Monday, January 30, 2012

Experiences of My First Infused Herb Oil ~ Calendula Oil

I was so excited when I started studying about different homemade 'Herbal Infused Oils' that would help with skin (hand) problems and was looking around the web at different sites for something to make for my dry, cracked, peeling and sometimes bleeding hands -- which I often have a mild case of Eczema during the warmer seasons (I live in Michigan, so we get all Four!) and my hands tend to hurt more in the cold and Winter season.  I wanted to start with one herb and something simple to make, and when I came across the wonderful article called
                                                                  *(Photo of right to left:  Goldenrod Flower Essence -- Calendula
                                                                     Infused (Herb) Oil)*

"Healing with Calendula" over at The Mountain Rose Blog ~daily herbal musings~ -- I really was intrigued in making the 'Calendula Herbal Oil' when I realized that I had an Ounce of Organic Dried Calendula Flowers in my collection of dried herbs I'd purchased in the past at our local health store that I had not used yet! 

In hopes that this wonderful oil would help my skin, since I've went through store-bought lotions and ointments, and the only thing that proved over time in actually healing my hands was that of A&D Ointment applied to my hands at night and sleeping with them covered in white gloves or new white socks -- it got to be so greasy and a pain at times, so I made the herbal infused Calendula Oil during the last of our weather's bright Sunny days and let it infuse both in the sunny window and overnight out in the open, shaking the jar gently everyday to help in the extraction of the medicinal uses in the Calendula flowers in maceration time in the oil.

I waited 8 weeks instead of the general 4 weeks before straining the oil this morning into a fresh jar to store -- and what a beautiful aroma and golden-color it had imbued over the time!  I meditated on its uses as I squeezed the lovely petals between a cheese cloth into the jar, and took some time to allow the oil to moisten my hands as I felt the warmth of the Calendula on my wounds.  How delightful!  I stored the jar into its dark and cool spot now in my magickal herbal armoire where it's away from the light -- and just read the oil can be stored for approximately 1 year before it goes racid.

I am sure I will find many other uses for this Calendula Infused Oil in the future -- both medicinally and topically applied as well as magickal, which for I was thinking instead of ridding of the oiled herbs, may use a small bundle under running bath water for a soothing bath ritual, and the remaining herbs for a possible 'double-infusion' (since I have about 1 or 2 more ounces of fresh organic dried Calendula I had also found I didn't know I had!) for yet another infused oil.  Or maybe for magickal purposes, adding some of the actual oil I made into a clear glass bottle with some of the used Calendula petals and a touch of Vitamin E oil to preserve the flowers from molding, in a Ritual that may arise; I read at the Mystical Blaze website on Calendula's magickal properties are of this:

"Calendula has a long history in magical lore. 
It is bound to Sun and Fire.  It is believed to be
useful for prophetic dreams, protection, respect,
and psychic powers, and to be of benefit
when legal matters arise."

The next step in my 'medicinal' makings, though, for using the Infused Calendula Oil, will follow in following the recipe for a Calendula Salve from the Healing with Calendula blog -- already got my beeswax beads and instead of the 'Optional Lavender Essential Oil' -- I may add a special touch of my own with the past Infused Goldenrod Oil I made from the flowers from our yard this past year as well!!!

Golden Blessings~
   )O( Indigenous Shamanic Winds xo

Date Written/Composed:  Thursday, 24 November 2011, Thanksgiving Day

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Past PRESENCE of Goldenrod On My Land Continues Making Me 'Whole'

Last year, I was lost in knowing where to begin my Herbal approaches. There seemed so much to learn, and although I understood that not everything can ever be retained in one's lifetime on Earth, I wasn't really sure where to begin.

I had walked and played and worked on the Land that I live on for many of years, and after coming back Home, there was something different in the air that I hadn't felt before with my actual connections on the land -- there was something in its PRESENCE that I could feel and just couldn't put my finger on it!

Then one warm Fall day, the Land reached out and made me 'Whole' -- the grass was beginning to dry and die, the trees had all lost most of their fallen leaves, and the entire woods looked brown. Yet vibrant specks of Yellow filled a section of our yard: Goldenrod! The bees and bugs were buzzing happily from flower-to-flower, the sun was shining Gold in the sky, and there was a Spirit in the air which lifted me up and gave me hope for all that would soon die and be reborn again the following Spring.

I searched and seeked the web for anything that would help bring me a bit closer to the land in which these Goldenrod grew on. I yearned to learn more about its medicinal and healing and magickal properties -- yet through all my Spiritual studies, I felt stuck with nowhere but the beginning to start learning; but where that was, I just didn't know.

Then finally, my Goldenrod spoke to me and led me to a Blogger that had a course on Herbal Allies. I began reading what it had to offer, and the others blogs who were also involved in the study -- and it felt to me like a perfect start in learning about sweet Goldenrod!

The presence of the Goldenrod later that year led me to investigating and reading and experiencing
with other Herbs and Plants as well on my new Journey.

If it wasn't for its delicate PRESENCE in my life, the road I was on may had led down another Path -- but I am grateful for where it has led me and where it today continues to lead me spiritually.

What has shown a 'Presence' in your life that you simply could not ignore?
  ~ )O( Indigenous Shamanic Winds

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Rubbing the Fir Needles Surfaced Its Tree Identification

Strongly being pulled and learning to "Communicate with the Trees on our Land", I have been deeply enthralled by the one here that has grown close to our house here for many years. It's scent is amazingly 'Citrusy' and yet sofly 'Woodsy' -- making my heartbeat refreshed by its sweet-smelling aroma when rubbed between my fingers!

I recently had posted a 'bough' of a branch that had fallen from this tree, and a dear fine Herbalist friend, Gail Faith Edwards, had suggested that it was either "fir or spruce, definitely not pine..." So I did a little research on the subject that's been nagging at me to identify this glorious Tree, and found a part of an article on Needles very interesting (to a beginner in Herbalism!) at quote:


"Like deciduous trees, conifers can be identified by their "leaves." The "leaves" of conifers are of course their needles. On true pine trees, the needles are arranged and attached to the branches in clusters of two (red pine group), three (yellow pine group), or five (white pine group) needles per cluster. Spruce and fir trees have their needles attached individually to the branches.

"To tell spruce and fir trees apart, it helps to know that spruce needles are sharply pointed, square and easy to roll between your fingers. Fir needles, on the other hand, are softer, flat and cannot be rolled between your fingers. Spruce needles are attached to small, stalk-like woody projections. When needles are shed, these projections remain. As a result, the branches of spruce trees feel rough. Fir branches lack these projections, and thus have smooth bark. The color and length of needles are not reliable means of identification; these can vary from tree to tree, depending on cultural conditions and the planting site."

Reading through this article, the words ROLL BETWEEN YOUR FINGERS and my experience physically with the touch of the Needles 'Rubbed between my fingers" clearly points out that 'Spirit is amongst those whom seek the Mysteries of the Trees' here -- and pointed me in the Direction in know knowing what this beautiful Tree is: it's a FIR!


In dedication to my love of our Trees this year in 2012, I yearn to learn as much about them as I can -- the ones specifically that grow on my Land, so that I can further dedicate my Self to the Goddess and Gods once again on my Spiritual Road I take on my Path amongst the very Trees in the Woods that provide me Peace, Guidance, and Protection 'Within' as well as 'Without' my Self.


Blessed Be the Fir Tree.
   )O( Indigenous Shamanic Winds

Saturday, January 7, 2012

When Our Animal Totems Seek Us Out In Nature.....

Finding my Animal Totems actually began sometime back when they seeked me out instead.  It all started some years back when the Squirrel kept entering my mind.  Ever since a child and living in the woods, I had always 'listened' and watched the animals that have physically taken place in my life -- but it wasn't until we had lived in an apartment by ourselves finally that I'd watch out the back window and listen to the sounds of the delightful animals over the traffic of the main street in front a ways from our building.

Before I had moved out once again from my parents house and started living with my fiance, I had seen many more Black Squirrels and Red Squirrels -- which usually one would only see if they had traveled more up north in our state of Michigan, but they migrated down and there were more and more of them I had observed coming on our Land for food and nesting areas.

So one day when looking out the window, I noticed a Black Squirrel that I hadn't seen in a long time, after we'd moved several of times and lived in different areas where the wildlife was limited -- I noticed how he'd been playing around in the branches of the tree, then he disappeared.  I was so disappointed, but it was that 'special moment' that I got to commune mentally with the Black Squirrel and asked for his 'aide' in my life.

It had reminded me that, like myself, I loved to play and be wild and free - but in the end, wanted to trod off and go back 'home'.  I loved the apartment and the spacious room it had for just the two of us, and the price was right for us -- but I felt we had needed something more stable and grounding, someplace we could have on our own without hearing music vibrating through the walls and neighbors doors slamming each time someone came or left the building.

I wanted to go back 'Home'.

Starting to think back and meditating in how we could get a house of our own, I realized that even over the years I did not understand the communication between animals and my own spiritual stance -- that so many of certain ones (animals) had come and gone and come back consistently in my life, and actually had taught me much about myself and my feelings and what I wanted in life, without even knowing it until then!

I took action like a Squirrel and started 'gathering my nuts' together, so to say -- and we started seriously taking action in finding our way to Home, where I once lived and loved growing up at, and where my fiance and I could start a new life of our own together like my parents had done many years back when they first built their house.

Like a Squirrel, we had many challenges and obstacles we had to endeavor and overcome -- and finally it led us Home.  We still take challenges and conquer what we need to in meeting the needs of staying at our place, but I told my fiance and was firm about my decision (like a Squirrel is being firm about what nut he chooses to eat):  Nobody can drive me away from our Home.  This is where I grew up and played, this is where WE are going to play and grow Old.

   )O( Indigenous Shamanic Winds