Guest Blog Post: Lessons from the Forest by Levi Leigh

Our ancestors knew how to tend the underworld. They survived plagues. Their memories live in our bones. Just as seeds know when to germinate, we know how to transform collective grief. Sit with discomfort. Remember to rest. Reach out to loved ones when it becomes too much.


Confide in the wild beings, the plants and more than humxn ancestors. Go outside even for a moment, if it feels safe. Notice where your senses rest. Thank that place and the beings there. Make offerings. Return often. I offer plants of my lineage: juniper, fir, artemisia, rosemary, pine, angelica. In the form of leaf, root, smoke, water. Stone and essence medicine.


Invest in ways to resist ecofascism, exploitation, injustice. Imagine regenerative structures to parasitize and uproot systems of oppression. Siphon nutrients to the rest of the forest. Plant native seeds just for pollinators. Pay your land tax. Give tenfold more than you take. Resist wildcrafting, even ‘with permission’.


Do not turn away. The land weeps for a species disconnected. A subterranean sea of memories. What imperialism failed to tend, we now struggle to grieve. As we would grieve a loved one on their journey home. Keening as they transition across the next threshold.


Decomposers, mycelium and fruiting fungi are liminal beings. They are undeniably queer. They rely on underground networks to break down dominant carbon forms. Scatter giants. Towering trees once exhaled wisps of blue smoke, evaporating before it could reach beyond the canopy. Now strewn across the forest floor. Redistributed in service to the collective.


Layers of muck, rot and ferment give way to renewed strata. To living and life giving soil, holy sediment of creation. An edifice of cyclical transformation and interspecies collaboration. A repository of seeds and microscopic life. Beings who show up in communal reciprocity with a responsibility to steward and cultivate. Our responsibility too.


There’s a way in which forests are elegant, self-governing systems. How we interact with them is integral to all of our survival. We are them, and they are us. We are nature, and plants tell us how they want to be treated. I carry these messages into my medicine to remember. That we are a small yet significant part of an ecosystem worth protecting.


Water and the land hold ancient memories. The bones of our plant and stone ancestors. They can transform our grief too. Make offerings to the waters where you live. Speak with willow, lichen, hawthorn, ocotillo, manzanita. Breathe into your heart. Let the plants hold the millennia of losses to capitalism and colonial rule.


Gentle reminders to care for self and each other. To cultivate revolutionary communities, raise rebels and resist dominance. To look out for and resource each other. We are the answered prayers of our ancestors. Weaving their collective spell into a future we may not witness. We are not the stories we tell ourselves, but an epic poem, half written.


Find the thread that connects to our ancient, wiser selves. Pull it not from concrete, but from a void. Bless the unknown, the dark and deep mysteries, the uncertainty that sparks revolutions. Keep loving, fighting and caring for each other.


Plants and fungi exist as our original examples of living in a space of mutual aid. To learn more on this subject and how to engage with it from a place of reciprocity, join me on April 17th for my workshop "Community Care: Herbal Aid for Resilience," held with Seagrape Apothecary. In this live digital gathering, students will learn basic principles of mutual aid, how to get involved with the work already happening, and ways to sustain long-term engagement with a praxis of community care.


Ms. Tea is a small batch apothecary created by Levi Leigh, a queer bioregional herbalist & visual creative residing on occupied Coast Miwok land. Levi crafts slow plant medicine with ethically sourced ingredients from local farms & herb growers: botanical elixirs for seasonal wellness, potions for sleep & dreaming, small batch hydrosols & alcohol free offerings to help folks reconnect with the deep magic of the land.


Want to dive even deeper with magical practices and an amazing community? We invite you to join our private Seagrape Babes online network! Engage with a gorgeous community of magical beings, get early access to spells and videos, and enjoy exclusive access to bonus monthly material. To learn more click here.

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