Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Spectrum and the Spiral (and a FREE sneak peek at the Lady's Slipper home study content!)

Actually I think one of the best preventative medicines for the immune system is connecting to the rhythms of the seasons. I felt fall the morning of August 1. There is a deeper calendar in our bodies that lets us know what we need to do to keep ourselves strong and resilient. This is the learning we do as a tribe of re-connectors; plant medicine people, real food makers, and self-employed artists. We give ourselves the room to be gut-led, weather-led, cycle led. 
In this context, herbs seldom fail to work with us.

Greetings and happy Autumn, friends!

Here, the air in the morning calls the mist down from the mountains, the dew sparkles across the knotweed, and the lilting sun is gentle only 'till noon. 
Then it's hot for a fleeting couple of hours; just the window of opportunity needed to collect the wild plants I need for medicine making. 
I've already begun harvesting some roots, and soon will be sassafras, autumn olive and rose hips. 
Are you feeling the season? What does it smell like, taste like, sound like? Our senses are reliable informants. 
Slippery Evening Primrose Roots

Most of my work in life is based on two philosophies. 
The Spectrum, and the Spiral. 

This is, like the doshas and the humors and the 5 element theory, a general direction of understanding in which I can draw insight from. 

The tendency of the spectrum is a kind of holistic polarity, whereby seemingly opposing energies can be harmonized to create homeostasis.

A simple example might be the idea of spicy ginger helping a cold stagnant cough, or the dancer's attitude: where each of the far reaching points of the body are in direct relationship with the center, and both must be equally tended in order to achieve a steady balance and moment of beauty. 

The tendency of the spiral represents all of natural law within the elusive span of time. It's sort of a quantum knowing that we repeat patterns of growth that are similar or same, yet in the moment of time it occurs, it is completely unique; never to be expressed that exact same way again.

The spiral occurs in our lives when we recognize an experience, or a season, a taste, or a feeling. It occurs in our body as it continually regenerates, and it occurs in our perspectives and outlooks on life as we mature and ripen. We walk the spiral and expand each time. 

I say all this not just to evangelize my new-agey ideas, but to offer a way of walking through life with poetic stride, as each challenge comes our way and asks us to become more of ourselves. 

This is the context in which I offer the herbal lifeways taught and activated within the Lady's Slipper Ring Membership. 

Herbs sometimes work on their own. Personal growth sometimes works on its own. However, as we see in the spectrum of polarities, Internal and External work can transform and empower us most deeply and effectively when they are both engaged simultaneously.

Why enroll in the Lady's Slipper Ring? Well, really that is an answer only you can determine. 

If there is even a small voice inside you, calling you to become more deeply connected to your senses, your intuition, your body's innate wisdom, then I sincerely invite you along this delicious journey. 

Here is an offering to you - an excerpt from the home study components!

Remember, though, that this is out of context of the membership spiral, and it will be a spoiler for that month! 

Need another little incentive?

~~Pay in full members get one month FREE
~~Enrollments before October 14 receive a free welcome gift! 
~~All completing members receive a handmade Lady's Slipper ceramic pendent as a completion gift in the last month. 
~~Free Issues of the famed Herbal Roots Zine, to enrich your home apothecary and plant knowledge
~~But of course, YOU and your richer, more empowered and luscious self will be the biggest reward of all. 

With Love,


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Passionflower Tale

Yesterday I read a book.

Sometimes I can do that, you know, sit down and read the whole thing in a short amount of time.

Sometimes it's because I took a speed reading course as a kid, 

and sometimes it's just because it's a really good book and I am blessed/cursed with three hours in a parking lot while my kids are in their programs. 

In this case it was the latter. 

It's a pretty little book by the wonderful Shakti Gawain, called Creating True Prosperity. I knew it would be a book more about mindset than money, (are they different, really?) which is why I got it. I like to feed my brain with good perspectives and techniques.

At the same time, I can't seem to get passionflower out of my head. the image of this sexy, decadent flower and it's unusually sweet-putrid-overripe odd tasting leaves have just twined their way into my psyche. It seems to be a plant that, although climbs with skill and logic, blossoms with reckless abandon; a perfect expression straight from the heart of the plant.

This is the thing about being directly with the plants, it's really the same as reading a book except it's wordless and full of touch. You get the whole story, the details, the nuances, the tones. You get the past present and future if you watch them grow and fruit.
And then the story becomes you.
With the droplets from the tincture bottle or the sipping of tea, suddenly the chapters include you, and the legacy continues. 

As I wrapped the vines around my neck - which was the easiest way to carry them after harvesting from the lattice - my system relaxed into joy. My muscles released tension, and my heart beat peacefully. The peculiar taste of the leaves was intensely comforting; slightly warm, soft, mothering, moistening, strong and steady. 
I chewed it slowly and invited it into my body.
It was welcomed company.
Like a best friend who comes over with soup and a helping hand.
Or a wise word at just the right moment.
And a reminder of worthiness and value and the intertwining of nature and humans.

What does the book have to do with anything?
It's the part where the brain has to re-learn how to be of service to the heart, to the body's wisdom.
Good books and wise wisdom train the brain, while the plants retrain the physiology.

Together, they are a powerful pair, capable of interrupting trigger patterns, tantrums, regressions, rage, abusive language, relationship glitches, and can hold your hand through the dark places.

These are the passionvine tendrils that hold us up long enough to blossom, knowing that the friction needed to burst into bloom is always a mating of polarities.


Your passion
your flowering.

copyright Ananda Wilson

Empowerment through self inquiry, plus Pleasure Medicine through exquisite handcrafted herbal products delivered right to your doorstep every month! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why I offer the Lady's Slipper Ring Home Study course & Herbal CSM

Marketing is so annoying.

I was talking to my close girlfriend last night and found myself in an honest kind of rant. 

She asked me about my Lady's Slipper Ring.....

"Hey! Your membership is open again for another year!"

"Yep :) it is!", I reply.

"Are you excited, or nervous?" She inquires.

"Both" (of course)

You see, there's a world of fancy marketing plans out there, and many of them are very slick, very savvy, and very effective. 

They are also designed by folks who know all about marketing and get paid to do that with their time, and can tell everyone all about it. 

I raise kids. I harvest plants. I make medicines and oils and fragrant delights - instead  of weaving a string of drip campaigns into your email box every day, laced with this deadline and this incentive and this push and shove. 
I bend time in order to make dinner for my family, and escape soccer practices to get into the woods. I move mountains in order to keep homeschooling my kids, and I try like hell to make sure that every way I choose to spend my time is in alignment with my values. 

Perhaps I should apologize, because I'm not giving you a proper spiel to be properly coaxed and convinced. I don't actually want to sell you something that requires lubrication. 

Perhaps you want more information, or more insight and my lack of big showy buttons and videos make me small and hard to find.

And maybe you just want the truth from the horses mouth, without the airbrushed words and glittery splash pages. Maybe you just want to hear what I really think, and why the Lady's Slipper Ring is what I choose to put out in the world. 

So here it is, black and white:

I offer this work because I've been to hell and back. A few times. I know the fight to remain heart centered.

This is the work, the insight and loving kind of contemplation that got me through my dark nights of the soul.

These are the affirmations I needed when I wanted to throw in the towel. 

Mornings when I wished with all my heart, that I didn't even wake up, the thread of life was held to my heart by the smell of the plants. By the grounding of vetiver and cinnamon on my feet, I was able to walk that hard day. I was able to let the tears fall with a little more compassion. 

I do this work because honesty can set us free, but sometimes the truth is hiding under a pile of shit.

I do this work because I'm in service to the plants - it is my duty to share their sensual, intuitive powers. It's my thank you to them for resuscitating me time after time after time.

It's the Echinacea roots that carried my grief when I could no longer. 

It's the Bloodroot that called me a medicine woman before I could. 

It's the Pine tree that climbed my bones first. 

It's the Oats that sowed me. 

I'm not a doctor, I'm not a psychologist, I'm not a naturopath. 
I'm not a therapist.

I am a woman 
who's been to hell and back
and these are the tools that carry me through
the challenges of being woman, authentically and wholly
beautifully and dynamically
and I want women to 
not only
know these tools, 

but always have a fragrant oil to put on before bed
to have a healing salve in their bag
and feel the support of the plants
in their bodies and lives

and know you are not alone
as you give
and give
and give
to your families, 
your lovers
your communities
your work

it is you that shines greatness and sweetness
and cannot bear fruit without water 
at your feet.

And so I have not spent time and labor on fancy technological email patterns, and perhaps this is a mistake. 
But instead I have gathered primrose and mullein and artemisia for you, for your body, your pleasure, for your health and joy. 
I have climbed trunks for resins so that you may soothe your weary ankles, and collected the tiniest of skullcap flowers from nearly invisible patches of meadow. I splash through swampy frog streams to reach the bluest of the vervain, and balance precariously on the shoulders of my girlfriend in the thick of the forest so that I can reach enough Elder flowers to last the winter. 

And I will continue to fill my baskets with unruly beauty so that you may always know yours ... your beauty, and your basket full with nourishment. 

In service of the Green Goddess that is in all,

Ananda Lakshmi
for the

Lady's Slipper Ring, Pleasure Medicine Membership UPDATE - LSR 2012-2013 is FULL. Please sign up for the newsletter to stay connected.

beauty blessings

Monday, September 10, 2012

Basil Elixir, Basil Love Poem

~ Basil Lust ~

Sweet, spicy sister
You warm my center, tingle my tongue, and soothe my worries.

Your dancing perfume clears my mind, 
stirring the green muse 
of food and drink and plenty
of clarity and comprehension.

Sweet, spicy sister
Mistress to garlic and lemons! 
My mouth waters when I think of you
and I remember the day I plunged my whole face
into your leaves
and inhaled with lust
and came alive again.

Sister Tulsi
you candied basil, you.
With soft leaves
and a halo of honey bees and a million
light purple flowers

prayerful green, anointing all who pass
through your floating fragrance
an invisible hug,
the soft kiss of summer,
and comforting whisper of calm.

Green blessing, 
I feel your care
your nourishment,
your healing.


Basil or Tulsi Elixir

Into a one quart sized clean jar, add enough fresh basil or tulsi to fill it, packed gently but well, almost to the top. Then, pour in brandy (or favorite liquor) until it's 3/4 of the way up the jar. Fill the remainder 1/4 with your favorite local or raw honey. 
Let extract for 4-6 weeks (with a few sunrays and moonbeams here and there, and some singing and dancing and little sneaky tastes...) 

Enjoy :)
From the Apothecary, Potions with basil and tulsi!