In an ongoing effort to tell the world about the great places that valiantly stock Microcosm’s work, this week we’re highlighting Portland’s own Brown Bear Herbs, an herbal apothecary in NE PDX.
Founded and run by herbalist Arati Ursus, Brown Bear Herbs stocks herbal cigarettes and blends, crystals, tinctures, teas, and a curated selection of wellness zines. Curious about this magical place, we asked Arati a few questions about what they do at Brown Bear…
1. What’s the story of Brown Bear Herbs? What makes you most excited to get up every morning and do what you do?
I like to help people wake up or become lucid with their personal stories. For me, herbal healing has been one of the biggest sources of “aha” moments and realizing that my reality is not as fixed as I thought. We can transform our realities. Calling certain things “bad” is poisonous to our minds and not at all conducive to deep healing. I like to make “bad” things “good”. I started with herbal chocolates that address the reasons people supplement with chocolate–mostly emotions. Now I primarily work with smoking blends and the reasons behind smoking. People can heal their
addictions by the same means that binds them. This is transformation!
I love hearing success stories from people who have quit smoking using my herbal cigarettes. Breaking free of addiction and dependence on greedy corporations is super empowering. It makes me smile to see it happen.
2. Thanks for selling the books and zines we publish and distribute! What are your favorite ones that you get from us?
We have really been enjoying the School of Life Designs–but also like to have on hand political zines and books to help people get out and make a difference.
3. What’s your favorite thing you have in the shop right now?
4. Based on your interactions with customers in the last couple months, what’s your prediction for our political/cultural future? Or what would you like to see happen?
I am inspired by the level of outrage and activism I see. I’d love to see a increasing surge in loud, voices and sharing personal stories. Everyone’s voice matters and everyone deserves respect and human rights. I want to see the realization that we (the collective minorities and undervalued and those who believe in human rights for all) are actually the majority and we will get what we demand.