Saturday, June 29, 2019

PASSIONFLOWER: Herb of the Month

Passionflower is a flowering, fruiting plant that grows in warmer environments such as the southeastern US and the tropics. Though it was used by natives for thousands of years as a food and medicine, it got the name Passionflower when Spanish explorers came across it and believed the flower to be symbolic of Christ's crucifixion.
Passionflower is a wonderful antidote and remedy for the stress of modern day living. It is a great anti- anxiety herb that can help with insomnia, ADHD, and restlessness as well as lowering blood pressure and insulin levels. It's been reported to be helpful for women with menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and premenstrual syndrome.
In one study, volunteers with trouble sleeping were asked to drink a cup of passionflower tea at bedtime for a period time and all reported notable sleep improvement.
Passionflower increases GABA in the brain and this action reduces anxiety that is frequently associated with insomnia. It can also help with tension stored in muscles and involuntary muscular twitching.
It can be taken in various forms such as infusions, teas and tinctures. To make passionflower tea, simply put a teaspoon or more in a cup of boiling water and steep (with a lid).
Those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or suffering from liver damage/disease should not take passionflower.
It also can interfere with blood thinning and blood pressure medications. If you are on these medications, consult your healthcare provider before using. Operating machinery is not recommended after using passionflower, due to its sedative effects.

by Theresa Musatto

ROSEMARY: Essential Oil of the Month

Belonging to the mint family, Rosmarinus Officinalis, which translates to ‘dew of the sea’, is an herb native to the Mediterranean, and has a sharp, energizing, herbaceous evergreen scent with a slight hint of citrus. The essential oil is distilled from the flowering tops or the leaves. Rosemary oil can mildly stimulate poor circulation, energy, the nervous system, the adrenal glands, and can help improve memory, which is why the ancient Greeks wore garlands of rosemary around their heads when studying, and also why we put it in our Study Aid Aromatherapy Inhaler! Rosemary oil is helpful used as steam to lower cholesterol and relieve lung congestion as well as sore throats. Use as a massage diluted in a carrier oil for pain, sore aching muscles and rheumatism, but also used as a scalp massage for hair growth. Well-known for its antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties it was an important ingredient in the Four Thieves Vinegar, an herbal concoction used in the Middle Ages to protect from the plague, which is an oil blend still popular today to ward off illnesses such as coughs, colds, and the flu. Also useful for skin care, due to its high iron, calcium and phytonutrients, making it helpful in protecting skin from sun damage and other free radicals.

by Chelsea Morning

Interview with Charity Rae: Spirit Animal Retriever

By Chelsea Morning

Discover how Charity began working with spirit animals, how you can call on spirit animals, and what she would nickname the moon.

Journeying is a practice utilized by shamans for over 100,000 years. Considered the doctors and therapists of their community, shamans would ‘‘journey’ to ask for and receive spiritual information and guidance to be used to help heal those in the tribe. Women were the first shamans, with cave paintings and talismans depicting them as sacred protectors and healers.

Charity is an ancient cave-dwelling soul, a profound intuitive, a deep listener of spirits, a gentle gatherer of spiritual lore, wisdom, and tidings. In harmony and balance with nature, she is able to journey beyond the moss and mushrooms, above the hollowed flying bones of crow, below the grass warmed by sleeping tiger, beyond the cave of bear, she travels, speaking in the language of nature and spirits. Invited in to the hidden realms, she is welcomed and dances an intimate dance, watching, listening, feeling with the inner essence of her eyes, ears, and intuition. Receiving the flowers, the bones, and the roots from the spirits, she brings back healing, messages, and guidance in bundles, presenting it to us as a divine offering, honoring both the tribe and the spirits.

Charity specializes in recognizing, identifying, and retrieving one’s personal power animals, as well as speaking with and relaying messages from beloved pets that have entered the spirit realm, plus creating spirit boxes to honor and enjoy our sacred creatures.

Tell us the story about how you first became involved in working with power/ spirit animals?Although I didn’t call it a Spirit Animal at the time ( I did not know about Spirit Animals then), Crow came to me when I was around 8 years old and became my helper and guide. I learned later in life that other women in my family have had birds (particularly birds that are black in color) talk to them or come to them with messages. Crow showed me the magic that dwelled all around me and within me and taught me how to navigate between the veils and dimensions. I still work with Crow to this day, as well as other animals that have become guides.

You offer power animal retrievals, in which you will journey to the spirit world to discover a person’s power/spirit animal or animals if there are more than one! What do people receive from one of your readings?

It really depends. I never know what I will discover when I go on a journey. I will go on behalf of someone looking for their power animal and ask the animal to come forward and reveal itself. It is often a very beautiful and surprising experience full of messages and metaphor. I feel so honored and lucky to get to go on such wondrous adventures. Sometimes one animal presents itself, sometimes two, sometimes many. Sometimes animals have very specific messages to relay. Once I have met the power animal(s) I will translate the information and wisdom I was given to the best of my ability and write the story of the journey to share via email.

If you are interested in getting a power animal reading or have questions about it, feel free to email me at
Once a person has a power animal, how and when can they call on them for guidance?
Call on them anytime! Power Animals are reliable spirit helpers. They have come to your side to protect and guide you. They want to assist you through challenges you may face, whether those are internal or external challenges. And they are also there to celebrate life with you. Your power animal is your helper, but also a sacred aspect of your very soul, so identifying and strengthening the bond between you and your animal guide is important work indeed. As with any relationship, it is essential to nourish and foster the connection between you and your spirit companion. Without effort put forth, the relationship will not be as strong and vital.
How do you build a relationship with your animal(s)? 
  • Have gratitude; thank your animal(s) for the help and wisdom they give.
  • Enjoy their company and listen to what they are trying to share; visit with them through your thoughts or meditations or even in real life. You can observe and study your animal(s) here on this plane and learn more about them.
  • You can make a shrine or altar for them or wear things that remind you of them.
  • You can create art about them.
  • There are so many ways to honor your power animal(s). Do what feels right to you.
You also offer the service of journeys into the spirit world to communicate with dearly loved pets who have left this realm and have entered the spirit realm, with many relaying clear and meaningful messages that resonate with their humans. How does this work, do you need to go in with a specific question in mind, or do you journey to them and simply let them speak to you?
I usually will journey to meet a pet and hang out with them and see what they have to share. I typically do not ask specific questions, but rather let the spirit of the pet convey what seems important to them. I have found that things they are really adamant about sharing is usually the stuff that resonates with their human friend. It is newer work to me, communicating with pets that have passed, but it is proving to be very sweet and beautiful. It often seems not only healing for the human who misses their beloved friend but also healing for the animal too.

Being the artistic and connected soul that you are, you also make spirit animal boxes. They’re a wonderful way to honor Spirit Animals or any animals that you love, plus are a meaningful way to hold special keepsakes and memories, magical treasures, jewelry or affirmations. We carry them at the shop, but you also have an etsy shop! Wanna plug your etsy shop a little?!
The name of the new Etsy shop is Wandering Woodland Co and you can look at it here www.etsy/shop/wanderingwoodlandco
The idea of the Etsy shop is to have a collective of creative friends contributing makings within a woodland/ nature theme. So far just my spirit animal boxes (wooden boxes featuring different animals) are for sale, but I am pretty sure there will be more items soon. I have a friend who wants to make beaded animal earrings for the shop and another friend who makes beautiful, nature-inspired metal jewelry. My sister, who I have been closely collaborating with on opening the shop, has been researching and compiling gemstones that go with different power animals. She also makes lovely wands and mobiles from sticks and feathers, gems and moss.

10 little questions (because it’s the little things that mean so much)

What’s your favorite sound? Rain hitting the roof, windchimes in a soft breeze, my cat chirping and trilling for his breakfast, the sound of a distant train
What smell do you love?
Fresh ground coffee, basil, dirt, play dough

What would you leave as an offering to the Great Forest Spirit?

A garland of moss, wildflowers, moonstones and acorns to adorn his beautiful antlers. And an amazing snack of fresh tender greens grown in my garden.

Which element do you connect most with; Earth, Air, Fire, or Water?

Mossy, mysterious Earth

What nickname would you give to the moon?
Everything lovely in my life right now is called ‘good’; good home, good bed, good food…..good moon.

Which Tom Robbins’ character are you most like?
I don’t know, but I sure like beets.

What’s your favorite herb?
I don’t think I have a favorite, there are so many wonder plants. I have been astounded by the miraculous healings I have experienced with both shepherd’s purse and tumeric.

What’s your favorite essential oil?
What gemstone do you love?

Picture Jasper and moonstone

What is the universe trying to tell us?

Nothing is perfect and everything is perfect.

Find Charity at

And watch for the Wandering Woodland Co. coming soon to Instagram and Facebook

Thursday, June 27, 2019

OCEAN JASPER: Gemstone of the Month

"Ocean Jasper is a stone of joy and high spirits. It opens one's awareness to the benevolent aspects of life and lifts one's mood through its positive vibrations. When one is under its influence, it is difficult to take one's problems and dissatisfactions as seriously as one normally does. Ocean Jasper helps lift the veil on negativity which many people unconsciously wear over their eyes, and when this veil is lifted, it is much easier to see and appreciate the many blessings of life." -The Book of Stones

Herb Tea On Ice

A tall, cool glass of herbal iced tea is a fine way to celebrate summer and to quench your thirst during the warm days ahead. They provide a perfect forum for experimenting with the offerings of your garden.
Tea is the second most widely consumed beverage around the world, surpassed only by water. Iced tea's history began during the sweltering heat of the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis and illustrates the ingenuity for which Americans are famous. One resourceful vendor whose hot tea was not selling well poured the brew over ice and it was an instant hit that has never lost its popularity.
Whether you use herbs and spices alone or brew them with black, green or oolong tea, making herbal iced tea is simple. Start with fresh cold water and bring to a boil. Place herb leaves or flowers in a tea ball or muslin tea bag. Use 1 heaping teaspoon of dried herbs or 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs per cup of boiling water, 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons per quart of water or 1/3 to 1/2 cup per gallon of water. Make your tea a little stronger than you would hot tea because the ice will dilute the flavor. You can also brew the tea in the sun or make it in an automatic iced-tea maker.
Be creative and experiment with teas to please yourself and your family, or use whatever herbs are plentiful in your garden.
Below is a list of herbs grouped according to flavor. Choose one flavor or group of flavors to dominate, then add flavors from another group as an accent. Use about 3 parts of your dominate ingredient(s) to 1 part of accent herbs. Fruit juices, honey or sugar may be added after steeping for extra flavor.
*Spicy flavors: cloves, cinnamon, allspice, cinnamon basil, anise seed
*Fruity flavors: lemongrass, lemon verbena, citrus zest, chamomile, pineapple sage, lemon thyme, ginger root, raspberry leaves, lemon basil
*Floral flavors: hibiscus, rose hips, rose petals, lavender, jasmine
*Minty flavors: bee balm, peppermint, spearmint, catnip
*Herbal flavors: rosemary, marjoram, sage, savory, parsley, yarrow, hyssop

Apple-Mint Iced Tea
Makes 1 quart

1 quart water
6 teaspoons black tea or 6 regular tea bags
1 cup fresh peppermint leaves (or 1/2 cup dried)
2 cups apple juice
2 Tbsp honey (only if using unsweetened apple juice)
Fresh sprig of mint and an apple slice for garnish

by Judy Burger

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Book Spotlight: Herbal Healing for Women

Simple, safe, and effective herbal remedies for women of all ages.

For centuries women have turned to herbs to cope with a wide variety of health problems and conditions. Comprehensive and easy-to-use, Herbal Healing for Women explains how to create remedies—including teas, tinctures, salves, and ointments—for the common disorders that arise in the different cycles of a woman's life.

Covering adolescence, childbearing years, pregnancy and childbirth, and menopause, Rosemary Gladstar teaches how herbs can be used to treat the symptoms of conditions such as acne, PMS, morning sickness, and hot flashes. A complete women's health-care manual, Herbal Healing for Women discusses:

-common disorders and the herbs that are effective for treating them
-how to select and store herbs
-preparation of hundreds of herbal remedies
-an alphabetical listing of herbs, including a brief description of the herb, the general medicinal usage, and when necessary, warnings about potential side effects.

By explaining the properties of specific herbs and the art of preparation, Rosemary Gladstar demonstrates not only how to achieve healing through herbs but good health as well.