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 🙂

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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.

Heart of Hearts

Some of us have Hearts inside of us, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand some have Hearts outside of us. I am a peculiar one, I was born with a beautiful large heart inside, and stamped on the outside near my chest area, God stamped me with a second Heart, a Red Heart Birthmark!

Why and wherefore these marvelous, these beautiful happenings? I’ve always pondered.

In my pondering, in Outside Heart so Large, so Big, and so Magnificent, I have been found playing and conversing with the Winged Fairies today. For the Fairies need to rest their busy wings here and there, and clutch a home polished Moonstone to take a sip of pure, cool water.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This allows them the little rest needed before playing and mixing more pollen, kissing the herbs, the plants of Heart Garden.

 

 

 

 

It is always lovely to give little Winged Beings a place to hide, rest, eat and drink, put their legs up under mushrooms and take a nice mid-day break!

 

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Peonies Popping Purple for Playful Pollen Pocketings and Ponderings…

 

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Comfrey Rings The Bells!

 

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For Herbal Apprentice Tamara…

 

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Fairies of the Woods!

 

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Forest Dreaming of Forest Apprentices!

 

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Provide Resting Spaces for Hearts!!!

 

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Standing Places Too!

 

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A Watering Dish With Rocks

 

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A Mushroom Shelter With Benches

 

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Feed them Fine Foods

 

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Open Your Heart Up To Find…

 

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Hearts Laughing Everywhere!!!

 

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

Serendipity Plant Lore School of Ethnobotanical Studies. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Whispering Rhododendron Teachings from my Hungarian Grandfathers

This weekend has been a beautiful weekend! Serendipity Plant Lore School of Ethnobotanical Studies participated in a very sweet Farmers Market event and Beltaine Festival with a precious Friend, fellow Herbalist, Student and Herb Farmer, Erin Harwood of Garden Delights. We had an amazing day watching people experience the delights of the festival, including Irish Fiddle music and a Maypole celebration. This festival and farmers market is part of the Hazel Dell Public Market that is just getting started! Hooray for local food, artisans, farmers and herbalists!!!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I connected with some old friends and made new friends as well, and was introduced to really unique projects like Backyard Bounty Co-op and made secret seed deals over seeds I have that are hundreds of years old with A Step Through Thyme.

An underground network of seed lovers who actually can care and love for seeds, and respect their histories and stories is kept alive through a bosom friend to bosom friend sharing. That’s gold. That’s peoples gold! Seeds that do not come from someone, have lost their stories, and need help in healing. Pray and Bless over them, that they may awaken and remember.

This Sunday, brought a day of beauty and sadness, as we cut down our long ailing Rhododendron, the beautiful pink one in front of our house. Her lifespan, has been creeping towards the end for the last few years. A friend’s husband who is an arborist tried to extend the lifespan of this precious one three years back. Even tho’ just less than a fifth of Her was still alive, my Husband and I agreed to let her go on for one more bloom, allow her life within the last inch! We felt She wanted this.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yesterday, we finally cut Her down. I’m saving as many blooms as possible in vases everywhere. A beautiful kiss of life, now cut down, has already given room to two precious younger Rhododendrons…one a lavender purple, and one a creamy white. We look forward to watching their growth, even as we mourn the old one, and Her tremendous privacy she provided for our front window.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For, the way of life, at times, the olde goes making room for the new, the growing, and the blossoming. The Hungarian Tree of Life keeps growing, blooming, dying, renewing. This is the prayer that is always in progress, always holding, this beautiful life together. This is a teaching from my Grandfather’s from our own Family Tradition. This is the Teaching of Hungarian Seeds that is given to each successive generation. This is the Teaching that takes many years to absorb to live fully, in a way of development, of growth, of unfurling, unfolding, of growing more substantial in a wisdom that is very olde. A wisdom that carries forth the secrets of life, our life, the life of the world, the life of Creation.

In our Hungarian way, in the way of our Family, that is passed on generation to generation, is the remembrance of cycles of growing and cutting back, of living, of dying, and renewing.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In fully feeling and mourning the loss of my olde Rhododendron Friend, I am witness to the greatest and most humblest of teachings, I am experiencing the olde teachings right now, the teachings of the Lifeworker, the teachings of the Deathworker, the teachings of God, the teachings of the cycle of renewal and change, the teachings of roots and rootedness, the teachings of dissolving into love and growing out again.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

All rights reserved.

 

Pray for Ukraine

Today is a good day, a good time, to pray for Ukraine. Just pray! There are many factions and propaganda’s floating about, and many Americans are getting upset and choosing sides and inflating propaganda’s that are not widespread and are extra noise around what is REALLY happening, and with little understanding of the politics of the region. What we CAN do from here is just pray, surround the country in prayer. Prayer petitions the Force, God, for protection, and cleanses our seeing so we can look for light, promote solidarity with peoples and be with light…and at the very least, not add MORE to the misery and see through the noise! I ask all my friends to join in the circle of Praying for Ukraine, in whichever, whatever form you feel moved to! Thank you all and LOVE to all! ~Summer Farkas Takacs-Michaelson, CHOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

Forest Breath and Hummingbird Medicine

A beautiful Friday to all!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wishing everyone everywhere, the finding of love in their hearts, to be, to change, and to grow.

In this beautiful world, in this beautiful cosmos, in this beautiful life, filled with all that we could ever ask for.

From the humble plants, to the humble bees, to the humble peoples, all showy, with love.

To be here, to be with one another, is to give thanks for this true freedom we all enjoy.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The forest whispers truth, a cleansing breath, that places perspective in our visions.

I was in the Forest harvesting, medicinal plants for very strong medicine. As I found the plants that were to give of themselves to the healing of others, I give thanks. I sit down, knees muddy, to dig these precious beings in thankfulness, in thankfulness to God for providing all this magnificent everything, in thankfulness to the plants that guided my vision to harvest. I squat, ready to dig, and a flock of hummingbirds of every color of the rainbow fly up into the branches of the umbrella shaped shrub I am praying and digging under. They flutter around my head, and watch me, as I dig. The medicine is imbued with Hummingbird Medicine. The Hummingbirds prayed and blessed WITH me!

I never expected that gift, but opening the dialogue, the praying, the thanking and the gifting, everything came together to support the digging of this medicine. Every Being came together in a specific way in a bubble of beauty.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The making of medicine happens in only specific ways, and those ways of working bring healing, produce abundance, and the Dance of Creation plays on, in a real and practiced Stewardship. A Stewardship of real responsibility, a Stewardship of precious gifts!

May ones’s Medicine be full, heal you, and be shared. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

Serendipity Plant Lore School of Ethnobotanical Studies

All rights reserved.

 

A föld művelési. Cultivating the Earth.

Hungarian language is stunning. It is so beautiful, how words and meanings grow out of one another.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What’s even more beautiful, are the ancient traditions that the words sprung up and spun around to describe, in essence, a way to live, a way to eat, a way to cure, a way to heal, a way to bless,  a way to be.

One of my beautiful teachers, Adina, gave me this to work on, to think on, as a description for what I enjoy, cultivation of the soil.

A földművelési. Talajművelés a szív. Just this. Explains it all. The relationship to this beautiful world.

Cultivating the Land, cultivating the Soil, cultivating the Ground, cultivating the Heart. One devotes ones life to this, to this craft, to these skills. One lives this, as a way to be. One lives this way to be a Healer.

I still smell the dirt on my Grandfathers hands. On  humid mornings, the smell of soil, wafting in the windows of our very old house. I feel the warmth in ground well insulated, when my Grandfathers had me check the base of plants in mornings before sun appeared, then again, out to the workings of making more compost.

To the Olde World Traditional Farmers, compost was the focus of everyday, at least once a day there was tending it in many ways. Many Ways.

The Olde World Herbalists tended the compost for wild and homely herbs alike. We bring gifts like bombs to the forests, in nourishment of wild plants we care-take.

If this sounds odd, then one must become acquainted with how the Cherokee nourished their wild plants. Everything in life is an exchange, of love, character, and nourishment, before the final eating. We all, eventually, get eaten.

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

Taltos, A Large Healing Tradition with Many Branches in the Tree Of Life, Part 2

Written to my friend belsbror just now, I decided to share here as a second part to writing about Taltos Healing Tradition.

Taltos, A Large Healing Tradition with Many Branches in the Tree of Life, Part 1: https://serendipityherbals.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/taltos-a-large-healing-tradition-with-many-branches-in-the-tree-of-life/OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Again, I agree belsbror. There isn’t much money in herbal medicine, unless a corporation finds ways to sell substandard supplements and hype it up. The tradition of medicine is a deep one. Here, in the US, there is next to no real concern for preventing any disease, and when the disease is full blown, people are given toxic medications and go under the knife. I am not disputing that there isn’t a time for this, I am thankful for emergency medicine in dire circumstances. What I am saying is so many people could prevent so much with herbal medicine, can learn and use on their families, learn correct ways of eating and living, nourish themselves in ways that are very economical or free…prevention is the best remedy.

Herbs can be used to help someone who is on medications to get healthier and more nourished, or to find ways to break their disease pattern, bring joy, sleep, correct digestion, and more.

Herbs are also becomming very fadish, and people in the US have lost their own family traditions of working with herbs. That is where Tradition really comes in, each herb works and reacts with different bodies and different herbs. That is a lifetime science to learn, and not necessarily needing to be learned unless one is working as a healer of others.

In the meantime, people can learn from their own body, the body speaks. There is so much to learn, and so much healthcare can be taken in a person’s own hand. With this, is the realization that old age, death, and sometimes illness do happen, even to the healthiest of us. Negotiating these streams of life is a little different than just listening to a TV commercial that recommends a new drug selling promises (that often never materialize) that skipped the all important work of mental, emotional, spiritual and physical lifestyle health.

Much of the work many Herbalists do, like myself, is for those who have no access to healthcare, or who are receiving healthcare that is not working. Sometimes, I am asked to help someone who is receiving medical care that is working yet they want to maximize the healing even further. Much of herbal medicine is listening, to others bodies, to the herbs, to peoples stories, noticing and really helping someone through difficult situations, whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, which all together make up a whole person, indivisible.

Besides the fadish element of herbalism happening now, (this is also a positive that more people ARE getting interested, but hopefully take it deeper than mainstream get rich supplement companies), this kind of healing is not appreciated in most commercial environments.

In Taltos, like most indigenous healing systems, a healer lives the lifestyle fully as a path, and that is the way that people are helped. If someone is recommended by me a certain herb, I know that herb so deeply in every cell, and I know why their body seems to need it, because I am living that connection. In that connection, I can help someone to reconnect themselves to their environment and the healing available within their world, so that they can navigate themselves.

If anything, that is a very olde medicine that is hard to explain in words, yet is very real.

My son Hunter has those eyes too. Those kind of eyes are cultivated and available to all. They are eyes of the heart. They come from sitting and working in nature for long periods of time, and bringing that back out to the outer world of humans.

Taltos is alive and well and vitally important. Teachings from the Hungarian Tree Of Life.

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

Painting above done by Artist Arna Baartz, all rights reserved on the photo.

Hungarian and Cherokee Native Dances With Herbs

Dances with Herbs. The Herbalist’s Path. Eyes are opened up to beauty, in such a way, that the world instructs in a way of natural service. I believe, it is a service to Love.

This last summer, I was sharing an herbal remedy that my family has used, and passed down for generations. I was asked by some Herbalists, and some of my Teachers, if this was Hungarian Tradition or Cherokee Medicine Tradition. Aye, ya eye! Which, and where did it come from?

I scratched my head. I started picking mushrooms at age 3, and that did not come from either one, that came from both medicine streams in my family…for, it is the medicine stream of life, living, survival, healing, health and consciousness. The idea of pure medicine, when plants and animals, and those in inbetween and betwixt, intermixed over mountain ranges, starts swirling and spiraling in my head. The Medicine Drum beats with the Medicine that we find at our doorstep, in our hands, the Medicine that we work with. Each Medicine Tradition has its own way of working with the Medicine that arrives on the doorstep, the Medicine that we work with.

Those who read my musings, know the drumbeat of my own voice as I joke that Peppers are controlling us humans, using us so they can move around and experience different thrills of working with different cultures, in an ethnic thrill to their etheric bodies. A dash of each human, of each culture has made Thai peppers what they are, and Hungarian Paprika what it is…each Pepper of a wholly distinct difference in the same bloodline. The Peppers delight in this. So do the Mushrooms, the Chickweed, and Oak.DSC_0565

In fact, in such journeys of wholeness, I do wonder if the plants, the animals, and those inbetween and betwixt think it is fun when we get sick, so as to play with us to make us well, show us the Medicine that exists and grows with us every day. Well in body, as well as well in soul. Harmony, change, resistance, difference, unity, personality, all notes to each plant, to each life form. Well in love, and well in death. Well, in the centerpoint of depth. They, the plant world and other worlds, love us so! Giving and giving so much to us, and YET, they play with us to get something for themselves. Movement, Planting, Successive Generations, Spicy Trips and Happy Laden Smacking Lips. They love us and need us as much as we love and need them IN OUR LIVES.

So the questions I was receiving about which side of what Healing Tradition a certain Medicine originated from, and my short answer, was both healing streams. Plants playing across cultures for thousands of years. Watermelons rolling around Carpathian Mountains and Plains, and eventually, Appalachian Alpines and my Grandfather’s Pacific Northwest Farm.

Without the question from my Plant Teachers, I would have never made the journey to understand how the two tribal cultures of my Family worked with a specific plant, and how they are joined. Just something passed down, there IS no such thing. The Oral Tradition contains relationship to the other and within, that has a story that teaches the way of working with the plant, where working with Medicine, we receive Medicine. Working with Healing, we receive Healing. Medicine, to cure, live through, and prevent illness. With plants, illness is not separate from the medicine. The very ways of a couple generations back may be brought back to life, and honored, with an ongoing adventure. I’m walking that road of bringing forth the Wisdom of my Grandparents through the haze of commercial forgetting and blandness that exists, that thwarts the carrying on of the deepest of humanity’s continuation, the erasure of the interdependent relationship between beings that leads to dependence instead of Belonging and Blessing.

Harvesting plants with care, with Prayer and Blessing, we tend to the Stewardship of the World in a way in which we are part of the beautiful painting, working directly with life, so that the coming generations of all the Beings, come into Blessing. That is a work, a responsibility, that IS bringing Love and Abundance to the world. It puts us into the position of joy, of learning from other beings directly, what they have to teach and to share in a dance of mutuality (community). The ethnicity of each Herb, is like the ethnicity of each Human, distinct, personal and variable, and where we, in the art of life, discover the possibility. This is both a Carpathian Basin Teaching and a B.R. Cherokee Teaching, a Uniting of Medicine Ways.

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

Carpathian Basin Teachings of Plunging Into New Life

Things have been a little quiet for me in the blog world, as I have been taking a much needed rest. It happens, often in this time of January, where closing up the celebration of the previous year, and the wintry season of community sickness, leaves me a little tired, and ready for a a little home time.Signs of Spring! 019

I tend to dive deep into myself every year, where so many things live. Going in always precedes with me coming back out with lots of energy. As a care giver to so many in my community, I have long since learned the valuable wisdom that my rest is equally as important! As a Teacher, I’ve learned to guide myself into certain spaces, so as I assimilate my own learning’s, they have time to take root.

This time of year is perfect and beautiful for such work. As with all Healing Traditions, no tradition exists outside of the people, the plants, animals and land that the tradition has sprung up in. There are similarities between many healing systems, but something that students must  be careful and wary of, is to grow a root deeply in a tradition so that the understanding can really grow, and then relate it outwards. Without connection and relationship, there is no way to work with the symbols of any system. Without the relationship with the world of many Beings, one is simply another consumer of life, for one’s limited purposes. Our goal, is always to work deeply with life, in all the givings and all the take-a-ways. There is NO medicine when the plant world is disrespected, animal world and other worlds. There is NO medicine when we abdicate our very stewardship of this Earth, as Healers. We always think of the coming generations. On a practical level, this means we do not over-harvest species to extinction.

In the very paradigm of buying and consuming, if there is not tending of the plant, animal and mineral worlds that this comes from, what medicine have we left for others who are sick, ailing, the future generations? Slick ads sell medicine based on impression. Slick mind medicines often do the same. The Traditional Healer always works with the relationships between plants, people, and other Beings. Two herbs together have a relationship, the person or animal makes three. All continues on in such a way. One would be very surprised at the inter-being of all Healing Traditions.

One of the Carpathian Basin Teachings of the Farkas Takacs Family is the teaching of Earth Being. The Earth, She wakes in the Winter. This is when She is awake. While Echinacea is sleeping, and other plants are taking their rest, She is alive! She is actively working and thinking about the coming year, what abundance to bring forth, what needs to die and release, what needs invigorating, what needs a new dream.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Winter is a very active time for Earth Being. For come summer season, She will go to sleep and dream her new vision upwards. We will see it in the plants, the animals, the people, and the changes with the sun. The coming out, the going in. The sending forth, the bringing back in. Winter, such an active time, so much work, the time for of the Mountain Peoples to bring in the Tapestry, to work, to mend, to make anew.

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

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