Medicine Journeys

DARCEY BLUE :: BEE BALM BLESSINGS in WINTER

THE MEDICINE JOURNEYS: NOURISHMENT AND RITUALS FROM THE PLANTS

Last July, in the warmth and abundance of summer’s glow, I was excitedly gathering and preserving all the Bee Balm I could get my little hands on.  It was overflowing in every drainage of my Northern Arizona forest home.  Its magenta firework flower heads waving gently in the wind, mingling with the white beauty of yarrow, and deep purple spikes of vervain.  They were taller and fatter than any I had ever seen in my 13 years of herbal wandering and medicine making.   For years, oh how I would pray and scour the land hoping to find a stand that was big enough to harvest a few handfuls of the blossoms.  But it was just at the edge of its range, not getting quite enough water to be abundant, it was, in pockets, but as drought wore on, I did see them growing smaller and fewer in Southern Arizona mountain lands.  

 

But it is a hardly mint family perennial, which does happen to transplant fairly well, and I was able to start a little patch in my garden.  But here, on the Colorado plateau, conditions are ideal for my friend bee balm.  And I was swimming in an abundance of it, with so much gratitude.  Because along with winter soups and hot steamy rooty herbal brews, bee balm is one of my go to winter allies, and oh- it is winter now! The freezing temperatures have taken all my herbs in the garden to sleep, and the land is covered over in snow, all I can pick these days is pinon and juniper (which do make nice brews themselves and are quite medicinal and wonderful in winter too!)  But the blessing of summer, is the abundance of winter stores....especially from my sweet and spicy friend Bee Balm.  Also known as Monarda, and sometimes goes by bergamot, oregano de la sierra, or sweet leaf, it is monarda fistulosa var. menthaefolia to which I am offering this ode.  There are many varieties of monarda, red flowered m. didyma grows in many gardens across the country, and there are countless other wild and spicy spp varying by region.

 

Just like its favored name in this region, oregano de la sierra, (mountain oregano), it has a delightful and strong oregano taste, aroma and spice.  And it is so lovely included in winter soups, stews, meat rubs, and sauces.  It is even delicious as a piquant and intense pesto when made in summer fresh, and frozen for later months.  But in addition to its yumminess as a wild spice and food, its medicinal value is unparalleled.   I could pare down my apothecary to just 10-15 herbs, and this is one I would NOT forgo.

 

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Bee Balm flower infused honey is a winter dream stirred into hot tea or water, soothing a sore throat, easing a cough or combating winter infections  I always make sure to have a jar of bee balm honey made from the bright pink flowers, and besides, who can resist something so beautiful?  You can make bee balm vinegar which is medicinal and tasty to sprinkle on beans and rice as well, leaving the beautiful flowers in the jar, or to use in salad dressings.


I also tincture up loads of the fresh leaves and flowers for an infection kicker outer.  Seriously, I haven’t ever seen this stuff not make a huge difference in varying forms of bacterial infections- be it a sinus infection, stomach flu, UTI, strep throat, and even vaginal yeast infections.  Much like the oregano oil sold in stores, it has many similar compounds and aromatic oils, but in a form that is far more tolerable to the body, and just as effective without burning your mucous membranes.  Typically if I’m working on treating infections at home, I take my herbal allies of choice hourly, or at the least every two.  Frequency is key here.  And i have noted over and over that infections treated effectively at home with herbs dramatically improve within 24-36 hrs, and fully resolve in about 4-5 days.  If that is not the case, then I tend to err on the side of caution and get medical assistance.  Especially if you are working with a client, friend or child.  Sometimes switching up the herbs or adding others to the protocol helps too.  For bee balm, 1 dropper hourly usually does the trick, and I often blend it with other helpers, like Alder, Usnea, Yarrow or Oregon Grape Root, or even with Elderberries if I’m dealing with a viral cold or flu.


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Bee Balm leaf and flower tea is just as effective at kicking the infectious bugaboos out, but the taste is quite strong and for many people unpalatable to intolerable, it is both spicy, hot, and medicinal tasting in tea blends.  Mixing it with lots of peppermint can take the edge off, but go slow with this form if you want to get your friends and family to love and use bee balm.  I generally include it in a warming, stimulating, sweat inducing diaphoretic tea blend at the first sign of a cold, sniffle, cough or flu.  Also when dealing with UTI or gut infections more fluids are effective.

1 pt  bee balm

1 pt yarrow

1 pt elderflower

3 pt peppermint

Steep 10 min and sip as hot as possible. Add honey if desired.


Raising the body temperature and supporting a healthy fever response is an effective way to treat winter illnesses.  Most bacterial and viral infections cannot continue to live and reproduce at temperatures higher than 99℉ in the body.  A fever is a sign the body is doing its job to combat the infection, not a sign that things are getting worse.  Granted, a fever that gets too hot can be uncomfortable (though the dangers may be overstated, check this out from Seattle Childrens Hospital), and using gentle diaphoretic herbs can help to open the pores and break the fever, bringing the temperature down just enough.  Gargling with the luke warm tea or even the tincture mixed in warm saline is a wonderful sore throat remedy, the whole plant is high in tissue numbing essential oils, similar to cloves.  I do also use the tea or tincture as a skin wash or compress for infections, boils, or fungus like athletes foot, ringworm, etc.  Also, used as a sinus steam, dried leaves crumbled into hot water, and inhaled, is an effective way to treat sinus woes, while taking tincture internally as well.


That all said, it’s one of those herbs you can just keep around, and put it in your food, and give yourself a sinus steam with, or add a muslin bag full in your bath, or just drizzle infused honey in your tea every day.  It’s safe, it’s rather yummy, and one of those plant friends you just want to play with every day or so during the cold season. It is a very heating herb, so folks who tend to get overheated or run hot may want to use it in moderation on a day to day basis.


 Every time I look at those beautiful honey blossoms or sprinkle the fragrant leaves in my soup, I remember the glow and abundance of summer, and it warms my spirit and my body.  And I’ve turned to it so often in my herbal practice and day to day living experiences with infections, and I’ve seen it do amazing work, reliably.  And if it is not a plant that grows near where you live, it is easy to grow in a garden space, and can take quite a bit of heat and drought and still be potent and will grow back each winter from the spreading roots.  Noting, that as a mint family plant, it does tend to spread, so give it a nice roomy patch to grow, and you’ll have medicine to last for years to come!


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Shamana Flora

Sacred Wildness ~  Earth Medicine ~ Sacred Life Ways ~ Herbal Apothecary ~ Retreats

Handcrafted Herbal Remedies from Shamana Flora Apothecary

 

 

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DARCEY BLUE - SEED MEDICINE

>>> click to download your medicine journeys journal prompts <<<

 

When everything becomes fuzzy and returns to its essential nature...

 

I’ve been gathering and gathering the seeds falling from the pines, pinyon nuts, daily.  I’ve been shaking loose the fragrant fruits of juniper. I’ve been shaking the fuzzy branches of Rabbitbush as I pass them on my walks, to loose those winged seeds flying.  I have been pulling on the browned tops of vervain and sprinkling the tiny little seeds along my daily trails. I harvested my precious Robins Egg Navajo maize after the tall stalks turned brown and dry.

 

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Tis the season of seeds, forming, falling, flying.  Storing the most essential nature of the plants intelligence, its soul directive.  And within each seed, tiny or large, is the abundant substance to sustain the seed through winter, and then sprout it into the damp earth and stretch upward toward the sun.

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Plants have no doubts or questions about their purpose, their shape, their unique imprint to live out in and through the world.  Though there are many individuals within one species of plant, each one grows in its own unique way.  And its message and its potential is stored within that seed.

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about my soul purpose in this life, and how for much of our early years we are busy creating a life, doing the deeds to make a living, raise the kids, or fit in with our chosen community.  (Even if all these things are aligned for us)  At some point, life, spirit, our soul, runs into that season, when things begin to solidify, or go totally fuzzy, sometimes both at the same time.  We arrive at this season of autumn, of beginning to turn to the downward, inward, earthward, soul journey.    This season of our lives, or even just of the year, asks us to let go, strip down all that extra stuff in place to create what we call our life, and return to our essence, our soul essence.  The SEED of who we are and what we are here to do.

 

The last weeks, and if I’m honest, the last year has a been a long journey to return to my essence and true nature.  To learn to let go of the trappings I’ve created for my ego - to feel valued, appreciated, safe - all the roles, all the identifications, all the shoulds, even some of the dreams and hopes I’ve held on to for my life.  

 

What is my essence beyond my work as an herbalist?  What is my nature beyond the biophysical drive to partner and mother? What is my soul directive to express in the world in this lifetime?  

 

A few days ago I found a pinyon nut that had fallen to the soil, cracked open and sprouted.  A tiny little mini pine tree sprout, perfect, with each cell knowing exactly how to express itself, toward the earth and toward the sun.  The seed providing the impetus and the nourishment and then, cracking open to express itself.   It seemed out of season, but it spoke to me deeply.  

 

I keep picking up all these seeds, thinking about letting go of how and what I’ve been blooming my energy into, and becoming the pure potential of the next season, and deeper expression of my soul.

 

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>>> click to download your medicine journeys journal prompts <<<

 

Go, and find some seeds.  Acorns, or hazelnuts, or corn, or pinyon, or sunflower or tiny mustard seed.  Gather them.  Ask them to speak to you.  Each completely unique, a package of unique genetic expression.  Speak to different kinds of seeds.  What does the sunflower say?  And what does the acorn say?  The tiny poppy seed vs the corn kernel?  

 

What can the seeds tell you about your essential nature?  What does the season of fuzzy falling seeds tell you about letting go of what your ego has created?

 

When you sit in silence in nature, watching all this, what message does your soul speak to you?  What is the SEED within you, begging to break open and express in this world your gift?

 

It may not have anything to do with your work or your roles, or your current hopes and dreams.  

 

Take these seeds to your bed, place them all in a little pouch and wear them around your neck.  Ask the seeds to teach the seed within you.  Ask for these soul directives to reveal in dreams.  

If it feels scary, or makes you want to cry, or asks more than you think you have, you may be onto something.

 

I don’t think this is something that necessarily happens in an instant, or even one season.  I’ve been stripping down for a few years, letting go of things, piece by piece, and feel as if I’m only just beginning to see and sense the essential seed nature within me, waiting to be expressed.  But it is enough, as we move into the new moon,  that I’ve made a new commitment, an investment, and a promise to my soul, to each day move closer and toward this essential soul expression.

 

What step can you engage to move toward your soul and essential nature?

 

>>> click to download your medicine journeys journal prompts <<<


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Shamana Flora
 Sacred Plant Medicine ~ Earth Ceremony ~ Apothecary ~ Retreats
Join Shamana Flora in the Online Apprenticeship or Sacred Earth Medicine Retreat
Handcrafted Herbal Remedies from Shamana Flora Apothecary

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DARCEY BLUE :: THE WILD HEART OF ROSE

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THE MEDICINE JOURNEYS: NOURISHMENT AND RITUALS FROM THE PLANTS

 

Last weekend I spent in retreat with women, sisters, mothers, and healers, focusing on the Heart. Not the wounded heart, which is an inevitable part of living, we all acquire wounds and heartbreaks, but working with calling in the Empowered Heart.  We worked with empowering our hearts through ceremony and plant medicines of many kinds.

Roses, especially the wild ones, but all roses really, are my favorite plant ally and medicine for the heart.  The rose itself reminds me of a beautiful and fragrant wild heart, opening its petals fully and sweetly to the world, while protecting itself just enough with its thorns, not in scary threatening way, but enough to give you a prickly reminder if you overstep your bounds or mindlessly tromp through the briars without attention.    The rose is a reflection of the perfect state of a wild, yet empowered heart, open, expressing itself fully, through beauty, aroma, petals and fruit, and teaches us to be sweet and open with a healthy measure of boundary and protection from those who would take advantage of such sweetness.  

Here in the mountains of the southwest, wild roses bloom through the early summer, and now are nearly bare of leaves, but are flaunting abundant and gorgeous red hips, boasting a medicine full of nourishment for those who brave the thorns with awareness.  And truly, for me, the occasional prick from a rose thorn, though momentarily painful, is a reminder for me about how life’s little lessons, pricks, can help us to stay aware, and aligned with our hearts and souls, if we choose to allow the prick to bring us back into attention and connection with our heart, from wherever the little thorn came from, it is an opportunity to check in with ourselves.

 

Roses nourish, uplift, calm and support the emotional and spiritual heart.  I think of hawthorn as a more directly “protective” remedy for physical heart ailments, while rose supports the flowering, expression and vibration of an open, receptive yet protected heart.  I think I must use roses almost everyday in some form- mixed into my daily tea, a little rose oil anointing of my heart,  or a squirt of elixir now and again, just because.  Tending our hearts in the spirit of wellness and empowerment is one of the ways we can call in the energy of a strong, full, clear and open heart.  This is not to say we should ignore wounds or heartbreaks, because they happen, and have much to teach us as well, but when in a time of relative peace, aligning ourselves with empowered heart energy and positive vibrations, is a lot like speaking our affirmations daily.  Let Rose be the affirmation of self love, wholeness, beautiful expression and healthy boundaries we give ourselves everyday.

 

Roses are the medicine for opening our hearts, for inviting self-love, and for open hearted connection with a beloved or friend.  It is also a medicine for the acute care and pain of traumatic heartbreak, grief, and non traumatic emotional pain.  I often reach for the rose elixir to address emotionally based panic/anxiety attacks.  It works swiftly and sweetly. I can’t you how much rose I guzzled through my own despair and desolation and emotional hysterics after a particularly transformative and difficult break up, and everytime, just a few drops, or a squirt from the elixir bottle, I was immediately calmed, soothed, softened.  Or the time my transmission died in the middle of the desert in the summer, 100 miles from home.  I remember a friend had given me a tiny bottle of wild rose elixir to take home, and I sat on the curb waiting for a tow truck taking drop by drop of rose, helping me keep my cool,  (literally to not overheat in the sun) and not to have an emotional meltdown of epic proportions.

 

Rose is also a cooling remedy (which in the middle of a cold, damp winter might not be what you are after), and I drink rose petal tea or blended into teas all summer long to keep my fire element balanced.  If I ever feel like I’m getting hot and bothered, or have a client who tends to be red faced, stressed out, cranky and showing signs of internal heat, roses usually make their way into the bottle or tea blend. Or a spritz of rosewater in a glass of water, tea or bubble water always calms things down a notch.  David Crow once likened the energy of roses to moonlight, blooming in the cool, silvery magical light of the moon, their sweet fragrance gentle and healing.  Whenever I think of roses, I think of moon medicine, moon vibes, cycles, women, cooling, healing.

 

Then, I can’t forget the magic of anointing thyself with rose oil.  A tiny bottle of rose attar or rose otto can be extremely expensive, as it takes a whole 60,000 rose blossoms to make 1 oz of distilled rose essential oil, but anointing the heart chakra, the palms of the hands (there is a ayurvedic marma point/meridian of the heart that ends right in the palm of the hand - beautiful how our hands touching in love is connecting to the love in our hearts,) temples, third eye, or even the yoni invites the gentle and powerful loving touch of the rose into our psyche and energetic field while we chant a prayer or mantra of self care and loving compassion as we gently massage and anoint ourselves with rose medicine. I’ve been known to also slather my whole body in rose scented or infused oil, or take a bath in a strong rose tea when I need a hefty dose of comfort, compassion and self TLC.

   

Rose is such a versatile little simple medicine, yet full of complexity and layers untold.  Its simple to create your own little stash of rose elixir (recipe below), but also get some sweet smelling organic dried rose petals, and make some honey sweetened rose tea with a touch of cream, and find a little bottle of rose oil for those special moments when you want to really bathe your heart in the power of the rose.  

 

>>> Rose Petal Elixir <<<

I love to use fresh wild roses and leaves for this, but any fragrant and organic roses will work, even dried ones.

 

You’ll need:

1 pint jar

Fresh roses/petals to fill the jar, densely.

or

Fill the jar ⅔ full with dried organic roses (petals or buds)

~16 oz brandy or vodka

optional (¼-⅓ cup raw honey)

 

In your jar place honey (if you choose to sweeten your elixir, i like mine a little bit sweet, helps the medicine go in!), then fill the jar with roses of choice. Pour brandy or vodka over the roses until it comes to the top of the jar.  Cap tightly and label.  You may want to place the jar in the moonlight, near a rose quartz crystal, or sing to it, or say some prayers of loving kindness.  Whatever your intention is with making your rose elixir, infuse into the medicine.  After 4 weeks, you may strain the roses from the jar with a cheesecloth, squeeze every bit of goodness you can from them, (save them to add to a bath, or make homemade chocolate with them!) and place the sweet elixir into a dark glass bottle with a dropper.  Label clearly.

 

Take the elixir as needed for emotional hysterics, anxiety, grief, heartache, self  love, compassion, heart chakra nourishment, heart opening, and beauty. I find 5 drops is effective, and sometimes I need to take 1 or 2 or more droppersfull.  It is a totally safe remedy that is hard to overdo.  It may be a little drying and astringent, which the honey helps to balance.

 


Shamana Flora

 Sacred Plant Medicine ~ Earth Ceremony ~ Apothecary ~ Retreats

Join Shamana Flora in the Online Apprenticeship or Sacred Earth Medicine Retreat

                                           Handcrafted Herbal Remedies from Shamana Flora Apothecary

 

 

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AUTUMN'S KISS - WARMING THE CAULDRON OF WELLNESS

 Publisher's Note: Saturday mornings we treat ourselves to this sanctuary: goodness &amp; wisdom from Darcey Blue,&nbsp;shamanic herbalist and wild crafter of plant medicines,&nbsp;&nbsp;Lover to the Earth and wild earth mama.&nbsp;We call her Plant Whisperer. &nbsp;She calls herself a devotee of all that is sacred on this wild beautiful earth. xx, M

Publisher's Note: Saturday mornings we treat ourselves to this sanctuary: goodness & wisdom from Darcey Blue, shamanic herbalist and wild crafter of plant medicines,  Lover to the Earth and wild earth mama. We call her Plant Whisperer.  She calls herself a devotee of all that is sacred on this wild beautiful earth. xx, M

THE MEDICINE JOURNEYS: NOURISHMENT AND RITUALS FROM THE PLANTS

I left for Black Rock City and my annual pilgrimage to Burning Man, (which is truly a live shamanic journey of epic proportions where I do deep self work with and through the music, the art, the lights, the people.), and it was summer, my corn and squash plants still green and flowering.  10 days later, I returned to Autumn, in all her golden glory.  The plants in the southwest all bloom golden in September, the mountains are swirling with moist clouds, the wind is suddenly cold, and my garden is drying up and turning toward harvest.  

I also came home with the first seasonal respiratory crud of the year, and spent three days in bed for recovery. And it was so damn delicious to sleep and rest.  How often do we give ourselves the space to do absolutely nothing but nourish and rest our bodies, especially before we get sick?  And when we do come down with the crud, do we give ourselves permission to really REST, (which in my professional & personal opinion is a much more powerful form of medicine than herbs in a lot of cases.)

I am feeling the seasons change so deeply, so viscerally. The energy is heavy, thick, ripe and turning me so inward.  I just feel like sitting on the Earth, soaking up the last warm sun rays, and picking up and eating all the pinyon nuts I can find.  And I’m making soup, and thinking about supporting and warming nourishment for the winter months, and my tuckered out immune system.

Our plant allies have the gifts we need in all seasons, and supporting our immunity, and our deep resources with warming, grounding and immunomodulating plants is the gift of the cold season.  

I have two ways that make sure to get these grounding, restorative and immunosupportive plants into my daily routine.  One is through a continuous brew tea blend in the crock pot, and the other is deeply nourishing herbal soup bone broth. (You can use seaweed instead of bones if you are a strict vegetarian.)

 

The basics:

Crock pot (or a pot on the stove on low with a lid can also work)
1 - 2 gallons of water

 

Immuno - Herb Roots and Mushrooms Blend   

4-6 Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) mushroom slices (these are very bitter, go easy at first if you are not accustomed to bitter taste)

8-10 Shiitake mushrooms (dry or fresh, break them up or slice)

a generous handful of Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) root slices

⅛ c licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)  root (omit this herb if you have high blood pressure or taking bp medications, or are pregnant)

¼ c schisandra berry (schisandra chinensis)

½ c Codonopsis (codonopsis pilosula) roots

¼ c fresh or dry ginger (zingiber officinalis) root, chopped

¼ c fresh or dry turmeric roots (if you use powder add 2 tsp)

 

For soup add:

2-4 cloves of garlic sliced

1 onion chopped

1-2 lbs of chicken, beef or lamb bones (organic, free range, happy animals)

or/and

1 cup or a handful  of seaweed (kelp, wakame, nori, bladderwrack)

½ lemon or 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

carrots, celery, roots, greens and other stock veggies as desired

 

For tea add:

Cinnamon, clove, cardamom, cacao, sarsparilla, hawthorn berry, elderberry, rose hips, hibiscus, vanilla bean or evergreen needles (pine and fir are yummy) as desired to taste.

 

How to:

Mix water, herbs and any additions (bones, veggies, fruits etc) in a crock pot or large pot on the stove, and simmer on low for 4 hrs for tea or 24 hrs for soup with bones.  The longer it cooks the better the medicine.  You may add more water to the brew if it looks like it's getting low.  After cooking, strain the herbs/bones/veggies out of the liquid brew, and sip as a tea daily, or use as a broth for soup, cooking grains, or sauteing veggies.

 

You can sip, brew and enjoy these types of immunity brews all fall and winter long to support your natural immunity, and help you ground and root down in the cold months to the Earth’s deep nourishment and rest.  And rest, as much as you can, get your 8 hours every night. Turn off the lights and relish the darkness within and without, just as the roots and decomposers work deep in the dark womb of the Earth.  


Shamana Flora

 Sacred Plant Medicine ~ Earth Ceremony ~ Apothecary ~ Retreats

Join Shamana Flora in the Online Apprenticeship or Sacred Earth Medicine Retreat

Handcrafted Herbal Remedies from Shamana Flora Apothecary

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DARCEY BLUE :: LIVING GOLD OF PUMPKIN

 Publisher's Note: Saturday mornings we treat ourselves to this sanctuary: goodness &amp; wisdom from Darcey Blue,&nbsp;shamanic herbalist and wild crafter of plant medicines,&nbsp;&nbsp;Lover to the Earth and wild earth mama.&nbsp;We call her Plant Whisperer. &nbsp;She calls herself a devotee of all that is sacred on this wild beautiful earth. xx, M

Publisher's Note: Saturday mornings we treat ourselves to this sanctuary: goodness & wisdom from Darcey Blue, shamanic herbalist and wild crafter of plant medicines,  Lover to the Earth and wild earth mama. We call her Plant Whisperer.  She calls herself a devotee of all that is sacred on this wild beautiful earth. xx, M

 

THE MEDICINE JOURNEYS: NOURISHMENT AND RITUALS FROM THE PLANTS

LIVING GOLD OF PUMPKIN: GRATITUDE IS THE MOST POTENT FORM OF PRAYER

 

Every day I wake up, and make a cup of tea, and then go out to the garden, still in my white silky nightie, to say good morning to the plants, gather some things for breakfast, and make my morning prayers and offerings.  

 

This last week or so has been challenging me with some expensive problems, which I haven’t been able to see my way through quite yet, and ongoing frustration with my apparently single childless mid thirties situation.  

 

But as I went down to the garden and wandered in and among the pumpkin vines and the waist high corn, and made my offerings to the plants there, I was brought down on my knees, overcome with the immense love and gratitude for these wise plants, these nourishing plants, I stooped to pick the pollen laden male squash blossoms and filled my basket with living gold.  LIVING GOLD. True riches.  The medicine and message of pumpkin has always been one of fertility and abundance, the pure abundance of the Earth.  That we are deeply loved, cared and provided for, by her endless abundance, and we are also always giving back, by our very breath that feeds the green beings.   But for me, the plants are always teaching me about right relationship, and how to be concious of how we give back, how we show gratitude to them, and to that endless abundance of Earth’s fertile magic.  Giving back.  Giving gratitude.  In my prayers that day, I was given very specific guidance about creating a ceremony and offering of gratitude for everything I have been given.  That even though I am feeling particularly challenged by a few things, if i stay in the gratitude, and acknowledge with reverence all the gifts, lessons and abundances I already have, that will be the path to finding what I want and need.


In light of the pumpkins endless production of leaves, flowers, fruits, & seeds, which are all edible and deeply nourishing to our physical abundance, and our ability to tap into our own fertility- be it for growing a life, or for gestating a creative project or dream, and my feeling of complete and utter gratitude for just its abundant presence in my garden, the message was clear. This week all I hear in my meditation is  “Give your gratitude-  Gratitude is the most potent form of prayer.”  Make offerings of gratitude. Don’t just make a list of your gratitudes.  Go out and leave gifts, make beauty, say thank you with not just your words but your actions.  


  1. Gather biodegradable items that you can leave as offerings on the Earth. Please choose something that is meaningful to you, don’t use tobacco because you hear its a good offering, but use what speaks to your heart of abundance and gratitude and love.  For some it may be roses, or the lavender you grow in your garden, or a pinch of corn meal from the local farmer, or beans, or simply fresh flowers or leaves from the farmers market or your garden (making sure to say thank you and leave an offering for anything you pick!)  Choose a selection of items that you can make a beautiful offering with. I like to use a mix of wildcrafted or organic tobacco, local blue cornmeal, red corn kernals, roses, and sage, because I have a particular relationship with those plants as offerings.  But I often do use fresh flowers or leaves when possible.

  2. Go to a place on your land, in the garden, or in the woods/ocean/mountains that feels like a place to which you can offer your sincere and heartfelt gratitude.  It can be a particular plant or tree that you feel connected with, or just a spot on the land that speaks to you.

  3. Arrange your offerings in a pleasing, artful way, blowing your prayers of gratitude and thankfulness for all the things you have with your breath, Speak them aloud if you can.

  4. AND Sprinkle your offering blend or flowers around on the plants you come in contact with daily, your herbs, your garden, trees near your home.  Begin a daily practice of making simple offerings of gratitude whenever and however you can.  This is the energy of reciprocity.  Give and receive, over and over. Your gratitude is the most potent form of prayer.  


If you are feeling called to work with the abundant, fertile, living gold of pumpkin energy, besides growing it yourself and basking in its energy, and consuming the fresh blossoms and fruits, I like to work with the plant spirit essence of pumpkin flower.  But a word of warning, it has been known to create lots of fertility, and I even had one student who got pregnant after working with pumpkin spirit medicine.  Pumpkin essence is a strong presence, and is full, vigourous and downright sexy at times, be prepared to get in touch with your juiciest, creative forces and abundance from within.  


Shamana Flora 

 Sacred Plant Medicine ~ Earth Ceremony ~ Apothecary ~ Retreats

Join Shamana Flora in the Online Apprenticeship or Sacred Earth Medicine Retreat

Handcrafted Herbal Remedies from Shamana Flora Apothecary

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DARCEY BLUE :: CALENDULA'S COMPASSION ::

 Publisher's Note: Saturday mornings we treat ourselves to this sanctuary: goodness &amp; wisdom from Darcey Blue,&nbsp;shamanic herbalist and wild crafter of plant medicines,&nbsp;&nbsp;Lover to the Earth and wild earth mama.&nbsp;We call her Plant Whisperer. &nbsp;She calls herself a devotee of all that is sacred on this wild beautiful earth. xx, M

Publisher's Note: Saturday mornings we treat ourselves to this sanctuary: goodness & wisdom from Darcey Blue, shamanic herbalist and wild crafter of plant medicines,  Lover to the Earth and wild earth mama. We call her Plant Whisperer.  She calls herself a devotee of all that is sacred on this wild beautiful earth. xx, M

 

THE MEDICINE JOURNEYS: NOURISHMENT AND RITUALS FROM THE PLANTS

Calendula’s Compassion:  Communication and Empowerment

 

As I got off the phone with Maya this morning, I started looking around me to find inspiration.  Who is whispering to me right now, more than they all do usually.  Who had the message for me today, who had the message to bring to our virtual kitchen table.   I’m really mostly a kitchen witch, a brewer of potions, and passions and foods and magic, and so invite you to visit my herbal apothecary magic making casita in the woods.  Here I roam the acres of pinyon and juniper, finding friends around every corner. Here I plant seeds of hope, healing and magic in my garden in the rich volcanic cinder soil, and here the friends who are a little less wild, but no less vocal and wise, grow with my tending.

 

Yesterday it was the three kinds of sage that I planted, or volunteered from the wild, that were whispering to me about wisdom and being aligned with my higher wisdom as my life spins around me.  But today, I was thinking about communication, with a sweet new friend, with new sister partnerships, with people who no longer belong in my life, and how do I connect with my sense of self empowerment in these situations.  Calendula’s bright, warm, golden suns reminded me to connect with compassion, for myself, in my journey, and for others.

 

She grows abundant and strong, pretty much anywhere she is planted, with a little water and sunshine.  Her bright sunny flowers are always a joy to behold.  I pick her resinous, sweet, balsamic blooms daily in the summer for infusing into oil for healing the skin, drying for healing teas and soups.  She’s not a hider, she shines her self fully, without being pushy, or prickly.  

Calendula is a Sun plant.  I always have found her supportive to our inner sun, our third chakra/solar plexus: our place of personal power, inner knowing,  gut wisdom, confidence, courage and the ability to manifest our dreams and visions into reality, and our ability to communicate effectively, compassionately and clearly, in alignment with our healthy and balanced self of self, power and boundaries.

 

Calendula flower tea is a strong bitter healer; warms our digestive fire, heals the tissues of the gut, stimulates healthy digestive secretions, moves stagnant lymph fluids.  You can drink a cup or a quart of calendula flower infusion daily, sweetened with honey or mixed with something yummy like peppermint or ginger.  I encourage you, as I try to do, whenever I work with my medicines, to set an  intention and say a little prayer to the spirit of the plant, or make a little offering of gratitude out on the land where it grows, or on a special sacred spot if you aren’t growing it. (Though it is a friendly and easy plant to grow, even in a pot on a sunny patio.)

 

Calendula Spirit Essence/Flower Essence can be used to help us strengthen and empower our connection with compassion and courage in communication, especially with others in our life, co-workers, partners, lovers, friends.  In order to communicate from a place of balance and empowerment, rather than our wounds or traumas (which can and often do get imprinted into our chakras and emotional body), we need to make a connection between our balanced inner wisdom, healthy boundaries and a strong sense of self, and our compassion and courage to speak truth to ourselves and others.  If you find compassionate communication and feeling empowered to communicate your truth challenging, calling on Calendula Spirit essence can be a helpful ally.  

 

Her message:  Tend your inner sun, your brightness, your wholeness, your authenticity, and share it with joy.  Boundaries don’t need to be prickly, they radiate from our inner strength and self worth.  Share your light. Speak your inner truth boldly and beautifully.

 

-Darcey Blue

 


Shamana Flora 

 Sacred Plant Medicine ~ Earth Ceremony ~ Apothecary ~ Retreats

Join Shamana Flora in the Online Apprenticeship or Sacred Earth Medicine Retreat

Handcrafted Herbal Remedies from Shamana Flora Apothecary


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