HERBS of SATURN

bones, skin + collagen boosters

Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the most distant that can be seen with the naked eye. Saturn is the second largest planet and is best known for its fabulous ring system that was first observed in 1610 by the astronomer Galileo Galilei. Ancient Greeks and Romans, associated Saturn with the God of time (Cronus) and space, ruling the manifest world as we know it. 

S Y M B O L S   OF   S A T U R N

THE BODY

In medical astrology, Saturn is associated with the hard structures that hold our body, like the skeletal system, the knees, joints, and teeth. Saturn also corresponds with the processing of minerals within the body, particularly our kidneys (and urinary bladder). In esoteric anatomy, this is usually associated with “the processing of spirit”, the kidneys in itself are also seen as the doorway to spirit. Saturn is also associated with the gallbladder and the skin. For example, Chanca Piedra herb is a masterful gallbladder tonic, that also naturally works with the skin as it increases bile production, clearing out old stagnant toxins. One of the main organs in-charge of skin health is our detoxifying organs like the gallbladder.

THE SPIRITUAL – EMOTIONAL

Although Saturn is regarded by many people as representative of undesirable energy, and hard experiences, the nature of Saturn’s energy in our lives provides us with key lessons required for our growth and survival. The Universe is wise, recognizing that we do not learn and grow when things are easy, but require ongoing maintenance and endurance, if we are to become strong. The lessons of Saturn teaches us discipline.

The energies of Saturn are those which rule the inheritance of karma. Archetypally, Saturn (in a nutshell) provides us with protection, shielding, courage, endurance, restriction, self-control, and challenge. Saturn gets a bad reputation because it embodies the challenges we stumble upon as we go down life’s path. However, it is the overcoming of these challenges that the lessons of Saturn are learned. Saturn is the trajectory and the achievement over time, the essence of a challenge, as well as the treasures of wisdom earned over the hardships. Saturn, considered the lord of time, embodies our karmic inheritance, the lessons and patterning of ancestral heritage, and how we conduct it within our lives.

Interestingly enough Saturn is also said to rule our sensory organs, not the experience of sound, but the actual physical organs that enable hearing. Pretty appropriate, isn’t it?!

Medical astrologers have found distinctive moments in peoples lives where imbalances to Saturnian ruled body parts are triggered during key Saturn transits. Key imbalances are gallstones (and gallbladder removal), kidneys imbalances like kidney stones, gout; structural difficulties like arthritis and rheumatism, and/or with one’s own bones (breaking bones, bone marrow dis-ease, etc.)

If there is any planetary correspondence of herbs which teaches us the wisdom of making a change it is that found through Saturn. These herbs help us let go so that we can begin moving forward with our lives. Saturnian herbs will help recognize what is needed to transcend limitation. As well as helping develop structure in our own lives, they provide an understanding of the essential qualities of structure, supporting us in grounding-out the dream, in order to manifest.

HERBAL ENERGETICS

Herbs of Saturn tend to be masculine, grounding, astringent, cold, and without moisture (with a couple vital exemptions like comfrey, Solomon’s seal, and milky oats). Saturnian herbs tend to be those that thrive in places where other herbs would struggle to survive – dry, barren soil, or areas that receive little sun.

plants basket
UNDERSTANDING SATURNIAN HERBS

Here are a couple examples on some popular herbs and how they transmit Saturnian energy.

Interestingly enough, 2 Saturnian herbs that are somewhat foul-smelling herbs to most people are asafoetida and valerian (I actually love how they smell!). Both of these herbs are powerful anti-spasmodics, acting to limit and sedate potential overflows of energy. Asafetida is an Ayurvedic spice/herb used as an anti-viral, limiting the spread of bacteria, while Valerian limits chaos in the nervous system.

Other Saturnian herbs like horsetail, rich in silica and minerals popularly used for bone health for centuries (Saturn as a metabolic energy for essential minerals); arnica, potent wound and skin healer, nettle leaf and root highly mineralizing also know for bone health, alike comfrey.

H E R B S   of   S A T U R N
Arthritis: Comfrey, Goutwort, Henbane, Mullein

Wounds: Arnica, Hemp, Horsetail, Solomons Seal, Shepards Purse, St. Johns Wort.

Pain: Aconite, Crampbark, Cannabis, Kratom, Poppy, Valerian

Anti-Microbials/Anti-Virals: Black Walnut, Chaga, Jergon Sacha, Garlic.

Mineralizers: Horsetail, Nettle.

Bone Health/ broken bones: Comfrey, Holly, Elm, Solomon’s Seal, Nettle Root.

Colic, Gas, Constipation: Milky Oats, Hemp, Horsetail, Irish Moss,

Gallbladder Health: Chanca Piedra, Milk Thistle.

Skin Health: Arnica, Calendula, Nettle, He Shou Wu.

Spices + Aromatics: Asafoetida, Clary Sage, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Fir, Garlic, Juniper, Myrrh, Patchouli, Spikenard, Vetiver.

PLANT COLLAGEN
Coconut Yogurt

plant collagen yogurt
Starting the day with high fat, collagen-rich, fermented, adaptogenic goodness. Featuring our plant collagen composed of Saturnian Herbs.

SIMPLE MAGIC:
1 cup coconut yogurt
1.5 tbsp unrefined raw cacao powder
1tsp Plant Collagen
Blueberries
Rose Petals
Optional: 1tsp Adaptogenic Mushroom powder
1-2tsp Maple Syrup or Honey (sweeten as desired)

DIRECTIONS

Combine all of your ingredients in the blender. Blend for about 10 seconds, serve and enjoy!

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Building Better Bones with Herbs, and Lifestyle Changes

As our bones weaken over time, we can look to a variety of herbs and lifestyle changes to improve, and in some cases even rebuild, bone strength.

Every second, someone in the world fractures a bone, and more than half of Americans over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis or osteopenia. Although women are five times more likely to have osteoporosis than men, one-third of hip fractures occur in men, and men are less likely to recuperate. Thankfully, you can set up some healthy bone habits that will help you in the long-term, no matter your age or gender. And a host of herbs can help along the way.

The three most important factors in building bone need to occur together: Adequate calcium intake, optimal vitamin D levels, and weight-bearing exercise. However, the pace at which your body breaks down or rebuilds bone relies on many more considerations. Several factors lead to the loss of bone:

  • Inadequate calcium and vitamin D
  • Inactivity
  • Low body weight
  • Low estrogen levels and, particularly, a rapid decrease in estrogen levels {from menopause}
  • Low stomach acid {which impairs absorption of calcium and other nutrients}
  • Acidic body state due to inflammation, diet, and disease {your body uses calcium to buffer that acidity}
  • Medications including antacids, proton-pump inhibitors, and steroids
  • Inadequate intake/absorption of other minerals and nutrients that work tandem for bone strength
  • Excessive {or highly deficient} protein intake
  • High animal meat consumption, particularly red meat {the dietary factor most associated with poor bone structure
  • Excessive salt/sodium intake
  • Smoking
  • Soda consumption {particularly those containing phosphoric acid, and because soda can displace more mineral-dense drinks

On the other side, you have several factors that increase bone density:

  • Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake and absorption {from diet, supplements, and sunshine}
  • Frequent physical activity, especially weight-bearing and strength-training exercises {walking, jogging, hiking, lunges, push-ups, planks, and weight-lifting} as well as balance {yoga and Tai chi} to prevent falls
  • Supportive mineral and nutrient intake/absorption from diet or supplements, including vitamin K1 and K2, silica, magnesium, boron, and collagen
  • A plant-based or plant-focused diet including lots of vegetables and fiber
  • Phytoestrogens {preferably starting at a young age} as a regular part of the diet from beans, possibly soy, other legumes, flax seed, sesame seed, and possibly from supplements
  • Healthy digestion, including stomach acid production {with the use of herbal bitters}
  • Diet, lifestyle, and herbs that reduce inflammation

So, where do herbs fit into this? At first glance, herbs may seem to have no place in bone density, but they can actually serve as great allies. Sadly, scientific research is severely lacking in this area, but that doesn’t mean there are no herbs available to boost bone health. With any bone-building changes, the effects are slow to build, but you should notice some improvement in a year.

Mineral – Rich Herbs

Nutrient-dense herbs form the basis of any herbal bone protocol. These herbs provide ample amounts of some of the most important minerals for bone structure. We know from research on isolated nutrients that not only is calcium important – it’s the most abundant mineral in our bones – but other nutrients aid calcium utilization and also improve the bone matrix, so that it’s both strong and flexible, as well as shock-absorbent. Among many useful functions, magnesium allows the body to properly utilize vitamin D, which is necessary to use calcium. You’ll find this mineral in all dark leafy greens {including nettle and dandelion leaf} because it’s a component of chlorophyll. Silica improves collagen synthesis and the overall bone matrix, while vitamin K1 aids bone density. Mineral-rich herbs have useful body-alkalizing and anti-inflammatory actions to boot. The ability of herbs to provide myriad bone-building nutrients and activities in a highly absorbent form suggests that they may prove as beneficial {or more} than supplements, even though they haven’t been studied.

To get the most out of mineral-rich herbs, you have a few options:

Herbal Decoctions: 

Simmer herb material for 20 minutes or longer in tea or broth {decoctions make a great addition to bone broth, which provides additional benefits from the bone themselves}, strain and drink. Refrigerate or freeze the extra. Aim for 1/2 to 1 ounce of herbs per day. Nettle, oat straw, and horsetail work quite nicely. Feel free to add other ingredients for flavor, such as chai spices or soup ingredients.

Super-Infusions:

Steep 1 ounce of herb by weight for approximately four hours. Strain, squeezing out as much as you can, and drink hot or cold {refrigerating extras} over one to two days. Start with nettle or nettle and oat straw, then branch out with horsetail, alfalfa, violet, and red clover. You can add flavor-enhancing herbs, such as chai spices, peppermint, holy basil, or lemongrass. I have seen postmenopausal women’s bone density increase with only the daily addition of super mineral infusions.

Powder:

Add up to 1 ounce to smoothies and food daily.

Pesto:

Puree fresh, leafy green herbs with pesto ingredients such as pumpkin seeds {or almonds, walnuts, and pine nuts}, garlic, Parmesan {or nutritional yeast}, olive oil, and lemon juice. While it’s best consumed that day, you can refrigerate it for a day or freeze it. Dandelion leaves are a personal favorite for this recipe.

Weed Pesto

Enjoy this fragrant and flavorful pesto with organic blue corn tortilla chips or crudite’. While this is best served fresh, you can keep it refrigerated for one to two days or frozen for longer. Minimize air exposure during storage – the greens will oxidize and the garlic flavor will mellow over time.

  • 1 bunch dandelion {and/or violet, blanched nettle, or chickweed}
  • 1 cup salted tamari roasted pumpkin seeds {or raw seeds plus 1/2 tsp salt} or nut of choice
  • 1 – 3 cloves raw garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • Juice of 1 lemon or to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Coarsely chop herbs and add them to the food processor with the other dry ingredients. Blend. Add lemon juice and olive oil. Blend again until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.

As Food:

Use fresh, cooked, or dried herbs in your daily cuisine. Nettles work well for this {oat straw and horsetail less so, since they are too tough to eat}.

Herbal Vinegar:

Compared to the other suggestions above, this provides a much weaker mineral extract, but it can still be enjoyed as part of a broader protocol. Steep various mineral-dense herbs in apple cider vinegar for two to four weeks, strain, and enjoy a teaspoon to a tablespoon daily with meals in water or salad dressing.

Nettle {Urtica dioica}

And other species tops the list for nutrient-dense herbs, providing more bioavailable calcium per ounce than possibly any other food on the planet. One cup of super-infused tea provides two to three times the calcium of a glass of milk, and in a more easily absorbed form, as well as 20 percent of your daily magnesium intake. Fresh nettles, blanched and eaten like spinach, provide approximately 452 mg of calcium as well as 499 mcg of vitamin K1. It also contains silica and other nutrients. Nettles has a definite vegetal, spinach-like flavor that some people love, while vegetable-haters might abhor. Combining it with the lighter flavors of oat straw and violet, as well as flavorful herbs like chai spices or peppermint, help make it more palatable. Nettle also has a mild antihistamine action, is gently astringent {tightens and tones tissues}, may help control blood sugar, and acts as a strong diuretic, though the diuretic effect may wear off as your body gets used to it. It’s usually very well tolerated and is safer than spinach, but occasionally people have rare negative reactions.

Oat Straw {Avena sativa}

Straw has a lighter, sweeter, hay-like flavor. While it doesn’t pack quite the nutritional punch that nettles do, oat straw and dried tops still contain ample calcium, magnesium, and silica. It’s less diuretic and usually very safe and well tolerated. However, you should avoid it if you are allergic to oats or have gluten allergies that cross-react with oats. Oat Straw and tops don’t contain gluten, but they do contain a somewhat similarly structured protein called avenin. People with gluten reactions that can eat certified gluten-free oatmeal without a problem will be fine with oat straw. As a grass, it’s too tough to eat, so strain it out of tea or broth or take it as a powder.

Horsetail {Equisetum arvense}

Has more silica per ounce than almost any other plant on the planet, providing nearly 3,000 mg per ounce! Both isolated silica and horsetail are promising additions to any bone-building blend, improving the integrity of collagen and the bone matrix. Highly preliminary yet promising studies suggest that this helps prevent bone loss, builds bone structure, and reverses osteoporosis.

Benefits may go beyond the silica content. Several herbalists report that horsetail tincture {which contains little to no silica} helps broken bones heal, and studies support horsetail extract’s ability to reduce inflammation, modulate immune function, and heal wounds. That said, you have to source horsetail carefully. This water-loving plant readily accumulates nitrogenous toxins from polluted waterways and soil {from agribusiness, industrial plants, or big farms upstream}. Fresh horsetail also depletes vitamin B1 and has been toxic to grazing animals, but drying, cooking, and tincturing it should denature the enzyme responsible. If you opt to grind your own horsetail, be sure to wear a good mask and ensure proper ventilation to avoid inhaling the silica particles; silicosis can be quite dangerous for the lungs. Like oat straw, it’s too tough to eat, so strain it from tea or broth or take it as a powder.

Additional Herbs:

Nettle, oat straw, and horsetail are the three key players for bone structure, but other worthy additions include red clover {also a phytoestrogen}, violet leaf {slightly moistening}, alfalfa {a phytoestrogen, but with some cautions for autoimmune disease}, dandelion leaf {rich in minerals}, and seaweed {just a pinch here and there, its iodine makes it unsafe to consume in large amounts}.

Nutri-Tea Super Infusion

This herb-packed infusion offers an easier way to consume several of the main bone-boosting herbs at once.

  • 0.4-ounce nettle
  • 0.2-ounce oat straw
  • 0.2-ounce red clover blossoms
  • 0.1-ounce horsetail
  • 0.1-ounce peppermint and/or spearmint

Combine herbs in a 32-ounce French press or jar. Cover with boiling water. Stir herbs so they float freely. Let steep approximately 4 hours, strain, and squeeze the herb material to get as much liquid as you can. Reheat as desired, and refrigerate extras. Enjoy 1 – 2 cups daily. If you prefer, add mint in the last 15 minutes of steep time.

Note: If the super infusion is too strong for your taste buds, just use 1 – 2 heaping tablespoons of the mixed dry herbs per 12- 16 ounces of hot water, steeped for 15 – 60 minutes. This won’t contain as many minerals, but it’s lighter and more pleasant tasting.

Vitamin D-Rich Mushrooms

The synthesis of vitamin D mainly takes place via skin exposure to the sun or through supplements and cod liver oil. Herbs do not generally contain vitamin D, but mushrooms make it in their flesh when exposed to UV or sunlight. studies have shown that just a piece of sun-treated shitake can provide ample vitamin D. Once dried, they retain most of their vitamin D for at least a year. So feel free to throw some sun or UV-treated mushrooms into your broth and daily diet for a vitamin-D boost. Studies confirm that the body does indeed absorb and utilize the vitamin D from mushrooms. You can purchase fresh mushrooms from the grocery store and place them upside down in the sun for a few hours, and then use them fresh or finish drying them in the dehydrator.

Phytoestrogen-Rich Herbs

Estrogen has a protective effect for bones, discouraging breakdown. For this reason, women have added protection over men – until they enter peri- and menopause, when the sharp reduction in estrogen speeds up bone breakdown. Phytoestrogens appear to modulate this drop and prove especially beneficial if you have eaten them your whole life. All phytoestrogens are controversial for estrogen-dependent cancers, with some studies showing benefit and others harm.

Soy, Beans, and The Legume Plant Family

Provide most of our best-known phytoestrogens and isoflavones, including genistein and daidzein. By far, the most-studied source of phytoestrogens in soy, both because it’s relatively high in isoflavones and because soy agribusiness has funded and driven much of the research. A review study on osteoporosis and bone density in menopausal women concluded that soy isoflavones may prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis, improve bone strength, reduce the risk of fracture, increase lumbar spine bone mineral density, and decrease bone breakdown. Other beans and legumes, while minimally studied, likely offer similar benefits and are generally easier to digest and safer for the thyroid. Phytoestrogens may be why legume-rich, plant-based diets are associated with increased bone density while eating animal protein is associated with worse bone density {red meat’s detrimental inflammatory activity also plays a role}.

Red Clover {Trifolium pratense}

Is another popular legume plant for phytoestrogens and bone health. The blossoms taste lovely in tea and contain a good amount of minerals as well. It doesn’t seem to be quite as strong as soy; rather, it appears to inhibit bone breakdown {but does not help build back}. In one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 177 middle-aged women in the United Kingdom, those who took red clover isoflavones for 12 months had significantly less bone loss compared to those taking the placebo. Because bone turnover happens slowly, the researchers suggested longer-term studies could show even greater improvements.

The body requires adequate gut flora to convert phytoestrogens into a more active form, so taking them with probiotics may enhance the activity. Red clover is generally safe, but it may contain blood-thinning coumarins, especially if it’s allowed to ferment as it dries. Much of the dried red clover on the market is low quality. Look for nice purple flowers, not brown dust. You can also harvest your own. For optimum quality, pick it early in the day and place the flower tops in a single layer in the dehydrator. You can use the leaf and aerial parts of alfalfa {Medicago sativa} similarly {the same safety concerns apply}. Purchase organic alfalfa because this is otherwise a genetically modified crop. Alfalfa may also aggravate autoimmune flare-ups, such as lupus.

Digestion-Enhancing Herbs

Digestive bitters and carminatives are worth adding to your routine if your digestive performance isn’t what it should be. You need good stomach acid to break down and absorb minerals, and most Americans fall short. Many herbal bitters formulas exist on the market. Most include flavorful carminatives that balance the formula. Moderately strong bitters include artichoke leaf and dandelion leaf and root, while chamomile flowers, lemon balm leaf, and catnip are milder, tea-worthy options. You can also add citrus juice and peel, bitter leafy greens {dandelion, radicchio}, tamarind, and artichokes to the diet.

Anti-Inflammatory Herbs

These herbs do not play a direct role in bone health, however, inflammation is an underlying cause of bone loss. Alongside regular exercise, a plant-based or plant-focused diet, and other healthy habits like not smoking, anti-inflammatory herbs incorporated into your daily life may indirectly support bone health. Turmeric, green tea, tart cherry juice, and hawthorn serve as good long-term tonic anti-inflammatory herbs, and some research does suggest that turmeric and green tea help preserve bone. Any flavorful culinary or tea herb will also be excellent.

 

Backyard Herb Healer by AnnesBackyardHerbal on Etsy

You searched for AnnesBackyardHerbal! Discover the unique items that AnnesBackyardHerbal creates. At Etsy, we pride ourselves on our global community of sellers. Each Etsy seller helps contribute to a global marketplace of creative goods. By supporting AnnesBackyardHerbal, you’re supporting a small business, and, in turn, Etsy!

Source: Backyard Herb Healer by AnnesBackyardHerbal on Etsy

Every tincture is made in small batches by me. I harvest the herbs, mostly from my backyard, chop them up, cover them in Organic Prairie Spirits Vodka, cover them with parchment paper (dated & labeled), transfer them to a dark location in my basement, shake daily for 4-6 weeks, strain, and bottle them individually.

This process is not just something that is done by me but is LOVED by me! This is truly my “personal legend” (The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho); the thing that fulfills me and makes my heart fill with joy and satisfaction. It is my dream to grow plants & make them into a healing substance for others to use as preventative health care; all while still being home with my family.

Refurbishing the Herb Garden…

My Herbal Adventures...

So the time came when I could no longer stand to look at the horrible crab grass any longer! The horrible stuff that just kept getting larger and definitely was a sight for sore eyes. My eyes are exhausted; along with the whole rest of me! It has been a super busy summer filled with my daughter’s softball games, summer school for a few weeks, swimming lessons for my son, oboe lessons, Wildlife Sanctuary day camps, keeping up with gathering herbs; making & straining tinctures, oil infusions, & glycerites; getting ready to sell online and in the local store, & now a rummage sale. The weeds really got out of hand this year!

Usually I am so eager to show pictures of the garden but with the dry season and things just looking unkempt; it hasn’t happened as much as it should have. Life was too demanding, but the most…

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How to Make Mead with Berries & Spices

Homemade spiced berry mead is a delicious and easy departure from the usual golden elixir. Its stunning amethyst color and fruity pop is a must-try homebrewing adventure!

It is believed that the honor of “oldest alcoholic beverage on the planet” goes to mead. Evidence of this enchanting gold elixir has been found in Chinese pottery vessels dating back to 7000 BCE. While the discovery of mead was almost certainly a happy accident, over the ages this “nectar of the gods” has found a home in many tales, myths, legends, customs, ceremonies, and traditional remedies. Today, mead is enjoyed around the world in a variety of styles and strengths, from session meads to full-strength sack meads. 

Source: How to Make Mead with Berries & Spices

Healing with Motherwort

A warrior herb that nurtures the heart and spirit of women.

As women around the world share their stories and their voices, never has there been a better time for motherwort. Aptly named, this warrior weed targets women’s health, especially the reproductive system, but its value goes well beyond, strengthing not only the body but the spirit as well. Centuries of use demonstrate how this beneficial botanical belongs in your medicine chest.

Growing Tall

Motherwort is a hardy perennial in the Lamiaceae {mint} family that’s native to northern Eurasia {including Siberia}. Immigrants brought it to North America to use as medicine and as a food for bees, and it has thrived ever since, considered invasive in many of the states in which it grows. Flourishing wildly in neglected gardens, meadows, riverbanks, open woods, and roadsides, motherwort can and will grow prolifically just about anywhere it finds well-drained soil and full sun to dense shade.

Beginning from a clumped, basal rosette, it sends up one sturdy, branched, hairy, and purple-tinged square stalk that often grows to a height of six feet. Leaves are opposite, slightly hairy, and light-green with pale undersides. Lower leaves are larger, deeply three-lobed, and oak-shaped while the upper leaves are smaller, and five-lobed, resembling mugwort when not in flower. When crushed, the leaves can give off an unpleasant odor, and the flowers are said to have a somewhat disagreeable scent.

Motherwort flowers bloom from July to September and are small, delicate, and pale-pink to purple with a bottom lip covered in fluffy, thistle down-like hair. They grow up the stalk along the with the leaves in alternating whorls of six to 12 and contain an abundance of nectar that attracts bees. The sepals of the flowers are prickly, and once the petals are gone, become small burrs. Motherwort reproduces by self-seeding and through its extensive rhizomes, which form large colonies.

Motherwort is easy to grow and will flourish in most USDA Zones, especially 4-8. You can sow seeds right into the soil or start them indoors. Seeds germinate within two to three weeks. Plant after the last hard frost, about 1 – 3 feet apart, keeping them well watered. Motherwort grows profusely and may serve best in containers, where it has a little constraint. Plants started from seeds will not be large enough to harvest the first year, but you can usually harvest them twice the second year. Cut back flowers to keep motherwort from taking over or harvest them when they are in full bloom.

Harvest: Wear gloves when picking; some folks experience contact dermatitis after handling motherwort. Tincture aerial parts right away or dry for later use. You can cook young shoots and eat them like nettle; add fresh or dried flowers {without the spiny sepal} to soups and salads. Beer makers have used motherwort in brewing for its bitter character as an alternative to hops.

Motherwort (1)

What’s In A Name

As the common name suggests, motherwort has long been associated with aiding mothers and women. It has a strong history of use in both Europe and Asia. The botanical name, Leonurus cardiaca, comes from the Ancient Greek leon for lion and oura for tail, referring to the plant’s leaves, which resemble a lion’s tail. Cardiaca pertains to the herb’s actions on the heart. As a whole, the name translates to “lionhearted,” a term that speaks to motherwort’s action on the physical cardiovascular system and the emotional/spiritual heart.

First used by the Ancient Greeks to treat anxiety, depression, and heart palpitations in pregnant women, it became more widely known by its common name, motherwort, or “herb of the mother.” Pierandrea Mattioli, a 14th-century Italian physician and personal doctor to Ferdinand II, found it “useful for pounding heart, spasms, and paralysis” and to stimulate menses. English botanist John Gerard {1545 – 1612} used it for infirmities of the heart, and Nicholas Culpeper claimed, “There is no better herb to drive melancholy vapours from the heart, to strengthen it, and make the mind cheerful, blithe and merry.” {In Europe, it was first used to treat ailments of cows, hence its other common name, “cow-wort.”}

By the 19th-century, eclectic physicians were using motherwort to calm “morbid nervous excitement,” delayed menstruation, and all conditions that caused disquietude and wakefulness.

Leonurus Lore

People have also turned to the herb for mystical purposes. Many cultures have used motherwort to honor their goddesses of fertility because of the herb’s association with the moon and Venus. It was often an herb featured in lunar rituals. Considered a protective plant, it was especially useful in spells to guard pregnant women and their unborn children. Many women would keep a sachet of motherwort concealed with photos of family to protect and bless loved ones. Planted around the home or hung from doorways, it kept away unwanted guests, both physical and supernatural. Motherwort burned as a smudge would drive “wicked spirits” from the house. Leonurus was also used as counter-magic to reverse a curse.

Hindu lore suggested making a tea of motherwort and adding it to the laundry when washing socks and undergarments to impart protection and bring peace to the home. Japanese folklore tells of a town whose main water source was a stream fed by rainwater trickling through the hills of motherwort. The inhabitants of the village drank daily from this stream and were bestowed with extraordinarily long life – up to 130 years of age. Esotericism believes that an incense of motherwort and mugwort can aid in astral projection, as well as promote inner trust, healing, and confidence.

Monthly Serenity

As a remedy for PMS, motherwort helps pacify intense emotions. In this recipe, skullcap and oat straw provide a soothing boost by calming and nourishing the nervous system. Hawthorn and linden relieve tension, anxiety, and soothe the heart, and vervain, ladies’ mantle, and borage work to combat sadness and irritability and lift the spirits.

  • 3 parts motherwort
  • 3 parts skullcap
  • 3 parts oat straw
  • 2 parts linden
  • 2 parts hawthorn
  • 2 parts vervain
  • 1 part ladies’ mantle
  • 1 part borage

Prepare as a tincture {see below} or capsule, since these herbs taste very bitter. Dosage: 10 – 25 drops, 3 times a day or two capsules, three times a day. Begin with a low dose and increase if needed. Consult with your physician before using if you have cardiac issues.

Modern Medicine

Today, we know a lot more about the science behind motherwort’s wide-ranging benefits, and which ailments this amazing herb most effectively targets.

For women: To start, when it comes to women’s reproductive health, motherwort’s mild diuretic action helps relieve hormonal water retention. It also contains leonurine and stachydrine, two alkaloids that act as uterine stimulants, which can help bring on suppressed or delayed menstruation. At the same time, it offers antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties which work to inhibit prostaglandins, the chemicals produced by body tissue that stimulate contractions in the uterus and are responsible for pain. Taken as a tonic herb over time, motherwort can tone the muscles of the uterus, decreasing pain in the future.

As a powerful nervine, motherwort has an incredible effect on the nervous system. Cooling and calming, without being overly sedating, it helps dispel the heat from hot flashes and alleviates the panic that sometimes accompanies them. Superb for tackling the challenges of premenstrual syndrome {PMS}, it is one of the best remedies for extreme emotions, especially over-whelming anger and frustration.

This nervous system effect goes further, providing some calm in moments of stress from over-worry, world events, personal adversity or despair, anxiety, and sleeplessness. By imparting a sense of inner peace, it uplifts the spirits, soothes the mind and body, and facilitates better sleep.

Moon-Time Support

Motherwort is a time-honored remedy for painful, scanty periods. Each of the accompanying herbs offers powerful antispasmodic actions. Cramp bark and kava sedate the uterine muscles, while ginger provides strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. If needed, valerian root, a powerful muscle relaxant, and sedative can replace kava for nighttime relief. Do not use if you are prone to heavy periods.

  • 2 parts motherwort
  • 2 parts cramp bark
  • 2 parts ginger root
  • 1 part kava

Prepare as a tincture {see below} or capsules, since most of these herbs are very bitter. Dose: Begin with 10 – 25 drops, three times per day. Increase if needed. Capsules: 2, 3 times per day.

For the Heart:

The German Commission E actually approves this well-known cardiovascular tonic for its effect on nervous cardiac disorders, and for its ability to manage the palpitations that can accompany hyperthyroidism. Toning the heart muscle, motherwort helps to regulate heart rate, especially by calming rapid heartbeat from anxiety and menopause. A 2014 study, published in Planta Medica, a peer-reviewed journal from the Society of Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research, found that motherwort inhibited the effects of oxidative stress {inflammation} on the muscles of the heart, leading to further investigation into its use as a protective cardiac remedy. While stimulating circulation, Leonurus also reduces the risk of blood clots that can cause heart attacks and stroke and has been found to be more effective than valerian root for lowering blood pressure.

motherwort tincture

Motherwort Tincture

This tincture is a fantastic remedy for those who need emotional and physical heart strength:

Fill a glass jar three-quarters full with motherwort {preferably fresh} and cover with your solvent of choice: 100-proof alcohol, apple cider vinegar, or glycerin. Cover and set in a dark place for 4 – 6 weeks, shaking daily. Next, strain, bottle, and store in a cool, dark spot. Dose: 10 – 20 drops, three times per day.

A Caretakers’ Heart

One of the most fascinating things about motherwort is its ability to strengthen our emotional hearts. Traditionally an herb for women and mothers, it offers help to those who serve as caretakers and/or for people who do more for others than themselves and may feel undervalued. And like a strong mom, the herb gives much-needed support, inspiring radical self-care and restoring the inner “Lionheart” needed to fully open your own heart – to give without being taken advantage of, and care with appropriate boundaries. In essence, it helps you care for yourself so you have the stores of endurance and compassion to care for others.

Motherwort helps mend broken hearts and is a wonderful aid for those who have trouble saying “no,” can’t find their voice, or feel they are not being heard. It helps heal the spirit from injustices and promotes the courage to speak the truth, even in the face of adversity.

Cautions:

Do not use motherwort if you are pregnant, nursing, or prone to heavy menstrual periods. Consult a physician before using it if you take cardiovascular, thyroid, blood-thinning, or sedative medications, as the herb may interfere with treatment. Prolonged use may cause photosensitivity. Drowsiness can occur; avoid using sedative drugs. Excessive doses may cause digestive distress. Do not use with young children.

motherwort large

Flower Essences:

If you cannot take motherwort herb because of the above, consider the flower essence, which does not interfere with most medications. Motherwort essence has all the healing qualities of the herb but can go a bit deeper – it eases deep grief and heartache, opening your heart to receive divine love, acceptance, and peace. Motherwort works to soften the hearts of those who have hardened themselves to the world due to lack of nurturing, those who fear being hurt, and folks struggling with difficult childhoods and abuse. It helps give the courage to work through issues and feel the strength of your own personal power.

Just as its name suggests, motherwort is a fierce but healing warrior. In uncertain, when challenges are looming and we are put to the test emotionally and physically, look to motherwort to help calm your nerves, ease your pain, find your voice, and stand tall with the heart of a lion.

Herbs of Jupiter

Adaptogenic and Longevity Herbs

The correlation plants to planets have existed since time immemorial. Herbs and diseases were classified and described energetically in terms of astrological symbolism from the times of ancient Egyptians. In fact, the understanding of the principles of diagnosis and treatment according to occult science was considered an essential part of the study of medicine. Hippocrates himself classified diseases based on astrological phenomena and using planetary archetypes in deciphering how to heal sickness.

S Y M B O L S   O F   J U P I T E R

Jupiter, the first of the giant, gaseous planets gives off more energy than it receives. It is not surprising that this planet has represented concepts of generosity and benevolence to wise people for many thousands of years. Despite its turbulent atmosphere, it reflects the Sun brightly, shining the night sky as if it were a beautiful serene star.

Jupiter is often associated with the planet of abundance, higher wisdom, success, and expansiveness. Its energy allows us to have an expansive outlook in order to have increased access to resources.

S A C R E D   A N A T O M Y  

Anatomical correspondences include the liver, pancreas, the production of insulin, including the entire adrenalin-producing system. As the ruling planet of Sagittarius, the thighs and the base of the spine (including the sacrum and hips) are also under the Jupiter branch.

Other parts of the human body, include the arterial circulatory system, subcutaneous fat tissue, adrenalin glands, spleen, kidney, resistance to disease, oxygen in the blood, energy levels, digestive organs, thighs, buttocks. If afflicted, or perhaps during a rough Jupiter transit, medical astrology associates the following diseases as a result of this aspect: liver and blood-related diseases, abscess, arteriosclerosis, strokes, and cancer. Emotional issues include a sense of depression, a lack of direction in life, feeling as if success and good things are out of reach, financial anxiety and the belief that a relief in unavailable (hypochondriac).

E N E R G E T I C S  

Jupiter herbs are warm, moist, and mostly masculine. These herbs tend to be very expansive and amplify whatever it’s paired with. Herbs that are considered uplifting, with “anti-depressant” qualities, joyful, mood enhancing and inspire a positive feeling are known as Jovian. This category of herbs also has a vast quantity of spiritual enhancing herbs that are appropriate for meditation, for example, like herbs that induce lucid dreaming, like kalea sacatechichi (also a bitter tonic for the liver!), silene capensis (African dream bark) and valerian. 

medicine butterfly

A D A P T O G E N S
& H E R B S  of   J U P I T E R

Body & Mind

Archetypally speaking, the class of herbs that can encapsulate Jovian herbs at its best are herbs that build longevity. Adaptogens are a special class of herbs that provide a great amount of vitality, enhancing longevity in the body and mind overall. They’re commonly known for their powerful ability to prevent the damaging effects of stress on the organs, enabling deep protection on a multi-organ level, assisting the body in adaptation to life. Many of Jupiter’s herbs share this ability energetically, as they are multi-organ targeting herbs that enable a general state of well-being and longevity.

Jupiter has long been associated as the Guru amongst the planetary bodies, embodying higher wisdom and access to the sacred. Due to this, many medical astrologers have also considered the third eye to be part of its esoteric anatomy. Interestingly enough Adaptogenic herbs also have profound stabilizing effects on the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis, which is also known as our “god center”. This center, to say the least, is known by many to be the origin of our hormones, the molecules of consciousness, the command center of our subtle body, acting as a gateway to higher consciousness.

Very popular adaptogenic herbs that contain a Jovian essence are ashwagandha (Sun-Jupiter), astragalus, Bala, cordyceps, schizandra (Jupiter-Venus), licorice, ginseng, gynostemma, reishi, Suma, Tulsi.

BEING A REMEDY FOR WHATS NEEDED

Part of what makes Adaptogenic herbs so interesting is that they exert seemingly paradoxical effects (like Jupiter’s transits). The same herb may simultaneously enhance adrenal function while also helping an individual relax and sleep better (like ashwagandha). Adaptogens normalize levels of HPA hormones, raising those that are low while lowering those that are excessively elevated. The same herb may have different biochemical effects in different individuals, or they may affect the same individual differently at different times. The fact that a single substance can attenuate certain mediators in one person or one tissue while increasing them in others may seem paradoxical or even implausible.

tonic herbs

HERBS of JUPITER
~ favorites  ~

TONIC HERBS

Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Cordyceps, Gynostemma, Tulsi,
Reishi, Shizandra (with venus)

LIVER TONICS:
Dandelion, Yellow Dock (with Sun), Oregon grape root (with the sun),

Other healers that target several systems:
Borage, bodhi tree, comfrey (with Mars + Saturn), coltsfoot, elecampane, frankincense, hyssop (with moon and mars), henna, jasmine, lavender (with the sun and mercury), Melissa, meadowsweet, mulberry tree, magnolia, oak tree,  pine + pine pollen, raspberry fruit + leaf, roses (with Venus), rose hips, sorrel, Suma Brazilian ginseng, sumac, slippery elm, wood betony.

CULINARY:
Alfalfa, Appletree, Apricot tree, Apple, Asparagus, Bay leaf, Carob, Currants, Cardamom, Clove, Fennel, Figs, millet, Nutmeg, Peppermint (with Venus), Sage, Tomato, Tamarind, Yams.

RESINS & SMUDGES
Frankincense, Myrrh, Juniper, Sandalwood (with Venus), White Sage

mushroom latte

MUSHROOM LATTE

Deliciously frothy adaptogenic coffee
INGREDIENTS

 1tspPlant Collagen (omit if vegan)
1-2tsp Adaptogenic Immortality powder (reishi, chaga, cordyceps, etc.)
1 tbsp unrefined or raw cocoa powder
A pinch of vanilla bean powder
2 tbsp full-fat coconut cream powder
1 tsp virgin coconut oil
12oz (1 1/2cups) fresh pressed coffee
2-4oz plant-based milk of choice
Optional: sweetener of choice (I love coconut sugar)

DIRECTIONS

Combine all of your ingredients in the blender. Blend for about 10 seconds, serve and enjoy!

2018 Solar Eclipse Moon Cycle Energy reading — Spirit de la Lune

The First Quarter in Sagittarius adds another layer of the fiery energy from the New Moon, but Sagittarius brings an inspired action. If you have kept grounded and have listened to and have nourished your body throughout the eclipse portal, you may feel inspired to do more and have the energy to do so. Mercury moves direct today so this refreshing energy can leave you feeling more inspired and more impulsive!

A Full Moon in Pisces is watery, dreamy, romantic, and sensitive. Again, a lot of the Higher chakras are being activated, and it is particularly important for Pisces energy to be grounded, and to feel safe and protected. You may feel more psychic and tune in easily to everyone’s energy and emotions around you. Remember you do not need to hold this energy for anyone. And if you are feeling highly emotional, ask yourself… Are these emotions actually my own?

Happy Solar Eclipse in Leo!

Source: 2018 Solar Eclipse Moon Cycle Energy reading — Spirit de la Lune

Our last eclipse of 2018 is trailing the Lionsgate activation on 8/8/18. There is so much cosmic energy in the air and swirling around us… if you feel scattered, or your energy feels flighty, drained, or you are just downright frazzled… you are not alone! The collective energy is experiencing big shifts, surprises, and changes are still up ahead!

Read more about how you can anchor these energies into your daily life while navigating this new terrain. 

Herbs of Mars

Energizers and An Activating Potion

S Y M B O L S  OF  M A R S

Archetypally, Mars embodies the manner in which we bring ideas, dreams, and desires into manifestation. The energy of Mars yields us the power of strength, courage and physical activity.  Astrologers see Mars as a key element to one’s drive, agility and the nature of one’s physical energy.

S A C R E D   A N A T O M Y 

Anatomically this energy corresponds with the muscular system, the motor nerves, and the production of adrenalin. Astrologers look to Mars’ placement in the natal chart to describe how we pursue many aspects of sexual fulfillment, along with how we source energy within the body and mind. Medical astrologers include the external sexual organs in correspondence to Mars.

Diseases which induce a fever are sometimes associated with Mars. Other inflammation based outbreaks, like herpes, cirrhosis, candida, are often connected to Mars. Due to the sexual nature of Mars, a lot of medical astrologers have also associated sexually transmitted diseases with this planet. Accidents due to “spacey-ness”, or a lack of coordination, are directly associated to Mars and its transits. Other conditions include energy levels; high or low is dictated by Mars — a big one is fatigue, adrenal fatigue, or, on the other side of the spectrum, being hyperactive, living in the fight-or-flight mode.

You might be thinking… this is crazy, how in the world is this possible? A way to work with this is understanding the natal influences within your chart, to know where and when to watch out for a classic manifestation of an imbalance. This can be used for healing or preventing a dis-ease from growing or becoming worse.

E N E R G E T I C S 

By nature, the herbs of Mars are energetically yang and considered hot, energetic, and dry. They frequently cause an increase in energy or heat, even if only energetically. These herbs need to be used mindfully, as using them extensively can overthrow the adrenals for example, along with emotions. As you can imagine, an excess of Mars energy can lead to behavior patterns generally perceived as aggressive, egotistic, argumentative, confrontational, etc. Many of the herbs that fall under this umbrella are also naturally protecting, physically and metaphorically, many contain the energetics of protection.
H E R B A L   C O R R E S P O N D A N C E S

The herbs of Mars often function as tonics, enhancing one’s overall physical health. They must be wisely used for they add energy to all facets of one’s being. It can be like a magnifying glass, enhancing areas that we might not exactly agree with. If your engine is already running hot, you don’t want to overheat it.
“A classic herb, like Rue, is an aromatic and stimulant whose energizing qualities have been known to relieve nervous heart problems such as arrhythmia and palpitation. Rue also relieves colic, eliminates worms and can bring on menstruation.”

“Nettle, another herb of Mars, possesses thorns that act as hypodermics, injecting subcutaneous doses of stinging fluid. It is this same irritating juice, however, that when properly prepared becomes a powerful internal astringent, eliminating infections and blood in the urine, regulating blood pressure and flow, cleansing and relieving hemorrhoids, reducing susceptibility to colds and by virtue of its heating action, relieving rheumatic conditions.”

A combination of Solar Herbs with those of Mars add strength and forcefulness to the formulas’ personality, hence our personality. On an emotional level, they can increase a feeling of purposefulness and independence, enhancing our natural ability to not just to survive, but to thrive with our internal reservoirs as resources.  An example of this combination would be pairing turmeric (sun) with pine pollen (mars).

Combining with Herbs of the Moon, for example, it can trigger deep emotional healing. This pairing can also be excellent for detoxification and combat gut issues. On an emotional/spiritual level diving deep into the emotional world can be pairing blue lotus (moon) with nettle root (mars).

For generating abundance, or being a better provider of resources, herbs of Mars can be combined with those of Jupiter (we’ll be reviewing next week!) This increases a sense of abundance, self-confidence, delight, and spontaneity. A pairing that could reflect this would be: Meadowsweet and Maca.

HERBS of MARS

Stimulants + Energizers:

Coffee, Catuaba, Guarana, Maca, Prickly Ash, Pine (+ pine pollen), Ginkgo, Ephedra.

Muscles + Joints (Herbs that assist rheumatism, arthritis, etc.)

Chuchuhuasi, Sarsaparilla, Rheumatism weed (Chimapila), Hemp leaves, Kratom.

Bitters (Herbs to reduce gut inflammation, bloating, etc.)

Blessed Thistle, Black Pepper, Cinchona, Pau D’Arco, Nettles, Rue, Plantain leaf,
Quassia, Gentian.

Culinary:

Basil, Bay Laurel, Cashew, Chives, Cumin, Cayenne, Coriander, Garlic, Onions, Paprika, Parsley, Mustard, Marjoram, Radish.

Resins + Oils:

Benzoin, Dragons Blood, Castor Bean, Palo Santo

Visionary:
Mandrake, Juniper, Palo Santo

Other healers that target multiple systems:

Aloe, All-heal, Anemone, Bearberry, Indigo.

Turmeric Tonic

TURMERIC TONIC

morning remedy

1/2 tsp Turmeric 
4oz Fresh Tangerine Juice
4oz Fresh Orange Juice
40-60 drops Amargo Bitters
Black pepper
Garnish of choice to make it beautiful!

Directions: Coldpress Oranges and tangerines and mix equally into a pitcher. If you don’t have cold press juicer, use a regular juicer, or blend and then strain. Add the turmeric, a dash of black pepper and shake really well or pulse in the blender for 5 seconds. Add your bitter drops at the end, mix and enjoy!

Apothecary AM

Tonics:
Blood Tonic
Amargo Bitters
Energia Tonic
Fat Belly Tonic

Superherbs:
Plant Collagen
Qi Energy & Protein Powder
Green Coffee extract powder
Turmeric ~ Heirloom
Suma Brazilian Ginseng powder

Palo Santo perfume

Spirit Tools:
Palo Santo Myst
Palo Santo Wood
Palo Santo Oil

Was Four Thieves Stolen?

History of Four-Thieves Vinegar

When researching the history of Four Thieves Vinegar I realized there are many more versions of this folklore than I expected. The reason there are so many versions is that the story itself dates back centuries. A popular recount is that during an outbreak of the plague in Marseilles around 1772, four robbers ransacked the sick and dying. These four thieves, even though exposed to the plague, didn’t fall sick because they used a medicated vinegar topically. They were eventually caught and in exchange for leniency by the court they shared their prophylactic recipe which became known as Marseilles Vinegar and also Four Thieves Vinegar. The use of protective medicinal vinegar dates back even further to the 14th-century bubonic plague; I’m sure these four opportunistic criminals didn’t come up with the bright idea all on their own.

The original recipe was handed down for centuries and many variations were the result. The Scientific American Cyclopedia of Receipts, Notes and Queries published the following in 1900.

Four-Thieves-Vinegar-Recipe

In another book called Gattefosse’s Aromatherapy, Gattefosse claims that the following is the original Four Thieves recipe which hung in the Museum of Paris in 1937.

Take three pints of strong white wine vinegar, add a handful of each of wormwood, meadowsweet, wild marjoram and sage, fifty cloves, two ounces of campanula roots, two ounces of angelic, rosemary and horehound and three large measures of champhor. Place the mixture in a container for fifteen days, strain and express then bottle. Use by rubbing it on the hands, ears and temples from time to time when approaching a plague victim.

The late Dr. John R. Christopher (1909 – 1983) when writing about the medicinal value of garlic pointed out, “Garlic was the principal ingredient in the famous Four Thieves Vinegar which was adapted so successfully at Marseilles for protection against the plague when it prevailed there in 1772. This originated, it is said, with four thieves who confessed that, while protected by the liberal use of aromatic garlic vinegar during the plague, they plundered the dead bodies of the victims with complete safety”.

Four Thieves Morphed into Oil and More

There is no doubt that the term Four Thieves sprung up centuries ago to describe an herbal vinegar tincture containing plenty of garlic. Just like many other herbal traditions, Thieves Vinegar recipes have been happily created, shared and enjoyed by herbalists and wise women in the kitchen ever since; cottage industries also sprung up to share this valuable medicine with the community. In relatively more recent years, essential-oil blends were created and given the similar name Four Thieves Oil or just Thieves Oil even though these oil blends didn’t have that much in common with the ancient vinegar recipes. One company, Young Living, has produced an entire line of Thieves products including essential oils, soaps, cleaners, mints, toothpaste, etc. which don’t resemble the original recipe at all.

Herbal Medicine

This would be all well and good, except that Young Living trademarked the name Thieves, so now no one else can call their products by that name or any name even similar. The four thieves making this recipe famous took advantage of the sick and dying, and as the story goes weren’t locked up back in the day. Now hundreds of years later the name, that has become synonymous with their traditional recipe, has been put behind lock and key.

Were Four Thieves Stolen?

So now this begs the question, “was four thieves stolen?”. The herbal community believes so. They are still reeling from a similar trademark debacle because another traditional recipe, Fire Cider, was trademarked by Shire City. A post for Mother  Earth News two years ago entitled, Fire Cider Original Recipe and Controversy, which explains how Rosemary Gladstar, the godmother of modern day herbalism, coined the term Fire Cider. Throughout her life, and still to this day, Rosemary freely shares the beloved recipe that she created with her students at the California School of Herbal Studies in the early 1980’s. If she wished to sell it, Rosemary can’t legally use the term Fire Cider to describe her own recipe! This also affects longstanding cottage businesses that have used the term for decades. Some may ask, why didn’t she trademark it? To Rosemary and other herbalists, myself included, trademarking the terms Fire Cider and Four Thieves is like trademarking Chicken Soup or Elderberry Syrup. It’s concerning that the trademark office didn’t do more research before handing out these trademarks to ensure generic terms stay in the public domain. Rosemary, along with Mary Blue, Nicole Tells and Kathryn Langelier (aka as the Fire Cider Three), is working with the US Patent office to create a master list of traditional terms that their office needs to be aware of before more of the people’s heritage is stolen. The hope is to free the terms Fire Cider and Thieves and to set a legal precedent to protect generic and traditional herbal terms from trademarks in the future.

If you would like to help these causes or just learn more, please visit the Facebook page Traditions Not Trademarks or www.freefirecider.com

Perception and Prespective

In the Celtic tradition, August 1st in the northern hemisphere is celebrated as the festival of Lammas, a day of thanksgiving for the beginning of the harvest season.

In a normal summer this timing would be about right, however this year, everywhere around, the harvest has been gathered in, some of it even before the beginning of August. Now golden straw bales stand in great piles awaiting collection and the farmers are already fertilizing the fields in preparation for plowing. Even though the sun continues to shine as hotly as ever, this most unusual situation has created the slightly unnerving illusion that the summer holidays are about to finish rather than only just beginning. Even though we know this is not true, the oddness of it all adds to the strange ‘Alice in Wonderland’ feeling that seems to be pervading life in general at the moment.

The Energies of August

There are plenty of energetic opportunities available to us in the cosmic line up for August, provided we can stay focused and are willing to overcome the odd challenge or two.

The energies this month will feel more demanding and outwardly orientated than those of last month, with a definite agenda of getting any necessary changes accomplished. It is possible that some of these changes may be unexpected, seemingly coming from nowhere. However, should this be your experience, with a little introspection you will probably find that you have known for some time what was needed, just not quite ‘got around’ to implementing it yet!

Certainly, if you know that there are adjustments needed in some aspect of your life this would be an excellent time to follow through with them as the ‘force is with you’ on his one.

This month we still have an unusually large number of planets in retrograde motion, so called because they appear to be moving backward in the heavens relative to our position here on Earth. In this situation, we receive a more intense focus of energy from these planets and often things work differently than we might expect. For instance, Mercury will be retrograde until August 19th, so pay extra attention to the details of anything you are doing, communicating or planning over his period. Mars is also retrograde, so it may feel less easy to get things done or you might feel constricted and frustrated because the way forward seems somewhat unclear. Just taking a moment to breathe and connect with yourself will help here.

Eclipses

The lunar eclipse on July 27th was indeed powerful and took us deep into our feminine nature to explore and expand our understanding of this important part of ourselves. This was the second eclipse of a series of three with the final one being a solar eclipse at the new moon on August 11th.

Eclipses are often important ‘reset’ points and the time between eclipses provides an important opportunity to reflect and review anything that needs adjusting to allow us to realign our direction in life, should this be necessary.

Other influences in the energy flow this month will be very supportive, perhaps even insistent, on this forward movement to take up the opportunity offered to release and let go of anything old. Once we arrive at the new moon on Aug 11th the doorway for something new will be wide open.

Lions Gate 8-8

Each year the month of August also brings us an important planetary ‘reset’ opportunity. In ancient times it was understood that what is sometimes called the Sacred Year, or planetary new year began on July 26th. Between July 26th and August 11th/12th each year, the earth comes into alignment with the Galactic Core, the Sun, and the Star Sirius, creating a portal or stargate known as the Lions Gate. While this portal is open we receive a download of high-frequency light that contains the codes we need to take us up the spiral of spiritual evolution over the coming 12 months.

This light flows through the Lions Gate, which is open to its fullest on August 8th and into the earth grid points of the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid of Giza. Over the coming 12 months, this light will gradually be absorbed by the Earth and humanity, awakening consciousness and activating the dormant DNA codes that are needed for us to expand beyond the 3rd/4th-dimensional paradigm. This is highly transformational energy so taking some time out to connect, absorb, integrate and ground what is being offered would be very beneficial.

Leo Symbol

The Energies of Leo

All the other planetary activities this month are set against the backdrop of inflowing energies from the constellation of Leo. The fiery, powerful energies of Leo are associated with the Sun and depicted in the western astrological zodiac by the sign of the Lion.

It is significant that Leo is the only sign in the zodiac to have the same planetary ruler at all three levels of astrological interpretation, so whether we look from a personality, soul or monadic perspective the Sun is always the ruler of Leo. This unique relationship with the sun at the heart of our universe is an indication of just how powerfully transformational the energies of Leo can be.

The liberating, universal principles of Love and Freedom flow through the constellation of Leo, energies that particularly stimulate the alignment of the heart with the soul and illuminate the need for the right use of power and the will to create that which can serve the common good.

Perception and Perspective

The energies this month will feel more demanding and outwardly orientated than those of last month, with a definite agenda of getting any necessary changes accomplished

The energetic flow this month has a big focus on helping us to expand our consciousness as well as testing our ability to stand in our own truth when it comes to acting on any changes that feel important for us. This will require a degree of inner strength as well as the willingness to view ourselves through the eyes of compassion and most importantly with non-judgment.

When faced with the need to make uncomfortable changes, it can help to start by giving yourself full permission to be just who you are, knowing that this might include some aspects of yourself that you see as still needing refinement. Remember that we are moving out of a polarity-based consciousness and expanding our awareness so that we can operate in 5th-dimensional unity consciousness.

In this situation choosing our point of perception carefully is all important. For instance, entertaining vibrations of anger, judgment, blame, guilt etc. will tend to reinforce an old polarity while observing those emotions from a place of neutrality will provide for a greater freedom of choice. This is very important because until we take ownership of the issues that constrict our ability to stand in our own truth and light we have no power to transform them. Once we have arrived at a point of understanding and acceptance within ourselves it is much easier to hold an issue in love and allow its power over us to dissolve.

A final thought as you surf the energies of change this month; remember that our ability to actively change in our lives does not rely on anyone else changing to facilitate it. Rather it is up to us to recognize where we are unconsciously still playing out old disempowering agreements that have outworn their usefulness and then choose to release ourselves from their restricting influence.

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