In Summer of 2014 I filmed my first pilot episode called “Hunting the Medicine; Stalking the Wild Spirit”, during a 2014 journey to North Carolina for 2 months where I packed my car and hit the road to learn from elders and teachers with the plants guiding the way and to strengthen my self reliance of foraging and survival skills while traveling throughout the mountains.
This was a deep and powerful journey and brought me much closer to living with the earths cycles, as well as connect to the deeply rooted plant traditions alive in North Carolina while constantly foraging, mushroom hunting, drying and storing herbs all over my car, visiting teachers, communities, and elders with the primary purpose of following my intuition.
Within those forest wanderings I was blessed to eat some of the most wonderful wild foods, an drink and bathe in some of the most nourishing spring water in the country. I also visited with mushroom identification teacher Ken Crouse, a mushroom mystic of sorts. Ken and I got to walk around the woods discussing everything from mushrooms, to plants, to ceremony, to times in palenque with Terence Mckenna while I filmed and recorded and walked the forest seeking mushrooms.
Here is a look at the basket o shrooms we ended up with, smooth chanterelles (Cantharellus lateritius)
Fortunately, we got to eat them several ways for several days at the Green Path Gathering hosted at Kens Farm in Boone, NC. They were more than delicious! I also spent the weekend with Ken and other students at Sunnybanks Inn, in Hot Springs, NC where he holds an amazing mushroom retreat every year around late Summer. Heres a look at a video with Ken teaching mushroom identification at a workshop I attended the previous year, back in 2013..
After spending time with Ken, I then headed to Celo, NC with a stop at Joe Hollis herb farm at Mountain Gardens, looking through their library, stocking up in their apothecary, and helping around the farm until attending the South East Permaculture Gathering where I got to interview and film Alan Muskat on foraging, picking, and plant teaching ethics, of which I’m super excited to release on video. I also got the chance to visit and interview with Richard Cleveland of Earth School, and spent alot of nourishing time meeting and conversing with the friends and family of the late Frank Cook, and closed with a visit to the pawpaw stand.
Dan De Lion is an earth herbalist, forager, musician, and teacher. He teaches through Return to Nature, providing classes, lectures, and seminars on wild food foraging, mushroom identification, herbal medicine making, as well as primitive and survival skills with a focus on wild foods and forest medicines. He also incorporates the philosophies of yoga, alchemy, meditation, and mysticism into his classes, lectures, and seminars and brings a deep rooted indigenous medicine perspective of practicing intuition with plants, in a systematic and earth-based way – Check out more at www.returntonature.us.