Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category

Eyebright for Eyesight and Insight

Herbal Remedies, Radical Rants, Radical Raves, Spirituality | Posted by Kim
Aug 30 2016

Eyebright Flower

Eyebright Brings Glad Tidings

The herb Eyebright gets its botanical name Euphrasia from the Greek myth of Euphrosyne, one of the three ‘charities’ or graces, daughters of Zeus and Oceanid, who was notable for her joy and mirth.

Eyebright is also thought to open the Third Eye and give vision, clarity and insight to mankind. It is an elegant little plant, and grows on heaths and pastures, on mountains and near the sea. The name is also given to the linnet,  a small bird in the finch family, who was said to have used the leaf for clearing the sight of its young. Linnet is named for its likeness to flax seeds  from which linen is made.

The Eyebright flower’s purple and yellow spots and stripes are thought to resemble common eye diseases such as bloodshot eyes and cataracts, making it an effective herb for those conditions according to the Doctrine of Signatures.

Eyebright  root, flower or leaves, in tincture or powder form, has been used for centuries to treat many eye ailments including inflammation, eye strain, pink eye, cataracts, stye, weeping eyes and bloodshot eyes. The herb’s properties are also beneficial for respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, colds, sinusitis, and allergies. Skin problems such as acne have also responded well to Eyebright poultices.

Used as an eye drop tincture or mixed in a smoothie, Eyebright makes an insightful addition to your kitchen apothecary.

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Animal Communication and the Language of Love

Energy Medicine, Flower Essences, Mental Health, Spirituality | Posted by Kim
Apr 07 2016

©Gregg Frederickson

I had a chance to speak with professional animal communicator and certified classical homeopath Donna Lozito. She is also the author of Sweet Dreams: The Talking Horse from Brooklyn, a book that explores animal communication and friendship.

As the first in her field to introduce this topic to children, her book explains to children the importance of understanding how animals think and feel, cultivating a sense of respect for all beings and all of nature.

Here Donna talks about how we can deepen our relationship with our pets, and the animal kingdom as well, by learning how to listen in to what they have say, and the ways they say it.

Donna says one of her life goals is “to help people reconnect with their innate ability to communicate without language, an ability that everyone possesses but has simply forgotten how to use. Our present day culture has inhibited our ability to listen to what other species might be trying to convey.”

HH: Define animal communication

DL: Animal Communication is sending and receiving messages and images via telepathy.  This is the first language of the animals.  It is how they communicate with each other.  It is a heart to heart or spirit to spirit communication.  All of life has the ability to communicate like this including the human animal.

HH: We all, at times, project ourselves onto others. How do you know the difference between when you are hearing wishful messages from your animal and when he is truly communicating with you?   

DL: If we can learn to quiet the mental chatter with the breath or through meditation, it becomes easier to make a distinction between a message from the heart or a projection of the mind.  In our culture self doubt has taken the place of inner knowing.  The self doubt is sourced in the ego and the inner knowing comes from our intuition or our spirit.  In this instance we use the mind to interpret the message from the heart not to bypass it.  It requires that we become aware of our thoughts and actions.

HH: You say animals don’t comprehend negative statements. Talk more about that.

DL: Animals are in the present and send and receive energy as a means of communication. Animals will better understand what we do want then what we don’t want as this negative will confuse them because there is really not visual of “don’t,” etc.   You may think that when we say “no” the animals understand but what they really understand is our tone and emotion that is expressed.  If we observe how the animals correct each other you will see they show with their energy what they want and do not reprimand.  I think reprimand and punishment is a human condition.  If you think about it the reprimand is really about the person giving it rather than the person receiving the reprimand.  Our reprimands create fear-based behavior rather than constructive behavior.

HH: How do animals tell time? Give me some examples of how to let your pet know how long you plan to be away, for example. 

DL: The animals perceive the amount of light and dark. They are naturally programmed for this as this is how they navigate life in the wild. They do not perceive time as we human animals do but they do understand the passing of time.  If you are trying to convey time to your animal friend then you would give a visual of how much dark and how much light they could expect in a given time. I believe that if you speak the amount of time, the energy in your words will indicate if it will be a long time or a short time.   Again they are perceiving at a very different level and this is the level we humans want tune into more frequently to communicate with these beings.

HH: How can we reconcile our love for animals with our dependency on them for food, clothing, labor and other social needs like animal research?  

DL: Each being that inhabits the earth comes in with a purpose.  Some come to serve as food for sustenance of other beings.  If a being is offering his life to sustain mankind then we should be honoring them instead of torturing them until they die.

HH: What is an oversoul?   

DL: Some species function as a group and there is one soul or being (over-soul) that is the voice of the group.  Schools of fish, ant colonies are examples.

HH: I’ve heard it said that animals, cats in particular, don’t identify with the names we give them, that they have their own names. 

DL: In many cases they do come in with names.  Often we name our animals based on our perception of them and this is not always accurate.

HH: Each of us carries an astral subtle body with us in our physical existence. Although usually clairvoyants or highly sensitive people can sense this subtle energy, is it true that all animals can sense this type of energy?    

DL: Yes for the most part this is true.  They are much closer to nature therefore sense and feel in ways that we cannot imagine.

HH: What do animals think about vaccinations and neutering?  

DL: Both of these topics are not part of a natural existence so they do not understand this but go along with it for our sake

HH: Tell me about the keeping pets indoors versus the dangers of the outdoors argument. 

DL: Of course each situation is different and each animal is different just as each human is different.   There is not one rule across the board as most humans seek to find.  Some humans like the outdoors and some animals like the outdoors.  They are not that different in their needs than we.

HH: What projects are you working on now? 

DL: I work in the areas of Animal Communication, Homeopathic Medicine and Equine Therapy.  I work with both people and animals in order that they may realize their highest potential.

HH: Tell me about your homeopathic toolkit for animal rescue.

DL: There are specific kits made for emergency use for people and animals.  It is a good idea to have one on hand because in emergencies it is impossible to run out and buy a remedy for the situation.  For example, Arnica Montana is very useful in the case of shock and trauma or any type of injury. There are many remedies that can be used in acute care.  Having a kit also helps you get familiar with the remedies and how to use them.

HH: What special needs exist for animals who’ve been through a natural disaster?

DL: Well of course these experiences are shocking for the entire being.   Reducing the shock level will help greatly to handle animals who have been shocked in this way. Homeopathy is wonderful for these instances.

HH: Please illustrate how to successfully give a behavioral request to a problem pet.

DL: Again this is not an across the board answer.   As a rule it is always best to keep your emotional level in check because your animal companion will never get your message if you are emotional.  They only get the emotion.  It is important to be clear and neutral about what you do want rather than what you don’t want.   The animals want to please us and if we consider them as beings with wants, needs and desires then our relationships with them will flourish.

Donna lives in Arizona and teaches and works with clients around the world, as well as with domestic and wild animals. Learn more about animal communication and homeopathy, or to order the book at her website Whispers of the Spirit, LLCMaple-Seed-knocked out

 

Is Astrology for Real?

Letters from the Heretic, Spirituality | Posted by Kim
Mar 11 2016

How to Forecast a Better Future with Astrology

I was born in summer, in a seaside sailing town where the people navigated their lives according to the tides and winds as much as by the calendar and clock. The sun was in Virgo, the moon was in a new phase and it was a Friday.

When technology develops so scientists can take a holograph of the gravitational waves between planets and stars, it will look like this flower. ~from Flower Essences by Gurudas, referring to Shooting Star flower.

What else was influencing the environment on my birthday? What gathering of clouds, bird migration patterns,  planets spinning and moons orbiting would have steered the conversations and moods, the pulling and pushing, the lifting and setting–of power poles, root balls, lathes, saw blades, light switches, of pen to paper and voting machine levers (I was born on Women’s Suffrage Day)–on the day of my birth?  How many other thought vibrations and holographic forms coursed through the planet and into the heavens during, not only my birth, but from that single moment of my conception?

Some people say it’s a phony science at best. But astrological forecasting is neither superstition nor fortunetelling. In fact, astrology is as much science as it is art.

In current times, retro and vintage, #ThrowbackThursdays and yesteryear, remembrance and recollection seem to be the new modern. One thing that’s never gone out of style throughout the ages however is astrology. People have been looking to the stars, or steering the collective thinking away from them, for some semblance of structure and order in a chaotic universe since ancient times.

I spoke with budding astrologer and Philadelphia based artist Sam Whalen about how astrology can help you know yourself better, improve your relationships and your life.

HH: How did you first come to learn about astrology?

SW: I first became acquainted with astrology through a silly CosmoGirl book I had gotten at an elementary book fair. This was the first time I became aware of the zodiac and the 12 archetypes and I would look at the Aquarius section and be really upset that my power color was electric blue and not pink. I didn’t really begin delving deep into understanding the mathematics and the nuances to the zodiac until I was around 21 and someone prompted me to get my natal chart done. That was really pivotal. From that point, I began charting everyone around me and found some hard to ignore patterns. I’ve been examining those patterns (plus new ones) ever since then. I’ve always been really interested in archetypes and astrology is deeply rooted in understanding how all archetypes work together to create a harmonious whole.

HH: What are your favorite astrology books or astrologers?

SW: A lot of my astrological research starts by mining the internet. Typically I start with cafeastrology.com to get a base understanding of what I am trying to understand/connect to. Then I go through other sources and compare interpretations. Currently, my favorite astrology is Chani Nicholas. Her interpretations and predictions are always spot on. I highly recommend signing up for her newsletter. A good friend of mine lent me Sextrology by Cox Starsky, Quinn Cox and Stella Starsky. While it’s more focused on sex and relationships, that’s typically one of the biggest issues people turn to astrology for help with. It also presents way more information about each sign than just what pertains to that subject. 

HH: What do you find are some of the most common misconceptions about astrology?

SW: I’ve been watching a lot of videos about the science behind astrology – about quantum mechanics and how particles interact with each other. I think so many people don’t find validity in it because our culture tries so hard to remove itself from nature. We think we are separate or above rhythms and we aren’t!

HH: So, when we talk about “astrological forecasts” we really are referring to something akin to a cosmological weather forecast.

SW: Weather plays a large role in our development, health, and general well being. And what controls weather, where does all weather play out? The sky!

I also think many people view astrology as deterministic rather than as heuristic. Astrology can provide a really important outlet for self reflection and that (at the end of the day) is the most important aspect of it. You are faced with a handful of characteristics about yourself and you either say, “Yes, that reflects me,” or “No, I am not like that.” Ultimately you are illuminating parts of your character that you might otherwise overlook. 

HH: It’s a common perception that astrology is a sham practice based on superstition and the occult. But astrology is neither superstition nor fortune telling. It’s as much science as it is art.

SW: Astrology charting and interpreting is actually quite mathematical. The stars don’t predict or control behavior, no. But they do serve as a visual map that reflects the cycles and rhythms of the seasons that most certainly do impact the soul and psyche of the society dwelling beneath those dark starry skies.

HH: Zodiacal constellations are not predictive so much as they are indicative. Would you agree? Where did people get the idea that the stars ‘rule’ or can predict the outcome of one’s life? If you look up the definition of astrology you get: the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world. But ‘having an influence’ is a misrepresentation.

SW: I am still learning about all the various applications of astrology in one’s life but my understanding is that horoscopes, which are general ‘predictions,’ are where we get this misconception that the stars rule us. The idea behind a horoscope is that since the celestial bodies are on pretty determined paths in relation to the earth, they have the same interactions and aspects at (typically) the same times of the day, week, month, years, etc. So if you know the planets and constellations orbits, then you can predict what the astrological atmosphere will be at a certain time based on reports of what has happened in the past and characteristics associated with the planets and stars. I like to use the word “atmosphere” instead. Because, just because there is the potential for major activity doesn’t mean there always will be. It makes a person more aware of their ultimate free will to cultivate the character and life they wish to live within the boundaries of the astrological environment they are both born into and operating within.

HH: The zodiacal constellations, along with the Earth’s astronomical and cosmological phenomena, is like an illustrated map of creation’s timeline. Just as the seasons change and the earth’s axis tilts and planets orbit around each other…so does human behavior often follow a predictable or reliable story line. 

SW: I agree. I also want to add that there are only so many baseline characteristics that exist in the world. For me, as an artist, it is easy to relate this idea to color mixing. Just like there is basic blue – there is basic (this is a negative example but stay with me here) evil. Then there is teal, powder blue, periwinkle just as there is malicious, sadistic, hateful, corrupt…

Tying this back into misconceptions about astrology; people think that they are just their sun signs and don’t realize that they are a combination of 24 signs and it’s rare, if not impossible, to only have a total concentration of one. This is how we can have 12 base archetypes yet a multitude of unique personalities.

HH: Some, like Carl Sagan on his views about astrology, also argue that the heavenly map changes and is therefore unreliable. But so do our world maps. As countries change names, nations divide or merge, so does the information in our world atlas. Our maps reflect our history.

SW: My interest lies more in the personal (natal chats and how that shapes the way we navigate the world). Therefore I am not particularly well versed in how astrological phenomenons effect communities as a whole – this is next on my list of things to explore further. Aspects play a big role in how the energetic potential of a sign/planet manifest in individual charts. 

Beginning in March, Sam will be doing natal and synastry (relationships) zodiac charts for a small fee. Each chart comes with an illustration totem that is specific to the chart! More information can be be found at http://samwhalen.com/mystic. Maple-Seed-knocked out

 

 

Picture Yourself in the Ancestral Portrait with Flower Essences

Energy Medicine, Herbal Remedies, Mental Health, Spirituality | Posted by Kim
Jan 11 2014

Interview of Ziporah Hildebrandt by Kim Steffgen, December 2013. Answers Copyright 2013 Ziporah Hildebrandt, used with permission.

Your ancestors’ photos may have been in black and white but their lives have colored your world. When ancestral lines are blurry flower essences can sharpen the lines in your family portrait.

I spoke with flower essences practitioner and ancestral energy worker Ziporah Hildebrandt about using flower essences to facilitate the ancestral lineage clearing process.

Keewaydinoquay Peschel, Ethnobotanist and Herbalist.  1919 - 1999

Keewaydinoquay Peschel, Ethnobotanist and Herbalist.
1919 – 1999

HH: Tell me about your experience with family patterns and ancestral pattern clearing.

Ziporah: The way I work is usually directly in connection with, and in dialog with, the ancestors. I also prescribe flower essences to clients. The essences  create more ease with the process of accessing the ancestors, connecting and communicating with them, and transforming a stuck situation into flow and new possibilities. Quite marvelous things will come up in a session working with ancestors. Clients generally report a feeling of lightness and relief of a burden afterward. During a session, specific personal histories often come to light, that can at first shock or dismay a client, and quickly shift the energy to healing, forgiveness, even joy. I enjoy this work—working with someone’s ancestors is just as satisfying as working with a living person: their energy is vivid, their stories poignant, their gratitude palpable. When someone comes to me with a knotty personal situation I can usually tell quickly if there is an ancestral influence. Not everyone is open to these ideas, and there are other ways to work than with an ancestor session. The Healing Roots flower essence combination I created is very helpful for any issues involving ancestral healing.

HH: How do you define Ancestral Pattern Healing?

Ziporah: I like to keep things out of the box, as I find that definitions can limit what shows up in a session, and for a client after a session or while they’re taking the essences. Even calling this an ancestral pattern locks energy—a pattern is something that repeats. My experience is that energies with an ancestral source do run through generations, and they can repeat, and when they do they often resemble the original source in some way. So to this extent there is a pattern, and it usually isn’t an exact replication. If someone was, in a former incarnation, their own ancestor, or involved in the original situation in a former life, there can be eerie synchronicities between the situations in the time periods, even to dates or numbers, names and place similarities. This can be a pattern for that soul, rather than an inherited pattern.

Another type of energy are things like diseases, fires, floods, wars and other situations that are impersonal in their occurrence, that had very personal impacts on ancestors. This type of energy tends to show up differently in each successive generation. For instance,  someone whose great ­grandparent’s mother died of a particular disease while the great­ grandparent was a small child may have grief and loss showing up along with body conditions, and it may not be anything like the same disease physically. I see healing around these energies as a process of thawing a frozen energy that has blocked the flow of life force, of love, of prosperity, of confidence, of receiving the blessings of life and connection with others and the universe.

HH: How can flower essences help?

Ziporah: Flower essences begin to thaw the frozen areas in the ancestral tree. They can clear energetic structures that have kept the frozen area in place. Some flower essences, such as Forget­Me­Not, help us connect directly with ancestors, which allows us to have a transformative dialog with them. Flower essences like Primulas and Crested Iris reorganize and restructure the ancestral energies so that healing is retroactive to the ancestors as well as to other descendents of them. All flower essences will bring in divine light and love to the whole family tree, including opening the living person to forgiveness, to letting go, and receiving change. There is an expansion of the heart and awareness, allowing new possibilities that were never imagined before.

HH: In your experience, what are the essences most specific to ancestral patterns?

Ziporah: There are many flower essences that can heal inherited energy resonances. Any essences that work with the DNA, such as White Primula and Rose Geranium, or with clearing in general, such as Tomato essences, or healing in general, such as Self Heal and Comfrey, will assist with ancestral healing. More specifically, Parsnip, Hemlock, Crested Iris and Boab work very directly with ancestral energies. I’ve described in more detail the flower essences I use in my Healing Roots combination on my web site, http://ancestorsblessing.com/healing­roots/

Any essences that work specifically with family members or the mother and father archetypes, such as Baby Blue Eyes and Sunflower for father, or Lady’s Mantle and Mariposa Lily for mother, can also be applicable to working with ancestors, depending on the situation and issues. Crested Iris works with both mother and father archetypes and is a powerful deep healing essence. If there is an overall pattern of problem with the mother, then using mother­ archetype essences will be helpful, including Madonna Lily, Milk Thistle, Mariposa Lily. You can add an ancestor ­specific essence such as Parsnip or Hemlock or Crested Iris to the combination to “direct” the devas to the family tree.

Not all flower essences will have a strong connection to the devas, it depends on how they are made. Many essence makers do consciously connect with the flower’s deva, and then the essence will carry the intelligence of the deva, which is beyond space and time.

You can do the same thing when working with past lives: formulate for the issue, then add Giant Burmese Honeysuckle to the combination to direct the healing to the past lives. There are also essences that facilitate communication and receiving awareness of ancestors, notably Forget­Me­Not. Any essences that boost intuition and spirit journeys can assist with this.

HH: Do you have your own ‘plant ally?’

Ziporah: I have been guided at different times by particular plant devas. One of them was quite entertaining to work with, taking the form of any flower I was inquiring about and acting out in some way what the flower essence would do. I thought at first that I was suddenly communicating directly with every plant more quickly and easily than ever had before. I laughed out loud when I realized what was going on.

Actually, every flower I make an essence from becomes my ally. While talking with someone, or doing energy healing in a session, a flower may pop into my awareness, and I know something about that plant is a contribution to what is going on. When this happens, I invite the deva of that plant into the session or the conversation, or send it remotely to the person.

HH: Tell me about your flower essence process. How do you determine what’s best for the individual?

Ziporah: This has changed over time, and still changes. I often use a client’s horoscope or Human Design chart to attune to the energy map of their current incarnation. I use kinesiology, or muscle testing as a quick, easy and accurate (for me) method of choosing essences from the thousand or so I work with. With a complex case involving multiple combinations for one person, I may select a number of essences, and then group them as I perceive their resonance. Then I look at the essences in the groups and notice a theme, which further clarifies my knowing about what is going on.

Essences that would like to be included may pop into my awareness when I’m not thinking about the formula, along with the knowing that they would like to contribute their energies to that person. Every practitioner will find their own ways of doing this that work for them.

HH: How does one know the difference between ancestral pattern issues and past life issues?

Ziporah: Sometimes, as I described already, they are the same, where a person was their own ancestor in a former life. More commonly, there is resonance between past lives and the family history. We each choose the body and family we are born into, and we are making that choice from the energetic resonance of a place, a family, a time, as well as connections we may have to people.

As to how to know the difference, each person must learn to perceive their own knowing. Describing my own awareness of the difference would be like trying to put words to the difference between vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Energy is our first language, the language of nature and spirit. How we interface with that language is unique to each person, just as no two people will experience a symphony the same way, or even the same way at different times. As infinite beings, we have access to infinite knowing. If we ask, we’ll receive information.

HH: When selecting a mode for healing painful spiritual or emotional issues, how does one determine the best course? Intuition or something more?

Ziporah: This is part of the learning process of being a healer. We all have amazing healing capacities in our bodies and beings. When we don’t try to determine results we open ourselves to possibilities we may not have thought of. It’s key to learn to trust our knowing, trust our awareness, and trust that whatever happens is a contribution to ourselves as well as the client. Whenever we have an outcome in mind we limit and very often interfere with where the energy is moving.

If we have a pre­determined idea of what healing would look like, what the “best course” would produce, we may be preventing the healing and transformation required. Even defining a client’s situation as “painful” is
assuming a stance that suffering is wrong, should be fixed, and that the healer should be the one to figure out how to fix it. Every time we say “Such and such happened to me,” we erase ourselves as a participant in creating our reality.

There are many wonderful and effective techniques and methods available to healing practitioners today. If one simply follows the energy, you’ll be led to what will be effective. And if there is no apparent effect, one might ask if the client was truly choosing change?

Clients come to us for many reasons and not all of them involve being healed!

HH: Can one be addressed without the other? And how can flower essences help in both the discovery process and the clearing process?

Ziporah: Unlike people, flower essences have no propensity for analyzing or separating various types of healing or healing processes. All flower essences can heal on multiple levels and in myriad ways.

We are constantly addressing what we are aware of and can see, and ignoring everything else. Happily, flower essences have no such shortcomings; they will address whatever is there that a person is willing to allow.

HH: Another flower essence practitioner friend of mine remarked that, often, accessing the ancestor is difficult and the most readily available person is oneself, who carries the pattern anyway.  What do  you think
about that?
 
Ziporah: How difficult something is varies from person to person and time to time. I have found it both quick and easy to access my own and others’ ancestors, and less so at other times. It has always been possible and never what I’d call “difficult.”

Each person carries all of their ancestors within them. There is a chamber in the heart where they are all held, though some can be hidden at first. I’ll be creating an audio guided imagery journey based on what my angel guide showed me about accessing our ancestors. Like many things, accessing this area of our awareness is like a muscle that we can exercise and develop with practice and use.

There are many ways to access one’s ancestors. Gaze with open mind at old photos,hold items that once belonged to someone, go to places where they lived or worked. Ask for a dream. You can fill a glass of water before bed, adding a dreaming flower essence in it, such as Mugwort, or my Dream Healer combination. Just before you turn out the light, drink half of the water and ask for a dream about your ancestors, or whatever else you’d like to receive information about. Ask to remember the dream when you awaken.

When you awaken, drink the other half of the water, asking to remember. Some people remember a dream the first night, others it may take a few nights. Write the dream in your dream journal. The process of creating a dream journal and writing in it whenever you recall a dream tells your subconscious that you are open, willing to receive communication in this way, and honoring of that. When we ask to receive, we will receive.

How difficult it is and in what form it shows up depends mostly on ourselves. How do we expect it to appear? What communications are coming to us daily that we don’t recognize? Our cognitive minds are so busy, so full of conclusions, assumptions and points of view about how things are, how they will be, how they’re supposed to be, that it is difficult for anything to get through that doesn’t look just like we expect it to.

Using flower essences—any flower essences!—gently and gradually changes this. We can let go of things having to be a certain way, of insisting on being right, or wrong, or however we think we are and the universe is. Flower essences soften our finite boundaries so we can receive more of our true nature, which is infinite, light, joyous and free.

Ziporah Hildebrandt is the author of How to Make Your Own Flower Essences. She has extensive training in humanistic psychology, flower essence therapy and ancestral lineage clearing. Learn more at http://ancestorsblessing.com  Maple Seed_Yellow

Black Cohosh: Help For Menopause

Energy Medicine, Flower Essences, Herbal Remedies, Spirituality | Posted by Kim
Jan 27 2013

Black Cohosh Helps You Wave Goodbye to An Old Friend

Black Cohosh is an excellent herb for easing both the physical and the spiritual symptoms of menopause and other female health issues.

Remember when you got your first period? The exciting, yet somehow-at-the-same time terrifying realization that now, you were able to conceive; you could actually create life! That heralding of womanhood made all the discomfort worth it. Having periods every month was inconvenient and sometimes bothersome. But they were also familiar companions whose visits you could mark on your calendar to spend time with your most intimate self and commune with your creative femininity.

That’s why, in the old days, women would refer their periods as having their “friend.” No wonder getting toward the end of that path is seldom an entirely smooth transition. When you no longer have monthly cycles, you have to find a different kind of compass to get your life back in rhythm. Black Cohosh can help you lift your hand and wave good-bye to your old best friend.

 

Black Cohosh, a member of the ranunculacea family, is a wildflower native to eastern North America. Cohosh is an Algonquian word meaning ‘rough,’ named after the plant’s lumpy and knotted brown-black rhizomes that drill deep into the earth. Its spiky white flowers, by contrast, point straight up to the sun. It’s also been called rattletop for the sound its dry seed pods make. The Black Cohosh plant also has a strong odor that is believed to repel insects.

Black Cohosh contains phytoestrogens, making it a natural alternative to hormone replacements and a favored ingredient in any menopause formula. Native Americans have used the rhizome to relieve a wide array of female issues, from easing menstrual cramps to easing childbirth.

As both a nervine and mild tonic, Black Cohosh has been used to treat everything from arthritis, coughs, diabetes, ringing in the ears, neuralgia, malaria, yellow fever, and lung disorders. It’s also sometimes referred to as black snakeroot because the rhizomes are also good as poultices for snakebites.

Black Cohosh flower essences helps you adjust to the changes, of both your physical and subtle body. Black Cohosh helps you redefine your femininity while keeping you connected to your female divinity. It lends grounded strength and eternal courage for overcoming obstacles along life’s path such as addictions, emotional dependencies, and lack of self-confidence. True liberation may follow, as the soul gives rise to the luminous purity of the essential, divine self reborn.

Black Cohosh’s Secret Lore  

Black Cohosh is considered the embodiment of female energy and corresponds to the Second Chakra (Womb, Creativity). The purity of its white flowers are said to embody the power of transformation, from their dark tangled roots buried deep in the earth to their unbelievably perky flowers. Kali, the black warrior goddess is Black Cohosh’s archetype. Kali knows how to untangle even the tightest knots, and can give reassuring comfort to a woman who is transforming from her fertile, childbearing years to a post-menopausal state.

A good affirmation while meditating on Black Cohosh is, “I trust my life and easily transition my creative flow to spiritual knowing.”

Warnings: Blue Cohosh or White Cohosh are different plants and may not have the same effects or benefits as Black Cohosh. Black Cohosh has a potent effect on estrogen and can be used to induce labor. It may increase or decrease the effects of estrogen in the body so should be used with caution and the advice of a physician or naturopath.

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Powerfully Potent Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Letters from the Heretic, Recipes, Spirituality, The Kitchen Witch | Posted by Kim
Nov 01 2012

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are rich in fiber, vitamins A and C, manganese, potassium and zinc, protein and Omega-3 essential fatty acids.

Rinse seeds well in a colander to remove strings and pulp and soak them in salt water overnight for better taste.

Pat dry.

Season with a light coating of grapeseed, olive or coconut oil and toss to coat evenly.

Sprinkle with your choice of turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, clove or herbs such as nettle, thyme or tarragon.

Add sea salt.

Place seeds on a baking sheet, giving them space for thorough baking.

Bake at 300 degrees  45 minutes to an hour, or until crispy or golden.

Great for snacks, trail mix or sprinkled on salads or omelettes.

From the Sacred to the Profane in 30 Seconds Flat – Notes From the Vortex

Letters from the Heretic, Radical Rants, Spirituality | Posted by Kim
Mar 25 2012


Say what you will about astrology but I’ve found too many accuracies, had so many rich experiences come to fruition as predicted in astrological readings and horoscopes to think there’s nothing to it. A friend told me all about New Moon Wishing a while back.  She even gave me Jan Spiller’s book on the subject, New Moon Astrology, as a gift a couple of years ago. Each month the New Moon correlates to an astrological sign and meditating on the qualities of that sign lend the highest potency to one’s wishes. I have had varying degrees of success in realizing my wishes over the years. In March the New Moon is in Aries and is about new beginnings. But, Jan warns, Mercury is also retrograde so she advises on her website to take extra care to communicate clearly and meaningfully when writing down wishes this month.

Not only I am in deep need of renewal this month, but my ruling planet is Mercury. So, imagine my excitement when I found myself in Sedona, Arizona this week with an opportunity to hike one of the area’s vortexes. I set my alarm, with two alerts, to be sure I was sitting on a ledge on Bell Rock, my pen and wishing journal in hand, within the first eight hours (when the energy is most potent) after the new moon, meditating on the wording and spirit of my wishes. I was going to use the power of the new moon and the magnetism of Bell Rock’s iron rich earth to put some super strength muscle into removing some particularly stubborn karmic stains in my life.

The morning was clear and cool and traffic on the trails was sparse so quiet was plentiful. With a blue sky above me and the red earth under my half lotus seated body, I settle onto a wide flat rock and give myself over to well considered thought, asking the earth and the sky to help me with my delicate task of well worded wishes. Time and time again I’ve learned that the universe takes things literally so I wanted to place my order with the Life Cafe just right. Beside me I find a detached cactus leaf. I gently poke its spines  against my fingertips, tapping into some chi before setting it next to me to stand sentinel over my journal. New Moon wishing guidelines suggest no more than ten wishes, hand written on a piece of paper, per day. I pace myself, taking time to meditate, stretch and breathe between my wishes. I find myself still struggling with wording; between invocations that leave room for infinite possibility and creative imagination and pragmatism. Between direct requests and thoughts that betray my unconscious unworthiness. At eight down and two to go I set my favorite pen in the crook of my journal and leave my seat. I notice a gentleman wandering the rocks a few yards ahead of me. He approaches me and asks directions for taking the trail to the top of the rock. Nodding toward my journal he inquires if I am writing a novel. I smile and eagerly explain that it is the new moon and what an exciting time I am having of it. “The new moon is for increasing things you want in your life,” we talk over each other affirmatively. Then he asks what about full moons? We both agree it’s a time for wishing for those negative things, bad habits and unhealthy relationships to leave our lives. Do I give equal time to Full Moon wishing, my new friend wants to know. In that moment, when one is tasked with stuffing volumes of thought, experience and explanation into that impossibly small space of time only a brief crossing of paths with a stranger can create, I stumble over my words to let him know that I’ve only been studying and, as far as I know is practiced, the New Moon. “Oh,” he quips. “Does that mean you are perfect?” he demands smarmily as he tracks across the trail toward the base. I laugh nervously as I glance longingly at my journal and my cactus talisman. My peace is broken. Confusion gathers around my head and something akin to anger rises in my belly. I’m at communication odds with this male stranger. Wires are crossing and sparks, the bad kind, are flying. All my anxiety about saying the right thing—not being heard, fear of misinterpretation and its consequences—come tumbling down what just before had been my calmed mind, cleared by careful in breath and out breath. Now my mental  pathway was littered with the debris of conflict and self doubt. It’s so much easier to talk to rocks than it is to human beings, I think wearily. “Let’s just say resolved,” I answer to his retreating figure as I head back to my journal. Taking inventory of my emotions, I am surprised to admit that, actually, I feel like slugging the guy. I imagine hurling my spiny cactus leaf straight across the red rocks and beaning him with it.  How did I get into this argument, albeit mostly on an energetic level, with another soul when just a few seconds ago I was sitting here, on Bell Rock, happily minding my own business? So much for sacred space. Then I pick up my pen and smile. That, I remind myself, was a Virgo Sun and Mercury retrograde classic. With both feet planted firmly on the earth now, I write out my last two wishes, carefully, in no uncertain terms.

Energy Psychology and Hypnotherapy

Mental Health, Spirituality | Posted by Kim
Nov 13 2011

Flipping the Lightswitch on the Mind’s Darkness

An Exploration of Energy Psychology and Hypnotherapy

Q. How many neurons does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A. 100 billion and one. 100 billion microscopic cells to create a  thought and one to say, “That’s an idea!”

Anyone who has ever reached for a lightswitch that is no longer there on the wall after a room remodel, or pushed the button on a coffee maker during a power outage knows the power of neuro-electrical programming, how it can take days to re-wire their perception, or beliefs, to align with a new reality. Hard wiring is a good thing. It tells us how to navigate our environment, stay alive and motivates us to pay our electric bills.

But what of the destructive programming, or limiting beliefs, we are completely unaware of; the darker messages buried deep in the shadows of our subconscious that informs our decison making, judgement and actions; our shadow selves?

Argue for your limitations and they are yours.~Richard Bach

The above quote is an apt spiritual injunction. Yet, if we don’t know what our limitations are, how to recognize them as negative beliefs driving our behaviors, rather than the gospel truth of our reality, it is nearly impossible to argue against them.

No one wants to be held hostage to destructive behaviors or repel people with persistent negative attitudes. But all behavior is driven by what we believe will keep us alive and safe in the world. It is a cruel irony that those self-regulating behaviors we act out in order to regain balance —physically, psychologically and socially— and to move away from threat all too often backfires. What one does in response to a negative belief to feel safe, included and purposeful causes another to retreat, reject or judge.

This is the pioneering work of energy medicine (also known as energy psychology) which includes methods such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing); EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques); PSYCH-K (psychology + kinesiology) and hypnotherapy. The common denominator is neuroscience and how it addresses the brain’s electrical impulses and currents to reprogram the negative beliefs and perceptions learned and stored in our subconscious during childhood. But if beliefs are more powerful than reality, can we change? Energy medicine says yes!

A relatively new field, energy medicine marries neuroscience and psychology, shining the spotlight on the real reasons we get stuck in destructive patterns and the negative thinking that keeps us missing our goals of true success, happiness and love. Research consistently finds that we make decisions or set goals with only a tiny fraction of our conscious mind while the vastly larger subconscious is really running the show.

We’ve heard it for years now in movies and books like The Secret, and support groups, personal development seminars, eastern mysticism and cognitive psychology: YOU create your own reality.

But there is an element of blame and judgement in that suggestion. Anyone who has lost her husband in a car accident or has a terrible birth defect will tell you, they most assuredly did not create the painful situations they are in. There is some truth in both arguments though. Individually, we do not have the sum power and responsibility for creating all of reality. We do however have the ability to reveal a broader reality beyond our narrow negative perceptions and better align our lives to reflect more of the positive fragments of reality that are out there.

Our negative programming teaches us to select certain fragments of reality while being blind to others. What hypnotherapist Debbie Taylor-Lilly of Intuitive Hypnosis in Portland, Ore. says is our perception of life events; the personal meaning we assign to our life events. “Your perceptions tell you that what you are looking at, listening to, thinking about, experiencing, etc., is either good, bad, or neutral.” And our negative programs, just as a parasite seeks a host to survive, needs proof of itself to sustain its life. The talented adult artist who bases his livelihood on his artwork but never sells a painting was told as a child that no one will like him if he is a better artist than his peers. A brilliant ad executive who keeps losing her management positions because she is terrified of sticking up for herself is the daughter of a powerfully destructive narcissist. Self-fulfilling prophecy gets its fuel from belief. The reward is survival but the punishment is social isolation.

Energy medicine to the rescue! Methods such as PSYCH-K, EMDR and hypnosis helps us knock down the negative beliefs blocking the neural pathways that obscure the sunnier view. The more an individual can step out of his own shadow the more light he can accept and, in turn, reflect on his environment with positive actions. Collectively, consciously “creating” a new reality.

If the mind is like a box and our neurons are the pinholes through which we perceive only tiny fragments of “what’s out there” —selective reality— PSYCH-K helps slide the lid open to reveal a much broader landscape, and overwrites the negative or limiting belief with a new program of infinite possibility.

Can the mighty iceberg, the submerged part that is our subconscious, be that easily influenced by mere suggestion? Yes, says Taylor-Lilly. “Hypnosis, which is a state of deep relaxation, puts your mind in a state of receptivity that allows new programming to download. Hypnosis provides access to positive beliefs about yourself and the present that negative programming has kept locked out from your awareness.” Reprogramming does not consist of completely erasing our lives and memories. Instead it is a matter of laying down new positive tracks over the negative, limiting beliefs that make our reality a prison of impossibility. Repetition is the key, Taylor-Lilly explains. Just as physical therapy rebuilds and realigns our musculature, positive belief messages, consistently applied, overwrites our sub-conscious mind’s recorded messages about our beliefs and what is possible, or not possible for us.

But how does laying down a new track, so to speak, on the individual’s tape player sync with the reality of the world at large? How to reconcile, for example, a job seeker’s belief he can have any job he puts his mind to with a tough economy and poor job market? Because. The conscious mind will not seek anything that the sub-conscious mind does not believe exists in reality. Once one changes his perceptions of reality, he opens himself, literally, to a world of possibilities where the creative problem solving can begin.

Learn more…
http://www.intuitivehypnosisportland.com/
http://www.tapping.com/