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Journal

Embodied Rituals for Skin + Soul

Filtering by Tag: plant medicine

Plants + Ancestral Medicine

Katie Gordon

Hello, Wild One,

For as long as I can remember, I've felt an inexplicable call to a land I've never known. There were times in my life when I felt silly for feeling so homesick for a place to which I've never been...

Ireland. 

I've always known my ancestors came from there, but there were no stories, no anecdotes, no books, I had never even seen photos of them. All there is is an intense desire to be in a place, breathe that air, and hear its sounds.

Lately, I've been spending time reading about old world plants. The ones grown and used by my ancestors for food and medicine. The ones they gathered, dried, brewed, poulticed, and used to heal. 

One thing I've been coming to understand as I dig deeper into my ancestry is the sense of shame that comes with abandoning a place. My great great grandparents came here from Ireland and never talked about it. As far as anyone still living remembers, nothing was spoken of about their own lives, what it was like there, how it was to leave, and what they missed from their home land.

What I do have is a very old music box that still works. I have facts about where some were born and where they lived. And I have the knowing that exists in my own blood as it sings through my body.

But I now know the sense of shame, of grief and heartbreak that comes with leaving a land you have deep roots in. A feeling I never understood but often felt as deep seated as the stories written in my own bones.

With this realization comes another one: my love for plants and the medicine (physical, spiritual, and emotional) they provide is intimately tied to this grief and the need to heal from that particular wound of disconnection from the land.

That is my Why. 

I could go on and on about natural skincare and herbalism, the importance of using substances our bodies can recognize. And I often do. But the real why is that plants and their medicines bring me back home. 

When I use the plants of my ancestors {Rosemary, Yarrow, Thyme, Mugwort, Wormwood, Calendula} I remember who I am. And my hope is to inspire those same connections and remembrance in others.

So, with that I'll leave you with two of our newest products, inspired by the plants, the land, and the souls that call to me...

Rosemary + Lavender Shower Lotion Stick

A lotion stick crafted with Calendula, Mugwort, Plantain, Rosemary, and Lavender-infused oil that's been sitting for nearly a full moon cycle, hemp seed oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, and Northwest beeswax. Wonderfully healing for eczema, sensitive + irritated skin, cracking, psoriasis, damaged skin, sunburn, chapped skin, and even diaper rash. Shop now >>>

Awaken: Ritual Room + Body Mist

A fresh, enlivening room + body mist to use ritually to banish the "blahs" and move stuck, stagnant, uncreative energy.

The oils in this blend are intended to be stimulating in a good way. In the way that helps awaken creativity, and transform + transmute places within that are wound up, tight, and inaccessible. Awaken helps unwind tension, bring you back to your center, and remind you of your own healing potential. And it smells gorgeous! Shop now >>>

Harvest Time + the Magic of Lughnasa

Katie Gordon

Since the last Wild Medicine Bundle came out for Midsummer, we've moved houses, opened a little brick and mortar shop for the apothecary, got engaged, I joined some other truly amazing women in the Earth Keepers Council, and I finished my 500-hr therapeutic yoga teacher training. To say it's been a busy few months is a HUGE understatement. 

You know those moments when you think the craziness will never end?

Rationally, you know it will, but there's a primal part of you that thinks it'll feel like this forever. In those moments, small rituals keep me grounded. Sacred moments like brewing a cup of tea, taking my time in the shower to feel the warm water on my skin, getting ready for bed, even washing the dishes.

The dust is settling now, and just in perfect divine timing for Lughnasa.

Lughnasa (pronounced LOO-nuss-uh) is a Celtic harvest festival (the first of the season) celebrated on August 1 and named for the god Lugh, who has been likened to the Roman god Mercury. It's the first time when people could really slow down for a moment, gather together, enjoy the fruits of their labor, and celebrate making it through one of the busiest times of the farming year. 

lughnasa.jpg

For me, the medicine of the harvest is slow medicine.

It's a return to my natural pace where I can take a little extra time with my morning cup of tea. It's a reconnection with those rituals that remind me where I am in time and space. It's the medicine that comes from the St. John's Wort oil that's been infusing for over a year and strained out under the Dark Moon in Leo. It's the time spent lingering over a meal with close friends and family. It's the medicine of your freshly sun-dried clothes after spending an afternoon on the clothesline. And it's taking an evening to cook a meal, light your beeswax candles, and revel in all you've managed to create, move, finish, paint, unpack, and arrange.

Deep magic comes when we allow ourselves to not only slow down, but to move at our unique pace. This slowness allows our creativity, our wisdom, and our insight to bubble up from somewhere deep within our bones. We're able to plug back into our fuel source, our well of inspiration. 

This deep magic is where the Lughnasa Wild Medicine Bundle was born from and is sure to inspire.  Crafted from Oregon Blackberries, St. John's Wort, and old world botanicals like Rosemary, Thyme, and Sage, each item in the bundle is a small ritual to help you tap into the deep, slow burn of your inner source of Light, your inner Sun.

Join the Lughnasa Medicine Keepers and purchase your bundle by July 20 for a discount, an e-book, extra recipes for potions that didn't make it into the bundle, and an opportunity to win the next bundle for free! 

Herbs for Stagnant Anger

Katie Gordon

You know how anger can live in your body? How that smoldering heat can take up residence for so long that you can physically feel it? Stuck, hot, fiery, like you're living in a pressure-cooker? That, my friends, is stagnant anger. Stagnancy means energy isn’t moving. When energy isn’t moving, our body-mind-soul doesn't function optimally. In Chinese Medicine, anger is related to the liver, energetically and physically. To put it simply, when you're feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, the liver gets overwhelmed and stressed out. The liver is responsible for the smooth flow of energy, and when it's stressed out, you think it works smoothly? Answer: Nope.

With a stressed out liver, energy stagnates EVEN MORE and anger, along with poor digestion, allergies, and compromised stress response, among other things, often manifests. It's like a hot mess negative feedback loop. This isn’t to say that anger is a direct result of liver stagnation. There are a gazillion things that can cause us to feel angry. However, emotions are energy and supporting your liver with herbs (as well as movement, finding healthy ways to express anger, etc.) can help move that stagnant energy because if energy isn’t flowing freely, you're left feeling stuck emotionally, physically, and even mentally.

So here's a few of my favorite plants to help move stagnant anger. Think cooling, sedating, calming...

This is in no way an all-inclusive list. Keep in mind everyone’s body responds differently to plants. It’s best to experiment with how your body experiences various herbs. Take your time to develop relationships with these plants. Explore what really nourishes you. Listen to the plants themselves and get curious about how to interact with them.

Bitters: Bitters are cooling. Why? I actually don't know. But they are, and the liver loves them. Happy liver = smooth flow of liver qi/energy = less energetic & emotional stagnation (Yes, that's a hugely simplified version of a much more extensive discussion on liver energetic and physiological function. I'm sure I'll talk about bitters in the future A LOT because we should all be using them way more than we do, but for now you get the idea.)

Motherwort: Also bitter. Very bitter. I don't recommend straight motherwort tea if you actually like to enjoy your cup of tea. But as a tincture it's fabulous. It is, among other things, a nervine and antispasmodic, meaning it both acts on the nervous system and relaxes tension. Muscle spasms and tension are often a symptom of a stressed out, stagnant liver. Motherwort moves that constraint. Another beautiful thing about Motherwort is its effect on the heart and the connection it reveals between the heart and liver. Mainly the anger that results at feeling unable to express our hearts, our emotions, our freedom, our creativity, our individuality, and our deep voice. The anger of feeling unheard, unseen, and even unvalued.

Rose: One of my absolute favorite plants in the world for overheated tissues! Now, there are lots of reasons for tissues in our bodies to build up heat, but one of the big ones is anger. When this heat has no where to go (because we don't express it in a healthy, productive way), it stagnates. Cooling, sedating, Rose speaks my language. Considered a relaxant nervine, Rose relaxes the nervous system, and in particular, it works beautifully to relax the liver, relieving stagnation and tension in the liver. I find it works wonders for people experiencing nervous exhaustion and adrenal fatigue as a result of too much heat. I think what I really love about Rose is the sweet, heady, wild, and thorny aspects all combined into one plant. Rose is tough yet compassionate, resilient yet tender, tenacious yet she invites you to soften your edges, set down your sword, and explore those parts of yourself you so staunchly defend.

Lemon: Also cooling, sedating, and sour, lemon has become well known as something we squeeze into our water in the morning to get our digestion moving. Cooling and sedating plants cool and calm hot, irritated tissues as well as a hot, irritated mood. You know that rising heat we feel when we're angry? Our chest and face get hot, we probably start sweating and in cartoons steam comes out of the character's nose? Lemon, especially when blended with other deliciously cooling, sedating herbs like rose and salvia (see below) can help to cool and ground that rising heat.

Salvia: Native species of Salvia, particularly when paired with nervines like lemon balm, lavender, salvia (aka sage) can cool, ground, and shift that fiery energy because it’s a stimulant. Stimulants move stuff around. My personal favorite to use is White Sage (Salvia apiana), which in terms of herbal energetics can be heating or cooling depending on who you ask. This is the reason why it’s really best to experiment with how your body experiences plants. For me, this plant clears heat, stimulates movement (of energy, digestion, tension, fluids, blood, etc.), and grounds me into the present moment.

Of course these plants will support the movement of energy, but what most of us also need to do is learn how to experience, feel, process, and express our anger. But that's for another post.

Here's a recipe for a tea blend to help move some of that stagnant liver qi...

Lemon Calm Tea Blend
1/2 c. hibiscus flowers
1/3 c. lemon balm
1/3 c. rose petals
1/4 c. peppermint or spearmint
1/4 c. rosehips
1/4 c. lemon peel

Combine all of the ingredients well in a bowl or mason jar. Store in said mason jar or some other air-tight container. I brew about 1 Tbsp. per cup of water. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes. This makes a (beautifully pink) iced tea also! And please feel free to play with the ratio of herbs and perhaps add fun things like lavender or lemongrass or vanilla bean or...

 
 
Disclosure: Wild Grace uses affiliate campaigns from Mountain Rose Herbs that may be displayed as text links or images such as banners, buttons and widgets.  When you click on these affiliate program links and make a purchase, a very small commission may be credited to Wild Grace.  The commission that I receive is very small and helps me to defray the cost of buying ingredients to craft skin + body care recipes.  When you do make a purchase using my Mountain Rose Herbs affiliate link, your purchase is the same price you would pay if you went directly to MountainRoseHerbs.com.  I sincerely appreciate your support and if you plan to purchase something anyway, I would be truly grateful if you did so through my affiliate link to Mountain Rose Herbs.

Wild Self-Love: A journey from Starvation to Soul

Katie Gordon

wolf woman Dearest Wild Ones,

You remember a couple months ago when I created Shameless Self-Love, my 30-day video campaign to cultivate and encourage a deeper, healthier and more meaningful relationship with our bodies and souls?  Each day, for 30 days straight, I made a video with tips, quotes, tidbits of wisdom, stories and journaling prompts to begin softening our hearts toward ourselves, and to learn how to wildly LOVE our own souls (here's one of my favorites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLwWnaSgjmo).

Of course those videos were a way to offer some of my work to you all, to get my voice out there in a big way, and to share the wisdom I've gleaned from my own mentors.  But another major part of my reason for creating those videos was for myself.  To get clearer on my message, my truth, what I wanted to share and teach with my clients, and to distill what was the essence of Wild Grace.  To get clear on what I feel my soul's purpose and message is to the world.

And the response to those videos from you all was AH-MAZING!  I heard from people all over the world who had seen my videos on YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest, and who wanted to reach out to say how badly we all need the reminder not only to love ourselves, but how to heal those wounds that prevent us from doing so.  I got such incredible feedback and so many equally inspiring questions, that I decided to write a program based on the video series, only now we're diving much, much deeper.  I've been exploring how to use self-love coaching, energy work, animal totems, shamanic ritual, plant medicine, chakra work, visionary and craniosacral therapy in order to heal trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety, and other stuck patterns of behavior and beliefs.  All of this work has effectively led to creating my own life coaching methodology that I CANNOT wait to share with you!

After months of writing, researching, rewriting, scrapping, and starting over, I'm officially (but unofficially) launching Wild Self-Love, a 3 month, one-on-one program to reconnect to your Wild Soul and fall madly in love with your Self with passion and grace.  I say "unofficially" because it's not even on my website yet.  It is brand, spankin' new.  And since you're already on my list, I'm offering it to you, my incredible tribe, FIRST and at a special price...

What happens when you cultivate more self-love and connect with your Wild Soul?

  • You attract better, healthier, happier, and more whole relationships, both romantically and otherwise (i.e. you have amazing friends!!)
  • You manifest abundance in your life, whether it's literal financial abundance, more satisfying life experiences, or more time to do the things you love - all wonderful, valid forms of abundance
  • You have the ability to create the life you crave, and the power to decide how you want to feel EVERY DAY
  • Your creativity EXPLODES and you become capable of designing your life and anything within it
  • Your body feels free, limitless, and light
  • You know how to make yourself JOYFUL, happy, and fulfilled without looking outside of yourself in order to feel a certain way
  • You feel free from past traumas, addictions, and stuck, recurring patterns that aren't serving YOU

If you're ready to fall WILDLY in love with yourself, reconnect with your SOUL and her purpose, now is your time!  I offer a complimentary Self-Love discovery session for any woman interested in working together so that we can chat and make sure we're a good fit!  Remember, your wise soul contains all the answers within, this work provides the space and support to tap into your inner guides and learn to listen.

I am so passionate about this body of work I've put together for you!!  It's truly an honor to share it, and I can't wait to work with you...

All my love, Katie XO