indigenous

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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INSIDE #BRIGHTLIVELIHOOD :: AN INTERVIEW W. NU MUNDO

MEET DAVID CASEY, THE GENTLE HEART, CHIEF VISIONARY OFFICER, & LUCID EARTH STEWARD THAT FIRST TAUGHT ME HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE ( <~ so, hero ). WE ONCE TALKED STRATEGY FOR ABOUT FIVE MINUTES, & I'VE BEEN FOLLOWING HIS MOVEMENT, NU MUNDO, FROM AFAR. NOW IT'S RIPE FOR THE REST OF US - ESPECIALLY THOSE *GIVEN* BY WANDERLUST, COMMUNITY & MEDICINE-KEEPING, - & IT'S GOT MY HEAD SPINNING. THIS IS A RISING TIDE, FIRST TO FALL IN LOVE WITH, THEN TO JUMP ON. GRAB MY HAND. COME SEE...

 David's on the far left, along with team members &amp; co-founder Shayna, in purple.

David's on the far left, along with team members & co-founder Shayna, in purple.

MH- What’s needed and how is NU MUNDO providing it?

We are addressing the challenge of education, and specifically education pertaining to sustainable development, which has aspects of food, water, energy, health, environment, and poverty. The grand challenge of our times is that the human species’ behavior on this earth is not sustainable in its present state. In large part, this is due to a broken education system. By building an educational platform for hands-on learning and creating a decentralized learning network, we are accelerating the distribution of information on best practices for sustainable development. The physical learning happens on the ground at “impact centers” - schools for regenerative development. These centers can also share information, best practices, and models with each other and with individuals virtually - an “Appropedia” for impact centers.

MH- OKAY. LET ME GUSH. 

FOR THE WANDERING HEART, IT REALLY TAKES LOADS OF RESEARCH & MANY GOOD FRIENDS TO FIND THESE KINDS OF LEARNING EXPERIENCES. AS A ONCE-&-FOREVER UNSCHOOLER, I'M ECSTATIC ABOUT THIS MODEL AS AN ALTERNATIVE FOR MY SONS, & A CHANCE FOR US TO LEARN TOGETHER AS A FAMILY. NU MUNDO IS ONE OF THOSE IDEAS THAT ARE OBVIOUS IN HINDSIGHT, FULL OF LONGED-COVETED SOLUTIONS FOR EARTHKEEPERS, TRAVELING SEEKERS, & THOSE OF US LOOKING TO LEARN FROM AFAR...

 

Furthermore, we plan to develop templates for any individual anywhere in the world to convert any inhabitable space into a functioning impact center, so the network can scale more quickly.

 

MH- YES.  GENIUS. THIS IS WHERE IT GOES NEXT LEVEL.

 

Ultimately, our goal is to accelerate the growth of an international network of impact centers who can innovate and spread sustainable living techniques to all corners of the earth. The economic and information engine that our platform is creating is supporting social entrepreneurs around the world to create their own impact centers. By demonstrating and reifying a regenerative lifestyle first-hand, we are building a bridge from concept to experience to integration in daily life.

 

MH- THERE'S SO MUCH HAPPENING HERE: LEARNING INDIGENOUS & PLACE-BASED PRACTICES, BEING RIGHT-SIZED {"APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY" WAS ORIGINALLY BASED ON THE IDEA THAT "SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL"}, REALLY DOING THE WORK WITH HEART & HANDS TO BUILD OUT MANY MOVEMENTS, EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION, RELATIONSHIP BUILDING THRU ACTUAL COMMUNITY-BUILDING, & SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ASSISTED WITH A GLOBAL TECH FRAMEWORK RUN BY TRUE LEARNING TRAVELERS. THE DIVERSE LAYERS OF ALIGNMENT ARE STAGGERING. YOU MUST HAVE A SWEET TEAM! HOW ARE YOU BUILDING AS A COMMUNITY & SUPPORTING EACH OTHER?

Our team is 10 people and growing. We are nomadic, with team members in the US, Brazil, Mexico, and Costa Rica. We meet as a team physically about twice annually, and do team-building activities with each other in beautiful natural locations. When working remotely for the rest of the year, we have regular team meetings. Besides working as a team, we share personal updates about ourselves to bond as much as possible. This helps us reconnect and continue working together, despite being remote.

 

MH- SO YOU ARE ACTUALLY DOING BUSINESS, & RUNNING YOUR PERSONAL & WORK LIVES IN CONSCIOUS COMMUNITY, WITHIN YOUR INNATE GESTURES AS TRAVELING SEEKERS. THIS LEVEL OF VITALITY & INTEGRITY IS INCREDIBLY RARE, AND YET YOU ARE SETTING UP TO MAKE IT AVAILABLE TO ALL OF US! 

HOW IS LEADERSHIP & EQUITY SET UP WITHIN NU MUNDO?

 

  1. As a leader, I’ve implemented dynamic equity as a decentralized ownership structure and holacracy as a decentralized decision-making system for our enterprise for our team. These greatly help with team dynamics, making everyone feel included and passionate about growing the organization.

  2. We are building a community of support among transformational learning centers around the world. As our team moves around the world, we visit centers and build personal relationships with their founders. As we get to know our network, we can send people to exactly the right places based on our team’s first-hand knowledge of the locations in NuMundo’s network.

  3. Through our crowdfunding and launch campaign, we’re supporting the top centers in our network by featuring them through blog articles and creating graphic memes with viral potential and circulating them through large networks who are supporting our campaign right now, such as Sustainable Human and Unify. They are supporting us by donating spectacular experiences as perks for the campaign, which helps us raise funding to continue to build out the platform and offer these centers more services. We speak with the centers in our network on a regular basis to get feedback from them about our platform and how it could help them, and about the problems they face on a daily basis.

 

MH- WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL (GROWTH) EDGE, AND HOW IS THIS WORK GROWING YOUR EDGE?

 

My personal growth edge is certainly money, and business. I have never consciously labeled myself as an entrepreneur until very recently, and even then as a “social entrepreneur”. My desire is to change the world and have a large impact, and I always saw money as one of the plagues of the world, so I avoided it. I have worked for years in developing countries in poverty alleviation. Now I am understanding that financial sustainability and growth is part and parcel of having a global positive impact, especially with this project. Financial abundance flowing through our core team and through the impact centers in our network will have a regenerative impact.

As a founder, I am learning business modeling as I go. This is definitely where I’m being tested. I have incredible advisors who are helping me implement experiments to test hypotheses and assumptions. There is also the tradeoff that a social entrepreneur (or “regenerative entrepreneur”) faces when making decisions that affect profit vs. decisions that imply negative social and environmental externalities.

A book called Regenerative Enterprise by an amazing man named Gregory Landau helped give me a language and framework to understand the type of enterprise I am building.

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MH- SO MANY RESOURCES! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS WORK DAVID, AND GIVING US A PEEK AT THE EDGE YOU'RE LIVING WITH. I'M INSPIRED TO BRING THIS TO THE PACIFIC, WHERE MY FAMILY WORKS WITH PERMACULTURE & TRANSFORMATIONAL GATHERINGS. IT'S SO EASY TO SEE MYSELF INSIDE OF THE OPPORTUNITY & THE NEXT STEPS FOR US. (I'D ALSO LOVE TO SEND SOME FOLKS ON SOME OF THE INSANE CROWDFUNDING REWARD TRIPS YOU GUYS SET UP!  SHAMANIC PERMACULTURE? JUNGLE ESCAPES? YES, THANK YOU) 

xxx, maya

 

PS ~ FIND AN IMPACT CENTER & JOIN THE MOVEMENT ::


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Maya Hackett  Curious. Grateful. Delighted. Pollinator.
  Moves towards life, beauty, magic. Head on Earth, listening for what's needed. Transforms, sharing your light offline, at impossible speeds. Home birthing, urban*steading, unschooled mom of four. Fashion stylist, publisher. Fundraiser, multi-founder. Legacy Architect. Often sleeps at sea, for clarity + support. Gratefully collects minute bits of grace, spins it out as community caramel. With blessed help of thousands, On Purpose.

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INSIDE #BRIGHTLIVELIHOOD :: ZOE TRYON & NINA GUALINGA

ZOE TRYON + NINA GUALINGA. AMAZON ACTIVISTS. BELOVED EMPRESS TIDES SISTERS. 

{Each week we give you a glimpse into MOONRISE|13 by highlighting the work of beloveds from our real-life community of creative Earth, culture & community keepers.}

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ANGELIQUE ARROYO :: SACRED BOUNDARIES. PART 4

 *Publisher's Note: We are thrilled to share this *free* thinking toolkit, a lunar year of Sacred Boundaries shared weekly,&nbsp;grounded in Angelique's many years as an activist,&nbsp;herbalist,&nbsp;community trainer,&nbsp;and SisterKeeper. She's a medical advocate for sexual assault victims, social justice &amp;&nbsp;anti-racism facilitator,&nbsp;holding monthly Red Tents &amp; the online School for Medicine Womyn. &nbsp;More than this, Angelique is a dear friend that has fiercely supported our global community sisterhood, for years, now. This is family medicine. *Weekly* -M

*Publisher's Note: We are thrilled to share this *free* thinking toolkit, a lunar year of Sacred Boundaries shared weekly, grounded in Angelique's many years as an activist, herbalist, community trainer, and SisterKeeper. She's a medical advocate for sexual assault victims, social justice & anti-racism facilitator, holding monthly Red Tents & the online School for Medicine Womyn.  More than this, Angelique is a dear friend that has fiercely supported our global community sisterhood, for years, now. This is family medicine. *Weekly*
-M

 

Sacred Boundaries For Self

 

We’ve been engaged in sacred boundaries in the sphere of the sacred, last time you created a collage that maps where you are at. In my work as an activisionary we talk about what it would look like to live outside of the striving/or the struggle. This very time driven existence that demands that we stick every experience into a formula for action, how do we unplug from that very formulaic why into the beingness of our own experience. I often share with folks when I provide a structure for movement that if it prevents you from actually doing it, drop it. Let it go. While parts of our human experience desire to name and label, it is not always in our best interest. Can you engage and set boundaries around the sacred for its own sake, without a prefabricated trending agenda? Can you dance in the tension of creating space for the unknown to be nourished? Why unknown? Because you can’t assign a name to that which has many and is none. In that space you will find solace and fullness because it holds capacity for all of you. 

 

I recommend you put together all these parts and read it again but all at once. When you are done…gather your sacred space making tools, be sure to ground and plug in. Grounding through your root chakra and plugging in through your crown, this stabilizes movement as energy and messages flow. When ready engage in the following questions…allow silence and stillness.

 

What have the boundaries around your practice in relationship to the sacred been?

 

What is in need of repair and reframing? Listen for what the essence in you needs at this season for nourishment..these messages come not from the thought but from plugging into the sacred current. 

 

What is coming up?…I imagine this piece of myself as a being and I often start with a teary I’m so sorry, I love you. This happens because I recognize that for me it can get so busy and move so fast. There are times I choose the busy over the slow..over the sacred, ”I can’t stop this must get done”. Or sometimes the plan gets in the way and that is when I know, I need to let go. My offering are my tears and a heart hungry to just sit and be. 

 

I Wait

I wait for you at the edges

I watch in tearful expectation, maybe today

Maybe today you’ll be with me…

I don’t want you to do..anything, just be with me

When you lay down exhausted and feel a warm sensation envelope you, that’s me loving on you

I don’t fit into the boxes or the list, or the next asana sequence  

I’m the hunger inside that makes you cry at mountains and weep at flowers

I watch you as you try to learn some new way to engage me..but all I want is for you to be with me

I have the answers you’re looking for

I’ve tried to tell you they are within

What am I? I am the galaxy in a cell 

I am the rush of rivers

I am the ecstasy in the release of an orgasm

I am the breath of a baby

I am night sky

I am the sunrise

I am the twinge in your chest that squeezes tight at the morning light

I am waiting for you….

I am the essence that holds the secrets of the universe and I dwell in you

I wait 

 

Now go into your Moonrise planner and plug in the space to meet with your sacred essence and guard those boundaries. This is very important…if you need to put up mantras or prayers to remind you of the why this matters, do so. And when not if, but when you loose your way and the rush of the day takes over…come repair your boundaries and mend the fence. Come home.

 

Next stop Sacred Boundaries for Self….xo


Angelique Arroyo Medicine Womyn: Guidess, Healer + ActiVisionary

Phone: 7172952547
Email: SchoolforMedicineWomyn@gmail.com
Website: www.AngeliqueArroyo.com

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