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  • Wednesday, July 08, 2020 4:41 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Mugwort ~ Magical Herb of the Moon Goddess

    by Corinna Wood

    Each spring, I like to visit a gardener friend of mine whose neatly tended beds are her pride and joy. She's rather traditional and prefers a very structured, mannered approach while I tend to be more of a wild child, but anyone who loves green, growing things is a kindred spirit. We've spent many a pleasant afternoon together amid the flora.


    As we wandered about her land enjoying the early blooms recently, she lamented over a rather ubiquitous weed that was peeking up at the edges of her footpaths and all around her greenhouse. Now, I have long believed that most "weeds" are simply misunderstood herbal allies, so I asked her to point out the culprit. Sure enough, it was mugwort. I had to smile. "This," I told her, "is not just a weed. This is the stuff that dreams are made of!"


    Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), or cronewort, is named after the lunar goddess Artemis and, like the moon, invites us to travel with her from the material world into the magical. Over the growing season, this unassuming, leafy beauty will transition from a plant that nurtures our bodies into one that feeds our souls. A feathery perennial, her deeply divided pinnate leaves are glazed on the underside with their signature, silvery sheen, evocative of the moon's silver light. The leaves, when crushed, emit a pungent, distinctive aroma reminiscent of chrysanthemums and sage.


    While mugwort's leaves are similar to those of poison hemlock (Conium maculatum), it's easy to distinguish mugwort from her more noxious counterpart by her moonlike glow and, during flowering, by hemlock's umbrella-shaped flowering structure. Whenever using wild plants with deeply divided leaves (like parsley or carrot tops), it is critical to be positive of the identification. When in doubt, watch the plant through its entire growing season to observe the flowering structure or consult someone who knows.


    The young mugwort sprouts are edible and tasty with a lovely aromatic quality. To toss in your fresh, green salads, gather the tender shoots in early spring until they reach a height of about 4 inches. Chopped mugwort also makes a delicious addition to deviled eggs. As the plant grows up to a foot high in April, it's best not to consume mugwort directly, but it can be used in a fortifying herbal vinegar. Vinegar is an excellent menstruum, or medium, for drawing out the minerals that abound in mugwort, which is rich in calcium and the magnesium necessary for our bodies to absorb calcium.


    I like to combine mugwort with nettle and chickweed for my "strong bones" vinegar. You can make your own delicious and nutritious strong bones vinegar from any one of those plants. Herbal vinegars are very easy to make. Tightly pack a jar full of plant material, and fill the jar to the top with raw, organic apple cider vinegar. Make sure to line the top with wax paper or plastic wrap to prevent rust if your jar has a metal lid.


    The plants usually will absorb enough liquid overnight to end up uncovered so top off the liquid level as needed. Let it brew on your countertop, out of direct sunlight. After six weeks, strain out the plant material and enjoy!

    Once mugwort's stems exceed a foot, she begins her transition into the realm of the metaphysical. Mugwort is closely related to desert sage (Artemisia tridentate), often burned as smudge, a cleanser to prepare a sacred space for ritual, and to wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), which is distilled into the narcotic liqueur absinthe. Vincent van Gogh is said to have had quite a thirst for absinthe, and it has been suggested that its long-term use may have contributed not only to his magnificent creativity but also to his madness.


    So it is wise to approach mugwort with respect for its magic and caution for its slightly toxic properties, which increase as the plant grows and flowers. Blooms appear around the end of summer and are displayed in a raceme, a cone of small, inconspicuous, daisylike blossoms. In its early flowering stage, the herb is at the peak of her mystical potency and can be harvested for smudge sticks and dream pillows. Local mugwort is an excellent alternative to the sage imported from the west and may be a better choice for centering, clearing and grounding because it incorporates the resident spirit of our home soil and speaks to our roots.


    Some herbalists prefer to reap mugwort near the full moon, when the plant is photosynthesizing at night and during daylight hours, and the energies are concentrated in the above-ground portions. Mugwort grows well over 4 feet high, so choose only the most vibrant upper parts and leave the dry lower one to two feet. Create bundles of three stalks and bind the ends with cotton string. If you're fashioning smudge sticks, you may want to wrap the entire bunch crosswise on the diagonal while the plant is still flexible to avoid the crumbling that occurs after drying.


    Hang your bundles away from direct sun or dry them in the oven using only the pilot light until the thickest part of the stalk is easily snapped. Your vehicle also can be used as a solar dehydrator. Just make certain to shade the southern side so the bundles are not in direct sunlight.


    Mugwort stimulates the brain's creative centers and is the base of almost all dream pillows. Yours can be as simple as stuffing an old sock or as elaborate as a finely embroidered silk coverlet. Strip the leaves from the dried stalk, and fill to your liking. While mugwort alone is quite effective, you may choose to add lavender to aid in relaxation or some other favorite fragrant herb.


    Cuddle up with your pillow to encourage more vivid and memorable dreams and to help you access the intuitive guidance that they contain. For several years, mugwort aided me in tapping into my subconscious and keeping dream journals (until I decided that my dreams had become vivid and memorable enough, thank you!). Of course, there is no guarantee as to the nature of your dreams. A friend of mine once told me that every time her boyfriend slept over, she would find her dream pillow tossed out of the bed when she arose in the morning!


    Medicinally, acupuncturists burn dried mugwort as moxa on acupuncture points of the body as an alternative to needles. Moxa is known in Chinese medicine to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of qi (life energy) and maintain general health, making this extraordinary plant beloved of healers and seers alike.


    As for my gardener friend, she isn't a total convert. She has cleared the mugwort from around most of her prized flowerbeds but, happily, the stand near her greenhouse remains. She's also been working on a lovely little needlepoint sachet.


    In whatever form mugwort enters your life, may she bring you good health and sweet dreams.



    A gifted teacher and powerful visionary, Corinna has opened the hearts of thousands to the wisdom of the plants and their own bodies. Corinna's background includes an extensive apprenticeship with Susun Weed in 1993 as well as a B.S. in Biology. Corinna is certified as an herbalist, a fertility awareness teacher, and also in permaculture design. With extensive training and experience in herbal medicine and spiritual psychology for women, Corinna has been practicing, teaching, and carrying on the Wise Woman Tradition for over 25 years.

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2020 5:14 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Traveler’s Pack Foods
    excerpt from Travelers Joy by Juliette de Bairacli Levy


    When planning long travels far from shops, there is a selection of basic foods which can be taken along, all long-keeping and light in weight. They should be packed individually in brown paper bags, not in plastic, and then finally in a water-proof rucksack.

    Dried fruits. They are a blessing for travelers and for those who dwell far from shops (which seems to be my placement on the world’s maps!). Presentday, in addition to the usual raisins, figs, dates, prunes and apricots, all of the delicious, healthful and concentrated nourishment, one can sometimes get dried banana (in thin, circular slices), pineapple and bitter-type cherries.

    To me, possibly because I am Oriental in my parentage, the best of the dried fruits is the golden date. On the island of Djerba, famed for its date palms, I ate dates fresh from the tree. Here is a nostalgic poem to a date palm, from that famed, mysterious book, The Thousand and One Nights.

    Palm-tree daughters,
    Brown-fleshed Bedouins,
    Fed with the light of our gold father [the sun],
    We are loved of the free-tented,
    The sons of space, the hall-forgetters,
    The wide-handed, the bright-sworded,
    Masters of horses.

    (I hope the swords were for use against the animals, especially wolves and the big cats, which attack the herds, not against man.)

    The Bedouin and Berbers, who have much control over the date trade, wisely do not let the dates ripen fully on the date palms, possibly to be spoiled by birds and rats, They gather them before they sweeten, and pack them into flat containers woven from date-palm fiber. They test the dates for ripeness by pressing with their hands. When the dates within are soft to the pressure, the containers are opened and the dates are ready for eating and for selling worldwide. Thus no harmful sprays need to be used for the dates’ protection on the palms

    Almonds. For sure, the almond is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of health foods and medicines. For the almond is unique in its power to fortify the immune system. The almond is safe and sure, whereas the vaccines pushed upon the world--especially the children--by the vast drug companies, as powerful as the armaments vendors, are neither sure nor safe in the action--often in fact, dangerous.

    The almond is one of the strongest of the trees. It is hard work sawing through almond wood, as I well know, having for the past twelve years had a grove of almonds to care for, which needed trimming of their branches. Those trees cared for organically have given me many sackfuls of healthy nuts every summertime.

    I really learned the value of almonds from Berbers on the island of Djerba, Tunisia. Their healthy children greatly impressed me, and I learned that when only weeks old they were given almond milk to protect them from all diseases, in fact to fortify their immune systems by natural methods. I did the same for my son, born on Djerba.

    The recipe for all-powerful almond milk: Blanch shelled almonds by pouring over them water hot enough to allow removing the outer brown skin (not so hot as to harm the almonds). Now pound up very small. To every tablespoon of crushed almonds add three tablespoons warm water or milk. (I prefer milk.) Allow to stand for seven hours or so, then strain through a sieve, squeezing the pulp very well to extract all the almond milk.

    The average amount for a baby would be two dessertspoons of almond milk first thing daily. The older children and adults eat the pulp. I give my hounds daily a tablespoon of finely grated almonds. (I keep this in a jar.) It is given to fortify the immune system. They are never ill and are never given vaccinations of any kind.

    Roasted, often salted, almonds are good-tasting, but very indigestible. They are simply a good food spoiled!

    All of the flaked cereals, oats, barley , corn, etc.; toasted wheat flour (ready to eat, merely to be mixed with milk or water); grated raw carrot, sterilized by roasting, and packed into jars, dried fruits, especially raisins, dates, apricots, and prunes; (also the dried dom fruits, from the dom tree or Christ-thorn, a small berry-fruit which is almost always on the dom trees, and which keep indefinitely after easy drying. It is carried by the Bedouins on their travels, and was used as a travel food by Christ. A shrub-tree, it is abundant in Galilee.); shelled nuts and pine kernels; sunflower kernels.

    Black olives (dried); a jar of honey; wholewheat biscuits, or sundried or fire-rusked slices of wholewheat bread; dried powdered spices as flavor and tonic for use with the cereals, etc., such as marjoram, thyme, sage, rosemary; raw groundnuts (peanuts) and also raw peanuts ground into flour; carob pods; and of the dairy products, dried milk--dried milk in cones (sold in Arab shops for travelers) keeps indefinitely, and when crushed into water makes a good milk mixture for eating with the flaked or powdered cereals; also hard cheese and Balearic type cheese (described earlier in this chapter and very long-keeping); salt and cayenne pepper and the common peppers, and a can or jar of sugar molasses, so rich in minerals.


    excerpt from Travelers Joy by Juliette de Bairacli Levy.

    Juliette de Bairacli Levy was a world renowned herbalist, author, breeder of Afghan hounds, friend of the Gypsies, traveler in search of herbal wisdom, and the pioneer of holistic veterinary medicine.

    Juliette was born on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1912 in Manchester, England.She was educated at Lowther College, one of the best girls schools in Britain, and went on to study veterinary medicine at the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool. Find all of her books here.

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2020 4:47 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    The Teeth of the Lion— The Story of the Beloved and Despised Dandelion
           by Anita Sanchez


    Massachusetts, About 1621

    A woman kneels in the rich, dark soil of a garden. Golden sunlight pours down on the freshly-turned earth, and the comforting warmth helps her to forget the cold. After a winter filled with hardship, death, and sorrow, it had seemed as if the sun would never shine again. But now the grass is greening, and spring has come at last.

    She crumbles the soil between her fingers, preparing it carefully for the seeds. It is vitally important that these seeds grow: she is planting an herb garden, of plants carefully chosen for their healing powers.

    She lifts her tired eyes and scans the forbidding tangle of trees crowding close to the huts of the little settlement. Here there are no doctors' offices or apothecary shops, only wilderness. The plants she grows in her garden will be medicines that might make the difference between life and death for her family in this terrifying New World.

    She etches a furrow in the fertile soil, then carefully sprinkles in a row of tiny brown specks. She pats the soil over them lovingly, murmuring a prayer over the precious seeds: a heartfelt prayer that dandelions will grow, where before there was only the barren grass.


    …While the men did the heavy work of cutting down the trees and plowing, gardening was the women's chore. In the newly-cleared sunny spaces, they set themselves to create herb gardens, little square-edged plots seeded with familiar, home-like plants—small and hopeful patches of order in the chaos of the wilderness. The herb gardens were filled with plants that were the housewives' indispensable medicine chest.

    …All parts of the dandelion plant—leaf, root, and flower—had been known for a millennia as efficacious remedies against a host of ailments, and were hailed in popular "herbals," or books of plant lore, as powerful medicine. The anxious wives and mothers, facing so many hardships in the New World, early planted the seeds of such useful plants. Although no one understood why dandelions were good medicine, everyone knew that they worked. Dandelions' golden blossoms were considered one of the most useful flowers in the garden.

    You may recall from your childhood eating dandelion greens or drinking dandelion tea, making chains of the stems and flowers, blowing the seeds from the puff ball into the wind, being carefree while enjoying this prolific flowering plant. You may have been disappointed to learn that you were playing with a disgusting weed. But, now the world can learn the true, amazing, secrets of this wonderful herb, the dandelion!

    In Anita Sanchez' book, The Teeth of the Lion—The Story of the Beloved and Despised Dandelion, you'll journey through the natural history of the dandelion and learn about its long association with humans.

    Well adapted ecologically to spread into and thrive within disturbed sites—such as the lawns, playgrounds, roadsides, and parking lots in which they are most often encountered today, and viewed as weeds—dandelions also have had a lengthy, welcomed association with humans as medicine, food, and objects of ritual, magic, and folklore.

  • Friday, June 26, 2020 1:04 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    A Soul Reading for the Cancer New Moon

    by Kathy Crabbe

    Dearest Moon Muser,  It’s the New Moon in Cancer on June 20 at 11:41 pm Pacific Time along with an Annular Solar Eclipse and the Summer Solstice. Time to go within  and hear a message or two from your past which could take the form of a past life karmic flash, or an ancestor or an old chum that pops in. As the Sun is eclipsed almost totally by the Moon, we focus on BEING, not doing as we allow our New Moon Intentions for the Moonth to bubble forth.

    Below, I invite you to Pick-a-Card and enjoy the video REVEAL I created plus read more about the cards too.

    Pick A Card for the New Moon

    Soul Reading Video REVEAL for the Cancer New Moon

    Cancer New Moon: A Soul Reading by Kathy Crabbe

    Card 1: Behold (Lefty Oracle Deck)

    Mantra: I delight.
    Affirmation: Dare I eat the fruit of my delight?
    Element: Spirit

    If this card appears in a reading it’s time to plunge into the dark and pull out hope. Whatever stressful conundrum you’re currently in, know that you HAVE the resources and inner strength and power to find a solution and gain clarity. You CAN pull it off. It may require some dirty work, so buckle down and get your hands dirty. There is a decent prize at the end of it all and it’s definitely worth fighting for. If you’re hesitant or un-sure of what to do next then think like a cat, independently. Think for yourself; trust yourself. Call upon your intuition and the Divine or your higher power. You CAN do this; it’s just a matter of time before all will be sorted out and you can once again move forward.

    In my own life I sometimes need to get my ‘monkey-mind’ (when my mind is all over the place) out of the mix and be more fully in the moment, trusting that I am being guided and that I can indeed hear and trust my intuition. Like a muscle, the more I work it, the stronger it becomes.

    Card 2: Sagittarius Goddess - Artemis (Zodiac Goddess Power Deck)

    The Quest Begins:

    - Seek new horizons
    - Explore worlds without maps
    - Quest!
    - Be outrageous
    - Look to the future
    - Seek freedom from all oppression

     Sagittarius Goddess ~ Artemis

    Artemis, Artemis,
    Goddess of the wood
    You are bows and arrows, death and birth
    Midnight revels and pregnant mirth.
    Wild woman, child, hunter of beast,
    We find our true self when we dance at your feast.

    Sagittarius Goddess ~ Artemis

    Artemis, Artemis,
    Goddess of the wood
    You are bows and arrows, death and birth
    Midnight revels and pregnant mirth.
    Wild woman, child, hunter of beast,
    We find our true self when we dance at your feast.

    Artemis is the virgin moon-goddess roaming the forest with her band of nymphs, bearing the bow and quiver, avoiding men and killing any male who looks upon her. She was also known as the many-breasted Artemis of Ephesus, a symbol of fecundity. As the warlike Artemis she is said to have been the special goddess of the Amazons.

    Card 3: Wolf  (Elfin Ally Oracle Deck)

    Keyword: Courage
    Meaning: Be brave and strong for you have a task to do.
    Reversed: There is a con artist close by so be cautious.

    Affirmation: I am strong, wild and free.
     Astrology: Aries, Mars, Saturn, Uranus
     Element: Air, Earth, Fire
     Medicine: Your wild heart mates for life.

    Lore: She is my protector, my luv, my guide. With her by my side, I can fight the good fight, no lies, just truth, and shining eyes.

    This beauty, her friend, her champion fighter was brave and loyal and her ally forever. His life was short, but his brawn magnificent and his heart wild and free.

    Card 4: Cleavers (Fairy Herbal Deck)

     Cleavers is like a calm sea at twilight. It is a place of ‘in-betweens’ and emotionally represents the calm time before renewed activity. Cleavers is for those about to begin a journey; a new phase; a change; a time to gather forces to allow recent experiences to assimilate and be made sense of, before moving on.  Take Cleavers tea for three nights before you set out on a journey and ask for dreams that will help you on your travels.


    Kathy Crabbe has been an artist forever and a soul reader since awakening her intuitive gifts at age forty after five years painting with her non dominant left hand. This awoke her intuition in a big way. In 2008 she created a Lefty Oracle deck and started giving intuitive soul readings that have touched many lives in profound and playful ways. Kathy lives in sunny Southern California with her pet muses and architect husband in an adobe home they built themselves.

    Kathy’s art and writing has been published and shown throughout the world at museum shows, galleries, art fairs, magazines and books including the San Diego Women’s History Museum, We’Moon Datebook, and Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach to name a few. She has self-published several books, zines, oracle decks and ecourses and maintains a regularly updated blog, etsy store and portfolio site. Kathy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Queen’s University and a Graphic Design Diploma from St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Canada. She has been working as a professional artist since 1992. Kathy has been an educator and mentor at Laguna Outreach Community Artists, Mt. San Jacinto College, Wise Woman University, Inspire San Diego Studio, HGTV, Michelle Shocked’s International Women’s Day Show as well as teaching her own classes: “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul”, and New Moon Circles. She is a founding member of the Temecula Artist’s Circle, the Temecula Writer’s Café and the Riverside Art Museum’s Printmaker’s Network. Metaphysically speaking, Kathy has studied with Francesca De Grandis (Third Road Celtic Faerie Shamanism), Adam Higgs (psychic mediumship), Om, devotee of Sri Chinmoy (meditation), Atma Khalsa (yoga), Susun Weed (Green Witch Intensive), Joyce Fournier, RN (Therapeutic Touch), Steven Forrest & Jeffrey Wolf Green (astrology) and she received certification in crystal healing from Katrina Raphaell’s Crystal Academy.
    Learn more here.

    Kathy’s 4 week eClass “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul” is once again being offered at Wise Woman University so get ready to Moon Collage your heart out starting one week prior to the New Moon each month…more details here: eClass.

  • Wednesday, June 24, 2020 2:34 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    For Lightworkers: How To Release Emotional Baggage
    By Robina Hearle and Sue Stothard

    Releasing your emotional baggage, behavior patterns and belief systems leads to emotional maturity. Emotional maturity leads to Enlightenment and Ascension.

    So where does your emotional baggage come from? Your emotional patterns for this life are set from your perceptions or misperceptions about reality or what was happening from in the womb to the age of six years of age. These are the emotional experiences of the Inner Child. These patterns will repeat themselves throughout your life, be added to with each repeat scenario until you have a many-faceted, complex emotional make-up.

    Releasing your Inner Child emotions is very painful and takes courage. People, on the whole, prefer to ignore and bury them. However, unless you face them and let them go, you will not progress. Also stored emotional baggage causes dis-ease.

    Behavior patterns are something we are born into. Each family, village, society, country and planet has its own behavior patterns such as patterns of how to think and live.

    Belief systems also come from religion, society, education, parental influences, and peer pressure. Both belief systems and behavior patterns have to be acknowledged, owned and released to unclutter your mind. When you have uncluttered your mind, you can go within without all the mental chatter. When you can go within, you can more easily open up to your internal dialogues of intuition and your higher self.

    Back to emotional baggage, the starting point of the journey. Emotions are energy. We store our emotions in our physical body, hence the great number of bodywork therapies that exist to unlock them. The therapies may bring your issues to the forefront of your mind, but you have to do the work to release them.

    How do you do this? However painful it is you have to feel the feeling associated with the issue. It may be anger, grief, and frustration. You then have to acknowledge that this feeling is yours, to own it. As you do this, the energy begins to move. Sometimes it helps to sob; wracking cries very quickly shift the energy, and in a trice it’s all over and the feeling has gone. Deep breathing into the feeling also will help move it.

    When an issue is coming up, it may take days to materialize, bubbling away under the surface. You will feel out of sorts and irritable. Once you have done this once or twice you soon get to recognize it. Have faith, set the intention that you will clear it, worry at it like a Jack Russell Terrier, and you will swiftly bring it to the fore. It may help to write it down to help you to acknowledge the issue.

    Once the issue has gone, you may think that is the end of it. I am sorry to say that it may well arise for a second or third time because it is huge, complex and many-faceted and you can only clear a bit at a time.

    If you don’t go to body therapists, how can you identify your issues? Well your family are the ones who serve you in this because they push your buttons the most. Friends and work colleagues also help.

    You have to be alert and be on watch if you are serious about doing this work. For day to day incidents cause issues to arise. Your higher self will make sure of that. This being on watch is what the Dalai Llama calls mindfulness.

    Is there an end to this? It can take several years, but yes, there is an end; eventually you clear all your emotional baggage. People and incidents that once bothered you no longer have any effect.

    This is hard diligent work. Let no teacher tell you that the road to enlightenment is easy. Attunement to ever higher vibrational frequencies is not the answer unless you do the work associated with each attunement. Then you will have balance in your emotional, mental and spiritual bodies, and this will lead to enlightenment.

    Cleansing yourself of your emotional issues/baggage inevitably leads to emotional maturity. Then a whole new awareness occurs.

    Copyright© Robina Hearle and Sue Stothard.
    The Enlightenment Process.

  • Monday, June 22, 2020 3:37 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Sensing Food as Concentrated Spirit Light

    by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt

    Many indigenous cultures all over the world recognize that the whole natural world, with all its delicate life processes, is an expression of the soul spiritual world. It is not an 'excretion' by a god or spiritual beings far away. The natural world is the spiritual world!

    The indigenous people understood that the world of nature is manifested by beings in nature, some of which are referred to as elemental beings. The presence of these living beings are sensed within every shimmering star and constellation, every moving cloud, roaring thunder and the growth and decay of all living phenomenon. This living relationship between the people and nature beings was expressed through the rich cultural rituals, stories, songs and many other art forms. 

    The heart is the organ of sensing Earth as an expression of the soul spiritual world. By placing our attention within the heart the immediate presence of holy wholeness of Earth can be felt directly. We sense an unmistakable intimacy and beauty. We are uniting our soul spirit being with spiritual Earth presence.

    Observe the natural world from within this heart presence. Sense that everything solid or condensed with finite shape is formed by nature beings -known by various names, most commonly gnomes. Minerals, pinches of salt, roots, ice cubes and the bark of trees are in the hardened nature of earth substance. These solids have definite independent forms and are influenced strongly by the earth forces we have come to know as gravity. They are the most rigid manifestations of life.

    Sense how liquids are influenced more by cosmic forces than the solids. We have all observed how water runs low but as vapor and mist is lifted up high. The downward flowing rivers as well as the upward running saps of leaves and trees are in the liquid state of water. Fluids lie between the solids and the gases. They have no form; the vessels in which they are contained, give them shape. Within liquids many chemical interactions and transformations take place. Water nymphs or undines are believed to dwell in lakes and flowing river.

    Sylphs, the beings inhabiting air, move within all gasses and everything expanding upward and outward in all directions. Gases are completely emancipated from the condensing earthly forces and totally opposite solids.  They are without form and imbued with light, active cosmic forces. The ascending steam and smoke, the bubbles in rising dough and the delicate scents of apple blossoms are lifted by these beings of air.

    Warmth has an even finer substantiality than air. It belongs to the activity of the fire sprites. This ethereal nature of warmth is so delicate and subtle that it is on both sides of the threshold of the visible and invisible world.

    The dynamic interaction of solidity and ethereal warmth, exists everywhere in nature. Observe, for example, how the elemental beings work together in the creation of a kohlrabi. Experience the firmness of the grounding life sustaining root so connected to the earthly forces. The leaves of the kohlrabi feel much less solid than the root. They are saturated with water. The white and purple flowers that appear later in the season are even less earthy and more insubstantial and delicate than the leaves. They are of the sweet scented, light-permeated air nearly dissipating into the cosmic warmth.

    In this spectacular -and immediately sensed -imagination, our food is concentrated warmth or pure spirit light.

    Pressed Kohlrabi Celery Salad with Walnuts

    A pressed salad is refreshing anytime of the year. It lightens up the meal. The pressure and salt ‘cooks’ the food without heat, and makes the vegetables more digestible and delicious. Any firm vegetables can be used in this recipe. Soaking the nuts makes them also more digestible and gives them a fresh flavor.

    1/2 cup walnuts
    1/2 tablespoon sea salt
    1 large sweet firm kohlrabi cut in thin slices
    2 stalks celery cut in thin diagonals
    4 slices of orange

    Soak the nuts for 4-8 hours, drain and mince.

    Mix salt with kohlrabi and celery. Place the mixture under pressure. Use a pickle press or two bowls, a smaller bowl inside a larger one. Place the vegetables between the bowls. Lay a heavy weight in the smaller bowl. Let it sit for 20 minutes to 2 hours.

    Drain off the liquid that has been drawn out of the vegetables by the salt.

    Add nuts to vegetables and mix well. Serve a few tablespoons per person on a slice of orange.

    Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt is a Waldorf class and kindergarten teacher, biodynamic farmer, author and nutritional counselor. She has taught nutritional cooking and counseled for 25 years in her homeland Denmark, Europe and the United States.

    She trained as a macrobiotic cooking teacher and counselor and studied the principles of oriental medicine and the research of Dr. Weston A. Price before embracing the anthroposophical approach to nutrition, food and cooking.

    This Four week course will explore some of the many benefits of fermented and cultured foods, and why it is important to include them regularly with every meal. You will be guided through the steps of making sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled vegetables, kefir, soft cheese, and yogurt, as well as get a chance to discover new fermented drinks such as kvass, wines, and beers. I will aim at answering personal questions around your culturing and fermenting experiences.

    Intuitively we know that cultured and fermented foods are real health foods. Naturally fermented and cultured foods are an exceptional way to prepare different ingredients and some of the most important side dishes and condiments in our diet. They are often overlooked or not mentioned when we describe what we had for dinner, and yet they are pivotal in creating a well-balanced, nutritious meal.

    They add a bounty of nourishing, life-promoting substances and life forces, almost miraculous curative properties, and a wealth of colors, flavors, and shapes. They increase the appetite, stimulate the digestion, and make any simple meal festive and satisfying. The course will be highly practical with many hands-on activities.


    In this Four week course you will learn about the nutritional needs of your growing child and receive delicious, seasonal, wholesome nutritious menus and recipes on affordable budget so as to encourage children to eat and live healthy.

    During this course we will explore the nutritious needs for your growing child.

    We will discover how rhythm, simplicity and nourishing activities support a healthy child development. You will find new ways to encourage your child to develop a taste for natural, wholesome foods as well as receive and create delicious, seasonal nutritious menus and recipes that stay within the limits of your budget.

    Cooking for the Love of the World:
    Awakening our Spirituality through Cooking

    by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt

    A heart-centered, warmth-filled guide to the nurturing art of cooking. 200 pages, softbound

  • Tuesday, June 16, 2020 4:42 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Your Intuitive Dreams ... Knowing Yourself through Core Energy
    by sHEALy (Sherry Healy)

    Crystal by Sherry Healy

    Within the physical body there is a centralized energy source that acts as a resource for human knowing as well as spiritual perception. This source, core energy, creates a sense of knowing oneself and ones creator. Your "core energy," a spot located deep within your body from which you know the world, is more of an inner sensation than an actual physical place. Core energy is a combination of your thinking, feeling and physical existence. Maintaining awareness of this core allows you a sense of wholeness and peace of mind.

    Those who learn to connect with their inner energy are usually those who have learned to give attention to their entire body. They practice a type of knowing called whole-knowing. Whole-knowing, a means of using ones intuition to know their entire body, spirit and mind can be enhanced through physical and mental exercises.

        Below are four essential core energy exercises:

        Discovering My Neck

        I will discover my neck.
        I will find it as if it has been lost or ignored.
        When I find my neck, I will appreciate it and examine it closely.
        I will tune into the physical sensations of my neck.
        I look for sensations of pleasure as well as sensations of pain.
        I will swallow and appreciate the working order of my throat and air ways.
        I will take pleasure in feeling the throat muscles constrict and expand.
        I will notice the slight changes my neck experiences.

        Discovering My Heart

        I will feel the rhythm of my heart.
        I will grow relaxed and hear the beating of my heart.
        I will feel the blood move through my heart and pulsate past my neck.
        I will tune into the physical sensation of my heart.
        I will hear only my heart.
        I will close my eyes and see the beating heart.
        I will see the beats as colorful sparks of energy.
        I will enjoy the pleasure that my body creates.
        I will notice the slight changes the heart commands.

        Discovering My Hands

        I will focus upon my hands.
        I will feel the warmth of my palms.
        I will find pleasure in the temperature below the skin of my palms.
        I will experience the charkas of my palms open, stretch and communicate with the universe.
        I will notice slight changes in the muscles of my fingers, wrists and thumb.
        I will find pleasure in the weight of my hands and arms.
        I will find my hands relaxing and growing heavy.
        I look for sensations communication the pulse of the universe.
        I will feel tingling from my finger tips.

        Discovering My Center

        I will locate the center of my body.
        I will recognize the center of my body as a central source of balance and energy.
        I will experience the breath as it influences the center of my body.
        I will breathe deeply and allow my central body to absorb the magnetic forces of the universe.
        I will tune into my stomach.
        I will listen for sounds and sensations suspended from my outer energy source.
        I will listen for sounds and sensations planted deep within my energy source.
        I will enjoy the pleasure of my energy source.
        I will listen to the rhythm of my central body.

    Each day, after you practice the core energy exercises, you will notice your physical body growing healthier and more relaxed. And, your ability to communicate with spirit will grow as your body grows more serene. As your overall health improves, your ability to know yourself will increase and you will have developed a relationship with your uniquely individual core energy source.

  • Tuesday, June 16, 2020 2:48 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    The Mushroom of Many Wonders

    By D. Yael Bernhard


    Take a walk through a hemlock forest near a stream, and you might be lucky enough to find a dark red shelf mushroom growing from a trunk or a rotting log. It might have white edges of new growth, and appear to be varnished on top. Look underneath, and you’ll see a smooth, pale underside covered with tiny pores, making this bracket fungus a saprophytic polypore of the genus Ganoderma – meaning “shiny skin.” If you live in the Northeast, you’ve probably found Ganoderma tsugae, which grows on hemlocks. Known in this country as Reishi, this marvelous mushroom is called Ling Zhi in China, and has many other names, such as the “Ten Thousand Year Mushroom” for its superb healing and adaptogenic properties.


    Reishi has been the subject of numerous scientific studies in Asia, and has been used in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese medicine for thousands of years. In Chinese medicine it is believed to increase Wei Qi, a protective force similar to the immune system. Reishi is a key component of the Chinese formula Fu Zheng, given to emperors and used by Taoist masters as an elixir of life, and treasured more than gold. Ling zhi may be roughly translated as “shaman’s active ingredient.”


    Reishi has been used extensively in Asia as both a preventive of and curative for cancer. Combined with vitamin C, which aids in absorption of Reishi extract, dramatic improvement has been shown in countless cases after several months of treatment. Reishi is known to “wake up” the immune system early to fight cancer – including colon, ovarian, breast, skin, liver, and other cancers. It is rich in Beta-D-Glucan, which has been shown to inhibit 100% of tumors in mice. In Japan, Reishi is an official drug recognized as a remedy for cancer.


    Here in North America, Reishi has only recently gained recognition as an ally against cancer and as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are plants or fungi that gradually increase disease resistance and normalize bodily functions – the Western equivalent of a “qi tonic” that restores vital life energy. Other examples of adaptogens are shiitake mushrooms, astragalus root, and ginseng.


    Reishi is a powerful ally of the immune system. Used properly, it induces the production of interferon, a substance secreted by the body to protect itself against viral infections. Interferon can stop a virus from entering uninfected cells. Reishi also inhibits bacteria, including staphylococci, streptococci, and bacillus pneumoniae. Given 48 hours in advance, a water extract of Reishi even protected mice from a lethal dose of E. Coli. The main constituents in this action are the polysaccharides, long-chain sugars that act as immune-modulators. Reishi’s polysaccharides even show promise by increasing protein synthesis and cellular health in bone marrow, where macrophages and the precursors of antibodies are formed. Research in Japan showed that the ancient form of Ling zhi also augments the responsiveness of antibodies, especially IgG, and expands the “memory” of T-cells.


    Reishi’s oleic acid (also found in olive oil and olive leaves) is thought to be responsible for its antihistamine effect and its specific use for allergic asthma. Reishi is a potent scavenger of free radicals and modulator of T-cells, both implicated in the body’s inflammatory response. In over 2000 case studies in clinics and hospitals in China in the 1970s, treatment with Reishi syrup provided relief to 60-90% of chronic bronchitis sufferers – especially older patients. Reishi has been regarded as a geriatric medicine since ancient times.


    Reishi’s benefits to the cardiovascular system are numerous. Non-toxic, without side effects, the fungus is said to positively affect the heart qi, and is used for “knotted chest” or “aging blood.” Its abundant alcohol-soluble triterpenes act to lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol)in the bloodstream; reduce arteriosclerosis (arterial plaque); relieve heart palpitations; and modulate blood pressure, raising or lowering it as necessary. It is anti-thrombotic, inhibiting blood clots. Studies in China have shown a wide array of cardio-tonic benefits, such as increased blood flow, improved circulation of the myocardium (innermost heart muscle), and reduced need for oxygen.


    Reishi is also known as an effective remedy for insomnia. Used regularly, it gradually normalizes the body’s sleep patterns. Other gifts of this remarkable fungus include support for the liver and kidneys; protection against cobalt X-ray radiation; improved white blood cell count after chemotherapy; improved blood sugar profiles in diabetics; protection against hypothyroidism; and relief from neuromuscular disorders, stress-induced tension, and even altitude sickness.


    The active ingredients in Reishi vary in potency from mushroom to mushroom and place to place. Larger specimens with a consistent dark color throughout are superior. Water-based decoctions yield beneficial polysaccharides. Alcohol-based extracts yield triterpenes – fatty acids that have an adaptogenic affect, helping the body adjust to environmental, biological, and emotional stress; as well as sterols – oily substances that are precursors to hormones and the basis of steroid medications.

    And then there is the mysterious adenosine – a nucleotide, or basic structural unit of RNA or DNA – that may be responsible for Reishi’s most subtle and fundamental action. Adenosine inhibits the aggregation of blood platelets; mediates numerous signals among cells; plays a critical role in maintaining cellular energy; transmits hormonal messages to the major organs of the body; and assists the body in adapting to stress. Adenosine is considered a vasodilator, increasing the flow of blood, especially through capillaries. Adenosine’s mellowing effects are reduced by the intake of caffeine.

    As with all medicinal mushrooms, proper identification and use is crucial. While Reishi has few lookalikes, foragers should always consult professional sources in identifying mushrooms, and seek trusted suppliers for medicinal preparations. If you are taking blood thinners, consult your doctor before taking Reishi in any form. If you have poor digestion, use with caution and combine with vitamin C. Reishi may increase menstrual cramps due to its enlivening effect on blood flow. Overall, Reishi is very safe and free of side effects, and can be used on a long-term basis.

    Ling zhi is often found deep in the forest, on the edge of ravines over streams, where it is difficult to reach. It is said in Asia that to save a life, one must risk one’s life to find the oldest, most potent Reishi, believed to live for one hundred to one thousand years. As one of the most important longevity tonics in Chinese medicine, Reishi has been revered for centuries and can be found throughout Oriental mythology and art. Those swirly shapes embroidered on Chinese robes are not clouds, but Ganoderma lucidum – the Asian variety of Ling zhi shaped like spiraling rams’ horns. Ancient Taoists believed Reishi to be a gift from the gods – a gift of life itself. No wonder this incredible fungus is also known as “the Mushroom of Immortality.” I call it “The Mushroom of Many Wonders.”

    Catskill Fungi’s triple extract of Reishi mushroom fruiting body combines an alcohol extract, cold water infusion, and hot water decoction, creating the highest quality extraction of Reishi’s healing components. Find it at local farmers’ markets or https://www.catskillfungi.com/health-extracts.html.

    Yael Bernhard is an author, illustrator, herbal enthusiast, mushroom lover, and part of the Catskill Fungi crew. She also illustrated Susun Weed’s newly published book, Abundantly Well. To see more of her art, visit http://dyaelbernhard.com



    Willard, Terry, PhD, Reishi Mushroom: Herb of Spiritual Potency and Medical

    Wonder, Sylvan Press, 1990. This book contains numerous references to specific studies.

    Powell, Martin, Medicinal Mushrooms: The Clinical Guide, Mycology Press, 2nd Edition, 2014.



  • Tuesday, June 16, 2020 2:15 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Abundant Life Forces of the Carrot
    by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt

    Imagine that you hold in one hand a seed of a carrot and in the other an exact clay imitation of that seed. To the physical sight they look exactly alike. Imagine in detail the seed of the carrot sprout, mature, wither and decay. What is missing in the clay imitation? Why doesn’t it sprout?

    When we see a beautiful orange carrot we only notice the outer manifestations of matter. In reality what we see is the physical expression of invisible forces. The carrot is in itself an activity produced by invisible, creative life forces; an activity that is constantly changing and metamorphosing,
    In order to 'see' this activity that the carrot plant is as well as the creative life forces forming it, let us imagine the tiny carrot seed sprouting and growing into a lovely vermilion red, sweet, crisp carrot with green tops. We can observe the root of the carrot growing downward vertically around its center. Compared with its leaves it is dense with matter. The carrot tops on the other hand are drawn upwards towards the periphery, spreading out horizontally. They are lighter, thinner with an almost lacy look.

    Already we notice two opposite, yet complementary, forces at work in creating the carrot that qualitatively are completely different. One is the downward spiraling centripetal force which is often referred to as gravity, and the other is the upward spiraling centrifugal force known as levity. One has a relationship to density, matter and heaviness connected to earthly forces. The other has a relationship to non-density, non-matter and lightness, connected to cosmic, celestial forces.

    Where do these forces originate? We usually view physical space and matter as having a center, a point connected to gravity, the earth’s force. But what about the forces we call levity? Could they be connected to and even have their 'center' at the periphery?

    Draw a circle from a central point. The distance from the point to any point of the circle will be the same. On another piece of paper make the same size circle, this time draw planes (tangents) originating from the periphery. Do you have a different experience when drawing this circle?

    We can imagine every living plant and being as created by the interplay between this polarities of the point-centered, more fixed and finite earth space, and the peripheral, flexible, open-ended, ever moving and infinite cosmic space. Perhaps we can also imagine that infinity exists not as a realm in a far distant place, but a soul-spiritual creative realm, the ever present source of everything.

    In reverence we can now envision the carrot plant unfolding and being sucked or drawn upwards by forces (or possibly fairies) connected to the realm of pure light. Picture these forces (fairies) endowing the carrot with its varied qualities as they draw and spiral the physical substances outward. And imagine that around the carrot is, not an empty space, but a life-filled space of abundant vital forces.

    Lemon Carrot Salad
    This bright, delicious orange salad lifts every meal. It is satisfying, zesty and refreshing.

    2 medium size carrots
    A pinch of sea salt
    Juice of 1/2 - 1 lemon
    Sprigs of parsley for garnish

    Grate the carrots on a fine grater.
    Add sea salt, season with lemon juice and blend well.
    Garnish with sprigs of parsley.

    Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt is a Waldorf class and kindergarten teacher, biodynamic farmer, author and nutritional counselor. She has taught nutritional cooking and counseled for 25 years in her homeland Denmark, Europe and the United States.

    She trained as a macrobiotic cooking teacher and counselor and studied the principles of oriental medicine and the research of Dr. Weston A. Price before embracing the anthroposophical approach to nutrition, food and cooking.

    This Four week course will explore some of the many benefits of fermented and cultured foods, and why it is important to include them regularly with every meal. You will be guided through the steps of making sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled vegetables, kefir, soft cheese, and yogurt, as well as get a chance to discover new fermented drinks such as kvass, wines, and beers. I will aim at answering personal questions around your culturing and fermenting experiences.

    Intuitively we know that cultured and fermented foods are real health foods. Naturally fermented and cultured foods are an exceptional way to prepare different ingredients and some of the most important side dishes and condiments in our diet. They are often overlooked or not mentioned when we describe what we had for dinner, and yet they are pivotal in creating a well-balanced, nutritious meal.

    They add a bounty of nourishing, life-promoting substances and life forces, almost miraculous curative properties, and a wealth of colors, flavors, and shapes. They increase the appetite, stimulate the digestion, and make any simple meal festive and satisfying. The course will be highly practical with many hands-on activities.


    In this Four week course you will learn about the nutritional needs of your growing child and receive delicious, seasonal, wholesome nutritious menus and recipes on affordable budget so as to encourage children to eat and live healthy.

    During this course we will explore the nutritious needs for your growing child.

    We will discover how rhythm, simplicity and nourishing activities support a healthy child development. You will find new ways to encourage your child to develop a taste for natural, wholesome foods as well as receive and create delicious, seasonal nutritious menus and recipes that stay within the limits of your budget.

    Cooking for the Love of the World:
    Awakening our Spirituality through Cooking

    by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt

    A heart-centered, warmth-filled guide to the nurturing art of cooking. 200 pages, softbound

  • Tuesday, June 02, 2020 1:59 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    A Droplet of Peace
    by Catherine Bastedo

    Early this morning as the sun rises to a new day, it shines upon thousands of sparkling droplets decorating the blades of wild timothy grass on the high rocky point by the lake. After intermittent rain all day yesterday, I welcome the sun and these marvelous droplets, each one clear and beautiful, a sparkling diamond that slowly lengthens and spreads as the sun warms each blade.

    Droplets also sit upon the leaves of the old roses in the little rock garden; the larger ones, round globules in the centre of the leaf; the smaller ones, tiny beads that cling to the serrated edges. I keep my eye on one, hoping to catch the moment when this large drop will be warmed enough to lose its shape, spread upon the leaf and evaporate. Why does it seem that I have never done this before, never taken the time to really see the perfection before me?

    A woodpecker drums on the far shore and time stands still for a brief moment, encouraging me to find my true centre of peace, the drop of perfection that sustains and nourishes me. A beaver swims quietly in front of me, the v-shaped ripples on the mirror-calm surface moving farther and farther away. And my raindrop, the one I have singled out, is holding its own, while others have disappeared like magic.

    I decide to continue my watch…but am distracted by a shrill bird call and leave to determine the source of this odd sound. The cry draws me to the water and then into the woods, but I cannot locate the caller. When I come back, my drop—I feel some connection with this drop of water now—is still there, one of the few.

    As the day warms up, the dragonflies come out to feast, dozens of them above me, their flight patterns crisscrossing and their wings shimmering. Then I hear the unusual bird again and I wander off as before. How easily I am distracted from my moment of concentration. I hear large wings landing on the water and decide that the bird must have been a wood duck.

    Back to my scrutiny—I sit still on the ground, my knees raised. My drop of water lies perfectly on the rose leaf and I wish it would stay there always.

    A song sparrow trills, unseen; the phoebe who has made her nest in our veranda alights on a branch of a white pine near by, preening her feathers, unaware that I am spying on her morning ablutions. She reminds me to return to my own inner cleansing, and the loon’s lonely call adds weight to this thought. So I try harder to focus my being, and I seek this little globe of perfection inside me that nourishes me. I can almost feel it now, a sense of peace and calm in my heart that I would like to last forever.

    The shimmering drop appears to change shape ever so slightly, and as I watch, the little chipmunk that lives nearby runs beneath my raised knees, stops briefly under my legs where I cannot see him, and then hurries on his way. I am honoured that this little creature has come so close. Perhaps I have truly reached a still point.

    And the drop remains—one of the very few intact. It seems to be sending me a message that the centre of peace I found this morning will not disappear as quickly as I had thought. I can hold onto it persistently when I must leave and be surrounded by other people, activities, jarring sounds, and city air. But the rustle of the pines, the scent of the moss heating on the rocks, the trilling notes of the Song Sparrow, and especially this perfect centre of peace, will stay with me.

    The droplet of peace says to me, “I will be there as long as you are, as long as you seek me.”


    Catherine Bastedo is a Usui-Holographic Reiki and Holy Fire® III Karuna Reiki® Master, teacher, international speaker, author and leader of retreats and workshops. She is a Wellness Coach at the Maplesoft Centre for Cancer Survivors in Ottawa, Canada. Catherine’s passion is helping people to connect with the universal energy around them and within, to fulfill their dreams and follow their life path. She helps clients develop their inner guidance using a holistic, intuitive approach.

    She is also the author of Bird Vibes, a meditation deck based on the chakras and our connection to birds and nature. The leadership roles she has held, her natural intuition and love of nature, all guide her in helping people who deal with emotional and health issues, from workplace-related stress and the too busy pace of life, to the challenges of relationships, to life-threatening illness and the emotional shocks that go with that.

    Catherine Bastedo, M.A., RT-CRA www.visionreiki.com

    Healing Your Chakras Online Course ~ available here

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