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Seraphina's Blog

Seeking Admin Assistant

I’m looking to hire someone who can wear multiple hats. This position includes managing email and office admin plus some online customer service. Someone who has excellent communication skills with a knack for writing, editing and proof-reading. This person must live in Canada. You would be an independent contractor.   Please submit your application by…
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Community is Immunity

The coronavirus’s quick travel around the globe in a few short months in early 2020 highlights our connectivity as human beings.   As the metaphor goes, a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil and sets off a tornado in Texas. The hygiene practices and social distancing you or I practice has a tremendous impact not…
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[Audio Recording] Deep Sleep Meditation

I get so many requests – much more than I can fulfill – to produce audio recordings of the various meditations, visualizations, and exercises I sometimes guide patients and students through.  This one is a simple guided meditation for Deep Sleep. Tips: Creating a soothing atmosphere of restfulness is important. People tend to sleep better…
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Keeping balance: The spring equinox

Artist: Michael Hiep Today, March 20th, witches, pagans and earth-kin celebrate the turning of the wheel of the year, as this day, March 20th, marks spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and autumnal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. While we may say it’s a day of balance, with daytime and nighttime sharing equal hours of…
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Cold & Flu Video Tutorial

Hello Beautiful World! I'm trying to put out a series of videos to address the common questions I get asked time and time again. Here in Canada, we're in the depths of winter. In fact, I haven't been able to leave my house for three days! Cabin fever has me finally sitting down to record this free video for you.
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[Audio Recording] Unhooking Meditation Practice

Here is a meditative practice (audio recording) for unhooking from anger, sadness, grief – any energetic emotional block – that you feel is stopping your flow of life force. We aren’t always aware of what happens when we engage with a person or situation and suddenly thereafter feel so ‘off’. It could be the way…
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On Broken Dreams

It’s spring here in the Northern Hemisphere, the lush green and unfurling blossoms symbols of hope renewed and the radiant expression of life itself. And yet, the paradox of this season is all I feel is heartache. So much death has hit my communities. Shock, and bad news reverberate through our being. There’s a new crisis in…
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Time out of Time

“All that is gold does not glitter,Not all those who wander are lost;The old that is strong does not wither,Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken,A light from the shadows shall spring;Renewed shall be blade that was broken,The crownless again shall be king.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien,…
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Sliding Scales

I want to shout out and give great thanks to Alexis of www.wortsandcunning.com for creating this awesome graphic explaining how to find your place on sliding scales. Please read their full article here.
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Robert Birch

Born on the unceded territory of the Anishinaabeg people, ~birch played on the shores of the Odenabe River, which in Ojibwa means “river that beats like a heart.” He mostly identifies with the pronouns he/him. He launched his first professional theatre company at fifteen. It was then he began a 27-year student-mentor relationship with Annie…
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Willow Kelly’s Bio

Willow’s Bio: I am a musician, storyteller, and eco-political activist witch, wildly in love with this good green earth. I facilitate experiential, transformational magic and music across the U.S., Canada, Germany and Australia, inviting participants into a direct experience of their own magic and powers of transformation. I draw heavily on my training and experiences…
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Seraphina Capranos Bio

Seraphina’s Bio: Seraphina is a priestess, herbalist & homeopath who’s been steeped in life’s magical riches from an early age thanks to her pagan grandparents and mother.  She has devoted herself to exploring the sacred since the age of 12.  She’s passionate about serving the powers of Nature and the principles of Healing and believes it’s…
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Suzanne Sterling

Suzanne Sterling Bio: Suzanne Sterling is a dedicated musician, yogi, activist and social innovator who has been performing and teaching transformational workshops for over 20 years. She is a passionate facilitator of embodied healing and her unique style is a deep yet ecstatic journey into the heart of creativity, authentic connection with Source, and joyful…
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Protected: Introduction to Homeopathy: Session One

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Herbs to Protect our Lungs

The land is burning, and so are our lungs. Here’s a list of my favourite respiratory protectors. Drink them up, and be sure to share them with the vulnerable people in your life such as small children, elders, and those who are immune compromised. If you want to learn more about herbal medicine check out…
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Companionship as Healer?

Sharing our whole self with someone else is risky. It requires boldness and daring to reveal our so-called imperfections, our fears, our longings, our locked away stories. Those parts of self we are taught to hide away from the world. The older I get the more I learn vulnerability takes courage, and courage relies on…
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Healing Grief

Healing Grief: Natrum Muriaticum I share the following personal story so you can learn how, and when, to use this remedy yourself. Keep it close at hand. The times we’re in call for it. When I was 21 years old, my father unexpectedly died 10 days after my birthday. He was 47. Death is strange;…
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Grounding Meditation

Feeling into the consciousness of the world, namely that of North America, one feels the destabilizing anxiety that is at an all-time high. We are amidst a revolution. There is crisis, there is coming together, there is hopeless, and there is hope in the cauldron of change. It’s hard to feel steady in the face…
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Simple Aloe Vera Skin Spray

While I don’t really burn when exposed to the sun, many members of my friends and family do. I wish I could credit who I learned this recipe from – It might be that I read a version of this from Rosemary Gladstar or James Green decades ago. Nonetheless, this is a simple recipe I…
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Wild Rose honey, rose vinegar & heavenly elixir

There are over 2,800 plants in the rose family Rosaceae. Some you might recognize are: peaches, plums, almonds, apricots, cherries, strawberries, quince, hawthorn, rowan, blackberries, raspberries, Lady’s Mantle, Ocean spray.Roses are not just pretty and edible, though we love them for these reasons, they are also useful medicine for first aid and long-term situations. When you…
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Lilac Blossom Cordial

Nothing says spring to me like the scent of lilac blossoms. They remind me of the sweetness of childhood, my mother’s birthday, and the hope and renewal that spring rains can bring. The fragrance so heady and delicious I’ve always want to eat them – and you can! While I enjoy lilac blossom tea with a…
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Nettles: Magic, Myth & Medicine

As we near the spring Equinox and the pagan holiday Ostara the nettles beckon me from the field behind my home. Ostara, or spring equinox, is the holiday celebrating birth and renewal as the sun warms the earth and coaxes the plants upward towards the sun to receive nourishment. Out of the dark, rich, black…
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How to Make Sauerkraut

Making your own sauerkraut is easy. All you need is some cabbage (even a single small one), some salt, and a container. That’s it. I love making traditional foods like sauerkraut because it connects me to all the millions of people before us who’ve relied on simple techniques such as culturing vegetables to sustain health…
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Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil is derived from the Castor bean (Ricinus communis) and has a long medicinal history dating back to ancient Egypt.  The plant was mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medicinal treatise,  and evidence of the plant was found in tombs said to be as old as 4000 BCE.  Internally, Castor oil was used as a laxative and purgative to remove poisons or harmful substances from…
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Let them eat tulips

Hello!  It feels like it’s been far too long since I last sent a newsletter out to you dear community! That’s because spring for me begins in February, and that means lots of time harvesting outside every spare moment I have, with little spare time on the computer.  The months between February and July are the…
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Summer Blessings to all of you!

View Newsletter in Browser. Don’t get my newsletter? Subscribe above. I’ve been home almost two weeks now from a deeply nourishing work / pleasure trip down in California.  My cup is full, and I am well nourished.  I teach at a Reclaiming Intensive that takes place in the Redwoods of California.  It’s a gathering birthed…
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Happy Equinox!

View newsletter in browser . Don’t get my newsletter? Click above to subscribe. Below I share what I do to create an Equinox ritual for letting go, and a link to my ever-popular hawthorn berry syrup (it’s very easy to make).  There are two equinoxes every year – the spring and autumn equinox. This Autumnal Equinox (Sept…
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Herbal Skin Cancer Treatment

This recipe is from traditional healers of Mexico, who shared it with Stephen Harrod Buhner who shared this publicly on Facebook and in his (incredible) book, Sacred and Healing Beers.  Everything Buhner writes is extraordinary.  He’s a prolific, and poetic writer.  He’s written so many books I still haven’t had a chance to read them all.…
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Herbs & Homeopathy for a Cats Injury

About a month ago, my very sweet cat, Leo, came home with a serious wound on his tail: It was an open, bloody, angry sore.  His tail was swollen and extremely tender to touch.  The wound looked deep.  I took him to the vet because I wanted to make sure there was no foreign material…
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Elderberry Medicine

The first herb to initiate me into the secret world of magic and herbal medicine was the Elder tree (Sambucus nigra). I was twelve years old, and it was the first summer at my grandparents new home in rural Ontario.  My grandfather called me out to the backyard to meet him behind the garden house, near the…
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Hawthorn: Myth, Magic & Medicine for your Heart

The Alchemy of Herbal Medicine Online course begins October 3rd, click here to register!  Botanical Name: Crataegus spp. Common Names: hawthorn, quickthorn, thornapple, May-tree, whitethorn, or hawberry. Crataegus is a genus of several hundred species of shrubs and trees in the family Rosaceae. The species often found where I live in southwestern Canada are C. monogyna, C. laevigata.…
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Fire Cider: An Easy-to-make homemade respiratory tonic

Many decades ago, renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar coined the term “Fire Cider” for the delicious respiratory tonic made from easy to find kitchen ingredients macerated in apple cider vinegar. When I was in herbal school in the late 1990’s, I learned it as Professor’s Blend.  No matter the name you call it by, this is…
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Naturally fermented pickles – Vinegar Free

Naturally fermented (aka cultured) pickles produce the most delicious sour flavour thanks to the naturally occurring good bacteria.  The pickles float in a cloudy brine that is delicious. Many are known to drink this brine for the flavour and beneficial bacteria. When we had sore stomach’s as kids, my mom or grandmother would have us…
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A flower for first aid, swollen glands, yeast infections and more

This is the time of year where I’m reaping the benefits of my harvest.  Not to say harvest season is over – in a lot of ways it’s just begun! But I harvest most of my flowers between April (when dandelion begins) through July, when the sun is the strongest. Right now, I’m focused on…
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An Antiviral Herb that Uplifts the Spirits

July is a busy month of harvesting fresh plants, both wild and cultivated.  One of my favourite herbs of the season is St. John’s Wort, the latin name Hypericum perforatum. This bright little yellow flower is named after St. John the Baptist, a holiday celebrated in June, which is typically the week Hypericum begins to bloom. I’ve…
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Student Feature – Ange Conley

As a herbal teacher who’s taught over one hundred students here on Salt Spring Island, I meet amazing people.  I’ve had the opportunity to meet ALL OF YOU – but some of you only meet the students you are in class with.  This is my gesture for introducing all of you to each other! Ange…
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Student Feature – Barbra Edwards

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a teacher is I get to meet – and spend lots of time with – incredible people! One such person is Barbra Edwards. Barbra was a student of The Alchemy of Herbal Medicine from 2010-2011 and then took the second year clinical from 2011-2012. I’m so delighted…
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A remedy for Uncertain Times: Ignatia for Heartbreak, loss, and grief

Wise sages throughout history have been known to say nature provides humans with all the medicine we may need for every illness. While it may be so that we haven’t yet decoded all of Nature’s elixirs – or perhaps we’ve collectively lost much of this wisdom through our industrialization and domestication – nothing coaxes me…
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Resiliency Through The Flu (and a cough syrup recipe)

(note: cough & cold syrup recipe at the bottom of this post!) Have you been overwhelmed with the social anxiety surrounding this season’s flu epidemic? Recently I was at the hospital visiting some patients and I felt like I walked into a movie set for the Plague: both the staff and patients were wearing face…
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Culturing Vegetables

While it seems cultured foods have popped up as the latest health food trend these last few years (Kombucha anyone?) that are considered expensive “specialty” foods & drinks, fermented products used to be known as food for the poor. Yes, that’s right.  Naturally fermented foods were borne out of necessity: lack of refrigeration. You see…
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The Amazon Jungle of Ecuador

The first steps I took in the Andes of Ecuador were like walking through thick molasses. Immediately I had no choice but to slow down.  Literally.  Adjusting to altitude pressure is a peculiar experience.  Though I wanted to move fast, I had no choice but to move in slow motion.  The altitude in Quito is…
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What to do for the Cold or Flu

It’s not too often that I get sick with a cold or flu, but when I do I take it as an opportunity to practice what I preach and take note of what actually works.  I basically study myself in the process of illness so I can learn from it. A few days ago I…
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Autumn Harvesting

As the heat of the sun wanes, what’s left of the harvest hangs on the boughs. Bright red hawthorn and rose hips will soon become ever-present against the muted colours of the coming winter. Their bright colour is inviting, beckoning for attention. And for good reason. Hawthorne berries strengthen capillaries, blood vessel walls, and strengthen…
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Gluten Free Diet

Have you noticed how commonplace gluten-free products have become on our grocery store shelves? Does it seem like everyone and their cousin is now  “gluten-free”? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? First of all, gluten is not a grain – it’s a protein that just so happens to be found in many of them. Gluten is actually a form of…
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Spring Harvests

I haven’t had much time to blog lately as I’ve been so busy putting in the garden and harvesting spring herbs. Here’s what I’ve been up to this week As most Salt Spring Islanders know, nettle can be used as any other tender green one would eat. Nettle pesto, nettle soup, nettle stirfry, sauteed nettle,…
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What’s in your food?

Happy Equinox! What an exciting time of year! I’m breathing a sigh of relief – finally, the first fresh baby greens in the garden ready to harvest for the daily salad. And the nettle! This is the perfect time of year to be harvesting nettle tops to steam like spinach (and drink the water from…
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What is Homeopathy?

I LOVE homeopathy. While sometimes our profession stands as a role that we fill in order to serve our community, for me, being a homeopath is who I am – not just what I do. I came into homeopathy by accident. In fact, I was a skeptic at first. Interestingly, I later learned that many Homeopaths…
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Holly, A Tree of Magic

Here, in the depths of December, the Holly Tree beckons me from outside my bedroom window. I’m preparing my alter for Solstice tomorrow. Candle light fills my home this season, a symbol of the returning light this time of year brings. I don’t want to rush into the season of growing light. I love this time of…
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Herbs for Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease

With so many cases of Hand, Foot & Mouth (HFMD) Disease causing a stir in my home community I’m compelled to write about this common infection – namely to let folks know that it is not as dreadful as it’s name. First, this illness is not related to Foot & Mouth Disease (aka Hoof & Mouth Disease)…
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Autumn Rituals: a respiratory tonic

Autumn is definitely my favourite season. While some feel overwhelmed by the chores the season brings, I relish them. I adore decanting, pressing, and bottling all my creations from spring and summer. Nothing is more satisfying for me then sitting back and admiring these herbal potions made with all the plants fresh  and in their prime. As…
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How To Make Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar

As we move towards autumn I notice the smell in the air, the light cast by the sun, and colour of leaves take on a distinct change. I can’t believe the Autumn Equinox is just a week away— a sure sign of deepening into the the fall, which will certainly draw me more internal. Since…
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cleopatra’s face cream

I’ve never considered myself skilled at making face creams until I experimented with eliminating shea butter and cocoa butter from my recipe– two staple ingredients listed in every face cream recipe I’ve ever come across. It took me a while to realize the reason my creams came out so grainy in texture and seemed to separate quickly…
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Herbal Oils

As the strength of the hot sun coaxes flowers to open, it signals  ’tis the season to get busy making herbal oils. For those new to making herbal medicines, making an herbal oil may seem an intimidating task, but rest assured, once you’ve done it, it soon becomes one of the easiest tasks of medicine making. The rewards of…
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Fresh Tinctures for July

Making a herbal tincture is the process of soaking plant material in a menstruum (that is, a solvent) to extract the medicinal components into the said menstruum to use for medicine.  A menstruum can be alcohol, water, vinegar, oil, wine, glycerin, honey, or a combination of any aforementioned. Tinctures are handy because one would need…
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California Poppies

I’ve just returned home after spending nearly 2 months in California. Oh how I love that state! The people, the mountains, the sunshine, and of course the bright and bountiful flowers found everywhere. There are many things that impress me about California, and San Francisco in particular. One of those things is how at every street corner,…
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Women’s Herbal Symposium

I’ve just returned from a luxurious week-long break of camping out  & teaching natural medicine at the California Women’s Herbal Symposium. I’ve never been to the symposium before, and wow, what a treat! It was completely different from what I expected. I met amazing colleagues & teachers, made new friends, and in short was blown away by…
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Dandelion Medicine

May is by far my most favourite month of the year. The season is bustling with all the colour and vigour of new life; flowers opening to show their sunny faces and the green of the grass so intense it’s hard to believe it’s real. In just one week my lawn  has suddenly  covered with…
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More on the Bounty of Nettle

I woke early this morning to set out and harvest nettle root from my small but healthy patch of nettles (urtica dioica) The peak time to harvest roots is early spring while the vitality still resides in the root pushing upwards for new growth, or autumn while the vital energies are drawing downwards to the earth…
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Spring!

I love the month of March.  I love the dramatic intensity of the weather this time of year brings. The sudden rain followed by the sudden break of sunshine; the cleansing wild winds followed by stillness; the noticeable lengthening of daylight past Equinox; the cheerful twittering of birds; lambs and calves joyfully hopping along the…
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Cookbook

I recently came across a fantastic cookbook titled Feeding The Whole Family by Cynthia Lair. The book is created with babies, children, and their parents in mind. You can check it out at Amazon here.   What sets this book apart from so many is the author includes great tips on how to adjust a recipe…
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