From the Crucible

Whether you celebrate the Gregorian New Year’s Eve and Day celebrations, following the Chinese calendar, follow the cycles of the Celtic Wheel of the Year, or wish it would all Just Stop Already because these festive shenanigans are causing you a headache- I think there is still undeniably a shifting occurring.

I feel it. Not just personally (although could I tell you tales…) but in my work and in the way life twists and turns and has its fits and starts. Old Growth Alchemy is still highly malleable at the moment (fitting; as only alchemy can be) as I try different blends of This and That and see what comes from each creation. Separating from the ashes what is alive and what is stale. It is truly exciting, and I love having you on this journey with me.

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So as we shift into Some New Thing, I am embracing what feels most delicious to work with—the offerings of which you will see unfold as the year goes on (I can have my mysteries too, you know). But some particular points I do wish to share at this time.

After some thought (and actual time spent feeling out the practicality or not), I feel it is necessary for me to adjust my monthly donations (see last post Opening a Hand for full details) to 10% from the initial 20%- the reality is that at the current stage of OGA, this new number feels most sustainable for growth while also fulfilling my personal wishes and promises to offer something back as a thanks for what I have learned.

As things picked up towards the end of the year with events and connections, I decided to broaden the scope of Old Growth Alchemy from its initial inception based on purely botanical offerings to focus my works on Botanical Libations (the tisanes, teas, bitters, elixirs) and Sensual Ephemera. What is this Sensual Ephemera? Well, we have seen some so far by way of salves, oils, incense, dream sachets, body scrubs and wild baskets, but there will be new offerings to delight all senses including art pieces and most particularly, ritual and ceremonial work. Of what kind? Ah, it is all a part of the mysteries to come…

The final addition and focus will be a stronger tie to storytelling and writing in my work. Each offering is multifaceted and I want to provide a fully immersive experience with each piece. So, expect more tales and wonders to come, my darklings.

For now, however, I will leave you with this vignette into my evening: a large pot filled to the brim with cheery juniper and unassuming bay leaves bubbling away with salt water. The air heavy with the perfumed kisses of this briny intermingling. Something curious and potent will remain after this trial of fire-a Becoming: revitalized and different. A gift from my hearth which I offer to you of intention and clearing on this New Day.

Ashley Nunez