In this episode with writer Becca Piastrelli, we talk all about the powerful act of slowing down to connect with nature.
Becca is a writer, mother and host of the Belonging podcast.
You may have come across her beautifully written and illustrated book Root & Ritual, Timeless Ways to Connect to Land, Lineage, Community and Self over the past year and if you haven’t, I can assure you it’s just the balm you’re looking for as both you and the plants emerge from the winter soil into the spring sunshine.
Becca’s book will take you on a journey of exploring how we belong to the land, our lineage, our community and ourselves through thoughtful questions and journal reflections as well as practical witchery like remembering food preservation skills, making smoke cleansing bundles, and creating an altar to your ancestors.
We cover a lot of ground in this discussion, including how to not turn our backs on the earth as we feel the grief of a changing climate and human destruction of ecosystems, learning more about our ancient ancestors and bringing some of their plant traditions into our modern lives, and some thoughts about whether or not we should be harvesting plants in the wild.
Here's what you'll hear in this episode:
- Becca's earliest memories with plants
- The oak tree she shares a relationship with in her neighborhood
- The difference between loneliness and solitude in our modern lives
- The system that has removed us as part of nature
- Shifting from a sense of loneliness to a sense of belonging in our families and communities
- How recent the colonial capitalist systems have been in place compared to the history of humans on Earth
- The powerful act of slowing down to the pace of the Earth
- Remembering ourselves as animal bodies
- Reconnecting to her ancient “clan mother” through mitochondrial DNA
- The changes in the climate our ancient ancestors would have experienced
- Not abandoning our relationship with the Earth as we navigate a changing climate today
- Using “mythic time” to connect with our ancestors who experienced similar climate shifts
- Researching the plants our ancestors would have been familiar with and how to work with them
- Plants that are part of our lineage but not native to their land
- Learning about traditional plants for cleansing energy and why white sage might not be the best plant to work with
- How our modern media can create a desirable aesthetic around plants without encouraging a relationship with them
- What we miss when we reduce plants to a list of what they're good for
- Respectfully collecting plants in the wild and when we should consider growing them instead
- Remembering that we share wild plants with so many other creatures in our environment
- Coming back into relationship with the Earth through the food we eat
- The magic of eating the food we've grown or foraged to help us remember that the Earth can sustain us
- The practice of seed saving as an ancestral remembrance
Links & Resources
The Eco Herbalists Handbook