Illustration by Guinevere von Sneeden
• A path where she’s quite certain there was no path before.
• A delicious bright orange ruffled mushroom that is savory and delicious when cooked.*
• Deer, birds, squirrels, and other forest creatures. (She steps as quietly as she can through the woods, not wanting to disturb the animals who call it home.)
• A source of clean, fresh water right at the moment she grows thirsty.
• Hagstones, acorns, pinecones, and other items for her altar. (She always leaves small biodegradable tokens of gratitude wherever she may forage.)
• The middle of a very good story. Don’t so many fairy tales involve a witch in the woods?
• Nettles that sting when she touches them but heal when she adds them to stews or tea.**
• The perfect besom handle, fallen from a tree the night before.
• Portals to Faerie. (She doesn’t go through. There’s too much left to do back at her cottage.)
• Twigs to shape into runes, sigils, and other potent patterns.
• One or two especially special trees who become dear friends and give exquisitely comforting hugs.
• Pine needles to dry and wrap in bundles to burn in magical rituals.
• Her joy, her hope, and a restoration of her belief in wonder.
*Chicken of the woods is a unique-looking mushroom that is highly prized by foragers as it’s edible.
Please verify with a knowledgeable source before eating any mushrooms you may find in the forest!
**Stinging nettles can be used to treat arthritis, anemia, and other ailments.