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by Ancestral Apothecary
By Krista Mitchell
Also, Known As:
- Oregon Grape
- Mountain Grape
Not many people are aware of the interesting fact that the state flower of Oregon blooms on this beautiful shrub. Known for its attractiveness and its rapid growth, the Oregon grape is used medicinally, as well as for ornamental landscaping in several homes across the country. The leaves of the Oregon grape resemble those of holly; they are dark green, spiny and shiny, in almost the same way as the holly leaves are dark green and shiny. The flowers of this shrub are small and yellowish green in color, and the berries of the Oregon grape are a shade of dark purple-blue, especially when they ripen. They grow in small clusters, and in this, they resemble clusters or bunches of grapes. The Oregon grape shrub can grow to almost 6 feet in height, but in general, it grows about 3 –…
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Also, Known As:
- Adder’s Mouth
- Indian Chickweed
- Tongue Grass
- White Bird’s-eye
The plant known as the chickweed is a very fragile appearing herb; as a plant, it is actually a very lusty annual plant characterized by the presence of matted to straight green stems growing in profusion over vast areas of land. The chickweed is an extraordinarily hardy herb, and the normal growing starts during the fall season, it is very capable of enduring harsh sleet and severe snowstorms during the winter months, and has been found to be growing even in the far northern areas of the continent, the plant is so hardy that it has been known to be resistant to the majority of weed killers used in agriculture. The production of seeds is usually over by the spring, even though the plant itself is known to begin blooming even when…
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Also, Known As:
- Common Parsley
- Curly Parsley
- Flat-leaved Parsley
Parsley (botanical name Petroselinum crispum) belongs to the family Apiaceae and is among the most well-known herbs that are extensively used for garnishing of over 2,000 years, but it is hardly ever consumed. In addition, the leaves, fruits and the root of this herb have also been employed in traditional medicine for several centuries. Botanists have described the leaves of this herb as pinnate decompound, which denotes that they are divided and have an appearance slightly akin to feathers. As it is able to easily identify parsley by any individual who has eaten this herb anytime in any restaurant, however, there are a number of essentials regarding parsley. For instance, parsley is a biennial herb that is cultivated extensively. This herb produces small yellow flowers in clusters. The fruits of this herb, which are generally known as seeds…
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Also, Known As:
- Goose Grass
Cleavers, botanical name Galium aparine, is a herb-like annual plant that is found growing in damp or verdant locales as well as besides the banks or rivers and along the fences in eastern United States, Canada as well as the Pacific coast. Belonging to the plant family Rubiaceae, cleavers has a thin taproot that gives rise to a frail, rectangular, prostrate or climbing thorny stem that grows up to a length of anything between two feet to six feet. This herbaceous annual plant produces coarse leaves whose shape varies from oblong to the head of a lance to nearly straight or linear. The leaves of cleavers appear in whorls of about six to eight encircling the stem. Cleavers bears diminutive flowers having white or greenish-white hues during the period between May and September. Cleavers gives off a potent smell similar to…
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It is late January. We had a very bout of cold weather these last few weeks, as I’m writing this, the weather broke and I’m out in the land for a longer stay since since the sub-zero temperatures hit. When I came to my new home and new land in the fall, there was so much to do, just moving in and getting ready for winter, stacking wood, unpacking, painting, fixing things, building a greenhouse, and settling in that I didn’t have the time I wanted to spend with the land. But winter is good for such quiet communion, and so, I’ve been seeing what there is to discover.
A snow spiral/labyrinth, one of many I walk during the winter months.
As I’ve mentioned previously on this blog, in purchasing this land, I knew that part of my work here would be in documenting the regrowth of this land…
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Hippocrates – ” Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
For the purpose of this article, herbs are loosely referred to as the category of edible plants which can also be used for Medicinal, Spiritual or Magical purposes.
It seems that on every part of the globe where humans have lived, there has developed a body of herbal knowledge, something which has led to a special relationship developing between herbs and people. The foundation for this relationship is the fact that apart from herbs being acknowledged for their nutritional value, there has been a longstanding recognition that they also possess a variety of curative properties, being amongst the most important tools used by Shamen, Medicine men, Witch doctors, and healers, in general, the world over. Indeed, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80 percent of the population of some Asian and African countries presently use herbal…
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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.”
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.