Cosmos in the Earth, Cosmos in our Bodies: Hildegard of Bingen’s Medicine

Hildegard's Vision of the Cosmos - Illumination

An illumination of Hildegard of Bingen’s visions — the Cosmos. From her book of visions, Scivias. The third vision of part 1 of this manuscript.

What does 12th century German magistra, mystic, composer, counselor, and physician, Hildegard of Bingen’s perception of the Cosmos (as presented here in her illustration) have to do with nitty-gritty daily practice of healing ways and herbal medicine in her monasteries? What is the connection of the abstract as depicted in the illustration with the qualities and uses of the plants? How do the elements of the cosmos as she understood and spoke of them “show up” in the garden that her nuns tended, the bodies of the people who came for healing, the plants and healing ways for helping restore good health and balance?

Hildegard of Bingen’s medicine was an expression of an amazing woman in a particular place and time, drawing on understandings of the ancients yet also expressing her own personal — spiritual and physical — experience of her world. Hers is a framework that links to creation in a poetic and spiritual way and yet is fundamentally practical, grounded on embodied experience of the literal earth beneath her feet and the turning seasons, and how that is mirrored in the body.

Come join me at my upcoming workshop, Hildegard of Bingen’s Medicine, where we will begin to experience her world — her past and her sensibilities, nature, and viriditas — Hildegard’s term for the greening power of God, the force of life. We’ll apply these experiences to getting to know some of her plants and healing ways, bringing them home to our own 21st century lives.

Saturday, March 2, 2019. 9 am to 3 pm. St. Placid Priory, Lacey, WA. Cost is only $65!
For more information and to register.

You may be interested in reading: Gratitude, Sip by Sip – a blog post by me about viriditis, gratitude, and engaging with plants and their viriditas.

Prayer-Book Making, And Update

First, the Update …

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted! Here’s a brief update on other writing I’ve been doing.

I’m finishing a draft of a children’s fantasy novel called Because Of The Red Fox, and am posting chapters of this work-in-progress on my kids blog, FoxTales. Characters from the book speak about what’s happening in the novel, as well as comment on the goings-on in their lives on an island called Yonder. I invite you to check it, and share it with the kids in your life!

My website Wise Child Learning is devoted to herbal learning and nature’s magic adventures for kids of all ages. I’m posting about plants, my own herbal adventures, sharing herbs and nature with kids, and more on the blog there. If you’re at all interested, check that out too!

… And now, Prayer- Book Making:

Another project that’s up are Prayer-Book Making  workshops that I am presenting with book making artist Julie Shannon.

As part of that project, I’ve decided to dive into an experiment in prayer-book making, which I’ve begun right on this blog.   Prayer-book making can look and feel like anything with which you might experiment with creatively, from your heart.  It is an expression of your journey with the Sacred, and how that looks and feels in your life.  Really, (I’ll repeat!) that can be expressed in anyway you like–as a scrapbook, a journal, a collection of quotes, photos of loved ones, some mix of all of those or none of them!

In upcoming posts I’ll share some past prayer-books I’ve created, and glimpses of prayer-books that speak to me.  But today I’ll just start by inviting you to view my new prayer-book, a web-prayer-book,which I’m calling Jane’s Book Of Deer.

Please don’t think that this web-book is any kind of expression of “how” one should create a prayer-book! It absolutely isn’t. But what I hope it does is invite you to view your life, your imagination, your heart,  through the lens of the Sacred–something more than yourself, however you experience that more/beyond/forever-deepening.

I invite you to step into your conversation with the miracle of existence, and begin crafting your own prayer-book, a whirl of that magic, in whatever form flows from your being. A garden can be a prayer-book. So can a dance. Our lives are prayer-books. How do we celebrate and honor this conversation with the Divine, the Universe, the beyond-ourselves that lies within and around us and includes us? Let your prayer-book be that  curious wandering and wondering!

Prayer Book - art by Jane Valencia (c) 2003

Save This Date! Workshop: The Hero’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey is an amazing experience — both transformative process and great fun adventure! I know firsthand (as a participant as well as having provided live music and witness/space holding for four Hero’s Journeys) how beautiful, rich, and powerful the day can be. Please join us if you can! And feel free to contact me with any questions. ~ Graces, Jane

Shine! - sunknot art by Jane

“This journey is the story of the quest to discover the true self, the treasure that is who you really are, that remains buried deep within the unconscious of the self, waiting to be unearthed.”

The Hero’s Journey
Sunday, August 21, 2011

On beautiful Vashon Island (near Seattle), WA
9 am — 5 pm
with facilitators Sherene ZolnoKara Jones
Music by Jane Valencia

For the first time in the Pacific Northwest, a one-day, public offering of the complete Hero’s Journey.

“Enacting the Hero’s Journey will teach us about an archetype of human transformational change, and the Hero’s Journey you will be experiencing may serve as a healing metaphor you will find use for in your own therapeutic interventions, to work on yourself and with others.”

–Sherene Zolno

We study The Hero’s Journey to learn the archetypal pattern of human experience, change and growth. We engage in The Hero’s Journey to experience our own personal transformation and rite of passage. We will live it now and we will live it for the rest of our lives.

The Hero is the one who overcomes her fear and responds to the Call. S/he sets off on an adventure, discovers guides and newfound powers, confronts her own deeply felt limitations (his or her shadow) and thus opens the way to a new way of being–the reward that comes at the end of the journey.

Our Hero’s Journey will include music, guided process, active imagination, movement, the Hero’s Banquet, a treasure hunt, art expression, and interaction with others in our ‘community’ of journeyers.

You will learn how to become your own advocate.
You will integrate parts of yourself that renew and energize you.
You will release fears and regain spontaneity.
You will understand the choices open to you that were hidden before.
You will save your own heart.
You will bring this home and transform your life!

Held in a warm and inviting retreat setting.  $175 for the full day — this
includes The Hero’s Journey Banquet!  The group size is limited to 20.

Please contact Sherene Zolno, by email at szolno “at” comcast “dot” net or by phone at (206)_463-6374 for further information and to register.