Nature Mandalas for Inner Work, Rituals, and Blessings

The Druid's Garden

A woman comes to a clearing in the recently burned forest with a basket of stones, sticks, nuts, and flowers.  She begins to sing, laugh, and dance as she creates a beautiful circle with the materials. As she weaves her healing magic, the design of the circle grows more complex, spiraling inward and outward.  She finishes her work and sits with it quietly for a time, before leaving it in place to do its own work.  A healing mandala has been made on that spot, to help the forest recover after a fire.

Nature mandalas can be used for a variety of inner work, healings, blessings and rituals and are a wonderful addition to a druid or natural spiritual practice. Nature mandalas are an intuitive magical and bardic arts practice that works with the connection of your own subconscious to the living earth.  You use materials that are local to…

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HSA Webinar: Hamlet’s Poison: The Mystery of Hebanon & Shakespeare’s Other Deadly Plants

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Jen Munson, HSA Education Chair

‘There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember: and there is pansies. that’s for thoughts.’ (Hamlet 4.5.248)

William Shakespeare’s poetic plays are filled with dramatic imagery and references to plants, herbs, trees, vegetables, and other botanicals. Shakespeare’s awareness of the botanical world was near the level of herbalists of that period, and the use of plants throughout his plays is done with unparalleled sophistication. They are used to enhance ideas and describe characters, as well as for metaphors. For example, Hamlet describes the state of Denmark as “…an unweeded garden / That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature” (Hamlet 1.22.134-136). 

Plants are used for evil doings and central plot development. They are transformed into potions that are  lust invoking, (Viola tricolor in Midsummer Nights Dream), sleep inducing (Atropa belladonna in Romeo and Juliet), and as poisons…

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Natural Perfumery Course

Blending your own botanical perfume is a delightful, time-tested way to infuse both your home and your body with the plants you connect with most. A true breath of fresh air, the Natural Perfumery Course will empower you to form a new type of relationship with plants—a relationship that lets the plants speak for themselves … Continue reading Natural Perfumery Course

The Healing Properties of Baneful Herbs | Coby Michael Ward

Baneful herbs, herbs that are toxic or potentially deadly have been and continue to be some of mankind’s most important medicines, while their applications have evolved, drugs like atropine, scopolamine and digoxin have botanical origins.  It is because of these plant’s chemical potency that they are so important.  These herbs also have very powerful spirits … Continue reading The Healing Properties of Baneful Herbs | Coby Michael Ward

October Newsletter – Seasons Change but some things never do

A look at how the rain helped create the October birthstone, a new discovery of blue diamonds, a gems fair announcement, and two great customer questions this month. By the way, opals are not the only birthstones available for October. Perhaps the only gemstone that can rival opals for the variety of colors is tourmaline … Continue reading October Newsletter – Seasons Change but some things never do