Friday, June 4, 2021

Chrysanthemum Tea

 I have joined a Tai Chi class that meets thrice weekly in the park by my youngest grandkids' school. I've been doing Qigong in the park while my grandkids play a little while after their morning school time, then a friend invited me to join the group practice. 

It's been lovely to revisit the Yang Long form, which I first learned nearly 40 years ago, during my massage training. My mentor suggested Tai Chi as a life long practice, and way you learn good ergonomics. She was so right! 

A week or so ago, the friend who invited me brought me this lovely treat Tea Pot and flowering tea from Numi! I often steep tea in a glass tea cup with matching strainer - but this provides such an elegant experience! Each tea "ball" can be stepped several times, and I often as some of my own tea leaves for additional batches.

Tea pot and flowering tea
This little of year I'm often dreaming about new varieties for my garden, and was pleased to find Bo Jo Hua Chrysanthemum tea plants at my friend Melissa's Van Hevlingen Herb booth at the Farmers Market! She had two varieties, which bloom in the late fall like otter Mums. Bo Ju Hua (Chrysanthemum morifolium) doesn't set reliable seed, so is only available as plants - I'm excited to add these to my garden! 
I found several blog posts about these plants and the flowers, which support the liver, eye health, and are good for the heart, type 2 diabetes and easing headaches (Sage Garden Theory) on a Growing Tradition, Thomas recounted his search for the plants and success
Bo Jo Hua Chrysanthemum

Melissa said the plants bloom on Halloween, and into November. The flowers are first collected mid day, and dried then stored. I think they will be lovely to steep in the little round pot! 

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Time for tea

 Each year around this time, my beautiful tea Camellia begins putting on new growth, and it's time to harvest the first flush of leaves! Last fall I pruned my Sochi Camellia, which increases the number of new leaves to harvest.

Over a decade ago, my friend Nikki and I began growing Sochi Camellia sinensis. The most northern tea, this variety grows in Sochi Russia near the Black Sea, and is well suited to our latitude at nearly 45° N. 
It is both aromatic and frost Hardy. While the flowers are small (about the size of a strawberry flower) its mature leaves are about the size of those on my ornamental Camellia. I dry some of the flowers in January which can be used for a light and fragrant tea. 

CODEX with tea Camellia blossom
Several years ago, Nikki invited me over for a tea party, both teaching me the process, and sharing afternoon tea from a previous harvest when finished. She sent me home with a basket of fresh leaves we pluckedfrom her bushes, which I augmented with leaves from my own for a second batch. 
It is such a satisfying process, and I'm always struck by the fragrance of the leaves as they dry. As this Camellia association article notes, few people realize that whenever they sit down with a cup of green, black or white tea, the brew comes from Camellia leaves! 
Camellia sinensis Sochi
High in antioxidants, especially catechins, green tea is preventative for cancers, lowers the risk of stroke, and helps control blood sugar. In Okinawa Japan, one of the "Blue Zones" for longevity, drinking several cups of green tea daily was common. They often added jasmine flowers and a bit of turmeric for shan-pien, "tea with a bit of scent."
Harvest - 24 hour rest

The leaves are resting in three baskets, and around 3:30 this afternoon, I'll begin the next steps of the process, which you can find here and here.

Do you grow herbs you use for herbal Tea? I have a number of those as well, and enjoy their medicinal qualities and varying flavors.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Snowdrop essence and Intention


Snowdrop Essence - set your intention!

Before enlightenment, 
Chop wood, carry water
After enlightenment
Chop wood, carry water 
Attention to the small
As we chart our course.

Spring is an excellent time to refresh and renew, body, mind, spirit and emotions. Many traditions invite spring fasts or cleanses, as a reset from less activity and heavier foods of winter.

As spring flowers begin to emerge, I eagerly awaited my Snowdrops' bloom! During the Angel Cafe in November, Sarah Estelle mentioned Snowdrop as part of a favorite trio for aligning with our divine feminine energy. It is also associated with poultry, innocence and simplicity. 
Snowdrop welcomes energy into our crown and into the heart, and provides impetus to "set intention and rewrite our future." I was delighted to find the clumps under one of my apple trees in bloom, and make Snowdrop essence on the weekend! 
I put some of the left over essence water into a couple of mister bottles, following Sarah Estelle's suggestion of using it this way each morning to help set intention. Like her mama, mine loved blooming spring bulbs.

When I lived in the Breitenbush community, I often gave myself the gift of a day off after  a workshop. It was so nourishing to have time for integration, introspection, logging insights, practicing new techniques, receiving bodywork, and soaking in the hot mineral water!  I was grateful for the organic vegetarian, meals and herbal tea that were our daily fare & often made myself a flower essence bouquet to support my process and integration. 
Snowdrop would be a wonderful addition to a workshop bouquet. Another of our spring beauties, Camas, helps integrate intuitive and logical processes, and harmonize methods of learning. Tea Camellia, the "Ancient One, rooted in timeless beginnings, brings stillness, connection to one's true self, and provides a mirror for self reflection."

At times, we may experience a mountaintop breakthrough, either in life, or during a workshop. We see new possibilities shining... It's so beautiful to have that reference point of being so completely present - then, how do we integrate and implement shifts?

It can help to remember our tools for grounding, centering, and to continue our favorite daily practices wherever we are! Selenite is a great travelling companion - sweep your aura, do self Reiki, smudge the room, ground yourself. Maybe have a favorite herbal tea and breathe the stream ...

Some of my favorites are Qigong, flower essences, doing a creative practice, music, prioritizing local organic fare - so fortunate to have a year round farmers market! And Dark chocolate is my favorite treat!)

Sending blessings of spring, and Snowdrop flower essence, to Rewrite your future!   

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Essence Cards

This fall I've been enjoying learning about, and beginning to do Neurographica. This way of creating helps "Balance the mind, inspire creativity, and explore different approaches to problem solving." 

The basics:

  • Think of your intention or conflict
  • Draw random lines (not an even zigzag!) 
  • Round the intersections -calms the neurons, reduces tension
  • Circles bring harmony (observe how your body feels as you draw, stood those intersections as wewel
  • Color - 3 or more colours, color in at least three segments with one color 

Through November I drew and colored a number gratitude cards, and some centered around handprints or leaves.

Neuro-Noodle Labyrinth

After seeing a friends Neurographic Christmas cards, I was inspired to some as well - In the 70s and 80s, I often drew our cards, and sets of paper dolls. A couple of those were printed in doll magazines. 

California Poppy - true gold in your heart

I've been creating essence bouquets for my grandkids, and began drawing essence cards - I did a few cards decades ago when I began creating my first essences and combining them into bouquets 💐 The first were larger (poppy and fuscia)

Fuscia - soul warmth
Using 5.5x8.5" mixed media paper, I began creating smaller cards - the #Neurolines interconnect if I draw before separating them ❤ I start with the circle for the flower cameo, then add the neurolines (on larger cards there's room for circles) I haven't colored any yet, and may print these! 
Essence cards
  • Forsythia – announce presence, golden trumpet, Gabriella
  • Hyssop – takes the strain off DNA, purify, release guilt 
  • Rosemary – liquid ambrosia, strengthen immune system, enhances memory
  • Violet – trust warmth of others, express own warmth, comfort in groups

  • Aster - illumination, sacred play, create time and space for creativity 
  • Borage  – optimism, seed of Hope · opens heart, comfort and courage, joy, illuminates your unique path  
  • Nettle (Sister Spinster) - align with personal truth, speak up in prickly situations, don't panic! 
  • Yarrow - strong, healthy boundaries, compassionate awareness, seals energy leaks, wholeness         
Drawing these cards is a sweet way to connect with the energy signatures. Do you have a favourite you'd like as a card? Let me know in the comments! 

Monday, November 30, 2020

Full moon Land Tuning

 Tree spirit
Since last week's Angel Cafe on 11/22 with Aisling Mooney and 21 practitioners, I've been reengaged with my own essence friends! 
Thank you, essence guides Sara Estelle Turner and Aislng Irwin for sharing your gifts, and my friend Alessandro for inviting me to participate! (I signed up for Alessandro's complementary month with his online Qigong group!)

I pulled out essences and definitions to concoct several "bouquets" to help my grandkids focus on their schoolwork, as I'm Distant Learning Aide for the 3rd graders. They helped choose flowers from my suggestions, and named their bouquets. Today we tested them for the first time ...

I checked definitions in several books, including Molly Sheehan's Green Hope Farm Essences guide. This evening, I reread the section on her trips to Ireland and essences she created while there. During her visit in 2005, she had a chat with the elementals* shortly before she left, asking why they had been so supportive of her work.

They replied, "We steady this planet. We steady out emerald island. Most often, we steady against the imprecations of humans, but we find in this project, humans working to steady the planet with us. We thank you one and all for working with the Flower Essences and working to both balance yourself and your worlds. We need you. We need you most intently right now." 

The went on to talk about water coming, flooding (and as we have seen in the last 15 years, other earth changes!) And invited humans to step up and help 'Steady.'
"What do we mean by steadying? Your efforts to find balance in your lives matter." 
They go on to clarify that while our "ecological footprint" is out of balance, "the most pressing need is for you to work on your emotional footprint... You must stop leaving your emotional chaos littering the natural world. You must invite us to clear the land you inhabit."
Mountain Cascade - Joshua Fender©

The Elementals then asked Molly to put her basic process for Land Cleansing (or "Tuning") after their message in the guide. 

"You may think that your contribution to this effort would not make any difference. You would be wrong in this. We were interested in Molly's farm, small though it is, because, in part, the routine energetic cleansing done at this garden has helped in a significant way. .

"We speak in a united voice with our brethren Elementals of the new world when we speak of the significance of energetic cleansing. ... If you want to begin a deeper relationship by helping us in some way, doing any variation of the following process would be much appreciated. 
"Green Blessings."

I share this process with Molly's enthusiastic permission. Like the Irish Elementals, Molly feels the more people who do this in harmony with the guides of 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.  

During the wildfires in September, I did this clearing daily for both my bit of land, and remotely for my beloved Breitenbush Hot Springs. Though much burned, including Vista where I offered massage, and the Sanctuary where I taught Tai Chi and Qigong, much was saved.

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 apartment, 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.

Photo© - Marilyn Affolter, Amity OR

Molly: '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. You can check in to see how often to tune your land - I strive for several times a week, and uusually walk pour my back door, do the invocation, and within a few moments, feel a frisson.

It helps to have quick name for the process - you may simply invite 'Devas, Angels & guides of this place, please CLEANSE, CLEAR, RE-BALANCE & ILLUMINATE this land!' And when you feel the process is complete, thank them.

* 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 reason that 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! 

My friend Gwynne Warner practices Feng Shui, and writes, "this is the 10th Lunar month, the "kindly moon" in Chinese tradition," she invite us to "go outside beneath the luminous night sky, and make an offering of gratitude to the moon herself. A prostration or a bow. A song or a dance. A cup of tea poured into the earth. A fresh flows blossom laid on the earth. Then speak your blessing: 

'Beauteous moon, I know you are here! I am so deeply happy and grateful for your presence in my life.' 

I am making Land Tuning my daily practice for this 10th lunar month - the Elementals ask me to invite you to join us, "it will be of the highest service, and prepares the way for the next shifts and integration! Your help is needed - Thank you." 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Healing and MAP

In the early 90s, I began making flower essences  shortly after joining the Healing Arts Team at Breitenbush Hot Springs. One of my source books was Machaelle Small Wright's. I'd been gardening co-creatively with Nature since reading about Findhorn in the 80s, and later with Machaelle's Garden Workbook. When she published her Medical Assistance Program (MAP), I got her initial handouts, then the book.

Petunia - creative visionary

With this program (developed from her work with Devas and nature spirits, Machaelle began to work with a "team" for personal health - both physical and mental/emotional. It dovetails beautifully with energy work including Reiki, tuning forks and lightweaving, and during sessions with other healers.

The team includes:

  1. PAN (the CEO of nature) 
  2. Great White Brotherhood (Ascended Masters, including Motherr Mary and Christos)
  3. Deva of Healing (and possibly the Deva for the land you're on)
  4. Your Higher Self

Set up in a comfortable place, often lying down, and invite your Team to work with you (on your own, or in conjunction with other healers) generally for a set period of around an hour. Test for flower essences before and after the session (and during if so guided) At the end of the time, thank them and release the "coning'"

You can Ask for the name of your team for future sessions. For an acute issue, you can leave the coning open for a longer time. You can visualize journeying to a Temple of Healing for your sessions. Keep a journal nearby to record notes after your session. 

You can also do group work work within a coning, with each person including their own higher self. Invite the Deva overlighting the land you're on (or each person's land, if you're on a conference call.) A friend who lived near Findhorn for a year taught our Reiki Circle to use a similar method for group meetings. 

I had begun working with MAP when I slipped on wet stairs, and likely cracked a few ribs!! Even though I had insurance, and several of our private (retreat center) medical team were my Reiki students .. I worked with poultices, flower essences and my MAP team ...(clay cut the pain immediately, and I had homeopathic Arnica)

A psychic later told me she noticed me gimping along, not moving with my usual dancer Grace and lightness ... Juliet wondered about offering healing (she was initiated in Reiki by Takata!) - but saw my house surrounded by angels, and received the message I "didn't want" other help at the moment! (A couple of my Reiki students did give me sessions, and I invited the support of my MAP Team.) ... 💖🌹💜

Healing Temple

A practioneer who took the DVD workshop on using MAP wrote, "Use your MAP session as an exploration of  what you are feeling and experiencing around an issue. The MAP team can only "work" with what one is conscious of, and the exploration can help us become more aware of what's going on around an issue - physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. ... Using essences (with the session) can be helpful in gaining and maintaining balance."

She commented she found using a MAP-based conning while giving Reiki treatment supports and deepens the Reiki practice. When using MAP with others, invite their Higher self, not your own, for the 4th component of your coning, and remember to thank your team and release the coning at the end of the session. 

- Shortly after beginning to use MAP personally, I began using it professionally, and had several clients who were also familiar with the practice. We were excited to include MAP  in their sessions, and compare notes afterwards.

If you are a practitioner, or work with clients in any capacity, you can use Professional MAP! After you've used your personal team for awhile, and are comfortable with the process, open a conning with your own Higher Self and your Professional Team. Request a name for your Professional MAP Team, and use a journal for your notes. You can request information and insights on how to best include MAP on your practice.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Gratitude and blessings

I have been enjoying watching interviews and film clips from Findhorn, many filmed this year during the the time we are connecting in-person less often.

Today this Interview by Thomas Miller with Sandra Ingerman, a modern day shaman, came through, and​​ is fantastic! Sandra survived a near death experience, which is often the precursor to shamanic awareness and training. Sandra comments that shamanic ideas and philosophies transcend individual cultures and traditions, and are part of our earthly birthright. 

Sanctuary at Breitenbush 1983-2020
If we would like to see more harmony in the world, and a healthy environment, Sandra  invites us to set our intention, to affirm the vision, and to:
  • Express gratitude daily: get up and give thanks to the elements: earth, air, fire and water. 
  • Give thanks for food and drink
  • Appreciate moments of beauty.
  • Shine your light - as we see ourselves as radiant beings, we become them
  • Do your personal practices, and release the outcome - Tai chi, yoga, meditation, kindness, pay-it forward, ...
  • Connect with like minded community 
  • Invite children to ceremony - release fear by breaking a stick, beam rainbows into their water, dance their light. 
  • Children are closer to the unseen realms, trust the power of ceremony, and can help us remember how to tap co-creative power
  • At Color of Woman graduation, my Apache friend Carmen told me the drumming the day before had been so powerful because, "the ancestors are so happy for you all, and so glad you are doing your work! Won't you be glad when your grandchildren do theirs?"
A number of studies have shown gratitude practices enhance our personal well being and mood, and even reduce pain! This ripples out, and has a harmonious effect on the world around us. 
We each have gifts to share, and power to bring positive change and harmony in the world around us. 
Let us choose love and joy, and positive action.