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


"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 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


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:



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.....


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.