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. 🕊