Tucked away on the top of a mountain in Unity, New Hampshire is a magical place where a magical woman named Jonah lives. Unity Mountain Herbs was born out of a deep passion for building a strong herbal medicine and earth based spirituality community. Unity Mountain Herbs offers a variety of services from teaching, herbal medicine making, empowerment coaching, and wellness activation. Jonah contacted me because she needed a portrait session that was able to illustrate the multitude of offerings she provided all while retaining the sacredness and intention of those offerings.
She had some clear conceptual ideas in mind that she wanted to work with, and so our journey together began over the phone discussing how to take her visions from simple ideas, to finished images that communicated everything she wanted to say. The power of what Jonah offers to her community is spoken through archetypical language thus our goal was to weave these archetypes in such a way that felt authentic and deeply devotional to the sacredness of the work she does.
We began in her garden where she grows a multitude of herbs and intuitively followed the light towards the Angelica plant. From what I’ve personally studied, Angelica is regarded as a powerful protectant, it can be incorporated into spells to ward off evil and bring good fortune. It is associated with personal courage and is said to bring blessings of emotional temperance and harmonious home life. It seemed fitting that we were start here with this plant to help Jonah connect with her personal power and ground into the harmony of the plant world around us.
When we decided that we had fully captured her inner Green Woman, we shape shifted on to discover her inner white witch next to the Marshmallow root. We timed the portrait session to the setting of the sun on her specific property. Being tucked away atop a mountain, the light can seem to go down earlier than usual. The Marshmallow were calling to us, for obvious reasons. They were glowing in such a way that you could clearly see all of the light hearted intentions of Jonah’s heart illuminated by the sunshine. She is a light worker~ so this made perfect sense to illustrate her story.
We meandered to the other side of the property to connect with the long stalks of Valerian as well. The bees were buzzing so loudly and serenaded us through the experience which felt deeply connected and holy.
The beauty of being a medicine woman is ones ability to shift from archetype to archetype and reflect the people you are sharing space with in such a way that you can show up for them exactly as they need you to be to learn what they need from you. Being witness to Jonah’s ability to commune and vibrate with a multitude of plants and energies made this beauty all the more obvious to me. I’m so grateful that she choose me to hold space for this session for her.
We moved on to another realm as we left the gardens and entered the nearby forest where the standing pools of water were seeking the remembrance of reflection. Holding space for one to reflect is a sacred thing indeed, even when you’re being swarmed by mosquitos.
Jonahs grace and laughter through the challenge was inspiring. I can honestly say, there’s no one else I’d rather be swarmed with mosquitoes by in the forest with than her. She has a loving presence that can even honor them as their sucking our blood.
We moved on deeper through the woods and found a gorgeous moss laden stone archway which became our underworld dreamscape. There we perched myself upon some freshly soaked tree roots while Jonah perched herself within the archway. Magic was made.
Throughout my experience photographing Jonah, I felt guided to particular elements, trees, and beams of light. When were wrapping up our time in the forest, there was a particular spot where the light was calling me in. Though the forest was green as could be, I imagined it firey red with the colors of autumn, and so I created it that way in post production.
Jonah shared with me her love for the hemlock trees, and so we had to capture some images there as well as the last bits of light were hitting them.
The light in the forest was no longer, and we decided to wrap up her session with some earth mother home energy, as our journey together landed us back at her home. Jonah gathered together a few items that felt like they wanted to be in the photo, and I encouraged her to simply settle into the space, and be present with the energy of the moment and what it was trying to say to us.
We ended the session in silence. The kind of silence that tells you that you’ve created something amazing together. Thinking back to this session gives me goose bumps, because it was one of those sessions where you know the cosmos were aligned to create sacred moments together. Consciously creating a safe container where one can express themselves to their deepest core brings me such a sense of satisfaction and joy, its what I’m here to do, and I’m grateful that Jonah and I’s paths crossed. She is an incredibly gifted woman, and I’d highly recommend checking out her Facebook page to learn about how you can acquire her tinctures, tea blends and participate in guided workshops where she facilitates profound healing.