At Year’s End: Finding Presence in the Knowing

That feeling of presence in the knowing an empath experiences reflects alignment with Self. It’s a vibration like no other. A calmness takes over, and clarity begins. We may take up residence in the past and future much of the time, but the present moment is all that truly exists. Anything else is based upon perception or fantasy.

I use the expression, the knowing, intentionally because it feels separate from physical presence. I suspect that feeling may indeed be the very experience that allows us to understand our multidimensional nature. It also adds to a feeling of being inside a body but not actually part of it. Many witches believe in an in between area, just beyond physical awareness, and I’m no different. In fact, at least where I’m concerned, I may hover in and around my body, but it’s in the knowing or in between that I find my true resonance.

On this last day of the 2015, I feel that presence within grow ever stronger as I continue this journey of awakening. I’m reminded of the Eight of Cups, where the individual moves on, ready to pursue a new path. The knowing of an empath requires alignment with Self. The instant that presence is exchanged for perception, knowing slips away, all clarity gone. Because we focus upon what we know, not what we knew or will know.

Empathic awareness is in the now. A empath feels knowing’s presence in the present moment because it resonates differently when perception filters in. Knowing happens easily. Perception, on the other hand, takes time, and if time is present, then it’s the past that governs perception. It’s not a conclusion that we arrive at after careful research. So, if that much can be realized in the now, why wouldn’t we want to stay there? Because empaths are no different than anyone else. We just sense our collective consciousness or resonance. The blessing of the present moment, however, is experienced by everyone.

If I relax into being and stay in my own resonance with Self, I can move about my day in peaceful alignment. The expression, living in the present moment, has almost become cliché in that we hear it all the time. But it’s the way forward for all of us. It’s how we experience the oneness of our collective, multidimensional nature.

I challenged myself this year in ways I had not done before. I’ve begun other writing projects and expanded this blog somewhat. I participated in National Blog Posting Month, writing daily for a month, and now I can’t seem to stop. My herbal work continues as I create more herbal remedies to help maintain my health, with cannabis still a primary part of my treatment. I’m already planning next year’s garden space, with a new living dome greenhouse to enjoy.

We also became beekeepers this year. Two additional hives are going in the apiary, the new bees ordered today. I’ll have three hives to love instead of one, and I couldn’t be happier. The two new hives have foundationless frames, so we’ll be able

to watch the bees make their own comb. Bees reflect true presence. It’s no wonder beekeepers sit next to their hives, existing in the hive’s resonance. I’m never more calm than when I’m with the bees, and I visit them often.

Much of what I undertook this year focused on expressions of presence. I would have accomplished nothing had I remained focused on past drama. Instead, I’m looking forward to the new year beginning. Letting go of the past to experience the peace of the present assures the new year will be filled with endless opportunities for creative expression. And bees..lots and lots of bees.

~Blessings to all!

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I love herbal oils. They’re simple to make. I use the Simpler’s method, by adding about 2/3 herb to a jar and cover up to the top with my oil of choice. If I’m using fresh herb, then I wilt them a little to get some of the water content out of them before pouring oil over them. Water content of fresh plants can dilute the strength of the infused oil. It can do the same with alcohol tinctures so I use Clear Springs when tincturing fresh herbs to offset any water content they might still have. I can always dilute with water or glycerin later to reduce the alcohol to a more manageable level. If I’m using dried herb, I tincture with 100 proof vodka. I should probably put that on the tincture page when I make one.

Neuralgia Oil

I made this oil by researching neuralgia. I sort of have it in my feet because of constant swelling over the course of thirteen years from RA. St. John’s Wort and Vervain as nervines, act on the nervous system to control pain. Mullein flower deals with pain and inflammation. So, I put equal parts in a jar and covered them with grapeseed oil. Grapeseed is delicate and light and it absorbs into the skin well. I put the jar out in my sand bucket that I use in the summer for my infusions.

Some folks say to put it in a dark cupboard, but I like the solar infusion method instead. I try to remember to shake the jar every day. I typically have several infusions going at once so with them all in the same sand bucket, there’s a better than average chance that I’ll remember to shake them.

Anyway, the oil should sit there for a month or so, then strain it. Now, for the salve:

Neuralgia Oil Salve

Salves are ridiculously simple to make. Heat a cup of herbal oil. Add 1/4 cup beeswax. I use beeswax pearls instead of the slabs. I don’t like grating the slabs or even trying to cut the smaller ones. Eventually, my bees will let me have some of their beeswax, but we’re not there yet. Until then, I buy and use the pearls. They melt easily and it’s simple to measure them out.

When the beeswax is melted, do a spoon test. Dip a spoon into the mixture, taking out a small amount on the spoon. Put it in the refrigerator and if in 1–2 minutes it’s the consistency you like, then you’re good to go. Otherwise, either add a little oil, or add more beeswax. While you’re waiting, add a few drops of essential oil if you like.

When you’re happy with the consistency of the spoon test, then pour your oil mixture into containers. I like small round tins, but small jars work too. I get some of my jars in the canning section of the grocery store, and my tins and amber dropper bottles from Specialty Bottle. They have really cool stuff and it’s reasonably priced. And, where I live, it’s only a day away with ground shipping.

St. John’s Wort/Arnica Oil

Another oil for my RA..it’s great for pain and inflammation. St. John’s Wort and Arnica are wonderful infused into grapeseed oil. Almond oil is another oil that can be used. Apricot is another light feeling oil which absorbs into the skin well. I don’t like greasy oils that don’t absorb in. It’s one reason I don’t care for olive oil as well as grapeseed, although medicinally, it’s probably the best oil to use.

I blended equal amounts of St. John’s Wort and Arnica and filled 2/3 of the jar, covering it with grapeseed oil up to the top. Again, I shook it daily (okay, not daily) and set it out in the sand bucket for a month. It’s lovely, and the oil seems to help the pain I have in my elbow, but I haven’t made any salve yet, which I should definitely do.

General Herbal Oil for Salve

So this is what happens when I walk around my property. I begin gathering herbs. I can’t help myself. And then I bring them back and I infuse or tincture them into something. One afternoon, this is what I gathered:

  • calendula flower — good for rashes, promotes cell repair/growth, and heals wounds
  • comfrey leaf — heals tissue
  • mullein leaf/flower — bruising and pain
  • dandelion leaf/root — joint pain
  • plantain — draws toxicity, sooths inflamed tissue

I used almond oil for the menstruum, again fresh wilting the herbs to reduce their water content, then put them in a jar two-thirds full, and then covered the herbs with almond oil up to the top. I put it in the sand bucket with the other oils so that they can all wait together for me to remember to shake them. A month or so later I strained and bottled it. I haven’t made the salve yet.

So that’s enough for now..I’ll post some more later..

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The thing about teas..

Some herbs are infused, some are decocted. Roots are decocted. There are several ways to do this, but I put them in a quart of cold water and then bring to boil on low heat. Yes, it takes a while, but you should watch it anyway so it doesn’t get carried away on its way to boiling. When it starts to boil, drop the temp down so that it simmers for typically 20 minutes or so, but don’t worry if it goes longer. Longer is stronger, so there’s that.

Infusions are for more fragile herbs and some roots with high volatile oil content such as valerian and goldenseal. I pour boiling water over the herbs in a mason jar and then put the lid on tight, letting it steep for 15 minutes or so. Again, if it’s longer that’s fine.

Now, some of my teas are a combination of herbs as with the first tea listed. I decoct first, then remove the mixture from heat to infuse the remainder.

Teas can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days, but mine never last that long.

~Blessings to all!

Menopause Support Tea

Might as well put this one first..I made it into a tincture as well.

  • 2 T black cohosh root emmenagogue, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, alterative, nervine
  • 2 T licorice root expectorant, demulcent, emollient
  • 2 T dong quai root uterine tonic, antispasmodic, alterative
  • 2 T St. John’s Wort aromatic, nervine, astringent, resolvent, sedative, diuretic, vulnerary

Roots are decocted, not infused (except for valerian and goldenseal). So, add the root herbs to a quart of cold water in a covered pan on low. Bring to a boil slowly, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and infuse the St. John’s Wort by adding it to the hot decocted mixture. Re-cover the pan, leaving it off the element, and let infuse for 15 minutes or more. Strain and drink.

This helped my hot flashes somewhat. And it tastes wonderful!

Lemon Balm Tea

  • 2 T lemon balm diaphoretic, calmative, antispasmodic, carminative, emmenaogue, stomachic
  • 1 T chamomile tonic, stomachic. anodyne, antispasmodic, stimulant, bitter, aromatic
  • 1 T spearmint stimulant, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, aromatic, carminative, nervine, anti-emetic
  • stevia sweetener

Infuse into 1 quart of boiling water, steeping for 10 to 20 minutes. Strain and drink

Crone Tonic Tea

  • 1 T oatstraw
  • 1 T horsetail
  • 1 T nettle leaf
  • 1 T red clover
  • 1.5 T motherwort

I made this on my 58th birthday..

Infuse into a quart of boiling water, steeping for 10 to 20 minutes. Strain and drink.

Feminine Divine

  • 1 T spearmint healing
  • 1 T lemon balm healing, Feminine Divine
  • 1 T holy basil Spirit, Fire, purification, Feminine Divine
  • 1 T chamomile purification, healing, Water, Feminine Divine
  • 1/2 T dandelion leaf divination
  • 1/2 T mugwort strength, protection, psychic powers, astral travel, hedgeriding

I love this tea. I make it in bulk, so feel free to adjust the amounts any way you want.

Infuse herbs together into a quart of boiling water, letting steep for 10 to 20 minutes. Strain and drink. If making it ahead, add about a tablespoon of herb to a cup of boiling water. It’s wonderful!

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I wanted to create a page for some herbal teas and salves I’ve created. Then I decided to nest some pages beneath this one. That way, it will be easier to organize everything. I’ll have a pages for teas, oils, salves, tinctures, and some cannabis preparations. I’ll add recipes and formulas from time to time. I tend to free-wheel things a bit when I’m creating a tea or an oil. I keep track of what I use, and then if I like it, I write it down for posterity. I’ll include magickal properties if I know or can find them, as well as medicinal properties of the herbs.

I think the best teas are created by walking around my property, gathering various herbs that I see, and bringing them back to brew a cup to sip and enjoy. I might gather a little spearmint, followed by some chamomile, a little holy basil added in, along with a pinch of lemon balm. I might add a stevia leaf for natural sweetness, gathering everything to take back to my kitchen where my favorite cup awaits. I steep the herbs, and when done, I sit back and enjoy a lovely cup of tea. It’s the interaction with the herbs that brings the magick. It’s gathering with love and respect these wonderful life-affirming herbs and drinking in their essence that heals and nourishes our body and our spirit.

So check back from time to time. I’m going to figure out a way to list the pages on the widget side of the blog. I’ll be adding more recipes and formulas as I create them. If I find something I like from another herbalist, I’ll include that too, with a link back to their blog or website, or wherever I find it.

~Herbal Blessings!

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Originally published at www.imsteppingaside.com on December 31, 2015.