The Story of the Stones

In the practice of Traditional Herbal Medicine, there is an understanding of Stones. My Grandfather Iván would sit me by the River to have me watch and listen, to teach me about our family’s healing technique. Grandfather Ferenc taught me the traditional pond stories. In these stories were the wisdoms to grow the crops, raise the animals, find medicines, heal people, and open conversing with God. Grandfathers and Grandmothers in the traditional healing ways spent much time teaching the traditions to their children and grandchildren. Not so long ago, even the common family had great strength in healing every day concerns, and called on the healers when things went beyond this everyday know-how. The Story of Stones could be quite physical, and with careful physical medicines we can break them down, but larger than that, is a story of Stones, mental and emotional Stones. Spiritual Stones too. Calcium Stones.

How do they get there and lodge in a person, place, or soul being? Where do they come from? What hard thinking placed them there, and what of lack of curiosity of the deeper waters, the deepening behind and beyond the stones?

One day, there was a beautifully flowing River. The River flowed with Swimming Fishes, Delicate Mosquitoes, and Dazzling Dragonflies. This was in the time when Dragonflies were the size of medieval dragons, and were a force of harmony among and between the stones.

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The large stones started to fill the swimming holes with more and more stones, lodging between them everywhere. The River flowed unceasingly, ever harder to get around the stones. Then one day, the River could not move anymore Stones, could not dislodge certain Stones and move them to the River Spaces where they were so needed, waited upon, depended upon. Now, the stones became stuck. Now the water looped, not so much through and between them, but around them. One day even the water ceased flowing around the hard stones. What is hard needs fluidity around it, and what is fluid needs some hardness to make the perfect Riverbank Sands.

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The Dragonflies, no longer able to direct the flows around the stones became diminished until they were very small Winged Beings. And the stones, resisting the change of all the wet washes, become drier. And such is the shame for them, for they had a future of being sparkling treasure. And the Dragon Flies? They ever remain, waiting for the chance to move the flows around the stones again, bringing the River washes of fluids back into gushing harmony.

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This story reminds me of the stuckness that can happen with a person, a society, a way of thinking, and even physically with certain types of Stones. More than anything, the Stones forgot their place holding hands with the water, the Stones forgot the Dragonflies. The Stones forgot and became stuck, making places hard.

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

All Rights Reserved.

My Grandfather’s Love Forever Lives!

My Grandfather’s Love Forever lives!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We have forgotten something very essential in our culture. Our connection across generations.

Between institutional living, daycare, eldercare, outsourcing our whole lives, we have lost essential connection in our communities.

I feel so very blessed to have lived with my Grandparents when I was young, and to have been shaped by them. They passed on very essential knowledge’s from farming, living off the land, foraging, healing, and a great dearth of knowledge.

As an Herbalist, with my training starting at three years of age, there were times I didn’t understand, and felt very, very different. What I didn’t understand as a child, was how sacred and holy the experience of our previous generations of family.

Now, that I have been thinking about this this week, and the hard sell of industrial culture to our current generation of children, I see how culture is broken when families are segregated within themselves.

This is a bid for love. I am not talking about abusive families here, I am speaking of real tradition that is handed down. My Grandfather Iván taught me the love of working with my hands, and even the most humblest of creations to eat or wear or to decorate our home were honored fully. The simple fully honored, with love. He honored everything I did, my job as a Herbalist is to honor others in the same way, I carry his love forward. 

And yet, I scratch my head, feeling so different growing up was hard to reconcile. How our culture, generally, doesn’t honor the person who cares for others, nourishes others, makes a home for people. Our culture does not honor growing things, or loving others fully, or really, living in deep connection with Spirit. Distilling this out a bit more, our culture, simply, does not seem to honor people anymore. Right to existence must be bought with the selling out of oneself to a paradigm that doesn’t see us as people, living in a shared sacred world.

There was a time, and still is, when people took care of their families, their living and their dead. As  always, when our family gathers, a chair and a table spot is left open for our departed. And we join together in many ways, here and later. Any healer, any traditional herbalist knows this. And over this, we ask for the Blessing.

Blessing over Elders and Young Ones, Blessing of love over our families, great, far and wide, and throughout generations. May one learn about the deeper blessing that lives in our hearts.

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

All Rights Reserved.

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

Merry Christmas and Birthing Love!

Merry Christmas and Birthing Love into the Growing Light to ALL!

From my heart to yours…..on Christmas, we are in remembrance and awareness of the baby growing light that brings us into the New Year. We remember the soul, the birth of Christ, the Greenary of Being, and the weaving of love that holds the years together.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our traditions in our Family are simple….they are the awareness of light, of love, of growth in the dark, of deepest roots one way and freshest branch tips the other. We live with the understanding, in an unbroken chain, of living between and ad-mist all cycles of the year.

Particularly for those who live as poets, close to the Earthen Lands of God, unapologetically living in the mystical grace of the way our ancestors left, we bless all the dark spaces, all the composting condensing that allows our soul the space to grow with the growing light.

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Blowing Wind in Glass

In a very old herbal healing tradition, practiced in and amongst the kinship of animals, the wind on the face, the touch of frost on the cheek, and the deep warmth of a hay pile, we grow under the cloak of fibre and spinning. We grow under the tree, in the tree, and the very tips of the tree.

We are graced with the beautiful gifts of life, we are graced with a soul of deep awareness….aware of Heaven and Hell, aware, of everything Green, aware of the deep down roots and the tops of trees. We are planted in God’s World to grow.

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Birthing LOVE!!!

Those who grow the herbs of separation are simply growing their awareness of their own destruction…for the herbs of rebirth and renewal are of the protection and protector of the grace that provides life.

This is not of the hands of man, this is the hands of something greater which we are asked and offered to participate in. The hand of the Steward, the hand of the Shepherd, the hand of us that live so close to land and God, and away from the internal oppression that bewails Spirits so separated from the Grace.

And all it requires is our resounding, and beautiful, crystal clear voice that sings YES! Yes, to this rebirth, of sleeping body and soul and spirit, of sleeping tree and sleeping Borage plant. The YES that the Linden Tree sings in the breeze with open wings, wings given of and from God.

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Crane from a Tree on a Tree!

As a Traditional Herbal Healer, in contemplation of Spirit, of Herbs, of Herding beautiful animals and beautiful children, I am reminded of all the lessons of teaching from my family of Healers, of Hunters, of Herbalists, of Herders, of Farmers. How we, we each hold the balances of love, of life and death, of resurrection, of destruction, of beautification. How each, is given a great responsibility. How each of us, can choose to live this love, instead of making excuses against the love, or proving, why we are right not to experience a deep love in this deep season of darkness and growing light.

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Hand Loved Made

However deep, we can prove ourselves right by the barring of great love, or we can open and say YES to love and find there is no barrier that exists against it. And YES, the ages of this knowledge passed down, will never die, simply hiding within cycles of light and dark, love and oppression, until we understand.

It is hard to understand without the air touching our face, or frozen earth under our feet. It is hard to understand if one is not standing upright under the cloak, recycling heat under the fiber, from herding the animals, that show to us what we do not understand.

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Hungarian Hound was ecstatic over sensed treats!

We are one with our flocks, yet we nourishing and steward the diversity and the difference. It would be no other way.

Our ways with the plants are the same, we open and say YES to them, and they dance through a prayer of grace in our beings, our souls, our very Mother Earth.

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Our Tree of home-made and gifted Remembrance!s!

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Family Tradition of Hanging Cream Filled Candies! 🙂

One of our Farkas Takács Family Traditions is the hanging of candies filled with cream on our tree. With the beautiful and exciting taste we remember the Gift of Taste we are given. However, this is a later adaptation of an earlier tradition.

We cut the trees, and cut the greens for our house for decoration and celebration, but also, to see and contact the Divine in a closer manner. Sitting with trees, we hear them and know them, and the removal of trees has always been considered a Sacred Action to be closer to God. In doing so, the trees were thanked and given blessing before the fire, and decorating with them brought a connection into our homes with God.  Tree Clearing was only for communion, any other benefit was secondary. The connection with Jesus and Holy Trees is a long one, as well as many other peoples of many other religions.

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See Heart?

From the Song of Songs, there is a little winged beast that beats from the chest, and springs thereof.

To desecrate the world, is to create the greatest of all sins against God.

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Eggs are Everything, but mean nothing anymore except commercial suffering?

In our world today, we would do well to remember the teachings of our parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and great-great grandparents. I have been besotted with grace to have meetings and living ins with Great Grandparents as well as a brief touch from Great Great Grandparents. Our Family has always been long lived, and for the little that it is worth, we teach our young ones from a small age the traditions that are ageless.

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Pine Love!

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Love is Glittery!

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Merry Christmas ALL!

From a small age, we are taught about living in the boat of the tree in space. For this, we see many and much written account as well as direct teaching. Like Jesus, we die upon the tree, and the soul is born of it. So my Grandfathers taught to me. Not some effort of recitation and early childhood programming…but a living tradition that continues.

And so, when our Family comes together, united, and decorates our Tree of Blessing, it is of handmade, and loving gift, of remembrance. Remembrance of God, remembrance of toddlers, remembrance of the next generation, remembrance of the Holy, of the Divine, of the Connection between Heaven and Earth that is the powerline behind our hearts. We are in remembrance of Love, and continuation to rebirth that into the world through the cycles of light and shadows, compost and seed sprout, tree root and tree limb. We are that which we remember in our herding, in our healing, in our weaving, in our blessing and our heart shaped knowing. We are the remembrance that carries through the growing understanding of multiple millenniums.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And if one has lost family and is not in contact with that anymore, do look for your true home. Pick up your thread, pick up your cloth, pick up your fiber, and your barbed needles, and tease the material until the wisdom of healing pours forth. Then, you will know, and be thankful!

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

All Rights Reserved.

Holly Remembrances

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Home-Made Table Wreath With a Garden Holly.

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Beautiful Vintage inspired Fabric gifted from a Friend Transforms Our Dinner Blessing Table!

I am happy with how our table wreath turned out this year! I kept this very simple. This very much reminds me of my family, who harvested wild holly right here in Southwest Washington wooded areas for many decades. My family would harvest and then load on a truck and drive it down to California for California peoples to purchase greenery for their holiday celebrations. My family was always appreciated for their foraging work, and would have the same customers, year after year! This was in a time when joy was at a simpler level, when people wanted to buy from each other the efforts of work that turned into celebration. Making this table wreath feels strongly in connection with the traditions and stories of our family’s life. I may add to the wreath, maybe not quite finished, and our Holly Tree has abundance for us, always.

 

 

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

All Rights Reserved.

A Hand Made Hungarian Native American Thanksgiving Part 3

A Hand Made Hungarian Native American Thanksgiving Continues…

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Saving Seeds is a Sacred Duty!!!

Saving Seeds I believe is a Sacred Duty. I have been a seed saver for many, many years. I am honoring my family for continuing on this non-corporate legacy. As some of my readers and students may recall, from a while ago, in 1956, when my family fled Hungary from the Soviets, they only came with the clothes on their backs, our family, Hungarian Dolls with special embroidery from the regions our FAMILY still lives, and pepper seeds.

To me, the drama of those choices, when fleeing…..FAMILY, EMBROIDERY from SPECIFIC FAMILY LANDS and FAMILY SEEDS, speaks everything about my own family. In a dangerous moment, when one must choose the most important aspects of all ones life, to choose those three is the making of a heroic journey that I would be hard pressed to find in any book. I find my own family history is glorious, the decisions and choices of all my ancestors, who lived in a specific place (and still live in a specific place) for such a long period of time, the values imparted, the seeds given to me for my own journey through life, is all a very Sacred Happening! I can do nothing but carry on all the family legacies, honor what my Family honors and honored. It is nothing, short of a mission!

So, how is this all part of our Thanksgiving? I wouldn’t be here without all those specific choices! I am thankful for a rich history, and all the gifts that has given, the family connecting lands Olde and New.

Aside from being an ethnic Magyar, I also carry 25% Cherokee heritage. Why such a direct heritage when so many of the Cherokee were demolished in many ways? Because my Cherokee Family did not sign the rolls. They are Buffalo Ridge Folks. They never left the Eastern Mountains. They never marched. They never took an English name. The Mountains protected them, they became them. 100% Mountain Blood on all sides. From them, I have learned the lesson of never signing away my name. My first name, Summer, is indeed a testament to this fact. Not just a season, it is a name of blooming. Of becoming the fullest bloom without being told how to bloom. How sticking to ones guts, to ones own true nature, may always be harder, but in the end, one wins, wins integrity. My precious first name means much. While I am predominately Hungarian, I will always honor my quarter Cherokee heritage, the teachings from my Mother’s Mother and Grandmother, and the grit and elegance of these lovely peoples. I have found, over time, many similarities between the Hungarian and Cherokee sides of my family, including bow and arrow hunting which is a very alive practice with both today!!!

What does this have to do with a Blessing Feast? The food all comes from a place, it ALL has a story, and it is one of Thanksgiving. We People all come from a place, and we all have a story. If one doesn’t know where they come from, one may not know where they are going, or what they are made of. The Blessing today of Thanksgiving comes from a deep rooted place, which I will continue to honor, and teach my children to honor.

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Pumpkin Pies from our Front of the House Pumpkins and Dripped Goat Yogurt Cheese!!!

We had, on our Feasting Table, Pumpkin Pies. We cooked the pumpkins in our pantry, saving the best seeds from the choicest of squash. After cooking the pumpkin meat, I placed in a bowl 4 cups of cooked pumpkin with two cups of dripped, yogurt cheese, 1 cup of coconut sugar, a dash of salt, baking soda, 4 or 5 eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. I beat this good with a wooden spoon, and slipped the filling into ginger cookie crumb pie crusts. We baked this at 350 for about an hour, covered. Yum! Hardly a thing to make!

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A Perfectly Perfect Turkey, Full of Blessing!

Our turkey is looking super nice, resting on the counter, while side dishes finish in the oven. This will be continued in “A Hand Made Hungarian Native American Thanksgiving Part 4”.

“A Hand Made Hungarian Native American Thanksgiving Part 2” https://serendipityherbals.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/a-hand-made-hungarian-native-american-thanksgiving-part-2/

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

All pictures and text copyrighted. Please do not use photos without permission!