Fasting the Poisons

Star shaped white flowers of early raspberries. 2018

Star shaped white flowers of early raspberries. 2018

Come harvest season, a silent creeping up of evening stars leave me awake. I've been out in search of medicine for the usually painful onset of my lunar last quarter. Should the illness be one of two ingredients that make my medicine, then I would even say, that I sought the concoction of two reasons in order to return to myself: my unique shade in a small crowd... May I present you the very feminine, self-contradictory and highly talented wild spirit of Isfjorden forest's early Autumn Raspberry Leaves. These clever rustling fairies bring out creativity for a woman who is observing her sacred moon cycle.

Raspberry Leaf Tea making is a sobriety venture in itself. Before Fall, her spirit comes together with her companions, who walk us into this episode of learning about the values and virtues of being a woman. Here are some lessons from the masters:

Natural habitat of Raspberry.

Natural habitat of Raspberry.

1. Adventure for Simplicity

Raspberry Leaves

Drawn to the dreamers, Raspberry aims for the humble spirit of the craftswoman, the natural herbalist in you. Leading straight to the faery folk of St John's Wort and Valerian Root this time of year. The mountain's winter worries kept me awake. Loneliness and depression had begun burying the green thumbs too early, stopping me from wanting to be social. Nevertheless, I also found out the reason why I felt that way, and decided to embrace the feeling...

Valerian flowers dying back to the roots. 2018.

Valerian flowers dying back to the roots. 2018.

Lesson 2. Listen humbly to the Elders.

Valerian Root

"Surrounded by poisons, mainly hemlock, visiting grandma Valerian is a great retreat to her old fashioned foraging sensibility. She warns for caution: respect others, shake off those grudges and get on with the hard work. Good rest is earned."

If your imaginary antlers are larger than grandma's, her spirit comes not to reason with you. You know you need to be good to your family, are her teachings; especially the person who annoys you the most, needs your love the most at this moment in time. Stop holding grudges against them and get over the smelly socks, they belong to those working much harder than you. Get on your feet and when you learn to give back, you will find the flower of the medicine therein.

I certainly have a load of more respect now. My home is filling with humility, art, grace and so much thanks for this year's harvest, what more can I ask for? Valerian Root spirit definitely lends a strong tug. If you've been avoiding confrontation with an old bad habit, get ready for a reminder about stuff that needs doing, Valerian definitely knows how to pull you right back on track with solid grounding, whilst leaving her comforting presence in the notion that all will be well.

3. The work of seasons is change. Be gentle in your surroundings.

Only a fool tries to be clever by going foraging for Valerian without caution. She has four similar looking plants in her colony, including poison Hemlock, which will certainly kill you so don't even go near without doing thorough homework with regards to who is who in the wild. Before calling on Valerian, you definitely want to get to know Hemlock, Yarrow and Queen Anne's Lace. They look very much alike, but are not the same. Their whispers can help you find the stillness needed in the mind, so you are ready to listen to elder Valerian when you finally meet her.

One of the most potent wisdom of Valerian Root concerns the hard fact that (with luck) we all reach old age, and its highly likely to be surrounded by the smell of old socks. Correct, to prepare you for exhaustion, of course, Valerian makes us able to recognise how much old age can resemble granny's cabinet of pills, if we don't take good care we will depend a lot on medication. And who doesn't want to be in good health before it gets harder to fast the poisons out of the diet? Having a ritual session with Valerian opens the possibility for a quiet sit down and heart to heart with grandmother spirit to work deeply within your Roots. A load of listening patience, cleanliness and service attitude paves the healer's path. That is what Valerian shows you and motivates you to get moving, to get healthy.

Fortunately for Isfjorden, here St John's Wort has a wonderful symbiotic relationship with Valerian. So don't be disheartened if you're not ready for Valerian, take time, take the year. It's best to pay your respects when you mean it. We do not have anything to hide from the one who knows us too well.

St John's Wort welcomes you with an embrace of the forest's opulent fragrance, the kind that sends tingles down the spine. It has such an incredible ability to go deeply into working out what form of depression you have. It has a magical way of making you look well into your condition, and then in a rounded fashion, you go "never-mind that false notion"- diverting you towards the more relevant wishes in your heart. St John's Wort has a saintly fragrance, one that grabs your attention in a way to mean "hang in there", and literally stays with you for days, walking you through your habitual remake. I highly recommend St John's Wort in ritual work and meditations to reach the bottom of the blues, and know that its OK to feel that. To me its been a most comforting plant ally this season.

The mellow, playful personality of St John's Wort helped me set up a working playground to clear my head for a couple weeks as I prepare my Fall time materia medica. I was noticing how it softly starts to introduce itself while dwelling in my home.


By fall, you begin to feel the forest shuffling back with reserves and preserves for the winter. It's a good time to refresh the arrangement of the healing space. Make simple home improvements, for example: use the dried petals of any flowers you have to make some potpourri, caring for life's gifts is a conscious way to show thanks. While you're at it, St John's Wort spirit will inspire you to act in exactly the way you would to attract friendship, so don't put off any invitations to grab a coffee or dinner with a friend or someone who surprisingly shows up. And remember to stay calm, the right things and people will also come along to brighten the gloomy days.