As I walk into the open clearing... I am taken back by the sweetness of the ineffable Wild Rose. Ahhhhh... closing my eyes, I take a full body inhalation...breathing into my chest, the freshness of the leaves... the glorious aroma of the flowers. My heart beat attunes to the vibration of this magical being. With my eyes remaining closed, I feel the silky breeze whisper; DANCE. Gently, I feel the wind encourage both of us into graceful movement.
Opening my eyes again, my vision has softened. Without turning my head I catch sight of the lavish brambles filling my periphery, as if surrounded by a sacred circle of ancestors. I am protected, held. I am safe to melt into my own. I am open to receiving abundance. Just as a tender grandmother would comfort with open arms; rose comforts with magnificent strength; that of compassionate embrace, intentional listening and firm, reverent boundary. I lean into that peaceful feeling of belonging and sit with the deeply nourishing wisdom. My spirit delights in this opening, connected to everything that exists. Deep in my bones I feel the words “you are never alone, you are always surrounded, loved & cared for.”
I have eagerly been awaiting this beauty to shine with its sweet delectable flowers. Wild Rose (Rosa Nutkana) is one of our native species here in the Pacific Northwest, and they are just beginning to beam with so much abundance. Here on Vancouver Island, Wild Rose can be found growing on the edges of marshland, forests, open-fields, farmland, roadsides and beaches. Generally late-April is when your nose starts to sniff that lovely decadence of the leafed out bushes, as they slowly begin to bud up. By mid-May Wild Rose is often in full bloom tantalizing bees and pollinators alike with their yummy nourishment. The harvesting time is very much at the whim of Mother Nature; remaining completely dependant on what kind of spring we receive. If it remains very hot and dry, Rose can finish blooming in a flash, however if the days or nights are cool, rainy or partly cloudy, Rose medicine seems to grace us for much longer.
Powerfully soft, beautifully bold and unapologetically radiant. Rose’s flourishing branches & blossoms sprawl freely outward & upward, breathing life into the world around it. It encourages us inhabit our flesh and ground into the earth that gives us life. Rose cares for others, providing safety and sustenance; and too is cared for, taking in nutrients from the soil and sky. Rose invites us to pay attention to the cycles of creating & sustaining life, dancing with the knowledge of changing cycles. We are all sacred conductors of life-force, and Rose announces that now is the perfect time to direct that energy into nurturing something beautiful! Life is rich with opportunities for us to grow, experience our senses, and to step fully into our own authentic light.
Enjoying rose often brings a sense of timelessness, for part of the medicine is certainly about becoming fully present in the moment. “Stop to smell the roses”, though cliché, is a simple reminder to slow down, feel and savour the beauty in life. Pausing to really take in this plant energetically or physically is about living in the moment with a deeper sense of love, gratitude and appreciation for all the incredible blessings of existence.
For people, like myself, with a very airy constitution, this aspect of presence in the moment is crucial to grounding down, connecting & restoring the nervous system; bringing mind, body & spirit into alignment. I enjoy our Nerve Nourisher tincture blend almost daily to aid in supporting my nerves, calming anxiety and relieving my spirit from overwhelm. This blend combines Milky Oat (Avena sativa), Chamomile (Matricaria spp), St. Johns Wort (H. perforatum), Skullcap (S. lateriflora) with Rose to rejuvenate the nervous system and simply relax into one’s own rhythm.
Part of Rose’s uplifting nature comes from its action as a loving and gentle blood decongestant; promoting circulation, stagnant energy flow and the release of emotional tension. This potent impact on the emotional body can be felt as deep spaciousness in heart-space or womb-space. Rose humbly purifies our hearts, supporting us to let down our walls and be softened, carrying the medicine of true self-love. It asks “are you tending to yourself with as much reverence as you would give to someone you love dearly?”
Personally I have experienced Rose to be remarkably gentle at holding space and helping to relieve constriction and tightness in the chest. Our Heart Harmony tincture blend is a lovely formulation that encourages this softening and strengthening in the heart space both in the physical and emotional bodies. Rose, accompanied by fellow plant allies Hawthorn flower, leaf and berry (Crataegus spp), Linden Blossom (Tilia sp), Yarrow (A. millifolium), Motherwort (L. cardiaca), all form a team to support, guide and nourish the heart in this blend. This tonic can be taken daily to support heart function, regulate blood pressure, tonify the blood vessels and stimulate circulation. It may also be taken to uplift the heart or ease sorrow, grief & heartbreak.
Though abundant in vulnerable flowers, upon observation one can see (and experience if not careful) that the branches of Rose are covered in sharp thorns, asserting clear boundary. Though subtle and often overshadowed during bloom time, one can also take notice of the old desiccated hips still clinging to the branch tips and slowly decaying, blackened and gnarly from winter’s harshness. Rose bares it all at once, showing us the profound courage & willingness it takes to be raw with reality as it is.
By sitting with Rose we can too learn to embrace ALL of the parts of ourselves. With this more compassionate, receptive quality to our being, we can authentically own our power, craft healthy boundaries and ultimately give and receive from a place of abundance.
This is the generosity of Rose: be real. Real comes from the centre of our being and speaks to the moment from our core essence. Real has a boldness, asking us to live from a place where there is nothing to defend and nothing to control. Real, is not always sunshine & rainbows, however it is always trustworthy. The deepness of relationship with both ourselves & others comes from this foundation of speaking our truth. By living the life that cries to be lived from the depths of our being, we free up our vital force, releasing what no longer serves.
Motivating that deep desire within to express our inner beauty is an essential part of Rose’s magic. This aliveness & swelling of sacred sensuality is ready to be expressed through our own unique creative means. By bringing movement, warmth & energetic flow to the pelvis, Rose acts as an ardent aphrodisiac, enlivening self-belief and bringing life force energy to the sacral area. As we step into our passionate selves enjoying the warmth & energy flow in this area we connect to divine vision.
Our Blissful Lover tincture blend offers a sweet mixture of magical herbal allies to heighten & inspire this lust for life. This blend is magnetic & alluring, waking up the vital force and letting inner vibrancy flow. Along with Ashwagandha (W. somnifera), Pine Pollen (Pinus spp), Ginko (G. biloba) & Licorice (G. glabra) one can be energized, grounded & deeply connected to the self, relaxing into quintessential nature, that of encapsulated soul. Aphrodisiacs work their magic by crafting that spaciousness, heart-centredness and bringing us back into physicality.
The medicine of Rose is deeply rooted in many traditions around in the world. Treasured as powerful ally in the remembering of story, magic, love & loss. The petals & buds are beloved for their calmative & nutritive properties, carrying amazingly uplifting medicine for healing grief, loss, sadness, fatigue & heartache. This plant offers a cooling astringency that tonifies tissues and soothes inflammation. In this way, Rose is an amazing skin healer and has long use in the treatment of sunburn, inflammatory skin conditions, wound healing & skincare.
One of my favourite ways to preserve the medicine of Rose season is to make an infused honey from the fresh petals. This medicine is profoundly uplifting & incredibly delicious. Wild Rose Herbal Honey beautifully encapsulates the aromatics and soothing whole package Rose carries. We also offer a herbal honey blen, our ‘I Heart You, honey’ which is a lovely amalgam of Rose with other heart-helping herbal allies such as Linden and Hawthorn. With a little honey, we can easily tap into our courage to open fully to the delights of life.
Fresh Rose petals can be macerated in honey and infused with the all the goodness & nutritive properties of the plant. Honey is a fantastic menstrumm for extracting medicine, not to mention a medicine in and of itself. Raw, unpasteurized honey is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic & antiseptic. It contains a complex assortment of different beneficial compounds including enzymes, antibiotic agents, proteins, carbohydrates, antimicrobial compounds, vitamins, as well as many trace minerals. It helps to build blood and actively promotes the healing of tissues, making it, especially when infused with Rose, a fantastic topical preparation for the skin. Rose infused honey can be used to soothe wounds, burns, skin irritations or simply a loving face mask or honey pat. In my life however, this scrumptious treat is mostly enjoyed as an edible addition to baking, tea or by taken by the spoonful!
Rose Infused Honey Recipe
1) Gather fresh Rose petals and loosely fill a small jar to the top.
2) Gently warm enough honey to fill jar. Use local unpasteurized honey if at all possible. Make sure to keep the temp below 60C to prevent damaging the health-giving properties of the honey.
3) Pour the warm honey over the rose petals to fill the jar, gently stirring until the petals are incorporated and no air bubbles remain.
4) Let infuse for 2 weeks in a warm spot out of direct sunlight.
5) Strain, or leave petals in. Enjoy!
Let’s all get out there to celebrate the gift of this season! Give Rose the pleasure of moving through you in a practice of pure radiant dance!