The snow has finally begun to fall down upon the homestead, and I can only hope that it will leave more then a slight dusting upon this land, as our dry winter constitutions & soil are quenched of thirst and our internal bodies & well are in need of replenishment. Watching the snow from outside my window as it descends down from the sky above, I am evermore thankful for a gift so rarely treasured by the blind eye, a wondrous fractal of water, delicate in structure and form, yet brilliantly resilient. As I hope the spirits of those who dwell upon this fragile earthen home of ours have become, for those who can see; have foreseen a drought that could end our realm of destruction & ignorance that has for too long rained over our consciousness and over that of the natural world’s. Are hope now lies in the snow & rain, who can bring forth the peace & conscious understanding that our hearts desire and that our world so desperately needs.

Red Root Herbals ☼ Shop Transformation 

Red Root Herbals ☼ Uses only the Freshest and most Vitally Energetic Herbs, that are either Ethically Wildcrafted near our humble little Home, Grown in our Garden, or sourced from Ethically Sound & Certified Organic Retailers.

The newest addition to the shop being our Single Herbal Extracts that are made using Ethically Wildcrafted Herbs & Organic Grain-Free & Gluten Free Non GMO Cane Alcohol, which we are very grateful for. 

Organic Alcohol versus Vodka ☼ Most Standard Extracts and Tinctures are made with high proof Vodka, which unless otherwise labeled is usually made from Corn or Potatoes that have been Sprayed with Harmful Chemicals such as Pesticides and Herbicides, and most notably, are grown from GMO Seed. Although these extracts still yield valuable medicine, I prefer to source my alcohol from organic/Non-GMO retailers.

☼ Red Root Herbals Etsy Shop 

Rainbow Crow ☼ A Lenape Legend 
It was so cold. Snow fell constantly, and ice formed over all the waters. The animals had never seen snow before. At first, it was a novelty, something to play in. But the cold increased tenfold, and they began to worry. The little animals were being buried in the snow drifts and the larger animals could hardly walk because the snow was so deep. Soon, all would perish if something were not done.
"We must send a messenger to Kijiamuh Ka’ong, the Creator Who Creates By Thinking What Will Be," said Wise Owl. "We must ask him to think the world warm again so that Spirit Snow will leave us in peace."
The animals were pleased with this plan. They began to debate among themselves, trying to decide who to send up to the Creator. Wise Owl could not see well during the daylight, so he could not go. Coyote was easily distracted and like playing tricks, so he could not be trusted. Turtle was steady and stable, but he crawled too slowly. Finally, Rainbow Crow, the most beautiful of all the birds with shimmering feathers of rainbow hues and an enchanting singing voice, was chosen to go to Kijiamuh Ka’ong.
It was an arduous journey, three days up and up into the heavens, passed the trees and clouds, beyond the sun and the moon, and even above all the stars. He was buffeted by winds and had no place to rest, but he carried bravely on until he reached Heaven. When Rainbow Crow reached the Holy Place, he called out to the Creator, but received no answer. The Creator was too busy thinking up what would be to notice even the most beautiful of birds. So Rainbow Crow began to sing his most beautiful song.
The Creator was drawn from his thoughts by the lovely sound, and came to see which bird was making it. He greeted Rainbow Crow kindly and asked what gift he could give the noble bird in exchange for his song. Rainbow Crow asked the Creator to un-think the snow, so that the animals of Earth would not be buried and freeze to death. But the Creator told Rainbow Crow that the snow and the ice had spirits of their own and could not be destroyed.
"What shall we do then?" asked the Rainbow Crow. "We will all freeze or smother under the snow."
"You will not freeze," the Creator reassured him, "For I will think of Fire, something that will warm all creatures during the cold times."
The Creator stuck a stick into the blazing hot sun. The end blazed with a bright, glowing fire which burned brightly and gave off heat. “This is Fire,” he told Rainbow Crow, handing him the cool end of the stick. “You must hurry to Earth as fast as you can fly before the stick burns up.”
Rainbow Crow nodded his thanks to the Creator and flew as fast as he could go. It was a three-day trip to Heaven, and he was worried that the Fire would burn out before he reached the Earth. The stick was large and heavy, but the fire kept Rainbow Crow warm as he descended from Heaven down to the bright path of the stars. Then the Fire grew hot as it came closer to Rainbow Crows feathers. As he flew passed the Sun, his tail caught on fire, turning the shimmering beautiful feathers black. By the time he flew passed the Moon, his whole body was black with soot from the hot Fire. When he plunged into the Sky and flew through the clouds, the smoke got into his throat, strangling his beautiful singing voice.
By the time Rainbow Crow landed among the freezing-cold animals of Earth, he was black as tar and could only Caw instead of sing. He delivered the fire to the animals, and they melted the snow and warmed themselves, rescuing the littlest animals from the snow drifts where they lay buried.
It was a time of rejoicing, for Tindeh - Fire - had come to Earth. But Rainbow Crow sat apart, saddened by his dull, ugly feathers and his rasping voice. Then he felt the touch of wind on his face. He looked up and saw the Creator Who Creates By Thinking What Will Be walking toward him.
"Do not be sad, Rainbow Crow," the Creator said. "All animals will honor you for the sacrifice you made for them. And when the people come, they will not hunt you, for I have made your flesh taste of smoke so that it is no good to eat and your black feathers and hoarse voice will prevent man from putting you into a cage to sing for him. You will be free."
Then the Creator pointed to Rainbow Crow’s black feathers. Before his eyes, Rainbow Crow saw the dull feathers become shiny and inside each one, he could see all the colors of the rainbow. “This will remind everyone who sees you of the service you have been to your people,” he said, “and the sacrifice you made that saved them all.”
And so shall it ever be. ~Retold by S. E. Schlosser 

Rainbow Crow ☼ A Lenape Legend 

It was so cold. Snow fell constantly, and ice formed over all the waters. The animals had never seen snow before. At first, it was a novelty, something to play in. But the cold increased tenfold, and they began to worry. The little animals were being buried in the snow drifts and the larger animals could hardly walk because the snow was so deep. Soon, all would perish if something were not done.

"We must send a messenger to Kijiamuh Ka’ong, the Creator Who Creates By Thinking What Will Be," said Wise Owl. "We must ask him to think the world warm again so that Spirit Snow will leave us in peace."

The animals were pleased with this plan. They began to debate among themselves, trying to decide who to send up to the Creator. Wise Owl could not see well during the daylight, so he could not go. Coyote was easily distracted and like playing tricks, so he could not be trusted. Turtle was steady and stable, but he crawled too slowly. Finally, Rainbow Crow, the most beautiful of all the birds with shimmering feathers of rainbow hues and an enchanting singing voice, was chosen to go to Kijiamuh Ka’ong.

It was an arduous journey, three days up and up into the heavens, passed the trees and clouds, beyond the sun and the moon, and even above all the stars. He was buffeted by winds and had no place to rest, but he carried bravely on until he reached Heaven. When Rainbow Crow reached the Holy Place, he called out to the Creator, but received no answer. The Creator was too busy thinking up what would be to notice even the most beautiful of birds. So Rainbow Crow began to sing his most beautiful song.

The Creator was drawn from his thoughts by the lovely sound, and came to see which bird was making it. He greeted Rainbow Crow kindly and asked what gift he could give the noble bird in exchange for his song. Rainbow Crow asked the Creator to un-think the snow, so that the animals of Earth would not be buried and freeze to death. But the Creator told Rainbow Crow that the snow and the ice had spirits of their own and could not be destroyed.

"What shall we do then?" asked the Rainbow Crow. "We will all freeze or smother under the snow."

"You will not freeze," the Creator reassured him, "For I will think of Fire, something that will warm all creatures during the cold times."

The Creator stuck a stick into the blazing hot sun. The end blazed with a bright, glowing fire which burned brightly and gave off heat. “This is Fire,” he told Rainbow Crow, handing him the cool end of the stick. “You must hurry to Earth as fast as you can fly before the stick burns up.”

Rainbow Crow nodded his thanks to the Creator and flew as fast as he could go. It was a three-day trip to Heaven, and he was worried that the Fire would burn out before he reached the Earth. The stick was large and heavy, but the fire kept Rainbow Crow warm as he descended from Heaven down to the bright path of the stars. Then the Fire grew hot as it came closer to Rainbow Crows feathers. As he flew passed the Sun, his tail caught on fire, turning the shimmering beautiful feathers black. By the time he flew passed the Moon, his whole body was black with soot from the hot Fire. When he plunged into the Sky and flew through the clouds, the smoke got into his throat, strangling his beautiful singing voice.

By the time Rainbow Crow landed among the freezing-cold animals of Earth, he was black as tar and could only Caw instead of sing. He delivered the fire to the animals, and they melted the snow and warmed themselves, rescuing the littlest animals from the snow drifts where they lay buried.

It was a time of rejoicing, for Tindeh - Fire - had come to Earth. But Rainbow Crow sat apart, saddened by his dull, ugly feathers and his rasping voice. Then he felt the touch of wind on his face. He looked up and saw the Creator Who Creates By Thinking What Will Be walking toward him.

"Do not be sad, Rainbow Crow," the Creator said. "All animals will honor you for the sacrifice you made for them. And when the people come, they will not hunt you, for I have made your flesh taste of smoke so that it is no good to eat and your black feathers and hoarse voice will prevent man from putting you into a cage to sing for him. You will be free."

Then the Creator pointed to Rainbow Crow’s black feathers. Before his eyes, Rainbow Crow saw the dull feathers become shiny and inside each one, he could see all the colors of the rainbow. “This will remind everyone who sees you of the service you have been to your people,” he said, “and the sacrifice you made that saved them all.”

And so shall it ever be. ~Retold by S. E. Schlosser 

 So far it has been an ice cold winter beneath the canvas dome of our home. We both tend to spend our days reading, crafting, or hiking the surrounding hills until our toes become numb under the fleeting light of the sun. This harsh winter reality has brought to mind many musings of the nostalgia of winter’s spent huddled up against the fire, relying on one another to forage winter’s warmth by way of wood, small sticks, and moss, and to collectively come together to share in the beauty of this season spent under the fleeting light of the sun & moon. 

Wild Harvest  Rose Hips

Deep within the pine forest that surrounds our home, lyes a  grandmother wild rose bush, who, Michael & I have been eagerly eyeing for the last month, in hopes of spotting the first signs of her ripe red rose hips. Today at last, It looked as though our generous grandmother had indeed blessed us with yet another year’s offering, and we are ever more grateful for it. 

Rose Hips ☼ Rosa canina

Part Used ☼ The Fruit {hips} 

Harvest Time ☼ Autumn

Taste ☼ Sour, Sweet, Astringent 

Constituents ☼ Vitamin C, Tannins, Flavonoids, Sugars, Pectin, Carotene, & Fruit Acids

Actions ☼ Nutrient, Mild Laxative, Mild Diuretic, Mild Astringent

Internal Preparation ☼ Tea, Infusion, Decoction, Syrup, Honey, Jam/Jelly

External Preparation ☼ Oil 

Rose Hips provide one of the best natural and freely available sources of Vitamin C. They may be used wherever the vitamin is needed. They will help the bodies defenses against infections and especially the development of colds. They make an excellent Spring tonic and aid in general debility and exhaustion. They will help in cases of constipation and mild gall-bladder problems as well as conditions of the kidney and bladder. -David Hoffmann A word of caution, the seeds, which are not traditionally used as medicine contain a glucoside and are toxic, producing torpor, vertigo, and headaches. -Matthew Wood I suggest removing the seeds from the hips.

I have also come to call on Rose Hips for a variety of Women’s Issues, including for the treatment of menstrual cramps & menstrual irregularity. A strong infusion of an oz of hips, drank throughout the day, works wonderfully for this. This is made by placing one oz of herb in a vessel, pouring bowling hot water over it, and then letting it sit for at lest 8 to 24 hours before consuming. 

☼ Yellowstone ☼

A look back at our trip out west to Yellowstone National Park. It seems so long ago now, but only two weeks have passed since our trip out West. Michael and I both had the pleasure of accompanying his uncle, who happens to be an accomplished filmmaker, on a road trip out west to assist him in the filming of his next documentary. For me, this trip was incredibly eye-opening and somewhat of a first, as I have never been to the plains or wandered amidst the black hills before. I was surprised, come to find that many, if not most, of the prairie flora and fauna were similar to those that grow and dwell within our own little woodlot. Although, I must say, I have never smelled such sweet wild sage before. The sweet and spicy aroma still stings my nostrils. 

Mushroom Hunting ☼ Short-Stemmed Slippery Jack (Suillus brevipes)

Michael’s first mushroom hunt of the year brought about a basket full of these little Slippery Jacks, which are perhaps the most abundant Slippery Jack in Western North America, but still always a pleasure to find. 

Key Features ☼ Medium sized; flesh white to pale yellow; not blueing when cut; stalk solid; often but not always short; spores olive brown to cinnamon. 

Found  On the ground near or under pine trees in the forests and plantations, along highways and in yards, often in masses or troops, widespread and common. 

Edibility ☼ Fairly good; remove the slimy skin before cooking.

-David Arora 

Wild Harvest ☼ Crab Apples 

The final wild crab apple harvest of the season. Michael and I happened upon these tart little morsels while taking a stroll along the bank of the Columbia River. Much to our surprise all of the apples, even the fallen ones hadn’t been scavenged by the birds or plagued by frost yet. Although, the climb to the top of the tree, which lye above a steep bank, held me in a childlike state, while I kept myself from “looking down” at the river below, I was delighted to find atop the bank a tiny hobbit sized apple grove and my beloved nestled in the top of one of the trees, tossing our bounty down to me. 

☽ Putting the garden to rest under a warm winter cover crop of white clover and straw mulch 

☼ Simple Soap ☼ Patchouli & Lavender 

Michael’s first bath of cold process “simple soap”, featuring the liberating scent of patchouli paired with the lightly floral and soothing scent of lavender. Surprisingly easy to prepare and cure, as it should be, if you ask me.

☼ Ingredients & Materials ☼

☼ A Soap Mold {in this case a wooden one was used}

☼ Freezer Paper to line the soap mold

☼ A Variety of Measuring & Mixing Bowls

☼ Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

☼ Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

☼ Organic Ethically Harvested Palm Kernel Oil

☼ Tallow

☼ Lye

☼ Organic Essential Oils of Patchouli & Lavender 

Oils & tallow are melted together, lye added, essential oils added, then all ingredients are added to the soap mold, {which is lined with freezer paper for easy removal}, then the soap, while still in it’s mold is left in a dark, cool place to cure, for at lest a months time, but in this case it was left for six months time. 

This is not intended to be an overview of the soapmaking process, tutorial or guide, to learn more about the soap making process and gain access to some user friendly tutorials, please refer to Teach Soap

First Fall Wild Harvest ☼ Seeds ☼ Yarrow

While wondering through the woodlands, that I have now come to call my home, I stumbled upon an array of young seed heads, some in the beginning stages of formation, and to my delight some that were already   fully formed. Yarrow {Achillea millefolium} in particular, with it’s beautiful fully formed seed heads and delicate lace like arrangement held me captivated, if only for a few moments time. After a moment of due gratitude given to this humble and soft spoken plant, I began to gather, with gentle hands, from her, seeds, to be planted the following spring. 

☼ Yarrow Folklore 

Gender  Female

Planet ☼ Venus

Element ☼ Water

Powers ☼ Courage, Love, Psychic, Exorcism 

When worn, yarrow protects the wearer, and when held in the hand, it stops all fear and grants courage. A bunch of dried yarrow hung over the bed or yarrow used in wedding decorations ensures a love lasting at lest seven years. Yarrow is also used in love spells. Carrying yarrow not only brings love but it also attracts friends and distant relations you wish to contact. It draws the attention of those you most want to see. Yarrow is also used to exorcise evil and negativity form a person, place, or thing. ~Scott Cunningham 

Also called Achillea, the perennial herb named after Achilles was thought to be the witches herb. ~Jeanne Rose 

The stalks are used when consulting the I Ching, The Chinese Book Of Changes. Sleeping with yarrow under a maiden’s pillow would help bring her future husband to her in a dream. It has also been used to test fertility in England. Old Wise Women’s Trick ~ the women tickles the inside of her lover’s nostril, and if it bleeds, he’s faithful. ~Jeannine Parvati 

☼ ☼ Grand Opening ☼ of ☼ Red Root Herbals ☼ ☼

I am delighted to share, that I have officially opened my new Etsy shop for ☼ Red Root Herbals  Although there is still much work to be done in terms of shop setup {as I hope to have a line of tinctures, teas, and oils available within a months time} as of now, I have a small assortment of herbal salves and lip balms available in the shop. There is much I have to be thankful for this summer, but I would like to thank the herbs most of all.

☼ St . Johns Wort ☼ Solar Infused Oil ☼

A simply beautiful ruby red herbal oil with highly regarded healing properties, that include the ability to amend damaged nerve endings, such as in neuralgia, burns, wounds, and as seen in other common inflictions of trauma to the skin. This oil is made using a traditional folk method called a soil infusion, which is a magical form of infusion, where the power of the sun is harnessed to infuse the most vital properties of the herb into the menstrum base. In this case the volatile oil & the properties that it contains of the St. Johns Wort Flowers is infused into olive oil. Just a word of “caution” on applying St. Johns Wort Oil to the skin. Although I haven’t personally experienced this side-effect of St. Johns Wort, there have been reported cases of skin sensitivity caused by the application of St. Johns Wort Oil  on the skin while receiving direct contact with sunlight over an extended period of time. To learn more about this I suggest referring to the following user-friendly herbal reference books to become better informed “Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health”by Rosemary Gladstar & “The New Holistic Herbal” by David Hoffman.

 ☼ Materials & Ingredients ☼

☼ A glass vessel with a lid {preferably a mason jar}

☼ A small piece of cheesecloth or parchment paper

☼ Enough fresh or dried herb to fill the jar

☼ Enough high quality oil to completely cover the herb by at lest an inch {for this I used & prefer Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil}

☼ Step One ☼

Fill jar within two inches of the lid with desired fresh or dried herb {in this case I used freshly wildcrafted St. Johns Wort Flowers}

☼ Step Two ☼

Fill jar with desired high quality oil {in this case I used Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil} until the herb is completely covered. Next cover the mouth of the jar with either a piece of cheesecloth or parchment paper and then continue to cover with a loose fitting lid band {this is to keep debri and insects from getting into your oil}. 

☼ Step Three ☼

Place jar in a warm and sunny spot, preferably in direct sunlight, if possible, for 3 to 4 weeks. Being sure to check the oil regularly for signs of mold around the mouth of the lid, which could be the result of too much moisture and or due to a lack of direct sunlight. I say this as a word of caution, however I have never had a solar infused oil show signs of mold before.

☼ Step Four ☼

After 3 to 4 weeks, and the oil has become rudy red, it is ready! You may now strain your oil

preferably by using a strainer lined with cheesecloth. 

I also offer an Organic Solar Infused St. Johns Wort Oil in my Etsy Shop Red Root Herbals, for those who may not have the time or resources to make their own. I am also a strong advocate for barter & trade so, please message via Etsy if interested. 

  The Story of the Sunflower   

Apollo was the son of Zeus, the king of all Gods and Men. Apollo was the Sun God. He had a palace in the eastern direction and would ride his chariot of Gold and Ivory everyday in the skies from East to West. In the evening, he would end his journey at the far sea on the western end and would come back home on his Golden boat.
He was admired by one and all as he was believed to spread love and life to every being. He was known for his youthful and manly beauty. He had Golden hair and was the most handsome person that anyone had come across.
He was loved by all and a water nymph called Clytie was immensely in love with Apollo. She would watch him with unblinking eyes as he moved across the sky. He looked all the more handsome to Clytie. Unfortunately, Apollo ignored Clytie and never returned her love. Apollo was in love with Daphne, the beautiful daughter of a water God. Unfortunately for Apollo, Daphne did not return his love. When Apollo tried to forcefully convince Daphne, she asked her father to help her. He in turn, turned her into a plant. Apollo was heartbroken and his sorrow knew no bounds.
Clytie continued to watch Apollo as he passed through the sky. She sat on a rock for nine days without food and water and just kept looking at Apollo as he passed in the sky. Eventually, she was turned into a flower, which came to be known as the Sunflower.
It is believed that even to this day, the Sunflower keeps looking at the sun from the moment the sun rises till he sets.~Forgotten Tales