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Here in Portland, Oregon the trees lining the streets and gardens are filled with blossoms. As hard as life can get, when I see all those flowers, the sense of renewal and magic is real. Flowers are a particularly potent part of a plant. Their energy has emotional and energetic healing properties. We use many flowers in our smoking blends: rose, lavender, hibiscus, linden, and violet, to name a few.
People often ask what plants and parts of plants are smokeable. I recommend smoking herbs that were traditionally smoked. When experimenting, I find that softer leaves and flowers are easier to smoke. I also only smoke if mullein is part of the mix. Mullein has long been used to ease lung conditions like pneumonia, asthma, and bronchitis. Smoking is very different than drinking teas or consuming tinctures. The medicine quickly impacts your spirit body, physical body, mind, and emotions since you don't have to digest the medicine.
If you would like to get to know a new flower, do some research on whether it is safe to consume--read up and ask the plant. A negative answer from the lant could relate to where you got it from (there could be harmful chemicals), your current physical condition, or its general use (e.g. okay to use as a flower essence but not to smoke). If it's good to go, dry it out, add some mullein, and sit down to a plant meditation with it. Before you smoke, set your intention. Pay attention to how you feel. What is your intuition telling you? I ask the plant to share its medicine and let it know I am happy to share my wisdom too. I am sure plants have some curiosity about what it is like to be a human, wildly moving around in the world! Imagine what they learn from us. How can we help each other? Smoke and meditate for ten minutes or so. Observe how your thoughts, feelings, body, and energy shift. This can be great to do with a friend or fellow plant enthusiast. Discuss or journal about your experience. Then take another pass and meditate again for 10 minutes or so, observe and note or share. This is such a fun process! Even if you cannot do the plant meditation at the same time as a friend, keeping the notes and remembering your experiences will be something you can reflect on when further information comes your way. Having a baseline silent meditation practice will help you know your baseline so that the subtle changes plants bring will be clear
Don't be a bore and only think of one plant when you hear the word "bud". Magic is happening right now! Which buds are calling you?
The solar eclipse will be full and exact at 9:15 pm PST on Wednesday, April 19th, and 12:15 am ET on April 20th, at 29 degrees of Aries.
This is a rare hybrid solar eclipse. It will have the most impact on Australia but is a strong eclipse that will be felt widely.
The new moon eclipse will be in a very tight, out-of-sign square to Pluto adding lots of tension to what is already a difficult astrological time. The eclipse is conjunct the North Node and Vesta in Taurus. The ruler of the eclipse is Mars. Mars is poorly placed in Cancer at this time and square to Chiron in Aries. Mercury supports Mars (so communication is probably the best form of action right now). Jupiter and Eris are also in Aries, sandwiched between Chiron and the eclipse. How does this impact you personally? Get a free chart at astro.com.
What themes are at play?
This is a very tense eclipse whose impacts may be felt a least one month prior and at least 6 months in the future. The 29th degree of any sign tends to bring out the worst qualities, meaning the less pleasant side of Aries may be more prominent. These could involve fighting, aggression, confrontation, and competition. Being at the end of Aries and so close to the North Node in the sign of Taurus, we are looking at the shift of energy from aggression and outward, adventurous behavior to concern with stability and the home. Taurus is the sign of the physical home and Vesta is an asteroid associated with tending the hearth and home. Mars being in Cancer also relates to being active and fighting for the home and family. Mars is not very harmonious in the sign of Cancer which is quite sensitive. An emotional upside of Mars in Cancer: I often find that those with Mars in Cancer are very devoted to family, and have the energy and drive to continually fight for the needs of their family. This includes family planning for better family dynamics.
Saturn in Pisces supports the eclipse and the North Node. It offers support to stabilize poor boundaries, addictions, and other problems of our own making. I have seen many people with Piscean problems being forced to address these issues head-on, since Saturn entered the sign in early March. The problems are likely messy; Saturn will help bring sustainability to our collective Taurus desires. Taurus loves material goals like financial surplus, sensuality, and enjoying food and drink. We cannot let these desires be our undoing.
I predict we will see greater ease around the themes coming up now when the sun enters Pisces next February and brings light to where Saturn is now. At that time the North Node will conjunct Chiron, bringing big healing and growth opportunities. Rather than Mars being in Cancer the moon will be. Jupiter will be in Taurus, bringing ease. This may be a time when we get to celebrate the hard work we have done and its rich emotional rewards.
Pluto, Pluto, Pluto...having this dwarf (tiny but mighty) planet square the Nodes and the eclipse is not a pleasant feeling. Last year, in a newsletter, I predicted that around this time we would revisit the themes around male aggression (gun violence, etc) and the control of women through reproductive rights restrictions. There are many astrological transits motivating women for change. Prior to that, I was sensing that the movement of Pluto into Aquarius would bring into focus corruption in the judicial system in the US. This, along with Jupiter (law, justice) in Aries conjunct Eris (she will fight to the end if something is against her morals) finds enlarging unrest around ongoing legal restrictions and back peddling in regards to women's rights. Judicial corruption is present at all levels of the court system. Unchecked power, in judges, police officers, and other areas of society, is allowing violence (Aries), and male dominance, largely coming from people who are trying to retain control by preventing change (Taurus). Pluto in Aquarius will not stand for draconian laws that result in the death and/or abuse of women and children, or any marginalized member of society. Freedom for men (right to bear arms, etc) cannot come at the expense of women's and children's lives.
Aquarius is the sign of the people (all people) and Pluto's intense drive to change cannot be stopped. In order to have harmony we must change and that change will involve compromising the needs of the masses with individual desires for security, control, and luxury. That means no one wins unless everyone wins. This will likely involve taxation changes. Pluto in Aquarius crossing the nodes (at that time S Node in Taurus) was the energy of the French Revolution.
Can we all take a stand, please? Let's revolutionize the judicial system. Though intended to, it does not represent the desires of the masses. For example, 61% of Americans support abortion rights (Pew Research Center). The jury system is not present in family law courts, giving judges the ability to act on their "instincts", which are often just personal biases. The current practices primarily benefit white men. The justice system is difficult to engage in without wealth. Doing so from a marginalized position can cause more problems. Up until now, rich people have the ability to control the law, being the ones who can afford to navigate it and support political careers. Over the last several years I have seen more and more cases change to more humane outcomes due to social media pressure. These cases often involved the deaths of unarmed Black men and women being persecuted for defending themselves from rapists and abusers. Let's make all judges accountable. Pay attention to your community and the actions of judges in general. Let's make high-court justices have terms. We can push this change with social media, demanding justice and making life very unpleasant for wrongdoers. We can push forward aggressively until the laws change and are enforced to support all people equally. Make your scrolling work for our future.
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Enjoy a deep breath near a flowering tree :)
PS: Looking for our Brown Bear Herbs water bottle stickers? They typically come in your second order and beyond. We get our waterproof stickers from Sticker Mule.