Here we are under the new moon, at the midpoint between winter solstice and spring equinox. I hope you and your loved ones have found ways to sink into slower rhythms over the past months, settling when possible into deeper sleeps and more intricate dreams, drawing nourishment from the season. I wonder what you’ve simmered and kindled and crafted during these long evenings, where your imagination has wandered and lingered, what materials your hands have been drawn to.
This year more than ever, I can sense how quickly the light is returning. But even as I order seeds and sift through recipes for nettles and fiddleheads, I find myself savouring the ephemeral beauties of midwinter – the quiet, candlelit mornings, the smooth quilts of snow tucked around us in the night. I’m conscious that the tender new visions conceived in this dark season are not quite ready for the quickening of spring. Soon, soon… but not yet.
The new moon is an invitation to honour the earliest beginnings of creation, the tiniest spark of life within the void. What form is this taking for you right now? For me, it’s the shape of a spoon. I hope you find something of value in the resources and inspiration below – an ode to green woodworking and a few words on the mythopoetic journey of the Tarot. May this small offering uplift and encourage you in your own exploration of the handmade life, and affirm how much it matters.
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I needed a physical connection to the material, and not more mind-centred meandering. I needed to touch and feel the body of a thing, and I wanted to learn to transform wood into objects of beauty and utility. I needed centring, and the dignity and physicality of the making process seemed to be my answer.
Woodworking runs through my paternal line (my grandpa turned burls into bowls and crafted elegant furniture, and my dad carves beautiful cedar panels), but for most of my life I’ve gravitated to fibre art and plant medicine alongside my talented mum. This year I was able to fly west for the first time in two years to see my family, and I asked my dad if he would teach me to carve a basic spoon. Our hours in the workshop sharpening knives, discussing grain and form, whittling and sanding, and then raising a glass of Hoyne’s Dark Matter to toast to my first creation were so joyful, so simple, so rich.
Now, with a clutch of borrowed tools, two slender spoons and a whimsical scoop in hand, I’m entering more deeply into the gentle, forest-loving world of green woodworking – and I'm in love. I feel naïve and light of heart, as flushed with delight as the Fool in the Tarot, stepping blithely from one realm into another.
In hopes of inspiring similar gladness in others, I want to share this fantastic post from Silva Spoon, 7 Women of Woodworking You Need to Know About, which really got me excited. Watching the interview with Anna Casserley eventually led to a giddy, late-night eBay bid on a Kent pattern axe found in a barn in Trois-Rivières, Québec, and I dream of one day wielding it with as much precision and confidence as her! I also found this quiet video of Barn the Spoon carving a saddle-topped spoon both restful and fascinating, and you might like it too.
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The Tarot and Creative Life
My dear friend and Tarot mentor Carly Forest describes the Tarot as a mythopoetic lens, “a map of the archetypal journey of the soul, charting natural cycles of expansion and contraction, threshold experiences and rights of passage.” Since receiving my first deck years ago, the Tarot has become a sanctuary of contemplation and dreaming in my life, and a source of creative renewal. I find that the symbols and archetypes in the images can reveal subtle patterns and intricate lines connecting us to each other and all of creation, past, present and future, and this feels really significant.
So, to close, I want to share the exciting news that Carly is now offering one-on-one Tarot readings for those seeking insight and fresh perspectives on the path. If you're curious or compelled to learn more, you can book a session on her website here.
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Exploring and celebrating the handmade life in rural Québec, Canada.