Working with Earth with Herbalist Amanda Furbee

May’s Post – Working with Earth

As I grow with my connection to the Elements my understanding broadens and my consciousness shifts. I continually am amazed at the different ways that learning and listening, and watching and observing nature are the biggest ways that we learn to reconnect to ourselves, our communities and what is vitally important to opening our eyes and becoming aware. In this series of writings we will go through all 4 elements, as well as, what I have observed and found helpful as guidance.

Earth. The dirt beneath our toes.  Salt of the Earth. A place where many minerals and nutrients lay down their heads to replenish all the is needed for growth. The ground we walk upon that keeps us firmly planted to this giant rock. The shape of our world is molded by many molten layers of peaks and valleys. The elements that keep on the earth ground us by providing: soil in order to grow plants, mushrooms and trees. Sprinkle seeds into the Earth and watch it provide food and medicine to all it inhibits. Earth is part of all we are. The cycle of birth and death.         

In Astrology each sign is related to an element. North is the direction associated with Earth. We have three zodiac signs of each element. Helping us to stay grounded and indulge are Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo. All three zodiacs are known for grounding into the moment, tendencies to be stubborn, persistent and abilities to move mountains when they put their minds to it. They typically enjoy the security and luxury of being stable in their lives and homes. Earth signs are known as the builders of the zodiac.

Animals that are associated with Earth typically plant their feet firmly on the ground. The Elk and Buffalo can move the earth and create new formations. The Dog and Wolf who are closely related create loyalty and community within their packs. The tiny details and scrutiny of the mouse and the invitation to ground ourselves into the dream world with Bear are all of this Earth. While Turtle has the luxury of both being on land and in the water and is known as the oldest symbol of planet Earth. Animal medicine has been used for centuries with our ancestors as tools for guidance. Watch and learn from animals that ground themselves with Earth as a guiding tool. Their wisdom is so profound, their natural instincts are genuinely passed on to us as a lesson. How we learn from them is by observing their message by their natural actions. In the Medicine Cards, written by Jamie Sams & David Carson, it goes into old fables and tales of these animals that have been observed from ancient cultures all over the world. I have found this set of oracle cards to be an excellent tool for guidance and understanding. The element of earth has been able to pull me gently to back down to the ground when my thoughts were to heavy and carrying me away. When life seemed to chaotic and spinning I called on the ancient wisdom of the Earth animals for guidance.

The Elk, Stamina, Teaches us that if we pace ourselves then we will increase our stamina. It can help you to realign yourself with the stamina of the warrior/warrioress energy that you are a part of. – Animal Medicine

-Turtle, Mother Earth, Turtle is the oldest symbol for planet Earth.  We are born of the womb of the Earth, and to her soil our bodies will return. In honoring the Earth, we are asked by Turtle to be mindful of the cycle of give and take, to give back to the Mother as she has given to us. – Animal Medicine

-Dog, Loyalty, Dog has been considered the servant of humanity throughout history. If you have Dog medicine, you are probably serving the community in some way. It is a medicine that embodies the loving gentleness of best friend and the half-wild protector energy if territorial imperative. The message that Dog carries is to delve deeper into your sense of service to others. – Animal Medicine

-Wolf, The Teacher, Wolf is the pathfinder, the forerunner of new ideas who returns to the clan to teach and share medicine. Wolf medicine empowers the teacher within us all to come forth and aid the children of Earth in understanding the Great Mystery of life.  If Wolf shows up then you may be called to share your personal medicine with others. – Animal Medicine

-Mouse, Scrutiny, Mouse says. “ I will touch everything with my whiskers in order to know it.” It is good medicine to pay attention to detail, but it is bad medicine to chew every little thing into pieces. If this is your personal medicine, you may be fearful of life but very well organized, with a compartment for everything. If Mouse medicine is presenting itself to you it may be telling you to carefully scrutinized all situations. To see what is right before your eyes and to take action accordingly. – Animal Medicine

-Bear, Introspection, To accomplish the goals and dreams that we carry, the art of introspection is necessary. It is in the Dream Lodge that our ancestors sit in Council and advise us regarding alternative pathways that lead to our goals. This is the power of Bear. In understanding the Bear, the power of knowing has invited you to enter the silence and become acquainted with the Dream Lodge, so that your goals may become concrete realties. This is the strength of Bear. – Animal Medicine

-Buffalo, Prayer and Abundance, In many tribes the White Buffalo is the most sacred. The appearance of the White Buffalo is a sign that prayers are being heard, that the sacred pipe is being honored, and that the promises of prophecy are being fulfilled. White Buffalo signals a time of abundance and plenty. Buffalo medicine is a sign that you achieve nothing without the aid of the Great Spirit and that you must be humble enough to ask for that assistance and then be grateful for what you receive. – Animal Medicine

There are many other animals that are totems of Earth. If you feel one calling you watch and learn from it. It may be sending you a message or guidance tool. As with all symbols and patterns in life, they are messages to pay attention and learn from.

In the body, what is Earth? In Chinese Medicine Earth is represented in the digestive tract, stomach and spleen. The Middle of the Body. When our bodies are feeling earthly sluggish then it may be time to address nourishing these organs to bring in vitality and fluidity. Removing foods that get stuck like heavy grains and breads can be helpful in having a healthy middle body. The emotion that is often associated with Earth element is sympathy. That is why it makes sense to understand our “Gut Feeling” and habits associated with it. Making sure we are fueling our bodies with nutrient and nourishing food and medicine will allow us to have a healthy state of digestion and mood. There are many plants that can help with the ease of digestions, such as marshmallow root, fennel, peppermint and ginger. Staying away from ice cold liquids and also ensure that things continue to move along nicely.

In a metaphysical sense, Earth, is here to bring balance to life. To call in the abundance and fertility of this journey on the planet in this lifetime and the next. When we feel ungrounded it helps us to find our comfortable pace again. It helps us to analyze big and small and be logical and practical when we need to be. Earth helps us solidify what we need in life and give thanks for the fruitfulness of our given lives.  

In sharing my connection to Earth, I hope that you find guidance with your own path on reconnecting with nature and yourself. May it be a tool that guides you when you are unsure. May you always know that your intuition and connections to spirit are by your side always.  

Stop by and see us to view our complete line of THS products.  To set up an herbal consultation with me, either in person or via facetime or skype: info@theherbshoppepharmacy.com


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Amanda Furbee

Amanda’s interest in herbalism began at an early age but it wouldn’t be until 2010, when she moved to the Pacific Northwest, that her relationship with medicinal plants blossomed. The move from the east coast to the west coast would be more than a change of scenery, it brought her closer towards the wonderful world of herbalism. Ambitious to start learning she found a golden opportunity working at Portland’s first all organic herbal supplier, The Herb Shoppe. Her experience was even more fulfilling than she had hoped for, feeling invigorated Amanda knew this was a step in the right direction. 

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