Book Review: Sacred Actions-Living the Year through Earth-Centered Sustainable Practices

Book by Dana O’Driscoll

Dana O’Driscoll’s latest publication, “Sacred Actions-Living the Wheel of the Year through Earth-Centered Sustainable Practices”  is a kindred companion for all who desire to step lightly on this beautiful planet. Her many years of experience in permaculture and love for Nature shine a bright light into the heart of those seeking ways to draw balance, healing, simplicity, and creativity into their life. She offers practical advice, such as ways to recycle compost, and store food to name a few, as well as thoughtful considerations on how our lifestyle choices impact the world around us. Her inspirational, sacred ritual ideas invite the reader to synch with Earth’s natural rhythms, whether we’re living in a busy city, the suburbs, or homesteading in the country. “Care as a Spiritual and Lifestyle ethic” is the theme, heart and soul of every chapter in this book.”

About the author, Dana O’Driscoll, in her own words:
“I enjoy learning and consider myself a lifelong student of nature spirituality and druidry. I’ve been practicing druidry for almost 15 years–Revival Druidry is my home and path. I am a Druid/Bardic Adept and the Grand Archdruid in the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA) and a Druid-grade graduate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD).  In 2018, I was made the OBOD’s Mount Haemus Scholar for my research on cultivating the bardic arts. For a story of how I came to druidry, please see my post “The Mystery of the Stumps and the Spiral Path: How I came to Druidry.”  For more about my role(s) in AODA, see here.”

For more info please see her blog:
https://druidgarden.wordpress.com/

Dreamy Pink Fruit Smoothie 🌸

What better way to celebrate a sunshiny day than a fruit smoothie! Especially if, like me, you bought a giant watermelon that wasn’t quite ripe! 🤪

Not wanting to waste the watermelon (tho I fed a fair amount to the horses- they were happy), I decided to throw a bunch of fruits on hand into the blender with it. Turns out if you add little strawberry, banana, and a touch of maple syrup (optional) you get a mighty pretty, tasty little summer drink! 🍉🍌🍓💚

YOU’RE FINE, YOU’RE JUST LOW ON MOJO!

What causes a loss of libido, poor concentration, lack of creativity, excessive & exhaustive thinking, negative monkey chatter, low self-esteem, and at its worst no hope or joy? Well, living on Earth these days may be part of it! But let’s not blame the innocent planet. No, no. It’s just the accumulated stress of this particular human paradigm.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, and really any traditional indigenous medicine, it is understood that day & night, hot & cold, action & rest and so forth are constantly seeking homeostasis (aka balance). When you fall out of balance which, let’s face it is super easy to do these days, the yin (cooling/introvert) and yang (warming/extrovert) elements of one’s life, mind, emotions, and body fall out of kilter.

Today we’ll briefly cover yang qi (“yong chee”), which has a warming, active, outgoing, passionate, excited, motivated, fiery nature.

“yang qi” represented here as fire phoenix

Lots of folks are running on steam these days, eating on-the-go, consuming lifeless “food”, gaining weight, feeling completely unmotivated, not sleeping enough or very well, and overall feeling pretty meh. Be kind to yourself. There’s no blame, it’s fixable, but to reverse out of it requires commitment. Ok, maybe commitment sounds too daunting. Let’s say, it requires a little “fake it till ya make it” excitement about loving and paying attention to yourself more than any stress factors or old habits that scream for your attention. Be forewarned: The more you back out of the old, tired, angry, addictive, fear-mongering paradigm, the more its tentacles will try to pull you back in. Find your inner strength and hold on!

What causes the loss of yang qi? A sample list:

-over-exposure to cold temps, either in outdoor weather or an indoor job in the refrigerated section

-eating cold foods and drinks in excess

-wearing summer clothing on cold and/or brisk, windy days

-excess weights at the gym, excess aerobic exercise

-staying too busy at work or in the brain for what your body can handle

-lack of restful sleep and quiet time to recupe

-being in a state of chronic fear and worry and constantly bullied. Yes, even the media can be considered a hardcore bully these days for its severe lack of positive news and inspirational articles.

And how does one go about healing the deficient yang qi? Some easy steps:

-eat live foods, as in fruits & veggies, preferably steamed or sautéed

-wear layered clothing in weather that flip flops from super hot to windy cold

-drink chai or other teas that include ginger to warm up the digestion system (the core of your health and immunity).

-nap like a cat, as often and frequently as needed

-avoid bullies, and that includes social and mass media, because seriously.

-rest in the warm (not hot) sunlight. Earbuds in for soft music, lying on a cozy blanket under a tree with dappled sunlight and shade… ahhhh … perfect! Then you get your “earthing” in too!

-ease off the excess everything. Be the Goldilocks. Find the happy middle-ground of all you do in life.

-listen to uplifting music, comedy shows, people, bird songs

-gaze at the moon and stars at night, breathe in the morning and evening sunlight

-get some bodywork (massage, energy healing, reflexology)

-and this one you can’t do enough: GET OUT IN NATURE EVERYDAY!

Good luck! 🙂

phoenix image: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/216243219583603906/

nature image: wallpapersworldbd.blogspot.com

Elder Hero Focus: William Shatner

As a young child I was a sincere “Trekkie” before I ever heard the term. Each evening I faithfully watched the latest episode of (the original tv series) Star Trek. I just knew flying cars and spaceships would be in our future (you can imagine my profound disappointment at our current state). Spock, with his unwavering sense of calm togetherness, unquestionable logic, and nice smile was a legit role model. Capt. Kirk, on the other hand, always perturbed me a bit with his excessively emotional outbursts and womanizing behavior. Although sometimes he was right in arguments with Spock, and he could even be funny!

Only after many decades of watching William “Bill” Shatner (the original Capt Kirk) in other tv shows, movies, commercials and, most recently, his interview on the youtube radio show, “q on cbc” did I really come to respect this diverse, genuine, down-to-earth, and amazingly creative individual. He’s managed to have one of the most prolific acting, writing, directing, producing, and Star Trek convention attending careers out of all the original cast members.

In his YT interview (see link at end of blog) he was asked what it was like to act the part of an elderly man losing his memory while still having to deal with the world in his latest, dry-comedy, rom-com movie, “Senior Moment”. He replied that only a good sense of humor helps one face the fear of death, the fear of losing one’s memory, and the loneliness.

“Loneliness,” said Bill, “is endemic to being human.”

I was moved by his frank honesty, and surprised to hear that a famous, active, public figure who on the surface never seems to lack for company or projects to be involved in, felt chronically lonely.

On being asked how he felt about his upcoming 90th birthday – yes, 90!! (no waaaaay!) he replied he hated the idea, and how getting older was terrifying. Health history insight: Five years ago Bill was diagnosed with prostate cancer…. mistakenly! He was walking around in a completely depressed state, having to come to terms with the “death sentence” until he went in for another test and the diagnosis was reversed!

To resolve the shock to his system he really invested on focusing his attention to “the beauty of life”. He lives everyday to the fullest, especially now. He keeps himself very occupied mentally and physically, even during lockdown. His favorite past-times are racing cars, performing “Reining” events with his horse, playing with and training his dogs (who are also his best friends), releasing an upcoming music album titled, “Love, Death & Horses”, creating a podcast, and going on car rides with his two Dobermans – he said they travel in the car with him “everywhere!”. He loves eggs, mountains, horses, dogs, tea, the taste of orange, and the “sensory and philosophical beauty of life and its interconnectedness”.

I wanted to share his story as inspiration, and as part of an ongoing series I will blog on now and again with focus on our elders. Our culture is woefully lacking any real respect for the living history books who are our senior citizens. This fact became horrifically evident as stories surfaced from 2020 about elderly folks being literally locked away in the retirement centers, apart from their families, pets, Nature, everything that makes life worth living – all in an effort to “protect them”. The ongoing fear and isolation was a death sentence in itself for many, I’m certain.

In my line of work I’ve also heard heart-wrenching stories from nurses who tell me about prior work experiences they’ve had in retirement facilities involving a nightmare of paperwork bureaucracy, lack of staffing, and everyday witnessing the deep loneliness and isolation of elders whose families completely ignored them. It is nothing short of a crime what’s happening to our country. We must find a way to reinstate the value and respect of the generations who came before us. Listen to and share their stories. Spend time, whenever and however, with the ones who made our lives possible.

They have tales of adventure and nuggets of wisdom to share!

William Shatner featured on “Q on CBC” interview:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3imVbP_stB4

Movie: Senior Moment
https://deadline.com/2021/01/senior-moment-release-date-william-shatner-jean-smart-christopher-lloyd-screen-media-1234680022/#!

Horse Reining
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVNrtp-zsOg

Making A Medicine Bag

Healing Medicine Bag near ailing Sequoia Tree

A “medicine bag” can be what you carry with you in case of an emergency, your own or another. In the world of energy medicine it can also be what you create to give an animal, plant, person or place in need of healing.

Today’s medicine bag was a donation made to assist a tree with its healing process, and to create peace in the environment which it found itself. Unfortunately, the home builders didn’t take into account the space needed between homes a century ago, or didn’t consider the immense size a Sequoia tree would become at the time of its planting. Either way, the tree recently took the brunt of the dispute when someone (as yet unidentified) drilled into its base and poisoned it. Neighbors were infuriated and broken-hearted to learn what happened to their grand tree.

With thoughtful consideration using suggestions from fellow “tree people” and my own creative design I came up with a tailor-made medicine bag for the ailing Sequoia. The idea being to include ingredients that have specific healing qualities related to extracting poison (or other toxins) from a system, while other components are added to strengthen the body during detox and protect it from untoward thoughts, energies and spirits. The tree as well as its human neighbors could use the support!

Medicine Bag ingredients

Here are the components today’s medicine bag and their healing properties:

juniper tree trimmings – The magical properties of juniper include cleansing, protection and removal of evil spirits.

cornmeal – used as a blessing, offering, power of transformation, and bridge from one state to another.

almonds – nourishment, and watchful keeper of the medicine bag recipient

jasper crystal – “supreme nourisher”; provides grounding, comfort and security

burdock root – cleansing and protective; purifies the blood (or in this case, the chlorophyll and sap)

ginger slices – awakening, stimulating, helps one step into a fully empowered version of self.

garlic – protects and repels evil.

dandelion – sunny strength and determination to persevere through hardship, powerful detoxifier.

stinging nettle – transformer of fear and unworthiness to acceptance and strength; helps one to ‘stand tall’ in the face of pain.

cinnamon stick – protection, connection to spirit world, antioxidant.

Oak Bach Flower Remedy – to provide strength, endurance, stability, courage, and power.

Once the ingredients were lovingly tied into a bundle I placed the bag amongst the vinca of my local fairy mound to infuse it with healing blessings from the Nature spirits.

Infusing Nature’s magic into the bag.

Of course, the Highest Good of the medicine bag recipient is always priority. If, for reasons unknown to me, this tree has chosen to exit this physical realm (yes, trees have their own kind of consciousness) then my hope is this bag of healing remedies and prayers eases the tree’s journey and brings peace to its human neighbors.

You, too, can make medicine bags for yourself, pets, plants, friends, or even places where the land is suffering. Small medicine bags, peacefully charged crystals, painted rocks, or other healing totems can be placed at or near road intersections (hidden so they’re not distracting) where tragic accidents have occurred to help heal the site and prevent further injuries. You could also place them where pollution is damaging Nature to help invite healing energies to the site.

🌲💚🌲💚🌲

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Prayer Request for the Grand Sequoia Tree

Grand Trees.©David Leahy Photography

I begin this blog with a beautiful image from local photographer, David Leahy. His keen eye for magical, natural moments is astonishing!

May this lovely photo set the healing tone of what I ask of you, dear reader. Yesterday I learned that a local, grand Sequoia (seh-koi-yah) tree was drilled into and poisoned less than month ago; it is slowly dying. The Audubon Society has commented on this matter saying they’re not sure if the tree will survive. They have posted a $1000 reward for any leads to the perpetrator(s). As you see in the news photo many parts of the Sequoia are now browning.

KATU news story 03/20/21

I have queried with this tree through the use of dowsing to ask if it wishes to receive healing energies, and does it wish to survive? For both questions I got a “Yes”.

💚WHAT CAN WE DO?💚
Send love! If even for a moment, hold this wondrous tree in your heart, acknowledge the beauty and history of this being. Hold a healing light around it in your mind’s eye. If you do nothing else that will suffice.

🙏OFFERINGS🙏
Some years ago I was advised by a lovely Indigenous woman to always bring gifts to the Spirit of Place you are visiting. Organic tobacco and cornmeal are considered respectable offerings. If one doesn’t have those on hand then a prayer, flower, gift of “Thank you” from the heart will do.

🌲✨For those who practice energy healing in person and at a distance✨🌲Send remedial plant medicine. This beautiful tree has suffered from an unknown poisoning, so it needs an antidote! Common herbs used to detox a body include black walnut and…

Detox herbs.

Call out to the spirits of these medicinal plants to come to the aid of the Sequoia tree.

This morning I received swift response from friend, artist, author, wisewoman, and Grand Archdruid of AODA, Dana O’Driscoll. She contributed these lovely ideas:

  • Bring telluric currents from 🌎 and solar currents from the ☀️ into the 🌲.
  • Chant, sing, dance, or drum healing energy into the 🌲.
  • Send LOTS of energy, in person or in spirit.
    Get others to join you in this. 💫💫💫
Sunlit trail. ©David Leahy Photography

Synchronistically, I learned that today, March 21st is officially the International Day of Forests in the U.K. and Scotland!
https://globaldimension.org.uk/events/international-day-of-forests/2021-03-21/?fbclid=IwAR2Sv4C7wFT9NEXWhUZRDKNWJlaU4ZnyX2oV3OM73Gc_AJlwzck3hHdsjFg

KATU news cover story
https://katu.com/news/local/reward-offered-after-giant-sequoia-poisoned-in-ne-portland

Photos credit:
David Leahy Photography
Purchase photos: https://davidleahy.smugmug.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DavidLeahyPhotographyn

Ancient Order of Druids in America
https://aoda.org/

Kitty Ji and I thank you sincerely for your help.

Faithful healing companion, Kitty Ji.