Dandelion is the plant totem of the Budding Trees Moon which falls between March 21 to April 19 each year. We sometimes give little respect to the dandelion and want to drive this weed from our lawns. Little dandelion as a totem can teach us of the advantages of taking root as well as flying.
The dandelion has many uses for us two-leggeds here on Mother Earth. The root can be used as a substitute for coffee. Young leaves can be used in salads; while the older leaves can be cooked and eaten as greens. High in vitamins A, B, C, and G the dandelion also has calcium, phosphorus, iron, and natural sodium. Dandelion can be soothing, relaxing, and mildly sedating. It can help to purify and alkalize your bloodstream. It also has been used to balance the blood sugar levels in one’s body.
Dandelion reminds us of the necessity of exploration and experimentation in our lives. We are also reminded of the beauty of the different stages of our lives.
Native Americans used the dandelion as a remedy for hives and eczema. They boiled a tea to use for rheumatism, liver and spleen problems, gall bladder trouble, hepatitis, and headaches. They didn’t look at this plant as a weed but as a helpful plant that gave both physical medicine and spiritual medicine.
~ Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We are all related
Plantain is the plant totem associated with the Big Winds Moon which falls between February 19 and March 20. Plantain is a master healer plant. It can be used internally as a tea. You can also use it externally as a compress to cool, soothe, and heal. Plantain is known to be an excellent blood cleanser. This plant, also can help to alleviate pain. Some believe that plantain can reverse the effects of poisons. Used as a tea, compress, or in a bath; it can help heal sores, ulcers, and inflammation. It also helps heal kidney and bladder problems.
In case you are unfamiliar with the plantain, we are not talking about the one that looks like a banana. The plantain I am referring to is from the plantago major variety and looks more like a weed. Shown at the left.
Some research I found says that the plantain is not native to North America and was one of the first plants to reach this continent after the European settlers arrived. It was reported that the Native Americans actually called it “whiteman’s footprint” as it grew every where the settlers went. Fascinating that it would eventually become a birth totem.
A very important note about the use of plantain: People who are on blood thinners or people who suffer from blood clots should not use plantain internally.
A sign of spring, plantain is a reminder of the eternal promise of new life. Its deep roots make evident the importance of tenacity and stability and help to ground you in the earth.
~ Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We are all related
The birch tree as a totem is associated with the Earth Renewal Moon which falls between December 22nd and January 19th. One of the most ancient and abundant of trees the birch tree was used for many things by Native American Peoples. The bark was used for writing or painting stories on. The sap was used both as a syrup and a beverage. Teas and medicinal remedies were made from the bark and leaves of the birch. Placing the leaves of the birch tree on hot rocks in a sweat lodge creates a vapor that helps to cleanse the body and get rid of static electricity. To expel toxins the branches can be bound together and used to thrash the body while in a sweat lodge. Birch tea can be used to treat skin conditions, arthritis, rheumatism, kidney, bladder and digestive problems.
As a totem the Birch tree brings knowledge of ancient traditions and lost wisdom. It opens all energies so they can flow well, helping one’s ability to transmit and receive the powers of the Universe.
Some tribes of the First People or Native Americans refer to the trees that inhabit Mother Earth as the Tall People. The spirits of the Tall People can help us poor two-leggeds if we will listen and open our hearts to learn from them. The Birch Tree gives us so much of itself for physical purposes and it gives us knowledge from it’s long experience here on Mother Earth. It offers us shade when Grandfather Sun shines too brightly. A little shelter when rains fall from Father Sky. Many tribes used the bark from the birch tree to provide even more shelter from the elements by covering their homes with the bark. The picture is an example of a typical wigwam of the Ojibwe. Canoes were also sometimes made with birch bark.
White Birch Lane
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As time passes we will learn about other members of the Tall People and the medicine and gifts they offer us.
~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related