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Defining My Path

In September 2016 I began the Entrepreneur Herbal Course through the Herbal Academy, and I will be finishing it soon. It is always bittersweet when I finish one of their courses, but at least I have a lot of notes and sweet memories to hang on to each time. I hate to say goodbye, but I’m ready to move forward.

Never, in a million years, would I have imagined I would learn as much as I have thus far. I have learned about herbal history, herbal traditions around the world, plant identification and taxonomy, plant chemistry, wildcrafting, drying and storing herbs, defining my path, using essential oils in my herbal products, making and storing herbal products, advanced formulation, Good Manufacturing Practices, labeling my products, all the legal requirements, and SO much more.

I am so thankful for each one of the Herbal Academy’s courses, especially the Entrepreneur Herbal Course. This course has really made me think about my path as an Herbalist and which direction I would like to go.

Below is my essay from Unit 4. After four wonderful years of studying through the Herbal Academy and praying about it, I now know the path I feel called to take. I just have to create some baby steps to get there…

Entrepreneur Herbal Course, Unit 4

Define Your Path Essay

“When I first began my herbal journey in 2008, I didn’t really have one certain path that that called out to me, I just knew I wanted to help people. Since I began studying with the Herbal Academy in 2014, I have had several paths call out to me.

In 2016, while working on the Intermediate Herbal Course, I felt called to become a Clinical Herbalist. At that time, I felt that would be the best way to help a lot of people, but since then I have learned how herbalist can help people in other ways as well. Now, the path I feel calling out to me the most is the Community Herbalist path.

As a Community Herbalist, I plan to teach my fellow Oklahomans about all of the amazing plants growing wild here, in our beautiful state. I want to share the knowledge I have acquired throughout the years by offering herb classes, hands-on workshops, wildcrafting walks; and by writing and illustrating a book about the plants of Oklahoma. I also want to open a café that offers herbal teas, fair-trade coffees, wildcrafted foods, herbal foods, and other herbal inspired creations. I want my community to not only learn about these amazing plants, but learn how to use them to nourish their bodies.

The first reason I want to start my own business is to bring my husband home. He currently works away from home half of the year, so it would be really nice to have him home every day. The second reason is because it would bring my family closer together. Since we homeschool already, it would be a wonderful way to teach my children even more about herbs and what it means to have good work ethics. The last, but definitely not the least, reason is to help people. I plan to employ some people, and help feed even more.

My business will positively impact my community by offering events to bring us all together, by setting a good example, and by helping people. I feel that communities need good leaders, individuals who will organize and plant events that are not only good for the people, but good for our planet. My plan is to gather up other like-minded individuals and plan some amazing events. We will offer classes, hands-on workshops, community picnics, wildcrafting walks, arts + crafts festivals, classes for kids, hands-on workshops for kids, and so much more. We will also get a community garden and community compost going. These two things will not only help our community, but help our planet as well.

I feel that my ideas support preservation, conservation, and sustainability. Through my classes, hands-on workshops, wildcrafting walks, and other events I will be able to teach my community about the preservation, conservation, and sustainability of our planet. Through my café I will be able to set a good example by offering recycling bins and rewards for recycling; and by using glass and metal dinnerware/silverware, cloth napkins, fabric tablecloths, recycled and 100% biodegradable to-go boxes/cups, solar panels for electricity, eco-friendly kitchen appliances (large and small), and upcycled furniture. I truly believe that if we show people how easy it is to be eco-friendly and teach them why it’s so important, then they will eventually come around to the idea.

I am beyond excited to turn my dreams into a reality, but I am also really nervous. I am nervous because I have never owned a business by myself and I will be on my own until I can bring my husband home to help me. I am also nervous because I do not really know how my community will react in the beginning. Will they accept me with open arms or call me crazy behind my back? I have faith that this is what God has called me to do though, so I know – without a doubt – it will all be good in the end and that makes my heart happy. Helping people and helping our planet will bring me great joy because that is exactly why I am here!

In five years I see myself in a field of southern Oklahoma, teaching my fellow Oklahomans about the wonderful plants covering the land we call home with an array of colors. I see myself sipping a cup of herbal tea, as I read from a book about herbs to a group of children gathered all around me. I see myself making a loaf of artisan bread, enjoying the aroma of herbs as I gently fold them into the dough, and loving every moment of my life.”

-Cheyenne Anderson

What is your mission, as an Herbalist? 🌿

I feel that writing down a mission plan and describing the values you plan to implement, in order to achieve this mission, are very important steps for an Herbalist, and for the aspiring Herbalists as well. 

In the Entrepreneur Herbal Course I’m taking through the Herbal Academy, one of our assignments was to write down a mission plan and describe the values we planned to implement to help us achieve this mission. 

Here is mine…

“My mission is to assist people in building the general health and resistance of their body by providing nutrients and herbs that stimulate healing.

To achieve this, I plan to implement the following values:

Generosity: I think generosity is an awesome business value. I plan to help as many people as I can, even if they don’t have the means to pay me. In my opinion, the true definition of generosity is “giving and never expecting anything in return”.

Pursuit of Excellence: I will always try to handcraft the very best products and help people the very best way I can. I will constantly try to do better and put good into the world each and every day.

Community: I want to get my community involved. I will offer classes about herbs: culinary herbs, herbal medicine, teas, making infusions & decoctions, and syrup & tincture making. I also want to offer nature walks, teach people how to wildcraft, and teach them about all the endangered herbs.” –Cheyenne Anderson, Herbalist 

I know that my mission will never change, but I may add some values to the list as the years go by. Regardless, this is a good starting point for me and I hope all the Aspiring Herbalists and Herbalists out there decide to sit down and write out their mission plan as well. 

I hope y’all are having a great spring! 🌿 

Our very first Traditional Cherokee Full Moon Fire Ceremony 🔥

Tonight I hosted our very first Traditional Cherokee Full Moon Fire Ceremony. 

 

Paper bags full of herbs 🌿
 
Earlier today, I gathered up some of my herbs and made a bag for each person to toss into the fire as an offering to God. I chose each herb based on it’s meaning and what I felt we needed at this time. 

  
We burned allspice for compassion; sage for wisdom; and pink roses for grace, happiness, and gentleness. 

  
We burned spearmint for warmth of sentiment; peppermint for warmth of feeling;  and sweet basil for good wishes, love, and serious intentions. 

  
We burned calendula for sacred affections, joy, and rememberance;  rosemary for rememberance and God’s presence reviving us; and lavender for devotion and virtue. 

 
 We burned thyme for courage, strength, activity, thriftiness, and energy; hyssop for cleanliness and sacrifice; and fennel for strength.

 
We burned chamomile for energy in adversity, initiative, and patience; cloves for dignity; and dill for good spirits, and it’s power against evil.

  
We burned myrrh for gladness and love; parsley for useful knowledge; and horehound for health. 

  

We burned coriander for hidden worth and valerian for readiness. 

We also burned cedar for strength, oak leaves for bravery, and oak wood for hospitality. 

After the bags of herbs were ready, I got the fire pit ready. I tried to find seven different types of wood to burn, one to honor each tribe. Then I stacked the wood and added kindling. 

  
I cooked a big pot of beans and a big pot of chili after my work outside was finished. I figured we needed foods to nourish our bodies before the fire ceremony. 

After we gobbled up the nourishing home cooked meal, we wrote down the intentions we would like to release and the things we would like to call forth from God. 

  
Then we gathered around the fire pit and started the fire. It was time to begin our fire ceremony. 

  
We began our fire ceremony with prayer, then we burned our offerings to God. We burned the bags of herbs, tobacco (one of the traditional offerings of the Cherokee people), cedar wood + leaves, and oak wood + leaves. 

 

Paper bags of herbs 🌿
 
  
After we burned our offerings, we walked around the fire (counter-clockwise) and we each took a turn releasing our intentions and our prayers into the fire. It was healing, spiritual, and brought us all closer together. I hope you can find the time to have a Fire Ceremony sometime soon. 🔥

 
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Traditional Cherokee Full Moon Fire Ceremony 🔥

I have been fascinated with Native Americans since I was a little girl. Maybe it’s because I have Cherokee blood running through my veins, or maybe it’s my ancestors calling me. Who knows? All I know is that I love learning about my ancestry and I love finding traditions that I can pass down to my children. 

One of the traditions I recently discovered was the fire ceremony, so I decided that we would begin practicing this tradition tonight, the night of the super full moon. 

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Our backyard fire pit 🔥
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I cleaned out the wood ash to prepare for our fire ceremony 🔥
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I also collected some firewood for our fire ceremony 🔥

I found the following information on my favorite Cherokee woman, Dr. Stanley’s, blog.

HOW IS A FIRE CEREMONY PERFORMED?
Each of us bring something to burn that we would like to rid the emotions associated with our past (on the Full Moon) or a prayer request of something new (during the New Moon), that will burn, turn to smoke and release into the ethers. This allows the past energy to move along to its highest spiritual progression path and the new prayer request to move along to its highest spiritual progression path. We may bring pictures, drawings, or intentions written on a piece of paper for the past or the newness. For the past, after we have burned and released the emotions associated with it, then we have something prepared that is written down on a clean sheet of paper. This would be something new that we would like to call forth from God. For the newness, the prayer request is then burned and released into the ethers thereby replacing the past emotions with new ones.

We form a circle around the fire and one by one we call in support from Divine Sources that give us peace. E.g. – God, Jesus, Creator, the Blessed Virgin Mother, Spirit, the Universe, the Archangels, the Saints that we may feel closest to, Guardian Angels, etc. We start with a prayer, and end with a prayer that is coupled with thanksgiving that our prayers and intentions have already been answered.

Keep in mind, no one is obligated to speak during a Fire Ceremony. Anyone can participate without stating what they are releasing or calling forth.

After we have called in our Divine Source we place into the fire our pictures, drawings and intended release of the emotions associated with the past. Once these things have burned to smoke and ash, we then place into the fire what we have written on clean sheet of paper. This would be what we desire to replace those old energies with and call in new.

The things we address from our past or call into our future can be shared with the group or kept to ourselves as we go through the Fire Ceremony.

YOU WILL NEED ANY OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING

  • A fire pit or fire place where you can safely burn a fire. A barbecue pit or fireproof pot works well too. If you live in an apartment, it is best to find a place outdoors where you can safely burn a fire.
  • A bucket filled with water or a water hose to put the fire out after the ceremony.
  • Items such as a drawing, picture or written intentions that you would like to release from your past.
  • Anything else that you feel would serve you that need to be released.
  • In strict Native American custom – the burning of sage, sweetgrass or tobacco is burned along with the past, which is given as an offering. When the smoke rises up into the ethers and is carried away to God there should be a quiet or meditative break in order to embrace a new awareness of transformation in your life. It is also symbolic that you can offer up a bit of food you wanted and only ate half of so that you could offer the other half in thanks.

THE VALUE OF IMAGERY

Do not minimize the value of imagery in Native American ceremony. The Spirit of God is real. This is a way of demonstrating our gratefulness and thanksgiving to God. When we pray to our Source and Supply who is God; He can, will and does affect our lives. So honoring Him and showing Him respect is part of this ceremony.

After your fire gets going, each person may contribute to the prayer and then the items are offered to the fire. Tell God and all the Divine Spirits that you have called forth that you offer these things in thanksgiving. Meditate and feel the presence of God all around you. Singing praise, playing peaceful music either through tapes or instruments may also be used.

A TIME FOR CELEBRATION

You can sing, dance and enjoy yourself. Experience a feeling of thanksgiving that your prayers are already answered. This is a time of celebration.

Every Divine Source you called in is present, so give thanks and believe you have already received.

MOST IMPORTANTLY

“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24

Thanks for stopping by to read about the traditional Cherokee fire ceremony, I’ll post a blog about our fire ceremony soon…so keep your eyes peeled! 😊

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November Fall Garden Update! 🌿💚🌾

I was a busy little bee this last week! 🐝

  
It was time to collect free mulch for my garden, so I had my sweet husband vacuum our yard with his mower. It worked like a charm! He was able to vacuum and dump about 4 or 5 loads of leaves next to my compost bin so I could use them for my garden. We have a LOT of trees in Oklahoma. 

  
I used some of the leaves to mulch around my blackberry bushes. 

  
 
I also used some leaves between my radish and carrot rows! 

  
I also spread some leaves out between the rows of beets too. 

Radishes & Carrots
Radishes & Carrots

Beets
 
Beets
 
 
Beets
 

My radishes, carrots, and beets are growing really well, I’m quite happy with the seeds I purchased from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. If you’re looking for some easy crops to grow in your first garden, I highly recommend radishes, carrots, and beets! 

  
I also got the fire pit ready for our Cherokee Full Moon Fire Ceremony! 🔥

  
I cleaned the wood ash out of my fire pit and put it in my compost bin. Some people do not like to compost wood ash, but when I was researching I found an article by Oregon State University Extension Agency that was very helpful. 

“Since wood ash is derived from plant material, it contains most of the 13 essential nutrients the soil must supply for plant growth,” said Sullivan. “When wood burns, nitrogen and sulfur are lost as gases, and calcium, potassium, magnesium and trace element compounds remain. The carbonates and oxides remaining after wood burning are valuable liming agents, raising pH, thereby helping to neutralize acid soils.”

So for the home gardener, wood ash can be a valuable source of lime, potassium and trace elements.

  
My compost bin is almost full! 😉

  
I got some wood ready for our Cherokee Full Moon Fire Ceremony too! 🔥

  
We have had some nice weather and rain, it’s been nice being able to work in my garden without working up a sweat. 

 

German Giant, Saxa II, and Early Scarlet Globe radishes
 
So far, I’ve harvested 144 radishes from our fall garden.  

Full Red radishes

 

One even grew legs!
 
It was a busy week, but I still have a lot more work to do. I’ll keep y’all updated. Thanks for stopping by, I hope y’all have a great week! 😊

If you like c@rmex, you’ll love this recipe! 😉

I have been working on a recipe very similar to the popular lip balm called C@rmex for a while, and the other day I decided to go ahead and try it out! 😉

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All of my high quality ingredients were purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs, and most of them are organic. 

  

Shea Butter has been used for centuries in Africa for its moisturizing properties. “Shea butter is naturally rich in Vitamins A and E as well as essential fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals. Shea butter is an intense moisturizer for rough skin. It also offers a low level of UV protection (approximately SPF-6).” —Mountain Rose Herbs

Coconut Oil is one of the most revered oils for nutritional purposes. “This is a great oil for general moisturizing and serves as a protective layer, helping to retain the moisture in your skin. Coconut oil is without a doubt, the number one lather-producing agent used in soaps. And is the first choice for most people in the cosmetics and soap industry. Will melt at 76 degrees.” —Mountain Rose Herbs

  

I used beeswax pastilles to help harden the lip balm. 

  

“Jojoba Oil comes from the beans of a shrub like plant, and it is actually a liquid plant wax. It is bright and golden in color, has a mild odor, and is favored in the carrier oil family because of its advanced molecular stability. It also makes a great scalp cleanser for the hair, and is equally wonderful for the skin because it has absorption properties that are similar to our skins own sebum.” —Mountain Rose Herbs

“Castor Oil is used in cosmetics recipes as a protective layer for the skin. It is smoothing on the skin and best used in a blend.” —Mountain Rose Herbs

“Our natural Vitamin E oil is obtained by vacuum distillation of vegetable fats derived from non-GMO soy sources. It is great for preventing rancidity in cosmetics, and it acts as an anti-oxidant in creams, lotions, baby products, cosmetics and more.” —Mountain Rose Herbs

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“Camphor is readily absorbed through the skin, producing either a coolness or warmth sensation, and acts as slight local anesthetic and antimicrobial substance. Camphor is an active ingredient (along with menthol) in vapor-steam products, such as Vicks VapoRub. It is used as a cough suppressant and as a decongestant.” —Wikipedia

“Menthol crystals are cooling, refreshing, and have a pleasantly strong minty aroma. They are often used in cosmetics, salves, balms, medicated creams, throat lozenges, toothpaste, mouthwash, gum, foot sprays, pain relief, shampoos, conditioners, linaments, shaving creams, oral or throat sprays, compresses, medicated oils, and cooling gels.” —Mountain Rose Herbs

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Ingredients List

  • 1/4 c. Shea Butter
  • 1/4 c. Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 c. Beeswax 
  • 4 tsp. Jojoba Oil
  • 4 tsp. Castor Oil
  • 1 tsp. Vitamin E Oil
  • 3/4 tsp. Camphor Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Menthol Crystals

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler, combine Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, and Beeswax. Heat until melted. 
  2. Remove from heat and add in the Jojoba Oil, Castor Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Camphor Oil, and Menthol Crystals. Stir until fully combined. (Caution: I use rubber gloves when handling any essential oil, since so many are not supposed to be applied neat (undiluted) to your skin. Also take caution to keep your face away from the mixture when you add the Camphor Oil and Menthol Crystals, it’s quite powerful at first.)
  3. Pour into lip balm containers (tubes, tins, jars) and allow to cool and harden before using. 

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This batch size made twelve 1/2 oz. tins, so you can downsize the recipe if you like. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! 😊

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Just keep working…

I have felt a lot like Dory recently, only I have been working and not swimming. Yesterday I worked on a couple more lip balms and last night I labeled them. 

  
I made some vanilla lip balms. My daughters loved these so much that I let them keep one to share. 

  

We now have Mango, Strawberry, and Vanilla lip balms! I’ll be pricing them soon and if you would like to buy some, check out my Facebook page. 
  

This recipe was super simple to follow, so I’ll be sharing it with y’all today! Just keep reading, reading, reading. 😉
  

I also created my own recipe, which is very similar to c@rmex! 

  

I’ve been working on this recipe for a little while now and today I decided to try it out! 
  

It turned out to be better than I thought! 😉 
  

The Soothing Lip Balm is cooling to your lips and has a nice *tingle* sensation. 

 

I used these mica powders and flavorings in my lip balm recipes!
 
You can find the recipe for the Lip Balms here. Thanks for stopping by and I hope y’all have a great weekend! 😊

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