Thursday, May 13, 2010

Herbal Healing Salve

Ever since I joined HerbMentor, I've been trying out stuff. I made a nettle infusion and started with an echinacea tincture. Today I made a herbal healing salve with comfrey, plantain, calendula and St. John's Wort. I made a slideshow of the process:

The pictures of the infusion, tincture so far and the salve are also in my Flickr-album "Herbal Stuff".

Monday, May 10, 2010

10th PFI Conference Netherlands

Last Saturday I went to the 10th PFI Conference in Lunteren. I left home early to be in time for the opening ritual. At arrival I already met a lot of friends and other acquaintances and that went on throughout the day. It's a great opportunity to meet people!

The opening ritual was performed by Frigga Asraaf and Michiel from the Asatru network Het Rad. Central in the ritual stood three branches that represented the PFI Netherlands: one for Lady Bara (National Coordinator PFI and organizer of the Conference), one for Morgana (International Coordinator PFI) and one for the PFI in general. We all brought ribbons to decorate the branches. I hung mine in Lady Bara's branch. The result was placed in a special place during the day.

All day workshops were given in different rooms in the building; sometimes it was very hard to make a choice! Workshops I attended:
*** The Wild Hunt by Gardenstone (lecture with music and pictures)
*** Powersongs by Frigga Asraaf & Michiel (singing powersongs together)
*** Feeling the energy of the landscape by Linda Wormhoudt (info, experiencing, trance journey)
*** Polarity in Wicca by Boann & Dagda Segais (Gardnerian HPS & HP guided us in connecting with the Goddess and God)
I enjoyed them all very much: interesting and fun to do!

In between the workshops I had time to explore all the stalls. I restrained myself and only bought 2 books and some beautiful cards. From Frigga Asraaf I bought her book "Asatru - een naslagwerk" (Asatru - a reference book), one of the most extensive Dutch books on asatru. At the table of bookshop De Wijze Kater I bought The Wicca Herbal by Jamie Wood.

In the closing ritual the branches for Lady Bara and Morgana were given to them. Then it was time for dinner: a delicious Indonesian buffet. Very yummy!!! Around 8PM The Lowland Paddies started playing in the big room. Great music and very good to dance. There had been a balfolk workshop in the afternoon and this was the perfect moment to get some exercise. I enjoyed watching! :)
Around 10PM I said my goodbyes. I dropped two friends in Amsterdam and drove home.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Witches Cafe Haarlem

Yesterday I've been to the Witches Cafe in Haarlem for the first time. It is organised by George and Sander of Mandragora in De Groene Godin, a lovely little shop I got to know a few weeks ago by doing a workshop there.  It is a nice place with great ambience.

This month Jungian therapist Annemarie Peters held a short presentation about her book "Dochters van de Maan" (Daughters of the Moon). In the book she shows the link between women's monthly cycles and the moon. She told us about how the book came to life, shared the essence of the book and did a wonderful guided visualisation with us. Very interesting! In between and afterwards I chatted with Annemarie and the other visitors while we enjoyed herbal tea and yummy cake. A wonderful evening that bears repetition!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Numen, the nature of plants

Today I watched an excellent documentary: Numen, The Nature Of Plants. It was an exclusive screening for HerbMentor-members. Numen (defined as the animating force in nature) is a 95-minute documentary film focusing on the healing power of plants and the natural world. It is for herbalists, gardeners, medical practitioners, plant lovers - and everyone concerned about human and environmental health.

The film is built around interviews with a series of experts and individuals that in turn share their opinion about a lot of topics. In between they show beautiful footage of medicinal plants. That works very good. It is educating, moving, awakening, inspiring, compelling, and so much more. I can really recommend it to everyone!

Here's a 10 minute preview, enjoy!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Beltane Blessings

Have a wonderful Beltane!!!
(Samhain Blessings to my pagan friends in the Southern hemisphere)

The leaves are budding across the land
on the ash and oak and hawthorn trees.
Magic rises around us in the forest
and the hedges are filled with laughter and love.
Dear lady, we offer you a gift,
a gathering of flowers picked by our hands,
woven into the circle of endless life.
The bright colors of nature herself
blend together to honor you,
Queen of spring,
as we give you honor this day.
Spring is here and the land is fertile,
ready to offer up gifts in your name.
we pay you tribute, our lady,
daughter of the Fae,
and ask your blessing this Beltane.