Gemini New Moon, 5-25-2017 | starsbydesign

By Stars By Design

Source: Gemini New Moon, 5-25-2017 | starsbydesign

Gemini New Moon, 5-25-2017

New Moon 5-25-2017

A lovely grand fire trine is forming during the sun and moon’s passage through Gemini, and should make for swift and satisfying communications. The North Node in Leo, Uranus in Aries, and Saturn in Sagittarius are all in accordance. We flow smoothly from place to place, transmitting ideas and being readily understood, our messages are clear and understandable. Contracts are exchanged, agreements struck, and moving from place to place and enjoying the novel and the new comes easy and carefree. All these things under the auspices of Gemini and Mercury should find favor.

That’s not to say this moon does not have its share of complications — as with everything, we have some harder aspects to deal with, but I know with my business and financial interests firmly rooted in audio and creative writing, I’ll be sure to initiate projects to give them that extra oomph! Especially with Mercury in Taurus, Taurus will make your projects long lasting and unlike Geminis often flighty tendency to move on to the new interesting flavor of the moment, Taurus has the steam and endurance to see things through to the end.  This is a boon to work that requires both an initiatory spirit and a need for refining and crafting.

Now that we’ve highlighted the good, let’s look at the not so good.

Pushy Venus at 19 degrees of Aries may indicate a fast and furious romance that goes against the grain of more conservative and cautious Capricorn, where Pluto at 19 degrees squares. Capricorn is going to want to iron out the details and Pluto isn’t going to give up control or stop digging for the underlying meaning of things. Add in Black Moon Lillith in Sagittarius at 11 degrees, who is squared by Neptune at 14 degrees of Pisces, and it suggests that romances initiated under this moon are going to be plagued by both the benefits and the downsides of magnetic sexuality — sometimes, we rush in to satisfy pleasure without considering the consequences. This act-now think-later attitude will certainly yield an affair to remember given the Venus in Aries heat, and the Lillith in Sagittarius magnetism, where Saturn is struggling to keep a lid on the happy-go-lucky archer. Those squares to Pluto and Neptune, though, suggest all the sticky complications of a love affair gone wrong, an extra marital affair, infidelity, power struggles, and all the lying such situations tend to generate. Of course, this might also figure in more than only love, but also money.

If these squares with their clashing energy weren’t potent enough, we have further semi-squares, creating aftershocks and stall points that are less easily resolved.

In particular, Venus in Aries semi-square the Gemini sun and moon, and Mercury in Taurus semi-square Mars in Gemini, also suggest, in spite of the burning power of this Grand Fire Trine, we may encounter that what course of action we decide upon under this new moon now creates a domino effect of unforeseen consequences; projects which begin with great promise might not complete to schedule, but bear this in mind — this is not necessarily a negative! Consider that a writer, initiating a creative project, might end up going through steep and rigorous edits, all of which give the sensation of spinning wheels in a rut, but which, over the course of months, bears a great deal of fruit in the form of awards or recognition, or increased pay. Use this Grand Fire Trine well!

I advise anyone to take on the qualities of Mercury and be ready to think on your feet to counter the difficult aspects of the semi-squares.

Less palatable is the opposition forming between Mars in Gemini and Saturn in Sagittarius. We might have to face up to responsibilities for our quick words or decisions, or deal with clashes with authority figures and arguments that spring up around them. This may be the case where you know you’re right, but someone who holds power refuses to acknowledge they are in the wrong, and it costs you. This is the time for swallowing your pride and picking your battles, and you may have to choose diplomacy over valor.

Lastly, a Taurus Mercury inconjunct Jupiter in Libra might have us sticking to our guns when we should be compromising with our friends or in our relationships, and as a result, we don’t quite see eye to eye. Taurean inflexibility will not smooth things over in your personal life, as fluid Mercury is better when he exerts his mercurial spirit. Be willing to bend to influence, for if you cannot bend, the inconjunct might force you to break! Be generous with your spirit and your words to and these should blend nicely with the Grand Fire Trine and help you sidestep the less desirable effects of the inconjunct.

Gnomes – secretsoftheserpent

By gserpent

The Gnome character in myths is a diminutive being that are usually old men who dwell underground and guard treasure. Most people think that the Gnome was introduced by Paracelsus in the 16th century. He may have invented the character, but like all scribes of the Renaissance he was being creative. Most researcher think Paracelsus used gnome from the latin ‘genomos’ meaning earth dweller. It has even been said that he invented the word. Paracelsus was well-connected, he used the word because it was so close to several words that describe the Gnome.

Paracelsus chose this name because of gnosis(knowledge) genomos(underground), nomas(law), gnomic(of your nature), and gnome(an opinion). Paracelsus was just doing what so many other scribes were doing, taking a word with several meanings and using it to his advantage. The more meanings the better, especially from language to language. But the main reason he chose this is because of Nomes, providences in Ancient Egypt, and Noble, a person of the bloodline but not the ruling bloodline.

In Ancient Egypt the sons not of the “First Wife or God’s Wife” could not become Pharaoh. They may have been part of the bloodline, but not the pure bloodline. They were given little providences that they could rule or control called Nomes. Within these Nomes they ran their economy and governments. The ones that were favorites or very good at what they did were promoted to help the Pharaoh run his government. They were put in charge of the treasury, helped the priests, keeping the tombs safe and all things that needed to be done that the Pharaoh shouldn’t be bothered with. When someone of the bloodline was kicked out or left Egypt they took people who were running the Nomes with them. They became known as Nobles.

All western civilization royalty is from the bloodline of Egypt. They all had nobles in their royal court. The nobles were the one really doing all the dirty work behind the scenes running the kingdom, with the King and Queen having the final say. This may be why Paracelsus chose to portray the Gnomes underground, but I think the main reason is the nobles were in charge of the sacred mounds. They had to find make the sacred burial places for royalty in hopes of getting a good spot for themselves. Gnomes are usually depicted as wise. They were Nobles so they were educated in certain mysteries. The King and Queen usually confided in certain Nobles. The Gnomes don’t like to react with humans because they were snobby royal blood that hate the masses. If you know my work, you know the royals see themselves as part of the Alien bloodline(see Lemurian Magic). Some myths portray the Gnome as evil or mischievous and some portray them as good. This is because of all the games played with in the royal court. Not only did the Nobles do what they were told for grace of the King, but some tried to overthrow the King and Queen because they thought they should rule. I recommend seeing the Tudors to see just how bizarre and back stabbing things were in the royal court. It follows history pretty close for a movie, but there is a lot of adult content.

Why would they make the Gnomes so small? With faeries it was a pure Pharaonic bloodline that religion was trying to erase from history and they almost succeeded. That bloodline being Lilith’s bloodline of the Tuatha De Danann. The scribes were not trying to erase anything here, they were actually trying to preserve history. We go back to Egypt, mainly Lower Egypt, to get the reason for this too. The Pharaoh and Queen were always depicted as the same size as the Gods and Goddesses. In some hieroglyphs they have smaller people in glyphs with them. In the hieroglyphs with their children, the children have smaller full-grown people standing next to them too. These are the favorite Nobles taking care of the Pharaoh’s family. Most researchers think the smaller people are slaves. We need to get slaves in Egypt out of our head. They were no more a slave then we are corporate slaves today. The people who did the work in Egypt were paid very well for what they did. The lies about Egypt stem from the bible. The Nobles in Egypt were portrayed small because they were not pure blood. Like they say in Harry Potter they were ‘mud bloods’. Mud bloods have to do with the blood that came from earth or the hominids. The author of Harry Potter has been let in on the secrets. Wouldn’t it be nice if people would just explains the secrets instead of trying to get rich off of them?

When you see a Gnome in a story it is really portraying Nobles.  Nobles are the ones that did specific duties as stewards or wardens and were venerated as wise. They were the Gentry and attendants of the Rath(royal seats and sacred mound dwellings).

Something Old, something New | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

From Rewilding Europe

“At the rate that the BLM is decimating our last remaining free roaming herds of wild horses and burros we may find ourselves taking notes on how the Europeans are bring wild equines back to their rightful ranges.” ~ R.T.


Looking to boost the benefical impact of free-roaming wild horses in the Coa Valley, Associação Transumância e Natureza (ATN) starts the Zebro Project.

Raising the grazing

Free living Sorraia horses in Faia Brava nature reserve, Western Iberia rewilding area, Portugal. Juan Carlos Múñoz / Rewilding Europe

Rewilding Europe wants Europe’s native herbivores to return in significant, naturally balanced numbers to the lands where they once belonged. With domesticated livestock numbers on the decline in many European countries due to land abandonment, such herbivores can play a vital grazing role, opening up landscapes and enhancing biodiversity.

To this effect, Rewilding Europe now supports natural grazing in 16 different pilot areas across nine countries. In Faia Brava, one of our largest natural grazing pilots located in northern Portugal’s Middle Côa Valley, wild Garrano horses are the herbivores now reshaping the landscape in a way that benefits a wide range of local flora and fauna.

Thanks to the efforts of Associação Transumância e Natureza (ATN), our partner in the Western Iberia rewilding area, another site in the Middle Côa Valley will soon benefit from wild equine grazing too. The Portuguese NGO has this year started the so-called Zebro Project, carefully selecting and cross-breeding Sorraia horses to maximise their wild characteristics. These animals will eventually be released as a herd at a site close to (but separate from) Faia Brava.

“Our eventual aim is to recreate wild, free-roaming horses that will replace those that have been lost from the Iberian ecosystem,” explains Pedro Prata, the Western Iberia rewilding area team leader and ATN’s executive coordinator.

“We want rustic equine and cattle breeds to take back their ancestral grazing role in the Middle Côa Valley in a natural and sustained way,” continues the Portuguese. “These herbivores can reduce weed density, create clearings, promote seed dispersal and favour populations of wild scavengers and predators.”

An equine experiment

The rewilding of horses began back in 2005, when ATN introduced five Garrano horses into Faia Brava. Further introductions since then have seen the number of free-roaming horses in the reserve rise to an estimated 60 to 70 animals. These are now part of Rewilding Europe’s European Wildlife Bank.

Like the Garrano, the Sorraia is an ancient horse breed that was once found wild across the Iberian Peninsula, but whose populations decreased dramatically under pressure from hunting and the rise of domestic livestock and mechanised agriculture. The Sorraia has a particularly interesting history, having once been called the “zebro” or “zebra” in Portuguese, due to its striped markings.

Hardy native animals that lived off uncultivated lands and salt marshes in Iberian river valleys, zebros were occasionally captured by farmers for agricultural work. A small population of Sorraia horses, thought to be direct descendants of the zebro, was discovered in the 1920s. It is from this stock that the lineage has been preserved, although the breed remains rare.

In its attempt to recreate the zebro, or a genetic approximation of this ancient wild equine, the challenge is to identify the right horses for breeding.

“It is difficult to find modern-day horses with the genotype, phenotype and behaviour of ancient breeds,” explains Pedro Prata. “We are looking  for animals with more rusticity, which are strong enough to survive in adverse conditions, resist pathogens and diseases, and generally adapt to wild conditions. These are now quite scarce.”

Since the beginning of 2017, ATN has acquired several stallions and mares displaying the Sorraia phenotype. The plan is to acquire further animals this year, using part of the ATN membership fee for acquisition, transport and habitat management, and to launch a new line of merchandising to celebrate the project.

While the European wild horse is officially extinct, its genome is not lost and still exists across several types of old horse – from Exmoor ponies in the United Kingdom to the Hucul ponies of Eastern Europe’s Carpathian Mountains. These primitive animals still boast many of the characteristics and genetics of their ancestors, making them particularly suitable for rewilding and the grazing of wild habitats.

Rewilding Europe’s brochure on rewilding horses can be viewed here.

https://www.rewildingeurope.com/news/something-old-something-new/

Source: Something Old, something New | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

Girl Who Couldn’t Speak Uttered First Words to Donkey: ‘I Love You’ | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

by Leigh Scheps of Inside Edition

Feel Good Sunday

The first thing Amber Austwick ever said out loud was “I love you” to a donkey. The 6-year-old is a twin who was born prematurely at 26 weeks. She suffered from complications at birth that forced doctors to perform a tracheotomy. Amber never said a word until she met her four-legged friend at this donkey sanctuary. Her time there is therapeutic, and since her introduction to the donkey, Amber’s become a lot more confident.

Source: Girl Who Couldn’t Speak Uttered First Words to Donkey: ‘I Love You’ | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

Answers in art « Outside the Reality Machine

By Jon Rappoport

 

“Logic is a mirror of how the physical world operates.  It is a vital tool.  Imagination is the capacity to make new and different worlds, an unlimited number of them, which can operate on no particular basis at all.”  (The Magician Awakes, Jon Rappoport)

Here is an interesting statement from Dane Rudhyar (1895-1985), about his painting.  Rudhyar was a world-famous astrologer, and also a philosopher, painter, and composer.

“It does not seem important to me that people seeing my paintings should know what I felt, why and how I produced them. The essential thing is the viewers’ response — what the paintings do to them, what arises in them as a result of their seeing the paintings, of their relationship with the painting. It is, I believe, a matter of relationship: ‘something’ in the painting meets ‘something’ in the spectator; what is important is the character and quality of this meeting.”

“…These youths are also often greatly impressed by my paintings, yet at the same time they are puzzled by them. I am repeatedly asked what the paintings mean, how the evident symbols in them are to be understood…”
“When facing my paintings, a person’s reaction is often that I must have used such geometrical or biologically suggestive symbols deliberately, knowing exactly why I used them. People frequently are shocked when I tell them that I did not have precise intentions and did not think of traditional meanings. Then they often want to speak of ‘the Unconscious’ — my personal unconscious or the ‘collective Unconscious’…”

“They are even more puzzled if I tell them that they should forget the traditional system of knowledge and simply try to experience the drawing and allow it to speak to them and communicate a ‘mystery’ which perhaps transcends or has meaning besides the traditional knowledge.”

“Nearly twenty years ago while in Paris, I attended meetings and lectures at a well-publicized Congrés du symbolisme in the elegant and ultramodern UNESCO Building. At the close of the sessions I vividly realized that the lecturers always spoke of symbols in the past, referring almost exclusively to ancient cultural epochs and traditions. A very intelligent woman I had met who was enthusiastic about all that had taken place asked about my reaction to the Congress. I expressed my deep interest in the proceedings, but added that I felt the talks had been almost entirely, about the past. She looked at me with a puzzled expression and said, ‘But the past is all we know. We do not know the future!’ To which I replied, ‘Of course we do not know the future, but we are creating it!’ The lady gave me a strange look; she could not grasp the meaning of what I had said, and our conversation ended very soon.”

If you say the voyage of imagination is spiritual, people immediately want to know which spiritual system you are talking about, or which principles.  They want art and creation to be an expression of that which is already understood.

But art is not a descriptive sign hanging on the entrance to the cosmos.

Every piece of art is its own cosmos.

It needs no myth structure or origin-story or cultural precedent.

Art is the great exception to every rule of the universe.

If this isn’t magic, nothing is.

Source: Answers in art « Outside the Reality Machine

Crystal of the Week: Blue Kyanite – Holistic Experiment

Source: Crystal of the Week: Blue Kyanite – Holistic Experiment

Blue Kyanite is the most well-known color of Kyanite and it’s often used for its ability to align and open all of the chakras. It’s an excellent choice for healers because it places a shield around the healer, conducts healing energy and grounds it.

It’s a high vibration stone with strong crystal energy that will open the throat chakra and promote better communication and self-expression as well as assist the user to speak their personal truth.

Since this stone is so powerful that it does not need to be cleansed. Someone with a lower vibration may feel horrible side-effects from Kyanite because of its ability to raise the vibrations of the wearer to reach a higher state of consciousness.

Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Purposes

On a physical level, Blue Kyanite can be used for people who suffer from speech impediments as well as issues with their bone marrow. It promotes mobility in the body and helps with any sort of tissue healing.

This stone can also be used for people who have suffered from strokes, issues with the nervous system, the brain, the thyroid, and any issue that has to do with the throat. It’s also a natural pain reliever and lowers blood pressure and aids in back problems.

Blue Kyanite is great for patients who have had accidents or surgery on any part of the body. It’s also great for people who are low in energy and can assist trauma and replenish one’s energy.

On an emotional level, this stone can be used to promote a healthy communication so it’s great for people who are afraid of public speaking. It also aids tension and promotes tranquility as well as clears and calms the user in preparation for meditation.

The best way to use this stone is during meditation because it allows one to make contact with spiritual beings and can help develop one’s intuition. Blue Kyanite also facilitates meditation and help release fear from both oneself and those the user works with.

On a spiritual level, Blue Kyanite helps clear the meridians and pathways and will restore the flow of energy to the chakras. It also helps with astral traveling, out-of-body experiences, promotes one’s psychic abilities, and makes visualizations stronger.

You can also put Blue Kyanite under the pillow to promote lucid dreams.

Disclaimer: Crystal of the Week are a spiritual support to healing and are not prescription or healthcare information.

Ozark Encyclopedia – C – Cocklebur – Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Cocklebur – Xanthium spinosum, X. strumarium

Parts used: burrs

Traditional uses: Infusion of root given to induce vomiting. Roots chewed for rattlesnake bite. Plant used for the kidneys. Decoction of seeds used for bladder ailments.

Tea used for rheumatism – “A tea made by boiling cockleburs in water is another remedy for rheumatism.” ~Randolph OMF 108

Used in love divinations – “Another girl picks a cocklebur, names it for her lover, and throws it against her skirt; if it sticks, she knows that her lover is true to her, if it doesn’t stick she thinks he is false.” ~Randolph OMF 172

Tea made for cold – “We always drank cocklebur tea for a cold. Dried burs, boil them in water, put a little sugar in it, strain them and drink it.” ~Carter and Krause HRIO

Used for coughs – “Boil ripe cuckleburrs. Make a tea out of the juice. Add enough sugar to make a syrup.” ~Parler FBA II 1970

For gall bladder – “Drink a quart of cockle-burr…tea each day for gall-bladder trouble.” ~Parler FBA II 2289

For kidney stones – “Take dry kickleburrs and place them in a stone jar. Then fill the jar with water (hot but not boiling) and set on stove next to fire. Let them simmer for 2 to 3 hours and then drain juice into jug. Take 1 tablespoon full 3 times per day for kidney stones.” ~Parler FBA III 2592

For kidney health – “Cucklebur…tea is good for kidneys.” ~Parler FBA III 2593

With alcohol and glycerin for tuberculosis – “To cure tuberculosis take dry cockleburrs, alcohol, and glycerin. Cook down and drink the water of it. You will spit up the T.B.” ~Parler FBA III 3474


Carter, Kay & Bonnie Krause Home Remedies of the Illinois Ozarks (HRIO)

Moerman, Daniel E. Native American Ethnobotany (NAE)

Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA)

Randolph, Vance Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF)

Source: Ozark Encyclopedia – C – Cocklebur – Mountain Man Traditional Healing

A Mustang murder mystery in northern Nevada – Tuesday’s Horse

WILD HORSES NEVADA (Warning: Graphic Image) — On May 10, 2017, Tuesday’s Horse received an email from the Professor and Chair of the Geological and Environmental Sciences Department of a California University stating he was leading a student field trip in Northumberland Canyon south of Austin, Nevada the previous weekend and they discovered the following:

We came across six horse carcasses, all missing their heads. This was very disturbing to the students and I am trying to figure out what happened. Was there planned culling of wild horses? Why would the heads be removed?

The headless remains of a Mustang found in northern Nevada taken by a student while on a geological field trip in the Austin area. May 2017.
The headless remains of a Mustang found in northern Nevada taken by a student while on a geological field trip in the Austin area. May 2017.

The Professor had not been able to reach the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) so reached out to us for assistance.

At long last I tracked down the right BLM office thanks to the coordinates the Professor provided.

After several email exchanges and a few phone calls with a BLM agent in that office, we made little progress figuring out what had happened to these Mustangs or why.

Here is a summary of those exchanges:

• It is highly likely these Mustangs were shot and killed. Although rare in the area, other wild horses have been shot and killed and left on the side of the road in much the same manner.

• The heads were either removed by trophy hunters or for use in local rituals. It is also possible someone discovered the carcasses and removed the skulls much later and cleaned them to use as relics. The heads are not missing because of scavengers.

• Due to the vastness and remoteness of the area it is close to impossible to find any witnesses. Investigators often have to rely on hearsay such as “someone bragging” about the kill.

My BLM contact agreed to talk with other field agents plus get in touch with the U.S. Forestry Service for their input.

A few days later my BLM contact reconnected to tell me that wild horses killed in suspicious circumstances do fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forestry Service and they would determine whether or not to investigate.

An agent of the U.S. Forestry Service contacted me with the following:

• They had discovered carcasses like these the previous year, perhaps even as early as Spring 2016, and they were “probably the same ones”.

• Due to the condition of the carcasses and the amount of time elapsed they have little to nothing to go on and did not feel it warranted the time and expense of an investigation. No one offered an explanation why they took no action at the time they first found the dead horses other than “it’s too hard”.

• They have come across dead Mustangs before where they suspected foul play and occasionally seen heads removed like this.

• The missing heads were not the result of scavenging.

It was never quite clear to me when coming across something like this, how they determine when it is worth investigating and when it is not.

The BLM and USFS were not the only ones. I also contacted a noted investigative reporter who also declined.

So Now What?

The agents I dealt with were responsive. Perhaps it ended the way it did with me at the direction of higher ups.

Yet wait a minute. Any way you look at it, murdering a Mustang is a federal crime. Murdering six. Leaving the six dead horses at the side of the same road. Removing their heads. Surely that warrants at least some looking into.

Something must be done or these murders, even if only committed sporadically, will continue.

I offered a reward for the arrest and conviction of these Mustang Murderers. The response?

I appreciate knowing about the reward and I will see how that might be promoted.

End of story? I thought so until a few minutes ago. We’ll let you know. Stay tuned.

Source: A Mustang murder mystery in northern Nevada – Tuesday’s Horse

Bobinsana ~ Good Witches Homestead

Source: Bobinsana~ From Help Healing Grief, Heartbreak and Pain to Shamanic Lucid Dreaming

A relative of the mimosa tree, Bobinsana (Calliandra Angustifolia) is a water loving plant that belongs to the Pea family (Leguminosae). It grows around 4-6 meters high and is usually found alongside, rivers, streams, and bodies of water in the Amazon basin. It is found in regions of Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia. It produces an abundance of gorgeous pink to reddish powder puff-like flowers.

Traditionally bobinsana is taken by tincture in an alcohol made from cane sugar called aguardiente or a strong tea (decoction). All parts of the plant are used for healing. The roots, bark, leaves and flowers.

Bobinsana is a well-known “plant teacher” sometimes used in conjunction with a psychedelic amazonian brew called “Ayahuasca”. While bobinsana alone is not hallucinogenic, it is considered a plant teacher or master plant and is sometimes added to ayahuasca recipes to help the shaman connect to and learn from the plants. The plant is typically taken on a special diet or during these shamanic ceremonies for opening and healing the heart, to enhance empathy, to deepen one’s connection to nature and provide grounding. According to many Ayahuasca curenderos “doctorcita bobinsana” as they say, is a very gentle healing plant spirit increasing clarity, focus, compassion and for addressing heartbreak, grief, and loss.

“According to many Ayahuasca curenderos “doctorcita bobinsana” as they say, is a very gentle healing plant spirit increasing clarity, focus, compassion and for addressing heartbreak, grief, and loss.

Many times in our lives we have experienced forms of heartbreak, sadness, sudden loss, emotional struggles. It’s human nature to experience these feelings. And it’s good to know that you can have support during those troubling times. This plant is just one of many that can hold our hand along the way, while we process our feelings and life experiences. The plant is also becoming very well known for producing profound lucid dreaming experiences, colorful shamanic visionary type dreams in which new insights about one’s life are found and healing can occur.

“profound lucid dreaming experiences, colorful shamanic visionary type dreams in which new insights about one’s life are found and healing can occur.”

Among other uses, the Shipibo Conibo people of the Ucayali area in Peru and other Amazonian indigenous tribes use the sacred plant to treat arthritis, bone pain, rheumatism, uterine cancer, edema, nasal congestion, fevers, colds, inflammation, and to purify the blood. They also bathe in the freshly grated bark to improve dexterity, increase resistance to illnesses and protect against colds and chills.

Now that we see how useful this plant can be. It’s a good thing to share the information and see if it’s the right herb for you, your family or your friends. Whether you or someone you know is experiencing grief, loss, pain or intense sadness, this sacred plant can be a gentle ally during the healing process. AND If you’re interested in having enhanced lucid dreams then this special plant is right up your ally! People can also use this for deepening their shamanic, meditation, dreaming or yogic practices. Which makes this herb one of a kind!

“People can also use this for deepening their shamanic, meditation, dreaming or yogic practices.”

As always I love to share the joy of being a herbalist and since this plant is very useful and quite rare it’s hard to find a good place to get it. So I’ve made a very potent 1:2 liquid extract tincture of ethically wild-harvested bark and leaves made with organic alcohol, organic honey, and Colorado mountain spring water. You can find it here>>> Bobinsana Tincture

Disclaimer~ Bobinsana is traditionally used as a contraceptive in Peru. While there is no research to confirm this possible action, those seeking to get pregnant should avoid this plant. Should not be used during pregnancy or lactation. If you take pharmaceutical drugs or have a medical condition please consult your doctor before using. Make sure to always do your research and talk with your medical advisor before adding any herbs to your diet. This post’s information is not approved by the FDA to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any diseases. The information presented in this post is provided for informational purposes only.

Spicebush – Good Witches Homestead

Source: Spicebush – Good Witches Homestead

Spicy, lemony shrub with its rich history needs a reintroduction into the kitchens and medicine cabinets of North America.

It can be found from Maine to Florida, as far west as Kansas, and in parts of Texas. It is happiest just inside the edge of the forest but can successfully be grown out in the open with strong attention to its watering. The bush has a long American history that is enjoying a bit of a renaissance.

When European settlers first arrived in the Americas, they would have had to struggle with many elements of homesickness — particularly the loss of familiarity with the plants around them. Seeds were surely transported, and some even thrived in the New World, but many of the plants that colonists depended on for food, medicine, dye, and textiles had to be left behind. This meant that settlers needed to quickly understand which plants could serve as substitutes for lost staples.

If you’re in a strange place and need to know the landscape, the logical thing to do is to ask the natives. One of the important plants the Cherokee people taught early settlers about was spicebush. Spices have moved humans from place to place, started civilizations, and founded empires. Here on the temperate shores of the U.S., the bright spices cinnamon and ginger don’t grow, but we’ve always had milder and cooler substitutes. Spicebush berries can be used as a replacement for allspice, and the powdered bark makes a serviceable cinnamon.

Spicebush is known as fever bush, Benjamin bush, snap-wood, wild allspice, Appalachian spice, spicewood, and “forsythia of the forest” to name a few. Beyond its culinary use, Native Americans taught the settlers about the ways they used spicebush as a medicine. This native population used the leaves, bark, berries, and sap in various ways. Internally, they prized the plant for its diaphoretic properties, or its ability to induce sweating. Native people used spicebush to ease colds, cough, fever, and measles. Externally, they used oil from the pressed berries to ease the pain of arthritis. They used all parts of the plant interchangeably as compresses (external applications of cloth soaked in tea) for rashes, itching, or bruises, and they also used it to remove internal parasites.

Soon, the colonies began to expand, and many itching to explore the West. As they walked, they deepened their relationship with spicebush. Paul Strauss, in his book The Big Herbs, tells us that chewing on the twigs will quench thirst and moisten the mouth. In this way, spicebush walked with the settlers, many of whom were traveling with their families as they moved toward a farm they’d bought, sight unseen. Spicebush was associated with rich soil and easy access to the water table. If the surveyor said that the shrub was on the land in question, it was a safe bet for a successful farm.

Over time, the Americas’ access to the hot and intense spices of the East became easier. Medical advancements yielded awareness of plants with healing properties, and then modern drugs left the need for many plants behind. Spicebush was left alone in the woods to quietly feed the insects and animals that depend on it for survival. Only now are we coming back to an awareness of its presence?

Cultivating Spicebush

Spicebush is now a featured member of Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste. Many are stepping back into the dappled shade of the forest’s edge to become reacquainted with this shrub. Spicebush is fond of moist soils along streams or in rich woods. It grows between 6 and 12 feet high. At its base, one often finds some of the most endangered of our medicinal plants, such as black cohosh, ginseng, false unicorn, goldenseal, and wild yam. In March and April, just before the leaves emerge, it sports pale yellow blooms that are a great early source of nectar for bees. The male and female blooms arise on separate shrubs. When the leaves appear, they are opposite, simple, smooth, and oval to oblong with a spicy, aromatic smell when crushed. In fall, the leaves turn a beautiful yellow that contrasts sharply with the red spicebush fruit. This fruit is an oval-shaped drupe containing one large seed. It’s bright, glossy red, and spicy when ripe in August through September.

In winter, after all the fruit has been eaten, you can identify the spicebush based on the gray to an olive-green color of the stems, which have a spicy smell when broken. The leaf scars are crescent-shaped, and both young stems and old bark are dotted with pale lenticels (raised pores where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged). Spicebush spreads as a colony, by its roots. If you have a friend with an expanding group of spicebush, late fall is a great time to dig up some of the colony and move it to your house.

Growing spicebush is relatively easy, provided you have a good spot. Plants can be grown in full sun if you water them often and provide a rich soil with plenty of leaf compost. After they get established, they require little in the way of pruning or animal-proofing (deer don’t like them). You can just sit and enjoy the constant visual interest and all the other wildlife your spicebush will attract. The real problem will be deciding exactly which recipe you’d like to use with the leaves, twigs, and fruit your shrub will provide.

Uses for Spicebush

As a supplement, almost all parts of spicebush can be used in food and medicinal preparations. Spicebush bark’s antifungal capacities were demonstrated in a 2008 study that showed its activities against both Candida albicans and the fungus that causes athlete’s foot. To use the bark in this way, either make a tincture or simmer (decoct) the root in water for 15 to 20 minutes.

The entire shrub is high in volatile oils, making all parts of the plant likely effective at settling the stomach when made into a tea. The leaves are especially good as a tea and should be picked while glossy and green. The twigs can be picked to add to a tasty medicinal brew at any time of the year. If you’re hoping to have a cleansing sweat or break a fever, brew your tea for 30 minutes (4 ounces twigs to 1-quart water) and serve hot.

If you wish to use the berries, the possibilities for food as medicine are endless. Berries are ripe around the same time as apples, so think of the potential combinations! Dry berries in a dehydrator, and store them on a shelf or immediately freeze them. Some people cut the seed out of the middle before freezing, but I think that’s unnecessary and potentially removes some of the flavors. You’ll need to run unblanched, frozen berries through the food processor before adding them to a dish. Dried spicebush berries can be ground with a spice-dedicated coffee grinder. Try adding the resulting powder or pulp to coffee, cookies, chai tea, cobblers, curries, and more.

Spicebush is a strong part of our country’s past — but why keep it there? With so much to offer our landscape and even more to bring to our pantry and apothecary shelves, it deserves another look by all who enjoy a little history in the garden.

Spicebush Seed and Plant Sources

Strictly Medicinal Seeds (listed as “spice bush”)
Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co.
Fedco Seeds

Fever Chai with Spicebush

spicebush teaRelieve typical fever symptoms, or make without milk to soothe fever caused by respiratory illnesses.

Total Hands-On Time: 1 hr

Cook Time: 1 hr

Yield: 5-7 cups

Fever Chai can bring some relief to fever symptoms, but you may make it without the milk for someone who’s experiencing a fever related to a respiratory illness, as milk can exacerbate symptoms of congestion.

Ingredients:

• 8 whole cloves
• 8 spicebush berries
• 7 twigs spicebush (broken to equal about 2 ounces)
• 2 sticks cinnamon (smashed)
• 1 cardamom pod
• 1 tablespoon fresh sliced ginger
• 1/2 star anise
• 2 cups water
• 4 to 6 cups milk (or almond milk)
• 2 tablespoons black tea
• Sugar or honey to taste

Instructions:

1. Crush all the spices lightly with a mortar and pestle and place them into a saucepan.

2. Cover the spices with water and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the water has reduced by half.

4. Add the milk to the saucepan and bring back almost to a boil.

5. Remove from heat. Add the black tea, cover, and steep for 5 minutes before straining.

6. While still warm, add sugar or honey to taste, and then use a milk frother to whip your chai.

7. Serve immediately.

Wild Allspice Java Rub with Spicebush

spicebush rubThis sweet and spicy rub is the perfect addition to steak, brisket, or pork.

Total Hands-On Time: 5 min

Preparation Time: 5 min

Yield: 1 cup

This rub is best on a grilled steak or brisket but also works well with pork.

Ingredients:

• 5 tablespoons ground coffee
• 2 tablespoons coarse salt
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons paprika
• 2 teaspoons freshly ground pink peppercorns
• 2 teaspoons garlic powder
• 2 teaspoons ground spicebush berries
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions:

1. Combine all ingredients and place in an airtight container.

2. This mix is shelf-stable but should be used within 6 months.

Continue reading “Spicebush – Good Witches Homestead”

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