Tucson Herb Store

Wander around downtown Tucson and you’ll find yourself in an Oasis of creative energy surrounded by the beauty of the Sonoran desert. 4th avenue offers the coolest looking Goodwill I’ve ever seen, a plethora of boutiques, a food Co-Op, and, of course, the gem to whom this post is dedicated, Tucson Herb Store.

From the sidewalk (click here for the map) of 4th Ave the signs call experienced herbalists and curious novitiate alike, and the shady arbor between the front gate and the front door serves up excited anticipation with pots of native plants like Yerba Mansa greeting the herbal pilgrim.

Through the red door you’re welcomed by the charm of mismatched jars filled with dry herbs, house-made formulas, essential oils, flower essences, and a big beautiful basket full of smudge wands. The shop owner Amanda runs a private clinic just beyond the shop’s walls and they offer workshops and lessons as well. I signed up on the mailing list to see what might call me back to the Catalina Foothills, sooner rather than later, I hope.

The collection of books, stickers, and other gifts things was well rounded and I found my eyes drawn to every shelf and corner of this tiny shop. Drying herbs hung from branch-bough rafters and along with the friends with whom I ventured downtown, I was mightily inspired.

I have to say that I liked everything about it, but I can’t deny it – the giant basket of sage wands made the biggest impression. Hanging over it was a sign describing the current state of ever popular White Sage, and regrettably the status is not positive. Due to over harvesting (and in my opinion, over USE) White Sage is at risk of population damage. I don’t see a lot of businesses advertising this because every new age – hippified – alternative living soul I know, MYSELF INCLUDED, is crazy about this plant.

But the Tucson Herb Store advocates some other plants to use and tips for responsibly use, minimizing waste and maximizing the lifespan of products made with White Sage – including Sage Wands. It reminded me of my passion for activism and that there are limitless opportunities to engage with others about changes that need to be made.

Whenever I visit a shop and get filled up with good vibes, either from the product or the staff or whatever the case may be, I have to support them with money. My heart hurts on the regular over the slowly dying retail industry, in no small part due the explosive growth of Amazon – which is likely to kill off every other online retailer as well if we don’t start a hardcore initiative against the company. I know that’s some inflammatory language but it’s the truth and I feel passionately about it.

It’s important to me that shops like the Tucson Herb Store get fed so that they can stay alive. There is absolutely no replacement for the connection we humans feel with other humans in a space that resonates with everyone there. When the product is actually good for you and the Earth and society as a whole. When you can refuel your soul as well as your body, at the same time.

So yea. What I was trying to say is that it’s crucial that we support brick and mortar retailers with our money. My haul included a sleep formula far different from anything I’d have put together, which made me stoked to try it out, an herbal smoking blend that I think is probably going to have a pretty interesting impact on my dream state and the Kundalini energy trying to move up my spine these days, and a couple of badass stickers.

I hope you find yourself down in the desert sometime – you don’t want to miss this cozy little treasure trove of herbal goodness.


Rebel Herbal


Spring Tidings

Wow this weekend has been wild! So much is happening, in sync with the newly emerging Vernal season. Every year the beginning of Spring feels like a brand new year, and I know tons of people who share this sentiment. The first blooms popping up out of a slowly warming Earth remind us that the struggle of winter is coming to end. Winter’s struggle is different for everyone, and it could range from a plain lack of love for cold weather to debilitating mood shifts, getting out of Snowmageddon and off to work, or for far too many, finding shelter and food and safety.

In my not so humble opinion, Winter should really be a time for grounding down, resting, working gentler, going inward, and using less energy overall. Spring welcomes emergence from the hibernation, providing relief and adventure to those who have developed cabin fever, and a glorious opportunity to live as the Narcissus blossoms – brightly shining in sun and cloud, stoked about the fact that YOU, yourself, are an amazing presence to behold – whether you do anything ‘spectacular’ or not!

It’s also a great time to use some of the energy you’ve been reserving during winter – burn it off and generate more – doing things that you love. Creating the life you want and the interactions that feed you. Yesterday was such a day for me. I was exhausted by the end of it, but so satisfied with the Spring-ness of everything that I did, that sleep was welcome and anticipation for the morrow settled deep down in my soul.

What did I do yesterday that felt so good? I used my energy wisely. I got up early and headed to Rag and Bones bicycle coop, where the annual Bike! Bike! Southeast is happening this year. A good friend of mine is very involved in bike culture and all kinds of activism, and has been working at the coop since its inception. When I heard this casual conference was happening here in RVA, I offered to have Rebel Herbal sponsor the event with free tea. I set up a table and a FREE TEA! sign, talked to some folks, ran an errand for the organizers, and a few hours later checked out for a bit.Screen shot 2016-03-13 at 1.48.28 PM

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During the checkout time I went to the second meeting of the Richmond Herbalism Guild. My heart swells to think of such a group existing here in Richmond. There were about 15 people in attendance, and one of the group founders gave a nice talk about Violet. I’m really excited to participate and share in the teaching and learning that will happen in this study group, and encourage anyone interested in learning about herbs to join up. You can find them on Facecrack here: Richmond Herbalism Guild

At the meeting I met so many wonderful, amazing, incredible humans that I can’t wait to get to know better. We talked about future events, planning a garden at the Temple of the Cosmic Mothership, tasted some intense tinctures by a local medicine maker, and shared in the gratitude of this group coming into being. I think a lot of goodness is going to come from it. Rebel Herbal will be sponsoring the group with Free Tea! each month. The next meeting is April 9 from 2-4, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be an overview/herbalism 101 type of talk. I’ll be teaching about one of my plant lovers at the May meeting. Can’t wait!

These are the types of days that give me a little of everything I need. Social interaction, education, service, celebrating plant medicine, building new relationships and reunion with existing ones, exercise, and quality rest. This Spring it is my intention to immerse myself fully in all the Earthy-spiritual-healing activities I love, without overextending and with holding space for times of quiet reflection. The plants speak to and through me, and this is their guidance. I encourage each of you to utilize the energetic magnificence of the approaching Spring season to dive deeply into what fuels your passions!