My Green Cauldron

Early Greens, Ground Ivy

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ground ivy leaves

The warm weather and the rain have brought many plants to life around here. Although it is still early in the season (frost is still not out of the question) there are  hand full of ‘weeds’ that are taking advantage for the sunshine and rain. One of the first i have seen popping up, in my garden no less, is ground-ivy (Glechoma hederacea). SCREETCH>>>>> ground-ivy!?!? Many see it as an invasive weed that can be quite hard to get rid of. Those darn opportunistic plants! Ground ivy (not to be confused with purple dead-nettle, which I recently did!, or henbit) can be seen as a benefit also. As a fast spreading ground cover that doesn’t interfere with established plants, it works well with perennials and shrubs.

Traditional Medicinal Uses **

  • Tea Infusion
    • cough, cold, phelgm-y, asthma
    • said to overcome shyness.
    • with nettle it is used as a spring tonic for clearer skin complexion, 9 days.
    • also makes good tea with lemon verbena.
    • mixed with lemon and honey it is a fine tasting tea. (1 oz herb to one pint boiling water)
    • stimulates digestion
    • cleanse blood and tissue of toxic metals (lead-painters, ale makers, this plant grow out side their establishments and homes)
    • use as eye wash for inflamed eyes.
    • sinitius
    • hay fever, allergies (with chamomile)
  • Tincture
    • inflammation
  • Dry Powdered Leaves (snuff),
    • snuff in nose for headaches and stuffy noses (passive congestion)

In the Garden

  • Companion Plant for
    • tomato
    • pepper
    • cukes and family
    • broccoli
    • brussel sprouts
    • cauliflower
  • Repels
    • cabbage worms
    • cuke worms
    • beetles
    • tomato horn worms
  • Acts as a low ground cover
  • Prevents erosion
  • Likes poorly drained soils and shade, Creeping Charlie thrives in moist, fertile soil in shade but also tolerates dry, poor soil in sun
  • Gulls formed by Cynips glechomea, which were eaten (by the peasantry)
  • Attracts bees and butterflies, one of their first foods of spring
groundivy

ground ivy groundcover

 

Edible

  • Can be added to salads, soups or stir fries
  • Pot herb
  • Historically, however, its popularity hinged for centuries on its use by home brewers, hence the name “alehoof,” or ale herb. As far back as the Vikings right up to late medieval times, the dried leaves rivaled hops in popularity for the bitterness and clarity they imparted to ale. Alcoholic drinks made with a variety of herbs such as fennel, costmary and rosemary were commonplace in Medieval Europe, and hops were not considered necessary or often even desirable in the production of ale then. Ground ivy was one of the most popular herbs for brewing prior to the 16th century, and for years a battle was waged in public houses across Europe over which drink was preferable hopped or unhopped ale until finally hops won out, and ground-ivy “subsided” to become the ground-hugging landscape plant we know it as today.  Richters.com

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ground ivy flowers

Magical Uses

  • Connection with powers of magic and divination
  • Used by milkmaids as a safeguard against sorcery and as a charm for cows against enchantment
  • Ritual use
    • Crowns at midsummer eve

Personal Care

  • Foot bath at night to promote sleep, meditation healing, love, friendship and fidelity
  • Strewing promotes serenity and peaceful dreams

 

WARNING, not for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

**The information gathered here is not a replacement for medical treatment. If you are under the care of a health care practitioner please contact them before changing any part of your treatment. This information is for educational purposes only. I am NOT a doctor or in the healthcare field.

 

 

Emotion, energy in motion

for those of you who don’t know, I am taking a year-long workshop that uses mandala and the great round to go through the archetypal stages. we are on the 4th month which in entitled Beginning and it deals with the mother archetype. The first three months of the course i blissfully created through. Effervescent with the energy of the very beginning of life. this month though is completely different. the energy that come up from watching (i hadn’t even done the exercises for myself yet) was forceful and highly charged. it had me moving.

now this isn’t the first time that I have delved into my past relationships with my family. I have a lot of things to work through still and I see this as just a progress deeper into my issues, not a regression back. what surprised me was the intensity of the emotions. there were so many strong feelings, my thoughts were racing and my emotions were taking control. no creating this time, no journal writing, no meditating or book reading. this energy was pushing for movement, real, body pushing movement. it’s funny because a few days early i was reading an article somewhere (I’ll look for it) but it was talking about how emotion is actually energy in motion. for some reason this was the best thing for me to hear at that moment. i didn’t know what to do with all the energy/emotion that was brought up by this phase of Mandala Magic. all i know is that i had to move, forcefully, purposefully.

thankfully I had just the perfect job. last fall our neighbor cut down a bunch of oak trees on her property (it was a sad week that it happen). she gave us a lot of the wood, A LOT. we brought it over to our yard and left it for the winter, but it needed to be split and stacked pretty badly. 2 days and one cord of wood split and stacked later, i was able to move that emotion. i cried on half of the cord and pushed my body to the limit on the other half. i wrote in my journal and create a mandala for Mandala Magic, not of the usual caliber but a start. This aspect of my journey is one that i will continue to re-visit, i have a lot of stuff to go through to sort out my emotions when it comes to my family and my childhood. we all do. and it will manifest at the most unexpected times and how you get through them can be unexpected too. for me and this spiral, that wood pile was a great way to move my emotion, to help deal with the explosive energy that came this time around. i still have a big pile of wood ou there to split and stack but i made a big dent in the pile. i also took a few more steps down my path of healing.

woodpile

split and stacked wood

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Spring is here, the Nettle has sprung!!!

It’s that time of year. The days are getting a a bit longer and a bit warmer. One of the first signs of spring here is the nettle starting to grow. Little purple leaves close to the ground, but be careful! those little leaves pack a mighty big punch! It won’t be long and those little purple leaved plants will grow up into the amazing nettle plant, useful for so many things. When the plants are under 6-12 inches i start to harvest the tender leaf tops. One of the things I love to do with the young leaves is to pickle them. This little recipe is from Rosemary Gladstar (if you don’t know her go and google her now!).

Pick the fresh tender tops of the plant, fill a jar to the top with vinegar with no nettle above the surface (i used a weight like those for fermenting). Add a couple of garlic cloves and maybe some cayenne. Cap tightly and let it sit for 8-12 weeks. We enjoy this with crackers, cheese, toasted bread. It’s a wonderful appetizer or dish to bring to those ladies nights!

pickled nettle

Transformation

The past couple of months many new opportunities have presented themselves and has brought transformation to our lives. On My older blog, Free-Range Family Farm, this was the first post i made there. We were shifting at that point in our lives too, life changing shifts for the better. As we are letting go of one trapeze bar, we are in the space in-between, hoping the next bar is swinging toward us, this excerpt came to mind. Very fitting for us right now.

Hurtling through the void, we just may learn how to fly.

we are at the beginning of our journey. i stumbled across this excerpt while doing some reading and it really really struck a chord with me. i definitely feel this way as we are making a life change, an attitude change, a view point change.

Sometimes I feel that i my life is a series of trapeze swings. I’m either hanging on to a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments in my life, I’m hurtling across space in between trapeze bars I spend most of the time hanging on for dear life to my trapeze-bar—of-the-moment. It carries me along at a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I’m in control of my life. I know most of the right questions and even some of the right answers. But once in a while, as I’m merrily (or not so merrily) swinging along, I look ahead of me into the distance, and what do I see? I see another trapeze bar swinging toward me. |it’s empty, and I know, in that place that knows, that this new trapeze bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth, my aliveness coming to get me. In my heart-of-hearts I know that for me to grow, I must release my grip on the present, well-known bar to move to the new one, Each time it happens to me, I hope that I won’t have to grab the new one. But in that knowing place I know I must totally release my grasp on the old bar, and for some moment in time hurtle across space before I can grab onto the new one. Each time, I am filled with terror. It doesn’t matter that in all my previous hurtles across the void of unknowing, I have always made it. Each time I am afraid I will miss, that I will be crushed on the unseen rocks in the bottomless chasm between the bars. But I do it anyway. Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call the faith experience. No guarantees, no net, no insurance policy, but you do it anyway because somehow, to keep hanging onto that old bar is no longer on the list of alternatives. And so for an eternity that can last a microsecond or a thousand lifetimes, I soar across the dark void of “the past is gone, the future is not yet here.” |it’s called transition. I have come to believe that this is the place where real change occurs. I have noticed that, in our culture, this transition zone is looked upon as a “no—thing”, a no-place between places. Sure the old trapeze-bar was real, and that new one coming towards me, I hope that’s real too. But the void in between? That’s just a scary, confusing, disorienting “nowhere” that must be gotten through as fast and unconsciously as possible. What a waste! I have a sneaking suspicion that the transition zone is the only real thing, and the bars are illusions we dream up, to avoid where the real change, the real growth occurs for us. Whether or not my hunch is true, it remains that the transition zones in our lives are incredibly rich places. They should be honored, even savored. Yes, with all the pain and fear and feelings of being out-of-control that can (but not necessarily) accompany transitions, they are still the most alive, most growth-filled, passionate, expansive moments in our lives. And so, transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away, but Rather giving ourselves permission to “hang-out” in the transition between trapeze bars. Transforming our need to grab that new bar, any bar, is allowing ourselves to dwell in the place where change happens. lt can be terrifying. It can also be enlightening, in the true sense of the word. Hurtling through the void, we just may learn how to fly.

Candle Making

there is always something going on here, yesterday it was candle making! over the course of internet life i have taken many on line classes and workshop, camps and retreats. i have sewn, painted, drawn, and glued many things in my day. one of the many adventures was making candles. i was inspired by a little blue bottle i had in a box of knic-knacs. i thought it would be perfect for a candle. the candle making diy project i had needed more than one little bottle, so after acquiring a few more i was gathering stuff to make candles.

this is a really easy craft but the mess can be quite…..well messy. beeswax can be hard to clean out of your containers and off your stirring utensils. having specific items for working with beeswax is a good idea. you can use your everyday items, but you will spend a little extra time cleaning. i suggest using glass and stainless steel.

melting the beeswax and red palm oil in a double boiler is the first step, preparing the wicks and mixing in essential oils round out the end of the project. once they have started melting together I dip the wicks in the wax to coat them then lay the straight  on parchment paper. candlemaking2crop

Once the wax and the oil are melted i added about 9 grams of essential oil (lavender and lemongrass). i also added a little bit of melted wax and oil to the bottom of the containers. i pushed the coated wicks into that with a skewer and held them up with a clothes pin.

candlemaking1crop

and that’s about it. let them cool and harden. i did have to mind the wicks to keep them centered as they cooled.

candlemakingcrop                    candles5

candles6

An-ti-ci-pppp-aaaaation

waiting and patience are both hard to do. this morning i sit with my coffee trying to remain in my center. so many thoughts and ideas, so many lists and bulleted tasks, and i am trying to remain patient and calm, centered. that’s a tall order. i remember as a child i would get sick with anticipation, literally. one stand out time is the night before a big school trip to an amusement park. i was so excited to go that i didn’t sleep at all and spent the night in the bathroom vomiting.

as i have grown that same stomach wrenching happened often, sometimes i’d ignore it and continue, most of the times it stopped me in my tracks. today i sit with the anticipation, i am sitting with the excitement but i am also trying to practice non-attachment. what if things don’t go the way i have figured in my mind? what if exactly the opposite happens than i thought? that’s a bunch of what if’s and i have thought through each scenario that could happen. this time is different though, this time i am not stopped in my tracks (or backtracking for that matter), i am not running for the bathroom!

What’s different this time? it’s a question i have asked myself. here is what i think maybe happening. i thought of all the outcomes that could possible happen, each and everyone that came to my mind, good, bad, and some rather funny and i sat with the results in each instance. i found that if i sit and work through each situation that it makes me feel at peace with whatever out come that presents itself. now that doesn’t mean that i am not working for my preferred outcome, because that is not true. i am immersing myself in the life that is around me, pursuing passions and living life. i have just come to a place that i am not so attached to that one outcome that cannot see all the other possibilities or outcomes.

boomerpracticingpatience

helping boomer practice patience

this doesn’t mean that i’m not excited about all the new opportunities presenting themselves, because i am. very very excited. i am just not so attached, i am walking the center of the road. i am excited about following my passions and i am saying yes more often. these small shifts have helped me enjoy this life. it’s ups and downs and all the opportunities that come my way, even when it was not my chosen course. i’m here to enjoy this life. a practice of patience and non-attachment has helped greatly.

boomermudra

boomer helping me practice pateince

how do you practice patience and non-attachment?

Morning Silence

I am sitting here in front of the computer, working. the house is quiet, the coffee is hot and i am day dreaming.coffemorning

many changes have happened for me over the last year or so. ok so there have been lots of changing for many years, but recently it feels like changes are coming fast and faster. it is amazing how things can change so quickly. i have always been happy and content in my comfort zone (ok, not really. but that is another blog post. i felt safe in my comfort zone). lately i have been stepping out of that bubble, following my interest and my heart. i am saying yes to opportunities presented to me and that has made the biggest difference. so here in the silence of the morning, my me time, i contemplate all the changes and challenges. reaching out to things i have been called to, I’ve always thought and dreamed of doing. it’s rather exciting and for one of the first times ever i am not afraid to leave the comfort zone, i am not afraid of the changes or the challenges. the feelings i had felt before, stomach ache, headache, out-and-out fear, are no longer there. ok there is a little bit of fear, but the good kind that gets you prepared and excited for the new.

in the next few weeks and months I know that we will be shifting into something new and different. something that will change the direction (slightly) from where we are now and shift our life onto a new path. i will take the initial steps
with trepidation, anticipation, and great excitement. no longer will I hid in the safety of the comfort zone.