Tag Archives: nature

Cosmic Ritual: Full Moon in Gemini + Lunar Eclipse Tonight

my gemini full moon ritual with sage smudge, a gemini herbal amulet, my journal, and a gemini herbal tincture

As the moon passes through the constellation of Gemini with the sun in Sagittarius, and a partial lunar eclipse, a unique cosmic doorway is opened to us for healing, reflecting, and bringing big cosmic energy into our lives, be it with herbal medicine, gem/stone healing, meditation, or any other pathway you choose. On Wednesday November 28 at 9:46AM Eastern Time there will be a full moon and lunar eclipse. this full moon is called the beaver or frost moon.

Being a Gemini myself, perhaps my affinity with this full moon is strongest of the year. Each full moon is full of powerful energy that effects us on a deep, emotional, and powerful level, as the moon rules emotions, moods, and security. The full moon illuminates certain patterns and tendencies and helps us improve and reevaluate our current ways of living. I think of the full moons as times of intense reflection and also gratitude-giving. Rather than a time for beginning new projects like the New Moon, the full moon is more of a time of fruition and culmination. Some say it is an ideal time for ritual, magic, and imbuing creations with the big energy that is present during the full moon. But you don’t have to be a green witch to do a full moon ritual…

Speech, Communication, Connection.
In the gemini full moon, we are given a chance to reflect and work on communication and social interactions. Ruled by mercury, gemini is strongly associated with the power of speech. The infamous magical incantation “abra cadabra” actually originates in Biblical Hebrew, from the words “abareh,” meaning “I create” and “k’dibre” meaning “as I speak.” Whenever we speak, we are creating realities that have real effects on the world. This full moon is a good time to refine speech and communication and use it for positive creation. Writing in a journal and/or sharing feelings, dreams, and other inner emotions can be healing and help release negative energies during this time. Journaling is a powerful healing tool that can help bring subconscious needs, desires, or feelings to the surface. What makes this moon more special is the lunar eclipse, a time of great connection and oneness with the Earth, with our natures, and with other people. It seems a very good time to actively and wholeheartedly improve and appreciate connections and relationships, with earth, nature, ourselves, and others mainly through speech and communication.

image via our disenchanted souls

Rituals for relaxation and nervous system healing
In medical astrology, Gemini rules the nervous system, arms and hands, and the lungs. Deep breathing and aromatherapy, such as lavender oil are helpful to relax and center. The process of breathing itself is a metaphor for healing, taking in what’s good and letting go of what is unnecessary or harmful. Other ways to clear negative energy are with Sage smudging, ringing bells, and drinking warm herbal teas with lavender, skullcap, vervain, or any relaxing herbs you enjoy. Herbs that are associated with the sign of gemini include: mullein, peppermint, vervain, skullcap, lavender, oats, and parsley. You can make an herbal amulet or talisman with these or other herbs that carry the energy of gemini or its ruling planet, mercury. Another way to work with herbal energetics is by burning herbs for the purposes of cleansing or releasing energies.

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Anaïs Nin
Gemini is an air sign that is known for change, adaptability, and adventurousness. Now’s the time to tap into this energy and make space for the new. Ridding your mind/heart/life of judgement, negative thoughts, harmful patterns, hurtful people, worries, doubts, anger, grudges, and fears/insecurities is the first step and we are blessed with a wide open door for those changes tonight. It might seem overwhelming or even scary, but that apprehension is a sign of change and growth. After that, a sense of clarity is sure to come. You can then welcome new, positive people, thoughts, and ways of living in with joy and excitement, in true gemini fashion.

For more herbal astrology and full moon teachings, check out my upcoming newsletter The Starry Eyed Herbalist. The First Issue will be printed and mailed in December 2012. Visit me on Facebook. Sign up for my free newsletter. xoxo Gem

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The 5 Most Romantic Herbs of All Time

via our disenchanted souls

Herbs and flowers are close to our hearts. They carry a collective folklore from the earliest days. Naturally, many herbs have been traditionally connected to love and romance. Some were used as love charms or written about in the greatest poetry. Some resemble lover’s knots and inspired romantic rituals that last till today. Here are some of my favorite romantic herbs+their uses:

1. Honeysuckle. What could be more romantic than an herb whose sweet scent comes out under moonlight? Honeysuckle is a climbing vine and when planted it forms knots and bows around walls and fences. Even the flowers resemble two lovers intertwined. Some benefits of honeysuckle beside its sweet scent include its powerful antibacterial, antihistamine effects as well as its use in cleansing, cooling, and calming coughs and digestive troubles. Drink a tea of honeysuckle blooms for dreams of love+passion.

2.  Rose. The queen of the flowers. No other flower has been written about in love songs+poetry so much as this. It would take ages to list all the references to the rose in Greek myth, the Bible and other religious writings, Shakespeare’s sonnets, the treatises of the alchemists, and so many more. The red rose is considered the quintessential symbol of love throughout the world. It makes sense that rose petals are good for the HEART and lower cholesterol. They are also anti-inflammatory, mildly laxative, and have sedative powers.

3.  Basil. In Bocaccio’s Decameron, Lisabetta, whose brothers killed her lover, is shown where he is buried in a dream and she plants basil nearby, watering it daily with her tears. Young girls in Italy wore basil sprigs as a sign of availability and Folklore dictates that if a man accepts a basil plant from a woman they will fall in love. Basil is helpful in relieving stress and head colds as well as improving the appetite. In India certain varieties are considered holy and bring spiritual elevation.

dandelion in the sun via blue jay t at tumblr

4. Dandelion. The Rustic Oracle. I remember being a child and plucking up dandelion puffs, blowing the little spikes into the wind. There are various interpretations of this tradition, but all revolve around love. Some say if you blow all the petals away in one breath you will find true love. Others say however many petals remain are the number of children you will have. Whatever it is, it’s a romantic gesture that’s been around for ages. Dandelion is a preventative, tonic herb that is excellent for the liver, kidneys, and overall health of the body. You can drink dandelion coffee daily to reap the endless benefits of this romantic little herb.

5. Patchouli. A known aphrodisiac of the mint family, the Victorians of the 1860’s and the flower children of the 1960’s were all very into this amazing herb, and rightfully so. Rich, earthy, woody, and sweet, it not only masks other smells but it can help beat stress, depression, nausea, and lack of libido. It’s good for dandruff, eczema, acne, and fungal infections, as well as healing burns. The essential oil has been used for centuries as a sensual, “inspiring,” herb. It’s a natural insect repellant too, so it’ll keep the bugs away and the lovers close.

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Lessons from the Mushrooms: Be Optimistic, Resourceful, and Recycle

amanita muscaria, the archetypal mushroom

Take a moment to be awed when you spot a mushroom popping up through the ground. No mushroom is an island. What you are actually looking at is the reproductive structure of a complex, magical organism called Mycelium that is found underneath the grass that you and the mushroom stand on. You are facing the next generation of a superpower whose handiwork is intertwined with the fate of millions of life-forms. Mycelium (and their mushrooms) are there at every stage of an animal or plant’s lifecycle – from birth to death, and so on. Here are some inspiring habits of nature’s recycling squad:

~Mushrooms are the guardians of the forests. Their role in the decomposition and rebuilding of life forms, manifested in partnerships with creatures of all sizes and kinds (such as helping snails digest their dinners),  make them the overseers of the forest’s well-being. Some say they can even help prevent forest fires.

~Studies on mushrooms indicate promising medicinal benefits for us humans, including antibiotics, anticancer, antioxidant, and stress reducing properties. The Reishi/Ling Chi species is also antiviral, anti tumor, and promotes cardiovascular, immunity, and liver health, amongst other virtues.

~Certain species of mushrooms are so powerful that they can break down toxic wastes. Researchers implanted mushrooms on piles of soil contaminated by diesel and watched as the mushrooms were able to find nutrition in the chemicals, ultimately transforming the lifeless pile into healthy soil. That goes for toxic spills and radiation-ridden lands, too…so resourceful!!

~Some mushrooms can be natural alternatives to chemical pesticides that threaten the quality of our foods and the delicate balance of insect ecosystems. Rather than using harsh chemicals, farmers and individuals can use mushrooms to control pests and insects in a safer and less harmful way to us all.

~Mushrooms can be cultivated in the craziest places. We all know about those that grow on cow manure, but also straw, logs, tree stumps, hemp rope, hats, clothing, buckets, cardboard, your own backyard, and yes, nuclear waste sites. They are the ultimate optimists, taking the best from whatever situation they are in.

a fairy ring via The Telegraph

~They form “Fairy rings” – naturally occurring arcs or rings of mushrooms that appear on grasses and in fields. In European folklore, these are the gateways to fairy realms and the indicator that an elf or fairy has stopped by. These beautiful rings form when underground webs of mycelium grow in an outward direction. The mushrooms pop up along this circle, outlining the presence of the complex system working just below the surface.

~There are over 10,000 known species of mushrooms!! Each type is unique and many are amazingly bizarre in appearance. Some glow in the dark (mycena chlorophos), some are tiny (flammulina velutipes), some are as big as a tree, some grow underwater, and some are as hard as rocks. They are all beautiful.

for further information, visit Mushroom Appreciation, and read Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets.

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5 Ways to Love + Pamper Thyself

via Cute Kittenz

These days, it seems the fundamental act of truly caring for one’s self (spirit, mind, and body) has been somewhat lost and forgotten amidst the whirlwind of modern life. Our fast paced lives combined with the disintegration of time and space barriers that once meant less scattered living leaves little room for a most important part of well being: uninterrupted, unforgiving self-care rituals. For the sake of world peace, love and pamper yourself.

1. Devote an amount of time each day (or at least each week) to yourself. No phones, no interruptions, just you. Use this time to clear your head, think, dream, and just be. Play music, read a book, take a walk, or simply close your eyes. If you can, establish a ritual that carries as much importance as a meeting for work. I used to treat myself to a cappuccino every Friday morning at my favorite cafe in Prague. Even 5 minutes of solace a day can work wonders.

2.  Listen to your body. If you are craving a certain food or feeling like you need that cat nap midday, don’t immediately shut out the notion. Too often the body is trying to tell us what we need but we are too busy to listen. When to give in and when to resist? A rule of thumb is if you can readjust your priorities without shirking responsibilities, indulge.

3. Tap into the healing power of scent. Aromatherapy is a proven practice with powerful effects. One way is to take an herbal bath. Add 5-10 drops of pure essential oil of chamomile, lavender, and neroli into a warm bath. The heady aroma will transport you to another time and place. It’s amazing how simple and effective this age old pampering technique really is.

4. Respect and tune into your dreams. Sometimes dreams are more important than reality. They can reveal our fears, hopes, and the parts of us that need some love and care. Make a dream pillow with lavender, hops, chamomile, roses, and mugwort – the dreamer’s herb. Before sleep, ruffle the pillow and take in the scents of the herbs. Keeping a dream journal can prove invaluable over time and are often the door to our deepest, wisest selves.

5. Honor your spirit and body. Be grateful for the blessings you do have and make a conscious effort not to dwell upon perceived flaws or shortcomings. A good friend of mine who is a master of positive thinking and believing in herself once taught me a lovely little technique for evoking self-praise. She chooses a letter and thinks of words that inspire and empower her. For example, if the letter is “C” she thinks of creativity, compassion, and courage.

In all, pampering and loving yourself is a matter of listening to your own inner voice. Trusting yourself and your wisdom. Inside each of us there are unique needs and passions that when honored bring about sincere joy and well-being. Wishing you happy pampering.

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Cherokee Wisdom: Two Wolves

via Andeole

A wise old Cherokee chief sat with his grandson one starry evening.

“There is a fight going on inside me,” the grandfather said to the small boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

One wolf is cruel. He is fear, anger, envy, greed, self-pity, guilt, lies, false pride, self-doubt, and baseless hatred.

The other wolf is good. He is love, peace, acceptance, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, hope, gratitude, and self-respect.

The stars twinkled above and a gentle breeze rustled the leaves around them. The grandfather gazed at his wide-eyed disciple . “This very struggle is going on inside you – and inside every other person in the world, too.”

The grandson pondered this strange idea, and soon became worried about the fight of his two wolves. He then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old chief looked up at the rising moon, glistening in its sky of blue, and simply said,
“The one you feed.”

Adapted from Pearls of Wisdom 

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