Saturday, November 19, 2011

Weaving the Wheel of the Year Program 2012

"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~

People often ask me what made me decide to “be an herbalist,” and I could tell them about the heroine of my favorite book I read when I was 12, or the countless botany classes I took in college, or even the vivid dream I had that illustrated to me in such clear terms a path I was to walk.  But really, it was the plants that made me an herbalist. It was the plants that beckoned me ever closer to the bosom of the Earth.  It was the plants that rooted me in ‘place.’  It was the plants that became my beloved friends no matter where I went.  I cannot express enough gratitude in words to these magnificent beings that live, breathe and inhabit our earth in an abundant blanket of green for bringing me here to today, for making me who I am, and reaching me so deeply, for teaching me how to walk on the Earth- with deep awareness, with open heart, with wide eyes, with unending gratitude.

    And so I sit with plants, on the Earth, almost every day. I watch their colors and shapes change through the seasons.  I celebrate their breaking forth from seed into fragile cotyledons, and rejoice in their fruiting.  I jump up and down like a child when I find the first dandelion flower, and cry with love and relief when I return to a beloved tree, who stands, waiting always, for her friend to sing her a song.  Time passes in our lives, and on the Earth, as she spins through space around our sun.  We have many ways of measuring time- watches, calendars, birthdays, anniversaries, women’s moon cycles, births, deaths, daylight, darkness, moon phases, constellations, seasons.  The plants have always been an exquisite and beautiful way for me to track the shifts in time- over the span of a year and the seasons, and over the longer time frames over years.  I await each spring with anticipation- to see the first leaf burst forth from the bud on the trees, and the shining faces of ephemeral wildflowers.  I feel the fullness of summer in the heavy weight of heat, and humid air- the expectation of summer thunderstorms, and the glorious release of bounty of fruits, plant medicines, wild foods, and garden produce.  I grieve as the trees let their beautiful leaves fall to the ground in autumn, and keep faith in the seeds that fall nestled in the safety of those leaves.  I know those trees do not mourn the loss of their leaves, for the shedding of what has passed, nourishes what is yet to come.  I feel the deep drawing inward in the dark of winter, and feel the sadness in the long sleep and little death that comes with the first snow- a blanket to protect the bare ground through the darkness and chill.  
   The world is always speaking to us, and the language I understand is that of the plants, the trees, the roots and seeds- and the visceral way I experience and sense the world in my body, in my spirit and my natural urges.  My body is of this earth, my bones made from the eons of mineral rocks ground to soil, my waters of the salty brined sea, my passions tied to the firey core of her, my breath fed from the respiration of the trees, my body nourished from each morsel of plant, animal and air that has existed.  When I feel the anguish of loss, the sharp knife of anger, the ecstasy of passion, the sweetness of presence and peace- I go to her. I give of myself to her.  She holds me- she makes me.  Earth. I am.

Weaving the Wheel of the Year

Do you feel the seasonal shifts of the Earth in your heart, bones, and spirit?

Are you yearning to find meaningful ways to connect with and honor these energies of the Earth and your spirit?

Do you have a sense that the power and magic of the Earth and the plants is something you could tap into for your healing and well being?

Do you notice the ways that certain plants seem to become more vibrant and powerful at different times of the year?

Would you like to learn practical and effective ways to nourish and prepare your body, your home, and your spirit to live in tune with these seasonal cycles and shifts through food, herbal medicine, ritual, and community?

Do you feel like a kitchen goddess, who enjoys brewing up pots of soup, creative meals, herbal brews, and magical potions for your family and friends?

Are you ready to dive whole-heartedly into all this and more?

No comments:

"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~