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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.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Plants with a song

This is St. John's Wort, a medicinal herb which blooms around the third week of June. When the blossom is plucked and squeezed the residue is a purple red. Throughout history this plant has been a constant. Alexander the Great was never without it.

The word wort is just another name for "plant" and the St. John is after an ancient holy man--the red from the plant a symbol of his blood. The herb has restorative properties. From the flower an herbalist can produce healing oils, tinctures, and teas.

In machine harvesting, used for mass production, the top third of the plant is used since the medicinal components are also found in the leaves and stem, but alas, the flower contains the purest content and sings the song. To make a fine product, each blossom must be delicately plucked and covered with a soft cloth so as not to crush the tender petals. These blossoms must be worked with immediately. The flowers can be dried for tea, made into an oil, or a tincture.

If you'd like to know more about plant songs read Plant Spirit Medicine by Eliot Cowan.

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