Archive for May, 2009


gardening, herbs,nature, natural living, food, health, alternative medicine, dreams, green Magic!

Sunday June 7    from 3-5pm in Charlestown RI
Christine Phoenix-Green will be offering a 2 hour-workshop Sunday,
“Your Magical Garden” highlighting the wonderful wild plants/trees that are on the land you call “home”. Culinary, medicinal and magical uses of the plants will be explained, encouraging the participants to go home and identify the Greening Spirit energies on their own property.Recipes. Cost is $30. Must Pre-register by e-mail: cphoenixrising@earthlink.net

In any garden, the early morning is a magical and misty time. Especially if you live by the sea, the morning often emerges slowly from a mysterious and echo-y blanket of fog, under which the sounds of birds drift in and out as if from a far and distant land, even though they are just in the woods behind the garden.

In special preparation for the June 7th “Magical Garden” class, I have been sitting with the Wild Weeds throughout the day and especially in the early primeval hours just before the Sun breaks through to burn off the mists. With notebook and portable chair, I have been sitting in the middle of the Mugwort patch, at the edges of the Stinging Nettles patch, under the budding white pine tree, side-by-side with the renegade blackberry vines, in front of the yellow dock, meadowsweet and elecampane, over the dandelions, and near the wild lettuce and baby poke, waiting in silence and stillness for them to “speak” to me as to why they are there, especially in MY yard, and what they want to communicate. And, trust me…they DO.

MUGWORT this year is especially vibrant…and unless you are a Wild Weed yourself, or a Greening Spirit..you might be one of those Muggles (NO relation to the plant!) who think that you better call Chem-Lawn to help clean up the edges of your lawn. NO! NO!

Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris) is a wonderfully magical and medicinal herb that has come to the aid of those of us who need a digestive remedy, or to help with a woman’s monthly cycle, or as an ally to stimulate your dreams and intuition (and much more). Tho this herb provides nourishing help to both men and women, it is one of the “magical” herbs for the especially powerful “deep seeing” gifts of the elder woman, who often recognizes what is amiss within the family, the tribe, or the society and is called to speak in behalf of balance and right relationship. For that “straight talk,” stimulated by the visions and dreams unlocked by this magical plant, the assistance of Stinging Nettle, which stands tall and commands respect if you do not treat her respectfully, can give courage to voice….but, that is another story..to be shared in another post, forthcoming (or at the workshop..)

Hope to see some of you who are in this area on June 7…under the white pine, in the middle of the Mugwort patch, at the edge of the Stinging Nettles……….to listen very very carefully………

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Astrology, Spirituality,Personal Development,Life Coaching,Education,metaphysical tools

Insight and Evolutionary Astrology: A new look at an ancient tool for a well-lived life (author: Christine Phoenix-Green, originally published on http://www.midlifejourney.com – click under “Resources” )

We know that God (or our Fairy Godmother for that matter! ) does not pin a definitive note to our pillow with specific instructions on how to go about our lives, either to problem-solve or to chart a direct course to fulfill our personal destiny. Because of this, it usually takes half a lifetime of focusing, targeting, side-stepping, fogging up and getting lost, finding our way back, loving/wrestling with family, friends and foes alike, celebrating, programming and de-programming, following our bliss, cleaning up after messes to finally get here, where we are now…MIDLIFE! … the second chance with, hopefully, some hard-won experience and wisdom to finally decide how to live a uniquely authentic and satisfying life with less drama.

If only, as in some ancient cultures, attention had been paid to our particular moment of entry in time and place at our birth and we had had the opportunity to understand, value and be guided by our astrological birth chart, we may have been able to live out our passionate and authentic destinies a little sooner and less painfully. Insight and Evolutionary Astrology, unlike the daily horoscopes that are part of pop culture to amuse or unsettle you momentarily, is a powerful tool that describes in a most poetic and individual way YOU…your talents and gifts to live fully, and to give your best to the community around you. It is, in short, your Personal Lesson Plan for the most authentic and fulfilling life you were meant to experience.

It is unabashedly metaphysical, presuming that you may have lived a previous life that has prepared you to live more imaginatively and creatively this time around, or if that is a stretch for your own personal belief system, presumes that your “previous life” before you got more conscious around midlife, has set you up with enough wisdom to live more fully now than before. It also describes something you probably already know…the walls you have hit and careened off of (”not again!”) as you have attempted to grow in wisdom and grace.

The “secret” here is that the particular focus and practice of Evolutionary Astrology actually is about owning it all, claiming what is truly yours to be and to experience, and to guide and turn a challenging aspect in your “personal lesson plan” to higher ground. As the outstanding contemporary writer/astrological teacher and mentor, Steven Forrest, often says, “if an aspect in your chart is not working well, it WILL work poorly.” (and we have had enough of THAT! ). Bringing things to their highest ground through consciousness and choice “de-fangs the beast” as it were, and turns the difficult energy into an ally.

Evolutionary astrology is probably one of the most powerful of the “mysteries” available to us to live and love well in this, the one life we know for sure that is uniquely ours! (More to follow.)

Please click on the INSIGHT GUIDANCE SERVICES PAGE for more information. Continue reading

The state of healthcare in this country is in a mess! The economy is in a mess! I personally have become one of the millions of self-employed people who have lost health care because of what is happening now, caught at the dangerous and chaotic crossroads of cultural breakdown and the as yet uncertain new direction and possibility for overhaul and renewal. I am fortunately quite healthy and in the unusual position of being past “midlife” and on no medications whatsoever. Yet, in this culture, being without health insurance is cause for anxiety and for many people whose medical and medications needs are great, terrifying.

I am also an herbalist, and a lover of the Earth and in this, I am able to work past some of the feelings of vulnerability and helplessness by drawing on the indigenous traditions and knowledge that lead us into nature and our gardens for healing of body and spirit through the wise use of wild plants, herbs and home grown vegetables. Whether it is conscious or not, there is a trend culturally that seems to point to this emerging awareness of seeking wellness by going back to our natural “roots” as it were… farmers’ markets are emerging in odd lots with a delightful feel of festivity in many local communities, garden centers are everywhere, their herb sections are overflowing and enticing passers-by. People are drawn to them as if magic, altho often one will over-hear the statement…”I am not sure what to do with these or what they are for….”. The interest in Heirloom Vegetables (grown for flavour and immediate consumption from the garden rather than tasteless long distance transport and shelf life) reveals an emerging interest in both sensuous nutritional savouring and the fascinating histories that come with the “seed savers” movement. In all this is a fierce, tho possibly unrecognized, call to independence, natural values, connection with the earth, and desire for beauty and wellness in forms that are free from the rigid structures and indoctrination of the industrial, multinational and advertising conglomerates that have shaped our consumerist consciousness and that is often misleading, false, and downright dangerous to a healthy way of Life.

A case in point is the Dandelion..one of Nature’s most glorious healing plants both from a medicinal and culinary point of view…which, by the way…is what all natural food should be. In native culture the word “medicine” is not used for what fixes you after you are broken or sick. ”Good medicine” is what keeps you whole and healthy so that you don’t get sick! The Dandelion, is both food and good medicine. And the Dandelion is in DANGER! Except for those artistic gardeners for whom a perfect green turf is part of an aesthetic creation, the Dandelion is in danger by the cultural thoughtforms and the market that is “status” driven and has convinced us that a perfect bountiful green lawn is equal to a perfect bountiful GREEN bank account! A sneaky was to “strut your stuff” and success by a very patrician standard. Dandelions are wild and free and “mar” the image of perfection and wealth ( do only the riff-raff have “untidy” and wild lawns?)…therefore a thought form that emerges in the competitive neighborhood one-upmanship and is culturally sanctioned is: “ let’s eradicate that threatening force by calling in the chemical assassins of green imperfection”! I cringe every time I see an advertisement on television for weed killers that graphically, tho in playful colorful cartoon imagery, shows us the wilting/dying of a once joyous dandelion in full yellow bloom after a dead center spray of “weed” poison! Does anyone else recognize what is actually happening there? (What we do to the Earth, we do to US!)

On a May day a number of years back I received an enthusiastic call from a chemical Lawn Service: “WE are going to be in your neighborhood tomorrow!!!… and will offer you a FREE evaluation of all those pesky weeds, with a special one-time price to eradicate…..” I interrupted ” Err…Excuse me…please..WAIT!..I am an herbalist and all those weeds you “eradicate”..chickweed, plantain, DANDELION..we use for medicine and food…I teach people how to collect, cook and prepare them!” He said “hold on, Lady” as he placed his hand to muffle his voice while he shouted across the office “Hey LARRY!..I got this lady on the phone…and she EATS her lawn!”… and turning back to me he says laughing “Thanks Miss, you’ve given me a good laugh….! We’ll call back next year”. (I don’t think so…!)

I have just started my month of May- left-over-from-Fall yard cleanup…in the bright sun last week, my lawn was FULL of bright yellow dandelions…I plucked off the flowers for dandelion fritters for lunch with a cup of soup on the side, and dug up a small basket full of dark dandelion leaves for a stir fry with garlic onions and tomatoes over pasta for dinner, saved some leaves also for a tea for the urinary tract (the French word for Dandelion is Dente de Leon, or “tooth of the lion “ because of the shapes of the leaves, and its common name is “piss-en-lay”, or piss -in-bed since it stimulates the cleansing flow of urine). I saved the roots for a tincture for the health of the liver and digestion and elimination.

Dandelions in Danger! Protect them! Dandelions to the Rescue! Use them! ..A veritable treasure of “good medicine” when you need to bring health, nourishment , vitality and healing to your life and the lives of those in your community. Using this “good medicine” wisely will hopefully keep me in good shape as I use the “health insurance” of the Earth until I can once again afford the hundreds and hundreds of dollars necessary to purchase the Health Insurance of the dominant medical system.

****Christine will be offering a 2 hour-workshop in southern RI in early June called “Your Magical Garden” highlighting the wonderful wild plants/trees that are on the land you call “home”. Culinary, medicinal and magical uses of the plants will be explained, encouraging the participants to go home and identify the GreeningSpirit energies on their own property. Workshop information will go up in the next week. Christine can be contacted at cphoenixrising@earthlink.net

Setting up a website or blog to introduce oneself and one’s offerings requires thought and discernment in order to make a presentation that accurately reflects an intention and focus. In my case, this has required patience and deeper pondering as over the course of my life and life’s work, many topics, workshops, lectures, presentations, retreats and writings have been birthed and manifested from a well of creativity that speaks to an older, slower, more Soul-filled magical and spiritual way of experiencing the world and our time here. The gifts of this site therefore will be full of surprises and variety, and all anointed with the concept of “Veriditas”, or “the Greening Power”, a shimmering energetic phrase coined by the outstandngly gifted and creative 12th century mystic, Hildegarde of Bingen.

It is my deepest core belief that we are here to find our finest Voice and to live with the highest Vision for a life of Beauty, Celebration, Imagination, Creativity, Relationshipping and Healing. It is a CHOICE to participate in this way, and the call, response and ease with which we each can meet this “sacred assignment” will vary from soul-to-soul, person to person, and the experiences of personal story, and familial, societal and cultural/ethnic programming, inspirational or indoctrinational teachings and challenges. VERIDITAS is filled with Eros, or Love of Life, and the many ways to experience this greening power will draw from the sacred practices and Mysteries of ancient or indigenous cultures which honoured the reality and intertwining of both the Visible and Invisible Worlds, or the dance between the Manifested and Un-Manifested Worlds.

Therefore there will be ponderings and presentations, workshop/retreat/lectures programs and their upcoming dates listed for a variety of both sacred and mundane “Mysteries and Practices to experience a life full of Re-enchantment, Magic, Celebration, Continuing Education, Depth and Creativity. Upcoming topics will include Dreams and Inner Healing, Folkloric Herbalism, Sensuous Cooking, Evolutionary Astrology, Intuitive Wisdom Practices, Ritual, Contemplative Spirituality, Celtic Spirituality, the Sacred Feminine,The Tarot, Music, the Arts and many other surprises of interest and delight. Each of the workshops have been given previously and have been more than well-received, and will be re-offered at a location chosen by the Greening Spirit as well as being held at other locations upon request and invitation. These are moveable programs and lectures to bring the Greening Power to your own group or organization. At this time, this unfolding is even surprising ME!
Please peruse this website/blog at your leisure for more information as well as pleasure and inspiration. While still under construction it is being updated daily. From a Heart Filled with Veriditas- Christine Phoenix-Green

Celebrating the Greening Spirit!

May!

A wonderful month to have been born into! Just a few weeks ago the yard was a mess, leftover wet burnt sienna oak leaves under the bushes, broken tree limbs all over the yard from winter winds and the weight of snow, headless dried sunflower stalks and brown grass filling the whole scene with an energy of resignation. How beige and neutral..and like our ancient ancestors who lived close to the earth and the natural rhythms of nature, our Spirits were almost ready to give up hope that things would come alive again.

We almost doubted that the color-scape would change, that there would be sunshine, warmth and gentle moisture, that there would be a stirring of the Life Energy once again surprising us with  flowers, scents , and an astounding palette of Spring renewal colors in hues of pinks, lilac, yellows and all shades of green! But it has happened! The Greening Spirit, “Veriditas” has returned in full and stunning force, making us almost  delirious with sensual delight!  And all in these first opening days of May…the month of Taurus, the bull. No wonder Ferdinand the Bull only wanted to sit and smell the flowers, savouring the Return of Life!

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