2020 Update: I wrote this essay a few years ago. And during this time of the pandemic, I thought it would support people to explore this concept again and again…wholeness. Peace and Green Blessings to you all, Julie
In the wise woman tradition, we aren’t really parts made into a whole. We are wholeness. Thus, the nervous system is our wholeness, the immune system is our wholeness, the digestive system is our wholeness….
The whole of the universe is in each tiny bit of what we see, what we feel, what we experience.
Right now, there is a perspective of us being in a disruptive time, a difficult time.
It has been a troubling time in our country for a lot of folks. I have witnessed so much despair, anger, grief, hopelessness, illness and confusion.
I have also witnessed people speaking out, pushing forward to stand for the best in the most amazing and heartfelt ways.
People feel they are on the right side, the best side, no matter which side they are on.
A way to work with this strong polarity is a perspective that is subtle, the hologram.
The wholeness of who we are includes the wholeness of everything else. The whole universe is in each experience, whether it reeks of corruption or is the most precious, beautiful thing.
If we can see everything all at once in each experience we encounter, then there is nothing to fight or hate or get rid of. There is only the experience of moving forward.
But what about destroying our planet?, what about sharing our country with immigrants?, what about the way women are treated? oh, there is so much to mend, to fix.
Taking time to see everything, taking time to allow the wholeness of everything to be present, it becomes clear what we must do. If it is not clear yet, then we wait for the wisdom to come to us to act.
There are some things that will nourish us as we become clear about what our calling is. The nervous system is a communicator in its optimal form. Nourishing the wholeness of who we are through nourishing the nervous system will support the wisdom that is needed to come through and will give us the strength and resilience to act from that place of wholeness.
Here are some foods and herbs that support the process:
- Fermented food: yogurt, kefir, saurkraut, kvass, miso and so many others. These are all good for nourishing the gut flora and replenish our beneficial bacteria. Did you know that much of the nervous system is in the gut?
- Eating a dandelion leaf from your garden without washing it will give you some beneficial bacteria for nourishing the gut. (There is a reason you don’t weed everything out of your garden.)
- Making nourishing foods from scratch. Spending time in the kitchen preparing food like homemade soups and breads.
- Cook your greens for a long time. We like kale the best. Serve it with herbal vinegar. ( Some suggestions below.) This is counter to the fad of green smoothies—give up green smoothies!
- Infuse plants in vinegar for at least six weeks. These mineral rich tonics will nourish you deeply. Right now, nettle is a good choice….soon dandelion flower.
- Eat meat—-I know some of you are vegetarians. Animals are here for us to eat too. (Think its cruel? What about eating a carrot? You are giving death to that too.)
- If the whole universe is in each of the foods we eat, what are we eating, what will our choices be?
Herbs that have specifically nourished and tonified the nervous system:
- The herbs below are my plants, they have nourished me. I have a long term relationship with these plants. There are also many others. What are your plants?
- St. Joan’s Wort, Hypericum perforatum, helps focus the nervous system’s energy and is uplifting. It can also be pain relieving. I make the flowers and buds into tincture.
- Dandelion Root, Taraxacum officinale, nourishes our gut flora and connect us with the wise woman within. I make the root into tincture or vinegar. Dandelion flower, a bitter tonic, made into vinegar, oxyme(honey and vinegar), tea or tincture etc. etc. Dandelion flower brings the energy of the sun into your body, uplifting and brightening your spirit. Also, moves energy, emotional energy.
- Stinging Nettle, Urtica dioica, is an herb of transformation and the most nourishing of all plants. Nettle nourishes our chi, the energy coursing through our bodies and thus the energy of the universe. I make herbal infusion and herbal vinegar.
- Oatstraw, Avena sativa, is comforting, uplifting, calming and sweet. I make herbal infusion.
- Motherwort, Leonurus cardiaca, is a tonic herb that calms anxiety and the heart. I make tincture and vinegar.
- Apple, Malus pumila, supports self love. Love yourself and be filled with love so that it will spills over into the world. I make applesauce.
- Wild Rose, Rosa spp., supports healing of all kinds and is anti-viral. That means it will get rid of a cold. I make tincture, vinegar, honey, infused oil for topical use.
- The tall trees, Douglas fir, pine. I make infused vinegar.
Recipes for Creating Herbal Preparations that Support the Nervous System:
- Nettle vinegar: Cut up nettle leaves and stalks small and put them in a jar. Fill to about 2/3 full lightly packed. Fill to the top with apple cider vinegar. Let this sit for six weeks. Strain and what a wonderful tonic you have.
- Other plants to infuse in vinegar right now: Douglas fir or pine needles (the tall trees connect us with the earth and our ancestors and the sky and our infinite future). And….dandelion flowers coming soon. What else can you infuse in vinegar?
- Stinging Nettle Herbal Infusion: Hang the nettle to dry. (See my other blog post about harvesting and drying nettle.) Fill a quart jar lightly packed with nettle. Pour boiling water over it. Let this sit over night. Strain and drink. If you get dry organic nettle, you will either want to measure and ounce of it for a quart jar or if you don’t have a scale, a good handle full of cut and sift nettle is about an ounce. The important thing here is to use a lot of nettle and let it sit for a long time. Nettle is ecstasy. If you aren’t fond of the taste, add a little salt.
- Oatstraw Herbal Infusion: One ounce of dried oatstraw, simmer in a quart of water for up to an hour. Strain and drink. So good and sweet. Good as a base for soups. Remember to strain it. You don’t want to eat grass, its sharp. ￼
- St. Joan’s Wort: Make a tincture of this. Harvest time is summer solstice.
- Motherwort: Make a tincture or vinegar with this. Harvest time is late July through August.
- Apples: Anytime is the right time to make applesauce. I do it the way my grandmother did. I core the apples and cut them up in big chunks, peels and all. Sometime we add a bit of grated, organic, fresh ginger root.
- Wild Roses: I harvest the leaf and flower in mid-May through mid-June and make tincture. This I do by filling a jar with the flowers and leaves cut up. Then I pour 100 proof vodka over it to the top. Six weeks is how long it sits. This is calming. And it will get rid of a cold miraculously. The qualities of healing in it are mysterious and beautiful. I also make vinegar with the leaf and flower, and then the hips in the fall. And I make wild rose blossom infused honey. Exquisite. (More about wild rose in the beginning of summer. )
To begin a practice of harvesting and crafting with plants, take time and choose just one plant with which to start. Nettle or dandelion are good ones to start with, they are nourishing. Use just one plant at a time so that you begin to create a relationship with that plant.
Nature and the plants are my teachers. I seek wisdom right outside my door to move through challenging times. You can too. Go to any plant. Wisdom is very near and waiting.
Wholeness is everything.
The Holographic Universe ~ Shamanic Listening Exercise
- Go out on the earth, anywhere will do: Choose a seed that you will plant, or that you find on a seed stalk near where you live. Walk with this seed on the land, looking at the seed and speaking to yourself, “The whole universe is in this seed.”
- Walk for awhile doing this, paying attention also to how you would like to move when you are doing this.
- Then switching your focus to your surroundings. Noticing thing by thing. As you notice say to yourself, “The whole universe is in this _________. The whole universe is in this_______________”
- Again, walk and follow your intuition about how to move.
- When this is complete, give thanks for what you witnessed and the wisdom received.
I offer a doorway here, through to nourishment and well-being.
May it be in Beauty.