Dana O’Driscoll spent most of her childhood in the wooded hills of the Laurel Highlands region of Pennsylvania, making mud pies, building brush cabins, and eating berries. Thankfully, little has changed, and she can still be found searching out tasty mushrooms, gathering herbs, and playing her panflute for the trees. Dana enjoys various kinds of wildcrafting, earth skills, and natural arts and is often covered with paint, dirt, or both. She is a certified permaculture designer and is working towards a more resilient, self-sufficient lifestyle through beekeeping, perennial agriculture, animal husbandry, food preservation, herbalism, and natural building. She also serves as a community organizer to promote ethical wild food foraging, food security, and community empowerment using permaculture methods.

Dana has published Sacred Actions: Living the Wheel of the Year through Earth-Centered Sustainable Practices with Red Feather 2021, as well as the Tarot of Trees and Plant Spirit Oracle.  She is an Ollave Adept and currently serves as the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America.  Through AODA, she edits Trilithon: The Journal of the Ancient Order of Druids in America and the Druid’s Book of Songs, Ceremonies, and Prayers.

Druid Path: Druidry and Nature Spirituality

Playing the panflute for the land
Playing the panflute for the land

Dana lives in an area that has many ecological challenges, and where humans continue to place serious demands of extraction upon the land, which results in deforestation, acid mine drainage, fracking, strip mining, and mountaintop removal.  As a druid and animist at the center of this extraction zone, she dedicates much of her spiritual energy to serving as a caretaker for the land and her spirits, engaging in both physical land healing (permaculture, regeneration, wild tending) as well as metaphysical land healing (ritual, energy work).  She considers her primary purpose in life as being in service to the living earth, working to create a better vision for the future, and living in a way that allows her to be a good ancestor.

Dana is a lifelong student of nature spirituality and druidry and has been practicing for over 17 years. In addition to serving as the Grand Archdruid in the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA) and she is a Druid-grade member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD). In 2018, she was made the OBOD’s Mount Haemus Scholar for her research on cultivating the bardic arts. For a story of how she came to druidry, please see the post “The Mystery of the Stumps and the Spiral Path: How I came to Druidry.

Ovate Path: Permaculture Design, Herbalism, and Plants

Dana is a Certified Permaculture Designer, having completed my PDC through Sowing Solutions (Kay Cafasso and Keith Zaltsberg) at the Sirius Ecovillage in 2015. Dana is also a certified Permaculture Teacher, having completed my teaching certificate at Omega in 2017 (with Pandora Thomas and Lisa DiPiano). As part of the work of her AODA Druid Adept project, she spent three years intensively studying permaculture design principles and applying them to nature-based spiritual practice and my homestead in Michigan.

She is committed to wild plants, plant crafts, and herbalism.  For the last 6 years in Western Pennsylvania, she offers regular plant walks focusing on the edible, herbal, and craft uses of plants. She is a graduate of Jim McDonald’s Lindera: Four Season Herbal Intensive and has also studied with Rosemary Gladstar. She’s been homesteading for about 10 years, currently at a 5-acre homestead in Western PA with my partner Rob, 28 birds, 3 cats, and a tortoise. Along the way, she’s also learned and practiced natural building, sustainable crafting, foraging and mushroom hunting, market gardening, mushroom cultivation, and so much more!

Bardic Path: Artwork and Expression

In addition to my druidic pursuits, she is very committed to the bardic arts and to creative expression working in conjunction with the living earth.  One expression is her writings here on the Druid’s Garden blog.

Druid's prayer for peace painting
Druid’s prayer for peace painting

Her second major expression of the bardic arts in the realm of the visual arts.  She currently creates many kinds of art (watercolors, jewelry, ceramics, leatherworking, handmade paints) and wildcrafted functional crafts (handmade papers, inks, handmade watercolors).  I am a generational artist, having been first trained by my parents, Mark and Bonnie, who both had careers as artists. She is currently pursuing a certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration through Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh.  Beyond that, most of her experiences are self-taught!  You can find my work on Instagram (@druidsgardenart) or at www.druidsgardenart.com.

She works in three primary media: watercolors, leatherwork, and natural arts (including pyrography, gourd art, etc).  In terms of watercolor art,I have two divination decks.  First, 2009, I self-published a tarot deck, called the Tarot of Trees–you can learn more about it on the Tarot of Trees website.  We are currently in the 5th printing of that deck.   I am also the artist/author of the Plant Spirit Oracle.  Her third deck is being released in 2022, and is titled the TreeLore Oracle.

About the Druid’s Garden Blog

Dana began this blog in 2010 to document the work of her druid adept project for the AODA, and it has evolved and grown quite a bit since this time! She began blogging at druidgarden.wordpress.com and finally moved my blog to its own domain 12 years later in 2022!

Soil web of life from Plant Spirit Oracle

One story expressed on this blog is Dana’s deep concern about the disconnection between human beings and the land and how issues of sustainability and permaculture need a stronger voice if our species is to find our balance within the greater world. She believes that we need to create a better, stronger, and more hopeful vision of the future–and that work starts today.  This involves taking better care of ourselves rather than letting corporations do that work for us–making our own medicines, growing our own food, and finding better ways of living in harmony. This involves the nitty gritty of land healing, regeneration, and undoing the damage that others have caused. Finally, this blog also covers intersections of sustainability, permaculture, deep ecology, and druidry–how we as druids and other spiritually-minded individuals can help lead the way to a greener tomorrow.

The goal of this blog is to present approaches for thinking about the relationships between what we believe and what we do, how spiritual practice can be sacred action in our everyday living, and how we can address the growing predicament of this age. Thank you for joining me on this journey!

117 Comments

  1. Hi Dana ~ Good to get to know you!

    1. Thank you

  2. […] if you’ve used olive oil), you can trim the seams and decorate it. This one got one of WillowCrow‘s necklaces to spruce it up a […]

  3. Hello fellow walker of the old paths,

    I was hoping you might be so kind as to share a link to a fundraiser my Grove is hosting with your readers, friends, members, anyone and everyone.

    We are raising funds through fundraise.com to purchase a very special woodland area that is in danger of falling victim to “development.” We hope to be able to raise enough funds to purchase the property and allow for the creation therein of a Nemeton open to any and all who would come in peace.

    This is the shortlink

    http://fndr.se/k4bM

    Thank you so very much for your consideration and help,
    Mhórdhúshlán Fhear Leighis aka Thomas Carter
    Head Druid

    1. I hate terms like “Development” and “progress” because they really mean the opposite! I’ll post this in some other communities of druids I belong to 🙂

  4. a trend I see in blogs and posts of those who are following a druids path, or trying to live simply and reduce there footprint on the earth, is promoting a vegetarian diet and avoiding beef. All industrial factory scale agriculture has an unsustainable footprint. Baby spinach leaves, oranges or field ripened tomatoes in Ontario, Canada in March are not reducing our footprint. The beef we raise and sell is local, 100% grass fed, on land which receives no chemical fertilizers, no pesticides, on GMO’s, no grains, corn, soybeans, no irrigation and has not been plowed or cultivated for 20 years. Our cattle do not compete with us for our food, unless we want to eat a bale of hay for supper. I realize that changing to locally grown food, or growing our own is a long way in the future for many, particularly urban people, but there are many of us small, local, environmentally responsible farmers, who are trying to supply nutritious, healthy, chemical free food to our neighbors. I do not consider the No Beef Mantra a threat to our farm, but its really Industrial agriculture that’s the problem.

    Be at peace,
    Doug

    1. Hi Doug,

      Thanks for your comment! Actually, I don’t promote going vegetarian….like you, I think all industrial agriculture is bad agriculture, and destroys our lands and lives. Wendell Berry wrote it best, and that was before the time even of GMOs, etc!

      I wrote a post a while ago promoting the purchase of food from local organic farmers, here:

      http://druidgarden.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/ethical-eating-and-avoiding-false-binaries-going-localvore/

      I work hard to support farmers , like you, who are going the organic and non-GMO route! I think that supporting ethical practices is the most important thing, and that simply can’t be done with factory farmed anything. Keep up the good work 🙂

      In the peace of the maple grove,
      Dana

      1. Hi Dana and Doug, I agree in part with both of you. My husband and I have been small organic dairy farmers in France for 15 years and also live off our land or from other local farmers and have had countless young volunteers coming to stay with us to learn about our way of life. Over the years we have come to realize that our lifestyle is impossible for the masses and gives false hope that to eat the way we do is achievable for anyone. We have also come to believe that indeed it is important tha people strive to eat a mostly vegetarian diet as it is getting more and more difficult to find “ethically” raised animals. It is no longer possible to trust labels. In order to really trust the food we eat, one must know your farmer personally (this means visiting their farm) or raise it yourself. Sadly, that, in some places is just no longer a reality. I agree that one must also truly know where and how their vegetables are being raised as well. Although I think all life on Mother Earth should be treated with as much care and respect as we would want to treat a loved one, it is difficult for most to compare the treatment of one creature’s life to the treatment of a plot of earth. Hopefully we will get there one day. With all my Heart, Rebeka

  5. I am new to all of this, but I’m doing a lot of reading and just wanted to say that I am reading your blog and find what you’re writing very interesting! Thank you! Are there any books on herbs that you find particularly helpful?

    1. Hi Geeners! Are you looking for books on druidry or sustainability, or both? Those are different recommendations 🙂

      1. Druidry right now. I’m a little overwhelmed with all the info available. 🙂

        1. John Michael Greer’s Druidry Handbook is a great place to start. You might also find Phillip Carr Gomm’s What do Druids Believe quite helpful! Those are great introductions 🙂

          1. Thanks – just got Druidry Handbook on my Kindle app. Can I ask why you decided to go with AODA’s degree program over OBOD or ADF? Or is that in a blog post I just haven’t gotten to yet? 🙂

          2. I am a Druid-Grade member of OBOD and a Druid Adept in the AODA (this means I completed the full three-tier curriculum in both Orders). I found the two orders very complimentary. I joined AODA because I liked JMG’s books, I liked the way that they didn’t prescribe my beliefs, I found the practices fit my way of seeing the world, and I really liked the emphasis on action in the world. I was able to craft the AODA practice to my emphasis on sustainability and so forth, and that really appealed to me. I joined OBOD because I liked its emphasis on self healing and the elements, and there is a good OBOD community in the USA.

            I did join ADF briefly and looked at their dedicant program, but I found that their methods were not complimentary to my beliefs (they tell you more what to believe, how to practice, and emphasize worship of deity over work in the world….it doesn’t fit my emphasis on sustainability). ADF works very well for some people, but not for me.

            I think investigating all of the different orders is a wise idea and see which one resonates the most with you. You might find a home in more than one order as well, and that’s not a bad thing :).

          3. Thank you so much for your answers!

    2. I have just taken up the study of herbs more deeply in recent months, myself, Geeners. I’ve browsed through books and planted a few herbs here and then for many years, but now I am excited to finally be creating my own remedies and growing a home Medic garden. If I’m allowed to recommend herb books for beginners here I’d suggest looking at Rosemary Gladstar’s book “The beginners guide to medicinal herbs”. I’m in a ‘practical’ herb group (we want to make things :)), and almost everyone listed this book as their first choice of book for beginning herbalists. These people, including myself, own and love many herb books, but this was the one for those new to herbs. I wish you well on your herb journey. 🙂

      1. Thanks! I studied with Jim McDonald for many years and have continued my studies since :). Herbalism is a wonderful, healing practice. Best of luck on your journey as well!

  6. Hi, me again. 🙂 Not sure how else to contact you. Would you consider doing a post on how you published your tarot deck?

    1. Gina,
      How I created it? How I managed to self publish it? All of the above? I have an article I wrote for Touchstone (the OBOD journal) a while back about the process of creating it, but I didn’t talk about self publishing. Let me know more of what you are thinking and yes, I can write a post 🙂
      Dana

      1. How you managed to self publish it! :). But would also be great to read about why you did it, how long it took, etc 🙂

  7. Hi again Dana,
    Wow I love the energy from your pictures! I am so happy we are both following each other now. The big oak practically on my back terrace has an awesome face I just noticed because I read your blog. Thank you for opening my eyes wider to Gaia in this new way.
    Excited to read more and more here…

    peace,
    Linda

  8. Hello and thank you for following New Earth Paradigm. I came to you through Litebeing Chronicles — Linda is a favorite bloggette of mine. Each time I think I’m not going to “follow” anyone else’s blog — so much in my Reader — I stumble upon another site that I just can’t resist. Yours is such and the small amounts I have read here are not only informative — they are truly enchanting. I am currently visiting a friend in the Ozarks in Arkansas — lots of woods here, so I may be joining you in the dirt (also love to paint (houses) — and exploring your information more thoroughly, as needed. Meanwhile I’ll get the updates. Thank you so much for carrying the grand tradition of Druidry forward into the NOW. Many blessings, Alia

    1. Alia,
      Many thanks for your kind words. I bet the Ozarks are just beautiful this time of year! In fact, its warming up here and I had my hands in the dirt for a few hours today. It was bliss :). Thank you for following the blog–I look forward to hearing from you more in the future!

  9. Hi Willowcrow, I just reblogged your post about leaving your land. I can’t find a private contact form, but I wondered if you would contact me. I am not finished healing the land where we are in Northern Indiana yet, but I have felt a very strong pull that we may be moving into a new, preferred steward situation to make itself known much sooner than we originally anticipated. I would love to get some details about your land, house, location, etc. so that I can better feel if this is possibly the situation waiting to announce itself. laura at lazyrawfoodist dot com . Thanks, blessings and deep honor for all you do, Laura

    1. Will do, Laura! 🙂

  10. Hello there, I live in Kalamazoo, MI and discovered and began learning about druidry in the last year both through Ar nDraiocht Fein and AODA (just joined recently). I have been really enjoying reading your posts and am working on reading each one starting at the earliest. 🙂 I would really like to create a sustainable, “green” life for myself and my family, despite an uninterested spouse. Your information you are sharing gives me so many good ideas and opens my mind to other opportunities and ways to look at things.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Lena,
      Thanks for reading and for your comment! I very much understand a disinterested spouse–maybe you can find something that will help him become interested. I wish you the best of luck in your path!

      1. Do you have any experience with humanely keeping bugs, ants in particular, out of your woodsy house? We live with lots of forest around and I had to have an exterminator come out to spray our house on Tuesday and I feel really unhappy about it. We were killing carpenter ants by the handful every day inside our house. How do you feel about that and do you have any advice? 🙂

        1. I don’t have experience with those kinds of bugs. I know that essential oils can work wonders, but I’ve only used them for little sugar ants.

        2. In Texas, a buggy place, I sprinkled powdered sulphur around the outside of my housea couple times a year. Discourages insects from coming inside. As the rain washed it into my alkaline soil, it lowered the pH a little and reduced chlorosis. Alkaline soil inhibits uptake and use of iron in plants, especially non native plants. My native plants liked it too! I hope that helps.

          1. Yes, one of the organic farmers that I now uses sulphur on the fields. Works in the short term, but eventually washes away. I don’t use it myself because I grew up in PA, and I see what happens firsthand when too much sulphur gets into waterways (we call them “sulphur creeks”)…but in small amounts, I bet it would be ok 🙂

          2. That is sulphur in the amounts used by monoculture. Everything about monoculture ends destructive. My polycultural garden with compost and mulch got insects under control within about 3 years. A balanced system doesn’t get crazy problems. I use vinegar spray inside the house directly on ants. They look for new locations. Sulphur helped during the transition. Monoculture has created massive problems, and fertilizer is the number one cause of acid rain. News media mentions automobiles… about cause 5.

  11. I’m so glad to find you! It’s such and inspiration to read your story and I look forward to reading more of it in time to come. I have my own little project in outback Australia and it’s always so helpful to read tales from like minded people.

    1. Would love to read more about your project in Australia! Thanks for writing me, Ngatina!

  12. where are you in western PA and do you do any classes???

    1. Hi Greta! I will email you :). I’m in Indiana, PA. I just moved here about two weeks ago!

  13. Just stumbled upon your site and I love it!! You seem to be a kindred spirit. Please keep up the great work!! Blessings.

    1. Thank you, Travis! Hope to hear from you again soon!

  14. I did not want to post this as a comment and disrupt a thread, so post it here – http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/02/corvids-could-save-forests-from-the-effects-of-climate-change/ – crows are doing some of the work we’re talking about, of restoration! love the idea

  15. Love your blog! My soul is resting when I reed it 🙂

    1. Haha, READ, not reed 🙂

    2. Thank you so much for your kind words…they mean a lot :).

  16. Just want to thank you for this blog. I have shared it with our grove and am adding it to our Druidrybreading list.

    1. Thank you!

  17. Finding your posts on land healing immensely helpful. I’m currently working in the Bardic grade with OBOD. My husband (an organic, permaculture-horticulturist) and I came into 35 acres of sustainable land in WI in February. We have 10 acres of woods on the eastern border of the property (heavily farmed on 2 sides) full of wild raspberries and multiflora rose bushes. My immediate intuition was that our woods is heavily guarded. There is a 6 acre area of wetland with Springs that we are yet to discover. I would love to receive email notifications of recent posts as I imagine your blog will be a source of guidance and inspiration. Many thanks in advance ♡

    1. Tasha,
      Thank you so much for your wonderful comments! I’m glad to hear you are working on the Bardic Grade! It’s a wonderful course–I gained so much from it :).

      I would agree with your assessment–multiflora roses are potent guardians (and awesome medicine). And any of the brambles are as well.

      I think you can sign up for email notifications on the right side of the blog. Look at the top right :).

  18. I love what you’re sharing with the world, Dana. So glad to find you here. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Wild Child! I’m so glad you are enjoying the blog!

  19. Hi Dana,

    Many Thanks for following naturestimeline, tis much appreciated.

    Best Wishes

    Tony Powell

    1. Absolutely! Thanks for reading here as well! 🙂

  20. Dear Dana,
    you’re great! I wish you good luck with all your projects! Your blog is wonderful! I’m certain I will learn a lot of useful information. 🙂
    Keep in touch,
    Maria

    1. Thank you, Maria! Thansks for reading and commenting 🙂

  21. Dana! I love your website. It’s so helpful and you’ve collected so much useful information here. Thank you!

    1. Ryan, thanks for the comment and for reading 🙂

  22. Marvelous blog! Thanks for the follow!

    1. Absolutely! Thank you for reading 🙂

  23. Hi Dana,
    I came across your page while researching hopi red dye amaranth. I’m wondering if you still grow it and have also started the gold giant variety? I’m not sure if you are interested in seed swapping but I’m currently growing schwartzbeeren, an heirloom plant from Germany. It is edible night shade. I got it from a friend whose great grandmother brought it over from Russia, she was a Volga German.
    Thanks for the info on amaranth!
    Jen

    1. Hi Jen,
      I am still growing the Hopi Red Dye. They aren’t doing too well yet this year (new soil, mostly clay) but if I get seed, I’d love to do a trade! Schwartzbeeren sounds wonderful! I have grown the gold giant but I like the brilliance of the red dye better 🙂

      1. I’ll keep you posted on my schwartzbeeren. The first berries are just forming now.

  24. Hello Dana,

    I found your blog a while ago and your articles are a great source of wisdom about North American plants and resins.
    After I am working with incense plants for a long time, I try to understand the North American plants too.

    May I ask if you sell or trade any of your harvested North American resins? I would love to get some but I am from Europe, so I don’t have any access to those but to many European conifer resins that I could offer for a trade.

    You would help me very much with any responding.
    Thanks and many blessings!

    C.

    1. Hi Caroline, I would be very interested in a trade! I will email you 🙂

  25. Hi Dana,
    Sorry to use your comment section to contact you…I am not on Facebook.
    We met at OBOD ECG this year. I’m your fellow Eric Sloane fan! 🙂 You were also at my Ovate initiation.
    We talked a bit about plants, local landbase, and AODA. I’d like to continue that conversation…especially about AODA.
    When you get the chance, please email me.
    Hope to hear from you soon!
    CL

  26. Hello! 🙂 I’ve read all I can find on your blog about communication with trees. I recently had an experience that opened my inner hearing to trees, and to communicate with them. They can hear me and I can hear them. I feel I have a lot to learn and have made some mistakes because this is a very new thing for me in the last few months. I’ve always felt an affinity towards trees, but this new level of communication is sometimes overwhelming and there aren’t a lot of people I feel I could talk to about it without being dismissed as silly (or worse). Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good thing and I feel blessed…but sometimes it’s pretty intense!! I’m not planning to change my religion at this point in my life…so some of your advice isn’t applicable to me (the rituals and cleanses to protect yourself). I wondered if you had any non-religious specific insights or advice for those who are talking to trees, and want to get a better handle on this new ability/life situation? Or is greater spiritual practice of some sort necessary? I really want to be able to help and commune with trees without changing religious paths, and there is no help for this that I’m aware of in my current religious affiliation. I want to get it right, and I feel just today I’ve been given a pretty big task by a woodland–a pretty strong request for me to do some things for the trees. I want to fulfill this, very much: it feels like a calling. But it’s all slightly overwhelming and I want to be able to protect myself and attune my hearing not misread things or make mistakes. I suppose I’m hoping for simple answers and perhaps there aren’t any! I do feel that I’ve been given this gift/ability but not the mandate with it to convert to druidism. This feels like a non-religious thing to me, actually: communication with living beings I previously couldn’t hear, and now can…very strongly. If you have any advice or thoughts to share with me, and the time, I would appreciate it very much. Take care, and thank you for what you’ve posted about trees!
    Signed, a fellow Pennsylvanian tree-lover!

    1. Hello the Dear Knows,
      Thanks for your comment–and congratulations on your new relationship with the trees.

      My own connection to trees led me to the path of druidry, which is a spiritual path. But you don’t need to have a spiritual or particular religious belief system to hear from them. These are things that are human experiences, and you can frame them with a number of different spiritual or religious perspectives.

      I would suggest, however, regular meditation and the practice of at least one divination system (your choice) to help confirm what you are getting. If you had another friend who had similar gifts, that’s also a good way to get confirmation. The other thing you can ask is for a second confirmation or sign in some way–so look for other kinds of signs you might get.

      The trees are your guides. Let them teach you and work with you :).

      Blessings,
      Dana

      1. Dana, thank you so much for your response! I’m listening to trees everywhere I can, every day, and learning a lot, most of all staying open to them. I have a lot of growing to do and I’m so glad for this new part of my life. 🙂 I asked the woods to confirm what I’d heard from them and several of the older trees explained things in enough detail to leave me shaken…and very sure I’d heard right the first time. (Basically they requested me to plant more trees because they needed backup / help.) It sometimes feels as though words aren’t really adequate for communication with such a different species, but that’s how my brain can translate the messages right now. And I think trees are far more patient than humans, which is a relief for me as I learn! Thank you again for your blog and advice.

  27. Blessings, I am new to druidry kinda. Years ago I started to learn about it and then I lost touch with it. I have been pagan for many years, but my path keeps leading me back to the druids. Can someone please direct me to books and it websites that can help me learn more. I was a member of a site that had a lot of information. Unfortunately after years of not visiting it, I found it no longer up and running. Well, at least it seems that way. I would love to expand my knowledge and have no idea where to start. Any help would be much appreciated. I hope I posted this in the right place. I am not very tech savvy. Thank you and Brightest blessings.

    1. Hi James,
      Thanks for writing to me–and glad to hear that you are interested in the druid path! I’m not sure what site you were referring to, but I would suggest a few things:

      1. The Druidry Handbook by John Michael Greer is a very good place to start.
      2. You might join the message board of a druid organization, like OBOD or AODA. That would get you in touch with people who are regularly practicing druidry.
      3. You might look for a group local to you to meet some druids in person.

      Blessings on your path!

  28. Oh my, goodness your berry ink post has created an obsession! I found it 6 months ago and have probably made 2 dozen “inks”. Now I’m even branching out into antioxidant tests to see if I can get things like beet color to last longer than a few days. (Day 14 and counting) I’m even finding complete suprises like blacks and walnut-matching browns from dandylion leaves. Are there colors you are looking for? I’m happy to share my notes/results since you pointed me in the right direction : )

    1. Great! I’m so glad you are enjoying the ink making process! I’m experimenting still with all kinds of things. I’d love to hear any insights that you have however!

  29. Good evening to you! I am also from Michigan (SE), and was hoping you might share where I could find fresh herbs. I have just started with herbalism (specifically smudging), and don’t have the faintest idea on where I could find them. Any information you could provide would help me tremendously. Thanks so very much!! Julie

    1. Julie, I would suggest first learning how to identify the plants and trees you are looking for. Many of them grow wild: mugwort, any of the conifers, etc. I would also ask friends who have gardens–sage and lavender and such are quite common. You can also grow some in pots yourself! Blessings in your creative pursuits!

  30. Greetings Druid, my name is Matthew Waite. I live in Washington state on the Peninsula. Years ago I made cattail paper and fell in love with the idea of it. I’ve had a long time dream of replacing wood based paper with this renewable and environmental product. I am in contact with the county commissioner here and he is very interested in this project. I am currently at the very beginning of the project but the long time goal is to replace wood paper use here with cattail paper products. Just a little about myself. I’m also an artist as well as a pagan. I am married to an artist and have two beautiful children. We are vegetarian artists looking to make a better world. I’m contacting you because I am interested in your knowledge of cattail paper making. I’ll read through your blog on cattail paper. If it’s ok I would like to start a dialogue on the subject. Thank you and have a wonderful day. Sincerely, Matthew Waite

    1. Greetings, Matthew! I will send you an email to talk more about cattail paper. Thank you for writing!

  31. Hi Dana! Love your blog! I have recently begun training as a Bard through OBOD, live in Western New York, and am wondering if you know any Druid groups in the Western New York/ Western Pa area. OBOD does not list any. Thanks!

    1. Ann, I don’t know of any, but you might check out this druid group map: https://www.danaan.net/druidry/druid-groups-map/

      Best of luck! You can also go to venues like Brushwood (which is pretty close to you, likely) and meet folks there! Also check out MAGUS, which is a bit of a drive for you, but will be a great event this year (I am going): http://www.magusgathering.org/

  32. Hi i accidentally ended up reading your blog on anthropocene and non human rites while looking into animisim, bein that seems to be everything i have always believed in and way i look at the world seems to lean towards. It has really struck a chord with me. Emotionally. Is there any teachings or readings that you would suggest? Or groups that actively practice the preservation and feed the vitality of the planet?

    1. Stay tuned over the next month on this blog–I’m going to be covering this topic in much more depth! :). Thanks for reading!

      1. PS: The next three weeks of posts for this blog all cover this topic even more.

        1. Thank you look forward to it

          1. The newest post starts the series 🙂

  33. Hello Dana,

    I am a graduate student at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England, currently pursuing my Master’s in Ethnobotany.
    For my master’s dissertation, I will be studying gardening among Druids, the role Druidry has in what plants are present in their garden,
    and what Druidic gardens may say about the larger spiritual and ontological relationships between people and plants.
    I noticed you are part of the AODA, but was wondering if you had any contacts within the UK that may be interested in meeting with me /
    allowing me (with prior informed consent, of course) to visit their gardens to conduct a garden inventory and semi-structured interviews.
    The background research I have already done in preparation for my dissertation proposal has awakened a certain spirituality in me that
    I have not explored for many years, and I feel very grateful to be able to explore this spirituality on the side of my research while I am
    able to live in England (I am from the US). I’ve had an introduction of my research published by the O.B.O.D., and they have been very helpful so far, but as the summer season for my fieldwork grows Very near, I feel the need to reach out to as many as I can. Even leading me in the direction of appropriate literature for Druidry or specifically Druidic gardening will be extremely appreciated.
    Thank you for your time!

    J. Laszlo Mark
    MSc Ethnobotany
    University of Kent, Canterbury

    1. Hi Mark, I’ll write to you privately and give you some contacts. Thanks!

  34. Can you please give me guidance on when to harvest Juniperus virginiana berries? They are in bright blue stage right now.

    1. It depends where you live. Typically, I wait till they go a deeper purple, towards fall. You can harvest them throughout the fall and into the winter months. Blessings!

  35. I think I’ve found my kindred spirit! I live in southwestern Pa. I’ve been on a similar path as you for about 40 years. I don’t have all the formal schooling but I came thru with a broadened mind and world knowledge the years have given me. Looking forward to continuing my adventure and now being enriched by reading you. Thanks! Glad I found you, Dana. Sincerely, Lee

    1. Hi Lee! Where in SW PA are you located? I’m near Indiana, PA :). I’m glad that you found the blog! Welcome and hope you continue to stay a while!

      1. I’m about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh. Looking forward to your posts! Keep up the good work!

        1. Nice! I look forward to more conversations!

  36. Hi, I came to your website by googling mulien leaves as a wrapper for smudge sticks. Your smudgestick making post was so thorough and imbued with reverence that I had to find out who this person was.
    And then I saw a reference to John Michael Greer and permaculture which lent credibility (in my mind) to your druidism, and earthcare.
    Thank you for your writing.

    1. Thank you, Ron! JMG is one of my mentors :).

  37. I want to send my blessings and excitement for your elevation to ArchDruid of the AODA. I am thrilled to see more and more women stepping into these roles of magical leadership as Druids, stewards, magic workers, healers of the Earth. I am Chief of the Green Mountain Druid Order in Vermont. I have a sanctuary, school and teaching center here. Do you ever travel and teach elsewhere? If you would like to come to VT id love to have you!

    1. Faern, thanks so much! I’ve heard about the great work you are doing wiht the Green Mountain Druid Order. I’d love to come visit sometime! I know a few folks who have been out your way and said your sanctuary is beautiful! 🙂

  38. Do you have a recipe for the patchouli hippie incense?

  39. Dear Dana, I just discovered your blog and your thoughts are like the expressions of my own heart and mind. After spending 2 years looking into an Earth/Nature based spiritualities I have come to the conclusion that I am a Druid and just signed up for the OBOD course. I have read John Beckett and Michael Greer. I see all nature as sacred, I garden (organic but want to learn more about permaculture), I use herbs as medicine, I have taken courses on wild edible mushrooms, and I spend a huge amount of time outside communing with the trees and birds, bumblebees, the river, moon etc. Anyway I live on the border of Pennsylvania in South Central New York (Elmira), so maybe I am not so far from you. If you ever hold ceremonies or rituals I would be interested in attending depending on the distance. Thank you for this wonderful blog!

    1. Hi Heather,
      Thanks for reaching out and for your kind words! I think there is an OBOD seed group up your direction–you should contact the OBOD office. I will also ask around! I’m in Indiana, PA :).

      1. Thanks Dana. I just learned about the Magus gathering in May; it looks like you and your sister will be there, so I will look forward to meeting you! I may want to take herbalism classes from your sister (if she teaches), if she still lives in Ithaca which is only 40 minutes away from me. I think there may be an OBOD seed group in Western NY about 2 hours from me. Thanks again for your blog, I love love love it. Peace and light!

        1. Hi Heather! Great! I look forward to meeting you. My sister doesn’t teach in Ithaca any longer, she is in State College, PA. Her class schedule is here: https://www.phyteasana.com/

  40. I have a friend who raise hens but once in a while she gets to many roosters and she only needs one. She has to bring the extra rooster to another farm where they kill it.

    What would be a way to honor that rooster and thank him for being what he was and where he’s going?

    Thanks for your guidance.

    Alain

    1. Hi Alain! Thanks for your question. This is a common problem for farms, as an unbalance of male birds can cause serious flock infighting and aggression. This is true of most barnyard species, including geese, ducks, guineas, and chickens, so I understand where your friend is coming from!

      I’d make an offering to the bird. Find out what his favorite treats are (likely, cheese or mealworms) and offer them. As you offer them, say a prayer of gratitude and peace. If you can’t physically get to him, still, send him some positive energy however feels best.

      I think the most important way of honoring any animal destined for slaughter is to honor the animal by using every bit that you can use if you are the one doing the slaughtering or eating. E.g. don’t just eat the meat, but make broth from the bones, see if you can use the feathers, etc. I realize that you may not be eating the bird in this case, but that’s my philosophy about it.

      For example, here, we not only make use of the meat and bones for broth, we also can make bone black (a pigment) of the larger bones and offer the leftovers to the wildlife at the edge of our property (usually a raccoon or something). From my perspective then, literally, every bit of that bird is used and honored.

  41. Hello dana, i am new to the path and have been combing through our posts and have found truly amazing inspiration. I am from western pa myself, maybe we can work together someday.

    1. Your* posts

    2. Hi Jeremy, where in Western PA are you? I’m near Indiana, PA :).

  42. Dana,
    Thank you so,so much for sharing your wisdom. I appreciate your effort and generosity. You are incredibly inspiring as well as a very nice, positive, warm and bright (in all senses!) human being. I’m sure trees, plants and other beings love you lots! Blessings. 🤗

    1. Aww, thank you Nuria! I appriciate your words :). This blog is a labor of love, to be sure!

  43. I read something once about seeds (101 keeps coming to mind) that were scattered across the earth. I cant recall the story. But seem focused to find the meaning of this story and hope a list or partial list of those seeds. Any information or a point in the right direction would be very much appreciated.

    1. The only one I can think of is “The Man who Planted Trees” which is about planting and regrowing a forest. But I’m not sure if that is what you are looking for :).

  44. Shalom,
    Thanks so much for all your offerings. I’d like to work with your material to create gardening programs for Jewish spiritual seekers. I have a few questions for you that I’d love to hear your thoughts on.
    Thanks,
    Aryeh

    1. Hi Aryeh,
      Sure. I will email you 🙂

  45. I thought you might like to be aware of this relationship,
    between Gwion Gwion in the Australian rock paintings,
    and Gwion in the Welsh tests:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/50295603@N02/50400479301

  46. Thank you for sharing your knowledge on all these topics. I have recently found your blog and over the next few months, I’ll read the wisdom you have gathered within its pages.

    1. Hi Diane, great! There’s almost…500 posts at this point. Glad you found the blog and blessings on your path!

  47. Hi Dana! I wanted to leave a message of sincere gratitude and appreciation. I’ve recently begun exploring the idea of becoming a druid, specifically through resonating with bardic values and wanting to interweave my creative writing with my spirituality. This blog is one of the first places I found after OBAD, and your content has been SO incredibly helpful for me. I love how you describe druidry as revolving around connection, the ways you describe Awen, and your amazing blog series about the bardic path. Considering that I’ve been going through a lot of burnout recently and I’ve been seeking to slow down more each day, your blog series on slowness was an incredibly welcome surprise too! I just wanted to let you know that your writing has really helped someone, and that I’m extremely grateful for putting your time and effort into sharing all of this <3

    1. Hi Ardent Dawn,
      Thanks so much for your comments! The bardic arts are so important to…well…everything! Certainly, they are important for us reclaiming our own power and freedom and moving forward to a better tomorrow. Thanks for reaching out–and please stay in touch :). Blessings!

  48. hello Dana,
    thank you so much for your beautiful introduction.
    It also helped me better understand the three aspects of druidry, which I had only read about a little previously. I am impressed with your work and very grateful for you sharing so generously- I also loved the article about amaranth!

    1. Hello Astrid, thank you for your kind words! Blessings to you 🙂

  49. First a question about the Plant spirit Oracle.Ghostpipe,Goldenrod and Yarrow. I’m curious why you chose those as the box cover art. do they hold a special significance to you?
    Now I would like to share a story about my initial introduction to my set.
    I decided to get to know them in my Hickory garden grove and after I had them spread out and ready to check out for the first time the rains decided to join us . So I got to know them by lovingly wiping them down from the water splatter they received. When I was ready to put them away for the day I discovered that they had expanded to the point where they no longer let the sleeve cover the box! No harm .It actually makes me think they have become somewhat “more”.
    They are truly beautiful btw. great job! love them.

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