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.


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.


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.


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


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

Protecting Our Forests!

We Oregonians and Washingtonians are watching our last old growth stands sold to commercial logging companies for pennies and destroyed…along with all the fancy delish mushrooms, cancer killing mushrooms not even cataloged yet, wild flowers that have become rare, and wildlife that is the last of the truly wild….HOWEVER, the pennies for selling our wild heritage is keeping the illusion of state and federal budgets limping along in a slower decline. Might I add, this has happened in China and India, we’re simply following in “their” footsteps, …a corporate owned economy sells our heritage from right under our feet. Our heritage, our health, our children’s future. Not even getting into the right to life for other species, is this possibly enough of a sell for others to step up and care? I will say this, one of the beautiful things about being an American, is that we set aside certain public lands to retain our roots to a wild heritage and a strong, pioneer/self reliant identity. Politics will buy and sell us like feed lot cattle in a heartbeat…there should be enough cultural ties at this point for more Americans to start focusing some patriotic energies onto saving the “last” of our wild~lands. So sayeth the Hungarian~Cherokee Lorax Wolf Woman of Vancouver, Washington!



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