Thursday, January 24, 2013

Herb Shops

here are some photos of the herb shops within the super mercado in san jose, costa rica.  what's labeled is in spanish but most of it is not labeled.  you just have to trust that what you ask for is what you get.  i read the book sastun: my apprenticeship with a maya healer in the first few days of our trip and i wanted to see if i could find some of the herbs mentioned in the book.  also, being a community-centered pnw herbalist myself, i had a small list of items i wanted to see in this setting, like copal, palo santo, wild yam, linden, and so on.
these shops were amazing with all manner of flower, leaf, root, bark, seed, tinctures, potions, dried, fresh, concoctions galore.  i could spend a whole day, especially with a translator, asking questions and stocking up.  that would be a good business for someone to do there: bilingual herbalist guide to white herbalist tourists eager to spend dollars in the herb shops!
i came home with some crazy looking hairy twigs that don't match anything on my list.  everyone thinks they look like nasty dreadlocks but they don't smell like nasty dreadlocks.  believe me.  i would know.  chad had them. not nasty ones. but some big fatties that could get a little ripe, let's say.
the second to last photo up there of chad and jasper came about when i asked one of the herb shop keepers, who i bought copal and hibiscus from, if it was ok to take a photo of the shop. he grabbed chad and jasper and shoved them inside and said "yes yes, take photo" all jolly and friendly like.  chad and jasper were a bit stunned i think but we all thought it was really funny.
the last photo is one of the nutmeg/mace we found on the property we were staying on in puerto viejo on the caribbean coast.  we rode our bikes back and forth through a jungle garden several times a day and there was a nutmeg tree, apparently.  if you stood where we found the nutmegs and looked up, you couldn't see anything that look liked nutmegs.  i couldn't tell what tree they were coming from.  but there were a few during our time there that we found on the ground with the mace still intact.  they smell amazing and are stunning to behold.  the first time i saw one on our path i thought i'd won the lottery!  i was fascinated.

the new year is in full swing around these parts.  i am hosting a weekend retreat in february for 15 women at my house.  that will be a blast.  half are flying in from out of state.  we are gathering for imbolc and to share creativity and entrepreneurial insights in support of one another and to simply commune and fill up on each others wild woman love. a few weeks after that i will head to san francisco, big sur (for matrilumina) and the santa cruz mountains for a week of 40th birthday bliss (it was january 1 but this is THE gift!). so it's busy, as usual.  life is full.  and life is grand.  2013 is going to be amazeballs.  i can feel it, and i have systems in place to ensure it!

what do you have planned for 2013?  in what ways are you looking to expand?  do you set goals?  resolutions?

i am currently exploring and researching the intersection of post traumatic stress from adverse childhood experiences and the healing of it that can emerge from a daily creative practice of hand-making. this is my "new" work in the world and i will have a lot more to share about as i birth it.  watch for a due date near you.

escaping with the family fang,


  1. Jennette, You are not on your journey along sister. There are many of us from the scar clan who didn't have the most nurturing upbringing to put it nicely. I escaped my childhood by going into the Marine Corps and serving in two wars that further embedded my PTSD to where I didn't even recognize it as not normal.

    My healing has been slow and steady through art, just making things with my hands for no other purpose than to play and create.

    Just wanted you to know you are not alone, there are many of us to hold your hand along the way.

    Big Love,


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