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Synchronicity of the Week

harnessing confirmation bias

I have an intention to be open to synchronicity. It happens all the time anyway, so why not ask for it? Yes, I'm aware of the objection that I'm autosuggesting it, that we see what we want to see to some extent--but why on earth not? If I whisper a prayer to see a message about peace and then find a message about peace on my way to the grocery store, my prayer is looking for peace, and finding it! 

Sometimes I make specific requests, sometimes I just put an idea out there in a more general way. Lately, I've been thinking about doing a parasite cleanse, probably a couple weeks from now when I finish the current diet (which is a red-orange-yellow-white-spectrum-focusing diet whereby I don't eat any green/blue/brown/black food; I have eleven days left of 45). I'd been assembling the herbs that speak to me for such a cleanse. Then I found myself at a park, totally by chance, looking at what I thought were black walnut trees! 

FullSizeRenderGreen black walnut hulls (i.e. the green, immature hulls of black walnuts) are one of the main ingredients in the standard parasite cleanse.

The tree and the nuts on it also looked kinda like pecans, though, so I wasn't quite sure of my identification. These trees were tiny compared to any pecan trees I'd seen before, though, and I was on the "black walnut" wavelength...

IMG 1585Some of the nuts were more elongated like pecans, but some were also round like black walnuts.

So I took a few home, peeled off the hulls, and set them to tincture in some of the vodka that hides under the sink for those purposes.IMG 1586

Wait! Wait! Those nuts are never black walnuts!

I just made green pecan hull tincture! And learned how small pecan trees can be and still bear.

So was this a synchronicity after all? Or was I barking up the wrong tree husking the wrong nuts?

Actually, it was a complexified synchronicity (I promise I won't use such long words side by side very often)! Last weekend on a plant foraging class, one of the key lessons I learned was that related plants may share medicinal properties.

For example, elm trees that grow here and in New Mexico wild and weedy have the same intestinally soothing properties as does one of my favorite herbs, slippery elm bark, which comes from trees endangered by Dutch Elm disease.

Pecans and black walnuts aren't as closely related as the two elms, but they are related, and they look similar enough that I could confuse them. The parasite-destroying compound in black walnut is called juglone 
(from the Latin word for walnut, "juglans," which, btw, means "Jupiter's acorn.")

And I found an article that shows that pecans do also produce juglone.

So. You go with the worldwide wisdom; you work with the plants in your environment. A good kind of synchronicity. Just enough swerve to remind my "confirmation bias" that it doesn't always look how I expect it to.

About the Author

Ela Harrison

Ela is a wordsmith and herb lover who has lived in many places and currently resides in Tucson, AZ.

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