Those Wild Wild Roses

It is already the first week of June here in the great pacific northwest of WA state.

Here on the Olympic Peninsula we are in late springs most prolific wildflower blooming time.

Blessed in this part of the world  by abundant hedge rows of our beloved briar feminine native wild Nootka rose (Rosa Nootkana) it sure does inspire creative imaginative concoctions for this rural herbalist.IMG_0827

There is much folklore and myth surrounding roses and wild rose in particular are important to indigenous peoples of the Americas.

There is a beautiful Ojibwe story about how the people had stopped noticing and caring for and giving thanks for the wild rose. And so the roses became weakened and rabbits began to eat them all until there were very few left. Hummingbirds went hungry as did the bees, bears grew thin and as honey grew scarce and a domino effect rang through the world.

One day there were no more roses and the people finally noticed the roses were gone and all the things that had gone wrong from their loss.

They prayed and a medicine person was shown in a dream that there was one last rose that was growing on the foothills of a mountain but it was very weak.

They set out to find the last rose and with the help of Great Spirit they found this rose. The peolple cared for this rose- they talked to it, loved it, and sang to it until one day it was strong and began to talk. The people told the rose that they had avenged the rose by making war upon the rabbits -who had eaten all the roses and that they would soon kill them all. The roses spoke out and said “do not do this-  for the rabbits are not at fault- “It Is you who forgot us, the people stopped noticing us, stopped using us, stopped caring for us and this is why we grew weak.”

Then and there the people stopped killing the rabbits but the wounds the rabbits received in this war can still be seen by their long stretched out ears and there split lips. The people vowed to pay attention and to give thanks to the roses and use them, and the roses flourished again.

So much deep medicine for us in that story..

There are many things to make with this lovely sweet spicy heart pink rose.

I love to solar infuse the freshly picked blossoms in organic coconut oil placed in a big glass bowl on a warm sunny day. I bring the bowl in at night and pick fresh blossoms each day and repeat the process for many days. This rose infused oil can be used “as is” for a great face and body oil or with the blossoms strained through cheesecloth when warmed and still liquid. This oil can be whipped alone into a luscious body butter, or you could add in other oils like shea, vitamin e. Makes a great addition to cream and lotion recipes.

This stuff is edible! Yes you can also eat this yummy stuff straight or put it into recipes. I like to make homemade chocolate truffle balls made with raw fair trade cocoa, add the melted coconut rose oil, and a bit of honey for sweetness. This makes a delightful vegan snack.

There are so many uses for a rosy, spicy, and tasty flavoring, and remember roses both flowers and hips are naturally high in vitamin C, bioflavonoids and are great for making witch hazel infused toners for the skin, The rose herbal actions are both internally and externally drying, astringent and tonifying.

The roses can be used to make flower elixirs, tinctures, honey infusions, vinegars and essences, I also steam distill them for aromatic hydrosols and dry plenty of them for teas. Fresh petals and hips can make tasty jams and jellies. I don’t recommend eating the hip seeds of Nootka rose as the seeds can cause an itchy anus.

My rule for ethical wild harvesting is to only pick about 1/3rd of any wild plant. Remember the plants are not just a pretty background to our lives, they are not just here for human beings, plants are intelligent, wise, sentient beings with their own lives and there are many other beings dependent on them for food, shelter etc.

Ask permission from the land and plant spirit -if I hear No- I listen.

Say a gratitude prayer of thanks to the plant and open up sacred space (in whichever way you choose).

Always leave a small offering to the plant spirits and the land- (like a pinch of tobacco, a small crystal, or a strand of your hair if you have nothing else) I leave nothing harmful to critters. (No chocolate).

I ask the plants to make the medicine good and strong and that it helps those who receive it. Sometimes I do this days ahead of time and attune to the plants days ahead of time.

Remember to close sacred space when you are finished

Just a few good respectful ways to conduct ourselves as harvesters.IMG_2390IMG_0112_2IMG_1155

Enjoy the plants and be kind to our fellow beings

floral feathers3

Trillium Flower Essence


So many people ask me about Trillium flower so I am posting this article I wrote again.

Originally posted on bear creek :

Trillium flowers are present in the woods now and I want to share my love of this flower and its wonderful use as energy medicine.

Trillium (Trillium ovatum) sometimes called Robin of the wood, or Wake Robin is a beautiful flower with 3 petals, 3 leaves and is a white flower that transforms during its ageing process by turning from white, to pink then to purple. The number 3 (sacred number to the celts), sacred in story telling, tells us that it has 3 distinct qualities. Traditionally used as herb called “beth root” (birth root), and is useful as a tonifying astringent for the uterus in preparation for birth, or used to help those with heavy menstrual flows due to uterine fibroids. As a flower essence for energy medicine we can look to the doctrine of signatures to read the energy’s. The deep green color of 3 leaves and stem relates to the heart chakra, the 3 white petals for the top of our…

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Help! There Are Flowers Having Sex In My Nose

Spring Is here and it is in full force here on the farm.

The fruit trees are decadently blooming , flowers popping up everywhere, sounds of busy honybees and other bees droning ever so loudly in my ears and the swallows darting back and forth to feed thier hungry progeny. Its as if the whole of nature is experiencing a brilliant dazzling and earthly orgasm all around us and it/she/he surely is.

Blessings all around -we have a new white and brown Shetland lamb born one week ago, the chickens have been laying eggs every day, my horses are sloughing off the long winter coats they grew last fall onto the trees they have been rubbing up against and many song birds are busy making fine nests with this horse hair.

The spring tonic weed/herbs are out in full dazzling growth- Nettle hedges, Chickweed carpets, Cleaver vines, Dandelion, and Red Dead Nettle rugs are gracing us with herbal goodness and delectable nutritional food. Those that suffer from spring allergies should try nettle infusions, or tincture from the nettles as they are very helpful in combating seasonal allergies. Dandelion roots, leaves and flowers helpful to cleanse the blood and liver. Eat your edible weeds- be creative. We have been eating our nettles in soups, stir fry, as pesto, nettle mac and cheese, in almost anything. Salads are tasty and gorgeous with dandelion greens and flowers, chickweed, dead nettle flowers and leaves, violet flowers, added to your salad mix.

Herbventure herbal apprenticeship starts in 2 and a 1/2 weeks.

and more herbal class offerings to come


Wild Land Dreams Us

Herbventure 2015 starts in 6 weeks. We have a few spaces left for those who want to go deeply into the wildness of the land and the wild plants and become feral. This 12 month program meets one weekend a month to explore our relationship with Gaia and the healing plants. It will challenge beliefs, stretch, and facilitate self healing and self awareness. We are not here to save the earth -earth  can heal itself, and might just save us if we listen. The wild land dreams us and is beckoning us to awaken from our sleep.

A dream I had some time ago   I was standing at the edge of a beautiful bubbling hot spring of azure blue and sea green colored waters wisps of steam arose all around. Suddenly there was a huge ancient Grizzly bear standing on two legs behind me with large heavy clawed paws gently enfolding my shoulders, It’s large body hugged against mine warmly. Then a gusier erupted and spewed out steam deep from within the living cracks of the earth,  it whistled like a tea kettle in hums and vibrational overtones as if some wise deep consciousness were trying to communicate something ancient, something forgotten, something important. The great bear spoke slowly and deeply  “Listen, Listen, Listen” “she is always speaking but no one listens anymore” “You listen my child -you have always heard her and  you can help others to hear her once again’.


Winter Blessings

It is winter here on Green Lynx Farm, it has been extremely mild weather except for a two week cold snap back in November. Already the snowdrops are up and blooming, my feral honey bees are out daily in search of water,  propolis, and maybe a bit if bee adventure. I am watching the cottonwood trees like a hawk to see when the buds are ready to harvest for medicine as it will be early this year- I know of two downed trees that fell during a big wind storm-so those will be perfect to pick buds from. Being a wildcrafter and an herbalist is an exercise in noticing your botanical surrounds everywhere you go even your own back woods, noticing and categorizing, watching for changes and trends in growth and health of the entirety of a ecosystem as best a wee human can do and the connections between all things. It is more than watching with my eyes -it is feeling the surrounds feeling the land, the plants, animals and the world around me a truly deep way of being with my whole being -heart and soul.

Knowing I am just one tiny part of this whole.Cottonwood buds

Our first herbal medicine making gathering of the year is coming up at the end of the month.

Herbs Alters and the Axis Mundi

What is the Axis Mundi you ask?
The Axis Mundi is the center of the world. In myth and religion it is symbolized by a pole, tree, a mountain, or pillar that often depicts the uniting of heaven with earth and of course sexual union of complimentary opposites..

It is also within the human body as the chakra system, the Sefirot in Kabalism, and as the symbol in medicine it is known as the Caduceus – 2 intertwined serpents on a pole.

What does this symbology mean for us ?
I believe ultimately it represents our sacred space our sacred altar within and without as well as achieving a state of centeredness, and alignment.
Many disciplines work with this premise such as yoga, tantra, shamanism and some forms of martial arts where this is observed within (mind , body, and spirit), as the temple.

I feel it is useful to have symbolic personal alters as a representative of our personal cosmology, what we are working on, where our attention is focused, goals, intention, etc.
Alters are where the personal and collective meet and it is important to keep it fresh so it remains changing, deepening and evolving as we do, a kind of model for centering within.

In the Andes mountain cultures of South America of which I apprenticed and am a lineage holder; the people carry a portable alter called a mesa or misa, this is the personal medicine bundle and small enough to be carried around. Inside the medicine stones called cuyas that are collected from pilgrimages to sacred mountains and other sacred places are wrapped inside a handwoven cloth of llama or alpaca fleece. The mesa cloth is divided into 4 quadrants called siyus representing the 4 directions (all 4 together called the tiwantansuyu) with the axis point being the center where the 4 meet. The Mountain people are people with a verticle axis cosmology because they live in the Andes mountains and so their cosmology is sourced from their mountain environment and connect to dark points in the the milky way galaxy. This is their axis point to personal and communal cosmology represented in the living landscape and within the mesa.

As an herbalist and plant spirit whisperer I was taught by some of my favorite plants that they can be conjoined as a spirit medicine to attune us to our axis mundi for these plants are the complimentary opposites of each other
The following info was shared with me by the plants about this is that when we attune to our inner sacred space we facilitate the observation of what already exists – a state of centeredness, wholeness, and inner connectedness to everything even if for just a moment. Of course there are many levels and layers to this.

The specific plants that have spoken about the vertical axis mundi have been Devils Club which is our pacific northwest relative to ginseng, which grows in lowlands, dark humus soil and is one of the first defense plant to grow up damp creek beds in a temperate clearcut area.

I have witnessed her in action when I worked in clearcuts to re-plant them ). In fact devils club will literally walk over a hill in a matter of a couple of years up creek beds and down by dropping its tall (up to 8 ft) spike covered stalks that will take root from its nodal axis. Osha is the Devils Club resonant and complimentary opposite of the tall mountains east of the cascade range above 7,000 ft. Taken as companion medicines as in essence or tincture form the two are the plant version of this.

Lower axis Devils club (Oplopanax horridus) is a warrior plant, strongly protective and covered in spines. The messages to “respect me” sounds loud and clear and is used medicinally for many physical ailments from relief of ulcers, arthritis, digestive track ailments and as mild blood sugar balancer are among it’s many many uses. As a spirit I see her as deeply feminine although both sexes are present. She deepens our roots and spreads our consciousness out to our community-like she does in her own growing colony, increases our inner chi or prana (devils club grows in colonies surrounding the elder plant much like Artemisia tridentata (desert sagebrush). Message “We are stronger with our community beside us and around us.” We also see that her spines prickliness are an adaptation to protect her precious life and medicine. Her most powerful medicine herbally is stored in her root bark. Energetically devils club can help us clear ancestral karma that we inherit through our DNA, it helps to bring our shadow material into consciousness so we may work with it to heal and gain the wisdom pearls held there.

Osha the upper axis Osha (Linguisticum porterii) in the carrot family grows above 7,000 ft elevation associated with bear medicine, Bears seek it out after hibernation to clear their digestive systems and even wash their fur with osha root saliva. Humans used medicinally for upper respiratory conditions and internally for intestinal cleansing. This plant warrior carries the solar energy within. Osha is for those doing deep spirit work to bring light to personal and collective shadow material so we can move forward with humbleness, compassion and stop projecting our stuff.

Be well…



Our ancestors once held dreams in very high regard as a way to communicate with the non- linear worlds. it was so important to some cultures that there were temples created just for dreaming and some for healing dreams in particular. In ancient Greece these were named Asclepeions named after Asclepeios god of medicine. In Roman culture similar temples were built to Nodens god of dreams, healing, and nature. At these sites would be dream interpreter priests that assisted the dreamers in decoding their dreams and help the dreamer facilitate the dream being made real in some way. The healing would come through sleeping in special spaces, receiving a cure that came through the dream, medicine then made for you, and undergone a series of ritual baths and purifications.. In Greek temples you would find non-venomous snakes crawling all around, brought specifically to live in the temple as they were sacred to Asclepeios and associated with healing, whereas in Rome it was dogs that were the healing animal guardians. Sometimes the dream temple would have a theatre where the dream could be ritually played out, or maybe it would be expressed through another art form such as a poem, song, sculpture or painting, but it was of great importance to symbolically make it real in some way.
We as a so called modern culture tend to disregard our dreams, unless you were raised by a family that taught it’s importance, learned about dream importance from studies in psychotherapy or Jungian studies, studied certain spiritual practices that held dreaming in esteem, or were raised by indigenous peoples.
My connection to dreaming started at a very young age, I can remember dreams I had from age 4 onward and kept dream journals for my entire life. I know it was unusual but I was a dreamer from the start and somehow I just knew it was important, as important as my waking life and deeply communicating a much larger world. As an herbalist I get communications with plant spirits in my dreams on a regular basis. These communications teach me about the medicine that a particular plant has in great detail, sometimes a plant ally of mine will teach me about other plants I have never met before in the waking world. This is just one way dreams can be a great line of communication with the spirit realm. I have a seriously well developed dream telecommunication system and I am eternally grateful for it. I think anyone can develop this skill with intent and commitment. it is within us all.
I have much more to say about this as I am passionate about us as a humanity reenlisting the help of our dreams to solve many of our collective issues and personal, to receive inspiration, innovation, healing, to connect us deeper to all our relations, our multi dimensional selves, our guides. ancestors, pasts, futures, and travel the multiverse.