HSA Webinar: Hamlet’s Poison: The Mystery of Hebanon & Shakespeare’s Other Deadly Plants

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Jen Munson, HSA Education Chair

‘There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember: and there is pansies. that’s for thoughts.’ (Hamlet 4.5.248)

William Shakespeare’s poetic plays are filled with dramatic imagery and references to plants, herbs, trees, vegetables, and other botanicals. Shakespeare’s awareness of the botanical world was near the level of herbalists of that period, and the use of plants throughout his plays is done with unparalleled sophistication. They are used to enhance ideas and describe characters, as well as for metaphors. For example, Hamlet describes the state of Denmark as “…an unweeded garden / That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature” (Hamlet 1.22.134-136). 

Plants are used for evil doings and central plot development. They are transformed into potions that are  lust invoking, (Viola tricolor in Midsummer Nights Dream), sleep inducing (Atropa belladonna in Romeo and Juliet), and as poisons…

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Creating Sacred Space

How’s the energy in your space

I’ve been thinking a lot about our spaces lately – in many ways they’ve become more important to us than ever, and a place where many of us are now spending most of our time (or not enough).

The space we live in is an energetic extension of ourselves. What affects us will affect the energy of our space (and vice versa).

In a time when we’ve seen a dramatic increase in fear, stress, uncertainty, and an outpouring of negativity, the more we can hold ourselves + our spaces sacred, the more we all benefit.

While we may all know the importance of clearing the energy of our space, it bears reminding, especially given that some may be feeling too overwhelmed or tired to prioritize it (it’s been my experience that this is when we most need to do it).

I’m linking here a couple of articles I’ve written on how to clear your spacecrystals that can help clear your space, and also, tips on how to energetically protect yourself in your sleep, as sleep disruptions are on the rise…

I’ve also included below a post that my esteemed friend Nicholas Pepe wrote yesterday on creating sacred space before and after distance healing sessions.

Whether you’re giving or receiving a distance healing session, I strongly encourage you to adopt the below practices (if you haven’t already).

Also, today is the last day to enroll in Nicholas’ Distance Healing Certification at the Crystalline Academy!

If any of you healers out keep feeling nudged towards taking this course, I strongly encourage you to sign up.

It’s self-paced, so you can start now, or in January. You can accelerate through the program, or take your time. What you can’t do is sign up at another time, because as of right now it’s not on the 2021 program schedule!

So if you’d like to learn from a master in this modality, now is the time.

Keep holding yourselves and each other sacred.


Sweet blessings to you,


Sacred Tree Profile: Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)’s Magic, Medicine, and Mythology

The Druid's Garden

Witch Hazel in Flower, late October

As we move into the dark half of the year and move closer to Samhain, the temperatures drop, the killing frosts come and the plants die back. The leaves grow brilliant and then fall.  Brown and tan dominate the land as the earth falls asleep. But there in the waning light is the brilliant, beautiful golden yellow of the  Witch hazel!  Around here, Witch Hazel (Hamamelis Virginia) begins a magnificent display of tiny yellow flowers, appearing to explode outward with many delicate yellow petals.  As the last of the leaves fall, if you walk through a forest with Witch Hazel, you are struck by the beauty of these wild and warm yellow flowers. everything else may look dead, but Witch Hazel is alive and thriving. The time of Witch Hazel is the time of late fall and early winter, and it is a powerful…

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Entering The Crone Moon Cycle | New Moon in Libra Lunar Report

Entering The Crone Moon Cycle | New Moon in Libra Lunar Report
Moon in Libra Spread | Spirit de la Lune

This new moon in Libra might bring our partnerships and relationships into focus once again. We are asked to be diplomatic and peaceful with our approach and keep the focus on solutions and harmony right now, especially as Mercury is now retrograde!

We are officially in the darker seasons of the year. Each day is getting now shorter, and the veil is getting thinner as each day passes.

The Crone Moon Cycle is upon us!

Each new moon, we create the Lunar Report to help you navigate the month ahead. This month we are including a Libra Moon Spread so you can also pull some cards for yourself too.

Read original article at: Spirit de la Lune ~ Entering The Crone Moon Cycle


What Does it Mean When a Crystal is Lost or Broken? / www.krista-mitchell.com

I’m often asked if there’s a meaning behind losing or breaking a crystal.

Recently on a group call for my Pro Crystal Healer course, a student shared that she had lost the same crystal three times, and was wondering if there was any deeper meaning behind it.

It’s definitely possible!

I remember doing a crystal healing layout on myself years ago where I placed a piece of moldavite on my 3rd eye chakra. As I turned over to shut off the alarm at the end of my session, the moldavite fell off. First I searched on the bed beside me, then under the pillow. Nothing. I stripped the bed. Nothing. I pulled the bed away from the wall and checked underneath, including behind the sideboards. Nothing.

We moved a year later, and before we left the empty apartment, I searched for it one more time. Nothing.

True story!

I also remember the time when I first started working at a busy spiritual bookshop in NYC. I was wearing a lot of jet (a protective crystal for empaths), and I hadn’t learned how to shield my energy yet. Pieces of it would keep falling off me throughout the day, either cracking or breaking as they hit the floor, and I had a pretty good feeling as to why…

There can be many possible reasons or meanings behind lost or broken crystals. Sometimes it’s just an unfortunate circumstance – things get lost, accidents happen. But the Universe can work in mysterious ways, and messages or miracles can be hidden behind the circumstances…

Here’s a few possible interpretations, honor your own intuition or what resonates for you in a heart-based way (as opposed to fear-based):

Read original article at: Krista Mitchell ~ What Does It Mean When You Break Or Lose A Crystal

Herbal Hacks, Part 1: Food and Drink

The Herb Society of America Blog

We asked and you delivered! Over the summer we asked folks to share how they used herbs to make their lives easier or more fun. We received many great responses, and want to thank everyone who contributed a little snippet of herbal how-to. We received so many responses, in fact, that we’ve decided to offer them in installments, categorized by topic for easy reference. Please enjoy this week’s selection – herbs in food and drink.

Violet banner_Creative Commons via Pxfuel

I love to use fresh herbs as drink garnishes and in ice cubes. Edible flowers and leaves enhance my beverages, from my morning smoothie to my afternoon glass of wine! – Janice Cox

Dried blue cornflower petals sprinkled over salads – or as a garnish on other foods – for a beautiful blue punch of color! Flowers are harvested each year from my garden at the end of a hot day, dried on white cotton…

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Yin Yang


Yin Yang comes from the Taoist tradition. What is Yin Yang?  In short it is dualism or opposites.  People don’t really understand Yin Yang because we can all see the opposites and how they effect our world, but what is it really?  Yin Yang is about energy.  The interaction and interplay of these energies.  Yin represents the feminine energy and Yang represents masculine energy.  The dots represent balance.  There is the problem for most, we don’t have balance.  How can we understand Yin Yang on a personal level?  Yin Yang is all about renewal of your energy then the explosion of that energy.  

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Natural Perfumery Course

Good Witches Homestead

Blending your own botanical perfume is a delightful, time-tested way to infuse both your home and your body with the plants you connect with most. A true breath of fresh air, the Natural Perfumery Course will empower you to form a new type of relationship with plants—a relationship that lets the plants speak for themselves with woodsy whispers, herbaceous harmonies, and smoky secrets. As the conductor of this olfactory orchestra, you will blend, infuse, tinker, and spritz your way to custom scent combinations for you, your herbal product line, and everyone on your gift list.

The Natural Perfumery Course includes all the information you need to start blending your own botanical perfumes at home today, including over 20 recipes, a special collection of perfumery plant monographs, simple rituals for incorporating them into your lifestyle, expert guidance, and beautifully illustrated downloads for safety, sustainability, techniques, and more. 

Follow your nose and enroll in the Natural Perfumery Course by Herbal Academy

Choose to enroll in…

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Ode to the Oak: Acorn Harvesting, Preparation, Acorn Breads, and More!

The Druid's Garden

Honoring the oak

With the cooler temperatures of September and October, the abundance of the Oaks come forth.  In my area, we have abundant oaks of a variety of species: white oak, chestnut oak, eastern red oak, swamp oak, and much more.  Each of these oaks, every 2-3 years, produces an amazing crop of nuts that simply drop at your feet. Acorn was once a staple food crop of many different peoples around the world–and in some places, it still is.  Here in North America, acorns and chestnuts were primary food sources for native American people. Cultures subsided–and thrived–on annual acorn harvests and the bread, cakes, grits, and other foods that can be made with processed acorns.  I really enjoy processing acorns and using them as ritual foods for both the fall equinox and Samhain.

Thus, in this post, we’ll explore the magic of the acorn, how to process acorns…

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I get information coming to me a lot.  The information I get is usually something others have gotten too, but it does not register with them.   Why does the information stick with me and not with others?  It is because I have unlearned.  There is a reason why the Matrix resonated with so many people.  We all subconsciously know there is a system to control us.  The system makes you learn what it wants you to learn.  The trick to getting the true information is unlearning what you have learned to make room for the new information.

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