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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in herbalism

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Communicating with Plants

 

Signatures of Plants – Learning Nature’s Alphabet

There are those who say they get messages from plants and that plants actually speak to them with a human voice, telling them the healing virtues of an herb. Others, (like me) get pictures in our minds that seem to be another form of direct communication from the plant world. Many other plant identification and communication systems have been devised over the millennia that do not rely on the written word.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tea and Incantation

Once per month on the 4th Tuesday at 8pm, I host a Tea and Chanting session at my shop, The Sacred Well in Oakland, CA. For each session, I prepare an intention for the group to consider, a new tea recipe to try, and a mantra that we will all chant 108 times. We then settle in to our meditation space, sip tea, chant, and increase our overall wholeness, wellness, and quality of energy with this practice. There is something really satisfying about this ritual. It clears and opens significant channels of energy and healing via the throat chakra.

I extend this experience in myTea and Incantation class in The Witch's Garden series as an exploration of how the art of drinking tea and chanting can positively affect the body, mind, and spirit. The throat, an important gateway of speech, song, breath, and consumption of food and drink, deserves lots of warm, kind, honeyed love. How many times per day do you find yourself talking, talking, talking or listening, listening, listening, and longing for silence? How often do you feel like you can't even catch a breath because you feel overrun and overwhelmed? We all feel that way sometimes. Drinking tea and chanting can be a great antidote to a loud and stressful environment, job, or life circumstances.

Incantation (chanting) is also an amazing magical tool for bringing about healing. A good chant, well-written, careful, delivered with intention and personal power, can vibrationally re-align the cells and tissues toward health via the water contained therein. If that water is steeped with healing herbs, all the better.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

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Marigold (Calendula Officinalis), homegrown.

The second article of this series will cover two topics – making the most of your own herbal garden, and a short introduction to wildharvesting and guerrilla gardening.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Today, I'm kicking off a new series, based on ancient Hellenic mythology. Like with the constellation series, in this series, I will take an often well-known piece of knowledge or myth, and will attempt to provide a more well-rounded view, or provide you with information you might not have about it. This series, in particular, focusses on the connection between certain Theoi and the various flowers, plants and trees we associate with Them through mythology.

I'm starting this series off with a flower, associated with a very tragic love story: the hyacinth. From Wikipedia: "Hyacinthus is a small genus of bulbous flowering plants in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae. Plants are commonly called hyacinths. The genus was formerly the type genus of the separate family Hyacinthaceae; prior to that it was placed in the lily family Liliaceae. Hyacinthus is native to the eastern Mediterranean (from south Turkey to northern Israel), north-east Iran, and Turkmenistan."

Within Hellenic mythology, we find Hyakinthos (Ὑάκινθος), a divine hero with a cult in Amykles (Αμύκλες), a village located southwest of Sparta.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

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Herb Robert - Geranium Robertianum, Homegrown.

Working with herbs has been one of the most magical and rewarding experiences in my growth as a Witch. Not only plants heal our spirit and body – they are teachers, they empower us and they reveal the paths to spiritual realms as guardians and shamans.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Carolina Gonzalez
    Carolina Gonzalez says #
    Thanks so much! More coming very soon .

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Ancestral Recipes

This time last year, I was looking for somewhere fun to take my sweetie Albert for his birthday. We ended up heading up to Chico for the World Music Festival there. It was a really fun weekend and I highly recommend the event for those who like diverse music and don't like huge crowds. It's smaller and more intimate than other festivals I've attended, and I really felt like I got to connect more with the performers, vendors, and other attendees.

While we were visiting for the festival, an open-air market was happening just outside of town in the more rural farming community where the almond growers make their trade. This was a proper "Hoes Down" kind of affair that felt like a throwback to the festivals of my youth in upstate New York, with folks selling their handmade quilts and rag rugs and knit items, jewel-toned jars of homemade jam and pickles, whimsical yard decor, and a classic car show. I grew up going to events like these in the rural areas around my small hometown of Olean. It was fun to touch that country energy again. Urban farmer's markets in the Bay Area, with highbrow marketing, rapid turnaround, thronging crowds and long lines, are fun and exciting, but they are not quite like these homespun, slow-moving events. Different birds altogether.

I passed a booth where an elderly man was selling a small selection of preserved foods: pickled peppers, beans, and cucumbers. I had been hoping to find a pickled bean vendor, as spicy dill beans are among my favorite snacks. I stepped in to the booth and inquired after a jar of beans: how much? Spicy or not?

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  • Anne Hendley
    Anne Hendley says #
    What a wonderful story! How special for you to honor his wife in such a way. I have found myself trying my hand at gardening and
  • Natalie Reed
    Natalie Reed says #
    Oh sure, make me cry at my desk at work!! Lovely story, thank you for sharing and for honoring the woman the way you did.
  • Amy McCune
    Amy McCune says #
    Are you originally from Olean , NY? I'm from Derrick City, PA; right over the hill!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Sweet & tart summer cooler

My friend Andrea Young first taught me a version of this drink, and the recipe has morphed a bit since then. It is a perfect cooler for your 4th of July celebrations, or just for long, hot days. Replaces vitamins, quenches thirst, and provides gentle internal cleansing. If you are less interested in the health benefits and just want a hip new twist on the Cape Cod to serve at your party, mix vodka into this and enjoy :)

You will need:

1 bottle of unsweetened cranberry juice

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The charms of Anglo-Saxon England consisted of words, herbs and actions. The folks who lived in the period after the Roman era and before the Norman Invasion of 1066 believed that words had a magic of their own especially when spoken aloud, but that the application of the right herbs would help the healing processes along, too. Sometimes other actions were required to create the right atmosphere or to move bad luck along to someone else. All three techniques used together was simply magic.

Among the most common uses for magic was for healing. Lacking any kind of organized medical care system, they pieced together charms and poultices to take care of the common health problems. But they also used charms to protect, both themselves and their belongings. Chief amongst their property was cattle. The Anglo-Saxon word for "cattle" (feoh) is the same as the word for "wealth" which shows how important cattle were. Charms also came in handy to enhance good luck and increase one's bounty.

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  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch says #
    At the risk of being pedantic, the Ango-Saxon for cattle and movable property is "feoh". "Fé" is the Old Norse version of the word
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    You're right, of course! I go back and forth between OE and ON so much, I slip up on words from time to time. Good to know I've go
  • mary widner
    mary widner says #
    i enjoy reading this

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