My Coven of Witches at the Herb Pharm Herbaculture Internship
I’ve never felt so instantly at home! (Except at my actual home obviously… Hi Mum, I love you!) In the last 15 years I’ve traveled a lot. I’ve been to more than 40 countries. I’ve travelled alone, with my best friends, with brand new friends. I’ve lived in different houses, with different people all over the world. Pretty much everywhere I’ve been has been amazing in its own way but this place is different. It’s special!
Last month I packed up my life, quit my job and moved across the Atlantic to be a full time hippy herbalist, taking part in Herb Pharm’s summer herbaculture internship programme in southern Oregon. It was a big risk, quitting everything and completely changing my lifestyle, but it was worth it! This is my dream life, I’m basically a full time fairy!
I am living in a big farm house with nine incredible women. During my first few days here I thought, “I’ve only known these women a few days yet it feels like I’ve known them forever!” It’s hard to explain but we all feel it. Our reasoning for this instant mutual connection: we think we may have been a coven of witches in a previous life! Perhaps we were burnt at the stake together and vowed to reconnect in another lifetime? Maybe we were sisters and learned this witchcraft from our mother? Who knows? But we all feel the intense connection and it’s spooky. In the best way!
The night I arrived we cooked dinner and sat around our kitchen table together. We were treading the waters delicately at first, for like ten minutes I’d say, until it all came out: our excitement about plants, our desire to celebrate the upcoming solstice, four of us are yoga teachers, we love the same food, get excited about the perfect avocado and the benefits of apple cider vinegar, and that’s just the superficial stuff! When we got into deeper conversations we realised we were totally aligned! We were all literally covered in goosebumps because we were so in tune and it was only day one!
Don’t get me wrong, we’re all also very different! There are people here who have never read Harry Potter and don’t watch Game of Thrones! Yet Melissa wants to have a Harry Potter movie marathon while we’re here and Kim and I got so unbelievably excited watching the season finale of Game of Thrones together. And unsurprisingly none of them share my love of One Direction! Some of my sisters are musicians, another runs a podcast.We’re readers and writers, we’re all at different stages of our herbal adventure and we all bring so much diversity to the table. But still, from that very first night we knew we had a very special connection!
A week later this is us, dancing around the kitchen like no one is watching, while one person makes granola and another is blending up some almond butter in the vitamix. Someone else is reading about botany on the couch. We empty the washing machine and fold clothes while we bust a move to Outkast or Shakira. It’s a never ending party!
Our first weekend fell on the summer solstice and we had the most incredible ceremony. Kim made us all flower crowns out of medicinal flowers found in our garden and around the farm! Annaleah made ceremonial cacao which she brought from Guatemala. Flower crowns and chocolate. These are my people!!
When it comes to food we’re all on the same page. Delicious, nutritious food is our number one priority! We had a two hour food meeting that first weekend and our list of staples in includes quinoa, apple cider vinegar, chia seeds, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, dates, aaaallll the greens!! It’s so great to live with so many talented cooks with a passion for good healthy food! It’s only been a week and I’ve already learnt so many great new recipes.
For the bank holiday weekend went on a road trip to the ocean! We danced around the beach all day and had a wonderful bonfire at night, leaving aside our healthiness for a feast of s’mores and banana boats! The next day, after a night of camping, we visited the Redwoods! We all hugged the gorgeous, majestic Redwoods together. Pure magic! Hiking through the Redwoods with someone equally as excited about trees as you is definitely the way to do it!
On the Fourth of July we drove to a nearby mountain top. There were no fireworks to see due to the forest fire warnings here but we got nature’s fireworks, so many shooting stars! We brought some herbs with us taste as we watched the sunset. One of the girls asked, “shall we meditate for a bit to fully appreciate the plants and see how they make us feel?” We were all game! And as I closed my eyes to meditate I was so overwhelmed by this connection. The word ‘sisterhood’ danced around my mind and I couldn’t quite believe I was sitting on a mountaintop spontaneously meditating in between the songs and laughter and conversation of our Fourth of July celebration.
This weekend our Saturday class was a hike up the mountains, 6390 ft to the top of Mount Elijah. It was such a wonderful educational hike but the best bit may have been the hour long car ride home where we had an epic singalong to Abba, Whitney, MJ, Hall & Oates and Fleetwood Mac. We were tired and soaking wet but we were absolutely giving it socks! I love these girls so much!
Some days it feels too good to be true. Everyone I speak to asks me if there’s any cattiness or bitchiness. After three weeks I can honestly say this is the most accepting environment I’ve found ever found myself in. We are all so supportive of each other, and appreciate one another’s individual personalities. We’re there for each other during the low points and lift each other up. I hate to think that cattiness is expected when a group of women spend so much time together. This experience is showing me there is no need for any of that, we are all strong women and our unity only makes us stronger.
So it is not too good to be true. It’s so good that I must be true! Real, almost palpable truth. Every night I go to bed with a big smile on my face and with a heart full of love for this sisterhood of fairies, our colourful coven of witches!