A Ritual and a Prayer on World Oceans Day 

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Tanker on English Bay, Vancouver at Sunset

On  World Oceans Day, I am reminded of the importance of this Kenyan proverb:

“Treat the Earth well. She was not given to you by your parents. She was loaned to you by your children.”

So, today, on World Oceans Day, I will go to the sea and offer a healing ritual and blessing to Yemaya for healing the world’s oceans and waters. The healing and cleansing ritual was posted on this blog yesterday. Feel free to use this ritual, adapt it or create your own.

And I will say a prayer to Yemaya for her continued health, vibrancy and balance (not my original prayer but one found on many websites):

You who rule the waters, pouring over humankind your protection, O Divine Mother, wash their bodies and their minds, performing a cleansing with your water and instilling in their hearts the respect and veneration due to the force of nature that it symbolizes, let us protect your group of things and what they protect.

We beseech powerful Yemaya, Queen of the waters, to receive this prayer.  With love and justice, give me the required and necessary strength to withstand everything.
In your sea of nature and harmony, I want to live.

Protect my loved ones from all harm and danger.
Hail Yemaya, Queen of the Sea!

How are you celebrating World Oceans Day and the theme of Our Oceans, Our Future?

What does the ocean — and the fresh waters of our Earth — mean to you?

The seas have always been magical to me. I love living by the ocean. . . breathing in the salt air, listening to the seagulls, watching the herons wading in the shallows and the bald eagles soaring in the sky, spotting a playful seal and hoping to one day see a whale breach in the Bay.

Some days I visit at sunset, meditating at the end of the day. Other times, I visit at low tide… walking out on the flats, through the shallow tidal pools, connecting with the ocean floor. It’s a blessing to live where the Sea meets the Mountains.

But I am also aware of both her power and her fragility. As I looked through my pictures of English Bay here in Vancouver to share with you on World Oceans Day, I realized that although many capture our gorgeous scenery of mountains, sea, and sky, very few are absent of the commerce in the Port of Vancouver — the numerous ships anchored each and every day awaiting their appointment at the docks. Even this sunset picture was marred, in my mind at least, by a tanker crossing the horizon as it sailed into port. And if Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion moves forward, there will be even more tankers, carrying toxic crude oil piped from the Alberta oil sands to overseas refineries… at great risk to the environment.

So I will continue to lobby against that expansion
and to lobby for the health of our Oceans.

We are custodians of Mama Earth. . . Let us treat her—and her waters—well for our generation and for future generations.

♥️ 🌎 ♥️ 🌊


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth, following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), aligning with the energy of the Celtic Wheel of The Year, or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle. Limited to those who identify as women. For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE


WP Sidebar graphics-5Connect to your purpose, your medicine, eliminate self-limiting beliefs, and integrate the new wisdom into your life through this unique you-centered blend of shamanic coaching and journeys, energy healing, alchemical healing, Earth Medicine, PSYCH-K® and PER-K® balancing, and six-sensory work. Together we draw on the modalities that best support your journey. Click on the picture for more information or visit our website:  www.innerjourneyevents.com


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A Healing Ritual for Yemaya (and YOU) on World Oceans Day

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English Bay, Vancouver BC, where I will do my ritual for World Oceans Day

Thursday, June 8th is World Oceans Day, a day the United Nations has set aside each year as a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. This year’s theme is Our Oceans, Our Future, with a conservation focus of “encouraging solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter for a healthier ocean and a better future”.

Ocean health is vital to the health of our planet, of our beautiful Mama Earth. Per the UN,

“The oceans cover about two-thirds of the surface of the Earth and are the very foundations of life. They generate most of the oxygen we breathe, absorb a large share of carbon dioxide emissions, provide food and nutrients and regulate climate.”

For those of us who love Mama Earth and are committed to her health and vitality, every day is Earth Day and every day is World Oceans Day.  Consider using this day to look for ways you can improve what you are already doing to support the health of our planet and our oceans.

And do take this occasion to honour our Oceans in a special way, with a ritual for cleansing and healing, and a blessing. And because World Oceans Day this year is so very close to the Full Moon (which arrives Friday, June 9th at 6:09 AM Pacific Time), consider bringing elements of your Full Moon ritual into this ritual… perhaps working with Yemaya in a ritual cleanse or release to the waters.

ABOUT THE RITUAL 
In this ritual, we honour Yemaya (Mother of the Seas) and her sister Oshun (Mother of the Rivers), and offer a healing to the waters of our world. You can also use this ritual for cleansing the Self.

Do change up the ritual to honour any Goddesses of the seas or waters that resonate with you such as Aphrodite, Brigantia, Ganga… so many to choose from.

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Yemaya by Thalia Took 

This ritual can be done at the ocean or any source of fresh water such as a lake, river, stream, pond, etc. If you are not close to a fresh water source, fill a large bowl with the freshest water possible (such as distilled, from a spring, or simply tap water that has been left in the sun for several hours or to which you have added a handful of ocean salts). Preferably, the bowl should be large enough to either stand in or immerse your feet in. Bathtubs or foot baths are great for this!

PREPARATION FOR THE RITUAL
Prepare for this ritual to Yemaya by first collecting seven shells and seven white flowers. The number seven is special to Yemaya, representing the Seven Seas. I believe that rituals are not “fixed” or absolute, so feel free to adapt this in your own way if these materials are not available to you. The key is to honour the intent. Do try to have at least one real shell, however, for the ritual, and make sure that whatever you are offering the ocean will not harm it in any way.

Cowrie shells are strongly associated with Yemaya, but use any small shell of your choice. If you are not in a place where wild shells can be collected, use purchased shells (ethically sourced of course) of any kind in this ritual. You could even use blue and white stones.

Forage for wild white flowers such as daisy or yarrow, or any white blossom that is local for you, first asking Mama Earth and the plant for permission. Alternatively, you could purchase white blossoms from a florist or pick from your garden. And because both blue and white are the colours associated with Yemaya, you could even mix it up a little with the colours.

THE RITUAL
Go to the sea, river or other location (unless you are doing this at home) with your shells and flowers, and any other sacred objects that support you in your rituals.

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Oshun, by Thalia Took

Centre and breathe deeply, connecting to your Wise Inner Self. Meditate first on your intention for this ritual, such as what you want to share with the Oceans, and — if also using this as a cleansing ritual for your Self (so perfect for the Full Moon) — reflect on what you want to release to the Oceans.

Stand in the water, making a connection with the seas and rivers. As you stand in the water, no matter the source, you are connecting to all water.

Call on all your Ancestors, spirit guides, and any other deities and allies. Call to Yemaya (Mother of the Salt Waters) and Oshun (Mother of the Fresh Waters), and any other goddesses of the waters that are important to you.

Holding the shells in your palms, call to the Ancestors of the shells…. to their ancient DNA from the time when the Oceans were pure, teeming with marine life, unpolluted, in balance, and flowing with ease. Call out to these Ancestors and ask them to remember that time of balance and flow in the past and to bring it to our present and future so that the Oceans can be healed again. As you physically connect with the shells, listen to their message. Perhaps they have a blessing for the Sea or wisdom for you as to how you can continue to honour Mama Earth and Lady Ocean.

Immerse the shells in the water to bring the ancient healthy energetic patterns to all our world waters, saying something like:

“Yemaya, I bring you these shells and their ancient energy to heal you, to restore your energy and to heal the damage we have done to you.”

Leave the shells as an offering for the seas. If doing this at home, add them to your altar in a small bowl of water (infused with salts) until the Full Moon has passed.

Holding the seven flowers in your palms, call out to Yemaya, Oshun or other water goddesses. Thank them for the fertility and life they have brought us, for the fresh water that nourishes and cleanses all living things in our world and for the air that fills our lungs. Ask The Goddess(es) for her blessing and a cleansing of all you wish to release. Stand in the water… feel it moving across your feet and ankles…. the coolness… feeling all you wish to release leaving your body and given to the waters for healing.

As you lovingly release the flowers to the water, thank Yemaya — or your Goddesses — with a simple affirmation such as

“Yemaya, I offer you these flowers to thank you for your love, protection and healing. I thank you for the waters and air that nourish and sustain our lives.”

Completion and Gratitude 
While still standing in the water, take a moment to connect with the wisdom of the Oceans and the Goddess(es) of the waters and reflect on how grateful you are for what they give us. Listen for any messages or wisdom they are sharing with you.

When complete, give your thanks to the oceans, to all waters on our planet, to Yemaya and Oshun, and to your Goddesses, Ancestors, and allies.

When you return to the land, note your experiences, thoughts and wisdom gained in your journal for further use in your Soul Work for this month and for your Full Moon rituals.

Blessings to you on World Oceans Day !


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth, following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), aligning with the energy of the Celtic Wheel of The Year, or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle. Limited to those who identify as women. For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE


WP Sidebar graphics-5Connect to your purpose, your medicine, eliminate self-limiting beliefs, and integrate the new wisdom into your life through this unique you-centered blend of shamanic coaching and journeys, energy healing, alchemical healing, Earth Medicine, PSYCH-K® and PER-K® balancing, and six-sensory work. Together we draw on the modalities that best support your journey. Click on the picture for more information or visit our website:  www.innerjourneyevents.com


WP Sidebar graphics, resized to 300 x 213 pxDo you want a better understanding of the Wheel of the Year and how its shifting energies can support your own transformation and growth, support you in aligning with the rhythms of Nature itself? Subscribers receive regular free ebooks and articles, such as Celebrating the Equinox, along with tips for their personal practices, advance notice on free events and webinars, and much much more! 

Let us all honour World Oceans Day on June 8th

Howe Sound, BC, Canada


In two days, June 8th, we celebrate World Oceans Day. Recognized by the UN, this is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future.

I am so lucky to live by the ocean. I can visit the beaches, and watch the seals and birds every day. I can walk out at low tide, see the tiny fish swimming in the flats, see the air holes of various molluscs, feel the ocean floor between my toes and breathe in the salt air.

But I am concerned for the ocean itself, with the growing pollution, the radioactive water from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant (and the debris from its tsunami) and the potential for tanker spills in our busy sea port. I am concerned that much of the water around our planet is not fit for any one to drink.

So in addition to my normal focus on the health of Mama Earth, I’m working on a ritual for ocean he alth and an offering to Yemaya, Lady Ocean, which I’ll do on World Oceans Day at English Bay here in Vancouver.

And you don’t need to live on the sea to honour our Oceans or to support this year’s theme of “Our Oceans, Our Future”. Check out World Oceans Day for inspiration.

If you don’t live near the sea, you can give thanks or do a ritual at any fresh water source near you…. or even using a foot bath with some Epsom Salts! Why? All water is energetically connected… it has quantum coherence.  What I do here in Vancouver’s ocean is connected, coherent, with your water in Europe… South America… Australia… the Mississippi… the Nile. All  waters will be blessed and energized with our healing thoughts and offerings.

How will YOU honour our Oceans on June 8th?


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth, following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), aligning with the energy of the Celtic Wheel of The Year, or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle. Limited to those who identify as women. For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE


WP Sidebar graphics-5Connect to your purpose, your medicine, eliminate self-limiting beliefs, and integrate the new wisdom into your life through this unique you-centered blend of shamanic coaching and journeys, energy healing, alchemical healing, Earth Medicine, PSYCH-K® and PER-K® balancing, and six-sensory work. Together we draw on the modalities that best support your journey. Click on the picture for more information or visit our website:  www.innerjourneyevents.com


WP Sidebar graphics, resized to 300 x 213 pxDo you want a better understanding of the Wheel of the Year and how its shifting energies can support your own transformation and growth, support you in aligning with the rhythms of Nature itself? Subscribers receive regular free ebooks and articles, such as Celebrating the Equinox, along with tips for their personal practices, advance notice on free events and webinars, and much much more! 

Honey Infusions with Herbs and Florals

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Fresh honeycomb

Growing up in a big city, I can’t remember having local raw unpasteurized honey at home. I do remember, however, my first taste of honeycomb as a child, at the Agricultural Building at Toronto’s summer CNE (Canadian National Exhibition), both surprised and fascinated by the taste and the glorious beauty of the natural honeycomb.

In our house, honey was most often a tub of Billy Bee creamed pasteurized clover honey, or the squeeze top liquid version, and was considered a special treat.

We grew up, instead, on Tate & Lyle’s Golden Syrup… no surprise in our very English household! My father worked for Tate’s in our hometown of Liverpool, England, and then for a Canadian sugar company that they had acquired. In our home, sugar was “good for us” on many levels!

But we did have honey on occasion. If I was home sick with a cough or a cold, my mother would give me a treat of honey, spread on toast, saying it was good for me.

And now I know that raw honey is not just tasty but is also an ancient medicine and — in its raw unpasteurized form — is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic. It contains pollens and enzymes which can be quite beneficial for our health. (See the Caution at end of this post, however, as raw pasteurized honey is NOT for everyone).

Even Big Pharma is aware of the medicinal benefits of honey, funding hospital studies in the topical use of honey for healing skin conditions such as burns, bed sores and more.

Last year, I made several jars of infused honey: Sage honey, Thyme honey and Rose honey.  And this year I’m hoping to gather some hawthorn blossoms — aka the Queen of the May and associated with Beltaine — for a lovely floral honey.

🌸 🌿 🐝

Infused Honey is a great addition to the culinary repertoire
and to the Home Apothecary Cupboard.

🐝🌿🌸

I use Sage honey to soothe a dry scratchy throat caused by coughing and also for treating colds. Thyme honey is also excellent for this, and can be used as an anti-inflammatory, as a cough syrup and to reduce congestion. Works for me! You can also use both for culinary purposes. Thyme honey is lovely drizzled on goat cheese, havarti or feta.

And honey infused with florals such as rose, hawthorn or lavender…. sublime! They are a lovely sweetener in tea, fresh lemonade, drizzled on yogurt, and more.

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Getting ready for cough/cold season last summer with Sage and Thyme honey infusions. I used local organic herbs and locally produced blackberry blossom organic honey

INFUSING HONEY
Gather Victoria (do visit their site, a wealth of info and recipes for the wildcrafter) recommends this rule of thumb: 1 parts herb to 12 parts honey for a cold infusion and 1 part herb to 5 parts honey for a warm infusion. Please note this is by WEIGHT, not by liquid/dry measure. Gather gives an example using rose petals: 50 grams of fresh petals infused in 600ml of raw liquid honey.

I tend to use the folk method for measuring out my ingredients. In this case, I would fill a mason jar roughly half way for fresh materials or roughly one-quarter full for dried materials, then top with raw honey.

I also tend to start my infusions on the New Moon, so that rising lunar energy can pull even more of the medicine from the plant. But when using fresh, foraged materials, we may not be collecting at the New Moon. So, nice to do but not absolutely necessary.

BEFORE YOU START

  • Use clean sterilized jars, with a tight fitting lids. To sterilize your jars, place in a large pot and cover with water. Once the water has reached a rolling boil, continue boiling for 15 minutes. You can also place in a 275F oven (on a tray) for roughly 30 minutes (not the USDA preferred method, however).
  • Garble the fresh ingredients to remove any bugs, black leaves, etc. I love the word garble. One of my herbal teachers always used it; this is an archaic use of the word — meaning to sort out or cull — and, to me at least, it sounds so magical!
  • I also let the botanicals dry a little, so they are a little limp or wilted, to remove some of the plant moisture. Raw honey can keep for a very long time but water, introduced through the addition of plant materials, can quickly lead to spoilage or fermentation.

Cold infusion Method

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Garbling and chopping sage before infusion

Add herbs or other botanicals to your jar using one of the methods above. Top with honey, and then stir to remove any air bubbles. Top up if necessary, making sure the botanicals are fully covered with honey. Cap tightly and label with the date and ingredients.

I like to keep my jars out on our balcony, where they can get the sun, but a sunny spot indoors —a windowsill or a shelf near a window — would be fine. Check and turn daily. If the herbs start swelling and rise above the top of the honey level, add more honey… and be sure to check that the exposure hasn’t spoiled the herbs.

After about two weeks, check the taste. If you like it, and can taste your infused herbs or botanicals coming through sufficiently, strain the honey through cheesecloth into a new clean jar. I tend to leave my infusions for about a month but the timing does depend on that magick created between the potency of your herbs, the amount of warmth and light,  and the honey itself.

Warm Infusion Method
You can speed up the infusion process by gently warming your sealed jars in a hot water bath. Place the sealed jars in a large pot or suitable container, and top with boiled water. Repeat several times over a couple of days. Do a taste test to see if the botanicals are sufficiently infused.

Rosemary Gladstar, in her book Medicinal Herbs, A Beginner’s Guide,  also suggests an alternate method:  use a slow cooker set to 100F (roughly 37C) for a few hours.

How warm should the honey get in the warm infusion method?
Even the experts differ on this. Rosemary Gladstar says to keep the temperature below 110F (roughly 43C). Gather Victoria says the limit is 60C (roughly 140F). Your choice. If the honey does become pasteurized, you may not get all the medicinal magick and enzymes from the honey, but it will likely not crystallize as easily and may be safer for those with compromised immunity systems.

STORAGE
Keep your jars tightly sealed, and your honey should last for several months. Some say to store in a cool place (even the refrigerator) but this can lead to quick crystallization (warm gently to liquefy again). Others recommend keeping in a warm spot to prevent crystallization. So, again, your choice. What is imporant, is to check the honey to make sure it hasn’t spoiled or started to ferment.

But even fermented honey can be used, and some choose to ferment their honey for the additional medicinal benefits (after all, it can be used to make mead!).

TIPS
Rosemary Gladstar recommends gently warming the honey first (not above 110F) with the cold infusion method to better extract the medicinal properties of the botanicals.

When straining and decanting, a very gentle warming can help the process. Immerse the jar in a hot water bath for a few minutes, but be careful not to let the temperature of the honey rise above the pasteurization point.

And don’t forget to use the leftover botanicals: they can be a wonderful addition to salad dressings, to teas and in cooking.

CAUTIONS

It is generally recommended that both pasteurized and unpasteurized honey should not be given to children under one year of age due to the risk of Infant Botulism (Health Canada guideline).

It is also generally recommended that raw unpasteurized honey should not be consumed by anyone with a compromised immune system, or by pregnant women.

Always research first to be sure anything you ingest or use topically is safe for YOU.


ETHICS
I do recognize that some will choose not to consume honey of any kind, as it collected from living creatures. In addition, some small beekeepers and large commercial operations have exploitative and unethical practices, such selective breeding and worse. Know from whom you buy! For the perspective of the Vegan Society on this topic, click here.

I choose to support local ethical beekeepers by purchasing their honey as well as their natural product sidelines such as beeswax, pollen, and propolis. I support our local economy by purchasing at local farmers markets, or at their retail outlets, and make sure that I buy only from apiarists that place their hives in organic farms and fields, free from pesticides and toxins, and who observe sustainable beekeeping practices.

Healthy pollinators are essential for fertilizing plants and with the phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder, we need our pollinators!


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth, following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), aligning with the energy of the Celtic Wheel of The Year, or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle. Limited to those who identify as women. For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE


WP Sidebar graphics-5Connect to your purpose, your medicine, eliminate self-limiting beliefs, and integrate the new wisdom into your life through this unique you-centered blend of shamanic coaching and journeys, energy healing, alchemical healing, Earth Medicine, PSYCH-K® and PER-K® balancing, and six-sensory work. Together we draw on the modalities that best support your journey. Click on the picture for more information or visit our website:  www.innerjourneyevents.com


WP Sidebar graphics, resized to 300 x 213 pxDo you want a better understanding of the Wheel of the Year and how its shifting energies can support your own transformation and growth, support you in aligning with the rhythms of Nature itself? Subscribers receive regular free ebooks and articles, such as Celebrating the Equinox, along with tips for their personal practices, advance notice on free events and webinars, and much much more! 

Connect with Mama Earth in April’s Third Quarter Moon

Wisdom from Seanmháthair Gealach (Grandmother Moon)
Third Quarter Moon, In Capricorn
Arrives around 2:56 AM Pacific Time / 10:56 UTC on April 19th
Day 24 of the lunar journey
Wisdom: Connect with your Intuition and with Mama Earth

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“Phases of The Moon, Third Quarter”, a painting by Wayne Purse 

When I verify the arrival times for the various lunar phases – New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon and Third Quarter – the times across all information sites are usually relatively consistent. But today, I read so many variations for the arrival of the Third Quarter: 2:56 AM, 2:57 AM, 2:58 AM, 2:59 AM, 3:00 AM, 3:05 AM Pacific Time. Minor differences, but very curious indeed!  And the fact that all that variation is throwing me for a loop means I need the grounding influence of the Capricorn Moon!

Mooning Around
Not being an astronomer, I don’t know why there are so many variations…. maybe it’s all this retrograde planetary activity! Suffice it to say, the Third Quarter will arrive somewhere between 2:56 AM and 3:05 AM Pacific Time tonight!

But what is the Last Quarter and how is it defined astronomically? Well, by a very precise measurement: “when the excess of the apparent ecliptic (celestial) longitude of the Moon over that of the Sun is 270 degrees”. These exact words were found in numerous sources.

One-half of the visible surface of LaLuna is brightly lit (which side varies depending on your location in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere), and the illuminated portion slowly decreases each day until we reach next week’s Dark Moon.

Moon Wisdom
At this point, LaLuna’s journey around the Earth is roughly three-quarters complete, as is our journey with her. This is the Autumn of the lunar cycle, where our intuition is deepening more and more each day, where we clearly see our accomplishments (and Self) that were illuminated by the Full Moon.

What we planned at the beginning of this lunar cycle is now ready to be reaped and harvested. Like LaLuna, we too are returning to our time of rest, of consolidation, of reflection. It’s okay to slow down, so that we may focus on what we’ve learned, complete what we’ve started and release anything that will not support us in the next cycle.

You may feel tension during this final quarter (the quarter moons with their half-dark and half-light illumination may feel like crisis points) but use that energy to focus on completion and letting go, rather than jumping into new things. Let those wait for next week’s New Moon. Call on the wisdom of the Matriarch goddess(es) such as Mab, Demeter, Yemaya, Hera and others. The Matriarch knows her Self, her gifts, her wisdom… and you will too.

SOUL WORK FOR THE THIRD QUARTER 

Any time during the Waning Moon, from the Full Moon to the Dark Moon, is traditionally a time for releasing. As the Moon’s energy diminishes, releasing becomes a more natural action. If you use spellcraft, it can also be a time for banishing negative things (except during a Void-of-Course period).

But do remember that “nature abhors a vacuum”: when you release something negative, be sure to consider what positive energy you can bring in to fill that void. Balance, always… exhale, inhale… release, receive. It can be as simple as a good wish, an affirmation, a kind deed, or an act of gratitude.

SOUL QUESTIONS
This month we are working with the theme of Rejuvenation, or Renewal. Take some time to look back at this month’s journey and develop your own Soul Questions, or use these:

  • What has begun again?
  • How has renewal or rejuvenation manifested in your life this month?
  • And how will it continue to manifest?

Find the answers in meditation, contemplation, a journey, or from an oracle or tarot reading. And then release what isn’t working and next month continue to build from what IS working.

Capricorn is associated with the Earth Element and, with Earth Day coming on April 22nd, this is a perfect time to make a strong(er) connection with Mama Earth and to use Earth in your release rituals (burying a release bundle, for instance, rather than placing it in a cauldron to release with Fire).

How can you connect with Mama Earth during the Waning Moon time?

  • spend time in Nature or in your garden, if you have one
  • cleanse the Air in your home with a new indoor plant (or more)
  • make or purchase herbal tea, a beautiful bounty from Mama Earth that supports our health and vitality. Even better, make or purchase one that uses roots in the mix, such as dandelion, or with berries along with leaves
  • take a detoxifying bath by adding a cup or more of a mixture of salts (Epsom, Magnesium, Dead Sea, Himalayan, etc) to the tub, along with a few drops of your favourite essential oil, and soak your cares away
  • make a salt scrub and use it to exfoliate your body
  • energetically cleanse your crystals and pendulums
  • do some grounding work such as a grounding cord exercise (there are several on-line sources, such as this one)

In other words, as we said in the 60s, “mellow out” 😀


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth (known by so many names, such as Gaia, Pachamama, and Danú), following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), of the Goddess(es), of Father Sky (Daghda), following the Celtic Wheel of The Year, creating or learning ancestral crafts and herbalism, or follow an earth-based spirituality…. or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle.

For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE

Or, CLICK HERE to join us today on Facebook


WP Sidebar graphics-5Connect to your purpose, your medicine, eliminate self-limiting beliefs, and integrate the new wisdom into your life through this unique you-centered blend of shamanic coaching and journeys, energy healing, alchemical healing, Earth Medicine, PSYCH-K® and PER-K® balancing, and six-sensory work. Together we draw on the modalities that best support your journey. Click on the picture for more information or visit our website:  www.innerjourneyevents.com

Creating a Relationship with your Plant Allies

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A member of our Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle recently asked about working with Clover as a plant ally, and what that meant.  I responded on a herbal/medicinal level but also suggested I would post separately about what it means to work with our Plant Allies from a shamanic perspective, not just a medicinal one.

So let’s talk Earth Medicine . . . and how working with our Plant Allies can support us in so many areas of our life – spiritual, emotional and, yes, physical.

We know that Mama Earth takes care of us in so many ways. Our ancestors knew this too, and many had a wide knowledge of the healing and restorative powers of their local plants: which plants they could use to clear rashes, to reduce swelling or infections, to staunch bleeding, to build immunity, to calm an over-excited mind, to induce sleep. In those traditions, it was also very important to try and use local plants as medicine, as they typically have the medicine to cure “local” ailments (quinine for malaria, etc). For many, that’s all they could access anyway!

Many societies had medicine men or women, wise women, healers – and this was both respected and honoured. As our societies and cultures evolved, so did medicine. Many of the pharmaceuticals in today’s pharmacopeia were originally – and are still – created from plants (aspirin from willow bark, digitalis from foxglove, etc), while others are chemically engineered.

That being said, many of us either prefer the “old ways” or are returning to these Wise Woman remedies by making our own infusions, tinctures, balms and more. Some also like to use plant essences and homeopathic remedies (the latter has very little original plant material but has basically its hologram).

In shamanic traditions, our family of allies can include our ancestors, spirit guides, animals (such as clan/family totems — or personal allies — such as Bear, Lynx, Butterfly, Mouse, Spider or Eagle) and plants (trees, weeds, flowers, herbs).

We can call on all of them for their wisdom, and one of the most powerful ways to do that is to create a relationship with them (being in “right relationship”).

CREATING A RELATIONSHIP WITH A PLANT

There are many ways to connect with a plant. This method was taught to me by BC and Yukon herbalists  Darcy Tara and Lori Snyder,  and it was also shared by Clea Danaan in her book “Voices of the Earth: The Path of Green Spirituality”.

🌿 Find a plant with which you wish to work and sit with it in a comfortable position. Work with something in your home, to start, or very close-at-hand such as your garden, balcony, window box, street or a local park

🍀TIP: You may want to consider starting with a tree and its big energy; you can also lean back against a tree and some find it easier to tap into its energy this way

🌿 Take a few moments to ground, to feel that connection with Mama Earth, and release any tensions through deep slow breaths and through relaxing your muscles. Let the earth absorb any stress from the day.

🌿 Ask the plant for permission to connect with its energy. Be aware that it may say “no”, and that’s okay. It may be busy! Or maybe it just doesn’t want your energy at the moment. You may feel that refusal in different ways – – almost like a solid wall of air, or some other block or sense of resistance. If that’s the case, pick a different plant in the area and try again, or come back another day.

🌿 If your plant says “yes”, wonderful! Direct your attention to the plant and extend your energetic aura around it. Embrace it, figuratively (or literally, if it will allow it), and start to use all your senses (including your six-sensory ones) to connect with the plant:

  • Touch the plant, if you can. How does it feel? Smell? Sound?
  • How does its energy feel – calm? bright? energetic? sleepy? young? wise?
  • Is it a solitary plant, or does it like to be in a crowd with others?
  • Does it need a lot of attention and nurturing or is wild and resilient?
  • Does it sprout and mature quickly like the lodgepole pine, or slowly like the beautiful desert saguaro cactus?
  • Does it respond to music, chimes or singing? (Think of how nurturing it might be to a tree or other plant to hear the sound of bird song.)

🌿 Spend some time with the plant absorbing all its energy. If the time feels right, ask the plant if it needs anything…. some water, some fertilizer, some shade. If the time still feels right, ask it for its wisdom…. how it can support you, what it’s medicine is for you – it may be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.

🌿 Record what you learned in your journal or notebook.

TIP:
This doesn’t all have to happen in one sitting. It may take several visits over days or weeks to get to know this plant. Or maybe it takes only a few minutes. You never know!

You might like to visit your plant throughout the year, because its energy can change dramatically, especially in geographies with sharply defined seasons. Think of trees, now different they are in spring, summer, autumn, and winter. . . and what we can learn from them as we entrain to their energies and as they entrain their energy with Mama Earth. If you like drawing, sketch your plant in all its stages – new growth, full blossoming, harvest times (seeds, falling leaves) and stillness.

But there is also another way to work with our plant allies. For instance, we can journey with them and ask for their wisdom there, and also for their healing while in non-ordinary reality.

In the Alchemical Healing modality (created by Nicki Scully) one of the basic precepts is that “we do not require the physical plant in order to work with its magic” [Alchemical Healing, p. 138]. In this form of healing, we work directly with the spiritual medicinal essence of the plant.

I would highly recommend Nicki’s book(s) to learn more about this modality. I was lucky enough to take an Alchemical Healing introductory workshop led by Nicky recently and saw some amazing healing work by both Nicki and my fellow students. Her website is packed with info, and her books are carried by all major booksellers.

So, yes, it’s important in that healing tradition to know what plants do what. . . but they do not have to be local to your environment to do their magic.

IMAGE:
Image of trees in Vancouver’s Stanley Park was photographed with my iPhone SE.
Words in the photograph from a poem by Mary Oliver “When I am Among the Trees” (2006).


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth (known by so many names, such as Gaia, Pachamama, and Danú), following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), of the Goddess(es), of Father Sky (Daghda), following the Celtic Wheel of The Year, creating or learning ancestral crafts and herbalism, or follow an earth-based spirituality…. or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle.

For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE

Or, CLICK HERE to join us today on Facebook


WP Sidebar graphics-5Connect to your purpose, your medicine, eliminate self-limiting beliefs, and integrate the new wisdom into your life through this unique you-centered blend of shamanic coaching and journeys, energy healing, alchemical healing, Earth Medicine, PSYCH-K® and PER-K® balancing, and six-sensory work. Together we draw on the modalities that best support your journey. Click on the picture for more information or visit our website:  www.innerjourneyevents.com

The healing power of the humble dandelion 

I love working with the local herbs I find on my plant walk, a daily ritual for me, foraging in the neighbourhood. And some of my favourite medicines are crafted from what some consider weeds, such as the dandelion and the plantain.

I collect dandelion roots in both Spring and Autumn — always ethically and asking permission of the plant first — then clean and dry them for use in tinctures and herbal bitters…. a great tonic for the digestive system.

It may be easier to purchase dandelion root from your local herb shop but I do love getting out there and collecting in the wild. The energetic properties of the roots differ in Spring (more bitter, good for calming the liver) and Autumn (more stored nutrients, good for supporting the digestion) which is why I collect twice a year. If I purchase from a herb shop, I may not know when the roots were collected. The roots pictured were collected on Spring.

There are many uses for dandelion (including the leaves and flowers, which are delightful in infusions, salads, soups or lightly sautéed as a side veggie dish).

Dandelions are abundant and sustainable, but be very careful and aware of where you are foraging. Because dandelions are considered invasive by many (if they only knew how important dandelions are to us and to the soil!), they are often sprayed with pesticides.

DO NOT FORAGE if you are not sure about pesticide usage.

The Dandelion plant is mineral (potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus) and vitamin rich (A, B, C) and also contains protein.


NOTE:
Dandelion also has diuretic properties so be sure to check all its properties thoroughly — as you would with any medication taken internally — to ensure there are no contraindications with your health or prescription drug regimen.


UPDATE: I had originally shared this post a couple of days ago on Instagram, and a friend subsequently shared a fascinating article on the cancer-fighting prooerties of dandelion. Click here to read the article.


 

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