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Hi, My name is Witchbane and I like witches

2017-12-30: The below post was my first post on www.worldwide-wilderness.com, a project I abandoned in the form it was then intended to take: a series of blog posts and hopefully videos to enthusias young people about wilderness. Here, for posterity’s sake…


My name is Rowan. The Rowan tree is a common tree carrying small red berries of a bitter taste. Because the tree got ascribed many magical properties in the past, it used to be planted in front of farms as a protective from witches and other evil things. Hence, the old folk name witchbane. Myself, I can better identify with another folkloric name for this tree: witch wood. Druids used to lean on their witch wood staffs for support and power. Similarly, I want to support the growth of a new generation of witches by promoting the world of wilderness.

The Rowan Tree: From the misty coils of morning / there rises on the hill / In hesitating sunlight / and tendrils clinging still / Crowned it is, for power / and magic drapes its lee / In all the hues that red may show / the Rowan-berry tree

The Rowan Tree: From the misty coils of morning / there rises on the hill / In hesitating sunlight / and tendrils clinging still / Crowned it is, for power / and magic drapes its lee / In all the hues that red may show / the Rowan-berry tree

Witches to me are a symbol of unkempt wilderness, their repression a symbol of the illusion of the tamability of our wild nature. When I think of witches, I think of women—of course, enough witches are men but, as a male, I prefer to think of witches as (preferably sparsely-clad and sexy) females—women who live in the periphery of our neatly combed culture, beyond the edge of our cultivated fields and forests, in the realm of the unknown where they’re performing their unfamiliar rites and rituals.

Different and deviating from the known, witches are repressed, because, for long, there has been just one right way to think about and to perceive the world in which we live. But, the world has been shrinking lately. Also, increasingly, time has been compressed and we’ve been shown that people have lived long before us, all of them in different ways. We’ve even been shown that some people are still living independently from the authoritarian belief structures which we’ve built. The evidence against the divinity of our species keeps piling up and it gets harder and harder to keep believing that anyone’s particular version of what is right and what is wrong is correct.

In the right time, Darwin would have been a witch. In this time, to many, I am also a witch because my relation with wilderness is not sterile. You could even call it dirty. It’s an unhygienic blood bond, overgrown with mosses and fungi, a link rooted in ancient times which ought to not even have existed.

Luckily, in this time, there are many who feel that witches are o.k. There are many witches too. So many, that soon they’ll disappear. Soon, we’ll all be witches. According to some, soon, the exploration of the unknown will (have to) move from the periphery to the mainstream. To make this a little sooner, I’m going to convince you that embracing the wilderness within and around us is stimulating and exciting. Yes, exciting! Better prepare yourself for some barely-clad, sexy hexes whom are waking up wilderness together.

And now for one of those sexy witches: (You can look safely; the witch wood wizard’s staff is carefully covered with a cloth.

Rowan is moving sand from point A because he want more flowers at point B

Rowan is moving sand from point A because he want more flowers at point B: The photograph is courtesy of and copyrighted by Jeroen Dekker, 2007


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