Is It A Really Good Idea To Make Friends With Death?

By Amy Brucker

Years ago, when I was studying shamanism, I did a shamanic journey to meet my inner healer. I didn’t have specific expectations of what I’d find. I thought it would be a wise old woman or a white bearded man. But that’s not what showed up. Instead, I met Death.

Death came to me, cloaked in a ubiquitous black robe, shadows where the face should have been. I looked at him and panicked.

Did this mean I was dying?

Did this mean I was sick?

What did this mean?!

When the journey was over, I met with my teacher and told her I failed the exercise. I saw Death, not my Inner Healer. She looked at me and said, “There are two aspects of the Inner Healer, Death is one of them.”

Huh?

Death as an Ally

If you don’t make friends with Death, you can’t heal. Instead, you end up carrying your disappointments and disruptions around like heavy baggage, and all it does is weigh you down.

The relationship you thought was going to be “the one” but turned out to be “the biggest betrayal of your life”…

The fast money you made that turned into dust just as quickly…

The diagnoses that hijacked your health and wellness…

Each one is an opportunity to face Death with purpose so you can lay your burdens to rest. It’s an opportunity to let go of that which isn’t working in your life so you can move forward and embrace something that is nurturing and more in alignment with your soul and purpose.

The problem is, Death is scary. It’s shadowed, dark, and fraught with mystery.

When you stand before death, you don’t know what to expect. All you see is a dark void. You don’t know what’s on the other side of death. You don’t know what the path forward looks like.

Because of this, it’s easy to say, “no thank you” to death, but when you do that, you end up carrying each disappointment and disruption around like weights balanced one on top of the other, creating a big, heavy burden.

Ultimately, they hold you back. You can’t experience your full potential, you can’t live life or move forward until you’ve transformed them.

Recognize Death in Your Life

If you’re pining for the “good ol’ days” chances are somewhere along the way, something happened and you never let go. Something in your life died–a relationship, your health, your finances–but when you saw Death, when you saw your opportunity to heal, you felt fear and turned your back on it. Now you’re just carrying around dead weight. The more you do that, the more difficult it becomes to let go. The more you don’t let go, the heavier you will feel.

It’s a vicious cycle.

The good news is that you can end it.

Release the Dead Stuff

Letting go can be as easy as a tree dropping leaves in autumn. All you have to do is let go. The hard part is holding on. But if you’ve been holding on tightly for decades, it can feel difficult to shrug it off.

If your hand has been gripping a hammer for an hour, unclenching the muscles feels awkward at first. There’s stiffness, maybe pain. It takes awhile to readjust to the feeling of having an open hand. Flexibility comes slowly, but the more you work the muscle, opening and closing your fingers, the easier it gets.

The same is true for soul healing. I once did a soul retrieval for a client who’d been carrying around dead weight from a work disaster. Her job had ended more than a decade ago, and she’d dealt with it to the best of her ability, but she was carrying around guilt and shame that had woven its way into her life, impacting every decision.

After the soul retrieval, her life seemed to fall apart. It felt like death after death after death. In reality, she was shedding the things she’d been holding on to that weren’t working. It was scary. Before the soul retrieval, she’d been feeling pretty good, but afterword, she felt awful.

I told her that sometimes healing is like that. It gets worse before it gets better. The best way through it is to be present with what’s happening and to know it’s temporary.

That’s the beauty of life. Nothing is permanent. Everything changes. Sometimes that’s disappointing, but other times impermanence can become a lifeline that lets you sink into your difficult experience and trust that it will get you to more inspiring times.

The more you allow that to happen, the faster the healing happens.

My client trusted my council enough to let herself surrender to her experience. She came out the other end, shining and bright, full of renewed hope and new ideas, ready to catapult herself forward into her purpose.

Holding on to the past keeps you stuck there. Trust yourself. You know how to move forward, and painful as it may be, it’s worth the letting go.

Where is Death lingering in your life, ready to help you release that which you no longer need?

That is an important question to answer.

sweet dreaming,

Amy

Medicinal Herb: Desert Lavender

Good Witches Homestead

Hyptis emoryi

FLOWERS

Violet up to 1 inch wide and in clusters.

DESCRIPTION

Medium to tall, cold tender, perennial shrub, found in the southwestern United States of Arizona, Nevada, California, and northwestern Mexico in Sonora and Baja California.

HABITAT

Dry washes, and on rocky slopes, up to 3000 feet in elevation. It is evergreen or cold deciduous, depending upon its location.

REGION DESERTS

The Southwestern United States of Arizona, Nevada, California, and northwestern Mexico in Sonora and Baja California.

desert lavender

Energetics: Cooling, calming, stimulating

Actions: Bitter, astringent, aromatic, diaphoretic, antimicrobial, styptic

Wound healing. Hyptis makes a top-notch wound wash (strong decoction) or applied to bleeding wounds in infused oil or salve form. I’ve used it for various wounds over the years (often combined with white sage), and it is effective not only in stopping the bleeding but because it is also strongly antimicrobial, it helps prevent infection. It’s proven useful as…

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As We Approach the Winter Solstice

Good Witches Homestead

If you are like me, December can be overwhelming…. As we approach the Winter Solstice, the gift of sunlight is hard to come by, causing light deprivation, circadian disturbances, and shifts in melatonin regulation.  The subsequent effects on mood, behavior and health can be difficult to deal with, especially since the reins of life’s expectations don’t loosen to accommodate these seasonal shifts.  Instead, the holidays bring their own unique stresses and can add to a sense of depletion and anxiety.

In my case, it’s the same each year.  The effects of light deprivation sneak up on me, much in the way that seasonal allergies seem to. I start feeling sluggish and apathetic.  My eyes take on a dull ache and my skin and hair feel like straw.  My sleep is less rejuvenating and I feel starved for more of it.  When the morning alarm rings, it takes me by surprise…

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How to Open, Clear, and Balance the Chakras with Crystals

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Good Witches Homestead

If you want to be healthy, happy, and spiritually connected, it all starts with your chakras and bio-energetic system. Your chakras are power points or gateways into the human energy system. They receive energy from the environment, which is circulated through the entire energy system via the meridians. The seven major chakras are located in a centerline at the core of your body. Each one has physical, emotional, and mental correspondences, and they each resonate with a specific color frequency.

If you are experiencing an imbalance or challenge in some area of your life, it might indicate that one or more of your chakras could use a tune-up. Chakras can become blocked due to unprocessed emotional energy, unhealthy mental patterns, toxins, negative energy, stress, past life and genetic line patterns, and other causes. An energy blockage in a chakra creates a deficiency in energy, which can eventually lead to dis-ease…

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Super Seven Healing Quartz Stone

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Good Witches Homestead

“Super seven” stone, also referred to as “Sacred seven” or “Melody stone”, is a quartz stone that contains seven materials; goethite, cacoxenite, rutile, lepidocrocite, amethyst, clear quartz and smoky quartz. Super seven stone is not much to look at; in fact, it looks like a dirty quartz gem with some purple amethyst zoning. However, those who believe in the power of crystal healing claim that the combination of the seven materials is extremely beneficial. Let’s learn a little more about the parts that make up this special stone.

Goethite is a brown-black or yellow-brown mineral that occurs mainly as fibrous crystals. It is made up of oxyhydroxide iron. Though it can be made into gemstones, it is rarely seen. Goethite is said by crystal healers to be a stone of communication, both physical and spiritual. Cacoxenite is a yellow, orange, green or brownish hydrous iron phosphate mineral that grows in fibrous bundles. Therefore, it is not suitable as a gemstone material…

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Amy Brucker ~ My Cat Angus Died This Week ~

By Amy Brucker

My cat Angus died this past Thursday. He was 18 years old and a little shaman who would curl up next to my clients and do his part to help them in their healing process.

He lived a long, good life, but it was time for him to say goodbye, and October was the perfect time for him to leave.

October is a Time for Releasing

Of releasing golden leaves that fall like confetti to the ground.

Of releasing grief so it can flow through us (instead of turning into depression).

Of releasing whatever is getting in the way of you living a good life.

Releasing Angus was a process for me. His small body started to decline a couple years ago, so I was able to prepare for the inevitable.

Every day I gave thanks for his grace in my life, for his presence. I reveled in his softness, knowing that someday it would be a memory. I took mental pictures, memorizing the subtle angles of his nose and chin, noticing how he sometimes looked like Homer Simpson, but other times like a wise Buddha, and laughing at the juxtaposition.

Releasing can be a big dramatic ritual with heart-wrenching cries, or a simple whisper of goodbye.

But however you express it, the most important thing is to be present. Presences gives your heart a chance to really feel your feelings, to give the mix of sadness and joy a place to co-exist so they can weave together a healing balm for your soul.

I said goodbye to Angus this morning, full of tears and a heavy heart. I created an altar with his photo, his favorite toy, some treats, and a candle. I’m grateful for how he shared his life with me.

What about you?

What do you need to be present with today?

What do you need to release? How does your heart feel in releasing it?

How can you make room for the joy and the sorrow so you can create your own soul medicine?

sweet dreams to you,

Amy

Crystal Towers

By Sonia Acone

Crystal towers are usually 6-sided crystals that converge to a point on one end and are flat on the other end. They can often be confused with obelisks, which are 4-sided. Towers are designed to stand up with the point facing up. Energy is directed upward towards the point and outward. Crystal towers are also wonderful Generator crystals and can be used in grid layouts as the central stone.

You can also use a tower to amplify your intentions when using a grid, by touching the point of the tower to each of the crystals in your crystal grid, even if the central stone is not a tower. This will magnify the energy spreading throughout your crystal grid.

Towers can also be used just as you would a wand, as they generate power at the tip. Write down a wish or intention. Touch the tip of the tower to the written words as you say them out loud, raise the tip up towards the sky and back down to the written words.

Use your crystal tower during meditation, distance healing or even on yourself to increase enthusiasm, relieve pain and to connect to other like-minded people.

Herbs To Have In Your Medicine Cabinet This Fall

Good Witches Homestead

It’s the time of year, where more often than not we are turning to our medicine cupboard to support our bodies and our families. An abundance of tea herbs, honey, and lemon, fresh herbs like ginger, turmeric, cayenne, and garlic are all great to have on hand throughout the winter. A few herbal tinctures also play useful roles and are key ingredients in the medicine cabinet.

elderflowerElderberry | Elderberry is an excellent superfood-like ally safe to take in large quantities. With elderberry and plenty of rest, our body’s natural response kicks in–that’s why elderberry syrups and tea have long been used to help support optimal immune function. All these amazing herbs come in handy when our resources are low: elderberry helps our body maintain its normal immune response. Because it’s so much like food, it’s incredibly safe for kids, and happens to taste divine when combined with honey–hence the elderberry syrup! This one…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – H – Horsemint

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Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Horsemint – Monarda bradburiana (often several of the Monarda genus)

Parts used: leaf, flower

Traditional uses: Infusion used for colds, chills, as a febrifuge, and for bowel complaints. Can be used externally in oils and salves for dermatological needs. Used in many of the same ways as Monarda fistulosa.

For stomach cramps and bellyache – “Red-pepper tea, catnip tea, horsemint (Monarda) tea all of these are mightily cried up as remedies for stomach cramps or bellyache.” ~Randolph OMF 95-96

Tea used for worms – “Horsemint tea is supposed to be a sure cure for rectal worms in children.” ~Randolph OMF 106-107

For diarrhea – “Horse mint (Monarda) is good for diarea.” ~Parler FBA II 2067

For kidney health – “Horse Mint (Monarda) leaves to make a tea out of helps the kidneys.” ~Parler FBA III 2596


Moerman, Daniel E. Native American Ethnobotany (NAE)

Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – H – Horehound

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Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Horehound – Marrubium vulgare

Parts used: leaf, flower

Traditional uses: Infusion of whole plant used for flushing the kidneys. Taken for colds. Mixed with sugar to make cough syrup. Decoction of leaves used for coughs.

“White Horehound has long been noted for its efficacy in lung troubles and coughs…Preparations of Horehound are still largely used as expectorants and tonics. It may, indeed, be considered one of the most popular pectoral remedies, being given with benefit for chronic cough, asthma, and some cases of consumption…Taken in large doses, it acts as a gentle purgative. The powdered leaves have also been employed as a vermifuge and the green leaves, bruised and boiled in lard, are made into an ointment which is good for wounds.” ~Grieve MH 

Bitter tea used for colds – “Horehound is one of the best cold remedies. Just take a panful of horehound leaves, add water, and keep…

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