February 2011
Volume 11 Number 2
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What's Inside Wise Woman Herbal Ezine this Month...


Wise Woman Wisdom ...
Connecting with Nature
through your Chakras

by Catherine Bastedo

Connecting with Nature through your Chakras
—Part One, Root Chakra
by Catherine Bastedo

author of Bird Vibes

Spiritual Insight Through Birds

photo by Diane Schreiner photo by Diane Schreiner


Are you feeling out of alignment these days? It doesn’t take very much to put your system out of tune – overeating, not eating, too much sitting on the couch, or no time to sit on the couch, worry, fear, and fatigue. These things and many others can create an imbalance in your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies.

This is the first of a series of articles to help you balance your chakras, starting with the root chakra.  The focus will be on using nature to help restore a feeling of equilibrium, peace and wellbeing.Your chakras continuously radiate and receive energy.  They can become cloudy and heavy and affect your health.  However, they can be cleansed and cleared.  If you really pay attention and notice what seems “off”, you can then do exercises to repair imbalances and improve the health of your chakras.


Root Chakra

The root chakra is the chakra where you sense the strength of your connection to your family, your tribe, your networks, and the earth itself.  Your roots may be deep and far reaching, entwined around family and friends, or they may be shallow, just lying on the surface.  You may even feel completely unrooted and not part of this earth.

Sometimes holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas or Chinese New Year, confirm a wonderful sense of belonging and rootedness.  We may be very grateful for present and past relatives.  Or again these gatherings may point out how disconnected we are; we may wish to be elsewhere and want to run away from it all. 

All this and more resides in your root chakra.  To get a sense of the vitality of your own root, take a few relaxing breaths and ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you take pleasure in your family and your groups of friends?
  • Do you enjoy the companionship of your colleagues?
  • Do you feel a close connection to the earth?
  • Do you have a sense of belonging?
  • What about practical day-to-day living – is it easy or would you rather live in the realm of ideas, dreams, and myths?
  • Do you feel safe?
  • Are your basic needs (food, shelter, clothing) met?  Or, on the contrary, are you overwhelmed by having too many possessions?

If you feel that your root chakra could use a tune up, here are 10 suggestions to help.  Try a few:

  • Take a walk outside, truly paying attention –to the temperature, the wind, the sky, and particularly the ground.  You may see snow or grass, hill or plain, city street or pine forest, but wherever you are, observe your surroundings.  Notice the smell; listen to the sounds under your feet—the crisp crunch of snow, the squelch of wet earth, or the tinkle of sea shells as the waves recede from the shore; feel the air on your face.  And look for something in your natural environment that you have not really seen before.
  • Touch the floor of the room where you are with your hands.  Imagine you are touching the type of ground you like best—sand, new grass, moss, or sun-warmed rock.  Picture the warmth that comes to you from that touch and let that sensation work its way up from your hands and feet through your arms and legs into your lower body.  Welcome this grounding heat.
  • Buy a plant, or look after one you have now.  Loosen the earth; give it water; admire the leaves in all their beauty.  Let this plant represent all growing things, all of nature’s bounty.  Be grateful for this plant.
  • Find a rock or crystal that you enjoy holding.  How does it feel?  Describe it, draw it, and include it in your journal.  Is it rough or smooth, dull or shiny?   Note its colour.  Does it have a smell?  Do you notice a vibration?  Let this rock or crystal represent Mother Earth and her beauty.
  • Make sounds that come from your root chakra—deep full-bodied noises – ooh…ooh…
  • Jump up and down lightly, if you are able to do so, and notice the soles of your feet connecting to the earth.  Feel that connection reverberate through your feet, ankles, legs, knees, and spinal column.
  • Dance, moving your body to your own rhythm, noticing how your root chakra anchors your movements and allows the flow to move throughout your body.
  • Eat something fabulous and healthy.
  • Imagine that you are lying outside in your favourite place, feeling Mother Earth beneath you, holding you close, loving you, protecting you from harm.
  • Visit with someone older than you – a relative, a neighbour, a friend.  Chose that person because she or he gives you a sense of your roots and where you belong.  Think about what makes the two of you different, and what you have in common.

Notice the changes in your root chakra after one or more of these exercises.  Continue to practice, and as you do, you will strengthen your root and increase its energy.

Further information, exercises and meditations are included in my class, Chakra Basics. This class will help you learn the location of your seven major chakras and their attributes, as well as the state of health of your own chakras and how they affect your emotional and physical health.  You will learn how to sense your chakras, connect with them and clear them, through quick exercises and fun and interesting assignments.

Please join me for the next edition of Chakra Basics, starting March 12, 2011.

2011 © Catherine Bastedo
Vision Reiki

Catherine Bastedo is the author of Bird Vibes, a meditation deck to provide insight into current life situations by connecting with nature and the universal energy in us and around us and the book, Les oiseaux, nos guides spirituels. She offers Holographic-Usui Reiki sessions and classes, and holds Inner Guidance Nature Workshops and Retreats in Ottawa, Toronto, Muskoka, and other locations. She teaches Chakra Basics at Wise Woman University.



Bird Vibes
Spiritual Insight Through Birds
by Catherine Bastedo

Treat yourself to this new meditation deck!
• Receive positive, uplifting messages about current life situations and meditation paths
• Gain spiritual insight from the text on each card
• Learn more about the 8 chakras
• Discover interesting facts about 50 birds of North America
• Enjoy the 54 beautiful and unique paintings of birds and the four seasons

Price: $29.95

“Bird Vibes has become my deck of choice with my
readings lately and I find people are so empowered by them. Thanks for
your double creativity!”

Julie Desmarais, Holographic Energy Master, Reiki Master Teacher Trainer

Order Bird Vibes in our Bookshop


new Chakra Basics Class
taught by Mentor: Catherine Bastedo

This class provides you with a basic knowledge of 7 chakras, from Crown to Root; facilitates your connection to your chakras and understanding of your chakras’ health; provides suggestions for ways of chakra clearing.

This class will help you learn the location of your seven major chakras and their attributes, as well as the state of health of your own chakras and how they affect your emotional and physical health. You will learn how to sense your chakras, connect with them and techniques for clearing them, through quick exercises and assignments. Since this is a “Basics” class, it emphasizes the attributes of the chakras, and ideas for clearing them and aligning them, without going into specialized therapies such as crystals or aromatherapy.

Sign up for this Class

About the Mentor:  Catherine Bastedo teaches Usui-Holographic Reiki at all levels, facilitates healing through energy sessions, and holds spiritual nature workshops and retreats. She is the author of Bird Vibes, a meditation deck based on the chakras and our spiritual connections to birds.  This deck helps to understand daily life situations and deepen our connection with the universal energy in us and around us.  Catherine is a Reiki Master and Holographic Energy Master, and has a M.A. in Canadian Studies (Carleton University). 

Catherine held leadership roles as an executive in the Canadian Public Service and then as the Executive Director of the International Council for Canadian Studies for a number of years. Catherine Bastedo uses archetypes, myth and nature totems to help people reduce stress, release and transmute old patterns, restore balance on the physical, mental, and emotional levels and develop new ways of looking at life and the patterns in their lives.  Her clients appreciate the wisdom, experience and love of nature she brings to her work.


Spirit & Practice of the Wise Woman Tradition - 2 CD set
A treasure chest of easy, inexpensive, delightful ways to have more energy, be free from pain, nourish yourself without supplements, use herbs to maximize health and minimize risk.

Susun Weed, Wise Woman Herbalist, shares her three best ideas with you:

The Three Traditions of Healing - to help you chose te most effective health care.

The Seven Medicines - to lead you to the simplest and safest way to heal yourself.

Nourishing Herbal Infusions - to help you regain and maintain optimum health.

Price: $18.00

Spirit & Practice of the Wise Woman Tradition - 2 CD set

in our Bookshop



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