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I’m a hunter. These are my hunting grounds.
I’m a gatherer. This is where I gather myself. This is where I pick up berries and stories and truths, pick and choose.



I’m not a farmer. Being a farmer is not my core competence although I do enjoy preparing the ground and planting seeds. But I have all kinds of problems with my body and besides I like tracking too much. I like tracking too much to be a farmer.
So I track.
Down. Memories. Words. Pick and choose.

When I’m sad (and I admit that I am sad a lot, I’m sorry) I walk the wild. I walked the wild today.
Tomorrow is Saint Lucia day which is a really big thing here in Scandinavia. It’s the night of the wild hunt and you have to stay awake all night to guard your home and your loved ones. Only if you fear the creatures though. And I don’t. But still.
There are other kinds of evil.

Saint Lucia’s day is when the children carry the torch and brings back the light into the world, Saint Lucia’s day is when all of the supernatural creatures such as fairies, elfs, trolls, monsters, swamp things, river spirits and bog wives…. ride.

So I thought I’d collect some juniper berries in the wild. Now that the ripe blue berries have gotten their first bit of frost, is a good time to do that. Besides juniper purifies and cleanse body and space… and protects you from evil. This is old knowledge.

Juniper is sometimes called the nordic pepper and I use it in stews and casseroles and then I purify body and space by either drinking it as a tea or placing it on the wood stove from time to time.

To protect my house from evil I work with juniper, wood, needles, berries, thoughts, pick and choose.

The berries take two to three years to ripen so you often find berries in different stages on the same tree. I think about maturity and change when I look to juniper. I guess it’s all right. I don’t have to get everything done at once, I don’t have to be fully ready at exactly the same point in time.

These green ones are not ripe but I think they are pretty.


You only pick the blue ones. If you want a LOT you place a cloth underneath the tree and start shaking. I don’t need a lot. Just a little. I guess that those who need a lot need a lot because gin is made from juniper. So.

Wild animals and elks fancy juniper. Here’s a burning bush of juniper.



Juniper can be everything from a small bush to a large tree.
Juniper helps with joint pains and digestive problems on both a psychical and an emotional level according to me.
I believe that wild food is very potent. More than vitamins and minerals. I believe it is important there’d be hunters and gatherers too. I tell myself that. I tell myself that some of us are meant to roam, I tell myself it’s ok.

Yesterday I went tracking juniper. I brought juniper with me home. It’s not like I had to though. Juniper grows wild just outside my house but I needed the tracking, needed it as I need air, I was sad you see and afraid too. As I said there are many kinds of evil. Just as there are many kinds of cures.

Juniper is a great gift.


10 comments on “The gift of juniper

  1. What a beautiful post. Thanks to this, I’ll be thinking about and doing some of my own tracking today. Thank you for the insights!


  2. Sofie says:

    Det ER okay. Elsker den julekalender. Næste gang jeg skal til min mor på Bornholm, skal jeg tracke og plukke juniper, jeg mener enebær…. hvis altså der kommer frost. På et eller andet tidspunkt i løbet af vinteren…. Jeg laver chaiekstrakt ca hver anden uge. Der skal hel allehånde i. En dag opdagede jeg at jeg havde set forkert og kommet tørrede enebær i, istedet for allehånde. Det gik fint! Anderledes, men ikke ringere chai!


  3. BeeHappee says:

    Thank you, Andrea, this was a beautiful post, maybe one of my favorite of yours…thank you for your words, many kinds of evil and many types of cure.


  4. BeeHappee says:

    The cure is you. Yes, you can make some damn good gin with the green juniper berries, you can make some spice with the purple ones, and both may cure you for a while. . But really, is not cure in you? If someone seriously said right now: you have 30 minutes right here on earth, what would you do in those 30 minutes? Let’s do that exact thing right now. 🙂 (I guess I would write this to cheer you up). Yes, we need hunters and gatherers. And most are not either farmers or hunters, we are all on the spectrum some place, I think. Imagining ourselves some place on the spectrum and then wanting to be on a different spot perhaps. Do you think a hunter can never be fully happy because they are hunting for something? I think you can. . I think you can just accept where you are, enjoy the hunt and still find a state of happiness, as long as you take just this very moment as the only thing that is granted right now and right here. Hope you find that eternal peace that is always there and all the other thing are just little bugs buzzing around coming and going. Even if they bite you sometimes, even if they make you sick with malaria sometimes, even if they annoy you. YOU are still there.
    So cheers my friend, with that juniper gin. !!!


  5. Søren says:

    Ahh I used to love Saint Lucia, Think I still do!
    The Children will indeed bring back the Light
    I have a strong feeling that everything will turn out alright
    …. its more a kind of knowing actually

    So much we humans have no clue about, our DNA for starters
    We only use 3% and the remaining 97 “they” tell us is leftover junk-DNA, no good for anything …. are you freaking kidding me! The 97% is where all the pure gold and diamonds are burried!
    Time to start digging folks, Go deep 🙂
    Bring back the Light!

    Reminds me of the Anthony and the Johnsons lyrics “grow back like a starfish”. ….. ramblings about growing, changing, becoming what we all know we are …..

    Who in this reality is Greater than You?
    Nobody! That who …


  6. Eumaeus says:

    mmmm…. we are all hunters and gatherers. farming is the gateway to confusion (sorry farmers). for you see, it is infinintely easier for the hunter and gatherer to understand that she is not separate. for the farmer it is a little harder (because they think that it is THEY who plant the seeds THEY who make it grow, etc.) but the the truth is that we are all hunders and gatherers (not separate from that which we hunt and gather).

    if I can, one day I will write about the cave, then maybe I’ll explain this better. but remember we don’t write the truth. the truth can’t be written. we can only write from the truth. but what comes out will never be true.
    You have to be satisfied that the truth will not be written. The truth will not be understood by words. You can only live it. You can only be it. And it is only right now that anything matters. ❤ peace and love viking sister


    1. BeeHappee says:

      E, stop teasing about the cave, just tell please. 🙂
      Funny about THEM growing the seeds. Is it just about how much uncertainty we can tolerate? Farmer may not like much uncertainty while hunter can tolerate more?
      Writing you would think goes through at least 2 prisms to distort the reality: the writer’s perception and the reader’s perception, so really, it is like the broken telephone game. . 🙂 Do we have other options other than a broken phone?


  7. Hilda says:

    Thanks for the reminder to go out and pick some juniper berries before they are too deep in snow. All mine are low bushes, so there is a deadline for collecting them.


  8. ncfarmchick says:

    Hunting and gathering greens and vines for wreaths today and, you’re right, it does chase away the demons. That, or two boys running wild through the woods and singing at the top of their lungs. Thank you for your lovely words. You’re giving me so much to think about these days. The season of advent means anticipation to me and I am truly anticipating your thoughts each day. Peace!


  9. Karen J says:

    thank you for this, Andrea – beautiful feelings transferred to the page.
    I shall have to plant juniper and yew together, when next I have a space to call my own – bright blue and bright red berries in the snow – Ahhh!

    I never knew juniper takes two years to ripen – what a great reminder of the reasons for patience, too!

    Soon-to-be-Brighter Blessings to you ~


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