Rites of passage
Regular Archeus and Anima customers may have noticed that things have been a little quiet on the Archeus front over the past couple of months. To be honest, they were. Just before Christmas my mother finally lost her battle with cancer and since her passing my father has been coming to terms with life on his own – not easy when you are living over 30kms from the nearest town, or more importantly, the nearest health provider. Like many people in our ageing society, my father has developed dementia. He was a real trooper while my mother was still alive, and has realised pretty quickly that life for him will be a lot easier and perhaps even more fun in a rest home. So, last week he moved out of the family home and into a rest home. Life is full of rites of passage and this move increasingly, is one of them.
So forgive me for not being so active on the Archeus front of late, but things are starting to move forward again. In many ways the past few months have been a real gift. They have taught me so much about the support systems people need as they grow older. It has shone a huge spotlight on the amazing job staff do in the health and hospice system. As a herbalist it has made me think a lot about the herbal blends and diet that can help support a range of body functions and assist in relief from some of the problems that come with age or illness.
This period has also made me reflect on the feedback from my lovely customers over the past 14 months. I just love it when I receive positive feedback about our products and also the connection to Nature they seemed to give people. The idea of working with Nature and using centuries of herbal wisdom to handcraft products for today’s world is my passion in life, so those comments mean a huge amount to me. It makes me feel more certain that deep down so many of us are looking to build deeper bonds with Nature and to learn to listen to what our bodies really need for good health and vitality.
Over the past year I have been delighted when customers said they love how my products make their skin feel, or that they have helped bring relief from problems like eczema, or that they love the ritual of matcha. I was also encouraged by customers to create the Anima line for animals.
The healing power of herbs
The more I know about the body and the healing power of herbs, the more I want to learn. I have two great teachers in my life at the moment; Victoria Ferguson is teaching the practitioner course I am currently studying at the School of Equine Herbal Medicine in Australia. I actually spent last weekend on a workshop with her north of Auckland which was fab. The other great teacher is one of the most internationally respected herbalists of our time, Rosemary Gladstar. I am studying Science and the art of Herbalism with her and her talented team in the States. My thanks must also go to other past teachers for me including, among others, Malcolm Harker and Rob McGowan here in New Zealand, and Sally Hornsey in the UK and Cathy Allan and the team at Lotus in Hastings.
So in 2015 is going to be a big year for Archeus. A year of moving forward with renewed vision and huge dollops of empathy. Building work on the Archeus Apothecary is due to start any day now. The gardens are being added to so that the handcrafting of each jar or bottle of Archeus product is closely connected to Nature and surrounded by many of the medicinal plants used in the final product.
Over the coming year I hope to bring more products to the range that can assist in relief from various common problems. I will be complementing some of the topical products with tonics and teas to take internally (beauty comes from within!). I have been doing quite a few herbal consultations and so I am planning to make these more available – do email me if you are interested. I also hope that the conservation project will germinate a new generation of the Raukawa tree.
I hope you will join me on this journey and thank you for your interest in and support of Archeus and Anima.
Warmest wishes and gratitude from the rural idyll