Author Topic: Meditation on Herbalism  (Read 53 times)

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Random_White_Guy

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on: October 18, 2019, 04:27:23 PM
Meditation On Herbalism
A comprehensive meditation on flora and it's relation to the roots of Arcane study.
By Hawthorne ap Ebersol
Maji of the Tower of Solitude
True Magus of Ring 93
Accomplished Wizard of Ring 99
Patrician of The Willow Ways

I shall begin with the assumption if you have collected a tome on the nature of herbalism you have a cursory understanding of the practice. I will not be describing the tools you should use and how the same tools a scholar or physician uses in the field can be wielded in the mortar and pestle.  Nor will I be highlighting where you may find the most effective seeds sold from the children of Ticker Square, the woman of the Peerage, or the elderly of the Ponds. If such things you endeavor to learn seek another volume. This text is a work on the study of flora and their interwoven connection to the living being.

The Roots of Herbalism

While many are quick to, and rightfully so, disparage the practices of the Changeling it cannot be stressed heavily enough that Herbalism is NOT a practice of changeling magics. It is not witchcraft, it is not shamanistic fetishes and the workings of tribesmen. To showcase the boons and benefits of the herbalistic arts I shall use this portion of the text to lend to the history of scholarship. At its barest core the nature of scholarship is the understanding and accumulation of the world around you. Mankind's innate talent for curiosity is the single most constructive and destructive force in the known realms. We may gaze upon something so robust and magnificently complex and parse it down into the most fundamental building blocks of understanding that even a child can be taught it. It is by these methods oral tradition has grown to written history and in the case of the Herbalistic arts there is no difference.

What began as man's study of the natural world has been tainted and corrupted by the Changeling and Turnskin no more than any other facet of the world around us.  As a Wizard who studies the natural there is such a robust understanding of our daily lives that may be drawn from the Herbalistic practice.

It can be as meditative as brewing and sipping a cup of tea reflecting on your day's accomplishments, it can be as refreshing as a pleasant burning stalk of incense perfume before company arrives and it can be as humbling as receiving thanks for removing a malady from a fellow in need.


Herbalism: From which all life stems.

Moving beyond the fork in the road taken between Changeling Ritual (Fork A) and Civilized Study (Fork B) as we continue down the second fork the study of Herbalism opens an entirely new world of possibilities. Pursuing Herbalistic practices allows everything from soothing ointment for a child's teething in the form of a specialized Baby Formula blended of mother's milk and Blushwhorl to the more practical use of glimmering resin borne of fungal cultures to smear on an armor to travel a dark cave. There is so much, too much to be quantified in a singular text so I would instead lend away from the practical and into the games and theory.

Herbalism is, if the Arcane a manipulation of willpower, a manipulation of the natural world. It can be cut up and ground, parsed and packaged, rebuilt and expanded to both satisfy mankind's curiousity for scholarship as well as practical applications which can save lives. Taking our same principles learned in classical studies of Wizardry and any accumulative knowledge of Scholarship it lends to an almost archaeological-esque quest of discovery into the past.

One can gaze upon Bonga and know that its saps may be useful for suturing wounds. The question becomes almost philosophical in trying to decipher how did such come to pass? Was it rote trial and error? Complex experimentation? Observation of how the fauna of the realm interacted with certain plants for one outcome and others for an entirely different result? With these studies undertaken we can extrapolate down Fork B the logical outcomes desired of any herbalistic undertaking. Some will seek it for wealth, some will seek it for tools for ring running, some will seek it for physician's tools to aid their community, and others would pursue the understanding of the natural world for entirely creative purposes. To enjoy the mixtures of paints for the bardic composition. To deliver fine perfumes upon a maiden fair of the Peerage.

From Apothecary to The World to the Apothecary

Irregardless of your pursuit of the Herbalistic practice the important thing to remember is this is a meditation on meditation. A reflection on the soothing and calming efforts of the natural world by which we as Wizard (or hobbyist in the case of those reading who do not choose to embark on our qeust for understanding) may root ourselves in our humble beginnings. It was undoubtedly shamanism that first lead to the collection of scrolls and understanding of the Weave itself. Crawling out of the Cauldron and into the great halls and libraries as what was once presumed "Only natural" cataloged and categorically organized for Master and Apprentice to pursue in logical discourse. As such you must lend your mind to the travel of the Hunter and Gatherer. You are not an Herbalist in pursuit of mass producing for anyone who would pay a few groats for a product. You are seeking a connection to the past and from such a deeper understanding of the world around us. Herbalism presnts inroads and insights which may be later applied to the highest theories of both craftwerk and Arcane pursuit.

Where the humble farmer tills for wheat and barley you can travel the Hills and Forests as effectively as the Libraries of the old world. You will, with practice, be able to name and identify dozens of flora by both their smallest seeds, to saplings, to full grown and cultivation ready crops. You will know the means to differentiate between Mushrooms which when burned produce a hallucinagenic experience but so too which Mushrooms would see you squatting over a pot for two evenings on end with no reprieve in sight. To this end it is important of any would be Herbalist to keep on their person a few clippings of rare plants as they are so light of weight but so too rare seeds in small amounts. You never know where you may stumble upon a potential garden and if the conditions for growth are appropriate you will be able to cultivate and over a great many days return for harvest.

As such it is only good practice and good ethic to see at least one seed taken from any crop found, for should you steal the last of the growth (if you lack the farming eye for plantlife) you can see the crop a chance to regrow. See it seeded immediately and watered in a region with preferably suitable conditions for its particular herbal thriving.

Conclusion - The Meditation

The study of the Arcane, in its barest form, can be a maddening and empowering pursuit by which one is far too easily able to lose touch with the realities of this place. As you gaze higher, as your powers expand, as you shoot further in your ambitions you can easily forget yourself. As you travel the farthest planes and conjure the most exotic beings and in a snap of your fingers can move a mountain you can so easily lose your sense of purpose and self.  To take a step back and cut growths, grind leaves, mix saps, and walk the natural splendor of the world may help keep you mindful of your place in the greater sense of the world around you.

For wizardry, while it allows for the reshaping of the world, we are but visitors for a time and ought appreciate every pleasant moment we may.  Be it sketching your herbalistic notes by a stream, laying on your stomach in a field studying insects and collecting them in jars for further study, or merely pausing for a nice lunch on a mountainside.

Your mind is your greatest tool, your greatest weapon, and your greatest achievement if you are able to long survive as a wizard in this City.

Take the time to stop and smell the roses.

...Then perhaps grind them up into a poultice to sell for a few groats to fund your next adventure, to help a local and win some favor in the village as a medicine man, or simply pass a tool along to a ring running ally to survive another battle.

The gentle craft of Herbalism is a pleasant meditation away from High Arcane Theory.

And, pardon the pun-

Helps us keep our feet on the ground and remember our roots.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 05:07:04 PM by Random_White_Guy »
[11:23 PM] Howlando: Feel free LealWG
[11:23 PM] Howlando: I'll give you a high five + fist bump tip