Tag Archives: walks

Winter Walk: Sacred Thorn Grove, January’s Mysteries and the Bloody Tears of the Cherry Tree Sisters

14 Jan

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Steady-paced I walk up the hill. The air is pleasantly cold. It clears the mind and disperses my headache. I am not freezing. The road I’m walking up is called Am Kirschberg, literally meaning “by the cherry mountain”. The field to the left is covered with a thin layer of snow. The dark frozen soil is sticking out of the white. Ploughing traces create zen like, eye-dazzling patterns. At the end of the long stretched field the view is clearing up towards town. Over the horizon line a narrow golden band illuminates the sky. Above me are grey clouds. I am planning on a short walk, but my legs carry me in a different direction…

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Atop a stone wall by the castle, I find the wormwood has not entirely fallen victim to the frost. Next to fading foliage, fresh silvery green leaves are sprouting forth. I gather a few of them, enough for a small winter herb bundle to hang up at home. When dried, it will empower necromantic incense blends. Looking across the river valley, remnants of snow are showing between leafless trees and dark rocks. The sky is an eyeful and I would enjoy the silence, if it wasn’t for cars flashing past on a mint-green autobahn bridge.

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The Thorn Grove in Winter

The way down is frozen over and I hold onto the rusty handrail in order to not slip and fall. People coming my way do not greet me and I do not greet them either. Halfway down the hill, I arrive at the thorn grove. The path up there leads through leafless hawthorn trees growing in all directions. A jay sitting in the branches looks at me but does not fly off. Cautiously I venture on. The ground is muddy and slippery. Most of the snow at this side of the hill has melted. By the rocks I find another wormwood plant and spot a bird’s nest near where the jay had been. I am looking around, breathing the fresh winter air, trying to focus my myopic eyes on the distance. I think of none. It is a good place for the soul.

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Above, the hawthorn thicket is overgrown by raspberry and wild rose. To the right there are young blackthorn shrubs. Their thorns are long and sharp. The young twigs are flexible and make the best thorn-crowns. Further uphill, there is another areal of high-grown hawthorn trees, partly covered in ivy. It’s bordering at a property and the allotment gardens are close. One is likely to meet passersby here. But a magician knows to use the gaps and at night the place is dead silent. Today, however, I am only a passerby myself.

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A Thin White Veil upon the Field

I’m on my way home, stopping now and then, intrigued by the formations of clouds and the golden light of the sun further afar. A skein of geese is on its way southwards. Passing by wild cherry trees lining the field, I search their stems for resin and at last find a group of three tall and slender trees, the base dripping with soft, blood-red gum. I memorize the spot and proceed, faster now. I have to watch my steps. The trail is akin to an ice rink.

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At the birch tree, I stop once more. From here the field looks softer…

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The birch is a pioneer, a tree of new beginnings and the first to come back after complete devastation. The birch profits from death and desolation, but it also paves the way for others to follow and thrive. Beith is for birch, the tree of January, the door opener.

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Remnants of snow on the barren field, remind of the birch’s torn bark. It starts raining and continues to do so. The next day the snow will be gone.

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The Blood-Red Resin Tears of the Cherry Tree Sisters

Returning to the cherry trees, the resin is moist from the rain water and easy to scrap off. I collect a jar full, which I later place on the heat. The resin dries and hardens quickly. In its soft state it is sticky and a yellow golden color. It smells remotely of ripe cherries and of caramel, when burnt. In German it is also known as Katzengold, literally “cat’s gold”, and used for sweetening cough tea. In my worship, I employ the dark red resin tears for Naamah and other female entities. In their harvest, take care to not take everything and leave some behind for the spirits, along with offerings for the guardians of the trees. Physical gifts are symbolical and in order, but they count none without respect and patience. The latter are the true sacrifice. The trees will remember your signature and recognize you next time you approach them.

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I am thankful. The thought had crossed my mind to scar the trees in order to gather their resin. But I have not done so. Therefor I am blessed.

Concerning the Wood Wide Webhttp://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141111-plants-have-a-hidden-internet

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Plant Photography

30 Jun
Nostalgic St. John’s Wort, Echtes Johanniskraut (Hypericum perforatum)

Been out on a little herb search today, gathered seeds and foliage and photographed whatever caught my attention… The flowers of the St. John’s Wort were moving in the wind just the moment I released the shutter, leaving a shining signature on the image. The herb used to be hung above religious images on St. John’s to keep evil away from the home. Hence the name Hypericum, from Greek hyper =above and eikon =image.

During the past months (or actually years) I have been photographing a lot of different herbs, flowers, plants and trees, in various aspects, different weather conditions, in their wholeness as well as dissecting details from root to stem to foliage to flower and fruit. A selection of these photos is online at my Photography site wr-photography.com and in addition I regularly post new photos to Facebook, Pinterest, tumblr and Deviantart as well as Behance.

Seeking out, identifying and observing flowers, plants and trees through the camera, close-up as well as within their surrounding, is a way of learning, discovering, documenting and lastly also transmitting various aesthetically pleasing as well as repulsive aspects and sometimes also the visible effects of human interference with nature’s kingdom plantae. This branch of photography plays also a big roll for the Teufelskunst project where at least 50% of all time and work are dedicated to the gnosis of the green. Naturally, it is also a huge inspiration for my visual art, with contents not seldom being codified in and transported through abstract and/or symbolical linear floral forms (my own floriography or ‘language of flowers’).

Depending on the situation, mood and context you will find crisp, natural, slightly or heavily edited images in my plant photography. Some images play with motion blur and focus, others with color and contrast etc.

Below is a selection of some of my favorite recent and past nature shots:

Black Dhatura

Giant Aberrant Foxglove Flower (Pseudo-Peloria)

Her Fruit III (Scopolia carniolica)

Spring Impressions 2013:

Apple Blossoms

Bee on Cuckoo Flowers

Tulip Drops

Belladonna Sprouts

Trees:

Old Linden Alley, Dresden Friedrichstadt

Beech

Beeches and Ginkgo, Strasbourg

Tentacle Tree, Lilienstein

Traces

The Old Hag

Willow Bark

House

Beith

The Bleeding Tree

The Bleeding Tree

Black Poplar of Babisnau

Twogether

Autumn Trees, 2005

A series on Poisonous Flowers and their Pollinators:

Nightflight

Bumblebee, gathering nectar from a Wolfsbane Flower

Bumblebee crawling into a Belladonna Flower

How things got started:

Bilsenkraut Erntezyklus, 2010

Bumblebee on Henbane Flower

Listen to the Silence

To be continued…