My name is Cedar Stevens and I have been a practicing witch and potioneer for over fifteen years.
For thirty years I have been an avid botanist, herbalist, and gardener.
Here is my path to Natural Magick.
As a very small child, I remember interacting with a family of Gnomes in my backyard. I suppose anyone would have dismissed this as a child's normal "imaginary playmates," but especially the father Gnome would take me around the backyard, teaching me about the plants, bugs and stones, and that empty snail shells could be used as currency among his kind. I was a little kid and so I don't remember much more of what he taught me than that, and after a storm blew down some trees in the backyard, I didn't see the Gnomes anymore, and forgot all about them.
It wasn't until later in high school and college that I found it just really easy to understand botany, and to so easily remember the Latin names of native plants. It was almost as if I already had learned it before and was just remembering....OH, THE GNOMES.
I wended my way through a number of botany-oriented livelihoods and avocations. I became a native plants ID expert in the footsteps of my beloved professor Marshall Johnston. I used my knowledge of botany and ecology as a revolutionary activist with Earth First! for over a decade, and we did succeed at getting a lot of land preserved in the Austin area and a number of species protected under the Endangered Species Act..
In the mid-nineties I began to teach myself herbal medicine. I became the herb buyer at a local co-op grocery store. I was browsing the herb section at Half Price Books for a new herb book, and I found this sweet little book called Magical Herbalism by Scott Cunningham. At the time I was still a hard-boiled atheist-scientist, so as I pulled this book off the shelf, I thought to myself, "What kind of silly superstition is this?" But paging through it, I knew that I had to know EVERYTHING about it. By the end of that year I had started the first offerings of Natural Magic (original spelling), selling at arts and crafts fairs. I joined a small self-taught coven, the Cave Spring Faery Circle, and we self initiated on Ostara 1997, serving the local activist laity with Sabbats and Full Moon Esbats. We studied Ancient Ways by Pauline Campanelli and Reclaiming witchcraft via Spiral Dance, and after CSFC drifted apart, I continued studying Reclaiming with Tejas Web, and went to my first WitchCamp in 1998.
By Spring Equinox 1999, I had joined with a business partner to open Natural Magic, Inc, a brick and mortar full-line pagan supplies boutique. In 2000 I cofounded a study group, the Cult of the Faery Star, which did magickal exploration and magickal tech R&D mostly in Reclaiming ritual structure. 2006 also found me studying a year and a day and Initiated into Sybilline Order.
Natural Magic Inc, went out of business on Samhain of 2006.
In November of 2006, I began gardening at Sunshine Community Gardens (again). By this time I was gardening by the Moon and Stars tradition faithfully, and since then, all of my plants used in Natural Magick have been ritually gardened according to this ancient system.
Natural Magick Shop opened as an online business on Thanksgiving Day of 2006! (I now realize that 2006 was a really big year!)
In 2008-2009, I served as President of the Board at Sunshine Community Gardens, and worked primarily on getting ourselves recognized as a 501 c3 nonprofit organization, and we got the designation the day after my term ended in 2009!
In 2011 I took my Minerval Initiation into O.T.O. at Scarlet Woman Lodge. 93, y'all.
Over the years, as Natural Magick Shop became more and more successful, I found myself never getting to go to WitchCamp, Sabbat rituals, and on Full Moons especially, my potion crafting workload was so demanding that I couldn't make time for even the simplest observation. I had given up my beloved community garden plots for lack of time. Poor Witch, right? Then, the inkling started coming late in 2016, that I was not being prevented from participating in my tradition by my work with Natural Magick Shop...but that my work with Natural Magick Shop was my tradition...or it could be! Reclaiming had given me a very good background and ritual structure, and all the ritual gardening, native plant ID and worship. I began codifying a robust year-and-a-day program for aspiring herb-garden-potioning Witches, and on Imbolc of 2017 I self-initiated as High Priestess of the Natural Magick Tradition along with the first group of 0° Natural Magick Tradition student-Priestxs! Beyond the Year-and-a-Day program, I offer higher degrees and am currently working on the curriculum towards training Potion Priestxs to be able to do everything that I do. I may want to retire some day, y'all!
The latest chapter of my journey is that Natural Magick Shop in January 2019 became an apothecary member at Yarrow and Sage, an artist-apothecary co-op WHICH OPENED IN THE SAME LOCATION AS MY OLD NATURAL MAGIC, INC STORE!!! Back to the land that had been sanctified for every Sabbat and every Full Moon for the whole 7 years 7 months and 7 days of its existence!
Natural Magick Shop in April 2019 obtained a Texas Nursery license, and I and the NM Priestx group raise ritually grown native and magickal plants for use in NMS products, and for sale to landscape clients and the general public. Our point of sale is at Yarrow and Sage, so go get you some Green Magick there!
For the future, I intend to grow the Natural Magick Tradition so that it can offer open rituals for Sabbats and Full Moons, as well as offer rite-of-passage services to the laity. (I got married in May and my Priestxs did such an elegant magickal job of our Handfasting!) Our Paths could lead to the establishment of a 501 c3 Church with supporting businesses of ritual landscaping, foundation of a Hill Country retreat or perhaps a Convent where a cooperatively operated system takes over the manufacture of NMS potions. Eventually seeds will blow and Natural Magick Tradition will spread to other bioregions. At some point I can write my Natural Magick books of ritual, plant lore and magickal landscaping theory!
All the while, whatever we do, we will be weaving Magick back into the World for the ReGreening of the Earth.