Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Dance of Fertility

The Dance of Fertility:
Reconnecting With Our Cycles

Like the earth itself, a woman's body passes through cycles of fertility and infertility. Sometimes our bodies are moist, cool and fertile and sometimes our bodies are dry, hot and infertile. Each month, our bodies give us signals to let us know where we are in the cycle. We can keep track of the signals and use the knowledge to prevent or achieve pregnancy or gauge overall health.

Join us for this 3-part class as we learn to listen to our bodies using the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM). We will explore what happens during a menstrual cycle, learn to chart our own cycle, and use those charts to achieve or prevent pregnancy and to gauge overall health. We will discuss herbs and other natural remedies to support our reproductive health.

Classes will be held Thursdays, October 7, 14 & 21, 6:30 -8:30pm at Radiance, 9 W Grant St, Lancaster, PA. Call 717-290-1517 or stop in to register in advance. Cost for the class is on a sliding scale: $80 to $60.

Natasha Herr is co-owner of Homegrown Edible Landscaping Co. She studies with certified fertility educator Katie Singer, author of Garden of Fertility and has used FAM successfully for the last 3 years to prevent pregnancy. She is in love with the magic of fertility and is passionate about teaching others to reconnect with their bodies.
Sarah Preston Campbell is a community herbalist, owner of Herbs From the Labyrinth, LLC and co-owner of Radiance in downtown Lancaster. She is passionate about women’s health, and sees myriad reflections between the health of our own bodies and the health of the Earth body.

Please note: FAM is not the Rhythm method. The rhythm method relies on estimating fertile time based on the assumption that most women ovulate around 14 days before their period. While this may be true for some women, stress, diet and other factors can delay ovulation in any given month, rendering the rhythm method inaccurate. In contrast, FAM relies on the daily observance of fertility signals in order to pinpoint exactly where a woman is in her cycle. There is no guesswork involved- only the facts!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dyeing with Indigo

Blue is a difficult color to obtain from natural dyes, coming only from Woad and Indigo. I've assisted with Woad dye baths before, but never worked with Indigo, so when I found a source for Indigo crystals, I had to get some. The crystals are the result of an intense working, so being able to get the prepared crystals saves several days of work. Here's a photo of the crystals: So, into the gorgeous copper vat (thank you, Sonya) filled with cool water, went the crystals, a color remover and some soda ash. Next, I stirred (carefully!) clockwise for a few minutes, then counter-clockwise for a few more minutes. A "flower" begins to form in the center of the pot. You'll notice the spoon that fell in the pot, too. Oops. Once the pot settles and the flower is fully formed, I skimmed the flower off the top, reserving it to return at the end of today's dye session. There's a little bit to skim after each dip, too. I did learn something unexpected - apparently mosquitoes LOVE Indigo. Yipes! I had to run back inside & douse myself in Bug Off!

When a dyed piece comes out of the dye pot it is actually a bright greenish yellow. As the air comes into contact with it, it shifts quickly to darker green and then to the deep blue. It's very magical to watch. At one point, it seems as though it might stop at the point when it looks like a malachite and lapiz blend. Gorgeous. The photos below are of the shifting colors. The first photo is blurry & I apologize - I was lifting the silk out of the dye pot with my right hand & taking the photo with my left, all while wearing rubber gloves. Finally, the color settles in to the deep indigo blue it will remain.

New England Women's Herbal Conference

I love the NE Women's Herbal Conference. I've been attending for years, and have been able to learn from herbal women from around the world. It truly is an amazing experience - more than 500 herb-loving women gathered together for an August weekend in New Hampshire.

This year, for the first time, I'll be setting up my vending tent and selling my wares! Very exciting. So, I've been keeping the dye pots working overtime, making extra batches of shampoos and salves and teas.

Will I see you there?