Full Moon Rising: Gathering Medicine
Damp fall air. Cool and moist a mist falling quietly on and off as the morning stretched herself into day. I tied on my moccasins, the ones I was gifted for Christmas from my loving man and boys, who knew how much I loved them and how they spoke to my soul. Fringed, supple, bold, I wear them as a token of their love on my feet, reminded to walk my path with love in my heart. I love these moccasins because they remind me of how well my tribe knows and loves me, even when I forget who I am, or am blinded by my own shortsightedness. Isn’t that what family is for, loving and knowing you deeply, always?
Gathering up tools, kiddos, and a harvesting bag we head out to the woods with the intention of gathering wild chaga in the full moon energy of the day. There is sanctity in gathering medicine in the woods to nourish and sustain you and those you love. Gratitude flows deep with each step, with each find of forest gold. A reverence for all of creation and it’s unfolding gifts blossom in the hearts of those who gather together.
I am honored and grateful that I get to share these gifts with those I love. To teach healing medicine from the forest, from the earth, to my children is one of the things that we chose to focus on when we started homeschooling. Teaching, learning, growing together, caring for one another, passing on legacy, essential skills, and ancient wisdom become more and more important with each year that goes by.
Embracing our knowledge and sharing with others with the intention to heal ourselves, our hearts, and our land, allows us to expand into the cyclic rhythm of nature. Her dying back, her hibernation, her rebirth with each season conjoins our paths together. Intertwined, beginning and ending as one continuous flow. Gathering certain plants, herbs, and medicines in the time of the full moon allows access to the full potential of the energy contained therein. As the moon draws close to the earth it raises the life force or the sap/nutrients of the plant from deep within the roots to rise up into the upper parts of the plant making them available to harvest at this time. Different times of the moon are best for other plants, for example, root plants should be harvested in the dark times or waning of the moon to be able to fully utilize the nutrients mined from the roots and contained within. Honoring these cycles deepens the healing nutrients available and also strengthens the plant/tree/organism from which you are gathering. It allows us to join our symbiotic part of the flow of creation, of nature itself.
Wild chaga is a potent healing life force energy revered by ancient cultures in promoting good health, mental clarity, wellbeing, and longevity. It is a mushroom or fungi that grows mostly on birch trees. Wild chaga has the highest concentration of superoxide dismutase (SOD), than any other plant or naturally occurring substance on earth. It is divinely synthesized to heal both internally and externally with unmatched biological power. Truly a potent and unparalleled healer.
Gathering wild chaga consciously with sustainability in mind and heart is a must so that we respect and revere this amazing natural healing organism. We must not overharvest, or take all the wild chaga from the tree, as the tree also needs the healing power of the chaga, that is why it is there. The tree and the chaga have a symbiotic relationship, one of healing and concentrating the nutrients contained within each. One will not survive without the other. It is also important to note that wild chaga is very slow growing. Take only what you need, leave the rest to continue growth for future harvesting. If you are buying wild chaga be sure to ask about sustainability practices, as wild chaga demands high prices, many will be sure to jump on the bandwagon to exploit and sell it. Know your medicine man/woman, understand their practices, or gather your own to be assured that you are continuing a cycle of renewal and growth.