What’s Blocking Your Connection To Source?

By Amy Brucker

A client of mine made a strong confession during our first session together:

My purpose is calling, I can feel it. I just can’t get to it.

Not for lack of trying, I’m definitely trying, but something isn’t working.

She wanted to make money by engaging her purpose. She wanted to have fun integrating her spiritual gifts into her work.

Yet at the core of her desires, what she really wanted was to feel deeply connected to her Soul. She wanted life to flow through her instead of getting stuck at the logjam created by the belief she’d inherited from her grandfather: “Poverty is a Virtue.”

Instead of flow she felt anxious.

She wasn’t getting any sleep. She was exhausted. She was getting older.

And the possibility of one more birthday without the deep Soul connection she desired was more than she could bear.

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Reparation and Healing the Land as part of American Druidry

I also live in an area of mining, paper mills, and farms, so I understand working with timbering and strip mine areas.
We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors, so we can only move forward with what was left behind.

The Druid's Garden

Sunrise over the land Sunrise over the land

Two weeks ago, I talked about what American Druidry looks like. One of the big issues that came up in conversations here on the blog in the comments and also in the comments on the Druid’s Garden Facebook page was guilt from those of non-indigenous heritage. Guilt about the legacy of abuses against Native Americans in this country–a legacy that continues to this day. Guilt of being here on this land, knowing that many of us who are here now are here because of three centuries of genocide. Guilt about knowing that despite all that we may do now, this past bloodshed colors the way that we interact with the land, our relationships with the spirits of the land, and everything else we try to do to connect with the land and build sacredness.  In the last two weeks, I’ve heard how people feel the spirits…

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Sacred Tree Profile: White Pine’s Medicine, Magic, Mythology, and Meanings

The Druid's Garden

White Pine Towering in a Conifer Forest at Parker Dam State Park, PA White Pine Towering in a Conifer Forest at Parker Dam State Park, PA

In the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) legend, there was a terrible conflict between five different nations of people. This conflict was rooted in cycles of pain, revenge, and chaos. A messenger of peace sent from the Great Spirit, the “Peacemaker,” sought to unite the five warring tribes. After convincing them to unite, they came together to make peace, but they still carried their weapons. The Peacemaker uprooted a White Pine tree and had them throw all of their weapons into the hole. He then replanted the tree, and the underground waters carried away the weapons. On the tree, the needles grew in clusters of five, to represent the five nations who came to find peace. The roots of the tree spread out in four directions, to the north, south, east and west; the roots are called the roots…

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On Being an American Druid

The Druid's Garden

The quintessential image of a druid is a group of people, all in white robes, performing ritual inside an ancient circle of stones.  This image is probably the most known and pervasive of all visuzaliations of druidry, and for many, it shapes the our perceptions of what druidry should be. But taken in a North American context, this image presents two problems.  First, we have no such ancient stone circles and two, another group has already claimed the quitessential white robe, and its not a group with which we want to associate our tradition.  This kind of tension, along with many other unique features of our landscape, make being an American druid inherently different than a druid located somewhere else in the world.  In the case of any spiritual practice, context matters, and context shapes so much of the daily pracice and work.    And so today, I’m going to answer…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – N – Nails

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Nails have been used in Ozark folk healing and magic in a variety of ways. There’s a belief among Hillfolk that the object that hurt the individual was just as important to the healing process as the medicine put onto the wound. Knife blades, bullets, and nails were often treated with healing salves and plants alongside the puncture or cut itself. Rusty nails were added to tonics to prevent tetanus or to treat illnesses like tuberculosis. Water made from soaking new nails was seen as a sure treatment for anemia and iron deficiencies, and sometimes the sickness itself could be taken off the patient and nailed to a tree. Nails were driven into footprints to deal lethal blows to foes and witches alike. Coffin and gallows nails were carried by Hillfolk as an amulet to ward of certain venereal diseases.

Curing a boil – “One way to cure boils, according…

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Holly Wood

Elder Mountain Dreaming

Trees are magical, there is no doubt and those of us who love and respect them are far and few between. The Wood of the Holly is hard, compact and close-grained and its color is of beautiful white ivory that can be buffed to a very high polish.  When freshly cut the holly wood has a slightly greenish hue but soon becomes perfectly white, and its hardness makes it superior to any other white wood. However the wood of Holly is very retentive of its sap and as a consequence can warp if not well dried and seasoned before use. Old, fancy walking sticks were made from Holly, as were the stocks of light riding whips.  Today it is used in delicate instruments such as weather-gauges and barometers.

Holly is commonly used all over the world as a winter season decoration in many traditions, a custom derived from the earliest Romans who…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – M – Mustard

My grandmother was a BIG believer of in mustard plasters.

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Mustard – Brassica

Parts used: seed

Traditional uses: “Irritant, stimulant, diuretic, emetic. Mustard is used in the form of poultices for external application near the seat of inward inflammation, chiefly in pneumonia, bronchitis and other diseases of the respiratory organs. It relieves congestion of various organs by drawing the blood to the surface, as in head affections, and is of service in the alleviation of neuralgia and other pains and spasms…Internally, Mustard is useful as a regular and mild aperient, being at the same time an alterative. If a tablespoonful of Mustard flour be added to a glass of tepid water, it operates briskly as a stimulating and sure emetic. In cases of hiccough, a teaspoonful of Mustard flour in a teacupful of boiling water is effective. The dose may be repeated in ten minutes if needed.” ~Grieve MH 

Mustard and camphor poultice for colds – “I know…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – M – Mullein

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Mullein – Verbascum thapsus

Parts used: root, leaf, flower

Traditional uses: Leaves and flowers can be used to clear chest congestion (smoked or as an infusion), as an analgesic for rashes, aches and pains. Leaves can be wilted and used in poultices for swollen glands. Roots can be used in decoctions for gynecological issues.

“The Mullein has very markedly demulcent, emollient and astringent properties, which render it useful in pectoral complaints and bleeding of the lungs and bowels. The whole plant seems to possess slightly sedative and narcotic properties…The dried leaves are sometimes smoked in an ordinary tobacco pipe to relieve the irritation of the respiratory mucus membranes, and will completely control, it is said, the hacking cough of consumption. They can be employed with equal benefit when made into cigarettes, for asthma and spasmodic coughs in general. Fomentations and poultices of the leaves have been found serviceable in haemorrhoidal…

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The Importance Of Remembering Where You Come From

By Amy Brucker

Has this ever happened to you:

As the weather turns cooler, my go-go-go has gone-gone-gone, and I want to retreat into the coziness of woolen socks and spiced tea.

But my desire goes beyond wanting to feel snug. There’s a distinct feeling that permeates these moments, a sensation that cannot be put into words.

It’s the mesmerizing movement of dipping a tea bag.

The soft glow of candle light casting shadows in the corners.

The feeling of warm with a blanket by the fire-lit hearth.

They all create this inner experience that is beyond cozy.

It’s Koselig (ku’-se-lee’).

Connecting with Your Ancestors (without Knowing It)

Without realizing it, I’ve been experiencing koselig my entire life. It’s a Norwegian word that loosely translates to “cozy.” But unlike the English word “cozy”, koselig is richer, deeper, going beyond woolen socks and cable knit sweaters. It’s a feeling. An inner glow.

My Norwegian kinfolk cultivate koselig all year round, not only when the snow falls. You can feel it in the festivities of Syttende Mai (their version of Fourth of July), or the pizza place in the middle of town. It’s a state of mind and sensation independent of weather, place, or time.

My experience of koselig is a gentle reminder of my roots, of where I come from. Genetics hold so much more than the code for eye color. These cellular memories are directions for living. Sometimes they nurture us, bringing a sense of wholeness that we need, not just to survive, but to thrive.

Remembering Where You Come From

What might you be experiencing that is a remnant of your ancestral past?

If your ancestors emigrated several generations ago to your current continent, if you were adopted, or if your family doesn’t talk about the past, that might be a difficult question to answer, but see if you can. The more connected you feel to your ancestors, the more meaning your life will hold.

Knowing where you come from helps you grows strong roots, roots that hold you steady when you’re feeling unstable. These roots tap into your family tree so they can share their secrets with you:

You come from a long lineage of people who overcame life threatening hardships to ultimately deliver you into the world. You are a gift from those who walked before you. Take comfort in the knowing that you are never alone. Your ancestors are with you, dreaming you into being, just as you have dreamed their lives into memories and stories that bring laughter and tears.

So where did you come from? What are you doing that is reminiscent of the past?

How are you connecting to your ancestors without knowing it? Food for thought.

Sweet dreaming,

Amy

Ozark Encyclopedia – M – Moon

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Silver connection to the Moon – “It is always a good idea to be touching a silver coin whenever you see the moon, and it may be for this reason that rings hammered from silver coins are so popular in some sections.” ~Randolph OMF 330

Medicine and the Moon – “Medicine works best when there is a full moon.” ~Parler FBA II 1376

Moon ritual for warts – “Go outside on a moonlight night and sit down on anything. Look at the moon and concentrate on it. Then after a few minutes, still looking at the moon, reach down and pick up whatever your hand touches. Rub it on your wart. The wart will go away.” ~Parler FBA III 3628

Moon madness – “If you look at the moon too long it will make you go crazy. This is called ‘moon madness.’” ~Parler FBA III 3944

“A person who sleeps…

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