More Musings on Walking the Path of Ethical Herbalism

Walking among wild things, we come to find we have aspects of all the wild beings, and we bring this all in service to the help of healing ourselves and others. While the ancient healing system seems to be out of the conscious sphere of so many caught in the cycle of living in modern society, traditional healing itself, never went anywhere. Nor is it in conflict with any other healing system or service, as in Traditional Healing, all modes of healing are considered sacred medicines…including, but not limited to animals, plants, tools, techniques, science, with a large focus on spiritual healing intertwined in all medicines that are brought forth, and carried, in the Heart.

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At times, underground, but still here. Our Western Herbalism, often a mix of European and Native American, and in which I am very blessed in the continuance of from both my Magyar and Cherokee Family, has always been an intact tradition of healing and connection with a variety of beings, plant, animal and human. With the newly found popularity again of this ancient tradition (I am so happy for the new-found love of herbal healing from so much of the public), it is also important to remind enthusiasts that this is a very in-depth tradition with a very real science of matching relationships between Beings. That is, what we do as Herbalists…we are catalysts in the relationships which we spend a lifetime to understand. This is a lifetime work. This is not fast food.

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In our instant internet age, a lifetime can seem to some, ten minutes. For those who come from families with no healing traditions, they *believe* they are reinventing the wheel and Western Healing Tradition is brand new, created by themselves. For those of us who are, at most, two generations ago from the Healer Peoples who healed with hands and all the blessings and gifts of Creation, such pronouncements can seem like an industrialized slapped in the face.

While many Herbalists make a living on practicing these arts, it is ever a life path, and a path of service for all life. It is not a business perse, and never was or is supposed to be “a business”. It is a way of living and helping and being. A way of protecting life around us. A way of understanding, and being in tune with what surrounds us. It is a way to spread love, especially to those who have lost hope. It is a way of breathing and talking, loving and reaching out to the life around us. Out of respect, and in order to sustain ourselves, we make a “living”. That is the sacred life being lived in full view.

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It takes a lifetime to learn even one plant fully, and still, we will lie on our deathbeds learning more of one plant. This is definitely, not a reductionist view of life, of living, of creation. Ethical Herbalism is a deep calling to relationship with the world, of connection, of love, of God.

I can understand how immensely frightening that is to some, who didn’t grow up with the peoples who worked with their hands, prayed with their hands, healed with their hands, and knew their communities of peoples and non-peoples in-depthly. Modern society has been here but for a blip, and has not canceled out the sum total of knowledge existing in the world. It has often fought against Spirit, or Love, but nevertheless, life is fully present as always, even in these strange times.

The person, with hands full of fire, laid over a person, is still a happening phenomenon. Not a “new” thing. A very old thing. A very old way, of living and loving with hands, with heart, with mind and a Spirit whirling large with love.

And as we walk this way, it unfolds into a deeper walking and a deeper love. And there is no happier or joyful life than that if you’re willing to put the real work in!

(c) 2015, Summer Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

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Of Bluebells and Cornflowers

This morning, comes to my mind, a very Olde Family story.

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In the Mountains, such as my Family lived, and later, where I with my pack of dogs and my Beloved lived, there was a beautiful little glade filled with wildflowers. These wildflowers would jump out at me, wild yellow pea flowers, stunning lavender blue cornflowers, and the bluest of bluebells alongside shamrocks with blue flowers. So many shades and colors of blue, the wild peas interspersed were like the rays of sunshine streaming through the blue petals dancing in a protected mountain breeze.

This little glade was unseen against the courser of eyes….such as eyes who would be looking for grander examples of beauty or riches. Eyes that see what they want to see. Eyes looking for some glory to spend elsewhere, not seeing that God provided for free, a wealth of great measure. These eyes see no wealth in the field. No Spirit in the field.

For a short time, under early summer moonlight, the white bluebells and harebells would come up. Their Divine Purpose to drink in the moonbeams to radiate outwards in the day, in an unmeasured amount, with unmeasured love. The Organic Moonshine during the night helped oversee the development of the seeds, which would drop to the ground and be next year’s baby plants.

And in this dance, the pollinators swing their hips, their waists and their legs, in the Holy Work of pollination. This dance so intimate, so bare petaled, with tiny toe points and petal steps.

And the Divine Love was there, all set up, planted and dancing, and the only cost was to go look, and inhale with awe. This story, of Mountain Wildflowers, is the story of deepest love. But one has to sometimes focus the eyes from courser to finer lens to truly see. Where love is repeatedly evasive, remember it may be the eyes, for love is just there, sitting in the glade, in the sunshine, moonshine, winds and Flying Being toe tips. It is there on the inhale and the exhale, and the meanderings of the larger soul in which we all live in.

This is an Olde Family story from tradition, back in the time when stories were still told around the kitchen fire, and bread was made with love…

(c) 2015, Summer Farkas Takács-Michaelson CH

All Rights Reserved.

The Spiritual Food of Living Seasonally

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Lekvár Making Between Friends!

As I wrap up a busy year teaching, writing and food preserving, my energy changes in this autumn. Living seasonally, at times, means there are periods of having no time, leading into periods of having greater time. It’s mushroom foraging, and writing, and tending people who have sickness that is predominantly on the winter time plate. Seed saving, tea making, laying of hands. Research, and deeper works. Kissing beautiful animals, gratefulness for all our food this season, and all the hands that contributed to our winter cabinet.

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Purple Diva!

From the season of dreaming, comes the season of awakening from slumber…the wintertime, where portals in the deeper earth energy awaken, cleanse, and sift through the seeds from the flowering season. Far from winter being a time of slumber, in the olde ways, it is the time of the descent into wakefulness, the sifting, and the weighing, the learning of new knowing, and what  belongs in the sacrificial fire. Attending to the work of renewal in the deep down places of soil roots, paves the way for new and increased vigor in the dreaming months, the springtime rebirth. The start of planting happens with the sifting of seeds from the previous harvest.

Only the best will be planted, in a soil that is warm, and alive and nutritious.

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Attending to the Self Healing Self for Spontaneous Healing!

From this soil, the deep down roots of being, the seeds burst forth in sprouting, growing, being, blooming, becoming, and another harvest.

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Garden Spiral Changes After Every Rain, Wing, and Paw.

In lives deeply rooted in divided industrial consciousness, this attending to the soil is completely forgotten. Yet, just a couple of generations ago, for so many peoples, this was an awakened knowledge that was lived amongst people who live closely to the land. This is a knowledge that Herbalists, Healers, Foragers and Farmers have been carrying on. Being fed by Spirit, we follow the cycles. As I was raised by Herbalists, Herders, Farmers, Hunters and Woods People, close hand I was given these eyes to see, and what valuable eyes!

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Sun Disk Worshipping!

My Grandfather Iván, who carried on the very olde world farming his whole life, always attended to the soil, to the roots. Compost was the gold of new growth…the fully digested remnants of the old matter of life. For this reason, if the curing of compost is stalled, it cannot aid the furtherance of life and life force for the future plants in the same way. Animals know this. The plants know this. Humans know this, when following Spirit. It is only forgotten when the ties to Land and Spirit are severed, with a deep abiding in an industrialized system. We have forgotten where our food comes from, our Spiritual food and sustenance.

To have faith in higher purpose, a higher good, a higher ideal, means one is led to face this digesting process. To bring forth beauty in spring, a rebirth of the senses, a rebirth of life, of a growing stage, is to be covered in a delightful compost, with the seeds carefully sewn in the pocket of ones heart. It is, to live from a great depth that one can really grow, one can really love, one can really bloom, one can receive light and love too.

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Warty Wonders Love

In the way of my Grandfathers, who were Farmer Poets, one thing comes to mind. When the season shortens, the awakening time lengthens. The time of seeing the seeds of harvest and carefully collecting the best, the strongest, the ones with a good integrity, and plant them in. Carefully, beautifully. This is the way of Cultivating the Earth. This is the way that sees and grows the beautiful shapes of the future. This is the living blackness of love, alive and constantly bringing into existence. We work as Stewards for bringing Soul Beings alive, we work to bring healing.

To some this may seem unintelligible, but to those who know, working closely with the earth, we see the deep Stewardship responsibilities that are called forth, bringing out love to those we tend. In the Autumn, the energy retracts and lights inward, to see the year differently, to see the fungi, the decomposition, and the light of new life.

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

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Careful Harvesting of Sage Love 🙂

All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Coal, Falling On Our Heads in God’s Country, The Washington Gorge

In the Pacific Northwest, we’re supposed to have rain falling on our heads, not coal! Coal trains, 120-130 train cars long, open with no covering, are passing through the Gorge on the Washington side on a consistent basis. Passing through God’s Country. In an effort to save dollars, the heaping mass of open coal is sprayed with a chemical mixture to make sure the coal stays glued down. This saves money, instead of just covering or putting lids on the coal cars. They say nothing blows out of the cars. They say that it is safe. They don’t mention that they do not have the capacity to clean up this coal if a train derails in our God’s Country.

This here is a photo story of a group of Herbalist and Botanist Apprentices, on a journey learning about ecology, healing herbs and edible foods, being pummeled with coal particles. These are not actors, these are real students part of the Serendipity Plant Lore School of Ethnobotanical Studies getting sooty in the wild.

Remember, we are God’s People. Remember, this is God’s Country. Remember who created all the Plants and Animals. Remember that saving money on safety saves no one anything, EVER, except a high ranking manager or owner with a larger profit margin. If I am correct, this coal is headed for use in Asia. This is a no good deal for everyone. This is the public being bamboozled. As innocent bystanders to an event out of our control, please consider our rights, on our public lands, not to be contaminated with coal dust and coal debris! Please consider our safety and your safety! The chemical junk adds a touch of additional toxic brew, can you imagine how this is contaminating our Columbia, and more than that, how any train derailment, no matter how minor, will quickly turn into a massive environmental catastrophe? 120-130 car trains, open, piled high with chemical coal…in the best case scenario, it blows off the coal trains like crazy, in small particles and large chunks. Who is responsible for this coal nonsense and not telling the truth to the public?

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

All Rights Reserved.

The Great Forgetting is NOT Forgotten!

Some, HAVE, never forgotten! Much of my family lives in a very primitive way in Europe AND in America, still herding, hunting, as foragers and OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAgatherers. This requires quite a sophisticated use of the mind and heart, and a relationship to the land that is one of living respect. It has been in MY lifetime, that I watched the Great Forgetting happen starting with my parents….for my Grandparents lived very close to the land, and understood the multiple arts and skills from weaving to carving, metallurgy, hunting, fishing, farming, gathering, basket weaving and water mapping, and the significance of these daily activities to ones life and development itself. Spiritual life is lived here, NOW. This builds the bridge for ongoing life. It’s been the breaking of the “tribes” that I saw in my own family, that brought about the whole idea of “power over” others as opposed to the circular tribal focus of “power, a shared responsibility”. As responsible stewards, our hearts, our heads, and our might is invested in what we are charged to take care of, watch bloom, watch grow, watch manifest, watch what is reaped. We give a thanks and a piece of our heart into everything we do. Work is not something separate from Spirit, for Life, from Blessing, from Living. We all live in cycles of greater and greater wholeness, Great Forgetting is the TEMPORARY happening that comes about when we forget to thank the Sun for rising each morning, and the Moon for dusting us with sleep each night. In all we thank and cherish, we give our thanks to the Creator. To God, in all. The cycles of life are a painting upon the window screen of the cosmos, and we take for granted that ALL are in cooperation to make this beautiful life Dance.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

From my Friend Bonnie: 

“This may show a way out, or should I say back, to be in balance with the planet.

I suspect that as “civilization” collapses from its great weight, we will begin remembering. In fact, some are now. It’s just the cycle of life and the way the course is run.”

http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/have-you-heard-of-the-great-forgetting/

I agree with Bonnie’s wild wisdom! We live in a great and magnificent world. One truly to be thankful for, to participate in, to weave joy into the fabric, to make love manifest. To give thanks. To take, but also to give. We are the children of God, but even so, we have a responsibility to grow as we tend growth, to take what has been created, and create further abundance from this gift. To shine, spit polish, and adore, to be thankful for all the seeds of life.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We’ve been entrusted with the seeds, but instead of just taking them for ourselves, we can nourish them as a gift back to our lives, and to the greater cycle of Streaming Life. Ongoing Life, requires not a penny less!

Harvesting of Life, which we call in modern day detached terms, “Resources”, to extinction, is, as my Grandmothers and Grandfathers would say, “Taking what the Creator has given you in a selfish way, it’s not just THERE for YOU”. A basic teaching that all children learn at some point. The Family Table has food for others too! The Family Grace includes ALL.

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

All Rights Reserved.

Whose Been Teaching You Things?

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There is no such thing as Products.

Everything Living has Blood. All Beings.

Animal Beings. Human Beings. Tree Beings. Plant Beings. Rock Beings. Transitional Beings between Kingdoms.

All Beings eat and grow from Gifted Blessings.

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Whose Been Teaching You Things?

 

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

A Sermon by Wendell Berry, Beautiful Light!

If you’re a Farmer, an Herbalist, if you’ve got Heart or want to connect with your Heart, if you’re an Environmentalist, a Liberal, a Republican, or a combination of the Colors Purple and Orange, if you’re a Poet, a Lover, a Contemplative, a Prayerful and Meditative Soul, if you care for More than just instant gratification, especially socially, then this is for you. You’ll love the beautiful, fierce, tender words spoken of this whole hearted Man of Truth.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Listen, and then, if you’re willing, bring into contemplation or prayer the question of why the Native Black Willows are dying by the River, and how a Human Being could possibly be healthy. Why are the Willows going? Perhaps, the truths within the children’s book “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss isn’t a children’s book. Living Beings pick up and leave, why?

Why have many Farmers sold out their Freedom and Health, themselves? There is always time to awaken, re-evaluate, learn and grow, but only in the presence of self awareness and truth can that ever be possible. That is a very deep religious truth, not an insight of merely lip service.

Is there “justification for the permanent destruction of the world?” What sayeth your own soul?

“The world and our life are conditional gifts.”~Wendell Berry

Why have so many fallen away from this truth, contained within the Gospels?

“In defense of precious things, and in gratitude of precious things.”~Wendell Berry

I agree, that that is what my own life is about, and we are each responsible for our own self awareness and self growth. It takes growing from a perpetual childhood gimmees to move into the beautiful role of Stewardship.

Things to contemplate, life to live, to work with, to be with. Working with all of life in respect. Standing up where you are and do what needs doing, out of your HEART workings, heart lovings, heart weavings.~Summer L. Farkas Takacs-Michaelson, CH

As I’ve always said, the minute we stop standing in our own integrity for what is right, especially to go with public opinion or propaganda, is the minute we have let our-self fall away from Truth. It can always be reclaimed, every moment we are given new choices and opportunities to stand with Life, For Life, in a Pro-Life stance that actually includes all Life, not just human fetuses. THAT is the strongest of integrity. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our children are inheriting this world as we speak. All children are, of all species, or all Kingdoms. Our responsibility to handle all with LOVE is what we have been asked to do, in this time of a conditional gift of LOVE the Creator has given us.

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_28565.cfm

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

Farkas and Takacs Family Teachings on Weaving Through the Path Of Fear

Living, Loving, Being, it is what the road to life is about, the teachings we live through so that we learn about what it is here we are to learn about. We learn about ourselves, and our world. It is healthy to learn and to grow. The flowers do it! The baby bees do it! Wolf pups do it! Bear cubs too! Trees grow it, and Human Beings grow too.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There is one obstruction to the path of Growth, and that path be Fear. I’m afraid, the fragile being says. I’m hurt, can’t show my hurt, for I get more hurt, the shivering child being says. Always the punished child hides, the child shown no love, the child who is lost. The child who is resentful when not getting its way. The child who demands of Mother, and afraid of Mother, awestruck by Mother, getting attention by Mother, avoiding Mother.

But there’s the flip side to living a life of Fear. The flip side is openness and love. Healing. Growing, getting in touch with oneself, letting go of that which is of no use, letting in the enlightening. And so it is, and always is, when we weave with the weaving of Life, a Beautiful Soul, so Living, so Breathing, so Heart Beating, So NOW! Home and Hearth 024

In Hungary, when sitting down to the loom, we put our attention onto our work, as some of the work requires effort. With the effort, the desire for healing and growth, comes the other hand, the hand of Love that brings down the Grace, so our weaving, no matter how home-style, is beautiful.

Blessed are all the children, may they not be made to carry the Fear of their Ancestors. May they be free of the clutches of souls who refuse their healing, may their people stand up and freely be, their parents, their guardians, to clear the way for their light to shine! I give blessings to all my Ancestors, who teach me with the Family Teachings, the Carpathian Teachings. The Teachings of Love, the Teachings of Sharing, the Teachings of Being, the Teachings of the Mountain Lands.

Wolves walk alongside the Weavers, We Weavers on looms so ancient have deep loyal love, and Teaching Bites! All along the flowing for opening, for love, for Grace, for Becoming, For Being, so is the road of the Wolves (Farkas) and Weavers (Takacs), the Hungarian names of my Family Tribes.

These are very deep teaching stories, healing stories that I share from the Farkas and Takacs Families. These stories come from my Ancestors to you, and are perennial stories strait from the loom, out of wild mountains in the Carpathian Basin. Two thousand years ago, my FAMILY immigrated from the Western Ural Mountains down into the Carpathian Basin. These Family Stories are OLDE stories, that have survived for TWO MILLENNIUMS.

Their meanings have as much relevance now, as from before. I share these with Gulyas Blessings!

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

Farkas Takacs Family Coyote Stories of Wisdom Life, Wisdom Being

All lives are journeys. Some lived consciously, some unconsciously. Walking the Path of a Healer, means we work on our journey of wakefulness to life. This opens us up to the magic that is everywhere, the love that is behind every thing, every being. An Inspirited Way to Live, fully, openly, authentically, and without fear.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A True Healing, requires commitment to the quest. Whether this is experienced as commitment to a course of treatment, to a remembering of body alive, to prayer, to song, to dance, to a certain work, creative project, or commitment to hope even when it can’t be seen or felt, another person, it still requires passionate commitment. This kind of commitment is often seen in the way a Mother nurtures and nourishes her baby within the womb. It does take a bit of fire to stick things out, but the more one is true to what they are committed to, the more likely the outcome moves a person into deeper wisdom.

Farkas Takacs Family Coyote Stories of Wisdom Life, Wisdom Being.

Sometimes, Coyote plays tricks. Drops a well placed line of gossip about somebody, someone. Coyote, through a simple machination, can color a group mind about someone or other. When one is on a Healing Quest, one may often encounter Coyote Medicine. Coyote has a positive wisdom that heals, on other hand, Coyote, when selfishly concerned, will maneuver others not for shared benefit, but to take from others under disguise and look for safety by blending into the pack, hiding, stirring chaos, ducking out until it is safe to steal.

Coyote stirs to heal, to move through patterns into new forms of healing. In unconscious Coyote Medicine, Coyote is selfish, maneuvering others in a mix and match game of who to like and who to dislike according to which is of most benefit for the moment, and taking too much of what is others without reciprocity. This Coyote is only concerned on what others possess, how to get it, possession because it wants.

Coyote the Healer doesn’t like the habitual patterns of destruction, and will steal your rabbit but throw the bones on your back. Life isn’t always what it seems, and when we make the breakthrough through illness, we may just find the illness we had was from something that was making us sick. Coyote isn’t easy, but Coyote will eventually make you laugh as the Rabbit grows again, but this time, strong. 🙂OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

The Drum Covering Of Deep Desert Land

Desert Dwelling has its gifts, gifts that must be looked for, and appreciated. One sometimes roams to find these gifts, and they are very precious, when found. In the heat, and the hot, and the cold of evenings windswept, desert blooms are precious manna for the soul. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Flood waters come, water holes fill, rocks sparkle with sun between being covered up in pebble sand dusting, shallow root tendrils of fragile, short lived plants. Dry plateau’s give way to tiny patches of underground moistness, encased by sun-dried mud. Rocks and pebbles holding down very tentative patches of small plants, living in the moment, a moment in the sun, that’s all that they wish for. A chance for a seed to sprout and be.

Blessed plants reaching for water, reaching for sun, opening to life in the desert. A very rich and fragile life, a very wind freshened place.

Desert living is rich in its sparsity. Rich in its bearing, and being. Desert is a Being. Whispers touch skin with soul vision.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Tumbleweeds tumble between plants that stay rooted, for fun, a game, a seed spreading game.

Who can spread the most seed? What seed will be the lucky recipient of water? Desert tears water dry winds, fragile green in the dry land. Desert Life blooms in the cracks and the pockets.

The sweetest harvest of beauty, found between pebbles and rough sand. Just perfect for a Cocklebur. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASweet love deciding to grow in a small margin. Life finds a way.

Gumweed love, sprouting, perfect love. Help with clearing Asthma, touched by Desert Love. Lung Love. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou transmit yellow medicine Dear One, held together with resin-spit. Sticking to ones lungs, like sticking in the desert, waiting for a chance to bloom. Deserts are filled with gifts of love, watered with heart-fields, sprouting good medicine.

Good Medicine. Just walk into the Desert, with Love in your Heart, Open to the Desert, to receive Love in your Heart. The Desert, will beat YOUR LOVE-HEART for you, the drum covering of the Deep Desert Land.

 

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

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