Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Breathing the Breath of Rose

The Journey of the Rose
A Shamanic Herbal Tale in 3 parts ~ Part II

The wild roses are in full bloom now on our land, enough for all kinds of herbal preparations. We discovered a variety of wild rose buds as we wildcrafted recently. One flower bud being dark fushcia pink, another more mauve in color. Last fall as we gathered the ripe rose hips, we noticed even more species of rose. Some large and fat, some round, some oval, some ripening quite early and others not quite ripe. The fullness of this diversity is heart warming. Even within the wild rose community, when you look closely you will see many unique and wonderful gifts.

The wild rose, her teachings, her healing properties, her uses are an example of the ancient wise woman tradition of only utilizing a few plants for healing. Once, long ago, there were plants that were known to heal everything, anything. These plants were the companions of wise women and helped guide their healing practices. I enjoy discovering these plants and their shamanic teachings as well as utilizing them in as many ways as possible.
Rose is a spiritual teacher. I mean this in the shamanic sense. She is the one who will lead you to other plants that will nourish and heal you. In order to discover the teachings of wild rose, it is best to begin outside with her, listening. Here is a shamanic exercise that will facilitate this relationship:
  • Take a walk and find a wild rose plant you feel a connection with.
  • Sit or stand near rose
  • Observe the rose plant, noticing how it comes up out of the ground and how it twists and turns toward the light.
  • Find the thorns and observe the thorns
  • Observe the intricate patterns of the leaves, the buds and flowers allowing yourself to detect the aroma.
  • As you detect the scent of the rose notice your breath, breathing in and out three times
  • Begin to feel yourself take shape as a rose.
  • Feel yourself become the rose in all its intricacy, noticing many details
  • Bring awareness back to breath again, breathing in the oxygen of this rose, breathing out offering your breath, and now breathe in as rose, breathe out offering oxygen. Do this for seven cycles.
  • Listen. Listening is more than hearing. What do you see, hear, smell, feel?
  • Now, ask yourself, “Who am I ” Take note.
  • When this feels complete, open your eyes and move and stand once again.
  • Give thanks to the rose.
  • While proceeding with this exercise, do your best not to interpret what you are experiencing. When you are completely done, this is a good time to write and explore fully what this means for you.
  • Return to the same rose. Connect again, remembering its details and the interchange. Now take basket in hand and gather rose.
There are many concoctions that you can make with wild rose. I have two favorites, wild rose infused oil and wild rose infused honey. To make the wild rose infused oil, I used to gather just the rose petals and buds. This makes an incredibly fragrant oil. Recently though, I have been experimenting with also using the wild rose leaves in my infused oil. The fragrance is a bit deeper and the healing tremendous. Gather wild roses in your basket. Immediately cut up the petals, buds and leaves, place them in a jar and drizzle olive oil over them just below the top of the jar. Put a lid on this and shake. Label with name, date, and perhaps something you remember from your journey and put it in the dark. Six weeks later, strain it and bless your skin with this precious oil.

Wild Rose infused honey is made just this way. Instead of olive oil, drizzle raw, local honey over the roses. You won’t have to wait six weeks for the honey. In fact, you can make this and use it the next day. But do be patient to let some of it sit for six weeks to increase its potency. This sensual delicacy is extraordinary. Not only is it delicious, you can utilize this honey for deep healing of infections.

Wild rose is anti-bacterial, antiseptic, very softening for skin and quite gentle. I have received feedback recently from people using wild rose balm (a combination of wild rose infused oil, wild rose infused honey and bees wax) who have experienced tremendous healing. A woman with auto-immune disease and a terrible rash that would not go away, put wild rose balm on the affected area and overnight it had began healing. Another woman put some of this balm on an open cut that was very painful and within a few seconds, the pain had subsided. Such a powerful and yet gentle healer.

As I reflect on the many ways that wild rose offers herself to us, I am reminded again of the wise woman. She is strong and compassionate and she is also sensuous and joyous.

May it be in Beauty.

Crow's Laughter Mystery School Offerings for Summer and Fall 2008
Follow the links to our website for all the details. Call or email anytime to find out more and request an apprenticeship application.

Apprenticeship Opportunities:
Women and Plants ~ Shamanic Herbal Apprenticeship Program;
Next session begins September 12, 2008
Open Day for Potential Apprentices ~ July 11th

Herbal Wisdom Circle ~ 13 Month Apprenticeship Program
Begins September 20, 2008

Summer Programs for Girls:

Herbal Wisdom Summer Mentorship for Girls
July 7-10, 2008 ~ 10:30-2:30
Awaken the Wise Woman! Apprenticeship Weekend for Girls 10-13

July 18-20, 2008
Into the Wood ~ Immersion in Green Witchery for Teen Girls 14-19

August 18-21, 2008

Monthly Classes:

Herbal Wisdom Circle
July 12 ~ 10:30-2:30
July's Theme: Lavender: Source and Center
The Well ~ Women's Study Group
First Wednesdays ~ July 2, August 6 ~ North Seattle

Earth and Moon Celebrations:
Dark of the Moon
July 2 ~ We are combining "The Well" Study Group and Dark of the Moon this month.
Passionate Abundance Earth Celebration
August 10 ~ 12-4 pm ~ Sunday
Free Herbal Class, Ceremony and Community Potluck

Classes in the Community:
Edibles and Medicinals Plant Walk at Golden Gardens in Seattle
July 16 ~ 6:30-8:30 ~ to register

A Healthy Gut
7-9 pm ~ This is offered through North Seattle Community College to register

Earth Mysteries Weekend ~ Immersion in Shamanic Herbalism
November 1-2, 2008

Festivals and Fairs this Summer and Fall:

Northwest Herb Fest ~ Pleasantville, Oregon ~ July 26-27

I will be selling my nourishing herbal creations.

Seattle Tilth Organic Harvest Fair

September 6 in Seattle

I will be selling my nourishing herbal creations.

American Herbal Guild Convention in Redmond, WA

October 24-26, 2008

I will be selling my nourishing herbal creations.

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