Updates, New Journeys, and Writing about Health

Hello there!

I am finally in a place where I can sit down and write! I have said goodbye to another school year–one that passed so quickly it seems–and have said hello to a new business venture. Sporadic blog posts and too many hobbies on top of teaching just wasn’t cutting it. So hello! I am happy to announce my full time venture into writing. I have worked on and off freelancing since 2012, but this is what I love. This is what I’m meant to cement; I feel that drive itching more than ever now.

My apologies for leaving this space vacant in a sense; I am dedicated now…just jumped right into a business, marketing, and then of course the creating. Though I don’t just want to build a business and financial security, I want to build a community of people who value the same things–intrinsic and extrinsic–and are just as hell-bent as I am about sharing ideas and creativity…and changing the world!

So you will be seeing some more changes to Barefoot in Florida; please bare with me! It’s just a little more work in progress.

If there is something you’d like to read about related to Florida living, Florida travellin’, health & wellness, or just want to connect, feel free to leave a comment below.

As always, may your days be bright and blessing-bound!

A Sigil to mark the Beginning of 2019

 

I’ve always loved the abstract freedom found in just jotting down designs intuitively. Swirls, curves, edges, dots lines… Each shape holds an intricacy all its own. This is probably why sigil drawing has always held sway over me. I’ve been attracted to creating bindrunes for years, but have never just closed my eyes and let a vision take shape as a sigil.

Now, to understand the significance of this practice, one must understand the differences between drawing a sigil and merely drawing abstract designs.

Sigils are intentional; they may be intuitively manifested, but they are designs which hold intent, purpose, a goal. We are numinous when we imbue our own energies into a thing–an object, written word, artwork–and there is power in what we soul forms manifest.

So I had an inspirational moment the other night when I instinctively pulled out my phone’s stylus and started manifesting what the meaning of this new year, new cycle, means to me. With the Sun, Moon, and now Mercury [heading into] in Capricorn along with our partial solar eclipse, 2019 has begun with powerful goal-oriented/newness/healing/rebirth themes. Not only that, but the numerological path of 2019 equates to a 3 frequency. Three is my life path number, and I will be 33 this month. I am a Capricorn Sun, Mercury, Venus and Neptune native. Capricorn is in my bones. So it’s no wonder this New Moon and Sun energy, as well as the planetary alignments and the eclipse, have compelled me into this kind of spiritual action.

The sigil I drew for the budding new year represents Capricorn in all its glory. We will be operating the first bit of 2019 under this sign, and it’s natural that Cappy would make its way into this sigil. The curved object next to Capricorn’s symbol represents 2019’s numerological frequency of 3. This frequency is an activation frequency, like turning the ignition in a vehicle. We are starting something new, healing from old wounds, opening up collective consciousness. You name it, the Cardinal sign of Capricorn is there to witness and support its beginnings.

So meditate on your life’s journey. Let your soul find its own way of waking, stepping out of societal norms as needed. Find solitude and accept and nurture your Self.

For more information on your numerology/Life path number and other info, you can visit Numerology Center.

To find out how this New Moon/solar eclipse and planetary alignment affect you, find your natal chart and read up on what your unique planetary placements are.

As always, many blessings, Love & Light, and a very Happy & Prosperous New Year!

10 things I learned when I started working with my own energy

Working with energy can be tricky at best, and utterly discouraging at worst. But when I find that connection, the currents of what I feel power all things, the world feels right. I am a bit new to actively working with my own energy/vibrational frequency, like meditation and breathing to figure through ailments or illnesses and even emotional maladies, but I am not new to the feeling of that connection.

It’s what I believe is my drive. What motivates me to try try try until I succeed. So when I truly concentrated on not only feeling and holding that connection to myself, but actively manipulating it, I started to feel stronger, more awake and aware, and more at peace with myself.

I am continuing to learn and develop, as we all do as human souls, but I wanted to see a physical detail of virtues or traits that I believe I have cultivated throughout this journey. So I sat down the other day and wrote out what I felt I have learned through my trials and errors with meditations, dreamwork, journaling, and working with my own energy.

Patience

Being patient with myself, my journey, my emotional and mental processing. Patience in outcomes, being the listener more than the speaker, growing in wisdom by waiting out impasses and learning from failures. Being patient with loved ones and their paths, being patient with time.

Resilience

Resilience and self reliance, learning to bounce back from setbacks, using mistakes as learning tools to help develop better ways of being, living, doing, and thinking. Battling addictions and growing victorious; wiping myself off and standing back up, ignoring and disassociating from judgment. Using constructive criticism to better myself and further my goals.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness for myself and those who have made their own mistakes at my expense, forgiveness in my relationships, my status. Refusing to be a victim, acknowledging and accepting my flaws and not operating in self-deprecation or shame. Empowering myself to learn from my imperfections.

Setting boundaries

Learning to stop when enough is enough, limiting self indulgences, boosting motivation and discipline. Learning when and how to say “no”, how to limit putting others’ needs above my own, recognizing my voice and self advocating. Speaking out to defend myself as necessary, offering council and taking council only when warranted. Learning how to protect myself from coercion, manipulation, guilt trips. Protecting my emotions and mental stability.

Self respect

Learning to respect myself by being impeccable with my word: when I make promises or commitments to myself and carry out, I feel more growth and enlightenment within and I am someone who I can respect. Setting myself up for success and growth, limiting self sabotaging thoughts and actions, directing my intellect and talents to set and achieve goals.

Spiritual hygiene

Taking time to self assess, self reflect and recognize where I am growing spiritually, where I am lacking, and what new things I’ve experienced throughout my day/week/month/year. Keeping journals and logs of prayers, spellings, intonations, meditations, observations and things of interest in growing in spirit.

Grounding + staying grounded

Learning what resonates, speaks to me, helps connect me to earth’s circuitry. Drumming, singing and chanting to achieve harmony and balanced frequencies. Learning how to stay attuned to that frequency more often than being out of tune.

Letting go

Ceasing to perseverate on things beyond my control, learning to be impartial and distanced from things that no longer serve me or will serve me, accepting the flux of change, leaving short term fixes behind to embrace the full range of healing that comes with letting shit go.

Confidence + courage

Finding my stomach, tuning myself into my inner wolf, becoming confident in my abilities, intelligence, wit and humor. Learning to approach all things without fear. Breathing through anxiety, working through obstacles, learning to trust my gut. Being assertive in myself and standing firm in my values.

Trusting in myself

Accepting my strengths and limitations, urging my heart to understand them, opening myself to my intuition, my own vulnerability and learning to fall in love with my own soul and spirit.

 

 

I hope this serves as inspiration to look inward and embrace all that you have learned and all that your spirit has achieved. You’re strong, you’re human, and you’re full of energy just waiting to be harnessed. If ever you would like an energy or plant reading to help you along your unique journey, please feel free to get in touch. I am in my happy place when helping others find that connection to their own energy frequencies.

 

Many blessings, Dear Hearts❤

 

 

The many modes of Reading Plants

Divination [i.e. the act of seeing future events] has been a sketchy subject in modern society–in so far as does it actually exist let alone work–but historical and archaeological evidence suggests people of all types of cultures throughout human history have believed/practiced some form of divination or prophecy.

There are tons of different types of divination which use a myriad of means to practice. Anything from ripples in a pond to the clouds in the sky and beyond, divinatory methods have persisted throughout our cultures. This overview offers some reader-friendly information on the history of divination, its significant differences with fortune telling, and its inclusion in just about every recorded culture in history.

One such method that I have been particularly interested in lately, is botanomancy, or divination through plants and herbs as the sole method of readings. The most well known method of plant divination is reading tea leaves. This ancient Asian philosophy has evolved and spread over the ages. Divination itself is a practice of interpreting and  implementing symbolic messages, omens, and seemingly random occurrences to help grow and evolve in spirit. Using plants makes sense to me because of their ultimate connection to planet earth and her lifeblood, and this is what makes the messages that much more pertinent and meaningful; as we are born of the earth, and we reside and loop around within its circuitry. Plants and herbs that can be ingested to induce symbolic messages and other-world knowledge offer a lot to divining souls who desire to tap into what they know. Plant roots ultimately serve as a metaphor for the connectivity we all experience as living organisms coexisting with the mother earth. Their spreading network of roots gather nutrient information and they can subsequently share that information with the practitioner. It only takes about a million years of practice! Lol!

Though I ultimately practice with simplicity, oftentimes searching for a quiet affirmation of the spiritual meaning found throughout my day, I find ways to grow and develop the art of using plants and their spirits to ascertain messages that can help me along my life’s journey. Because of the practice’s ability to force us to look within ourselves for what we already know to be true, divination can be relatively difficult to tap into. This is because we westerners frequently want what we can’t have yesterday, and we seem to expect an instant solution to everything without having to work toward it. But, on the other side of the mindset coin, with consistent practice and steadfast faith in your own knowledge and ability to learn, divination– and moreover plant reading–can be a valuable tool for further growth and development in spirit.

So I wanted to share a few different methods of plant divination, in hopes to shed light on another mode of finding and implementing symbolic messages to benefit the spiritual health we deserve as humans.

Reading tea leaves

220px-Tea_leaf_reading

By far the most well known form of botanomancy, (and its own field of divination called tasseomancy) reading the answers for questions asked in the remnants of brewed tea leaves has been in practice in the West (western Europe and beyond) since the 17th century when Dutch traders began bringing tea back from China. This form of divination is its own umbrella and oftentimes includes the practice of divination through coffee grounds and wine remnants as well. The practice is oftentimes a specially developed skill, and calls for teas that are grown specifically for this purpose. Find some easy-to-digest information on tasseomancy like its history/origins and common practice, here.

throwing seeds & blowing leaves

leaf

This method of botanomancy works similarly to that of casting runes or throwing stones/bones. The seeds of plants or herbs that were particularly related to the inquiry in question were thrown down over a smooth patch of dirt or a cloth. Sometimes a grid could be used, similar to that of a medicine wheel. If, say, the inquirer asked if the harvest would be bountiful, the person casting the seeds would choose to use corn, wheat or barley seeds as relates to harvests. The pattern the seeds made when they landed was interpreted and applied to the question asked.

Another related method of divination to seed throwing is that of leaves and breeze. The practitioner uses a handful of leaves to find the message by spreading out the leaves over the ground outside while inquiring of the possible outcomes to something. You would then wait for the breeze to shuffle, shift and blow away the leaves, and those leaves that are left behind are then read and interpreted and related to the initial inquiry.

Smoke, incense, burning, and carvingsmokeandashes

Another well known and popular form of botanomancy is to burn an herb or plant and divine the meaning within the smoke. Incense is the method that comes to mind for most, because it’s simple and a smaller scale obviously than burning a fire. A small pinch of dried herbs/plant material burned in a small dish again related to the inquiry subject. Meditate upon the question and what it means for you while the plant burns down. Take that information gathered from within and read the ashes. Find meaning in the patterns in which it crumpled, charred, grayed, etc. Does the pattern resemble letters to names, words or phrases that relate to your inquiry? Do the ashes gather together or spread out in the dish–could this relate to expansion/contraction of something connected to your question? There are always meanings to be found in patterns.

Sometimes the burn patterns on charred woods were the tool, the messages being played out upon the charring of the woody surface–woods burned for divination wouldn’t have been burned all the way, as fuel wood would have been, so archaeologists can tell the differences in purpose through the findings in ancient ash piles, burn pits, and fireplaces. A side note: sometimes woods with strong symbolic meaning (oaks for the Druids, at el.) were carved with the inquiry or desire, almost like writing down the supplication, before being burned in a fire. The resulting coals and ashes could impart knowledge of the future.

Plant development & structure

leafs

A less well-defined way of practicing botanomancy is to plant the seed of a symbolically sacred plant related to an outcome you desire within your life’s journey. Maybe figs for financial growth and wealth, roses for love, family, friendships. As the plant grows, the patterns on the undersides of the leaves, shapes of stems and blooms, etc can be read and interpreted to find meaning that applied to the future growth and manifestation of the initial inquiry. This method takes the longest, as you are consistently nurturing the growth of seed to mature plant, but all possible paths and future outlooks can be divined this way, sometimes offering much much more than any other form of botanomancy. This may be because of the time that is involved with practicing this way. It is a never ending time frame, as you don’t receive one but many possible answers, outcomes and pathways to take as the plant grows, changes and develops.

Plant induced visions & dreams

hallucinogen

Using plants to induce visionary trances, dream states and heightened awareness is no new fact. We know much thanks to chemistry, archaeology, and anthropology/ethnobotany about the practice of using hallucinogenic plants and herbs to induce visions of the future, provide answers to divinatory inquiries, and to help heal spiritual/emotional/mental traumas. But these methods can be used solely to gather information about future events. These special plants (not to be messed with at home) include famous–or infamous to some–plants such as mandrake, belladonna, monkshood, peyote, Ayahuasca, and many others including fungi. While illegal most places, there are some shamans and medicine practitioners who utilise these means to not only help manifest healing both spiritually and physically, but also to divine answers and information about future events in theirs and others’ lives.

Posies, potpourris, and sachetssachet

These are lovely and simple ways to utilize plants and herbs to achieve meanings and answers to dilemmas, personal and interpersonal, future and present minded, within dreams. Bouquets of fresh herbs and plants that hold connection to the inquiry (i.e., thyme and parsley for money/finance) can be placed about a bedroom to induce energy to dream. Similarly, a sachet or potpourri mix of dried herbs or aromatic plants that relate to what could be solutions to your inquiries can be placed under the pillow, above the headboard, etc. to help aid your divination while dreaming.

To practice these methods, simply ask the question as you you put the posy, sachet, or potpourri in place and meditate on that question as you fall asleep. The trick with this method is to train the brain to remember what you dreamed when you wake up the next morning. Start recording dreams in a journal and you will start to find the hidden messages that can then be used to help develop your Self and your journey. Lucid dreaming can offer even more if this method of divination calls to you. Plants like mugwort, Valerian root, and blue vervain can be consumed in a tea to help you reach a meditative state in order to lucid dream. While it’s not necessarily considered divination in the sense that the practitioner is actively seeking a vision of possible future outcomes, lucid dreaming does offer its own set of benefits.

 

I have found immense pleasure and success when implementing the lessons and wisdom plants and herbs offer. There is a world of knowledge and information out there among the green and growing things; we have but to open our eyes to it and embrace it. I hope to inspire others to at least start keeping and growing healing plants and herbs, and help simplify some of the ways we can incorporate these gifts in our everyday lives.

Here’s to hope, health, and the pursuit of happiness!

Have a blessed and beautiful Sunday 🙂

Using Acupuncture for Healing

Many people have heard of and have a general idea of what acupuncture is. But contrary to the popular “cure-it-now” belief system of most Westerners, acupuncture is a therapy system used to continuously treat symptoms of various ailments over a period of time. Because of this, acupuncture can be a very effective treatment plan for ongoing therapy of many different conditions.

What is acupuncture?

Quite simply, acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine tradition that has been in practice in the East for around 2500 years. Acupuncture is the practice of releasing patterns of energy flow—called Qi or Chi—found throughout the body with the use of very thin, metallic needles.

According to Eastern tradition, these energies within the body fall along fourteen points and are responsible for overall health. Acupuncture seeks to alternate or reverse certain energies within the body when dis-ease is present or if there are symptoms that can be connected to these points within the Chi.

What is acupuncture used to treat?

Here in the Western world ‘alternative’ or ‘traditional’ healthcare practices are proving themselves effective as treatments for a variety of ailments. Acupuncture is one of them. To be sure, medical providers should always be consulted when considering an alternative treatment to any condition. Some commonly treated conditions include:

  • Chemotherapy side-effects such as nausea and vomiting
  • Post-operative: including dental, routine and sometimes invasive surgeries
  • Tobacco use, illicit drug addiction and alcohol addiction
  • Stroke rehabilitation
  • Headaches, migraines, pain relief
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sometimes used for bodily traumas like spinal injuries, concussions, and muscle spasms

How does acupuncture work within the body?

According to extensive medical research, acupuncture is linked to several different biological responses within the body. These responses are generally found right around, on, or in the area of skin that the therapy is applied. It is also reported that opioid peptides are released during acupuncture therapy. Opioid peptides are chains of amino acids behaving generally alike to endorphins. These peptides are released during an acupuncture session, and have a direct effect on controlling symptoms such as emotion, motivation, attachment behavior (such as that seen in addictions), the body’s response to stress and pain, and even food intake.

Acupuncture has been proven to be a most effective treatment option for many ailments. Check with a your PCP for advice on whether acupuncture is the right choice for you.

Image: free stock photos through Google

San Agustín & the Castillo de San Marcos

For all purposes, most of Florida’s peninsula is part of the Caribbean. And because of this location, our history is a rich one of early colonization, Indian wars, pirate legends, Spanish gold and maritime battles; the fact that my little place in the world is the stuff of legends and old sea sagas thrills me.

Florida was in the mix of much of the New World trade goings-on during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The Spanish, English, and French (and even the Dutch later on) were all vying for dominance in the newly discovered West Indies. Who could colonize the islands quickest? Who could strike gold and gems and thus build their wealth? With all the ships traversing through the Florida Straights laden with riches, it’s no wonder pirates also made their mark around the area.

Many a Spanish treasure ship was looted or at least picked as much as possible along the Florida coast. For treasure hunters and enthusiasts, the Treasure Coast of Florida offers a paradise of charted wrecks for recreational dives and tons of beach on which to metal detect. Many ships were lost off the east coast, due to hurricanes, running aground, or being incapacitated during battle. I wonder how many shipwrecks go undiscovered just on the other side of the Intracoastal and A1A. How much gold is still sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic/East Coast Shelf?

But it is not that activity I had planned for my impromptu trip to St. Augustine. I’m in love with the history and the old buildings, the fort, the land and the beaches. And besides, the fam damily was getting stir-crazy being cooped up inside during all the sporadic thunderstorms over the past few weeks, and I thought a trip over to the east coast was warranted… So the Fourth was spent over in Deland, fireworks in Port Orange, then a sightseeing drive up through Flagler to St. Augustine– the oldest European-settled city in the US.

I have always been in love with the St. John’s and coastal St. Augustine areas. It’s a mix of factors that draw me in: the history, the culture, the parks and beaches and the number of nature- and history-based attractions. For being so populated in the city propers of St. Augustine and up to Jacksonville, there’s still a lot of empty property. Land. All around. We love seeing all that expanse.
Inland, in Deland, and northward, it rained just as we had anticipated. It had rained most of the drive over. Thursday late morning had us in plenty of sunshine, though, as we strolled to the entrance into the Castillo de San Marcos.

So the sporadic thunderstorms that had followed us from inland west coast to inland east coast did not bother us as we walked in the heat along the gunwall of the Castillo de San Marcos. But then, Florida has her way of relieving even the worst summer heat–if you can be lucky enough to be on the coast. Her sea breezes are a literal thing– cooling coming off the Atlantic, and much appreciated. And in that heat, it was relieving, though at that point, even the rain would’ve been welcome.

Heat and sweat and all, though, the Castillo never ceases to stir goosebumps out of me. The oldest stone masonry fort in the US, the Castillo is as close as you can get to old European history in America. If walls could speak, indeed. I have a strong want to know. And supposedly, the fort is haunted. I can understand why many would think so.


As for spiritual phenomenon, I can only say I feel as though the movement of bodies, the battles, the events over time, the sheer humanity of this particular place, moves me deeply, like the fort itself is the collective spiritual remnant of everyone and everything that took place here. Greed, it makes me think. So much thrown into the winds so Europeans could make their mark, demonstrate their power and wealth. Anybody can head to Wikipedia and read about the history, but it’s the feel and experience of the place. The physicality of it. The coquina stone that still stands after 450 years of sand and sea, storm and wind. [Mind you, the masonry fort was not present during Menendez’s time in 1565, and construction wouldn’t begin on the Castillo until 1672, over 100 years after Menendez’s founding]

How can that not inspire just a little bit?

The taking of the land from the Timucua is not lost on me, however. The marshlands and coastal plains were theirs before any stone fortress or canonfire or churchbells ringing across the “Place of Slaughter” [Matanzas Bay]. Yet the foreign invaders would build a lasting tell of their landing and subsequent conquering of the wilds that were Florida.
I wonder about the Timucua tribe and how they must have perceived the arrival of Ponce de Leon in 1513, and later Pedro Menendez de Avilés and his crew in 1565. If it was any different than the New England tribes’ interaction with European settlers. I wonder how long it took during that century before European disease and corruption killed them off. I wonder at what Florida would be like if the Spaniards had never ventured upon the Caribbean.

And yet I’m fascinated by the enduring history, the sagas of discovery and expedition, the underlying desperation to control outposts on the fringes of the known world, just to exert power over nations. What kind of world was that? How is ours any different today?

CBD Essential Oils? They make those?!

I’ve always been a sucker for essential oils…so naturally my very first order from Kannaway included the essential oils trio set. And I’ve been using them often lately, coming up with different simple ways in which to incorporate them in my routine.

The pack came with 3 blends: Energize (citrus, eucalyptus, cinnamon blends), Tranquility (Ylang Ylang, lavender blends), and Defense (like a CBD Thieves’ Oil). I am not quite sure that using them in a diffuser realizes the full potential of the cannabinoids in them, but when I use them with my aromatherapy bracelet or implement the pressure points therapeutic approach, I get a better sense of absorption. Maybe it’s a placebo effect with all essential oils, including ones with cannabinoids, but I really don’t think so. Science has gone both ways. But for me, these are heavenly additions to my oils in the herb cabinet.

Some of the simple ways I’ve been using the trio pack lately:

Tranquility:

*in a carrier oil for massage: achy joints, sore/cramped/tense muscles, general relaxation; applied to temple pressure points for headache relief

*in a diffuser for aromatherapy/promote better sleep

*drop on finger and rub on inner wrist pressure points for stress & anxiety comfort

Energize:

*in a diffuser in the morning, during a workout, during general activity (I even use my diffuser in class!)

*in a carrier oil or drop on finger and rub on pressure points located between thumb and index finger

*drop on finger, stimulate top of forehead pressure point for a quick pick-me-up

Immunity:

*in a diffuser to promote air purification (and a lovely air freshener)

*homemade cleaners and disinfectants

*small amount of oil blend (Immunity in carrier oil) just under the nose to inhibit environmental pollutants/germs

All in all, I would recommend adding essential oils to your own home medicine cabinet. Utilizing essential oils in general is a positive practice, and can offer a natural alternative for many healing and even household products. Just avoid oils that are not 100% natural, or have artificial fragrances or additives. Food grade is usually safe. More to come with recipes and blends using these wonderful oils!

Kannaway Life

So I started taking a CBD supplement 2 days ago. I want to say I already feel a difference, but it’s such a subtle undercurrent that I’ve ended up second guessing myself. But going into the third day, I am experiencing a fresher feeling inside…like a bit more energy, but with a contented vibration.

I started taking CBD in hopes of helping ease the depressive states I frequently experience. That’s a bit of another story, for another time. But in some moments, I have definitely felt more motivated intrinsically, and I’ve felt more energetic at tackling the mundane things that I’ve neglected here and there.

It has only been 3 days, but I’m hoping I’ve found something that can help that isn’t a commercial drug for depression. I’ve been working with healing plants for some time now, and have truly become a believer in the healing power of cannabis.

So I’ve started the CBD supplements, and am looking into some other CBD products that can also be beneficial, now not just for me, but my family as well. More on this journey to come. 🙂

Does anyone else have experience with CBD oils and supplements? If so, kindly leave a comment; I would love to hear!