Monica Crosson: Master Gardener, writer and educator

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Bio:

Monica Crosson is a Master Gardener, writer and educator who lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest happily digging in the dirt and tending her raspberries with her family and menagerie of farm animals.  Her core teaching lies in the belief that within each and every one of us lies the seeds of hope for a better way and that by cultivating them, others may know the importance of sustainability and keep true the responsibility of this beautiful planet we inhabit. Monica is a contributing writer for many of Llewellyn Worldwide's almanacs, companion books, datebooks and calendars.  Her book, "The Magickal Family: Pagan Living in Harmony with Nature," was released by Llewellyn Worldwide in October of 2017. She is a practicing Pagan and enjoys teaching families how to create magick in a mundane world.

What do I do best?

I have always been a child at heart. I’m the one who runs with messy hair and a warrior’s spirit to face the mundane world with wild abandon.  Through my writing and teaching I have been able to help others tap into a little bit of magic within themselves so they can delight in the gifts our natural world has to offer and learn to see the world with a new-found spirit. Whether it’s by leading families in ritual, guiding someone through one of life’s many transitions or helping a family learn to live more sustainably, I’ve always had a way of presenting my material with just enough whimsy and magic, that lets other believe they can take on whatever life throws their way.

What makes me the best version of myself?

A strong will, a creative spirit, and good sense of humor all have helped form me into the woman I am today. Adversity affects us all in one way or another- I believe how we handle hardship can make all the difference in the world.  When I was writing my book, ‘The Magickal Family,’ my husband suffered a stroke and I was forced to take on extra work outside the home to make ends meet.  Instead of giving up on my dream, I was more determined than ever to see it come to fruition.  When my husband’s doctor was still unsure that he would make a full recovery, he asked me how I thought I would emotionally handle his extra care.  I looked him square in the eyes and said, “If he becomes too much of a pain, I’ll probably just dig a hole and dispose of him in the backyard.”  I watched as he scribbled in his notepad- then he started to laugh.  “You’re going to do just fine,” he said.

What are my aspirations?

I plan on publishing more books that pertain to magickal living- but beyond that, we are in the process of building a couple of very fun (Tolkien style) cabins on our property so we can invite the public to enjoy our ‘hands on’ magickal living retreats. I also plan on writing more fiction.

My biggest success?

This may sound crazy, but I think teaching my children to garden was my biggest success.  They turned compost and planted seeds by my side from the time they could walk.  As they held the tiny seeds, I would tell them about the power held within the seed’s casing- the power to heal, nurture, sustain life or take life away. And because of this, not only was a bit of our own agricultural history passed on, but my children grew to be adults with a clear understanding of interconnectedness with the natural world.

My most challenging moment?

Public speaking can be very challenging for me.  The first time I spoke in public was traumatic.  I pretty much couldn’t remember my name, let alone the subject matter.   The stress had affected my eye-sight as well, so when I went to look at my notes, the page was a blurry mess.  I stuttered and held my breath and when I was done, I sat in the car and cried.  Even though public speaking still makes me nervous, I have since learned to loosen up and when the occasional lapse of memory occurs during a lecture I make light of it and that helps me get back on track.

My motto?

The family that dances under the full moon together- stays together." Obliviously a spin on another popular motto, this has been our family’s motto for a long time and I used it in the introduction of my book, “The Magickal Family: Pagan Living in Harmony with Nature.”

Something else I am fond of saying is: “Embrace your inner weirdo! There ain’t no one else like you!”

My favorite people/role models?

I come from a long line of strong women and it is my sisters, my mother and my grandmothers whom I look to as role models- for their strength, grit and sheer will to accomplish goals and live life the way they knew they wanted to live it.  There are people in our community who comment about the women in my family being stubborn or strong-willed and to them I say, “You bet your ass we are.”

My favorite place/destination

That’s easy! The beautiful forest of the Pacific Northwest. As a child, I could be found in woodland that bordered our property, tucked quietly against the protruding roots of a big leaf maple with club moss caught up in my hair.   It was a beautiful soul of a tree, whose green bower was tangled with my song, charms and childish prayers- and whose roots knew, not only the telling of my own soul, but of my grandfather’s, and the ancient people who walked the virgin forests of the pacific northwest before him.  And as an adult, I am still drawn to the towering guardians of our dwindling woodlands.  I go there for solitude and respite, for grounding and wisdom, for ritual and magickal working.   The forest is truly where I find myself over and over again.

My favorite products/objects?

My three favorite things in all the world are: an old wood rocker my husband bought me for Christmas one year from an antique store, a handcrafted leather journal a dear friend made for me, and a rag doll that was made for me by my mother when I was a child.  When writing I have to have composition notebooks and black gel pens.

My current passions?

I am your classic ‘Jack of all trades- master of none.’  I dabble in a bit of everything.  So, it really depends on the mood I’m in and the season- right now I’m into crochet and fermentation (especially kombucha).