Category Archives: Plant Synchronicity

Cosmos in Chaos: Understanding the Virgo Full Moon through the teachings of Carl Jung

Jung’s Red Book was kept secret until 2011. It is a book of drawings and writings in which Jung let his imagination run free.

In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order. Carl Jung

Tonight’s full moon in Virgo is a blending of the mysterious, mystical, illuminating moon and the sixth sign of the zodiac — the virgin, ruler of the house of health. When we look at the separate parts, it’s easier to understand what such a blending of energies means and appreciate its meaning and teachings. One of the most enriching parts of learning astrology is honoring and learning from each full and new moon, with respect to the zodiac sign in which it takes place.

As I reflect on tonight’s full moon position in Virgo, I cannot help but think of one of the most interesting, intriguing, and revolutionary spirits of our times and his life work: the psychiatrist and mystic, Carl Gustav Jung. Jung’s teachings and thoughts were a true blending of mystical and scientific/analytic approaches, like the Lunar and Virgoan energies manifesting tonight. The moon is a symbol of the psyche, the subconscious, the inner workings, the spiritual, mystical, mysterious, rhythmic, instinctive, intuitive aspects of ourselves and our world. Virgo is not a planet, but a sign of the zodiac, whose energies are associated with service, analysis, logic, practicality, details, and some sort of order (though it may manifest quite chaotically!) As an earth sign, Virgo is also physically oriented, and likes bringing things down to earth. Virgo rules the 6th house, the house of health.* If there were a figure whose works and gifts to the world embodied tonight’s full moon energy, I feel it would be Jung.

While he was a bonafide psychiatrist amongst the ranks of Sigmund Freud, Jung was also heavily spiritually oriented and delved into such “occult” arts such as astrology, divination, the I ching, palmistry, and alchemy, for starters. I often like to visit the Carl Jung library in New York, where the extent of Jung’s eclecticism is displayed amongst shelves of rare books. The colorful spectrum of his studies and interests awes me. I honor the courage and the wisdom he had in bridging two sectors (mystical/spiritual/intuitive vs. scientific/analytic/concrete) that many people would rather keep very separate, particularly during his lifetime.

The beauty in Jung’s work that has always spoken to me is how he blurred the lines between science and art. Between spirit and body. Between heaven and earth. He urged all people to find and connect to a collective spirit (he called the collective unconscious), but also to be completely individual and “in” their self. His theory of synchronicity, in which the tiniest details of life such as a beetle flying into a window at a specific moment, could carry the deepest and most immense meaning for someone. Messages from the Universe in tiny, almost unnoticeable packages. Jung’s many theories about time, dreams, personality, collective unconscious, and his integration of ancient, forgotten wisdoms and esoteric teachings from virtually every religion and spiritual practice of mankind infuses his psychological repertoire with a magical, fantastic aura that defies any conventional boundaries between the arts and the sciences. When I first discovered Jung’s works, I couldn’t help but think, “wait, this man is really a psychologist?” I always find answers AND form endless new questions when I read Jung’s writings.

“We should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect; we apprehend it just as much by feeling. Therefore, the judgment of the intellect is, at best, only the half of truth, and must, if it be honest, also come to an understanding of its inadequacy.”
— C.G. Jung

“Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraries.”
— C.G. Jung

Jung was in fact a Leo with his moon in Taurus and his rising in Aquarius (though some argue Capricorn, his exact birth time is not agreed upon.) However, his work was definitely akin to tonight’s full moon in Virgo energy. So, tonight, I honor the contributions of Jung to the fields of psychiatry and to the fields of astrology, dream interpretation, and most likely the millions of other arts and sciences where his ability to integrate what seems to be “opposites”, but really is all part of one greater whole, made a difference. I encourage you to explore his works, but also your own inner workings. I honor the part inside of each of us that is eternally connected to the greater whole, to each other, to the stars and planets, yet very much on this earth, in this body, with these challenges and these gifts, and these very seconds, moments, hours, days… to live and to learn.

Some ideas for full moon rituals:

Wormood (Artemisia absinthium)  is one of my favorite herbs, my grandma used to give it to me whenever my stomach bothered me. It’s an herb of Virgo. image via

Write out a *detailed* health overview for yourself including your current wellness level, what your daily patterns or health choices this past month were, including food, exercise, spiritual/emotional wellness choices, and any other important influencing factors. Be as objective as possible, so that you can analyze these choices to find patterns and areas that can be more balanced in the future.

Infuse tinctures or oils that are brewing with the strong lunar energy, especially made powerful through Virgo tonight, the ruler of the sixth house of health. I am putting out my tincture jars with feathers, stones, shells, under the moonlight to soak up that healing energy!

If you experience any dis-ease in the intestines or stomach area, this is a good time for healing that part of you. Try a tea with virgo herbs such as fennel or wormwood for the stomach, or meditate with the focus on the solar plexus chakra.

Without thinking too much or filtering your thoughts, make a list of all the small things you enjoy and appreciate in life at this very moment. the more detailed and “minor” the better. I once wrote a long list of the simple details about a place I lived in before I moved away, including such minor details as the way the curtains blew so slowly and gently with the breeze at a certain time of evening on certain days of summer. Whenever I reread this list, it reminds me of being back in that place and it’s wonderful. Capture the scents, the colors, the textures, sounds, the shadows, the movements, as if it were a painting. This is a very special activity and a way to time travel.

May this full moon be a time of fruition, a time of connection, a time in which the details of your life are illuminated and bring you a sense of wholeness, of oneness with all.

love, gem

*This is another connection I note between Jung and tonight’s moon, as he contributed much to the field of mental health.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Full Moon Vision: Reconnecting to the Land through Native Plant Gardening in Long Island, NY

i was visited by a great horned owl physically and also in a dream last night. photo by Larry Linton via fine art america

Last night under the Full Long Nights Moon in Cancer, a vision for a native plant revival here on Long Island came to me. (While this article is geared towards Long Island native plant gardening, it can readily be applied to any given area.) There was what sounded like an owl hooting in a tree not far from my bedroom window, a very unusual sound for these parts, which compelled me to research the presence of owls on Long Island. This initial search opened up doorways to reading about the native wildlife here. I finally deduced that it was indeed a great horned owl I was hearing through this youtube video, and finding that great horned owls do in fact inhabit NY. (That led me to much research about owl medicine/teachings of course, which amazingly has a lot to do with the moon, feminine energy, and the harbinger of new cycles!, but that’s for another post…) This was synchronistic because for quite some time I have been curious about which herbs are native to my homeland, Nassau County, LI and only hours prior to hearing the owl hoot, I finally started some meaningful research cross-referencing native LI plants with at-risk native plants listed by United Plant Savers. Had the owl not come, I wouldn’t have delved as far into the research and the vision…and so under the full moon, with the help from a great horned owl spirit, I put down on virtual paper this vision that I hope will somehow be the beginning of a return to the land and plants and animals of this beautiful land called Long Island……the crazy part is after writing this and going to sleep, the great horned owl came to me in a dream as well, crystal clear and so very beautiful!!!! Here is what I wrote shortly after the owl flew away (in real life):

Being born and raised in Nassau County, Long Island, I have become very curious about those plants that are native to where I call home. I believe that the plants that grow naturally in a given area are intrinsically linked to the people living there, sagely providing the needed nourishment, medicine, and gifts that the lifestyle and environment demands. We do not choose where we are born, but I believe one’s birthplace is the product of millions of years of human history and fate and not a mere coincidence. While many of us are relative newcomers to this land, I consider myself a Long Island native because I was born here and grew up calling this place home. If this is our home, then the native plants and wildlife are our long-time neighbors.

the lovely Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum) is a Long Island Naitive and is on United Plant Savers’ “to watch” list. image via Rebecca in the Woods

While our society has moved further and further away from living closely in partnership with our other native species, they continue to grow and make themselves available to us, though unfortunately we haven’t upheld our end of the partnership as faithfully. Many native plants are at risk or on the United Plant Savers’ to watch list. Others are more prolific but I feel our partnership has weakened and that distancing is detrimental to all life forms here on Long Island. I look to the ways of the native peoples of Long Island who have inhabited this land from as much as 12,000 years ago to learn how to live hand in hand with our plant and animal neighbors rather than separately from them. Of course, these ideas can be applied to any person in any place! My goals in researching and compiling a list of native herbs of Long Island are:

1. to raise awareness of and spark interest in the plethora of medicinal herbs whose home is the same as our own and thereby deepen the sense of connection of the people to the land

2. to encourage Long Island natives to actively cultivate and honor these native plants in order to conserve the rich and dynamic plant life of Long Island for the benefit of all living creatures on Long Island (and the larger web of life)

3. to empower Long Islanders through the framework of promoting sustainable, local, and community-based production of native medicinal herbs for self-reliance and reducing dependence on imported/non-native/mass produced/inorganic medicines

I firmly believe that all we need we are given, if we only open our hearts and minds to these gifts. By studying, exploring, gardening, and partnering with native plants, we will re-establish the long-time connection between these plants and us, their present-day people. Like Adele Dawson, herbalist, taught, herbs and people are partners in life — both providing for each other, as part of a greater circle that has been long neglected but not lost.

Ways we can partner with the native medicinal plants of Long Island (or wherever you live!):

1. Start a small native herb garden in your yard or your community.

2. Visit natural parks and learn about the native plants in their natural habitat.

a book I found at my local library about the languages and lore of the native peoples of LI

3. Teach children* to value sustainability through the use of local resources, starting with learning about the plants that grow closest to home and what their gifts are to us. Introduce the concept of partnership with the environment and how we can help plants thrive as well. (*oh, and I happened to meet this very teacher Friday morning and her telling me about how she teaches students to garden inspired me to look into native gardening yesterday as well, how much more synchronistic can this get?!)

4. Adopt a native Long Island at-risk plant or a to-watch plant from the United Plant Savers lists.

5. Advocate and tell friends and family about the importance of conserving and partnering with native plants.

6. Establish a connection to the land — explore your roots here and foster a relationship with the land that you can be proud of and feel grateful for.

7. Research your town, find out about the customs and practices of the peoples who inhabited it before you and learn to live more in tune with the land and its seasons.

8. Support local agriculture. Join a CSA and eat organic, locally grown foods that are in season and give back to the earth rather than deplete it.

9. Join a local botanical society or visit a state garden such as NYBG.

10. Grow native plants that will not only help you and your family, but also other members of our community such as the bees, butterflies, birds, and animals.

Check back soon for a list of native Long Island herbs, trees, and shrubs that are on United Plant Savers’ at-risk or to watch lists, as well as a general list of native plants, herbs, animals, and flowers of Long Island and other resources for further research and action!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

the whole universe conspires to guide you on your path

The simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection, coined by Carl Jung.

me holding the borrowed rare book in the bright winter sunlight today

me holding the borrowed rare book in the bright winter sunlight today

I recently started working as a substitute teacher at a local school and one day I was at the computer looking at Susun Weed‘s website, reading about nettle infusions, when the secretary nearby said something about her sister who is an herbalist living in NY’s East Village. My ears perked up and I eagerly asked, “you have an herbalist sister?!” She saw how excited I was and told me about her sister who had studied upstate back in the 60’s with a well-known herbalist, whose name she just couldn’t recall. I had a hunch and guessed, “do you mean Susun Weed??” Her eyes lit up and she confirmed, “oh yes, her!” I was so blown away because I was literally on Susun’s site at that very moment, reading about nettle infusions. So the woman continued, “yes, my sister is an herbalist and she always teaches me about herbs. She’s even written a book about herbs. She told me to drink nettle infusion every day!” By this point I just couldn’t believe my ears. Of all the hundreds of articles on Susun’s website, I was just reading about nettles! We both became very aware of the synchronicity in this moment and felt the excitement grow. As our connection to the plants unraveled, we realized what a bond we share through them. The cherry on top was when I found out that the book her sister wrote was Herbal Rituals: Recipes for Everyday Living. This was no ordinary herb book, but rather a book that has been on my wish list for over 5 years now! It is out of print so I never got myself a copy, but here I am, sitting in my bed, sipping tea and reading the herbal book I dreamed of for so many years.

This is just one of many plant synchronicities that I’ve experienced on my journey, and I know so many of you have these things going on all the time as well. I’d love to hear about your experiences! Feel free to email me or even post on my Facebook wall, I’d love to get a discussion going where we can all share these magic happenings and reap inspiration and guidance from them! I have a strong feeling that many of us also go through common plant synchronicities as well, so it would be interesting to look at those trends as a community!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: