Love as the Center


What if religion was each other?
If our practice was our life?
If prayer was our words?

What if the temple was the Earth?
If forests were our church?
If holy water-the rivers, lakes and oceans?

What if meditation was our relationships?
If the Teacher was life?
If wisdom was self-knowledge?
What if Love was the center of our being?


Behind the Scenes with Rooted Angel

Harvest Holy Basil (Tulsi) from Laura's biodynamic garden

Harvest Holy Basil (Tulsi) from Laura's biodynamic garden

For over a decade, Laura has been working closely with the plant kingdom - both in her garden, and in blending essential oils and preparing tinctures. Her interests in biodynamics, plant medicine and holistic health have led her to make a variety of plant-based products intended to restore balance and wellness to the mind, body and soul. We sat down for a quick Q&A to hear more about how she got started and her process.


What is the difference between a tincture and an essence?
Tinctures are concentrated liquid extracts of herbs. They are very potent and are taken by the dropperful, most often diluted in room temp water or juice. Most tinctures are made with alcohol as the primary solvent. Effective tinctures can also be made with vegetable glycerin or apple cider vinegar as the solvent, and are usually recommended for children and people who are sensitive to alcohol. 

A flower essence is the vibrational imprint of a flower that has been transferred and stabilized in water. Flower essences can help people recognize, resolve or release different conditioned ways of perceiving the world and can help us experience greater well being and harmony in our lives.

When did you first hear about tinctures/essences and when did you start using them yourself?
I can’t recall the exact moment, but somehow I always knew there was another way to heal the body, soul and spirit and that the plant kingdom was here to help us whether it be the food we grow, prepare and eat or the remedy that we are attracted to - or that is attracted to us. I do remember my German grandmother using some Bach flower remedies, I think she used Rescue Remedy. As I became more curious I started to study homeopathy, flower essences and aromatherapy. I learned a lot from some very talented and gifted colleagues and friends - Joseph Aldo and Robin Spiegel.

How did you learn how to make tinctures / blend oils?
Robin Spiegel, owner of Lotus Wellness Center, taught me about aromatherapy and how to blend oils, in fact she was my mentor in the development of Rooted Angel Essence Blend. We spent almost 8 months in private sessions together. The question I wanted to explore was what was most needed for humanity at this time...who were the volunteers from the plant kingdom who wanted to come forth and assist in helping to keep a flow of balance and healing of the mind, heart, emotions, spirit? We had 7 different blends that we tried and they just weren’t quite right. Then in the 8th month, the 8th try the blend came through our channeled session together.

"Sometimes it's just easier to get out of your head and into your heart." 

Robin also influenced my desire to create flower essences. I always thought it was a complicated process and that you had to have a distillery or something like that. With her encouragement and my understanding of biodynamic principles I learned to work with the flowers and the solar energy of the sun to create flower essences from the plants that are grown in my healing garden. The very first essence that was created was the Zinnia Flower Essence. The flowers are so beautiful, colorful and playful in nature! It was perfect timing to bring through this flower of play and joy.

The tinctures were a whole other process, actually they are all threads of healing that are woven together in that they actually work! They work because these natural remedies and blends know that they are on their way back to spirit. Anyway I learned how to make tinctures from studying the plants, recognizing their healing qualities (like did you ever find yourself mesmerized by the scent of rosemary or holy basil?). I read books that were written by Rosemary Gladstar and Rosalee de la Foret and followed some of their basic recipes for creating tinctures.

What inspires you to blend certain essential oils together? What's your process when you're blending? 
It's been a mostly intuitive process, the scent of something can attract or repulse you initially. However, the more you allow the molecules to travel through the air octave to activate some part of the molecules within your own being you begin to understand something…kind of like getting past the watchman at the gate.

Sometimes it's just easier to get out of your head and into your heart. The reading literature part of it can be useful confirmation, but its not always accurate when you’re talking about blending oils. Sometimes I’ve created a blend for someone that uses not only essential oil but also flower essences. It requires a good bit of concentration and focus and a willingness to let yourself receive the guidance. And trust, I forgot to mention trust.

Tell me about some of the products you make for Rooted Angel...
The most recent product I've developed is called Better Bones. It seems like lots of people are being diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis, so it was born from a desire to support our skeletal structure and help with regeneration of bones.  Along with a bone health diet, weight bearing exercise and the management of stress and worry, it’s a proactive way to help the bones regenerate. I never underestimate the power of essential oils. A couple of weeks ago I was moving too quickly and bruised my ankle....seemed like I might’ve had a stress fracture. My self prescribed healing came in the form of ice packs for a day, rest, and every day For 2 weeks I massaged my ankle with a blend of ginger, carrot seed, nutmeg, Roman chamomile in jojoba, fractionated coconut carrier oils. You can use this oil on its own or rub some into the most susceptible joints - hips, knees, wrists and ankles before you get into the bath or shower, where you can massage deeper into the skin.

Skin Healer came from my experience with the plants in our garden. One year there was an abundance of plantain growing amongst the herbs, flowers and vegetables. Plantain is considered a weed by some gardeners. My friend David Miles told me it was edible and rich in calcium and minerals. I tried eating it raw, it was a bit chewy and stringy, a good workout for my teeth and jaw! Then I tried it in a stir fry with some other hearty greens and some fresh chopped garlic...I love that a lot of the foods we need are growing right outside our doorstep!

Anyway, one day I was working in the garden and had nicked myself with a garden shear. With a bleeding finger I looked down for something to wrap around the wound until I could clean it out with some soap and water. There was the plantain leaf, it was wide, flat, easy to wrap and felt cooling on this fiery cut. Later I learned that the native Americans called the plantain a green bandaid! Pretty cool when that happens. That was the start of the making of Skin Healer. I learned how to make botanical oils from several other plants like comfrey, St. John’s wort, calendula flower…..and blend them with beeswax. If someone wanted to they could add a drop of their favorite essential oil to the jar of skin healer. I sometimes add lavender, neroli or tulsi but either way it’s a great little healer that has helped a lot of people. 

Breast Massage Oil was developed as a request from a friend DeeAnn Macomson. DeeAnn is a talented musician and massage therapist who uses rhythm and energy medicine to create drumming workshops. She wanted to stay proactive about her breast health. We blended frankincense and helichrysum in calendula infused sweet almond oil. DeeAnn was patient enough to wait until the garden yielded enough calendula blossoms to create this oil blend. 

How do you think plant medicine and Western medicine can interact? 
Favorably, I don’t think they contradict each other. The point is they each have their purpose and one is not better than the other. You may find yourself in serious need of antibiotics and you can still take a remedy to help keep your astral body in balance so that you’re not bonking out with side effects from Western meds.

There are so many plants with medicinal purposes, but what is one of your favorite uses of a medicinal plant? Is there one that you find yourself using the most?
I try to stay with a remedy long enough to recognize that something in me has shifted. Getting back to the question though, I think that all plants are medicinal.

"I think that all plants are medicinal. You could make an amazing salad with all kinds of organic veggies and herbs like parsley, cilantro, basil, oregano. You are giving your body such nourishment!"

You could make an amazing salad with all kinds of organic veggies and herbs like parsley, cilantro, basil, oregano. To me this would be a favorite (and every day!) use. You are giving your body such nourishment! I also sometimes use dried flowers and herbs to make a medicinal tea, either to stay calm or focused or help my liver to cleanse or to help move my bowels.

Tinctures and essences help me to stay focused with mental and emotional issues. When I’m feeling stressed I’ll take the Holy Basil Tincture that I’ve made. I love using the Rosemary Tincture to help me remember my origin, which is from the stars, and the Trinity Flower Essence is another one that came through a channeled session with a very talented bodyworker and light being, Mary Diehl. She doesn’t have a website or Facebook or Instagram account otherwise I’d shout it out to everyone. When I’ve been somewhat shy and sometimes stumble on being able to express my femininity in a way that resonates I’ll take Alpine Lily or Trumpet Vine. The Alpine Lily helps my feminine soul experience a more vibrant relationship between my physical body and the spiritual feminine. Trumpet Vine helps with active, and dynamic verbal expression.  I purchase both of these from Flower Essence Services and I love that they offer biodynamic flower essences.

What resources would you recommend to others who are interested in the healing powers of plants?
These are some of my go-to books:
Alchemy of Herbs by Rosalee De La Foret
Aromatherapy for the Soul by Valerie Ann Worwood (any of her books, for that matter)
Medicinal Herbs by Rosemary Gladstar
Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health - Rosemary Gladstar
Spagyrics: The Alchemical Preparation of Medicinal Essences, Tinctures and Elixirs by Manfred M. Junius
The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy by Kurt Schnaubelt Ph.D.

And some go-to people:
- Robin Spiegel, Lotus Wellness Center:
- David Miles
- Joseph Aldo

Thank you to Greg Wright for these lovely drawings. All products can be found in Laura's online Apothecary and come with one of these informational cards.

The Making of the Magnolia Amulet

Have you ever walked by something a million times and never noticed it…until you noticed it? Kind of like the saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

That’s what happened with the magnolia seed head. When I really saw them, lying scattered on the ground, they struck me as one of the most exquisite and intriguing invitations from nature to explore deeper. And once they caught my attention, I saw them everywhere. I remember collecting as many as I could fit into my pocket before the shop owner came out to sweep the sidewalk where I had first “discovered” them. 

At the time I’d also been working with 2 other colleagues, Martha Robinson and David Miles on developing a series of workshops called “Cosmic Flow of Gardening”. We had been meeting regularly to check in with each other on biodynamics, living soil, plant spirit guides, the 4 elements, preparing the garden, preparing the soul of the garden.... We studied plant behavior, with a desire to rest in the pure and empty listening, beyond the science of what we could read about. We studied plants in our own gardens, receiving gifts from both the seen and unseen forces. In this way we learned something about seeds, referring to them as cosmic, in that they knew exactly what their etheric blueprint was! Encoded in their biology was a journey of incredible growth, an understanding of nature’s rhythms, a vast potential to heal, teach and show us a way of understanding through the various stages of plant development.

On that day when I met the magnolia seed head, I wanted to refer to it in a feminine way. Something was happening to my heart, every time I saw or held the magnolia seed pod it seemed to move me into a softer, more intuitive, yin energy. In that shared experience of wonderment, what I “heard” was the seed itself was not feminine or masculine - but really both. The “A ha!” light went off and so began a channeled session with this beautiful tree. I didn’t know this at the time but later learned that the magnolia is a member of the evergreen family. It has very large leaves and an aromatic flower that is bisexual.

Embellished Southern Magnolia Amulets

Embellished Southern Magnolia Amulets

Unbeknownst to me, as I was collecting these seed pods, so was my daughter Nicola. You can imagine our surprise and joy when we each gifted the other with a found magnolia seed head! When I think of all the teachings, inquiries and willingness to explore and go deeper with nature, I stand in awe of what comes back when the mind and heart are open to receive.

These pods find their way to the ground in the way that leaves fall from trees in autumn. I wanted to preserve this pod, keep it as an object of significance. Firstly to honor what nature herself created, and also to anchor the energy in the physical plane, to give me a focal point of what the magnolia tree represents. I felt inspired to combine art and healing in such a way to offer inspiration back to the plant kingdom. My background in art and fashion lead me to weaving, sewing and adorning these magnolia seed pods with precious stones, leather, ribbons and trims. This gave me even more time to appreciate and meditate with the buds. Time to look at the amazing intricacies of the stem and pod. In working so intimately with these buds, my appreciation for the plant kingdom grew tenfold.

Magnolia is a tree whose energies help to strengthen and activate the heart chakra, the center of idealism, of love and of healing. More importantly, it aligns the heart with the higher intellect. I’ve found that just by holding the seed pod and bringing my awareness to its gifts that I’m able to shift the energy into a higher state of awareness, where the masculine and feminine reminds us to be true to our ideals and our heart, no matter what kind of external pressure is upon us.

I keep my magnolia amulet on my altar, and recently brought it to rest within the blessings of my advent wreath. 

Laura makes both Magnolia Amulets and Holy Basil Wands as a way of honoring the plant kingdom and the healing capacities of plant life. Both are available in her online Apothecary.

Clearing Clutter for Clarity

I made an aim that 2017 was going to be a year of clearing away all the clutter in our home…a huge, overwhelming and daunting task! I’m talking about years and years of saved magazines, news articles, trinkets big and small, collectibles, paintings, clothes that I’ll probably never wear, paints that have dried out, pens and pencils (how did they give birth overnight like that?), slippers from hotels we stayed in, books I’ll never read, cool empty glass jars with lids cause you never know when you’ll need one and oh my gosh, a boundless number of shoes which I adore and never wear.

You know the drill, just way too much stuff.

Funny thing is when I started to do this I wasn’t very organized about it - just figured I’d move through  it all organically….a drawer here, a shelf there. Wow, was I wrong about that approach! Although it did make me look productive, I just kept circling and those piles kept growing.

And then, I got help from someone who really knows her stuff. And here’s what I learned.

Clearing clutter or dejunking as Mela calls it is Holy Work. It is meant to be a reverent practice whereby you clear away that which no longer serves so that miracles can happen…..Yes, miracles. I’m talking about clearing so that the books on the shelves are able to contemplate their own thoughts. It was about allowing myself to be deprived of the books as I learned to enter a desert retreat of pure, empty listening. And what I learned was everything is text! The cosmos is a vast, polysemous, multi leveled book in and of itself; and it is to be read. So are the stars, faces, flowers, hands and rocks. I realize that I don't need one more cookbook, notepad.

What I needed to learn was a system of using my creativity in a completely new way. I learned that I was the one I’d been waiting for! And I needed to learn to trust, that if I did toss something that I wished I hadn’t... to trust that it was already integrated into my being.

"Dejunking" is sacred work

"Dejunking" is sacred work

We started with baby steps; and went room by room. First downstairs and then up to the upper rooms of the house. Armed with dust cloths and cleaning products made from heavenly plant botanicals, I found myself almost in tears; sometimes frozen in a state of panic, and sometimes diving down a rabbit hole of memories. 

I kept the awareness candle lit and with 30 min breaks would get up, stretch, drink water and go back for more.

Holy work is emotional
And sacred
And filled with mini miracles
And some humor

One of the first bookshelves I went to was so tightly packed I could barely move the spines. When I was finally able to budge an opening, a book fell to the floor and opened to this page “Clearing Clutter for Clarity”. Seriously, I kid you not! The title of the book is “Ask and it is given” by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

Here is some of what Abraham had to say about Clearing Clutter on page 242:

“Physical Beings have a habit of gathering stuff around them. Most of you gather this stuff because it is the way you keep score: it is the way you fill time. In other words, you live in a physical world, and physical manifestation has become important to you, but then you get buried in the details of your manifestation. Most of you spend much of your time just looking for things, and it is not only because you have too many things to sort through, but it is also because the gathering of the stuff is contrary to the freedom that is inherent within all of you. We have talked of the feeling of sadness that feels empty. People often try to fill that feeling of emptiness with stuff. They buy one more thing and bring it home, or they eat something: in other words, there are lots of creative ways in which you have tried to fill that void. And so it has been our encouragement to some: Discard everything from your experience that is not essential to your now.  If you could just go through and release those things you are not wearing, release those things you are not using, release them and leave your experience in a clearer place, then the things that are more in harmony with who you are now will more easily flow into your experience.”

Well, I must say that I do feel lighter, no longer trapped in overwhelm and cotton candy head. It feels like the house can breathe, the energy can move, and the angels have a place to visit. Its just a wee bit more peaceful.

And there’s still more Holy Work to do. Mela reminds me that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but if there was no plan, there would be no Rome.

Please do contact Mela Stevens:, if you would like some brilliant guidance on dejunking. Her step by step approach is simply amazing.

Steadfastness and Relevance

One day my husband, Bob, asked me, "If you had one word to feel inspired by, to reach for, what would it be?" When I'm asked these kinds of questions, I always want to answer in the safest and most diplomatic way - how can I possibly come up with just one word? Why not multiple words? I often feel overwhelmed with indecision. In a magical moment, all those voices stopped, and what I heard so clearly was steadfastness. For me, this word holds many meanings, which continue to inform my mind and heart. 

I’ve taken this word with me into silence...when I’d rather be squirmy and skip my meditation. I’ve thought of it when beginning a cleanse, something my husband and I do in the spring and fall of every year. It has helped me to stay patient when my ego wants to take over and boss everyone around, and it helps me to remember my higher self where there is no right or wrong way.

I asked Bob the same question - "What word do you feel inspired by? What word to you strive to emulate?" His answer was relevance. Bob's line of work demands that he be innovative, fresh, and timeless. He navigates his world of design and curation with the concept of relevance to guide him.

Sometimes we compete for the same space, like who can be cooler, subtler, more creative or more meaningful.

What I’ve come to realize, though, is that Relevance and Steadfastness come together in many ways. To be relevant means that you have to be steadfast in maintaining your connection to the present. When you are steadfast, you are dedicated and resilient - which are qualities that are also needed to stay relevant.

This drink is a timeless tonic that will forever be relevant for detoxification. These ingredients have been used for centuries to help purify and reset the body. 

A cup of warmed or room temp water
Juice from 1/4 of a lemon to a whole lemon (listen to your body on this one)*
1/2 tsp maple syrup (optional)
Dash of cayenne pepper
Pinch of sea salt or Himalayan salt (helps the cells to hydrate)

Health Benefits: Purifies the blood, balances and maintains the pH levels in the body, helps to flush out toxins, hydrates the cells. I recommend drinking this first thing in the morning - it will be the first thing that is filtered by your kidneys. An opportunity to drink something that will energize, cleanse, hydrate, and nourish.

TIP: When I’m running short on time I’ll squeeze a bunch of lemons and pour the juice in mini ice cube trays that I store in the freezer. Each cube is just enough Vitamin C to keep my brain and immune system vital, steadfast and relevant.

Take 5 Minutes

Take 5 minutes today to give gratitude to the souls of your feet.
Allow your fingers to move into a rhythm of massage.

Focus on gratitude for their support,
For carrying you energetically to all the places you want to go.

Our feet can be seen as our direction in life, they bring us everywhere.
We trust them to hold us up, walk us through life. 

We dress them up, fit them into tight spaces and then ask them to do a lot for us
In this moment of gratitude we release them from their duties, bathing them in love, joy, respect.

Feel the subtle spaces between your toes.
As though they were listening to their favorite music.

There are no tight spaces, only freedom of movement.

Rooted Angel Essence Blend can be a lovely treat for the feet. Massage a few dabs on the bottoms of your feet to feel relaxed, supported and uplifted. 

With Every Bite…

When I sit down to enjoy a meal, whether it’s by myself or with others I’m reminded of spiritual principles that offer up so much more than the food that’s on the plate. 

I’m reminded that with every bite that is taken, that it’s possible to ingest the encoded information of the universe into one's inner biology – we are not separate from our food. Its subtle energies communicate to every cell of our bodies. 

These energies stream information about the minerals in the earth, where the food was grown, the amount of rainfall it received, the vitality of the vegetation that the animal ate as well as who grew, harvested and transported and prepared it.  

All of this innate intelligence, this Prana from the universe, is transferred into the body….with every bite.

May the Blessings be...

Thinking about the path of the garlic plant - from one planted clove, to my dinner plate.