Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Protection Tea

I had a request from a friend to help her protect herself psychically at her job. I believe she was looking for a little spiritual guidance, and that is fine, I have loads of that, but I like things to be grounded and supported by earthly things, plants in particular.
So does she.

For awhile I was anticipating the work to prepare something amazing for her and as is usual for me as soon as I started to think about it, not in a sacred space anymore than my kitchen at dinnertime can be, I began reaching for herbs and putting them together and seeing the work in my mind's eye even as vegetables sat partially prepared on the cutting board.

But really, this is how magic is for me. Right there all the time. No bells and whistles needed or wanted. I bore easily and don't have time for all the geekery of your standard magical practice.

Here are the herbs I chose, the herbs that asked to be in the blend:

Elderberries - protective, connects to old ways/ancestors, forest mother, responsibility
Roses - protective (thorns), connects to mother mary/guadalupe, astringent (helps to keep you in you, less room for others to get to you), love, love and peace
Orange Peel - radiance of the sun, courage, power, remember the skin is protecting your flesh/family/that which is under the skin, AND the skin (peels) are super magic and can symbolize your work self
Chamomile - a sweet little delicate looking flower that is a complete powerhouse. looks can be deceiving. this plant is calming and soothing like a little badass grandma
Licorice Root - just a smidge to ground the blend and to sweeten it up.

I would stay away from plants the bees especially love (lavender, mints) at work unless you want to be swarmed.

I would use this tea for anyone who would like support with boundaries and protection.
Drink it with intention or not, the plants are magic whether or not you believe in them or not.
Of course, intention is it's own kind of medicine and can be a big helper in getting you what you want and need.

Best wishes and much love

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I don't know why I am posting two poisonous plants in a row, but here they are and aren't they gorgeous?
Again, let me say, this plant is poisonous. I do not recommend ingesting it in any way. I am sharing my own personal experience in an anecdotal way.

Datura is known by many names: Moonflower, Jimson Weed, Devil's Weed, Angel's Trumpet and Thorn Apple are the most popular.
It belongs to the nightshade family.

Datura grows wild and domesticated all over Portland and all over the US and Mexico.

I made a flower essence from it many years ago. It was amazing.
I always say and truly believe to get the real essence from a flower essence, make one.
The essence will be with you forever. Just make a couple in your lifetime. It's like a constitutional.
A constitutional remedy is a remedy that works on a deep cellular level to bring the body and emotions back to a state of health and balance. ...
Let your instincts guide you to the plant you will make an essence from and just be with it, meditate on it, commune with it. Sit in the sun while the flower is giving itself up to the water.
When I made my Datura Flower Essence I meditated and visioned for it's gifts. It was really just a deep listening.
(I used white datura stramonium for my essence)
After I was completely transfixed and transformed by the experience I composted the flower and poured the water into the perfect vessel. I then sipped from the remaining
liquid in the bowl.
There were a dozen of us, each with our own flower essence and in the end we each left with a dozen essences. It was, as I keep repeating, incredible and yet, I have never needed the remedy ever again.
I can see in my mind's eye where the remedies are in my herb room and there they will stay until someone else needs that specific magic.
The lesson? The wisdom of the Datura flower essence that I received?
The ability to connect with those who have past and the ability to release them into the light and carry on.
To connect to the reality of death without being traumatized by it.
To accept death as a natural part of the cycle of life.
To glimpse the places that separate life and death.

It's lovely and exotic and it smells like peanut butter.
And, it's poison.

It is full of alkaloids. Part of the family of eens: nicotine, caffeine, morphine and so on.
Many beloved, many demonized.
The sweet violet flower has a similar alkaloid taste to tobacco.
All to varying degrees, poisonous alkaloids.
And oh so pretty.

*This Datura was photographed at a co-op in Bellingham, Wa, late this summer. It was with the ornamental garden plants.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Scotch Broom

Scotch Broom is generally an unloved plant.
Considered a noxious weed by most, I don't recommend planting it, nor do I judge you for ridding your property of it. What I do hope is that the next time you happen by it is to take a small moment to recognize and appreciate it's beauty.
It looks almost as sexy and exotic as an orchid to me.

As we begin the descent into Fall, I find myself romanticizing the passing Summer. I don't love the reality of summer, just the fantasy. It's too hot and unstructured for me, although I do love to sleep in.
(I took this picture in June in Portland.)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Antique Keys

I have a thing for keys.
Old keys.
Not valuable per se, but cool, funky, lovely, old keys.
I've been collecting them since I bought a cigar box full of them a million years ago.
It seems like every 4th or 5th person I see these days is wearing a key around their neck.
Some are old keys and many are charms made to look like real keys.
Tiffany's even has a line of them.
Symbolism of keys is epic and widespread.
I'm not one of those people who believes what the dream books have to say, because our own feelings and thinkings of whatever we are wondering about are the best keys (no pun intended) to their meaning for ourselves.

I do pay attention to fairy tale symbolism and have a dark soft spot for the tale of Bluebeard, which is full of keys. When I did a quick search on others opinions of the symbolism of keys in Bluebeard, it doesn't necessarily mesh with my own.
That's my point.
When you wonder what a symbol from a dream or from waking life means to you, check in with yourself.
What does it mean to you to find a Queen of Hearts playing card on the steps of the library?
What does it mean to dream of having a ring of keys and no door?
Trust yourself.
Find the key to your own intuition.
Or just find one you think is cool.

It doesn't have to be a big deal, there's magic there whether you believe it or not.

*Some people use keys as pendulums for purposes of divination.

Calendula Harvest

Many of the rewards for harvesting this amazing flower are obvious. The warm sun, the golden light beaming back at you, the buzz and dance of the honeybees and just the quiet joys of being in the garden. However, my favorite thing is the scent. The scent of the flowers themselves, but especially the smell that lingers with me. The flowers are full of resin and your fingers become sticky with it and smell like heaven.

As I pluck the brightest, stickiest ones for my salve, I am constantly deadheading the spent ones, discarding them to re-seed whenever they are ready.