It’s the New Moon, take comfort in knowing
it's a natural time for rest and reflection.
We’re all experiencing a roller coaster of emotions in this time of uncertainty. I wanted to check in on you, and share some resources, inspiration and creative exchange that I've found helpful lately.
In the Bay Area, we've been sheltering in place for eight days now. Though things are changing pretty much every day, I'm enjoying the natural world right outside my door ~ including two baby hummingbirds nesting nearby, and an incredible show of flowers in every color of the rainbow.
N E W M O O N R E L E A S E S
Though times have changed quickly over the past few weeks, I find it comforting and grounding to continue with creative projects that were already underway. Do I recognize that there are more pressing matters at hand? Of course. I have family members and friends in healthcare, and recognize that many are being affected in serious ways physically, financially, mentally and otherwise. My heart goes out to everyone being affected, and I genuinely wish to support in whatever way I can.
Artists are called to find the beauty in all circumstances, and it seems these times are calling all of us to cultivate beauty within ourselves in entirely new ways. We are being tasked in a new way to find inner resources and self-soothe on an entirely new level. My intention with sharing, as always, is to connect, inspire and help close the gap between us.
There are a couple of new pieces I have been excited to release with this new moon. These will be added to my site this week once I dye and stitch them.
At the beginning of this year I illustrated a new herbalist bandana featuring Adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogens are a powerhouse group of medicinal plants, many of which have been in use around the world for millennia to support longevity and well being.
Adaptogens help us adapt to stress and bolster our systems for resiliency, making them a perfect ally in current times. The herbs featured in this design are: (click on each one to learn more!)
With the Spring Equinox on March 19th I created another new herbal bandana dedicated to the elements and herbs of Springtime. I was inspired by my first ever retreat at Esalen in Big Sur, CA for a weekend workshop called 'Awakening to Spring Through Garden-Based Herbalism. Thankfully I was able to enjoy this much needed retreat at the end of February, before any news broke of the current state of affairs, whew.
The herbs featured in this design are:
E N T E R T A I N I N G
Self Made, the Madame C.J. Walker Story (Netflix)
Madame C.J. Walker (Dec. 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919) was an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, political and social activist, and was the first female self-made millionaire in America. She was the first child in her family born into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation. Played by one of my favorite actresses, Octavia Spencer, this film is truly inspiring and visually entrancing.
P H I L O S O P H I C A L
Dr. Gabor Mate is a renowned expert, author and sought after speaker for his expertise on trauma, addiction, stress and childhood development. As a Jewish survivor of the holocaust, with decades of dedicated work in family practice, and immersion in Amazonian plant medicines for treatment of addiction, he is uniquely positioned to offer heartfelt, compassionate insight into many of today's issues. In his recent interview with Russell Brand, Dr. Mate makes an interesting correlation between early childhood trauma, susceptibility to stress during these times, and a thought-provoking connection to societal addiction in regards to Covid-19.
H E R B A L
Lindsay Kolasa is a Community Herbalist, Traditional Food Ways Educator, Soul-worker, and Yoga Teacher with a background in print journalism, non-profit management and social service work. Lindsay is a long time friend and my go to herbalist for years. With her permission and credit, I wanted to share this valuable information regarding herbal medicine for viral infections.
"My suggestions for the virus:
- Lung tonics & Immunomodulators - reishi mushrooms, astragalus root, lycii (goji) berries - simmer and sip these if you are able; you can also use a double extract (tincture) of reishi and a tincture of astragalus
- Herbs that are moistening (for early stages/prevention) - marshmallow root powder (mix with a little water and honey and take in spoonfuls as a slurry); also humidifier will help with keeping good secretions of the mucous membranes (which means body's natural defenses will be working well); astragalus (listed above) is also moistening
- Anti-virals - thyme, garlic, licorice root, lemon balm, st. john's wort, japanese honeysuckle (the flower), sweet gum, propolis, oregano (all of these, tincture or tea); elderberry (syrup, tea, or tincture -- go easy on the syrup as pathogens do like sugars)
- Alteratives (remember alteratives are all about waste out, nutrition into the tissues and cells) - red clover (also a good expectorant, drink as a tea), burdock root (simmered and then sipped)
- If you contract the virus - warming expectorants to help the sticky phlegm move out of the lungs - pleurisy root, osha, elecampagne are probably the most specific; add horehound to any of these warming herbs to further help thin mucous and move it out of lungs
- Diaphoretics - elderflower, peppermint, yarrow to release heat from the fever (each herb is fine on its own, but equal parts as tea is great, too; yarrow is bitter so not easy for most people to drink); as well, culinary sage and hummingbird sage (for those local to me), both served steeped in hot water
- Regular doses of vit C (I like sodium ascorbate by nutribiotic) and vit A during and after fever (vit A depleted during fever); vit D to navigate the virus
(((A quick quote from herbalist Paul Bergner on Vit D, "Vitamin D promotes antiviral respiratory immunity, antibacterial immunity in the airway, and reduces the secretions of inflammatory cytokines.")))
- Reduce sugar / sweet intake as much as possible
- Sunshine and the outdoors, rest when you can, meditate when you can; pray, dance, connect with nature
(((As an herbalist, I realize our community is still getting insight into the nature of the virus and how it presents, I will update this as we all learn more. Herbalists do not see themselves as medical personnel, rather we see ourselves as community support.)))"
E N E R G Y E X C H A N G E
Like most folks, my work has been seriously disrupted for the unforeseeable future. I have been working on some new projects, including adding a whole new branch of vintage home + apparel offerings to my site. I had planned to take a break from in-person art markets and festivals this year, with a bigger focus on working with independent boutiques.
In the meantime, I've been drawing plants like crazy. With the much needed, extra dose of introspection time, I had an idea to keep creativity flowing...
I've decided to O P E N a handful of spaces for illustration and graphic design projects over the next several months in a totally new way, and am now offering something I haven’t extended in years.
Over the next few weeks I am initiating new projects by making my skill set available in trade, partial trade, or energy exchange to make working with me more approachable for anyone experiencing financial constraints ~ but still wanting to move forward with their passion projects, new businesses, and business revamps.
You can see my abridged portfolio here.
This is all about keeping creativity flowing. I reserve the right (as do you) to feel into an exchange and see if it's a good fit. I thought this would be a lovely way to stay connected creatively and exchange whatever is in abundance.
Let’s keep our creative projects going and growing during this time. We all have something to offer. I’ve felt resistant to push anything regarding sales right now. Even though as artists, many of us are living close to the edge as it is, regardless of the new challenges facing our planet.
I encourage you to keep supporting small businesses as you can, and to seek out the things you need from a local shop rather than defaulting to online giants that are going to do better than ever due to this health crisis.
Here's my shop with some extra discounts added today (discounts show up at checkout).
T H A N K Y O U
I hope you find these resources helpful, insightful and inspiring. In this time of "social distancing" it brightened my day recently to hear the term "spacious solidarity" as an alternative.
I know many are struggling with this altered way of life. But time has proven that we are resilient, and we are truly all in this together. I am happy to stay connected and share with you. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need a listening ear. Also, feel free to reply back with anything you've found helpful and inspiring lately!
It’s been a pleasure.
With great love,
This newsletter drops with the New Moon and shares magical new botanical art releases, exclusive sales on consciously-made goods, astrological insights, non-fluffy real talk about what it means to be a full time artist, stellar Bay Area events where we can connect in person, and lil tid bits of wisdom + story about plants, herbs, crystals, and navigating the cosmos.