Essence-making is a curious process, a way of listening, trusting in the inner voice, and opening up a process that engages the essential intelligence that comes into its unique physical form. Making the bird essences has been quite different from all my essence making as in each essence I find myself embodying the particular bird I am making the essence from. I also am given particular directions and times in the making of these remedies, this is usual practice for me, as the essences are responding to external factors like the moon cycle, daily rhythms and planetary cycles.

The huia is particularly unique in that it is an extinct bird. This was the first bird essence I made. I came to understand that something that existed in physical form still exists and can be connected to in the present. We can understand this through the concept that Rupert Sheldrake postulates in ‘morphogenetic fields’ that these fields hold all the past and current experiences of humans, animals and plants, (I would like to add landscape and rocks) so everything we do, think, love and so forth is available to us and our descendants.

The last essence I made of the birds was the piwakawaka (fantail) and after I write up these essences from my notes, I walk up the hill through the forest to the house and on the way a piwakawaka (fantail) is chasing a ruru (morepork/owl) through the trees. It is broad daylight and the owl looks at me with bright piercing eyes whilst the piwakawaka dances fiercely around it. I wonder about this encounter on this new moon and then connect the pieces that it’s time to make an essence of the ruru. I share this story as so often in my journey with the bird essences they show up in unusual ways.

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