The wisdom of witchcraft.



Back when I had the Orwellian title of "Head of Knowledge and Innovation" in corporate America, I read a lot of books on innovation. My favorite one was written by Elon Musk's PayPal co-founder, Peter Thiel: Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future. In this book, Peter Thiel asserts a new definition of innovation: that it is a secret, something inherently doable but hard to do, and something that answers a question that no one has really asked yet. He was emphatic that, when we stumble on an innovation, there is a sense of it being so obvious and effortless that someone somewhere has surely already harnessed it. Except no one ever did, because they didn't have that same, singular flash of insight. This came to life recently when, while doing some research on the various trees and flowers I'm growing to convert into TOTEM Flower Essences, I stumbled upon something magical. My first thought? "How the f*ck did I never notice this before?!?". I remember standing up, even, looking around my work/ live space for the nonexistent co-worker with whom to share my "eureka!" moment. I'm kind of a giant nerd. So what was this innovative, new discovery? Essentially, that ancient people across various civilizations were crazy clever and had infinitely more pragmatic knowledge of the earth than I could ever hope to learn in my lifetime. Specifically, this insight started with the latin root of the formal scientific name for yarrow: achillea millefolium. Now, that second word had already become familiar to me as it essentially indicates a type of flower, but the first sparked a moment of curiosity. Achillea, like the Greek demi-god Achilles? The one with the banged up, vulnerable heel that led to his demise? Yep. A quick Google search confirmed my suspicion, and I was instantly blown away. The latin name for yarrow is directly tied to the concept of protecting one's energy body, strengthening any gaps or weaknesses in our literal and figurative armor. And they used the metaphor of the story of Achilles as a direct hint of what yarrow does and how it works. Yarrow flower essence protects your energy body from negative or toxic energy, environmental toxins, the evil eye, draining energy cords, and all of that bullshit. I love yarrow, which is why I'm making our TOTEM Self-Defense Flower Essence out of it. But I had never, in my many decades of studying and reading and learning about this stuff, ever realized the connection to Achille's epic story, and his fatal point of vulnerability. So, naturally, I got manic. The family of various sage plants that I'm growing for our TOTEM Holy Water Flower Essence is, in its latin, artemisia, as in the Greek Goddess Artemis (aka Diana in Roman mythology). I mean, I love Artemis, which is why we included her in our TOTEM Tarot Deck! She is all about protecting women and animals and her space...which is what sage does in shamanism and in flower essence form. I then stumbled across the story of the Goddess Iris, who brought messages to the gods across the rainbow bridge. I am growing several kinds of black iris for our TOTEM Black Mirror Flower Essence, which helps convey messages from the other side....of the rainbow bridge. Mind = blown. I mean. this connection between the latin roots of these plant names and the incredible, archetypal stories of Greek myths has been a game-changer for me. Not only does it provide an affirmation of the direction I'm taking with our TOTEM Flower Essence project, but it has reminded me- once again- of just how wise our ancestors were. We have come so far as a species and a civilization: we travel through space and land crafts on the Moon and on Mars; we instantaneously communicate via devices using an invisible, wireless internet; and we can transplant actual organs to save lives. And yet, with all of these incredible scientific advances and all of this data and information and knowledge, we have lost something along the way. And I think what we've lost is a bit of wisdom. Reconnecting to the earth and to plant medicine and understanding that ancient people used these essences and tinctures the way that I am has been one of the most magical experiences of my life. Instagram Live Series And it's inspired me to kick off a weekly Instagram Live series, starting in April, to explore and answer questions around our 2022 TOTEM Flower Essences- and plant medicine and green witchery more broadly! We will kick off every Tuesday at 7 PM CST for about 10-20 minutes of shaman stuff. While I've got a big list of flower essences to dig into and discuss, I am also welcoming suggestions for the Instagram Live series. Do you want to learn about which flower essences support energetic protection, ala yarrow and sage? Do you want to know which flower essences to leverage to ignite and accelerate your psychic abilities? What helps heal trauma? A broken heart? What can help support abundance and manifestation? Please make sure to follow me on Instagram here and/or submit your questions for us to discuss live here: rachel@totemreadings.com. In addition to digging into the flower essences, I'm also going to invite some guests that specialize in the health and wellness space across a variety of specialty areas: ayurveda, naturopathy, nutrition, and more. We're hoping to explore additional dimensions of plant medicine and self-care, and I can't WAIT to learn and disseminate some of this ancient wisdom. And, if you needed another reason to follow me on Instagram, I am starting a podcast tour in April as well. I'll be sharing links and details to these exciting conversations instantly on Instagram, unlike the website updates, which always take me a minute;) TOTEM Flower Essences If you're interested in scheduling a TOTEM Flower Essence consultation, please note that we are working on a WAIT LIST for the 2022 Flower Essences. Nature takes time, and we make things the old school witchy way here at TOTEM. As such, we expect to have the new "menu" of TOTEM Flower Essences to be available this summer, and we expect them to sell out just like the 2021 options did- so, if you're interested, let me know and we can stay in touch as we get closer to the final product. The more we share, collaborate and get back to the basics our ancestors leveraged everyday, the better. The more I explore, experiment and read up on it, the more convinced I am that plant medicine is legit. It's transformative. It heals trauma and helps us grow in the direction of our choosing. If you have any questions or want to learn more, please reach out via email anytime. Thank you. Happy Ostara!


-Rachel