New Moon No. 6, Spring


Wood Sorrel (Oxalis) - commonly mistaken as Clover (Trifolium)

“A weed is a plant whose virtue is not yet known.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hello, my beloveds!
Oh, where the wilds things are –
That’s where you can find me lately.
Besides cocooning in my red tent and watching the inspirational, heart-felt film Wild (cannot recommend enough!), I’ve been spending much of the waning light delving deeper into my interests in plant medicine and foraging. Spring greens are boomin’ in Prospect Park and I can happily say I haven’t purchased greens from the grocery store in over a month now. Mother Nature provides for her children, you just have to listen and follow her lead. I’m still in awe (and honestly, always hope to be) of the innately beautiful, synergistic relationship all life shares when dancing to the natural rhythms of life. I’ll shed some more light on my foraging journey this spring when the full moon makes her appearance in the night’s sky. Until then, I’ve gathered some food for thought to whet your appetite about foraging and planet medicine practices.
On another note, I'll be West Coast bound this summer to dedicate a month to my first love - dance! I'll be training with Northwest Dance Project, honing my skills as a dancer, networking with other talented artists, and checking out the Portland dance scene firsthand. I can’t forage funds because money doesn’t grow on trees, so I’m reaching out to my tribe of luminous readers to support my online fundraiser: "Dancing My Way to Portland - NWDP Summer Intensive." There are gifts & perks to donating starting at as little as a $30 donation. Check out the campaign for more information on why I'm asking for your support, what you can receive in return for your support, & how to donate/share the campaign.

I’ve shared my mushroom musings with you all before, but after successfully foraging and cookin’ up a Dryad’s Saddle ‘shroom from Prospect Park last week, my mind has been fixated on fungi once more.
While Dryad’s Saddle (Polyporus Squamosus) has no known medicinal properties, there are quite a few ‘shrooms in the fungi kingdom that are medicinal powerhouses. One in particular is also a nootropic. Fun word, right? A nootropic is a drug, supplement, or other substance that improves cognitive function. While there are plenty of chemically engineered smart drugs available on the market, I prefer to gain my brain food from natural sources of nootropics, like Lion’s Mane (Hericium Erinaceus) mushrooms.
For my early mornings of teaching or rehearsing, I’ll pour a packet of Four Sigmatic's Lion’s Mane Elixir into my morning Bulletproof style coffee to give me an extra boost of super smarty yoga dancey-dance pants powers. Ideally, I’d love to be foraging my own medicinal mushrooms to create extracts, tinctures, and teas, but until I get my hands on a hearty piece of Chaga, I’m happy to be supporting this ‘shroom lovin’ company.

Tero, the founder of the fabulous all things ‘shrooms company Four Sigmatic explains the benefits of Lion’s Mane in this video.

Wild edibles are far more nutrient dense than anything you’ll find while browsing the aisles of your local grocery store. Food provides nutrition for our bodies, as does movement. Movement is a nutrient - one that we’re all deficient in when comparing our movement lifestyles to that of our pre-agriculturalist ancestors. You’ll find yourself experiencing a healthy dose of human movements when foraging. I’m all for lifestyle stacking, and foraging provides a beautiful stack of nutritious movement, food, and connection to our landscape. Katy Bowman, the body and brains behind Nutritious Movement, delves into lifestyle stacking and the nutritional content of foraging in the episode Movement Ecology from last season’s ReWild Yourself Podcast.


Last fall, I had the rare opportunity to gather wild sagebrush (Artemisia Tridentata) from a vast and spacious meadow at nearly 9,000ft above sea level in the Sierra Nevada Mountains while on a backpacking trip. I’ve been burning sage since my high school days as a form of energetic cleansing and preparation for ritual practices, but the sage was always store bought. Back then, I let the sage speak to me, listening to which bundle I felt called to work with. It’s the best I could do at the time. Now, in retrospect, I see how disconnected that process of selection was from what I experienced last fall. Listening to and learning about the plant, while it’s still intact with the earth, is such a powerful way to connect with the plant medicine. From shrub to bundle, I asked permission of the plants, gathered those that I felt drawn to mindfully pick, laid the sagebrush out to dry, and under the light of the full moon, crafted my first sage bundle. The entire process was a ritual of sorts that brought me closer to the plant and to myself; closer to how I choose to commune with the natural world.

What I’m discovering about the art of foraging is that gathering dandelion, garlic mustard, violet, and star chickweed for a wild greens salad is just as much of a spiritual practice as is collecting your own sagebrush for a sage bundle that you use to burn in ritual. Connecting with the plants and their medicine is what draws you closer to the spirit of nature, and in that communion, closer to the nature of Spirit itself.

A new moon adage –
Wipe the slate clean.
Another cycle,
Another chance to renew.
Tend the weeds of your past;
Understand the root, flower, leaf, & fruit.
Identify, gather, consume, & grow.
Turn the once thought nuisance 

Into nutrition for your spirit.

Luminous love,

Slow Flow & Restore
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