Strengthen Boundaries: go to Hawthorn

hawthorn berries

It is my direct experience that Plant allies have two functions: the physical and the energetic function.

The physical aspect communicates with our bodies, supporting it with nutrients, regulating hormones and stimulating or relaxing the nervous system, helping us to cope with our imbalances.

The energetic aspect communicates with our Soul, our energy field and our connections with Spirit.

I’m not scholarly nor a very good writer, so I do not offer you a list of reference or lengthy explanations. I’m reading my herbal books and online sources, communicating with the plants myself, and forming my own Herbarium of experiences. It is these experiences that I wish to share with you.

Hawthorn is a dear ally to me, as it helps me to lift my blood pressure and soothe heart palpitations when ever they occur.
It is a heart medicine, regulating blood pressure (lifting if low, lowering if too high) and strengthening the Heart. You can find plenty of descriptions about Hawthorn’s herbal medicine qualities in books and online – read a good selection of sources to get a well-informed understanding about her qualities!

But today I would like to look deeper into the energetic aspects of Hawthorn.

She typically stands at the edge of the woods, or in a hedgerow between fields. She is a ‘gatekeeper’, the watcher over boundaries. She is thorny, giving shelter to birds and small mammals from their predators. She is the protector.

She stands in full blossom in May, and has plenty of berries in the autumn, marking the transition seasons, Spring and Autumn.

Hawthorn has the reputation to be, together with Elder, the favourite tree or bush of fairies, elves and other etheral creatures.

For me Hawthorn is the ideal Plant ally for protecting my personal boundaries and for transiting between our seemingly solid visible world and the etheral Spirit world. I go to her and use the berries in herbal tea for the energetic aspects, and as a tincture (blossom, leaves and berries) for the physical aspects. Why? Mostly because I feel that the alcohol in the tincture doesn’t rhyme very well with the aspects of Soul, and yet it does get the medicinal components out of the plant material and into the liquid so that they are more readily available for our physical body.

So to conclude: whenever you feel you could use some stronger personal boundaries, seek Hawthorn and hang out with her, in any way that appeals to you. Visit her, drink her, think her.

 

 

 

Your higher Self is communicating with you – all you have to do is listen

“Oh, I wish I’d have intuitive guidance as well!”

But you do!! All you have to do is listen.

The more you do it, the easier it gets.
Listen to your intuition. Ask a question to yourself and listen to the answer. Or, before making a decision, ask your higher Self and listen or feel for the bias – yes or no, warm or cold, light and spacious or heavy and crammed?

I was somewhat used to hearing my inner voice when I’m cooking, making perfumes or creating remedies. It would say: “You need that, that and that. One drop more. One teaspoon more. OK, stop!”. But quite recently I was going to do something I very rarely do, sewing delicate silks with a sewing machine, and I was surprised and then amused by the quite loud inner voice insisting that I’d change the sewing machine needle for a thinner one. “The thinnest you can find!”, it was yelling inside of me in its quiet voice. See, sewing silks isn’t a skill I’m fluent in, and my brain had never ever even thought about the thickness of a needle on the sewing machine – I had forgotten there even was a variety in that. But luckily my inner voice kicked in and warned me in time. Thanks, higher Self, we finished the project successfully in time – together!

Let’s find out what your higher Self has to tell!

 

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When the Shift gets personal

Guys, I’m floating upwards. Without drugs. High on Life.

Quite literally; the shift*, or a shift, is upon me and I need to shift with it. Feeling buoyant, so light it feels like floating upwards, but then the movement slowed down and stopped. I was weighed down by some old things and ideas, both of which I’m now quite rigorously parting with.
This is a very visual experience, with my inner eye I see strings coming from my hands and feet, and all that old stuff hanging there, holding me down. The action of clearing is like cutting through the strings with scissors.
So I’m sorting through my things and thoughts, tossing everything that doesn’t feel right. A lot goes, cut-cut-cut, creating space, light and more buoyancy.

As if opening the shutters on a bright sunny morning, I’m staring into the bright, light space and not really seeing much. But it feels very, very good – expansive. I’m floating.
It’ll take some time to acclimatize. Will you join me in this space?

This coming Sunday I’m organizing “The Gathering“, a meeting to really get together and talk about things that deeply matter.
A sub-theme is the ripening of seeds and harvesting them for the coming season. I will bring some with me, if you have fresh seeds to spare, bring them along to share!
If you can’t come, consider arranging your own Gathering! Read more about it here.

 

*the what?! the shift, ascension, awakening… All these words point towards an other way of being.

Instead of living from the old paradigm many of us were indoctrinated with -that we should work so very hard, earn our living (<- ! ), do what we’re told and fit in – I (and many others, I didn’t invent this stuff) suggest that each and every one of us stop to re-consider and think for them selves about what truly inspires you and feels good to you and heals our world. We’re creative beings! We’re loving beings. We enjoy community, and the energy of Love. So Shift! Attract a new life! Awaken! Become totally free!

PS. I didn’t know about Wayne Dyers’ film Shift before I had written the rough draft for this blog post and started researching the internet for suitable “further study”-links. After watching the movie last night, I’ve included the link above.

 

 

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Passion, inspiration and joy

What brings you joy? So much that, at the thought of it, your heart makes a little leap of joy and you can’t wait to begin?
Here’s my passionate, almost pressing advice: follow your joy, that interest that tickles you so deliciously. It will lead to true value and profit – it will bring you real happiness, meaningful connections and lasting value.
As you’re happily skipping along the road of your inspiration, you’ll meet others who share your special kind of craziness. Cherish them, they are your tribe.

Seeds and plants bring joy to me – well hello there, friends! Yes, I’m the crazy plant lady with a garden crammed full with plants in the ground, in pots, in the air and as seeds, overflowing my storage boxes for them. I invest in plants.
This plant-lover of yours here is a hermit, but I can enjoy an understanding remark like this for days on end: on the plant market at the local botanical gardens someone answered to my question about a *special plant* that it can not survive the local winter. “I’ll have to wait until I’ve saved up a greenhouse” I said. “Or keep it in your house in the winter” he said and there was a suspended silence as we grinned and looked into each others eyes and then burst out in laughter exclaiming together: “it’s already full!”

When we moved here ten years ago, I dived head-on into gardening. As a complete beginner, I watched in awe the poppies and tomatoes taking over my little plot of land in the first season. Seeds germinated and grew into these fantastic beings!

Since then I’ve changed my mind about “what my garden is about” a gazillion times. Every time I turn my idea around, I’m honing it, from “aesthetic” via “edible” and “healing” to “beeplants”. Currently it is all four of these.

There is a deeper meaning to this play.
Your passion contributes to a bigger picture.
There is a social, spiritual and/or ecological aspect to it that helps our world evolve.
Can you see your “hobby” as a seriously meaningful practice of healing this dear world of ours with your special flavour of passion?
What if you’d bow in respect to your joyful Heart and commit to your happiness? Make your inspired practice your path = fulfillment and happiness.

Plants are a promise of a greener future, in every sense of the words. I allow myself to get carried away with new ideas, as long as I tend to old acquintances. I’m a novice and an old soul master at the same time, depending on the depth of connection I have with what I’m doing. Time loses its meaning, seasons mark the rhythm of life. I’m gratefully raveling the beauty of green shapes and colourful flowers, the sweet and strange scents and tastes, and marveling the shapes of seeds and how they’re packed by nature. I do my best in “paying back” by tending the gardens, loving individual plants with my warm breath and keeping an eye on the wellbeing of these green companions.

The knowledge and finetuning I acquire in the garden seep through into other areas in my life. Into the kitchen, where flavour, texture and colour bring nourishment and satisfaction to our bodies. Into the Gatherings – I love a deep, meaningful conversation with another, reflecting on our uniqueness and sameness as Souls on Earth at the same time. Onto the massage table, where pressure, touch, warm scented oil and skin – so many kinds of skin and bodies! – speak the language of chi, life force flowing through our world.

What is your passion?

Thank you, Mia, for pressing the “launch” button of this thought-rocket, and for Grytsje for laying the table for play.

Some seeds, bulbs and dried herbs are now available!

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A call for a mindful transition

Back in the suburban September. Enjoying apple pie, the last plums, saving seeds, organizing the gathered and dried herbs and casting a glimpse at the near future: the Gathering, and planting more trees in October, and a workshop amulet making in November. As the storm wind tears at the green foliage outside, I re-read my words from the summer:

“Sweet summer time.
The lush greenery, the golden heat of the Sun, the mellow rhythm of days and full, sweet, juicy flavors of ripening summer fruit… soak it all in, now is the time!
It’s also time to harvest herbs, store the abundance of fruit in personally useful and appealing ways and to ponder about where all the haste and to do lists have gone.

I found myself noticing that this deep relaxation had brought about a very natural rhythm in the days, a seemingly continual focus in the here and now only. No plans, no worries, no stress. And my questioning mind comes up with the question:”Why isn’t this our state of being all the time?”
Why do we let ourselves be tricked into should-be’s and to-do’s? Why do we long for more?
Why is this, that-what-is, not enough?

I’m minimizing the visual impulses to sunsets and flowers, the things around me that are truly real and worthwhile, including a selection of books.”

Wow. The contrast is certainly present, but the imprints of summer are still so easy to reach. And there is more:

“In – between

In between seasons, past and future, the plans in the past, reflecting a future yet unfolded.
A stillness so profound there are but a few words.
Gratitude. Present. Awareness. Sharing.

The gift of the present moment. In this moment you are the most-experienced you’ve ever been. From this present moment you create the future world. What kind of a world do you envision for us all in the future? What can you do now to co-create a Loving world?

These things can be small. It is your attitude, choice of words, the quality of your energy that counts.

The autumn equinox is drawing near, the balancing of day and night, outside and inside, yang and yin.
In preparation, I’m seeking the solitude and silence of meditation, in order to balance out the imprints of the past season, and to discern what I really wish and hope for the coming seasons to offer, and what I will express in return.

The alchemy of intent. The weaving of worlds by casting a vision ahead of us, mixing the now and future with the richness of the past, then stepping forth, bringing the vision to life by actively daring to expand. Excitement. Yes, let’s do this!

PS. You can find little nuggets of summer vibes in my Instagram feed

Five Elements: Fire

The Five Elements principle comes from ancient Chinese tradition, teaching us that all life energy also corresponds with the Five Elements of nature: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood.

Come with me as I quickly walk you through my personal encounters with the Elements.
The first time I learned about the Five Elements was through Chinese astrology.
I was curious to learn the corresponding Chinese zodiac signs of my family members, lovers and friends. And I still am, it tells me a lot of their character and the possible compatibility in our relationships!
Find your Chinese zodiac sign through the same link as above (just scroll down the opening page).

Then, much later I came into contact with the Five Elements again via Touch For Health.
I learned that the energy lines in a body – the meridians – are connected to organs, moods, the Five Elements, times in day, and yin/yang energy.
At the same time I was studying herbal medicine, as in Western herbal medicine and Ayurveda.
The Five Elements correspond also with the moods or temperaments of a constitution, and have their most (and least) compatible herbal remedies.
It’s all intertwined in a deeply logical sense, but also so much information that I’m still (forever) in the process of integrating it to my practice.

And now most recently my Tai chi tao teacher revisited the Five Elements in her Fire element workshop.
Only there I learned that this principle originates from a deep study of nature and its laws over countless generations, adding up knowledge and practices as the tradition developed.
With a renewed enthusiasm and respect I’m diving into the wisdom of the Five Elements, in yet another cycle in my life.

 

FIRE

Summer, at its hottest, brightest and lightest, belongs to the element of Fire.
This is the season of ‘bathing in nature’, either literally in wild waters, or figuratively during a walk in the woods, meadows and along streams.
It is a time of song, dance and merriment, sharing good times with friends and family, getting together with the ones we love.

Outward-going (expanding), highly transformative and intense, this is the time to burn away the useless things of the past, shine a light into the shadows and dance wildly just because you can.
Step forward, express yourself, share your talents, participate.

Too much: as with all things in Life, it is also very well possible to over-do this energy.
The result will be a feeling of being overwhelmed, it’s all “too much”, and if you have a sensitive nose, you can smell a slight scorched scent. Too much fire!

the wisdom of this moment:
The Path unfolds,
unfold with it.

 

What are your associations with this season and its element? Do share in the comments below!

 

Your Spirit Animal

I recently bumped into a Facebook post (on a shamanistic group page) in which someone was saying that elements of shamanism are being ‘borrowed’ and used to market things, as shamanism is now “hot and sexy”.
Woo-hoo!! Finally I’m doing something hot and sexy 😀

No but seriously folks, time is something that passes, and anything that is related to time (like hot and sexy fashion) will pass.

What counts is what do you do with the time that is given to you.

I’d suggest you go for that which resonates with you truly.
Not just entertainment with the upper layers of your Mind/Ego, but stuff that shakes your Soul and makes your Heart skip a beat or flutter faster.

For me that would be the wonderful world of the Spirit, as weird and unconventional it might seem.

An aspect of the (shamanistic) Spirit world is the company and assistance of our Spirit Animal.
“What’s my spirit animal?!” an eager explorer might exclaim.
Hold your horses buddy, first you need to know why you want to know your spirit animal.

A spirit animal is: transport, safety, communication, information, signs. And more.

I’ve made a little document for you to download and print out about it. I hope you enjoy it!

(Just in case you need some guidance in gearing your attention from the busy outside to the different realms of the inside, here’s a little meditation audio to get you going.)

 

 

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Midsummer and flowers

This is the most potent, magical, energetic time of the year in the Northern hemisphere.

Whether you’re celebrating midsummer on Litha (or actually the eve before 21st of June – tonight!) or this coming weekend (‘the weekend after’ Litha = Midsummer, as in my original home country, Finland), take notice of the most extreme expansion of Light – the longest day – in the wheel of this year, and celebrate it in your unique way.

I have been missing in action online, since I was in action out in the green. Harvesting and drying herbs for herbal infusions to be enjoyed later in the year, making elder flower champagne, trying to organize my overfull city garden and having my own inner pondering conversation about how much green is too much and should I introduce more flowers into my garden or not.

After the colour explosion of this spring, the garden is now very green. Even though it’s my favourite colour, I’ve decided to turn my focus on flowers for a while.

 

Lots of green – and tomato plants. Later in the season you’ll see red spheres between the support poles…

Being a Healing Garden type of girl, I always considered flowers as a pretty extra bonus. But now, on the earthly level, two things in my life are pointing towards flowers: the welcoming of Bees very recently, and a colleague at the medicinal herbs garden where I volunteer, who is missing flowers in all that green. (Seems that my own healing garden is not the only one suffering a mild fatigue of flowers!)

Comfrey flowers

Flowers

The reproductive organ of plants. A celebration of Life, in the plant-kingdom-way. Their interaction with Bees. Their beauty and fragrance. I mean – how fantastic is the whole spectrum of different kinds of flowers and fragrance, and the ‘fitting’ pollinators? There is something very special and magical about flowers.

Lavender in bloom

Did you know that in flower essences, the energetic essence of a flower is captured in pure spring water, using only three (or four) elements: the flowers, water and sunlight, and the intentional focus of the herbalist?
To conserve the mother essence one preserves it in organic brandy.

The flowering of Sage is over, St.Johns wort is still in a tight yellow bud.

And in aromatherapy we use the essential oils of fragrant plants. The essential oils are vaporized out of the plant material and collected via a cooler into a receiver vessel, where you’ll find the hydrosol (fragrant water) and the essential oil floating on top of the hydrosol. Both matters can be utilized for healing purposes, one plant usually having several actions it can support in a human body. And several plants sharing some of the same actions with each other.

At the beginning of my herbalist career I was confused in the land of such abundance – what is the use of having multiple plants one could use for balancing out one discomfort? But now I know. It’s all about the energetics – the energy of a specific plant and its compatibility with a specific human being. Fascinating, complex, rich and abundant!

Talking about aromatherapy and essential oils…Finally the summer edition (2017) of my soul support scents is ready – just in time! You can find it here.

 

 

 

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Ayahuasca and Bees – a lot of silence and gratitude to share

How does one write a blog post when there are no words to describe this?
(Then don’t. Be quiet.) But I can’t, my Heart wants to share so that others might catch the flame as well.
I’ll try it in small bite-size bits.

 

Ayahuasca

It is about five years ago I heard about this Plant Spirit for the first time. Since then it has been circling around my attention and interest, slowly getting closer. A year ago I almost went for it, but not quite. This year, after a shamanic ceremony a short time ago, suddenly the time was ripe.

I prepared myself for the encounter for weeks, dropping alcohol and coffee early on. The last ten days I was eating a bland diet, which I thought would be extremely boring, but it actually proved to be interestingly tastebud-enhancing. I was so still, empty and ready as I could be.

The setting was warm, welcoming and supporting, and I felt very privileged to being in the situation of the whole experience. It was a private ceremony, with two wonderful people to watch over me.
(You can find them here)

I expected to be grabbed for a wild rollercoaster ride with important lessons and messages to take to Heart. Can you imagine my surprise (and that of the organizers) when, after having ingested quite a lot of this mighty plant ally, I looked my mentors in the eyes and said “it’s quite subtle”. As if expecting to go to a heavy rock concert that would last the whole night, but instead, getting four teachings whispered softly in your ear, with long silences between each one. Beautiful teachings. Empowering, affirming, magically wonderful teachings, but oh so very softly that I had to keep my focus on them, laser sharp and steady as a rock or I’d snap out of it.

Expectation vs. reality. I love the quirky nature of Nature, it absolutely cracks me up 😀
But even though the experience was so fine and subtle (exquisite!), it kind of simmers on… And although I immediately ‘got was I was there for’ (to get ‘clean’ and ‘to stand in my Power’) the re-set is still materializing as I’m writing this, still simmering on, as if it would be rippling through time and space, endlessly, solidifying…this, the experience and the knowing. See? Words are failing me here.

And to you, dear reader, I want to say: Thank you for reading this far. Follow your joy, your inspiration, your happiness. What ever you do, do it from this perspective of your own pure Soul joy, and it will form your Life to according to your specific perspective, slant, angle, niche… And the elements within that ecosystem of your joyous Life will fit together seamlessly and function beautifully in a symbiotic manner, creating and abundance of good and healthy Life, to you and your loved ones, and for the Planet, all by itself.

All you need to do is to get clean, clear and choose with your Heart. Your Heart is the ruler, your Mind the servant. Life provides you – with all the lessons, tools, allies and materials you need. Trust. Love. And have fun!

 

Bees

“When the bee guardian is ready, the bees will come” – that’s approximately how the words of my (biodynamic) beekeeper-mentor would translate to English, when I was asking his opinion on buying bees.

I’ve got my top bar hive in place for a little over two years now, waiting for an eager swarm to find it. And finally, we called a local beekeeper and agreed on a date when he’d come with a bee colony for my hive.

The day before the agreed date, our dear neighbor came half-running of excitement to our door “Nina, there’s a swarm in our garden!”. I dropped everything and hurried behind him to the spot. And indeed, in the middle of the garden, in a small tree or a large bush, at a very convenient working level, a swarm was gathering together.

To cut a long story short, these were the sweetest, most patient and forgiving bees. It took me four attempts to catch the cluster with the queen (and keeping her), but catching and eventually transferring the swarm from our neighbors’ garden to my hive was a success, and now they are settled and I adore them. There is absolutely no fear, no tension, just a blissful being-ness when I spend time with them. Pure joy of living, unconditional Love and a strong sense of belonging emanate from the bees and I’m so incredibly grateful to be allowed to offer a home to them.

The catch: no matter how long it takes, it’s so worth the wait. Have faith, have patience. When the time is right, it will come – and it’ll be sweet.

Post Scriptum

Life is in a fast-forward mode now. After all that winter sleeping time has kind of erased itself out of my experience (what a relief!) and things are rapidly rushing into manifestation. What a joy! What a relief!
I have no idea if this blissful state will continue or not, we shall see.

I’m sharing this because perhaps you are experiencing some mind-bending changes in your Life patterns, manifestations and reality. As always, check in with your Soul, it will know. Make your decisions with your Heart. Use your Mind as a tool, but don’t listen to it too much 🙂 Meditate more. Love.

Be well.

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