Let the Beauty We Love Be What We Do! :)

“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”

~Rumi

Thank you, Dear Rumi, it is right under our noses all along! We hold our hands together and pray, dance and sing. Whatever you do, love it. If you don’t, leave it. Life is too short, too precious, too much an incredible gift, to do ANYTHING else! And when we love our lives such as this, we HAVE something to share! It’s been nurtured, and tended, grown and blended, into this beauty, called our life. Whatever you do, make it beautiful, and stunning, and put your whole heart into it!

(c) 2013 Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

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2013 Workshop, Classes, Intensives and Plant Walk Announcement!!!

2013 is, I believe, going to be a very centered year. Moving past the collective apprehension on changes to come in 2012, 2013 bodes as a perfect year for recognition that our lives, including those of our ancestors, our Earth, our Solar System, the Greater Cosmos and our Health, are connected together through cycles of various intensities. As we look at our lives, from birth to death, and everything in-between and both the between s, we can learn to ride the wave and work with them to enhance our health, our lives, our community and our shared Earth. Dates for classes below will be released soon. As always, private classes may be arranged, please send an email if you would like to inquire on how to set one up!

WORKSHOP/CLASS LIST:

Foraging Intensives, Plant Walks, Medicinal Talks and Ethical Foraging Guideline classes and groups will be announced throughout the season!

Plant Love, Planting Love: This class will pop up between other workshops during the season, as a get together discussion group about our love and devotion of plants, and ways to be careful and committed guardians of the plant world, of the gifts of creation. This class is especially for people who would like to participate in seeing plants through the “Eye of the Heart” and who do not view plants, medicines and healing on a purely “commodity” level, but rather, as fellow, living beings. We come together in poetry, love, and not resource extraction. We come together in devotion of the Divine World!!!

“What’s in the Pantry, the Medicine of Olde” Workshop: “What’s in the Pantry…the Medicine of Olde” is still the primary medicine for the majority of people around the globe. Learn the art and craft of beginning medicine making, and health prevention and nutrition the “Wild Way”, the “Easy Way”, and the truly “Sustainable Way”. Learn about some of the core plants to identify and have on hand to treat a variety of complaints. Learn about your Self, your Body, as a step to make informed decisions, so you know when to seek help and when not to. Come, reclaim the knowledge and deepen your intimacy with the world through your own medicine and nutritional making! We will make herbal infusions, poultices, syrups, salves and so much more!

Pantry Pickles Cold and Flu Immunity Workshop:  In this workshop, we will learn how to make some of the remedies for winter viral season, basics about human immunity and learning about the interaction between different herbs, physiology and viral typing. 

Put up some edible brews for wintertime sniffles, joyous whiffs and holiday gifts!

This Autumn herb class will cover fun, edible, sometimes delicious and sometimes strange concoctions that nourish the body and spirit. Together, we will prepare nourishing infusions, syrups, vinegars, medicinal honey’s and other fantastic, nurturing fun! This class is a ‘happening’ and hands on work-shop, so come prepared to roll up your sleeves and play! This class is also potluck, so please bring a dish to share, as well as your own mug, fork, spoon and napkin.

Olde Fashion Pickling Bash!: Immerse yourself in this hands-on workshop with Pickles! You will leave this workshop with a variety of methods and some of your own, home-made pickles! Together, we will play and explore in the world of pickling, taste lots of fun stuff and experiment! I will share some of the secrets of Hungarian and Ukrainian Pickles, and we will learn about this living art-form and the beneficial effect pickles, especially live pickles have on our bodies! This class is potluck, so please bring a dish to share, your own mug, fork, spoon and napkin!

Kimchi Makin’ Workshop: We will gather together and learn how to make traditional Kimchi. Kimchi is a naturally fermented food, and is the national food of Korea. I fell in love with Korea living there as a child, and I would like to share a Taste of Korea while we prepare traditional, healthy food! We will learn about the medicinal aspects of traditionally fermented food in a group discussion.
Women’s Health Workshop: This workshop focuses on the beautiful body of women, how to gracefully move through the transitions of adolescence to elder-hood  and our special needs, as women. This class is a pre-requisite  in a series that will be built together, addressing specific health issues of women, including the major transitions of menarch, prenancy, motherhood, and menopause.
The Arts of Poulticing Workshop: This is a GREAT class to attend, as it is in depth and congruent with the basic Herbs workshop, Tonic workshops and our new series of Women’s Health workshops that have been in the works for a year now! Remember, our shindigs are potluck, as brain cells work best with good company and good food, and heck, most people wouldn’t have it any other way!>>>>>> What is poulticing? Through a variety of techniques, one can heal burns, reduce abscesses, move the lymph system, kill infections, raise or lower fevers, and nurse sore organs and muscles, to name a few. These are old-fashioned techniques for at home self care that can be used on a day to day basis, in emergencies, simple sickness, at home or hospital births, or as companions to other forms of medicine. I had my son Ben in a hospital, and with the help of my Husband, used poultices to prevent complications in a complicated pregnancy. There are many types of poulticing and many ways to apply them, and they are an invaluable aid as well as a lost art that is being revived. ~Summer<<<
Poulticing, Tonics and the way of Community Healing Workshop:  

Come and prepare yourself, before the wintertime blues whisk you away! Come for an evening of hands on poultice and tonic makings to help smooth those winter blahs as well as enjoy companionship and stories of folk methods about community healing. This class is a ‘happening’ and hands on work-shop, so come prepared to roll up your sleeves and play! This class is also potluck, so please bring a dish to share, as well as your own mug, fork, spoon and napkin.
Be prepared to smell interesting smells, taste interesting tastes, and get your hands dirty with folklore!
Beginners Herbal First Aid Workshop and Emergency Herbal First Aid Workshops: This workshop was a hit last year, and I’ve been asked enough, so will teach this again! We cover the basics of emergency trauma, infections, and happenings. Great life skills to have when you are out trekking in the woods, or anywhere where getting to a hospital is impossible or delayed. We will have a second workshop, later in the year, to cover even more emergency applications, including splinting techniques!
Herbal Burn Care Workshop: This workshop is another in an ongoing series of Herbal First Aid Workshops offered by local Herbalist Summer Michaelson of Serendipity Plant Lore that address various aspects of emergency and home healing. Participants will leave this Burn Care Workshop with an understanding of burns and their types, how the body heals with plants and ways to form a relationship with healing.  This hands on workshop is suitable for both those who wish to learn how to treat burns when medical attention is not available or out of reach, and suitable for those who wish to understand how to take care of oneself or a loved one at home, or desire understanding of how people took care of themselves before the invention of modern medical care systems, how to augment current medical care, broadening knowledge of the human being, and thus, being one’s own best advocate by having choice.
Preserving the Autumn Harvests: Olde Fashion and some New Fashion Techniques for preserving your foods, harvests and forages naturally, with low level intensity. Learn some easy techniques for pickling, root cellars, wet and dry salting, drying, and more! This has always been a fun class experience, with fantastic group discussions!
Down Home Medicinal Bee Love Worshop!: “Bee” the Love you want to create in the world! Come join this workshop that celebrates the healing power of the charming honey bee.  We will craft and create fragrant and medicinal love poems that aid our bodies and souls amongst conversation of how we can return the favor and protect the nations of bees.This class will have interesting smells and things to taste. We will also have a potluck, please bring a dish to share, your own plate, fork, spoon and mug and stories!
Healing the Causes of Autism with Herbs and Foods: This class will be an in-depth exploration of autism, its seeming existence and non-existent aspects, and techniques of “healing” autism, that can be brought home and put into practice immediately. We will learn about and discuss special diets, allergies, environmental factors, social factors and also will help put people in touch with each other who have taken the “healing” into their own hands. In the end, there is no such thing as “Autism”, it is a dance of factors that swirl together in each individual. Children can break out of the box or autism, and do everyday. We are here to learn about increasing health and strength in our children, in a nourishing way that can remove many of the stumbling blocks in front of us. Autism is as much a spiritual crisis as anything, not just a crisis happening within families, but a symptom  of our community and lack of care for our environment, our food, farmers, soil, water and air. Please join this workshop if you would like to learn the techniques to “break open” the spell of Autism!
SCD, GAPS and WAP Basics Class!: We will gather together and learn about these unique diets, and how we can tailor them to address specific and individual needs for healing Allergies, Autism, Chrohn’s Disease, IBD, Ulcerative Colitis, Celiac Disease, various Auto-Immunity Diagnosis, Candida Imbalance and more!
(c) 2013 Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

Reminder: Azure Delivery Day Tomorrow!!!

Hi Everyone!

Our Azure Delivery Day is tomorrow! Pickups are from 2-6 PM. Helen S. has extra Bay Leaves from her tree, if anyone would like some, please let me know and I will pass the message onto Helen! A beautiful blessing, thank you Helen!
Salt totals are as follows! Salt, with a bag donation, is $1.60 a lb. I’ve done my best filling everyone’s orders, but thinkin’ about opening up another bag this next month if their is want!!
May everyone have a happy evening!
Summer L. Farkas Takacs-Michaelson, CH
https://serendipityherbals.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/diaphoretic-herbs-for-difficult-colds-and-flus/

Diaphoretic Herbs for Difficult Colds and Flu’s!

Lately, there has been a nasty little flu bug sweeping through our city, and apparently, the nation. There is also a lot of fear, tremendous fear over it. Unfortunately, tremendous fear also lowers the immune system response, which makes it an even larger whammy for some people. What to do, and how to treat it?

Well, first of all. I am not giving medical advice, I am giving herbalist advice, and it doesn’t stand in place of a proper consultation if you have a difficult personal situation with many factors to gather in to look at. In a general way, tho’ we will investigate some of what we can do, and maybe shouldn’t do!

1) Do not get the flu shot. While not everyone is immune (we haven’t had a flu bug in years), if you get the flu, you will develop immunity. Most people who get the flu shot get that strain of flu, and are weakened enough to also get other flu’s during the season. Our family got this latest one, but we do not usually get flu’s at all, and I am thankful that we didn’t get vaccines, nor received the lowered immune resistance that flu vaccines are notorious for giving. As visits to any local pharmacy will show, the number one question of pharmacists from people with flu is why did they get the flu now, after haven gotten the flu shot this year. As we know, viruses are not static and are constantly mutating, but we also know, there is no proof that the flu vaccines work, AT ALL. Filled with all kinds of good for you ingredients like thimersol, tin, aluminum, formaldehyde, artificial colors and preservatives, antibiotics, stray and foreign bio-film materials inherent in the imperfect process of formulation, RNA from other biological material, is it any wonder it kicks the immune system and the elimination organs hard? Keep yourself as healthy as you can, for your situation instead! Focus on nutrition and love during the year, not what you can buy to cheat and protect yourself from life…that attitude generally doesn’t work!

2) It’s winter, get enough rest. Rest when you feel you need it, and with the cycles of the weather. Not enough rest, and a high stressful lifestyle, is a perfect brew for winter sickness.

3) Get enough vitamin D…whether this is from playing and gardening in the sun in summer, taking a cod liver oil supplemental form, along with eating lots of mushrooms and some fish, and organ meats in winter, pastured raw milk and pastured eggs, find your forms and stay nourished!

4) Nourishing herbal infusions. Stay nourished with powerhouses of nutrition with Nettle,Dandelion Leaf and Oat Straw! Bone broths made from pastured animals with seaweed…yum!

5) Stay happy and read poems, listen to music, and make beautiful devotions around you!

6) If you do get sick, remember, this can be a GOOD thing. You are more likely to suffer from other diseases if your immune system doesn’t have something good to fight every once and awhile. Fighting a virus can also help clear other subtle infections or parasites one has been nursing unknowingly during the year. It is a positive time where the system flushes itself, a fever comes on, and you hopefully, get a bit of time off during this internal work. So, what to do?

Diaphoretic herbs may be called into use. Fevers are good, really good, they burn away the dross…BUT you want to open up those pores so the heat can dissipate. Otherwise, you run the danger of getting too hot, and then having to treat the too hot by itself, which lowers your immune system resistance and lets the virus and other friends (sub-clinical bacterial and fungal infections like to proliferate when the body is busy with a virus) all get out of hand. You frequently see people who treat symptoms instead of aligning their body with the fight, and it gets out of hand and lasts a very long time. Diaphoretic herbs help to open and dispel fevers by opening up the eccrine glands to cool the body (sweating).

When choosing an herb, you want to look for other properties (feelings and sensations) you are looking for help with. Some might be a little bit on the hot inducing side, revving up the engines and not appropriate for someone who needs sleep, or is very fussy. Others, will bring out a sweat in a cooler way, especially appropriate when someone is dealing with high heat and high dryness. Garlic, Elecampane, Catnip, Ginger, Elderflower/berry, Peppermint, Yarrow and Turmeric are some of my favorites. Usually, one is all is needed, best in infusion, tincture, bath or poultice. Capsules, generally, are not that effective, please stay away from them, they’re generally a waste of money!

Most of what I’ve spoken about here is not a “treatment” for flu, because there is no treatment. Your body holds the keys, and from a holistic perspective, we do not treat symptoms. Symptoms are simply expressions, and it is better to get to the root causes of healing than covering up. Some may disagree with this view, but those who cover up their illness simply breed them deeper in their bodies, and may be a cause for why flu’s in the US seem to be getting stronger and worse…they are not properly defeated by healthy and active immune systems. Instead, many go into public in active contagious states, in a place of fever suppression. The allopathic and corporate medicine model promote active, walking viral carriers. The old wisdom says to stay in bed and heal. 🙂

(c) 2013 Summer Michaelson

I THANK THEE Food Corporations!!!

Ease of Access of sort of cheap, Shitty Food, to the Large Food Corporations:

I am grateful that the above named corporations are ruining what’s left of the world’s fresh water supply, and claiming ownership of what’s left taking it away from ag communities all over the globe, I am thankful for their discounts by employing children in other countries with no benefits, next to no wages, no breaks, I am grateful for their using GMO’s and by paying global farmers so little they lose their land from US to India, I am grateful for their processing of food and their hidden unnatural MSG additives that use 50 different names, I am grateful they have tanked our local economies, and we no longer look to local folks for producing our food, household products and our medicines, I am grateful for the almost total decline of wild forests (our oxygen for goodness sake), the discounts, ease of access and convenience has meant everything for me, and I can gratefully overlook their billion dollar bottom lines at the expense of all life and say, when there is no more decent air, soil, land, food or quality of lifestyle, I gots me sum products!!! There was a time, not so long ago, (looking back at the family record in this area) where the majority of people in a community each had a talent, a job to do, something produced, or a local something that was made with art. We all look away from home now, and the few people who do produce something locally, whether an item or a service, are in a small pool of folks (resurgence is happening, tho’ not because of any grand corporation). We have giants that take care of things now….the same philosophy that grows big governments and mono-culture fields, is growing a mono-culture society. What I find strange is not corporations, in themselves, but how people flock all over to give their hearts, minds, bodies and spirits, livelihoods to them. Willing to work for a system that devalues everything about localities, homes, and livelihoods.

(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

~Persian Love~

I caught the happy virus last night

When I was out singing beneath the stars.

It is remarkably contagious~

So kiss me.

~Hafiz~

c. 1320-1389

Sufi Poet from Persia

Nourishing Neural Nets and Either/Or Thinking!

As recent scientific studies are now showing, we continue to grow neurons and neuronal networks in our nervous system throughout our entire lives. I knew this 13 years ago, when after a stroke and secondary brain hemorrhagic condition, my brain rewired itself. I’ve seen this with autism and many learning disabilities, engaging the healing function of the neural structure, and voila, rewiring! It is sometimes difficult getting people to see to the other side, if they are lost in their grief over the situation. The longer one stays depressed while care-taking another because of only seeing what is “wrong”, the more time is lost for healing and re-patterning.

Read it, I am not saying curing or taking away a condition or a natural disposition, but working with it! Let go of your own unhealed dreams, and then a new reality can be seen. Basically, we’re talking about healing our own judgement of the situation, then we can work with the task at hand. Abandoning Either/Or Thinking, enlarges a wider field of possibility. Are we dampening down our own neural nets and their healing function by relating to a condition as a fixed event? Either/Or Thinking really compromises how new neurons and new impulses are filtered into the existing pattern each day. For instance, by allowing wholeness, being whole in this moment, we allow that nothing is really wrong. If nothing is really wrong, we free up the contracting pattern in our neural structure, and allow in a vision of other possibilities. If you’re sick, you allow that you’re sick, and then work from a place of possibility. This place of possibility is not necessarily built on the bedrock of denial, but acceptance that right now, in the situation you are in, you are whole and heavenly and that every experience has been sent to you as a Teacher. Then we ask, what is the teaching? We wait for un-folding  by engaging this process, and this energy, and see where it leads with pregnant possibility. So we heal. So our neural nets grow larger and more connected, and we offer gratitude. Judgement is really a killer, a slayer. It slays our own-self, our own pregnant possibility!

(c) 2013 Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

Bringing on the Bliss! The Power of Kirtan!

Kirtan is Power? Yes!!! It is pure joy, which is healing many levels at once, through the nourishment of vibration.

It’s been, sadly, about two years since I sat in on a Kirtan session in New York. I remember crying, and crying. The tears started flowing and did not stop. So that no one would ask if I was alright or such questions, I buried my face in my arms, like I was grooving to the music, but hiding my tears. It wan’t until later I realized how many people were having emotional reactions of bliss, and they weren’t hiding it, but flaunting it, sharing it in their joy!!!

I saw a young couple there with a newborn baby in their arms, in so much love, and I cried and cried. I cried for them tears of joy, I cried for myself remembering that powerful feeling when Erik and I held our own babes in our arms like that, each of us cradling the other. I cried at the beauty of that moment.

It was pure JOY, a joy that is so beautiful, so high and includes the Earth in every facet. Just joy. No separation of this into that, a Joy that is limitless, just known in every cell of your body. It takes you, no need to think about it! Dissecting joy is not needed!

One of our favorites in the devotional music category…Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. He is a must have in any collection of music devoted to God’s Joy!!! Being moved, into and through God’s Joy, a beautiful recognition of the blessings constantly woven into our life, the blessing of Life! The feel of a body singing, rejoicing, loving and sharing!!! To have a body to feel this, that’s THE GIFT!!!

(c) 2013 Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

An Herbalist’s Perspective…Living Earth, Our Home

Reflections of an Herbalist:

Once upon a time, people left their home in search of a living force, a living Earth. They left the Earth, thinking they would find this living somewhere else. They paid a lot of money for it. They wondered where it went. They found they had hurt the Earth as they had left it, to fight it, to sacrifice it in order to find that living thing. This is greatly reflected in the environmental degradation and destruction that humanity has wrought on Earth, as we left the simpler, life honoring ways of living and relating.

Nourishing love. Working on recognizing wholeness in each moment. There is no war, only growth.  Self-love includes loving the Earth, and loving her passionately. She carries us through our life, as not only a companion to our Spirit, but as a physical nourishment. Without nourishment, there is only deprivation, which is a wholeness within itself, only smaller, a much smaller slice that is unable to fully nourish others.

We face a choice in these times…soaring INTO life or denying life, the living force. From what I can see, humanity has mastered denying life, and to a tangible consequence. The water of life contains everything, it is creation, a holistic dimension that supports all life, and is to be honored. To honor her, is to honor yourself. When you can truly honor yourself, you can truly honor others. Life distills into a simple essence of “do unto others, as you would have them do unto you”. This includes ourselves. If we harm ourselves, we are harming others. If we diminish ourselves, we are diminishing others. If we love ourselves, we are loving others, all goes both ways.

Healing happens through relationship. Relationship to everything, plants, medicines, vital energy, yourself, myself. One of the most intense and healing connections we can have in our community is to ourselves, our very Spirit. Often, illness happens or is worsened when this connection is lost, buried, or damaged. However, it can never truly be lost, it is just where it is until it can be opened.

As a wild food and medicinal plant forager, I know I am responsible for everything I harvest, that it may be harvested with the correct intention and spirit of use. As a harvester, I then become responsible for all the plant, fungi and animal populations I receive from. I become responsible to them in respect of them, including their progeny and surroundings. From the becoming, I AM part of the ecosystem I partake from. This work is one of respect. Seeing the need of the soil, seeing the need of the plants, seeing the changes land takes on, where we, as healers, work where we are called to, always. This is the work of gratefulness, this is the work of care, of noticing, and of loving. As Shamanic Herbalists, we then are mediators between many levels of healing, some seen, and some unseen. Some levels are of the Minerals, some are of the Forest, some are of the Desert, some are the cycles within Humanity. It is a work of ongoing understanding, and undoing covetousness. How can one possess the *knowledge* that pertains to the unique understanding of a particular being and it’s relationship to all levels of being…cannot be done or owned! Therefore, this work is never done, and every new meeting with a new plant or a new being unfolds into something else. This is where real healing comes from, not surface scratches. At anytime, any of us, may open to the healing magic within us, within all of life. When we do, with respect and admiration, we heal. We love. Our own dissections realign and weave themselves together into new healing, bringing new perspectives of truth. When a healer enters your home, it is with respect, a respect for a teaching (both ways) and a work that is to be done, to initiate healing.

Living Earth, it is alive, and we are Home. Let’s remember this together. Let us remember to thank for the gift of life. What a precious gift, how momentary and fleeting, yet always here!

(c) 2013-2014, Summer L. Farkas Takacs-Michaelson, CH

Note from Elizabeth to All the Helpers and Prayers!!!

Dearest Friends!
I just wanted to send out a brief note of a huge heartfelt Thank You!  

Your kindness and support of me and my family has been overwhelming. From meals to money, produce to Christmas gifts, not to mention all the powerful prayers you have given freely and beautifully. Some of you I have never even met. I am humbled to be loved so much by this generous community. 

Thank you so very much, 
Elizabeth

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