Be Smart

Just waiting on the French Press to do it’s magical ju-ju to the bean of java, so if I sound out of sorts…yeah. It’s supposed to be bloody hot again, so I’m hiding in the a/c this morning instead of journaling out on the balcony with my gorgeous flowers.

I had a dream the other night that I spoke with an herbal guide. This is so cool and important to me, I only wish I could remember more of the dream. I meant to go to bed with an auto-suggestion, but we’ve been so crazy busy the past week, I ended up flopping on the bed and falling asleep straight away. I had planned on coming home and working solely with myself and my altar yesterday, but on the way home I had a feeling my mom needed some help, so I stopped by her place and sure enough! Her kitchen was piled high with veggies and fruits and cake mix stuff in preparation for my niece’s birthday party today. My mom’s been feeling dizzy the past couple of days, and also struggles with her ankle that she recently had surgery on. I knew she’d been standing most of the day just looking at the pile of stuff, so I stayed and helped her to chop all the veggies and did a little cleaning for her while she iced her poor foot. She was very grateful, and I’m so glad I listened to my instincts!!! We then had an impromptu dinner date with a friend who’s been kind of bummin’ lately, so I’m glad we went out with him. He expressed his thanks to us for coming out with him and that if he hadn’t gone out, he would have moped at home. So again, that was more important than me spending time at my altar.

Anyway, about the herbal guide….one of the books I’ve been absolutely head over heels immersed in is called Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices and Forbidden Plants by Claudia Muller-Ebeling, Christian Ratch and Wolf-Dieter Storl (a couple of those vowels should have um-louts, but I don’t know how to do that). This book came to me via the recommended reading list  from The Witch of Forest Grove’s site. Now, I do realize that I am NOT an ethnobotanist or herbalist, but the neat thing is, when I started reading about herbs, salves and natural medicine (all of which have always interested me) a light when on. It felt right to me, as if I should be reading about this stuff. As if it’s been that little nagging red flag being waved inside for many years, and I’ve not given it enough credence. Now I’m not sure that I’ll ever be an ethnobotanist or herbalist, but I also don’t know that I won’t! I’m starting to realize just how uniquely my life is shaped by my thoughts and actions, and I realize that if something keeps coming up for me, that I need to examine it further. I’ve long been telling myself that I’m not smart enough for this kind of study. And that needs to change. I need to be smart about this, for myself, and in the rest of my life. I’ve used the “I’m not smart enough” excuse for too long. I know it’s a lot of work, but it feels exciting to me. I need to stay excited about something.

While I do think it’s important that we give ourselves permission to not HAVE to be or do anything, because in America especially, the drive to have it all is frighteningly profound and pervasive, and I believe this attitude is actually killing the human race. There’s people that believe that sleeping is wasted time!!! How fucking insane is that?! There’s a fine line between having a purposeful desire and direction in life and the drive to sustain that path, versus wanting every material thing under the sun and all the money and power and time and products that people mistakenly think will fill their well, but instead only drains them further. I’ve seen the spectrum of society from several angles through personal experience, and I feel lucky that I can say that because it brings me an insight that I don’t think many people have. I’ve also had a number of life-threatening situations throughout my life (geez, is that the only way I’ll pay attention to the Universe?!) that have made me sit up and take stock. Especially as I get older, these messages were driven home and I try to live by these lessons every day. Maybe that’s why I get lazy with stuff…there are days I simply give myself permission to BE LAZY and not feel guilty about it. I really do live by the motto, “Stop and smell the roses”. I’ve noticed that as well as slowing down, I’ve been learning to listen. For many years, I tried to block out the sonic messages (as per my original post about this) because they kind of freaked me out. I had my own angst, I didn’t need everyone else’s, too. But now, for the past 10 years or so, I’ve perked my cosmic ears up and try to listen through the jabber, listen to the real message. And maybe silence is the message for me now. Maybe the cosmos is telling me, “focus, study, read, practice, DO”. Maybe this silence is golden. I like that thought 🙂

Back to the herbs…(and more coffee)…I’ve been gathering up recipes for teas, salves, incenses and other herbal delights. I’ve started a journal for all of my herbal learning and am very excited for cooler weather so I can start trying some of the recipes. The only real bummer is that in Minnesota, it’s virtually impossible to keep herbs alive even indoors over our many, many dark months. There just isn’t the sunlight for it, and certainly not in this condo of limited windows. So I may have to start harvesting and drying my herbs in earnest now so that I have some of my own-grown things over the winter. I do believe that the best thing will be to use herbs I’ve grown myself for magical purposes, but sometimes you’ve gotta go with what you can get. I have this awesome fondue pot that’s olive green and totally ’70s, and I might use that in my brewing 🙂 I was all worried about getting “the right” equipment, but I loathe to run out and buy more crap when I can just as easily make do with stuff we’ve already got. I’ve also got enough crockpots (1 medium, 1 large and 2 small!) for simmering fun things like mulled wine, herbal brews and salves!

I’m so syked!!!


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