Herbal Apprenticeship with the Sonoran Herbalist
This Saturday, March 14th, begins John Slattery's Sonoran herbalist apprenticeship program. I'll be participating. Actually, I'm already participating, since I'm doing partial work trade. I'm so grateful to be spending time in an herbalist's office--that milieu, those aromas, working with other herb-minded folks.
The classes, two-to-four days a month for the next seven months, are often overnight camping trips. We're going to be introduced to many different zones of this bioregion, which is far more than just desert thanks to the mountain ranges. But balancing the wide geographical range, I know from having taken a couple classes with John already that we'll be directed, encouraged, urged, to look exquisitely closely at what grows right at our feet.
remembrance, fragrance, versatility
Okay, part 3 of our first tripartite spell! Since the mindfulness part was about remembering/forgetting in connection with boundaries and the language part was about the word "remember," you might have expected me to pick "forget-me-not" as the herb for the spell.
But there was never any doubt for me that I'd be writing about "rosemary, for remembrance." It's such a wonderfully versatile aromatic herb, and although it doesn't have as much associated folklore as parsley or fennel do (stories for another day, perhaps), it's been used and loved for millennia.
Keep a vial of its essential oil by your desk and take a whiff if your energy flags. Notice the renewed wave of clarity.
My New Year, New Gong
Yesterday was my birthday, my personal new year. A good time to restart the broken Gong and to learn the lessons from having it break.
The Internet hasn't been available when I've needed it in recent days. An opportunity to go inward and let what's needed for this next phase bubble up spontaneously.
What does that mean for the blog? I'll tell you, and then I'll show you with the first post in the series, tomorrow..
I'll be continuing with the "cycles within cycles" format, including three blog posts in each nine-day period. This one, the introduction, is extra. But now, each of these nine-day periods will have a theme. Each nine-day period will SPELL something.
journeying in a single place
When I lived in Alaska, I observed the first year that living there was like traveling continuously while staying in the same place. Which is what we're all doing, all the time anyway, of course, traveling around the sun; but close to the poles, it's palpable. Parts of the year are almost punitively lush, the view foreshortened, all bower, arbor, marsh. And then the months of stark snowscape, and the gray-brown in betweens.
Moving to a place where day and night give and take more evenly around the year has clearly been kind to me and my mercurial moods. But this is the desert; this is also a place of extremes.
how many words?
Is a picture really worth a thousand words?
trust YOUR process; trust YOUR product
I have a cautionary tale around use of herbs and use/trust of one's own intuition and strength today.
The more I look for synchronicities, the more I see them. I'm sure that's another tendency that's heightened by undertaking a 100-day Gong.
This cautionary herbal tale turns out to be also a tale about trusting your own strength, and about the relationship between process and product that all creative people dance around continually.
I mentioned that I'm gearing up to start another 100-day discipline practice on the Solstice, December 21st, and I'll share much more about that in the next few days. Meanwhile, I've been meditating on the interplay of Yin and Yang a lot--the beautiful symbol, and the many ways it plays out in life and health.
The little white circle in the black, the little circle of black in the white: each extreme contains the seed of its opposite. The utmost expansiveness (yang) is the apex from which contraction starts. The utmost contraction (yin) is the pinch from which expansion opens.