The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

astroherbalist

Thank you, Peter Stockinger of Stars and Stones, for this award!  I have admired Peter’s work and his excellent blog posts for awhile now, and particularly love his posts on upcoming Solar and Lunar Eclipses, since he takes a more traditional or classical approach.  So really, I am honored to receive this from him! :-)

In reviewing his list, I happen to notice that I would have also awarded these excellent astrology bloggers, including ElsaElsa and DarkStar Astrology!  It is my hope that I will spotlight other bloggers who are also worthy and deserving.

But before we go further, here are the terms if the nominated bloggers wish to participate (and no, I will not expect participation; this is totally voluntary):

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award and link to them.
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the awards requirements.

So – why don’t I begin with seven things about me!

  1. After living far from my birthplace for most of my life (much of this in California), for the last nine years I have lived less than 2 miles from my remote Western Montana birthplace (which isn’t even a hospital anymore).
  2. Favorite cuisines are (not surprisingly) Mexican and Italian, especially in an “al fresco” way – favorite meal is breakfast.  I am not that crazy about fish, and do not care for coconut, candy peppermint, or super hot/spicy foods (and have skin reactions with peanuts – so Thai food is out, since it combines many of these).
  3. I taught myself crochet when I was 12, and this talent served me when transitioning from a decade of being a legal secretary toward my eventual profession as an astrologer, author and herbalist.  How?  I made hats with hemp and other yarns for the alternative-lifestyle crowd (and sometimes I still do as the “Crochet Goddess” hehe!)  I started this when I lived in the Raleigh, NC area in the late 1990’s quite by accident: I had won tickets to Lollapalooza and needed good sandals to attend the concert when I ended up in a hippie store.  I was wearing a halter top and necklace I crocheted (that had a vial in it where I kept my aromatherapy blend) and the owner asked me on-the-spot if I could make tams that had hemp yarn since he couldn’t keep them in the store.  That grew to more stores, festivals and eventually the internet by 2000.
  4. My deep spiritual awakening happened on the exact date of my first 1993 Saturn Return before I even knew what that was.  It happened through crystals and gemstones, which days later led to astrology deeper than sun signs (and as a Capricorn, I find that amusing).  Regardless of sleepless nights studying as a full-time working single mother with little support, I was hooked and never thought it would become my career by 2000!  For this I am very grateful.
  5. In 2005, when visiting San Diego, I took a break from the Comic-Con and decided to visit a belly-dancing event that was next door to a body-mind-spirit event (virtually two-for-one).  I wanted to attend a palm reading class, but read the program wrong – and ended up in a room where the lecturer was showing people how to meet their spirit guides.  After going through the exercise (which turned out for me quite different than her narration of a visual journey), and after becoming a professional astrologer, tarot reader and dowser, I was told to “go back to my roots” where I then had a strong sensation I was underground.  Contemplation told me I needed to learn herbalism as my clients would need this type of healing as well as astrology.  In 2006, spirit allowed me to manifest about $5,000 worth of training for about $1,800 in out-of-pocket costs if I completed the 3-year curriculum in 1 year – and I did!  I got 93% when I tested for my MH (Master Herbalist Diploma) in 2007.  I had to get my head out of the sky and look at the earth to see very similar relationships:  Planets, Plants; As above, so below!
  6. I am currently enrolled in vigorous 4-year training as a Student Homeopath through David Little’s highly-esteemed and well-reputed online school, and just like astrology (and just like herbalism), it is changing me on deep levels to where I will not be able to view things the same way ever again.  My enthusiasm after six months of contemplation and research, including a collection of links for resources, allowed me to win 2nd place in a contest for creating (and I quote), “the most useful group for homeopathy students on the internet” through Dr. Manish Bhatia’s awesome homeopathy portal, Hpathy.com!  My prize was several homeopathy books in hard-copy I needed for my studies and I am ever so thankful for this!  He even added our group to his drop-down menu so students could quickly navigate his site and find the group!
  7. If you can’t tell, I love learning – and usually end up making whatever I learn part my profession!  I have visited more than 2/3 of the states all over the mainland of the USA and one day hope to visit many countries in Europe, Australia and New Zealand – and maybe even Egypt, India and portions of South America!

And NOW??  The Nominees, in no particular order (Drumroll…..):

1.  Donna Woodwell of Four Moons Astrology @lunalicious

2. April Elliott Kent of Big Sky Astrology @bigskyastrology

3. Eric Francis of PlanetWaves.net @PlanetWaves

4. Kim Falconer and her blog, 11th House @KimFalconer

5. Janet Boyer  @JanetBoyer

6. Brigit of Biddy Tarot @biddytarot

7. Bonnie Cehovet, Tarot Reader and Reviewer @bonnie_cehovet

8. Pip Miller, Energy Healer, Book Reviewer and Paleo Diet Enthusiast @HHandsOfLight

9. Lisa F. Lloyd of Tarotize.com @LisaFLloyd

10. Susun Weed’s eNewsletter and the Wise Women Weblog (not to mention the Forum and University) @susunweed

11. Kiva Rose of Bear Medicine Herbals @TheSpineWitch

12. Kristine Brown of Herbal Roots Zine @herbalrootszine

13. John Gallagher of LearningHerbs.com @herbmentor

14. Katie Gallanti of Cosmic Perspectives @KatieGallanti

The last but not least (though off-topic compared to my other awards):

15. Brian Clark of Copyblogger @copyblogger

PLEASE see the right-hand column (my “blogroll”) for MANY other excellent blogger choices in a variety of subjects!

Thank you for stopping by today – hoping to provide some inspiration for you!

My 6-Step Herbal Contraceptive/Birth Control Program

astroherbalist

Queen Anne’s Lace (by Faunarain)

To easily link this article, copy and paste:   http://wp.me/pEY6Z-4k

Thank you Sean Donahue for hosting this awesome Blog Party – Herbs for Sexual Health!

Disclaimer: Even though it is shown that one can use herbs and other natural methods for birth control with success, this post, or any part of it, cannot make any guarantees whatsoever.  My personal plan is merely here for your information, meant to be read in its entirety, and the hope is that you would find the drive to do your own thorough research.  The term “research” can mean not only reading materials on herbology, anatomy, and related topics; but also a deep inner knowing of your body and its needs, an ability to communicate with your body, an ability to focus and will-fully set balanced and proper intention, and an ability to communicate with the plant kingdom.  If you manifest an undesired pregnancy, the blog poster and/or all involved are not responsible, and therefore they are to be held separately and collectively harmless.

So – shall we continue?  I hope my story and the system I personally use inspires you to find and successfully implement your own system of natural and/or herbal birth control!

My story begins with an attempt to take the lowest dose available for birth control pills in the early 1980’s – partly for birth control, but partly due to having serious adult acne, where friends of mine had it clear up when they went on the pill, despite the fact they gained weight.  Since I have a very thin build (and still do), this seemed like a good trade-off.  Little did I know that I would be so sick that after trying it for two months, I had lost so much weight that I would faint at work, but couldn’t eat due to the extreme nausea that never let up.  The doctor was crazy enough to tell me to wait one more month, and then I would be “fine.”  Little did he know that I would likely be dead of starvation before then!  So, I went off.  I later got married, had two kids, and got divorced by the early 1990’s.

Still struggling with adult acne, a friend of mine at my legal secretary job told me I ought to try the pill again, since they make them “better.”  So, I tried again, different types over a period of approximately three years – and I broke out worse, and even became more vulnerable to something I struggled with in the past – yeast infections.  I stopped again.

Ortho Tri Cyclen LO

By 2001, I was again prompted by a different friend, who said (guess!) they made the birth control pill even “better.”  So, I gave it a shot again – the Ortho-Tri-Cyclen types, as they advertised they were the best for skin problems.  I didn’t have nausea, I didn’t get yeast infections, and I could see I was breaking out less.  I thought my problem was solved.  But little did I realize what was really happening.  These new types of birth control pills only buried the symptoms much deeper in the body, so that you wouldn’t notice things – and not for quite awhile later.

As I remember, it was about a year later when I started to have mild headaches at the base of my skull.  I didn’t equate it with the birth control pill at the time because I had already been taking it for about a year with no noticeable problems.  Interestingly, my psychic abilities were growing at the same time, so I attributed the headaches to that instead.  What was really happening was that the chemical hormones present in the pill, which cannot break down and leave your body, were accumulating – and not just to give me headaches, as I was about to learn the hard way!

I got blissfully remarried in 2003, and by early 2004, I landed in the emergency room due to excruciating pain in the right side of my abdomen, where it could not be determined what exactly was wrong with me until the surgery was performed.  A large cyst developed on my right Ovary, and when I had leaned over, the ovary turned and wasn’t able to turn back, twisting my Fallopian Tube and causing pain.  Even the X-rays and CAT scans showed body fluids around that area – but they thought it could be a toxic and ruptured Appendix, of which could be life-threatening.  So, I had to agree for them to take my Appendix out regardless of what they found since they could not risk leaving it in under the circumstances.  It was only after the surgery that I learned that they removed my very healthy Appendix and my right Ovary.  The X-rays and CAT scans also revealed three fibroids inside of my Uterus, as well as a cyst beginning to develop on my left Ovary, and upon asking them what causes these types of things, they provided no answers.  The doctors and the staff told me that when those begin to “bother” me, to just call them to schedule my Hysterectomy!!  This was the beginning of my healing journey and what a wake-up call it was – because I was not going to get a Hysterectomy!

By 2005, I lost lots of my hair, had lots of body pain and was cold all the time (especially my upper body), and had migraine headaches for three days prior to my menstrual cycles.  I did not know these were symptoms of hormonal imbalance until I researched it.   Upon digging deeper, I also learned that all of my symptoms as well as the actual problems were all documents side-effects of (you guessed it) the Birth Control Pill!  By 2006, I was determined to use natural methods of re-balancing my hormones and heal fully.  I also wanted to see what was possible for natural and herbal contraceptive methods.

I manifested an excellent herbal education, and became a Master Herbalist through the School of Natural Healing in Utah.  Through my new knowledge, along with dowsing to read my body’s needs, I figured out the herbs to re-balance my hormonally-wacky body – the main one being Black Cohosh and other herbs that provided cleansing of my system (especially my liver), and nourishing herbs that helped me get back to normal.  On an energetic level, I decided to intend creating an energetic right ovary and appendix, so I could function well again.   After a couple months, no more migraines!  My body pain continues to lessen with each cycle too!  I shaped up my diet and while I don’t always follow the Mucusless diet recommended by the school, I know how to make food choices so I do not perpetuate bad health.  Foods that are a close to nature as possible is the best yardstick for this process – and making sure you have excellent drinking water.  We have a distiller, and then aerate through a charcoal-filter afterward, which I recently learned will slightly alkalize the acidic distilled water.  Add Reiki to energize the healing qualities, as well as a tiny pinch of Himalayan Salt to bring the water to 432hz vibration, and you are good to go!

All the while that I was clearing toxins from my system and turning toward herbs for everything (I can’t remember the last time I even looked at an Advil, as Wild Lettuce works safely and wonderfully for pain or insomnia), I was beginning to become very aware and feel signals in my body that I never felt before.  For instance, I began to actually feel ovulation (from my left side, of course).  I also realized that the family that headed the herb school was Mormon, and therefore did not promote the ideas of birth control using herbs – and I can respect this.

So, I needed to search elsewhere – and luckily I found an excellent website to work with, Sister Zeus! This is the one-stop website to learn about all of your options, with historical use of herbs being my main area of study.  Little did I know that over time, much of this knowledge was lost.  There are arguments to be made that natural methods were not reliable, but I believe much of the knowledge was more likely (through political and religious means) deliberately wiped away.  The mere fact that Giant Fennel aka Silphium was so effective in Roman times to make it extinct was enough of a reason for me to keep exploring this option.

It is also hard for me to believe that only one plant available in one part of the world only would be effective.  It makes more sense naturally that each region would have its own plants and methods.  Also, in other areas of the world that were not interrupted in this way still use traditional herbal methods of contraception with success (one that comes to mind is the use of Neem for Men in India).

Unfortunately, despite thousands of years of use (as compared to about 50 years of birth control medications), there are not enough official “studies” on these topics to verify results.  However, I also realize that historical implications can be enough to start with.  For my personal use, my ability to communicate with my body and with plants, my dowsing ability and my pendulum could fill in those spaces of doubt and do the rest.

Being a careful person, and after doing diligent research, I decided to combine six steps, the first being preparation, and the last two of which are back-ups for just-in-case.

**Best results come from being grounded and stable ourselves, as free of man-made chemicals as is doable, and involved in stable relationships.**

1.  Prepare Your Body

When transitioning to go off the birth control pill, in the meantime have a barrier method to work with (condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, etcetera) because your cycle and chemical balance may really be out of whack.  Go off at the completion of one of your packs, rather than mid-way.

Then, start drinking Red Raspberry Tea at least once a day, while you are also doing an herbal liver detoxification (which will be explained).  Depending on how long you are on chemical medications (whether they are over the counter like Advil, Alleve, or Tylenol) or prescriptions (birth control, antibiotics, all prescription pain relievers, high blood pressure medicines, etcetera) – these do not break down and eliminate from your system, but rather accumulate (and when your liver has had enough, sometimes these are deposited in your muscles, which can cause fibromyalgic-type disorders).  This also counts hormones and antibiotics that are residue in meats and dairy products, so please cut back or eliminate these, or at least purchase organic.  The average time to do a liver detox is around 3-4 months, and if you find you must stay on medications (i.e. high blood pressure is a good example, those are more difficult to get off of, though it is possible), do a liver detox at least once a year, and it is most ideal in the early Spring (i.e. February-April for the Northern Hemisphere).

The liver detox formula I like to use:  1 part Turmeric, 1 part Burdock Root, 1 part Yellow Dock Root, 1 part Milk Thistle Seeds, 1 part Dandelion Root, and 1 part Cardamon Seeds (or Fennel).  Mix this powder in raw unprocessed honey until it is thicker than peanut butter consistency (if you are diabetic, try organic butter or olive oil).  Take ½-1 teaspoon twice a day – you can roll this into one or two soft “capsule(s)” and make it easy to swallow, and chase with water, herbal tea or fruit juice.  Take a break one day a week, making it the same day of the week as much as you can.  I found this eliminated my acne problem, but I first broke out worse – but I do not have the extremes of acne anymore!

Along with the Red Raspberry Tea, keep this as a daily habit from now on, since these teas are food!  Other types of tea that are very nutritive and recommended are Red Clover, Oatstraw, Nettle, Alfalfa, Dandelion, and Comfrey (which the FDA has shown to be “harmful” but they never actually tested Comfrey – they tested chemical constituents of Comfrey, isolated from the plant – a moderate amount is very helpful for many people, but use your best judgment).  Yarrow tea is very helpful around your menstrual cycle.  Get to know these teas – they will be your friends for life and even help you through menopause, which you can then add Black Cohosh, Wild Yam and/or Dong Quai (aka Angelica) to your herbal intake – find what works.

2. Focus Intention on What You Want

Being a rather “magical” person who knows how to direct intention, I decided to take the advice of The Secret or the Law of Attraction where it talks about putting energy into what you wish for, rather than for what you do not wish for.  What is the lesson?  Upon orgasm, of which the energy has amazing creative potential, immediately think of things you WANT, whether that is a new car, a big house, a new business, an abundant bank account – whatever you desire and wish to manifest.  How many times can we think of people who know that they are practicing “bad timing” with no protection, and yet immediately afterward, their first thought is, “Oh NO, I don’t want to get pregnant!”  Guess what happens?  The energy goes where energy flows, whether you qualify it with a “yes” or a “no.”  This takes some discipline, but pretty soon it becomes a habit.  It works even better if your partner is involved in the energy direction process, but it is not necessary.  I am peripherally aware of a Christian Pastor and his wife using ONLY this first method, and it worked every time for them, over a span of many years.  When they wanted a larger church building, they envisioned it, and it happened.  When they wanted children, they concentrated on pregnancy, and it happened right away.  They have all they want, including the exact amount of children they wished for, and spaced the way they wanted.  Don’t underestimate the power of intention!

Menstrual Cycle-Tracking Bracelet by Obsidian Star

3.  Find your Natural Monthly Cycle

A very helpful book to start with is Toni Weschler’s “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” which is a system of fertility or birth control that is even OK to use if you are Catholic – so I imagine these methods can work for nearly everyone – and it is NOT the rhythm method!  However, because of the herbs (especially Red Raspberry Leaf), my cycle is very regular, and is nearly always between 25 and 28 days (unless I am around other females for a large amount of time, which can disrupt this greatly, and I know this ahead of time).  I recently found online this article, and I enjoyed the method here of getting to know your body!  You may also wish to look into menstrual cycle-tracking jewelry like Cycle Beads, or these very pretty alternatives from Obsidian Star (who also amongst other sites runs www.ClothPads.org)  Please also note this blog post on tracking ovulation.  Also – check out this iPhone app for tracking your cycle – Selene.

The key: There is only roughly a 24-hour period of time when you can achieve pregnancy, and that is Ovulation – when the Egg leaves the Ovary, travels through the Fallopian Tube and into the Uterus.  At that point, the uterine lining builds with blood to nourish the fertile egg, when it would implant in the lining and grow into a baby.  If the egg was not fertilized, the lining sheds, providing our menstrual cycle.  The beginning of the Menstrual Cycle is nearly always exactly 14 days after Ovulation.  So if your menstrual cycles are regular, you can count 14 days prior – and arrive at the Ovulation times.  The reason pregnancy happens?  It is because Sperm can live so long – and that there are so many!  Studies vary, but it is said Sperm can live from 5 to even 9 days!  They can even “hover” and wait for the Egg, which has sort of a “magnetic pull” to attract the Sperm while the Egg is travelling toward the Uterus.

Lesson: Pregnancy occurs when sex is BEFORE the Ovulation date, not AFTER the Ovulation date!   So basically, between the completion of the Ovulation date and the first date of the Menstrual Cycle, pregnancy does not occur, and no other methods are necessary.  The “beware” part is between the start of the Menstrual Cycle and the Ovulation Cycle!  If sex is occurring in the “beware” period, then follow the next steps.

Queen Annes Lace aka Wild Carrot (Daucus carota)

4. Queen Anne’s Lace aka Wild Carrot

This is the first place where the use of an herb is mentioned for herbal contraception, and it is none other than Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota), which is also called Wild Carrot. In this article as well as others I have seen on the internet, it is also abbreviated at QAL, and (like some other umbels) is ruled by the planet Mercury.  It is the seeds that are most often used, but it can be the flower itself if that is what is available.  When used properly, this herb has shown effectiveness as well as safety, so it was a natural for me to implement.  The seeds can be chewed but that is harsh-tasting (not to mention the texture is super-creepy).  For me, it is much easier to tincture the ground seeds in a mixture of half Vodka and half Everclear for at least a month (I prefer longer if possible).  Vodka alone (100 proof) could be used alone but would need much longer tincturing time (at least six to eight months), since the seeds have a rather resinous quality, making it hard for water content to extract the medicinal value of the seeds.  For those whose religious or spiritual values do not allow for killing the fertilized egg, you may wish to only use the first two steps, with a barrier method during the “beware” time, since QAL’s action is to not allow the (likely) fertilized egg to implant.  More information can be located from Sister Zeus, Herbalisl, and of course Robin Rose Bennett.

It is clear that you do not use QAL in the same way you would use birth control pills.  In fact if you do, you are asking for trouble!  While I have learned dowsing so that I can test myself individually to see if I need a dose, how much of a dose, how often, and when to stop – the usual program for me follows:  I would take 1 dropperful (about 20 drops) between 8 and 24 hours after the last day of the pre-ovulation cycle sex, then schedule two more doses of the same amount, 24 hours later, then the final 24 hours later.  Then, I stop.  And as you will read, this is a very important step!  I have used these three steps for the last 4 years, with great success.  However, I am in my 40’s and had an ovary removed, but I am still menstruating monthly (or more than monthly currently, but that is a different issue I will blog about later).  I have the last two steps in place as my back-up plan, and I just feel safer that way!  For finding seeds, it might be best to purchase a few seeds and plant them yourself, or to wildcraft – but make sure you do not mistake for the very poisonous Water Hemlock or Poison Hemlock!  Please review these websites thoroughly before implementing use.

**NEWSFLASH**  Robin Rose Bennett and Mischa Schuler have finally posted their eagerly-awaited 2011 Wild Carrot Study!  In case this link doesn’t work, please view the PDF here.

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

5. Tansy

In the four years I have been using my herbal contraceptive plan, I have only had to use this step once – and I think it was provoked by stress more than it was a potential pregnancy, since it didn’t “feel” like a pregnancy to me (remember, I had two kids and I remember how it felt to be pregnant).  This is also nice (if you are like me) when you around other menstruating females for enough time that your cycle will change to their schedule.

Every time I have a new menstrual cycle start, I immediately go ahead 28 days (which is 4 weeks, so that is easy) and mark that day to be expecting my next menstrual cycle.  It nearly every time arrives before it, so when it does, I erase the marker and move it 28 days from my newest menstrual cycle date.  I then continue to keep my cycle on track.  If I do not begin my menstrual cycle at the 28th day, it is time for emmenogogue or abortificant herbs.

Tansy – Tanecetum vulgare

After a deep review of the list on Sister Zeus, as well as knowing my body and my herbal availability (in my case, in my own yard), I opted to use the distinctively-flowered, aromatic weed, Tansy (Tanecetum vulgare), sometimes called Yellow Buttons, which along with its de-worming quality, is highly abortificant and if used too much, can even be considered harmful.  It has been reported that some women will even feel pains in their abdomen if they are pregnant just being NEAR this herb, so be very careful.  Ruled by the planet Venus, it is also reported that some women use only this fifth step as their only form of birth control for many years, and have had good success and no side effects when used properly.

The upper plant parts are used and dried, and when needed, made into a strong cup of tea (as an example, two teaspoons of dried herb to 8-10 ounces of boiling distilled or spring water, steeped for 20 minutes).  It is bitter, and can be sweetened with raw honey or stevia if needed.  The maximum you ought to need in this day is two cups to have your menstrual cycle start – and in my one-time use in four years, I only needed one cup for my period to start in a matter of 2-3 hours.  I use my pendulum to dowse this, as I want to be sure this works.  One large reason is that Tansy is known to cause birth defects if the fetus lives – and I would not be able to live with that, so I make sure I have enough, without being harmful to my body.  This is also why I would take this on the 28th day exactly, because the longer you wait, the more difficult the process would be.  This is a very personal decision, as well as a personal relationship and connection with the collective consciousness, or spirit, of Tansy.  I find it helpful to be very pure with your intention and very loving.  There are alternative herbs to use at this stage, find out about them on Sister Zeus or at Susun Weed’s Forum.  Here is another learning source to study thoroughly!  Do what is right for you.

6.  Acupuncture to Stimulate the “Forbidden Points”

This last step I have never had to use and I hope I never have to use it.  But having it available gives me peace of mind that I maybe wouldn’t have had in order to pursue this program.  It is a big “curve” not only in learning, but in trust – trust in yourself, trust in the plants and your relationships, and trust in Spirit.  The FDA and even other orthodox medical doctors will not be able to isolate these relationships and study them, because they want things to work even if the person is not “aligned” – thus, the tests would never be able to happen in a measurable way for them.

The sixth and last step in my program is not herbal, but instead involves acupuncture.  I am not an Acupuncturist, so I found one whom I like, trust, and mentioned to her that if I ever needed it, I would ask her to stimulate the so-called “Forbidden Points” to bring about my menstruation.  This method has been used successfully in China for quite some time now.  Again, this choice is not for everyone.  In relevant part:

“If a woman in China is pregnant with a second child, or in numerous cases, if the couple knows the first pregnancy is a girl, the couple will go to the medical clinic for an abortion. One common method of abortion is simply to use strong acupuncture point stimulation of San Yin Chiao (SP6) in conjunction with He Gu (LI4). The abortion is generally realized within 24 hours.”

From another point of view:

Acupuncture Points to Avoid During Pregnancy

  • Points on the sacrum – can cause contractions
  • Point on the lower abdomen – there is a risk of needling too deep
  • Point on the low back – avoid deep needling.
  • Sanyinjiao (Sp6) – located three fingers above the medial malleolus (inner ankle bone). Can cause contractions.
  • Hegu (LI4) – located on top of hand in the fleshy area between the thumb and index finger. Can cause contractions.

Here is two sources each for the two Forbidden Acupuncture Points for Pregnancy:

Large Intestine 4:

http://www.acupuncture.com/education/points/largeintestine/li4.htm

http://acupuncture.rhizome.net.nz/Acupressure/li-4.aspx

Spleen 6:

http://www.acupuncture.com/education/points/spleen/sp6.htm

http://acupuncture.rhizome.net.nz/acupressure/sp-6.aspx

Also consider:  Point “BL60″ – on the outside of the ankle, between the ankle and Achilles tendon

AstroHerbalist.com* * * * *

***NEWSFLASH!  I recently have been reading Marie-France Mulller, MD, ND, PhD’s book, Facial Reflexology and am learning about a Vietnamese-based system of Facial Acupressure or Reflexology, called “Dien’ Cham'” – on pages 95-96, it speaks of an alternative female contraceptive use of this technique!  My blog post on this exciting update can be found HERE!

* * * * *

So – in Review:

  1. Prepare your body, and learn all you can during this stage.  Do Liver Detox and implement Daily Herbs that help you to balance hormones, regulate your menstrual cycle, and provide nutrition you need.  Also – learn the Dien’ Chan’ female contraceptive facial acupressure/reflexology technique, described above in the updated Acupuncture portion of this post!
  2. Set Positive Intention of what you desire during orgasm and direct energy toward that.
  3. Once your menstrual cycle is regular, distinguish your safe time (between the end of the Ovulation Cycle and the start of the Menstrual Cycle) and your “beware” time (between the start of the Menstrual Cycle and especially as it gets closer to the beginning of the 24-hour Ovulation Cycle).
  4. Use Queen Anne’s Lace if you do not use a barrier during the “beware” time of your cycle, as directed (and dowsing dosages and times for the dosages helps immensely).  The most important thing is knowing when to stop QAL dosages, or pregnancy is likely.
  5. Use Tansy or other emmenogogue or abortificant herbs if on the 28th day after your last start of your Menstrual Cycle that you haven’t started yet – one cup usually works within minutes or hours, and two cups maximum (unless you dowse for yourself and the reading tells you it is safe and that you need more).  Do not use this method much past the 28th day, due to undesirable complications.
  6. As a last resort, see an Acupuncturist who will stimulate the “Forbidden Points” of San Yin Jiao (SP6) and He Gu (LI4) for you – it is ideal to create a relationship with one before you would ever need this.

For learning Dowsing techniques, please visit my Dowsing Resource Links page at my blog.  While I will do my best here to answer questions on this method, you may wish to check into other resources.  One is the “Herbal Contra” Yahoogroup, ran by Sister Zeus.  Posting your questions there can inspire a response of many knowledgeable women on the subject.  You may also wish to post to the Wise Woman’s Birth Control section of Susun Weed’s Forum.

For instance, women who are not interested in children at all can consider researching the sterilizing properties of Stoneseed aka Gromwell or Puccoon (Lithospermum ruderale), Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisema triphyllum), and Thistles (Carduus or Cirsium genii), as well as how to find to wildcraft, the plant parts used, and safe dosages for you.  Working closely with a skilled Herbalist or other healthcare provider familiar with plant medicine is of course ideal.

**Modification: In the past and on this post, I was told by a classically-trained Homeopath that Homeopathy can only support life and thereby cannot be used for this purpose (she herself used Homeopathy for fertility issues that her clients had).  However, since I am now enrolled in training and networking with other Homeopaths, I have found a great many Homeopaths worldwide who not only strongly disagree with this premise; they in fact tell me much damage can be done with a non-knowledgeable application of Homeopathy!  One had even said that a non-knowledgeable layperson with high-potency homeopathic remedies is like a person with a loaded gun playing Russian Roulette!  Along this topic of natural contraceptive and abortificant issues, they have said that one such remedy that can be pretty dicey to deal with is Thuja occ. which is amongst other things a polycrest remedy for the Sycotic Miasm.  I linked this book above , but you may wish to explore more on this topic by looking at the Homeopathic remedies closer than I can post here.

Thank you for reading my very personal herbal contraceptive program – it is my hope that my story inspires you to find your own natural system of birth control that is right for you!

Thanks SO much for staying tuned via my Email List – so appreciated!

9 Flower Essences for Using Saturn in Libra Effectively

Saturn

I wish to thank Astrologer Donna Cunningham of Flower Essence Magazine for asking me, along with at least 50 other amazing Astrologers, to participate in the 2010 International Astrology Day (IAD) Blog Carnival! This article will be one of 17 articles that emphasize the amazing combination of using Astrology and Flower Essences together – pass the word along, and of course ENJOY!

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Saturn entered Libra, the sign of its exaltation, on October 29, 2009, and will remain until April 7, 2010 (when it briefly retrogrades back to Virgo), then reenters Libra again from July 21, 2010 to October 5, 2012.

Saturn is the planet of commitment and hard work, and sometimes heaviness and limitations, but brings material reward when we do the right thing.  To better explain exaltation: what is a better application of commitment and hard work than in the area of relationships and partnerships, the domain of the Venus-ruled Libra?

During this time, Saturn will also be making two long-term hard aspects.  The first is a closing square with Pluto in Capricorn (the cycle itself beginning in late Libra in 1983, a more in-depth blog post will follow and be linked here when complete).  The second is an opposition when Uranus arrives in Aries, together called a “T-square” which will cause an excess of tension and stress.

The following consists of 9 scenarios with suggestions of flower essences to use during these times to help cope and even overcome these events more quickly and comfortably than would otherwise be the case.  The long-term effect is that we become healed, more loving and all-around better people in the process.

astroherbalist.com

Bleeding Hearts, Photo Credit: Amber Richardson

Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis, Dicentra formosa) – Alleviate Broken Heart, Emotional Freedom

While the influences of Saturn in Libra can encourage commitment in relationships, some of us are choosing relationships that do not match our higher good, due to fear rather than love.  Because of these unhealthy entanglements, break-ups and divorce are rampant, leaving many feeling emotionally co-dependent, overly-needy, vulnerable, and unloved, where the broken-hearted sadness can literally be overwhelming.  Bleeding Heart has come to the rescue in many of these cases, bringing about feelings of stability and security – the feeling of “I will be all right and get through this transition, and be better for it.”  Because it encourages true, unconditional self-love, it can also empower wiser choices of relationships in the future.

Buttercups

Buttercup (Ranunculus acris) – Radiant Confidence

The influences of Saturn in Libra can unfortunately diminish our inner flame, and therefore emphasize the need for recognition and acceptance from others of who we are, rather than ourselves.  Buttercup can correct this, gently kindling and bringing our inherent and radiant light forth from the inside and shining it outward, building self-worth and healthy confidence in the process, and eliminating self-doubt.  It is excellent for depression (including Seasonal Affective Disorder), as it helps us look instead at what makes us happy, and then we rejoice in it.  Buttercup is particularly good for Sun Sign Libras during this time, but it is excellent for anyone (including children) feeling under-confident in themselves and their abilities.  You can use this at the time of your job performance reviews to feel surer of yourself during these times.

Comfrey

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) – Building Foundation on Truth

Ruled by Saturn, Comfrey’s ability to encourage physical healing cannot be overlooked.  It is particularly well-aligned with the Root Chakra, and has an amazing ability to organize energy that manifests into a firmly-built foundation for health, and corrects any “holes” in that energy.  It helps support a diverse range of health conditions, especially if they relate to bones, tissue, nerves and the endocrine system, by reminding our body of our true and original energetic “blueprint.”  It then encourages the body’s ability to rebuild accordingly – excellent for anyone in an accident or a chronic condition that turns acute that wishes to regain their health as quickly yet sustainably as possible.

With firmer foundations being in place, Comfrey can also encourage us to speak our truth.  So, it helps with communications: within ourselves by balancing left-right energies that bring better body coordination – and with others, overcoming shyness.

It is a very earthy, grounding essence and helpful for building practical energetic structures that eventually materialize to allow us to overcome poverty consciousness.  If we are feeling lack, Comfrey helps us to realize the true abundance all around us, and properly aligns us to tap into and fully embrace it.  This can be especially helpful if we experience sudden job loss or other conditions that bring material security to the forefront, and to get back on track while knowingly and courageously following our heart – the best “calling card” for finding and reconnecting to prosperity.

Cramp Bark

Cramp Bark (Viburnum trilobum) – Feeling Fully Appreciated

For those Saturnian types that feel pressured to give more than they receive, Cramp Bark is ideal.  It inspires contentment and deep feelings of appreciation, and reduces feelings of being invisible and taken for granted.  Cramp Bark helps us find healthy boundaries so we do not give too much, which can in turn cause complaining or criticizing behavior to others as well as ourselves.  It also inspires us to learn how to receive properly.  Cramp Bark is especially beneficial when taken during a woman’s monthly cycle – a time when the tendency to give too much due to expectation of others is high.

Dandelions

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) – Release Tension, Relax

For all of you obsessive doers, intense perfectionists and constant on-the-go overachievers who tend to not know when to stop – and neglect your stiff, tense bodies in the process – Dandelion is for you, and doesn’t this describe nearly everyone!  A Dandelion person is usually enthusiastic and self-driven.  The best thing about Dandelion is its ability to educate the body to release tension that is knotted deep in the muscles, so it can be helpful for those with conditions like Fibromyalgia.  It can also show you where you are overdoing it – it helps you to relax, and listen to the song of the Universe, and get back in sync with it, as well as learn healthier outer expressions of inner emotion that don’t tax the muscles.  Massage Therapists who add a few drops of Dandelion to their massage oil will often have an easier time massaging the recipient.  Dandelion teaches us strength not in resistance, but instead in resilience.  It is OK to bend and just be in the flow, and like a Dandelion, we can spring back up!

Ruled by Jupiter, which also rules the Liver system in Western Astrology, Dandelion can also provide energy for the body to correct liver issues, which can outwardly affect everything from skin ailments to inefficient toxin elimination (and that includes allergies), so anyone who drinks much coffee or is on liver-affecting medications may benefit from the use of Dandelion.

Olive

Olive (Olea europaea) – Finding Solution for Exhaustion

Saturn can often bring us long-term mental and physical work that needs to be done, whether we ask for it or not.  Ruled by the Sun (according to Scott Cunningham), Olive helps those of us who are weary, run-down, tired and utterly exhausted.  It is a feeling like we are at the end of our rope and we can’t take it anymore, even if there is still so much to do.

This can happen when we limit ourselves to our personal energy reserves only, because we do not know how to tap into spiritual reservoirs of energy available to us for replenishing our soul, and may not have realized we can do this.  Olive connects us to the All-That-Is and allows us to use the ever-present restorative astral “waters” so we can keep going until our tasks are accomplished.

Pine

Pine (Pinus sylvestris) – Leave Behind Feelings of Guilt

Saturn in Libra can heighten our sensitivities toward feelings of guilt, remorse, despair, self-blame or wrongdoing.  Sometimes it can be difficult to release an event from the past, believing that we could have done something “better” about it.  Ruled by Mars, which we can view as cutting through to the truth, Pine can help us see the sacredness in our respective paths, and help us arrive at a more balanced view of the situations that brought about the feelings of guilt in the first place.  In turn, this allows forgiveness of the self, forgiveness of others, and eventually self-acceptance – and even a higher self-esteem.

Self-Heal

Self-Heal (Prunella vulgaris) – Restore Ability to Physically Heal

Some of us during this Saturn transit will experience the breakdown of structure literally in the body – whether it is from injury, or a latent issue that became major.  Because our society doesn’t nurture our connection to the space where all healing comes from, some of us have lost faith in our innate ability to heal.

Self-Heal is ruled by Venus (the ruler of Libra), which automatically improves inner communications and cooperation between the physical body systems, as well as with the spiritual, mental, and emotional areas.  The very best thing Self-Heal does is bring about and intensify strong belief in our inherent healing abilities, which in turn allows the healing forces of the individual and the Universe to flow in uninhibited, bringing about a balanced state of wholeness in all areas.  This is an essence I tend to add to any others in order to enhance healing on every level, since we need to believe in ourselves and reclaim our power of achieving wellness.  Miraculous recovery after a surgery is one way to experience the power and beauty of this amazing essence.  Children, animals, the elderly, and the weak all particularly benefit from this essence.

Walnut

Walnut (Juglans regia) – Complete Transition toward True Path

When facing big changes in our lives, the Sun-ruled Walnut can help make the best transition possible.  Be it divorce, a move, a job or career change – and even transitions in our lives, ranging from children teething or first day of school, through becoming a parent, or even menopause – Walnut provides support that creates the least amount of interference, which makes these transitions faster and easier, helping break the links to the past, and encourages independence and healthy self-reliance.  This is especially useful when others inflict their negativity onto us and attempt to hold us back, because they do not want us to change – and in reality they don’t want to change.  A Walnut tree produces a chemical that will not allow other trees to grow close to it.  Therefore, the essence provides a psychic shield to thwart outside influences that would keep us away from our intentions and our true calling.  Walnuts themselves are said to be brain food, and even look like miniature brains – so the essence allows us to free our minds, which is useful if leaving behind old restrictive belief systems, as well as those who still buy into them.  Move into your new life with confidence and ease with Walnut.

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Flower Essences Featured Available through the Following:

Alaskan Essences (Bleeding Heart, Comfrey, Dandelion, Self-Heal)

MK Projects International (Comfrey, Cramp Bark, Dandelion, Olive, Self-Heal)

Dr. Terry Willard’s Wild Rose College (Bleeding Heart, Buttercup, Dandelion, Self-Heal)

Flower Essence Society/Healing Herbs (Bleeding Heart, Buttercup, Dandelion, Olive, Pine, Self-Heal, Walnut)

(If you are one of my clients, I have Bleeding Heart, Buttercup, Cramp Bark, Dandelion, and Self-Heal – and other essences as well.  These may be available for online retail purchase at a later date).

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This article is featured in A Collection of Articles about How to Combine Astrology with Flower Essences published by Vibration Magazine as Part of the 2010 International Astrology Day Blogathon. The purpose of this web-based event is to create a permanent library of articles about how to deal with the stresses of the Cardinal T-Square of Pluto, Saturn and Uranus. The main page for the Blogathon collections is at The Cardinal T-Square of 2010: Saturn, Uranus, Pluto.

BIOGRAPHY:

AarTiana (also known as Calantirniel) has been published in over a dozen Llewellyn annuals and has practiced many forms of natural spirituality since the early 1990’s.  She is a professional astrologer, tarot card reader, dowser, flower essence creator and practitioner, Usui Reiki Master, and became a ULC Reverend and a certified Master Herbalist in 2007.  She has an organic garden, crochets professionally and is co-creating Tië eldaliéva, meaning the Elven Path, a spiritual practice based upon the Elves’ viewpoint in Professor JRR Tolkien’s Middle-Earth stories, particularly The Silmarillion.  Please visit her About Page for more information.

November Blog Party! Morning Beverages

CoffeeMugCelestial

Celestial Coffee Mug by WV Etsy Crafter "DancingPigPots"

Thank you, Dancing in a Field of Tansy, for hosting this awesome Blog Party!

No matter how disconnected from ourselves (and our planet) our modern Western culture seems to be; the one thing that seems to bring us into a connected space, even if only briefly, is the ritual of our waking beverage for the day – and I often think the ritual of preparation is just as important as the beverage itself!

I eagerly read with interest the participants’ posts from this Blog Party, since many have varying degrees of herbal expertise, and are therefore more aware of, and connected to, the Earth energies.  This connection is a wonderful place to find our own sanctuary and healing that can help us get through the day, and also to be a nutritional building block toward long-term health.

I am reminded of the days when I was the on-staff Astrologer/Tarot Reader for a place that provided many different modalities of Massage, as well as Acupuncture and Chiropractic – and they had a wonderful stock of bulk Chinese Herbs.  Since I hadn’t yet become an Herbalist, I was intrigued by comments made by these practitioners when they were observing energetic patterns of their clients – most of which were high-powered executive types.  The one I will not forget:  “You sure can tell which people drink a lot of coffee.”  When I asked them why, they told me that their liver meridians were utterly aggravated from over-stimulation, and that they were often dehydrated, and the energy was therefore stagnant and very difficult to move out of the body – and often their skin was toxic in one way or another (acne, eczema, etc.).  They told me over time, this can be very aging.

Coffee astrologically can be ruled by Neptune, due to the fact it acts as a “drug” but classically, it aligns with Mars, the Planet of Physical Action (which also rules Blood, Muscles and Anger), and I would also give it a Co-Ruler of Saturn, due to not only other plants in the same family sharing this ruler (i.e. Cleavers), but also its application of being able to block out everything in order to accomplish a task (and as an interesting side note, Tobacco is ruled by Mars as well).  The Liver in Western Medical Astrology is ruled by Jupiter.

This got me to think about how when I lived in North Carolina (interestingly, near my Mars and Jupiter line), I literally craved espresso-strength coffee every day, sometimes several times a day.  I was a single mother at the time with no family nearby, working many jobs while creating situations that didn’t require paid day care for my elementary-aged children.  I had more skin flare-ups, and  lost weight (compared to when I lived in Southern California, and I was already thin), and in hindsight, I have no idea how I did it all, coffee or otherwise.  I looked back at pictures of myself right before I left and I could see what they were talking about – the rather gaunt, aging energy.  I actually looked younger when I had moved back to my Venus and Saturn lines in California – and in doing so, I didn’t crave coffee.  I do like the taste every now and again, and I only drink it when it is the “good” stuff, and skip it entirely if it is the run-of-the-mill American style coffee.

Over time, I did learn that my coffee threshold is lower than I thought it was.  If I drink coffee at the same time of day for three days in a row (no matter how small or large the amount), by the fourth day, my body expects some coffee, and I have withdrawals.  This is perhaps a good thing, because I have learned I also like other hot beverages in the morning – like P&G Tips British Tea.  I do not experience withdrawals of any sort when drinking tea, no matter how much or how long I drink it.  I also like Green Tea, but only in the summer (and I just drink that plain).

What can happen though, is mineral loss.  I didn’t realize how prevalent this is, until I studied Herbalism.  I also realized the tannins in both coffee and tea can interfere with nutritional absorption.  While dairy milk can cut this, the mucus-building properties also interfere.  The use of table sugar actually decreases a body’s nutrition, and you can be better off not eating anything.  To alleviate these problems, I do not consume food with my coffee or tea beverage, and eat at least an hour later.  Since I would be a “cream and sugar” type, I have replaced these tendencies with organic non-dairy milks (I tend to switch around so I don’t get too much of one thing, particularly soy, and I now want to try Stephany’s recipe), and use raw local honey, organic agave juice, or stevia as a sweetener (the last two being good choices for diabetics, and the last one being a good choice for anyone dealing with urinary or candida/yeast issues).

If you must use dairy sourced milk, try raw goat’s milk right from a goat farmer.  If you have no access to this, purchase pasteurized organic milk or cream – and as recommended by Doctor of Ayurveda, Vasant Lad, heat the milk to be used carefully to boiling, and use immediately.  Pasteurization does not fully break down proteins and sugars that can be hard on our digestive systems, and while we do not get the enzymes this way, this is still a better alternative.

So in light of all of the above – what DO I drink in the morning?  Most often, it is this wonderful mineral-building herbal tea blend (which is technically an infusion).  It is better than any multi-vitamin and mineral supplement I ever tried, due I am sure to the greater nutritional absorption that occurs because it is food-based!  In a large tupperware-type container, I mix roughly equal parts of the following herbs:

Red Raspberry Leaves, Oatstraw, Nettle, Red Clover, and Comfrey Leaves (for some, Comfrey could cause a problem due to liver-affecting constituents, do your research)

I use Distilled Water, as it pulls the most nutrition from the herbs – use the best water you can get.  Then, I occasionally add a pinch or so of these, depending on what I feel like, or what I need:

Yarrow, Rosemary, Sage, and Alfalfa (for Winter)

I allow to steep for 15 minutes, and I often have this in the morning AND the evening before bed, no sweetener.  Its “green” taste is so grounding and gently empowering, which can allow me to get stuff done.

However, there are days when I want British Tea, and I do indulge!  Although I love black tea blends (i.e. Earl Grey with agave and squeezed lemon is a good example), I often find myself just liking these types of tea on their own, with a bit of sweetener and non-dairy milk.

When I want coffee – I have it.  Because of coffee’s strong taste, there are a wide range of herbs that can mix well with it, to bring about health benefits that may not be available otherwise:

1/2 to 2/3 freshly ground organic shade-grown dark-roasted coffee

1/3 a changing combination of roasted chicory root, roasted dandelion root, or even burdock root or yellow dock root (all good liver herbs)

Then – finish off with one of my favorites, Turmeric (be careful-it stains) and spice it up with a small amount freshly-ground Cardamom – its uplifting qualities can be compared to Chocolate!  After brewing, use agave juice with boiled cream or thick non-dairy vanilla-flavored milk – DELICIOUS!!

As a matter of fact – I tend to like approximately 1/2 tsp. Turmeric on its own in a cup of boiled milk and raw honey – too bad it doesn’t “suspend” very well, so stirring constantly while drinking is often needed (and it is worth the hassle).  A touch of Cardamon is a nice addition, as would warming spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg!  Later, I hope to experiment with a vegan version, wherein I would whip part of a banana into the warmed nut/grain milk along with these spices (and I may alleviate the suspension issue at the same time)!

Turmeric, also called Yellow Ginger, is one amazing versatile herb!  Medicinally, it helps clear lungs, decreases arthritic joint inflammation, and is wonderful for the liver and pancreas (and I know diabetics who love it).  It is the ingredient in curry powder and regular mustard that makes these yellow and (as mentioned) has been used for a yellow dye.  Along with a non-tap water choice (distilled or spring), a daily dose of Turmeric (approximately 1/2 tsp.) has helped conditions of Gout nearly disappear.

Thank you, Kiva Rose, for letting me know about this Blog Party – it was fun!  More importantly, thank YOU to my readers – I hope you learned some things today.  I know I have!