This Artisan Life

Some say magic isn't something you do, it's something you are. Others say that their entire life is magical. While this might be correct for them, I would respectfully disagree that this doesn't work for me. I want my magic to be magical; I don't want to have to bring leaky faucets and flat tires into my magical realm. Having said that, there is a chance every moment to do something mystical, to connect with the nature spirits and the ancestors, to honor the old ways, and to walk the crooked path. This blog is about my journey, and how I celebrate the magic in the mundane.

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The One Where Yarrow Helps Me Find My Path

There's so much I want to say, but I have no clue as to how I want to say it. My go to method has always been to journal my thoughts, but so far this year they have just been random lists and notes, questions that I ask myself and answers that come through the oracles. 


I find myself favoring my herbal oracles more than anything these days. I think it is because—like astrology versus other means of divination—my herbs are tangible. I can use the oracle to glean the message, and then I can wander out into the yarden and talk with the new spring growth. The weather may be cold, but there are definite signs of warmer days appearing through last season's leftovers. 


Today it was the lovely yarrow that caught my eye. There's a green fern carpet spreading through the paving stones, and I see I will have to do some replanting and moving of said stones in the near future. I adore everything about yarrow. Pondering it today, I see a lesson in spreading in order to grow. 


Interestingly enough, this is what I've decided—on a small scale—to do. I have reached out to someone I used to write for to host a blog for me again, and I have made tentative plans to do some craft fairs and outdoor shows this year. I am still unwilling (and somewhat unable) to do anything in a crowded space or on a large scale, but I trust the ladies with whom I'll be setting up the stall. It feels good to be making plans again. So there's spreading yarrow, already at work. 


I've always known yarrow to be a protective herb. It's associated with Achilles and healing (the Latin name for yarrow is Achillea millefolium). Scott Cunningham associates yarrow with love, courage, and psychic powers (1). Yarrow is one of the Druidic herbs, and was worn on Midsummer’s Eve; it was used in decorative ways to protect houses and other buildings from evil spirits (2). 


I think mostly, though, I relate to Phillip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm’s message from yarrow in their Druid Plant Oracle. They align this card with faithfulness, and caution not to take this fidelity for granted, but rather, to reexamine things every seven years, in order to find a renewed sense of purpose and commitment (3). The fact that I first planted the wild starts sent to me by a work colleague seven years ago has certainly not escaped me. 


Today yarrow is telling me not to fear who I know myself to be. I've been off the radar a bit because just as the pandemic broke out, I fell and broke my humerus, and I was physically unable to write for several months. During that time I did a lot of soul searching—as limited as my productivity was, there was little else to do. The journey brought to me some painful revelations, and some epiphanies, and now, coming through the end of it, I feel I finally have a sense of self, something that I have never experienced in my entire life.


I have always been very interested in astrology, and started pursuing it as a craft in the mid 1970s. Of course, back then, there were no computer programs to cast the birth chart; I taught myself with the old-school tools—an atlas, an ephemeris, a slide rule, a protractor, a compass, and a pencil with a very large eraser (maths were never my strong point). Fast forward to this year, when I suddenly realized the reason I have been looking to everyone else to tell me who I am is because I have a 12th house Sun (Virgo). See, in astrological terms the Sun is your life force and the 12th house is the area of the chart where things are hidden and nebulous. I could not see who I was; it was hidden from me, even though it may have been blatantly obvious to everyone else.


Now that I have a clearer sense of self I realize I no longer need to look outside of myself to see who I am and how I'm doing and how it all is. I understand the answers were inside myself all the time. I wonder how many other people are on that same path, looking to others, to books, to seminars, to leaders and teachers to find the answers that are carried in the self. I think we really only see the world from our own center—we have to, because the way we process information is unique to each and every one of us—and my center was hidden. I was constantly looking; does this fit, does that fit, do you have the answer, do you, is it here, is it there?

I understand now that it is here, it always has been, and to find the answers I need to go deeper into my own countenance. Yarrow encourages me with its associations to protection, courage, and psychic powers. It’s time to take a renewed look at my path, to pull the weeds that are inhibiting the blooms, and to spread myself where I need to go. It’s been a long time coming, and it feels good to be ‘home’ again. 


  1. Cunningham, Scott. 2013. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. Woodbury, Mn.: Llewellyn Publications.

  2. Addison, Josephine. 1985. The Illustrated Plantlore : A Unique Pot-Pourri of History, Folklore and Practical Advice. London: Sidgwick & Jackson.

  3. Carr-Gomm, Philip, Stephanie Carr-Gomm, and Will Worthington. (2007) 2019. The Druid Plant Oracle : Working with the Magical Flora of the Druid Tradition. Great Britain: Eddison Books Ltd.

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Charlie Rainbow Wolf is an author, artist, alchemist and astrologer. She is happiest when she is creating something, especially if it can be made from items that others have cast aside. Pottery, writing, knitting, gardening, and tarot are her deepest interests, but she happily confesses that she’s easily distracted, because life offers so many wonderful things to explore. Charlie has been doing readings and writing about divination for nearly three decades, so much so that it has become a way of life. She is a keen astroherbologist, an advocate of organic gardening and cooking, and lives in the Midwest with her husband and beloved Great Danes.


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