Sometimes my “herbalist-ness” manifests as alchemist, as mad scientist. Tinkering, thinking, combining. Sometimes I am working in tangible materials, digging roots, grinding seeds, composting poop. And I like that, I like getting my hands in my medicines, getting my nose and my heart right in there and stirring.
But I like the intangible,too. I like to make connections with the elements, tangibly and intangibly, and I feel that this contributes to overall health in ways that taking herbs do not–or perhaps in addition to the ways that herbs do. I have no need to be sure that all of the elements are precisely balanced-I am more concerened that these energies are in our lives at all. And we can buy something, sure. A magic element balancer, a person to chant over us, wave some shit around and call us “balanced”. There is balancing incense to burn, balancing oil to rub on our chakras, balancing baths and outfits and organic balancing underpants. But you do not need a product to bring elements into your home. (With 3 kids and a Catahoula I don’t need to put a “crystal cluster ” on my coffee table!) Earth just comes in-on our boots and paws!
Anyway. It’s a radical thought, but we can get a lot of our elemental medicine for free. It’s called going outside.
-FIRE: Hang out near a fire- indoors or out. Building a fire feeds part of our brain that is woefully underactivated in this culture. Gathering wood, using fire as a tool, connecting with our source of heat/light/fuel. We have done that for centuries. It’s in our blood. We also formed our relationship with dogs around the fire–they are often attracted to it, too. Oh yeah, then there’s the sun. It’s pretty omnipresent. Find a ray.
WATER: I bought an alarm clock with “soothing nature sounds”. This included a babbling brook. And you know what? It is a piece of crap. Why are we so attracted to water? It’s like “the source”, dudes. Turning on a faucet does not contribute to our knowledge that water is a gift. Go in it, be near it, listen to it, touch it, drink it. Respect it.
Earth: According to about.com, not exactly my favorite source on holistic health, “Natural crystals and stones are the best way to bring the earth element into your home”. You know what? The best source of teh earth element is earth. Yeah, DIRT. soil. compost, sand. stand on it, sit on it, grow in it, put your damn hands on the earth. If you are buying products to bring the earth element into your home you may want to do some serious thinking.
AIR: Breathe. Overthink stuff.
I believe we must question everyone who wants us to buy their goods and services. I believe that gathering is passed down to us in our ancestral memory and we are satisfying that impulse by amassing tchotckes and playing video games. I believe that we can support our own health by going outside every day. I believe that this will lead us to better sleep, better buttocks and a deeper connection with our homes… No magic underpants required.