Friday, March 5, 2010

Trusting that which is given

This was such a freeing day , sage picking

This can be the biggest and hardest habit to put into place can it not ! It is an early spring here which means in Manitoba melty & gross . Well that is for in the city , of course out in the country dirt is dirt lol here it is gravel mixed with pollution and salt . Pot hole season is big here because of erosion from weather & salt added all winter long .
So not to dwell on that but because I've got all my seeds planted and garden ideas all set I thought I'd focus on the Trusting that which is given . This in regards to my herbal knowledge , lack there of etc. and just the best way to live our lives for us as a family. Took me awhile to get here and have the time to write but does it ever seem the appropriate moment . Why ? Well I am being asked to be as calm and patient as can be Trust ! Why ? because this week we may actually become the homeowners of an restored 1930's farmhouse ! Yes a farm ! It appears to be perfect for us . It is in an area of our province that is not highly priced as of yet . The property has house , double garage , heated workshop , barn , a bio tech tent thing , pond , chicken coop , and get this a summer kitchen ! All this and it borders crown land and provincial forest ! So dh may have his farming ventures , a workshop for trucks etc. and most of all I thought he can set up his drum kit & a band room for him & the kids ! Of course I'm looking at the cute little cottage of a summer kitchen and thinking of it being a writers cabin although I think granny cottage is appropriate for me . Flower boxes and such , a bed for summer nights ;-) The kids can do snowshoeing , cross country skiing etc.
Ok so that is my imagination , my dreamy romantic side lol reality is This farm is not ours as of yet . I need to trust if it is meant to be , yes we need to take the steps but if it is meant to be , it will all fall into place . I have not felt this way since we , well purchased this home 17 yrs ago .It feels that intense .
So yes Trust , where does this fit into me , who I am & herbal knowledge . I think if we are naturally trusting of intuition ( intuition is not a feeling but rather spirit led ) , the natural world comes very easy for us to fit into . Accepting things as they are in their real state . Not trying to reproduce , like trying to make a carrot when you already have the real thing , the new made up carrot may look like a carrot , may taste like a carrot ,smell like a carrot but in the end it is never truly a carrot .
lol now that was deep , and maybe didn't even make sense ;-)
I am a person who trusts the natural world far more then the world of man , the world Creator created not the world man made up . Of course man has been inspired and we are most definitely led by God but we tend to add much into the mix that is pure distraction . That is and always has been just who I am . I trust a black bear far more then I would a human being .
People put all kinds of things in there way , to hide who they are and distract themselves from becoming themselves. Most of the time this is a result of wanting to fit in . Belonging for who we are is very different then belonging to please others , be cool , out of competition etc. Ultimately we cannot move on or grow if we are unaware of where to place our true trust in ;-)
So this is me . For some reason I am very at home with plants , the forest etc. It makes sense from my upbringing as well . Some things come natural but others do not and somethings , well , nope I'm just not meant to partake in that ;-) . Get this we do not need to know it all or do it all . I cannot knit what so ever besides a scarf lol I do however love bead work and
hand sewing . I have a feeling I'm going to absolutely love needle felting as well I have always loved the idea of having goats and am getting such a kick out of the many goats online these days . However I may not be meant to raise goats what so ever . It doesn't mean I don't give it a go though . I am a risk taker in a positive way ;-) No harm in trying my hand at goating what so ever .
The same goes for herbs , working with etc. I honestly think we discover where our callings are quite by goof it up, fall on our face , most of the time . I am just meant to work with herbs etc. I was thinking of my dear friend who is also a midwife . She is well established and mostly teaches now . I am indeed called to be a midwife in some capacity but no where near in the same way she is . I can birth our children at home on my own , I can be there for spiritual midwife for support for my friends but I am in no way nor will I ever be called to be a full term midwife nor a medical one at that . Just as my friend is not called to work with herbs . People assumed because she is a midwife she must know about herbs etc. No it was when pregnant with my 5th child I also had made the assumption .I mean here was my dear friend a midwife close to spirit , the moon , she must be close to the world of herbs . Nope . She in fact twice recommended to women herbs I knew to be in fact harmful during pregnancy and I had to tell her so . It in fact could heighten the risk to miscarriage . I in fact after the birth of our ds gave her as I always do a gift .This time I gave her a copy of a herbal pregnancy book . So she will of course educate and grow to know more in order to help others but she in no way is meant to spend her time on growing , collecting using herbs as her main work .

I cannot stress enough how we need to realize how we do not know it all , and as we age we realize we know less & less ;-) a good teacher , a wise teacher always realizes they will forever be the student as well . Forever learning it never stops . My mother grew up in the forest as did her father and grandparents etc. As I walk with my soon to be 80 yo mother she points out plants to me etc. She always will acknowledge how much she is still learning and does not know ;-) I also cannot say how important the gift of elders are . I have always been placed with beautiful wise elderly people be they the man I'd watch whittling on my great aunties store front or the little ladies at church . I love love love to listen to the old . I always have . In my teen yrs even , although I wish I'd spent more time with my gramma I am grateful I did not dislike being with her . Our children are even more respectful then I ever was . They love their gramma & great aunties have also taught them alot . It is very important for me to remain isty bisty , small , insignificant in order to learn and grow . I am average it is God who is extraordinary . Does that make sense ?
So knowing how do I know stuff . I try not to much to talk of spirituality on this blog but I cannot not talk about knowledge given is by God. Be it via people , vision , books . If You are on the right track it all falls into place . I love this example and this is how He works with me so often . All I am doing is being open to be the vessel to allow the info to come in ;-)
Last yr. I was driving with dh . I was praying about his health again . He works with very toxic substances in his work as an industrial painter . This is an ongoing issue for us as cancer is a very big reality for us. Our goal is to move and he be eventually after 2-3 yrs be able to start up his own construction / carpentry business and do a hobby sustainable farming etc.
So The thought , or the message comes to me , what saint is he named after ? Robert ? is there indeed a saint Robert ? If so maybe I best pray to him to help intercede on dh behalf ;-) so I do . That week a few days later I wrote to a wonderful lady friend who is so gifted in regards to catholic religion & herbs at the same time . I wrote to her my question about a ST.Robert by chance . well , what do you think ! Yes there is indeed a ST.Robert and get this there is a herb named after him and get this , what is the herb used for ? Cleansing the blood , adding oxygen to the blood stream , it is also now I've found in further research becoming more popular in cancer treatment ! So what do you think I should do ? pretend this isn't happening ? Nope not me , I trust . I believe . So for me , and my Wiccan sil will agree I am in absolutely no doubt a catholic because this is how He works with me . Who I am and created to be ;-) This is how the good is always sent to me etc. I of course have my fav witchy green books , Ayurveda books , etc. yet always when it comes down to it I am always doing my work when I am being the catholic I am called to be .
So if I am asked to go off and pick a juniper tree , I at first will not know the reason , just the calling , is so very strong , I instinctively know inside of me as a part of me , this is what I am to do . We end up doing by being , is that not so beautiful . I am definitely adding motherwort & robertwort to our perennial garden this yr. !
Also I know only a few trees , herbs etc. I do not have the need nor want to know ever Chinese , Indian, and Mediterranean herb , plant , method etc. I find more so I am being asked to focus on what has been given here and even then working slowly with a few herbs plants & trees at a time . I am so capable of overload lol this comes usually in the form of books . Yes herbal books . It is best to only have 2-3 books at one time . If I take out 20 from the library , well my mind & life get muddled . Simplicity is the key to learning in our lives for us as a family it is no different for kids or adults. lol I had to laugh today when I visited one of my fav homeschool forums .There is a ongoing discussion on simplicity and I clicked on it and read half into the first post and it was so complicated and unsimplified my head spun ! Creator is simple it is people who complicate life up and add all the stuff into it . Even a discussion on simplicity becomes overwhelming ;-)
I also feel it is important to clarify I do not nor ever will consider myself in line with clinical herbalists I consider myself fully a lay person and always will . I feel each has a role there are professional lay people as well as those who go a more conventional route .

I am taking the rest of March off after I work on adding a few good links to our sidebars . This is the time of yr. we take our annual trip to watch Gramma's house mid march to beginning April . As well as you read a top if we do purchase this farm , well , you can see why I am in need of family time . Mean while I'm revisiting all the great homesteading blogs & websites out there enjoying connecting and learning from others is such a blessing & a gift . Thank You all This is the old homestead of my great grandparents , my mothers cousin has said we may have it if we would like to turn it into a cottage at some point . I think I shall take him up on this venture this summer perhaps .

I know I've posted this before . I just love the simplicity of it

This was/ is my elder friend Eva from church . She reminded me of my Gramma Grace in character as well as appearance . She continues to be a beautiful teacher to me even in her passing two yrs ago this May.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Natural Blends , Teas & Smudges

This is my winter herbal mix . I change it up a bit depending on season , health concerns etc. for example I add a lot of willow for winter months because of arthritis . I almost always have uterine herbs such as raspberry, clover & nettle . Birch is a highly valued tree as well thrown into the mix . As I've written before on mother wort she is my female allie right now . I also add in rose hips we pick each autumn & some of that marvelous Hibiscus .

I was thinking this might be a nice topic for March . Still stuck indoors I've been reading much again on aromatherapy and making herbal tea mixes for give aways etc. One of my fav authors on aromatherapy is Jeanne Rose . She is quite well known so your library should have her books . I also am very interested in signing up for a few herbal courses via Susun Weed. As some of you know she is also one of my fav authors . I was going to title this herbal but then I as you know use a lot of tree sources as well so natural seemed much more appropriate .

This is a pregnancy herbal mix of organic red rasp, nettle & red clover I am preparing for our give aways. Some of our smudges & incense are done in dried stick form . I love to pick sage each summer and hand wrap it . I make up small , medium & larger sticks . This past summer we made up 300 mini for our dd wedding guest give away bags On our midwinter stove top I have cedar , balsam & juniper simmering right now . I truly learned the art of aromatherapy from my grandmother & mother . This is an old family tradition originally done on the wood stove or fire . My mother brought it along to the modern age be it placing a pan on the electric stove top or a balsam bough in the over on low . Our children love to find spruce gum and throw it on the fire it often makes a beautiful colourful flame as well as a wonderful aroma .

I pick many roses off my home apothecary rose bush & in the wild homemade smudges are beautiful . They help remind us of who we are truly called to be spiritually both in the effect given by scent and by the items selected as representation of who we are etc. I have a beautiful mix with spruce , rose , copal to name a few as the list can get quite extensive based on ones own personal tastes.

One can use homemade incense in blessing & cleansing of the home & yard

The use of herbs , trees , flowers is also done via the art of herbal bathing which works via aromatherapy & medicinally .We also make up personal spirit bags . These work great for an activity in our children's natural  class when we focus on the topic of  Spirit. Nicholas Black Elk inspired us along on this one ;-) I let the children have a chance to look at , smell and give a brief description of different items . They can choose a cloth that they are drawn to and items which help them connect to  Spirit . As they take a big whiff of their spirit bag this will often help clear the mind and give confidence once again of whom they are called to be etc.

I love bead work and have tried to make each of our children a bag to carry their own mix when possible .