Hi! Thank you for being here and taking a moment to read about the apothecary. I’m Tasha, the primary person behind these offerings. (My partner Devon also helps me out!) My identities include being white, queer & nonbinary.
We live on Nipmuc + Pocumtuc land, also called the Pioneer Valley of Western MA. We grow many of the herbs we use, and source the rest from local farms whom we know and love. I grew up in coastal southern Florida, so a lot of my plant relationships are with those who grow in the tropics. That said, the focus of the apothecary is on bioregional plants of the northeast, or those which can easily be grown here. We make tinctures/glycerites, plant & flower essences, and skincare salves. I also offer consultations, which you can find out more about under the "consultations" tab. (currently being updated!)
The Blue Whale Apothecary is an exploration of my two loves in this world - the ocean and the plants. The project is an ever-changing expression of my current relationships with plants and place. It’s a celebration of the queerness in humans, the queerness in the plants, the queerness in liminal watery spaces. It’s an experiment in what access can look like - offering plant medicine and consultations on a large sliding scale that turns no one away from care. It’s a place where I can try to find ways to disrupt the systems of oppression that underlie our lives and the ways that we access care and healing. It’s a project in progress - if you see something that doesn’t sit right, please send me some feedback! I want to keep the conversation continuing.
My hope is that these remedies uplift you, fortify you, call you to action and hold you in rest.
Why the whale?
How do we know and recognize whales most frequently, and most easily? their breathing.
We see their ‘spouts’, which is really just the warmth of their giant exhale creating a plume of condensation. The only time that they are more visible to us is perhaps in launching themselves up from the water in a breach.
My relationship to my own breathing is complicated. As a kid, I struggled with respiratory infections and the airborne neurotoxins of harmful algae blooms off the FL coast; and as an adults a diaphragm spasm and intense stress kept me breathing shallowly for several years. I haven’t always felt a lot of agency over my breathing. And so it’s always been hard when people say “oh just breathe” , “if you just take some deep breaths you’ll be fine”, etc. etc…
I do want to be grounded in my breathing, noticing the ways in which my lungs communicate with my nervous system communicates with my heart. The year of 2020 became for me and many others, a year hyper-focused on breathing. We started with a respiratory pandemic, sharply bringing our attention to the space we inhabit with our breath. Masks made us even more aware. Then for us (living in California at the time) came wildfire season, when the smoke turned the sky deep orange and made it impossible to be outside. There were the Black Lives Matter Uprisings of the summer, centered around a cry of #ICantBreathe. This is not my rallying cry to claim, but the impact of this movement was and is felt in all our spaces.
What I feel most called to make for myself and to share with others are remedies for supporting different emotional & physical states, but which all tie back to our lungs, to our breathing. And I want to embody the wisdom of the whales - who can sing out and be heard on the other side of the ocean, who know how to swim far but take their time, and who breathe at the surface but can traverse the depths of the whole ocean.
I hope that you'll join on me on this journey <3 Thank you