Friday, February 27, 2009

Essential Herbal Giveaway!

I know I have told you about Tina Sams before on my blog. She is one of those people I have never met but love like an old friend.
Well she is opening up her heart to the world by offering a FREE YEAR subscription of her magazine, The Essential Herbal, to a well deserving person (luck as we often call it).

This magazine is filled with writings from farmers, gardeners, crafters, herbalists, soapmakers, those with cooking savvy, and other very open and real people.
What a delight to be part of this. Best wishes to everyone who writes a comment on my blog during this giveaway!

Welcome to our Herb Blog Group Contest!
For the week between Friday, February 27 and Thursday, March 5 you can enter simply by entering a comment in response to this blog entry and take a chance at winning a full year’s subscription to The Essential Herbal Magazine! The Essential Herbal is written by, for, and about herbie people and the things they love. It is a grassroots publication that talks about the things you want to know when it comes to herbs.

The following blogs are also participating, so stop over to enter with them for additional chances to win AND the chance to explore some cool blogs. If you are already a subscriber, we’ll just add the free year on the end. Be sure to leave an email addy in your response so that we can reach you if you win!

Possum Creek Herb Farm

Garden Chick ***

SunRose Aromatics ***

Herbs from the Labyrinth ***

Patti’s Potions ***

PrairieLand Herbs ***

Aquarian Bath ***

The Rosemary House ***

Natures Gift ***

Torchsong Studio ***

The Essential Herbal ***

*** These blogs will be having contests for the next 10 weeks. Be sure to come back!

Blessings of an Herbwyfe will not be able to partcipate in the 10 week giveaway, so please keep up to speed after the Magazine giveaway by checking out the participants with the stars by their links. It is going to be fun and you will enjoy your time with each of these people as well!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

In memory of Michael Moore, herbalist

The kids and I took a hike up Teton Pass. I carried with me a sadness of this great herbalist who literally has been very helpful to so many. He passed away on February 20.

To honor him, as well as my ancestors that have passed, I brought some tobacco up there and found a place with a tree and 2 wild plants sticking out of the snow.
There was an open patch in the snow, so we knelt down, gave gratitude and sprinkled the tobacco in that opening.

Thank you Michael for all you have done and your 'openness' are 'realness' of who you are, instead of what others thought you should be.

You will be a wonderful memory in my mind and heart.

Michael's website

There is an herbal gathering in New Mexico to honor him in April.
In gratitude

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day/Age of Aquarius

My mom, who passed away this past summer, use to play alot of music from the 50's and 60's. This Fifth Dimension song is one I remember well.
On Feb 14, the planets were lined up like the song, and an astrological chart was drawn up to reflect a time of spiritual transformation and relationships.
Now whether you beleive in this stuff or not, won't matter because regardless it was in the sky and that is fact. And that is cool.
I have a special soap I will be stocking to honor this planetary alignment. This will be at Random Eclipse on the 22nd of February. This soap will honor the 4 elements, the 7 chakra's and the flowers, earth, trees, resins, herbs, leaves and an elixir of amethyst.

Besides this special alignment, it was also Valentines Day, a time to show those you love some honor.
I must confess, V-day was never very special as an adult woman, as my 2 marriage partners over the years never celebrated it so it became another day.
This year I was on my own. And ya know what.....I celebrated!
My son and I went to see Schuyler Fisk and Ben Taylor in concert.
I donned myself with a very special necklace and earrings set from Greenlees Forest I have the Hold necklace. It is very special to me!

I had first heard Schuyler on My Space and her song Dont forget you love me, was my theme song for the My space page I had. I love her mellow folk style, however I must say SHE WAS ROCKIN.
I video clipped a small mellow part of that song I was just referencing.

After a short intermission, and a couple red stripes later, Ben arrived on stage. Ben is the son of famous father James Taylor and famous mother Carly Simon. Talk about soem serious musical genes! Ben was simply fun, had us laughing throughout the show and his music was a little folky, with some blues mixed in.
Here is a video clip of the last song of the set, again something really mellow and his band had walked off stage by then.

I dont know if it is acceptable to film anyone performing, so I got these brief clips to show the kids at home, just what we were up to on Valentines day.

And to encourage you all that if these musicians come to your town, lift yourself up outta cabin fever and go see em. You will really have a great time.

My son and I had a wonderful time! A great way to spend a Valentine's eve when neither of us had a valentine to share it with. This is my second oldest child....I have to laugh at how he towers over me.

Thanks for sharing this day with me and a HUGE thanks to the various people that took time to wish me love on this day, knowing I was alone. I was overshaddowed with love from you and it sure made me feel good!


When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
The Age of Aquarius
Aquarius! Aquarius!

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind's true liberation
Aquarius! Aquarius!

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
The Age of Aquarius
Aquarius! Aquarius!

Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Weekend of beauty

It had been an intense week of caring for others, and ending up not feeling so well myself.
Sometimes during illness, emotions come up. Do not ignore them. If frustration and anger swell up inside, then pay attention and see that sometimes these stuffed emotions need to come up and be dealt with. Illness sometimes is a result of stuffed emotions, or it brings things to light often times.
So I spent some of the weekend writing letters to release some trapped feelings I had.
But also, due to the oppressive nature of feeling down, I HAD TO GET OUT IN THE WILDERNESS!

Sharing what the day presented to us. The morning started out beautiful, as you can see in the above picture.

Ben has a project on Elk, so we decided to hit the road in search of the herds.
We drove 70 miles and did not run into any, but we did run into Moose foraging near the Gros Ventre River.

We also cruised on up by the hot spring to see the beauty and observe the trees.

The beauty of the Tetons is always changing and simply magnificent!

Since the elk were not found on our own efforts, we figured we had better go to the elk refuge and at least get some footage of the mighty animals.

On our way, there were at least 5 coyotes dancing in the snow apparantly catching whatever little critters that fly and survive these winters.
Here is one of them

And then to the Elk Refuge to film the herds. The Elk Refuge is land that is preserved for the elk to winter. There is a feeding program for them, where you can pay to go out on a horse drawn sleigh and watch them closer during the feeding. We have not been able to do that yet, but will sometime.

So from the main road, Ben films his elk. Look closely at the mountains in the background and see if you can see the Indian, with headress, laying down with his arms on his chest. This mountain is called Sleeping Indian.

Nature always inspires and heals so I sealed my inner stirrings with a kiss to thank her:)

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A sunny day-time to play

Or rather work and play. I had about a dozen packages to ship today!! Thank you for those who support my work!
The sun was shining, and with moderate temps this week, the roads are mostly clear.
And since we had to be out today, I decided that after errand running, I would take Olivia to hang out at Planet Palate.
This is the little cafe I worked at for like a day:) Some of you might remember, the schedule I could keep with Olivia's classes, weren't truly good for the restaurant and the day I worked I could see that clearly. The owner, Amy Young, really tried to make it work. Thanks Amy!
I did some work for Planet Palate after that, while Amy was out of town and really got a feel for the place and more about Amy's vision.

It was so refreshing today, after a busy run around day, to chill out and relax with Liv.

Here is Liv on the steps to enter in. The ski hill in the background is Snow King.

We are always tempted when walking in the door with fresh baked goodies, most organic, some gluten free or vegan.

I had a favorite beverage I enjoy there which is their Tiger Chai.
Which is a beverage with infusion of cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, ginger, peppercorn, clove, chickory orange zest, and jasmine tea. With organic milk.

Then our meal. We split a cup of cream of spinach soup and a Margherita, which is basically an egg sandwich on foccacia, with basil, tomato and roasted garlic aioli. IT IS SO GOOD

I was able to read the daily paper, which is free here in Jackson, well one of them is, as well as bus service is free in town. Thankfully, I did not have to take the bus today:)

The day was crisp and clear, pretty quiet with birds singing throughout the day. You can almost feel spring is saying, WONT BE TOO LONG NOW, although in Jackson, Spring is still a ways away compared to most places.
This is on the road home. It was so majestic today to have a clear sky to see the mountains that surround where I live

Upon arriving home, I made a nice warm brew of thyme tea and sat out in the sun briefly before heading to do laundry.

What a glorious day! The beauty of nature uplifts my spirits so much! I have an infusion of neem on the counter to work with later. Trying to understand some of its benefits with oral care. I have really looking forward to it, but hoping it wont be as bad and bitter as I suspect it to be.

Have a Glorious Day!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Herbalist Spotlight- Darcey Blue

This month I feature Arizona herbalist Darcey Blue. The first time I was exposed to Darcey, I ordered some things from her including an awesome smudge she made with desert herbs.

She has been a passionate herbalist, an amazing cook, and continual student of health.

She has always been very kind and supportive to me throughout the years, and has been a source of encouragement in times I felt like giving up.

Darcey is engaged and is in her late twenties. A marvelous herbal woman (hear her roar)
She currently lives and practices her herbal work in Tuscon, Arizona.

Do you remember what was going on in your life that lead you to herbs?

I read clan of the cave bear at age 12, became fascinated that one could heal and eat from the wildplants, and so went into my back yard to discover edible dandelions, alfalfa, and thistles, and healing artemisia, yarrow and more. The first time I tried an herb and it worked was in winter, i had a horrible sore throat, but was supposed to go on a ski trip with my family. I went to the back yard and collected some winter withered artemisia and yarrow leaves, made a very bitter tea, and discovered that my sore throat went away! It was amazing, and that started me on the path of herbal healing and love.

How old were you at that time?
12 or 13

Can you share some of the work that has most influenced you? Such as books, blogs, video and lectures.

Well, hrm, lots of things, but Michael Moores books all were primary resources as I was learning bout medicinal plants in the SW. The Wild Foragers group years ago was full of wise women gathering wild foods and medicines and I befriended many. Susan Weed's forum was a great place to begin to learn and make connections, and of course my teachers, rosemary gladstar, charlie kane, and paul bergner all greatly influenced me.

When making plant medicine, are you drawn to any particular method?

I go with what works at the time, if I have a certain kind of alcohol on hand, that is what I use. I prefer fresh plant tinctures to dry plant tinctures, as well as oils, but find myself moving away from tinctures and more into traditional forms of herbal medicines like teas, powders in honey, or milk, or oil infusions, baths, etc. I learned the scientific way, and the simplers way, and frankly I use them both, at different times. it depends on what the plant wants, and what I have around me.

Do you have a most memorable event, conference, or one on one experience with any of our herbal foremothers and forefathers or any other key person used in your path of herbalism? And how has that influenced you today?

I'd say I have memorable moments with the plants and plant spirits as guides, teachers and healers. The plants are our most important teachers and they are always speaking to us. We just have to learn to hear them. My most moving story is that of a juniper tree in the foothills of the mountain in Tucson. I woke one morning with this overwhelming feeling that a tree was calling to me. So I went driving up into the mountains. parked my car and began walking until I found this tree. She was an OLD juniper, and i sat down with her. i gave her a gift/offering, and she reciprocated. then I had what I would call a spiritual connection with this plant being, who spoke to me in my head, through all my senses. I cried, and I wrote the words that came to me. it was such a deep connection, I can hardly describe it.
Several weeks later a fire raged through those same mountains and burned that tree to the ground. Perhaps it was her parting gift to the world, she was saying goodbye and sharing her life force with me. That juniper spirit is still with me and still guides me. That is the true power of the plants.

Do you work with the public and could you descirbe your work? such as:
Do you teach classes?

I have taught classes in the past, workshop form simple classes on herbs for women, herbs for gifts, salve making, vinegars etc. I plan on doing more teaching in the future when I'm settled in one place for a little while.

NOTE-since the time of the interview a few months back, Darcey is not offering plant walks and I am sure more to come-check her website, which is located toward the bottom of this herbalist spotlight.

Do you offer consultatons?
yes, I perfer to work one on one in person with people for a period of a month to three months to really see and make a difference. i will do phone consultations and short question answering as well, but much perfer to establish a close and long term healing relationship with someone. things dont happen overnight, either in illness or in healing.

Do you travel for herbal work?
I suppose I could. i travel for herbal education. I haven't had the opportunity yet,but hopefully it will come.

How can people contact you to find out more about what you offer, calender of events, blogs, weed walks, etc?

Blue Turtle Botanicals

Gaia's Gifts
Which is Darcey's blog

Or email at:

Do you have a vision for your work in the future or are you seeing how it unfolds?

Both. I have a vision, but feel as if I'm just starting out and dont know exactly what will lead to what. But I do plan on offering consultations, as I feel a true herbalist must offer the healing medicine to others as a part of their service, give away and reciprocity for what they have recieved from the plant world. Definately classes with hands on expeirence with medicine making, wildcrafting, and plant spirit medicine, plant walks, plant and spirit retreats, earth skills and hopefully one day some land for a learning center to support those classes.

Most of the readers are new to herbs and if there is one word of wisdom or sage advice you could leave them, what would that be?

Play with the herbs, dont be afraid of them. It is like cooking, you must experience them, taste them, cook with them, mix them up and use them to really understand them as medicines and helpers. Don't be afraid to experiment. sometimes things wont turn out that great, and other times you'll hit on a stroke of genius. keep at it!