Hunting the Medicine: Stalking the Wild Spirit – Rattlesnake Sighting in Shenandoah Forest

Here is an excerpt from my upcoming film – Hunting the Medicine: Stalking the Wild Spirit.

As I was driving through Shenandoah National Forest I spotted a pretty large rattlesnake sunbathing on the road. It was amazing and majestic as it was the first I’ve ever seen. I quickly pulled off, parked, and grabbed my camera. I knew I wanted to help the snake and that I didn’t want it to get run over.  It was right around a bend and so hard to see, even I at first thought it was just a stick in the middle of the road. A few moments passed by, wondering what to do; should I try to get a stick and bring it off the road – or not interfere with the natural flow of things? Was my being there at that specific time and place part of the natural flow, or was I going to interfere with that flow?  As I stood there, mystified by its beauty and presence and feeling my heart I was just holding space for it. As cars went by I waved my hands to them, guiding them around the snake. From there eventually it naturally seemed to sense the vibration of the vehicles and turned around.

It slithered silently up the hill where I suddenly spotted lots of St johns wort growing wild. Happily and excitedly, with lots of thanks I collected some to make an herbal medicine with and named it Shenandoah Snake Johns Wort. I will be making an infused oil from it (more in the documentary).  It will be a good blessing and will continue to give lots of healing from the special memory as well.

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About Dan

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
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