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Dear Botanica Community,

First and foremost, I want to thank all of my loved ones and supporters for the successful launch of my website in July. The love is felt! Everything is going very well, at a beautiful pace, and with many great blessings of new interest, continued support, and community-building. Since I last posted I’ve had many wonderful herbal experiences. There are way too many to mention, but to list just a few…

Beautiful Carson Pass at the change to fallinspire.jpg
Beautiful Carson Pass at the change to fall

My puppy is cured of giardia at last. These intestinal parasitic worms are a bug to get rid of. With the support and go-ahead of our awesome holistic vet, using chamomile, fennel and turmeric (after 2 unsuccessful rounds of antibiotics) she is clean, whoo hoo!!

Applying plantain magic salve ( my Bite Salve) to all the sneaky summer bug bites for immediate only-one-time-needed relief, really.

The absolute miracle of Dong Quai, Algelica, for women's health, wow, I bow.

And the use of Fire Cider as an amazingly effective digestive, moving things! This is the recipe I used.

Now that we are caught up, I want to share my inspirations for this autumnal equinox time. This week in The Calendar of the Soul, a book of weekly verses for the year, Rudolf Steiner says,

I to myself may now belong
And radiantly shed inner light
Into the dark of time and space.
All natural being inclines to sleep
The depths of soul shall be awake
And, waking, bear the Sun’s warm glow
Into the winter’s surging cold.

Huge grandmother Red Fir treeBeautiful Carson Pass at the change to fall
Huge grandmother Red Fir tree

This first week of Autumn, the leaves on my kiwi vines, grapes, and fig tree are already starting to wither and drop. It has been another drought year so they are early to do this, but the picture of letting go of what doesn't serve anymore, the purge of the summer leaves, making space, fits this gesture of turning inward to “radiantly shed inner light”. We commonly look to the trees and plants this time of year for this example in nature that mirrors what is going on in our soul. Their energy turns inward and downward to the roots and fallen seeds, developing life forces for the spring to come. The plants are making space for something new. We do this too, soul cleaning, turning inward, developing soul forces during the winter to emerge anew in the outbreath of spring. Steiner called winter “the summer of the soul”.

This theme is all around us right now in total alignment. Michaelmas, the Feast of Saint Michael, is also this week, illustrating further the purging out of what is not needed anymore, not serving us. A picture of crystal clear light shining in the dark. As I write this I keep hearing Nahko singing his song Nyepi in my mind, “There’s a demon in that dragon, purge it out.” (and I’m soooo excited to see him play this weekend : ) At the equinox, the balance of daylight and the dark of night are equal to one another, each day forward tipping toward more darkness in the 24 hour day. This calls on the strength of our inner forces to light our way in life. Even on the opposite side of the world this time of year, many Muslims are participating in Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, for spiritual renewal in their lives.

Bundling Artemesia tridentataSierra Elder flowers on elder leaf
Bundling Artemesia tridentata & Sierra elder flowers on elder leaf.

The carefree summer lifestyle that brings with it such fun, and maybe some chaos, feels so good to me to purge at this time, returning to more rhythm and order. It feels very natural to do this, even awaited in the stale days of late August. When September and back to school come, ahhh, there’s a little breeze to clear the air and ring my wind chime for the first time in months, there’s a different order to the day, different priorities, and more space for the inner world of creativity, consciousness, and inner awakening. No wonder the word inspire translates to inbreath. I’ll be just as done with the order and rhythm of winter when it starts to get warm again, and so it goes round and round, this cosmic breath living in me, in us all.

During this time, fortifying our health with the support of adaptogen, immune-building, warming and liver-tonifying herbs can be a great help in the transition to cooler weather, less sunlight in the day. It’s time to fire up the inner forces. To do this I make elderberry syrup on the first day of school each year and begin taking it with my family to boost the immune system. I put warming ginger and adaptogenic astragalus root in my recipe, adding local raw honey as it cools. The berries are gathered in July along our American River, they are either frozen or dried for the fall and winter months. I made gallons of this health elixir for my family, friends and community last year and I look forward to concocting this brew regularly again. It is available now from me and the good earth to all. Stoke the fire! What we have in us, we can give out to others, our light, our love, our health. “The depths of soul shall be awake”.

Many blessings of love, health, and inspiration,  Deborah

*** Photos thanks to my son, Kamilo Bustamante ***

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