A Tea "For Every Goddess"

I was called to mix up a little "For Every Goddess" tea blend this week ~ for a friend and for myself. A perfect blend for this full moon, methinks. And, quite frankly, anytime.

This blend came to me around 1999, though in a much simpler form. It has evolved over the years to the blend pictured here that includes red raspberry leaf, hibiscus, red clover blossom, linden flower ‘n’ leaf, rose petals, lemon verbena, peppermint, ginger root, marshmallow leaf, goldenrod leaf, Bermuda grass, and much love.

I challenge tea goddesses everywhere to play with this blend, to take it, add to it, take away from it, and make it yours... for the full moons, the new moons, and all the moons between. 

Peace. 🕊

Botanical Medicine Sticks

I've been making botanical Medicine sticks this week. Every year I make several for me, but this year I'm inspired to roll, and roll, and roll. I use them for smoke/smudge sticks with varied purposes, but mostly to invite energies into whatever space I'm creating. I also use them as altar pieces, to tuck into drawers and storage bins to protect the contents from moths and other vermin, and as healing wands. Or just to tuck here 'n' there because they smell so delicious. They have lots of Medicine share. 

These sticks pictured here are created with Thuja occidentalis (white cedar), Artemisia ludoviciana (prairie or sacred sage, and more), and Artemisia vulgaris (cronewort or mugwort), with one half including Achillea millefolium (yarrow), and the other half with two Monarda species (bee balm), all from our own little acre.

Since the ol' Thuja, or white cedar, if you prefer, needs a trim, I'll be making more, with 17 set as gifts for a special clan of healers that gather twice a year in my corner of the world. 

I may be inspired to make more, as the process is peaceful Medicine, and sacred creation. I'll wait for guidance from the plants. And if I do, and if they include A. vulgaris, they'll be made with mugwort from my friend Sherrie’s sacred patch. 

Yeah. I may be inspired. ::nods:: 

Peace. 🕊

Drying the Monarda Species

Beautiful Monarda, beloved bee balm.

It has hung to dry, and now it’s time to strip the leaves and flowers from the stems. Then it finds its way to be wrapped in a large cotton cloth, and then into the freezer it goes for two days. Once it returns to the air we share, it'll be finished in the dehydrator, just to be sure there's no lingering moisture, and lovingly placed in paper bags for bulk storing.

This is the only plant with which I’ve ever had a challenge with vermin. So the extra step of freezing the dried plant matter for 48 hours or so ensures that any little critters or their eggs are killed - with a blessing - and that I end up with a quality, bug-free stash of bee balm to see me through winter.

It is extra effort of grand worthiness. Even if I don’t deserve it, this plant most certainly does. ::nods::

Peace. 🕊

Floral Medicine

Every day now there's something to be harvested. This morning I'll survey our little acre to see what will have my attention for harvest when I return from my creative time at the studio.

Already I know there will be more comfrey leaves to harvest for drying, and red clover blossoms. Yarrow buds, blossoms 'n' leaves will call to me, and most certainly more bee balm. The calendula is just starting to bloom, so more blossoms will be added to the infused oil jar. And Mr. Spouse Boy will likely harvest more Saint Joan's wort, though we're close to our fill for the year.

Plus I'll be looking for and harvesting other buds, blooms and blossoms, as floral Medicine has been calling to me this year. I have a collection of June blossoms, and am now working on collecting July floral Medicine. I'm not sure (though I have a guess or two) how this Medicine will evolve 'n' make manifest, but I'm confident that the call is worthy, and that the voices of the botanicals will sing their song to me ~ when the chorus is ready.

Of all the lessons that the plants have taught me, one key is that we can't rule or force them in any way. Not for their growth, bounty, beauty, their utility, Medicine, stories... their gifts, whispers, songs... their mystery...

I follow their lead, as they are more wise than I - or any two-legged - shall ever be.

Peace. 🕊

Every Day There is Something

Every day there is something in life to harvest. 
Every day there is something in life to plant. 
Every day there is something in life to receive. 
Every day there is something in life to give.

~ A lesson from the plant realm.

Peace. 🕊

The Drying Room

I adore the scent of this room when my botanical friends are making their journey to be with me throughout the year.

This is just one section of the first line hanging to dry.

The drying room is north facing, so it never gets direct sunlight, even when the shade is up, which is rare through the spring-to-summer-to-autumn months. 

Now I wait for the morning to dry up so that I may harvest and prepare more for the drying room. Soon it will be akin to a jungle, or so I conjure. :)

In the meantime, I count my blessings.

Peace. 🕊

Our Keepers

Wild flowers are powerful and vital Medicine. 

For us, sure, but more so for our keepers, the pollinators, and Nona Gaia herself. 

It's a damning shame that most of us mow them down before they're ever able to offer their full expression. 

Of what are we afraid?
Who's lead are we following?
Is scarcity our altar?

Askin' for a friend.

Peace. 🕊

Solidago in Winter

It's a cold, cold day in January. I have seed packets to organize into a calendar of action, and some to get started, but I thought I'd catch up on vinegar (and other) infusions that got pushed to the back of the priorities shelf. What you see here is the plant matter marc of our local Solidago sp. (goldenrod) left from an infusion made on a sunny August day. Beautiful, isn't it?
Before you ask how to make such a thing, let me say that my spouse made this batch by filling a quart canning jar with flowering tops, filling to cover with organic, living apple cider vinegar, screwing on a lid and labeling the jar. Then it was placed on shelf, out of direct sunlight, where it's been given a gentle, loving shake every so often. At the risk of sounding incorrect, I'm inspired to say that it's so easy a spouse can do it. Because it is. Another reason this - herbalism - is The People's Medicine: It belongs to all of us. All. In any event...
Normally I'd strain this infusion after 6-8 weeks, but this had been macerating some 5 months, and it's a lovely yellow, with gorgeous, golden pollen that settles to the bottom of the jar, and while I've made this before, I don't remember it being quite so bitter as this batch. Whoa. The sip I took woke up parts of me that have been resting since... well... summer!

One of the things I love about this infused vinegar is enJOYing it in deep winter as the daylight is lengthening in the coeur of cold winter; that time of year that, in southern New England, we know spring is on the way, yet winter's roots are still sunk deep. To me, this mirrors the Medicine that was harvested in summer, as daylight was waning in the heart of hot summer. Know what I mean? No wonder it warms and wakes my late-January cockles, right?

I'll likely add this to water to drink as a delicious bitter beverage through these winter days leading toward spring. I may combine it with the Rumex crispus radix (yellow/curly dock root) infused vinegar, which I blend with other botanicals into a personal mineral 'n' vitamin supplement.

Whatever I do with it, I will honor and offer gratitude for the generous and reciprocal Medicine of Nature.