Rooted We Rise
Workshops to explore re-connecting to the land through Scottish folklore, local myth and legend, plant lore and creative practices.
Join Katy Swift and Nicola Orr in our outdoors workshops this summer. We'll take you to meet some local plants and trees, find out the folklore connected with them - in each guided walk we will cover some local plant lore, looking particularly at the wild medicinal plants that grow in this area.
We will use meditation, storytelling, journalling and creative prompts.
Nicola Orr has spent many years travelling the globe and working as a freelance Plant Based chef. Now finding herself back in Peebles, she found herself connecting on a deeper level to the lands surrounding her and the wild plant medicine that is abundant in nature. This curiosity has led to her studying an apprenticeship in herbalism.
Katy Swift is an artist and yoga teacher who has also spent time travelling, gathering folk stories and learning from other cultures about how we might do a better job of caring for this beautiful planet. A keen environmentalist, she has recently completed an MA in Art and Social Practice where she focused on how ritual and creative practices in a community can help us to process our collective grief for the Earth.
We have both felt a strong desire to reconnect with our own Celtic roots and to the land around us. In these challenging times, we have been given more time to see the beauty of nature and receive the healing gifts that come from creating a deeper relationship to the Earth.
Voices of our ancestors...
It's easy to imagine the old stories and folktales in a land like this. The landscape in Scotland is magical and constantly changing in colour and mood as the weather transforms it.
However the Scotland of our ancestors would have looked very different to our Scotland today.
The vast Caledonian forest, with native Scots Pine and Juniper, Oak, Ash, Elm, Birch to name just a few trees. The sounds of wildlife like Wild boar, Wildcat and Deer. Soaring ahead, Osprey or Red Kite.
Over the centuries, as the human population grew this native forest shrank. Along with the forest, the old ways of life and folklore were gradually forgotten.
What's left of the Caledonian forest is deeply precious. It is home to many native species of plant, insect, animal and bird, many of which are diminishing in number. I believe in order to protect it, we must all come know it well in our hearts.
By rediscovering folklore we can learn a lot about our Celtic ancestors, who lived in harmony with nature. Listening to folklore and plantlore can connect us to the local landscape in a deeper way.
Foraging for plant medicine and food
There are so many incredible medicinal and edible plants freely available in our local area.
500 years ago we would have known what plants, roots or fungi to gather to nourish our bodies and to use as medicine. We would have known the stories and lore surrounding plants and trees, and lived harmoniously with nature in a rich community of humans, wildlife and flora.
Today many plants that would have been on our grandparents dinner plates or in medicine cabinets are forgotten or classified as weeds.
Part of the reason it has been lost is because the medicine women and Celtic shamans were persecuted for sharing this knowledge.
We believe that learning how to find wild food and medicinal plants to feed and nourish your family, in a way that is in harmony with the natural world, should be easily accessible to everyone. This knowledge is your birthright.
Before it's too late...
Plants are not only for food but also for medicine, craft, fire-lighting, basketry, rope making, dying, textiles, inks and paints.
Our intention is to rediscover this wealth of knowledge before it is lost for good. This knowledge is vital for healthy communities living in balance with the natural world.
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