Calling All Artists and Designers

The Herb Society of America Blog

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The Herb Society of America
is Seeking Design Art!

Organizers for the Virtual Educational Conference and Annual Meeting of Members (EdCon) to be held June 10th – 12th, 2021, invite artists and designers of all ages and abilities to submit artwork for consideration for the 2021 EdCon logo. The theme is, of course, HERBS!

To enter the contest, participants must:

  1. Choose a theme, and create a design. The theme should reflect a combination of herbs and pollinators. Herbs may include native plants, trees, and bushes. Pollinators may include native bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, birds, bats, flies, beetles, etc.
  2. Art is often best rendered with strong lines and minimal color to facilitate replication on posters, printed materials, and tote bags. You are welcome to design on your computer or directly on paper.
  3. The design must adapt well to electronic (ideally .jpg or .png format) and print media…

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Hello January 2021

Good Witches Homestead

We wish you all a very Happy New Year and hope that you are feeling rested, rejuvenated and ready to take on whatever opportunities and challenges 2021 has in store for us.

2020 was an unusual year in so many ways, so much so that looking back it seems that it has acted as a bridge between two very different realities. We are left with a sense of completion and the recognition that there is no going back to how things were at this time last year, too much has changed.

Despite all the difficulties this feels like a positive step forward and we look forward to what is coming next, with both interest and curiosity.

The previous twelve months has been dominated by the effects of the Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn with its focus on destabilising and dismantling old worn-out forms, be these old thought forms or inflexible corporate…

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Gardening Under Lights with Kids Webinar – KidsGardening

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Do you love gardening with kids, but perhaps feel challenged by space or weather? Gardening indoors under lights might be the perfect solution! Don’t know where to start? We’ll help you.

Join KidsGardening’s senior education specialist, Sarah Pounders, and Leslie Halleck, horticultural expert, and author of “Gardening Under Lights” as they simplify successful indoor gardening with lights and explain how you can engage kids in this fun and educational activity.

Date: Thursday, February 4th, 2021 at 7-8pm Eastern

Registration Cost: $8

Learn to garden under lights with kids! This fun webinar with Leslie Halleck will teach you to successfully garden with grow lights.

Source: Gardening Under Lights with Kids Webinar – KidsGardening

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Purification| Moonthly Lunar Report New Moon in Capricorn

Purification| Moonthly Lunar Report New Moon in Capricorn

Happy first New Moon of 2021!

Set the intention to call in a beautiful, magickal, and healing year! We have a lot going on this new cycle, and there is going to be a need to find and maintain your center.

This cycle is an eventful one!

We are experiencing change on a global level and it will be apparent this cycle.

Each new moon, using our planners, and decks, we create the Moonthly Lunar Report.

It’s broken down in the 4 main moon phases, and explains the current astrology and how to best navigate it.


New Moon in Capricorn

Purification| Moonthly Lunar Report New Moon in Capricorn

The new moon in Capricorn helps us maintain our goals with discipline and order.

There is a need to not try to win at all costs right now though. Be careful to not step on others while you try to reach the top.

Now is a great time to plan the cycle ahead and make clear goals that you feel you can achieve. You will need to put in the effort and get your hands dirty in order to achieve these goals though!

Read original article at: Spirit de la Lune ~ Purification|Moonthly Lunar Report New Moon In Capricorn

This Edible Mushroom Grows In Human Bodies

For better or for worse, untold numbers of fungi live on and within our bodies. 

Some of these fungi are faithful allies.  Others can harm our bodies only under certain circumstances.  Almost all of them, it turns out, are microscopic and mostly undetectable to the naked eye.

But what about the larger mushrooms that live in forests?  Do they ever engage in any sort of physical relationship with humans?

For a very long time, mushroom-forming fungi were never known to grow inside human bodies.  Instead, molds and yeasts — including species of Candida and Aspergillus — were almost always the main culprits implicated in human disease.

And then something strange happened.  In 1950, a doctor treated a 33-year-old man for fungal overgrowth of his toes.  Upon isolating the fungus, the doctor discovered that his patient’s foot infection was attributed not to any of the usual mold-producing suspects, but instead to a mushroom-forming species that commonly grows on trees.

Since that shocking discovery 70 years ago, researchers have documented this wild fungus growing on and within other human bodies.  To date, almost 100 cases of infection and a few unexpected deaths have been reported.

During a recent walk through a local floodplain, I encountered this fascinating mushroom and decided to film a video regarding its bizarre tendency to do such a thing — to colonize human bodies and cause infection.

Check out the brand new video to learn more!

In addition to the sights of tree-eating mushrooms, a January walk through my local woods is likely to yield splendid sightings of wintering songbirds.  Pictured here is one such bird who demonstrates something known as differential migration.  In short, males overwinter farther north than females.  Why is this?  Check out this recent Instagram post to learn more.Click to view post

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

-Adam Haritan

Visioning the Future through the Bardic Arts: Creating Vision, Creating Hope

The Druid's Garden

Reishi mushroom from the Plant Spirit Oracle offers a vision of healing, growth, and regeneration

I used to be a big fan of reading dystopian fiction when I was younger. It seemed like a distant world, a reality far from our own. But perhaps now, those books resonate too close to reality. As someone who practices magic, I have to wonder, would the concepts present 1984 be as present if the book hadn’t been so well-read? Did George Orwell manifest these concepts as a magical act, or were these already present and he simply channeled what was already coming into focus? The same can be true of many such influential works: The Handmaid’s Tale, Brave New World, Bladerunner, and more. We also have things like robots, invented by Issac Asimov as science fiction in the 1940s and 60 years or more later, became a reality.  One might…

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The Peacock

secretsoftheserpent

Like a lot of other animals there is so much symbolism for the peacock.  People’s imagination can run wild and dedicate any trait they want to the peacock.  This is one of the most beautiful birds on the planet, so most think the bird symbolizes beauty.  It also sheds it feathers every year so some say it represents rebirth.  Let’s get on with the true occult symbolism of the peacock.  

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HSA Webinar: A History of Chocolate

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Jen Munson, HSA Education Chair

20190613_150017Chocolate: food or medicine? For centuries, chocolate was consumed primarily as medicine. Cacao, from which chocolate is derived, was the basis for prescriptions promising relief from such ailments as anemia, alopecia, fever, gout, heart disease, kidney and liver disease, along with tuberculosis. Prescriptions from the 16th and 17th centuries would combine cacao with cinnamon, sugar, pepper, cloves, vanilla, and/or anise to ease common complaints. Certainly modern day amoxicillin could benefit from such a delicious concoction.  

It was only in the 19th century that chocolate became more of a food staple and less of a medicine. This was in part because of the expansion of where cacao could be grown. Cacao is a New World food, but the Portuguese brought the cacao tree to the African tropics. The development of machinery made it easier to separate cacao butter from the seeds, and so the making…

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Parsley – Herb of the Month and Herb of the Year

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Maryann Readal

The spotlight is shining on parsley this month. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is The Herb Society of America’s Herb of the Month for January and the International Herb Association’s Herb of the Year for 2021. The three most common varieties of parsley are P. crispum or curly-leaf parsley,  P. crispum var. neapolitanum or flat-leaf Italian parsley, and P. crispum var. tuberosum or turnip-root parsley which is grown for its root and is used in soups and stews.

Parsley has an interesting history dating back to Greek and Roman times. To the Greeks, parsley symbolized death and was not used in cooking. However, according to Homer, the Greeks fed parsley to their chariot horses as they thought it gave them strength. The Greeks believed that parsley sprang from the blood of one of their mythical heroes, Archemorus, whose name means “the beginning of bad…

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Sacred Tree Profile: Devils Walking Stick (Aralia Spinosa)

The Druid's Garden

The mighty Devil’s walking stick in early spring–look at those spikes!

The Druid’s Garden Homestead is located on a 5-acre parcel of land in Western Pennsylvania that is currently regenerating from intense logging. Three years ago, just before we bought the property, the family who owned it logged about three of the five wooded acres.  This has led to a host of possibilities where we can work on forest regeneration, observing the changes in this damaged place as it regrows, and certainly, opportunities for wildtending and creating food forests. As you walk through this regenerating landscape, one of the most striking understory trees is the Devil’s Walking Stick, Aralia spinosa. Looking like a very spiky and menacing walking stick (it has a name fitting of its visage), this tree is also known as Prickly Elder, Prickly Ash, Shotbush, Pigeon Tree, Angelica Tree, or Hercules club. These varied names really…

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