Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Choosing my herbal Ally

Choosing my Herbal Ally for this year has had me in a spot of dilemma for a few days now.  When I first read about Herbal Ally's  over at Dancing in a Field of Tansy, I thought "what a fantastic idea". I could not wait to choose an ally and get started.

However, after reading how to choose my ally, I pretty much came up with a blank. I am certainly a long way from becoming a herbalist. My interests indeed stem from what I believe are recovered memories from a past life. Sometimes when I "ask" for advice, a herb will pop into my head and I just know its the right thing to use AND how to use it. Then I will get all gung ho and study the herb suggested just to make sure it really is safe to use!

In the end it came down to two choices. I first thought of Elder as I know the possibilities are endless. The whole plant is a dream and I thought it would be so much fun to work with...however...(and here is where the typical ME comes into things.......my instinct came to the party and started pushing me in the right direction. You know? The one I did not particularly WANT to take but felt compelled to do so. The one towards.....


Tansy has been niggling at me for years. She creeps in, taking over vast spaces in my garden. Growing in the most strangest places. Carefree and abundant despite the conditions!

My very first tansy plant was purchased for no other reason than that I held it and felt compelled to take it home. That tiny little seedling soon grew to a massive plant and seeded itself and spread itself around my not so large back garden. I have to admit, I wondered what on earth to do with it all. Each year I became more and more annoyed at the "waste" of too much of this beautiful herb ending up in the compost (where by the way it does a fabulous job of breaking things down :-)).

Of course I had no idea at the time why I bought it. I was going through a stage of just trusting my instinct and going with it unconditionally. I did quickly learn that she was wonderful for keeping nasties bugs away from my vegies! I tried to keep her under control, digging up small plants and giving them away. Moving her around to more suited spots etc. But this year for some reason she got the better of me and took over.

But why choose "Tansy" as my herbal ally? I asked this question of myself numerous times over the past few days. My brain told me it would be too boring. There would not be enough uses to keep me interested all year. But then, I began to remember a certain smell, one that took me many years to get over, one that made me nauseous and I remembered where it came from. One that at the time, I had been ingesting in rather strong doses for about a week on prescription from a herbalist many years ago, it made me really sick but did not work in the way it was supposed to. I guess subconsciously I have something against this herb. Something that I intend to change to a more positive light. 

She brings with her much more of a challenge in learning how to use her safely. She comes with a bit of a reputation for not being a "safe" herb even though she does have her own healing benefits.

Yesterday as I tried to decide which herb to choose, I was constantly drawn to researching more and more about her. I dreamed about trusting my instincts again. Today I went out to the garden, waded through her fronds in various growth stages. Determined to hold onto the idea of choosing Elder Flowers, cutting down some flowers and leaves.

Holding them, breathing them in only to get drawn once again to the Tansy surrounding me. It was slightly windy and the smell of her leaves was quite strong in the air. And somehow she managed to creep her way into my basket as well. :-)

So my friends! TANSY it shall be! It may not be easy but I guess it is a journey I am meant to begin! Now I better get started on that first assignment.  Decorating my journal!

Do you want to join in too? Click on the first link up the top of this post to see what to do! And then click here to see what you need to get started.


  1. what a great story, karisma. it sounds like you and tansy go way back! i'm looking forward to reading along with you on your journey this year.

    btw, i love the blog design!

  2. LOL! Yes and funnily enough, it did not really come to me fully until after you mentioned it getting in my face. Small puzzle pieces seemed to come together. Oh and I am already having loads of fun with it! :-)