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Leaves and Caps

By Lupa

Sarah is creating a healing pouch to give to a friend who has been ill with a respiratory infection as of late. In the tiny, blue, cotton drawstring bag she crumbles some dried cedar bark she took off a nearby tree and shiitake mushrooms from the store, along with a few chips of amethyst bought at the local New Age shop. She then gives this to her friend, along with a tincture made from the roots of several violet plants from her yard, and a salad with assorted greens, carrots, radishes, and tomatoes from her garden.

Seems pretty innocuous, right? Let’s look at a similar situation:

John’s partner has recently been diagnosed with anemia after going to the doctor with long-term fatigue. John makes a charm from deerskin he hunted and brain-tanned himself, and asks one of his totems, Whitetail Deer, to bless it with strength and resiliency. He then offers meat from the same deer and asks the spirit of the deer to pass some of its vitality through the iron and other nutrients concentrated in it. When his partner makes a quick recovery, John gives a special offering both to the deer spirit and Whitetail Deer in gratitude for the gifts they have given.

Both of these people are making use of the remains of once-living beings in their magic. However, some people would accuse John of cruelty because he killed a deer, while praising Sarah for making use of the gifts of the earth.

I personally feel that John is the more respectful of the two.

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