Green Wealth: Our Wild Plants & Weeds

Green Wealth: Our Wild Plants & Weeds

Green Wealth: Our Wild Plants & Weeds by Kiva Rose http://animacenter.org We meet in a canyon greened by early spring rains and filled with the lush plant life that will fill our baskets and bags by the afternoon’s end. The people who gather to celebrate and learn about the local flora are as diverse as the plants themselves, ranging from Spanish abuelas to ranching families with small children to older couples to seasonal visitors. What they have in common is a love for the wild terrain of the Gila, a deep appreciation for self-sufficiency and a desire to increase their ability to live directly off the land. Crowding along the edge of the creek bank, we crouch down for a closer look at the incredible variety of plant life at our feet. While the Southwest is...

Essential Elements by Jesse Wolf Hardin

Essential Elements by Jesse Wolf Hardin

A lyrical and personal piece by partner, Jesse Wolf Hardin, on the inextricable relationship between ourselves and the elements. Experiential, vibrant and deeply necessary, Wolf’s piece reminds us to expand our awareness out from out individual bodies into the larger body of the inspirited earth, to cultivate a sensorial awareness and to notice the preciousness of every single second of our vital, beautiful lives! -Kiva It is midday as I take a break from writing and step away from the worn keys and glowing screen, the creeping July heat speaking to my body and needs in a way that reasonable thoughts never could.  The same burning sun and swelling temperatures that inspire my walk to the river, seem each afternoon to summon forth the dark thunder-clouds of...

The Road That Leads Home: Anima Shaman Intensive ’09

The Road That Leads Home: Anima Shaman Intensive ’09

~~~ Every year this special and very focused workshop becomes a little (or a lot) more intense. With the approach of each Shaman Path Intensive, Wolf and Loba and I are all filled with excitement and anticipation of the wonder sure to come! Remarkably, this year’s transformative event created a new threshold for what can occur when we’re focused and open. In fact, when I asked Wolf his assessment, he had only word for it: superb! The monsoons arrived early this year and the Southwest’s wild rains provided us with an unseasonably lush and verdant canyon to revel and play in. Lightning-spiked storms rumbled through nearly every afternoon or evening of the event. The sweet serenade of warblers and thrushes and the gentle “meeps” of Muskrats sang alongside the...

Flowers From the FaeryGrounds: The Enchantment of Beebalm

Flowers From the FaeryGrounds: The Enchantment of Beebalm

Monsoon season is a magical time in the Southwest. The air grows heavy, the clouds roll in and the thunder rumbles across the mountains. Within days of the arrival of the first storms, the golds and sages of the semi-arid woodlands, grasslands and meadows erupt into a riot of vibrant wildflowers and lush green growth. Although Summer is our busiest guest season, and I can’t keep caught up even with 13 hour work days, I simply can’t resist the siren call of the Canyon to come out and play. ~~~   One of the most alluring of all the Canyon’s Summer plants, is the gorgeous Beebalm, known locally as Wild Oregano or Oregano de la Sierra, named for its strong, spicy flavor. Matthew Wood also notes that it has also been called Rose Balm by some authors,...

The Gifting Cycle: Transformation & Renewal

The Gifting Cycle: Transformation & Renewal

It’s been one of those weeks, folks. Filled with visitors, stomach bugs, weird accidents and monumental amounts of food preserving. Thus, I am behind. If you’re waiting for a package, email, lesson or phone call, I swear I’m getting there. My own immune system has been tottering on the brink of overtiredness and I’ve been forced to draw inward a bit to focus on myself and my family. Everyone seems to be recovering at this point, and I can actually think clearly today so hopefully it’s all on the upswing again. Worst of it all was poor Rhiannon having a heavy mug shatter on her head in the middle of the night (precariously balanced on a treehouse shelf against the admonishments of her parents, I might add), which resulted in a...

A Blending of Elements: The Primal Allure of Tea

There’s something so primal and satisfying about a warm vessel of infused herbs in my hands. Sipping a honey sweetened brew of flowers, roots, barks and leaves brings back ancient memories and also spirals me fully into the here and now, fully present in each nuance of taste and aroma. Curled up in Autumn’s growing dark with the scent of Sweet Clover and Rose wafting through the air, I am reminded again of my own essential need to still, to sink into the earth and pay close attention to my surroundings. To the soft sand between my toes, the sun going golden as it sets over the canyon wall and the steady heat of the blue mug beneath my fingers. Drinking tea is one of those simple yet profound acts that can be both personally healing and communally inspiring. One...