This year the roses started coming in right around the solstice and after 5 years of establishing the ring of rugosa and heirloom moss roses, they are coming in with more blooms than I have baskets for. . . everyday I could fill 8 big baskets of rose blooms. Thank you beautiful earth for the bountiful blessings of the medicine of these roses.
some fossil records date roses back to 35 million years ago, but I’ve learned that the first cultivars probably originated in China 5,000 years ago. They have been iconic symbols of love and beauty and also in British History were associated in Politics in the War of the Roses.
Roses were in such high demand during the seventeenth century that royalty considered roses or rose water as legal tender, and they were often used as barter and for payments. Napoleon’s wife Josephine established an extensive collection of roses at Chateau de Malmaison, an estate seven miles west of Paris in the 1800s. This garden became the setting for Pierre Joseph Redoute’s work as a botanical illustrator. In 1824, he completed his watercolor collection “Les Rose,” which is still considered one of the finest records of botanical illustration.
Here are some views of the 64 foot rose ring. The hot pink and the lighter pink are both rosa rugosa which are often found along the seashore here in Massachussetts, so it is often called the beach rose.
This rugosa is one of the oldest in the ring, transplanted from a garden in the Berkshires 5 years ago.
We journey with the rose in the garden which means we sit and spend time in the garden with her just listening and being, watching, tasting and tuning into our senses to listen to the wisdom that she carries.
Journey to the heart with rose on Sunday July 7
Do you long to live your hearts desire? Is there something heavy on your heart or a secret hidden inside? To know one’s own heart is a primary key to awakening our global unity consciousness and raising our vibrational field to attract love, peace, pleasure and abundance. When our heart is open and functioning in the flow of possibility we are able to tap into and activate the light grid that surrounds our earth. As we us connect with our higher self we also attune to the universal love of the mother archetype as well as activating our heightened senses for passion and pleasure.
The rose ring is fully lit up at this time of year. Come join Hannah & Sulis for an afternoon of journeying with the spirit Rose as we delve into the medical and energetic qualities of ROSE.
When we slow down and listen deeply, the sacred teachings of plants can be heard. This is how herbalists and medicine people discovered many ways to communicate about the uses of herbs for thousands of years.
We will sip teas, extracts, honeys and smell the fresh flowers growing in the garden while asking the spirits what kind of teachings they have for us. Why are they here? What parts of our bodies do they have a healing affinity for? How can we be of service to their growth? Are there any messages they have for us?
“ROSE IS BEAUTIFUL HEART OPENING, HEART PROTECTING MEDICINE, WHICH IS CRUCIAL FOR THE TIMES WE LIVE IN.” -Hannah, herbalist
There will also be handouts, recipes, hands-on demonstrations and each participant will leave with herbal medicines to take for their home apothecary. This plant spirit journey is open to all, no prior experience necessary.
Cost: $44 + $5 material fee = $49 or register for all three workshops – Motherwort + Tulsi are coming next – ($127) save $20
Space is limited to 12 participants. Pre-registration is required. Please register by Friday, July 5.
I’m so excited about this next growing season! This is the 5th summer since the shovel first entered the ground back in the Spring of 2015 and as you can see from the picture, the echinacea lined entrance leads the way to the tea tent, but like any good traveler knows, the magic is not just about arriving at your destination, but the journey to get there. With the Tulsi Rose Garden first you travel up a rainbow flowered pathway. Hibiscus, galliardia and fiery nasturtiums welcome you to use the metaphor of the heat of the fire to cleanse and purify that which you do not need anymore. Like the goddess Innana who removed all of her jewelry and clothing to become vulnerable to the essence of her soul, we see the benefits of releasing our old patterns and preconceived notions to become more present and available to the energies of the current moment. Further up as you pass through all of the purple flowers you’re invited to open to your own vision and intuition. The garden is constantly teaching me through movement and poetry. She is very much like the sacred center of a woman. She likes to be approached with gentle reverence to enter her inner chambers. . . like with any good foreplay there is curiosity, openness and respect. She teaches me to bow and honor as I enter through her gateway. She shows me that the spiral is an opportunity to drop more deeply into my body and is the perfect invitation to practice earthing, grounding and walking meditation where I can really connect to the subtle energies of the earth. She celebrates when I raise my arms up in the sun breath as I walk, and as I breathe more deeply she shows me more about how my own intuition deepens and opens to the mysteries of connection to my own higher self and vision. . . often words or songs pour through me as I’m exploring the movements and connection to the garden. There is a stillness, a quietness at times with the plants, then at other times there are the songs of birds, buzzing of bees or the sounds of planes flying high overhead. This is a portal to the magical connection we have with the world around us. . . a place to enhance our senses of sight, sound and smell, feeling the air and the temperature of the nature of the day with our bodies.
This is the temple, we are the temple. . . our bodies are our temples. It is here that I invite you to drop into your own nature and become more attuned to the plants and your own intuition. It is here where we can develop our goddess nature, one of true harmony with each other and the planet. . . where we hone our skills of presence, connecting with our hearts and explore our energetic container.
The Goddesses in the Garden program is a 6 month program for women which is a training in connecting with your own intuition and connecting with the plants, specifically, tulsi, rose and lavender, but you may find that a different plant ally calls to you. We meet one day a week from 10-3. In this program we will sometimes be in the garden and sometimes we’ll be at the Sacred Sanctuary healing center where we will learn deeper practices of meditation, breath connection and cosmic alignment with the light energy that runs through our bodies.
Our foundation is to come together in circle with each other to support with spiritual practice. . . learning and deepening our skills of telepathic communication with the plants. . . as we take the time to center and deepen our own breath we become more present to listen and hold council for one another. We will share in the safety of our circle to create a container for learning healing techniques and at other times we will take our practice to the garden where we will spend time with the plants, caring for them and listening to the messages on the wind that they have for us. Having this sacred time in the garden to feel the sun, the air and to listen on the winds allows us to come more and more into alignment with our true nature and manifest the qualities we admire in others to bring more love and abundance to ourselves and the world.
If this feels like a journey you would like to explore, I invite you schedule a connection call where we can discuss how this program might help you in your life. Payment plans available. 413-212-1665
Tap, tap, tap. . . wake up hibernating bear, wake up dormant seeds. . . it’s almost time to come out and play.
This past weekend was Imbolc, the cross-quarter day between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, the beginning of Spring! Here in New England unlikely warm temperatures in the 50’s has been melting the snow, but we can be pretty sure that we’ll have more snow. . . just how much we don’t know!
In Celtic Ireland, Imbolc was also known as Brighid’s Day. She is known as the protector of the wells in Ireland. Daughter of Dagda, the earth god, and Boann, the goddess of fertility. They belonged to an ancient tribe of gods, called Tuatha Dé Danann (people of the Goddess Danu).
The people of Ireland hold Brighid in high esteem. It’s said that she was born at sunrise and a column of fire rose up out of her head. There are many stories about how Brigid became known as the triple goddess of smithcraft, herbalism and poetry. One story says that she broke the flame of inspiration off at her crown and threw it down in front of her to become the hearth of the home. Then she swallowed the fire and it wiggled and jiggled and danced inside her and came out through her hands as healing energy and the ability to forge metal into objects. She is known for healing with herbal teas, using the blessed waters of the well and sparking the inspiration of the mind to create a flow of beautiful words.
Brighid was so beloved in all of Ireland that people are still honoring her at holy wells, like the one at Kildare where people tie clooties to the trees next to the healing wells. Clooties are strips of cloth that are sometimes used as a rag or to patch clothing, but here they are tied to symbolize a prayer.
Brighid is particularly associated with the first stirrings of Spring as the days begin to lengthen. Soon the snow drops will emerge as our first flowers, then the crocus and soon enough the daffodils. I have a Spring Emergent flower essence blend to assist in our own awakening to the energy of Spring and to assist us as we get into gear to work with our gardens again and enjoy the blessings of the Spring days. With this turning of the cycle we are also expecting the renewed cycle of life with the new babies. Dairy cows and ewes are also associated with Brighid. Here at the Tulsi garden my friends often keep goats and Spring is the time for their babies to emerge. My first year at the farm I got to witness the birth of beautiful twin goats on April 9. . . lots of emerging energy here with the coming of Spring.
Most of the stories that we have about Brighid are myths and legends passed down through the centuries, “The Book of Invasions tells us that Brigid was the wife of Breas and had a son named Ruadan. Legend has it that the Fomoire sent Ruadan to kill Goibniu, the smith. Ruadan was able to wound Goibnui with a spear, but was himself slain in revenge. Brigid came to bewail her son, which was the first time crying and shrieking was heard in Ireland, the first keening.” (from Brigid: Flame of Two Eternities; add.org)
Although the Brighid who was known to the ancient Celts through legend was prominent in the consciousness of the people’s of those early times, in the 5th century a woman came to prominence who became known as St. Brigid. Here is an account of her from ancient-orgins.net:
St Brigid of Ireland appears
When Ireland was Christianized, the monks and priests needed good examples to inspire people to follow the new faith. They used the same method as in the other parts of the world and started to create stories which sounded familiar to the inhabitants of the converted areas. In one of these stories they described a woman who connected two cultures.
According to Catholic resources, St Brigid was born 451 or 452 AD in Faughart, near Dundalk, County Louth. She was said to be a daughter of a Druid man and a slave woman. Brigid reportedly refused many marriage offers and decided to become a nun. She settled for some time near the foot of Croghan Hill with seven other virgin nuns. They are said to have changed their home a few time, but finally the nuns lived in Kildare, where Brigid died as an old woman on February 1, 525 AD. The Catholic Church argues that the date of her death is a coincidence; however it also provides a meaningful link between the Celtic goddess and Christian Saint.
Saint Brigit as depicted in Saint Non’s chapel, St Davids, Wales. ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )
In legends St Brigid was a daughter of Dubtach. She was perhaps prepared to be a Druid, though in the end she became a nun. This was quite a popular solution for wise people of pre-Christian religions: To avoid problems, many of them preferred to become a part of monasteries and continue their practice connected with the ancient ways as “Christians.”
Like the goddess, St Brigid is associated with fire too. The first biography written about her was made in 650 AD by St Broccan Cloen. However, in the 20th century many researchers began to doubt the historical evidence for her life. The saint wrote:
”Saint Brigid was not given to sleep,
Nor was she intermittent about God’s love;
Not merely that she did not buy, she did not seek for
The wealth of this world below, the holy one.”
The stories of St Brigid have some unusual details that differ from typical early medieval legends of Christian saints. One of the strangest examples is a story of her life with a woman named Dar Lugdach. According to the descriptions these two women used to sleep together, but not for a lack of the space or beds. The name of the potential lover of St Brigid means “daughter of the god Lugh.” Moreover, St Brigid’s miracles are often strongly related to Druid knowledge about alchemy, magic, and other disciplines.
About the year 470 St. Brighid founded the double monastery at Cill Dara (Cell of the Oak) now called Kildare. Cill Dara is famous for the sacred perpetual fire that was tended by nineteen nuns. Today people around the world take it in turns to keep the sacred flame burning continuously.
In our Sophia tradition we gather together to bring in the light by celebrating the triple goddess with blessings of candlelight, storytelling, song and creating joy as we honor her and raise the vibrational field all around us.
“May you open your heart to the sun and let the light open you to new possibilities as you water your seeds”
I’m excited about this Summer in The Tulsi Rose Garden! I just finished this video from clips from the last 2 years in the garden. It’s been such a trip to see what the garden welcomes and who shows up. This July & August is all about collaboration and building community: potlucks, women’s circles and plant spirit journeys.
Meditation & Potluck Mondays in July & August
We’ll have weekly potlucks on Mondays with a short meditation just before, starting at 6:00. . . all are welcome. . . come for the meditation, just the potluck or both. Potluck will start at 7:00. If you play an instrument bring it along and we’ll have a jam afterward.
Part of the work that I do in the world is to hold space for women to heal and share our stories to empower each other. As a CranioSacral Therapist and energy healer I work with women to heal the emotional wounds of the past and write new stories to replace the habitual ones we constantly repeat to ourselves everyday.
I will offer a number of events for people to come and interact with the garden.
Red Tent Temples
Sing Your Sacred Soul Song
Tulsi Medicine Journey
Goddesses in the Garden
Some are for women only and some are for all.
Some are free or by donation and some of the workshops are for a fee.
See below for descriptions:
Red Tent Temples Sunday August 12, 2-6pm
We (myself and other sisters) will be holding space for two Red Tents this summer near the new moons. From the http://redtenttemplemovement.com website:
The Red Tent Temple Movement is a way for women to take our inner momentum, that feeling like the time is now and come forward with everything we are as women and give us a place to incubate, dream, slow down, and not have an agenda or plan. Simultaneously much is waiting for us in this not knowing place, but we need to make time for the empty space. It is also not only empty space, but woman space where we can share stories, laughter, songs, food and honor our unique cycles that we experience each month in our bleeding time and in our going through menopause and the many years leading up to it.
There is no registration for this event. . . just come on by. . . donations are always welcome, but this is meant to be easily accessible to any woman.
Sing Your Sacred Soul Song
Everyone has an inner voice and a song within. Sometimes we feel shy or have had traumatic experiences or family dynamics that have socialized us not to fully be in our authentic voice.
I’ll offer 2 one-day workshops, Saturday July 28 & August 25, 1-5pm. This is a time to come nurture your inner voice with the energy of the garden. We will reflect through writing and meditation and move some energy with vocal chakra activations to clear stuck patterns and create more space for your authentic voice to come through. We’ll co-create a safe container by exploring what it takes to help us to feel safe to express our voice. There will be many opportunities to share writing and sounding. . . and opportunities for silence and it’s always okay to pass and not share. Through my days teaching YogaDance/Danskinetics at Kriplau I worked with many movement and sounding techniques to open our body-mind to feel and resonate our own authenticity. I invite you to explore your inner voice in this fun creative environment in the Tulsi Rose Garden.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can set up a connection call to go over any details so that I can serve your highest good.
Tulsi Medicine Journey
When we slow down and listen deeply, the sacred teachings of plants can be heard. This is how herbalists and medicine people discovered many ways to communicate about the uses of herbs for thousands of years. Spend the afternoon in the radiantTulsi Rose Garden with Hannah & Sulis in a space for using all of our senses to learn about the medicine of Tulsi and Rose. We will sip teas, extracts, honeys and smell the fresh plants growing in the garden while asking the spirits of each herb what kind of teachings they have for us. Why are they here? What parts of our bodies do they have a healing affinity for? How can we be of service to their growth? Are there any messages they have for us? There will also be handouts, recipes, hands-on demonstrations and each participant will leave with herbal medicines to take for their home apothecary. This plant spirit journey is open to all, no prior experience necessary. Cost: sliding scale $35-45.
Hannah Jacobson-Hardy, founder of Sweet Birch Herbals, is a holistic health coach and community herbalist devoted to providing western Massachusetts with high-quality plant-based medicines that are locally grown and sustainably wild-crafted.
Hannah approaches her work with compassion and an open heart as she serves a wide range of clients. She also offers herbal medicine classes throughout Massachusetts.
Hannah creates custom blended formulas and provides specifically tailored protocols that include nutritional guidance and lifestyle suggestions. All of her plant medicines are sustainably wild crafted and cultivated to ensure abundance for future generations.
Goddesses in the Garden 7 Sundays
This is the supreme plant spirit medicine journey. Over these 7 weeks together, this women’s circle will explore our connection to our inner sanctuary through a fluid movement, mantra and meditation practice to prepare us for working with the plants. . . especially tulsi. . . we will journey with the drum and have such a beautiful opportunity to tune deeply into our own heart song and bring this to the plants. . . where we are able, if willing, to receive their wisdom.
We connect with our intuition by learning to listen to the plants, sitting in a supportive sister circle and sharing some meditative mindfulness practices together. We will learn how to take care of ourselves while we also learn to care for the plants and create teas together. Please email me at email@example.com to register for this workshop and click below to pay online, if you wish.
I look forward to seeing you in the garden this summer!!!
Please call or email me with any questions. . . firstname.lastname@example.org, 413-212-1665
Barefoot walking through the wet grass. Cold steps plodding through the thick carpet of grass that has not been mowed in over a week. . . longer and softer than usual. My feet warm up when I stop and stand still for a moment. It’s early and I can see the sun rise over the hill across the field. Wouldn’t it be nice everyday to wake up and walk around the tulsi garden and for a few moments not worry about time. . . September and another round of lavender is asking to be harvested for aromatic bouquets. We had a little cold snap at the beginning of September, but now we’re back to high 80’s this weekend. I harvested the sticky flowers of the calendula to make medicine and of course the tulsi is constantly asking me to pick her and make tea. . . so I do.
At this time of transition going toward the winter, we celebrate the end of summer with picking apples, going to the Garlic & Arts Festival or in our own ways by harvesting what we’ve grown. I picked the basil and made the pesto and put it in the freezer and now every day I harvest tulsi for the tea.
Ive had so many sweet moments in the garden this summer one-on-one with a sister here and there sipping tea and working with the tulsi and have also been blessed to have a few sweet women gathering together. This garden is a place of peace and a place of healing. I find my own peace just from walking, singing or working with the plants. Next season I will be offering a program for women who want to connect with the plants and develop their intuition. We will gather and ground and share, meditate, work with the plants and talk about ideas and concepts to create heaven on earth.
Years ago someone whispered in my ear in a busy bar in downtown DC to read the Celestine Prophecy. I finally did at some point and although the writing leaves a lot to be desired, the content of the ideas is fascinating. For those who are unfamiliar, one of the chapters talks about our relationship with plants and actually seeing the aura or energy around the plant and sending positive energy to the plant and eventually sending positive energy to the people around us. How many times are we sending out vibes that are less than positive? I know that I can definitely say that I have my moments when driving that I might get a little pissy with the people around me and complain about their driving. . . but I also remember those moments when I’ve felt good enough in myself already that those little things just don’t matter and I don’t take any of it personally. But what about going a step farther and sending something positive to people before we’ve even judged if they are good or bad, helpful or not helpful. . . what would our world be like if we collectively embraced this. It would be like a cultural revolution. . . one I could really get behind.
One of the things that the garden has taught me is to slow down and when I enter her circle, to step in mindfully and notice how I place my foot in each step. Sometimes I walk slowly and deliberately taking in deep breaths as I raise my hands up through prayer position, up to the sky and out to the sides in the shape of the toroidal field. Exhaling my hands down, I keep walking and breathing, slowing down and coming back into myself. You see I have to do this to balance out all the rushing around that I do, the going from here to there sometimes without any awareness at all. How do I bring more consciousness into my days. How do I rush less and give myself the time to be present with myself and others. The garden is often teaching me this and I know the protocols and the types of breathing to do, but sometimes I just don’t do them. I know often we know what to do, but just decide to do something else. So on this New Moon in Virgo which is a time for taking the practical steps of getting down to business one step at a time, we start the thing that helps point us in the direction we want to go and we take the first step.