Saturday Morning with Rue

Journey with the Spirit of Rue

The healing & magical benefits of Rue were on full display this morning.  Just as I was finishing my morning brew, I knew that I was being called.  I put my garden shoes on and started up the path knowing I’d step into the magic of the Plant Spirits.  Excited that some new revelation would be downloaded to me, I ignored the lone Hawkweed waving at me.  Hawkweed is cheeky.  I have declared a very small portion of garden as hawkweed-free but know that this Hawkweedplant has visions of overtaking all.  The battle (I have no illusions about Hawkweeds ferocity to get what it wants) for property rights appears to be continuing.

Revelations are not the norm when I sit down with plants.  Sometimes, it’s just a silent togetherness.  The plants know me very well in that I don’t like to hang around too long and can be impatient for the answers.  Mint, for instance, can be very standoff-ish with me and so I’m willing, every now and then, to take more time than usual to hear stories of their medicine.  Today was such a day, but as I approached Rue, Herb of Grace, the beauty of her medicine was shown to me immediately.

Rue presented like a DNA spiral expanding and contracting; as she protects and shields so can she strangle and choke.  In the past, as today, Rue is placed beside entryways or in a pouch to be worn for heightened protection and strangles and chases away negative and harmful energy.  In that same vein, Rue is a reliable antidote to poison, ridding the body of harmful substances.  She can protect and attack with the same fierceness.  Internally, Rue should be used with care.  For example, just a little and she can be soothing; too much and she can aggravate.  Rue Dreamsafeis excellent for mild indigestion but too much and she can produce severe vomiting.  Stick to 10 drops of tincture 2X’s day to start and ½ cup Rue tea (using dried leaves).  I use it sparingly in salads and have not found any other kitchen uses for it although the internet has many different cultural uses.

The healing energy of Rue is overcast by her ability to do harm and so Rue, Herb of Grace, is very much considered a magic herb and seldom used in herbal medicine today.  “Its main modern application is to regulate the menstrual cycle and bring on the suppressed menses” David Hoffman – Medical Herbalism.

The essential oil of Rue is a powerful abortifacient and accordingly, should be avoided during pregnancy.  Rue can leave a rash or irritations on the skin when picking her, so wear gloves and long sleeves.  A fierce clue to her protective abilities.

According to Matthew Wood, Rue is hot and dry in the third degree (Galen’s extended medical system) meaning that (hot in 3rd) it promotes perspiration, cuts through blockages (phlegm, depression) and clears away stagnant situations, such as suppressed menses and (dry in 3rd) cautions on its ability to take over and exacerbate the problem.

Properties of Rue:-

Rue HerbRue  (Ruta graveolens)
Family: Rutaceae
Taste: bitter & pungent
Parts used: Whole herb with the top young shoots (before flowering) being the most potent
Actions: Antispasmodic, bitter, abortifacient, bitter, antimicrobial, emmenagogue
Preparations: Tincture, Tea, Salve, Cream, Oil

And so, coming back from my journey – I give thanks and honour the angel that is Rue.  I ground myself and step gently down, one by one until I land at the bottom; my two feet firmly on the ground.  I don’t know why I don’t sit with the plants every day.  The feeling of breathing and being as one with Mother Earth is always so awesome.

You can find Rue in Aura & Dreamsafe

How the plants have given us their medicine

How Plants give us their MedicineThroughout time the plants have given us their medicine.  Every culture has used, in some form or another, the healing power of plants.  Sometimes, a plant used for an ailment in one era was used in an entirely different way in another. Greater Celandine was and still is, used as a remedy for wart removal but during the middle ages was used as a digestive and for irritations of the eye.  Chamomile was used by Egyptian women as a cosmetic and throughout time as a digestive and reliever of menstrual cramping.  Lavender was used as a laundry soap in the 12th century because of its pleasing scent and today that scent is used as a relaxant and anti-depressant.

Ancient written texts tell us of cedar and juniper essential oils used for the mummification process, sage, cedar & sweetgrass used in smudging or cleansing rituals and chamomile used as a scented walkway for pleasure.

“O most honored Greening Force,

You who roots in the Sun;
You who lights up, in shining serenity, within a wheel
that earthly excellence fails to comprehend.

You are enfolded
in the weaving of divine mysteries.

You redden like the dawn
and you burn: flame of the Sun.”
–  Hildegard von Bingen, Causae et Curae

HildegardThe great visionary, Hildegard of Bingen knew of the plants contribution to our health and wellness.  Not only was she concerned with our physical health but knew that the plants assisted in emotional and spiritual health as well.  “Confront anger and other negative thought patterns. Release your negative energy and develop a spiritual attitude.”  Translation from Hildegard’s Physica

She knew the power of the plant world to heal via food, atmosphere and medicine.  She understood that the same balance found in nature, exists in humans and that the humors (essence, liquids/juice(blood, phlegm, bile)) of our physical bodies are always looking for harmony.  Her remedies always included notes on the emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of living in order to stay in touch with universal forces through the balancing of the humors. In that way, we stay in communion with the essence of the universe, the Spirit of Life/God.

Hildegard felt that in order to live in harmony, one needs to:-

  • Connect to the Spirit of life knowing that the pathway to health is through communion with all things
  • Take care of the physical body knowing that it is an extension of your soul-self.
  • Balance in all things knowing that to live healthily, we are more connected to universal energies of healing/manifestation
  • Live life with passion knowing that an attitude of positivity creates a healthy spirit-mind-body connection

If we took a plant that Hildegard & the Plant Medicine Shop held/hold in high regard, let’s say Rose (Rosa), and journeyed with it through the ages, below is what we’d find:-


Sumerian Era (4000-2400 BC), clay tablets have been found depicting Rose as a use of medicine

Hippocrates (460-377 BC) advised wearing a garland of Rose for headaches

Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt (69-30 BC) believed in the aromatic healing properties of Rose and used in bathing

Roman, Pliny, the Elder (23-79AD), thought of Rose as an astringent and used the whole flower.  The seed was used as a diuretic.

Dioscorides (40-90 AD), prescribed rose petals for headaches, eye problems and hemorrhoids.

Hildegard (1098-1179) – believed Rose helped with moderation, exterior ulcers and with relieving anger.  “If even a little rose is added, they are so much better, because of the good virtues of the rose.” Translation from Hildegard’s Physica

Culpepper (1616-1654 AD), declared that the Oil of Rose be used for hot swelling or inflammation

Linus Pauling (1901-1944), discovered the high content of Vitamin C, in Rose Hips

Kiva Rose (21st Century, present time) says that Rose is healing “for hot, damp, congested headaches that are often accompanied by feverishness, hot flashes, gas and bloating.” Kiva Rose

Rose is sent to earth by the gardeners of paradise for empowering the mind and the eye of the spirit.” Rumi

Forgiveness Energy MedicinePlant Medicine Shop (that would be us)(21st Century, present time), uses the power and energetic of Rose for finding love, beauty, ruthless compassion, protection and strength.  We use the mighty Rose in Aura, Authenticity, Lost Love, Esteem, Forgiveness, Cell Rejuvenation, Warrior and our Goddess Cream.


The Plant Medicine Shop creates healing herbal remedies for all the ways in which we express ourselves.   Our products are all natural, organic and made with a deep sense of communion with Mother Earth.  We are in partnership with the Plants and honour their wisdom and knowledge.   Their energy is of a giving nature and by accepting this gift of healing, we allow it to flow through to others.  That’s how we, as humans, heal.

Medicine Wheel Garden

Dreaming of a Medicine Wheel Garden


I’m sitting on the log steps in our garden.  I’m sitting here because it’s still nice and cool and I have about half an hour before the sun hits.  There is no grass in our mountain garden and so my feet are resting on earth on top of a wooden log.  I feel very spiritual sitting here with Mother Earth underfoot, trees very close and a view of the very still waters (today, at any rate) of Kootenay Lake.  It is not hard to be relaxed and quiet in this place, both in mind and the breath.  So easy to be inspired by the Plant World sitting amongst this much green.  I’m dreaming of a medicine wheel garden and wondering if it’s possible on this hillside garden.  ‘Anything is possible’ I hear.  Um, yes but it might take some woman power to move the big rocks.

DreamcatcherOver the last few days, I’ve walked up and down, and from one end to the other to search for the best place.  This project will take a while as it is now late Spring in my neck of the woods, and some herbs will need to be planted this Fall.  I do not have the garden to myself.  My husband, the other gardener, has taken over and built up quite a bit of the land and since our needs are different, we work with and around one another.

I have a Medicine Wheel protecting my house which could also be a place for the plants but since 3 directional rocks are on a steep rocky area, I think that’s a miss.   I thank the Plant World for their beauty knowing that they will continue to inspire me and step down one by one around the corner, down the path onto the patio.

There in the middle of our patio is my Owl, made of rocks; the protector and guardian of our space.   As I look around I see areas still awaiting plants and of course, here it is, my Medicine Wheel garden, right in front of my eyes.   Below is the planning stage of the garden using some of the plants I use in my healing potions.


The Plant World on the hill

Springtime garden — Plant World wonders!

The sun is bursting through the back door promising me that Spring is here.  I open the door, Ms. Diva quick behind me, and turn right to see what’s going on in the Plant World.  On the path is the Hydrangea, still hanging onto flowers from last year.  How can this be, after such a hard winter?  Snow drifts and harsh cold winds could not deter the hydrangea from hanging on to its flowers it seems.  The root and the rhizome of this plant are used primarily in urinary disorders but energetically I use the flower to represent gratitude and it leads the way in our newest energetic ‘Forgiveness’.  Forgiveness remedy will make you feel ‘like I was cradling my inner child. Hope, Love, forgiveness and acceptance”, says M. Darago, Shamanic Practitioner.

Taking in the strength of Hydrangea, I continue on past the still-frozen compost and turn left.  There sits the remnants of last year’s Lemon Balm nestled in beside the SW rock – the place of dreaming.  Lemon Balm is used traditionally as a calming herb for body, heart and mind.  Serenity Tonic and Serenity Salve Serenityare two powerful remedies that take full use of Lemon Balm’s calming properties when restlessness insomnia or anxiety are present.  I use Lemon Balm energetically in a ceremonial remedy to quiet the mind, calm the breath and soften the heart.  After smudging, I reach for ‘Silence’ to help find that meditative state needed for the ceremonial process.  Lemon Balm works well with Rosemary & Yarrow in this remedy to maintain a strong focus and connection to Spirit.

A few steps further and Wood Betony comes into view, already peaking out from the detritus of last year.  Its leaves are arrow-like and already vibrant green.  Wood Betony gives me the energetic of protection and I use it whenever an element of shielding is needed, such us Dreamsafe & Protection.  Traditionally, Wood Betony is a well-known addition to headache remedies.

Soon, Red Clover will appear on the left as I head up the path and hopefully a beautiful basal rosette of mullein from last year’s growth – nothing yet.  Straight ahead on the path, sits our kitchen herb garden:- mint, sage, rue, thyme – I can see them all except Rue – a late starter.

I step carefully up the next few steps because here is where I found Pearly Everlasting last year.  I don’t know a lot about his plant except that I have great plans for its use in ‘Walking Between the Worlds’ a remedy to help journeyers to access other realms.

St. John's WortSt. John’s Wort is sitting small & pretty beside an old tree stump, looking healthy and ready to roll for another year of medicine giving.  This is a sunny plant; great for depression in a tincture or as a wound healer as a salve.  Energetically, I rely on St. John’s Wort a lot – Mind Power, Joy, Authenticity all use the power of this plant to bring a sense of joy, passion and an energy of courage and protection.

Walking in the garden in Springtime brings a feeling of anticipation and adventure.  Knowing that things will happen; plants will grow where they are supposed to and a lot of times in areas where you don’t expect them to.  Every year, it’s the same thing – a sense of awe and wonderment at the Spirit and life of the Plant World.

Open-hearted Communication

Open-hearted Communication

Background photograph designed by Asierromero -

happy old woman

Of all the healing modalities on the planet, I was struck today how open-hearted communication is the key to well-being and a sense of purpose.  I was walking with intention, on a mission while training my dog.  She got completely distracted by a lady striding down the street towards us.  It was difficult to keep her from jumping forward but as this woman approached she told me not to worry because all the dogs loved her and that she, in turn, loved dogs.  20 minutes later, after telling her how she had made my day, I was in awe how such a chance encounter could lay out, so understandably, the meaning of life to the fullest.  This woman was 85 yrs old, lived in an independent seniors residence, walked 4 times a day and was so thrilled that her lunch was included in her rent which was geared to income and so was stress-free.  We talked of many things in that 20 minutes – she had a lot to say.  When she said good-bye and continued on, I knew then that engagement with other people, to the fullest and with an open heart, could cure all the slight depression and stress-caused maladies.  She left having no clue how she showed me the ways in which I still keep to myself.  My ‘playing my cards too close to my chest’ routine.

In my healing practice, I have spoken to people about Nutrition, Reconnective Healing, Shamanism and Ceremonial pathways but it is the spontaneous heart-felt human interactions that can change your day and, in so doing, your life and state of health.  If we could clone that beautiful old lady, the doctors and health care professionals would be looking at much different pathways towards health and well-being.

So……, even though I love Plant Medicine and its capacity to heal; without engagement with other humans, the show won’t go on as brightly.  Is there a remedy for that?  Well, yes there are!  Esteem and Joy help to break down the barriers that keep us from engaging fully with all the world has to offer.

A Magical Life

sunflowersYou know a lot of things.

You know that you are in charge of creating your day.

You know that we are all one and walk with love and compassion.

You know that knowledge and wisdom are found when judgements are dispersed.

You know that fear is an illusion and are fearless.

You know how to protect yourself in this chaotic world and are calm.

You know that your sacred song is being sung.

You know about the infinite possibilities, and are watchful.

You know that you are in this world but not of this world.

Take a deep breath. Your mind is quiet, your body is balanced; you are strong enough for a magical life.

Back to work after sun/play time in Costa Rica

IMG_0102It is SO nice to spend time with like-minded people and dream in the next phase of my life.  I put aside my normal routines, stepped on a plane to somewhere sunny and warm (this defintely helps the process) and settled in for 10 days of discovery.  I feel a bit like a bear waking up from a long winters nap and after dreaming in the next year, am ready to be a magnet and bring it on!  Lots of feedback on existing product, Transition line was a hit, and future product ideas.  I’ve changed the formula somewhat for the new Feminine & Masculine energy balance salves and am getting ready for much tincture making.  A new body scrub to erase negative emotion/trauma from cells will set the stage for an unparalled flow of regenerated energy.

Many moments of quiet naps and reflection were had to see where my dreams will fit with my everyday world.  Thanks to all those who attended this soul-searching week in Costa Rica and helped me with my journey.


SilverOwl’s Living Fully Blog

January 12, 2014 and SilverOwl finally has some time to start a blog.  One of the things that stops people from starting an internet conversation I think, is that they don’t feel they have a lot to say — this snippet provided courtesy of said internet!!  I have to say, up to now, I’ve probably felt the same but as time goes by, I seem to have a lot more ideas of what I’d like to tell people about.  So…..I’m looking forward to some great conversations with like-minded people on topics ranging from Healing with Plants, Alternative Healing Modalities and onto the Great Mystery and exploring the Ceremonial in everyday life.  Other things will present themselves I hope –can’t wait.  Let the living and healing begin!!