Part 2-How Hustle Culture ruined my creativity

by Nikiah Seeds

Continuing to look back and seeing the present unfolding:

Fast forward again, I am now living in new York my kids are in their 20’s now and away at university, grown and gone, and I am an empty nester. I am also living in a place with no friends or community close by, its covid time and I have nothing but social media to rely on to grow my business, but oh wait, I have to shut everything down as I wait for a green card!

After over 20 years of hustling, growing, being creative, writing courses and workshops, teaching and offering it all up online I had come to an abrupt and full stop.

To say I was uncomfortable would be an understatement!

But it’s a slow descent into creative burnout, one that I did not realize was happening to me until it was in my face…

The pressure that I put on myself to keep posting to instagram while I waited for my green card was intense and I felt like a failure daily for not posting, because I equated posting with keeping my business alive, it was like oxygen and I was convinced that if I stopped posting my business would somehow become irrelevant and disappear…

And all the while the algorithm was changing and confirming my worst fears, that I would no longer be seen if I did not keep up with the fast pace..if I did not hustle harder and faster!

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At this point Instagram added reels to their platform and then decided that if folks were not posting to reels then they would not be seen, and so I tried, I really did and even managed to make a few wonderfully creative things, but over the past two years my creativity has suffered deeply…

So while I could see some of my colleges finding their voices and moving their platforms online as a response to covid that were successful, wonderful and perfect for them, my voice was slowly shrivelling up, my creativity dry and my sense of self confused as I found that I could not find the energy to respond to the new and faster pace required to keep up.

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I was hitting a wall with regards to my web-site development skills and could no longer build my own web-site the way I wanted it to look and it was no longer a fun and creative pursuit for me, it was frustrating and upsetting.

All this while confronting head on in a deeper way than ever before, my own participation in the patriarchal, capitalist, colonizing over-culture as a cis gendered white woman now living in the USA, and hustle culture was being shown to me as a deep seated part of my own colonized ways, one that I myself have been benefiting from alongside my white privilege for a long time, and to be honest I was done!

Being online is a different beast than it was when I started out 20 years ago, I no longer recognized myself in relation to it, I no longer wanted to participate in the hustle, but had no idea how to break free. The addiction is strong!

My spiritual life and creative life are deeply entwined, they are both expressions of who I am, but posting about the deeper aspects of my spiritual life has always been a private one for me, something that hustle and social media culture can not share.

True spiritual unfolding is slow, messy, painful even, as we navigate our shadow selves, work on our healing and unfold into who and what we have shown up in this lifetime to be. It’s not something remotely shareable on social media, and this has long been the crux of my confusion.

How do I “market” my business which essentially is a mix of spiritual and creative offerings in such a way that they are authentic and true to my heart, but also gets the word out there.

How do I hustle while also being slow, deliberate and authentic to my soul?

For many years now I have been walking the line thinking that these questions were actually figure-out-able! They are not.

So today as I finish up writing this post I am on day seven of a social media detox, and I am refusing to hustle.

When 2023 hit, I found myself in what for my creative soul considers “purgatory”, I found myself without inspiration.

I usually like to choose a word for the year and I had nothing.

I usually like to vision out new projects and ideas for the year ahead-and nothing.

So I waited and continued scrolling through instagram looking for inspiration. {facebook having long been abandoned many years ago}, and tortured myself for not having anything to say or post online. 

Which truth be told, is old news, as it’s been a few years now of this deep internal struggle.

Since the new year I have been sitting quietly and looking for the voice inside of me, the one that has been asking me for a long time to slow down, to listen…

When I reached her, she told me what I have known for a long time now, but had been ignoring for fear that with the pace of the world today I would simply spin too far away from the axis and disappear, if I changed how I did things, if I slowed down…

She is asking me to simply step away from the game, from a hustle culture that requires me to post on social media all of my comings and goings, and to just simply be with my art, with myself, my guides, and to go back to the beginning and start again.

Was I surprised, not really. 

The plant medicines have been telling me, my guides have been telling me and my own inner voice has been yelling for some time now to come back to stillness, to settle, to sit.

It is my hope that through listening again I will find my authentic creative passion again, but this time I need to do it slowly, intentionally and mindfully.

This time I am not in my 20’s and 30s with little kids at home, this time I am deep within the initiation of menopause, and her grip on me is relentless…

So while I have some new offerings waiting on the sidelines for me, I want to come at them with deep intention, with no rush to “Launch” and if I do share on social media it will be with a sense of slow deliberation, softness and authenticity.

All of my offerings are still available, but I will not be “pushing” them, marketing them or hustling to get them noticed.

For now, my focus will steer away from social media and be more on my newsletters and this blog.

It will be more about the gentle unfolding in a fast paced and collapsing world as we all push up against it and find our own way to stillness.

I am starting again with myself, with my voice, with the land and spirits of place, and if you would like to join me, I am here, quietly though this time…

If you are interested in hearing more about my journey I will be sharing it here on this blog, and at some point when I go back to instagram, I will be sharing there again too, through the creative medium of beautiful images, musings and quotes, but only when the creative muse finds me, and not because I feel pressure to do so…lets see how this all goes, the adventure awaits and I am up for it-breaking social normative rules has always been my thing anyways.

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Softness, Slowness, Stillness,
I am beginning 2023 on this note, and I am also...
Ditching the Gregorian calendar for the lunar one and easing into what 2023 will bring me..
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In part this means that I am taking it slow, sleeping and swimming and continuing to spend some time away from social media, for another week at least. I am also wanting to start this year out slowly because I am amping up for some big changes in 2023 which will take a lot of work and movement, as well as some exciting travel and other plans that are filling up the year fast!
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One of my favourite things to do each year has been to work with a word. Last year my word was mastery, which I believe was also my word for the year before, and which will probably be with me my whole life.
However this year there is no burning sense of a word that is pushing through like in past years, and I am guessing that is because I am still in transition in many ways.
Perhaps transition is my word!
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2023 will bring some big exciting moves, such as selling our home in Vancouver and some other exciting big things that I will share as they come into form.
Knowing this now though has me feeling a mix of excitement and also a bit of unsteadiness as I go into a new year knowing now that more change is coming, even if it is good, exciting stuff!
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Do you choose a word for your year? If not, is there something that you like to do that supports your soul as you move into another calendar year going forward?
I would love to hear.
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Today I am dreaming up a new line of weaving work that I am excited to begin and taking it slow...
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Blessings for 2023 everyone!
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Image taken by @_infinitebody_
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#newyear #wordoftheyear #stillness #quiet #transition
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Today I make offerings to my ancestors thanking them for this life I have.
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I recently found out on the cusp of my trip to Ireland that my great grandmother was originally booked on the Titanic!
Sadly/happily her mom got really sick and she missed her boat, deciding to take the next one instead in order to be at her moms side.
It was because of this that I am here, and because of this she came to Canada.
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It is for this reason and a million other things that went into my existence, that I am so grateful for all of my ancestors for.
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I am also thankful today because both of our kids are officially here, making it in time between the winter storms taking over Vancouver and Toronto!
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Yuletide blessings
Nikiah
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I have been in love with this beautiful book by my friend @carmenspagnola.
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It’s been wonderful to use it for inspiration and recipes during this Yuletide time.
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Today I am planning to make some cookies to share with my ancestors and family as we slide into this beautiful liminal space.
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What you you all doing? Send me some inspiration! 🌀
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Lots of love
Nikiah
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The longest night of the year, brings the return of the sun, also marking the beginning of the tile referred to as Yule.
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From Dec21st -Jan1st we mark the 12 days of yuletide which I love.
For me it’s all about setting intentions, making offerings and visioning for the year ahead.
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Each day for 12 days I might do any one of those things, as I like to keep things simple and in the realm of practical magic.
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Today, the winter solstice I begin with intention setting and spending time with family as is the tradition in our bodies.
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We share a big meal together, then light a fire and write either an intention for the year ahead or something we are ready to let go of and give it to the fire along with offerings and a lovely Yule log.
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Lastly we exchange small handmade gifts and I always get everyone a new set of comfy pj’s ❄️
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Over the years as our kids have grown I to adults they too have taken over the tradition and made it their own, so while our daughter is not here this year as she is knee deep in exams I know she and her roomies will mark the day in their own way.
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I would love to know what some of your traditions are or perhaps if you are new to creating your own tradition here what are your plans?
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#yuletide #wintersolstice #traditions #ritual #babayaga #winter
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Winter Solstice shawl.
This is my last shawl of 2022 and I am thrilled with how it came out, so much so I have been deeply tempted to keep it!
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This one invokes images of quiet snowfall, winter nights cozied in and the softness that snow can bring to the landscape.
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I was also inspired by winter foxes that change their colour for winter, and snowy owls in quiet flight over the landscape...
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This piece is now listed and available in my online store--link in my bip if you are interested.
Much love
Nikiah
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#solstice #wintersolstice #sacredshawl #weaving #snowyowl #foxmedicine
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Loom as altar.
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Since the fall I have been going daily to my loom as a form of spiritual practise.
However it was not until recently that I have been able to find the words for it.
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In many ways weaving has become a form of spiritual practise for me, and although I am still deepening into my own understanding of what it is to me, for now, this is what it has become in it purest most simple form.
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Today a new storytellers shawl came off the loom and with another already in my mind to start taking form..
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This piece holds a similar energy to one I made a few months ago, holding the essence of dragonflies and hummingbirds…
But mostly it was made for the king winter months as we cozy up by fires and in warm homes and read books or if we are lucky we tell or listen to great stories!
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I will list this piece in my online store sometime tomorrrow..
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In the meantime a new one shall take its place in full winter whites..
I am feeling the call of the white fox, and the white winter owl..
These two hold a kind of magic as they shape-shift from one colour into winter white so they are camouflaged against the snow…
More on that to come as the piece takes form.
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Also I would love@to know-do you have a hobby or creative outlet that borders on spiritual?
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Lots of love
Nikiah
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#storytellers #hummingbirdmagic #dragonfly #sacredshawl #weaving
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GIVEAWAY EXTENDED TILL MONDAY!
WINNER IS @copperwildpottery
This is just a little reminder of our awesome giveaway that is happening right now and ends on Monday Dec 12th!
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@carmenspagnola and I have paired up to give away a copy of her fabulous new book @thespiritedkitchen and I am giving away another of my 10” Red Drums.
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Here is how you enter:

1. LIKE this post and leave a comment tagging a friend-or two for extra entries!
2. FOLLOW @redmoonmysteryschool + @carmenspagnola
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And for even more entries:
SHARE the Podcast episode 'Embracing Sovereignty at Midlife with Carmen Spagnola and I /Nikiah that was released on June 10th 2022. {Link in bio}
Be sure to tag us so we can see! (You can do this by taking a screenshot of the episode in your podcast player or sharing directly from Spotify to your stories)

TERMS & CONDITIONS:
- Only one winner will be selected
- Giveaway will run until 11:59 EST December 12th 2022
- Winner will be randomly selected and announced on our stories by Dec 12th 2022
- Giveaway limited to US and Canada
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#giveaway #ancedtralhealing #kitchenwitchery #reddrum
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I had a little “reel” fun with this one, especially using this song :]
Anyways this is a little update on my Earth Ochre shoulder stole/Altar cloths as I have made two more which are now listed on my site.
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These pieces are inspired by my time in Ireland and the stunning red ochre I saw there while on the coast of Northern Ireland in an area called the Giants Causeway.
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These two pieces were created to be worn either as a shoulder stole for ceremony or beauty, you get to decide, and are easily transferable to your altar, for ceremony or beauty-haha you decide!
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Each comes with a small vial of hand ground red earth ochre in a vial, which can be used for making paint, or using in ceremony. Your package will come with a recipe for making earth ochre paint.
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Hope you love these pieces as much as I do!
Nikiah
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#ochre #redearth #ceremony #altar #priestesspath #weaving #ancestors
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Weaving another red ochre earth alter cloth/shoulder stole on my Saori loom.
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These looms are from Japan and their name Saori, in Zen means beautiful imperfection. “Sai” means everything has its own unique dignity and “ori” means weaving.
These looms were designed to support more humans weaving in a counter to all of the machine made cloth. They were designed so that they were accessible to every body, meaning that folks with disabilities can use them with as much success as able bodied folks which I love.
The whole point is Saori weaving is to be the antithesis of machine made cloth, and to embrace the perfect imperfection of human made beauty.
This to me is my kind of loom, and philosophy.
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My teacher Yukako has been slowly teaching me the ways of this loom for the past couple of years and I am loving how different it is from my rigid heddle loom.
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SAORI's 4 Principles

1. Consider the differences between people and machines.

2. Be bold and adventurous

3. Look out through eyes that shine

4. Inspire one another, and everyone in the group
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I have a few beautiful wall hangings listed in my online store in celebration of earth ochres if you fancy a peek and this one will be listed next week at some point as well.
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Have a beautiful weeekend everyone!
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Nikiah
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#redochre #earthochre #saori #weaving #ancestralwisdom
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Ochre has fascinated me for years now, from the vast amount of colours and shades that occur naturally depending on the mineral make up of the soil to how we as humans have used it over the centuries, from body point, to fine art, from sunblock for the skin, to cave wall paintings...
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However it was not until I travelled to Africa and saw the deep red earth there that I actually understood and began using it in its many applications.
It was from that trip where while staying with family I scooped up a large handful of red soil from outside my cousin-in-loves house that had been exposed due to construction and really had a deep look at it, and in turn she helped me to make offerings and then pack it away in a small zip lock bag so I could bring some small piece of this sacred earth home.
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From that soil there were many ceremonies and of course paint was made and used in turn was given away to my students as we worked through a year of ancestral healing for which red ochre was used in a powerful ceremony of forgiveness...
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So you can imagine my delight when I was recently away in Ireland on an ancestral journey when I came across the stunning swath of open red and black earth along the coast of Northern Ireland in an area called the Giants Causeway.
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Once back home I found myself in a liminal time of flow and creativity in particular with my weavings...
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Interestingly enough I had already started a weaving before I left using black and red yarns that reminded me of earth ochre, so upon returning home this piece {which is now listed as an altar cloth in my online store} was what started it all...
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For this piece though, I wanted to weave layers that represented the layers of earth, and how when the earth opens up we are able to see all of the many things that go into making soil such as plants, insects, sea creatures, mammals, and abiotic materials factors, like minerals, water, and air and how each one will create a different colour of soil.
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I now have a small and growing number of altar cloths, and wall hangings available in my store all affordably priced so folks can enjoy them, or perhaps gift them as we slowly make our way into the giving season.
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We are home again from our epic time away in Ireland and in all my years of travel I have never once been sad to come home until now!
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Ireland, the home of my ancestors has completely captured my heart and I felt at home the moment I arrived.
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Now that I am back and integrating all that happened while I was away I am feeling a little blue, it was healing to sit with some of the images from our time and put together a little reel.
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Some of the places you will see here {In order} are:
Sliabh na Caillighe otherwise known as the Hill of the Witch or Loughcrew cairns, where we were totally alone and able to connect in a way that would have otherwise been impossible.
Bru na Boinne/ Newgrange which even at this time of year had tons of people visiting the site and again we found ourselves with a smaller group which was wonderful. The Hill of Tara which in one of the photos has the stone of Destiny in, and Uisneach, otherwise known as the centre of ireland.
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We then went up to Northern Ireland to the Giant’s causeway on the wild coastal shores and the Dark Hedges which are amazing shots of the trees.
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Northern Ireland is where some of my more recent ancestors are from and it’s been powerful to spend time here on the land and to take it all in.
The ruins are from an old Castle called Dunluce.
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It was a joy to plan this trip, rent a car and then drive from Dublin to Northern Ireland stopping along the way to see things as we were called, I am blessed to have been able to do that.
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I was able to lay offerings for my ancestors and in a small way come back home to where some of them are from. I also learned a lot about my family, such as learning that my great grandmother had a 3rd class ticket for the Titanic leaving from Belfast, but because her mother fell ill she stayed close to home and as a result, I am here today and she came to Canada!
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My heart is now a little bit here and a little bit in Ireland and I am already planning my next trip back!
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Have you ever been altered by a place you travelled to?
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#ireland #travel #sacredsites #ancestors #ancestralhealing
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The Willow Tree (Salix) is one of the sacred trees in The. Magic and Folklore of Trees course and yesterday I found this ancient willow tree on the land we are staying on here in Ireland, which I just had to share!
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Willow trees are associated with water and emotion, the moon and inspiration, which I must say seeing and being near this ancient Willow was beyond inspiring for me.
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In the course I share some of the folklore of this magic tree, as well as practical applications such as did you know that Willow bark has been used for millennia for fevers, inflammation and pain? Chewing the bark of the white Willow tree which contains Salicin which is a chemical similar to aspirin and in the 1800’s the bark of the Willow tree was used by scientists to help them develop aspirin.
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Willow is also associated with dreaming and it is said that if you have lost touch with your dreams making a small Willow wand and placing it under your pillow will help, or you can make a dream pillow with things like Mullen and small pieces of Willow bark to use.
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While I have been away here in Ireland the trees have captured my heart and soul especially the willow, and hawthorn which are planted as hedges here and as such are everywhere and full of brihh go t red berries..
I will write a post on hawthorn next though as I have so much to say about what some say is the most sacred tree in Ireland.
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If you are curious about the Magic and Folklore of trees course pop over to my site and download a free sample chapter. ♥️🌳🌲🌳
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What is your favourite tree? Mine changes but for many years now it has been the Hawthorn.
#sacredtrees #willow #folklore #witches #ogham
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