Tag Archive: Herbal Wisdom


Tea

In our herbal traditions, it is suggested to work with each herb individually in making our teas, this practice called “a simple”. This is a good practice, like getting to know an acquaintance more deeply by visiting one-on-one, exchanging stories and experiences and transforming from “acquaintance” to “friend”. This is also especially important when preparing tea for medicinal purposes, letting each herb do its special thing in specific circumstances needing balance or healing.

But there is also tea-making for “energetic”, spiritual or magical purposes as well and for this I have always been inspired to make blends, combining several herbs for qualities of character and soul that I am working with and hoping to bring into myself or life experience.

When I make tea in this way,I steep it for many hours..in the sun, or overnight even, then strain and refrigerate. While hydrating during the day, I do half clear drinking water and half of the herbal blend  in a tall glass to drink over the hours. I am conscious and present to why I am doing this, taking in the qualities of my herbal friends to live more peacefully, more kind, more creatively and magically, ever open to the support of synchronicities and communications from the loving and fun-loving invisible world.

Yesterday’s blend was a mix of  garden-fresh mugwort, motherwort and nettles with added dried lemon balm and spearmint.

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What properties was I bringing into my own self from these delightful allies and friends?

Mugwort=the herb of elder wise-women who “see” and know the deeper meaning of events and discerns the ways of people and nature (the “seer”),  the herb that opens the third eye of deep-seeing and dreams.

Motherwort= the herb of the loving brave-hearted Lioness Mother (Leonurus cardiaca), the herb that strengthens us in adversity, installing courage into our spirits to face persnal challenges and to be able to sturdily support others ie our children and grandchildren in their need. Leadership with a big heart.

Nettles = The Pfeisty herb full of green power, allowing us to speak up when “pissed off” or prickly for just causes,  nourishing and toning the whole of our spirits (and body..) inside and out. Stregnth and clarity of purpose.

Lemon Balm = which “maketh one merry”,  sweetness, calming and good humour in all circumstances.

Spearmint = Sweetness and the ability to “keep cool” under pressure or the heat of life circumstances. A practical addition to temper the bitter flavors of mugwort and motherwort as well.

 Magical Mugwort (with red clover blossom)

Magical Mugwort (with red clover blossoms)

 

 

Mighty Motherwort

Mighty Motherwort

 

Nettles (ouch!)

Nettles(ouch!)

When making this tea, I do not have specific proportions.Walking through the garden and grounds with paper bag or basket and scissors, I pick and snip. In the kitchen, I strip the leaves (be careful of the STING when handling the nettles) into a quart jar, filling it with what I have collected, cover with boiling water and tighten a lid on the jar. I steep it in the sun, or on the counter or shelf in my room for hours or over night (I love keeping my friends close by!) Later, straining, refrigerate and add to my drinking water.IMG_2174

There are herbalists like Matthew Wood, who go by the principle that “less is more” and I find that even diluting this tea further in my drinking water, that definite and significant benefits are experienced in my psyche, spirit AND physical body.

Next week, I WILL be preparing “simples” to re-new my relationships with the various herbs and their properties and effects more intimately, like sitting down with a good friend to catch up.

But for today I call in the essences of courage, big hearted motherly/grandmotherly love, fierce and prickly truth telling in today’s dangerous political climate, the magic born of dreams and deep-seeing wisdom, a cool headed approach to what I have to do, and hopefully a merry heart and a sense of humor to hold it all lightly.

A note to consider..This tea with the mugwort and motherwort is a “bitter”..great for toning the liver, but  more acceptable to seasoned herbalists. To make it a pleasant experience for newbies, I suggest making a tea of lemon balm, spearmint and nettles, adding just a few leaves of mugwort and motherwort for the special essences of those two.

ps. I’d love to know who you are who read these posts from around the world! Don’t be shy…leave a comment, say hi or share a story that relates to the post!

 

YellowFrom Christine, the Greening Spirit

My other happy blogs!

http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

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Mugwort and clover

MUGWORT, Clover and Milkweed in my summer garden

 

Winter has finally arrived on the coast of New England and it is COLD and dark in the very early evening and later morning….time to go into my library of beloved books and select several favorites long-shelved and read years ago. The surprise is that they all seem new in the re-read although they are underlined by my own hand with personal notes in the margins from the past. What’s true is that I am new, as it always should be if one is an ever-greening spirit in life as we move along through the years, now receiving their beautiful wisdom once again at a deeper level in the re-read with greater understanding and application.

I have been re-reading several books about communing with the plant world, trees and herbs from the perspective and practice of plant SPIRIT medicine and guidance which is different from the herbal books on how to make medicines, tinctures, teas. This is about real and actual communication and conversation with the spirits of the plants who are willing to interact with us as our teachers, mentors, guides, helpers and healers if we are respectful and honoring of them and such possibilities. Several of these books are Eliot Cowan’s “Plant Spirit Medicine”, Stephen Harrod Buhner’s “Sacred Plant Medicine” and EliotPam Montgomery’s “Plant Spirit Healing”, all teachers whom I have sat in front of at various herbal conferences in the past.

What I realize is that I have always been talking and listening to the plants..and especiallythe herbs…in my garden, taking it for granted and ascribing it to the fact that I have a rich and fertile imagination. But what I realize is that communication has been going on between me and the plants for a long time and now I want to listen in a new way and to find out who my plant spirit helpers are..Plant Spirit

I thought about this for quite a few days here in the onset of winter when many of the outside herbs have buried themselves deep under the leaves and soil to rest, so I can’t go out and have that conversation in person right now, today. But as I was going through older posts here on the Greening Spirit, I came across a post or two about herbal workshops that I facilitated several years ago and one of the herbs that kept coming up in my consciousness and fondness is MUGWORT.  Mugwort… magical third-eye visionary dreamer’s herb of young fertile women, and older wise-women. Mugwort, that grows in vibrant profusion outside under my bedroom window, where my head is near that wall in the bed inside where I nightly deep-dream, the source of inspiration for our Dreams/Peer Mentoring Retreats and my writings. And I did not plant mugwort there. It came of its own accord to that very spot. It knew who was sleeping on the other side of that wall!

I have more to say of Mugwort…but for now I re-post the story below from when I was preparing to teach an herbal workshop several years ago..placing myself mindfully in the middle of that mugwort patch to receive inspiration. Apparently we have been talking for a very long time… but now our relationship is about to get a whole lot more serious…  lifelong partners?

Magical, Medicinal MUGWORT!  ( a post from 2009)

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 “ Your 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  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..)”

***NOTE!  Check in a day or two for Part 2 to this essay: More on the place of “Dreams” in the world of Plant Spirit Medicine and a Dreamer’s Tea recipe!

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

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