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  • Wednesday, December 11, 2019 9:40 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Comfort Touch:
    Nurturing Acupressure Massage for
    the Elderly and the Ill

    ~ Part Two ~

    by Mary Kathleen Rose

    Comfort Touch
    So what is Comfort Touch and how can it be distinguished from other forms of massage and bodywork?

    - Safety concerns and the condition of the client: Comfort Touch is a form of bodywork designed to be safe and appropriate for a broad range of people, for whom other styles of massage would be contraindicated. For example, in the elderly the skin can be very fragile and Swedish massage strokes of effleurage or petrissage can actually tear the skin or cause bruising of the blood vessels.

    - The setting of the massage: Comfort Touch can be practiced anywhere. No special equipment is required. The client can be fully clothed in a chair, recliner or on a bed of any height.

    - Body mechanics for the giver of touch: The therapist must adjust to the client by adapting her body mechanics to maximize effectiveness of the contact and ensure safety. During the training, stools, chairs or cushions are used by therapists as they work. Practitioners must be comfortable in their own bodies to offer comfort, and in some situations will need to limit what they do in order to respect their own bodies.

    - The positioning of the client: Comfort Touch is usually performed with the client in the supine position. The prone position is contraindicated due to the limited mobility of the client, as well as concerns about breathing. It is also difficult to communicate with a client in the prone position. Techniques are adapted to be performed in the supine position, as well as the seated or side-lying positions. Pillows and towels are used liberally to position the client comfortably.

    - Specific techniques of Comfort Touch: The techniques of Comfort Touch are largely derived from Asian bodywork (shiatsu and acupressure), which gives great adaptability and flexibility to the work. It incorporates an understanding of the energetic qualities of the meridian system of the body, as well as major motor points of the muscles.

    - Principles and intentions of Comfort Touch: This work is characterized by the intention to offer comfort. Other general principles that govern the work are described below.


    The Principles of Comfort Touch
    There are six principles that guide the practitioner of Comfort Touch. An easy way to remember them is to use the acronym "scribe," which relays the intention and quality of touch used in this work. Comfort Touch is:

    - Slow -- Relax and be present in the moment, letting your own breath be full and deep. Moving slowly creates a restful atmosphere and allows for a safe and appropriate experience for both the giver and receiver of touch.

    - Comforting -- Make the person comfortable and offer a soothing, nurturing touch. Your intention is to ease pain, not to try to cure or fix the person. The word "comfort" literally means "with strength." To give comfort one must come from a place of inner personal strength and share that strength and support with the person who needs it. To comfort also means to acknowledge the individual's inner strength and resources.

    - Respectful -- Always maintain a respectful attitude toward your clients, appreciating the vulnerability they may feel about being touched. Listen to what they tell you, verbally and non-verbally. Be sensitive to their feedback about your touch. A respectful attitude that is compassionate and non-judgmental contributes to a safe and healing atmosphere for the client.

    - Into Center -- The direction of pressure in Comfort Touch is in to the center of the particular part of the body you are touching. Pressure is applied perpendicularly to the skin, thereby preventing tearing of the skin or bruising of the tissues. The focus of intention is into the core or central axis of the part of the body being touched. This specific direction of pressure and accurate focusing inward of intention allow for a penetrating touch, even with light to moderate pressure. Both the giver and receiver of touch experience a profoundly deep sense of connection.

    - Broad -- In general, all strokes are applied with a broad even pressure. This contributes to a feeling of soothing comfort and connection. While the pressure may be firm, the broadness of contact prevents the likelihood of injury or discomfort. Let the entire surface of your hand, especially including your palm, make uniformly even contact with the part of the client's body you are touching. Imagine your hand is melting into the person's body.

    - Encompassing -- Let your touch surround the person's body. Be aware of the relationship between your two hands and the energetic field that exists between them. Hold the person in this space. When touching a large area, such as the back, acknowledge the shapes and contours of the body. When touching a limb or a toe, for example, encompass and enfold that part of the body. Encompassing touch contributes to a feeling of wholeness, of being cared for and acknowledged as a worthwhile human being.


    Mary Kathleen Rose, CMT, has more than 25 years experience in the holistic health field. She supervises the massage therapy program at HospiceCare of Boulder and Broomfield counties in Colorado, and offers trainings in Comfort Touch in various massage schools and medical settings. Find her at: http://www.comforttouch.com/index.htm

    Rose, Mary Kathleen. The Gift of Touch -- Comfort Touch: Massage for the Elderly and the Chronically and Terminally Ill. Hospice of Boulder County, 1996.


      This beautifully produced video introduces the viewer to the principles and techniques of Comfort Touch, a nurturing form of acupressure massage designed to be safe and appropriate for the elderly and the ill. Drawing on her many years of experience practicing and teaching this work in home-care and medical settings, Mary Kathleen Rose shares the essential elements of Comfort Touch with demonstrations of its applications in the seated, supine and side-lying positions.

    This program will inspire the viewer - whether healthcare professional or family caregiver - to offer the benefits of touch to those for whom conventional massage may cause discomfort or even injury. While Comfort Touch provides soothing relief for the elderly and the ill, it can enhance the quality of life for anyone in need of a caring touch.

    Includes 40-page Video Guide, complete with Principles and Techniques of Comfort Touch, Benefits of Comfort Touch, Precautions in the Use of Touch and Self-Care Exercises for the Caregiver.

    ~ See More Here ~


    Also check out Comfort Touch Acupressure Teleseminar with Susun Weed and Mary Kathleen Rose!

    ~ Read More Here ~

    Comfort Touch® is a nurturing form of acupressure that can bring the benefits of touch to a broad range of people. While it is safe and appropriate for infants, the elderly, and the ill, it can also be enjoyed by anyone seeking relief from the stresses of daily life. Based on six guiding principles, Comfort Touch® offers a safe, respectful, and nurturing approach to touch. It is calming to the nervous system, so it promotes deep relaxation and relief from pain.

    While Comfort Touch® is a complementary therapy offered in medical settings, is can be safely practiced at home with family and friends. It provides an enjoyable way for members of a family to care for each other, as part of a general focus on health and wellness.

  • Tuesday, December 10, 2019 4:55 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Comfort Touch:
    Nurturing Acupressure Massage for the
    Elderly and the Ill
    ~ Part One ~

    by Mary Kathleen Rose

    "The tiger is ready to go. That was grrrreat!" These are words spoken by an 82-year-old man who had recently been released after a month in the hospital. He had just received his first session of Comfort Touch. Peg, the massage therapist who relayed his story to me, had recently attended my workshop "Comfort Touch for the Elderly and the Ill."

    Another therapist, Kathleen, shared her experience of using Comfort Touch in a hospital: "It is incredible. You look in the eyes of the patient, knowing you made a difference."

    For more than 12 years now, I have listened to the stories of both the givers and the receivers of Comfort Touch. I am grateful for the many massage therapists and other healthcare providers who have been participants in my classes and contributed to the understanding of this work as I developed it. All have been a part of this journey of discovery about massage with the elderly and the ill.


    The Beginning
    My story began in 1984. I was a student at the Boulder School of Massage Therapy, and I had decided to practice massage in a skilled nursing facility for my fieldwork placement. Over a period of 10 weeks I had the opportunity to offer massage to many of the residents. They represented a range of ages, physical conditions and emotional states of being. I remember bracing myself for the experience as I walked in the door of the building for the first time, not knowing what to expect, unsure of how I would touch the people I met.

    In school I worked with other healthy, and relatively young, people like myself. Now I was confronted with individuals who were in wheelchairs or hospital beds. Some could speak and communicate their needs. Others could not. Some could get around with the help of walkers, others were bedridden, or recovering from strokes or major surgeries. I remember the looks of pain, sadness and loneliness. I remember the ramblings of those suffering with dementia. I remember the sweet smiles of those who were simply grateful that someone looked at them and noticed they were alive. They had no idea what to expect from me. The administration and staff were also unsure if massage would be useful.

    And so I began with the notion that they could benefit by being touched. Isn't this a basic human need, as essential as food, water and shelter? An inner compulsion guided me as I met the patients, and I trusted my intuition to let me know how to touch them safely and appropriately.


    In 1989, I began to volunteer to give massage to patients of our local hospice, an organization that provides comprehensive, compassionate end-of-life care. Again, as with the residents of the nursing home and clients in my private practice, I found myself responding to the needs of these patients, often with little idea of what approach I would take. There are considerations about the physiological conditions of the elder populations, and/or those living with chronic disease, that require significant adjustments in technique to ensure the massage is both safe and appropriate.

    Unlike the work for which most massage therapists are trained, I was working with those who were bedridden or had limited mobility. So I worked with them in their beds at home or in hospital beds if they were in a facility. To be effective in offering touch, as well as to prevent injury or discomfort to my own body, I had to learn how to adjust my core mechanics.

    I also developed a greater understanding of the importance of non-verbal communication and how to respond not only to the physiological needs of the client, but to respect the emotional and psychological processes that people are experiencing as they deal with life-threatening illness. Most people who are active in this field also acknowledge the personal work they must do to stay clear in their own boundaries. While offering compassionate care, it is important to take care of one's own emotional being.

    Beginning in 1991, the st

    aff of HospiceCare of Boulder and Broomfield counties asked me to teach others what I knew about massage in this context. I had spoken with other massage therapists who had offered massage to hospice patients over the years. Our local hospice had been a pioneer in the use of massage and, coupled with graduates of the Boulder School of Massage Therapy, had initiated a program in the late 1970s. But there had been no real supervision or training. Now, as more massage therapists indicated interested in the program, it became obvious that it would be valuable to establish some guidelines and offer specific training. Since that time, I have trained hundreds of massage therapists, as well as other healthcare professionals (from the fields of nursing and physical and occupational therapy) and hospice volunteers in the style of massage that is referred to as Comfort Touch.

    ~ Page Two ~

  • Monday, December 09, 2019 12:39 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)


    by  Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt


    Flour, water, and salt is all that is needed to make a natural sourdough bread with a wonderful wholesome flavor. During the process of making the bread, the protein in the wheat flour, called gluten, sucks up moisture. When the dough is kneaded the gluten proteins stick together and become 'rubber like. The gluten can then hold little pockets of gas given off by the sourdough as it breaks down the starches in the wheat. This ability of the wheat to hold these gases is what "leavens" the bread. During the baking process, the gluten hardens while the starches keep moisture in the bread. The result is a light, airy wonderful tasting and nutritious bread. A whole wheat sourdough bread will keep fresh for weeks if kept in a dry cool place. When the bread is a few days old individual slices can be steamed and will taste like newly baked.

    The protein in the wheat is what creates this special gluten, That is why wheat usually is used in sourdough bread making, however other grains can be used successfully as well. How the bread turns out also depends on the quality of the wheat, the amount of starch and protein in it,  the quality of the water, and salt, the climate and the season, and especially the strength and quality of the sourdough. Sourdough bread making is a beautiful art and requires tender loving care.

    To make sourdough starter:

    A good sourdough is "alive" and needs to be taken care of. It needs to be kept cool at all the times and should have a sweet/sour aroma. To begin a sourdough from scratch try this simple process.

    Day 1. Mix 1 cup of fresh ground wheat flour with 1 cup of spring water in a jar. Cover it with cheese cloth.
    Day 2 and the next 2-6 days the sourdough will need to be "fed" once a day.  Pour the sourdough into a bowl. Mix 1 Tbsp flour and 1 Tbsp water in a cup, and add it to the sourdough. Clean and dry the jar before returning the sourdough to it. Keep the jar cool all the time, so that the sourdough can develop strength and aroma. There should not be a grayish liquid on top, nor should it smell of vinegar. The finished sourdough smells pleasantly sour and sweet. It may be kept in a refrigerator until it is to be used for baking.

    Every time you make a bread with your sourdough, remember to take 1 cup dough aside for use next time making bread. The sourdough can be sprinkled with a little flour or salt and kept in a jar in the refrigerator. Feed the sourdough with a cup of water and a cup of fresh ground flour once a week if not used in baking bread.
    If a sourdough is well taken care of it will remain strong endlessly and create wonderful bread for generations.


    1 c sourdough           

    3 1/2 c-4 1/2 c whole wheat flour

    2 c warmed spring water       

    1/4 tsp sea salt

    Mix the sourdough with 1 c water, add 1 c flour, stir well. Let it sit covered with a wet cloth  for 8-10 hours. It will make bubbles on the surface and have a pleasant sweet and sour smell. Add the salt and the rest of the water and flour. The dough should be moist, but not firm and have a consistency like an earlobe. Kneed the dough well. Use water instead of flour on the kneading board if the dough is too hard. Cover it again and let it sit for 2- 3  hours. Take 1c of the dough aside, which is the sourdough for next bread making, and store it cold in a jar. Kneed the dough again before placing it in an oiled baking pan. Let it rise until almost double size, about 4-6 hours depending on the temperature of the room. Make a cut in the middle of the bread and bake it on high heat (400 degrees) for 15 min. Then lower the temperature to 325 degrees, and bake it for another 30 min. Let the bread cool before slicing it. The bread will taste deliciously sweet, not sour. Store the bread in a paper bag (or cloth) inside a plastic bag in a cool place for several weeks.

    *Variation: Use different kinds of flours with the wheat. A finer textured bread is made by adding sifted  flour, and a more substantial bread is made by adding cracked or whole soaked or cooked grains. Try also adding some seeds, nuts, raisins etc. to the bread dough.

    Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt is a Waldorf class and kindergarten teacher, biodynamic farmer, author and nutritional counselor. She has taught nutritional cooking and counseled for 25 years in her homeland Denmark, Europe and the United States.

    She trained as a macrobiotic cooking teacher and counselor and studied the principles of oriental medicine and the research of Dr. Weston A. Price before embracing the anthroposophical approach to nutrition, food and cooking.

    This Four week course will explore some of the many benefits of fermented and cultured foods, and why it is important to include them regularly with every meal. You will be guided through the steps of making sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled vegetables, kefir, soft cheese, and yogurt, as well as get a chance to discover new fermented drinks such as kvass, wines, and beers. I will aim at answering personal questions around your culturing and fermenting experiences.

    Intuitively we know that cultured and fermented foods are real health foods. Naturally fermented and cultured foods are an exceptional way to prepare different ingredients and some of the most important side dishes and condiments in our diet. They are often overlooked or not mentioned when we describe what we had for dinner, and yet they are pivotal in creating a well-balanced, nutritious meal.

    They add a bounty of nourishing, life-promoting substances and life forces, almost miraculous curative properties, and a wealth of colors, flavors, and shapes. They increase the appetite, stimulate the digestion, and make any simple meal festive and satisfying. The course will be highly practical with many hands-on activities.


    In this Four week course you will learn about the nutritional needs of your growing child and receive delicious, seasonal, wholesome nutritious menus and recipes on affordable budget so as to encourage children to eat and live healthy.

    During this course we will explore the nutritious needs for your growing child.

    We will discover how rhythm, simplicity and nourishing activities support a healthy child development. You will find new ways to encourage your child to develop a taste for natural, wholesome foods as well as receive and create delicious, seasonal nutritious menus and recipes that stay within the limits of your budget.

    Cooking for the Love of the World:
    Awakening our Spirituality through Cooking

    by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt

    A heart-centered, warmth-filled guide to the nurturing art of cooking. 200 pages, softbound

  • Thursday, December 05, 2019 12:26 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)



    I like to call our Urban Permaculture Farm, the Herbal Homestead. I call it this, because for me it all started with herbs. My first herb teachers were wise woman herbalists. They encouraged me to focus on the herbs growing right outside of my doorstep and this has remained as a pivotal place for me to return over and over again.

    A lot happens at our homestead. We grow food and medicine, we wild forage from green spaces in our community as well as neighbors yards. We tend the critters in our space, we feed ourselves, as well as our family and friends. We strive to expand our understanding of life and to weave ourselves into our surroundings.

    This column will highlight some of the things that happen here at The Herbal Homestead. It is an invitation to spend time with me through stories of daily life. 

    Winter Nourishment: Soup Stocks and Broths

    This morning I awoke and it was cold. We heat our home with a wood furnace, so sleeping 8 hours means that you wake up to a chilly house. My wool comforter made by the local woolen mill, keeps me very warm at night, yet when I emerge from under the covers I have two goals.

    1. To reignite the wood stove

         2. To make something warm to drink.

    I often make a cup of tea, but some mornings only a cup of broth will do.  I was inspired a couple of years ago when I attended a Weston A. Price Foundation Conference to begin incorporating broth into my breakfast routine. At the conference they served broth for breakfast. It was winter and I will never forget how satisfying that morning cup of broth was. I realized that by stereotyping broth as an afternoon or evening food, I was missing out on a very special morning opportunity. Of course I still incorporate broth into my winter stews and soups, but I now have expanded my horizons and added it to our homestead breakfast list!

    Below are a few of my favorite recipes for broth. Broth can be made and frozen for future use.


    How to Make Soup Stock: 3 Easy Broth Recipes

    Soup stocks are incredibly healthy, nutrient dense and serve as a quintessential comfort food on a cold day. Soup stock has a long history as a nourishing and healing food. While the village herbalist has always known the healing power of soup stock and chicken soup in particular, it took until the year 2000 for CNN headlines to read, “Chicken soup is medicine, U.S. scientists confirm.” Glad they caught up.

    There is no doubt that homemade soup and soup stock is healthy, tastes good and is easy to make.  The following are recipes that serve as guidelines. I say guidelines, as I am a scratch cook, which means that I add what I have. I love to add new herbs, spices, vegetables and animals parts. A couple of years ago I began adding egg shells. It means the stock that I make is always new and interesting. I often add herbs and spices not only for flavor, but to increase the nutrient density of the stock.


    Vegetable Stock

    Place the chopped vegetables, herbs, and spices into a crock pot or stockpot. I like a crockpot, as it can be left unattended for long periods of time. Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables. Simmer for approximately 24 hours. Many people make vegetable stock from scraps such as peels and stems. If you use vegetable scraps to make your stock, you will need to strain them from the stock and discard them when finished. And to note, when you boil vegetables for a meal, a lot of their flavor and nutrients leach out into the water.

    The next time you boil vegetables, save the water and add it to your vegetable stock or next batch of soup. Of course being the seaweed lover that I am, I sometimes thicken and enhance the consistency of a vegetable broth by adding a red seaweed ie dulse, turkish towel and/or irish moss. Red seaweed contains carrageenan, which adds viscosity or thickness to the broth and is nutritious. Carrageenan is particularly supportive to the digestive system.    


    Chicken or Turkey Stock

    Place chicken or turkey bones, spare meat, vegetable scraps, herbs and spices into a stockpot or slow cooker. If you have access to the feet of the animal you will want to add them, as this will add gelatin to the broth for a thick, rich, highly nutritious broth. Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables and bones. Simmer for 24 hours. Foam will form on the surface of the stock as it simmers. Use a spoon, or ladle, to skim it off. Strain the bones and vegetable scraps from the stock and discard them.


    Beef Stock

    Begin by baking the beef soup bones in the oven at 450 degrees for half an hour. If you have access to oxtail bones you will want to add them, as this will add gelatin. As with chicken or turkey broth, the gelatin will create a thick nutritious broth.  Put the beef bones, spare meat, vegetable scraps, herbs and spices into a stockpot. Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables and bones. Simmer for approximately 24 hours. Foam will form on the surface of the beef stock as it simmers. Use a spoon, or ladle, to skim it off. Strain the bones and vegetable scraps from the stock and discard them.


    *For bone broths you will want to place your stock in the refrigerator for 8 hours in order to separate the fat and for the broth to gel. The best broth will be quite gelatinous.

    *Adding herbs to any of these broths will also increase their nutrient density. I often add seaweed, burdock, astragalus, mushrooms, lovage, alfalfa, nettle and whatever else happens to be near by. There is no limit to what you can add to your stocks! Have fun! Seaweed added to stock contributes much needed trace minerals.

    Gelatin extracted from bones is a nutritious source of protein as well as collagen, calcium, minerals and the amino acids proline and glycine.

    Stock made from poultry or other bones increases endurance and strengthens the immune system and veins, arteries, muscles, tendons, skin and bones. It also soothes and heals the gastro-intestinal tract and is thus a potent medicine for people suffering from food sensitivities and digestive or bowel problems. All stock provides an easily assimilable form of vitamins and minerals.


    Using Your Stock

    You can use the stock immediately as a base for soup, or you can freeze it and begin making your soup on another day. If you freeze the soup stock, leave a bit of space in the top of the container for expansion. It is a good idea to freeze the stock into the portion size that works best for you. A single cup of stock can be warmed on a cold day for an instant meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

    Tossing in leftover meat and vegetables from the refrigerator creates a wonderful meal. Adding cream, pureed vegetables, starch, or flour can thicken soup stock. I also cook rice and other grains in soup stock for added nutrition and flavor. This is a very creative process and a great way to enjoy leftovers in a new and refreshing form.

    May the stock be with you during these cold winter days.


    Linda Conroy is a bioregional, wise woman herbalist, educator,wildcrafter, permaculturist and an advocate for women's health.

    She is the proprietress of Moonwise Herbs and the founder of Wild Eats: a movement to encourage people and communities to incorporate whole and wild food into their daily lives. She is passionate about women's health and has been working with women for over 20 years in a wide variety of settings.

    Linda is a student of nonviolent communication and she has a masters degree in Social Work as well as Law and Social Policy. Linda has been offering hands on herbal programs and food education classes for well over a decade.

    She has completed two herbal apprenticeship programs, one of which was with Susun Weed at the Wise Woman Center and she has a certificate in Permaculture Design.

    Linda is a curious woman whose primary teachers are the plants; they never cease to instill a sense of awe and amazement.

    Her poetic friend Julene Tripp Weaver, eloquently describes Linda when she writes, "She listens to the bees, takes tips from the moon, and follows her heart."

    Listen to a thirty minute interview with mentor Linda Conroy


    Study with Linda Conroy from Home

    ~Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making~
    ( Link to detailed description of Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making )

    The goal of the course is to have participants become familiar with herbal medicine, to become comfortable incorporating herbs into daily life and to gain hands on experience making simple remedies at home.
  • Monday, November 25, 2019 7:58 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    New Moon in Sagittarius Oracle Card Reading

    by Kathy Crabbe

    Dear Moon Muser,
    It's the New Moon in fiery, truth-seeking Sagittarius on Nov. 26 at 7:06 am PST so scroll down for my oracle card reading and pick-a-card!

    Card 1: Demon (Lefty Oracle)

    Mantra: I transform.
    Affirmation: I journey into the dark to discover inner truths.
    Element: Spirit

     Be brave dear Soul,
     face your fright.
     open the door,
     welcome the light.

    If this card appears in a reading expect the unexpected! There is a trickster in your midst. Maybe it’s you? Not a mean trickster, but a true trickster; one who shifts your reality and helps you see things from a new perspective. Perhaps you’ve become complacent, or lazy, or overly self satisfied, and are no longer seeing the big picture because you’re too caught up in small details and worries. This WILL change soon so get ready to open your eyes wide and see the world in a whole new way.

    In my own life I do my best to see negative, challenging experiences on a deeper level and I ask questions, such as, “What is the teaching in this? What is being mirrored back to me about myself? What changes need to happen now?”

    Lefty Oracle

    Card 2: Seal (Elfin Ally Oracle)

    Keyword: Kindness
     Meaning: A friend or lover awaits your call.
     Reversed: You are longing for something better instead of being fully present.

    Affirmation: I am Queen-of-the-Sea
     Astrology: Jupiter
     Element: Fire, Water,

    Medicine: Your playful magick entices us to claim our inner Queen, sea-bent on journeying into the Deep.

    Lore: A secret passage to the sea adored by silky Seal, was her True North, encompassing her heart and leading her Home, always Home from whence she got her start.

    You entice me to play and dive and learn about the cycles of the Sea and then forget I’m an elf and become one with the sea, a mermaid at heart.

    Elfin Ally Oracle

    Card 3: Goddess Tiamat (Zodiac Goddess Power deck)

    Goddess Tiamat: a Babylonian dragon goddess who existed before the creation of the world. Her war upon the gods continues to this day. When she was killed by Marduk her body fell into the lower universe where one half became the dome of heaven and the other a wall to contain the waters.

    Sagittarius Affirmations:

        I stretch my horizons to envision the big big picture

        I see the glorious possibilities in everything

        I am free of all restrictions

        I inhale optimism, courage and speed

        I trust in life

        I am lucky

        My courage protects me and my sisters and brothers

    Zodiac Goddess Power Deck

    Kathy Crabbe has been an artist forever and a soul reader since awakening her intuitive gifts at age forty after five years painting with her non dominant left hand. This awoke her intuition in a big way. In 2008 she created a Lefty Oracle deck and started giving intuitive soul readings that have touched many lives in profound and playful ways. Kathy lives in sunny Southern California with her pet muses and architect husband in an adobe home they built themselves.

    Kathy’s art and writing has been published and shown throughout the world at museum shows, galleries, art fairs, magazines and books including the San Diego Women’s History Museum, We’Moon Datebook, and Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach to name a few. She has self-published several books, zines, oracle decks and ecourses and maintains a regularly updated blog, etsy store and portfolio site. Kathy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Queen’s University and a Graphic Design Diploma from St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Canada. She has been working as a professional artist since 1992. Kathy has been an educator and mentor at Laguna Outreach Community Artists, Mt. San Jacinto College, Wise Woman University, Inspire San Diego Studio, HGTV, Michelle Shocked’s International Women’s Day Show as well as teaching her own classes: “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul”, and New Moon Circles. She is a founding member of the Temecula Artist’s Circle, the Temecula Writer’s Café and the Riverside Art Museum’s Printmaker’s Network. Metaphysically speaking, Kathy has studied with Francesca De Grandis (Third Road Celtic Faerie Shamanism), Adam Higgs (psychic mediumship), Om, devotee of Sri Chinmoy (meditation), Atma Khalsa (yoga), Susun Weed (Green Witch Intensive), Joyce Fournier, RN (Therapeutic Touch), Steven Forrest & Jeffrey Wolf Green (astrology) and she received certification in crystal healing from Katrina Raphaell’s Crystal Academy.
    Learn more here.

    Kathy’s 4 week eClass “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul” is once again being offered at Wise Woman University so get ready to Moon Collage your heart out starting one week prior to the New Moon each month…more details here: eClass.

  • Monday, November 25, 2019 6:46 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Thanksgiving in Québec
    by Catherine Bastedo
    author of
    Bird Vibes Cards

    Thanksgiving is not a particularly widespread or ingrained cultural holiday in Québec, where I live, married to a francophone Quebecer. However, having a long line of Ontario Methodists behind me, I brought the Thanksgiving tradition to my marriage, for better or worse. And now, with grown up daughters, my own family traditions are pretty well ensconced – walks in the woods to admire the glorious colours, turkey dinner with my mother’s no. 1 dressing, cranberry sauce from fresh local cranberries, harvest vegetables, and family and friends to share happy times. Of course, since I carry the archetype of Mother, the Great Pleaser, I always hope it will be perfect for everyone.

    The first Thanksgiving question is always who will come for dinner, as a determinant of the size of the turkey. Our three daughters all live near by and would be there, with the husband of one. We invited a nephew, his partner, and a friend of one of the girls (always welcome because she has been for so many years one of the most enthusiastic fans of my cooking) – so nine in all.

    Back to the turkey. We decided this year that we would like the turkey to have lived well fed and free to roam. And so I called the local gourmet butcher and ordered this exotic species. I had to plan it perfectly because I have one oven and a small fridge, so that the turkey had to be thawed and ready for pick up the day of the dinner, to be stuffed immediately and put in the oven.

    Unfortunately, since I was tied up with other preparations, the pick-up task fell to my husband, who gasped when he was requested to hand over the gold ingots required to pay for this Bird Who Had Lived a Happy Life. When he got it home, and I went to add the dressing, the turkey turned out to be missing a wing! Normally, having cooked many utility grade turkeys missing various parts other years, I would not have batted an eyelash.

    But this year, having given over a small fortune, I thought I should have a substitute, and with only 15 minutes left to the put-it-in-the-oven-countdown, I called the butcher. After four tries and various recorded messages, I reached a young man, who passed me to another, and this one finally offered me the wing from another turkey. No, I said, a surgical reattachment of a new wing would not fix my problem.

    Did I want another turkey then, seven pounds heavier? NO! There was no time. It wouldn’t fit in the oven. (my solar plexus was doing summersaults.) OK. And we made do with this turkey – it had the advantage of fitting easily in the roasting pan, leaning on its side – although it did look a bit odd.

    The next hurdle was the potatoes. Having seen lovely, small, red, new potatoes I had thought, what a great idea – easy to cook, colourful, no need for mashed potatoes. So I bought a large bag. WRONG. My daughters, who had come over early, were clearly having none of this radical change. The mashed potatoes debate began – Grand-maman’s mashed potatoes, light, smooth, and mixed with cream cheese, or Nana’s, meant to be lumpy, and mashed with milk and butter. Skin or no skin? Garlic or not? My sacral chakra was getting jittery. But we opted for compromise – cream cheese but no garlic, and the little new potatoes, cooked and cut in half, placed in a circle on top of the mashed potatoes. A bit more work, but very pretty.

    In addition, there were the lovely fresh fall vegetables that – oh dear, another new idea – would be grilled on the BBQ. Only trouble was that the last person to use the BBQ had left the gas on and the BBQ was out of the question. So we juggled the turkey and the vegetables and the sausages and the extra dressing, all in the oven.

    One daughter had offered to make coleslaw from her Grand-maman’s recipe. So I had bought a beautiful green cabbage from the market, only the recipe went missing. Turning the kitchen upside down was useless in the existing state of chaos. In the hunt for a substitute recipe, it appeared that a Cabbage Bowl was called for – the cabbage carved out and the coleslaw put back in. Lovely, but somewhat more complicated. And it turns out that cabbage carving takes up a lot of space and litters the floor with tiny bits of cabbage.

    Well, we did pull this happy chaotic meal together. And we put the mashed potatoes in a covered vegetable dish that my ninety-seven year old aunt had just given to me – a weird old family dish with elephant head handles and a lid having two birds with duck-like bills that seemed to be clenched onto their own legs. So the ancestors were fully present at our table.

    We gave thanks – for family, for friends, for the harvest, for good food, for being together. There was piano music and laughter and pumpkin pie made from my great-grandmother’s recipe. My root chakra filled up to overflowing. My sacral chakra gave up worrying and basked in the conversation. Even my solar plexus was calm and radiated warmth. There is nothing like Thanksgiving to align our lower chakras and keep us grounded for days to come.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Catherine Bastedo is the author of Bird Vibes, a meditation deck to provide insight into current life situations by connecting with nature and the universal energy in us and around us. She offers Holographic-Usui Reiki sessions and classes, and holds Inner Guidance Nature Retreats in Ottawa, Toronto, Muskoka, and other locations. She teaches a Chakra Basics class for Wise Woman University online.

  • Monday, November 18, 2019 8:35 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    The Deva of the Inner Child
    by Robina Hearle

    Art by Sue Miller

    I have had the privilege of seeing a Deva; this has enabled me to teach others by way of this story.

    I was driving home one day after visiting my sister Sue, musing to myself that it was about time we held a workshop. The subject that seemed so obvious was The Healing of the Inner child as we constantly talked to our respective clients about the importance of this issue. [We both work as Reiki Masters and Spiritual Healers facilitating others to heal themselves.] I made a mental note of my thoughts to tell her, needless to say I forgot about it.

    Two weeks after that drive during a nights sleep I had the most vivid dream. Sue and I were back in the bungalow that we had grown up in, as I looked around in the dream Sue was curled up asleep, suddenly there right in front of my face was a little girl. I only was aware of her face, she had coppery very curly hair that framed her wide pale freckly face, and her eyes were almond shaped, green and set wide apart. The skin on her cheeks really drew my attention it was blue, red and yellow and mottled these colours all blended. The little girl stayed in front of me until I had drunk in every detail of her looks, she made sure I would not forget her. I then woke up and could still see her in my minds eye.

    The next day Sue and I were to meet up at my Healing Garden where after a while we began to talk about holding a workshop and how we would go about it. I remembered the little girl and began to describe her in detail to Sue. Immediately very clearly in my head I got the message that she was The Deva of The Inner Child. Sue and I were to say the least astounded and delighted!

    The afternoon discussion came to a close and we were prompted to go into a meditation to the Stone Circle [this is where we often go for healing and information] .The Stone Circle was full of people when we got there, we both received some healing energy and Sue when she came back had also met the Deva of the Inner Child and was told how delighted the Deva was that we were going to hold a series of workshops.

    The Deva has been around prompting us ever since. The following Tuesday Sue wanted to do some gardening but was not allowed to until she had drafted some posters for the workshop. I was at my weekly Reiki share when it came into my head very strongly to make a vibrational essence for the healing of the inner child. I had actually been thinking of making a different essence [I am a flower essence therapist and producer].

    So my thoughts turned to wondering about what emotional aspect that this essence would be for. The Reiki share finished and we all went home. I went straight to bed as I prepared to go to sleep a host of thoughts to do with the inner child came flooding into my head, I had to get up and get a pad and pencil. The word reassurance rang out strongly ….that was it, that was the crux of what the essence would be about.
    I then connected specifically to speak to the Deva and asked if she would help in making the essence. [It is not unusual to have spirit help to make essences, they are not always flowers]. Two days later it was made written up and posted to my webmaster to put on my website. I then thought that I would write up how this all occurred the pen just flew across the paper.

    The Devic kingdom is absolutely vast and includes every aspect of our lives, from Devas who hold the blueprint for the plants on the planet to Devas of our homes, gardens and relationships, the list is endless and surprising. We humans could not actually exist on this planet in our bodies without assistance from this realm.

    The Deva showed herself as a representation of a little girl because this is a picture I would be comfortable with, the Nature spirits show themselves as fairies because this is how humanity will accept them, they are actually bands or frequencies of energy.

    For Sue and I the story will continue as we hold our courses and we look forward to the unexpected.

    By Robina Hearle

  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019 2:26 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Taurus Full Moon: I am of the Earth

    by Kathy Crabbe

    Taurus Full Moon Blessings to All! Below are some snippets of wisdom from my upcoming Zodiac Goddess Power deck to help you resonate and blossom in tune with Mama Moon! Plus a chance to win a talismanic hand painted woodslice ornament/necklace too!

    Taurus Meditation

    I am of the earth,
    Gaia feeds me,
    I worship her body as I worship my own.

    Taurus Affirmations

        I am practical, sensible and earthy

        I am sensual and loyal

        I am grounded and fulfilled in the arms of Mama Earth

        I am creative and persistent

        I grow deep roots

        I am slowing down and enjoying myself

        I take time to pamper and nurture myself

        I indulge my senses on a regular basis

    Feed Your Taurus Earthiness

    - Spend time in nature feeling comfortable and at home
    - Build and transform your world through the healing powers of art
    - Allow Mama Earth to support your endeavours
    - Discover deep bliss

    Kathy Crabbe has been an artist forever and a soul reader since awakening her intuitive gifts at age forty after five years painting with her non dominant left hand. This awoke her intuition in a big way. In 2008 she created a Lefty Oracle deck and started giving intuitive soul readings that have touched many lives in profound and playful ways. Kathy lives in sunny Southern California with her pet muses and architect husband in an adobe home they built themselves.

    Kathy’s art and writing has been published and shown throughout the world at museum shows, galleries, art fairs, magazines and books including the San Diego Women’s History Museum, We’Moon Datebook, and Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach to name a few. She has self-published several books, zines, oracle decks and ecourses and maintains a regularly updated blog, etsy store and portfolio site. Kathy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Queen’s University and a Graphic Design Diploma from St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Canada. She has been working as a professional artist since 1992. Kathy has been an educator and mentor at Laguna Outreach Community Artists, Mt. San Jacinto College, Wise Woman University, Inspire San Diego Studio, HGTV, Michelle Shocked’s International Women’s Day Show as well as teaching her own classes: “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul”, and New Moon Circles. She is a founding member of the Temecula Artist’s Circle, the Temecula Writer’s Café and the Riverside Art Museum’s Printmaker’s Network. Metaphysically speaking, Kathy has studied with Francesca De Grandis (Third Road Celtic Faerie Shamanism), Adam Higgs (psychic mediumship), Om, devotee of Sri Chinmoy (meditation), Atma Khalsa (yoga), Susun Weed (Green Witch Intensive), Joyce Fournier, RN (Therapeutic Touch), Steven Forrest & Jeffrey Wolf Green (astrology) and she received certification in crystal healing from Katrina Raphaell’s Crystal Academy.
    Learn more here.

    Kathy’s 4 week eClass “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul” is once again being offered at Wise Woman University so get ready to Moon Collage your heart out starting one week prior to the New Moon each month…more details here: eClass.
  • Wednesday, November 06, 2019 2:08 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    by Anna Jarrett

    It’s one of those very wet, very cold, dark autumn nights. We wait, in the sea cave, perched just above the rising tide, for the full moon to rise over the sea, and bring us her light. The small fire we’ve lit provides a little warmth and a lot of smoke, a cleansing smoke which welcomes us into the Moon Lodge Space. Ahh! Such a sacred space. I sit quietly smiling in the cave, enjoying the cool, hard surface of the sea cave floor, an earthy reminder of our ancient past when we gathered around fires every night, to talk, to eat and to rest under the night sky. The moon slips out from behind the dense grey clouds and her white glow sparkles on the sea ripples below us. Mmmm, I’m in heaven. I love my monthly Moon Lodges.

    Well, this Moon Lodge was a little different to our other gatherings, as we usually start our lodges by gathering at a friend’s home or a beach cabin, with a little space outside for a fire. But every lodge is special in its own way. An open circle of women friends, who I look forward to seeing every month, come together to celebrate our life journeys and the cycles of mother moon. Together, we create a sacred feminine space for ritual, feasting, sharing stories, singing, reading tarot, drumming, dancing and healing. We all love the Moon Lodges as it’s a special time in our lives when we can gather as women, wild, wise and wondrous, enjoying the safety and comfort of womanspace.

    The Moon Lodge ritual is a totally organic event where we never know who’s coming or what we might do, we just let the mystery of the night unfold. I love this. No controls, no boundaries, just an open feminine space where we can take turns to share our stories, holding the talking stick, supporting each other as we speak. This sacred space brings the comfort of deep listening and being listened to deeply by woman friends. Women who understand what it means to be living life fully and embracing our divine feminine selves.

    In my daily life, I really enjoy sharing the love, friendship and hope which these Moon Lodges give to us all. Reclaiming these sort of spaces and rituals in our lives brings us strength and gives us a voice. These are sacred spaces where we are totally safe to share ours stories and to find insight, understanding, nurturing and support from other women as we journey together. The Moon Lodge ritual magically weaves together a strong community of women, connecting us all through this life, connecting us with women through time, connecting us with our ancestors and Goddesses.

    My wish is for all women to have this magical space of Moon Lodges and circle gatherings in their lives. I’d love to hear from other women who are gathering at Moon Lodges.

  • Wednesday, November 06, 2019 1:23 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Soul Retrievals: Journey to Wholeness
    by JoAnne Dodgson


    “Something's missing.” This commonly heard and felt sentiment is expressed by people of all ages in widely diverse circumstances. To ease the unsettling discontent, confusion and grief around the elusive missing pieces, something or someone eventually gets used to fill up the empty places inside.

    Shopping for more stuff. Creating busy-ness and stress. Addictively reaching for foods, drugs, alcohol and sex. Joining the frenzy of competitive sports and political battles. Filling the void with a bigger house, a new car, a better body, a different lover or spouse, another baby, a grander guru, a more impassioned social cause, a trendy tattoo or body piercing, the latest technological gadgets, a hip pair of sunglasses or shoes.

    The desire to live fully, to have a rich and delicious, juicy life, is not to be diminished or squelched. The pursuit of personal happiness and wholeness is a sacred quest. It's just that the maps we've been given by our modern-day world don't get us where we're really trying to go. Grabbing onto someone or something to fill up the empty spaces is only a temporary fix, a convenient distraction, a band-aid concealing unhealed wounds.

    Because the recycling “something's-missing,” that haunting sense of emptiness, means what's missing are precious pieces of you. Pieces of your spirit. Elements of your joy. Aspects of your awareness and power. Pictures of your dreams. Expressions of your creativity, freedom and voice. Feelings of connection and belonging. Knowings of unconditional love.

    Vital aspects of your spirit, your self, are lost as a result of traumatic life events--accidents, unexpected change, surgery, illness, lack of emotional and physical safety, violence, abuse. Pieces of your spirit leave the energy field of your body for purposes of protection--so these vital aspects of your very essence can stay alive; so you can survive the traumatic circumstances.

    Missing soul pieces are not lost forever. They are held in safekeeping in the spirit world. They can be reclaimed when you are ready to call them back. Although modern-day psychology and other approaches to health don't address these dynamics, indigenous healing traditions offer ceremonial processes for retrieving lost pieces of your soul.

    In the unique ancient ways of KaTaSee, the soul retrieval ceremony offers vital healing along with self-empowering tools. Through a guided spirit journey, you seek out, find and reclaim your own soul pieces.

    It is not necessary to recall or relive the history of the traumatic events in order to heal. The focus is on reclaiming and retrieving what got left behind. The soul retrieval ceremony offers first-hand experience of your personal journey to wholeness, a self-acquired healing, an unshakable knowing to be carried within you.

    The skills and knowledge acquired through this unique spirit journey open up the opportunity to pursue soul retrievals on your own. Once experienced and learned, the soul retrieval journey can be repeated as often as you choose to reclaim diverse and essential aspects of your being--awakening potentials to feel whole again, to live fully in the vastness of who you really are.

    In your wholeness, you have everything to live for. No longer distracted by endless searchings to fill up the emptiness, you are free to cultivate happiness from the inside. Feeling the abundance of your own being, you discover the abundance of all life. There's no room for scarcity and not-enoughness. Re-membering your very essence and re-weaving your connection with all that is, soul retrievals are sacred homecomings.


    JoAnne Dodgson, Ed.D. is a healer, teacher and medicine storyteller in
    ancient Peruvian medicine ways, Ka Ta See. 
    She has a doctorate in counseling psychology and over twenty years experience offering counseling, ceremonial gatherings, holistic healing and workshops. 

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