6-Step Herbal Contraception Update: Facial Reflexology!

astroherbalist herbal natural contraception

In my most popular blog post, My 6-Step Herbal Contraceptive/Birth Control Program, I mention toward the end of the article that I would share what I had discovered by reading pages 95-96 of this book, Marie-France Muller, MD, ND, PhD’s book, Facial Reflexology so that this information could be integrated into my program, and upon seeing how easy it is to implement, perhaps yours too!  For those of you who may have missed the notice, this wonderful book discusses a Vietnamese-based system of Facial Acupressure or Reflexology, called “Dien’ Cham.”

This particular method of non-intrusive female contraception is apparently used quite successfully by at least thousands of women in Southeast Asia.  While nothing works 100% of the time (except abstinence), it is worthy of further investigation and implementation, particularly if you are already having success using a natural birth control program.

I learned that the nose reflex zones are in close relationship with those of the uterus.  On the same token, reflex zones of the upper and lower lip also relate to the ovaries and the uterus.  When these zones are stimulated by pressing, rubbing, or tapping, it can energetically change the signals in these areas of the body in a biological, muscular and hormonal way.

Interestingly, these reflexology techniques are not just for natural female contraceptive purposes.  It seems they create other benefits which relieve vaginal dryness, dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse), frigidity, period pain, giving birth and vaginal tightness which can be the result of sexually-related trauma.

Of course, my mind now drifts to the use of Flower Essences like Rescue Remedy or other well matched essence(s) on one’s fingertips before performing this reflexology exercise to facilitate and deepen the release of such traumas – what a wonderful healing technique to implement in any case!

Shall we begin?

AstroHerbalist.comAstroHerbalist.com

Step 1:   Ten minutes prior to sexual intercourse and straight after (Did you get that? Don’t forget afterward as well!):

Rub the area that surrounds the mouth from left to right (and right to left) to a count of 200.  Use your index and middle finger on (preferably) your right hand, as shown in the pictures above.  The rubbing should make the skin pink, bringing blood to the surface – but be careful not to injure yourself.

AstroHerbalist.com

Step 2:   Then, pinch your nostrils together lightly between your thumb and forefinger 200 times, as shown.  When pinching, move the fingers up the side of your nostrils toward the bridge of the nose in a brisk, upward motion.  This “pinching-plus-upward-motion” sequence should only take 2-3 minutes to do.

These two steps should bring blood flow to the pelvic/uterine area as well as arousal/pleasure.  It is important to note that the feelings of warmth and sexual receptivity are the very way to realize this is working!  If these feelings are not present, repeat the cycle until you without a doubt notice these feelings.  Younger women may not need 200 times, where older women may need more than 200 times.  Adjust accordingly, using your feelings as a guideline.  Practice this technique especially during your fertile period, of which was discussed in my prior blog post, or research Toni Weschler MPH’s work!

Word of WARNING here:  Apparently, for some, uterine contractions can cause some discomfort, and for others quite a bit of pain.  While this is primarily how it “works” to prevent egg implantation, it is something to consider.

This is apparently an effective vaginal dryness “cure” but if herbal/nutritional help is needed, take Susun Weed’s advice and look into drinking infusions (strong tea brewed overnight) of Oatstraw herb (Avena sativa), and possibly Red Clover blossoms (Trifolium pratense).  As a side note, these infusions have other amazing benefits like radiant and clear skin!  In the interest of not over-promoting fertility, I would go easy on the Red Clover (thanks Movlin at Susun Weed’s Forum for catching my oversight!)  The reason is that Red Clover is indeed a super-fertility herb, so if the idea is contraceptive/birth-control herbal use, Red Clover ought not be used daily – and avoid it entirely during your fertility times (discussed in my prior blog post, as noted above).  Because I like to mix many of my herbs together, you could periodically add Red Clover to your blends in a smaller proportion.

Thanks for tuning into my blog today, it has been an utter pleasure!  Feel free to sign up for further updates FREE on a variety of topics, by placing your Email in the specified area of the right-hand column.  If you want, share this post in your favorite way(s) below!  For those of you who need Consultations, I have some openings right now – just visit the Contact page :-)  Thanks SO much for staying tuned via my Email List – so appreciated!

Who Heals the Healers?

Quick note:  THANKS for all the Venus Retrograde/Direct Comments – Learning SO much!  But I digress….

I am a Llewellyn Annuals Author, and Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd. has just published the 2013 Witches’ Companion.  On pages 16-28, my article, “Who Heals the Healers?” makes a plea at the end which asks for participation of readers, so this is the blog post that will welcome your comments, ideas, observations, and possible solutions toward this end – and I can hardly wait to see what is said!  (Special THANKS to Elysia of Llewellyn who made her own blog post about this article as well!)

Background

While I cannot reproduce the article here due to copyright issues, I can provide a brief summary.  First, I talk about my deep personal journey of my realization that there is a clear connection between spiritual belief that reflects nature and balance, and of health and healing philosophy and practices.

I talk about how courageous we need to be in our world today to actually pursue health measures and protocols that in fact match the belief system we embrace; and how it is so easy, due to deliberate mis-education and structure, to get sidetracked from making these choices – not just from society but even our own friends and family who lovingly believe that following this false system, thinking it is also best for us.  The risk of pursuing the right thing can often inadvertently cause feelings of alienation, and without knowing better, the apparent conclusion can be paraphrased as, “You’re crazy!”

I then explore some of this unhealthy structure, as well as the benefit to those who would create such a structure (and how they got away with it long before many of us were even born).  I explain the aftermath of this, which is that even the leaders of our nature-based spiritual groups out of this conditioning will choose by habit to go outside of their belief system, due to fear.

The question I then pose is:

“If our leaders cannot fully embrace natural healing, how can we have any hope for the seekers looking to embrace natural healing?”

I then ask a more important question:  “How did we get here?”

The laws for the last 150 years in the USA prohibit very important aspects of true healing practices (i.e. the only health care provider allowed to diagnose and to treat disease must be trained and have graduated from the establishment, i.e. an “M.D.” or similar titles from orthodox institutions).  While we can try to change the law, attempts have been unsuccessful due to the “backup systems” of the establishment being in place to ensure their continuity and survival in the current paradigm.

Please understand that I am NOT against the existence of orthodox medicine.  I completely believe that their services are invaluable toward emergency care and trauma, as well as providing temporary relief toward conditions until deeper care can be provided for chronic conditions.  I know that in severe cases, antibiotics can save a life.  However, the system is not set up for recovery AFTER these services are rendered.  This system of medicine is disease management rather than cure, and is non-natural chemical suppression of disease on nearly all counts.  While this may work for the short term, it is not a sustainable method of creating wellness.  The failure of this system is not for acute conditions – the failure is for chronic conditions.  The fact we are told by doctors as well as textbooks in school, mainstream media, and other sources that we have no other options can make us feel powerless, especially when you consider the fact that laws are in place that support them while thwarting any other way.

Possible Solutions

While it is important to find out how we would arrive at a certain place, I also felt it is just as important (perhaps moreso) to implement solutions to this issue.

So, how can we empower ourselves and pursue the type of health care that matches our belief system, is affordable and accessible, and still work within the confines of the current law of the land?

The solution I mention in the article is based on (for the moment) our right to free speech.  That means we pursue knowledge through a process of learning – and that means those who know are also teaching.  This may seem an expensive proposition, and time consuming.  However, over time, most programs will pay for themselves well within the first year, and each year following can create amazing value to our families, and eventually to our community.

If you are a member of an established spiritual group, this is even better.  Since healing is often important to many, perhaps exploring healing arts that will complement what others will learn can create a wonderful support system that can create a space where going the orthodox route is a last resort, rather than the first (and only).  Some of us love growing or wildcrafting edible and medicinal herbs, others are drawn to study massage, others may be drawn to study Yoga, Reiki and Ayurveda, or perhaps Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes acupuncture with herbs.  Still, some may explore shamanic healing, massage, tribal dance, and even naturopathic or chiropractic medicine.  Some healing tools could have a psychological component (like Astrology), or an emotional healing component (like Flower Essences).  Healing arts to learn can range from Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Body Talk, to Cranio-Sacral Therapy (CST).  And let’s not forget those who are attracted to cooking excellent and healthy organic foods and can help us create good systems of implementing these benefits into our daily lives affordably.

There is so much territory to explore here!  The idea is to pursue what you are attracted toward, then pair up with others that can trade with you in a way that is fair to all – and with this, we can make a firm foundation for healing that is accessible to all with similar belief systems.  Yes, we can use our healing talents as “currency” toward other things we need.  Time-for-time is usually a fair and beneficial arrangement, and if materials are involved, additional means can be discussed to bring balance to the healing transaction (for example, to add more time, or to pay cost or trade other material of similar value).

This also means that the responsibility of healing is clearly on the recipient and that the provider of services is merely a “hose” or facilitator.  We all need different services from different people so it is difficult to evaluate healers by “credentials” alone – get testimonials, especially from those close to you that you trust, and go with your gut feeling.  The process may be long, especially if things have been suppressed for some time – but you will know deep inside if things are moving and processing, or whether you need to seek a different healing experience.  We also need to WANT to heal of course (an entirely different topic)!

What other ideas do those in the nature-based spiritual community have for accessing and achieving health and vitality affordably?  How can these ideas be realistically implemented?  What are potential problems to things I have suggested, and what can be done instead?

Please comment below (and sign up for free updates too)!  And, I wish to thank all of you in advance for your insight and participation!

Venus Retrograde in Gemini from May 15-June 27, 2012

Venus

**UPDATE:  Hurray, Venus is finally direct!!  Check out the 200+ comments here – from their content, you may find even more information that you seek!**

Is your relationship a little rocky now?  Perhaps a big ticket item is screaming at you to spend your money?  Read on!

We have a rather unusual Venus Retrograde happening for 2012, and more than enough to report to our loyal readers!  Venus has been very high and brightly visible in the northern skies – and more north than usual.  Since April 2nd, Venus is by declination “out-of-bounds” until the middle of this retrograde cycle, of which a rare astronomical event will occur:

Venus will cross the face of the Sun!

How rare?  This phenomenon happens in pairs once every century (more than a century actually), with approximately 8 years separating each pair.  In part, this is due to the 8-year Venus synodic cycle, consisting of 5 retrograde cycles, making a pentagram shape.  The first of this rare pairing happened in Gemini on June 8, 2004.  Remember what you were doing or starting around that time period and perhaps a conclusion, completion or solution could be at hand now.

On June 5-6, 2012, this will happen in Gemini again – around sunset for those in the Western United States (see map at link).  Even if Venus only appears as a speck on the Sun’s face, I can hardly wait to see NASA’s photos of this, it should be spectacular!  (I will update this blog post with a good photo at a later date for reference, in the meantime – you may see it live at slooh.com – thanks MoonCat! Astrology for the link).

Prior to this 2004-2012 pairing, the last event happened in 1882, and the next one is scheduled for 2117!  Therefore, it is most likely that we will not in our current lifetimes see this syzygy happen again!

I really like Peter Stockinger’s blog post with an excellent Traditional Astrology viewpoint on this, a summary of Venus affliction here:

“Due to her debilitated state during the conjunction to the Sun, Venus will not affect us in a positive, gentle and loving manner but she will rather test some of us to a high degree. We can expect that old relationships may come back to light and old lovers could reappear.  Past events may haunt some people and much resentment may bubble up to the surface. Domestic conflicts should be expected when old structures and patterns are broken up to be rearranged.”

I also feel this is an important and rather symbolic astrological event as well, and have some ideas of how this applies to our lives.  But first, let’s discuss each factor.

What does the Planet, Venus Rule Astrologically?

Signs of Taurus and Libra, Values, Relationships (Business and Personal), Commitment, Negotiation and Peacemaking, Contracts, Money and Material Possessions, Women, Art (especially visual, or even tactile) and Artistic Expression, Romance, Beauty, Fashion, Style, Taste (especially if sweet).

It may be mentioned that in ancient times, Venus in the Western evening sky is the Goddess of love, but while in the Eastern morning sky, she has a more “warrior” type of aspect – perhaps due to the mythological stories of her entrance to the Underworld, purifying herself by passing the 7 gates, and 8 days later (during the inferior cycle), she emerges in a more pure light – she now loves herself first, and truly this is healthy for love.  When our hearts break, they actually in reality break OPEN, and we do not need to stop loving others, but instead we need to love ourselves MORE!  Interestingly, the Mayan and Toltec mythology of Venus also resonates with warrior energy, as Venus is a male god of war (Quetzalcoatl).  When Quetzalcoatl is in the Underworld, there is a sense that one can get away with bad behavior as no one is watching.  So historically, it was thought that robberies, rape and/or other abuses were rampant at these times.  But, by the time Quetzalcoatl appeared in the Eastern sky, he is angrier than a hornets’ nest that was stirred and often exacted revenge on those who thought misbehaving would go unnoticed.  This can apply another layer of understanding on a symbolical level about Venus Retrograde cycles.

More About Venus Retrograde (aka Venus Rx)

Approximately every 1 to 1 1/2 years, Venus goes into a “retrograde” cycle.  From a sky viewpoint from Earth, it means that Venus appears to move backward through the Zodiac.  Venus is not really moving backward, it just looks like it.  Think of when your car is passing someone in the next lane how it appears the other car is moving backward, but in reality the car is moving forward – just not as fast as yours.  It is kind of like that :-)

It should also be noted that the retrograde energies are the strongest on the very days they change direction – in this case, that is May 15th and June 27th.  You can also feel these energies about 5 or more days BEFORE these direction changes.  This may help in your understanding of how the energies will express themselves.

What does this mean in our lives?  When any planet goes retrograde, it is often a time that is not productive for starting new things.  But it is a good time for re-examining existing things in our lives to see if they still work for us, and dumping what doesn’t work.  We may never examine these things as we can get really busy, so it is good that we have a way to know when to reevaluate our lives and our values – and this is what Venus going retrograde can offer all of us.  Even if we are not conscious of this influence, things may happen unexpectedly that make us look at stuff and decide whether we want it or not.   I say it is better to be prepared for this so you are not overwhelmed with trying to start things that feel like a struggle and uphill battle.  Personally, I prefer efficiency when I can do it!  I hope this article enhances your efficiency as well!  (Have I yet revealed how Capricorn I really am?  If not, I promise I will do moreso over time!)

If you happen to have a natal or a birth chart placement of Venus retrograde, you were born with a natural hesitation toward the things that Venus rules.  You may contemplate more than usual when it comes to choosing anything from art to clothing to (yes) relationships, and there can be a carefulness with money (not a bad thing).  While you have the ability to go very deep in appreciation and assessing value to aspects of your life, the fact you hesitate can be viewed by others as a lack of trust, whether it is real or not.  When Venus is also retrograde in a sign where trust can already be difficult (like Scorpio), relationships with romantic partners can be challenging and there may be lessons to learn about others.  Since Venus rules women, this can also be a source of strife, where the Venus Rx person appears to be the “alien” or “outsider.”  Learning how to relate is one of the lessons of having a Venus retrograde – but once learned and embraced consciously, it can be an amazing blessing in relationships as they have become an important focus to do right.

Venus in Gemini

This Venus retrograde cycle is in the sign of Gemini (the Twins), which is ruled by the changeable, adaptable planet Mercury.  Gemini resonates with all forms of communication, in particular with language – speaking, reading, writing, media of many types, networking, getting the word out, wit and charm, entertaining and exchanging ideas and information, and due to the twin nature, it can resonate with duality:  pros and cons, day and night, similarities and differences.  Knowledge of beautiful ideas can be reached and discussed because there is a desire to learn and explore all viewpoints of new territory, thus boredom is not exactly welcome – and if it is done in truth, you can discover so much more about the other person and even about yourself than you knew before – learning can really be fun.  There can be a mental sensitivity finely-tuned so that one knows what one is thinking or what they will say.  You can see that people in about any form of advertising could have a Gemini signature in their chart.  When this energy is used for good, people’s needs get met in ways they may not express as the Gemini senses the nuances and knows that what they might want would likely match other people’s wants, and apply accordingly.

Another application?  A darker one would be arguing for being right, rather than seeking truth, passive-aggressive behavior (and denial of such), rationalizing so that one can do something wrong and feel justified in doing so, manipulation of facts as to not show truth in order to further one’s ego-based desires, projecting the “bad guy” (shadow) on another so that one can feel like the “good guy” – need I go on further?  One of the darkest expressions of this is the proverbial con-artist who is clever enough to say exactly what a person wants to hear so that they can take advantage of them financially or a plethora of other motives (and sex could be one, since Gemini in Tarot resonates with the Lovers Card).  As noted, retrogrades can be a time when the darker expressions happen more often, so it is a good idea to be cautious of these expressions beforehand.

Who will be most affected by this Venus Rx cycle?

While it is fair to say all of us will be affected on one level or another, people with the Sun, Moon or personal planets (Mercury, Venus or Mars), or the Angles (i.e. Ascendant, Midheaven, etc.) between 7 and 24 degrees Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo or Pisces will feel this time period the most.  Also, because of Venus rulership, Tauruses and Libras will also feel more affected and should always be aware of Venus Retrograde cycles.  Those with natal Venus retrograde will also feel the retrogrades a lot, although it can lighten up a bit when Venus goes direct by Secondary Progression. People in professions ruled by Venus will also notice things are a bit wonky (more on this below).

So – What do we do?

If we make conscious decisions with this energy, chances are we will see the positive expressions working in our lives, instead of the undesirable influences.  If we just bumble along la-tee-dah, it is usually the darker energies that find expression and then we can feel picked-on by the Universe.  While we cannot always entirely avoid the undesirable expressions, we can know enough to deal with energies differently and lessen the aftermath.  Let’s look at some life categories and see what we can do!

Relationships

This is a pretty big deal during Venus Retrograde.  If there are things wrong with a relationship and you were ignoring these things for reasons of security, this could be a time when the pressures of the things wrong actually outweigh the need for stability.  It could be your decision to end, but also the partner’s decision, which is more stressful.  As for starting a relationship during this time, just know that the timing demonstrates that it is an old issue to be worked out, rather than a new beginning.  Old problems can sometimes have a new face, and if you decide to enter a relationship during this time, you may discover it ends in the same way it did before.  This also can happen with an old flame coming back, thinking things can be “different” this time.  The timing alone tells me it will not change (if it would, they would come back when Venus is direct, not retrograde).  I will not tell you to say no to a relationship during this time, but just know the likely consequences so you are not as hurt or surprised if things do not work well.  This information can also apply to business relations and contracts – wait if possible.  Chances are if it is a good thing, it WILL wait for Venus to go direct, and if it is not, it will disappear by the time Venus goes direct.  It is all about timing sometimes!  Also – it is not recommended that you get married during a Venus retrograde, or if you do, chances are you need to re-work much in this relationship, or learn how to love, honor and value yourself in balance with the other.

Women

Venus also rules women, so we can keep this in mind when we may be approached with working out issues in this area.  While our mothers are the first women involved in our lives, mothers are usually ruled by the Moon and its sign, Cancer.  However, in our lives we often bring other women to us that have a similar resonation, so we sometimes end up handling our issues with women or female issues during Venus Retrograde times, whether it relates to invalidation, jealousy or other issues, including health problems (more below).

Money

When Venus goes retrograde, a strange thing happens – our vision with value is shaking out the bugs, so we may see things more skewed than usual without knowing it.  So, the best advice with money during this time?  Do NOT spend it on any big-ticket items, new or used, right now (and I wonder with this being in Gemini this time if it will be about computers, cell phones, or cars).  Chances are you will be more than disappointed at what you receive for the money and you may not be able to rectify your purchase, thereby you taking the “hit” or loss.   Even Astrologers are not immune to this, as I have watched over and over again thinking we can control the influences when they are at obvious odds with the natural cycle.  As an example, if your car breaks down and you need another car, do not buy one during this period.  Rent one, borrow one or take other transportation, as inconvenient as it is, until this period is over.  Something that looks like it is a good deal will not be – if it looks like it is, and it is real, it will wait until Venus goes direct, so schedule after June 27th to reexamine it.  If it is not available anymore, know in your heart it was likely not what you think it is.  If it is still available, then check it out further and make sure it is a good deal by then.  Again, contracts fit here, similar to how when Mercury is retrograde.  Since cash flow will slow down during this time, perhaps you won’t be able to buy that bad purchase anyway!

Values

This is actually related to relationships and money, and is the core of them both.  The idea of Value is the ability to assess and measure how important something is to you and if so, what means of exchange you see fit to obtain it.  We can apply this to relationships as well, since it is imperative that we value things similarly to how our partner values things.  We always hear about fights over money in a relationship, or religious strongholds, or other things where we wonder what we were thinking when choosing that partner.  We can be naive enough to choose a relationship because they like the same music as we do, but learn later that everything else they hold dear is a nightmare to us.  So during Venus Retrograde times, we get to learn about ourselves and what we truly value.  Our values can change over time, so it is important to reevaluate our principals.  Sometimes, things actually use more of our energy to own them than if we were free of them.  So it can be a good time to get rid of or sell things no longer valuable to you (although don’t think you can sell for top dollar at this time – the idea is to release and get rid of it, and if you think it is worth more to others, than wait and sell it when Venus is direct and perhaps during a waxing Moon as well).

Health

Undoubtedly, one of the things you can value is your health!  This is important for those with Venus afflictions natally, as well as Tauruses, Libras, and those with Venus, Taurus or Libra on the Ascendant or 6th house cusps (if you do not know your Astrology Charts, see Astrology Resources for free ones, or consider a Consultation).  As an example, Venus rules veins and in general has much to do with the kidney system, and for Tauruses, they also pay attention to the throat.  It can be important to use herbs to strengthen these systems, and knowing which herbs help your situation is ideal.  If you experience swelling of the ankles and dark under-eye circles, some kidney-type herbs can help (see my UTI post if you think it could help).  Some are ruled by Venus, like Plantain, Alfalfa, and Goldenrod.  Some have other planetary rulers that can assist or help:  Dandelion (Jupiter), Nettles (Mars), Parsley (Mercury), and Juniper Berries (Sun) are all good examples.  Along with these herbs, veins will do better when eating many berries with as much blue tint in them as you can find:  Blueberries, Elderberries, and even to a degree Blackberries, Thimble-berries, Huckleberries/Bilberries and other similar berries are wonderful for veins – and Turmeric (Jupiter) can help with circulation and inflammation issues as well.  Strong astringents like Oak (Sun) or even Sumac can help tone externally.  Throat stuff can be handled with Cherry Bark (Venus) and other plants in the Rose family (many ruled by Venus).  Yarrow, also ruled by Venus, is wonderful for many things, from stopping bleeding to menstrual discomforts to kidney issues and even throat, lung/respiratory stuff – it is bitter but makes you sweat and wrapping up after drinking hot yarrow tea and taking the hottest bath or shower you can stand, sleeping all night, can create much wellness the next day.  Mix with Goldenrod too – and this can help address allergies!  In many cases, you may wish to cut back on sugar (ruled by Venus) since it can complicate health issues when Venus is retrograde.   More information can be available by working with a knowledgeable herbalist.

Art

Because our values change during Venus Retrograde, so can our tastes (not just our physical taste but our aesthetic tastes as well).  While not usually a good time to make a big purchase of art (see “Money” above), it is a great time to explore alternative tastes that you haven’t gotten a chance to explore fully – especially if it is a style inspired by the past (retrograde is about going BACK sometimes).  Retro-styled art can be appreciated and when Venus goes direct, if you still find you like what you (re)discover, think about updating your art and your home environment to evolve with your refining tastes!

Beauty/Fashion

While the actual service fields of clothing and hair care, etcetera are ruled by Virgo, we can definitely see the Venusian influence of these fields.  Just as in Art above, exploring retro styles could be something that happens quite naturally during Venus Retrograde.  Trying things out now can work, as long as it is in budget and if your tastes change again when Venus goes direct, that you don’t mind trying something out for awhile.  Chances are that you may discover at least a couple things you like – and there ought to be a note with regard to hair and cosmetology.

Venus Retrograde can bring about us wanting to do something absolutely crazy with our hair.  Whether it is a radical change of cut or color, we can really feel sick of our old style where anything would seem like it could look better.  My advice?  Unless it is a hairstyle you had BEFORE and you know for a fact you enjoyed it, I caution to change it in a way that it could be changed back or grow out gracefully if it is Venus Retrograde.  Again, you may decide you utterly hate it after Venus goes direct, and if it is too hard to fix, it could be a real drag, since hair can grow more slowly than our tastes can change!

Some of you may be hairdressers that are reading this blog post.  It seems like all hairdressers need to know this information!  Since you are in a Venusian business, Venus Retrograde will be a natural part of your career, and knowing how to minimize dissatisfaction can be a crucial element to keeping your customers happy.  If people want “the usual” it usually isn’t a problem, but when they want something so different that it would be hard to fix, you may wish to advise a conservative version of what they seek so they can fix it later, and then after the date Venus goes direct (in this case, June 27th), they can go the rest of the way if they like what they already have, or be closer to a fix if they hate it.  Most of the time, unless it is like an old hairstyle they had before, they may not like it after all.  Then, they will think you are SO insightful on how you handled the whole thing and you can fix their hair.  If they insist during the retrograde on not having a fixable version, then do it and they will know it is their own choice and perhaps it is a spiritual lesson for them to deal with the consequences – maybe they will need to think things out further in the future.  This could also work well for Tattoo artists to do art conservatively during these times where it is fixable later.

It appears other Astrologers have similar viewpoints as I do – see LillianStar’s take on this Venus Rx and also Boots Hart’s post on Venus Rx and the Annular Solar Eclipse!

Mark your Calendars (and Charts)

For What Time of Venus Retrograde:  Check Zodiac Arts (set for US Pacific Time) and choose YOUR Time Zone!

April 2, 2012:  Venus is by Declination “Out of Bounds” in the Northern Latitude, adding Venusian “emphasis”

April 16, 2012:  Venus started its pre-retrograde “shadow” period before the retrograde at 7 degrees Gemini, bringing in information about issues that could flare up during the actual retrograde

May 15, 2012:  Venus goes Retrograde at 24 degrees Gemini

May 20, 2012Annular Solar Eclipse at 0 degrees Gemini (and found another viewpoint worthy of a look)

June 4, 2012Partial Lunar Eclipse at 14 degrees Sagittarius

June 5, 2012:  Rare Syzygy – Venus crosses Face of the Sun at 15 degrees Gemini and is also “back in bounds” by Declination

June 25, 2012:  Saturn goes Direct at 22 degrees Libra 46 minutes (a sign ruled by Venus, which is stationary now)

June 27, 2012:  Venus goes Direct at 7 degrees Gemini

August 1, 2012:  Venus leaves its post-retrograde “shadow” at 24 degrees Gemini, completing issues brought up during the retrograde

Summary

In any case, we ought to all have a pretty eventful Venus Retrograde, particularly when there are 2 eclipses in between!  Eclipses are known for revealing to us what was hidden or not known before – and sometimes that can be pretty shocking!  Knowing how to handle unexpected energies is the best way to lessen the stress.  Why do retrogrades often cause much stress?  Because sometimes we need a catalyst for change in certain areas, and change, despite our comfort levels, can be a very good thing!  May your 2012 Venus Retrograde experience allow you to reexamine what YOU value so your future choices can enrich your lives!

**Also, check out the 200+ comments here – from their content, you may find even more information that you seek!**

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My 6-Step Herbal Contraceptive/Birth Control Program

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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!

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!

Herbs for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Cleavers - Galium aparine

Cleavers – Galium aparine

I want to first take an opportunity to tell all of you who have signed up for my new Blog here at WordPress:  Thank you!  It is an honor to share my experiences and wealth of accumulated information with you – and today is no exception.

This week has been difficult for our family due to the passing of my teenage daughter’s close friend who had accidentally drowned (not knowing how to swim and being alone in a pool).  Seeing how this is indeed the “death” time of year, we didn’t expect someone so young to go beyond the veil way before his time – or so it seemed from our naive mundane viewpoint.  Only he knew his soul contract, and whether he accomplished things in that contract – and it isn’t for us to know.  We do know the one thing that we take in death is love, and that we will indeed see him again when the time is right.

During this releasing process, my body apparently took an opportunity to release a very old energy pattern that apparently I had subconsciously and automatically locked inside of it for quite some time – likely for what was at the time survival reasons that were not even in my awareness.

Whether our belief systems include reincarnation and past lives, or whether we tend to carry these patterns ancestrally through genetics (be they strengths or weaknesses), I find it doesn’t matter much, because it often is played out in our mundane lives at one point or another.  I have consciously been on a healing journey since 1993, and have corrected many patterns of behavior and thought that relate to fear, and particularly anger, and how to process it.  Many people believe that once you have mastered your behaviors that all prior problems with that pattern just disappear.

Maybe for them, but speaking as a quadruple earthy Capricorn, ruled by Saturn (the planet of physical matter), I have noticed that even when a new pattern is mastered, that it can take years to fully process the old patterns, and in my case, that is almost always through the vehicle of a physical illness.  Consciously, this is not the most comfortable way to deal with releasing – I would much rather do it like others, through dreams or visions,  or even through one day of just crying in the bathtub.  However, when the pattern is stored in your body on a physical level (and I am sure the body “walls” it off as to not disturb the rest of my body), I suppose when that “wall” is dissolved through new thoughts, behaviors, energy work and even nutritional changes, it makes perfect sense for the releases of old energetic imprints to be released physically, through ailment.

In the current case, the expression of the old pattern release is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), which is the second one I have had in a year’s time, but never having one before in my life of well over 40 years.  According to Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life, this is about anger (“pissed-off”) and often at the opposite sex, especially a partner.  Is this my issue now?  No, and not for years.  Was it an issue?  OH yes!  It is also a family patterning, in that my mother tends toward UTI’s often, and we had discussed the differences between the way we handle our emotions – and she definitely suppressed her anger more than I did.

So, I receive even more confirmation from Spirit that herbal training was an excellent conjunct to my astrological and other training – if for nothing else than to assist the physical issues to process as quickly as possible.  This does not deny the use of energetic healing methods like Reiki or Flower Essences – in fact, it may have been these things that are helping remove these energy patterns too.  However, it is nice to know there is action to take physically, through the amazing plant kingdom, to bring that process of physical wellness more quickly than with energy work alone.

Any healer that has decided to heal themselves will tell you it is much more difficult than providing healing energy for others.  The reason is that the healer is not responsible for the recipient’s healing, but when the recipient is oneself, you are the healing instrument AND you are responsible – it can be tricky to coordinate these two tasks, but a healer than can do it is usually a fantastic healer for another.  Maybe because what we really are is healing teachers and healing facilitators – we actually heal ourselves with this help.

Being ever grateful for my herbal training, along with raw Garlic and unsweetened Cranberry Juice, I used herbs similar to Dr. Christopher’s for the first UTI occurrence at the 2008 Winter Solstice, and they worked in 3 1/2 days!  This summer, I had been inspired by Herbalist Kiva Rose to more fully explore the herbs that grow in my yard (commonly known as weeds), as it is much better to really have a relationship with the few herbs that decide to grow here, and not only know all of their possible applications, but to really have a relationship with the plants themselves, to understand their energy patterns, their astrological alignments (if known), and the extent of that herb to meet my intentions of healing at that particular time with particular situations.  While gathering many, I noticed many had qualities of healing the kidney and bladder areas, even if they worked differently to do so, and I thought that was interesting.  Now I know why!

While in great pain on Saturday early afternoon, I brought my pendulum with me to dowse which dried herbs, as well as herbal vinegars and herbal tinctures, would be the best energetic match for me, as well as the release of the UTI condition.  I did not have Cranberry Juice this time, and I wanted to see the effectiveness of these herbs on their own (along with avoiding all sugars, coffee, and non-herbal tea – and drinking at least 1/2 gallon of reiki-energized distilled water per day).  Here is what came up, and I did all the following:

Dried Herbs for Tea (also called an Infusion):

These herbs I had kept onhand in jars, and most were obtained from my local herb store:

Parsley, Nettle, Yarrow, Oatstraw, and Comfrey (small amount, due to constituents that could affect liver – usually not a worry, do your research – start with the 3 links in the right-hand column of this blog, under “Comfrey”)

1 tsp. combined herbs per 8 oz nearly-boiling water to steep 15 minutes per cup – 3 or 4 cups per day

I didn’t sweeten at all, but if you need it, you can use stevia – or if you prefer a salty, soup-broth taste, try a hexane-free tamari sauce instead.

Herbal Vinegar:

Goldenrod (if you want to know how to make it, Susun Weed has a nice tutorial, and I like the dill-like taste)

1 tablespoon prepared vinegar – 3 times per day, chase with water

Herbal Tincture:

Usnea (in Everclear) – 4 drops*

Dandelion (in Brandy/Vodka) – 10 drops

Cleavers (in Brandy/Vodka) – 10 drops

All three, 3 times per day, chase with water

* the Usnea Lichen grew in woods near where I live, not in my yard.

Additionally:

On the first day, I decided to smash a pretty large clove of Garlic and spread it on my over-medium farm-fresh eggs that we get from a friend.  Raw Garlic can be harsh to eat on an empty stomach – I am especially sensitive to this, as I have difficult nausea-type pain, and sometimes gas, which says that it is working – eating with food usually alleviates that for me.  And, it tasted wonderful!

Self-Reiki was also implemented – I used the Sei He Ki symbol visually on my Kidney, Bladder and Urinary Tract area.  I also decided to rest, since that helped alleviate the pain (I guess gravity makes it worse sometimes).

For those interested in Planetary Rulers – of those I could find:

Cleavers (Galium aparine):  Saturn

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale): Saturn

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): Jupiter

Goldenrod (Solidago Canadensis): Venus

Nettle (Urtica dioica): Mars

Oatstraw (Avena sativa): Venus

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum): Mercury

Usnea (Usnea spp.):  (Unknown at this time, but I would give it to Saturn)

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): Venus

Results?  How about gone in 2 1/2 days? I couldn’t be happier!  I also cannot stress enough to learn even a layperson’s knowledge of herbs if at all possible.  Not only will it help you and your family achieve wellness more quickly and to not just mask symptoms, it gives a great sense of self-empowerment to know that many (unsprayed) plants we find in our yards can heal us – and your bank account stays happy too!  If you haven’t already, please explore my Herbalism links page on my blog to delve into a few resources.  Thanks for reading today!