Last night was the first session of the Witching Season and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time in the woods, marking the autumn equinox with six wonderful nature-spirited people! The rest of that series is fully booked. I am planning a Winter Witching Season series; details to be released shortly. Feel free to email me or join the Meetup group, to hear about this promptly. I have set a date for an Autumn walk (Wed 19th October) 12 October please see my events page for this and other upcoming events. My Foraging for Mental Health – Mediamatic workshops are also listed.
Also yesterday, I was a guest at the kickoff night for the gastronomic plantcentric artistic gezellig Ears of Earth. It was wonderful and delicious; introducing me to so many intruiging flavours and unexpected creations, from the world of grains and microbes! It was an allround sensory delight. Mediamatic are enabling and hosting this wonderful series of meals, which is only running until 29th September. I think there may be some seats available still for a few of the dates. I highly recommend it!
The photo above is from one of the Mediamatic biome zones, used to host the event. I find this display of grasses and grains so fitting; Yesterday, being the equinox, was a traditional time to gather seeds on stems and weave them into a lovely creation, to store as an overwinter insurance. I often weave a plantain dolly but yesterday, didn’t manage to make one myself. As I entered the biome, I saw this lovely natural work of art, which serves a very related purpose, displaying the beauty of these grains.
Schools are back, holidays are over and the Witching Season has begun to creep in. I love this time of year! Seeds and berries are maturing, pumpkins are ripening and the smell of soil sometimes completely fills the air, even though we have had such a warm dry summer.
This time of year allows for deep connection to nature, before the time of greatest seclusion. As we move from the Autumn Equinox (Mabon) to Samhain (Hallowe’en), it becomes ever easier to connect with the many dimensions from which this world is woven, and to make peace with our need for quiet through the coming months.
Throughout the Witching Season 2022, I will be holding three small gatherings in Amsterdam as I last did in 2020. The purpose is to help others find ways to nurture their nature based spirituality through the autumn and winter. We will explore a number of local magical herbs, tune into the powers of nature, develop a moon practice to help you become more empowered as each month turns, and celebrate the very different qualities of Mabon and Samhain. We will walk, connect, enjoy some simple peace-filled ritual and outdoor crafting together.
The number of places available for these gatherings will be limited. The total cost per person is €60. Each meeting will be two hours long and will embrace whatever weather is present! They will take place in Park Frankendael, Amsterdam Watergraafsmeer. We will start the gatherings late afternoon, a different time each meeting, to allow us to work with the twighlight. The group will attend all three sessions, there will be some simple activities to do in between sessions. The intention is that the same people come for all three sessions, to give us continuity and deeper connection on this witching season journey. For this reason, I ask you to sign up if you plan to join all three of the sessions. These outdoor sessions will take place at the set times and dates unless we have extreme weather. In which case, I will contact you and we will postpone.
This workshop is open to my apprentices (from my online/blended course and past apprenticeship groups).
Early spring is a great time to forage, craft and plan new growth for the year ahead. This workshop is a chance to share time together, explore urban nature, talk over issues and build Herbology crafting skills.
We’ll meet at my home (in Amsterdam Watergraafsmeer, near Park Frankendael) and then work inside and out. Light lunch, infusions and teas provided.
Please email me as soon as possible to book your place.
If you would like to join the workshop, you must be a past or present student of my apprenticeship course (either on the full course or studying module by module).
Lynn’s Herbology Club is for children aged 4 – 6 years. Maximum 6 children in the group.
Each session is practical and fun. They build self-confidence and provide a wealth of sensory experiences in a green, social setting. Herbology Club allows children to play in a thoughtful and creative way with nature. No experience is needed, just a willingness to be outdoors in a beautiful green space. Parents are welcome to stay for all or part of the sessions. They are encouraged to share some food and learn from their children’s green experiences. Lynn is English. Sessions are in English and/or Dutch (depending upon the children).
We start each session with a simple yoga or mindfulness activity. Then we explore what has changed in the four herb gardens and work together on practical tasks and nature games. Often we make simple food and share this at the end of the session. All activities reflect the seasons and include:
Creating barefoot paths
Kokedame – hanging herbs
Growing and using herbs
Making simple, safe wild food
Lynn Shore (Herbology Club Leader)
Is an experienced school teacher (science and special needs – UK and British School of Amsterdam), horticultural therapist and home tutor. Children of all backgrounds and abilities are welcome to join this club. If your child has particular needs then you should contact Lynn before enrolling, to check that enough support can be offered during the sessions. Lynn has a current VOG (police check for working with children). She is the founder of River of Herbs, and has lived in Amsterdam for 13 years.
River of Herbs Orchards (behind Huize Frankendael, Middenweg 72)
Each session is outdoors (with WC and shelter available).
Dates and Cost A series of Wednesdays, 13.00 – 14.00 Starting late June / early July 2017
Exact dates to be set ASAP
Drop-in session: €15 per session (if space available)
Booking full series will create a discount.
To book a place or find out more information, please email or call Lynn (06 275 969 30).
Join my special Samhain workshop to create magical herbal gifts, lotions and potions and to explore the herbology of autumn.
We will spend over 4 hours in and around my Schellingwoude volkstuin (a wild ecological garden with wooden house, log fire etc). It is in a beautiful nature oriented setting, within the A10, along bus route 37 and far from the business of the city.
This small group workshop is open to anyone who is interested in deepening their connection with nature. It is also a perfect opportunity for those who are contemplating my apprenticeship, to come and meet me as we immerse ourselves in seasonal herbal work. All levels of experience are welcome!
Walk and forage through wooded lanes, identifying edible, medicinal and poisonous leaves, roots and fruits.
Craft lotions, potions and natural gifts from herbs, which will see you through until spring.
Celebrate Samhain in nature!
Enjoy plenty of herb tea, homemade vegetarian soup, herb bread and snacks will be provided.
Date: Monday 31st October 2016
Time: 09.30 – 14.00
Cost (incl. Btw): €60 per person (€30 deposit is due when booking and the remaining €30 to be received before or at the workshop).
Full of bounty, shifting colours and scents, autumn’s creeping darkness brings a welcome depth of mystery to our lives. It is the perfect time to create tasty, crafty and intriguing preparations which you can share with friends throughout winter. Samhain is an extra special time in autumn where the veil between worlds is said to be at its most thin. During the workshop, those who are interested will also explore what that means.
What a pleasure it is to work with enthusiastic people on the topics I love. On Saturday, I welcomed a small group of apprentices into my home and foraging grounds, to work on a variety of preparations and experience more of the world of Urban Herbology. The apprentices are studying my online course at their own pace at home, we meet 4 times a year with additional meetings and communication when needed. The next such meeting will be in December and is open to all my apprentices, online and from the original Amsterdam groups. Further details, at the end of this post.
Here are supplementary links and photos to assist those who were with me on Saturday.
I make mine from the few fruits that I forage and don’t eat straight from the plants. I use honey in place of refined sugar and I don’t always use rum. My recipe is in the apprenticeship notes but the link here shows a selection of suitable (purpose made) containers and explains the process.
A very invasive plant in this country. The green seeds smell pleasantly of butter and the plant is edible. Flowers can be eaten in salads, stems used as drinking straws and the plant chopped into salads and cooking. The link post shows several plants (including balsam) which I harvested at this time a couple of years ago.
The plant we tasted at my house was Peperomia maculosa. It tastes of coriander and has many medicinal uses. Here is another link about these wonderful plants which are well known as houseplants, outside of the tropics. The Peperomia species which seems to be the best studied regarding its medicinal properties is Peperomia pellucida. hat wasn’t available at the garden centre when I looked for it, but several other species were. I settled happily for P. maculosa (shown in photo) as I love the fresh, spicy flavour.
I had a busy day at school recently, pruning the spiky Japonica which encircles the building. Hundreds of fruit were on the prunings so naturally, I harvested them. Here are some tasty ways to use Japanese quinces.
The last two sections of this UH post mentioning Bali, give an example of how Jamu is used. The anti inflammatory orange drink is called Kunjit asam. We will make it (and sugar free alternatives) at the December meeting.
In December, among other things, we will look at;
Sacred spaces at home
If you are interested in joining or finding out about my apprenticeship course, please contact me or take a look at this page.
In recent years, I have disappointed many people when my apprenticeship course became so quickly full or because they couldn’t make every meeting or because they lived too far away. So, after much thought and planning I am about to launch a blended learning version of my course! I am very excited about this and hope that it will hit the spot for those people who repeatedly try to join my apprenticeship course but just can’t get in as well as the folk in other places who are inquisitive about Urban Herbology. The course is made up of 8 modules, each linked to a different Celtic festival time. It covers herb crafting, foraging, healing systems, wheel of the year and urban herb gardening. Apprentices will be able to follow the course at home or in combination with up to 4 optional half day workshops in Amsterdam.
I am delighted to offer a series of free-standing half day workshops to develop the magical side of your life.
Each session focuses on different ways to live in deep connection with nature and spirit, whether you are based in the city or countryside. The workshop series (running through autumn 2015 – spring 2016) includes:
Each session will include work with herbs, hedgerows and the seasons. Each will offer practical ideas for protection work, self development and furthering your knowledge of the natural and spiritual world. I am very excited about these workshops and hope that you will join me for one, some or all of them!
The events page on this website will show the details of each upcoming workshop. Please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) me if you would like to reserve a space.