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Julie graduated from Creighton University with a major in dance and Theology and taught for several years at an inner-city school in Milwaukee. With a desire to expand her knowledge of the arts and spirituality, she attended St. John’s University in Collegeville and completed a Masters in Theology and Liturgical Studies. Over the years, her quest to merge diverse religious beliefs and practices through the commonalities of love and peaceful living, led her to travel, live, and study with shaman practitioners, herbal healers, Native American medicine women, Buddhist priests and other earth-based spiritual teachers. Through these experiences and experiences with global metaphysical teachings, she learned to honor the eternal source of love in all people.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Nectar for Honey Bees

For readers in the U.S. Midwest the sweet mother earth is waking from her winter rest. Today the ground was spongy from the thaw. Here and there in the shadows of trees or buildings remnants of snow packed mounds grow smaller. Under an overcast morning sky, I circled my garden and imagined the area in full bloom. I imagined the scent of fresh thyme giving off a distinct fragrance beneath my bare feet. Did you know that if you sow a carpet of her throughout your garden she will provide the pathway to your produce and a soft cushion for bare feet?

My Kin Domain garden is off to a fine start. Anastasia, the wise woman from the Ringing Cedar series, said we must restore our cities to safe, ecologically balanced locals before we make an exodus to the country. In this effort I join globally with hundreds of thousands of other folk who want to co-create a space of love. My city celebrates Earth Day on April 18, 2009 with a fair in a downtown park. As part of an effort to support the honey bee population, restore heirloom variety plants, and to add beauty to every domain, I will be helping to fill envelopes with anise hyssop seed to give to visitors meandering through the park.

Many years ago, I discovered this herb. In my garden, the deer and rabbits ignored its presence. What is distinctive about anise hyssop? The leaves make a delicious licorice flavored herbal tea. When clipped and hung upside down to dry, the purple spears of flowers add fragrant beauty to winter flower arrangements.

If you can plant this near a window, you’ll be entertained for hours as bees diligently work along each spike getting the nectar and moving pollen and the butterflies flit among the blossoms. You might get lucky and have a hummingbird visit.

Although the tea is delicious there is also a beneficial element.

Anise hyssop makes a wonderful digestive aid, breath freshener and has been purported to support lactation in nursing mothers. You can use this similar to any of the plants in the mint family. Since this plant produces abundant seed—will self seed once started—you should be able to find an organic variety. Many seed savers on the internet sell quality heirloom seeds. Happy searching!

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