Archive for the ‘Totems’ Category

There’s Fungus Among Us

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Fall marks a time when a variety of fungus begins to sprout in our gardens.  They seem to appear overnight brandishing an array of colors and shapes and then mysteriously disappear.  According to Paul Stamats, world renowned mycologist, mushrooms work with soil regeneration and communicating with other plants through an underground network.  Watch this short, yet informative, beautiful flick that shows time-lapsed mushroom birth and a snippet of Paul Stamat’s philosophy.

Beans of Life

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

After July’s deluge I wasn’t sure that I would have a viable vegetable garden left.  Although my tomatoes, basil, oregano and parsley did not fair well, my cucumbers, squash and beans didn’t skip a beat.  Thriving in all that rain, the bush beans were the first to produce and grace my dinner table.

 High in antioxidants, fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc, beans, also known as legumes or pulses, are a great addition to anyone’s diet.  Green beans are also rich in Vitamin A, C, K, and Manganese.

Having a high level of isoflavones, (compounds similar to estrogen), some tout their benefits may include easing symptoms of menopause, preventing some forms of cancer, reducing a risk of heart disease and improving bone and prostate health.

Magical Properties of Beans

Ever since we heard the fairy tale of Jack and the Bean Stalk as children we have equated beans as being magical.  Here, in disgust Jack’s Mother throws his beans out the window and the very next day they grow into a huge bean stalk that reaches into the heavens, where he finds a world inhabited by giants and treasure.

 The beans planted in this story allude to a magic seed (of life) that when fully grown can help you to find opportunities and riches in unknown (or future) realms. Reflecting their abundant nourishment, the beans in this fable show us to have hope in life, for we never know what good fortune awaits us further down the road.

 

 

 

 

Dynamic Basil

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

This summer I decided to grow sweet Basil once again to attract bees to the garden, keep my tomatoes happy with complimentary planting, and use in recipes as a culinary herb.  Like most plants, Basil has a wide variety of species each having slightly different characteristics.

Although most of us enjoy sweet Basil in pesto, tomato dishes and Thai food, few of us probably realize that this plant also has various medicinal properties that have been used for thousands of years in many cultures.

 

Some Medicinal Uses of Basil

Digestive Disorders

Tension & Anxiety

Coughs, Colds, Sore Throats & Fevers

Constipation & Dysentery

Cut & Abrasions

Headaches

Nerve Pain

Menstrual Cramps

Insect Bites & Stings

Shamanic & Magical Properties

In Haiti and Mexico Basil was consider a powerful protector and was planted by homes to ward-off evil spirits.  Planted on graves, in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Persia this herb was associated with death, and helping the deceased ascend the Heavens.  In India it was planted around temples and shrines, thus procuring the name of “Holy Basil”.  This species is said to be highly anti-inflammatory and good for lowering blood sugar.

So the next time you’re including Basil in your favorite dish for flavor, you can ponder how this dynamic herb is also improving your physical health.

 

Dynamic Basil

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

This summer I decided to grow sweet Basil once again to attract bees to the garden, keep my tomatoes happy with complimentary planting, and use in recipes as a culinary herb.  Like most plants, Basil has a wide variety of species each having slightly different characteristics.

Although most of us enjoy sweet Basil in pesto, tomato dishes and Thai food, few of us probably realize that this plant also has various medicinal properties that have been used for thousands of years in many cultures.

Some Medicinal Uses of Basil

Digestive Disorders

Tension & Anxiety

Coughs, Colds, Sore Throats & Fevers

Constipation & Dysentery

Cut & Abrasions

Headaches

Nerve Pain

Menstrual Cramps

Insect Bites & Stings

Shamanic & Magical Properties

In Haiti and Mexico Basil was consider a powerful protector and was planted by homes to ward-off evil spirits.  Planted on graves, in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Persia this herb was associated with death, and helping the deceased ascend the Heavens.  In India it was planted around temples and shrines, thus procuring the name of “Holy Basil”.  This species is said to be highly anti-inflammatory and good for lowering blood sugar.

So the next time you’re including Basil in your favorite dish for flavor, you can ponder how this dynamic herb is also improving your physical health.

Shamanic Totem: Snail

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

This spring I was grateful for the large amount of straw I left on my garden space over the winter, for it didn’t allow many weeds to grow.  However, because of all the rainfall a damp habitat became the perfect place for snails to hide.  Although harmless to humans, snails love to eat plants and are definitely not good for a garden.

 

Shamanically, a Snail’s shell is associated with the spiral, or Golden Mean of Nature’s growth cycles.  Because snails re-emerge during Spring after over wintering in their shells, they can also symbolize rebirth.  So if snail has crawled into your life you may want to ask yourself, what has died within me to give birth to something new?

 

Because snails carry their homes on their backs it’s easy for them to hide if they feel threatened.  If this attribute is reflected in your behavior you may want to contemplate how you project a hard shell to others while protecting your inner tenderness, vulnerability and timidity.  If you have uncovered snail in your life, she can teach your inner child the lesson of learning how to trust people and the world.

 

 

Totem: Snapdragon

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

After all that freezing weather we had in February, it’s hard to believe that my two-year old potted Snapdragons were still thriving with new growth. These hardy plants are thought to have originated in Spain and Italy, and now in America they are the favorite in many gardens and plant stands.  Mediterranean people traditionally cultivated them for seed oil that was utilized similar to the olive. The Snapdragon’s many colors were also a good source for dyeing material.

It is said that Snapdragons have a magical ability to speak when you squeeze their blossom. Done correctly, its dragon-like mouth appears  revealing deep secrets of the future, and  protection from deceit and curses.

When used as a flower essence, this remedy release verbal aggression, and repressed sex drive. It’s great for animals that show hostility, biting. snapping, or eating disorders.

 

 About the Author…
Barbara-Lynn Freed has over twenty years experience in Shamanism and teaches a 3 year Shamanic apprenticeship called Resurrecting the Old Ways:  Walking the Land & Honoring the Spirits in Right Relationship.  To find out more about this program and how to sign-up see her website.

Shamanic Totem: Bat

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

What a good omen… the man I just hired for lawn maintenance also had similar esoteric interests!  As I watched out of my kitchen window we were both amazed when a Bat flew right in front of the mower landing on the ground.  With a shovel he picked up the little fellow and gently placed him in the woods bordering my property.

 

Bat in Flight

 

The Bat is a powerful shamanic totem as it can signify facing our greatest fears and working through intense tests to change ourselves by releasing aspects of our life that no longer suit us.  The Bat totem tells us that change and transformation are blessings in our lives and come from within ourselves.  Because the Bat totem symbolizes rebirth, it can act as strong medicine promising us hope in the midst of chaos.

If Bat has flown into your life know that no matter how unstable your life my appear to be, the promise of empowerment is on the horizon.

 

About the Author… Barbara-Lynn Freed has practiced shamanism for over twenty years and offers a 3-year Shamanic apprenticeship entitled Resurrecting the Old Ways:  Walking the Land & Honoring the Spirits in Right Relationship.  Find out more about this worthy program and how to sign-up by visiting her website.

 

Totem: Caterpillar

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
Boy! this summer sure has been prolific with caterpillar eggs.  With all this heat I’ve been out watering my vegie and flower gardens early every morning to keep my plants flourishing.  While the hose is on drip at their roots, I search my tomatoes and peppers for signs of predators. And everyday I find a new smattering of eggs that have been laid on those tender leaves.  Working with  the same method  I use to deal with aphids, I simply pluck off the infected leaves and throw them onto the lawn.

With all our inner and global transformation going on right now, perhaps Mother Nature is simply reflecting this through her creature’s activities.  As you may already know, the caterpillar tranforms into a moth or butterfly after a stage of metamorphosis.

So if caterpillar has crawled into your garden of life, make note of the most important issues eating at you, and take the opportunity to find healthy solutions, for Caterpillars message says… whatever is ailing you, smooth sailing is ahead.  Simply take some time to turn inward to reflect and contemplate a viable answer for your current difficulties. In this way you can transform obstacles into a beautiful new way of being.

Totems: Ant

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

A few weeks ago when I spotted ants on my tomatoes I knew it was a sign that they were probably exploiting my beautiful plants by turning them into an aphid farm.  Sure enough when I carefully looked under my plant’s leaves, I found several that were inundated with aphids and eggs.

I ‘ve always found the easiest way to deal with aphids is to simply pluck off the infested leaves, and then search for egg casings/aphids and also pick them off by hand.  No need for messy and toxic sprays if you follow my advise.  But don’t forget to follow-up every day with a thorough search for more invading pests and your tomatoes will have a delightful rebound.

Ants have been long noted as being industrious, ordered and disciplined, and thus achieving monumental tasks.  They are incredible architects by building complex homes for their community to thrive in.

If Ants have invaded your space they may want to teach you how to become an architect of your own life by constructing your dreams into reality through persistence and patience.

Ask yourself:  Are you in a rush to complete a task, or neglecting to build a firm life foundation?  Are you making things more difficult than they need to be?  If so, move over and let Ant show you the way.

Totem Animal: Fox

Monday, June 4th, 2012

The other afternoon as I was sitting out on my deck amongst my flower garden, waiting for a client to arrive, I spotted a fox walking out of the woods. “It’s a fox!”, I whispered out loud.   Probably 40 feet away, the fox’s acute hearing picked up my voice.  Stopping momentarily, he turned his head in my direction , and then resumed his walk down my driveway.

As you may know, the fox is an evening and twilight creature so it is a rare sight to see one during the daytime.  A fox’s magic can teach us the art of camouflage, invisibility and shapeshifting, and these skills may help us to go with the flow in our rapidly changing times,  work behind the scenes and be unnoticed as we observe others.

Because the fox is a guardian of our daily twilight times, it can help us to connect with the fairy realms.  The quality of a foxes tail, it’s gait and under belly fur all reflect the feminine and creative life force in all things.

If fox has popped up in your life, it may be time to reexamine or address how you are working with others and connect more with the feminine parts of your nature.