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Reflections of an autistic herbalist, poet, and Feri priest.

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Diving Under Dark Waters

I can feel my neurons, they are a rapidly proliferating web of connections like mycelial network running through deep forest soil, intertwined with the roots of trees.


Such is the nature of the neurons and synapses of an Autistic brain.


A moment ago they became overloaded, the information about the things that needed to be done combining with the sound of the electricity in the walls and the feeling of the carpet on my bare feet and the fear of falling apart when it is more important now to hold it together than I can ever remember it being before overwhelmed their capacity and words became unable to reach my lips.


For years I staved this off through dissociation, through locking sensory gating channels and pushing sensation and emotion down below the level of perception, but then my body and my heart rebelled, no longer willing to keep suffering the consequences when forcing the lid to stay on the boiling pot made things explode.


If I can just feel into the intensity of the sensation of my thumbnail digging into my fingertip, if I can just rock rhythmically, if I can just get into a dark, quiet place, then I can dive deep enough to watch the storm above from the ocean floor, and let the chaos resolve into new patterns.


From down below, I watch my neurons re-weaving to dance with the complexity of the emergent patterns of information and sensation.  And I see how each synapse traces the weft and warp of the threads of the fabric of space and time.


My friend Matthew wrote in his Book of Herbal Wisdom that "the witch has the ability to grasp the strands of destiny which are woven to create a person's future."


He was speaking of the capacity of a witch to rend someone's life asunder, but it is the same capacity by which we weave lives back together, and what we do for people we also do for worlds.


What we weave within us and what we unravel within us pulls on threads in all worlds.


Matthew says "In order to this it is necessary [for the witch] not to be swayed by strong emotion."


From the still, silent place beneath these dark waters, no tides or currents sway me and I retake my place in the creation of worlds.

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Tagged in: autism feri
Sean Donahue is a highly neurodivergent wild forest creature who lives on traditional Klickitat territory in Trout Lake, WA and has an herbal practice in Portland and Beaverton, OR. He is an initiated priest of the BlackHeart line of the Feri Tradition of witchcraft, and carrier of the Green Wand. To learn more about his work go to.
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