This year I have become fascinated with Astrology. There's just something about seeing our struggles reflected in the stars that makes me feel less alone. I definitely consider myself an amateur, but since I wrote this forecast for 2021 I thought I might as well share it with you! If you study astrology as well, please leave a comment about your thoughts on this year's astro! Click the link below to download the PDF.
Credit to the professional astrologers I follow: Cara James, Chani Nicholas, Aepril Schaile, and Urania.
Winter can be a tough time for a lot of people, but I have come to appreciate the dark half of the year for the peace and nourishment that can be found here. This is yin season - receiving, resting, allowing, doing less. Our culture has forgotten how to value these things. We are expected to show up for work at 7am whether the sun has risen or not, work until after it has set, and fill our evenings with classes, exercise, or other self-improvement. Meanwhile our animal bodies are responding to the natural rhythms around us, and we become tired, frustrated, and even depressed.
What if, instead, we could sink into this part of the cycle? What if we set all that business down for a bit and relax into the embrace of the earth, even just for a few minutes, to be held by the holy dark? Scroll to the bottom of the page for a 6 minute grounding meditation. Or read on for a few more thoughts about sacred darkness.
Humans are diurnal creatures, so we are naturally more excited about daylight than nighttime, but the level of anti-darkness in our culture strikes me as incredibly unhealthy. I often hear people use the word “dark” to mean bad, difficult, or even evil, while “light” is used to mean spiritual, holy, good, and sacred. In a society where the relative lightness or darkness of your skin is a marker of how you will be treated, this light/dark=good/bad metaphor is extremely problematic, to say the least. I invite you to consider how you use these words and try to shift towards a more neutral or specific language if needed.
Beyond the ethical and social implications, spiritual people who ignore the shadow are missing a huge part of all that is holy, and tend to become unbalanced and ungrounded. If you focus on love and light to the exclusion of all else, your spirituality will lack weight and substance, like a feather in the breeze blown this way and that without a life or agency of its own. To be whole we must claim depth and darkness as our power too. We don’t want to stay there exclusively either, becoming lethargic and rotting away without creating anything. Instead we must be like trees that live in both worlds - one part above, reaching for the sky, bearing fruit, protecting the birds; while another part sinks deep to find the nourishment we need, touching the mycelial web, connecting to the community of spirit all around us.
Take some time to feel how you are nourished and supported by darkness. You might thank the darkness behind your eyes when you meditate, or the darkness beneath the soil for keeping the plants warm and safe until they put forth leaves again in spring, the dark of night that allows dreams to come, the dark of the womb where a baby will form, the silent black stones supporting us beneath the earth, the mysterious darkness of the sky between the stars, the beauty of a piece of obsidian or a crow's glossy black feathers, and so on. Here is a poem that starts to capture what I mean. I hope you enjoy it.
To Know the Dark
To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
― Wendell Berry
One, a spell for grief. When the latest numbers or the latest loss breaches the gates of your eyes, jumping off the screen, or out of the radio, crashing through your solar plexus and landing on the floor of your pelvis with incredible weight, remember that your grief is holy. Go into the shower. Turn up the heat and the pressure and let the fresh water stream over you. When grief swells in your throat let it out with a wail or a moan or a sob. Let the steam take it. Let grief run down your face in tears and snot, the messier the better, it will wash off. With each contraction of your diaphragm, push grief out of your pours like sweat. Scrub the grief that gathers on you skin with soap and tenderness. Let it wash over you, let it wash away.
Two, a spell for cleansing. Once your body is clean, get your aura clean too. Turn around under the water counterclockwise three times, or as many as it takes. Say these words or something like them, “Blessed water, wash away all that does not serve me today. All my fear and all my pain, flowing gently down the drain.”
Three, a spell for breath. Drop 3 to 5 drops of eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil in the far end of the shower where the oil can rise with the steam. Breathe in. Marvel at the miracle of lungs that expand and contract continuously your whole entire life. Breathe out. Breathe in and marvel at the miracle of these plant allies that know how to aid our bodies in so many ways, across divides of space and species. Breathe out. Breathe in and marvel at the miracle of the one breath of this Earth that passes back and forth from the red lung (ours and all our animal kin) to the green lung (the eucalyptus trees and all their vegetal kin) in perfect balance for millennia. Breathe out and feed the nearest tree. Breathe in.
Four, a spell for love. Mix together in a pretty bowl equal parts oil (coconut or jojoba are nice) and sugar (any kind). Use a fork, or your fingers, to mash them together with a couple drops of geranium essential oil, or lavender. Turn on the shower and wait until the temperature is just right. Wash your body with attention. Make no demands. Offer no critiques. Rinse. Then scoop a bit of your scrub into your hands and starting at your neck or your feet massage your skin with sugar. Notice the sensation on your hands and knees and belly and forearms and under your toes. Massage your perfect sacred body with love and care. Allowing it to be exactly what it is. Let the water gently wash away the sugar the way a mother washes her new baby, like a miracle, with utter presence.
Five, a spell for connection. As you stand in the flow of it, consider water. It is firm and gentle, it is still and swift, it is solid and gas, always finding a way to endure. There are roughly 333 million cubic miles of water on Earth and it has been here since our solar system first formed, 4.6 billion years ago. Over all that time it cycled up into the atmosphere and rained down, froze solid at the poles, filtered down under the rocks, but it never increased or decreased. It only changed and moved and remembered. Water remembers all our ancestors, all the way back. All the droplets falling on you now passed through the body of a dinosaur, and they will remember your skin when your farthest descendants swim in future rivers.
Hello dear ones. How are you holding up? I know there is a lot of fear right now, I'm feeling it too, so I wanted to share some simple, practical ways you can protect and support yourself physically. I'll add a post soon about emotional and energetic support.
1. Stay home. Take yourself out of the germ pool whether or not you think you are sick or vulnerable. Except if you are a health care or other essential worker, blessings on you and thank you.
1a. If you can work from home, check on your friends who are laid off and send them money.
2. Water is your friend. Wash your hands, wash your body, wash your clothes. And moisturize, or your skin will be angry.
3. Stay HYDRATED. You should be drinking about half a gallon of water per day normally for optimal health, and when the body is under stress or threat it's even more important.
3a. Bonus: take a moment to honor the water that cleans you and keeps you alive. Water is sacred, water is life.
4. Gargle with salt in warm water daily
5. Sanitize surfaces and use hand sanitizer when you go out. Scroll down for a couple of simple DIY recipes.
6. Diffuse immune boosting and antimicrobial oils in your home and/or apply them to the bottoms of your feet and the back of your neck (diluted). My favorites: OnGuard protective blend, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, Lemon, and Lavender.
7. Make sure your body has the nutrients and vitamins it needs. For daily wellness eat plenty of veggies and add a proven supplement like doTerra's LLV.
8. Add immune support such as Vitamin D (take with food), vitamin C (make sure it's bioavailable), and zinc (found in oysters, red meat, hemp seeds, legumes and even dark chocolate!)
9. Find a way to move your body every day and a way to relax your mind every day.
10. Keep up your energetic hygiene with daily grounding, cleansing, and boundary practices (I'll make a post about this soon)
Please reach out if you have any questions or if you need more support. I'm here to help! We will get through this together. Comment below with what you're doing to stay safe and sane! Com
Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor and this post is not meant as medical advice. None of the products recommended are meant to cure or treat any disease.
And now the recipes!
Hand sanitizer spray Recipe 1:
in a 30ml spray bottle combine
4 tsp rubbing alcohol (70% or higher)
1 tsp fractionated coconut oil
30 drops OnGuard oil
top off with distilled or filtered water
Hand sanitizer spray recipe 2:
makes about 2 cups, can be used as a surface sanitizer as well, just leave out the glycerol
12 oz rubbing alcohol (70% or higher)
2 teaspoons glycerol (vegetable glycerine)
2 teaspoons witch hazel (optional)
1 Tbsp hydrogen peroxide
30 drops Tea Tree essential oil
30 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
20 drops Thyme essential oil
3 oz distilled or filtered water
If you have extra bottles, consider making a larger batch and sharing. I dropped bottles in the little free libraries around my neighborhood in Portland, and I keep a few in my car to give to houseless folks who have limited access to running water.
On Thanksgiving Day, many people in America are reflecting on what they are thankful for. Take a moment right now to think of some small thing you are thankful for. It doesn’t have to be the best, most amazing thing in your life. Literally anything you enjoy or are glad to have will work! If you’re having trouble, look around you and find something you like in your environment - a colored leaf, a comfy blanket, or a piece of food. From a scientific perspective, gratitude is important because it tells your brain that the pathways to the things that make you feel happy and fulfilled are important, and they become easier to follow. That has benefits for your stress levels, relationships, and overall health.
What does gratitude do from an energetic perspective? Take a breath and really sink into the feeling of gratitude. Right now. I don’t mean a specific thankfulness directed at a person who made that thing possible for you, although that is also important. For now just focus on the feeling of gratitude in your own energy sphere, the appreciation of this joy or blessing. Notice what happens in your body. For me, it feels like my chest warms and lifts while my shoulders and back relax and sink down. Gratitude is grounding. It allows you to be present in the moment and in your own body. Gratitude is also opening. It bumps you out of the hamster-mind, constantly worrying about the future or the past, and into an authentic connection with yourself and the world around you.
Gratitude is the beginning of a prayer. Prayerfulness for me begins with a sense of wonder and beauty. In places of natural beauty (and they exist everywhere!) I’m sometimes overwhelmed by the thought “Wow! How lucky am I to live in a world where this beauty exists? Thank you!” Awareness of our blessings, of the blessedness of life, is also an invitation for more blessings. And more awareness of those blessings, which lead to more blessings, and so on. To me, this is the essence of manifestation. Noticing that you are in a world full of wonderful and joyous things and believing that other wonderful and joyous things will happen. But it doesn't work without gratitude for what is already in your world.
So once again, take a breath. Sink into that feeling. Lift into the love that is a natural companion of gratitude. And from that place, begin your day.
I want to make a note here to recognize that for many people in America, Thanksgiving is a time of grief, not gratitude. Native Americans are reflecting on the grievous and unanswered injustices that are often glossed-over by our feel-good pilgrim story about this day. I encourage you to learn more about the past and how modern Americans are still being affected by colonization, and how you can help. I am grateful that these stories are being told. I invite you to find a way to honor the memory of those massacred eastern tribes, as part of your day of celebration and gratitude. As incongruous as that might sound, we live in a complicated world and grief and gratitude can sit at the same table. You might consider donating or engaging your family in conversation about how our votes and actions affect Native Americans today, and educating others about the violence still being done to Native peoples in America.
I am grateful for each and every one of you doing small and huge things to make this world more just and more loving. Blessed be.
In this season, we are astounded by the beauty of release. I’m talking about the leaves painting themselves in a palette of reds, golds, yellows, and oranges. Outside my window is a huge maple tree. Most of the canopy is green, but the lower edges are just starting to turn a beautiful burnt-orange. In its shade, my partner planted a tiny ornamental maple with feathery leaves that have just blazed into crimson. Down the street, a row of three young alders turned from green to canary-yellow almost overnight. And once they turn they begin to fall, blanketing the ground with bright colors that slowly fade to brown. This layer of mulch feeds the all-important microbes that keep soils healthy enough to support the growth of these wonderful trees. As they decompose, the leaves release vital nutrients into the soil that will feed a rush of new growth in the spring. Although the leaves were valuable to the tree during summer, gathering carbon from the air and making sugar from the sunlight, if they stayed all winter they would collect snow, weighing down and breaking the branches. So the tree lets them go. Having collected enough sugar and shown in brilliant color, each leaf simply waits for the sigh of a breeze that will help it to release from the twig and twirl down to the ground, fulfilling another part of the life-death-life cycle of the earth.
So I invite you, in this season of release, to notice if there is something in your life that is ready to die. What has served its purpose? What was once sweet food but is now extra weight? Is there something catching your attention with a canary-yellow flag that says “I’m ready to go!” Just notice. And if you’re ready, maybe take a breath. And if you’re ready, let it out with a sigh that helps this one thing release and twirl gently down to the earth.
Spring may be the obvious time for cleansing, as the season of renewal, or even January, following a New Year’s Resolution. Fall is an often overlooked yet excellent time to cleanse. In the transition from the excess energy and activity of summer to a more subdued and internal focus in the winter months, it’s important to take a pause to assess what you really want to bring with you and what you’re ready to release. A focused, short-term change in diet and habit can do just that. Not to mention giving your body a major advantage when it comes to winter colds and all that delicious holiday dessert!
"These days of seasonal change around the equinox are a perfect time to cleanse your body and lighten yourself for fall’s work. Like early spring, autumn is a good time for cleansing, but afterwards your diet may be fuller, richer, and more heat-producing than in spring, in order to carry you through the chill of late autumn and winter.” - Staying Healthy With the Seasons, Elson M Haas, M.D.
In Chinese Five Element Theory, autumn corresponds with the metal element. Metal is associated with the lungs and the ability of discernment. It’s also associated with the processes of grief and letting go. First we come to a mental stillness to be able to see what no longer serves us, then we are able to release it to make room for something new. Inhale. Exhale. Transformation.
Because it is a harvest season cleanse, this is not the time for a juice fast or salad-only diet. Cleansing instead means eliminating the things that put stress on your body’s systems. Alcohol, caffeine, meat and dairy, gluten, and sugar are some common culprits, but there may be other things that you know from experience or intuition that your body would like a break from.
“Fall is a time of evolution through reduction… With fall comes a sense of gathering in, stocking up, mingled with a sense of loss as the light begins to fade and the fair chills. Yin waxes as Yang wanes… It is a time of eliminating what is unnecessary, storing up only what is needed for winter.” Between Heaven and Earth, H. Benfield, L.Ac. and E. Korngold, L.Ac.
At the same time, we want to add in a lot of the things your body craves - I mean the things that truly nourish it on a cellular level, not the ice cream your brain decided you MUST have. Just tell your brain there will be more ice cream later, and listen to the deeper voices of your gut and liver. Chances are, they are craving things like green veggies, fermented foods, and nourishing herbs.
To have a positive experience and a greater likelihood of meeting your goals, it’s important to add things in instead of just taking them out. That’s also where you can make a huge impact on your specific goals, even if you are following a packaged program or diet, such as the Purium cleanse I typically recommend. The benefits of cleanses can be really varied, and you get to choose what to focus on.
You can customize your cleanse to focus on the body systems you may need more support with. For example, adding lots of fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kombucha during your cleanse will improve your gut flora - and consequently your digestion, elimination, and immunity. Or you can add in targeted supplements, herbs, and oils for the adrenals, liver, skin, or whatever would benefit you most.
But it’s about more than just the body - there is also huge mental, emotional, and energetic benefit to occasional cleansing. It’s a great time to notice what habits and thought patterns are with you throughout your day, especially around things like food and alcohol. Taking a break from alcohol, caffeine, and sugar can give you clarity on what role those substances play in your life, and what role you’d like them to have.
I highly recommend taking the time to sauna or take a nice bath with essential oils a couple times during your cleanse. In addition to the wonderful health benefits, a soak or sauna can feel like a real treat and help you view your cleanse as a special time of self-care, rather than a period of deprivation.
Social engagements can be tough when you’re following a strict diet, although not impossible if you plan ahead. Try to give yourself some time off from larger groups or going out to restaurants. Instead, you can focus on projects you’re excited about at home, or doing other self-care activities you enjoy. Adding a movement or meditation routine can be a lovely compliment to a cleanse, and might even create a habit that sticks with you after you go back to your normal routine.
“It’s time to clear away finished projects and open up to the inner wisdom that you can experience in activities like contemplation, writing, reading, and nurturing you family as part of your preparation for the depths of winter.” - Staying Healthy With the Seasons, Elson M Haas, M.D.
If you’re excited about cleansing and want to learn more, contact me! I’m happy to guide you through choosing a cleanse program and customizing it to meet your goals. Be Well <3
I have been working a lot on making energy work more accessible and easy - especially the basic energy hygiene everyone can benefit from doing regularly. That's why I developed an essential oil energy work class and four easy-to-use oil blends that essentially do the work for you! A bit about these blends: I developed them for people like you to have a quick and easy way to do the basic energetic maintenance we all need. The oils work quickly and effectively, whether you have any experience with energy work or not! Each one is charged with reiki energy to give it extra "oomph." And since I couldn't just leave it at that, I have also chosen a qigong movement with the same effect as each blend, which will come with written instructions, and later I'll add videos on my website. These are the formulas I have been using over and over again with my clients. It became obvious that everyone could benefit from them, so I have made them available through this online store and at events in Portland.
So, what is energy hygiene? I broke it into four main categories:
Cleansing: As we move through the world we pick up physical and energetic "dirt". I'm assuming you take a shower regularly, but when was the last time you cleaned your aura? Whether it's negative energy or simply not yours, a lot of unnecessary stuff in your energy field can really bog you down and make you feel tired, unfocused, or sick. There are many cleansing methods out there. A simple one is just to use your hands and intention to "brush off" the air around your body. My oil solution is a spray of ocean water with clary sage and rosemary. It's gentle enough to use several times a day. I use it in my space and on myself in between clients.
Boundaries: Now that you've gotten rid of all that energetic dirt, you're feeling great and you don't want to pick up any more! That's where boundaries come in. That just means strengthening the edges of your aura so what's "yours" and "not yours" are more clearly defined. This can also help with interpersonal interactions (ever have that friend or coworker who always wants to dump on you or vent? Nuh-uh! Not with healthy boundaries!). The recipe for this blend came from Desiree Mangandog - I highly recommend checking out her work! - and consists of equal parts melaleuca (Tea Tree) and petitgrain (bitter orange leaf) in coconut oil. Roll it on your chest daily for a boundaries makeover.
Grounding: Oh my gosh grounding is so important! It's the first and last thing I do with each client and I make sure to ground myself several times a day. That simply means that I remember that I am in a body which is part of the earth and that I am connected to and supported by the earth at every moment. It can look like visualizing roots or a cord going down into the earth from your body, or simply deep breathing and patting your edges to become fully present, less anxious, and more aware. My oil blend mixes doTerra's grounding blend, Balance, with cedarwood and vetiver to really sink and root your energy field.
Nourishing: Sometimes you just need a moment to feel good. That can take the form of a hug or a sweet treat or a beautiful flower, or anything that brings you into the enjoyment of the present moment. It's especially important after doing any major clearing to take the time to fill your aura with positive energy! For this purpose I developed the Blue Cedar Signature Blend. It's Cedarwood and Blue tansy - the two oils I named my practice after - with a drop of frankincense in coconut or jojoba oil.
January 2018 is just around the corner! Are you planning to make resolutions this year? Or are you daunted by the entire idea of resolutions and discouraged by how few make it into February? Scroll down for my New Years Ritual, and this year could be different!
As the new year begins, it's a great time to harness the energy of new growth. That's why we make resolutions and plans for new projects. I offer you this simple ritual to tap in to that energy with success. You will need paper and a pen and essential oils of sandalwood, peppermint, lemon, and bergamot. You can inhale them from the bottle or add a drop of each to a diffuser as you go. If you don't have the oils you can still do this ritual without them!
Is increased wellness one of your goals for 2018? If so, I want to support you. Whether you're hoping to find relief from physical issues, resolve emotional problems, or just start each day from a place of grounded presence, You don't have to do it alone! My gentle practice of reiki with essential oils, meditation, and movement, can give you the tools you need to grow, and clear the blocks that are holding you back form total wellness. Book Now!
These two recipes are serious cold fighters. This is for when the preventative measures have failed and you need something beyond Echinacea but don't want a bunch of synthetic junk from the pharmacy. I'm talking old-fashioned grandma remedies. I’m talking hold-your-nose, one-big-gulp, and oh-god-what-is-that-taste sort of remedies. In short, unpleasant and effective. While these two concoctions are certainly not delicious, they do work and the momentary unpleasantness is worth the relief if you’ve got a sore throat or sinus congestion.
1. Sore Throat, Skedadle!
Stir together one drop (or less) of certified pure, therapeutic grade oregano essential oil and one tablespoon or more of honey. Prepare a large spoonful of coconut or olive oil as a chaser as well as some water. Eat as much of the honey as you can, following with the oil, then water. DON’T drink water before the oil, it will make it worse. Trust me.
The oil burns and tastes terrible (see photographic evidence) but my sore throat went away for several hours. You can repeat this up to three times a day.
This garlic is no longer raw, but it’s still quite strong. It makes a great topping for soup, salad, or stir fry. Garlic has long been lauded for its health benefits, especially in strengthening the immune system and stopping colds and infections. Eat as much as you (or the people around you) can stand!