background image
/ A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E
N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 0 9
Whenwecallpeople"angels"
weusuallymeansomebodywho
goesoutoftheirwaytodogood,
individualswhoarenotonlykind
butdriventofulfillamissionof
givingbacktotheworldthathas
givensomuchtothem.Notmere-
lycasualbenefactorsorsupport
systems,intheirspecialcasethe
processesofhelpingandhealing
arefortifiedbyrareintrinsicqual-
itiessuchasabilitytofocusand
aninnateneedtofollowthrough,
adeptatnotonlytheseemingly
magicalmanipulationofreality
butalsocommendablecreature
perseverance.
Theydonotactasaides,agents
andcatalysts,asmaestrosofor-
chestratedserviceandfairygod-
motherstotheforlornorforsaken
for the credit or remuneration,
butoutofloveorsomethingakin
toit.Indeed,theymaydotheir
workoutofsight,orbytheuseof
sleightofhand,inordertocarry
outtheiraimsinpreferredano-
nymity.
And the more they tend to
assistthemuteormuffled,dis-
possessed or disenfranchised,
overlookedorforgotten,abused
orsuppressed,themoreangel-like
theyseem.
Whenweweresigninguppre-
sentersandteachersforourSep-
tember, 2010 conference near
SantaFe,"TraditionsinWestern
Herbalism,"thefirstnamethat
came to mind was Rosemary
Gladstar.Ihavepersonallyheard
Rosemarycalledanangelbynu-
merousstudentsofhersaswell
asbyherherbalistandconserva-
tionistpeers,andevenbyfolks
whohadsimplyfoundthemselves
blessedtobeinhercompanyfor
a time. Truly, she emanates an
almost unbelievable sweetness,
deepenedbutinnowayembit-
teredbythestrugglesinherlife
or her profound knowledge of
theearth'sdirestraits.
Itisherlifetimeofintensegiv-
ing,however,thathasearnedher
theangelsobriquet,toherstu-
dentsstartingwiththeCalifor-
niaSchoolofHerbalStudiesshe
foundedin1978,andforthepast
20 years at her Sage Mountain
RetreatCenterinruralVermont.
It'sinthewayshegivesbackto
theplantsandsoilinadanceand
prayerofconsciousreciprocity,
simplybutsacredly,alwaysgiv-
ingthanks.
Andit'sinhergreatgifttothe
plantworldthatheals,informs
andfeedsher,givingvoicetothe
toooftenunheardgreenbeings,
giving homes to species more
dispossessedthanthemanydis-
placedpeople,notonlyabused
but threatened with extinction
asaresultofhabitatdestruction,
developmentandtosomedegree
over-harvesting.
In1994Rosemarycalledinto
a circle an informal group of
concerned herbalists who were
attendingoneofhergatherings,
todiscusswhatcouldbedoneto
protectandhelpreinvigorateen-
dangeredmedicinalplants.The
resultwasaninfluentialnonprofit
organization,UnitedPlantSavers,
whosemissionistopreserveand
conservetheseimportantplants
andthehabitatsinwhichthey
naturallygrow.
Rosemaryexplains,"As`Stew-
ardsofHealingHerbs,'members
ofUpSworktoensureanabun-
dantrenewablesupplyofnative
medicinalplantsforgenerations
tocome...andmoreimportant-
ly,fortheEarthherself."
UpSaccomplishesthisthrough
conferencesandevents,land-care
consultationsandhelpwithcre-
atingbotanicalsanctuaries,plant
rescuesandgiveaways,thepro-
ductionofbooksandeducational
materialonboththereasonsfor
plantconservationandtheways
foraccomplishingit.
"Theseareexcitingtimesfor
herbalists,"shewritesforthe
UnitedPlantSaverswebsite."We
arewitnessingtheartofherbal-
ismrapidlyregainingitsrightful
placeintheAmericantraditionof
healthandhealing."Not,how-
ever, an upsurge without con-
cerns.
"Whereonceasmallhandful
of people wildcrafted plants in
the wild, ever increasing num-
bersarenowheadingtothehills.
Thisincreasedusagealongwith
habitatdestructioniscausingan
ever-increasingshortageofplant
resources,includingsomeofour
most treasured medicinal spe-
cies."
Itistheirmission,nowunder
theableandcommittedleader-
shipofLyndaLeMoleandBetzy
Bancroft,toencourageagrowing
numberofherbalistsandthegen-
eralpublictoserveastheguard-
ianangelsoftheplantsthatcan
healus,especiallyintimeswhen
industrial medicine and insur-
ance systems make home care
evenmoreappealing,andwhen
a slowed economy necessitates
greaterselfsufficiencyandcon-
certedcommunityaction.
ThestepssheandUpSrecom-
mendaresimplebutperhapses-
sential: "1) Be plant-conscious
when buying herbs and herbal
products and don't buy wild-
craftedherbsthatareconsidered
`atrisk'and/orendangered(see
theUpS"AtRisk"list)unlessyou
knowthepersonwhoiswildcraft-
ingthemissustainablyharvesting
fromtheirownbackyards.
2)Purchaseherbsandherbal
productsthatareorganicallycul-
tivated,thushelpingtopreserve
notonlyplantsbutanotheren-
dangeredspecies,theAmerican
farmer.
3)Createa`BotanicalSanctu-
ary'inyouryardandplantnative
medicinalspeciesinyourgarden
landscape, helping restore the
wildspiritofthelandandattract-
ingmorenativebutterflies,frogs
andbirds.
4)Participateinplantrescues,
andwhenroadsandsubdivisions
arebeingbuilt,dowhatyoucan
torelocatethenativespecies.And
5)JoinUpS,becomingaSteward
ofHealingHerbs."
Rosemary'sapproachtoheal-
ingisincompletealignmentwith
ourAnimáTraditionofHerbal-
ism,takingintoaccountthelat-
estclinicalfindingsandscientific
conjecture,butcheckingevery-
thing against what the plants
seemtobecommunicating,what
bodyandcircumstancesindicate,
andespeciallywhatintuitionas
wellasobservationandexperi-
encetellsus.
Mostimportant,shebelieves,
istobeherbalists"whoknowthe
plantsinsideandout,whostudy
theminthefieldandwoodlands
asmuchasinthelab.Toknowthe
scienceofplants,whatcomprised
them chemically, is interesting
andimportant,butnotnearlyas
important as knowing how the
wholeplantworkstogetherand/
orsynergizesitsenergywithoth-
erplantsintheformulas.It'sun-
derstandingtheenergeticofthe
plants,illnessandimbalance,and
thehumanbeing."
Itispassionthatfuelsthisan-
gel,andwecanseeitintheforce
oflovesheputsinherbooksand
conferencepresentations,inher
insistent gifted gifting, in the
waysheintimatelytouchesand
singstothegladherbsinherdear
home'sgardenofdelight.
Jesse Wolf Hardin is an ac-
claimed teacher of Animá nature-
informed practice and author of
seven inspiring books. He and
his partners offer empowering
online Herbal, Medicine Woman,
Shaman Path and Path of Heart
correspondence courses, as well
as online counsel and healing
consultations. Awareness readers
are invited to the Animá Sanctu-
ary, an ancient place of power, for
wilderness retreats, vision quests,
student internships and events:
Animá Lifeways & Herbal School:
Visit Rosemary's site at: www.
sagemountain.com and for infor-
mation on the 2010 Traditions in
Western Herbalism Conference
Rosemary Gladstar...
Guardian Angel
of Medicinal
Plants
By Jesse Wolf Hardin
FENG SHUI
Jenny T. Liu
MA in Architecture
w/Specialization in Feng Shui
(626) 272-4901
Call for free brochure!
Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophy that
creates living spaces that are conducive
to helping us realize our own potentials.
As daughter and disciple of Master Liu Chi-Jen,
Jenny has first-hand experience in Feng Shui.
Please see her article in this issue.
Wisdom from thousands of years of experience