Dogwood, Wolf Willow and Other Underdogs of the Northern Woods
“Men have forgotten this truth”, said the fox. “But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPERY
Wild plants have for long, been used by herbalists and folk healers for medicine. Many insights into the value of indigenous plants were gathered by observing animals heal themselves by ingesting plants in their environment. First Nations peoples of North America related certain qualities of animals to plants, giving powers of strength, bravery, swiftness, wisdom, or patience to plants and in turn, to themselves.
The book of plant medicine is dedicated to dogs, wolves, foxes, coyotes and other members of genus canis. Common names are often scorned by taxonomists in favor of the binomial system of plant identification developed by Linnaeus. In this book you will find reference to both, a less dogmatic approach if you will.
I was a wolf cub (cub scout) when younger, and this may be what led me to this writing this collection. Or maybe being married to Laurie, a beautiful woman who teaches dream work, mythology and depth psychology has rubbed off. Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés is the foundation of one course, and of course, my dogged unconscious can run wild. To quote Clarissa: “It’s not by accident that the pristine wilderness of our planet disappears as the understanding of our own inner wild nature fades. It is not so difficult to comprehend why old forests and old women are viewed as not very important resource. It is not such a mystery. It is not so coincidental that wolves and coyotes, bears and wildish women have similar reputations.”
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