More Than Ever Driven Towards Creating My Own Runic Herbal Tradition

I went to Alpine Cosmetics in Torrance, California during the weekend. I needed to restock on some herbs & herbal products and they have German imports there that I can’t find anywhere else.

I was very frustrated not to find what I wanted and the shop’s owner is equally if not more frustrated than me because, as time goes by, she gets more restriction on what she’s allowed to import & sell or not. And regulations seem to vary from one state to another: New York can get products that are not allowed in California for some reason, and yet it’s the same country.

It’s a good thing that I’m knowledgeable about herbs and know how to blend them as well as how to substitute one plant for another (with similar properties). Since the “Erkaeltungs Tee” and the “Bronchial Tee” (both from Salus Haus) are not available anymore, I kept the ingredients’ list on their respective boxes and will blend my own. These herbal teas work and that’s probably the reason why one can’t get their hands on them anymore.

To people who believe that herbs don’t work, I like to tell that if it was the case both animals and humans would have been wiped out long ago from the face of the Earth and we wouldn’t be having this conversation in the first place. Plants have been used for thousands of years to prevent and cure disease. People who held herbal knowledge were both revered and feared. Healing remedies & recipes were being passed down from one generation to the next.

I recently acquired a French medical book for families to use at home. It was written in 1936 (so before World War II) by three eminent doctors. The reason why I got this book in the first place, besides the fact that it’s a rare item, is because most of the remedies offered in this book are based first and foremost on common healing herbs. Most of these herbs were and still are fairly easy to find. Very few would require advanced herbal knowledge (because some could be toxic, dangerous and/or with side effects).

Doctors in the book even addressed parasites and viruses such as cholera, with a healing protocol. Considering that we live in a time of increasing antibiotic resistance and the return of disease we thought belonged to the past – such as tuberculosis and smallpox – (which are now also showing resistance to treatments), the World Health Organization is looking for new promising antibiotics to be developed, as well as ancient, forgotten antibiotics. I like to remind people that, before WWII and the emergence of penicillin, the antibiotic and antiseptic of choice was lavender. I always have lavender tincture and lavender infused oil at home (lavender has so many uses), and other concoctions as well.

Be True to Yourself & Live Your Truth

“Do not love half lovers.
Do not entertain half friends.
Do not indulge in works of the half talented.
Do not live half a life and do not die a half death.
If you choose silence, then be silent.
When you speak, do so until you are finished.
Do not silence yourself to say something
And do not speak to be silent.
If you accept, then express it bluntly.
Do not mask it.
If you refuse then be clear about it
For an ambiguous refusal
Is but a weak acceptance.

Do not accept half a solution.
Do not believe half truths.
Do not dream half a dream.
Do not fantasize about half hopes.
Half a drink will not quench your thirst.
Half a meal will not satiate your hunger.
Half the way will get you no where.
Half an idea will bear you no results.

Your other half is not the one you love.
It is you in another time yet in the same space.
It is you when you are not.
Half a life is a life you didn’t live,
A word you have not said,
A smile you postponed,
A love you have not had,
A friendship you did not know,
To reach and not arrive,
Work and not work,
Attend only to be absent,
What makes you a stranger to them closest to you,
and they strangers to you.

The half is a mere moment of inability
but you are able for you are not half a being.
You are a whole that exists
to live a life, not half a life.”

~ Khalil Gibran

On Kennaz, Jera & Inguz: the Magical Inner Workings of the Fall Equinox

This Equinox is particularly important to me because it is so closely linked to my birthday and we are also still dealing with the energies of the New Moon (which was in Virgo and has now moved to Libra).

There are some powerful and transformative energies at work. I can feel it in my gut, and I’m feeling restless. It’s a knowing and a waiting for something on the verge of happening, though I don’t really know what it is that I’m waiting for. A sign, a gift, a confirmation…Or all the above? There’s really nothing else to do but being receptive and allowing things to manifest on their own timing.

Meanwhile, enjoy your personal harvest!

Smudging – Alpine Style

The Weekly Druid

Raeucher-Pfanndl My Räucher-Pfanndl with a selfmade and a bought smudge stick

Smudging is, by now, a ritual that is widely practiced in the Pagan community. What I mostly observe when invited to pagan group ceremonies, though, is the use of Prairie Sage bundled into smudge sticks, a way of smudging as we see some Native Americans doing it.

Sage smudge sticks are a great tool in many ways (easy to carry around with you, easy to light, to hold in your hand etc. etc.) and considering which plant is being used and what it is associated with, it makes so much sense. But as always in my spiritual practice, I ask myself: is there something my ancestors did, or folks still do, that is more connected to me and my own homeland?

So, what I would like to do today is explore a different smudging practice. Please see that as my personal…

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Redwood Medicine

I’ve been harvesting redwood branches for years, usually freshly fallen ones. Redwood is an ancient tree, a time & record keeper, with such a nice energy. I always feel at home in the midst of a redwood grove.

A few years ago, I had a hard time finding anything regarding its medicinal uses, except for a few anecdotes regarding Native uses in the past, but nothing specific. Nowadays, for some reason, there is more information available about redwood medicine.

I was especially happy to find a useful link that talks about Western as well as Eastern (TCM) medicinal use for this tree. Some of the info is a confirmation of the things I had observed as well as guessed.