Preparing for your New Moon journey with a gentle Water Release Ritual

Wisdom from Seanmháthair Gealach (Grandmother Moon)
Dark Moon Waning Crescent, Day 29 of the lunar journey

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Altar for my Water Release Ritual

Tomorrow we enter a new cycle with Grandmother Moon… new beginnings, new energy, new goals, a new journey.

And this is the last New Moon before the Solstice on Wednesday, June 21 at 04:24 UTC (Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 9:24 pm PDT here in Vancouver). The Solstice is the medicine of Father Sun, used by many to mark the “official” first day of the seasons of Summer or Winter. Our ancestors celebrated this day in the Northern Hemisphere as Summer Solstice, Litha, MidSummer and/or Longest Day and in the Southern Hemisphere as Winter Solstice, Yule, MidWinter and/or Longest Night.

Before the dawn of New Moon, I spend a day reflecting and releasing, and often use different elements in my release Rituals… Earth, Fire, Water, Air.

So today is an ideal time to sit with the Medicine Wheel reading you created at the beginning of the New Moon, to which you added new cards — at the First Quarter, the Full Moon, the Third Quarter and now the Dark Moon — to those already drawn.

SOUL WORK
Spend some time reflecting on the cards you drew throughout this month’s journey and the messages/wisdom they brought you on this month’s theme of “passionate transformation” (or whatever theme YOU set for yourself). What new wisdom can you integrate into your Wise Inner Self? What did you learn? What is now complete? What is yet unfinished? And what are you now ready to release?

Today I feel the need for the gentle, intuitive emotional energy of Water and the grounding energy of Mama Earth. Consider this Release Ritual with Water, which can be done throughout the day or all at once, at sunset:

TO BEGIN

  • Call on your guides and allies for their wisdom, guidance, and support in this ritual
  • Fill a small bowl with water
  • Place a favourite healing crystal into the water (make sure it is a crystal that is safe in water) or add a teaspoon of sea salt
    • You can also add other elements. . . a favourite essential oil, herb or botanical element (leaf, flower, etc). Today, I added a drop of Lourdes Holy Water, a gift from my Grandmother, to represent my Ancestors.

Method 1: Throughout the Day

  • Throughout the day, bring your awareness to any negative energy, self-limiting limiting beliefs, patterns of behaviour that no longer serve you.
  • For each one you identify and are ready to let go, energetically send it to the water bowl for release, saying a release affirmation you create or something like: “This _________ no longer serves me. I release it to the healing waters of Mother Earth.”
  • When you feel you have released everything you can, move to the COMPLETION part of the Ritual.

Method 2: All at Once

  •  Sit and meditate at the water bowl, and once again reflect on your Medicine Wheel reading for the month… or your journey since the new moon on April 26th. As in Method 1, also bring your awareness to any negative energy, self-limiting limiting beliefs, patterns of behaviour that no longer serve you. What are you now ready to release after integrating the wisdom of your Soul Work?
  • For each one you identify, release energetically to the bowl OR write the keywords onto a small piece of paper and drop into the water bowl for release. As you watch the words blur and dissolve into the water, say a release statement you have created or something such as “This _________ no longer serves me. I release it to the healing waters of Mother Earth.”
  • When you feel you have released everything you can, move to the COMPLETION part of the Ritual.

COMPLETION
When you have completed your release(s), empty the bowl — if possible outdoors, into Mama Earth, but it can also be released to water (sink, pond, river…) — while repeating your release statement, one you craft yourself or something like this: “I free my Self of all things which no longer serve me and I send them to Mother Earth for grounding and release.”

Thank your guides and allies for their support and wisdom.

NOTES:
If you choose to empty the bowl into a sink or a fresh water source, modify your statement accordingly, for example “I free my Self of all things which no longer serve me and I send them to be cleansed and released in the healing waters of Mother Earth”.

Some folks also choose to release and bury the crystal(s) used in the Ritual, but I simply thank the crystal and then cleanse it energetically.

 

Honouring our Great Mother on Mother’s Day

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“Circle, Mother and Child” by Sulamith Wulfing

This Sunday in Canada (May 14th) – and in many countries around the world – we celebrate Mother’s Day.

For some of us, this is a joyful day when we can spend some time with our mother… honour her… laugh with her…. share memories (and cake!). And for those of us who are mothers or grandmothers, we can delight in the time spent with our children.

But for others, it can be a poignant day, a day of loss. Perhaps you have lost your mother, as I did three years ago. Perhaps you have lost a child or miscarried. Perhaps you have a strained (or non-existent) relationship with your mother or child. Perhaps you are struggling with fertility.

However you choose to experience this day, consider holding a ritual to celebrate Motherhood in a way that is powerful and meaningful for you.

Perhaps you can…

  • honour our Great Mother — Danú , Gaia, Pachamama — or your Goddess
  • hold sacred space and love for the relationship you would like to have with your mother
  • step into a place of unconditional love, of healing and forgiveness
  • honour whoever is a mother to you in your life now
  • honour the child you wish to bring into this world or the child you lost
  • honour all mothers in a simple blessing
  • honour the women who are special to you – sisters, ancestors, friends
  • honour your Self and the medicine and gifts you have given our world….  ideas, children, relationships, beauty, art…

🌸 A RITUAL FOR THE GREAT MOTHER 🌸

These are only suggestions and I would encourage you to create your own ritual, perhaps using this as a starting point. You could do this on your own, or in Circle with others.

  • Collect some items for offerings to the Divine Feminine, the Great Mother of us all, whatever works for you and holds meaning for you: crystals, wild flowers, rose petals, or pebbles. Have something for each person/spirit you are honouring in the ritual.
  • Decorate your altar with items that represent both the Divine Feminine and Motherhood to you. These can be mementoes such as a piece of jewellery, a photo, a treasured gift, or items from nature such as a nest, an egg, a flower.
  • Place three candles on your altar to represent The Maiden, the Mother, the Crone. I like to use white and yellow on my altar but do consider using a red candle, representing our sacred flow.
  • Add a chalice or a bowl as a symbol of the Divine Feminine. This will be used in the ritual representing the womb. Add a small amount of pure water or blessing water.

🌿 TO BEGIN 🌿

Breathe deeply, relax and connect to the grounding energies of Mama Earth.

Create sacred space by calling in the directions, your guides, allies, ancestors… whoever supports you spiritually.

Light your candles.

Start by giving your blessings and gratitude to our Great Mother and all the mothers you wish to honour…. it could be along the lines of:

“I thank you, Great Mother,  for birthing this place we call home, this Earth that gives us food and shelter, that nourishes us. Your love supports me. Your wisdom illuminates my life. Your energy flows within me. Thank you, Danú.”

For each offering, hold the item to your Heart Chakra and connect with both the person you are honouring and the item. Imbue it with your love, your intentions, your gratitude. As you place your offering into the chalice or bowl give words of thanks, being as specific as possible. For instance:

“My Heart and Soul thank our Great Mother, who nurtures and comforts us all, who protects us from harm, who unconditionally loves her Self and her loved ones.”

“My Heart and Soul thanks my mother-in-law who has always shown me unconditional love and embraced me with care.”

With your last offering, honour YOU and give thanks to YOU, in your own words, such as:

“I am thankful for my gifts of _____________________ (e.g. music, wisdom, dance, strength, healing, etc) that are my Medicine for this world, and for all that I have birthed ________________ (e.g. children, ideas, art, etc). I honour all aspects of my own Divine Feminine: the Goddess within, the Maiden, The Mother and the Crone. They are me and I am them. Thank you, Great Mother.”

When your offerings are complete, take some time to connect, journey or meditate with the Great Mother and ask for her wisdom. Give thanks to her when she does so.

Close by thanking the directions, your guides, allies, ancestors… whoever supports you spiritually.

Blow out the candles.

Celebrate with Hugs:)


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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Passionate Transformation during the Full Flower Moon

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This Full Moon carries so much power. Not only is it in Scorpio — giving us a powerful and emotional experience — but this Full Moon is a very special day in the Buddhist calendar, marking Waisak aka Vesak aka Wesak, when Buddhists around the word celebrate the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha.  Perhaps YOU are sensing that global energy of peace, enlightenment, transformation and forgiveness.

And each of Buddha’s transformations (birth, enlightenment, death) are closely aligned with our own theme in this lunar journey: Passionate Transformation.

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Firebird by Susan Seddon-Boulet

You may feel like everything is enhanced, fired up… your intuition, your emotions, your sensuality, your passions. You are like the FireBird or the Phoenix… burning, transforming, coming alive. Zinging!

The Full Moon is a powerful time for the Divine Feminine energy within us, and for our emotions. Many women cycle with LaLuna… ovulating at the Full Moon, experiencing their Flow at the Dark Moon. But even if we don’t align in that way, the Full Moon is the time to celebrate our femininity and our connection to the Goddess. This is HER power time, no matter which Goddess you follow or work with.

At the Full Moon, many turn to the Mother Goddesses for support and inspiration, such as  Gaia, Demeter, Isis, Hestia and Green Tara. But there are Goddesses associated with the Moon who can support us including Artemis, Diana, Luna, Mama Quilla, Selene.

SOUL WORK 
At this phase of our Lunar Journey, we are aligned with the Direction of the South and the Element of Fire as we birth our creativity and manifest our goals. We are fully charged with the fiery Yin energy for the next couple of days, before we move into the Waning Phase when our intuition will increase once again, and we will start to feel the drawing down, the drawing in of our energy and connecting to our Magick.

Be intentional in your Soul Work during this Full Moon, calling in the Directions, Elements and Goddesses to start your ritual, whatever that may be. It could be a release ritual; a simple honouring of the Goddesses, your Self and/or the amazing women in your life; or it could be as simple as lighting a candle and meditating on the Soul Questions.

CALLING IN THE DIRECTIONS 
We each have our own way of Calling in The Directions. Some like to start in the East (Air, Dawn, a new day in many traditions)  and some in the North (Earth, Night, start of day in Celtic traditions).  I tend to start in the East, with the inspiration of Air.

I recorded a sample Calling in The Directions that combines two traditions, that of CelticScreen Shot 2017-05-10 at 4.22.24 PM Shamanism and that of the Chinook First Nation of the Pacific NorthWest. Click here to listen to the recording, or click on the picture to the right.

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And for a basic introduction to Calling in The Directions, click here for a short SoundCloud recording or simply click on the picture to the left.

Once you’ve listened to these, perhaps you will be inspired to create your own Calling In.

SOUL QUESTIONS 
For your meditations, journeys or rituals during the Full Moon consider these Soul Questions, or develop your own:

🔥 What is now flourishing in my life?

🔥 What is passionately transforming in my life?

🔥 What does transformation mean to me?

Full Moon Blessings on the Flower Moon!


Moon & Flower Image Source: an HD wallpaper on hdwallsbox


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! 

Beltaine… a ritual, a man, a dog, a miracle

On the Fraser River, an impromptu altar for my Beltaine offerings

Yesterday I went to a nearby river for my Beltaine celebration and ritual. It was a profound experience on many levels but even more so because of an extraordinary moment with a man and his dog.

The experience started before I left home, as I prepared my offerings for the ritual. Then, several times, I started to leave… but each time I heard a message “not yet”. I’ve learned to listen to my intuition, so each time I waited and did a few other things. Eventually, I heard “now”, so headed out to a favourite riverside location, knowing there was a reason for the timing.

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My offerings for the Beltaine ritual — herbs, flowers, berries and other botanicals — with my Goddesses

I wandered along the river’s edge until I found the perfect spot, nestled between the river and some dense foliage, with several large driftwood logs where I could sit and prepare an impromptu altar for my ritual and my offerings.

After I completed my ritual, I sat for a few moments breathing in the fresh air, listening to the birds and feeling the warmth of the sun on my face —a rarity recently! And still wondering why Spirit had asked me to delay my ritual, but also accepting that I might never know.

But then I felt a shift in the energy around me, accompanied by strong emotions of grief and pain and love… a poignant and puzzling combination. I looked down the beach and saw a man and his dog approaching me, slowly walking along the river’s edge, stopping every few moments as the dog rested, and ventured gently into the water.

As they came toward me, I saw that the dog had a huge swelling around the knee on one of her forelegs. I could feel her profound physical pain. It came in waves toward me. I wanted to reach out and hug them both.

The man asked if he could take a seat on the log, saying “I don’t think she can walk much further.” And I, of course, agreed. She rested between us on the sand, and I felt an immediate connection with her. I reached out and (checking energetically that it was “safe and appropriate to do so”) gently placed my hand on her head.

Man: She doesn’t do that anymore, sit with strangers. Or allow them to touch her. She used to.

Me: I’m glad she did today. She’s a beautiful dog. Do you mind if I ask… how is she handling the pain?

Man (surprised I asked the question): It’s gotten much worse. She has bone cancer…. This is our last walk together…. We’re going to the vet after this…. I can’t let her suffer anymore.

Me: And you’re giving her a very special last day.

Man: Yeah… steak for breakfast… steak for lunch… and now her favourite place to play and catch a ball. She loves to splash in the river.

While we were talking, I could feel the dog’s energy all the time… her pain… her profound love for her human companion… her grief that she was leaving him alone… and I could sense she wanted me to communicate her feelings to him. This was an extraordinary situation, as the man hadn’t sought my help in his dog’s transition.

Or had he? Something brought us together in this place at a time when both he and his companion needed gentle and loving support.

I checked in again and got the message that it was okay to share.

So I said, “If your dog could talk, I think I know what she’d want to say to you.” I shared the messages from his companion… her love for him, how much she loved their adventures together, especially their treks in the mountains, how much she loved all the special things he had done for her on this day… and how sad she was to say goodbye. But that it was time for her to go. Now.

I didn’t know what to expect… I didn’t know how he’d respond. But he looked at me, slightly puzzled, and said “I don’t know how you know all that… but thank you for telling me.”

He looked down at his sweet dog and picked her up, cradling her in his arms. “Time to go.”

As he stood up to leave, I did too and asked if it was okay to say goodbye to her. He nodded yes, so I placed my hand on her head again… and silently communicated my farewell, how loved she was, letting her know her transition would be peaceful and that soon she’d be running through the fields again on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

I looked at him and said “You’ll be okay. And she knows what you’re doing for her…. it’s okay. She’s ready. It’s the right thing to do.”

IMG_2571I stayed for a while on the beach as he walked away, carrying his dog, and felt the shift in their energies. The physical pain and the love were still there… but I felt the emotional pain had lessened. I could feel release… acceptance… peace.

I’m grateful that the Universe brought me to that place at that time. I’ve been a “death doula” for friends and their companion animals before, but this was different. This man had not sought me out… had not invited me to help him with his private pain… had not invited me to support his companion in her transition… but I was able to give some support to them both just when it was needed. And maybe he just needed someone to talk to that day, as he prepared himself and his companion for their final journey together.

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My goddesses on an impromptu altar on riverside driftwood.

To me, this was a miracle… and a profound spiritual experience. I pulled out my Goddesses again and placed them on the driftwood… and meditated with them for a while after this moment.

Thank you, Goddess.

 

 

 

 


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If 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! 

Beltaine (and Samhain!) Blessings

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This image was created for the Nature’s Whispers Oracle Deck, created by Josephine Wall and Angela Hartfield.

Whatever you celebrate on May 1st — May Day, Walpurgisnacht or Beltaine — blessings for this magickal day. And for those south of the equator, Samhain Blessings !!!

May 1st is now considered the traditional date for Beltaine for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere (and Samhain for those in the Southern Hemisphere), but it is also a Cross-Quarter date, defined as the precise midpoint between the Equinox and the Solstice… and that date shifts. So, for convenience, many choose to celebrate Beltaine on this well-established fixed date.

But for those who celebrate this cross-quarter day on the astronomical date, this year that falls on May 5th at 19:26 UTC. (Bookmark this link for the “official” dates of other points in the Wheel of the Year http://www.russellcottrell.com/celticdate/)

I love these feasts so much, I tend to celebrate twice!

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Collecting some woodruff

I may start the celebration with a little May Wine, by adding a sprig of fresh woodruff (which I’ll also use in a loose incense formulation for my Beltaine altar) to a glass of chilled wine, or make a May Wine punch with one of these recipes:

🌿🍾From the Northern Shamanism website 
Marinate a handful of freshly dried woodruff in the juice of one lemon and half a bottle of Rhine wine for four hours; then add 6 tablespoons of sugar and another bottle and a half of the wine. Just before serving, add a bottle of seltzer for sparkle, and/or a bit of brandy for a stronger drink.

🌿🍓🍾From the Food.com website 
pickeFr9GOn “true” Beltaine (May 5th), I may try this variation which uses white wine, brandy, champagne (or a sparkling white wine) and strawberries!

What a “spirited” way to begin the Merry Month of May!

Beltaine Blessings !


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


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Passionate Transformation with the New Moon in Taurus

Wisdom from Seanmháthair Gealach (Grandmother Moon)
New Moon in Taurus arrived at 5:16 AM Pacific Time
Day 1 of the lunar journey
Our Theme for this month: Passionate Transformation. Love Your Self
New Moon Wisdom: first, pause & reflect

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We are in that wonderful time of new beginnings… a New Moon today and Beltaine (the first fire festival of Summer) next week. And if you are in the Southern Hemisphere, the Wheel of the Year is turning towards Samhain, which is actually the start of the new Celtic year (just as the Celtic day starts at sunset). So very powerful!

But not every new journey starts easily. Sometimes we are still letting go of baggage from our previous journey(s), and at other times our Inner Garden may not be quite ready for the new growth. We may have to do a little weeding or fertilizing. We even may be looking at other gardens and thinking “yes, it’s greener / more beautiful over there!”

So, first, take some time to pause and reflect during this deep dark powerful New Moon before you start your new journey when LaLuna starts to glimmer in that sliver of a Waxing Crescent in a day or two.

And as you do, remember this: each and every flower must crack out of its seed, then grow through the dirt before it can bloom and face the Sun. The darkness will soon pass as you move into the light.

Each flower is worthy of the sunshine.

Each flower has its own unique beauty and purpose.

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
– Zen Shin

Open up and bloom your own way.

There’s plenty of sunshine for us all.

SOUL WORK FOR THE NEW MOON
This week between the New Moon and Beltaine is so powerful and ultimately passionately transformative. Reach deep into your Wise Inner Self — the Inner Garden of your soul — and create big bold audacious goals for this month and for the coming months. . . not short-term goals but rather something that is transformative for YOU.

Beltaine (aka Beltane aka Bealtaine) comes from the Irish Gaelic words for “Mouth of Fire”, and marks the beginning of “the merry month of May”. This fire festival is associated with love, fertility, sensuality, and relationships.

But let’s not forget the most important relationship we all have, and that is the relationship with our Self. Many of us neglect the Self as we care for others, as we put others first, as we look after our families.

As you create your goals for the new Moon and for Beltaine (or Samhain), be sure to embrace that fire energy and create goals for nurturing and passionately transforming your Self… your health, your vitality, your mind, your personal development, your abundance.

In your New Moon reflections, tarot/oracle readings or shamanic journeys, be mindful of this. Keep this theme in your awareness as the wisdom you need to transform and move forward reveals itself and opens up the possibilities for your transformative goals.

SOUL QUESTIONS
Some Soul Questions to consider (but definitely create your own as well) in your New Moon reflections and work:

🌸 How healthy is my Inner Garden? Does it need a little fertilizer? Are there weeds to be pruned or pulled, then composted?

🌼 What blossoms (goals) can transform my Garden to a place of beauty, tranquility, and abundance?

🌺 How will I maintain my Garden?

🌹 How will having this Inner Garden transform my life and positively affect those I love?

🌷 How can I honour myself and manifest love for myself even more?

New Moon Blessings !


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