Posts tagged herbalism
What's in My Bag with Herbalist Audrey Jeanne
Audrey Post

I met Audrey Jeanne in middle school. (Her mother was my 8th grade english teacher!) I was always taken with her bright, thoughtful energy, but it wasn't until a photography class at the end of our senior year that we started to connect. Since then, Audrey and I have gone our separate ways while following a strikingly similar path. I've been keeping up with her journey through facebook, always excited to see what beauty she is bringing to the world with herbalism. Recently, Audrey launched her online shop, BellyWomb*Botanicals and Indie Fertility. It's a practice dedicated to natural and radical fertility through herbs, cycle tracking, workshops and retreats. Audrey is currently working on an online course for learning how to track your cycle using FAM (Fertility Awareness Method) and is offering 15% off her Wild Carrot Seed tincture by signing up for the Indie Fertility newsletter (email opt in is at the bottom the of Indie Fertility homepage). I believe that Audrey is offering up a really unique and much needed magic and I'm so incredibly excited to witness and support her practice. 

Spencre xx

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It's funny, I have cycled through several bags in the last month because they have all been so well loved that one after the other their straps have untethered! As crafty as I like to think I am, I am hopelessly lazy when it comes to mending things. This bag though has been with me for a few years now, at it's my staple. It conveniently goes with anything and I can stash in it everything. 

When Spencre asked me to share what was in my bag for this blog series, I had to giggle because what was in there was so perfect. For the last six years or so I've been on a somewhat secret mission in the realm of women's health. When I was in college, fueled by the 2012 election stress, I dove in deep to explore women's reproductive rights and sexual freedom. I wrote a zine called Radical Fertility for my senior project and then promptly fell into the existential black hole of "who am I now?" after college.

In the years that followed, I had some pretty profound experiences in which I found myself called to explore my body as its somatic intelligence in deeper ways as both a dancer and massage therapist. I also continued to study with midwifes, herbalists and all sorts of witchy women in an effort to better understand my own female body and how it relates to my sexual/reproductive health as much as my creativity, spirituality and personal power.

Slowly, I wove together my activist and my healer self and now I offer a broad spectrum of holistic care for women (both locally and online) as a Fertility Awareness educator, herbalist and Maya Abdominal Massage practitioner. My bag pretty perfectly reflects that ongoing exploration of women's bodies and wisdom. 

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Audrey Post

1. Natural Healing in Gynaecology: A Manual For Woman, by Rina Nissim

Honestly, I have like three books in my bag right now! I've got a 9th house Aries moon, so wisdom-seeking is pretty much my favorite pastime. But this book landed in my lap when I began exploring the plant-lore around herbal abortion in an effort to help women wade through the overwhelming amount of information online and to feel comfortable managing their pregnancy release at home (when it is safe and timely to do so). It also covers everything from yeast infections to cancer, so it's quite handy to have around for ladies who want to keep it natural down there. 

2. Super Salve Sun Salve SPF 27: I love this convenient little tube of green goop that is also high in SPF and made by a rad company that I fell in love with when I was living in the Southwest. It's great for my face and lips when I am out foraging around in the summertime sun. I really stink at putting on sunscreen and I hate the chemically stuff, so having this on hand has been a real face saver. 

3. Journal + Pen: I really can't be without this. And when I am, I am always so bummed. Seeds of inspiration don't hang around long without fertile ground in which to take root. I jot down everything from my to-do list to passing poetry to hella-emotional rambles and rants. It keeps sane my hyper-active mind. 

4. Dong Quai tincture: Oh what a splendid plant for womb*bearers! I have always had very irregular cycles and it wasn't until I found an acupuncturist who could help me understand my natal blood deficiency and lack of energy flow to my reproductive organs that I was first introduced to Dong Quai, or Chinese Angelica. I worked with the plant first in a formula, but recently decided that I really want to get to know this plant one on one and see how it effects my mind-body-spirit as a simple. 

5. Tiger's eye: I made this necklace a few years ago when I was working with stepping into my power and staying grounded and protected when doing healing work. Even after I made it, I didn't wear it. In fact, I almost got rid of it on a few occasions. Ever since I was a little girl, I always half worried half wondered if objects were animate. When I thought to give this stone away, something tugged deep in my belly and said, "not yet." Even as I have purged and moved my possessions countless times, I am getting better at listening to the voice of each object, knowing when to let go and when to hold on. I've been wearing it or keeping it near me now and as I have been working to heal own cycles and sexual health, I've found tiger's eyes to be a really strong ally. It gives daring to my day and opens up sensual feeling and expression, granting me full permission to purr and prowl.   

6. Ginger flower essence from La Abeja Herbs: On that note of sexual healing, I recently picked up this ginger flower essence from herbalist Sophia Rose. If you feel called to flower essences and you also want to do some healing work around your sexual self, I really encourage you to check out her description of this essence, as it really spoke to me and also to the experience I hear echoing on the collective level for a lot of women who are reclaiming a sense of safety, comfort and sovereignty in their sensual self expression.

    Audrey Post

    From Audrey about her practice, Indie Fertility:

    I teach natural fertility management and holistic self care for women across the broad spectrum of our sexual and reproductive wellness, including education and support for women looking to release an unintended pregnancy at home. I work in the healing tradition of the Wise Woman Way to help women heal the deep roots of reproductive health issues through my Holistic Cycle Support Sessions. I craft specific herbal formulas to help women manage health issues ranging from PCOS and endometriosis to amenorrhea, infertility and chronic UTIs or yeast infections. My online store is new and slowly building, but my intention is to offer herbal products for women ranging from DIY feminine hygiene kits, menstrual support, natural spermicide, and herbal body oils for womb massage. I will soon be launching online classes as well, the first of which will likely be for those looking to learn how to track their cycles and manage their fertility naturally using Fertility Awareness.

    Find Audrey online at indiefertility.com and on instagram at @bellywomb.botanicals

    What's in My Bag: with Maribeth Helen
    Maribeth Helen

    By now, I'm sure you've come across the work of Maribeth Helen. She is an herbalist, word witch and an all around incredible being. Maribeth's zine, Self Care in Uncertain Times, is well loved and has been widely coveted. Most likely to to its release during a time when we seem to need it most and the beautifully worded and relatable title.

    Maribeth's words are akin to coming home. She has a way of sharing her knowledge and experiences that is so thoughtful and patient, which is something that is so valuable in this world. Needless to say, I was stoked when Maribeth agreed to share what she carries around in her bag and what keeps her feeling nourished and powerful. 

    Maribeth also has some workshops coming up! So if you are lucky enough to live near the towns that she is teaching in, I strongly encourage you to reserve your spot asap. Check out her workshops page if you're in California or Massachusetts!

    Spencre xo

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    Over the years I have intentionally let go of many of my possessions as I moved around quite a bit. Recently I've even enjoyed leaving my bag in the car and walking out for a short hike with only my water bottle to carry. With that said, I like to keep certain well-loved potions (and snacks!) close, especially if I'm out in the city, going to work, or taking a longer trip away from home. I've been in the habit of keeping a good book in my bag as to spend down time or breaks reading instead of looking at my phone. Lately I've been carrying this special tote made by fellow herbalist and awesome friend Bonnie Rose Weaver. 

    Maribeth Helen : What's In My Bag
    Maribeth Helen : What's in My Bag

    The Stuff!

     1. Balsam Fir Hydrosol by Fat and the Land Apothecary: Anja has such an incredible spirit and relationship with the earth. I am constantly inspired by her connection to the plants and how she infuses the magic of the season into everything she does. I've been carrying her gently cooling and deeply grounding balsam fir hydrosol to keep my nervous system at ease and to refresh my skin after skipping around in the warm California sun. 

    2. Citrus Digestive Bitters by Urban Moonshine: I try not to go anywhere without bitters. This sensitive digestive system can use all the support it can get and Urban Moonshine does such a good job at blending powerful and effective herbs in such a gentle and tasty way. I like to drop these bitters right on my tongue or in a little warm water before or after a meal to invigorate and enliven my whole digestive system while helping to strengthen it's ability to assimilate nutrients from the foods I enjoy.  

    3. Pink yarrow flower essence: I love sending and receiving mail and I love when my friends send me perfect potions that always seem to line up with what I need. My dear friend Maggie Ruth tends to have a very intuitive sense when it comes to sending me plant medicine. As a sensitive and compassionate human who lives and works in a city, I am often struggling to keep healthy boundaries around what energy is mine and what energies I need to release. Maggie's pink flower essence helps to ground me in staying true to myself while being in relationship with other people. 

    4. Tulsi & Ginger Tea by Traditional Medicinals: I love tea, duh. :) This particular blend by Traditional Medicinals is so warming and incredibly grounding. It's my go to on the go tea in case I need to ground out or take a moment to recollect, get cozy, and reset when I'm out for the day. It's also great if I'm eating out and need some extra support for my digestive system....yeah I'm totally that person who brings their own tea to the restaurant. I don't drink so I am in the habit of bringing tea with me to gatherings where there might be alcohol and I want to drink something other than water, and this blend helps to take the edge off my social anxiety. 

    5. The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams: This. Book. I'm reading it for a second time. It is long and it is slow (like my favorite walks) and it is filled with many many incredibly potent moments of wisdom that come from this woman's unwavering love of the land here in the United States. She calls this book "A Personal Topography of America's National Parks" and I am a total nerd for it. It is personal, it is political, it is wild and soft, rooted in history and questioning, it's observant and spiritual and totally present. It is fine storytelling and full of poetry. 

    6. Snacks! : I never go anywhere without snacks because well, hanger. To this day when I visit my parents, my mom still brings an extra bag of almonds for me, just in case. I'm not kidding. So, snacks. My snacks range but usually I try to include some protein and fat. I've been loving YES bars which are made here in the bay area and always sprouted nuts are a win, lately paired with a blood orange because I can't get enough of the color! 

    7. Grapefruit Rose Lip Balm by Wild Carrot: I am really picky when it comes to my lip balm and with this windy Spring weather I am always reaching for my favorite by Wild Carrot Herbals out of Oregon

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    Find Maribeth online at maribethhelen.com and on Instagram @maribethhelen

    Photo by Bonnie Rose Weaver

    Photo by Bonnie Rose Weaver

    Photos by Maribeth Helen with the exception of the one above these words, which is by Bonnie Rose Weaver.