Chapter Nine: Written in the Book of Common Healing Knowledge Is…

Editor’s Note: An honest account of the early days of Vine should include some real reporting on the witches. Not “witches were evil, the Elders drove them from Vine” or whatever the Church puts in their cheap little tracts. Unfortunately, “witches’ texts” is not in the reference section of the Vine Library. And how are you supposed to do any kind of research on witches’ texts with these kinds of vague titles? 

  • The Book Of Common Healing Knowledge
  • Seasonal Spells For Help With Weather
  • Everyday Hexes
  • Long Lost Friend 
  • Remedies for Serious Yet Unremarkable Ailments 

These texts are alluded to enough in both primary sources and whisper networks I’ve heard about while drunk on warped-wood back porches that they cannot be ignored. Witches’ knowledge has been successfully hidden but goddamnit if I’m not going to be the one to find it.

Christine has told me: At night in Vine, the spirits roamed the space between treetops and men’s heads. Their music and enchantments and temptations were a low frequency, like the rustling of grass, perceptible only to those attuned to notice but nonetheless affecting even to the ignorant. 

Apparently, this has been true since the Revelation of Vine, only most people are too tunnel-visioned by their devotion to God to see. Part of the goal of this book—if anyone from Vine ever reads it—is to show that there are ways beyond Elders’ decrees and Preachers’ teachings of understanding the world.

Jonah told me once: The first Elders and preachers had the foresight—or maybe just the fear that rests on the guilty shoulders of every settler—to beseech God for blessings and protections. Asking for aid, admonishing residents not to stray from the path of righteousness. It should’ve been well understood that spirits shall always be a potentially corrupting force in this holy place. Ha! It was well understood—just not by any who actually viewed this as a holy place.

This note is a placeholder. Because I’m goddamn finding those books and putting at least summaries or tidbits here. We cannot tell the story of Vine without the unofficial knowledge, the wisdom from the witches who operated under threat of death and in direct conflict with the Council of Elders.

Christine told me about a book: Cocktails, Fireworks, and Ayahuasca Trips. Pretty sure Christine was fucking with me with that one. She always smirked at this project: One book of Vine? Be serious. What makes you think the knowledge of this place is etched anywhere other than the Land? What makes you think we are anything but a crumb to be brushed off of a minor footnote in the book of geologic history? What makes you think this land is even called Vine?

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