Clubmoss: Nature’s Radiation Therapy by Thea Summer Deer

Posted on Monday 8 September 2014

My priestess~sister is describing a hiking journey through our nature trail here at Isis Cove Community called Lily’s Trail, named for my little shamanic girl-dog, who died @ 5 years ago. This trail is as beautiful as Thea describes. I gathered some club moss today and will make a pillow of it soon.

Blessings on your day,

Anyaa

Lilly

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2014 Thea Summer Deer, all rights reserved

Lycopodium clavatum

The trail I am following runs parallel to a trickling creek. It leads straight up the hilly cove beneath a canopy of hardwoods and is named the Lily trail. Not named after the fragrant flower but in the memory of a little dog whose name was Lily, a Scottish Cairn Terrier who lived with a friend of mine in this hidden cove.

Alongside the Lily Trail there are statuettes of gnomes, elves, fairies and even one of Lily tucked among the ivy and medicinal plants. The trail was lovingly constructed with wee bridges that cross a spring fed creek. There is even the occasional bench for resting and listening to the sounds of nature and running water. Crystals, mobiles, wind chimes and sun chasers dance from various branches at regular intervals along this magical trail.

I walked this trail among the woodland flowers, medicinal plants and wild edibles frequently when I lived here in a community affectionately known as “The Cove.” It was here that I noticed the fuzzy, rich green plant known as clubmoss. Club-like it grows in abundance alongside the trail because it likes the moist banks above the creek. I had yet to discover its medicinal value. That discovery began quite unexpectedly when a gardener friend handed me, Healing Through God’s Pharmacy, by Maria Treben. My friend is from England and while she is not an herbalist she grows and uses herbs in the Western European Herbal Tradition for herself and her family.

I quickly flipped through the pages of the book and judged it as being archaic and outdated. I thought surely our current research and understanding of the phytochemistry and active constituents of plants had surpassed the simplicity of this book. So, I thanked my friend and handed it back.

Several months later while house sitting for this very same friend I saw the book on her bookshelf and thought, what the heck. So I picked it up and randomly opened to a page describing the moss-like evergreen commonly known as clubmoss. I recognized it immediately as the same plant I had seen in The Cove. Later, I learned that this book has been translated into 24 languages and has sold over 8 million copies even though I had never heard of it.

I was surprised by what I found there. Published in the 1980’s it wasn’t as old as I had thought even though the information contained within it was. Maria Treben was an amazing herbalist. She was a pioneer of the renewed interest in natural remedies and traditional medicine at the end of the 20th century. This book was a treasure.

Maria Treben

Maria used traditional German/Eastern European remedies handed down by previous generations. These consisted of using only local herbs and diet to successfully treat a wide range of conditions. She used clubmoss to treat cirrhosis, inflammation, and malignancies of the liver. My English friend had been living and suffering with Hepatitis C for decades. I got very excited to think that this might actually be a useful plant for her. So off to The Cove I went to gather clubmoss.

When gathering a plant for medicine I never take more than is needed and always leave an offering. This could be something as simple as a breath given in gratitude, or a hair plucked from my head. In the Native American tradition it is common to leave tobacco or corn meal. Anyone born on American soil is a Native American. So, kneeling down on the soft duff of the forest floor, I offered some hair, knowing that the plant would read my intention and my DNA. Then I gently lifted its trailers with hair like roots from its bed. Mosses have no roots, but this plant I learned is no moss at all. It is an archaic plant over 300 million years old. Club mosses were the dominant land plants during the Carboniferous period and related (as in cousins) to the firs and conifers. Perhaps this partially explains the “archaic” feeling I had when first introduced to Maria’s book.

Mathabo2_8697

The second time I was called to harvest clubmoss at the The Cove was for a South African friend. Her name was Mathabo and she was a beautiful young woman whose work included teaching women in her village how to become more self-empowered. I was contacted when she began suffering with severe swelling and pain in her liver, most likely from something she had picked up in the drinking water. By the time I was notified and able to gather the clubmoss, it was too late. She had passed away. I was deeply grieved by the loss of this young one. She lacked money for proper medical care and I will always wonder if there was something more that could have been done for her. It is this desire to help alleviate suffering that keeps me walking the trails, talking to the plants and doing the research.

The botanical name for clubmoss is Lycopodium clavatum. The genus name Lycopodium means “wolf’s foot” and clavatum is a Latin word meaning club-like. It is no accident that I discovered Wolf’s Foot growing extensively in The Cove, a community based on the teachings of Seneca Wolf Clan elder, Grandmother Twylah Nitsch. How appropriate to find this medicine named for its resemblance to a wolf’s foot growing so abundantly in a wolf clan community.

Clubmoss is a spore bearing plant that grows mostly prostate along the ground with vertical stems up to 3-4 inches high. Hundreds of millions of years ago the ancient earth contained vast forests filled with giant club mosses. They grew to a hundred feet in height and such primeval forests dominated the landscape of earth millions of years before man even appeared. The remains of these giants in their petrified form constitute the fossil fuels of today.

Lycopodium Clavatum

The four-year-old plants develop a yellowish spore cone whose pollen is high in sulfur and called lycopodium powder. The powder’s highly flammable when mixed in high enough density with air and was used historically as flash powder in early photography. It was also used explosively in fireworks, theatrical special effects and the magic arts. This magical plant that had caught my attention on a magical trail, in a magical cove fully warranted further investigation.Flashmanw046

The use of lycopodium powder from the dry spores of clubmoss doesn’t stop with its highly flammable uses. It was also used in baby powders, fingerprint powders and as a lubricating dust on latex condoms and medical gloves. In physics the powder is used to make sound waves in air visible for observation and measurement, as well as to make an electrostatic charge visible. The powder is highly hydrophobic; if the surface of a cup of water is coated with the powder and you stick your finger straight in, it will come out dusted with the powder and completely dry. In 1807 inventors used lycopodium in the fuel of the first internal combustion engine.

While I had long been aware of Lycopodium as a homeopathic remedy, I had not connected it to this plant. Homeopathic Lycopodium is made from the crushed spores and is a remedy used for digestive failure, deep-seated and progressive chronic diseases, liver disease, and carcinoma. This herb has been used medicinally since the Middle Ages and Homeopathic Lycopodium is presently the most widely used form of this plant.

In the Western European Herbal Tradition, clubmoss was used for treating kidney and bladder related conditions. The whole plant was dried, chopped and prepared as an herbal tea. It is a potent anti-spasmodic, sedative and diuretic which makes it useful for treating kidney stones.

As I followed the trail in search of more information on Lycopodium I discovered that it is endangered in many areas and protected in certain states. It is considered as critically endangered in Luxembourg and in the past few decades even considered to be extinct. Some of the reasons cited included; threatened by logging, herbicide application, road construction and maintenance, and extirpation.

This threw up a huge red flag for me. If this plant was imperiled in the Appalachians, why was there so much of it growing in The Cove? What began to emerge connected back to Maria Treben’s book on the healing powers of Lycopodium.

Maria Treben points out that what makes clubmoss such an important ally in treating cirrhosis and liver cancer is that it contains radium. Plants absorb radium from the soil and clubmoss concentrates it. Radium occurs at low levels in virtually all rock, soil, water, plants and animals.

Mountain Top Removal Photo via the Widdershins

Radon is a radioactive colorless gas that occurs naturally as the decay product of radium. It is in lethal abundance here in Western North Carolina due to our mountain top removals. The Environmental Protection Agency shows a clear link between lung cancer and high concentrations of radon with radon induced lung cancer deaths second only to cigarette smoking. I knew of such a mountain top removal project less than two miles from The Cove. Where exactly was this wolf’s foot leading me? Could the abundance of Lycopodium be in response to the increase of radon: Radon that was being released into the atmosphere from the nearby mountain top removal? Was it helping to bio-remediate the radon? If Lycopodium concentrates radium, what is its relationship to radon? I have not been able to find any information or sources on this subject. Clearly more research is needed.

Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium in 1898. Marie was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in 1911. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for isolating radium, discovering another element, polonium, and her research into the new phenomenon of radioactivity, a word she coined herself.

Once upon a time radium was manufactured synthetically in the US around 1910 and ended up in a lot of products for its purported magical healing properties. Some examples of those products are; chocolate, toothpaste, cosmetics, suppositories, heating pads, wax rods inserted in the urethra to treat impotence, radium water that would cure any number of ailments, and clocks, watches and toys. Needless to say radium got a bad name. Especially when overexposed people started showing up with radiation sickness.

Marie Curie

We live on a radioactive planet and it is well known that if we are exposed to too much or too little radiation, we get sick. Low-dose radiation is documented to be beneficial for human health, but for political reasons, radiation is assumed harmful at any dose. Low-dose radiation has been shown to enhance biological functions with no adverse affects. There are even radium hotsprings where people go to soak for health benefits.

Radon is the single largest contributor to our background radiation dose and is responsible for the majority of the public’s exposure to ionizing radiation. Radon is formed as part of the normal radioactive decay chain of uranium. Uranium has been present since the earth was formed. High concentrations of radium exist in water and air especially near uranium mines. Plants absorb radium from the soil and animals that eat these plants accumulate radium. It may also concentrate in fish and magnify up the food chain. Uranium, radium and thus radon, will continue to occur for millions of years at about the same concentrations as they do now except that levels of Radon have increased due to burning coal and other fuels and now mountain top removal. Long-term exposure can lead to cancer and birth defects usually caused by gamma radiation of radium, which is able to travel long distances through air. How paradoxical that radium gas extracted from uranium ore is used for cancer treatment.

Radium is a naturally occurring radioactive element in the environment and little information is available on the acute (short-term) non-cancer effects in humans. Radium exposure has resulted in acute leukopenia, anemia, necrosis of the jaw, and other effects. Cancer is the major effect of concern. Radium, via oral exposure, is known to cause bone, head, and nasal passage tumors in humans. The US Environmental Protection Agency has not classified radium for carcinogenicity.

According to James Muckerheide in a paper presented at the 8th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering in 2000, he stated:

“Low-dose radiation has been shown to enhance biological responses for immune systems, enzymatic repair, physiological functions, and the removal of cellular damage, including prevention and removal of cancers and other diseases. Research on low-level radiation has also shown it to have no adverse effects. Yet, current radiation protection policy and practice fail to consider these valid data, instead relying on data that are poor, ambiguous, misrepresented, and manipulated.”

Wolf in the Seneca tradition is the pathfinder, the forerunner of new ideas who returns to the clan to teach and share medicine. It is in this tradition that that I share my theory with you about Lycopodium clavatum, also known as clubmoss or wolf’s foot.

“Wolf medicine empowers the teacher within us all to come forth and aid the children of Earth in understanding the Great Mystery and life.” — from Wolf, Chapter 15, Medicine Cards by Sams & Carson.

Thea and Washee

It is my belief that clubmoss made into a pillow and used as recommended by Maria Treben helps to recalibrate and restore the body to it’s natural radioactive frequency in harmony with the Earth. This is Earth-Spirit Medicine, an exciting field of herbal medicine that has appeared on the horizon. We vibrate at a specific frequency creating a resonance and emitting an electrical signal, not unlike those commonly used to keep track of time or to transmit and receive radio signals. The signals that we transmit and receive are part of a grid system that creates a circuit around our crystalline structure. This crystalline structure is a part or our Earth and our physical bodies.

“Not really new at all, Earth-Spirit Medicine is being rediscovered at the same time it is evolving to meet our current physical and spiritual needs.” — From Wisdom of the Plant Devas, by Thea Summer Deer

We know that if we are exposed to too little or too much radiation we get sick. When correctly calibrated our cellular structure is restored. I believe that clubmoss restores us to the proper radioactive frequencies. Radio waves, microwaves, EMF’s and all manner of invisible polluting frequencies are bombarding us. If we paid closer attention to the qualities of vibrancy and life-force energy, how different would the choices be that we make with regard to what surrounds us or goes into our bodies? How much closer and in harmony would we be to the frequency of the Earth that heals us and the spirits of the plants that restore us and from which we are made?

How to use clubmoss:

Actions: anti-spasmodic, sedative and diuretic

Dosages of different preparations made from the club moss differ and depend on the client.

Clubmoss pillows can be made by filling a small cotton pillowcase with the clubmoss and then placing over the liver and/or under your pillow while you sleep. This will remain active for up to one year and can greatly help as an anti-spasmodic while recalibrating.

Infusion: Simmer 1 ounce of small cut up pieces of the plant (make sure you have a positive identification of Lycopodium clavatum) in one quart of water. Drink one cup per day sipping throughout the day.

Tea: 1 teaspoon per 2 cups of boiling water poured over, steep for ten minutes and drink 2 cups per day on an empty stomach, preferably in the morning.

Homeopathic Lycopodium remedy as directed by your practitioner.

Chinese Medicine: Shen Jin Cao, Property: slightly bitter, pungent, warm; liver, spleen and kidney (Wood, Earth, Water). Action: dispels dampness (Wind), soothes tendons. Indications: weakness and numbness of limbs; traumatic injury. Dosage for topical application is 3-12 grams, used in decoction.

Disclaimer: This blog post does not intend to diagnose or treat. Please seek the advise of a licensed practitioner in your area for any medical related issues. I welcome discussion and feedback, which is critical to ongoing and future research. Please do not ask me to comment beyond the contents or scope of this blog post.

Note: There is another type of clubmoss in the same Lycopodiaceae family growing in the Southern Appalachians and is Appalachian fir-moss, Huperzia appalachiana. Unlike many of the Lycopodium it likes well drained rather than moist soils, direct sunlight and doesn’t creep about over the ground. Appalachian fire-moss is considered imperiled and rare in North Carolina making it vulnerable to extirpation.

References:

Health Effects of Radon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_of_radon#cite_note-USPHS90-1

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agency_for_Toxic_Substances_and_Disease_Registry

Tell the Truth About the Health Benefits of Low-Dose Radiation, by James Muckerheide, Science & Technology Magazine: http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/articles/nuclear.html

Resources:

James Muckerheide audios: https://archive.org/details/TheBeneficialEffectsOfLow-doseRadiation1896-1950.JamesMuckerheide

Radium Hot Springs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radium_Hot_Springs

 

Anyaa McAndrew @ 7:06 pm
Filed under: Health & Healing andShamanic Teachings

Advocating for the Animals: 11 Things that Humans do that Dogs Hate!

Posted on Tuesday 29 July 2014

Going for walks without opportunity to explore and smell
There are walks, and there are walks. It’s definitely important to have a dog that knows how to walk obediently on a leash. However, it’s also important to allow a dog to have some time to explore her surroundings while walking obediently on a leash. Dogs see with their noses, and they place as much importance on their sense of smell as we humans place on our sense of vision for interpreting the world around us. It’s probably safe to say that dogs appreciate the smell of a tree trunk the way we appreciate a beautiful sunset. Dogs loathe not being able to take in their world for at least a few minutes a day, and too often we humans are focused on going on walks for the sole purpose of exercise or potty breaks. We trudge along the same old route, often without any variety or sense of leisure, and in too much of a hurry to get back home again.
dog smelling grass
The sense of smell is how a dog takes in the world, and sometimes they’re simply desperate for a chance to take a good sniff. (Photo:Csehak Szabolcs /Shutterstock)
Do your dog a favor and dedicate one of your daily walks to having a “smell walk” — going slow and letting your dog take in the world with her nose. Go somewhere entirely new, explore a different neighborhood or trail, let your dog sniff at a spot until she gets her fill, even if it’s for minutes at a time before moving forward. For helping your dog know the difference between a walk where she should be obedient and stay beside you, and a walk where she is free to explore, you can have a special backpack or harness that you use only for smell walks. Just make sure it is something very different from your usual collar and leash set-up so the different purpose for the walk is obvious to your dog. These walks are a wonderful opportunity for your dog to get some of the mental and sensory stimulation that keeps life interesting for her.

(Continue reading…)

Anyaa McAndrew @ 1:29 pm
Filed under: Animal Lovers!

Las Vegas: The Good, The Bad, and The Very, Very Ugly

Posted on Friday 18 July 2014

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Gary & Anyaa in Vegas

By Gary Stamper & Anyaa McAndrew

Wow, we just returned from five days in Las Vegas, and we are reflecting today on why we went, what the highlights were, including the hotels, the food, and the entertainment…in other words, the good, the bad and the ugly of Las Vegas and our trip.

First, why would we go to Las Vegas in the first place? After all…We consider ourselves “conscious” and “spiritual,” and, let’s face it: Vegas represents everything that is wrong with our materialistic culture, the epitome of over-the-top decadence. (Continue reading…)

Anyaa McAndrew @ 11:16 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Callanish, the Sacred Feminine and the New Earth: On the Grand Cross of 2014 by Anyaa McAndrew

Posted on Sunday 27 April 2014

Callaniush MoonriseWhen we know about the sacred timings, and choose to participate in them, we have the capacity to influence the outcome of things. Events are not pre-determined. Consciousness is what the Universe is made of, so as we add our own conscious intent to the great forces at play, there is the possibility that we just might help move events along in a direction that we want them to go. In this case, our direction and intent on our trip to Scotland was to re-connect land and sky, soul and spirit, masculine and feminine as it once was in pre-patriarchal, pre-Celtic, Neolithic times. (Continue reading…)

Missing in Action for 5,000 years, Great Mother Found Alive by ALisa Starkweather

Posted on Wednesday 19 March 2014

reprinted from: http://theinterfaithobserver.org/process/CreateJournalEntryComment?moduleId=11005111&entryId=34685825&finalize=true

 

Community art piece at Gaia Healing Center, Frederick, MDYeah.

Becoming Fully Conscious of Her Presence

Astonishing and it’s absolutely true. I found her in me of all places. Once you spot her she shows up everywhere, hidden in plain sight. She says that she was never gone, never, never, not for one nano-second. I look at her with my eyebrows raised and a little hurt because she was certainly no where in sight when I was growing up. I didn’t even know she existed. I didn’t know even one of her names, let alone her thousands.

In fact, I didn’t even know to look for her. And here is the real kicker. Because of that, I could not comprehend just how much I was missing her or how to recognize my own female reflection in divinity. Essentially I was Divine Mother blind. Seeing my old abandonment stories cropping up, she gives me that mischievous wild glint in her eyes and refutes the idea that she was MIA in one word – “Impossible.” We both laugh.

 

Great Mother loves to laugh. It helps her balance out her terrible awful grief. And I mean terrible, but I won’t get into that too much. She exists in everything, not just that old Earth Mother title alone. I’m talking the big, the small, the whole enchilada. Every electron, every mountain, every star, every river, every piece of anything and even what we deem as nothing, too. Scientists cannot find the beginning nor the end of her great mysteries. But more than that, she is intricately woven in every story of our lives and of our deaths, in the heartbeat of our love and aliveness and each and every heartbreaking loss, every devastation in war, every famine and every time our tears run hot with hate or of pure grace when forgiveness comes like dawn after a night you never thought would end.

 

You know her. Yes you do. She Mothered you too. This is what gives her not one story in humanity but more than can be ever counted and way more than a hundred thousand names. You see, she is complex and some of that comes from not understanding our relationship to her, because of one small problem. It comes down to a little pronoun: “she.” Sure “she” is all right for a girl, for a woman, a sister, a mother, even an animal. I’ve even heard people refer to inanimate objects like their truck or their boat as “she.”

 

Take Siri, the iphone operator, for instance, because Siri gets to be a “computer she,” with no rebuttal that she’s nonexistent. But she as in She, God? Come on now. Some people believe that alone is blasphemy, heresy, and well, her thinking a little too much of herself. Their one word response? Same word actually: “Impossible.” But they don’t have that same playful glint. More defensiveness and a wall up around that idea that is longer than the Great Wall of China.

 

It’s okay. Really. Beliefs are sacred. People get to keep beliefs, especially those handed down for a long time in one’s family traditions, as an anchor to one’s personal reality and value systems. It is our spiritual artistry – being able to bring to the canvas of our lives what we discover in our hearts as true. Spiritual beliefs are deeply rooted and often engrained. If we were talking about politics, you might agree with me that there are differences among us in how we position ourselves that don’t always make us wrong in the absolute sense. But Divine Feminine? “She” might literally be too hard to conceive of for some, though quite honestly she is more ancient than anything we can reference, and in and out of every living matter recognizable. Conceiving, conception, creation are some of her many miracles proving her existence in what births, blooms, and dies and is reborn over and over again.

 

Asherah

In one of the many versions of the Holy Bible, God is also referenced as El Shaddai, the Many Breasted One. El Shaddai is translated most often as God Almighty. Shaddai interestingly enough also means Destroyer, Fertility, Sustainer. Destroyer is some of where her fierce nature lives because, as I eluded, she is complicated and multi-faceted. In early Hebrew writings God had a wife too, Asherah (one of her annunciations), meaning “One of the Womb” or Queen of Heaven. But this Ugartic fertility goddess after thousands of years of being worshipped was taken out of the story. A huge retelling occurred in the progression of many of our world’s major religions, leaving the Goddess as an aspect of God Himself MIA. To be clear, people in many other faiths, traditions, and cultures know her intimately, and her presence is even worshipped. But for others she was erased, first in holy texts, next in our minds, but I believe never in our hearts.

 

How I eventually became fully conscious of her presence personally is unforgettable to me.

 

Shame, grief, and betrayal were powerfully moving me off an emotional cliff of depression at the age of 23, in what we often describe as a dark night of the soul. Though my artistic abilities are far from decipherable, in a moment of quiet desperation I gathered a black and red felt tip pen and a yellow highlighter and began to scribble on a blank page images that would unlock the Great Mother from the prisons of my psyche. I needed her. I needed to remember that I was good, whole, worthy, and most of all loved.

 

Yet as I was drawing I did not know that I was looking for her. Instead I drew a woman on her knees with her arms stretched above imploringly, prayerfully, beseeching grace. Above her in the upper left corner was a Magnificent Radiant Sun. The sun had a masculine stern face, and each line that I drew for him accentuated his gaze of anger, displeasure, and judgment at this pitiful woman before him.

 

What took place next was the interesting part. Behind the woman on her knees, so clearly symbolizing me, a figure of night grew in black lines all around my lost soul. As I drew each black line I wept louder with wails too long withheld. The strands became the long black hair of darkness, became a hundred hands holding me at ground level up and a feeling welled up that I was neither alone nor lost in the dark.

 

In the far upper right corner with my red pen engaged, a woman’s face began to emerge, and in contrast to the stern Father Sun God, her face was Loving Compassion, revealing my sorrow was also her sorrow, my loss her loss. She kept reaching out all around me, under me, above me and everywhere she could caress her daughter. My outer skin was sketched yellow like my Sky Father God, but incessantly I drew on the inside of me in this caricature, the black lines of Mother Night outlining my entire body from within.

 

ALisa Starkweather’s Women’s Belly and Womb Conference – Photo courtesy of Marsia Shuron Harris

Sometimes you live your whole life out seeing only what is on the outside and never discover who you really are on the inside. We hear talk of embodying the sacred feminine and what this means. In that moment I witnessed her at my back and literally woke up to the obvious. She was in me all along. This sweet recognition is better than the movie scenes when someone you thought was dead is actually alive or when the little orphan discovers after years of turmoil a loving family, or even the wild kiss of two lovers who will never be parted again. We live for these moments of reconciliation.

 

The power is in the lifting of the veil when something that has hurt us deeply is finally understood and our hearts heal in the holy, in the beauty, in the love within our Mother’s arms no longer out of reach. With her, we come home ourselves and realize that one tiny pronoun can radically alter whether we see Her or whether we don’t. In investigating this, we risk changing ourselves in how we view our own divinity, not only as women but as all the sons and daughters who emerge from the womb of life.

Anyaa McAndrew @ 10:41 am
Filed under: General Spirituality andOf Interest to Men andOf Interest to Women andThe Divine Feminine