Monthly Archives: March 2008

Jaguar — my business partner

I’m building on so many levels that I’m often at loose ends. Today I was given a powerful image of protection — Jaguar. It’s happened beforJaguar head shote when I really needed it. Now as I seek to build my herb business I’m reaching again into the unseen realms for support. Below are excerpts from an Aztec Tarot deck that just happened to select Jaguar as a sample. Serendipity at it again.

I‘ve noticed I do a lot of work at night, in my sleep when things are on my mind. Sometimes it feels really busy in there:  ” there is great power at work on a subliminal or subconscious level. Your conscious mind is often unaware of the workings of your deep mind, but trust that there is a hurricane brewing under the surface and that all the courage and power you need are yours.” Cool.

I’m sometimes considered too brash, and actually was described as a bull dog only yesterday. Still, I feel I need confidence in ways I haven’t in the past: “Authority emanates from your very soul, and those around you can feel its pulse. The outward manifestation of this authority may take some time to develop. It will be felt before it is seen, but others will react to its invisible presence just the same.” Hepful.

And ultimately, a cornerstone of this business is for me to manifest myself fully as who I am: “…those who sincerely want the best for you will appreciate your newfound power in a favorable and supportive way, offering encouragement and respect.” That’s important. Meanwhile: “Those who have low self-esteem or low self-worth will tend to feel threatened by this inner power of yours and might find reasons to avoid you or may deliberately act against you in surreptitious ways.” Sadly this does ring bells, unpleasant ones at that.

I’ve always had the ridiculous tendency to believe what people say. Duh. Can’t count the number of times that’s gotten me in trouble. Here’s what Jaguar says about that: “…learn to become more sensitive to the unspoken language of others. Pay attention to how others conduct themselves with body language, facial expression, and tone of voice in addition to noting what they say and what they don’t say. Bingo.

This was a boon, as business, business, business is on my mind: “Jaguar’s presence not only evidences inner power, but it is an extremely auspicious sign for external success. His close affiliation with the Sun promises a Jaguar in the forestfavorable outcome in the issues that have been in your thoughts of late. Jaguar is Nature’s most successful hunter, literally at the top of the food chain, and offers the same degree of accomplishment for you.” Yum!

And since there’s no such thing as a free lunch, even from Jaguar:  “The accompanying requirement is that you must claim it as your own and use this power with integrity and grace, applying it with the focus of your mind and the sincerity of your heart to access your true self, your highest goals, and your best resolve.”  And so may it be.

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speaking of bread dough

Here’s a few did you knows. Did you know that spelt is the grandmother of wheat? Been around for thousands of years. It’s much higher in protein than commercial wheat — like 10 – 25 % higher.

Did you know kamut is also about 6,000 years old, and carries the Egyptian name for wheat. It’s kin to durham wheat. Much higher in protein than regular wheat, like 20 – 40 % and other goodies too like a lot more amino acids and vitamins.

Did you know that most people have sensitivities to commercial wheat? Not surprising. It has been hybridized for commercial purposes. Topping the list of modifications is that it can sit on the shelf without going bad. I suppose that’s good.What’s bad? It does the same thing in our stomachs.

It resists our digestive juices. Result. Poor absorption of whatever nutrients are there — at best. Generally though there’s the extra added attraction of bloating, gas and intestinal discomfort. Appetizing. Yummy.

Have you heard of xylitol? It’s not sugar, it’s a sugar alcohol. Vive la difference! A lot less calories, zero carbs, safe for diabetics, and seems to prevent tooth decay. 

Oh, one other did-ya-know. Flour left for more than 24 hours before it is baked loses 90 (that’s 90) percent of its nutritional value. 

So here’s my point. We got a grinder it’s expensive – but not necessary if you live near a good store where you can grind your own. We got a bread machine. Cheap. For a high-protein delicious bread I combine kamut/2 C, spelt 1 1/4 C and 3/4 C rye (for a nice kick). If I’m around I set the bread machine to dough, shape it let it rise 30 min and bake it in the oven 30 min. I generally add pumpkin or sunflower seeds, sometimes nuts. You can put anything in that suits your fancy.

Result? You know what you’re eating, it’s delicious and it’s good for you. Then there’s the sex. Oh that’s right. This was about bread. Bummer.

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Business beginnings

It’s tough. Think clearly, dream big. Go for it, be cautious. Act. Research. It’s like trying to figure out what’s healthy to eat. No two sources say the same thing and some are downright contradictory.

Here’s what I know. I have a purpose and a passion. I want to save our planet. I don’t have too much normal about me and that would include viewing our earth as Gaia, a living being filled with creatures of the Goddess and the Gods. Even filled with multiple realms. From deep in my soul I am called to merge magic and medicine, elemental power and joy, living on the earth and giving back to the earth.

Sometimes I feel it makes me ill-prepared to cope with the regularities of life-as-we-know-it. Things like keeping a schedule, staying organized, earning money, interacting with ‘normal’ folks. But out of my sense of loyalty to the air I breathe, the water I drink, and the earth that gives sustanance I am determined to spread the herb word.  

Of course there’s also solar. Can I dream two businesses at once?

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Juno and tender Saplings

Saw Juno tonight.  How can anyone not 16 capture the essence of the child/woman, boy/man of that age in life?  Tender sprouts searching for their own way to the sun. Struggling through the forest of bigger trees and leaves too many to count. Blocks perhaps to the light they need to grow true and strong.  The real dangers are in the trees that may look like any other, but are dead inside. One day they will blow over in a storm, taking with it anything in the path of their fall. Their dead weight can crush a tender sapling.  Or if it survives the damaged sapling’s course can turn to narrow twists and stunted growth, never reaching the light it was meant to feel. Some day in an undreamt of future brought on by the endless turns of the wheel, they in turn become the danger.

It was all in that simple tale.

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Passionflower

During a trip to Brazil I was taken to one of Rio’s fabulous restaurants. When my host learned I hadn’t had tasted maracuja (you may know it in Spanish as maracuya?) he ordered one of the best tasting desserts I had that trip. Actually, like the vine that it is, it climbed right up there with the best evers. I knew it went by the romantic-sounding English name of Passionflower. Hmmmm. Yummm. What I was savoring was the delicious fruit-o-the-vine. 

Passionflower Passiflora incarnata And as you can see, the flower is a real knockout as well. Makes you want to suck on it. Don’t do that though.

As to the romantic English name … sadly the passion refers to that of Christ. Some religious conquistadores (aka missionaries) thought it resembled something from that torture-murder.  Sigh.

The penny that didn’t drop was to connect it all with the passion flower I knew to be a super effective herbal remedy for sleeplessness, nervousness, and anxiety. It’s in just about every herbal sleep formula. Go figure.

The Pflower is no shrinking violet and can reach 10 meters in its native tropical to semi-tropical habitat. Which by the way extends throughout South and into N America — and includes a mere 200 varieties! What a helpful, successful species.  What we use are the vines, leaves and stems, actually mostly leaves. The most prevalent species in the Amazon are Passiflora edulis and P. incarnata. The pic is incarnata.

 For the wonks amongst us, the following is courtesy Rainforest Inc’s awesome plant data base. Which in turn was taken from  The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs by Leslie Taylor, copyrighted © 2005

Main Uses:

  1. for mood disorders (depression, anxiety, stress)
  2. for insomnia and sleep disorders
  3. for headaches, migraines and general pain
  4. for stomach problems (colic, nervous stomach, indigestion, etc.)
  5. to relieve menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Properties/Actions Documented by Research:
analgesic (pain-reliever), anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, cough suppressant, aphrodisiac, cough suppressant, central nervous system depressant, diuretic, hypotensive (lowers blood pressure), sedative

Other Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use:
anticonvulsant, antidepressant, astringent, cardiotonic (tones, balances, strengthens the heart), disinfectant, nervine (balances/calms nerves), neurasthenic (reduces nerve pain), tranquilizer, vermifuge (expels worms)

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Why is the smell of bread dough sexy?

Like other young couples wildly in lust, when my not-yet husband and I got together we made love anywhere and everywhere. I guess the worst of it was the time we couldn’t wait to get home from our bike ride along the Donau near Vienna and we both ended up filled with mosquito bites. Or perhaps it was that time on the tram. Oh well, that’s not the point. My point is that we baked bread. Hand grinder, pounding the dough and all that. It was Vienna 1979 and I’m not sure we ever managed to make a loaf without getting all over each other.

Here we are 28 years of marriage later, and again baking bread. This time with an electric grinder and a bread machine. Life is a lot easier. But that’s not my point either. What I want to say is it isn’t any different.  Sometimes I’ll put the machine on dough setting and then bake it in the oven so it doesn’t have that wierd boxey shape from the machine. Hey, that’s even when my husband isn’t around. It’s aesthetics. Really. 

But when he is around, all those years melt away. (Horrah! Not — repeat not — complaining.) Just a bit puzzled. Does anyone know what it is about the smell of bread dough that’s so effin sexy? You’d think it would conger up cozy family images, mom, dad, kids around a warm fire in December. Nope. Lust. Sex. Gobs of fun. I may not figure it out, but I’ll enjoy trying. And the bread tastes good too. If anyone has thoughts, I’m all ears… so to speak.

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joiful beginnings

i have now jumped into the stratosphere of the blogosphere. Old Chinese medicine ways say my small intestine is having a fit! So many choices my poor little prime minister doesn’t know which way to send the information.

Meanwhile life here in Walla Walla (aka Walla2) continues at the glacial pace of wine-loving, hick town offset by hip college town America.  I’m trying to cool my head with gentlifying herbs as I figure out which part of town I belong in.

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