Monday, December 17, 2012

Conifer Tree Potions (Solstice Medicine - or How to use your Christmas Tree)

Solstice Medicine
~ Conifer Tree Potions ~

Solstice / Christmas trees can be timely medicine, and a way to bring the magic of your tree to further purpose and honor. If your tree isn't sprayed or somehow compromised, you can easily make a cabinet full of wonderful healing treasures from it, to give as gifts (ask your tree provider for clipping scraps!) or as winter medicines.


Elixirs are simple and a medicine easy to savor and enjoy over time. I spend the most part of elixir creating being with the plant; carefully gathering the plant and preparing if for medicine; which might be taking leaves from stems, plucking tiny flowers, clipping needles, or carving bark from twigs. This, to me, is where the culmination of magic and intention is created. By the time I place the charmed plant material in the jar and soak it with spirits and honey, everything is potent with goodness. Then it’s just a matter of letting the osmosis do its part over the next 4-6 weeks before decanting.

Conifer needles are rewarding to craft with in the winter; bringing crisp warmth and circulatory support for the lungs and body as a whole. Conifers make exceptional expectorants and additions to cough syrups.
To make an elixir, fill a quart size jar full with fresh pine, spruce, or fir needles and a few twigs. Feel free to add some resin drops if you have collected those too. They are common to find on white pine cones – you can pluck off the shingles with spots of resin and add them. Next, fill your jar ¾ of the way up with your preferred alcohol, (drinkable – do not use rubbing alcohol!). Fill the remainder of the jar with a good quality raw/local honey. Add a tight fitting lid, and shake every so often. Be sure to label and date it!!
To decant, simply pour through a muslin or cheesecloth lined strainer into a clean glass bowl or pyrex, and pour into your favorite apothecary bottles.
This will keep indefinitely if stored out of light and heat.
If you have also made a ginger or mint preparation, they make a very fine pair.

Spice Mix/Rub

Juniper, fir needles, pine needles, and various flavorful shrubs that are less popular (like spice bush) make very lovely nuances to cooking and pay homage to the local landscape.
First, you’ll want to let your needles dry. Place the whole twigs in a paper bag or cardboard box for about a week. When the needles are dry, they will effortlessly fall from the twigs.

Collect the needles, leaving behind ones that have yellowed.

Combine in a bowl:
2 parts:
Conifer needles
Rosemary leaves
Juniper berries
Salt Crystals
Peppercorns, cracked if you like
1 part:
Lavender flowers
Sage leaves, crumbled
Orange peel bits
Options for further refinement of purpose might be
 – chili, garlic, and paprika for a meat rub
 – allspice, coriander, and clove for a corned beef or pickling mix
 – dried onion, dried mushrooms, astragalus, and seaweed for a soup stock/ bone broth making blend.

Mix it all together, and place in little baggies or spice jars, with a label an idea for how to use it.
You can use a suribachi to refine the blend if you like, or you can offer a gift of the spice blend with  a suribachi, and inspire the chef in someone you love.

This spice blend is delicious as an infused vinegar – start some now and it will be ready for your holiday feasting!  It also makes a wonderful gravy or stuffing flavor. Any way you might use herbs de provence, you can use your conifer spice blend.

Infused oil 

If you know me, I don’t have to tell you how much I love making tree oils and tree balms. White fir being among my ultimate favorites, Yule time is a good excuse to make a batch.

First, I let the twigs wilt for a day or so. Then, I pack a jar with needles and twigs (same as I would with the above elixir instructions). Then, cover the plant material with a good quality oil; olive, jojoba, or coconut (warm to melt coconut oil).  Add a lid, place inside a paper or canvas bag, and put in a warm spot – near a radiator, wood stove, boiler, or heating vent. Be sure to not create a fire hazard. Let infuse for 1-4 weeks, strain and enjoy as an elegant culinary oil or a medicinal skin care oil. Whit fir needles (Abies concolor) are my favorite so far, for their strong orangey aroma and utter deliciousness.

You can then use your oils to create salves, by melting in just enough beeswax to thicken it. You can also find my Tree Medicine Salve set in the shop right now (but there are only a few):

Wild Forest Incense 

Loose incense is simple, beautiful, and rewarding. Blend your conifer needles (and some small broken up twig pieces) with your favorite fragrant coal herbs. Roses, White Sage, Sweetgrass, Pine resin tears, Cinnamon, Lavender, Rosemary, Frankincense, Copal, Myrrh, and Artemisia are all beautiful choices.

Mix together your blend, emphasizing the notes you wish to be stronger by using more of that herb. I generally try my blend a few times on a smoldering coal and adjust of needed before I decide if it is to my standards.

Package however you like, with a little instruction note and a roll of self-lighting charcoals and a ceramic incense dish.  Wrap some matches and a smudge feather as gifts to make it extra special, or make this for your own circle time.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can go for a more complex, Kyphi style incense. Kiva Rose offers a helpful article on the process here. 

And of course, you can always make a smudge wand:

Bundle up your twigs and wrap with natural string, hang and let dry in a ventilated area for about two weeks, out of direct sun or heat. 

Infused Butter/Ghee  

Conifer  needles make a delicious ghee. Simply warm the ghee over low heat, and stir in your fresh (1/2 day wilted) needles. Cover, leaving just a crack open at the side of the lid. Let infuse warm for about 8 hours. Strain and jar, letting cool to solid before capping.  

You can do the same thing to flavor your local pig lard, beef tallow, bear fat, or bacon fat for extra special cooking adventures. This makes an awesome gift for the hunter, primitive skills folk, or outdoorsman in your life.

If you have good clean deer tallow, it makes an incredibly beautiful natural salve when herbally infused.

For butter, chop fresh needles and sage leaves, stir into warmed butter, and when cool, roll into logs using parchment paper. You can also make decorative butter pats using candy molds. Refrigerate these herbal butters, and be sure your needles are not too bitter and not too hard to chew. 

Healing Needle Honey

To make a tree needle honey, simply fill your quart sized jar half way full with fresh needles. *taste* your needles to get a feel for the strength and bitterness! Fill your jar with good honey, and each day invert the jar so the honey completely saturates the needles. If this step is missed, your honey could either mold or ferment. If done properly, your infused honey will last you all year long (or longer) whether you choose to strain it or not. Personally I rarely strain my honeys. I like the crystalline herb leaves and petals, and add them to my tea as well. When I've gotten all the honey I can, I use the rest to brew a nice strong pot of tea or syrup, or I freeze it to use over time.

Tree needle honey is beautiful for everyday use, but especially helpful for the lungs when expectoration and loosening of congestion is needed. It is mildly stimulating to the mucosa and would be less desirable for an extremely dry condition. In that case, I would first use demulcents, and then a small amount of the tree needle honey.

Conifer Shrub

A shrub or oxymel is a mixture of vinegar and honey that is infused with herbs. It’s a traditional preparation (common in the Appalachia region). It makes a great gift and a very nice remedy for coughs, colds, and the flu. It’s awesome in salad dressing and sparkly beverages! Shrubs are a world of herbal fun and extremely easy to make.

Fill your quart or half gallon sized jar 1/3 of the way with plant material, dried or fresh.
For example:
1 part Tree needles
1 Part Orange peel
1 Part Elderberries

Cover the herbs well with good honey. You want to stay around the 1/3 amount of your total … unless you like your oxymel really sweet. 

Fill the rest of the way with apple cider vinegar, or other favorite naturally fermented vinegar (avoid distilled vinegars like white vinegar.) Cover and infuse for 5-20 days. Strain if you wish. We like to make individual bottlesfor gifts. 

If you have homemade vinegar, or home harvested honey, that’s really special!

Nourishing Needle Vinegar

Vinegar is a deeply nutritious preparation used for food and medicine. Vinegar withdraws all of the minerals from our plant friends and is excellent for our bone health, digestive health, and circulation. Tree needle vinegar is unique and wildly flavorful!

First, make sure you have tasted your needles. Add less if they are very bitter, more if they are less bitter.
Fill your jar 1/8 to 1/4 way full with needles, fresh. Fill to the top with good vinegar, and let infuse 3-6 weeks. Use a plastic lid, or on with a rubber gasket, as metal will rust.

Conifer needle vinegar can also be packed with items you wish to brine …. Hard boiled eggs, Olives, Carrots, Burdock roots, Turnips, or Beets – just add them to the jar before you pour the vinegar.

Juniper & Pine Needle Gin

Juniper – Pine gin, with a pinch of mugwort and lavender. Mmmmm a very classy gift indeed. How about an herbal smoking blend and a corn cob pipe with that? How about a fancy flask or a witchy spirits glass?

To Make:

Fill your jar (yep, your 1 quart jar again ;)
- 2/3 cup Juniper berries
- 2/3 cup fresh conifer needles
- 1 tablespoon allspice berries
- pinch of grated nutmeg, pepper, or cardamom if desired.
- pinch of mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris, or Artemisia absinthium)
-Cover with your favorite Gin or Scotch
-Lid and label
-Keep out of reach of children and away from fire hazard areas!

Let extract for at least a week. If you’re in a time crunch, make in individual bottles so you can leave the herbs in, simply label it with a “ready by” date for the recipient. Chances are it will be potent even after a few days.

Potpourri without Chemicals

Mix in a bowl:
Conifer needles (the majority quantity)
Rose petals
Sage leaves
Lavender flowers
Bay leaves, Sweet gale, or Eaucalyptus leaves.
Bark pieces, small … oak, paper birch, or shagbark hickory, if you like to gather these.
Acorn caps, dry.
Moss – Spanish moss is often available at craft stores, or you can use locally gathered beard moss or common stringy mosses (please be careful not to harvest anything at risk)
Drip into your mix, essential oils:
20 - 40 drops pine needle and/or Juniper berry
20 - 40 drops Cedar wood
10 - 20 drops Oakmoss absolute (highly viscous, be aware)
20 – 40 Orange essential oil if desired. 

Mix with a metal or glass spoon, and place in decorate bowls, glasses, or sachets wherever you like. Play with the amount of essential oils  - this is a forgiving recipe and you have all the room in the world to use less or more, and other oils you might wish to try. 

If you have extra essential oils you want to use, consider saturating some of the moss with it, and placing it in a tight container with a stack of stationery to create beautiful scented paper, and keep until Valentine ’s Day or the moment you’re moved to write a love letter. J

Bath Bags

Fill a muslin bag with equal parts conifer needles, roses, and peppermint. Add to your bath as it fills for a gentle healing tub for kids and adults alike. For a bedtime blend, use lavender, chamomile, hops, or jasmine in place of the mint. Oatmeal is a very nice addition as well.

Tea Blends - Try my Black Forest Chai Recipe From my recent archives: 


An intense herbal brew for your days hiding in the Cave.

Into a pot on the stove or wood stove, add 2 to 3 quarts filtered or well water. 

~ 1, One inch sized root of Osha, dried.
~ One tablespoon Smoked black tea, such as Lapsang Souchong, or a roasted Mate
~ 1 tablespoon  Licorice root
~ 1 tablespoon Cardamom seeds
~ 1-2 tablespoons Ginger, fresh minced
~ 1-2 Springs freshly gathered conifer twigs with needles (spruce, fir, or pine)
~ 1 handful fresh Black Birch twigs cut into 1 inch bits
~ 5-10 Juniper berries
~ One inch piece dried mushroom (chaga, reishi, or shitake) if desired
~ grated Nutmeg to taste
~ Black Peppercorns as desired
~ 1 Handful of your favorite nuts; walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts work well)

Directions: Gently simmer all ingredients for 30-45 minutes (longer will make it stronger). When ready, ladle out cupfuls as you desire, into your favorite mug. Add cream and honey and herbal elixirs as desired. Enjoy.


Using candy molds, sprinkle bits of needles and petals into each one, and pour over with melted beeswax. When partially cooled but still soft, use a toothpick to poke holes for string.


If you're in the mood to make a pine syrup, you can reference my previous article on the process HERE.

Share with us *your* favorite way to make goodies from your Yule tree! Leave a comment below, or come play on Facebook

And remember to check out the Apothecary before it's too late to order - right now it's stocked with limited edition botanical perfumes, aromatherapy/elixir support, dreaming goddess night cream, and tree medicine balms.....

~ Nymphaea ~ Honey Lotus Botanical Perfume Solid ~ Lt'd Ed. 2012 ~

Blessings to you on this paradox holiday.....


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

NYMPHAEA ~ New Perfume Solid from Amrita Apothecary



~ Nymphaea ~

A Lingering Aromatic for Biophilic Goddesses and Dancing Skin
For Women who wander somewhere between the Water Nymphs, Circus Silks, Garden Witches, Harps, Operas, Faery Lore, and Plant Addiction.

Clementine, Mandarin, Coriander, Roman Chamomile

Beeswax, Jasmine Grandiflorum, Orange Blossom, White Lotus

Base Notes:
Cocoa, Peru Balsam, Himalayan Cedar, Jasmine Sambac.

Nymphaea is a decidedly feminine botanical perfume balm, carefully handcrafted and poured into a hand carved rosewood box. Concretes, attars, absolutes and oils are blended perfectly to illuminate the sweetness and round floral exaltation of Jasmine and Neroli, with none of the frequently unpleasant and aromatic conflicts of these two commanding flower queens.

Soft and gentle yet with beautiful holding power, Nymphaea lingers like a sensory dream ~ recalling visions of water lily encounters, romantic interludes under moonlit Jasmine vines, divinely joyful moments of belonging, and gracefully entwines the worlds of flower erotica and human devotion.

While each note plays an integral role in the perfume composition, they are there to hold, melt, highlight, and enrich the relationship of Jasmine and Neroli, the principal notes.

Nymphaea_Nelumno_-_Lotus_Flower_-_with_Fruit_(1878)_-_TIMEA.jpgThings to do while wearing Nymphaea….
Take a ballet class
Wander in the fog
Look closely at wild moss
Sip hot Cocoa
Write a love letter
Crochet with silk & wool
Make Vanilla extract
Go Ice Skating
Listen to Loreena McKennet
Play Chess
Read Jitterbug Perfume
Plant Narcissus
Paint with pastels
Schedule a massage
Make herbal honeys
Blends well with: Chandra, Mead, Consort, A Vacation.
An Aromatic Treasure by Amrita Apothecary


Available in the Shop


Monday, December 3, 2012

I Hate Christmas. That's My Truth.

December 3, 2012

Dear Diary,

I hate Christmas.

I hate the lights, the fake cinnamon smells they blast at the store entrances, I hate the pressure, I hate the deadlines. 

I hate the feeling of a monumental annual failure. I hate the sugar overload, the ugly colored cookies, and the snow.

I especially hate the songs. Every last tinny jingle.

That's my truth. 

This is not an inspiring post,

or a post that suggests you should feel any other way than you do.

It's a post that is about truth.

Unedited, radical, shameless truth.

I hate Christmas.

And it's ok if you do, too. Or not.

This year, while I know I must and will go along and try to make some things go well for my family and I, I wish for myself a place of solace on Solstice. 

I ask for a bonfire, ceremony, special people, hot tea with strong herbs, and a moment of magickal stillness in the newborn sunrays.

I wish for a moment of intimacy with nature. A moment to say thank you. A moment to touch the moss and smell the bark. To put acorns in my pocket.

I wish for a chance to model truth and simple spiritual connection for my children.

My hope for you is that you dare to ask for what you really want.



Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bah-Humbug! (Transformational Tools for your Holidays!) Journal activities, Herbs, Foods, and Smells to Help You

This past week my girlfriend and I had an enlightening conversation about Thanksgiving. Each of us where sharing what challenges us the most; what we were afraid of, what made us feel rotten, and what kind of behavior by others ruins our day.

I found us saying things like “I wish I had more help with the planning and preparation of the food so I was less resentful”, “I don’t want to have to answer to anybody about my personal life if I’m not ready, but I don’t want them to feel pushed away, either”, “I’m worried about political differences coming up” and “I feel exhausted at the end, not filled up and all happy like we’re told we should feel. I want to actually feel nourished and full of gratitude, not like: ‘thank God that’s over!’”

After we vented a bit, we started asking some questions instead, and low and behold we started coming up with miraculous ways to approach the coming holidays with a lot more self-awareness and intention, and less attachment to how others decide to use the day.
This is an incredibly self-protective and freeing experience! And although I've personally done a *lot* of inner work around dealing with winter and the holidays, but this conversation was especially helpful and insightful.

So, in light of the fast-approaching Yule tide, I come here today to offer a similar journey for you, as well as herbal and aroma allies. For my apothecary members I always approach things holistically this way (including inquiry based journaling/mindset methods, sensory engagement, and herbal nourishment) so that the healing happens from multiple facets and is integrated more completely. I invite you to tackle things with this in mind as well.

The more my friend and I talked about what we wanted and complained less about what we didn’t want, the more clearly we were able to see the potential to enjoy our holiday more, even within the given circumstances.

However, it is good to get all the complaints on the table, as they can help us navigate. So….lay it all out, my friend, with reckless honesty:

What are my biggest, most anxiety producing complaints about the holiday?






{Awesome, good job J}

Next, Go slowly through each of your above frustrations and ask these questions:

1.       Is this an experience I’m capable of changing?

2.       Does the change need to happen externally, involving others?

3.       Is there a change in me, internally, that would help? What is that? Compassion, forgiveness, or a shift in expectations?

4.       Do I contribute to this issue in any way?

5.       What personal boundaries can I set for myself around this issue? (e.g.; Getting more rest? Not answering questions I don’t feel comfortable with? Not engaging in feeling victimized or falling prey to passive aggressive behavior?

6.       In what ways can I ask for help & support from my loved ones in regards to this issue?
7.       How can I better prepare for this potential experience, manage it if it occurs, or help prevent it?

{Woot! Feels good so far, yes? Are you surprised by anything so far?}

Next, we need to shift the focus to what we do desire.

1.       What would each of these experiences look and feel like to you, if they were expressed in the positive?
For example, if your #1 fear was listening to your children fight, it might look like two siblings enjoying each other’s company.

2.       What do I want out of a holy-day? How do I want to feel before, during, and after?

3.       What are some ways my ideals can be fed and supported??

Brainstorm specific ideas around this – the more specific you are the more likely it is to happen, whether because you take action, or something becomes more energetically possible through the magic of your intentions.

Super! We’re well on our way to a transformed holiday experience.  In addition to the above specific problem-solving inquiries, we can arm ourselves with some general ideas as well. These are three of my favorite pattern interrupters that I use the most often.

~In this moment, I can choose peace.

~In this moment, what can I do differently?

~Even though I feel ­­­­_____ (angry, hurt, etc) I can choose to shift things by acting out of love.

By claiming more ownership over the emotional choices, vocabulary we use, and the physical activity choices we have, and by creating a plethora of options for ourselves, we can shift out of feeling victimized and begin to foster a sense of self-protection, groundedness, and hope that the coming days, meant to be most sacred, generous, and fulfilling, actually can be just that.

The nourishing feast: 

Oh the food! Yummy, yummy food, and lots of it! Meant to be a gleeful celebration of bounty, of course, this can instead be the source of much misery for many, whether it is days in the kitchen laboring over the perfect meringue, a tender bird, or peeling endless potatoes – worrying about eating too much and gaining weight, fearing the dish washing task, or simply feeling like crap afterwards.

Whatever the food brings up for you, we can apply a few small tweaks for aid.

--Ditch the MSG. This means no “Mr.Gravy” thickener, and no poor quality brand dressings or seasoning packets. MSG can cause severe inflammation, instigate over-eating, and provide mega-headaches. They are just no good party poopers. (Monosodium Glutamate) is known for its trouble making and is better off left out of the meal.

--Change from soda. UGH! There are so many excellent sparkly options nowadays. Corn syrup and artificial flavor/color is a holiday’s bad news. Don’t go there. Especially if you have volatile parent/kid pairs in the family, or any diabetics. This might feel like an epic change for some – but remember that we can focus on what we are adding instead of subtracting to help us all adapt and enjoy.

--ADD Lots of digestive aids! At least an hour before the main meal, take a little something each ten or twenty minutes to stoke your digestive fire. There are many options you have no excuse to avoid this essential action.

Ginger root, Lemon Juice, Fennel Seeds, Apple Cider Vinegar, black pepper & cinnamon chai, Turmeric root, bitters such as Dandelion root tincture, Artemisia tincture, and Goldenrod tincture can all help ready the digestion. Fermented foods as an appetizer and condiment are one of my very favorite (and delicious) ways to support digestion. Homemade sauerkraut, kimchi, or pickled vegetables are a fantastic way to support those in your family who may not be so interested in your herbal concoctions.

--Have honey available. For those who might decide to use honey instead of sugar in their coffee or tea. Yay! (Then dessert will be more relaxed)

--Ask for help!!!! Call up your inner queen and do some delegating. People who stand around waiting to do something, actually do want to help. But if they are in someone else’s kitchen, they would do well with some helpful directions. Guys who retreat to the football game are, more often than not, willing to help if you’re willing to ask.

And, last but not least, Aroma-allies.

If you’re hosting, and you usually burn Yankee or similarly scented candles consider not. These candles can contribute to migraines, nausea, mood swings, and mysterious maladies galore. They are packed with dangerous fragrance chemicals like z-estrogens that can wreak havoc.

Natural aromas in the house are inviting … cider, stuffing, garlic … these are the smells that help us feel welcome, stimulate salivation, and cultivate memories (without side effects). If you do wish for candles, try ones with natural essential oils of orange or cinnamon for a gentler ambiance. You can also choose unscented candles and use an aromatherapy diffuser with the following essential oils.

If you keep a cupboard of essential oils, you can make yourself a helpful blend.  One of my favorite for Yule time is Roman Chamomile. Wildly herbaceous & floral/fruity, this almost apple-like chamomile oil is incredibly uplifting and anti-depressant. Roman Chamomile is excellent for those who tend to feel brooding, argue beyond the point of reason, and get ‘hot headed’ or stubborn. It is also somewhat expensive – but also strong. Diluted in carrier oil at about 2-4 drops of essential oil to 1/3 ounce carrier oil, you can apply it or smell it as frequently as you like.

If you prefer something more grounded and rooty, you might find Vetiver essential oil to be helpful. It is excellent for those who abhor traveling, tend to feel nervous or insecure, or feel as though they need thicker skin. It is one of the strongest essential oils and will be plenty effective at a dilution of 1 drop in 1/3 ounce of carrier oil.

You might enjoy a trip to your local natural food store to smell an array of essential oils and determine which one makes you feel most relaxed and happy.


However you choose to support yourself this holy-day season, may it be nourishing, joyful, and bring you closer to the ones you love.

Blissful Blessings,

in the Apothecary (and more to come in the next week, stay tuned!!!)

~Resins & Roses~
Botanical Perfume

click here:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pomegranate Elixir Recipe (Homemade Shirley-Temple for Grown-ups!)

Pomegranates are so sexy.

 Totally irresistible

and incredibly delicious!

And of you've got a couple extra, you can make a DeLuscious, frothy pomegranate beverage.

--Seeds of 2 pomegranates (organic if possible)
--put the seeds into a mason jar
--fill up to 3/4 of the height of the seeds with brandy or your favorite sipping liquor
--fill the rest of the space to meet the top of the seeds with local raw honey
--pour it all into a food processor
--add other twists if you like: lime juice, vanilla extract, or nutmeg sprinkles

{My Lady's Slipper Ring Members are receiving a Pomegranate Bitters special blend with wildcrafted herbs added <3 p="p">

Sift through a strainer to remove the seeds, pour over ice (or CAKE) and enjoy.

Happy Wild Gratitude Day!


PS - New Artisan Aromatics and Sacred Herbals are up in the shop!! Support Mamas and Artists and Herbalists!
Pleasure Medicine 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Black Forest Chai Recipe, Cave Poetry, and Important Apothecary Changes (Action Required)



Cave Poetry

Razor sharp is the air this morning. 

Indicative of a true winter's day, the sky is solemn and brooding. 

All warmth is withheld, and joy must be sought  created, or remembered.  

I take solace in welcoming the cave time. 

In the darkness is fertile possibility.

In the silence comes the ancestral answers.

In the smell of the heady, dank earth,

we are granted the chance to take back our body.

In our cave time we adorn!

We draw red ochre on the walls

of our igneous hideouts

We butter our lips with roses and fat.

Smoke curls through time

Scenting our blankets and cloaks.

Libations in blood colored liquids are poured

Invoking dreams and visions.

The light comes to us from within our forest bodies, 

our bellies of love and water,

our breasts of milk and sweetness,

our minds of flowers and kaleidoscope minerals.

The Goddesses visit us in our cavern.

They give us gifts of dances and beauty and order.

They command from us our greatness, our fearless femininity.

As the world outside our cave

turns to ice

and incubates the seeds

We gestate our creative forces

and conjure powerful destinations

We render ghee from butter,

we render love from pain

we render forgiveness from anger

and we turn our inner blossoms

into seeds with wings


Dearest Reader

Thank you for coming along these plant journeys. I know that even though you're here, reading something I have typed, this is really *your* journey. Your way of reconnecting to the earth beneath your feet, to the trees in your own forest, and to the senses tingling and talking throughout your body. 
I'm incredibly grateful to be somehow a part of that for you. 
I give gratitude for you and your divine nature. 

There are a few changes around here in an effort to serve you better, if you are a reader, patron, or ally, please be sure to read this thoroughly. 

As you may know it has been an extraordinary year for me.

I'm entering my second year of offering my Pleasure Medicine Apothecary Membership/Home study course (the Lady's Slipper Ring) and I have grown and learned a lot from the journey. 

I have made an impressive collection of herbals through the process, which I am very proud of. Below is my Botanical Aromatherapy Perfume Archive for the year (Oct 2011 - Oct 2012) It now rests on my abundance/gratitude altar. 

What I've noticed, is that there are two groups that I serve, and while there is quite a bit of overlap, there is also some divide. 

Some of you come for this:

and some of you come for this: 

And sometimes I just want to talk about this:

or this:

Does that make sense? 

So, to serve you better, take these actions: 

1) If you want to connect mostly about plants, nature, and earth based musings, please continue to be a part of this blog, and the Plant Journeys facebook page. You will still receive Apothecary offerings and updates on a semi-regular basis, but it will remain primarily a plants, life, and food-based forum for me.

2) If you're mostly here for my Artisan Herbals, Lady's Slipper Ring annual membership, pain killer salve, elixirs and products, or because you're into beautiful apothecary musings and sexy pictures of red wine and freshly poured magic potions, then the NEW Amrita Apothecary facebook Page is the click to like to stay connected to all of my creative endeavors and product offerings. In the future - THIS is where I will be posting first come first serve offerings such as night owl discounts, early bird specials, and OOAK leftovers from special projects. So, if you love my products, this is the place to be. If you're not interested in hearing about my offerings, this is not the place to be.

In this way, I sincerely hope to continue serving you in the ways more specific to the reasons you visit me, and in the ways that connect you with nature and your body most directly.

In gratitude and beauty blessings,


PS - Thank you to everyone who has enrolled in this year's Ladys' Slipper Ring! I am diving deep to upgrade the home study content, going far into the forest to dig you rich roots, and working tirelessly on ideas for your coming herbal treasures. It's going to be a delicious ride. 

If any of you were hoping to come along, it's not (but almost!) too late! I have TWO SPACES LEFT  - but they will only be here until November 12, when I will lock the doors on the program until September 2013. 
For more information, go HERE


An intense herbal brew for your days hiding in the Cave.

Into a pot on the stove or wood stove, add 2 to 3 quarts filtered or well water. 

~ 1, One inch sized root of Osha, dried.
~ One tablespoon Smoked black tea, such as Lapsang Souchong, or a roasted Mate
~ 1 tablespoon  Licorice root
~ 1 tablespoon Cardamom seeds
~ 1-2 tablespoons Ginger, fresh minced
~ 1-2 Springs freshly gathered conifer twigs with needles (spruce, fir, or pine)
~ 1 handful fresh Black Birch twigs cut into 1 inch bits
~ 5-10 Juniper berries
~ One inch piece dried mushroom (chaga, reishi, or shitake) if desired
~ grated Nutmeg to taste
~ Black Peppercorns as desired
~ 1 Handful of your favorite nuts; walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts work well)

Directions: Gently simmer all ingredients for 30-45 minutes (longer will make it stronger). When ready, ladle out cupfuls as you desire, into your favorite mug. Add cream and honey and herbal elixirs as desired. Enjoy.



Inspirations for Black Forest Chai come from the following:

My Sweet Friend, Herbalist Darcey Blue, who successfully got me addicted to smoked tea.

Kiva Rose's Wild Woodlands Morning Brew Recipe mmm

And of course, my body, who says - "Give me quiet, give me tea." 

And I must obey.