packaging incenses, oils, and waters.
I skinned the duck for the Aves Salve in record time. I took all the fat off in two pieces and then spent a few days rendering it all down and infusing it with the entheogens, owl bone, and crow feather ashes. I saved the meat for a stew and put the tongues and heart I found in the duck’s cavity in a vinegar brine. The tongues can be used to stop gossip and lies and the heart can be used as a poppet. The lovely liver, a tasty prize, I gifted to the crows who were much obliged.
There was a minor detour in my productivity today – a distraction fitting for a dark moon. When sweetie and I went out for lunch I saw a dead bird just down the hill from our house. So after we returned from our meal I grabbed my wildcrafting supplies to gather ingredients for a salve and a bag for the bird and went to collect it. On my way down the hill I saw tiny metallic orange hummingbirds feasting on red-flowering currant bushes, false lily of the valley shoots, fern fiddleheads, and many other bits of forest magic. Right now the air is perfumed with sticky sweet poplar buds and all the blooming flowers. Among the lilies and the fiddleheads in a grove of cedars I found owl vomit – looked like it had a nice black squirrel for dinner last night.
When I got to the bird I saw that a cat had killed the poor thing, but everything was intact except the head which had been bitten clean off. I gently carried it home with my herbs and heard the hushed flapping of a crow’s wings following me. Now and then I saw a large sleek crow hiding in the trees watching me. Jealous of my own carrion or a messenger of Old Woman showing her approval. I managed to save the wings, the tail fan, and the feet which are now in cornmeal. I buried the rest in a pot deep in one of my planters to dig up again in about a month for the bones. During that time I’ll keep leaving the spirit of the bird offerings and libations to court it.
Once I’m ready to pack everything up for the conference I’ll post pictures of all the festival goodies I’ve made on either Sunday or Monday. I’ll probably pre-date a few blog posts so you all will still have something to read while I’m gone for a week in the forest. Until then, here are some photos of the forest as it is right now – full of gorgeous flowers and scents.