JULY 2015
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Green Blessings ...
with Susun Weed

Green Witch Remedies

Green greetings to you!

All the green people I know are out and about, harvesting and making remedies, every sunny hour of July.  The green witches of the Green Witch Holiday went harvesting at Gretchen Gould's Herb Hill this past weekend.
On Thursday we started our time together with a heart walk in the woods. We sought and found skullcap, tripped over wild mushrooms galore, pressed our bellies to Grandmother Cedar, and meditated by the river. After a great meal, we settled in for a teleseminar with Suzy Meszoly, psychic, homeopath, and energy healer.

On Friday our walk took us into fields and meadows, as well as my gardens. We studied the mint and clover plant families. We tasted catnip, lemon balm, bergamot, motherwort, thyme, rosemary, sage, shiso, coleus, and anise hyssop. We visited red clover, white clover, hop clover, both sweet clovers (yellow and white), and Lotus corniculatus, poor farmer's alfalfa.

Our lunch was wild indeed, with nettle soup, wild salad, and black chanterelles. After dinner (peanut butter/sweet potato soup), we greeted our guests for the moon lodge, a sacred space for womb-ones/wimmin to sing, dance, and share their stories.

Saturday was clear and bright, sunny and hot – the perfect weather for harvesting mid-summer herbs. And that is exactly what we did. We packed our lunch (baba g'noush, hummus, tsatsiki, tomatoes, olives, and whole wheat pita), plenty of jars, 100 proof vodka, pure olive oil, and apple cider vinegar that we pasteurized on Friday, and went north to be with Gretchen, a fantastic herbalist and amazing keyboard artist. (She plays on It's Time--Wise Woman Center 25th Anniversary Celebration, my CD.)
Want to know what remedies we made at Herb Hill? Look here.

Sunday found us dressed beautifully, dressed as the goddess, for our magical ritual and green witch initiations. The Goddess Archetype reports were fascinating and enlightening, expanding and deepening our appreciation for the goddess in every woman. We were sad to part, for we became a community in our four days together: feeding each other, listening to each other, and witnessing the truth of each other's lives.

Another strand is woven into the healing cloak of the Ancients. It is begun in beauty. It is continued in beauty.

Yarrow tincture

Achillea millefolium is such a useful plant. And the tincture is the easiest way I have found to avail myself of her powers. I often put yarrow tincture in a spray bottle and spray it on ankles to repel ticks, on skin to ward off mosquitoes and black flies, on the face to counter acne outbreaks, on poison ivy and insect bites to quell the itching, on wounds to disinfect them, on cuts to stop the bleeding, on injuries to dull the pain, in the mouth to counter gum disease and decay, under arms to kill bacteria that smell bad, and on hands as a sanitizer.

Jewelweed boiled in witch hazel
Impatiens canadensis (and pallida) have red roots which lend a bright orange color to water or witch hazel when boiled in either for 10-15 minutes. * Jewelweed broth can used as a soak to ease poison ivy or sore joints; freeze extra broth in an ice cube tray. The cold is an extra aid. When the swelling and pain are severe, I prefer to use jewelweed broth internally as well as externally. * Jewel witch hazel does the same things as the broth, but it cannot be used internally. It is more convenient and smells better too.

Wild thyme vinegar
"And we'll all go together, to pick wild mountain thyme . . . " Thymus serphyllum grows only a few inches high, so it is my labor of love to lie on the ground of Herb Hill for an hour in the sun cutting thyme for my winter supply of vinegar. Thyme is said to be especially helpful to the heart. The taste certainly gladdens my heart.

St. J's oil and St. J's tincture
Hypericum perforatum is one of my mainstay herbs. I use the tincture lavishly to counter muscle pain from my active lifestyle. And the oil just as lavishly to keep my skin healthy in the sun. The uses of this one plant are nearly too numerous to list. Think bottled sunshine: when you feel blue, when you are dealing with SAD, when you need to counter herpes, when you want to unknot a tired body.

Self heal vinegar
This small scentless mint blooms with a stunning flower half the size of the whole plant. Her enormous antioxidant powers are captured in the vinegar to keep us well all winter. Though Prunella vulgaris lacks the intriguing tastes of her mint sisters, she is nonetheless, like them, a super source of vitamins and minerals, polyphenols, and other compounds that build superior health.

Bergamot vinegar
Monarda didyma is also Oswego tea, and my secret ingredient in comfrey infusion. The vinegar turns bright red within minutes. Oh! Those coloring compounds in plants are so useful in our bodies! And the taste is so dreamy, slightly minty, kinda fruity, not too sweet and never sharp. I put a generous amount of herbal vinegar on my nightly salad, so I like to have a variety to choose from.

Nerve-pain salve
One of the green witches worked with Gretchen to craft an oil that would help her heal a sore, discolored elbow that the medical profession has only made worse. They dowsed some plants, thought about what was available, and listened to fairies. Their final choices were leaves of black cohosh (Actaea racemose/Cimicifuga racemose), meadowsweet (Philipendula ulmaria), and cronewort (Artemisia vulgaris).

The ending – if there ever is an ending – of two traumas.

•    Yes, the goat barn will rise again from the ashes and be filled with joyous goats. I am immensely grateful for the rosemary for remembrance: fresh, dried, painted, in sprigs tied with ribbons, in bunches cushioned in tissue paper, and in held in your thoughts and hearts when you couldn't send it in person. I will continue to ceremony every new moon and full moon, burning the rosemary I continue to receive, to connect with the spirit of the goats.

•    They say you can't go to your own funeral, but I have. Your cards and calls and emails hold me in a web of love and condolence.  I am so deeply grateful for the loving praise and gracious sentiments I open in every day's mail, from friends, apprentices, students, and "strangers." It is really as though I have died and get to listen in to what you have to say to me. Awesome. Inspiring. Sweet! And I am delighted by all the wonderful bouquets you have sent me  – wildflowers, lilies, green-grown roses – and even living plants (lots of rosemary!)
•    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the gifts: goat bells (so precious), a candle lantern (how understanding), a goddess flag (for my heart), potions and lotions and candles and soaps (oh my, how lovely, how pretty, how gay), the many children's drawings of goats (delightful and heart-breaking), your poems and drawings, collages and dreams, photos and memories of the goats (meaningful beyond mere words), books and pressed flowers, a handmade shawl, incense, remedies for grief. Each and every one is appreciated, treasured, cherished. (Even the ones I forgot to mention.)

•    My wrist, thank you, is well mended. I would say I have 99 percent use of it. It is still a little weak at pressing and twisting at the same time (as in getting lids off jars), but otherwise serves me well and rarely pains me. The tingling in my fingertips lessens day by day, and more time passes without it at all. I am renewed in my decision not to have surgery by the recent finding that 100 percent of a small group who had knee surgery developed arthritis, while only 53 percent of a larger group with equally bad knees who refused surgery went on to have arthritis. I have stopped doing anything special at all for my right wrist, except the occasional application of Hypericum oil.

Green blessings of gratitude to you all, including those who sent psychic messages. I could not get through this alone; your web of support shows me how to walk in beauty and experience the bliss of existence.

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Author: Susun S. Weed.
The best book on menopause is now better. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. Introduction by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, illustrations. Retails for $19.95
at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com
For excerpts visit: www.menopause-metamorphosis.com




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