Ixchel Autumn News

Home is where the heart is..

After a winter up in the mountains of Tepoztlan and a summer on the road, Ixchel Healing Arts Studio returns to Tulum for the Winter. In December 2016 join us for the Winter Solstice Ceremony at Chichen Itza. A spiritual adventure to cleanse your soul, let go of 2016 and plant the seeds for your new, joyful vision of the new year. February 2017 we are launching our first Retreat in Tulum "Walking Light on Sacred Land" a 7 days all inclusive unique experience of healing, learning and deep ceremony. October to February we are available for Private and Group Mystical Tours, Shamanic Consultations and Healing Sessions.
For booking and inquiries ixchelhealingtulum@gmail.com

Gratitude and The Flowering of Inner Balance By Swift Raven

In the Maya tradition there are three pillars that keep the balance in the world.

One of these pillars is gratitude.

I've been following the thread of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest, a peaceful action of First Nations to protect water and sacred sites.
Different groups have set camp at different locations along the area of the proposed pipeline which would violate sacred land and jeopardize the flow of clean, safe water for many generations to come.
I watch in awe as people are coming together under the same prayer " Water is Life" and they are taking action in unprecedented ways.
More than 100 different indigenous tribes and environmental groups are gathering to do ceremony, express solidarity and discuss vital political strategies. At the camp of Sacred Stone in North Dakota the Defenders Of Sacred Water School has opened this week, to allow families to stay united through the occupation of the threatened territory and to teach their children to stand up peacefully for human rights and for all life.
The Dakota Access Pipeline protest It's an act of love that encompasses all nations. It's a call for all to come out of our caves, to join hearts and hands with one another and stand up for what really matters.
Water is life for every creature that walks, flies, swims or crawls. Water is life for the trees, the flowers, the very fabrics of the ecological balance on Earth.
Water is sacred and that is not debatable.
As I stand on a distant land, nurtured by the abundant waters of the rainy season, I feel connected to my brothers and sisters up north that are standing up for me, for my children and for the children of the people that forgot the ways of love and are blinded by the illusion of greed.
There are many ways to join the movement, many actions we can take, from sending prayers ,to show up if you can and be part of the sacred work physically, spread the word on FB or else within your networks and make a donation to cover the essential and legal expenses of those on the front line http:// standingrock.org/news/standing-rock-sioux-tribe--dakota-access-pipeline-donation-fund/
Today I choose the act of Gratitude. I choose to hold space for the protectors of sacred water, in the United States and in every other country where people are gathering in the name of life. I keep a candle lit for them day and night, to give thanks for the courage, wisdom and peaceful example of the protectors of the water and of the Earth. The movement that is building momentum in the hearts of every original tribe on Turtle Island and in any tribe, ancient or modern on Earth is clearing the way for others to do the same.
It's poking old wounds in the ribs and saying " Hey, remember we are all one nation? it's been painful and it still is but together we can relate to one another with respect and appreciation."
Solidarity is an powerful medicine when it comes to bringing change to the collective consciousness, to give individuals and entire communities a boost of optimism, of hope and of simple, authentic love. I'm talking about the kind of love that has no borders nor prejudice. Love for the sake of it, for being human before human under the same stars.
The Dakota Pipeline action is bringing healing to many people, many places and many times in history. Yes we care, all it takes is standing up side by side because despite all the chaos, despair and anger, we still remember who we are and we still have the ability to recognize what's just and speak up for it, no matter where we are from or for how long we forgot that we are all made of the same matter and spirit.
This movement is an act of love and beauty and is weaving the multicolored textile of reconciliation.
It gave life to a new soulful dream that will propel us all forward with renewed strength and possibilities, and that will echo to the farthest corners of the universe to claim our rightful place on the planet as Earth Stewards and as a kind, peaceful and intelligent people.
So let's reach out, let's support those that are opposing the destruction of life and are expecting accountability from the ones who forgot the sacredness of life. Their actions are a reflection of our innermost hopes and dreams. Dreams of living in a world that it's safe, where food it's safe, nutritious and delicious, where water is pure and full of life, where we can think of the future with awe and inspiration. Dreams of a world where what's just is recognized and what's out of balance is readjusted with compassion and efficient tools, where governments and corporations stop playing the vengeful God and instead take pride in regaining integrity, in service to the people and all life as it is meant to be. A world where we can express our magic and reach our full potential, where there is abundance and sacred space for you and for me. It is time to believe that it's not only possible, but it's happening right now and there is no going back.There might be more chaos and pain along the way but the change is taking place in every cell of our beautiful world.

I give thanks for this new Dream and I ask Creator to protect everyone involved in the action, on both sides. Because non violent action is often met by violent reaction, I give thanks to the Ancestors for watching over their children and allowing us to find new ways in our heart for solving the long term conflicts. Let's hold space in gratitude for a peaceful, balanced and life enhancing resolution to the tension of this protest and for all conflict on Earth.

Let's sit in contemplation and dive deep into that place in our soul where we remember that all life is sacred. Let's take a deep breath and express gratitude for the air we breath, for the Rivers and the Mountains, for Sun and Thunder, for love and for life. Let's take another deep breath and allow our prayers of gratitude to fill up every space inside and around us, to bring balance to our innermost self. Then with another deep breath, allow the flowering of the balance within to expand and reach our community, the protectors of water, the sky and all of existence. Osda Negada ("Everything is Good"in Cherokee ).

In Peace, Swift Raven

Medicine of the month: Oregano Grueso ( Origanum Vulgare)

Here's a culinary herb that we all know. In Italy where I come from, it's an essential ingredient for pizza and other dishes that require a rich, delicious tomato sauce.

But today I want to introduce you to another type of Oregano, which wouldn't agree with my pizza, but which is an amazing medicinal plant.

It's the Oregano Grueso, meaning thick Oregano due to its meaty leaves. It is a commonly used plant for ear infections and blocked ear duct.

Before my work in the Maya clinic, I had never heard of this type of Oregano. I was familiar with the small leaf variety , the culinary herb, but I never saw the thick leafed one.

One very hot afternoon a young woman arrived at the jungle clinic complaining of an acute earache. Columba the herbalist and curandera invited us to walk outside and she picked two leaves from the oregano Grueso plant. We then went to the kitchen and warmed up the leaves on the Comal ( the clay or metal plate that goes on the fire for heating up the tortillas). Then Columba squeezed the juice from the warm leaves into the ear of the woman who was by then sitting on a stool made from a tree stump. Columba had the woman hold her head tilted for half a minute, then she offered a napkin as the woman straightened her head again and let the liquid come out.Her earache was gone.

Since then I've seen it done several times and I started using the method myself with my clients. It never fails, it's a miracle plant.

Its effect is so immediate it's almost unbelievable.

This month for the first time I used it on myself. One of my ears got blocked while swimming and for a few weeks i had to live with the discomfort. Nothing I tried worked and as I was on the road I didn't have access to much medicine. I didn't find the plant where I was so I patiently waited, knowing that the blocked ear duct was a strong medicine in itself. "There must be something I don't want to hear or I'm not paying attention to, that's why I can't get rid of it." I said to myself. Eventually I learned to live with it for a month.
Back in the Yucatan I visited Flori's community with 2050 Legacy, an amazing theater company from NY that fights social justice through the arts. 14 blessed souls came to do a cultural exchange and offered a workshop to the children in the village. The day we arrived a member of the team asked me if I had anything to ease her earache so I asked Dona Elma if she had any Oregano.

The abuela came back 5 minutes later with 4 chubby leaves, warmed them up on the fire and squeezed them into our ears. It worked right away. I felt the weirdest sensation and then everything opened up and I could ear again.

It makes a huge difference seeing a remedy working and actually experiencing it first hand, it takes another dimension, therefore I'm grateful for the blocked ear duct that gave me the opportunity to get to know Oregano Grueso better.

Now let's look at the most common type of Oregano which is commonly available wherever we are.

Oregano belongs to the Mint family and therefore has cooling, anti inflammatory properties.

Only one gram of fresh Oregano contains more antioxidants than an apple. Its fresh leaves are a good source of iron, magnesium, copper and other essential minerals. It's rich in vitamin K, E, C and B6 as well as Omega 3.

An infusion of Oregano helps relieve Menstrual cramps, headaches, nausea and bloating.

Oregano is a good companion in winter to prevent and treat respiratory ailments such as cough, bronchitis and colds. Make an infusion of fresh Oregano leaves and ginger. Add a spoon of honey and squeeze a lemon into it and drink throughout the day or until the symptoms clear.

Oregano is easy to grow and it's a must in the kitchen. It's a great ally for aiding digestion and treating flatulence and bloating. Add it to your meals for its amazing fragrance and powerful anti fungal and digestive properties. Add it fresh or dry to your tomato sauce, roasted meats or nut roasts and soups and Buon Appetito !

Cheers from the Earth Pharmacy

JOURNEY THROUGH XIBALBA Jaguar Medicine for a changing world.

Jaguar Medicine for a changing world.
By Swift Raven
It's been an enriching month in the Sacred Land of the Chol, Tzeltal y Tzotzil Maya of Chiapas. It's also been eye opening and scary at times as I found myself in the midst of some very critical conflict. I witnessed raw violence and a strong sense of danger. I questioned why Spirit was placing me in situations with such a low vibration and that were life threatening to me? I learned that in this time of crisis, the ones of us who are ready and willing are called to step into action. Spirit wanted me to experience what's going on in the hearts of my fellow human beings so that I can be present and hold space. So that I can stand side by side with them and take action if required in new ways. I feel grateful for having navigated safely through and for the experience that gave me plenty of opportunities to reflect on the strong and extreme energies at work on the planet right now.
The Ancients prepared us for this time when the changes would cause turmoil. It's a necessary process while the Primordial Waters stir and release all the stuck negative emotions from the womb of Mother Earth and from the soul of every human being. It's a healing crisis that allows us to liberate and purify our heart, shake off the old structures that serve no more and walk lightly into the New Time.
Everything in this physical reality goes through Xibalba ( The Underworld )before emerging into the light. As we step into the Light of the Fifth Sun we still have to go through the darkness of our soul and come out clean and clear at the other end. We are releasing thousands of years of stuck energy, shaking up and waking up and in doing so, making lots of ripples that cause the chaos we may witness and experience.
But Light and Dark cohabit in balance and they are both not only necessary but one and the same. In fact both Light and Dark are a polarised manifestation of the Light. They exist side by side since the beginning of time as we know it and they both have their role and value. This makes possible that, parallel to all the despair and confusion, another phenomenon is taking place. All around the world and more than ever people are waking up, standing up and taking intelligent, peaceful steps to bring positive change to the world at large and to their immediate communities.
The time has come for us to come out of the cave, to overcome our prejudice and hold hands with our brothers and sisters. As my Teacher said " We're in this together, we are all going through, each one at their own pace and in their own way but we are holding hands, all connected to the same thread".
Everyone can find ways to help Gaia and humanity go through the changes, in our prayers but also in our actions. In times of crisis the ones that are strong, healthy and in the position to help are called to do so. It's been like that from the beginning of time, it's a natural instinct in many species including humans. In the darkest moments lie the strongest flame of courage and solidarity.
Let's embrace the changes with patience, humility and an open heart. Let's take it as an opportunity to connect deeper to ourselves and to the greater picture, to learn to listen in different ways and know that all is perfectly aligned with a Sacred Order and Time.
Change is never a clear cut, we are in a transition where, while the old is being lifted off the planet, the new is coming down and being anchored on Earth. These two energies meet half way and dance together, before continuing their inevitable journey towards their destination. It's like when a soul leaves the physical plane and meets another soul that is arriving to the world. They have a brief exchange and acknowledge the greatness of each other's stage of evolution. It's a constant cycle of renewal, and it happens on the microcosmic as well as the macrocosmic level. It happens every moment inside our body, as old cells die to give space to the new ones. It happens in the cosmos where constantly the celestial bodies die and are recycled for other life forms to be born. Right now this is happening to planet Earth on the physical, emotional and spiritual level. It's happening in whole countries and in individuals that are experiencing disease and high levels of stress while the new Cosmic Codes are entering their consciousness.
So what can we do to stay grounded and navigate this time safely in our personal life and for the greatest good?
Walking down the road the other day I saw the picture of Jaguar on the outside of a house. It took a bite out of a gun with fierce, motherly determination. I stood there for a long time. The artist beautifully expressed what I've been feeling.
Jaguar is Ix, the Nawal of the Feminine Energy, of intuition, the subconscious, of mothering and solidarity. Ix helps us find creative solutions and intelligent strategies. She teaches us to be firm and stand in our power with love and compassion. Ix is strong Medicine at this time , as the feminine stands up and takes her rightful place next to the masculine so that together they may find balance once more. It’s not a war between patriarchal and matriarchal, it's a coming together of all aspects of ourselves within ourselves and then meeting the other in their completion so we can move forward in new healthy ways.
Ix beats in the heart of both men and women, she is guiding all her children home back to love and out of our confused mind. As my Teacher said " Men have to come down from the cold mind into the warm heart. The coldness of the man's mind has brought cold into the womb of woman, wrinkling her energy .Women have to forgive and allow for the healing to happen, in themselves and in the world". It is time to act with love and warm up our bones.
Ix is the energy of the Goddess Ixchel who brings healing and awakening through compassion and invites us to go deep into the underworld to clear and cleanse what needs to be released at this time of great change, to then be reborn new and more conscious into the new Dawn.
The painting also reminds us that Art is a mean for building peace, as well as activism, teaching, growing food, standing up against the system when it's not being reasonable, helping a neighbour or a stranger in the street, cultivate healthy relationships with ourselves and others, following our dreams, meditation and sending light to the world, baking bread with love...
Endless possibilities await us if we chose to be a conscious vessel for the new energies that are floding the planet. We can call upon Ix, the Goddess Ixchel and ask her to guide us so we may act with love and provide hope for the ones that need it the most. We can also connect to others and together hold space for the world in many creative ways.
If you feel worried or weighed down by the intensity of this time, connect to nature, let the wind blow away the negative thoughts and let the water wash away the tension or the sadness. Connect to others and voice what you feel, you will be surprised by the amount of love you will receive. Or light a candle and sit quietly so that your Guides can wrap their arms or wings or paws around you and bring comfort to your soul.
And on the days when the sun shines on you and your heart is filled with joy, you can give back by doing the same for others. You can listen to someone's sorrow and provide compassion, or you can sit quietly and let your love reach out to the whole.
Let's stand in beauty and humility and co-create a world where peace is not only a dream but our everyday reality.
In Kindness
Swift Raven
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Medicine of the month: Floripondio ( Brugmansia)

Medicine of the month: Floripondio ( Brugmansia)
This morning I was wondering what the Medicine of the Month might be. Nothing was openly and obviously talking to me, or so I thought.
I considered Sunflower because it's a Summer flower and because is one of my favorites. But I haven't met one therefore writing about it would be dry. Besides isn't it more exciting when I can share with you my new discoveries? I decided to wait and allow for the right teachings to flow into my life.
Then my friend Tanya came for lunch and on her way out she looked around and said " You have a beautiful Floripondio tree out here."
Sure enough, it has been standing there all along but I didn't pay attention to it. Although I admired its beautiful flowers, I associated them with stories of people going mad or being heavily poisoned.
"Do you know it's medicine?" Asked Tanya who is a skilled and respected Wicca. "Really? Isn't it Datura ?" I replied. My prejudice deterred me from connecting to this beautiful Medicine Plant. " It's from the same family but this one is medicinal if taken with caution" said Tanya. It turns out that Floripondio is widely used by the Maya in this region and by the Aztecs up north.
We pay respect to its relative Datura Stramonium but this article is NOT about Datura. In fact I looked it up on Wikipedia just to make the distinction clear "Brugmansia is a genus of seven species of flowering plants in the family Solanaceae. They are woody trees or shrubs, with pendulous flowers, and have no spines on their fruit. Their large, fragrant flowers give them their common name of angel's trumpets, a name sometimes used for the closely related genus Datura. (Datura differs from Brugmansia in that they are herbaceous bushes, with erect rather than pendulous flowers - and most have spines on their fruit)."
Floripondio or Brugmansia has many medicinal properties, mainly used for its Narcotic and Antispasmodic qualities. It can be taken internally with great caution because overdose can cause vertigo, hallucinations and delirium with convulsions. It extreme cases it can cause death. So Use in Moderation! A little goes a long way.
Floripondio is used to cure Rheumatism, Worms, Inflammation, Colds, Fever, Cramps, Asthma and Hemorrhoids. It's also used as a Vermicide and in a Poultice to Relieve Pain. It's believed to calm Epileptic Convulsions.
To calm down bouts of Asthma the dry leaves are grounded and burned over the ashes. The smoke they produce is then inhaled from the mouth and nose.To relieve Rheumatic pain grind fresh leaves and seeds, boil them with oil and let to cool down. Then apply the paste to the affected area. Another effective method is boiling 25 grams of leaves in 1 liter of water, strain and mix with linseed flour and finally apply the poultice to the affected area.
An extract of the leaves can be made to prevent and treat Epilepsy and other imbalances of the nervous system. The extract is taken in one ml per day.
The Flowers give out a scent at night that can be intoxicating and make them considered Divine in some cultures. To counteract Insomnia place a flower under your pillow. Don't overdo it though. It's believed that sitting under the tree induces deep sleep with vivid dreams from which you may never wake up...
Finally the Floripondio tree is widely used as an ornamental, providing beauty and scent to the garden.
If you feel called to use this medicine please be cautious or consult a herbalist, and let us know how it goes.
Floripondio is a powerful Medicine that teaches moderation, caution and respect. It reminds us that strong has its place just as gentle, that every medicine has its time and its place. Like in homeopathy, even poison can heal if taken in the right way. Like anger, if overused it can poison relationships and destabilize a healthy mind and heart, but in some cases and in small doses it's a life saver. I feel that the beautiful, poisonous flowers of Floripondio encourages us to reclaim our Innate Medicine from the dark recesses of our seasoned soul so we can learn to use it rather than fear it. Underneath the beauty lies the ogre, each one powerful and essential in their own dimension.
I also feel that Floripondio Medicine is relevant to the times we are living, when we have to thread cautiously on uncharted territory and while we navigate turbulent waters as individuals and collectively and we are called to integrate the duality more than ever. Let's embrace it with humility and respect. Let's embrace the totality of who we are, free from fear or shame.
The spell has been broken, thanks Tanya!
Cheers from the Earth Pharmacy at Ixchel Healing Arts Studio

Medicine of the month: Cacao, gift from the Gods.

Back in 2002 when I first lived in the jungle in
Chiapas, Mexico I discovered the many wonders of the Cacao plant or Cocoa.
I didn't know then that Cacao was a bean and grew on a tree in the subtropical jungle.
I sort of suspected it didn't grow in bars wrapped in aluminum and displayed on supermarket shelves, but I had no idea what a treasure it really was.
One day as I was out on an expedition, a companion showed me the tree.
My eyes grew big" really? Is this where chocolate comes from?" My companion, a unique character of wits and unbeatable humor, picked a whole pod ,split it open and showed me the beans. " meet your chocolate bar en nude" he said proudly.
I held the pod and as I always do, smelled its contents. It was so different from what I knew, it smelled strong and exotic. We brought it back to camp and my companion toasted it on the fire. That night he started the long process of grinding it with a rock and then boiling it with water. Some time later we sat around the fire and tried the brew. Gosh was it bitter!! Nothing to do with the so familiar hot chocolate.
Somehow my friend enjoyed it and claimed that it was the real thing and it's only a matter of getting used to it.
I remember adding sugar and having to add more and even more but it was still too bitter for my taste buds, used to the commercial surrogate.
What don't we do for love? As a Chocolate lover I was willing to go the extra mile to honor the food from the Gods.
The same year I traveled through Guatemala and found chocolate cigars which were artisan crafted with the real cacao powder mixed with tons of sugar and other spices .
The texture was crumbly but the taste was more palatable for my buds than the jungle brew.
In the years that followed I found myself having romantic remembrance of the Guatemalan chocolate cigars.
Cacao is like the jungle, once you meet it, you cannot forget it.
It's too precious
No wonder the Mayas considered it their most precious material.
Cacao was in fact the currency in the ancient world and it was considered more precious than gold.
Cacao was in fact the currency in the ancient world and it was considered more precious than gold.
They probably knew of its amazing qualities as a health booster.
We all know that chocolate boosts our mood and brings comfort to our mind. The raw product has many health benefits. It is first and foremost medicine for the heart with its antinflammatory and heart protective antioxidants. It contains 700 compounds called polyphenols which reduce bad cholesterol and reduces the risk of stroke. It helps expand the heart and bring overall wellbeing. The ceremonial grade cacao helps the heart chakra open and connect to the unconditional love from within.
Cacao boosts brain levels of serotonin, the feel good brain chemical which helps balance hormonal mood swings, making it an essential part of women's diet especially during their moon cycle.
In recent years I found raw chocolate products more available and I'm gradually substituting the processed product with the real thing . I got so used to it that by now if I can't find good chocolate I'd rather go no-chocolate.
The commercial chocolate brands contain a minuscule part of raw cacao, which has been processed and sourced unethically and contains unnecessary quantities of sugar and dairy, which inhibits the absorption of the antioxidants.
There are really good brands out there that make good chocolate which is finely crafted and tastes divine. Some of these ethical companies make vegan chocolate which is suitable for non dairy diets and many use unrefined sweeteners, natural spices and no preservatives.
I also use raw cacao powder in my smoothie in the morning , together with fresh mango and banana or fresh coconut water ( coconut or other nuts milk is also good) and it provides plenty of healthy energy for the day ahead.
When I make hot chocolate, I boil the raw cacao powder with water and add spices, cinnamon and a tablespoon of raw sugar.
Cacao is also used for cooking. One of my favorite Mexican dishes, Mole is made with a paste that contains cacao and a parade of spices of different colors and taste that make a unique, aphrodisiac recipe.
Other than the scientific evidence about its amazing qualities, when something is so delicious and makes you feel so good, it can only be a ( Mayan) God's send.
I have taken to offer cacao beans to the Abuelos in ceremony and I treat myself to a good cup of real hot chocolate whenever I can. Every excuse is good.
It just makes life more happy
If you haven't noticed, chocolate is one of my greatest passions, I would spend hours talking about it, but then I wouldn't have time to actually eat it so see you next month.

Cheers from the Earth Pharmacy


Breathing into the space of the Innocent Heart

This month the Full Moon in Sagittarius is a gentle yet powerful Blue Moon that falls on a day 3 Kej.
In the sacred Cholq'ij, original Mayan calendar, Kej is one of the carriers of the world. With its grace, agility and strength, it supports the four corners of the universe.
Kej invites us to be gentle and have compassion with ourselves and others.
It represents the place of the home and emotional stability
It is the essence of the innocent heart.
Full Moon in Sagittarius offers a window of opportunity for seeing beyond the illusion of our limitations, have an honest chat with ourself and gain greater clarity about our needs.
Its energy facilitates communication with Spirit and vision of a greater purpose in life.
Finally, the Blue Moon brings in a gentle, childlike energy that allows us to lighten up the load and totally relax into trusting our heart.
Create a sacred space where you can make a fire or light a candle.
You can offer flowers and water, burn some incense and play some soft music if you wish.
Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
Take three deep breaths, inhaling from your nose and exhaling from your mouth.
As you inhale, imagine or feel as a beautiful calming blue light enters your lungs and as you exhale see or feel how you release a heavy, tired grey smoke.
Call upon Grandmother Moon and tell her you are here to work with her energy tonight.
Call in Kej and visualize or feel as the area of your heart chakra relaxes and expands, making space for you to come home to yourself.
Know that beyond the limitations of the ego and the difficulties of life, the heart always remains pure and innocent.
This is a place where there is no doubt nor guilt, only the knowing that you are loved.
Sit with this energy for as long as you wish, allow it to occupy every corner of your consciousness.
If any sad and uncomfortable feelings or images from past memories emerge, breath deeply into them, releasing them as heavy, tired, grey smoke as you exhale.
When no more uncomfortable feelings appear and you feel light and peaceful, reach up towards the sky and visualize or feel as a fiery red and golden spiral of light descends upon you.
This is the energy of Sagittarius,here to help you express your needs.
Visualize the red golden light wrapping around you and lifting you up. Let go and be carried into the sky all the way to the Moon.
Once on the Moon voice what you truly need.
Like a child, trust that what you ask you will receive, because you are speaking from a place of innocence and the whole universe is here to co-create with you a life of joy and freedom.
When you feel complete, you can descend back onto Earth and anchor your requests by placing your hands on the ground at your sides.
Then place your hands on your innocent heart and give thanks to all that participated in the journey.
Take three deep breaths, slowly and gently move your toes, hands and head and when you are ready you can open your eyes.
Remain in silence for a while to allow the energies to settle.
We hope you enjoy the Meditation and we send you many blessings on your path.
Ixchel Healing Arts Studio
" Blue Moon Over Tepoztlan " image by Ixchel Healing Arts Studio

Medicine of the month : Jabuticaba

Jabuticaba ( Plinia Cauliflora)
A few months ago I read a post that fascinated me. It was about the amazing Jabuticaba tree .
I wondered whether I'd ever be able to see the tree live. Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw it in Don Ruben's garden! Just around the corner from us.
My neighbor invited me to take some home and he answered my many questions.
Jabuticaba is a tropical fruit that grows directly on the trunk of the tree. Due to its very short life (2-3 days from picking ) it's only found in the regions where it grows. The fruit is eaten fresh or made into jams and sweet liqueur.
The fruit tastes delicious and the tree's beauty is in itself medicine for the eyes and all other senses. Jabuticaba is indeed powerful medicine. In fact it has strong antioxidant, anti aging and astringent properties as well as being a good source of important nutrients. Integrating it into one's diet helps relieve asthma, keeps skin and hair young and healthy and it helps clearing out toxins from the body. It is used to fight diarrhea , as it acts as a tonic and provides rehydration.
Jabuticaba is also a rich source of protein and a potent antinflammatory. Finally, Jabuticaba contains Jaboticabin, a very strong anti cancer compound which is being researched as a natural alternative to chemotherapy. And all you have to do is Eat It!
So we ate lots but didn't stop there. We made a tincture which in 21 days we will turn it into Microdosis remedies. I plan to take them to Yucatan where Mayan herbalists have been studying jungle plants for anti cancer properties, to support their communities in the face of this modern disease. I am also saving seeds to plant in medicine gardens in Yucatan, Guatemala and Veracruz. If the seedlings grow and thrive in the three different ecosystems, there will be abundance of Jabuticaba trees and fruit that will benefit the people and wildlife in those areas and beyond.
Cheers from the Earth Pharmacy At Ixchel Healing Arts Studio

Sing to the Water

By Swift Raven
This Spring the Abuelos Mexica spoke of 2016 being " The first year of the great purification".
They will do ceremony at regular intervals for the next three years, to mitigate the very strong winds and heavy rains that they say are coming.
In the month of the Big Fire that consumed the sacred mountain of Tepoztlan, I had a conversation with the waterfall. We talked about water.
In the year of the great purification, the waters in the Primordial Womb are stirring, pushing, giving birth to the new Time that the Mayas call the Fifth Sun. It's the time of new ecological and social consciousness, when we join hearts and hands and create positive change in our life and in the world around us with more ease than before. Because the time is ripe.
From the depths of the collective unconscious, we are clearing and releasing the stagnant waters in our soul. We are re-birthing ourselves stronger, more humble and more fit for the work of Spirit we are being called to do.
It's an organic process that is affecting us on many levels. We are, together with Nature clearing the channels for the life force to flow to all new seeds, on the personal level and on the bigger scale.
Clearing the channels allow us to redefine our place in the world, to realize we are indeed all connected , that we are in this together and we have the chance to co-create a new reality that makes sense to our hearts and minds.
We all heard of the interconnectedness of all beings and of the illusion of separation. Now let's take this far off notion and make it real.
( No, we don't need to sit in a cave for four hundred years to be able to connect the dots )
Sometimes all it takes is slowing down and listening deeply to the voice of Nature...
"Liberate the waters" said the waterfall. The message touched deep places inside me .
I thought of the emotions that have been building up and that I suppressed for fear of feeling the pain or for sake of practicality. The waterfall reminded me that I'm part of the changes taking place on Earth and that the purification is happening right now within my very soul and in unison with everyone else.
Water is essential medicine at this time of great shift.
Water helps to brake down all barriers, emotional as well as mental and cultural, sometimes gently others with tremendous force. It's the ultimate detox.Water helps to spring clean the closet, of all negative thoughts and patterns, of old wounds that grow pale in the folds of the decades; of toxins that are stripping the body of its natural glow. Water nourishes, restores and relaxes, allowing the system to function properly.
"Liberate the waters" I repeated, while my gaze followed the flow of the river below as it curled and disappeared behind the mountain.
We are called to liberate the waters so emotions can flow without poisoning us , so that words can speak the truth without wounding each other, so that the creative energies within us can yield peace and cooperation between all nations.
To liberate the waters is a call to unity.
Water is One, from the glaciers to the ocean. Like Earth it's everywhere all the time. In the sky, underground, in our blood, day and night. In many forms, texture, taste, temperature and sound, water simply is. All she asks is to flow.
All over the world the natural flow of Gaia is being obstructed by man made structures inspired by bad policies.
Where I live there used to be abundance of springs and streams until the rivers were diverted and dammed and now the basins are running dry, most households are subject to rationing and it's becoming an ever increasing problem. People are forced to pay money to fill the cisterns on their roof. The water comes with big trucks from reservoirs far away, sucking more life force from the ecosystem. This is happening in different ways all over the world. When mankind alters and blocks the flow of water, Mother Earth runs dry and everyone suffers.
Water is alive and responds to our touch, our smile and our tears, just like Earth does, just like trees and animals do. Just like we do with one another.
In the face of this global crisis people all over the world are finding intelligent, creative solutions, raising awareness and taking responsibility for the wellbeing of water in their communities. They are Expressing gratitude, applying wise water management strategies and giving themselves proper care.
Taking responsibility means taking action while remembering that we are dealing with the Sacred.
In the year of the great purification let's take responsibility in new, fresh ways.
Let's bring down the damaging dams, in our inner life and in our communities
Let's design with everyone's wellbeing in mind ,systems that are conscious, beautiful and efficient for water to flow as it was originally conceived by Gaia, to nurture life equally and effortlessly everywhere.
Let's liberate the waters to nourish and regenerate the land, the oceans, the human soul and all life on Earth. Letting the rivers flow again through the veins of our Mother is essential to everyone's wellbeing.
Let's think, feel, dream and act for clear, healthy, abundant and free water for all.
Let's integrate the dream work with the ground work, let's bring together the shamans and the permaculturists, the earth healers and the engineers, the teachers and the farmers, the elders and the children. Let's work together, with no barriers nor prejudice because the health of the water affects the health of everything we know, on any possible level, everywhere on the planet.
I was quiet for some time,then I asked
"What can I do at this very moment to make a change?"
" Sing to the water" said the waterfall. So I did.
I invite you to take a moment to think of something, big or small that you can do right now to contribute your drop of clear consciousness to the wave of positive change taking place on Earth.
It can be something as simple as singing to the water...
Many blessings on your path
Swift Raven

Full Moon in Scorpio Mayan perspective

A powerful Full Moon this month falls on a day 12 Noj, sacred Nahual in the Mayan Cholq'ij, which merged with the energy of Scorpio opens the gate to unlimited growth and expansion.

Noj connects de Universal Cosmic Mind with the human intellect, knowledge, wisdom and spiritual knowing. It's the energy that allows us to grow and evolve as earthly and spiritual beings, helping us find our balance between our limited and our limitless self.
Noj represents fine communication in the physical world as well as in the sublime, the collective memory and the art of turning knowledge into wisdom.

Scorpio flows through the waters of our subconscious, allowing our senses to open up and our emotions to flow powerfully.
It pushes us through the boundaries of our daily life and into the depth of our emotional life, where we can feel, desire, reflect and challenge everything that we have and everything that we are.
Scorpio takes us out of our thinking mind and lets us play with the unlimited possibility of being.
It gives us permission to let go of what we consider futile to our growth and it gifts us with new ideas and vision that comes from clarity about our own truth.
With clarity of feeling and intent Scorpio leads us into action to master the art of co-creating our unique path.


To harvest the energy of Noj and Scorpio on the Full Moon take a break, switch off your phone, go outside and be one with the sky.
Make a Water Altar. This can be as simple or as complex as you wish. If you live near a body of water, that would be the best place to sit.
Take three deep breaths to still mind and body.
Open your senses to your surroundings, be quiet and listen.
If you want you can close your eyes.
Let any emotions come to the surface and observe what you see without judging.

Visualize or feel as your waters flow through every part of you, from your head down to your toes.
Allow your waters to break down any illusions or resistance to change, allow them to cleanse and regenerate , making space for your truth to emerge from the depths of your soul, bringing clarity to your mind and heart.
Visualize or feel as all the old, stagnant waters now flow out of our feet and into the Earth, where they will be purified before nurturing new seeds again, in the never-ending cycle of life and death.

Extend your hands towards the sky, express gratitude to Grandmother Moon and ask Abuelo Noj to descend upon you and bless you with its medicine, so that your experiences and knowledge may be turned into wisdom.

When you feel the ritual has come to an end, take three deep breaths and stretch your limbs.
Give thanks to the Energies that worked with you, offer some of the water that was blessed on the Altar to Mother Earth and offer the rest to your precious self.

Many Blessings on your Wisdom Path
In Kindness