Straddling the Edge: Deepening and Seeking a Way Forward

Sun rising over a straight ridge

My post from last week generated an incredible amount of discussion from people from all walks of life. So rather than continue to talk about soil (which is now scheduled for next week), I wanted to take another week to explore this idea of straddling the edge, seeking balance, and largely failing to do so. To recap from last week, I shared about my own increasing difficulty with being in balance and having a foot both in the consumerist/materialist culture and an increasingly difficult workplace and also pursuing a path of land healing, nature spirituality, and homesteading. I talked about feeling forced to stay in the culture literally destroying the planet to be able to pay for the privilege of having a piece of land and doing some good work there.  I talked about how I keep feeling that was growing harder to achieve some balance and keep a foot in each world: once, post-pandemic, I feel that I am losing that balance and really struggling.

What I was sharing clearly resonated, and so many of you shared your stories on social media and here on the blog. I want to take some time to honor those stories and the space we’ve all found ourselves in, and generate more conversation and ideas for moving forward.  Here are some of the broader threads that I found in many of the stories:

  1. Some people are in a similar boat to what I described in my own story—feeling forced to keep a foot in the broader culture to keep their family going, pay the mortgage, and pay for the privilege of having a patch of earth. They also describe a piece of land or area where they are doing deep healing, regenerative work, and/or connecting with nature in some meaningful way. And they describe the disconnections between these two spaces and orientations.
  2. Some people expressed longing for that piece of land, but also recognized that significant barriers existed for them: aging bodies, health challenges, financial challenges, or family members who were unsupported.
  3. Some people were on land but are still struggling—being alone and watching the entire larger situation continue to spin out of control. Even those who have built something or regenerated a patch of land may have found themselves struggling with recent extreme weather, an aging body or disability, or isolation. Feeling the work is larger than them, they can’t do enough.
  4. Regardless of the circumstances, many people found themselves feeling very isolated and alone—feeling like they were disconnected from communities (especially local communities). Many in rural settings noted that people around them were not like-minded and they felt the need to hide or be insular.  In cities, people noted that others were often so busy with their own commitments and it is hard to build genuine community.
  5. Many expressed deep concern about the future of the world and the future. For example, one person said that she felt she was on a “sinking ship” and didn’t even know how to proceed or make plans due to the ongoing climate disruptions she has faced and her region has had.
  6. One of the patterns I saw across stories was the willingness to talk about and embrace the changes the world—to be present, to be here, to hold space, to witness, and obviously, to do everything they could as they were able.

A few things really struck me about these stories. One, the incredible strength and resilience that many people have in facing all that is happening in the world and how so many are rising to the occasion to navigate it and to create a better world.  I’m also struck by these many stories’ points of similarity—regardless of who you are, how old you are, your ability or disability, your place in the world, your life, your work, where you live, how much land you have access to….we are all feeling the challenges of this age. The need to create something better, and different, and return to the embrace of nature. It is a heavy weight upon you, and perhaps the ability to just talk about it, to give it voice, was a powerful opportunity for all of us—to grow, to share, and to come together.

Healing through fruit connections
Healing through fruit connections

But it also, to me, speaks of a broader pattern. It is hard to be awake and alive, observing and being truly open to seeing what is happening in the world. It is much easier to bury your head in the latest gizmo and distraction, to live in your head or in a screen or a virtual world, and by doing so, numb yourself to what is going on. The courage and strength expressed by people who are awake, alive, and paying attention are meaningfully present.

There is no doubt that a lot of us would love an exit strategy.  and I think one of the frustrations present in my own story as well as the stories of so many others who shared is that the exit strategy doesn’t exist. We have no control over these larger patterns. And all of these things cause great difficulty. So, some ways forward and to continue to hold space for these beautiful stories, I share some thoughts. I write these things as much to remind myself of them as I do to share them with you!  I also hope that others will share their own points of wisdom.

You are enough.

Sometimes we all need to hear it: you are enough.  Sometimes, I say to myself how I don’t think I’m doing enough, that what I am doing isn’t making a difference, that despite many of my best efforts and the efforts of so many others fighting hard—we are still spiraling around a darker future.

So, let’s take a deep breath, together, and remember: we are enough. You are enough. Just living in this world today, finding a path forward, doing the good that we can do: all of this is enough.  To take care of our families, a small patch of land where we are, to root ourselves in nature and seek her wisdom—this is enough.  You can meditate on this as a mantra, put it on your wall, or just remind yourself of this when you need to hear it.

Grow where you are planted.

Acorns grow where they are planted!
Acorns grow where they are planted!

A second thing that I like to remind myself is that it’s not about embracing some kind of far-away fantasy but rather embracing my life where I am now. I need to focus on that life and do the things I feel are important to help myself, the living earth, my family, and my community. Thus, a theme I keep coming back to is “grow where you are planted.”  When the acorn drops to the ground and is carried off by a squirrel and buried and forgotten, that acorn sprouts right where the opportunity exists. The acorn doesn’t wait for better circumstances, the acorn just takes the chance they were given and sees what happens.

I think we humans are used to assuming a lot of free will and agency, that we have more power to do things than perhaps we do. Here in the US, at least, a fundamental part of being an American is this myth that we can do anything, be anyone, go anywhere, and we have the freedom and liberty to do so.  But you know what? That is a myth, and anyone who is not white, male, heteronormative, Christian, and privileged learned the power and confines of that myth at an early age. But still that myth is embedded into our subconscious and perhaps we still carry it with us. So, feeling as though we don’t have enough power to change things is difficult.  And yet, this is a matter of orientation.

Where our acorn drops and is planted is not always up to us.  And it is enough to make what we can of the spot where we are planted in this moment.

Things are difficult, and it’s ok to acknowledge that.  And it’s ok not always be ok.

Another kind of Acorn, a supportive friend who reminds me - You are enough!
Another kind of Acorn, a supportive friend who reminds me – You are enough!

It’s weird to think about right now—for so many years, I knew that this future was likely to take place. I knew that climate change would be ramping up as I grew older, I knew that this civilization was in decline, and I had a number of mentors, family members, and so on that spoke to me of these things. I read and educated myself, and obviously have been doing everything I can for most of my adult life.  But for the earlier part of my life, there was always something that felt “far off” about it the challenges we faced—the urgency is not present when you aren’t seeing the far-off effects. I think this is hard-wired into our biology: we are very good at immediately responding to something (a fight or flight response) but we have not evolved to handle the scope and enormity of what is occurring.

But the more that time passes, and the further we move into these larger-scale changes, the less this becomes an intellectual thing and the more it becomes lived experience. And there is no substitute for lived experience. And if this summer has taught us anything in the Northern Hemisphere, it is that the time of stability has ended. There is no doubt that it is a very hard time to be alive.

And so…wow. Things are really difficult.  They seem to be growing in difficulty, and while many people got very burned out during the pandemic, culturally, we haven’t stopped to take a breath.  The hits keep coming, with more intensity, and people are frazzled and drained.

There is power in simple acknowledgment that things aren’t ok. That we aren’t always ok, and we don’t always have to be ok. Find our communities, find the people we can talk to, and find solace in the living earth.

Think about how much of the broader news and cultural problems you may want to be exposed to—I find things like journaling, retreat (including “going dark” and avoiding too much technology), reflection, and really creating a buffer between myself and the outside world.

Leverage change where you can.

Zones and Sectors on my Michigan homestead
Zones and Sectors on my Michigan homestead

In my book, Sacred Actions: Living the Wheel of the Year through Earth-Centered Sustainable Practices, I shared the concept of permaculture on Zones of Influence. Zones of influence are working to target your efforts in the places that are closest to us. If you think about it this way: you have the most control over yourself: your actions, your feelings, your responses.  You have influence over those people around you—your family, your friends, your local community, the living earth. The further out you go, the less influence you have. Thus, you can leverage the most change in places where you have the most influence. It is really important to recognize what areas you have a lot of control over (yourself) and what areas you have a lot less control over (the rest of the world) and leverage change in the areas where you have the most control.

This principle helps quite a bit—I think one of the more serious challenges we have is thinking we have the power to change everything in the world.  But we don’t. Instead, we have a great deal of power to change things near us, and if we focus our efforts in that way, we can see good results.

But these local efforts still can have a huge impact. I’ve been teaching and talking about the concept of refugia for a long time—these “refuges”  are places of cultivated biodiversity and pockets of life. This kind of approach could be one of the most important things you can do—cultivate life, and create a space for healing. Lately, I’ve been thinking about cultivating refugia not only for plants but for people too.  How do we create small pockets of life with high levels of biodiversity, in ways that allow us to make a difference and seed the future? That’s a pretty exciting thing.

Cultivate resiliency.

I’ve written about resiliency quite a bit on this blog: about the ability to adapt to change, to difficult circumstances, and to bounce back from adversity. I’ve shared the stories of the Raccoon and the Japanese Knotweed to learn about resilience, very resilient beings, that can teach us lessons to bring in our own lives. All of these things will help us, as human beings, shift into the requirements of the age.

Japanese Knotweed from the Plant Spirit Oracle
Japanese Knotweed from the Plant Spirit Oracle

While I think this varies tremendously in cultures across the world, resilience is often not something that is well taught due to compulsory educational systems, whose high-stakes testing and systems of performance and failure actually create individuals who fear failure and change. I had the opportunity, for work, to make trips to the Czech Republic, and compared to the United States, I was extremely impressed with their resiliency. Why?  The Czech people lived under both Communism and Soviet rule for a good part of the 20th century, and they had to learn to make do with a lot less—nearly every family living in a village has mature food forests–abundant orchards, fruit trees, and gardens. Mushroom hunting is not a hobby, it is a way of life, and learning how to take care of one’s needs is just part of the culture.  This also creates very resilient people, people who have learned to grow strong through adversity. When I compare this to some of the ways in which people in my own country (the US) have very little resilience, it shows the contrast and makes me realize how far I—and my community—have to go.

Whether or not we want it to be the case, I think we are all now in a time where resiliency will be necessary to thrive in the future. I’ve made it a point to start practicing this now in any way that I am able.  I still feel like I have a long way to go (many of us in the US do).    To me, meditating on these concepts and doing my own shadow work about my fears (fear of failure, insecurity, etc.), reflecting on how I am handling adversity and my attitude towards things, as well as working spiritually with resilient plant and animal teachers is helping me cultivate these new sets of skills.

Find a spiritual practice that gives you peace and stability.

Another thing I’ll share here is about developing a spiritual practice that helps you manage, adapt, and embrace the uncertain future.  For me, a foundational part of my interaction with the world is my spiritual practice as a druid: the relationships I cultivate with the natural world and the spirits of nature; my core daily practices, of meditation, protection, and interaction in nature; my lifestyle changes and choices of living more gently on the earth; and the land healing practices that I have committed to.  All of these are things that remain with me through it all—they are practices that I can depend upon, lean into, and really embrace when things get tough. And they give me meaning and purpose in my life and keep me going through these rough patches.

Enough is Enough: Allowing for Radical Change

A final thing that I will share here is that sometimes the balancing act becomes too challenging.  You can’t do it any longer, and you are at the end of the rope. Give yourself permission to see an entirely new life for yourself. My take on it is that if we are now in an unprecedented age and that means conventional thinking, work, and activity isn’t always working any longer. Give yourself permission to think and act in new ways that help you build that better tomorrow.  Think about the philosophy of “I can” “I believe” and “I dream” and make those a reality!


Just writing some of the above reminds me that even in the darkest times, there are still possibilities for the future. Possibilities for change, for finding a new balance, and for doing good work in the world. I remember to embrace the joy of living—of being alive—and remind myself that everyone in every age has had their challenges. These are ours, and we will learn how to navigate them joyfully and meaningfully.

Readers, I would love to hear your own suggestions–how do we move forward, given the challenges we face? What is your best advice, things that have worked for you, ideas that you want to share?


My next article for Spirituality and Health Magazine on nature connection is available here, so please check it out!

I am also particularly excited to share that my book on land healing (a book I’ve been working on for a very long time) now has an official release date of late March 2024.  Land Healing: Physical, Metaphysical, and Ritual Practices for Healing the Earth.  I do not yet have preorder information, but if you are subscribed to my blog and/or my irregular newsletter, you can keep updated about the release date.

Dana O'Driscoll

Dana O’Driscoll has been an animist druid for almost 20 years, and currently serves as Grand Archdruid in the Ancient Order of Druids in America. She is a druid-grade member of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids and is the OBOD’s 2018 Mount Haemus Scholar. She is the author of Sacred Actions: Living the Wheel of the Year through Earth-Centered Spiritual Practice (REDFeather, 2021), the Sacred Actions Journal (REDFeather, 2022), and Land Healing: Physical, Metaphysical, and Ritual Approaches for Healing the Earth (REDFeather, 2024). She is also the author/illustrator of the Tarot of Trees, Plant Spirit Oracle, and Treelore Oracle. Dana is an herbalist, certified permaculture designer, and permaculture teacher who teaches about reconnection, regeneration, and land healing through herbalism, wild food foraging, and sustainable living. Dana lives at a 5-acre homestead in rural western Pennsylvania with her partner and a host of feathered and furred friends. She writes at the Druids Garden blog and is on Instagram as @druidsgardenart. She also regularly writes for Plant Healer Quarterly and Spirituality and Health magazine.

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  1. Again, thanks for this, Dana. The fact that more and more people are now living the experience of these times of collapse – changes and hardships and even disasters and extreme loss – seems to be necessary to shift awareness, activate the “jump now” impulse, . . . whatever. One of the biggest frustrations I have, especially when engaging in conversation with people is how they go to the place of us as individuals “having to” force politicians, corporations . . . any national or global systemic oppressor as THE thing that needs to happen. Even extorting people to vote feels like it’s on that same level. I ask people, where do you have agency? I know I have zero agency at those levels. Certainly I’ll vote. Because it’s a “duty” my parents raised me to fulfill. But in my life it has never made a real difference, my vote. What has made a difference is the work I do in the world. Like you, I’ve been fortunate to be published and to have a voice that way. Besides that, it’s like that oak – where we are planted is the first place we have agency. When we walk out the door and step on the land, right there. That place. The thoughts we have as we breathe, the energy and intentions we carry and project. It’s deeply troubling to me, however, to see my friends and colleagues (activists, writers, organizers, Earth lovers all) who are aging, our old bodies catching up to us, the meager income our work has brought us over the years so very far from adequate even then, now a literal joke, and savings if we had them, vanishing so quickly that people who never wondered if they’d have a place for their bed, now facing that anxiety as well. That’s when, as you note, Radical Change comes in. Here we are!

    1. Hi Susan! Here we are indeed. I really appreciate your thoughts.
      On the matter of voting and agency: tt is so frustrating to be doing everything we have always been told to do (vote, write letters, enact change) and in the end, you still see no change happening. I still go vote and I still encourage others to do so, but I’ve pretty much given up on the dysfunctional political system (at least here in the US at the national level) to be capabable of actually enacting meaningful change. I just don’t know if the system is even capable of the kind of systemic change we actually need to have happen. All I can do is work to make change in the places I do have agency and influence. And I think for so many of us, that is no longer in the political sphere.

      And ughhh…the financial struggle is so real. It is very disheartening to see so many people who are walking the walk, doing the good work in the world struggling so much to keep a roof over their heads. And there is the fear that even that job that got so much worse would be gone. As bad as my job may be at the moment, I still have gratitude every day that I have it and can make ends meet at the moment. I also realize that it may not be here tomorrow, and that’s so terrifying. Or like, here in the US (which Europeans can’t fathom) we are all one major medical incident away from bankruptcy and the streets.

      And then I look outside and am reminded of the abundance of nature and how she will provide for me, if I tend her and reciprocate. I work to keep my head in that space.

      Thank you, Susan, for all the work you do in the world and the sacrifices you have made to do it.

  2. Thank you for these words. Now that autumn has arrived in central NC (and my fall/winter garden) has been planted, I feel like I can take a deep breath and refocus on my inner work. The past few summers have been overwhelming as I have felt the urgency to grow more food/herbs, taking care of my mental health all the while holding space for others (family and my role as a health care practitioner). I feel like I’ve been existing in liminal space constantly and that’s been exhausting. I don’t think I have read any of your weekly blogs all summer but now I have come back and even signed up for your journaling program. I pulled out the oracle/tarot decks and books I have of yours and feel the real need to find my center. Thank you for your candor, your supportive words and just the willingness to talk about this hard time and place we find ourselves in. Blessings

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks so much for sharing. What you are saying is resonating deeply with me–and I failed to mention that upping the homestead production is totally the source of some of my unbalanced burnout because of that exact urgency! My partner and I are really feeling the urgency of becoming more self sufficient and expanding our systems, trying to see how much abundance we can produce here because we feel like we will need to do so more and more as time passes.But now we have something like 4000 square feet of gardens and we can’t work and sustain them all adequately with us both still yes to all of that. This past week, I was recently traveling for work and had the opportunity to do a lovely labyrinth walk on the Equinox….and as I was spiraling in, I was reminded of all the harvests. But on the way out, spirits worked with me to see that those harvests come at a cost, and it is time to go deeper during the dark half of the year. So like you, I’m

  3. Dana, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughts and share many of them. It is helpful to see someone else articulate my concerns and the validation feels grounding to me. I posted yesterday about resilience so this topic is very much on my mind. Like you, I have been told and taught about where we were headed decades ago ( 1970s) and I hoped we would figure it out. Please keep this thread of conversation going. I am one of those who cannot afford my own land ( yet) but see this planet as my home and all the land is precious.


    1. Hi Linda,
      Thanks so much for sharing! Feel free to reblog–I’m not sure where the button went, but you are welcome to do so.

      I hoped we could figure it out too. But you know what? We, the everyday people who care about the living earth, are figuring it out :). And that’s important!

  4. PS, do I have your permission to share the link to this post on my blog? I do not see a reblog button so I want to see if you are comfortable with this. thanks!

  5. I agree with so many of your feelings and observations, and those of your readers. Even though it appears that what we are doing is not making changes, I belive even small things can make a big difference. We do need to grow where we are planted and know we are exactly where we are supposed to be at this moment.

    1. Hi Leslie, thanks for reading and commenting! I totally agree :). Small, slow solutions do work…and that’s how nature herself works. We are part of nature, and thus, we can use her same timescale!

  6. In a microwave society people’s expectation of how and when things happen has become skewed. Homesteads and land healing doesn’t happen in an hour like on TV. To me we both get balanced and healed through the process.

    1. HI Paula,
      Oh, so true. I think there’s a lot of glamorizing of homesteading, back to the land, self-sufficiency and all of those concepts. I used to subscribe to Mother Earth News (for like 10 years) but I just got sick of how they glamorized the lifestyle and nobody talked about how much WORK it was and how it required you to be physically in good shape, how you get injured, how hard it is to get away, and so on. All of this takes so much more time than people realize!

  7. Again, you give words to truth, beauty, and heart. In all of what’s going on, it is hard to not feel inadequate, and that our efforts avail nothing. But…the Starfish Story reminds me, we are enough, and whatever we do, however small and seemingly insignificant, matters. Change is inevitable, but what we do matters in the moment we do it. We may plant a tree, not knowing if it will survive climate change, but it might, and even if it lives only a short time, the effort is good for our hearts and surely even in that short time, something will benefit from the action.

    “One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it back into the ocean.

    Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”

    The boy replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

    “Son,” the man said, “don’t you realise there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”

    After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then smiling a the man, he said… “it made a difference for that one.”” ~by Loren Eiseley

    1. Hi MtWoman,
      I love this story! I had not heard it before. It does remind me of something in my own experience–I have always worked to save the earthworms on the sidewalks in cities, towns, and on my own campus. When it is raining or has finished raining, I usually leave 10 or so minutes early so that I can gently move the worms from the sidewalk so that they don’t get walked on or dry out in the sun. I can’t help every one, but it matters to each worm!

      1. Yay for the earthworms…and for you. If you think about it, the ripples in Nature that one saved earthworm causes is there…the soil it helps, what it might feed, etc. Great example of the “Starfish Principle”. 🙂

  8. Thank you for this, Dana. I loved it so much I sent it to one of my sisters, the one I feel is most receptive, though I probably shouldn’t make that judgment about them. I quite often feel so overwhelmed and worry about the future for my children and grandchildren, it seems the very little I do everyday is not even a drop in the bucket of need. But thank you for reminding us that we are enough, it’s so hard to remember that! One of my grandfathers told me once not to worry too much about anything, really, Earth would go on, with us or without us and we weren’t really in charge. I was about 22 at the time and thought ( I would NEVER tell him this!) easy for you to say, old man, but now I know he was so correct. And so are you. I love your blog posts, Dana, thank you for taking the time and energy to write them.

    1. Blessings to you, Heather–thanks for sharing and commenting. A lot of people do say “the earth will go on” and I am always of two minds. This earth is so ancient, and our history is so small by comparison. Anything we can do to earth can self-correct, given enough time. On that largest timescale, this statement is so wise.

      But on a smaller time scale, it doesn’t quite reflect the realities that make me sad and despondent. Because a good deal of what I love about the earth–the incredible life on it–is so threatened. So while it is true, I still am mourning what is happening now, and I think that’s ok too.

      But the larger scale timeframe is sooooo good to keep in mind :).

  9. This is an excellent conversation and I hope we revisit it from time to time. It’s good to see others’ frustrations and efforts along with their thoughts on coping methods.
    I’m much older than the others posting here and I remember a thing called grass roots, which has sort of lost its meaning over the years, but has been ruthlessly revived by people who are not environmentalists, but who influence policy by dominating town hall meetings, school board meetings, and other public forums where a steadying voice is much needed. It is the grass roots where candidates are chosen and if we hope to have statutory change we must have candidates whose actions reflect the “will of the people.” Many complain that their vote doesn’t make a difference—that might be because they haven’t participated in choosing the candidate, or working to see she’s elected, or doing the hard stuff. (That’s not a lecture, just an observation.)
    We cannot have national change without this kind of voter participation, and as long as we allow the oligarchy to choose our voting choices, we’re fried.
    Meanwhile, we are many. The opposition are few. We have numbers on our side. We must first of all refuse to buy things. If you don’t build it they won’t come and if you don’t buy it, they won’t produce it. There are certain necessities, obviously, and most of us have more than enough *stuff* to satisfy our amusement gene for quite a while, so spending less is definitely a good option that will make a very potent statement to the Money that rules everything.
    I thank everyone commenting for thoughtful ideas and valuable ideals.

    1. Hi Almiramay,
      Thanks for sharing! I had one friend who worked in this way and I told her I was frustrated with writing letters, making calls, etc. She told me those numbers do really make a difference even if it doesn’t look like it. Senators, etc, pay attention to how many people speak out on an issue. I think it is a good reminder that these things do matter!

  10. Thank you for articulating the beautiful tensions we all feel right now. The idea of nature corridors and permaculture work in each community does a lot of good ~ and teaches us important things. I wonder if you could tell me more about Japanese Knotweed. I have been conflicted about pulling it up ~ knowing it is a healing source, and a home for moths, etc. Trying to find the balance on that one, and working with the land here for the All. Thank you.

    1. Hi Erika,
      Japanese Knotweed is a plant of extremes and contradictions. Knotweed is a volcanic plant, finding home in the Volcanoes of Japan. Once planted as an ornamental, the plant is now the most maligned and hated “invasive” in the world. This is because once Japanese Knotweed comes into an area, Knotweed is super stubborn and won’t leave! Knotweed is one of the few plants that can survive multiple applications of herbicides like Roundup, fires, etc. Knotweed can do damage to house foundations and some places even devalue property based on the presence of Knotweed.

      My personal take on the Knotweed is that the Knotweed is now a part of our ecosystem. Spraying more toxins is never a solution. But we can learn to live with the Knotweed, in the sense that we can use her for medicine and food. In fact, Knotweed is one of the best remedies for Lyme disease (which is growing rapidly due to expanding tick populations) and Knotweed is also a pretty delicious wild food. So I try to work with Knotweed as a trusted plant ally, and ignore what people say about this plant largely. Thus, Knotweed has taught me a lot of lessons about resilience, being able to withstand repeated trauma, and bringing healing forth. I hope this is helpful! I have more details about Japanese Knotweed in my Plant Spirit Oracle Deck and Book :).

      1. Hi Dana,
        Thank you so very much for this thoughtful reply on Japanese Knotweed. When I saw the amazing Plant Spirit Oracle Card featuring this plant’s spirit so powerfully, I knew I needed to ask YOU the questions I have had about it. I love the plant for some reason, and it’s full of life. I’ve been working to find some kind of balance with it, and have been ‘apologizing’ as I cut it back without chemicals. I wondered how I might eat it or make tinctures from it ~ or use it in shaping the Berme behind my house where I use other plants and branches to build a natural fence, soil health, moth gardens, and more fertility, etc. I may consult with the Plant Spirit Oracle Deck and Book, which I will purchase when I can afford it. You are a wonder and your writing has given me a great deal of happiness, and so I thank you for all you are doing for the planet, the people, the animals, the spirit world ~ and beyond. Best wishes, Erica

        1. Hi Erica,
          The tincture is made from the root, ideally when Knotweed is in flower (so this time of year is best). In terms of food, you can eat the shoots and stalks–a google search reveals a lot of great recipes. I think Japanese Knotweed is pretty tasty! 🙂

      2. Hi Dana,
        thank you for this detailed explanation of Japanese Knotweed, which I seem to have a kinship with, and I am grateful for your approach on all matters. I wrote a detailed response which seemed to have vanished, but the Japanese Knotweed remains. 🙂

        I’m looking forward to ordering your books as soon as I can reasonably do so, and thank you for your presence in our world and for all you are doing for the Earth, its sacred creatures and its spirit keepers.

        1. Hi Erica,
          The Japanese Knotweed remains, indeed! I’m glad my words on this amazing plant wee helpful :). Blessings to you!

  11. Hello Dana,

    Bearing in mind mankind is now nearing the end of the Age (Solar Day time cycle) of knowledge, wherein as our earliest reference to the fatal effects of knowledge, Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of knowledge, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”, is coming to a close, as AI makes knowledge-memorising redundant.

    Life’s restoration-process is coming full-cycle, to the point before man was deceived into believing knowledge would lead to wisdom, instead of death.

    Today we’re being offered by life the freedom-of-choice to know the truth-of-love, and live, or remain in anxiety/uncertainty as to which way the mega-crises state of civilization will turn out, if left to experimental science instead of trusting life, which conceived us, is with us, and made and sus-tains us as we mature in the consciousness-of-life.

    Unless, that is, you prefer to believe in the theory of a Big Bang, and accidental evolution, which I don’t recommend because it is impractical.

    Growing global confusion on Earth verifies the sad fact that the mind-of-mankind – our collective and individually least understood, and yet most versatile potentially-creative attribute/tool — has been misled and deceived for some considerable time. Enough time, that is, that the purpose of the mind, which is to interface in consciousness its invisible creative-ability with the visible environment, has been forgotten.

    There was a reason for the PTSD causing the present state of mental am-nesia, but let’s just consider the facts for now, and how to restore the mind to its originally intended purpose, which would in no way be destructive, or misled, as it now is, by global confusion.

    Intelligent life is still working perfectly – for instance in our internal life-support ecosystems, as well as maintaining the Earth’s orbit and so on – where the self-active mind of mankind doesn’t directly impact the way life works.

    Consider, if you will, how different the world of mankind would be, if intelligent life were to be in control of human affairs, instead of the self-centred fear-and-greed motivated activity of low I.Q. human-nature.

    The deceived state has beguiled the mind of mankind for a long time; I trust you’re brighter than the deceived state, at least enough to see through it to some extent, and be willing to trust intelligent-life enough to give it a try. Mankind has never done that – placed its faith and trust in intelligent-life, because life is invisible, and science (so-called) insists on being able to see whatever it may deem to be of potential value.

    However, let’s consider that the human-mind has an ordained purpose and function within the overall design-and-purpose of omnipresent life. This is not too far-fetched, of course, else the human-mind would not have been made by life. On its own, though, in a state of self-activity, it has no means of understanding, nor perceiving its ordained purpose, while being unconscious by non-participation in its purpose, due to its fixation of solving the problems its self-isolation has brought about.

    Now for a sketch on how, when, and why the mind has fallen out-of-synch/alignment, with the supreme purpose of intelligent-life, which made and sustains it.

    We have the opportunity of awakening to our life-purpose, not only ‘Beyond Knowledge’, but also ‘Before Knowledge’ was allowed to mislead the mind into erroneous-thinking that the mind is capable of leading life, instead of participating in and with the purpose of life. I trust that makes good practical common-sense.

    For starters, the tree-of-knowledge is not the font-of-understanding, nor wisdom, academia erroneously believes/imagines it to be. The beginning of wisdom is discovered by abstaining from knowledge, learning to think, and letting intelligent-life, successfully guide our mental-capacity, to express the understanding-of-life, without needing to make choices.

    As was once said: “the way is easy, and the burden is light”, as and when the mind learns its place, and purpose, within the larger sphere of things in which we are perfectly designed and made to participate creatively.

    I trust this helps, Dana; it’s the only thing that has not yet been tried — cooper-ing with intelligent-life — in the huge effort now underway to avoid a final mass-extinction.

    Best regards, Peter

    1. Peter…I do not see science/knowledge and “intelligent life” (God?) as incompatible, at odds, or an either/or choice. Some great scientists were and are Religious/Spiritual, and practice their science with that included in their approach. IMO, to want to understand things is part of our nature. We were given a thinking, questing and curious mind to use…by the “intelligent life” you mention, which I call creator…and “abstaining from knowledge” (and the attempt of it) would be to deny a creator-given attribute. Has science been used in unfortunate ways? Absolutely. So has religion/dependence on “intelligent life”. Life is a package deal, and we are the better for that.

  12. Dana, thank you so much for this post and the previous one which have been excellent catalysts for lively and thoughtful discussion. I think it’s essential that we have this conversation, no matter how painful, because it underlines that even if we feel alone or isolated in the face of so much worry and frustration, there is a vibrant community out there that feels the same . . . and in community (even virtual ones), there is strength and support. There are times when I feel utter despair but I am very blessed to have land, time, sufficient money and the opportunity to throw my energy into creating a green oasis in the midst of industrial agriculture, a patch of land that is slowly healing and becoming increasingly vibrant with life and biodiversity. Every gift from that land takes me one step further towards being autonomous and self-reliant and I agree with you totally, resilience is something we have to build into ourselves, our systems and our environment. We can’t move mountains but I believe passionately that every single gesture we can make as individuals, no matter how seemingly tiny, insignificant or futile, really does make a difference, sending positive ripples outwards which hopefully will encourage others to do the same. I can rant and rage and weep (and often do!) but in the end, positive and optimistic action suits me better and at the very least, I can look my beautiful grandchildren in the eye and say, “I tried.” Your writing is honest and inspiring, please keep up the good work! Lis 😊

    1. Hi Lis,
      I agree with you! Having the conversation, and continuing that conversation in an ongoing way, is good. It is good to talk about ita and realize find ways of supporting each other! And yes! “I tried” is all we can do. Blessings to you! 🙂

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