the wheel of the year, part 5: ostara

in the spirit of moveable feasts, here is my ostara post….very late.   the only problem with this, of course, is that while easter, ostara’s namesake, is indeed a moveable feast, the spring equinox (ostara’s current date) pretty much stays put 🙂 i  dropped the ball on this one folks!  —but as always, there are reasons for this, and i plan on tucking those reasons handily into my exploration of the nature of the holiday. Read the rest of this entry »


natural motherhood, part 2: iron, calcium, and folate

as i began my foray into the world of alternative medicine, i made  the mistake that many (if not most) people make.  i adopted the heroic tradition’s view of the body as a dirty temple–one that must be punished and purified.  go into any health food store and you’ll see aisles of pills and potions meant to purge you from every end.  you’ll see bowel cleanses that work by irritating  your colon so badly that its only recourse is to pull precious water from your cells and flush out all contents.  you’ll see testimonials of people marveling at the horrible things that their bodies pushed out. Read the rest of this entry »

paths to becoming a midwife

since my decision to become a cpm (certified professional midwife), the strangest thing has started happening.  in my many conversations about birth-related issues, several women (mostly older women) have told me that secretly, deep down inside, they’ve always wanted to be midwives.  the feeling, they say, seems irrational given their chosen life paths, and many of them brush it off as a “in my next life” sort of thing.  the rationalizations go something like this: “well, i’m certainly too old for a career change,” or “but i’m almost finished with graduate school for an entirely different field,” or “people would think that i’m crazy!” Read the rest of this entry »

the wheel of the year, part 3: yule

hey you!  yeah,  you—the one with the arms full of bags, nerves frazzled from fighting with that crazed woman over the last ginormous bargain-basement flatscreen, and credit card maxed (again) in an effort to maintain the material status quo—yeah, you.  why don’t you slow down, chuck the jeans in favor of some pjs, pour yourself a hot cup of tea (or a hot toddy!), wrap up in a big fuzzy blanket, and relaaaaax.  take some quiet time to remember what this week in december means to you—what it really means to you.   no matter our religious beliefs, most of us rarely slow down long enough to really meditate on the depth of significance of the holiday season.  the church of consumerism doesn’t afford us that luxury.  from the time the shot sounds on the day after halloween (didn’t it used to be the day after thanksgiving??) until the last unwanted or ill-fitting gift is returned, our minds are abuzz with lists, budgets, wrapping paper, sales, and new and unusual ways to torture underpaid and under-appreciated retail sales staff. Read the rest of this entry »

getting an herbal education

i hope those of you who are casually interested in herbs are enjoying my posts so far.  truly this is something that i had to do so that i wouldn’t forget everything i was learning, and i know from my experience at university that there’s no better way to learn than to teach.  it is my sincerest wish, however, that there are at least a few of you who are left wanting more information than i could ever supply in a measly little blog.  i hope there are those of you who, like me, have been bitten by the bug and want to know everything there is to know about herbs and about managing your health and the health of your community.  a word about that before i go further…someone once told me that, to learn everything an herbalist needs to know, you would need seven lifetimes.  at first i thought this was ridiculous, but the more i learn, the more i know that i don’t know….and that’s ok! Read the rest of this entry »

the wheel of the year, part 1

holidays are funny creatures…and i don’t only mean “ha-ha funny.”  think about it…spread throughout our calendar are days during which we force ourselves to be around people we may or may not want to be around, we eat ourselves sick (or over-indulge in a number of other activities), we focus almost solely on material goods, and, most of the time, we forget to stop and think about what the holiday even means anymore.  the material bit really bothers me the most—christmas is the biggest victim here.  once a year, i am expected to scrape together what little money i have to buy something for damn-near everyone i know.  most of the time it isn’t even something that that person needs, and we all know what happens to the heaps of unwanted gifts—you’re welcome, america’s thrift stores.   gift giving is so huge that it a tremendous taboo (perhaps one of the largest social taboos in america) not to buy someone a christmas present.  you’re not held accountable for figuring out what they really need—you’re simply accountable for getting them…..well….something. Read the rest of this entry »

greetings folks!

so i’ve been thinking about starting a blog for the past several years, but for one reason or another, life just kept getting in the way.  i’ve gotten to the point, though, where i can’t afford not to start journaling about my endeavors or the info is just going to start leaking out of my ears.

ok, so a little about me and then a little about why my blog is here.  to pay the bills, i am an english teacher at the university of alabama, but my real passions are herbs and midwifery.  i’m a doula in the greater tuscaloosa area, and i’m moving to bridgton, maine in a little under a year to start midwifery school.  my interest in midwifery is just part of my larger interest in women’s holistic health.  i’ve used herbal medicine in my life for a number of years, and i’ve studied under many teachers, but my current schooling comes a fantastic teacher named phyllis light at the appalachian center for herbal studies in arab, alabama.

my goal for this blog is to present information for women about herbal medicine, natural remedies, natural childbirth, lactation support, eco-minded menstrual products, women’s circles, and just about any other topic concerning women, herbs, birth, fertility, moontime, the cycles of the seasons, etc.  i want this to be a place for frank and honest discussion, and i hope that my readers (if i have any!) will chime in both with comments and with requests for post topics.

also, i’ve titled my blog “urban herbwifery” because, sadly, i find myself dealing with apartment life.  i want nothing more than a grassy yard to sink my toes into, but for now, i’m stuck with grimy pavement.  never fear, though, those of you who are stuck in the city–herbs are yours to use too!

many blessings!