Friday, July 15, 2016

Tumeric Lemon Balm Brew

Summer is a lovely time to experiment with new recipes, and to enjoy new uses for familiar herbs. Lemon Balm, while good at 'running amok' in the garden, is also brain power super-heroine (& I have had a patch for 4 decades). Lemon Verbena, a tender perennial, which sometimes overwinters in the Northwest, and Tumeric, that golden tuber that gives curry its 'glow' are also super herbs. Combine them with a few more ingredients, & you've got a drink that will 'make your ears wiggle!' while perking up the grey matter - win/win!

A gal-friend has been making Tumeric Lemonade for a few months. She finds it really clears out her brain fog, and has grown quite fond of it. Curcumin is a 'unique antioxidant' found in Tumeric tubers, and the benefits include:
  • Supports cognitive function, and overall brain health 
  • Anti-inflammatory, it promotes a healthy response to inflammation
  • Eases aches and pains
  • Supports Cardiovascular function (reducing inflammation)
  • Promotes healthy Mood balance 
  • Promotes skin elasticity
Lemon Balm, Melissa officinalis, an herb in the Mint family, has long been known as a 'tonic
herb,' which can be consumed daily, for optimal health. Like its cousin Rosemary, it is high in antioxidants, many of which also enhance brain function! 
  • Calms the mind (the essential oil is great for this, or a cup of tea!)
  • Promotes restful sleep (good for both children and adults)
  • Promotes skin elasticity, healthy aging (can be used topically)
  • Boosts mood and alertness 
  • Sharpens the mind and enhances cognitive ability 
  • Protects brain cells (anitioxidant: Eugenol)
  • Contains several powerful antioxidants
  • Supports and protects the liver 
  • Balances blood sugar and reduces insulin resistance

Lemon Verbena, Aloysia citrodora, is another high antioxidant lemony herb.
  • Anti-inflammatory, helpful in reducing sore muscles and following exercise
  • Stress reduction
  • Anti-spasmotic, Digestive aide
  • Rejuvenate skin
  • Reduces muscle damage following exercise
  • Antioxidant, boosts immune system
My recipe: Combine a handful of fresh Lemon balm with a few sprigs of lemon verbena in a quart jar, and cover with boiling water. Add one to two Tbsp local honey, cap, and step overnight in the fridge.
Grate two Tbsp fresh turmeric into a small bowl., and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper. Cover with the juice of one lemon, one lime, and 1/2 a ruby grapefruit or orange. Cover and refrigerate.
In the morning combine the two and shake. Pour 4-6 oz into a pretty glass or cup, add 1/4 Cup sparkling water or Kombucha and enjoy.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Imbolc & Land Clearing

Over the last year, I've spent more time on my Artsy Blog than I have here; as I was enrolled in a Quest to become a teacher & coach in the Color of Woman movement! I finished my coursework on schedule with many of my class in December (woo hoo!!), & am working on building my classes & offerings. I have a couple of pieces in a show at a local Artist Co-op Gallery, & will teach my first class in their 'Backdoor Studio' this month.

Color of Woman Graduation altar
This week I've been working on my website, making some artsy business cards (I need to order some with my art on them!), and am preparing to take some of my 'ladies' and paper project over to a friend's Yoga Studio for the First Friday Art & Wine walk. 

We are at the cross-quarter between Winter Solstice & Spring Equinox, Imbolc, the time of the goddess washing her face, and preparing for the new. This is a great time for the Land Clearing process I've shared here before. 

My flower Essence friend Molly Sheehan of Green Hope Farm Essences shared this process several years ago, & I share it with her permission. She feels the more people who do this in harmony with their bit of land, the better! She has had several experiences where bad weather was avoided or diverted, after being nudged by the angels to do this clearing every day. 

Molly comments that the guides & devas delight in being asked to help us. She & others who are sensitive to land energies feel that nature holds & stores energy that has been released when there are intense emotions, battles, etc. And when we ask, "A group of spiritual entities connected with Nature do the actual energy cleansing but this group cannot do this work unless a human asks them to do it. It is one of our vital roles in the co-creation & maintenance of earth. If a human doesn't ask for energy cleansing for a piece of land & this land is holding a lot of negativity, spirit's only options for removing this negativity are extreme weather."

Here's the Process Molly & I use:
** Imagine the boundaries of the land you wish to clear (you may want to have a map of your property, if it's larger, & may be guided to clear it in sections. If you're in an apt., clear your own space, imagining the grounding cord of the apt going into the earth below you, & clear the land surrounding the apt. Invite guidance for what best suites your circumstances!

Energy Cleansing Process
Find a quiet & comfortable place to center yourself. In the beginning, you'll want to be in the garden/ on the land you're clearing.
"Ask for assistance from:
The Overlighting Deva of the piece of land you want to clean. This being from the Angelic realm holds the divine plan for this piece of land. (Deva is a Sanskrit word meaning 'being of Light')
Angels Overlighting the land. They work with the Deva
The Elementals of the land. These are the beings who bring land into form & then hold it there so we can live in a physical world. Gnomes for the Earth element, Undine with water, Sylphs work with air, & Salamanders with fire.
Pan, Head Elemental of Earth (Machaelle Wright calls Pan the CEO of Nature)
Any Ascended Master of God realized being who is connected with this piece of land. There may or may not be any connected, depending on the piece of land. (You can always invite the presence of the Ascended Master Jesus Christ, Mother Mary, Quan Yin, St Germain, & other Masters with whom you you feel connected.)
Deva of the Earth's atmosphere, Lunaria
Deva of the Earth's surface, Sapphalo
Deva of the sun in the center of the Earth, Darndella
Our Sun, Helios & Vesta.
"After you call in this group, ask them to CLEANSE, CLEAR, RE-BALANCE & ILLUMINATE the land you are clearing.
"You can visualize all the negativity being removed from the land both below & above the ground. You can visualize yourself or an angel holding a sword (Michael/Michaella) cutting all the negativity free, perhaps spinning in a circle holding the sword out; or you can imagine a big gyroscope whirling & cleansing. The image only needs to work for you. If visualization isn't possible, it's OK. The land will still be cleansed because you have asked to have it done. Close the session with a thanks to everyone involved.
"This is the bare bones of a process. Over time you will probably develop your own individual approach. For example, you may get to know the names of the Deva & Angels of the land. You may get shown a process that will improve on this one. You may get asked to do several pieces of land. Thank you for doing this service."

Violet Flame
** I also like to imagine a hedge of roses (think Brier Rose) with portals of violet flame at the entrances, clearing folks' energy as they enter or leave. At times I erect a golden pyramid above my property (rectangular here :) or a violet bubble - check in & see if any images come!
Any time you feel vulnerable, are concerned about weather or safety, take a few moments to do this process. It helps to have quick name for the process - you may simply invite 'Devas, Angels & guides of land clearing, please CLEANSE, CLEAR, RE-BALANCE & ILLUMINATE this land!'

* Besides clearing my own land, I often invite the Devas/guides of the city where I live (or someplace I'm visiting) to CLEANSE, CLEAR, RE-BALANCE & ILLUMINATE that place, as appropriate. I figure any place humans can toss litter, I can invite the guides to help clear! I especially see the 'green areas' being cleared, parks, the planting strips & flower pots in the downtown, etc. Molly invites us to listen to our guidance, & network with the devas, guides & elementals on this!

* When you're gardening, do a clearing first, & imagine that you're infusing light into the soil as you play in it. Bless the water you offer your garden, & the plants as you place & nurture them. Our weekly Farmers Market is held at the Grange Hall on the edge of town which sits on a lovely piece of land with tall trees. This is one of the places I clear when I think to.
At Findhorn Garden in Scotland, the original gardeners worked in close harmony with nature, & were enjoined to bring light into the soil as they worked with it, to eat from the garden, & to drink lots of water. This is good to remember, in our busy & often far-from-nature world!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Flower Spirits - at play with the essences

"Not all of us have an Ascended Master living in our neighborhood, but we all have access to flowers. The flowers have never forgotten they are One with the Creator!
"Flower essences are problem solving tools for whenever we feel out of balance. They are like road maps for our electrical systems."
- Molly Sheehan, Green Hope Farm Essence Guide.

Sacred Flame 'BOUQUETS'

Fascinated by and in love with flowers all my life, I began formulating essences in 1991 after reading about them, & how simple they are to make! I had just moved Breitenbush Hot Springs & was a recently initiated Reiki Master. Discovering flower essences at that time was perfect!

Synchronously, a few weeks later, another NW Essence Practitioner, Oupiti Robintree, attended the Summer Solstice Healing Gathering, & gave a mini-workshop on essences! She began our session giving us all drops of an essence 'bouquet' that included Rosemary (memory) & Shasta Daisy (Spiritualize the intellect!) .... I was off & running! 

My friend Kimbo lent me several of her books on flower essences & gem elixors, & a few years later, I attended a NW essence practitioner conference, & took workshops with Ian White (Australian Bush Essences, Ian is an ND) & Lila Devi (Spirit in Nature Essences)
The essences have been a vital part of my journey for over 20 years, they may also be an appropriate addition to your selfcare 'toolkit.'

Garden Bouquet of Essences
Flower essences are generally made by floating flowers of the chosen plant in a bowl of spring water in the sunlight (or occasionally moonlight) for several hours on a clear day - bringing the energy of the elements Earth (flowers), Water, Fire (sun) & Air into play, infusing the water with the energetic pattern of the flower. 

The angels, guides and Devas of the land & flowers are also invited to participate in the alchemy. Similar to preserving the nutrition & flavor of berries by making jam, the essence preserves the energetic pattern each flower has to offer.

We can utilize Essences to bring out positive qualities, & to assist as we release behaviors that no longer serve one's highest good. They are not medications for physical ailments, though they can support physical healing, & are compatible with traditional & modern medical treatments.  My middle granddaughter, now 10, has been choosing essences for her own bouquets since she was a toddler, & is surprisingly accurate in her choice of flowers!

As vibrational remedies, flower essences act on our electrical systems to bring balance. Everything vibrates - flower essences help us align with & vibrate at a higher frequency, offering a 'Blueprint" for perfect balance. Finding our balance is vital in these changing times, the Essences can assist us in attaining harmony between body, mind, spirit & emotions; and attune to the new frequencies. 

Artichoke with Bees
I tend to combine a number of essences in a given 'bouquet,' others choose to utilize one essence at a time, then go on to another.

Flower Essences are self-adjusting, if one is 'incorrect,' it simply has no effect. As Molly Sheehan observes, we are bombarded with electrical input from various devices, & even our lights & stoves, on a daily basis. By contrast, the energy offered by the flowers are harmonizing & uplifting!

* When using vibrational healing, including flower essences, you may experience a 'healing crisis' - the symptoms may seem more intense for a bit. 
When you recognize this, you have the opportunity to truly release a negative pattern, & move on.  Resist the temptation to 'stuff' feelings by overindulging in food, busy-ness, or use of substances.

Breathe, take a walk, drink water, journal, meditate, take a bath or a nap, & it will soon pass! Simply standing by a tree & grounding, imagining your 'roots' going down into the earth like a tree's, will help you move over the 'roadbump.'

You can take them internally, a few drops of the 'mother essence' are bottled with pure water & a little alcohol, glycerine, or vinegar to preserve them. You may also add a few drops to a water bottle to use as a spray, (add a few drops of essential oil, if you wish), or in a bath. If you have companion animals, you may wish to add a drop or two of your bouquet to their drinking water (Molly has a whole series of bouquets specifically for their issues as well!)

The usual 'formula' - take 4 drops 4 times a day, 'till you begin forgetting!' I suggest you name your bouquet, & work with an affirmation as you use it. Journaling about your process can be helpful, as you integrate changes.

Some essence bouquets are formulated for a specific purpose, & would be taken at that time - a healing bouquet before giving (or receiving) a session, a grounding formula when you feel out of balance. A clearing formula might be added to a spray, to use around your home or office. You might have a bouquet to use when taking classes & studying, practicing a musical instrument, painting, the options are unlimited! 

Here are several recent Sacred Flame Flower Essence Bouquets:
  • Creativity - drawing energy from the flowers for Creative Expression
  • Ground & Balance -   Helps 'keep pace' with Earth Changes, integration of bodywork
  • Healing Heart & Hands - formulated for students enrolled in Reiki I, or those beginning a Reiki or other healing practice
  • Heart & Soul  - healing a broken heart, opening to love , making healthy choices
  • He'lade - lightness of being, NW Native American for "having everything right"
  • I Align with the New - Alignment with current energies & Earth Changes
  • Legendary - embodying your Legendary Life (especially for women enrolled in the Legend course)
  • Paradigm Shift - when it's time to shift perspective, make career/life changes         

  • Our Lady - for connecting with Mother Mary, (especially for women enrolled in this painting/creativity community
  • RNA/DNA - enhancing & normalizing our genetic patterns
  • Soul Spin - clearing PL Karma, negative family pattern
  • Sparkle & Shine - integrating new habits, especially daily tasks, including cleaning
               (Chicory, Daylily, Hornbeam, Rehmania, Thyme)

  • UFYH - releasing clutter, deep cleaning
If you live in the US & are interested in ordering one of these formulas, or a personal bouquet, send a message with your specific need to ladyharp1 & a list of two or three issues you'd like to address. 

A few favorite Flower Essence resources:

Molly Sheehan's  Green Hope Farm Essences

Plumaria - native traditions

Barbara Olive: The Flower Healer (2007) Chock full of lovely photos & an overview of essence use & meanings. "I believe the scope of healing available through flower essences is truly miraculous & ever-expanding.

"Nikki Bradford Heal Yourself with FLOWERS & other Essences (2005) A 'dictionary' of essences, with photos & descriptions of more than 100 essences. "An essence is the energy imprint of something therapeutic, held & preserved in water".

Flower Essence Society is another great resource.

Enjoy the blessings of the flowers - do you already use flower essences?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Home Blessing & Tuning Hour

Now that I'm home on Monday mornings, I have more time/energy for Fly Lady's 'Home Blessing Hour.' 

Fly Lady's list includes several things I don't have - a vacuum (only carpet is on the stairs, so I sweep with my beautiful broom) magazines (lots of books) .... 
As she suggests, I set the time for 15-20 minutes, & go through a round in each room (if there's more time/inclination, I'll do several rounds) & a 10-15 minute break after an hour. 
Another practice I wish to incorporate more is the 'Walk Through' My mom did this naturally ....On her blog 'Dragonflies & Me,' Jean writes: "The walk through is simply going through a room and picking up everything that is out-of-place AND putting it away where it belongs.  Simply eh?" (best done several times daily!)

Blessing Way 'Creating Holy Order'  - a process by which everything in your home supports & nurtures your essence
  • Put on happy music, light a candle & some incense, brew some tea
  • Kitchen: clear the counter, gather cloth, paper/books, sweep the floor
  • Living room:  coffee table, piles, paper, clothes, sweep,
  • Bathroom: swish & swipe (toilet, counters) clean mirror, clothes, sweep
  • Break: Relax, admire, drink tea
  • 2nd round: (you can cycle through several times, or stop at one!)
  • Kitchen, Living Room, Laundry
  • Break every hour for 10-15 minutes. You may wish to go outside & admire the day (yes, even if it's raining or blustery!) Open the doors & windows for a few minutes as well. If you have any rugs, take them out & give them a good shake or pop them in the wash.
  • address: Paper, books, cloth, & gather garbage & recycling
  • Round Three
  • If you have a drum, rattle or bell, make a round through the rooms making some good noise! Take time to listen for shifts in the sound, & notice any corners that need attention.
Part two: Energetic Blessing - this is a lovely time to ground your home & property. If you didn't light a candle before, now is a good time to do this.
  • Put a grounding cord on your home - imagine the 'footprint' of your home, now imagine a cord or tube reaching down into the crystal heart center of the earth, & connecting with it
  • From your home's roofline, imagine the cord reaching into the heavens, up to the sun & beyond, to the central sun of the galaxy - we are poised between heaven & earth!
  • Visualize a rose-gold sun in the centre of your home - let its light fill every corner! Allow this sun to continue expanding, till it surrounds your home.
  • As the sun reaches the outside of your home or space, begin the 'Tune-up' process by invoking the devas, elementals & guides to Cleanse, Clear, Restore & Illuminate your home & grounds.
  • Ask that any negativity move through a clearing grid, & the Violet flame * so the energy can be used as compost, burned in the sun, or 'return to sender.' (with no return address!) 
  • Surround the cleared land with a violet bubble, a gold pyramid, Dolphin Star Temple, or a briar rose hedge (whichever image feels right to you - or one of your own!)
* Violet Flame: Picture a soothing flame, like a flame in a fireplace, but violet in colour. See it penetrating your very being and world. When you call forth the Violet Transmuting Flame, a flame comes from the hands, heart & head of your I AM presence / Christ Self - and as it touches the ground beneath your feet, it bursts into violet flame! You can also use the essences: Comfrey (Pattern repair) Violet & Lavender to help 'seal' the pattern.

Thank your guides & go on with your day.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Elen & Chariklo

More than halfway through the year, & most of my posts have been over on my Creation Station blog, as I've been 'painting up a storm!' That journey, following my own 'Soul's Curriculum' as I study & practice intentional art has brought much joy, & more than a dozen completed paintings! 

On Saturday, I participated in a day long painting retreat (at home) via Livestream with artist Shiloh Sophia McCloud Lewis, following her invitation to paint our own Black Madonna. Millie, an artist in our group, who lives in the British Isles, posted that she felt a connection between the Black madonna, Isis & Elen of the Ways .... hmm ... Elen? 

I asked Millie about Elen, & she wrote 'We have Brigid & others, but (Elen) is more easy to follow everyday, because she is us "of the way" our roads are her tracks. 
Think Lay Lines.  ...The Mother/ Grandmother of us all.' 

Caroline Wise - monograph 'Elen the Green Lady'
Elen Sentier - book 'Shaman's Path, Elen of the ways'
Sam Willow - blog the Antlered Road

Like my grandmother's name Vestella, Ellen is a family name - my daughter's. Pulled out of the hat by my husband, we agreed on Mary, had a couple of choices for her middle name; Ellen won. Ellen, Helen, Elenore all colme from the Greek root ēlē - light, torch, bright. When I mentioned Elen of the Pathways to my daughter, she commented maybe Elen lights the path, the way.

"Elen is elusive, ethereal, gossamer, yet in my research and experiences over the years, she has shown me glimpses of her quicksilver thread as she revealed herself in her various guises." - Caroline Wise


Another lady who came to my attention in a recent blog post - Chariklo, is also fascinating!  

Chariklo was discovered by James V. Scotti of the Spacewatch program on February 15, 1997, & is the largest confirmed centaur/planetoid of the outer solar system (orbiting close to Uranus). Chariklo is named after the nymph Chariclo (Χαρικλώ), the wife of Chiron and the daughter of Apollo. Last spring, astronomers discovered she has rings, like several of the planets! 
(#10199, to place her in your astrological chart)
One friend commented that Chariklo transformed from a Nymph or Naiad into a Centaur so that she & Chiron could wed .... the ultimate in transforming for a partner!  With an orbit of almost 63 years, she 'returned' to her home spot in my chart last year. Fascinating!! I have read quite a bit about Chiron, the wounded healer, & have two books ... I don't recall seeing any reference to his wife!

Naiad, by Henri Fantin-Latour
Her name means the 'Graceful spinner' - how lovely! 

Astrologer Zane Stein writes: "It is too soon to come up with keywords for Chariklo. But I am postulating one keyphrase: "question reality.' We need to plunge ahead and study her in charts to discover the validity of this, & find what other keywords might apply.
"Representing Chiron's wife in mythology.....will that be reflected in her actual astrological meanings? Just like Chiron, she acts as a link between Saturn and Uranus; how will her linkage differ from Chiron's? And she is the largest, brightest Centaur, more so than Chiron. What does this mean astrologically?"

Another astrologer, Phillip Sedgwick, says: "Chariklo heals by redefining the concept of boundaries, & forgiving inadvertant transcressions" (quoted in an article by Mark Andrew Holmes
"her qualities and themes include a particular capacity for silent witness and reflection which can be an essential part of healing. To ‘hold the space’, serve receptively the healing process on a practical level, to bear with, abide with, persist and endure. The patience of the Earth, radical acceptance, kindly awareness, trust, loyalty to the ways of spirit, the power of quiet courage. Interestingly, she was not born a centaur, but took this form when she fell in love with Chiron. Before, she had been a companion and devotee of the goddess Athena." - Melanie Reinhart, author of Chiron & the Healing Journey

In my natal chart, I find Chariklo conjunct Ceres, the nurturing mother, square my Sun. My work as a healer, & someone who nurtures through information, & nudges others to find their own path, their own healing seems to fit.

Oregon's own Demetra George writes: "The earliest literature of Homer alludes to the divine causation of disease as something sent by the gods as punishment for having failed to honor them. Cure of the disease involved consulting an oracle as to which god had been offended, pilgrimage to the cult site of that god, making offerings at his or her temple, and perhaps becoming initiated into the rites. The modern word therapy is derived from the Greek therapeia, which means “attendance upon the gods.”

Monday, January 6, 2014

12 Days of Fitness Challenge - WE DID I!!

We did it!!

Catherine Basu has been hosing a 12 Days  fitness challenge! Here's the link to the Facebook group! The official challenge began Chrismas Day, but some folks began later, and are sill going
Catherine encourages us to move a bit more each day, 'Even if it's just a 10 minute walk!'

I began my morning with Qigong, and a little bit of Edgu, 'spinal maintenance' which originated with my friend Jeffery 'Page' Redmond, who teaches seminars at Breitenbush. I've never taken the seminar, but have taken quite a few Edgu classes! Basically - the posture is a wide 'Jockey stance' with the hips stable, while your spine/core moves. I love 'carrying plates' with forearms at hip level, gently twisting side to side, & the figure 8s of the Sun & Moon mobius - here's a little video from a teacher in Eugene, Nancy Hopps.
Since 'best times' for Qigong are 5-7 (AM or PM) & 11-1, I did one round at the earlier time, & one at the end of the day, after my nice Epsom Salts bath!

I've been preparing for a Reiki Level 1 Class for a month or so, since a couple of friends attended the Body Mind Spirit Expo, & scheduled sessions with a gal who integrates Reiki into her work. When we talked about learning, they were game for a class, so I put one together! I invited people who had already taken Reiki 1 to refresh or 'audit' the class, we had 5 students & 5 gals auditing. WHAT A LOT OF ENERGY!

Yesterday was THE DAY for that as well, & so we moved massage tables, & got some stair exercise (I parked out front, there's a SHORT flight of stairs to the room we were using; friends bringing the other tables used the elevator)

So - what's Reiki?

In the West, we use the word 'Reiki' to denote a healing system, generally 'hands on,' but also just off the body or 'sending' over distance of space & even time. I've utilized it for myself & in my bodywork practice for over 25 years, & it both energizes me & enhances my work.

The founder of our Modern Reiki System, Mikao Usui didn't use this term, his teachings were more commonly called 'Usui Do' (the Way of Usui) and the healings 'Usui teate' or Usui's form of hands-on healing. Later, the word Reiki was added or substituted, to signify the system utilized spiritual energy.

In Chinese, the same two kanji are used for 'Ling Chi'  
"Ling Chi is the subtlest and most highly refined of all the energies in the human system and the product of the most advanced stage of a practice, whereby the ordinary energy of the body are transformed into pure spiritual vitality. This type of highly refined energy enhances spiritual awareness, improves all cerebral functions, and constitutes the basic fuel for the highest level of spiritual work." (Ling Gung: Harnessing the Power of the Universe - Daniel Reid)

Congratulations to the other Fitness Bloggers - let's keep in touch!!
& thanks, Catherine, for helping get 2014 off to a great beginning!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

12 Days of Fitness Challenge - Day 11

Getting close to the finish line on Catherine Basu's 12 Days  fitness challenge! Here's the link to the Facebook group! Catherine encourages us to move a bit more each day, 'Even if it's just a 10 minute walk!'

Another moderate day for exercise - I did my 5 Element Qigong when I woke up, then self-Reiki .... walked a bit here & there - at the Farmers Market (indoors) lugged 2 massage tables to my car (from our clinic & my daughter's garage), strolled here & there making copies ...

It was a LOVELY sunny day, and would have been great to take a REAL walk, but I was busy collating the handouts I'd written & printed/ copied, making up the Flower Essence 'bouquets' for participants, & doing my last bits of gathering for class TOMORROW!

It's been awhile since I've taught a group, generally working with one or two students in my office... so really want to support everyone having a good experience, & having the tools they need!

Tomorrow's day 12 - what do you have planned? I'll be slogging supplies, massage tables, a screen ... & teaching Reiki I!!

Catherine has a sweet virtual class in the offing ...