Most of our healing comes from a place of connection. This might mean feeling connected to your body and your feelings so that you experience a sense of wellness. Or it might mean that you sense a lack and you seek help with a health practitioner, a friend or an activity that helps you to feel that connection again. Sometimes the connection is literal and a medicine may connect missing functions so that you can renew your “factory setting”. Healing connection can also be simply a sense of belonging, maybe within your family, your friends, home or the land beneath your feet.
So when we do need medicine we often reach for a herb, a remedy or a prescribed drug with an expectation that it will deliver. We may not pay much attention to where it came from, how it was made or even what it was made from. We may feel gratitude if it works or even betrayal if it doesn’t.
In our first medicine making practicum of Pussy Power Lady Garden Academy we cultivate healing connection by developing a healing partnership with our Plant Friends. Just as nobody really cherishes those needy friends that you only hear from when they are having a crisis, our plant allies would prefer a healthier kinship. This relationship might be nurtured over time as you grow and tend your plants, or it may simply come from asking permission as you forage with a healing intention. Yes even the plant world appreciates consent!
In this practicum we learn how to befriend and communicate with plants and how to make a simple flower essence remedy for ourselves. This can be a bit of a paradigm shift for anyone who has not really contemplated this before! I consider plants, animals, rocks, mountains, lakes, oceans and rivers to be “People” and that we have ways of communicating that are beyond words in any tongue. We can learn to connect using all our senses, observing and listening on all levels. Come with an open mind, a sense of wonder and learn to make medicine in a holistic way. Details are here and bookings are here.
Seven planets and your life cycle – an intersection between Kabbalah and Kundalini Yoga
Do you ever wish you had a road map or an instruction manual for understanding what the heck is going on in life? This teensy 8 week course is to help shed some light on the life you have lived so far and possibly help to reframe your life ahead. The main framework for this is understanding that we are part of a cyclical universe and just as the planets above have their own speedy or slow cycles then so do us mere mortals on earth. As above so below!
Over my life I have been influenced by those who follow cyclical wisdom – my grandmother with the lunar cycles, Rabbis who dabbled in Kabbalah at Vic Uni, Steiner who shaped my understanding of biodynamic agriculture by the movement of the planets, ancient herbalists and also homeopath Ian Watson who incorporated planetary influences in my practitioner prescribing. My own body also provided abundant self knowledge through my menstrual cycle. All these strands have helped to weave a story of life that speaks more to my poetic than rational mind. It will possibly all make more sense in hindsight at the end of life but I rather enjoy it now in the manner of sitting down with a cryptic crossword and a cup of tea to nut it all out.
The course consists of one introductory class to explain the theory and how to have a hot date with a calendar, a timeline and a trip down memory lane. The following 7 classes are all Kundalini yoga kriyas and meditations to integrate each life phase. You are then equipped to apply the tools whenever you wish and be prepared for your future life cycles.
The classes run on Thursdays 9-10am from October 28th until Dec 16th. For class info and to book in hop over here
A few years ago it dawned on me that I was spending more time weeding my driveway and garden paths than my actual garden. I had been a keen forager for years but never really thought about the weeds that were right under my nose. Julia Sich’s wonderful book about making green smoothies changed my whole garden attitude towards path weeding and even garden bed weeding. Most of these weeds actually had more nutrition than the the “proper plants” I was putting in their place. Suddenly I felt truly abundant and like a very successful farmer with a vast acreage of potential food. Sadly now my main “problem” weeds are still bindweed and buttercups which are not edible for humans but the rest are largely fabulous for me, the chooks and the ducks. Weeds are also important as ground cover, indicators of soil health and bring minerals from deep down to the surface to be accessible.
There is something magical about eating weeds – they are the wild edge, the untamed, the maligned and hated. I feel deliciously witchy sitting under a tree snacking on chickweed. During lockdown when the only place we could buy food was at supermarkets, weed eating felt like freedom from the social rules and the queues. This recent level 4 was a brilliant time for chickweed, cleavers and corn salad and I had many a happy hour foraging for our meals while clearing space to plant spring crops.
I really recommend the following titles to learn more about the uses of weeds both in your kitchen and in your garden. Julia’s guide to edible weeds and wild green smoothies available here , Working with Weeds by Kate Wall ( available from Almo’s bookshop) and The Forager’s treasury by Joanna Knox (updated edition available at Almo’s bookshop.)
Most of us consider medicine to be found in bottles and packets in our bathroom cabinets or perhaps in our pantries and spice racks. If we want to find out more about these medicines we consult Google God, look up books or ask our health practitioner. We rely upon the realm of the intellect to gather information. Most of us would also expect that we had to ingest our medicine for us to receive any benefit.
However in Pussy Power Lady Garden Academy we are adding another approach to learning about our plant friends. Yes we learn with our heads but we shall also learn with our hearts, and throughout this year we shall be gathering to take part in plant initiations. In this space we realise that our medicine is all around us, very possibly right under feet and that we can learn to access this medicine through intuition and intellect. We may also discover that simply to “be” with our ally is all the medicine we need, there is no need to “take”.
A plant initiation is like going back into that childlike space of wonder. (Adults simply name a plant and rattle through how it might potentially be useful to them.) In our space of wonderment we sit with the plant, explore the shapes, smells and tastes if edible and acknowledge the change of appearance through it’s life cycle. We notice where it likes to grow and who it likes to grow alongside with and how it feels to hang out with this plant. During the initiation we practice yoga nidra to deeply relax and awaken out heart space to feel more open to listening on an intuitive level. We imbibe an elixir of the plant several times throughout the ceremony and reflect on how we feel physically, emotionally and spiritually. We are dating our new plant friend and listening to our intuition! Some like to draw/paint, write songs, dance, embroider or create recipes. Others simply like to lie still, be dreamy and allow their awareness to open.
The initiation lasts beyond the actual gathering. For weeks afterwards you start to notice your plant ally is all around you, whether in nature, your garden or simply in images. Slowly a relationship builds and you might gain insight into how this plant would like to help YOU or others in your circle. Each participant takes a wee bottle of plant essence home to continue their journey.
We start this Spring Equinox with the most humble and tenacious of all plant allies – the Dandelion. She can pop up in between cracks in concrete landscapes, resurrect like a zombie despite round-up poisonings and blow her seeds all across the world. She is a generous giver and is here to shine her golden light, bedazzling your eyes so you can appreciate that medicine can be found simply everywhere.
Come join us on Wednesday September 22nd 7-8.30pm for an evening of wonder, fun and dreaming. Please bring any tools that are your creative allies such as favourite pencils, musical instruments, embroidery threads etc. There will be paper, pencils and crayons for everyone to share. Details are here and booking is here
I always hoped I might write a manifesto. I do have a vague recollection of attempting to write one with my friend Karma and throwing it off the balcony of Napier Public Library in our teens. I can’t even remember the planned content but we were very enthusiastic and surely that counted for something? However over the last few years I have felt all the strands of my life, my practices and my teaching drawing together into a jumble that just could be, maybe, one day, the rumblings of a Ladyfesto?
It all started with a bit of rebellion in yoga. I got fed up with male focused practices that seemed to pretend that women were just men with boobs and that we should all be physically striving and meditating with strong determination. There seemed to be very little understanding of menstruation, pre and post natal yogic support and absolutely nothing useful for menopause. I found that if I softened, went a bit dreamy, listened to my own body and adapted my practice to suit my inner compass, that I actually felt more calm, flexible and able to respond to life challenges. I developed a gentler practice on all levels and then I also discovered Yoni Shakti. Hallelujah!
My gardening also changed. Why was I pulling out all the weeds to plant “proper vegetables”? The weeds were much more nutritious, required zero care and thrived in drought. They acted as mulch for my “proper veg” so that I could have the best of both worlds. The weeds provided biodiversity so that my garden was full of natural predators for problem pests. My weed smoothies became a staple and I stopped the war on weeds. I ate them instead. The System of Gardening seemed to be about conquering the land to create food when it was already providing abundance.
This control seemed to extend to women’s bodies. Women were suffering from hormonal health issues, invasive contraceptive methods, lousy and lazy prescribing from professionals who did not want to get to the bottom of any problems they experienced with their “lady bottoms”. Why did half the world try to pretend they did not have a menstrual cycle so that they would not embarrass the blokes? Why did we have to be “on” all the time, super productive, nice and smiley? Why couldn’t we organise our lives to work with our cycle and life stage instead of trying to be the same all the time. Why did we not practice preventative health care instead of waiting until we dropped in exhaustion or pain?
The Pussy Power Lady Garden Academy brings together these strands – by learning to love ourselves, listening to the wisdom of our bodies and the earth herself then we can have abundant health for everyone. This academy aims to help you find your health sovereignty as you listen to your life cycle, your energy levels and those of the seasons of the earth. This Spring the Academy opens for a year of learning to grow the weeds and herbs you need for your Lady Garden, how to harvest and turn then into your own medicine and how to do all this with nourishing yogic practices and with great respect and love for our Mother Earth. You can drift in and out of various modules and workshops that range from very practical to downright esoteric.
We start with the New Moon 8th September with planning our Garden for our Lady Garden. What are the herbs and plants that might help you? What space have you got at home? How much time can you dedicate to this? How do we sow seeds and care for our bebes? Which yogic practices help us to slow down and tune into the space of listening to the earth? Our yoga practice cultivates a partnership with our garden through Nidra and also Kundalini Yoga fires up our liver energy pathways as we look towards cultivating and eating our Spring Greens. If this sounds like it might be for you then book in here. You can stay tuned to whatever is coming next by checking the workshop and events pages.