Sunday, December 26, 2010

We've got snow we've got snow we've got snow!!!

photo by Di Rose
Hooray! Snow! Finally I'll get to gaze upon the rosehips surrounded by a blanket of white.  We'll haul out the sled and head over to the tobogganing hill, get really exhausted and head home for hot cocoa.  I look forward to these days all year, and we hardly get much snow, so I do a lot, a lot of waiting.  When the city world turns white, we are blessed with a fresh spirit, one of surprise, delight and joy.  One of my family's favorite things to do when is gets cold, but particularly when it snows, is to make pinecone treats for our squirrely friends.  Take a pinecone and with a knife spread it thickly with softened natural peanut butter.  Then pour out about 1/4 cup of birdseed onto a piece of waxed paper.  Roll the whole thing in the birdseed and then wrap the waxed paper gently around it.  Place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to harden the peanut butter.  Then place them outside where the squirrels can find them.  Keep your eye on them if you want to watch the squirrels' rapture when they discover them!
Photo by Steppinontoes

Friday, December 17, 2010

The universe within

We each have a vast universe within us.  Our potential is infinite, mysterious, magical.  I believe many of us somehow lost our capacity to fathom this once we were born.  We think of ourselves as bodies, with organs inside (just like the diagrams in the science books).  If we are somewhat fortunate we can just grasp the notion that we are a spirit as well, which is bigger than our bodies, and a soul which runs deep, and out and together.  But.  There is also a space of the infinite inside of us, as well as outside.  Some night, when you can see the stars, go out and gaze deep into them, then see yourself expanding past those stars, traveling out, out and beyond.  Where does it end? It's tough to wrap the mind around, right?  But then, take that image, vision, and flip it, like an inside-out doll.  Now see a deep well within you opening up to the very same vastness of infinity.  This is our potential.

When I was a little girl, I remember following the moon as we drove home in the car at night.  I'd imagine myself, in a car, on a little Earth buoyant in the deep sea of space and try to imagine where that space stopped.  It would blow my mind.  This little exercise certainly made the ride home go faster!  It has only occurred to me as a grownup that this mind blowing vastness exists within, and it is in this space where all of our creativity, our power, our unique and precious connection with the Divine lives.

Recently my son asked me about the act of blessing.  We all have the power to bless.  We bless each other, our food, the Earth, our animal friends and our homes each time we dip into the Divine within our own infinite space within and send it out.  Imagine what we can accomplish in the world with this act!

I wish I could now write a formula for tapping into this.  I believe we all arrive there in our own unique and beautiful ways.   But for now I'll just leave you with those thoughts to gently rock in your arms.

Blessed Be

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Oh Hawthorne!

So sorry! I can't get this picture any larger!  Techie newbie here.

I have always had a deep attraction, and fascination with Hawthorne.  One of the first Herbalists I had the pleasure of meeting happened to also be a Witch and she wove such a magical picture of the healing powers of this tree in her workshop.  I suppose that's where it all began.  And with this began my search to discover  Hawthorne for myself.  I suppose it took me 15 years because well, I had so much growing to do before I was really ready.  In her workshop, she described the Heart powers of Hawthorn, and told us were to find a tree or two in the city park.  Oh, I went there the very next day on my lunch break, and I looked at the trees she'd described as "the witchiest looking trees there. You'll know it when you find them." Well, I found them, but it was if they put a veil up and around themselves because I did not "see" them.  I found their flowers, I pricked myself on their thorns, yet still could not know them as Hawthorn.  Perhaps I just didn't trust myself then.  During the following 15 years I drank Hawthorn leaf tea - added a thorn for healing my then broken heart, in later years brewed decoctions of the berries, made tinctures, waxed poetic about Hawthorns healing gifts for cardiac stresses and for opening the channels of love within, and dosed my husband and myself with the tinctures during those times of deep worrying life stresses.  However, it wasn't until two days ago, during some surprise and blissful time alone in our city park whilst my son was in his own all-day Tom Brown course in the same park, that I truly, and finally, got to meet Hawthorn.  I'd set it as my days mission to seek out the Hawthorn trees which I knew were there.  Before even gathering my being-indulgent-in-the-city coffee and pastry I went to where I knew there were Hawthorn Trees growing.  Oh the absolute bliss!  There they were, three in a row, their twisting bare branches curving in one direction where the winds had coaxed them over the past many years, or were they turning their branches in that direction to protect the earth energy behind them?  Ah, I sighed, I am too late to collect any berries, but Lo! on one eye-level branch were a cluster of three bright red berries! They dropped into my hand as I cupped my palm beneath them.  A gift!

After gathering my coffee and pastry, yum, I returned to the trees, sat beneath their branches curving up and over the tree top and over toward the ground, like huge protective hands.  I peered at the world through her branches and breathed.  And here I discovered the true gift of Hawthorn.   If one will open to this gift, she offers an inner strength, she protects from within, protects our sensitive selves, those who feel too much, sense too much, feel others energies. She gives us the points of her thorns with which to fend off energetic and emotional intrusions.  She fills us with elasticity and ease with which to feel our own feelings, and be calm with them.  Even when our feelings are so big that we might burst our cell walls for accommodating them, they can flow through us and the river walls won't cave in, erode or collapse.  This is her gift.

So, if you feel the urge, brew yourself a nice cup of Hawthorn leaf tea and feel her strength, suppleness and resilience flow into your veins. 


Sunday, November 14, 2010

And now for something Herbal...Miraculous Marshmallow Root

This morning I awoke with an ache in my throat. It's been ages since I'd had that sensation so I just went about business as usual...brewed the cuppa joe, began the waffles for Sunday breakfast....  By the time I'd sat down with my waffle drizzled with sunflower seed butter and maple, I felt a full-blown stab of steel right over my left tonsil.  Okay.  No ignoring this.

After pulling out my little decocting pot I realized I had no sore-throat repertoire, well at least not one for just a sore throat.  "Oh Goodie," I thought, "I get to practice!"  Into the pot went my little rootie friends, Echinacea root, Oregon Grape, Red Root, and oh yes, Marshmallow Root.  After decocting for a time I added in some Japanese Honeysuckle - which good fortune shined the light on just this morning as I happened to read in another lovely herbal blog is good for hot sore throats.

It was miraculous.  So soothing, the echinacea tingled and worked its magic and those anti-microbials red root and oregon grape did the rest.  My throat still hurts, so I guess more rest is in my future.  Ah  well, my newest bookie find "From the Hearth" by The Essential Herbal gals is in the mail.  Perhaps it will get here tomorrow!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

About the video below

Oh my goodness.  It all seems so simple.  My first thought is "Why has this not occurred to people before?"  On Beth Owl's Daughter's website she asks how we can support this technology.  I think we first begin by passing along this video to as many people as possible.  Let's put it on our blogs, e-mail it, tweet and facebook.  Let's use the internet and someone, someone will get things rolling a little faster.  I can see it! A big beautiful healing Earth!

Blessings on your Autumn Saturday~

Man invents machine to convert plastic into oil

Monday, October 11, 2010

Native Peoples Day

Today is the day much of America celebrates what they call "Columbus Day."

We, my family and I, celebrate in gratitude that we are here, on this beautiful land called America.  We celebrate and honor in gratitude the Indigenous Peoples who were here first, who kept this land pristine and beautiful, who honored and continue to honor the Spirits of the Land.  We stand in Sacred Silence in memory of the people who fell and gave their lives to defend it.  We celebrate the Spirit of Discovery that got my ancestors here but truly wish they had gone about it all in a different way.  That they had arrived with respect for the people who were already here and sought to learn from them how to live on this Land.

We can all take steps to learn now.  We can seek to feel the Spirits who live here.  We can seek their Blessings and Guidance.  We can learn from the spirits of the Plants and how to heal ourselves, each-other and the Land.  We can begin to recognize and appreciate that perhaps we don't know it all, that there are others who came before us who were wiser, and knew more than us, and perhaps if we are ready, they will gift us with their teaching.

Blessed Be~

10-10-10 A Fresh and pro-active Take

There has has been a lot of doom and gloom for these dates, as well as a lot of New Age channelings about the sudden shift of consciousness which was to occur.  But what if you would rather view this from somewhere in the middle?  What else can these dates hold for us?  I'd like to thank astrologer Lynn Hayes  for discovering the following article on the  Creative Numerology  website about "10-10-10".  

10 10 10 signifies a time in the journey when COMPETITION either fades out, or it consumes everything. The age of “1″ will fade at the same pace as our ability to learn about and embrace 2. The first thing 2 teaches us is that COOPERATION, not competition, is the only way forward from here.
The old system of the 1900s is falling apart. What are we going to create in its place? It cannot be more of the same. And yet, if we do not want to start from the very beginning again, from the rubble, we must be careful to preserve all that is good in our world. We did not come into this grand potential called life to be enslaved to a filthy, toxic, unfair, unbalanced, unfeeling industrial system which wants to control our every waking and sleeping moment. The industrial system has no sense of responsibility other than making profit and aspiring to the title of being #1. And because it cannot feel, it has no awareness of the fact that it is falling apart.
In fact, industry is deeply engaged in a war with itself. There are currency wars, product wars, the war to win hearts and minds, the wars that are fought in the name of religion and even human rights, but are actually being fought to secure valuable resources or strategic positions throughout the world. There is always a war on this, and a war on that. This is the stage that competition has reached. Unremitting war. The industrial age is destroying itself, which is the only way a system based on destruction can end.
We are all experiencing the uncomfortable sensation of being squeezed and manipulated by the alliance of industry, government, military, media and religion. The people who have risen to the top of the industrial system have a life all their own up there, controlling the everyday workings, controlling US! It doesn’t matter to them what we think or how we feel. All that matters, is the game they’re playing. Winning is everything, and we are simply the pawns in their obsession with competition. As we grow more aware of our own potential as individuals, and of the outright incompetence and lack of evolvement in those at the top, how can we continue to ignore the fact that these people are destroying our planet and with it, our potential?
Competition is at war with itself because war is competition’s NATURE. In competition, the goal is to defeat one’s opponent. Bring him or her DOWN! “Kill the competition!” It’s called winning. Competition at this level has resulted in a complete destabilizing of our world. But competition is just a camouflage for what really drives the industrial system – and always has. GREED; a fear of loss so great that it becomes an unquenchable thirst – a constant craving for MORE! The greedy are taking everything because that is greed’s mission. To consume everything; own everything; control everything – unaware that this imbalance destroys everything in the end, including it.
Greed is the inability to feel satisfied. Greed is a horrible addiction and, unfortunately most of us are addicted to something. How can we not be when we were all born into this system that was built on greed? We may be addicted to food, alcohol, drugs, sex, TV, cars, gadgets, the internet, to name a few examples. Addiction is lack of Free Will, and Free Will is what we are evolving to, no matter how unlikely that may seem at the present time. Addiction is lack of self-love. It all comes down to love. Everything starts within the self.
It has been said that the richest among us are not those who have the most, but those who need the least. This is a sentiment well worth remembering as our individual journeys unfold.
We are not on earth to labor for others. We are here to learn about life in all its forms, including the physical. But what we have learned so far is limited by our having to focus on making money in order to survive – in a system that is designed to keep everyone in debt. There is nothing wrong with wealth at all. This world is abundance itself when in a state of balance. But there is plenty wrong with poverty.
With everything based on profit not quality, there is no room for creativity and innovation. Nothing new emerges. Consequently, we are up to our necks in cheaply made and often useless throw-away “stuff” that becomes a death sentence for the natural environment which then has to hold our mindlessly discarded junk. Safety standards and conscience have been scrapped in the name of profit. Much of what is being produced: goods, services and FOOD, is downright dangerous today.
If a new form of existence comes into being, (and individuals do have the power to change the status quo by changing our own habits and attitudes), the people who control the current system will NOT be in charge. They know this, and are doing everything they can to distract us from that reality. Greed is always dangerous, but when it reaches its own finish line and demonstrates its need to destroy everything rather than lose control, it is more dangerous than ever. And yet, as the awareness of humanity rises, they are losing control.  (Please click here for the full article.)

Blessings on Gaia.  May we all take heart, take heed, and take the steps to transform our thinking.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Happy Birthday John (continued)

October 9 is John Lennon's birthday.  A beautiful Libra.  You can read a terrific article here written by Ralfee Finn on her website.

John Cared. Happy Birthday John!

Freedom and Free-Will

People often ask why we homeschool.  This morning, as we were walking home (my son was riding his RipStik) from the eye doctor and subsequent errands, my son asked if he could go on ahead to the park and wait for me there.  "Sure. Yes. Good idea. I'll just get the meat for dinner and will catch up with you in a couple minutes."  But then, as I was back on the sidewalk I was gripped by a sudden nervousness that a cop would see him and begin to question him about why he "wasn't in school."  He's 11, and although he possesses the self-assuredness to look a grownup in the eye and converse with confidence, I wasn't certain how he'd do if confronted by a hulking police officer.

This got me musing on the terminology "Truant", "Truant Officer ". Why on earth do they need an Officer to enforce school attendance? Why is it important?  What if a child just wanted to be home on a particular day?  School really is like jail and they've confirmed it with their own semantics.  There is a reason children feel that oppressive heaviness of "being in school."  I believe this feeling would change dramatically if children were allowed to go in and out of school at least in the presence of their parent or guardian.  This is not the present case.  During a brief time when my son was in school, he'd (not surprisingly) gotten a fever sore throat and stomach ache.  I kept him home for two days but on the third day was faced with either a trip into the city to see the doctor for a note, or sending him back to school prematurely...or  disciplinary action.    Sheesh! Where does my free will as a reasoning, thinking adult come into play?

So, why do we homeschool?  For Freedom.  For Free Will.  For the opportunity for my son to learn to act responsibly from the deep place of honor, integrity and conscience within his Soul, rather than because this is what "they" say you must do.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A great day

This is a little post mostly to amuse myself.  Today was such a fantastically productive day.  I love days like this when there is an energy in the air that carries me through project after project.  Now in my herb pantry are Elderberry elixir, Elderberry syrup, got the Blazing Cider going, started the Cinnamon brandy, baked a batch of granola, made soup, and finished off with muffins.  Last on my list is to strain the yoghurt for breakfast.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Peace On the Earth and Happy Autumn Equinox

This is  painting by Heni Sandoval for International Day of Peace.  As we and Gaia begin our journey inward on this Autumn Equinox, we begin to look into the darkness.  Darkness was once a place where the Sacred was felt, sought and respected.  Now so many fear the dark.  Is this just a symptom of our contrived and superficial belief system? One that tells us to fear what we cannot see, that tells us there is nothing in the void?  As we connect to Spirit, we realize that in the darkness we can find our deepest selves and our Mother.  We were carried by our mothers in a womb of blackness...did we fear then?  I don't believe so.  It was when we emerged into the bright world that we first felt fear and need the embrace of our mother for security.  Peace can more easily be discovered in the darkness, without the distractions that are too available in the bright of day we can feel peace, sense it and even allow it to enter our hearts.  On this Equinox day I am spending sacred time in gratitude for all that has come in the bright days of Spring and Summer and welcoming the comfort and depth of the darkness that is coming.  I look forward to the cooler nights and early nightfall to reconnecting with my deeper self and with my Divine Mother and discovering what mysteries of beauty are at present being nourished.

Blessings and Peace in your Autumn quarter.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A view of Afghanistan

I stumbled upon the work of the artist and photographer Luke Powell one day.  I was so taken with the beauty of this country which is so usually depicted through the prism of conflict and violence.  I hope you find this as much a treat as I have.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dreaming a different future

We all dream.  When are we dreaming though? Is this the dream, or are we dreaming at night while we sleep?  Someone suggested to me a few weeks back the idea of changing our waking dream.  I really liked that idea.  Remember how when we were children, and we had a bad dream, our mothers guided us to "change the ending."  Right now we are in big trouble on Earth.  We can all pretty easily creatively imagine many different horrible futures...but what if we tried to imagine a different future?  What would happen if we all imagined a different way of civilization?  Here is mine.....

There is no getting away from the fact that there are many of us.  We all flock to and gather in groups called cities.  And, let's admit it...cities are fun!  There is loads of excitement, creativity, energy, and youth in cities!   Right now however, food from the East Coast is trucked to the West Coast, and vice versa, and this doesn't even include what is brought here from other countries.  Farmers are getting paid way beneath the survival rate and they are slowly disappearing.  What would we do then?  We use tons of fossil fuels trucking things from one side of the world to another.   Imagine that we re-organize a bit, and all around our cities (and suburbs) there is a ring of farms.  Imagine an old wagon wheel.  The farms are the wheel itself, and the cities in the hub.  It would be so much easier to eat locally, and we'd support the survival of the farmers!  We could arrange our economy similar to CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture) and all contribute once a year to a fund which would go toward a basic amount of produce.  Then we would purchase individually all the extra things we need, according to our tastes; meats, honey, grains, extra produce,wool, jams, candles...the list goes on.  True, the big supermarket chains would have to go...but would that really be such a bad thing?  Is it really a life-affirming experience to go to super Stop and Shop?  People supporting Farmers, Farmers growing for people.

What would your dream be? What steps can we take to make our dreams happen?  Will you join me in re-dreaming Gaia's future?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Giving ourselves Four Years

I came across this campaign this morning while looking at the blog of the author of the book "The Soul of Money", Lynne Twist.  I will add her blog site in a bit once I figure out how to do it!!

this seemed like a really good place to start.  When we look at all that has been happening on our beautiful Earth over the last centuries, and especially over the last decade it can feel overwhelming to imagine changing the course industrialized humanity has set.  But you know what?  If we give ourselves four years, dedicate this small amount of time to really working hard to change our "way" of living, I believe we can do it.  If you go to their website, you can write what you will do, and also see what others are doing.  simple things like walking or riding a bike when you can instead of driving your car, Praying for the healing of Gaia, reducing the chemicals you use around your home.  Each of these actions can and will make a difference.  I will write in more detail about some of these things, but for now looking at this video is a great place to start.

FOUR YEARS. GO. - A Campaign To Change The Course of History