Coming out of Imbolc and St. Valentine's Day...feeling the rising energies of the year as the wheel turns and the seed of Yang is visible within the winter of Yin.  The original word for Imbolc, that time of year halfway between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, was Imbolg which means "in the belly."  
Life force is stirring under that snow...life is stirring in our bellies... 
 The lower Dantian, or "sea of Qi" is found below the navel.  This is a particularly good time of year to do meditative and energetic work that focuses on this area.  Keep it warm, front and back.  
Nurture these creative energies.

It's also that time of year when the bird song has changed for they know it will be warm soon enough and it is time to mate so as to give birth at the start of the warm season, leaving room for the possibility of another pregnancy before the cool season returns again.  Their songs sing of desire and offer, readiness and display, protection and guarding.  And with this life goes on...  
 Valentine's Day has its origin in the birds choosing their mates.  

There are many "mates" for us to choose.  Symbolically anything we tie ourselves to is our mate.  Our jobs, our hobbies, our companions, our places...  What are you "breeding,"  what are you creating?  
Female and male alike can be "pregnant" with possibilities...  The energy of the wheel of the year lends itself to this latent energy being fertilized.

The choices you make now will affect the entire next year.

This is also the time I take inventory of my seeds, determining what I want to grow this year, what I have, what else I need to acquire, what I want to try that is new to me...  See the similarity?  
Each choice we make is like a seed.  What "plants" will you grow this year?

So... in this larger time we find ourselves, this time of mass extinction and severe ecosystem disruption (our life support system), this time that may be a miscarriage of ourselves, I find myself thinking about what is truly meaningful, what I can do to create the future I want for myself, for all of us...  
I attempt to reside with the sacred amongst the destruction.  Our great womb, the Mother Earth, is pregnant too, may She be the mate we all choose.

Titled:  'On Death, Delusion, and Sanctity'


The Orioles of Childhood - a poem

The Earth
The Earth she spoke to me
on wings of orange and black
not seen
but for memory

She spoke too
through the trees
     who cry out
to those who listen

of times to come
Times when the ravages
will no longer
be able to be ignored
for the sake 
     of comfort
     and convenience
                          for they will strike
                 our very bodies
                 as they have Hers.

"But if he is not rich, if he lacks inner wealth, he will crave what is outside him, and materialism, the driving force of the worship of progress is born."  - Thoreau 'Walden'

How does one gain inner wealth?  How do you?

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Quitting Smoking Blend

I smoked a pack a day for six years, age 15-21. I smoked my first at twelve. When I'd go to a party I'd take 3 packs and chain smoke. When I quit I remember thinking to myself "this is the hardest thing I've ever done," and it was (though I have dealt with harder things since - severe trauma). 

It takes a lot of will power to quit because your body wants it on some levels and that want is strong.  You have to be stronger.  This blend was created to assist you by calming you and blocking your desire for nicotine.  It also has herbs that support your lungs in the process.

What sealed the deal for me when I quit was something I'd like to share with you because maybe the image will help…

Two weeks after I had quit, my professor for Anatomy & Physiology brought two 'fresh' lungs into the lab for us students to look at: one was a 70-something year old woman who had never smoked or been around second-hand smoke, the other was a 50-something year old man who died of smoking related causes.

The difference between these two lungs was remarkable. The twenty-year older lung was pink, plump, glistening, moist, and had a spring or bounce to it when you pressed it. It looked like a living thing, alive. The other lung looked dead, it didn't look like a living thing. It was gray and dry and mealy and deflated. It looked like a piece of meat that had been pummeled with a mallet. It lacked substance.

She had cut the two lungs open so we could see inside. The inside of the older, but healthy lung was pink and clean, like the outside. The inside of the smoker's lung was, literally!, full of black tar. It lined all the bronchioles.

When you think about the fact that our lungs are what brings fresh oxygen to our blood which feeds our whole body, it is repulsive what we do to ourselves every time we take a drag. It's slow suicide. Our lungs can regenerate and they will. Quit! You CAN do it! Just take it one day or one moment at a time. Smoking is NO LONGER AN OPTION.

Another thing that helped me was I replaced the normal cigarettes with herbal cigarettes so I could still take  few drags of something to ease the transition. I did that for about two weeks before having none, you might take a different amount of time. Having something else to smoke helps you break the nicotine craving while still having the habit of smoking.  Essentially you are breaking the habit in half, first the nicotine, then the actual physical habit comes next.

Also important is to make sure you still take breaks. Just because you don't need/want a cigarette doesn't mean you shouldn't stop what you're doing and take a break. Replace the cigarettes with water or a cup of tea, put on lip balm, go outside, take a walk, meditate...whatever, just take a break.

Once you've quit, you will know there isn't anything you can't do.  Willpower is an awesome thing.

If you’ve already begun to quit, you've done it for some time, you can do it for some more - and next thing you know it will be years...

I'm rooting for you!

$5 for half ounce of the Smoking Blend in a resealable bag inside a recycled tin plus shipping.

*Leave me a note if you would prefer a "menthol" version.

*If you are buying several Ravenwind Botanica products at one time, whether the same item or not, you can save substantially on shipping as I will ship it all together, please inquire and we'll get the payment set up right for you.  :)  You can click on 'Ravenwind Botanica' in the list to the right to see all products available.  Thanks for supporting my work.