Monday, December 22, 2008

Issue of the Week - Dec 22 - Dec 28

Intuition

As many 'institutions' are crumbling around us, we are being called upon to access our inner resources. For those who have cultivated them through prayer, meditation, or other spiritual practices, this may be something familiar. Although, I am observing in the communities to which I belong, that even the leaders and teachers are being pushed beyond their comfort zones. Those who have led thousands are now having major challenges to their lives. No one is exempt.

Finding new, different and creative solutions to our personal and societal problems is possible. One path to our creativity is through our intuition. Creative inspiration speaks to us all of the time and it is through our intuitive faculties, that we can hear it. We need to listen to, trust and act on our intuition at this time. "Reason" and "rational thought" have their place in life. But what is occurring now is outside of the realm of reason; outside the box.

Einstein said: “You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.”

Desert Alchemy has some wonderful essences for Intuition.

A Way to the GodSelf Formula

Creativity Formula

Queen of the Night Cactus

Friday, December 19, 2008

Herb of the Month - Pine

Finally finished my classes and sent in all the final projects, which were taking so much time I didn't get a chance to say more about Pine until now.
First something about Pine essential oil.

A useful essential oil is distilled from Scotch Pine Pinus silvestris

Extraction method: Steam distillation from needles originating in Austria, Canada and Russia.

Properties: Anti-bacterial, antimicrobial, anti-neuralgic, antiseptic, antiviral, expectorant and stimulant.

This oil may help dilate and open the respiratory system, particularly the bronchial tract. It may also help with colds, coughs, cuts, cystitis, fatigue, feet (excessive sweating) flu, gout, lice, nervous exhaustion, scabies, skin parasites, sores, stress and urinary infection. Pine oil may also help increase blood pressure and stimulate the adrenal glands and circulatory system. Pine is a good recommendation for any First Aid kit. It affects emotional balance and the respiratory system.

Aromatic influence: Helps soothe mental stress, relieve anxiety, freshen and deodorize a room and revitalize the entire body.

Oral use as a dietary supplement: Can be used as a food additive and food flavoring agent. Dilute one drop in teaspoon of honey or in a 4oz. beverage. Not for children under 6, dilute further for children 6 and over.

Historical uses: Pine was used by some American Indian groups to prevent scurvy. They also stuffed mattresses with Pine to repel lice and fleas. It was used to treat pneumonia and lung infections and was added to baths to revitalize people suffering from mental or emotion fatigue and nervous exhaustion.

Folklore: In some cultures, pine branches were placed in coffins to signify immortality. Coffins themselves were often made of Pine for the same reason.

Blends well with: Cedarwood, eucalyptus, juniper, lavender, lemon marjoram, melaleuca, and rosemary.

Caution: Repeated use may cause skin irritation.

For the chefs out there, a marvelous recipe:




Honey and Pine Nut Tart

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Issue of the Week - Dec 15 - Dec 21

Certainty

At times of rapid and constant change, it is important to stay the course of your own life. One must ride the fine line between flexibility and rigidity. How do you hold on and let go at the same time? What should you cling to (if anything)?

If one has certainty about their life's path - hears the voice of their inner calling, then they can ride with the tides of life knowing that no matter what, they are being guided toward their goal. Things may change on the outside (and they probably will), but trusting that the course that has been set is true, then small zigzags will not make any difference.

The desert nomads view the shortest route to be a zigzag and use it in their rug patterns. Crossing the desert cannot be accomplished by traveling in straight lines. Still, they know their destination, and they arrive at it. Sailors must tack to the right and left as they move forward, taking advantage of wind and current, in order to travel anywhere.

So it is that we must recognize the small things that appear as deviations, as insignificant in terms of the larger goal.

Mullein Verbascum thapsus (yellow)

Positive Qualities: Strong sense of inner conscience, truthfulness, uprightness.

Patterns of Imbalance: Inability to her one's inner voice; weakness and confusion, indecisiveness; lying or deceiving oneself or others.

Through Mullein the soul awakens to its inner voice and develops the capacity to listen and respond to its true Self.


Scleranthus Scleranthus annum (green)

Positive Qualities: Decisiveness, inner resolve, acting from the certainty of inner knowing.

Patterns of Imbalance: Hesitation, indecision, confusion, wavering between tow choices.

The experience of living on Earth is one of duality; the soul must constantly learn to establish its own inner balance through the tension of polarity. The individual who needs Scleranthus finds this level of inner activity to be very painful and challenging. Subconsciously, such a person longs for wholeness as a given external condition of life, not realizing that a far greater wholeness is achieved through the ability to choose and define who one is. Scleranthus flower essence helps toward greater decisiveness and clarity of purpose.

Wild Oat Bromus ramosus (green)

Positive Qualities: Work as an expression of inner calling; outward life which expresses one's true goals and values; work experiences motivated by an inner sense of life's purpose.

Patterns of Imbalance: Confusion and indecision about life direction' trying many activities but chronically dissatisfied, lack of commitment or focus.

Soul health and happiness are very much dependent on the ability to realize one's true life purpose and vocation. If the soul does not have the opportunity to evolve and to serve through its basic life work, it will suffer great distress. By these standards, we can appreciate the depth of sickness in our modern, technological world. Many people are unknowingly enslaved to the forces of materialism,for their primary motivation to work is a monetary one (whether they make much or little money). This situation drastically drains the soul's true vitality; evenings, weekends, and holidays are spend simply recuperating or escaping from alienating or exploitative work situations. Dr. Bach recognized this fundamental soul ailment, and considered Wild Oat, along with Holly, to be one of the two basic remedies in his system. Wild Oat helps to transform the basic cultural illness of our age. Wild Oat helps the individual to recognize and respond to his/her true calling, seeking forms of work that give the Self a sense of higher purpose and meaning, and the ability to truly serve and help others.

We might try to see all these downsizings and lay-offs as a chance to re-align our work with our soul's purpose. Do we really need all these things to by happy and fulfilled?

Descriptions of flower essences and their uses from Flower Essence Repertory by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz.

Photos from the FES website.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Issue of the Week - Dec 8 - Dec 14

Receptivity

We are going through a time of rapid change. The alignment of our Sun with the Galactic Center has already begun (the event which will be at its high point on Dec. 21, 2012). We are receiving pulses of energy that will assist us in our next evolutionary step. That is, if you are in a receptive state.

There are many reasons why people are closed or blocked. Sometimes people are shut down to protect themselves from being hurt.

The challenge of now is to open up the heart as wide and as far as possible, despite fear. Fear is a construct of the mind. The mind wants things to remain the same, so that it can have a sense of continuity (security). But living in the Now requires living in a heart space. Trusting Creation means feeling the Unity through the heart.

Flower Essences are uniquely suited to assisting us in coming into resonance with Unity.

For receptivity the following Flower Essences from FES.

Angelica Angelica archangelica (white)

Positive Qualities:

Feeling protection and guidance from spiritual beings, especially at threshold experiences such as birth and death.

Patterns of Imbalance:

Feeling cut off, bereft of spiritual guidance and protection.

The modern human soul suffers in a way which is unique and tragic, for it must face profound spiritual isolation and separation through living in a materialistically dense and technologically abstract world culture. The Angelica flower essence addresses the soul's experience of compression and restriction by quickening the thinking and perception processes. The soul becomes more able to perceive and discriminate its connection to the subtle sheaths surrounding the physical world. Angelica especially encourages the individual to develop a relationship with the spiritual world, transforming an overly abstract or intellectual viewpoint into a genuine feeling for spiritual presence and spiritual beings. This awareness is particularly enhanced for that group of spiritual beings who immediately border the human kingdom: the angels. Through a living relationship with the angelic realm the human soul receives guardianship and guidance in daily affairs, and protection at times of crisis or during threshold experiences. This feeling of being protected and cared for is of enormous importance to the inner life, giving the soul great strength and courage for its work in transforming and healing the world. Angelica is broadly indicated for many flower essence formulas and is particularly important at threshold times such as birth death, festival celebrations, or other major life passages.

Mugwort click the link to go to another post where Mugwort is featured.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Issue of the Week - Dec 1 - Dec 7

Self-acceptance

Has anyone ever said to you, "You're too hard on yourself" or "You are your own worst enemy" ? What does that mean? Sometimes is means that we expect more of ourselves than other people do (which is okay in a way), or it could mean we expect more of ourselves than is reasonable (which means we might be overdoing it). Either way, we might be causing ourselves undue suffering.

Being motivated, inspired and ambitious are not good or bad in themselves, but if they come with judgement of ourselves or others, they are moving in the wrong direction. Finding the balance is ideal. Staying in a heart felt space is best.

Interesting that for the month of December, The Herbal Rituals book I wrote about last month, has designated Pine to represent the month. Next post I will write about uses for Pine. For now, I will write about the flower essence Pine.

The Flower Essence Repertory has this to say:

Pine Pinus sylvestris

Positive Qualities:

Self-acceptance, self-forgiveness; freedom from inappropriate guilt and blame.

Pattern of Imbalance:

Guilt, self-blame, self-criticism, inability to accept oneself.

Objective knowledge of one's faults is an important soul virtue; when taken to an extreme, however, one can be wracked with undue guilt and misery Those who need Pine get stuck in self-blame. At times a real circumstance from the past may result in deep feelings of regret and remorse; however, the Pine type often feels guilt which is entirely disproportionate to the actual events. These feelings may arise from childhood, when the person learned to internalize blame for dysfunction in the family system, or they may stem from a religious background which emphasizes sin and error more than salvation and grace. Pine helps the Self to learn true forgiveness by quite literally being for giving: learning to give oneself nourishment rather than withholding love from oneself; learning to release rather than retain energy The individual is encouraged to move forward rather than stay entangled in self-deprecation and emotional paralysis. At it highest level, Pine teaches self-acceptance and inner esteem as a pathway to the soul's realization of its own sacredness and divinity.

Pine is one of Bach's original 38 remedies

He said about it, "For those who blame themselves. Even when successful they think they could have done better, and are never satisfied with the decisions they make. Would this remedy help me to stop blaming myself for everything?" - Dr. Edward Bach

To read about and order you can go to this website.

Edward Bach devoted his life to this mode of healing, sacrificing everything because he trusted his intuition despite 'how it looked on the outside'. His story is inspiring and his legacy is profound. Read about Bach.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bay Laurel - 2009 Herb of the Year

I know you are all just holding your breath to find out what the Herb of the Year is for 2009. Bay Laurel. Here's a great site I just discovered to find out about it and what you can do with it. It focuses on the Herb of the Year.

The site also has recipes for Calendula - which has been the Herb of the Year for 2008.

They select an herb if it has useful properties in 2 of 3 categories - culinary, medicinal or craft. They say Bay is used in only 2, not including medicinal. Then they proceed to tell you some of the medicinal properties.

As you can see from my Etsy shop, Bay Rum is made from Bay and I use it in my North Bay Rum. I used the California Bay also known as Pepperwood.

It is easy to make although time-consuming. The process takes a few months. I caution you when making anything out of Bay, wear a face mask! It has the amazing property of loosening mucus you didn't know you had. Within a few minutes of grinding it up in my food processor, I had streams coming out of my nose, eyes and mouth. It was very unpleasant. However, I learned that if I ever have intense congestion, I merely have to crumple up a Bay leaf and breathe deeply to be almost instantly cleared up.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Issue of the Week - Nov 24 - Nov 30

Patience

"To every thing there is a season and a time for every purpose....."

While most of us have heard this phrase at least once in our lives, have we truly thought about it?

In the world we live in today, speed is highly valued. Here where I live in the forest, the only Internet connection available is dial-up. As you can imagine, there are times when this is extremely frustrating. Last year I took a Dreamweaver class online and it would take hours to download files.

The road I live near is a 'state highway', but it is a narrow, winding two-lane road. People often drive too fast and since there is a dangerous curve right near my house, many cars have flown off and ended upside down or up against a tree not too far from my house. I have called the California Highway Patrol so often because of that curve, they know me by name and count on me to update them on the situation and how serious it is. They have thanked me for my 'public service'. Fine, when I am in my house. Not so fine when I am driving along this dangerous stretch myself. At least a dozen times I have come around a corner to face an oncoming car. Someone passing along this narrow road with blind curves and no where to go but off the road to end up upside down. Indeed, I have come upon cars upside down along the road with their lights on in the middle of the night. I wonder where they were going in such a hurry.

What is interesting about all this need for speed, is that on some level, it reflects what is happening energetically around us. The cosmos is speeding up. As we approach the Shift, things will both speed up and become denser.

Many of us experience this as an inner urge to do... what? Something seems to be pushing us or pulling us and yet we cannot figure out what it is or for what purpose. We may find ourselves engaging in frenetic activity or zoning out in one way or another. Shopping, bingeing, over-doing whatever - all are ways of not being present, being still, and listening.

We may fear being alone or not being busy. We may question whether we are 'accomplishing anything'. We must learn to listen and trust the Universe to guide us. And we must have patience. Observe nature, watch the seasons, can you see the growth of a tree? How long does it take for a seed to sprout?

We go to Desert Alchemy for essences this week because the plants in the desert exemplify patience. Some of them appear to be in a dormant state for quite awhile, waiting for rain. They are ready and waiting for the short season for flowering and reproduction, yet they appear silent - even rock-like. All the while they are preparing for their moment. They do not forget their mission.

Many years ago I sought guidance and received the answer: "They also serve, who only stand and wait." But waiting does not mean inactivity because in order to be ready when called on, one must stay prepared at all times. This is not an easy task and gives one plenty to do. Not the least of which is to be paying attention. Another element of Being Present.

So to assist in developing patience the following essences....

Candy Barrel Cactus

Compass Barrel Cactus

Teddy Bear Cholla Cactus

Crisis-Desert Emergency Formula

Friday, November 21, 2008

How it Works

I received a comment from a reader and thought it might be a good idea to say something about energy healing with plants.

Dis-ease and 'illness' can occur at many levels. As we are realizing more and more each day, manifestation begins at the energetic level, then comes into physical form. So, we can call upon plants as healers on the physical and the energetic levels.

Using herbs via teas or tinctures, for example, works primarily on the physical level.

Flower essences, which are energetic imprints in water, work mostly on the emotional and spiritual levels. It's a matter of frequency. There are those, such as David Dalton, who know how to use flower essences to heal physical ailments. His method, however, has more to do with negotiating with the pathogen.

Generally, I follow a 'like treats like' philosophy. That is, matching the energetic level of the 'problem' to the appropriate level of plant healer. In a type of entrainment process, the 'medicine' which is in a more coherent state than the 'problem', and shifts it into a higher state.

Plants have been the vanguards of each level of our evolution. When the planet was first created, plant-like organisms converted the gases into the atmosphere that enabled animals to exist. They also converted sunlight into food through photosynthesis.

Human beings were able to develop societies, states, governments (for good or ill) only after they 'domesticated' plants and developed agriculture. Before that, hunting and gathering subsistence would only support small bands of people living together. It would have been impossible to have Roman or Greek civilization without the grains that were harvested and made into bread.

At the basis of our life, plants are turning sunlight into food. Despite all our technological achievements, we cannot do this 'simple' thing.

Flower essences work by transforming at the energetic level. The way we feel or think can affect our physical health. Thus by working at the energetic level, we may be able to affect physical outcomes.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Issue of the Week - Nov 17 - Nov 23

Confidence

Confidence seems to be one of those things that comes and goes, sometimes for no reason. We wake up one day 'on top of the world' whereas another day we are 'down in the dumps'. Often our level of confidence is dependent on external events or other people. Then we are at their mercy. We must learn to derive our confidence from our own inner sense of self-worth. It involves trust. When we feel confident, we can do anything.

It can be useful to take a lesson from events in the world. For example, here in the U.S., who would have ever believed an African-American would ever be president 50 years ago? And now it has occurred. Obama himself, as a Leo whose Sun is in the 6th house of service, and who has Aquarius rising, shines like the Sun. His confidence is affecting us all. His slogan "Yes We Can" has inspired hope in so many hearts around the world. He has set an example of someone whose confidence both serves himself and others. His healthy confidence inspires people.

Buttercup Ranunculus occidentalis (yellow)

Positive Qualities:

Radiant inner light, unattached to outer recognition or fame.


Patterns of Imbalance:

Feelings of low self-worth, inability to acknowledge or experience one's inner light and uniqueness.

In the natural evolution of the soul there are phases of life, if not entire lifetimes, which require that one's essential light be contained in a quiet, simple way. Although such humble expressions may not appear remarkable by out standards, they are enormously important times in which the soul gathers inward strength and consolidates its essence. It is important that such souls not judge themselves by conventional standards of achievement and success, becoming afflicted with feelings of self-doubt and diminished self-worth. Rather they need to recognize and honor the inner value and worth of who they truly are. In this way, they are able to shine forth with a radiant inner light that blesses and sanctifies even the most simple tasks and obligations. Buttercup flower essence helps the soul to realize and sustain its beautiful inner light, which becomes a source of great healing and peace for all whom it contacts.

Cerato Ceratostigma willimottiana (blue)

Positive Qualities:

Trusting ones' inner knowing, intuition, self-confidence, certainty.


Patterns of Imbalance:

Uncertainty or doubt of oneself; invalidating what one knows, over-dependent on advice from others.

There are times when the soul feels cut off from its own inner truth and therefore does not develop enough self-reliance. Cerato flower essence helps such persons to translate their already considerable spiritual abilities into active decision-making. This process requires that other spiritual beings have less influence, prompting the soul to develop independent judgment. At first this comes as a shock and such persons do not feel confident enough to make their own decisions, turning instead to others for advice and counsel. While seeking advice can be beneficial in many instances, it is regressive for those who need to develop a stronger sense of their own spirituality and wisdom. Cerato develops the ability to trust one's inner knowing, facilitating innate spiritual wisdom and strength., In this way, the soul becomes more confident and certain of its true Self.

Saint John's Wort Hypericum perforatum (yellow)

Positive Qualities:

Illumined consciousness, light-filled awareness and strength.

Patterns of Imbalance:

Overly expanded state leading to psychic and physical vulnerability, deep fears, disturbed dreams.

As flowers need sunlight in order to grow, so also the soul needs light -- both physical and spiritual -- to flourish. However, some souls lose themselves in light because they have not developed proper rooting . Saint John's Wort is indicated for those persons who are quite sensitive or over-receptive to the effects of light; they may be fair-skinned, easily sunburned, or find themselves adversely affected by intense heat or light. They are prone to many forms of environmental stress, including allergies. These individuals have a very active psychic life -- the astral body expands greatly during sleep, often distorting its connection with the physical and etheric bodies, or with the ego. This weak association to the other bodies results in a propensity for invasion or attack from negative elemental forces or other entities, especially during sleep; dream disturbances, bed-wetting, or night sweats can be common symptoms. Saint John's Wort flower essence has marvelous restorative powers; it provides protection and strength when the soul is in an overly expanded state. While it is generally indicated for those who are oversensitive to light, it can also be helpful for those deprived of light, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder. At its deepest level of transformation, Saint John's Wort helps the soul to circulate light through the body and into the Earth. Rather than experiencing light as an external and merely physical reality, light works within the Self as a spiritual force which can illumine and anchor the consciousness.

Sunflower Helianthus annuus (yellow)

Positive Qualities:

Balanced sense of individuality, spiritualized ego forces, sun-radiant personality.


Patterns of Imbalance:

Distorted sense of Self; inflation or self-effacement, low self-esteem or arrogance; poor relation to father or masculine aspect of Self.

The healthy Self shines forth from the soul, not unlike the sun which shines in the sky. This benign and wondrous soul quality of radiance at once inspires with its light, and heals with its warmth. All human souls have within them this capacity to shine like the sun, but many are afflicted in their ability to emanate this solar power in a balanced way. Some people mask their true sun-nature with feelings of self-effacement and low self-esteem. This condition darkens the true luster of the Self. In these instances the Sunflower essence brings to the soul the quality of light. Others want their brilliance to shine too strongly, glaring others with the pompous self-glory and ego-aggrandizement. For these people, Sunflower brings out the quality of warmth, or loving compassion. Just as the soul absorbs from the mother the moon-like qualities of receptivity, and nurturing, so does the soul learn from the father the sun-like qualities of the shining, expressive Self. Sunflower heals disturbances or distortions in the soul's relationship to the masculine, often associated with a conflicted or deficient relationship with the father in childhood. This healing of the masculine Self is equally important for both men and women. The message of the Sunflower is so universal and foundational that it is beneficial at nearly every stage in the human life cycle. When the soul learns how to harness this great sun force within its Self, it is truly able to bless and heal other human beings and the Earth.

This is taken from the Flower Essence Repertory by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz.

The photos are from the FES website.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More on Chocolate

Talk about sychronicity. Decided to put my Chocolate Mermaid Soap in my Etsy shop and the next day my January issue of The Herb Companion came with a whole chapter on chocolate products, called: "Chocolate: Eat, Wear and Rub In" by Janice Cox.

The article says that chocolate is good for your skin because it has antioxidants and contains compounds with smooth the skin and decrease its sensitivity to the sun.

The antioxidants prevent free radical damage to your skin and protects its natural elasticity.

Dark chocolate is more effective than milk chocolate. To be considered 'dark' it must contain 35% cocoa.

The scent of chocolate releases serotonin, the hormone which promotes happy feelings and reduces stress. And by using chocolate on the outside, you can get those happy feelings without the calories!



To read more about it, get The Herb Companion, January, 2009.

There are several recipes accompanying the article that can easily be made at home. Here are two of them:

Chocolate Lip Balm

Makes 1/2 ounce

1 1/2 teaspoons grated cocoa butter
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon grated dark or milk chocolate
1-2 drops essential oil* (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl or double boiler on the stovetop and gently melt until you have a smooth liquid.

Pour into a small jar or lipbalm tube and allow to cool completely.

* You can add peppermint, orange or other essential oil for unique gourmet lip balms.

Chocolate Massage Butter

Makes 4 ounces

1/4 cup grated cocoa butter
1 Tablespoon grated dark chocolate
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon grated beeswax

Place all ingredients in a microwave-safe container or on the stovetop in a double boiler. Melt gently stirring often. Pour the hot liquid into a clean container. For small individual bars pour into an ice cube tray or other mold and let cool completely. Massage into clean skin.

Oooooh... just typing this I can smell the chocolate and feel myself relaxing. Make some to give as gifts. Or get my Chocolate Mermaid Soap and relax in the tub!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chocolate Mermaids and....

New items in my Etsy store including Chocolate Mermaid Soap - containing cocoa which is very good for your skin - when used externally. The cocoa absolute and the cocoa create such a yummy smell, I have to remind people it's soap. A great stocking stuffer for Christmas.

Also, my Hammam bars in two sizes, inspired by the Moroccan traditional bath. On my tour, I encourage everyone to have the hammam experience - NOT coed. The soap contains all the elements used in the bath, but blended in a product which is more user-friendly to Americans.

With kelp, argan oil, nigella oil, ghassoul (red clay from the Atlas Mtns.) beldi (a black soap made from olives) and a slight rosemary scent, this soap can be used on your face and hair as well.

Anubis - a solid perfume with a scent inspired by Egypt. One of my perfume creations, in the "oriental" class, in jojoba oil and beeswax.

See my Etsy store in the sidebar.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Issue of the Week - Nov 10 - Nov 16

Joy

I am ecstatic about the results of the election. Not only for this country, but for the world. The U.S. has so much influence globally. We have regained the respect of the rest of the world by electing Obama. We now demonstrate what we have always stood for - freedom, acceptance, opportunity, progress. I have not felt this happy for quite awhile and it is wonderful. I feel that anything is possible.

Obama's election has had an electrifying effect on people, who are both laughing and crying for joy. I feel it bubbling up in me randomly throughout the day.

Joy is our natural state. As young children, we experienced joy on a regular basis. Our families may have celebrated that or not. As we grow up we are expected to "get serious" and "wipe that stupid grin off your face" or whatever.

So, to celebrate Joy or to help remove the obstacles to Joy:

Crownbeard

Mariola

Mariposa Lily

Strawberry Cactus

Saturday, November 8, 2008

November - Visioning, Dreaming, Remembering

Awhile ago I found a book on the remainder table that I have come to appreciate more over time and I guess others have too, since it now costs more used than it did new.

It's called "Herbal Rituals: " by Judith Berger, who says "The book records, month by month, a year-long journey through the earth's natural cycles."

Each month focuses on one herb and has recipes for teas, salves, lotions and foods, along with ritual to bring you in harmony with the moods of nature.

Since it starts with November, I thought it a good time to start going through the book, a month at a time. Each chapter is long with lots of valuable information. I will just write a synopsis.

November - Visioning, Dreaming, Remembering

Berger says that according to the Celtic calendar, November is the first lunar month and belongs to the Birch tree, the tree of beginnings.

Mugwort Artemisia vulgaris

So-called because it was once used to flavor beer. Its name shows its connection with the lunar goddess Artemis and is thus considered a 'women's herb'. It acts as a powerful ally for women seeking ancient, woman-defined attributes of female power.

Mugwort's renown as a powerful systemic healer for the reproductive, digestive, urinary and respiratory tracts has earned it the nickname - cronewort.

"As the village midwife once nurtured the heart of the community with compassion, knowledge, common sense, and magic, cronewort has soothed the pain of childbirth, eased the tenderness of aching joints, comforted bellies, and instilled vision among human beings for centuries with her knowing medicine."

Mugwort (cronewort) Infused oil

To ease the pain of arthritis.
Make an infused oil using olive oil and dry or at least wilted plant material. This infused oil can then be used as is or in a salve.

Mugwort Dream Pillow

Mugwort leaves
Hops flowers
lavender blossoms
mint leaves (just a pinch)
1-2 cups flax seeds
1 yard of silk or soft fabric such as flannel
a small zipper

You can make the pillow any shape you like, but she suggests you make it so that you can put it over your eyes.

Mugwort Essential Oil

To stimulate dreaming and visioning. Can be an ingredient in a dreaming salve or used alone with a carrier oil. One drop goes a long way. Keep a dream journal.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Issue of the Week - Nov 3 - Nov 9

LOVE Is All There Is!

In 1969, I had "Love is All You Need" painted on the wall of my tiny apartment. True then and even truer now. In fact, now I know that Love Is All There Is.

I have just returned from the 2012 Conference in San Francisco and had all my paradigms updated. From now on, it's full tilt boogie, folks. What I learned will be unfolding and it might now be time to launch my next blog. But for today, I will stick with the agenda that has been established here for Mondays.

To work with Love in all the Chakras, the Rose Chakra Flower Essences from Luna Fina.

Red Rose: expands and strengthens connection to earth and sky.

Orange Rose: teaches harmony, helps overcome known fears and phobias.

Yellow Rose: is radiant and warmly guides your own sun home.

Green Rose: travels deep into the heart and is the key to knowing what is in your heart.

Pink Rose: brings unconditional love and the gift of ease in expressing love for self and others.

Blue/Mauve Rose: is the messenger of trust in self and in your intuition.

Violet Rose: awakens you to love and light, releasing resentments.

I met Annabella many years ago at the Sonoma County Herb Association Herb Festival, which used to be held on the Santa Rosa Junior College campus. Now they just have mini festivals in Sebastopol.

She was a delightful spirit, a light being. I have learned a lot from her over the years - and she teaches by her example. Please visit her website.

I acquired my set of Rose Chakra Flower Essences as a premium by donating to KPFA. One set was being given for certain-sized donation and I jumped at it. The set itself was brand new and cost nearly as much as the donation so it was a "Two For" (I am having a "two for" over at my Astrology blog through the sign of Scorpio).

The transformation that is now manifesting in the outer world as the collapse of the economy, has been predicted as part of a purification process for planet Earth. The predictions come from many cultures. It is painful, it is scary. The tendency is to constrict.

Simply put, the remedy is Love, Love and more Love. When you feel fear clutching at your belly, take deep breaths and open your heart even wider. Sing, dance, breath, hug your kids, your cats, your dogs, each other. Cling only to Love and let everything else go. Everyone who has ever been through a disaster knows that when everything is gone, Love is the only thing that matters. Why wait? Love Now!

Rose Essential Oil has the highest frequency and can assist with this releasing process. You should only use high quality natural essential oils, so if Rose is outside of your budget, a good quality of Rose Geranium can substitute. The scent we identify as rose is a particular molecular formula and it is present in different quantities in several plants.

When we smell something, the molecules of the scent "dock" at certain places on our olfactory nodes like keys in locks. This interaction - a type of love, causes chemical reactions and changes in our brain. This is the explanation at the physical level - one aspect of reality.

I designed the 7 Rose Heart Chakra Rub - see my Etsy store - as part of the Rose Resonance Work that I channelled via my Egyptian Guides last year after I returned from Morocco. I will be leading a tour of Morocco next May, 2009. See my website.

The lotion bar is designed to be rubbed on the heart chakra, especially during prayer or meditation. It can also be used to help you relax into love.

The things I offer here are to help you facilitate your own process. They will not do the work for you. You have to take responsibility for your own awakening. The plant messengers come in many forms. They are present in flower essences and essential oils. They gently nudge you when you want their help, they don't push or nag.

OmeAkaEhekatl Erick Gonzalez, a Mayan spiritual leader from Guatemala, who spoke at the 2012 Conference, said that Forgiveness is a key element in Love. He said that after all the things that have happened to the Indigenous People in the Americas, they are still open-hearted. If you have ever travelled among them, you know it's true. He said if we could forgive all that, then.....

ANNOUNCEMENT: I DO NOT SUPPORT THAT GOOGLE AD!

Dear Friends and Readers
I have been out of town for two days and I see that Google has taken the opportunity to post an ad that I DO NOT SUPPORT. I removed it from this site and must now go to my other sites to see if it is there also. I am so sorry this happened. If any of you have been following me, especially on Wise Women of the West, which is more personal, you know that I accept everyone. We are All One. Where ever there is Love, it is a Holy Union and sanctified.

Please forgive me for not knowing about this sooner, but I was at the 2012 Conference in San Francisco and just had all my paradigms updated.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Issue of the Week - Oct 27 - Nov 2

Rereading this, I realized I did not specify the "issue" which is Being Present and a manifestation of just what I was referring to - not paying attention, being somewhere else, not being in the Now.

Sorry I'm late with this. I had company from out of town for a week during which time my car was damaged in an accident (not serious and not my fault). But as you know, even though I was hit, I am the one who must make the calls, fill out the paperwork and take the car to the insurance adjuster and the repair shop. Strange. I was talking with another woman in the same situation and said "the person who hits you should pick up your car, get it fixed and deliver it back to you." She agreed.

My 'problem' occurred because another person was so distracted with whatever was on his mind that he was not paying attention.

As we approach the alignment with the Galactic Center in 2012, we will experience an acceleration of time. Our internal clocks and our physical bodies may be out of sync with this acceleration. Our tendency is to try to speed up in order to "do more".

Caroline Casey speaks about this a lot on her radio show "The Visionary Activist" on KPFA 94.1 (you can listen to the shows which are archived at kpfa.org). She recommends that we should actually slow down and that by doing so, we can actually accomplish more. I have found this to be true. For one thing, by slowing down you avoid having to do things over again and lessen the chance of accidents.

Only by slowing down can we concentrate and focus on what we are doing and we can better "be here now." If we are not "here" we will not be "there" when the time comes for that. We need to be present in each moment; to deepen rather than spread ourselves too thin.

We are in a time of rapid change. We must become resilient, learning to go with the flow. Letting go of fear and trusting; giving up control and surrendering to the Wisdom of Nature.

Flower essences are of special value at this time, because they work on the energetic or vibrational level and it is precisely at this level that we are being asked to change. We cannot do this type of transformation with the mind.

From Desert Alchemy

Prickly Pear Cactus yellow

From the Flower Essence Society

California Valerian Valeriana capitata

Positive qualities: Tranquility and inner equilibrium; inner confidence for the future due to the soul’s understanding of prior experiences; peaceful acceptance of life experiences.

Patterns of imbalance: Shallow breathing due to anxiety about the future; nervous agitation or insomnia; worry and unease when facing future live events that are viewed as challenging; addiction to sleeping pills or tranquilizers.

From the Alaskan Flower Essence Project

Moldavite Gem Elixir

Rigid and tightly held in check; toying with giving up something you know is right for you; wanting to control the timing of events and situations.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Issue of the Week - Oct 20 - Oct 26

Integrating Body and Spirit

This week I am featuring Gem Elixirs by the Alaskan Flower Essence Project.

Friday night I went to a talk by Steve Johnson from the Alaskan Flower Essence Project. He was doing a weekend workshop called "Embracing Uncertainty in Times of Change." I was unable to attend the entire weekend, since I had an out of town guest, but the Friday night talk was so useful to me, I felt I had gotten what I needed and was satisfied.

Friday night's talk was on "The Role of Gem Elixirs in Flower Essence Therapy." Here's the description of the evening.

'Find out why it is becoming increasingly important to introduce the mineral kingdom into our healing work with flower essences. Steve will introduce the Alaskan Gem Elixirs, explain how they work, lead a discussion of cases resisting treatment, and a question and answer session.'

What I understood him to say is that when you do a lot of spiritual work your consciousness expands. Your physical body gets more and more out of sync with your aura and your astral body and so you begin to have physical symptoms such as headaches and unexplained body aches. The body is slower to change and it takes awhile for it to re-negotiate a relationship with the subtle bodies as they expand.

He said that he has observed people seriously working on their consciousness while their bodies seemed to be getting sicker and sicker - especially with such things as chronic fatigue and other "new" and difficult to diagnose ailments. This explains the excrutiating pain I have been having lately, which has no physical explanation.

He also spoke about the importance of energy flow. Such things as stress and fear cause constriction to that flow and result in blockages and build up of 'toxins' of all types.

It is useful to combine the gem elixirs with flower essences so as to assist in integrating the body and spirit.

He suggested the following gem elixirs:

Black Tourmaline

Helps us exchange old unwanted energies being held in the body for fresh, clean, neutral energy; a precision tool for the release of toxic energy from the mind, emotions and physical body.


Fluorite

The "break up" elixir; increases the circulation of energy into the physical body by breaking up blockages in the etheric body.

Fluorite Combo

Synchronizes movement between the etheric and physical bodies; fine tunes our focus so that we can move through an issue or healing process with precision and balance.

Malachite

Grounding; helps align and harmonize the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels of being; supports the unity of one's being in all circumstances.

Descriptions of the elixirs are from the Alaskan Flower Essence Project catalog.

For more information please go to Alaskan Flower Essence Project website.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Issue of the Week - Oct 13 - Oct 19

Courage

We are facing many challenges these days and we all need courage to face changes that we may need to make. I have several friends whose lives are in limbo, waiting for houses to sell, jobs to end, paperwork to go through.

Today, I spent hours trying to apply for jobs on-line and as soon as I finished the application, the website went down and all the work I had done was lost. When I finally got back to the site, it said the job was discontinued. I guess they ran out of funding. I felt let down and disappointed because they were jobs I felt I really had a chance of getting.

I live in a canyon, so I can often hear people in their cars as they go by on the county highway. More and more, I hear them cussing and yelling at each other and those in other cars. The frustration level is growing as people fall into fear.

In order to ride this wave of difficulty, we need flexibility, trust and courage. We need to be able to adapt and change.

Courage is a quality of the heart. It is a French word which comes from 'coeur' - heart.

Aspen Populus tremula (green/gray)

Positive qualities: Trust and confidence to meet the unknown, drawing inner strength from the spiritual world.

Patterns of Imbalance: Fear of the unknown, vague anxiety and apprehension, hidden fears, nightmares.

Aspen flower essence quiets and subdues the astral body so that the spiritual ego can gain greater strength and awareness, This flower is very helpful for children who are oversensitive to unseen and unknown influences, and can also be indicated for those who may have prematurely opened their astral sheaths through drug use or occult ritual. Aspen essence calms and harmonizes the innate psychic capacities of such individuals, by allowing the conscious mind to receive and process more information. In this way, Aspen brings greater strength and confidence, and balanced use of soul forces.

Borage Borago officinalis (blue)

Positive qualities: Ebullient heart forces, buoyant courage and optimism.

Patterns of Imbalance: Heavy-heartedness, lack of confidence in facing difficult circumstances.

Borage is an excellent heart remedy, especially for the feeling of heaviness in the heart, and perhaps throughout the body. The "Borago" plant was originally called "Corago," referring to a state of courage associated with it. It is through the energy center of the heart that one's essence is radiated outward to others. At times when the soul experiences too much grief, sadness, or other adversity, the heart can become contracted and heavy. We call this feeling 'discouraged' or 'disheartened'. In order to counterbalance this, we need to be in contact with that which is light or uplifting. Courage is not only strength, but also buoyancy in the soul which helps it to rise above, rather than sink into the weight of discouragement or depression. Borage helps the heart to experience this lightness, filling the soul with fresh forces of optimism and enthusiasm. It is an excellent all-purpose balm and toner in many formulas when the soul needs upliftment and encouragement.

Mimulus Mimulus guttatus (yellow with red spots)

Positive qualities: Courage and confidence to face life's challenges.

Patterns of imbalances: Known fears of everyday life; shyness.

Mimulus is one of the most basic remedies for fear. Those needing this essence are hypersensitive and live with a great many small fears of ordinary and everyday events. They are especially afflicted in the solar plexus, which churns with fear anxiety and unease. Eventually, if these fears are not met and transformed, the soul becomes quite darkened and introverted as it withdraws more and more from the stresses of daily living., Mimulus brings the light of courage back to such souls. It helps the individual shift its fixation from myriad lesser fears to awareness of more basic, usually unconscious fear. This is a fear of the physical body, or of physical life itself, which can sometimes be traced to actual hesitation at the moment of incarnation. A pattern is thus set deep with the substrata of the soul which must be healed. Mimulus helps the soul to contact the strength and purpose of its Higher Self, and thus sets it free to experience life with greater curiosity, exuberance, and joy.

Penstemon Penstemon davidsonii (violet-blue)

Positive qualities: Great inner fortitude despite outer hardships; perseverance.

Patterns of imbalance: Feeling persecuted or sorry for oneself; inability to bear life's difficult circumstances.

The soul lesson Penstemon is reminiscent of the biblical story of Job, where unusually harsh or severe life circumstances test the soul's uttermost faith and tenacity. Those who need Penstemon seem to have been dealt an unfair blow in life. They may have disabilities or injuries that have impaired them. They may have lost a loved one, home, or possessions through a criminal act of violence or a natural catastrophe. Such souls have good reason to feel victimized; yet, in these moments of sorrow and pain, the soul must have the courage to rebuild itself and the faith to trust in a higher power. Penstemon has enormous strengthening powers, enabling the soul to tap into reservoirs of courage and resilience which are normally inaccessible to human consciousness at it deepest level of transformation, Penstemon essence shows the soul that it has freely chosen even the harshest circumstances for its growth and evolution.

Taken from Flower Essence Repertory, by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

De-Tox Diet Too Taxing

In regard to the 5 day detox diet, I made it through 2 days. I was not hungry, nor did I have gastric distress. What I had was aching bones. The evening of the 2nd day I began to hurt so bad from the waist down that it was almost unbearable. All night I tossed and turned trying to find a comfortable position and sleep was impossible. Since I had not eaten much solid food and didn't want to take any chances, I did not want to take anything for pain. I make many tinctures that are for relaxing and sleeping, etc, but felt they would be too strong. I just waited it out. By morning I decided to back off the detox program and just do it a little at a time.

As soon as I ate normally, I was fine.

Part of what is happening is that Saturn is passing through my first house in Virgo and my progressed Moon is squaring my natal Saturn. Saturn rules the bones, so this is where I am feeling stressed. I feel the desire to work on getting healthier, but must not push too hard or there will be reaction. And there was. (See my astrology blog.)

Also, I had an herb festival coming up and I didn't want to be incapacitated for that. The festival, which was a fund-raiser for the Sonoma County Herb Exchange took place at Laguna Farms, a local CSA in Sebastopol. It was fantastic. I sold my tinctures, soaps, cordials, perfumes, salves and sprays. Talked to many people about my upcoming tour to Morocco and saw friends I had not seen in awhile.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Issue of the Week - Oct 6 - Oct 12

I got a winner of the Monthly Give-away.
Today I started a 5 day cleanse program. I have wanted to do this for a long time, but I wanted to wait til my life was on a even keel. It is right now. Generally, it is best to do this type of thing in the Spring and Fall when the weather is mildest, so that the body is least stressed by temperature. I'll let you know how it went at the end of the week.

So on to the issue of the week which I am taking from the Desert Alchemy website because it is right on target with what I am doing right now myself. That is Physical Self-Care. Cynthia Kemp Scherer has written a great deal about this and I recommend you go there to read it.

No matter what else we are doing in our life, if we are not taking care of our bodies, we will fail. Not only is the body the "temple of the soul", but it is the vehicle we use to accomplish all else on this plane.

It is often the part of our life that we spend the least time taking care of. Oh yes, we eat - but what? Do we take the time to carefully choose and prepare the healthiest meals or do we grab something and eat it in the car?

Sleep is important too. In this modern culture where we are expected to accomplish so much, sleeping is considered a sign of laziness, stupidity, lack of motivation, or lack of ambition. Interestingly enough, many of the greatest minds and inventors, got their inspiration or the answer to a scientific problem while dreaming.

Our mental and psychological states are affected by our physical condition. Lack of exercise, proper diet, lack of sleep etc. can contribute to depression and stress which in turn affect our ability to eat and sleep. It can become a vicious cycle, getting worse and worse until we end up really sick and have to make some changes.

During these very stressful times, it is critical that we take care of our bodies as best as we can. Every one of us is being challenged in one way or another. Eating well is not related to how much money you have. Simple home-made food using traditional ingredients is the healthiest food there is. Most so-called 'ethnic' diets sustained people for hundreds if not thousands of years. Beans and grains, fresh vegetables and fruit supply everything you need. It's not about money. In fact, all the foods associated with wealth are more likely to kill you at a young age.

Exercise is crucial too. Our 'labor saving' devices have made us ill because we don't have to work as hard to do things. My two grandmothers, who washed clothes by hand, tended vegetable gardens, made homemade bread every week, had farm animals etc., etc., etc., both lived to 96 years old with no diseases or dementia. They just wore out I guess. Worked hard every day up to 90+ and didn't want it any other way. Refused to allow the family to install this or that. One grandma had an outhouse and would not let us put indoor plumbing in her house, because she "didn't need it." When the snow got too bad, she used chamber pots in the coal cellar. Oh yes, she shovelled snow off the first floor porch roof by climbing out the second floor window and stoked her own coal stove in the cellar by shovelling coal. And she didn't want it any other way. Neither of my grandmas ever used anti-depressants, alcohol or tobacco. They were too busy to indulge in self-pity and had no time to worry. When they went to bed at night, they fell asleep, because they were physically tired.

I, on the other hand, with my modern ways and my college education, often forget the important lessons I learned at their knees. I tend to be a sedentary person because the things I do most of the time require a lot of sitting - computer, research, writing. I can go all day without going outside the house and yet I live in a beautiful forest that tourists come to see. I have to tell myself to get up and go outside. My house is a mess, because I have 'more important things to do.' Then, I go to bed and my mind begins its mantra of worry. Fortunately, my spiritual practice has given me tools to control the spinning of my mind, but it still tries to go there. I have begun to spend less time on the computer and more time walking, doing housework or working in the garden. Already, I am noticing the effects.

Hedgehog Cactus

Inmortal

Star Leaf

Saguaro Cactus

Evening Star

Crown of Thorns

Harmonizing Addictive Patterns

Hairy Larkspur

Cliff Rose

Prickle Poppy

Integrating Being & Doing Formula

Woven Spine Pineapple Cactus

Desert Jointfir

For a more comprehensive discussion of each of these essences and how they assist with Physical Self-Care, please go to the Desert Alchemy website.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Earth Plane Announcements

I still don't have a 'winner' for the First of the Month Give-away on my Astrology blog. Not sure why. I promise I will not post your private info and I will not use your email address except to send the report. Someone did respond right away with the relevant info, but she has already gotten that report. So.... I'm hoping to hear from one of you today.

I am collecting recipes using Nigella sativa. If you have one I would love to have it.

Wise Women of the West will have a booth at the upcoming events:

Harvest and Herb Festival
Saturday, October 11, 2 to 11 pm, Laguna Farm 1720 Cooper Road, Sebastopol

Holiday Wellness Fest
Saturday, November 29, 11am to 5pm, Masonic Lodge, 373 N. Main St., Sebastopol

Come see my new products including Love Cordial, Rosy Toner, Moroccan Mud Facial Mask and Foot Tea.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Issue of the Week - Sept 29 - Oct 5

Love

So many ways in which this is the perfect time to consider our relationships - all of them, including, and most especially, our relationship to ourselves and the Divine. For the Astrology of Now go to my astrology blog.

Love is the glue that holds the Universe together. Today with the New Moon in Libra ruled by Venus; Mercury retrograde in Libra; and Libra in Scorpio, the transformational power of relationships available to us all.

No matter how much inner work we do, the only way to see how we are doing is with other people. Right? We can be really good at fooling ourselves, thinking we are 'on the path', making progress etc., then we visit our parents for the weekend and Oh! No! Same old stuff, different day. Or we may isolate ourselves because we are 'so sensitive' and going out in the world find out that what we really are is intolerant, narrow-minded and opinionated. Boo!

Other people don't just show us our blind spots. They can give us the one word that makes all the difference. We may be in a creative process, putting pieces together on a project. Another person may have that one puzzle piece we lost under the table. Ah yes! Perfect now!

Relationships might be our 'undoing'. The area of our lives where we 'fail' more than succeed. Because of this we feel we must avoid them in order to heal. That is fine. There is nothing that says we all have to be partnered. But relationships go way beyond the personal, intimate ones.

For me the primary relationship is between myself and the Divine. As this relationship becomes stronger, all the others fall into place. I learn to know and love God more by loving God's Creation, including human beings (and myself). When I am having trouble with people, I spend more time praying or meditating. When my connection with God is weak, I spend more time with my friends. Each feeds the other.

So I would like to offer this essence from Desert Alchemy:

Unconditional Love and Support Formula

There are many essences that work on Love - in fact, you could say they all do. I chose this one, because of its simplicity. Cynthia Kemp Scherer, in her book, The Alchemy of the Desert (available on this page), writes about the simplicity of this formula. In fact, Love is simple, really.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Taos Lavender Potato Soup

The Lavender Cookbook by Sharon Shipley (available on this page) has lavender recipes for each season. For Fall there are two soups that sound wonderful. Here's the recipe for one of them. The other is Lavender Cream of Mushroom Soup.

Taos Lavender Potato Soup*

Makes 8 to 10 servings

1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 ½ Tbs. dried culinary lavender
¼ pound unsalted butter
6 leeks, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
2 medium carrots diced
1 celery rib with leaves, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
16 cups chicken broth
10 medium russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
3 fresh medium poblano chile peppers, roasted, peeled, seed, and chopped
2 tsp. minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 Tbs. black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
2 cups heavy cream
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
6 green onions, chopped

Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and add the lavender. Pulse until finely ground.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the leeks are soft. Stir in the flour. Add the broth, potatoes, poblano peppers, chipotle pepper and lavender mixture.
Tie up the peppercorns and bay leaves in a small square of cheesecloth. Add to the pot. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Remove and discard the cheesecloth bundle. Using a handheld blend or a food process (work in batches), blend the soup until smooth. Stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into individual bowls and spring with the green onions.

* Taken from The Lavender Cookbook by Sharon Shipley

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Issue of the Week - Sept 22 - Sept 28

Balance

This is the time of the Autumnal Equinox where the day and the night are of equal duration. It is a time to seek more balance in our lives. In general, the weather is milder than it has been or will be, so our energy level may be affected. It is harvest time both on the inner and outer planes. Nature is preparing to go dormant. We are pausing before the holiday season with it's round of social activities. I feel the holiday season starts with Halloween, but for others, it starts with Thanksgiving.

Physically, this is a good time to do detoxifying cleanses which should be done when the weather is not extreme, so that there is less stress on the body. I plan to do one starting next week for five days, and we'll see how that goes.

Astrologically, with the equinox, we moved into Libra which is characterized by the scales. This relates to ourselves as social beings. It is important to strive for a balance between our inner and outer lives - a balance between time spent alone and with others - a balance between giving and receiving.

These flower essences from the Flower Essence Society can help with achieving balance. When I recommend these essence each week, I do not mean to imply that all you have to do is take the essences and magically your life will change. Rather they serve as energetic boosters to intentions you may already be working on in other ways. I also do not wish to suggest that any of the issues relate to you at this time or ever. If something is relevant and you feel inclined to explore how essences might support your process, I invite you to try them and see what happens. In most cases, there are other essences that deal with the same issue. The ones I feature are the ones that have been selected. If you are interested in learning more I invite you to read the suggested books or take some classes yourself.

Corn Zea Mays (yellow-white)

Positive qualities: Alignment with Earth, especially through the body and feet; grounded presence.

Patterns of Imbalance: Inability to stay centered in the body; disorientation and stress, particularly in urban environments.

The Corn essence addresses the soul's need for spaciousness -- its desire to live freely within the vast matrix of Nature and Cosmos. It is especially helpful for those ancient souls who find it extremely painful to "contract" into the modern conditions of living. They naturally prefer rural or uncrowded areas where they can feel in harmonious communion with the Earth. But these persons must also grow and evolve, learning how to make the body itself a microcosm of the Earth. The whole body, but especially the hands and feet, must learn to radiate this grounded spirituality. Without this shift in consciousness, the natural healing and teaching capacities which many of these souls harbor within them are never fully realized. Such individuals feel a great deal of pain and discomfort in the congestion and chaos of urban and technological environments or in any restricted living situations; and yet it is often necessary for them to experience just these conditions in order to promote the transition from a macrocosmic to microcosmic soul consciousness. Corn helps to balance and guide the soul in expressing its vast spiritual nature through the limitations of the physical world and physical body.



Morning Glory Ipomoea purpurea (blue)

Positive qualities: Sparkling vital force, feeling awake and refreshed, in touch with Life.

Patterns of Imbalance: Dull, toxic, or "hung over," inability to fully enter the body, especially in the morning; addictive habits.

The soul must be constantly be on guard to align its astral body with its physical/etheric components. The astral (or star) body is naturally akin to the forces of night, and, if left unregulated, will not hesitate to devour the etheric (or life) body. Individuals with this imbalance typically crave late-night activity and have erratic eating and sleeping rhythms. The etheric body is more akin to the forces of day-time, especially early morning, and is greatly abused by such astrality. If such abuse continues over a long period of time, the individual will experience increasing difficulty incarnating in the body, not only in the morning, but throughout the day. Unable to use the natural energy of the etheric body, the person will crave stimulants such as caffeine, and in extreme cases, cocaine or amphetamines. As this astrality continues to predominate, the individual will display increasing erratic patterns, possibly deteriorating into destructive and violent tendencies. Many levels of physical illness may occur, especially compromised immune response, nerve depletion, and disturbances in vital organs such as the liver. Morning Glory helps the soul come to greater awareness and respect for life and the life processes of the body. The individual learns to adjust its rhythm so that it is more in tune with cycles of Nature. Through Morning Glory, the soul learns to experience more natural states of energy, and thus the gift of life itself.

Mugwort Artemisia douglasiana (yellow)

Positive qualities: Integrating psychic and dream experiences with daily life; multi-dimensional consciousness.

Patterns of imbalance: Inability to harmonize psychic forces, tendency to hysteria or emotionality, overactive psychic life out of touch with the physical world.

The soul is only half alive if it does not experience itself when asleep. The body may vegetate during sleep, but the soul has the capacity to awaken to another dimension of life. Mugwort enhances the receptive quality of the psyche, allowing greater awareness of dreams, so that the Self can gain insight about the affairs of daily life and can access guidance and direction from the spiritual world. This essence particularly helps the soul to navigate within the flow of psychic life, so that it is neither lost nor overwhelmed. It helps to balance transitions between day and night consciousness, assisting the individual to remain connected in a healthy way with the practical physical world. This balance is very important, for when the moon forces become too predominant or inappropriately expressed, the soul becomes irrational, hysterical or overly emotional. Mugwort helps to direct the psychic life into its proper sphere, gradually opening the soul to expanded consciousness.

Nicotiana Nicotiana alata (white)
(Flowering Tobacco)

Positive qualities: Peace which is deeply centered in the heart; integration of physical and emotional well-being through harmonious connection with the Earth.

Patterns of Imbalance
: Numbing of the emotions accompanied by mechanization or hardening of the body; inability to cope with deep feeling and finer sensibilities.

In the struggle to achieve balance, the soul needs to receive strength and stability from the Earth. However, if the heart is not sufficiently engaged in this process the finer etheric sensibilities and feeling may be stymied.

While the flower essence of Nicotiana is strongly indicated for those who are healing their addiction to tobacco, it also has a much wider application, representing a soul condition which pervades the whole of modern culture. Nicotiana is a very important remedy for the heart, helping it to find true energy and sustenance which is not divorced from the life of feelings. It is very helpful for those who cope by numbing their feelings, hiding behind a tough or "cool" persona, or for those who seek stimulants of any kind that harden or falsify the body's experience of the Earth. The flower essence of Nicotiana re-instills the true spiritual teaching of the Tobacco plant, which is used reverently and judiciously in peace pipe ceremonies by Native Americans. This teaching is that real peace arises from being able to feel deeply with the heart, and that these deep feelings give us our true connection to the Earth and all living beings.

Excerpted from The Flower Essence Repertory by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz

Photos from the Flower Essence Society website.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Plant Spirit Healing

You can see many titles by Stephen Buhner in my Carousel of books on sale at Amazon. If you have never read him, I highly suggest you do. Since I have been focused on herbal medicine in the past 15 years or so, my ideas and attitudes have been radically affected by Buhner. Now, when people ask me if I am a healer, I have to say "No". My role is more like a witness, a conduit, the mediator between the 'patient' and the plant kingdom.

It was at a Bioneers conference several years ago that someone said that plants have an intelligence far greater than we can imagine. This idea blew my mind. Then at a basic plant science class in Santa Rosa Junior College a few years ago, the teacher explained photosynthesis and I got it on a whole different level. I realized I had 'learned' this in the second grade, but somehow the magic of it had evaded me. Imagine, these 'little green men' chloroplasts, in the plant cell, can take sunlight and turn it into food! Talk about advanced spiritual adepts. This food, made from sunlight, makes all other forms of life on this planet possible.

Now I am learning that plants can manipulate their chemistry as needed to create their own anti-biotics and pain killers. Traditional healers have been saying this for years. You ask the plant to heal a particular illness and it modifies itself for the patient. Huh? Now science is proving this to be possible. I got an email from a friend today related to this. Check it out at Livescience.com Plants Make Own Painkillers

My role in this process became clearer to me when I started the flower essence training with Jane Bell last January. More and more I realized that 'I' did not choose flower essences for my clients. The plants chose. I merely went through the motions - the ritual, if you will, of asking for the connection to be made. I had already had this experience when working with essential oils. I would sometimes smell the essential oil that was appropriate for a condition. Then, not trusting my intuition, I would look in the book. Perfect choice!

I find it awkward to say this when I am at a fair selling my products. Most of my formulas come to me by inspiration. I feel something, smell something, get words. I have to hurry and write it down. Sometimes I actually hear a voice telling me to make such and such an item. I ask what it is for and may or may not get an answer. Two of the items for sale in my Etsy store were 'downloaded' in this way. The Solar Salve and the 7 Rose Heart Chakra Rub. Sometimes I get part of the formula and when I ask if it is finished, they say "not yet. Wait for further instructions." When a customer asks what the products are for, I sometimes find it hard to communicate an answer. I know that the 'heart chakra rubs' are to increase 'rose resonance' which is the expression given to me - that means increasing our coherence with the heartbeat of creation. Changing our frequency so that it is more in sync with Nature. Read Buhner to get a handle on what this means. The Solar Salve, first in a trilogy which will include a Lunar Salve and a Stellar Salve, have not been fully communicated yet. They have to do with the three mystery schools of ancient Egypt.

Some people refer to this type of herbalism as plant spirit healing. It is a form of communication I guess. I have a master's degree in Linguistics. I have studied many languages. I had no idea that I would be learning the language of plants, or that there was a language. Interestingly, as I learn more about communication with plants, I find simultaneously that my ability to communicate with animals is increasing too.

So does that mean you can use any herb, flower essence or essential oil? Well...... sort of, but not exactly. A very important part of the process is intention. The intention must be clear. What are you trying to accomplish. Also, there must be an attitude of humility - surrender - acceptance, all words that most of us in the west do not like. What I mean is that to some extent, we must accept both the wisdom of the 'illness' and that we may not know what healing looks like. That there is a power greater than us at work in all this. Amen

Monday, September 15, 2008

Issue of the Week - Sept 15 - Sept 21

Creativity

The creative urge is a natural part of life. Life is inherently creative. When our lives become overly complicated and busy and we feel we have 'no time' for creativity, we can feel our lives have no purpose. When we do not express our creativity, even in simple ways, we will ultimately become depressed and listless. We will feel isolated, cut off and estranged from others. Expressing our creativity increases our life force and can give us a reason for living. To solve the problems that currently face us individually and as a collective, our creativity needs to be available and healthy. We will all need to find new solutions to everyday challenges. The following essences come from Desert Alchemy.

Agave

Cliff Rose

Indian Root

Pomegranate

Purple Aster

Scarlet Morning Glory

Monday, September 8, 2008

Issue of the Week - Sept 8 - Sept 14

Coping with Change

For many people these are times of great change. The changes may be created by outer circumstances that are out of our control. Even then, we do not have to take on the role of passive victim. While it may be extremely difficult to see how we have any control, we always have the possibility of controlling ourselves, our reactions and responses, our way of thinking about the situation. Often referred to as 'attitude adjustment.'

I've read books written by survivors of prison-camps who said that the only thing they had was their inner life. Inside themselves they controlled their thoughts and feelings and so were able to survive the most horrendous things, living on to be caring human beings and having a normal life.

This has always served as a model for me. Nothing I have ever experienced compares to what prison-camp survivors have been through, yet, I can walk around miserable and hopeless. Even while I'm doing it I think "what's up with this? Why am I so depressed, hopeless, unhappy ....." fill in the blanks.

It can be just a habit, like any other and it may be as hard to break as any other habit. We may hang on to our habit of being 'miserable'. Or, we may have some genuine problems.

The changes that are occurring in our lives may be ones we have initiated. They can still be stressful. In fact, it is said that change causes a great deal of stress, even if it a positive change. Getting married, getting a promotion, moving to your dream home - even these things can cause stress. The animal part of us likes its routine, whatever it is.

Before I go to describe the essences, I must take a detour. When I initiated this part of the blog, I assumed that my readers had a familiarity with flower essences and gem elixirs. It has become apparent that there are some misconceptions.

Flower essences, gem elixirs, planetary formulas, or environmental essences are energetic imprints in water, usually preserved with brandy. They do not have a scent. They are not essential oils and so this is not a form of aromatherapy, which is another effective, yet quite different modality.

They represent conditions or states that we are seeking. The underlying belief is that all beings, as part of the cosmos are seeking coherence and resonance. When we feel we are 'out of balance' we can use these substances to help us realign energetically.

An important part of the process is intention, therefore, if someone unknowingingly or unwittingly takes an essence, it will have no effect. It is not a magic potion that you just take and it does all the work. There has to be intention on the part of the one taking the essences and a desire to participate in the transformation process. Essences provide us energetic support for something we already want to accomplish. So we have to have spent some time observing ourselves and how we are behaving. They have no effect otherwise. Now, there are those who say they are merely creating a placebo effect. So? if it works, what is wrong with that? If you are depressed and take a flower essence and stop being depressed, great!

The books by Stephen Buhner featured in the Carousel are among the most amazing books I have read about the reality of energy healing and the relationship between the plant and animal kingdoms.


Here are two formulas from the Desert Alchemy Composite Formulas that can assist with going through change.

Bless the Old-Embrace the New Formula

Transitions Formula

See the Desert Alchemy website.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Nigella sativa

I am collecting recipes using Nigella sativa. It has many common names such as: black cumin seed, black seed, kalonji. It is often confused with black onion seeds and black sesame seeds. It is used primarily in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. It has a strong, pungent and distinct flavor.

It also has a long history in healing and the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said it would cure everything except death. Some of the healing properties are written about in the book for sale on this page Natural Remedies of Arabia. The oil is used a lot in products for healing the skin. I make a salve and a soap using black cumin seed oil. See my website: Wise Women of the West for these and other products.

If you have any recipes using nigella, and would like to be included in my upcoming recipe book, please send them to me.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Issue of the Week - Sept 1 - 7

Prayer and Support

My prayers go out to all the beings in the path of Gustav, human, animal and plant. The only thing I know to do right now is pray for your safety and protection. I call on God and the angelic realm to be with you every moment. Whatever your belief system, may you find comfort in it right now. May you have all the help you need. May you be at peace, whatever the outcome.

Calling All Angels is a combination formula from the Alaskan Flower Essence Project that contains Angelica, Chalice Well, Chiming Bells, and Kunzite.

It helps you contact the love, guidance and protection of the angelic realm. It brings a very soft, loving and serene energy into your heart, physical body and environment. Use it to:

* Strengthen the knowledge that you are guided, supported and protected by the angels.
* Come into a stronger awareness of your own angelic nature.
* Experience the love of the angelic kingdom in your physical body.
* Bring the essence of joy and peace back into your life.
* Make a stronger connection to the Divine Feminine.
* Create a sacred and protected space for sleeping and dreaming.

Application: Take internally or add to the bath when you want to invoke the energy of the angels. Add to your body lotions and creams when you need some additional pampering, and to your magssage oil for a heavenly bodywork session.

Text related to ingredients, qualities and appications of Calling All Angels from the Alaskan Flower Essence Project catalog.