Structure of Spirit

leaf and twig

with all of youth departed
the essence laid bare
great beauty remains

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American Botanical Council Publishes Online Version of The Identification of Medicinal Plants Book

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Online access to identification book provides new quality control resource for herb industry

AUSTIN, Texas (October 19, 2017) — The American Botanical Council (ABC) announces a new benefit for its members around the world: the online publication of The Identification of Medicinal Plants: A Handbook of the Morphology of Botanicals in Commerce, a manual that addresses the macroscopic assessment of 124 medicinal plants used in North America and Europe.

The book was originally co-published in 2006 by ABC with the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. It was written by Wendy Applequist, PhD, associate curator at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s William L. Brown Center, and illustrated with botanically accurate black-and-white line drawings by artist Barbara Alongi.

Accurate identification of the correct genus and species of botanical raw materials is the first step in quality control of botanical preparations. While several methods of identification are addressed in the…

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Widowed for 2 years, in 6 days…

Since he died, I have been “wabi-sabiing the hell out of my life. That is to say, I’m trying VERY hard to find the beauty in this imperfection.

But, alas, the realist in me, that he taught me to be, realizes that death encompasses the elemental, and literal meaning of the whole aesthetic, which is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete,” … life itself. 😞

In contrast, the gardener in me celebrates the impermanence of it all. The garden must die, or more accurately, rest. If only beings could just be resting.

Life is so wonderful, yet so terrible. That is Nature, which is pure magic.

He is, was, and always will be synonymous with magic in my heart because he taught me love of all beings, and life itself.

We had 30 years, so wonderful,… I’m still in love with my husband, so terrible he’s gone way too soon.

Liberation and the Wild Girl-God

Me thinks it’s about that time for moi…


Sometimes, a Wild Girl-God moves in and rearranges what you thought was real. She thumbs her nose at propriety and property, social and monetary capital. She wakes me up in the morning and asks, full of wonder-delight-menace-daring, “What are we going to do today?”

From Karina Black Heart

There’s a gorgeous poem-prose piece, “Sometimes a Wild God,” that everyone should read or listen to at least seven dozen times in their lives. For me, it is an affirmation of how I invite the Gods I am in relationship with to inform my life and give me courage to live as they do.

These symbiotic relationships with Gods have gotten me in all kinds of trouble, including roller-coaster relationships, courageous acts and harrowing feats, landing in foreign countries with less than $70 in my wallet, moving out of state to be near my Madre–the Sea, zip-lining, fire-walking, hand-crafting, vegetable gardening, visiting…

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How Einstein Saw the World

Nature is my religion.

Creative by Nature


“School failed me, and I failed the school. It bored me. The teachers behaved like Feldwebel (sergeants). I wanted to learn what I wanted to know, but they wanted me to learn for the exam. What I hated most was the competitive system there, and especially sports. Because of this, I wasn’t worth anything, and several times they suggested I leave.

This was a Catholic School in Munich. I felt that my thirst for knowledge was being strangled by my teachers; grades were their only measurement. How can a teacher understand youth with such a system?

From the age of twelve I began to suspect authority and distrust teachers. I learned mostly at home, first from my uncle and then from a student who came to eat with us once a week. He would give me books on physics and astronomy.

The more I read, the more puzzled I was…

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White Clover Pudding: A Recipe for Comfort & Healing

Gather Victoria


Little did I know when I first came across an old pioneer recipe for “White Clover Snow” that it would be my solace during dark and hungry times. But after a recent dental pummeling that left me aching and unable to chew, it was this sweet unassuming little ‘pudding’ that rode to my rescue. Spooning its creamy softness into my mouth was soothing and nourishing – and I took great comfort knowing it was chock full of medicinal ingredients that would help speed healing along.


Although the original recipe called for Mililotus Mill, the tall, field sweet clover, I wasn’t quite up to going on a forage – so I adapted with what I had on hand – the white clover that was growing in profusion right outside my front door.


Overshadowed by her taller better known sister Red Clover, Trifolium repens L. rarely raises her frilly head above…

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Herbal Tinctures- What Are They & How To Make One

Hollyberry Herb Farm

An Herbal Tincture is a method of preserving the medicinal attributes of an herb in such a way will allow you to use the herbs long after their season is gone.  As I have said before, the more herbs you eat, the healthier you will be.  However, at certain times of the year, certain herbs are not available.  So, by making tinctures you can use herbs all year round.  Typically, to make a tincture you steep the herb of choice in vodka or brandy for four to six weeks.  Once the herb matter is strained out and the liquid re-bottled, the tincture will keep indefinitely.

The essential oils and herbal essences are soluble in alcohol making alcohol a better solvent than vinegar for making tinctures.  Once the menstruum (plant material and solvent) has steeped, all the herbal goodness and health benefits of the herbs will be suspended and concentrated in…

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Wild Rose Cupcakes & Buttercream Frosting: A Divine Confection

Gather Victoria


“Mystery glows in the rose bed, the secret is hidden in the rose.” 12th Century Persian Poem

Don’t underestimate the power of this demure, pretty, little cupcake. Behind its girly facade lies a scent and flavor so compelling, so transporting, that it has been from time immemorial associated with magic, mysticism, esoteric secrets, sacred sexuality, the unfolding of higher consciousness, and most especially – divine feminine power.

The story of the wild rose (from which all our domesticated roses descend) could fill books – and has. Reputed to be millions of years old, the five petal rose (Rosa canina) blooms in late spring in woodlands and fields across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America.  The colours of our wild rose vary from pale pink to dark cerise, and are extremely nutritious, high in Vitamin C, antioxidants, polyphenols and bioflavonoids.


Here in the Pacific Northwest, our native species are…

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Fun with DIY: Skinceuticals-Dupe Vitamin C Tutorial

The Acid Queen

UPDATED 8/10/16: I am so thrilled that people still find this tutorial useful! I’ve grown a lot as a DIYer since I first wrote this tutorial (and even launched a skincare business), and to give you the best experience possible, I’ve updated the instructions based on my own personal best practices. The recipe itself is the same.

Back to our originally scheduled programming…

I have tried a lot of DIY vitamin C recipes in my time. A lot. Of. Recipes. I’ve experimented with different emulsifiers, solubilizers, humectants, film formers, even preservatives. I used every online recipe I could find and tried to tweak them all. I hated almost everything I made.

In a fit of desperation, I Googled around to see if anyone had created a dupe of the phenomenal Skinceuticals CE Ferulic serum. Lo and behold, Lotioncrafter had just the thing. I tried it, and it worked. It…

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