“Hanging from the top of the windshield were the penates: a baby’s shoe- that’s for protection, for the stumbling feet of a baby require the constant caution and aid of God; and a tiny boxing glove- and that’s for power, the power of the fist on the driving forearm, the drive of the piston pushing its connecting rod, the power of person as responsible and proud individual. There hung also on the windshield a little plastic kewpie doll with a cerise and green ostrich-feather headdress and provocative sarong. And this was for the pleasures of the flesh and of the eye, of the nose, of the ear.” -John Steinbeck, The Wayward Bus
I love Talismans.
This was amazing! Jodorowsky was the godfather of science fiction in film. His Dune was the best film that never got made. He had the most amazing vision and actually got David Carradine, Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger, Orson Welles and H R. Giger to work on it. Each planet had their own band! Including Pink Floyd!
It was a sunny spring day here in Portland so I went for a hike in Forest Park. I passed through the Magnolia Garden and onto Wildwood Trail. The magnolias were breathtaking. Several kinds of magnolia are nestled in a hilly grove and they were all in bloom and smelled so sweet. I found a beautiful red cedar tree and laid my back against it for several minutes, just breathing in its scent. Cedar has a really maternal energy I find comforting. I wish I could visit with cedar all the time. The off of Wildwood Trail I got a picture of me getting cozy with a big oak tree someone had carved “God” into.
I’m reading Woody Guthrie’s novel, House of Earth and I’m actually on edge because I love it so much. Guthrie was fetishistic about adobe. He wanted an adobe house built with his own hands. Having lived through dust storms he felt adobe was the answer for rural folk. It’a about this couple dreaming of their “house of earth” and is a call to arms against big agribusiness and for class warfare at the time.
It’s one of my new favorites-not surprising since most of my favorite books feature impoverished people in the 30’s and are written in vernacular. It also has one of the longest and earthiest sex scenes ever. I’m not kidding. It was definitely ahead of its time. Guthrie waited to publish it, hoping it would be picked up for a movie, but it never was. It was only discovered recently. Where Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath revolved around a family fleeing the dust and seeking a land of milk and honey, Guthrie’s book is for and about the people who stayed behind. It was his land and his people. He lived it.
I gleaned some interesting facts about him from the introduction (by: Douglas Brinkley and Johnny Depp no less!) In addition to performing around town for money, he painted signs, voraciously read and drew pictures.“He joined the Baptist Church, studied faith healing and fortune telling, read Rosicrucian tracts, and dabbled in Eastern Philosophy. He opened a business as a psychic in hopes of helping people with their personal problems. He wanted to be a fufliller of dreams.”
It was while busking around New Mexico that Guthrie’s “gospel of adobe” took root. He saw that adobe houses could last ages, as opposed to the rotted out wood shacks the people back home were living in. For five cents he bought USDA Bulletin No. 1720 The Uses of Adobe or Sun-Dried Brick for Farm Building which taught rural folk how to build an adobe house from the cellar up and promoted it for decades.
“If I was aiming to preach you a sermon on the subject, I would get a big lungful of air and say man himself is an adobe house, some sort of old streamlined temple.” -Woody Guthrie
It’s not surprising Guthrie studied philosophy. Reading it, I found passages reminiscent of Hesse’s Siddhartha and Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer: “All of the things around him-house, barn, the iron water tank, the windmill, the little hen house, the old Ryckzyck shack, the whole farm, the whole ranch- they were a part of him, the same as an egg from the farm went into his mouth and down his throat was a part of him.“
“Ella May would laugh. She always laughed in way that was easy for her. She laughed best, most times, when the crops, the winds, the debts, the worries, splashed their highest.. Other ones said, ‘Things must be pretty tough over at her house, she’s laughing again.'”
I physically can’t stop playing and singing this Guthrie song Lucinda Williams performed and wrote the music to. “I’ll kiss you in such odd and natural ways, your wife will find out that kissing pays.. I’ll love you once to teach you all your life, the things to do when you are with your wife.” It’s worth a listen. Hauntingly beautiful.
Joseph Campbell was born 111 years ago on this day. Can you believe it? I lift a toast to his amazing spirit.
Hey all! I just got back from a retreat center where I kicked off my herbal apprenticeship. I and a small group of fellow apprentices hiked, identified plants, foraged, meditated, made medicinal tinctures, herbal smoking blends, and more!
On the Spring Equinox we had a cleansing fire ceremony where we meditated while my amazingly talented teacher, Becky Lerner (of Plant Spirit Reiki), played her shamanic drum, which was followed with an oracle reading and socializing around a fire. I had never meditated to shamanic drumming and it really does put you in a trance! It blocks out all distractions and makes you turn inward and you feel the sound deep in your bones. Very cool and intense!
My favorite part was getting up before dawn and going on a solo hike in the woods. It was dark and misty with this dreamlike dawn light. I came across a bed of cleavers. This plant is small, upright and a bright yellowish green with circular whorls of leaves covered in sticky hairs which “cleave” to you, hence its name. It makes me think of faeries.
In plant spirit work, you come to see plants as beings. You find that each plant has a unique essence, a spiritual gift or symbolic message for you that can be very personal. I’ve now sat with several plants on my own and in groups and had really remarkable experiences. After meditating and connecting with them in that way, you come to think of them as allies. You pass them and feel their energy. When I feel drawn to certain plants, I take that as a sign that it has medicine to share with me. It adds a spiritual dimension to herbalism and deepens your feeling and connection to nature.
Cleavers was calling to me that morning. It made me think of many youthful beings, with both male and female energy. I got a sense of a guardian spirit which in my minds eye I experienced as a kind upright, noble woman with reddish dark hair and a yellow dress trimmed in green. The energy I felt was one of gentle support. I sat there for a minute and mentally asked permission to harvest them and receive their medicine. I then felt the energies of love and gratitude and sent reiki to the plants for a few minutes before harvesting some to make a tincture later. I made sure to harvest from different spots to I didn’t take too much from any one spot.
Later during our class on Plant Spirit Work, we were given a choice of a few different herbs we could meditate with and interestingly, the class felt drawn to Cleavers as well. We all took Cleavers tincture and meditated with the plant as a group, and afterwards shared our experiences. As I listened to my classmates, my jaw dropped. I hadn’t shared my experience yet, but they were all saying similar things. Most said they experienced it as having a youthful, androgynous energy, primarily the color yellow and green. Some experienced it as an animal or water, but the overall experience was one of support. Wild huh?
If you are curious, Cleavers (Galium aparine) is lymphatic medicine with anti-inflammatory, astringent and diuretic properties. I was just remarking that isn’t it curious, how we can be generally sluggish from our bodies accumulating toxins in winter and nature responds by providing us with an abundance of revitalizing and detoxifying herbs in the spring? You just have to know where to look! :-)
We harvested stinging nettles too and made pesto. Together we pulverized it (which takes away the sting) and added olive oil, pine nuts and garlic. I tried some with pasta later and my family said it tasted wild and blessed. <3
Our retreat concluded with a special initiation ceremony in a circle of alder trees in the rain where we were gifted with medicine bags. Such a lovely experience! It was extra special too since we are her first apprentices. My fellow students are all lovely people and I am looking forward to getting to know them all better. As part of my studies, I am to document at least 30 herbs with their medicinal properties and my experience with them. I have the option of blogging them, which I am considering. Let me know if you might be interested in me doing that!
I think Valentine’s Day should be about expressing love and appreciation to those you care about, esp. those you might be taking for granted. Not just romantic love.
If you aren’t in a romantic relationship (or even if you are!) You should take a moment to reflect love and appreciation for the mysterious spark that you are. You deserve it! Treat yo’self!
Hello everyone. As you know, my blog went on hiatus a couple years ago. I’m resurrecting it because a lot has happened since then. I’m hoping to update you all on what I have been up to these past couple years. I recently got Reiki Level II Certified, which is a type of energy medicine if you aren’t familiar, and am currently in the process of creating a reiki page hopefully to be unveiled soon. Also in the works: a good friend and myself will be co-authoring a blog where we will post book reviews.
In my last post, I was helping campaign for a good friend’s fundraiser to buy a unique Citroen van to house his new coffee/Thai food cart at the new PNCA (Pacific NW College of Art) location. Thank you for all who donated! He did indeed meet his goal and the new Yoburi coffee van has recently opened. Yay! Check him out on Instagram! He takes very good pics.
Other happenings of note: I lived in beautiful Saint Johns here in Portland for a year. I adopted two cats, a polydactyl tortie named, Pearl and a once tiny feral calico, now big, Minnie. <3
My new hobbies include: studying and making herbal medicine, starting a garden in my new place, honing my reiki skills, A LOT of reading, and creating new art- which I hope to share with you! Here’s to new adventures!