Behind the new herbal potions book by activist Jordi

A The deep connection with the Earth was practically inscribed in Jordi’s DNA. The multi-hyphenate, a performance artist, spiritual guide, activist, and healer, comes from a lineage of cooks who embraced the soul-nourishing aspects of nature’s bounty in every dish. “My grandmother, in particular, is a great alchemist,” they say, describing how she “stands in front of the fire and works with the elements of the Earth to mold something that is tasty and delicious.” Seeing her in the kitchen when she was a child planted the first seeds of what would become the newly released Jordi. little book of potionsa collection of herbal mixtures corresponding to the lunar cycle of 29 nights.

However, fully becoming the herbalist behind the book involved a long journey of self-discovery. “There was a shift in my mom when I was 16, coming out of a long toxic relationship, where she started intentionally focusing on what we were putting into our bodies and how certain foods might help us feel better. particular way, help us feel good”, says Jordi. When they later left home for college and encountered the whirlwind of systemic prejudice directed at black and queer people like themselves, they instinctively returned to what they knew: the fundamental powers of natural things.

“When I became the one who went shopping at the supermarket, and I was the one who used my energy and life force to make the food I ate and establish my environment, I realized the control I had over how I felt”, says Jordi . “I started integrating essential oils, herbs, and herbal teas into my own individual healing practice.” Not long after Jordi returned to his hometown of Los Angeles after graduating from college, his love of herbal medicine was mixed with a drive for activism in such a way that he made both passions more potent.

Jordi recently spoke with me* about how this unique synergy shaped his current approach to healing and inspiration. Little book of potions.

Well+Good: At what point did you initially embrace the idea of ​​becoming a healer?

Jordan: It took other people to name me a healer, or to say that I had the competence, knowledge, and intuitive gift to share medicine with people and really change their emotional, physical, and spiritual states.

“The remedies that I was using to address certain things within myself were being confirmed and affirmed by other people… so I felt compelled to keep appearing as a healer.”

I first started bringing essential oils into the traumatic spaces I found myself in as an activist, like Black Lives Matter rallies, as a means of comforting myself, and quickly found that people were so open to sharing these medications I had brought and putting oils on their bodies, and they were very forthcoming about how it affected them. These remedies that I was using to address certain things within myself were being confirmed and affirmed by other people. It forced me to continue to appear as a healer in environments created specifically around the organization.

I facilitated mediations and poured libations for spirits who had passed away or people who had died, often literally, while standing on spilled blood on the concrete below me. And that work has graduated and evolved over the last two years to leading healing retreats, specifically for trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming migrants who were released from ICE detention centers with Familia:TQLM, and also organizing healing for black women with Jimanekia Eborn. and her organization Tending the Garden.

How did you learn the herbal techniques that you now use in your practice?

It started anciently. I took a DNA test and found out that my ancestors were mainly from southern Africa (Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria) and I quickly started integrating what they ate into my diet. Then I found out from my great-aunt that my great-great-grandmother would invite people to her house and ask them to tell her what they were going through, and she would make these herbal remedies. That’s really what she was doing, so a lot of it was tapping into my intuition.

I was also lucky enough to meet biochemist and cannabis researcher Brandie Cross, PhD, in the midst of organizing Black Lives Matter in Los Angeles. She had absolutely no lab experience, but they welcomed me into her lab and trusted my energy and wishes for healing. I literally found myself studying shoulder to shoulder with this person for about two years and learning the chemical aspects of these physical things whose spirits she had already felt so connected to. And that really empowered me to say, ‘I know what my path is and what my purpose is. I realized that she was doing this work not only for me, but also for my great-great-grandmother who didn’t have access to this kind of space, but she knew about healing and had developed ways to help people instinctively.

When did your connection with the moon and the lunar cycle begin?

The moon stood out for me when I started to embrace spiritual practice, mainly because my relationship with time was skewed. I never really had a nine to five job; She worked in restaurants and babysitting, and she also acted. My body craved consistency and the lunar cycle was like a tether over time. It was like, ‘Hey, hold on to me. You know that in 29 days there will always be a full moon, and if you use that to track events, you will be able to follow the thread of time and find patterns more easily, even when things are very chaotic.

“My body craved consistency and the lunar cycle was like a tether over time.”

There is an ancient relationship that we humans have with the moon, rooted in agriculture, based on when we tended the land and when we harvested. And tuning into the lunar cycle became a way of getting back to that sense of grounding, once I realized that technologies and capitalism were really draining me of my own natural energy.

How do you use the lunar cycle in your work as a healer now?

My personal relationship with time may have been skewed long ago, but with the pandemic, it really was the collective relationship with time that was broken. We spent so much time inside our houses that people literally began to howl at the moon, singing together from their windows. Throughout that time, the moon became a very clear reminder that there are always cycles in life, and wherever we are at any given moment is not constant; even if you stay in the same physical place, the change is still happening. And it was into that headspace that I began to channel the content of this book.

Can you share the inspiration behind the 29 potions in your book?

When I started formulating herbal blends, they focused on five lunar events: the new moon, the full moon, the dark moon, the lunar eclipse, and the solar eclipse. And then the number 29 was very loud in my head because that’s the number of days in a lunar cycle, so I was left with 24 points, which I divided into 12 for the waning moon period and 12 for the waxing moon period. The energy of the moon at each stage, then, inspired each herbal blend.

With the solar eclipse potion, there is a lot of yellow, vibrant, sun-based energy; I used lemon, ginger, turmeric and honey. It’s about giving us back our power, because with a solar eclipse, the sun is being blocked by the moon, which means that the heat and energy from the light source that normally gives us the sun is also blocked. So this mix is ​​all about finding and igniting that energy within ourselves. Lemon mixed with honey symbolizes turning sour into sweet, and ginger helps increase circulation and returns some of the heat to our body that we lose when light is temporarily lost. As for turmeric, I included it for its anti-inflammatory effects. It helps to process all the emotional energy that may arise during this time.

Jordi’s herbal potion for a solar eclipse

As we approach the total solar eclipse of this eclipse season, when the moon moves directly between the sun and the Earth, on December 4, Jordi shares how to make the herbal potion from the book created with this lunar event in mind. :

Add a sliced ​​lemon, a large thumb-size each of freshly grated turmeric and ginger, and as much honey as you like to a teapot (Jordi suggests a tablespoon per cup of water). Boil with enough water to fill the kettle.

*This interview has been edited and summarized for clarity.

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