THE EARTH SCHOOL JOURNAL

WEAVING MEDICINE

Opening words

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Elders from all parts of the world foresaw a shift; in visions and prophecies, they received signs that pointed to this time, when a new cosmic program was to be infused as an invitation to expand into a planetary consciousness that serves life and unites our global cultures.

 

This cosmic program is now available, being woven and co-created in real-time. It holds a rhythm, awakening, a field of potential, and togetherness. New ways of living are dreamed, initiatives emerge, inventions are made, and even if not everything is visible yet, the seeds will soon sprout and blossom. 

The Earth School is anchored in Berlin, Germany. We tend to the land and its stories, myths, rituals and seasonal rhythms to remember our place. We wonder, question, and open to receive ancestral and universal guidance on how to experience a sense of flow, grounding, belonging, and divine connection.

 

Weaving medicine is intended as a living library and apothecary. I dedicate this journey to the medicine people throughout time and space and share our findings in the eight chapters of our medicine weaving journey through a universal medicine wheel. – Serap Kara, Founder Earth School

This is our journey through the Medicine Wheel. A remembrance of a life in tune with nature’s rhythm. Counting the time not in days and weeks but in moons and equinoxes and solstices. Feeling into the earth’s rhythm to understand and remember our own rhythm and timing.

 

Finding new, ancient ways to live and celebrate all life force and thus living and celebrating our own force and purpose. We invite ourselves to honour each period of time throughout this cycle, to feel into the energy and space, and to contemplate about our feelings to each slice of time.

We welcome you to journey with us through the year, remembering your own roots, your own story, and your own rhythm. Getting inspired by ancient and modern rituals, by different voices and experiences, myths and stories, and most of all getting inspired by yourself and your own experiences.

 

The medicine wheel we work with consists of 8 festivities throughout the year, a nature’s cycle. I give thanks to our ancestors and guides who have lived before us and give us the opportunity to learn from their ancient ways and wisdom. – Nina Weid, Director of Program & Host

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JOURNAL

from the Cambridge Dictionary:

 

a) a serious magazine or newspaper that is published regularly about a particular subject b) a record of what you have done, or of descriptions or thoughts, written each day or frequently over a long period c) a magazine, newspaper, or website containing news and information about a particular industry or profession​​

​​

dʒɜː.nəl

SEASONAL

CELEBRATIONS

the medicine wheel

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The medicine wheel or the Circle of Life can be found in the medicine wheel of the Native Indians, in the Celtic wheel, in stone circles, and also in the Buddhist mandala. The circle holds and concentrates the forces that hold the world together. Four cardinal directions represent the four seasons, the four elements, or four phases of life. Adding the above and the below, a center forms, turning the circle into a sphere. The Earth School follows the Celtic medicine wheel that, today, holds both the lunar as solar celebrations. 

SAMHAIN

31 October - 1 November

darkness. letting go. mystery.

BELTANE

30 April - 1 May

fertility. sensuality. creativity. joy.

WINTER SOLSTICE

20 - 23 December

birth.renewal.return of the light.

SUMMER SOLSTICE

20 - 23 June

sun power. abundance. turning point.

IMBOLC

1 - 2 February

vision. new beginning. initiations.

LAMMAS

1 - 2 August

beginning of the harvest.

SPRING EQUINOX

20 - 23 March

balance. rebirth. growth.

AUTUMN EQUINOX

20 - 23 September

balance. sharing. giving thanks.

Image by Daniel Hansen

FROM LAMMAS TO AUTUMN EQUINOX

THE EARTH SCHOOL JOURNAL

A journey through the medicine wheel

SUMMER II

Serap Kara · From Lammas to Autumn Equinox · Reporting to Pachamama

Pachamama, since the summer solstice we have been busy watering our dreams and balancing the intensity of summer and heat. We intentionally created sacred time and sacred space to be in nature, touch the earth, sing with the plants, collect the morning dew, seek out the cooling forest and eat wild strawberries. We danced with the wind, welcomed the rain, and bowed to the mountains. We opened to replenish our inner resources with cosmic power and light. 

© Grit Siwonia

We remember both the sensitive child within that wants to be nurtured and the protective mother who cares for her child properly. During summer, the goddesses have invited us to become both child and mother and embody pure light and nourishing energy. As the sun's power increases, we appreciate the cooling water and shade physically and symbolically, call upon the clear and cooling powers of winter within us to balance excessive heat and overstimulation around us.

 

Pachamama, this was a time of balancing fire with water. Now we stand in the eye of Lammas, the moment of the first harvest. Your moon is transforming into a sickle with which we will cut the corn to feed us in winter. I close my eyes and feel the weight of the sickle in my hand and try to decide which plant is ripe and full to be harvested. And there it is, a blues, a song from afar, bringing a sense of sadness and finality and with it deep gratitude for the opportunity of choice. 

Pachamama, we ask for your presence, for your gift of Ceremony, to harvest freedom, love, dignity, and strength for the next cycle of creation for us personally and our global family.

~ did you know... 

For the Anglo-Saxons, Lammas was also called Loaf-Mass, the celebration of the first loaf of bread. It was the custom for the mistress of the house to bake a loaf of bread from the grains of the first sheaf plucked by hand. Her honorary title was hlofdige, the bread kneader, from which the word Lady eventually developed. Her husband was the hlofward, the loaf-keeper, from which the word Lord emerged.

source: Wolf Dieter Storl

Lena Brandt · The Celebration of Lughnasad · Celebrations & Rituals

Around the beginning of August, in the Northern Hemisphere, we celebrate the pagan Wheel of the Year festival Lughnasadh (whereas in the Southern Hemisphere, people celebrate the festival of Imbolc). Lughnasadh can be translated with “commemoration of Lugh“ and has the poetic meaning “wedding of light” in German. Another name used for Lughnasadh is “Lammas”, from the Anglo-Saxon or Old-English “hlaef-mass” (loaf mass, mass where the first loaf of bread is consecrated).

 

Lughnasadh takes place on August 1, a date commonly agreed upon. Originally, as a lunar festival, the day of celebration has no fixed date but moves according to the 8th full moon after Yule, when the Sun is in 15 degree Leo.

 

In German tradition, the celebration is also called the 'reaper's festival' ('Schnitterinnenfest'), indicating the time when the grain must be cut. Traditionally, the reapers take their sickles and cut healing plants and herbs. These healing herbs are blessed with divine support and are then added to the medicine cabinet where they are supposed to protect the family until the next year.

 

Lughnasadh is the festival of Lugh, the great Celtic sun king and god of light, and a celebration of the first grain harvest - a time for gathering and giving thanks for the abundance all around us.

Image by Andrea Scully

The fields are full and fertile. Crops are abundant, apples are plump in the trees, gardens are overflowing with summer bounty, and the late summer harvest is ripe for picking. In nearly every ancient culture, this was - and, around the world, still is to this day - a time of celebration of the agricultural significance of the season.

The power of abundant growth, the nourishing harvest, and Mother Earth with all her bountiful gifts were honoured. Prayers were made for the protection of the harvest, and for a blessed harvest season that now began.

 

Lughnasadh is a time for reaping what we have sown throughout the past few months. We are invited to celebrate what has become ripe and ready, what is at the pinnacle of its potency, and to call in abundance to sustain us into the future. Cause while the natural world is thriving all around us, there is already this underlying knowledge that the bounty and energy of the sun is now beginning to wane. The seasons are slowly shifting. Active growth is slowing down and the darker days of winter and reflection are beckoning. We may consciously take in the warming rays of the sun and store their power for the times coming.

 

The celebration of Lughnasadh and the beginning of harvesting season is once more a wonderful occasion to get back in tune with the rhythm of Mother Nature and our own inherent rhythm. You may ask yourself: What kind of magic can be activated when we re-establish a living connection with the earth's cycles? What can Cacao teach us about the earth's natural rhythm? And how can we give thanks for the abundance we are given by Mother Nature?

 

You are invited to reflect on when and where you experience this abundance in your life and how you celebrate and share that abundance with others. Make offerings to your beloveds, your community, to Cacao, and your spiritual allies. May you remember to thank the Earth for her bounty and her gifts.

Simone Meentzen · Summer Queen Mullein · Plant Diary

Rooted deep in the earth, the queen towers high up to the sky. She stands tall and majestic. She doesn't mind noise and dirt, thrives splendidly in barren places, on railway embankments, on sandy hills, along roadsides. 


For people, it has been a symbol of indomitable strength, courage, perseverance, and strength of soul. She is an ancient symbol of the Great Goddess.

A biennial plant, it first develops its leaf rosette close to the ground, which then looks like a wonderful mandala in autumn. In the second year, a high flower stem grows from its center. The end of the stem shines up like a candle with tiny, silky, yellow blossoms.

 

The leaves of mullein are woolly and soft, the thick felt-like coat protects against drying out. In the past leaves were used in a variety of ways, dried as a herb, as an additive for herbal tobacco, as tinder to light a fire, as a wick for kerosene lamps ... in ancient times the entire dried plant was also used as a torch, when the tip was dipped in tar and ignited. 

Mullein is said to have magical power as a weather protection plant - thanks to its connection to the sky, it can protect the home and yard from lightning strikes. As a healing plant, mullein is the focal point in the herbal bundle, a tradition that goes back to pre-Christian times. Lugnasadh or Lammas was a Celtic harvest festival where people celebrated the “wedding of light”.  · Read more

Medicine recipe ~ mullein tincture


The mullein with its honey-scented blossoms is a valued remedy for coughs and chronic hoarseness.

 

Collect fresh mullein blossoms, about a handful before midday. Put them in a sealable glass jar or small glass bottle and fill it up with brandy until all the flowers are covered. Let this tincture ripen in sunlight for 4 weeks, shake it briefly every day. The flowers can be filtered off after 4 weeks or they can remain in the glass.


Store the tincture in a dry and dark place. This tincture can be taken in case of hoarseness or cough, 9 drops 3 times a day before a meal. 

© Simone Meentzen

© Alexandra Neubauer

Alexandra Neubauer · Vom Wesen der Gesänge und Träume · Regenbogenmedizin

Der Südwesten im Regenbogenmedizinrad markiert den Platz der Medizingesänge und des Träumens. Lieder sind es, die etwas in uns zum Schwingen bringen, heilsam wirken und zu Herzöffnern werden. Sie lehren uns auch, den sehnsüchtigen Ruf unserer Seele wieder wahrzunehmen. In uns existiert eine Landkarte unseres Lebens, auf der wir unsere ureigenen Pfade beschreiten. Träume und Visionen sind auf dieser Reise die direkten Botschafter unserer Seele, die uns leiten. 

Nicht nur im Schamanismus ist die Spur zu finden, dass die Schöpfung ein Gesang ist, ein Klang, eine Schwingung. Die Bibel hält in ihrer Schöpfungsgeschichte fest: „Im Anfang war das Wort und das Wort war bei Gott und das Wort war Gott. … Alles ist durch das Wort geworden und ohne das Wort wurde nichts, was geworden ist.“ (Joh. 1.1).

Die Darstellung „Alles ist Klang“ findet sich als weiteres Beispiel in der Schöpfungsmythologie der Veden, den heiligen Schriften der Hindus. So kann der Urklang OM interpretiert werden als alles was je war, was ist und sein wird. 

Um ein Medizinlied zu finden ist die Natur ein wunderbarer Ort. Empfehlenswert ist, in der ersten Morgendämmerung noch lange bevor die Sonne aufgeht aufzubrechen. In dieser so klaren, stillen Phase des Tages kann man sich mit der Bitte aufmachen, sein Medizinlied zu finden und folgt einfach intuitiv den Zeichen, die sich zeigen. Das kann der Ast eines Baumes sein, der an einer Weggabelung in eine Richtung weist oder der Ruf eines Vogels, dem man folgt. Man geht so weit, bis man an einen Ort kommt, der dazu einlädt zu bleiben, um dann aufmerksam zu lauschen.  

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In der Natur fühlen wir uns auf natürliche Weise frei und wohl, denn sie bewertet uns nicht. So fällt es uns leicht, uns vertrauensvoll dem Geschehen hinzugeben.

 

Unser Bewusstsein darf sich weiten, unsere Sinne werden geschärft, unsere Sensoren öffnen sich selbst für das Übersinnliche. In diesem Beobachtungsraum auftauchende Geräusche wie die Flügelschläge eines vorbeiziehenden Vogels, das Gurgeln von fließendem Wasser oder das Rascheln von Blättern werden zu den Komponisten des Medizinlieds. 

Die im Spiegel der Umgebung auftauchenden Klänge laden ein zu einem offenen und neugierigen Spielen mit ihnen. Vielleicht entsteht ein Summen, ein Nachahmen der Klänge oder ein Tönen von Silben, eventuell zeigt sich auch ein Text – alles ist genau passend.

 

Hat man sein Medizinlied gefunden und durch wiederholtes Singen gut eingeprägt oder aufgezeichnet, kann man dem Ort und den Spirits, die beim Auffinden des Lieds geholfen haben, ein Dankeschön in Form einer Kräutergabe hinterlassen. Mit dem Finden des persönlichen Medizinlieds beginnt nun die Reise erst so richtig, denn das Erforschen der ihm innewohnenden Kraft geschieht im Alltag, wo man es für sich z.B. in herausfordernden Lebensphasen singen kann, um zu erfahren, dass man immer eine heilsame eigene Medizin bei sich hat. · Weiterlesen

Image by W

TIME KEEPING

Rhythm & Calendar

1 august

lammas

pagan calendar

 

8 august
new moon in leo
astrological calendar

 

8 august

lions gate

planetary calendar

9 august

international day of the world's indigenous peoples

global event since 1994

12 august

perseids meteor shower

astrological calendar

22 august

full moon in aquarius

astrological calendar

 

7 september

international day of clean air for blue skies

global event since 2019

 

Image by Masaaki Komori

FROM SUMMER SOLSTICE
TO LAMMAS

THE EARTH SCHOOL JOURNAL

A journey through the medicine wheel

SUMMER

Lena Brandt · Rituals for Summer Solstice · Celebrations & Rituals

As we celebrate this special moment of our journey through the wheel of the year, I reflect on my hopes and dreams that were but little seeds and ideas during the dark winter months. As the energy of the sun grew through spring, my tenderly planted intentions were fed with hard work, dedication, prayers, and love. Now they are in full bounty, glory, and ripe manifestation. I take a look at how far I have come, and what I have learned until this point.

 

Image by Kent Pilcher

Aligning with the Solar Energies

 

During the daytime, I consciously connect to the energy of fire, in the sun, and in my body.

 

I go outside and expose my belly, my solar plexus, the fire center of my energy body, to the sunlight and ask for healing, strength, and resilience. I like to speak words of gratitude to the sun that has given us all life.

 

It is my way to honour the earth and her sacred cycle, reminding me that even in moments of darkness, there is a flame within that is ignites miracles and great transformation.

An inner fire that enables me to transform experiences into medicine for growth and evolution.

 

Aligning with Earth's Energies

 

I also love to connect with and celebrate Mother Earth during this magical portal by gathering plants and healing herbs, just like our ancestors did, as it is long been believed that some are at their most potent during Summer Solstice.

Five common Celtic sacred plants associated with this portal are St. John’s Wort, Vervain, Yarrow, Fern, and Mugwort. I turn this gathering into a loving ritual, either by myself or together with friends.

I kindly connect with the plant spirit and ask for permission before picking them. I then only take as much as I need.

 

To give thanks to the plants, I leave a little offering, speak words of love and gratitude, sing a song, or create a mandala made from flowers and other objects found in nature.

Aligning with Pulsating Energies

The Summer Solstice is a celebration of light, activity, and mobility, where our inner energy is pulsing with peak potential. This moment in time beckons for us to celebrate and live wildly amongst the beauty and creativity brought into our lives.


In Sweden, the summer solstice - or “Midsommar”, as the Swedes call it - is a widely celebrated national holiday. With summery songs, crowns of flowers, breezy white dresses, and flowery maypoles to dance around, Sweden’s traditional midsummer festivals seem to come straight from a fairytale.

 

In North America, the Summer Solstice is traditionally celebrated by young warriors performing a Sun Dance. Tribes saw the Sun as a manifestation of the Great Spirit.

 

So have a bountiful gathering with friends, music, dancing, drums, maybe a bonfire. Stay up to enjoy the extended daylight hours, and celebrate Mother Nature in all her glory.

"There is a wildness under our skin which wants nothing more than to dance until our feet are sore, sing our beautiful grief into the rafters, and offer our bottomless cup of creativity as a way of life.“ - Toko-pa Turner

~ a summer solstice myth ~

For a little moment around midnight, the fern blooms and creates seeds. These seeds are a lucky charm and a universal remedy. Whoever succeeds in getting fern seeds can make him:herself invisible and, moreover, is lucky at cards and in love. But be careful when collecting the seeds, because panting hellhounds with fire eyes are guarding them rigorously.

source: Wolf Dieter Storl

Serap Kara · From Equinox to Summer Solstice · Reporting to Pachamama

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© Grit Siwonia

Pachamama, since the equinox we have been very busy planting thoughtfully and tending the gardens of a connected global culture; in rhythm with the earth, sun, and planets, we tended to the gardeners and asked ourselves what we would like to harvest and share with others. We dream of a wild garden, a richly covered table under fruit trees, and abundant summer nights in friendship and community.

During seeding, we experienced your strong winds, full of ideas and dreams from many lands, bringing stories. We tried to listen carefully and chose our seeds with love, sometimes from a place of unclarity, yet we chose service and nourishment and dared to part with dreams that served one person’s imagination only. We grounded deeper into your lands to send our prayers and offerings on the wings of the wind into the heart of the forest.

Pachamama, now we stand in the eye of the solstice, the zenith of the sun, with bare feet touching the songlines of your earth. We have hopes within our hearts and are afraid of the unknown, yet we are ready to receive the unifying consciousness of the earth-sun-alchemy within ourselves.

We ask for your powerful spirits and a blessing while we open to maximum solar power to be received and shared abundantly.

Simone Meentzen · Mary's Grass · Plant Diary

This wonderful sweet-scented grass has many names that indicate its use since pre-historic times. Better known nowadays as Sweetgrass, it is considered sacred grass. The ritual use of Mary’s Grass has almost been forgotten in Europe, today the Sweetgrass braids from North America are more known. They are loved for their sweet scent, healing, and blessing effect. 

The different names show us how Mary’s grass (Hierochloe odoranta) was used. The Latin term „hierochloe“ is made up of hieros (holy) and Chloe (grass, sapling). Other names are holy grass, sweet grass, vanilla grass, herb of harmony, Mary’s bedstraw, bison grass, buffalo grass, Freya’s grass, and Freya’s hair. 

© Simone Meentzen

In Europe, the grass was once dedicated to the goddess Freya, the Germanic goddess of love, fertility, and growth. Her weekday is Friday, and in her honor on Fridays, the lovely sweet-smelling grass was offered and burnt in ceremony. Like many Pre-Christian customs, this beautiful tradition was passed on and related to the Virgin Mary. A patroness of childbirth, mothers, and children, Freya’s grass became Mary’s bedstraw, promising healing and protective powers. The protective magical Mary’s grass as a symbol of peace and love can often be seen on medical images of the Blessed Virgin.  · Read more

Medicine Recipe ~ Incense blend FREYA

 


with Mary’s grass, rose blossoms, rosemary, lavender blossoms, angelica seeds, comfrey, ground ivy, dandelion leaves, and alant root.


This summery blend in honor of the goddess is made from local plants. It stimulates a sensual, peaceful togetherness. It can also be used to bless and freshen up rooms, clothes, and bodies in a smudge ceremony. Instructions: Collect grass, herbs, blossoms, and root from the garden or sustainable agriculture over the summer. Dry, chop into small pieces and mix in equal parts. If stored airtight, the mixture will last for about 3 years.


Special Offer: Find this powerful blend ready-made in Simona's online shop Fiber & Heart. With coupon code SUNNY10 you will receive a 10% on this offering.

Alexandra Neubauer · Willkommen in Triggerland · Regenbogenmedizin

Gefühle sind wie ein Kompass, mit dem wir durch unser Leben navigieren. Wir nutzen etwa die Wutkraft zum Verändern oder nehmen in Trauer an, was wir nicht ändern können.

Als nicht verarbeitete, in uns gespeicherte Emotionen der Kindheit werden sie allerdings zu mühsamen Umleitungsschildern, die uns in die Irre führen und auf dem Weg potenziell Schaden anrichten lassen, wenn wir etwa beleidigt und gekränkt reagieren, weil wir getriggert wurden. Wie gelingt es, den Exit aus Triggerland zu schaffen, um ein Leben in Freiheit und Liebe zu führen? 

Im Verständnis der uralten, aus Mexiko stammenden Lehre des Regenbogenschamanismus haben die Gefühle ihren Sitz im Süden des Medizinrads. 

 

Unsere Gefühlswelt wird durch all unsere Erlebnisse in der Kindheit und Jugend geprägt, Erfahrungen, die uns zu Erwachsenen formen und von denen wir uns schwer lösen können. Oftmals beschränken sie unseren Handlungsspielraum.

 

Triggert etwa ein aktuelles Ereignis eine nicht verheilte Wunde der frühen Jahre, folgen wir zwanghaft unserem eingeübten Verhaltensmuster, sei es in Widerstand zu gehen, zurückzuweichen oder vor Angst einzufrieren – wir sehen keine andere Möglichkeit, dem Schmerz zu entkommen und das macht uns unfrei.

 

In der schamanischen Schildarbeit nun wird unsere Gefühlskraft aktiviert und an ihren richtigen Platz gestellt: Die Kindheitserfahrungen gehören in die Vergangenheit, wo sie im besten Fall verarbeitet und integriert sind, uns den Rücken stärken und den Weg frei geben für ein Leben unseres wahren Selbst.  · Weiterlesen

© Alexandra Neubauer

TIME KEEPING

Rhythm & Calendar

20 - 26 june

world unity week

7 day online festival

21 june
summer solstice
pagan calendar

 

24 june

full moon in capricorn

astrological calendar

9 july

new moon in cancer

astrological calendar

24 july

full moon in aquarius

astrological calendar

 

25 july

day out of time

mayan calendar

 

26 july

galactic new year

mayan calendar

PERSPECTIVES

From around the world

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Image by Daiga Ellaby

FROM BELTANE TO 

SUMMER SOLSTICE

THE EARTH SCHOOL JOURNAL

A journey through the medicine wheel

SPRING II

The celebration of Beltane marks the start of the second part of Spring. Days become longer and longer until we reach Summer Solstice at the end of June. It is the time when things actually want to grow, the time of the symphony of colours, with every plant, flower, and tree perfectly in time. Seeds sown and forgotten suddenly surface, the colours return, and we remember the abundance and beauty of nature. We are in the middle of the planting season which is accompanied by a desire for beauty, joy, and pleasure in the process.

Lena Brandt · The Portal of Beltane

At the end of April, we are reaching the seasonal cross-quarter between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice to celebrate Beltane here in the northern hemisphere.

 

Beltane is one of the most important festivals of the Celtic wheel of the year and marks the beginning of the ‚‘summer half of the year’, the unfolding of life (while Samhain, which lies opposite Beltane, marks the winter half and thus the beginning of darkness and retreat).

 

This celebration is primarily dedicated to fertility, the boundless growth and free unfolding of nature, sensuality, passion, and the pure joy for life.

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The word Beltane means ‘bright fire’ or ‘lucky fire’ and traditionally bonfires were lit to honour the Sun. Earth energies are at their strongest and most active. All of life is bursting with potent richness and potential turns into conception. We gather to celebrate the union of the divine masculine and feminine that creates fertility and abundance.  · Read more

~ a Beltane myth ~

source unknown

In the merry month of May, the God of the Sun sheds his bear skin and shines in radiant youth as the Celtic God Belenos. The Plant Goddess Dana, the daughter of the old earth mother, puts on her most beautiful, colorful flower robe. On the night of the May full moon, the young couple of gods is married. All of nature celebrates with them. The cuckoo is their herald and invites everyone to the joyful celebration with its call.

source: Wolf Dieter Storl

~ a Beltane poem ~

Now, Love, at last I come

In fullness rising over you.

 

Let there be new trembling under the cold-hardened earth

at the light play of my fingers

And sighing in the valleys.

 

Let there be the song of unfolding within your hidden petals

At the caress of my warm breath

And undulations in the warming estuaries.

 

Let the winged ones return to sing

among your greening branches.

 

Let there be heard swirling

Up to the joyous stars

and over the newborn land

Your aching, fiery song of

Yes!

source: Jaime Meyer

~ a Beltane ritual ~

source: Petra Haas/ORF

On the night of Beltane, the maypole is set up on the town square.

It consists of a peeled spruce or birch trunk, whose crown, left green, pierces a large wreath of flowers entwined with colorful ribbons. A sign of the intimate union of the beautiful god with his bride. The whole community now dances around the maypole and drinks beer and wine spiked with henbane or woodruff.

source: Wolf Dieter Storl

PLANT DIARY

by Simone Meentzen

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Fairy Rings

The appearance of first flowers and fresh greens makes us long to take strolls in green meadows, take hikes in lush forests. We now know that summer is truly on its way. On Beltane, beginning of May we celebrate the start of the fertile season, a magical time when the sap is rising in the trees and everything is blooming!

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Fairy rings are magical entries to the Otherworld where fairies and witches meet.

We enter the forest surrounded by fresh green and bird songs… and sometimes we find magical fairy rings in the woods, also called witches rings. The names go back to a popular belief, as one saw meeting places of witches or fairies in those round shapes, whose entry was magical or forbidden, and fairies or witches dance in the circles...

 

Fairy rings are mushrooms growing in a circular or semicircular pattern. The mushrooms are the visible fruiting bodies at the end of mycelia threads, connected together in the soil. Such rings can literally form overnight and are considered a single organism. No wonder they appear magical! 

You might find fairy rings of the beautiful Cantharellus cibarus, also called Chanterelle (in German Pfifferling). It is one of the most popular edible wild mushrooms, with a delicate aroma and wonderful golden yellow color.

 

Chanterelle is not only delicious but also a medicinal food, with a high source of iron and vitamin D, as well as antiviral, antioxidant, and antibiotic properties. Often Chanterelles are found among moss and near wild blueberries, indicators of an acidic soil environment. Mushrooms love moisture, it is a good time to collect Chanterelles some time after it has been raining. The first mushrooms are sighted end of May, by mid-June they can grow abundantly in mixed woods.

Remember to leave the first found mushroom for the fairies, as a sign of respect and not to disturb them too much… in return the fairies perhaps guide you with your mushroom hunting! Look out for the yellow cap and light yellow gills, with a faint smell of apricots. A poisonous lookalike in southern and central Europe is Omphalotus Olearius - this mushroom generally grows on olive trees or old tree stumps and should be left alone.

Remember to leave the first mushroom for the fairies. They might guide you in return.

Recipe ~ Vegan Chanterelle Toast

adapted from the classic Italian dish of wild mushroom crostini:

 

(serves 2)

200g Chanterelles

1 garlic glove

4 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tbsp chopped parsley

1/2 tbsp marjoram leaves

2 large pieces of white bread

salt, pepper, chili oil

The best way to clean them is to add flour into a bowl and shake briefly, then rinse very shortly with cold water. Cut in thin stripes and place on kitchen paper to dry. Chop the cleaned mushrooms into small cubes. Chop 1/2 garlic glove and fry with 3tbsp olive oil, add mushrooms before the garlic turns brown. Stir-fry for a few minutes, add parsley, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Toast the bread so it is crispy

on both sides, rub with 1/2 garlic glove, brush with remaining olive oil, and top with mushrooms. Optional you can add a little chili oil and fresh chopped parsley on top for extra flavor.

Simone Meentzen aka Simi Ninati is an artist and herbalist from Germany. She founded Fiber&Heart in 2015 with nature studies, creating and teaching independent workshops and setting up her online shop. Follow her on Instagram to explore her handmade craft and herbal magick. www.fiberandheart.com

REGENBOGENMEDIZIN

von Alexandra Neubauer

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Schamanische Schildarbeit im Regenbogenmedizinrad

Wir Menschen sind mit Kräften ausgestattet, mit deren Hilfe wir unser Leben gestalten und uns orientieren können. Wenn wir um sie wissen und sie ausgewogen einsetzen, lässt uns das heil und lebendig sein.

 

Die schamanische Schildarbeit im Regenbogenmedizinrad lädt dazu ein, uns selbst zu erforschen, um unser wahres Selbst von Illusionen zu befreien und unseren heiligen Traum zu leben.

 

Nebenbei ist unsere Heilung auf diesem Weg ein wesentlicher Beitrag zur Heilung der Welt. 

Die schamanische Schildarbeit findet sich in verschiedenen Kulturen, sie ist ein traditioneller Heilungsweg, in dem sich aus meiner Sicht die Wurzeln vieler moderner therapeutischer Ansätze sowie Wege zur Persönlichkeitsentwicklung finden lassen wie Aufstellungsarbeit, Heilkräuterwissen, Kunsttherapie, Gruppentherapie, Gesang- oder Gesprächstherapie; eine Schatzkiste, die noch viele andere Kostbarkeiten beinhaltet wie Visualisierungsreisen, Rituale oder natürlich die tief rückverbindenden Naturerfahrungen.

Ich habe die Schildarbeit kennengelernt, die dem Regenbogenschamanismus entstammt, einer uralten Lehre aus Mexiko. 

Ausgangsbasis der Schildarbeit bildet das Medizinrad, konkreter noch dessen vier Haupthimmelsrichtungen, die jeweils Sitz einer der vier Kräfte des Menschen sind, mit denen er durchs Leben geht: Verstand, Gefühle, Intuition und Seelenplan. · Read more

TIME KEEPING

Rhythm & Calendar

1 may
beltane
pagan calendar

 

9 may

mother's day

global event since 1912

20 may

world bee day

global event since 2014

20 may

sun in gemini

astrological calendar

26 may

total lunar eclipse

astrological calendar

05 june

world environment day

global event since 1972

08 june

world oceans day

global event since 1992

10 june

solar eclipse

solar calendar

PERSPECTIVES

From around the world

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Image by Alexandr Popadin

FROM SPRING EQUINOX

TO BELTANE

THE EARTH SCHOOL JOURNAL

A journey through the medicine wheel

SPRING

Spring is the time of the year when the cycle of life, death, and rebirth is complete, and we celebrate the rebirth of the soil and the land. It is a time of fertility and abundance, a season to welcome life after the cold, dark winter. As new life returns and plants start to bloom, the theme of resurrection is ever-present. It’s the season for that which has gone dormant to become revitalized, alive, and reborn.

It is a season of balance when the light is equal to the darkness. Spring Equinox arrives, bringing a warming renewal of all energies that have grown stagnant and cold. This energy shift is an incredible opportunity to set manifestations for the growth cycle ahead.

Lena Brandt · The Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox is a sun-based event which falls around March 21st every year. The word Equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night”- aequus (equal) and nox (night). On the Equinox, the length of day and night is nearly equal in all parts of the world. It happens at the same moment worldwide, though our clock times reflect a different time zone. 

On March 20th we celebrate Spring Equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere. The festival of the sun, when day and night are of equal length. A sacred moment of balance between light and dark, where both exist simultaneously.

The Spring Equinox is an invitation to become aware of light and shadow. It brings us into harmony and opens the point of stillness and trust. It brings clarity and vision into life and offers us an energetic opportunity to find balance within our deeper selves.

Just as the sun and nature continue to grow in strength, light, and power, our vision and inner treasures that were allowed to ripen during the darker months are now invited to slowly make their way into life. To be born.

We bring renewed passion to our projects, and spend more time outside as we embrace the transition. 

We cultivate nourishing practices and rituals, connecting to wonder, joy, and delight. We’re slowly getting ready to step outside, into the light, with all our abilities and gifts, bringing our own medicine forth.

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter."
Rachel Carson, Biologist & Author

PLANT DIARY

by Simone Meentzen

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Birch Beauty

With its white-gray-black, paper-like bark, the birch tree is a symbol of spring in northern Europe. With newly awakened vitality, it gives us the first-ever so delicate green leaves. Her name means „shiny“, and if you take a closer look, you can see the silky sheen on the bark of young birch trees.


Astrologically, the birch is assigned to the Moon and Venus. When her delicate, shiny prancing leaves move in the wind and moonlight, you can recognize the signature of the element air.

 

The birch tree was revered all over Europe and parts of Asia by our ancestors as a symbol of fertility: its early buds are taken from the forest to decorate the house, girls and women sang and danced under the birch tree. 

In past times it was the symbol of the young Goddess: in Ireland, the birch tree was a symbol of Goddess Brigid, in Norse mythology, birch was consecrated to Goddess Freya. In Siberian shamanism, the birch plays a major role as the „world tree“. 

 

Birchwood can be used for making magic wands. German folklore tells of witches flying on brooms made of birch twigs on Walpurgis Night!

 

Some of the Pre-Christian customs have survived to this day. Also known as the „rod of life“, birch twigs are still used in some rural areas in Europe for fertility rituals: livestock and home are ritually protected with them. Home and yard are swept clean with brooms made of birch twigs. 

At Beltane, the May Day tree is often a beautiful decorated young birch tree, under which folks celebrate spring and the awakening of nature!

 

As true survivors, birch trees have been indigenous to Europe since the Ice Age. The Silver birch (Betula pendula) is extensive throughout Europe, while the Swamp birch (Betula pubescens) can be found in North and Central Europe.

For thousands of years, it has not only been a supplier for wood and a healing ingredient in folk medicine, such as hydrosols from birch leaves which refreshes skin and hair, or as a detox tea but also as a cult tree, birch is closely linked to people’s lives.


Although birch trees love moisture, they are very adaptable and can be found in dry and sandy locations, too. 


Perhaps you will come across a birch on your next walk? Or perhaps you even see a tree maiden fairy?

20 march
spring equinox
solar calendar

 

20 march

sun in aries

astrological calendar

21 march

world forestry day

global event since 1971

22 march

world water day

global event since 1993

19 april

sun in taurus

astrological calendar

22 april

international mother earth day

global event since 1972

PERSPECTIVES

From around the world

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TIME KEEPING

Rhythm & Calendar

Image by Anthony Ievlev

FROM IMBOLC 

TO SPRING EQUINOX

THE EARTH SCHOOL JOURNAL

A journey through the medicine wheel

WINTER II

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This second part of winter, from Imbolc to Spring Equinox, has traditionally been a time of lack of life-sustaining resources and nourishment. It was and is a time our ancestors knew to keep faith, to allow for regenerative death, and when the moment is ripe, to show up to turn the wheel once again towards beauty and abundance for all. After the deep winter regeneration we might feel the energy coming back into our bodies, minds, and spirits, growing the first buds of inspiration and visions, we have had during hibernation. Everything in and around us awakens and opens to the light. The Crone months of winter are departing and the promise of the Spring Maiden is around the corner.

At Imbolc, we celebrate the evidence that winter soon shall cease and fresh flower buds soon shall sprout.

Imbolc is a traditional Celtic-Irish seasonal celebration. This year's portal of Imbolc (meaning 'in the belly') opens on the 3rd of February with the Sun at 15 degrees Aquarius. Until the new moon on the 11th of February 2021, we may consciously align with the energy of Imbolc.

Imbolc traditionally marked the time of year when the first new sheep were born. After a long cold winter with less variety available in the diet of our ancestors, the availability of fresh milk and cheese was a major reason for celebration! In modern times, it can be a time where our faith in what we are doing may be tested. It can be a time of discomfort and also a time where hardships are relieved and new hope begins to grow.

Serap Kara · Why we no longer give heavy energies to Mother Earth

Pachamama is the master of ceremony. She is ever-present. She is sacred space. Where ever you go, she's right there and always with you. You cannot be without her. By honouring this very moment, you offer your presence to Pachamama and confirm your sacred bond of union. 

In the Andean tradition the cosmic law of AYNI, meaning sacred reciprocity, says that energy never goes one way. It would come back. Especially when sent consciously. Letting go in spiritual practice is often associated with releasing heavy energies into the Earth.

With being present and conscious with Pachamama, we don't give heavy energies to her any longer. We give it neither in meditations, yoga classes nor in any other practice.  It's not that Pachamama cannot handle it. She can, as she is the master of presence, the master of ceremony.  ·  Read more

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What we want to give to Pachamama is only love, gratitude, flowers, blessings, best wishes and prayers, knowing what we seed consciously will

come back to us. 

PLANT DIARY

by Simone Meentzen

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The Crocus Sisters

When the snow melts and most of the plants are still waiting underground, the delicate crocuses are already stretching out towards the first warm rays of spring sunshine. Wildly romantic, fragile yet robust, they defy the cold temperatures and are harbingers of spring and the certainty that nature will soon blossom again in all its glory.


The crocus loves the sun, her blossoms remain closed in rain and cloudy weather. Woodland crocus (in German language Elfen-Krokus) often blooms in from February with its six-pointed star wide open- important food for wild bumblebees, early bees, and flies.

Crocuses set wonderful accents in the landscape, they reproduce many seeds and often cover the ground in large areas. In the garden, you find crocus often under shrubs, in the perennial bed, and in meadows. The mother bulbs also reproduce forming „daughter bulbs“.

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In Germany, there are some well-known places where people make pilgrimages to magnificent crocus meadows to enjoy the sea of pastel-colored heralds of spring. You can find them in the park of Husum Castle, in the area of Drebach in the Ore Mountain (Erzgebirge), near Zavelstein in the northern Black Forest, or under the trees of the Friendship island in Potsdam near Berlin.

A famous southern crocus sister is saffron (Crocus sativus). Saffron is a type of crocus that originates in the Middle East. Unlike our spring bloomers in Europe, Saffron blooms in autumn with large, blue-violet blossoms and yellow-orange pistils, from which the precious saffron spice is extracted. The mood-enhancing effect of saffron has been known since ancient times: the plant was dedicated to the Greek goddess Eos, the „crocus-clad goddess of the dawn“.

In ancient times, saffron was also used to dye splendid robes yellow-red. Saffron has many qualities as a precious spice and a healing plant of the sun. Known as a natural anti-depressant and aphrodisiac, it makes us more resistant to stress and environmental influences. 

 

Medicine Recipe

Saffron tea is a tried and tested herbal medicine remedy. Use this recipe to combat anxiety and depressive mood swings as well as to ease the menstrual cycle: In the morning, pour 100 ml hot water over 4-5 saffron threads, let it steep for about 5 min, then drink the golden tea with the saffron threads. Think of the warm rays and the powerful healing qualities of the sun while you drink the tea and give thanks to saffron for being such a healing herb of the sun. (Recommended as a cure for a few weeks. Do not use while pregnant.)

Simone Meentzen aka Simi Ninati is an artist and herbalist from Germany. She founded Fiber&Heart in 2015 with nature studies, creating and teaching independent workshops and setting up her online shop. Follow her on Instagram to explore her handmade craft and herbal magick.

www.fiberandheart.com

1 -  2 february
imbolc, pagan holiday
lunar calendar

 

11 february

new moon in aquarius

astrological calendar

12 february

year of the metal ox

chinese lunar calendar

14 february

valentine's day

global event since 496

20 february

sun in pisces

astrological calendar

20 february

#ThankYouPlantMedicine

global event since 2019

27 february

snow moon | full moon in virgo

astrological calendar

3 march

world wildlife day

global event since 2013

8 march

international women's day

global event since 1911

PERSPECTIVES

From around the world

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TIME KEEPING

Rhythm & Calendar

Image by Em M.

FROM WINTER SOLSTICE

TO IMBOLC

THE EARTH SCHOOL JOURNAL

A journey through the medicine wheel

WINTER

Winter is a time where our creative energy is called home to be placed in service of body, soul, and land regeneration. It is also a time for deep listening and dreaming, where we receive messages about the coming growing seasons. On our journey, we are crossing Imbolc in February, a time when our spirits begin to stretch and reawaken slowly after the winter's rest.

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Serap Kara · Turning North

Preparing to turn North, towards Winter. Here, I feel the energy of the Elders.

Leaning into my winter. The energy is dark and cold, and deeply yin. Traditional Chinese medicine is based on five elements that dance with each other: metal, fire, air, water, and earth. In this tradition, winter is water, which has the same vibration as north, water, or black. Two animal spirits symbolise this direction: the snake and the turtle - one for each kidney. North is also regarded as the place of the past, the mystery, and the ancestors. Within the Chinese system, the king stands in the center, in the earth element, and faces south, his back held by the north. What wisdom holds north for me, when I dare to turn around and face it?

Nina Weid · The Cailleach

Looking at our medicine wheel as a cosmic calendar to locate our creative activities within and the season we are in, we are in the energy of the Crone.

Dark and cold winter days and nights are inviting us to rest, stay at home close to the fire or heating, and to sleep and to dream. It is a good time to regenerate, to collect new energy for the spring to come, the Maiden season with all its energy and joy.

In Irish mythology, it is said that at Samhain, the Cailleach comes to life from being a stone, strikes the ground with her stick, and freezes the ground.

She is responsible for bringing winter and with it, the important work of winter that enables regeneration and resetting. She is said to rule the months between Samhain (the first day of winter marked on November 1st) and Beltaine (the 1st of May and the first day of summer), while the Goddess Brigid rules over the summer months.

 

Read more

Did you know...

...that in baltic mythology, the Goddess of the sun Saule was said to fly across the heavens during the night of winter solstice in a slay pulled by horned reindeer throwing pebbles of amber that were symbolizing the sun, into the chimneys below?

Helena Nelson-Reed

“If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere” – Seamus Heaney, Irish poet

21 december
winter solstice
solar calendar

21 december
great conjunction 2020
astrological calendar

21 or 24 december
the twelve sacred nights
pagan calendar

22 december

sun in capricorn

astrological calendar

1 - 7 january
7 days of rest
global event since 2018

21 january

sun in aquarius

astrological calendar

PERSPECTIVES

From around the world

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TIME KEEPING

Rhythm & Calendar

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FROM AUTUMN EQUINOX

TO WINTER SOLSTICE

THE EARTH SCHOOL JOURNAL

A journey through the medicine wheel

AUTUMN

The autumn season is deeply mystical. Nature breathes out, changes color, and leans into the darkness. The invitation is to breathe out with nature, to rest, and reflect on the lessons, we’ve been generously offered during seeding, growth, and harvest.

Serap Kara · Father Time

For thousands of years people created systems for timekeeping to align with the seasons and structure time. The Gregorian calendar was developed in 1582 and is an evolution of the  Julian calendar, which was created in the Roman Empire as early as 45 BC. The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world. 

November  was the ninth month of the Roman calendar. In former times the year began in March. January and February were simply winter months, and the names were added later. The Gregorian calendar has been changed and adapted and today it doesn't reflect the natural rhythm of the season necessarily.

The Mayan calendar is far older and dates back to 3114 BC. Around this time, the astrological calendar was created to interpret both seasonal changes as celestial cycles. Written language was developed in a similar time period and dates back to ancient Mesopotamia (between 3400 and 3100 BC).

Today, one can be informed by timekeeping systems from many different cultures simultaneously. Planetary and astrological calendars weave into old nature-based calendars and blend into the Gregorian calendar.

The keepers of time have woven the threads in a way that we can find the ends within our own time to follow a path back. Here, in northern Europe, the seasonal celebrations of the old Celtic calendar still resonate with today's rhythm.

The calendars may have come from different times. But they hold a blueprint for us to weave within the natural cycles. A universal understanding of Father Time may guide humanity to be in right relationship with the land, people and cultures to celebrate what we have in common. 

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“I feel a thousand capacities spring up in me. I am arch, gay, languid, melancholy by turns. I am rooted, but I flow”

– Virginia Woolf, British novelist

Samhain is the traditional Celtic holiday of death, endings, beginnings, and magic and marks the start of the 'darker half of the year'. Nowadays, we celebrate Samhain from sundown on October 31st until sundown on November 1st. During this special night, the boundaries between the worlds dissolve and the unseen energies of the earth are more visible.

Nina Weid · The European Medicine Wheel

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By watching the rhythm of our planet, we discover the cyclic being and development of all that is.

The Celts and Germanics are our European ancestors who maintained a close connection to nature and its cycles. Both cultures used the Wheel of Life as sanctuaries for healing ceremonies, prayer time, and as a tool to live close to Mother Earth’s cyclic rhythm. As nature’s cycles are reflected in the Wheel of Life, so is our personal cycle from birth to death. In a way, we ARE the Medicine Wheel, following the seasons and nature’s cycles. While we might need time for restoration and sleep in winter, we love to enjoy the first sun rays in spring, getting ready to bloom in summer.

The European Medicine Wheel reflects infinity, with no beginning or end. The cross represents our visible world with its four directions, four elements, four moon phases, and the four seasons - the axis mundi. From the center of the circle, the force of creation radiates its power into our world.

The Medicine Wheel provides a possibility to reconnect with our ancient wisdom and to follow the path of our ancestors. By connecting with it, we can feel into the roots of our own heritage and home.

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21 - 23 september

autumn equinox

solar calendar

october or november
thanksgiving
national holiday since 1620

31 - 1 november

samhain · pagan holidaylunar calendar

23 november

sun in sagittariusastrological calendar

1 december
giving tuesday​
global event since 2012

10 december
human rights day
global event since 1948

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TIME KEEPING

Rhythm & Calendar