All posts by Molly

Reasons for Hope- Reasons for Thanks

Reasons for Hope? Reasons for Thanks?

In a word- You.

I know some would say I am naïve or in denial in my hope, but I am hope filled, and you are a big reason for that.

For thirty years I have journeyed with you.  There are so many ways you have revealed your love, light and courage.  This has kept me steadfast in hope.

You tirelessly pursue your spiritual work.  Night and day. Through thick and thin. Year after year.

You examine yourselves and your situation with incredible honesty and pick Flower Essences that will address what is genuinely going on.

You work so very hard to make full use of our Flower Essences, and you do so with such humor.  You do so when it is painful. You do so when you are weary.  You are dogged and determined. You  keep on keeping on.

You seek the right Flower Essences for the beloveds in your life with deep concern, wisdom and clarity. You observe other’s lives with great kindness and compassion. You care for so many.

Your work with animals astounds us.  You will do anything for the beloved animals in your lives. You take on the most challenging rescue animals, and you stick with them until death do you part.

You rise to every challenge with your health and with the health of those around you.

You act so generously to help others.  You contain them with great thoughtfulness and great heart. You don’t run away from being there in the most painful circumstances.

You share the most tender moments of your life with us.  The small silly ones and the big ones.  We read your missives aloud to each other. We laugh with you.  We cry with you.  You give all of us hope.

We love you.

New Flower Essences from the 2018 Gardens

This was a growing season of mystery.  Events that felt random, chaotic and unrelated when they occurred revealed themselves, at the harvest, to be part of a seamless whole.  An enormous increase in the wild animal population and other unusual garden events proved to be purposeful and indicative of deep healing happening underneath the surface chaos.  In the quiet of conversations with our partners in the Angelic and Elemental kingdoms, we were assured that this pattern of healing underneath surface chaos is true everywhere, and our heartfelt optimism is not ungrounded, but in fact, deeply grounded.  We ended the season feeling an immense healing energy afoot in every corner of creation. The new Flower Essence offerings reflect this truth.

Brief Descriptions of the New Essences (followed by longer descriptions)

Be Fearless– The Angels created this mix to help us process and learn from our fears so that we can let them fully flow through us for full release.  Emptied of fear, we can more easily welcome the incoming higher vibrational energies here to support us right now.

Butterfly Kisses– We are in the dark. It’s a womb time in which much is gestating, but we cannot see it.  Like caterpillars entering cocoons, we’ve entered the womb, both individually and collectively, not knowing who we will be or what will be born when we leave this dark place. Butterfly Kisses helps us feel safe in the necessary unknown of transformation.  With this Essence mix, our sisters and brothers from the Butterfly kingdom help us to know and feel we can trust this unknown place and trust in the goodness of what will be born.

Companion Connection– More support to deepen our loving soul connections with the beloved animals. For animals and humans to take together.

Cornflower:The animals find themselves in a complex situation right now of both needing to raise their own vibrations as the planet’s vibration goes up, while simultaneously helping us humans to raise our vibrations. This one is to help them hold their own in this difficult dynamic.

HorseradishDuring these fiery times when people do or say outrageous, ungrounded things, Horseradish helps us unequivocally and politely hold our ground and maintain our boundaries.

Pink Mulla MullaA palpable reminder that our lovableness was never in question.  We are loved more than we can imagine, and we are ever held in the loving embrace of Divinity.

The Sunflower SpiralA new iteration 2018 of a Venus Garden classic- Yes, more spiritual support than ever is with us regardless of what it looks like! This one helps us find our place in a rapidly evolving dynamic.

Ayurvedic Mixes- Vata, Pitta and KaphaSupport to find a balance within the framework of Ayurvedic medicine.

Be Fearless

The Angels asked us introduce this Essence mid-season, so you may already have read this in a previous blog- If so, just skip to the next Essence- If not, here is more information about this wonderful new mix..

Be Fearless supports us to fully release our fears after we have learned all they are telling us. The Angels explain this wonderful mix,

“All feelings are important in that they give you information about what is going on in your lives. Fear gives information that can be deeply helpful, even life saving. Problems with fears arise when fears are inadvertently stored in your energy systems well after they have served their purposes. Fears that are stuck in your energy systems are often amplified by other forces. Stuck, amplified fears slow the smooth flow of your electrical systems. They can derail your emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health and paralyze your thoughts, feelings and actions.

Log-jammed fears are never a good thing, but they are particularly unhelpful right now. Because humanity is currently receiving much spiritual support to evolve, it is particularly important for your electrical systems to be free to move, flow and evolve in response to this spiritual support.

We created this mix to help all of you process and release fears from your energy systems so that you can take full advantage of the spiritual support available right now and evolve with the least resistance possible.

The Flower Essences in Be Fearless open up a space within you to illuminate what your fears are telling you, decide what to do with these fears then fully release your fears once they have served their purpose. This mix helps you keep your energy systems humming along on their evolutionary journeys and leaves you free to make self-actualized choices about your lives.

Be Fearless is not a mix about judging you for feeling fear but a support to own, process and release fears without letting them take up permanent residence in your energy systems. Specific Flowers in the mix help you energetically process specific fears.  Below is a list of the Flower Essences in Be Fearless. Molly’s blog on 4/5/2018 gives an explanation for why each these Flower Essences is in the mix.”

Flowers in Be Fearless: Allamanda from Taiwan, Aspen, Blue Snakeweed, Borage, Chinese Knotweed, Coral Pink Rose, Feverfew, Golden Wings Rose, Heritage Rose, Mutabilis Rose, Nuuphretia Lavarissa, Old Blush China Rose, Orange, Peach, Red Clover, Sahagun, Scarlet Runner Bean, The Watchman

 

Butterfly Kisses

As always, this year’s lower garden at the farm was designed and planted in partnership with the Angels and Elementals. On three sides of the garden a sea of Red Shiso, rich and dark purple in color, undulated in the wind. The fourth side was pumpkins and squash. In the center of the garden we arranged Dahlia tubers in a spiral. As the season flowed on, the plants all arose with healthy, dark foliage.  In the center of this spiral, we constructed a great dome and around this dome we planted Kikinda Squash, Morning Glories, and Marigolds. A few Potato plants and some glorious Milkweeds popped up as volunteers, and they were welcomed.

The Kikinda squash dome in the center of this garden was reminiscent of a womb space. As the season progressed, the vines grew to cover the dome, and the great fruit began to hang down inside the structure. To meditate in the deep shade of the squash plants, we entered through the Dahlia spiral, circling around to this sacred center. We could feel the powerful, transformational energy of the farm coming up from the Earth and surrounding us. In the evenings, the Kikinda blossoms would open and radiate in the moonlight.

One day while I, Sarah, sat in this physical womb space, a Wood Nymph butterfly came to visit me. For half an hour she sat on my foot gently caressing me with her proboscis or butterfly tongue, kissing me as I meditated. Imagine our shock and delight when, later that day, a Green Hope Farm friend emailed us with a channeled message from the butterfly spirits that we were to make an essence called Butterfly Kisses. I will quote this message here:

“Hello, we send you love and we thank you for your assistance in helping us to thrive as we once did. We would like to request the creation of a Flower Essence blend to assist those in the process of transformation. Who better to pass on this wisdom than us, the masters of the art of transforming and transcending. We ask that this blend be called “Butterfly Kisses” as our energy is gentle yet powerful at the same time. The plants to be used will be made known to you as you begin the process of its creation, and we will guide you in all aspects of your journey with us. There are many who are in need of this wisdom during these difficult times and many who can benefit from our assistance in their own process of transformation. We thank you and we honor you for the work that you do to help others in need” –channeled from the monarch butterflies by Jody Hergert-Andresen

Thank you to the Butterflies, such perfect and wise teachers. The cocoon, too, is a manifestation of the womb space. Here lies the source of creation and the portal for all things to manifest, the void, the seat of the Sacred Feminine energy. In the womb space, inside the cocoon, all is darkness.

Darkness is sacred. It represents the unknown, the magic that we all feel but can’t fathom. Inside this darkness, cloaked in mystery, something comes from nothing. Transformation occurs, we transcend. Who could imagine as the caterpillar enters its chrysalis that the butterfly will later emerge. The change is not linear or predictable. We cannot seeat all from the caterpillar stage what transformation is to come. The womb space, the chrysalis, the Feminine aspect of Divinity lowers her veil of mystery and through this mysterious grace births transformation.

We all have access to this etheric womb space and can work with it to manifest transformation in our lives and in the world around us. For those of us Women who have a physical womb, we are especially blessed to have a connection to this mysterious void inside our own bodies. Now is our time to embrace her and honor her as our great Mother and Source.

Butterfly Kisses helps us to reconnect to this sacred space that is our birthright. For those with a physical womb, it supports us to remember this truth that lives inside of us, and for all of us, it helps us reclaim our connection to the sacred womb as our source of transformation and healing, creation and intuition.

-If you feel in the dark, unclear where you are or where you are going, or pessimistic about the state of the world, Butterfly Kisses supports you to reawaken and sink into this womb space and embrace the experience of unknowing with calm and confidence that what is to be born is worth this place of unknowing and in fact, this place of unknowing is itself a gift.

-Wonderful support for women to reconnect to their womb space, their undying creativity and the cycles that are one with their being

-Support for all people to remember and rekindle the gifts of the inner creative space within their being, the universe that lies ever within each of us

-Beautiful support during any process of transformation, creation or time of change

 

Companion Connection

Many of our combination remedies are born because of insights, requests and encouragement from you, and this combination is a case in point. Created in collaboration with Animal Soul Connection, Companion Connection is a resource for animal communicators and pet owners alike to strengthen the unique soul connections with the beloved animals in our lives.  It supports deeper friendships and more expansive and intimate ways of connecting. Working closely with the Elemental kingdom and connecting to our intuition are key elements of this combination. This mix helps us to let go of personality-based ideas in favor of connecting to the wisdom of our one-ness with all creation.

Flowers in Companion Connection:Harmony with all Kingdoms, Dog Rose, Foxglove, Wild Lily of the Valley, Maple, Wild Pea, Rosemary, To Hear the Angels Sing, The Fairy Rose, Through Angels’ Eyes, Black Eyed Susan, Niella, Bignonia, Calendula, Grounding

 

 Cornfloweralso known as Bachelor ButtonCentaurea cyanus

Cornflower helps the animals with the extreme stress they currently face. The animals must both evolve with the rising vibrations, an endeavor that we all know,is quite a project. However they also continue in their service work to help us evolve. This is a very demanding situation for them. Cornflower helps them regroup as beings in their own right as well as clear any stuck energies that they have been moving for us humans.

I AM the true delineation of self.

Horseradish Armoracia rusticana

As Earth goes forward, humankind must find a new way to be in community with each other, a new way that abandons the model of superiority and inferiority.  This rebuilt cooperative engagement will acknowledge everyone and everything’s equality and indivisibility with Divinity and dismantle all the structures that have impeded this reality for so long. The rising planetary vibration supports this, but that does not mean all people go towards this place of conscious oneness with equal fervor.

During this contentious interim in which those who wish to hold onto a delusion of superiority refuse to let go, Horseradish offers its gifts.

“For those of you who find yourselves not treated as an equal, it can be difficult to hold your ground in a manner both firm and civil.  I help you.  You may say, why civility? It accomplishes more.  I am not trying to shame anyone who strays into a firestorm of rage. There are reasons for these firestorms. I want to help you keep your inner fires burning.  We need this fire.  This inner fire is essential to me too.  Just think of my fiery roots.

I do not want you to abandon self at the expense of other’s illusionary ideas of superiority. I help you hold fast to your core values and self-identity with a serious firmness.  The firmness is also reflected in my tenacious roots.  I am good at standing firm because my roots are so very good at staying put.  Just ask anyone who has ever tried to dig me up.  I help you hold your ground, even if you have had a tendency to be steamrolled by others. With my sharp and pungent nature, I help you have the boundaries you need to maintain your ground.  I not only stand firm, but I help people back off when they have been inappropriate in their illusions of superiority.

The fire of my roots is necessary right now, yet I also show you ways to express this fire with a light touch. I help you balance this inner fire with a calm that will move the world. In your firm declarations and actions of unwavering true Divine self, I help you transform life on Earth.”

I AM the balance of polite and firm, fire and earth.

 

Pink Mulla Mulla Ptilotus Exaltatus Joey

This wonderful Flower Essence, Pink Mulla Mulla, gets right to the point, “I release you into a flood of love moving through every fiber of your being.  I am a delicate surgeon.  I go into places where love has not gone in a long, long time and open the passageways.  I work so gently, but I go so deep.  I will help those with very old wounds that they are not lovable.  I release the wound that you have ever been unnoticed by Divinity.  You are and always were loved, always safe, always in Divinity’s complete embrace.  I ease those illusions to the surface so that the light of creation can release them once and for all.  Illusions go like chips of ice melting in the hot sun.  It is done.

I have serious plant medicine.

I was an early Flower Essence in ancient Lemuria.  Later I could be found in the dry bush of Australia. My necessary and recent diaspora was accomplished by plant nurseries. Now I can be found everywhere.  My expanding presence is because my time has come. The planetary energies are up. The old wounds that you are unlovable and abandoned are ripe for release. I go deep into your memory body where you stored these erroneous ideas and release them to the surface so they can be transmuted into light once and for all.”

I AM Love embraced and cherished by Love itself.

The NEW Sunflower Spiral

This Flower Essence combination sings a song of encouragement,

“Don’t lose faith. Help is here. Things are going better than they look. You are doing better than you think. Keep shining your light. It matters. You can do it. You are doing it. Feel the energy underneath the chaos. Yes! Healing is happening.”

The Venus Garden is planted with a new mandala each season. In the quiet of fall we share our concerns with the Angels and Elementals and ask them to design gardens that will help as many animals and people as possible.  After the Winter Solstice the Angels give us the garden plans. These plans reflect what they know about what we need and also what support we’ve asked for.  In these plans, there is always a design for the highest vibration garden at the farm, the one we call the Venus Garden.

At this year’s Solstice, the Angels gave us a design for the Venus Garden that they nicknamed “ We Eight Done Yet. ” Then several months later right before the Spring Equinox, they told me that this design had done what it was supposed to do, and they were giving us a whole new design for the Venus Garden.

This had never happened before in over thirty years of partnership. It felt auspicious.  I believed it indicated that things are evolving very fast and the Angels are focused on giving us the most fine tuned and relevant support possible.

The second plan was a design for a new Sunflower Spiral.  The Angels used the word new, but mostly I heard Sunflower Spiral and thought how wonderful it would be to have more inventory of this much loved Flower Essence from the 2001 version of the Venus Garden which we had just run out of.

As with the original Sunflower Spiral, we were asked to plant Sunflowers in a spiral of ascending height.  We grew the Sunflowers in the greenhouse in peat pots then planted them with miniature sunflowers like Big Smile on the outside gradually moving up in height to the center with its twelve foot Russian Mammoths. This was the last moment when this garden looked or felt anything like the original Sunflower Spiral garden.

Like us humans, gardens, even of the same design, evolve too. I shouldn’t have been so surprised that the new iteration of the Sunflower Spiral was more powerful than the original. Hand in glove with the Angels’ intention of giving us the most helpful vibrational support possible, was the fact that the Elementals were focused on raising the vibration at the farm so that higher vibration gardens were possible (For a description of who the heck I am talking about when I say Angels and Elementals, you’ll find an article called Green Hope Farm Flower Essences Vocabulary 101 and several other articles about Angels & Elementals on the resource page of our website).

This year the Elementals gave me an upgrade of the land clearing process I have been doing here for thirty years. Using this upgrade (described in a June 20, 2018 blog post) resulted in higher vibrations within the Green Hope Farm energy grid, higher vibration gardens and a burgeoning population of wild animals in residence all settling in because it felt so good to be here.

The increased number of deer, squirrels, foxes, raccoons, opossums, chipmunks, bears, moose, mice, voles, moles, insects and all bird life indicated the earth, air, water, fire, and ether energies of the GHF energy grid felt better to the animals. The plant life as part of the earth energy was filled with more light which the animals did not fail to notice..  They ate pretty much everything that dared show itself above ground and some things that were below ground too. Who knew deer were so good at digging up carrots?  After a few temper tantrums (some in blog form!) I accepted that vegetables were not the harvest of the summer but a higher vibration was. I let the tattered Venus Garden go and did not expect to harvest an Essence from its well-munched Sunflower specimens.

Unexpectedly, late in the season, the Sunflower Spiral roared back to life.  By September, gnawed, “lifeless” stalks of Sunflowers threw new shoots that blossomed into full flower, and many, many colorful Nicotianas volunteered (as in they arrived of their own volition) and encircled the Sunflowers to lift them up in revived glory. The Nicotiana plant sisterhood reflected the often unseen but steady help we continually receive as we spiral towards a full experience of our Divinity.  If we were the Sunflower plants, tattered but resolute, the Nicotianas were the Angels completely there with us.

Throughout the season, what the garden looked like never reflected what was going on.  At some point when the garden still looked half dead, all of us began to feel there was something amazing about the Sunflowers that had persisted.  They had a strength and grit and humor that we all remarked upon.  When the Angels asked us to make a Flower Essence from the radiant Sunflower survivors, we all felt strongly that we should go for it.  The Angels said the New Sunflower Spiral would be a stronger remedy than the original Sunflower Spiral, and we felt this would be true.

During September the Angels, Elementals and us humans worked on this combination Flower Essence.  I intended to take a photo of the revived garden, but I kept forgetting to do so.  Then it was too late. No sooner was the Flower Essence complete than the squirrels went nuts eating all the Sunflower blossoms.  I had never seen squirrels even vaguely interested in Sunflowers, so them chewing off the Flowers and racing to the woods was unexpected as well as odd.  I was just glad we had made the Flower Essence in time to have actual FLOWERS for the Essence!

-Consider this Essence to firmly ground you in the truth that we are evolving, and it is going better than it looks. Our light WILL prevail.

-Consider this Essence if you feel alone and want to more clearly feel the supportive beings that are with you. You are so loved! Let this remedy remind you of this!

-Consider this Essence if you waver in confidence, hope or optimism in the face of the surface chaos around us.

-Consider this Essence if you need an energetic boost to keep going.

-Consider this Essence if you want reassurance it’s not crazy to feel it is going to turn out okay.It IS going to turn out okay, and this Essence helps ground us unapologetically in this truth.

Flowers in The New Sunflower Spiral include Sunflower“Autumn Beauty,” Sunflower “Big Smile,” Sunflower “Buttercream,” Sunflower “Florenza,” Sunflower “Irish Eyes,” Sunflower “Lemon Queen,” Sunflower “Mammoth Russian,” Sunflower “Moulin Rouge,” Nicotiana alata “Hot Chocolate,” Nicotiana alata “Lime,” Nicotiana alata “Grandiflora,” Nicotiana x hybrida “Tinkerbel,l” Nicotiana x hybrida “Whisper Mix” of pinks, Nicotiana langsdorffii, Nicotiana mutabilis, Nicotiana rustica “Delaware Sacred Tobacco,” Nicotiana sylvestris, Sunflower “Peach Passion,” Sunflower “Ring of Fire,” Sunflower “Rostov,” Sunflower “Sonja,” Sunflower “Starburst Lemon Aura,” Sunflower “Taiyo,” Sunflower “Tarahumara White Seeded,” Sunflower “Teddy Bear,”  Sunflower “Titan,” Sunflower “Zohar”

 

 Ayurvedic Flower Essence Mixes for the Three Doshas

Several years ago, an Ayurvedic practice asked us to make three mixes to balance the three doshas or constitutions in the holistic Indian tradition of Ayurvedic medicine.  As always, I turned the project over to the Angels, happy to play an observer role in the creation of these mixes.  As the years unfolded and we saw firsthand how these three mixes supported people, I felt an increasing awe of the mixes. Recently, the Angels suggested that this would be a good time to bring these mixes to more people’s attention and move them from our Additional Essences list to a more front and center place in our collection. I am so happy that their time has come!

There is much online information about the Ayurvedic doshas, including tests to see which doshas might be out of balance in your system. Each of the Ayurvedic doshas are part of each of our constitutions though one or two doshas may predominate.

For everyone, our balance with these doshas can shift, and we may need to address long term imbalances as well as ones that crop up as circumstances change. Each dosha is needed within us with some coming more easily than others, but all need expression.  The intention of these three mixes, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, is to help us balance a dosha if it is out of balance within us either not finding full expression or in a place of over-expressing itself.

 

Ayurvedic Flower Essence mix for VATA

Elements: Air & Ether- The mobile energy of WIND

Strengths of Vata: Movement & communication, creativity & flexibility, getting things going.  Vata energy is fast moving and flexible like the wind.

Linked to: Breath, the rhythm of the heart, muscle contractions, cellular mobility, central nervous system communication

Vata imbalance: Modern life tends to be overly Vata as we are all moving so fast and communicating quickly and constantly.  This means that at the moment, many of us may be suffering from too much Vata. If there is too much Vata there may be anxiety, fear, exhaustion, insomnia, lack of focus, racing mind, digestive issues, coldness in the body, muscle spasms.

 The Vata mix contains: Alignment Garden, Anxiety, Arbor Garden, Arizona Lupine, Blackberry, Blue Vervain, Breathe, Cedar, Comfrey, Coralita, Cosmos, Crab Apple, Dandelion, Digestive Woes, Flow Free, Frontenac Rose, Golden Armor, Graniana Rose, Grounding, Honeybees in the White Hawthorn, Mallow, Margaret Merrill Rose, Passion Flower, Pink yarrow from the Cliffs of Moher, Redwood, Run & Play, Sarah Van Fleet Rose, Sweet Pea, Turnera, Watch your Back, Wild Iris, Zinnia

 

Ayurvedic Flower Essence Mix for PITTA

Elements: Fire & Water- The transformative nature of FIRE

Strengths of Pitta: Penetrating, spreading warmth, intelligence, understanding, permeating

Linked to: Digestion of food, thoughts, emotions and experiences, nutrition, metabolism, body temperature

Pitta imbalance: When out of balance there can be irritability, frustration, intense anger, jealousy, criticism, overheating, heartburn, hot flashes, obsession/compulsion, perfectionism and inflammation.

 The Pitta mix contains: Aloe Vera, Arbor Garden, Avocado, Brown Eyed Evening Primrose. Calliandra, Carrot, Coral Aloe, Crab Apple, Dandelion, Feverfew, Foamflower, Flow Free, Gratitude, Healthy Coat, Hepatica, Honeybees in the White Hawthorn, Jealousy, Jewelweed, Lantana Involucrata, Lemon, Maltese Cross, Maple, Mary Queen of Scots Rose, Masterwort, Orange, Orange Hawkweed, Outburst, Phoenix Rising, Pink Baby’s Breath, Rose a Parfum de l’Hay, Sarah Van Fleet Rose, Screw Pine, Snapdragon, Sunlight Datura

 

Ayurvedic Flower Essence Mix for KAPHA

Elements: Earth and Water- The binding nature of WATER

Strengths of Kapha: Kapha energy is very grounded and provides cohesiveness and structure that holds things together. Patience, strength and perseverance are related strengths. Kapha also embodies the watery emotions of love and compassion.

Linked to: Hydration of cells and systems, lubrication of joints, moisturizing of skin, maintaining immunity and protection of tissues

Kapha imbalance: Stagnation and resistance to change, lethargy, grudges or posessiveness, weight gain, congestion in organs, doing too much for others and depression.

 The Kapha mix contains: The Alignment Garden, Banana, Basil, Bignonia, Borage, Breathe, Carry Less, Chia, Cucumber, Dandelion, Eggplant, Flow Free, Grapefruit, Grief & Loss, Honeybees in the White Hawthorn, Jasmine, Lemon, Letting Go Flower, La Belle Sultane Rose, Lime, Maple, Montbretia, Moonlight Datura, Orange, Pumpkin, Sunflower, The Sunflower Spiral, Sweet William, Vitality, Yellow Water Lily, Zucchini

 Sarah suggested I end this post with something other than the word depression, the last word in the Kapha description.  I thought this quote by Meher Baba was a hopeful way to close:

This New Life is endless, and even after my physical death it will be kept alive by those who live the life of complete renunciation of falsehood, lies, hatred, anger, greed and lust; and who, to accomplish all this, do no lustful actions, do no harm to anyone, do no backbiting, do not seek material possessions or power, who accept no homage, neither covet honor nor shun disgrace, and fear no one and nothing; by those who rely wholly and solely on God, and who love God purely for the sake of loving; who believe in the lovers of God and in the reality of Manifestation, and yet do not expect any spiritual or material reward; who do not let go the hand of Truth, and who, without being upset by calamities, bravely and wholeheartedly face all hardships with one hundred percent cheerfulness, and give no importance to caste, creed and religious ceremonies. This New Life will live by itself eternally, even if there is no one to live it.

Meher Baba

 

Dismantling Patriarchy aka Matriarchy is NOT Patriarchy with an M

Matriarchy is not patriarchy with an M.  Matriarchy does not mean women in charge. This is what many keep saying. Serving up this lie is a way to keep us feeling hopeless that there is no way out from our current imbalance of power.

There is a way out.

Matriarchy dissolves the inequalities that bind us in patriarchy with its truth that each soul and sentient being is equal and of immeasurable value in a world in which all are interconnected in Divine oneness.  No one is experienced as more powerful or superior to another because it is understood we are all one.

Matriarchy is born out of the consciousness that comes when a child is born, and we experience this child as complete and whole, needing no fixing or power grabbing.

Women birth new consciousness, and so with the support of Crete, her Flower Essences, each other and so many other gifts from Divinity, we can birth our way forward to a reborn matriarchy.  If you are interested in more about matriarchy, please check out the blog about Crete, her Flower Essences and matriarchy.

At the farm, the women gathered here want to help dismantle patriarchy. The more we share with each other, the more we feel almost every problem ties back into the culture of patriarchy in which those with the power oppress those with less power.  In the structure of our days together and in our hearts, we have renewed our efforts to live without embodying these patriarchal values.

As with so many of you beloveds, there is a lot going on in our lives as we confront structures and individuals that resist equality, balance, fairness, justice, love or even common sense.  Each day we practice listening to each other not to shame or suppress anyone’s experiences, but to contain them and help all of us feel safe and empowered to continue in our challenges.

One of the things I loved about what Elizabeth Sheehan experienced on her journey down the pilgrimage route of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela was that in every town and village along the route, their were people looking out for the pilgrims. These precious guardians of the trail focused in particular on vulnerable pilgrims: the elderly, the women travelling alone, the ones who were flagging.  They understood that for each soul travelling the Camino it was a sacred soul journey. They honored each pilgrim knowing each deserved sanctity, respect and kindness.

We are all on the Camino. We all deserve sanctity, respect and kindness.

As we visit with each of you beloveds on your life Camino, we hold you in our hearts and hear your stories with awe and respect. We are grateful to be sharing the Flower Essences that help us see ourselves clearly, empower us to live from our truths and find our way forward no matter what the world throws at us.

Our conversations with you, be they on the phone, in letters or on email, inspire and encourage us. They get us to ask questions of ourselves and of the Essences.  We salute your courage in the throes of very arduous experiences. It’s a rough time of transition for just about everyone, and we see you in your gutsy perseverance.

Here is part of an email received this week that I share with permission:

 “Something I’ve noticed since I’ve started taking (the Flower Essences), I speak my mind more and there is sometimes a lot of anger coming up.  I’ve always been a person who wants fairness and justice, and I’m wondering if something I’m taking is too strong for me at this time of stress and anxiety.”

To answer this, I look back to a blog I started earlier this week about forgiveness or what I call the f-word. Here is an excerpt of this unfinished blog:

We have all been submerged in a bunch of propaganda about the topic of forgiveness.

Forgiveness happens, but it is not the key to dealing with the trauma we go through.  We need to process what happened in our own way and feel contained by ourselves and others as we experience our full range of emotions.  Then perhaps in the aftermath of much emotional work, we will come to a place of acceptance that is akin to forgiveness.  If we don’t get there, we don’t need to add insult to injury by being shamed for not feeling forgiveness fast enough or completely enough.

Forgiveness is demanded of those who have suffered as a way for those who have inflicted the wounds to get things swept under the rug.  It’s a tool of patriarchy used by patriarchal organizations and individuals to keep the status quo.

When I wrote “full range of emotion” I was thinking about ANGER.  My heart went out to the beloved who wrote the email judging herself for her anger.  I saw myself in her words. From birth, women are forcefully told to clean up our anger and magically change it into forgiveness or patience or caring or some other tidier emotions that won’t rock the boat of those in charge.

This beloved wants fairness and justice. Is it a reasonable expectation that she could navigate these times without anger being part of her process?  Let’s give her support so she can feel her anger and use it to fuel measured actions.  Let’s give her respect that she isn’t imagining injustice or confusing the face of the person who wronged her with some other face.  Let’s give her space to be heard and process her feelings and why she feels them.

Before I close, I wanted to share an experience that I have thought about a lot in the last few months.  This happened forty years ago when I was in college, but it isn’t a hazy memory in which I can’t remember things clearly.  I would also like to add that I know almost no woman who doesn’t have a story like this one.

The summer before my senior year in college, I took a train cross-country with my sister to visit my step-grandmother in Seattle.  This dear woman  paid for our tickets, so we got ourselves sleeping cars in a train bound for San Francisco with plans to drive up the coast from San Francisco to Seattle.

The afternoon our train was arriving in Oakland, all the sleeper cars had been emptied of passengers because of ongoing problems with the air conditioning.  We found seats way up front in the local cars where we chatted with fellow travellers.  A few hours out of Oakland, I decided to go back through the ten or twelve empty sleeper cars to our car to organize my luggage.

A very, very big man followed me back to our car. I first saw him as he came at me in our cabin. In the ensuing struggle, I managed to climb onto the window seat where I could kick him and fight for dear life.  I remember his face, and I remember what he said. I somehow got away without getting raped, but I do not know how.

After this happened,  I numbed my anger and fear and tried to “just enjoy the trip.”  When I had children, I shared this train story with them.  As I told them what happened, I felt shame that I hadn’t done anything about what happened.  Shaming myself was my own internalized patriarch adding insult to injury.

It took years of healing work and a lot of Flower Essences like Wound Healing to understand how my reaction was a product of how I was raised and nothing to be ashamed about.  It took years to bring to that young Molly still living within me the unconditional love and support she needed after that terrifying event.

I came from a family that thrived in a world that put unbelievable pressure on women to take care of others (usually men) at the expense of themselves. During my childhood, I would come home to find objects, clothing and furniture missing from my bedroom only to be told by my mother that poor people needed my things.  I was raised to believe there was no place where I deserved sanctity.  When the man attacked me on the train, I remember thinking that I shouldn’t turn him in because he might lose his job.

Perhaps if I had lived in the world I hope we are moving towards, I would have been able to process these events in a safe space with loving individuals, and the community around me would have helped with the follow through with this troubled and dangerous man. Perhaps I would have felt free to feel what I felt and process it without “a quick clean up on aisle three.”

Right now I am striving to be part of the community that harnesses my anger to help protect and care for vulnerable people and animals who are being hurt by people who have taken power away from them. It’s a messy process.  Sometimes I get it wrong.  No doubt some would call me a bitch.  I am going to just keep going, and I hope you will too.

The Red Shiso Harvest

This time of year we watch our Red Shiso crop with the vigilance of a beloved canine guarding a bone. As the foundation for every one of our Flower Essences, Red Shiso is the one plant we grow that we can’t do without it.

Red Shiso is also extremely frost sensitive, so we need to get it harvested before even a mild frost.  The rub is that the longer Red Shiso grows, the deeper the maroon color and the pinker our Flower Essences, and we like them pink.  So we are always weighing the danger of frost against a too early harvest of not so red leaves.

Late September is when we almost always harvest the crop.  Sometimes I have miscalculated about frost danger, and we have had to harvest in the dark of night with frost expected in the early hours of the next morning. Sometimes we have harvested until midnight then covered the remaining crop with frost cloth.  Sometimes after a sleepless night of plummeting temperatures, I have gotten up at 3 or 4 am to get sprinklers going on the crop.  The water can warm the Red Shiso just enough so that it doesn’t freeze.   No matter the scenario, we ask the Elementals to help, and they do what they can. Sometimes what they can do is say, “GET CUTTING!”

This year it looked like smooth sailing.  The weather forecast late last week was reassuring with its promise of mild frost free nights for a ten day period.. We thought we might get to October before harvesting the crop.

This year’s Red Shiso was grown around a spiral of Dahlias with a central fort like structure of Kikinda squash .  All of us have spent happy hours inside the Kikinda fort surveying the Dahlias against a backdrop of gorgeous maroon.

And so it was that we were blissfully enjoying the glory that is this year’s Red Shiso garden when Jim came home from his day job as a sixth grade teacher to report that local weathermen had revised their forecast to suggest frosts could be expected in colder spots on Saturday night.

I would like to pretend that we are not in one of those frost sensitive colder spots, but we are. We get frosts weeks earlier than folks on the other side of town whose farms hug the Connecticut River.

Typically frost rolls off Morgan Hill to our north then meanders through the Cherokee Trail of Tears garden then on through the main vegetable garden to settle right where this year’s Red Shiso was sown.

It was Thursday afternoon when Jim rang the alarm bell.  We headed for the Red Shiso field  STAT.  Vicki, Sam, Jen, Sarah, Lizzie and I began to cut the beautiful maroon stalks and pile them on waiting sheets.  Baby Henry was settled on a blanket in the nearby grass and six year old Grace was given a job of carrying the cut stalks to the waiting sheets..  Everyone was needed. As dusk fell we hauled what we had cut to our Red Shiso building to hang bundles to dry.

We cut and hauled and bundled and hung into the evening then had to wait out a rainy Friday then cut again all day Saturday.  By Saturday night we had most of the Red Shiso harvested. We sat with the Elementals to ask for their protection to what remained in the field.

Saturday night came with its promise of frost, but a fog developed at dawn to protect the Red Shiso from the predicted cold.  I was grateful for the reprieve but also grateful we had begun the harvest when we did.. It always takes longer than I expect to harvest the crop.  In fact,  only yesterday, Wednesday, Sarah and I cut the last of it.

Now the Red Shiso is all safely in its barn. We are tired but grateful. Mixed into with our  gratitude is a reverence for the cycles of nature that connect us to dear mother Earth and to each and every person who has ever been part of the harvest cycle.  There is such a feeling of sisterhood and timelessness when we all are in the Red Shiso barn tying the bundles to the rafters.

Sarah and I have talked of late about how we can sometimes venerate the light over the dark, so we have decided to make an effort to relish all the great things that happen in the dark. Today I relish that the Red Shiso needs the dark to hold its color as it dries. It is the complete darkness inside the Red Shiso barn that preserves its beautiful color, so our Flower Essences can be their beautiful cherry pink..

Our nights grow darker each day now, and I look forward to being thankful for each gift this darkness brings.  Thanking the darkness that preserves the Red Shiso feels like a great place to begin this new practice of being grateful for the both the light and the dark.

I would also like to thank all the lovely women who have helped us with our Red Shiso harvest over the years-

In vaguely chronological order, Thank you to the women whom I have been privileged to harvest and hang Red Shiso with: Teddy, Adrienne, Jayn, Sue Dam, Lynn, Catherine, Catherine, Kathy, Cindy, Lizzie, Liz, Patricia, Vicki, Emily, Jane, Deb, Sophie, Lily, Alli, Molly, Thembi, Laura, Emily, Kelly, Sarah, Sarah, Lauren, Jen, Sam and Grace. I salute you!

Taking Care of the Hive

One of my mother wounds is rarely feeling free of tension when I say No.  As a child, the only way I could come up with to deal with my raging alcoholic mother, even when she was sober, was to stay small, stay compliant and say yes to whatever she wanted from me.

Who knows what I would have wanted to be or wanted to express outside of her environment, but I grew up within it as a people pleaser, and more specifically, someone fine tuned to try and please my never satisfied mother.  She just never liked me.  It started off poorly at my birth when she was disappointed I was a girl and went on until her death when she disinherited me.

Needless to say, the wounds from this mother have been a source of a lot of deep sorrow but also a lot of growth. Taking back my power has been exhilarating as well as painful.  Not being compliant, not toeing the line, not stifling my truth, not staying small: each act of defiance has helped heal the wounds that generations of women in my family and every family carry.  Each act of defiance has released me into a greater sense of self.

Defying my family of origin and my mother in particular took me into my own resources, that deep well within us all, and took me to the God within.  I am so grateful for this.

And yes, I feel compassion for my mother who was carrying her own immense mother wounds.  But this compassion lives inside me alongside the conviction that it was not okay what she did to me and I do not have to deny this truth to cover for her failings.

One thing that took a long time to address was the mother wound of self care.  My mother left me no room for self care.  She couldn’t even be bothered to hold the bottles that fed me. She propped them with pillows and left me to it..  My parents would laughingly tell stories of the doctor telling my mother that I was not gaining enough weight and was too polite a baby. I learned early to stay small and make few demands.

But I was a person, as we all are, with needs and wild, fiery life flowing through me. As I got older, I realized I could have a secret life  of doing what I wanted as long as I was home in time to do my chores before dinner. I wandered the forests and imagined a different life. Sometimes I lived it.  Completely unsupervised in my secret life, I learned to drive a car when I was nine.  My best friend Lynn and I would drive her family’s old Studebaker up and down a strip in her back field,  We could get “Old Foolish Carriage” up to 30 mph down one straightaway.  I am sure it was the act of a loving God when the front axle broke, and the car died.

As life unfurled, I continued to balance out the expression of my inner zest better than my need for self care.  Life at home felt like a coffin, but away from home I explored things that I was truly passionate about and committed to them fully.  Later I declared my truths to one and all and stood by them even as there was intense criticism about my choices.  My spiritual search started in earnest when I began my own family in my twenties. My father thought my spiritual choices and life work meant I worked for the devil.  My mother just called me crazy.

By the time my family of origin devolved into the new low of my youngest drug crazed and violent brother threatening to kill me and my children while the rest of my family of origin looked the other way, I found my mother and father’s behavior dark but not unexpected.  I had patched together my own way to live my life and go for my truth.  I grieved at what I had never had from them- love or even safety- but I continued on, not looking to them for help.  I followed through on the cultural taboo of breaking off with them completely in order to use what energy I had to protect myself and my own family.

Some mother wounds were a bit more slippery to see and resolve, and self care was one of these.  When I look back on the orthopedic injuries I have had- I broke my left arm and wrist into dozens of pieces in 2012 and then did the same thing to my right arm four years later- I see that these were opportunities to heal the original drama of having parents that did not care for my physical being when I was a child.  I may have mentioned this before, but when the orthopedic surgeon looked at the x-rays of my break in 2012, the first thing she said was that I had broken my arm previously, and it had not been set properly.  When she said this, I had some deep awareness that this happened when I was four. It didn’t set right because I was not taken to a doctor.  I also have broken ribs and broken bones in my feet that healed wrong. It pierces me with sorrow that little Molly navigated broken bones all alone.

With the more recent arm breaks, my recuperations were a chance for me to receive love and care from the people around me now and also learn to slow down and inner mother myself in my recovery. It was also a chance to let go of the kind of self vigilance I have had since birth and learn to trust that in the life I had created for myself I had surrounded myself with people that would care for me when I couldn’t care for myself. AND THEY DID.

I am in my sixties now and through my second Saturn return.  For me, the territory of this Saturn return was a return to the concern of  self care.  The last few years have called me to pare away more lingering “a nice daughter does this” ie “a nice daughter doesn’t have time to take care of herself because she is busy taking care of everyone else.” The paring away means I am free to follow through on what I believe to be my purposes here with more reverence and more discernment, more joy and more space.

Life gives us so many opportunities to examine what it is we believe is important and what needs to be discarded.  The old dragon mother dialog of shoulds becomes increasingly unhelpful,  but mercifully, life constantly highlights these old chestnuts and helps us to discard them. No is always a vital word for women and a sentence in its entirety, but this comes home to me more and more as I am aware my time is not infinite as Molly Sheehan.

Yesterday was a small victory for me and my ease with the word No.  A fellow beekeeper came to my door wanting me to contribute honey from our two hives so she could fulfill a contract she had with a local organization.  I told her I did not have the honey for this.  I could have added nor do I have the interest as this organization has been a patriarchal bastion of pain and suffering for all of my family.  She pressed me, saying it was bee sisterhood and the bees could give more honey now.  This is way past when I harvest honey from our bees.  At this point in the season,  my whole focus is on getting the hives through the winter and this means ample honey for them.  I felt my niggling old mother wound of being nice, sharing at my own expense, but it was exhilarating to just say No.

And so I did.