7. The Motherline: Embodied Ancestry & Feminine Magic - Lara Veleda Vesta

The scrolls are in our bones, and an embodied relationship with our ancestors can bring countless rewards and reveal things a merely intellectual path cannot. Through myth, ritual, and creative expression we can remember the feminine magic of our grandmothers and reap their blessings.

Lara Veleda Vesta is an artist, writer, and educator with strong, well tended ties to her Northern European ancestors. Her works and offerings focus on folk spirituality, archaic magic, mythology, ritual, and women’s remembrance. Our conversation runs deep and meanders from the cultural legacy of the burning times to the language of symbol to the nature of fate to the illusion of linear time and its effect on our modern lives to mold toxicity to snake medicine. And so much more!

-In the Intro:

Garden Party Giveaway!

The status of the podcast

Healing the Witch Wound

Herbal Tip: plant recognition & the human brain

 

-In the Interview:

The Motherline- intergenerational trauma, we’re all descended from survivors, and we are never separate from our ancestors

“Things are real and not real simultaneously”

Ancestral connection as an embodied path: connecting with the ancestors via direct information from your intuition, art, and ritual

The scrolls are in our bones: the ancestral dream that changed my life

Listening to the language of symbol

Hyndla- goddess of the bloodlines (let's bring her back!)

The woven web of Wyrd- the matrix of existence

Fate is interactive, time is non-linear, everything is happening simultaneously

The Disir- support, guidance, and blessings from the sacred grandmothers of your lineage

Go sit on your ancestors graves (for real tho)

Collapsing time and shifting consciousness 

How linear time separates us from nature, the ancestors, myth, and indigenous ways of knowing

"Get off the grid of your thinking"

The multiplicity of reasons you are never alone

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, mold toxicity, and invisible disabilities

Disregarding cultural expectations: exhaustion, trauma, and illness in women (especially at midlife)

The ancient Northern myth of Golveig- “Thrice burned and yet she lives”- and what it can teach us about feminine power, magic, surviving patriarchy, and healing after pain and trauma

Snake medicine & feminine magic

 

-Links:

Lara’s website

The Wild Soul School

Lara’s Patreon

Max Dashu and The Suppressed Histories Archives

Jung and the Ancestors by Sandra Easter

My blog post Ancestral Voices, Women's Weariness, & the Illusion of Linear Time

The New Midlife Crisis for Women on Oprah.com

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6. Naming Your Lineage & Deeply Releasing Fear - Amy Mea Woodruff

When she was 7 months pregnant, Amy Mea Woodruff's best friend was murdered by a stranger in her home. Amy speaks about this experience publicly for the first time, sharing the alternative grieving pathway she quickly carved out for herself as she sought to nurture and protect the life growing inside of her while simultaneously mourning the loss of her beloved soul sister.

Experiences from her past that had grounded Amy deeply into herself were an anchor throughout this process, including the conscious use of psychedelics and a longstanding practice of learning about and connecting with her ancestors. 

Amy (aka Daughter of the Sun) is a mother, craftswoman, land steward, budding flower farmer, and the founder and organizer of the Spirit Weavers Gathering.

 

In the Intro:

My experience with Spirit Weavers (from skeptic to enthusiast)

My first psychedelic experience

 

In the Interview:

Amy (Mea)’s two (& more!) names

Claiming your lineage and invoking your ancestors by speaking their names aloud

Amy shares the story of her best friend Cheree’s murder and her grieving and healing process

My and Amy’s journeys with forgiving the people who caused the deaths of our loved ones

Diving deep with Amanita muscaria & the time/space collapse (we also each speak about our relationship with cannabis)

Naming the land that raised us and listening to indigenous women

Amy’s feral childhood, Choctaw & Cherokee ancestors, and the wild foodways she grew up with

The challenges and rewards of founding and running the Spirit Weavers Gathering

Stewarding land and listening to nature

 

LINKS:

Amy's blog post expanding on this conversation and sharing photos of Cheree and of her ancestors

The Spirit Weavers Gathering

Alela Diane

Hawane Rios talk

Lyla June on the For the Wild podcast- On Resistance and Forgiveness in the Final Years of Patriarchy

Stay on the Spirit Weavers land in Southern Oregon via HipCamp

Music by Mariee Sioux (from the song Wild Eyes)

Mythic Medicinals herbals

Which Magical Herb is Your Spirit Plant? quiz

Medicine Stories Facebook Group

Medicine Stories Patreon

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5. Reclaiming the Ancient Human Way of Death - Cari & Richard Leversee

Six days before leaving her body, Cari Leversee and her husband Richard spoke with me about their journey together unto death. Cari died the way she had lived- with curiosity and grace, exploring, learning, and teaching every day. Our conversation is both profound and beautiful, and I am honored to have been a conduit through which Cari's wisdom, in her time of dying, can reach a wider audience.

In the intro:

  • How some people become exalted beings in their time of dying

In the interview:

  • Dying out loud + creating a living funeral

  • Approaching death with wonder, & finding love in the face of terror

  • Mushrooms & microbes as honored elders / Cari’s experience microdosing on psilocybin during the dying process  / Mushrooms teach us to lead with soul consciousness, show us how to die, and greatly reduce fear in terminal patients

  • Bringing together the love and life and grief and pain and agony of death is where the healing happens

  • Grief and love are not different emotions- the depth of love equals the depth of grief

  • Home funerals: ecstasy, healing, and community / Alternative options for body disposal- deep sea burial, alkaline hydrolosis (or water cremation), green burial / Casket art

  • “I want to go into my death with my arms open”

  • What it is like to watch your beloved life partner die, “I have no intention of getting over my grief.”

  • How our culture gets grief wrong

  • I ask Cari if she's afraid

  • In death, you recognize the true source of self

In the Outro:

  • Cari's passing
  • We die how we lived
  • More about microdosing

Links:

Cari Leversee

4. Multidimensional Plants & the Fabric of Consciousness - Asia Suler

There are countless medicinal plants and fungi out there, and among them are a special class of vision-enhancing gatekeepers to the Otherworld. These beings can expand our consciousness and allow us to perceive more than our physical senses can normally detect.

Asia Suler of One Willow Apothecaries is an herbalist, educator, and writer with a deeply layered, highly intuitive relationship to the medicine of the earth. Her incredible way with words and ability to convey complex subjects with ease have made her a highly sought after herbal teacher (lucky for us she has many online courses!). I love the plant haling and consciousness exploring aspects of our talk, but I also *really* love our conversational foray into living under patriarchy and why the nice girl trope has to die.

In the intro:

  • Bear medicine 
  • My ancient ice age grandmother & the Saami
  • Herbal Tip - drawing salves
  • "The center is the goal, and everything is directed toward that center"

In the interview:

  • How Asia’s full name is "a pretty perfect etymological encapsulation of what I ended up doing with my life”

  • Journeying to ancestral lands & how the ancestors are in the land (literally tho)

  • The fabric of the Otherworld: the limits of our senses, atomic space, the playground of consciousness, and dark matter

  • Dream visitations from the dead

  • Angelica: a visionary plant / opens portals of imagination / releasing trauma & coming in to our bodies

  • Reishi as a psychedelic, and the untapped potential of the subtle

  • Asia’s encounter with a creepy dude in the woods, #MeToo, and how being a nice girl is no longer a good evolutionary strategy for staying safe

  • Ghost Pipe as a tool for releasing ghosts

Links:

Asia's website, One Willow Apothecaries

Sylvia Lindsteadt

Sean Donahue

Rainbow Heart Beams Elixir

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker (READ IT)

Mythic Medicinals herbals

Which Magical Herb is Your Spirit Plant? quiz

Medicine Stories Facebook Group

Medicine Stories Patreon

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3. Becoming the Medicine & Seeing the Wide Arc of Time - Sophia Rose

There is a wider reality behind and beyond the everyday world, and Sophia Rose's approach to plant medicine and healing reflects this in myriad ways. From using herbs in dream work to incorporating plant smoke in ritual to connecting with departed loved ones through flowers, the natural world provides countless doorways into the unseen.

Sophia Rose is a clinically trained and magically minded folk herbalist, word weaver, and educator based in Austin, Texas. Through the long-running La Abeja Herbs and her new project Garden Party, her writing is medicine to the soul and her plant potions are medicine to the body for thousands of people worldwide. I am honored to bring some of Sophia's personal story medicine to more folks with this interview.

We talk about:

  • The archetypal energy of datura (moonflower)
  • We are holographic representations of plants
  • Dreaming with herbs
  • Working with smoke medicine
  • Seeing the wide arc of time
  • Sophia’s healing journey after a friend’s suicide
  • Intuitive grieving and grief as a sacred responsibility
  • Sophia’s radical reconceptualization of what death is
  • The last ancestor who had a whole heart
  • Your name is your first lesson
  • We work with plant medicine so that we can become the medicine

Links:

Garden Party

La Abeja Herbs

Music by Mariee Sioux (from the song Wild Eyes)

Mythic Medicinals herbals

Which Magical Herb is Your Spirit Plant? quiz

Medicine Stories Facebook Group

Medicine Stories Patreon

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2. Lost Lineages & Ever Evolving Lore - Milla Prince

As people and communities move and change with time, stories evolve and lineages are lost. But information always goes where it needs to in order to survive and resurface again when needed. Ancestral stories can guide us on our paths, and lost lineages can be remembered.

Milla Prince is an herbalist, writer, and teacher who moved from Finland, where she had been deeply immersed since childhood in ancestral plant lore from that intact tradition, to the west coast of America about 10 years ago. Her blog, newsletter, Instagram account, Fireweed & Nettle herbal medicines, and The Cauldron zine reach tens of thousands of people each month. But I knew her when... and we talk about how funny that when was, as well as touching on a large range of other topics.

We talk about:

  • The unexpected internet subculture that first brought us together
  • Bear lore and the myth that spans the northern lands and shapes Milla’s online identity
  • Baba Yaga arising in the collective consciousness right now
  • The dream that guided Milla to change her work in the world
  • The circuitous paths we take when finding ourselves
  • Ancestral medicine & being indigenous to a place
  • Cultural appropriation as a symptom of spiritual longing
  • #witch #ancestry #medicine and mimetic expression online (evolving lore!)
  • The trauma of the burning times
  • Working with ancestral lines that are lost to you

Links:

Milla