Articles/Essays From Pagans
December 1st. 2013 ...
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
The Celtic Tree Calendar
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
September 8th. 2013 ...
Introduction to the Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage
The Druidic Concept of Nwyfre
The Holocaust Survivor (Part 1)
Giving and Helping
September 1st. 2013 ...
Use a Flyswatter for a Fly: More on the Dark Arts
How Spells Work
Is It Really 'Energy'?
August 25th. 2013 ...
Mother Nature’s Way: Forging a Distinctly American Path
Healing Moon Ritual
Unconditional Love: The Paradox of Perfect Love
Earth to Soul/Sole
August 18th. 2013 ...
How Not to Fall in the Bunny Trap
Why Are You Like That? Thoughts on Hoodoo and Appropriation
Finding the Right Coven
The Knowledge Found in Silence
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances, Hazelnuts and Magick Wands
August 11th. 2013 ...
“I Survived a Weekend with Galina Krasskova”
The Charges of the Goddess and God with Commentary
August 4th. 2013 ...
Fair Weather Witches
Pagan Studies II: Modern Paganism in the Americas
Pagan Abbeys - A Practical Heritage for Spiritual Lay and Professional Cloistered Communities
July 28th. 2013 ...
Crystals 101: A Helpful Guide For Beginners
The More the Merrier? It’s not Only an Inaccuracy; it’s an All Out Farce!
My Pagan Manifesto
July 21st. 2013 ...
I'm a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations
Rethinking Community for Solitaries
13 Keys: The Beauty of Tiphareth
July 14th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés We Use (Part II)
Pagan Humanism: A Tradition of Rational Religion
Moon/Planetary Musings: The Holly King and John Barleycorn
July 7th. 2013 ...
Coping With Depression: Learning to Dance with the Sacred Twins
Shamanic Healing of Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Humility and Community Service
H is for Hubris
June 30th. 2013 ...
How To Feel The Energy Around You
Planning A Ritual
Why Pagans Might Benefit from Counseling Techniques
The Weight of Contemplation: When the Silent Self Grows Louder
June 23rd. 2013 ...
Magick and Play
Tarot Spell for Protection
Moon Musings and Planetary Preponderances: RE-fuse, RE-duce, RE-use, RE-pair and RE-cycle
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Catnip: Procrastination, Commitment, and Energetic Honesty
Article ID: 12315
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,090
Times Read: 3,107
RSS Views: 39,812
Author: Khi Armand
Posted: March 16th. 2008
Times Viewed: 3,107
So a couple months ago I began a work-exchange apprenticeship at an herbal shop in a town nearby. The circumstances surrounding my start there were more than coincidental and my life has never been the same.
It all started one day when a friend and I were planning to drop in on this favorite shop of ours after driving around the college town adjacent to our own.
It was the beginning of the semester and during our chat about magickal theory, the end of summer, and recent events in our lives, I mentioned my newfound, but yet unexplored, affinity for the plant world. Having arrived back in semi-rural Massachusetts from New York, it seemed like every tree was reaching out, urging me to explore some kind of communication with it.
“I think the Goddess wants me to work with plants”, I said as we pulled into a parking spot.
We explored every nook and cranny of the store, like always. The owner stood there with a grin, surely not remembering our last foray into his shop as an entire summer stood between this time and the last.
There was no 'Help Wanted' sign in the window, but I knew I needed to ask. Before the words came out of my mouth, he said, “So how would you guys feel about working here?” A semester later, I've gained a new friend, amassed a ton of both medical and energetic knowledge about plants, and discovered a way to communicate with them.
For as long as I could remember, I had a block between my desires and my actions. I'd be lying in bed or sitting on the couch with both personal and obligatory things to do and places to be and not have the ability to get up and go. Goals unreached, worlds unexplored, talents and skills unrefined, I'd sit, unable to move. My tendency to procrastinate only enabled this paralysis. I was literally 'stuck', and for an ambitious person like myself, it was terrifying.
Worse than that, I had commitment issues. Not the kind usually associated with men in relationships, but the “over committed student who agrees to do every project asked of him” kind of commitment issues. It's true. No matter how resolved I was to make time for myself and leave my schedule uncluttered, I'd manage to squeeze in more than my fair share of obligations to others each semester.
I was a people pleaser and had trouble saying, “Thanks for asking, but no. I'm just too busy.”
A couple of months into my apprenticeship, the word 'catnip' kept floating around my head. I often hear things and see things in my mind's eye that have no apparent relevance to my life or the current situation; I sometimes hear whole conversations and stories told by only-God-knows-who, utilizing words I never use in everyday conversation.
But when 'catnip' started showing up in what I was reading and on well-placed signs in town, I knew I wasn't just being a magnet for psychic residue or chatty spirits. Though it took me a while to do so, I finally went on an herbal journey.
With cues from Starhawk's Twelve Wild Swans and some tips from my boss, I put on my ritual garb (generally consisting of a colorful feminine skirt and my masculine camouflage t-shirt) and a gray handkerchief-bandanna. It was time for some Hedge-Witchery.
Pulling up the Wikipedia page on 'catnip', I imagined the plant material on my altar in the context of the whole plant. Even computer images can be useful in magick. Asking the plant to reveal itself to me, I rubbed it on my face, sniffed it, tasted it, put my ear to it, and other kinds of sensual silliness. Then I closed my eyes, hands above the plant, and imagined entering its stem based on the pictures I'd seen online.
Of course, it felt silly at first, but I attuned to the seemingly random impulses guiding me. I sensed a great deal of blue and yellow, smelled a kind late spring right outside, and heard babies laughing. The word “friend” came to me and I knew that catnip worked incredibly well with other plants, both therapeutically and ecologically.
I got the sense that catnip would be good for children making the transition into puberty – a change in body often complemented by a change in schools and attitude. Catnip could ease that.
Before leaving, I thanked the plant spirit and asked how it might be able to help me.
A soft androgynous voice replied, “I can put you back together”.
I was skeptical about my journey, afraid I'd heard too much of what I wanted to hear, but had my findings confirmed by my mentor, an herbalist himself. The colors I sensed were significant because of catnip's neurological associations.
Catnip extends a joyful contentment to others and is, indeed, an excellent complement to other plants. It's also perfectly safe for babies to imbibe and excellent for transitions – especially the one I'd sensed during my trip. He suggested that I drink a cup of catnip tea a day for a month, the usual time span necessary for a plant to affect your energy rather than just your body.
I began my regimen, drinking at least a cup of catnip tea each day. While drinking it, I'd repeat silently to myself “My body and my spirit are friends” and “I am committed to my own spirit” while visualizing my body and spirit as patterns blending into one another.
I'd miss a day or two here and there, but it wasn't long before I noticed a change in my life. It might sound elementary, but I was getting up and doing things without second-guessing myself. I'd catch myself pouring a glass of water without having spent minutes convincing myself to do so. I was being creative, not just planning creative endeavors. I was waking up each morning looking forward to the day.
My paralysis was melting away.
I also became more conscious of my energetic input vs. output. When asked to join a project or endeavor, I'd stop to evaluate my time and the necessary energetic expense. We are finite creatures, only invincible when we're honest about our energetic resources. I found holes in my life where I'd been leaking energy to places and people not giving back in the ways I'd been waiting for or expecting them to. I found a new wholeness, my higher self's desires taking priority and my body following in suit. I plan to visit catnip again soon and ask if I've fully learned what I need to from it in this phase of my life.
You may have an herb or plant you've felt an affinity for, or have always been curious about a plants properties beyond what you've read in books. Try an herbal journey, but do some research before deciding to take it internally.
There is a multitude of ways to incorporate an herbal ally into your life – oils, tinctures, and teas are only some of them. You can carry it in a cloth of an appropriate color, sprinkle it onto your clothing or in your book bag, or simply meditate with it each day.
The most important thing is to respect the plant's spirit, and you'll know how to do so. Keeping it on or near your altar and smudging it with sage or another cleansing herb before use is a great way to honor the plant for its teachings. Remember to thank the plant and write down your findings.
Cruden, Loren. Medicine Grove: A Shamanic Herbal
Starhawk. Twelve Wild Swans
Location: New York, New York
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