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Everybody’s running around with two fingers up– if they aren’t busy lifting just one finger at the driver that just cut ’em off. Even so, that driver really just wants peace. We want to know that we’re going to get to work on time, that rent will be paid, that our electricity won’t be shut off, and that we’ll be able to put gas in that car so we can do it again tomorrow. (I use “we” loosely, here– different folks have different struggles) At the core of our beings, we want to feel “secure,” knowing that we’re protected from hunger, cold, and loneliness.  We want peace.
What’s funny is that our language doesn’t tell us what peace is just by looking at the word. It’s kind of a nebulous “good thing” out there somewhere that nobody seems to have (unless they happen to smell like weed, and even then, it’s only for as long as the high lasts).

Shabbat Shalom!

Shabbat Shalom!

A few thousand years ago, and still today in some places, the word for peace was a real, concrete picture of that nebulous thing we all want. Originally, the Scriptural, Hebrew word was “Shalom,” spelled “Shin-Lamed-Vav-Mem.” (second word in the pic)

The Shin is the picture of the two front Teeth. Lamed is a picture of the Shepherd’s Staff. Vav is the Tent Peg, and Mem is Water. The Teeth is an image of protection and defense. The Shepherd’s Staff provides guidance and direction, pointing the way out for the sheep to find everything they need. The Tent Peg is the picture of securing or “nailing down.” Water is our source of life. Shalom is defined in Jeff Benner’s Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible , word #2845, “Complete: Made whole or complete by adding or subtracting. ‘To be in a state of wholeness. Also to restore or make right through payment or restitution. ‘A state of being whole, complete, or full. Also an offering of restitution or payment. ‘A greeting as a desire for completeness to another.”
Shalom is “The protection of the Shepherd, nailing down the water.” We are at peace when we are protected and provided for by our Creator, and when we are made “complete.” In order to be “complete,” we need air, water, food, and shelter. Without land to grow food on, we are incomplete, and the land is incomplete without the humble people who care for it, watching over it with sensitivity to see that seeds sprout in it. Finding those humble people gives the rest of that picture of completeness– we’re no longer lonely 🙂

*Originally posted January 28, 2010 on my old blogsite

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Life hurts. Whether you’ve been in a car wreck, in an abusive relationship, through emotional trauma, took a few too many hits in sporting events, poisoned yourself with city air pollution, toxic houses, pharmaceutical medications, or what-have-you, it hurts like the dickens.
There are a lot of traumatic events I’ve been spared, and I’m SO thankful for that!
I have experienced all of the above, and, due to the amount of toxins I’ve been exposed to, I can’t use pharmaceutical medications AT ALL anymore– they only make me feel worse now.
SO– there’s a bright side to all of that 😀
I don’t have to live in incessant pain!
I have a list of natural tools that I keep in my medicine cabinet that keep my body nice and happy and healing– without drugs.
Top of that list is Arnica. It’s a beautiful little flower Designed to work great as a homeopathic remedy for trauma of all kinds.
I use potencies as follows:
For minor boo-boo’s, 30X or 6C… or let the kid shake it off– no biggie.
For something that’s ‘gonna leave a mark, 30C
For something that’s ‘gonna leave a mark for a week or more, 200C
For something that’s likely to send us to the ER if it doesn’t look better fast (or if we just got out of the ER), 1M. So far, we’ve been well-blessed, and the Arnica 1M has worked beautifully on every major injury we’ve had, and, with 4 kids, we haven’t been there in about 8 years. The 1M is also good if  having flash-backs or insomnia or other psychological repercussions from trauma, or if the trauma is very old– great for that broken bone or torn ligament that never felt right again after it “healed.”
It’s a homeopathic medicine, which means it doesn’t operate on a substance basis, but rather on patterns left over in the water into which it was dissolved. That means two things:
A. It doesn’t interact with any kind of medication, which is great for people who are dependent on pharmaceutical medications.
B. We can’t use coffee or strong mint or tea tree oil or camphor or other strong smells when you use it, we can’t touch the medicine itself before you put it in our mouth, and we can’t store it at high temperatures or near electrical equipment or magnets. Any of these things can render the medicine ineffective– it messes up those patterns.
Arnica also comes in topical, gel form to put on bruises & help them to heal faster– a friend says it’s great for if you’re headed to Jamaica for your honeymoon and just banged your leg on the car door. I haven’t used it for that  specifically, but I have watched bruises disappear much more quickly than I’d expected using it… or sometimes not appear at all, if I got it on there fast enough 🙂
The key with this remedy is to take AS NEEDED. We use the LOWEST effective potency, and only take it when the symptoms come up. If the pain is getting better, we don’t take any more. If it starts to get worse or hits a stand-still at healing, we take another dose.
It’s the perfect “shell-shocked soldier” remedy. If I had my way, 1M Arnica would be standard-issue at the VA… But who am I?

Arnica isn’t the only tool in my basket, but it has been a vital one. For more on things that have been helpful for me personally, see my other posts. Arnica also doesn’t fit everyone’s trauma picture. Some people are better served by Aconitum or another remedy. Finding the remedy picture that fits the symptoms set is crucial. There are thousands of different homeopathic remedies made from natural substances, each of which has a unique “personality” for helping “fine tune” different aspects of health that can be “knocked off-course.” I’ve loved “fine tuning” in my own home to find the beautiful people inside those “rough spots” in life.

As with all of my “non-medical, non-advice”, I’m no doctor or pharmacist, which means that I’m not licensed to treat, cure, prevent, heal, or otherwise mitigate any disease. It also means that nobody paid off the FDA to approve the stuff I use. So do your own research, and find what works for you 🙂

For folks interested in more info on the history of homeopathic medicine, here’s a link to more info:
http://www.homeopathic.com/Articles/History

Chapter for my book? Feedback, please 🙂

Sorry ’bout the font changes– I’m having trouble w/ switching between programs… will work on that. LMK which fonts work best for you, and I’ll see what I can do.

There are a million reasons we clean our homes– sanity being among the biggest motivators for me.  With all of my twiddle-be-buttons running around being normal, healthy, active children, it takes an army to keep up… which is why I employ them to whatever extent they’re developmentally able LOL! Things haven’t changed so very much in several thousand years. We need homes that are free of human waste and mildew / mold. The only real difference now is in finding homes free of man-made toxins as well… hmmm… or does that fall into the “human waste” category? There are some basic, Natural Laws about how to keep a home clean that we’ve “progressed beyond” in our modern, convenient society… or have we? There’s an odd form of ignorance that seems prevalent in moist climates, imagining that it’s OK to live with mold in a home. Health researchers tell us that mold and mildew are absolutely harmful to us, and that we should avoid breathing air that is contaminated by the spores indoors. Housing industries, on the other hand, tell us that those same spores are “only harmful to sensitive people” and are therefore not anything that a homeowner should worry about (especially if the homeowner is “just renting it out anyway”… as though renters were lower life forms, unworthy of healthy living circumstances.)  Just maybe some of the health researchers might have our health in mind more often than those who profit by ill-maintained housing.

A few months back, my joints started acting up again, I started getting headaches and difficulty breathing– something I hadn’t experienced to this extent for several years. About a week after the onset of symptoms, we found the cause. Our dishwasher had leaked, and mold had been growing through 3 layers of flooring in the kitchen. Awesome Hubby fixed it all up, and my joints, breathing, and head are all happy and functional again. Is it only an “emergent” situation with someone who is “sensitive,” though?

There’s an ancient law that deals with this–

Leviticus 14:36“The priest shall then command that they empty the house before the priest goes in to look at the mark, so that everything in the house need not become unclean; and afterward the priest shall go in to look at the house. 37“So he shall look at the mark, and if the mark on the walls of the house has greenish or reddish depressions and appears deeper than the surface, 38then the priest shall come out of the house, to the doorway, and quarantine the house for seven days. 39“The priest shall return on the seventh day and make an inspection. If the mark has indeed spread in the walls of the house, 40then the priest shall order them to tear out the stones with the mark in them and throw them away at an unclean place outside the city. 41“He shall have the house scraped all around inside, and they shall dump the plaster that they scrape off at an unclean place outside the city. 42“Then they shall take other stones and replace thosestones, and he shall take other plaster and replaster the house.

43“If, however, the mark breaks out again in the house after he has torn out the stones and scraped the house, and after it has been replastered, 44then the priest shall come in and make an inspection. If he sees that the mark has indeed spread in the house, it is a malignant mark in the house; it is unclean. 45“He shall therefore tear down the house, its stones, and its timbers, and all the plaster of the house, and he shall take them outside the city to an unclean place. 46“Moreover, whoever goes into the house during the time that he has quarantined it, becomes unclean until evening. 47“Likewise, whoever lies down in the house shall wash his clothes, and whoever eats in the house shall wash his clothes.

48“If, on the other hand, the priest comes in and makes an inspection and the mark has not indeed spread in the house after the house has been replastered, then the priest shall pronounce the house clean because the mark has not reappeared.



Thet-Hey-Resh:

Basket (surrounding, holding, containing), Man Standing in Awe (“Wow, LOOK!”), and a Man’s Head (Authority, First). 
The Surroundings being LOOKed at with Authority.
There are so many places in Scripture that call to mind pictures of cleanness and inspection related to ceremony and health, and areas where they overlap…. I’m thinkin’ the Health Department and CDC ain’t got nothin’ on Torah!

The ancient laws didn’t only protect the people against mold and mildew in their homes. They protected them against other forms of contamination that might not be visible as well. From the annual purging of yeast from the home at Passover (a GREAT idea for keeping a healthy balance of gut flora), to Ancient Paths for finding out if there’s radon gas or other contaminants in your house by taking a week off out-doors, there are beautiful, low-cost traditions for guarding our health!

Meth addiction is a hideous monster, and it doesn’t only affect addicts & their families… but there’s an ‘up-side’ to everything… 🙂
I’ve gotten sick in at least 2 homes that have been ruined due to either drug manufacture or usage: one in an on-campus apartment building when I was in college, and another in the house we rented a year ago. That last one nearly killed me before I figured out that it was the house, and had already started making the rest of our family sick, too. SO happy to be out… SO ready to see the epidemic halted!
While  we were living there, we had everything from nausea & vomiting to nerve disorders, paralysis, severe pain, rashes, difficulty breathing, irritation of mucus membranes… the symptoms came on so slowly for the rest of my family that I didn’t correlate my own severe symptoms with the house until theirs became more pronounced.
We moved out, and all of a sudden the health-nut stuff that had “barely held us together” while we lived there began healing us substantially. The kids are doing great now, and Hubby only has difficulty when he’s exposed to something we haven’t thrown away from that house. It has sensitized us to things, though. Man-made chemicals just aren’t good for anybody…
Three-fourths of everything we own had to go. It’s funny, though– the only “stuff” I really miss are my books and photos. The rest, I could care less.
That “Up-Side” I promised you:
It’s empowering to know that we can recover from such a horrible environmental attack, and freeing to have so much less “stuff” to deal with. I’ve become significantly more aware of what I really value in life… a lot of folks never do grasp that gift.
I have confidence in “Natural Miracles” that I may not have acquired in any other way. Sometimes blessings are the gifts we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy… we just have to choose to receive the blessing.

Sukkot is a Scriptural holiday to remind the Hebrew people of their time in the wilderness– so that they wouldn’t grow proud and forget the Power that had delivered them from slavery in Egypt. Every year at this time, we sleep out in a Sukkah. We “go camping” with the Designer  :-)   It’s humbling to look up at the stars, and to realize how frail life is, and to recognize the gift of it as a family. By Jewish Law, only the men are required to keep this good work(post from another site), and we’re not Jewish, but we love joining Hubby whenever we can… for more than just the starlight.

A couple of years ago, we lived in a toxic house and didn’t know it for a while– we decided not to celebrate Sukkot that year because we figured I was too sick. While this may have been fine for me, we didn’t bother considering that maybe there was a Bigger Reason for Hubby to keep this Natural Law. We wound up staying in that house for another  6 months ’till Passover… another story. At any rate, if we had slept outside (like we wound up doing 6 months later, by  “coincidence”) we would’ve known that it was the house making me sick, and not me dying of Lupus. We would’ve known to get out at any cost: our lives depended on it. As it happened, we had to watch the rest of the family begin to develop my symptoms before we figured it out. We’re well now– biked 25 miles the other day, babies-and-all!  By all logic (without hindsight) we were perfectly sane in foregoing the Feast of Sukkot / Feast of Tabernacles / Feast of Booths– especially since we’re not Jewish, and according to Jewish law, are not required to participate… but that’s another story.  We’ve been finding more and more that we need these Natural Laws in Scripture– the more we study, the more we see the impact they have in the real world, here-and-now… most of it up-close-and-personal.

That word for “booths” is in Genesis / Bereshiyt 33:17

17 Jacob traveled to Succoth, built himself a house, and made shelters for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.

The word “shelters”, also translated “tabernacles” or “booths” is the word “Sukkah” (singular of “Sukkot”, or “Succoth”). Strong’s # 5521. It corresponds to the AHLB # 1333J.

Here’s the Ancient Hebrew Pictograph:

Sin-Vav-Kaph

Samech: Ring of Thorns– as the shepherd would make to protect his sheep in the wilderness. Without a lumber yard to pick up construction materials, he would build it out of rocks or whatever he could find lying around, and then line the top of the ring/ shelter with thorny brush to ward off wild animals.

Vav: Tent Peg– Securing, Nailing Down

Kaph: Open Hand– Giving and Receiving

You can see the “Hedge of Protection, secured by hand” as the Sukkah.

It is defined, “Booth: A dwelling place. Branch: as used for making booths.” It is translated elsewhere as “tabernacle”.

For us, in our life’s adventures, we’ve found that this ridiculously frail-looking structure, this “booth” is the most secure place to be at the Appointed Time every year.  It’s the Ring of Thorns given by the Shepherd to secure us by the Divine Hand.

Standard Disclaimer:

I’m  no doc, and don’t pretend to be one. I am therefore not legally licensed to diagnose, cure, treat, prevent, or otherwise mitigate any disease, and neither is the stuff I generally choose for healing… but then, I’ve not been educated indoctrinated by boards with big pharma reps on them, either ;-)   so do your own research and find what works for you :-)

I’m also no rabbi, so please don’t take my experiences and path as your Rx for Kosher living 🙂

As always, for more info on the pictographs, see:

http://www.youtube.com/user/ancienthebreworg

Pretty much any holistic-minded health practitioner will acknowledge that there’s something foundational to physical health in mental health, and that the two influence each other intimately. My body proves this out over and over again. From the toxicity I feel in my joints pouring out into my incapacity to think positively when I’ve had a bad exposure, to the mental toxicity of difficult relationships “draining” me physically, and requiring healing and recuperation time afterward, my body knows this basic, Natural Law.

TaNaK is full of references to this phenomenon–

Proverbs 17:22

A cheerful heart makes good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 15:13

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.


Proverbs 16:24

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.


Proverbs 18:14 A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?

So… if interpersonal conflict affects us physically, then what do we do about it? Surely we weren’t designed to suffer endlessly without remedy…

The people I need to forgive most often are the very people who are continually hurting me. How do you forgive when you know they’re going to hurt you again? So I went to the original word.  A lot of times we lose the original concept in translation. What I found there makes a world of sense, but it’s not an easy road to implement. Forgiveness isn’t turning a blind eye to danger, bracing yourself for the next injury, and trying not to be angry about what they’ve done and will do.
It’s building a safe place.
The Original, Ancient Hebrew Pictograph:

Samech-Lamed-Chet
Samech: the Ring of Thorns that the Shepherd used to build on top of a low wall out in the wilderness to protect his flock, while he slept  with them, keeping them safe from predators.
Lamed: The Shepherd’s Staff: Teaching / Instructing, Leading, Pointing the Way
Chet: The Tent Wall: Protection, Separation from the elements
Forgiveness acknowledges the danger of being hurt, and constructs a protective wall to keep out the savage animals. Forgiveness finds the Teaching and Instruction in the Natural Laws, and uses them to build safety within the home, giving the safety of the Natural Laws to anyone who will learn them. It separates the safe place (home) from the wild beasts outside. When we’ve built a safe place inside, we eliminate the source of animosity toward any wild beast –they can’t hurt us anymore.
May we one day know a world where the whole Earth is safely invited home.

Standard Disclaimer:

I’m  no doc, and don’t pretend to be one. I am therefore not legally licensed to diagnose, cure, treat, prevent, or otherwise mitigate any disease, and neither is the stuff I generally choose for healing… but then, I’ve not been educated indoctrinated by boards with big pharma reps on them, either ;-)   so do your own research and find what works for you :-)
For more info on the pictographs, see
www.youtube.com/user/ancienthebreworg
or
ancient-hebrew.org/

We got baby chicks a couple of years back, and enjoyed it so much that we got another batch last spring. They LOVE the moment they’re big enough to be outside in the dust– their little wings become paddles, splashing their backs in the funniest little flurry, digging themselves into good, clean dirt. I watched  7- and 5-year old little girls imitating them this summer, and the smiles on their faces mirrored the birds’ obvious relish for their bathing ritual.

So I took a bath in dust & ashes the other day… only I added water to mine– no kiddin’ LOL! There are several types of clay that come in a powder form, or “dust.” Different clays have different healing properties, but the gist of it is that they pull out toxins through the skin when applied externally, whether in masque form, or in a bath. Some of them can be taken internally, too, and pull out toxins from the “inner skin”, or gut lining. Helps slow down loose bm’s, and a few types of clay help the body to assimilate nutrients better than consuming the food without it. I like Bentonite clay for baths & masks in external applications, and Zeolite clay for internal use. It’s kind of an “intuitive” dust– gives what the body wants, and takes what it doesn’t want. It’s often fed to livestock to improve their nutritional uptake and efficiency. It’s not the tastiest stuff in the world, but when ‘ya need it (digestion moving too fast, or not getting all the nutrients you need out of your food), it’s gold. In fact, there have been times in history when certain types of clay were considered to be of more value than gold… gold can have healing properties, too, but that’s another topic for another day.

Yom Kppur was the Day of Atonement– the day when the High Priest would go into the Holy of Holies, and the whole nation (except for sickly folks, children, and pregnant or nursing mothers) would fast and focus on turning away from the things they’d messed up on, asking YHWH to forgive them and make it right again. We celebrate this fast as best we can. There were a few years there when I wasn’t in any shape to do much more than give up honey (we already don’t use sugar & a myriad of other things). This year I did a modified fast with a bath in dust and ashes. The ashes piece is activated charcoal– also known to draw out toxins, both transdermally and internally. ** I realize that bathing is prohibited by some sects of Judaism on Yom Kippur, but, in the spirit of purification, humility, and turning away from the pollutants in my life, I went ahead and “repented in dust and ashes”, like Job said,

1Then Job answered the LORD and said,

2“I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

3‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
“Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”

4‘Hear, now, and I will speak;
I will ask You, and You instruct me.’

5“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;

6Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes.”

I kinda figure a guy who went through hell-on-earth and sores on his skin, and then said to the Almighty, “but now my eye sees You”, might have a clue on how to repent when you’re looking for healing. Understand, now, that this is not a “go thou and do likewise” post. It’s just a “this makes my skin ailments better” and “this is the direction I’m pointed” explanation of some Natural Miracles.**

A spot in Torah that points me in the same direction is the part where God forms man out of the dust of the ground. There seems to be something good and “grounding” about re-connecting with Earth. Everything from statistics on mental health rates of various professions finding that people who work closer to the earth (potters, gardeners, etc.) have a lower incidence of mental illness than other professions, to the general relaxed feeling we get from walking barefoot on dirt, sand, or even concrete or an earthen floor– it’s all Earth, and it’s all “grounding.” Anytime I feel like I’m just “buzzing” too much, it can do wonders to just find some good, clean dirt. I highly recommend it 🙂

Standard Disclaimer:

I’m  no doc, and don’t pretend to be one. I am therefore not legally licensed to diagnose, cure, treat, prevent, or otherwise mitigate any disease, and neither is the stuff I generally choose for healing… but then, I’ve not been educated indoctrinated by boards with big pharma reps on them, either ;-)   so do your own research and find what works for you :-)

** I’m no rabbi either, so please don’t take my experiences and journey as your Rx for Kosher living 😉