Lecture: Sickle and Sheaf: on plants, metals and their interaction in history, folklore and magic.
During this presentation, Cody will be discussing the curious, sympathetic and often antagonistic relationship between various plants, metals, and spirit intercessors, with a particular focus on the often maligned ore that is iron. Throughout history, and among the majority of the peoples of the world, cultural and ethical taboos have developed around the act of meeting living plant matter with various metals. These accounts vary remarkably, and it can be difficult to seize upon a common thread beyond the fact that selecting appropriate metals to work with particular vegetal material has been a deep consideration for a very long time. We look toward these folkloric and historical accounts, that we better attempt to understand what occurs on a numinous level when the two very different realms collide in an act as seemingly simple as the pruning of a rosebush, or the act of gathering herbs dedicated to higher sorcerous endeavors. Also to be considered are the roles played by various spirits and shades possessed by these metals and plants and the places in which they are indigenous and/or cultivated. It is hoped that during the course of the presentation, we may begin to form some manner of deeper understanding of the forces at work when sickle meets sheaf.
Cody Dickerson is a writer and student of the Germanic mysteries, British cunning-folk magic, and is an initiated Braucher, or Powwow practitioner. A blacksmith by trade and a gardener by avocation, he also studies the rural folk magic and traditions of North America, Europe and Mexico. Some of his research work in these areas has recently been published with Three Hands Press. His work as a blacksmith remains primarily in the realm of commissioned ritual art and implements. He currently resides in the western US, and has been working intimately with trees and plants for many years. His experience with iron and metalwork developed parallel with his plant work and they have often cross pollinated, bearing strange and wonderful fruit.