Event: Ancestral Herbs and Tree Medicine of My Italian Great-Grandmother, the Strega
April 28th 6-8pm PST
A benefit for the Sonoma County Herb Association/Exchange
sign up and gets tickets for this online event here.
Finding Your Tree Allies
Many people are finding tree allies these days. It seems at this time on the planet the trees have much to say to humans. If you feel drawn to the trees but don’t know where to begin, here is a simple way to get started on deepening your relationship with them.
First, know that even trees that have been cut down are still here in spirit form. If there is a stump that is calling to you, do not disregard it. The spirit of the tree may still be there wanting to interact with you.
To form a relationship with one or more trees, begin by noticing which trees want to speak to you. You will know this by the trees you find yourself attracted to. Once you determine which tree or trees this is, make an offering of milk at the base of the tree. Tell the tree you wish to begin to form a relationship with it and if it has things to tell you, you are open to listening.
The Italian Befana Ritual – January 6th
Many people celebrate the Feast of Epiphany each year on January 6th. As I was growing up, my Italian Grandmother never considered Christmas to be over until we arrived at Epiphany which she called “Little Christmas.”
She would give small, traditional gifts on this day. Because she was actively Catholic, she would pray in that tradition. But I remember Italian candies, tangerines and nuts coming out on that day. Candles were lit to the names of little elemental being friends to be remembered.
Catholics see the Epiphany as the day that the Three Magi arrive to the baby Jesus and offer him gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh. But in Italy, the celebration among the village folk is a celebration to and in honor of La Befana.
The Cimaruta is an ancient symbol and charm that represents the Streghe/Janarre (Italian medicine) lineage and is also seen to be a potent tool against the evil eye.
The symbol is a stylized sprig of the rue plant (ruta) with various charms hanging off of it, all representative of the craft in varying ways. On the Strega Tree Apothecary’s cimaruta logo hangs the moon, a key, the snake and a flower. We chose these for our logo as they represent the powers that we work with.
Theresa and Annie are a direct descendants of a Strega lineage through their great and great-great-grandmother on their father/grandfather’s Italian side This ancestress is a powerful ally in our work. All Strega Tree diviners are initiated into this lineage since they are initiated through Theresa, Annie or one of her mentees. Janarra is the deeper layer of this lineage.