A Perfect Rain on an
by Cliff Seruntine
My family and I live on a homestead called Twa Corbies Hollow, which is
back in the northwoods of the Canadian Maritimes. It is deep in a
region of Nova Scotia called the highlands, which is a continuation of
the Appalachian mountain range that runs from the middle of the
province up through the isle of Cape Breton. Twa Corbies Hollow is
tucked into a little valley atop one of the many low mountains of the
region, and the country is mostly wild—a mix of woodlands, glades,
sequestered brooks and rocky outcrops, with the odd homestead or
blueberry farm scattered about. The homestead is semi-remote, having
access to a couple very small towns about forty-five minutes north and
south. And there is an infinitesimally tiny village—all of about two
dozen cottages—tucked into the woods an hour's horse ride down the
battered old road that can't quite be called blacktop and can't quite
be called dirt.
The region was settled centuries ago by the Gaels of Scotland, and in
fact some folk in these parts still speak Gaelic. Many of their
traditions still run strong, such as the ceilidh, a festival of Celtic
music, stories, and Scots country dancing, done up with a good beer and
sometimes even a little haggis. And the old beliefs survive, too,
though they are faded. Yet the forests are still rumored to be haunted
by faerie spirits and many folk fear to tread the wild lands by night.
We have called this place home for years, and from the beginning
we have sought to live in harmony with its land and spirits. To that
end, we grow most of our own food, or harvest wild greens, fruits, and
mushrooms from the surrounding woods. Aiming to make our impact minimal
upon the land, we have sought to find ways to live side-by-side with
the local wildlife and found means to redirect the animals from our
gardens and livestock rather than simply driving them off. And we
determined, from the beginning, to live well with the spirits of the
land. Come the High Days, we set out faerie plates with little gifts of
bread, cheese, and home-brewed ale, and I spend a fair bit of time in
the wildwoods, communing with the spirits as I pursue my own shamanic
the full article.
Back to Top
new book is Seaons of the Sacred Earth, in
you detail your family's life on an eco-friendly homestead in Nova
Scotia. What inspired you and your family to create such a life of
living in connection with the land?
As far back as I can recall, I
was always drawn
deeply to the green world. I was born in New Orleans, but my mother had
been raised on a farm in the back country, surrounded by bayous and
deep, dark woodlands. My earliest memories are of her teaching me how
to identify wild edible plants, showing me Indian burial mounds, and
warning me to avoid les feux follets—faerie beings of Acadian legend,
much like the British will-o-the-wisp. I fell in love with that green
world of life and magic, and almost as soon as I started school, I was
begging her for a microscope of my own so I could see the life in a
drop of pond water. When we moved permanently back to my grandparents'
little farm, I was delighted; my days became a non-stop romp through
the woods and swamps and bayous. I could go endless days with nothing
but a knife, a bit of fishing line, and what are now called bushcraft
skills (but what were to me just skills of living: finding wild food,
making lean-to camps, and finding my way through the wild wood).
My wife Daphne grew up in the countryside
of western Canada. Her mother maintained a nice garden and some fruit
trees, but Daphne would say she was more an "edge-of-small-town" girl.
She did not know the real wild country like I did, but she loved the
peace and fulfillment of living close to Nature, the realness of
knowing from where her food came, and the satisfaction of being able to
provide for herself, whether that was making clothes or patching a
fence. When we got together, we knew from the start that we wanted to
carry on lives close to the green world, and we wanted our children to
know that world, too.
We delved headlong into that way of life
when we went to Alaska together, and though living in that remote bush
was challenging, we often speak of it as simple and sublime. We heated
with wood, ate berries and potherbs from the forest and game from the
lake and tundra, learned to navigate in a landscape where there is no
meaningful east or west, and reveled in the raw, rugged beauty of it
all. I took up shamanic studies and came to realize how tightly linked
the Otherworld is to the natural world, and how fulfilling it is to
live in that nexus. Daphne never took up the shaman's way, but she felt
it, too. And we came to desire to do more for the land than just live
close to it—we wanted to give something back. We wanted to be able to
farm in ways that were easy on Earth. We wanted to share the bushcraft
and rural living skills we had developed. I wanted to share what the
wild places had taught me of the ways of spirit and magic. And so we
came to a place that allowed us to do all those things.
2.You've lived all over,
from the bayous of Louisiana to the Alaskan bush. What brought you to
the full interview.
Tarot: Reading for Yourself
by Barbara Moore
Being a tarot reader but finding it difficult to read
for yourself is a bit like a cobbler whose children have no shoes. "How
can I read for myself?" is a common question from tarot readers. Author
and tarot expert Barbara Moore addresses this question and provides
several tips to help tarotists read their own cards.
Alchemy: The Most Secretive of Arts
by Chic Cicero & Sandra Tabatha Cicero
Alchemy is considered one of the principle branches of
the Western Esoteric Tradition. But while many students are familiar
with astrology and the Qabalah, far fewer are acquainted with the
basics of alchemy (which is often misrepresented and well-hidden). Chic
and Sandra Tabatha Cicero discuss Israel Regardie's The Philosopher's Stone and the powerful message
it brings to alchemical seekers.
Having a Natural Childbirth Requires a Plan
by Dorothy Guerra
Many women may lean toward natural childbirth even prior
to pregnancy. That said, having a natural childbirth requires research,
planning, and plenty of moral support. Here, Yoga Birth Method author Dorothy Guerra explains
why having a plan is so important to the process of natural birth.
10 Reasons to Help a Ghost Cross Over
by Diana Palm
Not all that long ago, people were afraid to approach
the topic of ghosts. The popularity of ghost shows on television has
changed that perspective, and now people are excited to talk about
ghost sightings and other supernatural experiences they have. With the
quantity of paranormal occurrences increasing, we need to be cognizant
that if a ghost is in our lives, it will need our help in crossing
over. Diana Palm, author of Setting Spirits Free, gives us ten reasons we
should help ghosts with their healing and journey to the other side.