Why Tatnic? In short, it's where we live. But it’s so much more than that. The Tatnic woods are tucked away in the hills just above the bustle of Southern Coastal Maine's Route 1—the beach traffic and throngs of summer crowds, the hum of boats, the smells of restaurant kitchens and the din of shoppers and diners and busy sidewalks. Our little enclave is close enough to the shore to smell the sea when the wind is right, but we are worlds apart from the melee below. Here in these hills, it is easy to lose your sense of time, and the distinct feeling of being in a sacred place dissipates only when you move outward into the real world again to conduct your business. Hiding behind waves of white pine and oak and bending birch, in a landscape strewn with massive boulders left by the last ice age, we live closely with our land. The gardens flourish with food and medicine, the wild woods are teeming with creatures, the vernal pools are a sweetly deafening cacophony of peepers and bullfrogs. These Tatnic Hills are full of life, of history, and of magic. We are blessed to have started our journey in this place and it seems only fitting that our name be a reflection of our overwhelming gratitude. We are forever indebted to Tatnic and the magic that lives here alongside us.
And how about this idea of witchery? It started off as something of a joke between B and me. As I began mixing my strong teas, and standing over bubbling stove-top concoctions, placing jars of herbal oil to bask in our sunny windowsills, straining off strong smelling tinctures in our kitchen, B would curiously wonder, “What Witchery is this?” And so my herbal explorations were potions and magic, and when I made him a cup of tea to settle an upset stomach or nip his cold in the bud, it was my 'Witchery' that fixed him up. This playful image of me: the cheerful little witch in her country kitchen conjuring up cups of magic to keep her home healthy and happy, is a facet of me that I lovingly embrace. But. As my knowledge of the plants deepens, so too does my appreciation of their power and the realization that I am tapping into something ever-so-much bigger and older and wiser and yes—magical—than I expected to find when I hand-mixed my first pot of chai tea. While tinkering around in my kitchen is certainly a meaningful part of the work I do, my relationship with the Mother Earth continues to evolve in soul-changing ways and I learn, more fully everyday, what it really means to be a witch. It is about the stewardship of our One Planet, it is about love and connection with creation, about healing and compassion, about learning to listen and trusting our intuition, about empowering ourselves to live fully in our own bodies and taking ownership of our own paths. Being a witch is the feeling of being barefoot in summer’s long grass, of looking up in wonder at a fat, full moon. It’s the taste of raspberries off the bush and the crackling warmth of winter’s woodstove. It is as complex as the ocean tide and all of the ancient histories, but it is also as simple as a nourishing cup of nettle tea, cradled in your grateful hands.
And so, my Pretties, it is this witch’s dream to share with you my deep gratitude for Nature’s gifts, to connect you to their magnificent power, and to inspire you to love yourself with all of the vigor and fullness you deserve. I hope that you will find a little bit of magic, a lot of love, and plenty of wholesome healing within all of my concoctions.
With Love and Magic,
Lissa has long been a hopeless romantic for fine craftsmanship, folk tradition, the natural world, and "the ways of old." Her creative passions drive her intellectual pursuits and insist upon her working with her own two hands. From her immovable love for literature, to a lifetime of making art across disciplines, to her professional work in wooden boatbuilding and the trades--Lissa's quest for knowledge and beauty has led her into many compelling and gratifying corners of this magical world. And ultimately, this quest has led her here...to Tatnic. And to the plants. Connected to Mother Nature from a very young age, an innate curiosity about how the world works (especially the intersections of folk knowledge and science), and an intrinsic yearning to nurture others, Lissa's calling to the study of herbalism comes as no surprise.
In 2017, after years of self study, she set out on her path of formal education in herbalism under the tutelage of her first beloved mentor Debbie Mercier of Greenwood Herbals (Limerick, Maine). She is a graduate of both Greenwood’s Herbal Apprenticeship and Advanced Clinical Programs (2017, 2018). Lissa’s Advanced Clinical coursework continued under the wisdom of Mischa Schuler of Wild Carrot Herbs (Portland, Maine) where she deepened her understanding of the plants and her interest in working with clients (2019). This year of study was complemented by her attendance at the Maine Herbal Series, which hosts a diverse group of herbal teachers whose areas of expertise range widely from Folk Herbalism, to Biochemistry, to Spirit Medicine, to Herbal Activism, and beyond. Lissa is an active member of the American Herbalist Guild (AHG) and sits on the board of the Maine White Pine Chapter.