My friends, we are on the cusp of 2019. It is not a new thing to be thinking of what we want to change, manifest, or release. This is a wired into us. Before the modern world, the people knew that the wheel was turning. The twelve days of Christmas was originally the twelve days of Yule and it ended on the 1st of the month, right when the wheel turns. It is the thick of winter, a time of deep contemplation. A bright new beginning. A time of rebirth from the solstice when the sun begins to shine a bit more each day. The light in us grows ever more as well.
My work is as an herbalist, a clairvoyant reader, medical intuitive, and spiritual guide. This is an unusual time. Most everyone is in great transformation. It is as if the universe is plucking things right out of people’s hands; relationships, jobs, identities. Our worst traits are being exposed to the sun in order to change. Our paths are being laid out in drastic form. It is best if we just release.
We are in a time of great change. We are in a time when the young have more intuitive and sensitive people among them and they are struggling to understand why they are the way they are and are looking for mentors…or masking medications. We are all being called to find our path. To release our bad habits, fears, and ego and to embrace a better sense of self. 2019 may be a miraculous year for us all. There are whispers and questions in the air that need answers.
What relationships cause you pain and stress?
Are your food choices compassionate, healthy, and karmically sound?
Are you honoring your body with movement?
Are you honoring your spirituality by being open to listen to truths being taught to you? Are you taking time to honor that which you believe in?
Are you emotionally taking wellness breaks?
Are you working yourself every minute of the day for the car payment, for the dishes to be done, for the endless errands and hours at work to be done?
Your passions and desires are the road map to your destiny. What do you dream of? What does your life look like in your ideal world? Who are you with? What do you do?
What fears need to be released? What negative habits need to be let go of? What regrets do you carry? Forgiving yourself is as important as forgiving others.
Listen. Be brave. Let go. Release. Embrace. Smile. Hope. Surround yourself with your tribe. Take up yoga, or walking, or Zumba. Eat food from the earth. Open doors, compliment, teach. Love! Take hot baths, meditate, light candles, read books. Make steps towards your goals. Breathe.
The wheel is turning. Let us become our brightest, truest, happiest, most intensely magnificent selves.
(Let’s say it is the end of your days, look back, is that how you want to live?)
The full moon hovered brightly over the land last eve and Yule was nigh. The 12 days of Christmas was originally the 12 days of Yule. Festivities, bonfires, hearth fires, the yule log, the decorated trees, feeding the birds and other wildlife, exchanging gifts, and checking on the elderly and homebound fill the days of Yule leading to new year.
It is a quiet morning here in my cozy home. Father Sun peeks through the windows while climbing to start the day. I sip my warm coffee, the earthiness and steam filling the air. We keep the lights on the tree on often. Just sitting in my rocking chair watching the glimmering lights, scanning the many ornaments that hold place as story tellers, makes me joyful and calm. I put a Christmas album on. My favorite is Andy Williams. The presents are piled on the bed ready to be wrapped in paper and bows.
The birds outside sing and dart about. The fat squirrel looks at me through the window. She is out of bird seed. Sweet thing; I wish blessings on all the wildlife. A young eagle landed in the tree the other day and we sat together for some time. The geese fly overhead noisily, their synchronized flying like swimmers in the sky. Upon this great landscape of earth is such a lovely place to live. I am thankful each day for health, for life, for family, for this cozy home where the hearth fires burn.
Yesterday I did ceremony on my friends who are getting married beneath the full moon by a fire outdoors. Today I get the honor of officiating their wedding. Tomorrow we are off to my cousin’s, the next day to our friends’, home again for Christmas eve and my children will all gather here. Santa knows to come to Grammie and Pa’s house. Christmas morning will shine bright with the love of family. A late Hannukah celebration with family and my daughter’s birthday round out the festivities before the new year dawns with promise and light.
What are your plans for the holidays, my Friends? From our home to yours, I wish you the happiest Christmas and a blessed Yule. May you be with those you love and may peace fill your home.
It has been over ten years since I was this sick. I am an herbalist. I make the most effective medicine I know of. I eat well and try to exercise. I don’t get sick! My body means business this time. It wants me to sit down and listen, and hasn’t really given me much choice in the matter. I have been having colorful dreams (maybe because of all the valerian), and the theme is pretty clear. Hit them brakes, Sister.
For as long as I can remember, I do as much as possible in a day. It is my worth. No one else is going to do it. It is my job. It is normal. To-do lists and packed days of…the same housework, the same chores. What, just what, would happen if a client came over and the kitchen floor was dirty? Would they think poorly of me? That my house wasn’t sanitary? That I wouldn’t be able to do a Medical Intuitive Reading properly because I haven’t dusted?
I do things with such intensity. The same intensity that I put into gardening, pursuing a new venture, getting the housework done, is the same intensity that I put into having a cup of tea, or reading a letter. Fast. Get it done, check it off my list. Why? Because I can’t remember what it is like to just move at a slower pace. Most everything I think has to be done is self imposed.
November was a very trying month. Actually, autumn, was very trying. A lot of death and loss. I got weakened from stress. If I wasn’t going to stop the insanity, my body would make me. There are so many things I do to try to prove that I am a good mom, prove that I am good at my gifts and my work, prove that I am a good wife, prove that I am a good friend, prove that I got this. I am every woman.
The past few nights Doug checks to see if I am still breathing as I sleep.
I have missed December. I have had to cancel numerous consultations, a sleepover with my granddaughter, two weeks out of my new granddaughter’s four weeks of life, zoo lights, Santa Claus with my girls. I feel beaten and bruised from coughing.
Something’s gotta give. Listen, friends, we have to start listening! We don’t have to do everything to keep everyone from being disappointed. We don’t have to work so hard. To drink our tea so fast. This intensity, drive hundreds of a miles in a week, prove that I am worthy, to-do list madness must stop. I don’t remember how.
Balance…elusive word. Choose what I want to do and give plenty of space in between for tea and a bit of reading. What can go? What should stay? “Every time you say yes to something, you say no to something else.” I have been saying “no” to my peace of mind and my health as of late (or for decades). I’m listening now.
The disease of busyness affects many of us. I hope this will inspire some of you to put down the to-do list and re-evaluate. We are worthy. It’s time for us to settle down and smile now.
Feel Better and Out With the Old Detox Bath
While bath is filling with nice, hot water, pour in 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of sea salt, a few drops of bubble bath or organic dish soap. A few drops of rosemary, eucalyptus, lavender, and orange essential oils (or your choice, go easy on the “hot” oils). A great drizzle of olive oil. Light a candle, play some nice music. Don’t rush. This blend is very alkalizing and soothing to muscles and detoxes tissues.
I have told you before; it is dry here. Not just dry, like you might need some lotion and lip balm, it’s eczema, skin itching, nose bleed dry here in Colorado. I love to travel places with humidity. But, my home is here. In the winter, lotion doesn’t cut it, even though I make the most fabulous lotion, I need something stronger in the cold, dry months of furnace and wood stove and zero percent humidity. Last year I showed you how to heat infuse herb oils in the crock pot to keep in the bathroom for after you shower. This year I want to show you how to make a really great thick skin salve that can be used on cracked heels, finger tips, dry patches, or if you live in the desert, all over your body!
It’s quite simple, really. In a wide mouth quart jar add 2 Tablespoons each of calendula flowers and comfrey leaves and 1 Tablespoon of lavender and/or roses. (Try online at mountainroseherbs.com or at your local health food store. Next year grow them!)
Now pour in 2 cups of olive or sunflower oil.
Put jar in saucepan and pour water in pan to half way up jar. Bring to boil. Make sure no water jumps in the quart jar. Double boil the jar of oil for 45 minutes. (You could place it in a sauce pan directly and heat on medium low for 20 minutes, stirring often, but you really risk burning it.) I like to use a chop stick to stir every five minutes or so. Keep an eye on your water level!
When the oil is infused, strain the herbs out through a fine sieve and put oil in a clean, dry, wide mouth pint jar. Add 1.5 ounces of beeswax, emulsifying, or candelilla wax to oil. Heat in double boiler again until wax is melted. Stir with a chop stick often.
When completely melted, you can add 30 drops of lavender essential oil, or leave it as is. Stir with chop stick once more and let cool on a towel on the counter until set. Do not cover until set.
The salve lasts for years but you will use it up in a month if you live in Colorado! Wishing you warm cups of tea and perfectly moisturized skin this holiday season, my Friends.
Living as our authentic self. Re-finding our true spirit. Beyond the “I am’s” and the perceptions, tapping into that inner spirit of self.
So many years or decades of being told by person or society or self what you are. Who you are. What you can be (what you can’t be.) What you should believe (what you shouldn’t believe.) Of morphing and changing and wrapping ourselves up in layers to appease people. To make my parents proud. To be a proper spouse. To be a good mother or aunt or friend. It can take years or decades to unravel each layer.
When we no longer follow the religion we once did. When we can no longer go back to that way of thinking. We trepidly take off that wrapping around us and peer into the next layer. Relieved of our wrapping, we look different to the world around us.
He just settled back down to sleep. 7:20, the school bus comes. He jumps up, the futon shaking, and barks loudly at the small, hooded figures with backpacks, their parents shadily waiting in their cars, probably planning on breaking into our house. They all disburse, the bus drives away, and Gandalf sleepily settles back down on his bright pink futon and begins to snore.
We did our research on the Great Pyrenees. I like to thoroughly read everything possible. They can be pretty vicious. Like, you may want to put signs up warning people. If they aren’t socialized, they can be impossible to have around people and animals. We laughed as we watched a video before getting Gandalf about how this gentle giant breed will guard you against predators, strangers, lawn chairs, birds, the wind….yea, we didn’t really get it. They bark. “Good!” I said, I want a guard dog. They shed. “Ha! I have had nine cats at one point, he can’t shed more than them!” Ha ha…yea, he can. We will train him! You don’t train this breed. They do what they want. Dogs are how you raise them, right? But there are definite breed traits that one must know before committing to the lifetime of a dog. You cannot train hundreds of thousands of years out of any particular breed.
There are growing populations of Great Pyrenees in shelters. These adorable fluff balls of polar bear proportions are just about too much cuteness not to fall in love with. They grow quickly. Comparing Gandalf to dogs at the dog park, he is probably over 180 pounds. He’s still growing. We have socialized him. I have a lot of clients, students, and friends over and he has been fawned over and given treats for over a year now. But he is very sensitive and even a benign person with too much energy makes him very wary and, let’s be honest, scary. I keep him in the back yard if people are coming over. At the dog park, he is fine. Off duty, he plays and has a great time, turning into a puppy again. At home, he is on guard.
When people say they bark, it is not like a heeler or lab. His bark is deep and bellowing and can be heard blocks away. Intended to keep predators from flocks of sheep, the bark of a Great Pyrenees is meant to frighten away any dangers before confrontation. In the city that means that anyone walking a quarter a mile away gets barked at. He barks nearly all the time. Loudly. All. The. Time. Now, that may sound great if you are concerned about security, but your neighbors may not think that is a great way to wake up Sunday morning. His bark doesn’t change much. Could be a burglar, could be a neighborhood cat.
He sheds. No, no…he sheds! The interior of my car was black when I bought it. I will bring dog hair with me on my clothes, find it in my coffee at the coffee shop, the couch is plastered in it, the floors have tumbleweeds of dog fur flying about every time the furnace kicks in.
He did snap at a child that he didn’t know who took food from him. That is any dog. With Maryjane, he is the gentlest, sweetest, most attentive companion and I do not worry about her playing outside by herself with him by her side. Even at the dog park, children will hang off of him. He does live up to his Gentle Giant status.
When we take walks, he pulls Doug. If we are walking with someone who has their dog off leash, he pulls. I was nervous the other day to take him by myself around the lake. He has a different mindset with just me. If Doug is not there, he feels his entire job is to watch after me. The leash stayed slack, he kept looking up to me. My beautiful, great leader. He has a beautiful spirit. He is playful, and adorable, and a great companion. I love my loud, shedding polar bear.
He matches his breed. There are so many huskies, heelers, and other beautiful dogs in shelters because they are amazingly cute puppies but someone didn’t take the time to understand their innate breed traits. Gandalf is a lot to handle, but I don’t regret adopting him. He is part of our family. He spends most of his day outdoors by choice, but right now he is happily snoring on the couch.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and most Joyous Yule, my dear friends. Our household, throughout the year, tends to honor and celebrate the oldest of traditions and beliefs, long before organized religion and that feels beautiful and real to us. We will be celebrating Yule, but since I was raised Christian and Doug was raised Jewish, we incorporate all sorts of lovely traditions into our house and celebrate with our families. For all the celebrations are really the same, the celebration of light, love, and hope.
Decorating for the holidays should be nothing short of fun! Incorporating ideas, palettes, and items that bring joy are the basis for holiday décor.
We have collected cute stockings for a long time. The children took some of their stockings to their own homes. We are one short this year with the arrival of Ayla Mae, so I will find an adorable one for her. Santa is coming to Grammie and Pa’s house Christmas Eve! (To my great delight!) I hung the stockings with care from the curtain rods.
This was the first tree top angel I bought when I was nineteen years old in my first home. I, of course, chose the tallest tree I could fit in my house this year so angel sits in the window welcoming loved ones. Find these beautiful candles for a buck and some in the religious aisle of your grocery store. They have them without the pictures on them. They burn for a long time and they add festivity and charm to the home.
Incorporating things you love is easy. This moose was one of two that Doug got me our first Christmas together. Her head is falling off but way up on the bookshelf she has a safe place of importance.
The tree is filled with ornaments of old and new. Photo ornaments the children made in grade school and ones from my childhood. Ones from Grandma’s tree and many from our travels.
Yuletide décor is in the details. Use holiday china this time of year, even for lunch! Put oil lamps in each room. Light plenty of candles. Place strings of garland and twinkly lights in each room (even the bathroom!)
These sweet, little cloches hold seasonal treasures. Bird’s nests and moss covered twigs, sprigs of pine and pinecones.
We opted this year to just string lights around the front porch and set them on a timer. I love my ristras (one day I will be in New Mexico) and I leave the chairs and tables set up all winter in case of a sunny day that can be spent on the porch. Always add pieces of yourself in the décor. A sterile scene from a store doesn’t create the spirit of life that your own personal touches can.
Place tea candles on sand inside lunch bags and line your front walk. Light an oil lamp on the front porch for visitors. Make handmade gifts this year. Spend time enjoying the season. And make space in your heart for light, love, and hope.