Are you looking for love or trying to mend a broken heart? In a new relationship or in the middle of a life-long love story? We have the gemstones for you. Source: Gemstones for Love - Our magnificent 7 Gems of the Heart
The mighty Devil’s walking stick in early spring–look at those spikes!
The Druid’s Garden Homestead is located on a 5-acre parcel of land in Western Pennsylvania that is currently regenerating from intense logging. Three years ago, just before we bought the property, the family who owned it logged about three of the five wooded acres. This has led to a host of possibilities where we can work on forest regeneration, observing the changes in this damaged place as it regrows, and certainly, opportunities for wildtending and creating food forests. As you walk through this regenerating landscape, one of the most striking understory trees is the Devil’s Walking Stick, Aralia spinosa. Looking like a very spiky and menacing walking stick (it has a name fitting of its visage), this tree is also known as Prickly Elder, Prickly Ash, Shotbush, Pigeon Tree, Angelica Tree, or Hercules club. These varied names really…
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Some time ago, I offered insight into how to create your own oracle or tarot deck for your own purposes. I promised a follow-up article that explored the world of self-publishing and had a recent request for this information, so here it is! This article starts where the last one left off–I’m not going to talk about creation, intention, or media in this article but rather share the aspects of taking something that you have already created (or are in the process of creating) and sharing it with the world. While there are certainly a number of considerations at play, creating an oracle or tarot deck that you release to the world can be a fantastic experience. I realize a lot of people don’t need this information, but I’d like to put it out there for those who might find it helpful in…
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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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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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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
An autumn mushroom that you may see over the next few weeks is the Parasol Mushroom. Edible, delicious, and easily spotted in the woods, the Parasol Mushroom is a favorite amongst many foragers for its nutty smell and taste.
The Parasol Mushroom, however, is not the easiest mushroom to positively identify because it shares similar features with several other species — some of which are toxic. Many field guides and online articles fail to include a sufficient number of images and offer little help in identifying the Parasol Mushroom. Such lack of detail can leave readers with more questions than answers, and ultimately with no Parasol Mushrooms for dinner!
To address this issue and to assist with the identification process, I created an extremely detailed video outlining all the important pieces of information that any forager needs to know in order to safely and confidently harvest the Parasol Mushroom…
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by Jen Munson, Education Chair
It’s accepted that good health can be found in nature, from the benefits of hands in the dirt to the reduction of stress from a walk in the woods. Another modality for good health is the chakra system. Chakra is Sanskrit for wheel or circle and references the wheels of energy located in the body. The chakra system is a network of energy channels that are mapped throughout the body. Although some may not ascribe to this way of thinking about the body, others embrace a life of learning and exploring this modality.
Join us on September 24th at 1pm EDT for our webinar titled, The Chakra System Displayed in a Garden. Herbalist and business owner Jane Hawley Stevens will be our guest presenter. At Jane’s award-winning organic farm, Four Elements Herbal, she created a garden that organizes plants according to the body systems…
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A woman hikes up to a sacred spring that she visits at least once a season. From her small bag, she pulls out a beautiful crown of flowers that she had lovingly crafted before leaving home. Placing the crown upon her head, she dances and sings around the spring, drinking deeply and celebrating life on this early fall. As a sign of respect and offering, she hangs the flower garland near the spring and carries her sacred water back down the mountain.
I find it interesting that the ancient art of flower crowns garland making is almost non-existent today, at least here within the US. This tradition has so much potential. The only people who I’ve seen make these delightful crowns are children, who haven’t yet lost their magic or wonder about the world. And yet, garlands and flower crowns, are…
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2020 has been challenging for nearly everyone in a multitude of ways. One of the things that we are faced with right now is grief: grief over lost friends and family who have passed, grief over a previous way of life that seems to be gone for good, grief over lost careers and uncertain futures, grief over continued suffering and uncertainty with regards to our climate and life on this planet. I have certainly been experiencing many of these things. Perhaps the two most central things that happened to me this summer was the loss of a good friend after a long and difficult battle with cancer and the destruction of a large part of our family’s property to put in a septic line. The loss of many trees that I had grown up with and a beautiful ecosystem that we had cultivated into a botanical sanctuary. These losses happened…
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