Makrut Lime – Herb of the Month

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Maryann Readal

thai lime fruitThe Herb Society of America’s Herb of the Month for August is the makrut lime, Citrus hystrix, a member of the Rutaceae family. This lime is also known as kaffir lime or Thai lime, and also wild lime. You may have spotted it in a produce market or Asian supermarket and wondered what makes it different from an ordinary lime. It certainly looks different, in that it has a gnarly, bumpy skin. The very aromatic leaves are different, too, because they look as though they are two leaves attached to each other. The juice is sour and bitter, and so is not usually used in cooking because it can overwhelm other flavors.

This lime has been widely grown in Asia for so long that it has become naturalized in many countries. Therefore, no one is certain of its origin. It is a staple ingredient in Thai…

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Welcoming Abundance for the Full Corn Moon | Prosperity Jar Spell

Happy Full Corn Moon!

Photo Jul 26, 12 05 50 PM.jpg

Full Corn Moon Prosperity Candle Spell | Spirit de la Lune

August 3rd marks the Full Corn Moon, a time representing the first harvest, and welcoming in the abundance in your life. We also just celebrated Lughnasadh on the 1st of August. Lughnasadh is the sabbat or holiday that marks the first of the harvest season.

Summer is almost over and all the hard work that has been put in towards the beginning of the year is now about to pay off as we reap the rewards of our efforts.

Lions Gate Portal | Spirit de la Lune

We are also in the beginning of the Lions Gate Portal. The portal happens every August 8th when the Sun, Sirius and Earth align. Sirius is the 2nd brightest star and is also known as our “Spiritual Sun.”

During the portal there is an increase in feminine and intuitive energy. Many report feeling extra sensitive to energies, or extra aware of synchronicities or spiritual downloads.

The Lions Gate Portal is an important time for you to access your heart chakra and make sure you are in alignment with your path.

During this full moon you might feel especially tuned in and aware of the spiritual downloads that might be happening right now. After several intense full moons, eclipses and retrogrades, this full moon will feel like a breath of fresh air!

The Corn Moon wants us to slow down and enjoy the fruits of our labors. The period of abundance and harvest doesn’t last forever, so it’s important to stop and enjoy it!

Read original article at: Spirit de la Lune ~ Welcoming Abundance for the Full Corn Moon|Prosperity Jar Spell

A Walk Through a Sacred Garden

The Druid's Garden

View of some of our gardens at Lughnasadh!  Here you can see our main garden (on the left, annuals) and the meditation garden (on the right; smaller perennials). We also have other perennial patches we are cultivating on other parts of the property.  And of course, our wonderful greenhouse in the center!  Behind the greenhouse is a compost tumbler.  In front of the greenhouse, you can see our duck enclosure (more about that later).  Towards the back in the center, you can see our guinea/chicken enclosure and goose enclosure.  The compost area is off to the back left.

Today, we are taking a walk through the sacred gardens at the Druid’s Garden Homestead.  There are so many lessons to learn with a simple walk in a beautiful garden.  Today’s Lughnasadh garden walk reminds us of the power of nature to heal wounds, strengthen our spirits, and help us through challenging…

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The Daughter of King Under Wave

secretsoftheserpent

The Daughter of King Under Wave is a Scottish fairy tale.  This story is from the Tuatha De Danaan.  A story of  a small band of Gaelic warriors called Fianna. This story is like so many other myths in that it mixes actual historical truth with allegory.   The land under the sea is Atlantis and Lemuria, but this story is also about the Sacred Feminine.  This story is full of symbolism about life and history.  I will be using the version from Lady Gregory and the book Gods and Fighting Men.  This is an old story so some of the language may seem odd.  

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Looking For Poison In All The Wet Places

Greetings,

Swampy wetlands can be unforgiving places during the summer months.  The vegetation is thick, the mosquitoes are hungry, and the lack of tree cover forbids any kind of refuge from the mid-day sun.

Strange as it may seem, I still find myself drawn to these soggy habitats in search of organisms that are not commonly encountered elsewhere.  Wet feet and insect bites are small prices to pay in exchange for opportunities to observe and learn new species.

During a recent trip to one of these remote wetlands in western Pennsylvania, I experienced quite a spectacle: the flowers of swamp rose; the immature fruits of winterberry; and the thread-like stems of dodder intimately engaging with every herbaceous plant in sight.

Amongst this activity, I couldn’t help but notice a shrubby plant inhabiting the margins.  Insects were crawling up and down its branches and birds were singing in its canopy, but I knew that any physical contact between the plant and my skin could result in serious consequences.

This plant, which is known as poison sumac, can lead to painful rashes in over 85% of humans.  Susceptible individuals experience symptoms similar to (and reportedly worse than) the reactions caused by poison ivy.

Instead of avoiding the plant, I decided to film a video in which I discuss not only the unique ability of poison sumac to cause skin irritations in humans, but also its ecological value in supporting the health of other organisms.

If you are interested in learning more, check out the new video!

I was a recent guest on the Wild Fed Podcast hosted by Daniel Vitalis.  We covered lots of topics in this interview including plant and fungal interactions, the sustainability of gathering food from the land, the importance of learning non-edible species, and lots more.  You can listen to the conversation here.

Speaking of plant and fungal interactions, did you know that wild blueberries depend on fungi for sustenance?  Without these inter-kingdom relationships, far fewer blueberry shrubs would probably exist.  Check out a recent Instagram post to learn more.

Thanks for reading and watching, and thanks for your continued support!

-Adam Haritan

Medicinal Herb Gardening for Beginners

Written and Photographed by Mary Plantwalker

I love herbal medicine but I’ve never grown herbs—how do I begin an herb garden?


Have you or someone you know been asking this question lately? Then read on for inspirational and empowering steps for growing medicinal herbs at home—we give even the brownest thumb enough fertilizer to succeed in medicinal herb gardening! We’ll help feed the roots for a DIY herb garden that will leave both you and your plants grounded. If you want more tips, see Juliet’s article on growing the herb garden of your dreams.

The Time Is Now to Start Your First Herb Garden

I’ve grown vegetables, flowers, fruit trees, berries, and ornamentals, but my favorite thing across the board is growing medicinal herbs. They are so satisfying—once you have them established they will generously give you medicine year after year after year. When you are able to fill your own apothecary, you’ll feel a sense of sovereignty that can’t be bought. Take this opportunity to get your own medicine growing now as the harvest doesn’t happen overnight! You will also be able to better apply the in-depth knowledge found in Juliet’s forthcoming book, The Healing Garden: Cultivating & Handcrafting Herbal Remedies.

In this present time of COVID-19, and the food and herb shortages we have already experienced, growing your own medicine becomes even more essential.

Read original article at: Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine ~ Medicinal Herb Gardening for Beginners

Dear Daughter

secretsoftheserpent

Life needs to be experienced and lived in order to be understood.  Life is not theoretical.  It is real.  It’s here.  There is pain, suffering and intense joy that needs to be experienced.  The ups and downs are life.  There are mistakes to make and traps to fall into.  All to learn.  This world is full of traps to keep you from growing.  This letter is not to make you fearful it is to keep you from falling into the traps of others.

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Lughnasadh for Solitary Practitioners

The Druid's Garden

In a typical year, at Lughnasadh, my grove would be gathering for our favorite celebration of the year.  This is typically a weekend of rituals, feasting, fire, and merriment, all hosted here at our homestead in Western PA. With the pandemic raging around us, this kind of gathering cannot happen at present. As much as I enjoy our yearly Lughnasadh gathering, I’m taking time this year to focus on my solitary practice and enjoy Lughnasadh in a different way.  Looking at the history and lore of Lughnasadh offers some wonderful solitary practices that honor the history of this holiday and have a fun time.  For a historical look at Lughnasadh (and where some of the inspiration for this post was drawn), you can see Máire MacNeill (1962) The festival of Lughnasa: a study of the survival of the Celtic festival of the beginning of harvest published by Oxford University Press…

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Spicebush to the Rescue

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Kaila Blevins

Author Volunteer TripWhile on a volunteer trip in Orlando, Florida, I was desperate for bug spray. In the middle of December, the mosquitoes nibbled on any exposed skin they could find, leaving me and the rest of the unprepared Maryland native participants with patches of red swollen bumps on our ankles and arms. Our guides, a retired couple who volunteers with the state parks, became our heroes on the second day of the trip. During our lunch break, the husband saunters over to us, carrying a branch from a nearby shrub and states, “This is spicebush. Crush its leaves and rub it onto your arms. Keeps the bugs away and helps the itch.” Immediately, we passed the branch around, ripped the leaves off the branch, crumpled them, and rubbed the lemon-peppery scented oil onto our skin.

A couple years later, I would learn that spicebush (Lindera benzoin)…

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BECOMING YOUR DREAM: A LEO MOON CRYSTAL RITUAL

Becoming Your Dream: A Leo Moon Crystal Ritual / www.krista-mitchell.com

Blessed new moon 🌚

This is an interesting one, because astrologically-speaking, this new moon went into Cancer a second time before going void of course and changing into Leo at 4:16pm ET today (where it will remain there until it goes void of course tomorrow at 8:27pm ET).

I got to the game late, only attuning to the moon through the crystal consciousness at about 4:50pm, so while everyone else is posting about the Cancer new moon, here I am writing about the Leo moon!

I’ve decided to go with it, because honestly, I think many of us (myself included) could do with a little Leo moon juice + some joyfully mad-passionate crystals right now…

MY LITTLE LEO MOON CRYSTAL RITUAL

When I tuned in to this new moon energy through the crystal consciousness, this question came through to me:

“What if you could be the biggest, boldest version of yourself?

This world is demanding the best of us – what does that mean to you?

The radiance of Leo is the enlightened leader. The creator. The warrior. The golden-crowned heart.

What does that inspire inside you?

What dreams or visions does that stir?”

Here’s something I have learned from my experience: Anything you can envision or desire, that feels in alignment with your heart and spirit, already exists as a spark in your soul.

This means that the energetic alignment, the blueprint that can manifest, co-create, or attract it into being only needs your energy to fuel it.Your energy is your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions, all focused in the direction of your vision.

What can halt us is believing in lack: not enough courage, or resources, or inspiration, or worth to see it through.

Here are the crystals, all very Leonine in nature, that are speaking up for you right now in favor of your dream:

Read original article at: Krista Mitchell ~ Becoming Your Dream: A Leo Moon Crystal Ritual