How do we navigate the spiritual landscape of our unique bioregions while honoring both our own ancestry and the history of the land and its people?
This is a line of questioning that seems to unite all of the passions of Rebecca Beyer, a teacher and practitioner of foraging, folk magic, and witchcraft outside of Asheville, North Carolina.
Becky is equally knowledgeable about the spiritual practices of her European ancestors and of her predecessors in that backwoods melting-pot we know as Appalachia.
“Nature constantly gives us a lesson in accepting that we will never know everything.”
She teaches about folk traditions and ethnobotany through her blog, Blood and Spicebush, and through the classes and workshops she offers in person. She's also a foraging instructor for No Taste Like Home.
We had a great conversation about the intersections of paganism, animism and witchcraft; the indescribable magic of the Appalachian region; how ethnobotany is living, breathing body of knowledge that we can contribute to as foragers; and how we settlers can honor both our European ancestry and the original peoples of our continent and bioregions, without falling into the traps of nationalism, colonialism or appropriation.
Related Links and Further Resources:
Introduction to Foraging is available now!
Interested in foraging, but feeling intimidated and unsure where to begin?
Introduction to Foraging gathers all of my writings on wild foods from 2017 in one convenient location, compiling my series of lessons and advice for the complete beginner, plus profiles of 12 edible wild plants that are very common across North America and very easy to identify.