The Metaphysician’s Day Planner- Best Ever

For business planning, I use several tools, from standard to stellar, most of them ideal for personal planning and small art enterprises (my jewelry and music). But this year, I knew that my sage business would be changing and challenging. Logically, I expected to be ahead of those changes; having a solid planner to help me navigate through is a no brainer, right?

Ha! So here I am, in the first biz quarter- in a bit of a scramble; extra pages crammed into my old (unnamed but beautiful) planner, trying to figure out a new tracking system where the old one didn’t quite work, giving myself more space for quarterly stuff, but looking past entire sections of blank pages in said planner (urgh!!)  And it’s tax time. And spring cleaning time. And life is extra challenging with exceptional family needs all of a sudden, of course. I find myself craving just one tiny corner of my life that can be in some kind of peaceful place, a happy order, a navigational safe haven of sorts.

To the rescue Benebell Wen and her Metaphysician’s Day Planner!! I squeeled aloud the day I discovered this planner on her website a coupla weeks ago (I was actually researching something linked to her book that day…) when I saw this: planner7

I juggle a full-time day job in corporate law with writing and publishing books, doing interviews and talks for the book tours, part-time professional tarot reader and astrologer, blogger, avid home cook, and pro bono legal work on the side, all while being a metaphysician and keeping myself buried in metaphysical studies, so I do get asked a lot about how I organize my day. How do I make sure I am on top of my schedule of court appearances, hearings, and conferences for work, my client reading list for tarot and astrology, food prep for the week and menu planning, domestic chores, personal health and fitness, and everything in between?

With a day planner, of course….a 2017 day planner and organizer for the metaphysician.

It’s part day planner–annual, quarterly, monthly, and daily. And it’s part grimoire. Carrying around metaphysical correspondences and quick reference sheets …It’s my approach to broadening and deepening my esoteric knowledge.

Double Squeeeee!!   Wait. A planner that combines my business and metaphysical worlds?!  A place to map together my lists with personal plans/goals next to my annual plan, astrology chart, and monthly tarot readings?  For reals??!!

Yup. Its true, and my style exactly. Ms. Wen is exceptionally generous in providing- along with the “basic” planner- power, health, and blessing sigils, varied cool covers and graphics to choose from, and resources from her website to add into it, all ON TOP of a very full and well-designed planner. Best part, you get to download it, and customize the planner to your heart’s content. I added the extra pages where I needed them (assesment spots to evaluate and tweek goals I made and didn’t- monthly/ quarterly), colored pages/dividers, extra power sigils, etc.) Ms. Wen has also given us a crazy amount of lunar and solar detail in the daily/weekly sections.

And this is all just a measly $25.

Seriously people, its Spring cleaning time, end of March; if you aren’t where you want to be now with your planner or life- POUNCE  HERE right this second and get yourselves happily and metaphysically, back in stellar alignment!

MetaphysiciansPlanner-SacredLandSage

The planner downloads economically in black and white (except for your natal and solar charts which are included in the cost). In mine above, the mandalas and colored parts and pages are strictly my additions. You can tailor yours as you wish too.

Oh, and Ms. Wen has amazing free downloads, some of which I included in my planner, like a brilliant business plan (designed for tarot pros) than turns out to be way better than my current biz plan template. It is not in pdf, so you can change it up to fit your business, as I’m doing this second. So check out these added resources as well (I just had to give her a donation for those…).  Benebell’s website is a wealth pot of resources. And then there is her wonderful book The Tao of Craft   (swoon). That is another post another day soon, with a soothing cup of tea.

Thank you, Thank you Benebell Wen!!  I am deeply grateful for all of your work and generosity! Please do this forever. 😉

Save

Save

Garden as Offering: Growing Native Sages

One main reason I wanted to plant sage in my yard and all around my neighborhood three years ago, was to increase blessings to the area. My first Native mentor always said where sage grows, the land is sacred. But there was another reason too.

Things were changing in our area; crime was on the rise, car thefts were up, taggers were getting aggressive. Each day that I walked my dog, I found myself carrying a can of spray paint to cover the inevitable ugly, offensive, and meaningless marks made by ghosts of the night. It was getting old. I wanted to meet their destruction with something equally strong, more powerful. I wanted to make my own statement–in Beauty. Something to benefit my surroundings while simultaneously making an offering. To whom? you might ask. To the local land spirits, of course; the ones who were here long before we were.

I grew up accustomed to spirits from my desert childhood; everything felt alive. So to acknowledge spirits everywhere in the natural world, is well, natural to me, and not a distant shamanistic belief. I wanted to plant an offering garden that might awaken the sleeping spirits of the land to help protect us. So, I began by researching plants that were native to the area, and possibly native to our historic Temescal Tribes indigenous to the area.

Codex_Magliabecchi_pg_065_Aztec_steam_bath_temezcalli

The word Temescal  derives from the Nahuatl word temazcali, meaning house of heat, a ceremonial place to be purified by sacred plants and smoke for spiritual and health reasons. This was common practice for ancient First Peoples across meso-America and North America (Photo: Codex Magliabecchi). The Spanish were the first to report that Temescal structures found in our local area were permanent structures, not temporary as sweat lodges are today. After studying up, I decided that a garden yard filled with sages would be a good offering; aromatics native to Northern California to draw hummingbirds (warrior spirits) and bees.

It was a lot of work. Removing the top root-bound soil layer was way tougher than I imagined. The grass root mass was rock hard in most places for 6-8 inches. I got advice from our nearby nursery: remove the top 4-6″ layer, dig another 3-4″ and mix in  a nutrient rich topsoils. Those red ropes in the above shot are roots: part of a network belonging to the old pine tree 20 feet away. I had no idea pine roots could reach so far, and be so hardy! I planted about 10 different kinds of native sages, mostly aromatics.sageHarvestHere it is looking down from the roof.sageGarden0438I planned and planted for drainage or lack of it, in three tiers, with the drought-tolerant plants on the top of the incline, and more water-loving succulents and flowers at the bottom to receive any available drainage.

SageChula2014_2299[1]

SageGardenMonth1Native plants grow fast. This is 2 years later. sageGarden_8743This is last spring, before trimming. I always have to trim the bee and black sages back, away from the white sage: Salvia apiana needs full sun. And when the little white planting tag says “grows 4-6”; its true, they do!  Give them space.white sage8716So this is my first sage garden. I learned much, about what sages like and how even a little shade from a nearby pine tree can stunt growth. But more importantly, growing sage replaced the residual fear of being under attack, with a sacred thing of beauty; a garden. And whether by magical intent or synchronicity, the taggers disappeared, crime has gone down, and things are quiet again. This home and hood effort extended from my yard, to all spaces in the neighborhood, to my planting more native sages around in other neighborhoods, near highways, and anywhere a little blessing might benefit an area.

And this is how 15% of all purchases in my shops for Sacred Land Sage are spent; to buy more sage bushes that we plant in both city and open spaces.

I encourage everyone to do this, to plant a sage garden as an offering. Research your area for native sages (local nurseries readily impart this info), and plant your own sacred garden. Sages are ideal plant spirits; most are drought tolerant and deer resistant; they need water only the first year, and infrequently after that (during dry drought years). Most sages in the Saliva genus put out awesome purple and lavender flowers, and the bees and hummingbirds will LOVE you for the time you spent to create something beautiful!

TaraSageHarvest-SacredLandSage035M-SLS

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Wishing You Joyous Holidays!

I hope this holiday finds you enjoying some quality chill time with family and friends.

Fall through Winter Solstice have been very busy times at Sacred Land Sage. The months have been filled with holiday prep and unexpected harvests: the rains brought unexpected growth to our Natives garden, especially the Black Sage bushes. They have literally grown crazy abundant with recent storms here in Northern California! No drought to be crying about now ;).  I must keep the Black Hummingbird Salvia bushes trimmed now- so they do not overshadow the White Sage Salvia apiana bushes-that always require full sun.

blacksage8698

I’ve also been busy refilling and restocking; formulating new sage blends, bath salts, teas, oil infusions, and tinctures. Stay tuned for more new items coming this week. blend-cedarsage0093

Isn’t this leather bowl gorgeous? It was made by my friend Julie, a master leather craftswoman. I sent her photos of the most incredible rock art stone walls along the Colorado River, Moab, Utah, and she in turn began incorporating the designs into her work.

utah-2276

She said this wall inspired several new pieces. Check out her amazing work on Etsy- on HollyHawk Designs.

There are also 2 holiday promotions in my Etsy shop right now, and one on my Website: Sacredland Sage.  In my Etsy store, spend $40 and pay with Paypal- and get a free smudge bundle. I will also keep active the Solstice coupon through Dec. 31.  Orders over $50 can use Solstice coupon- 12% off (see the shop announcement for details). And Bonus; Etsy is also awarding a $10 coupon if you spend $50 in one shop- so this is a double great deal!

box-WoodSacredLandSage_0271.jpg

On my Website, enjoy low flat rate shipping in the US. I am slowly stocking this shop with more items, so do check back often this week. And if there is something you are looking for on the website- let me know with a message to this post.

I’ve stocked new natural, locally made incense: Premium Smudge grade incense sticks, all natural, and made with plants, stems, resins, and essential oils. There are several varieties in the incense section of my shop on Etsy, like these Premium 5-Resin blend Smudge Sticks (myrhh, frankincense, white sage, copal, palo santo).

resin5-friends9442

Wishing you all a Joyous Holiday Season! Stay warm, and healthy. I have many Smudge Kits in the shop now for your New Year’s Smudging Ceremonies, which we celebrate through the Tibetan New Year. I’ll post more about those in my next post.

Sage ‘n Joy- Tara

Save

Save

After the Science

I’ve been setting aside one day a week to wake early and study in the wee morning hours. This is bringing pure pleasure~ to peel away from the sleeping household, sip my favorite Root 66 tea, while the sun rises over books on the kitchen table.

tea-root66-_6667

a-classstudy

Crystals and energy.  Finally. Finally, a chance to study the things I have always wanted to learn about; after the science career- crystals; after pragmatics- chance and the invisible.  (Ha! great band name… 😉

I cannot speak highly enough about this Crystal Certification course;/ Crystal Therapy in Subtle Energy Work Course.   I’ve looked for years for the right class. Instructor Tana is a true educator- trained, impassioned, and focused to present and deliver an in-depth college-level, accredited course that’s practical in the end. Except there’s no trudging off to class with heavy books; it is all taught via computer/phone/pvt.FB group.

The course is self-paced (we can take up to a year) but I don’t want it to end…!  This class has been a sea change for me personally, and most definitely for my business; helping me fine-tune how I factor in minerology in working with crystals for customers/ clients. The class is grounded in geology and mineral chemistry, before traipsing through the latest in energy science theory, with loads of vetted references from varied authors.

chrysophase-6167

Then we move on to popular healing modalities unknown and known (i.e chakra theories; there are several including Tibetan, Tsalagi, and Mayan!)  Above all- we get access to instructor Tana one-on-one.  But warning: this isn’t a class for the casual delver; there is much to read, absorb, think about, and homework! Yup. HW. Ok- back to it.

carnelian-redraw9515

Source: SacredLandSage

Save

Happy Full Moon and Tibetan New Year

Tonight, it is both a full Snow moon, and also the 15th day of the Tibetan New Year, or Losar. Tibetan traditions of the New year have always appealed to me, in part because of the duration of celebrations marking a new year- several weeks before and after the New Moon. My Tibetan friends tell me that there is a full month of preparation before the actual first round of Losar New Year festivities- which fall on the 3 days of the New Moon in February (Feb 9-11 this year). This preparation time leading up to New Moon Losar is a busy time, filled with cleaning rituals in the home, ridding of the old and outdated, as well as abundant purification rituals that include burning cleansing plants like Juniper and cypress.

tibet-

On the 3 days of Losar new moon, there is much dancing, sacred and secular activities, hanging new prayer flags, making offerings to Lamas, Protector Spirits of all Directions, consulting oracles, cooking special foods, and making beer. Renewal ceremonies follow this for 15 more days, until the first full moon of the year, today, when everything winds down with the Chunga Choepa, or Butter Lamp Festival.

During Losar, the Tibetan celebration of the new year, we did not drink champagne to celebrate. Instead, we went to the local spring to perform a ritual of gratitude. We made offerings to the nagas, the water spirits who activated the water element in the area. We made smoke offerings to the local spirits associated with the natural world around us.  Tenzin Wangyal

Why we in the west celebrate the dawn of a new year for only a day or 2 is baffling to me. It feels right, in body and spirit, to celebrate the end of one cycle and the start of another over many moons, or at least for several weeks- beginning with the Winter Solstice in December. More than the end of a calendar, it feels more about changes in the earth, elements, and skies as reflected in our lives.

Practically, for me, December and January are my busiest work months, and beginning in January, I feel that only then can I begin to shut down, sleep more, and think of cycles and rituals. Like a bear perhaps, the body craves hibernation, introspection (new creative forays begin in retreat), and a general re-charging of body, mind, and spirit. This is also the time when I crave a seasonal cleanse akin to “Spring Cleaning”, but before true Spring, as so many of us do. Renewal is also making room with hope and anticipation of the new.

So if like me, your celebrations of a New Year are ongoing, or if you haven’t started yet- no worries! Take your time. Take weeks or several moons in fact- to rest, reflect, and renew body and soul before the earth warms up, the skies lighten, and buds begin to sprout.

Here are a few ideas for celebrating a New year via Smudging ritual with Plants, whenever the time feels right for you.

1. Out with the Old: Juniper, Cedar, Cypress are used all over the world to cleanse away old energies; to deep cleanse, and renew. You can burn loose leaf juniper and berries on charcoal, or “smudge” bundles; wands of Cedar or Juniper. The evergreens are strong, so I recommend starting small and burn or offer over several days especially if there has been long term illness, negativity, or persistent malaise. You can find individual bundles in my Sacred Land Sage shop on Etsy, or a variety pack Purify- a 4-pack of evergreens and sages.

juniperLoose66024PurifierPac-0048

2. Refresh with Sweetgrass:  (Sweet Grass or Sweetgrass) to me is the epitome of fresh, inviting joy and good health and abundance. Every year I hang a new braid of fragrant North American Sweet Grass in my car, and another near or at the threshold of my front door. Sweet Grass is such a wonderful Plant Spirit filled with sweet blessings. It has a spicy vanilla-esque scent and does not have to be burned to be enjoyed. Nearly all North American Native Tribes have stories about how the Good Spirits cannot resist the scent and will always favor those who offer it. Sweet Grass invites goodness and is my favorite plant spirit to offer in gratitude. I carry sweetgrass in the shop from 2 areas of Canada right, and have a listing with 2 or 5 braids.

SweetGrassBraid SLS6431

3. Crumble Old Smudge Bundles outside: This is an Optional practice, but if you have used one bundle all year before (large bundles can last awhile) for one purpose, and if you feel that you are in a different place or situation now, don’t throw it away- crumble up old herb bundles and offer them back to the earth. Earth Mother will appreciate an offering gift, and this is also a symbolic way of ridding of the old and starting fresh. You can also burn old smudge bundles in a fire place or campfire (safely of course ;).

4. Offer a special Smudge Blend to mark the New year. Just like Days of the Dead celebrated in Mexico and the Southern US in late Oct, where a incense resin or Copal is burned to mark the days, you can also reserve special plants for your New Year smudging rituals as well. I created smudge blend Abundance Blend just for this purpose; it has cedar, CA white sage, sweet grass, sandalwood, and lots of other sacred ingredients chosen for the type of year it is (i.e. year of the Fire Dragon, Wood Goat, or Water Monkey.) I change it up a little every year with resins, plants, flowers, and essential oils to represent the elements at play and the balance wished for in the coming year. It also comes with a Tibetan Crystal point, from Tibet.

BlendAbundance-3469a

There are many rituals around the world for purification and renewal!  I’d love to hear about your rituals with plants in comments to this post.

Happy Smudging in the New Year!

Sacred Land Sage-Happy Birthday to Us!

Hello World! “Houston we have SAGE!!”

Aaaha!! Well, Sacred Land Sage is a todllering 2-Years old this month (squeeee!!) and some have told me that it’s about time that I stepped up to chat with the world about my young lil’ project, my BIG PASSION, Sacred Land Sage, and ALL-things-SAGE: growing ceremonial sages, native sages around the world, making Smudge Kits, and the various global and cultural traditions that inspire rituals with Sacred Plants. All those things that I go on and on about with them. 😉 Yes. Here we are!

I never dreamed that my personal smudge blends or studies of Sacred Plants used across the Americas (the world!) would strike a chord with so many others. Now, with over 2,400 sales at Sacred Land Sage on Etsy, and the dozens of questions I receive, it is clear: MANY believe in and NEED small rituals with sacred plants, just as I do; to create sacred space; to honor our our lives, find balance, and re-connect with Earth, the Elements, to Spirit- whatever we believe.

We all want to feel blessed. My vision in offering ceremonial sages and blends via Sacred Land Sage, is to offer simple treasures of the earth, Sages Stones, and Smudge supplies for Blessing ourselves and spaces. These are tools to empower you to create your own rituals. You may need a ritual to ground, center, celebrate, connect to the Earth or Sky via Sacred Smoke, honor the 4 Directions, or feel the movement of Energy in your life and circle. We all know best what we need when we take time to stop and listen.

BlackSage-7958

My journey with sacred plants and stones started eons ago during childhood, among the sandy-red rocks, creatures, and plants of the Arizona desert. As a child I could feel something eternal about the desert. Desert survival classes were required for pre-schoolers then, but I could feel more: the Desert was teaming with Spirits. They were everywhere; their stories told in arrowheads, broken seashells, jumping cholla, sweet sages, and coyotes just-passing-through. At 4, I remember my friend had his Pueblo uncle visit. He was the first to “smudge” me and my friend with sage plants. It was an experience I’ll never forget- the strange smell and the way he swept dried plants over us; I remember holding my breath waiting for something to happen. I remember him telling me, “Child, breathe.” He took us out with him sometimes to show us the different “sacred plants” and demonstrate things like “gift before gathering” (we gave our favorite stones), and how to find “iron food of the earth”.

I became obsessed with collecting iron filings with magnets, collecting berries and plants, and never really told anyone why. Although at this age I was too young to understand what sacred meant, or why we were gathering plants and stones for any other reason than that they were pretty treasures, I never forgot the smoke or the feather “uncle” used, or that low rhythmic singing voice chanting words I couldn’t understand. I will always remember how delicately he handled those plants, his conviction that all things carry a Spirit within “like an egg”. And though I left my first desert home so long ago, I was given a gift: the knowledge that Earth’s treasures will always “take us home” again. Always.

This is what inspires my personal Sacred Sage blends, and Sacred Land Sage.

blend-blessingblendsacredsage_0612

Save