Spice of Life

We’ve entered winter here on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska and have received the blessings of sacred Samhain as we head toward Yule. (Happy New Lap Around the Sun!!)  As the season sets in we begin to ache for rich hearth-y foods, savory drinks,  and re-kin-dling with our friends around warm fires. We yearn for that which we need to stoke and sustain our inner fire. As always, there’s a way to add magick to our moments.  There is a magickal method to incorporate the potency of the sun and groundedness of the earth to help maintain us on our journey through the dark side. This path assists in our personal healing and literally empowers our cunning undertakings with passion and strength. It is as delicious to the soul as it is to our pallet and our magick….Behold the sacred magickal chai latte!

Between Samhain and Yule I drink this potent brew to bolster myself & my workings. Because of the associations of the components of my concoction, it is wise to sip and sit with the drink, while basking in it’s energy and incorporating it into the body. Not a fan of caffeine, I make mine with a blend of rooibos and tulsi (holy basil) and it is every bit as tasty as that of the chaiwallas of the middle east! In this blog I’ll lay out for you the general shape of the correspondences for each ingredient followed by the recipe and directions for steeping what is sure to be one of  your most favorite powerhouse witchy teas of all time. You are sure to see the method to my madness as you ponder the elements that I’m combining. You’ll soon see why I suggest that you sit with a cuppa chai before embarking on any witchy task which requires earthy oomph. This is among the most potent and exquisite potions I’ve created.  And, I’m going to share it with you freely knowing that I’m literally handing you occult rocket fuel & hoping for the best.

spices    chai    milk and honey

Cardamom– the ‘feminine Mars’, strength, warmth, fire energy, Venus, love, water, passion, lust, protection, love

Cloves– sun, warmth, prosperity, protection, pinning into place our intentions, hearth

Cinnamon– sun, gentle warmth, mild protection, fire, prosperity, booster in spells

Ginger– heat,used to speed things up, firey, success, money, power, health, protection

Nutmeg– Samhain/Yule, warmth without fire, money & luck, the Goddess

Allspice– fire, Mars, masculine, uplifting, healing energy, determination, money, luck,, purification

Milk– most magickal of all body fluids, life provider, exists exclusively to nourish, Isis, is a living substance  (coconut milk, if you prefer as an alternative, is used for protection and spiritual cleansing)

Water– cleansing, psychic healing, clarity, emotion, purification, understanding, friendship

Honey– sun, health, abundance, security, love, protective, binding, productivity, sweetening life

Rooibos– rejuvenation, inner peace, dreamwork

Tulsi– love, perfect health, vitality-promoting, wealth, enlightenment, purity, chakra balancing, harmony, goodness

Star Anise– (Optional) moon, clairvoyance, psychic awareness, protection, promotes youth, luck, money, happiness,health empowerment

You see, these are all warm, strengthening/empowering, and are all used for prosperity and protection magick. Odd enough, one would combine cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and ginger to water for a prosperity simmering potpourri or use this combination in any prosperity spell.  If you add in a little nutmeg and allspice, you have assembled the basic chai spices. I consider these the ‘spice of life’ blend as they do nothing but promote abundance, health vitality, grounding, pleasure and exuberance.

If you’re chai savvy, you’ll notice no mention of peppercorns in this recipe. This is simply because tulsi, on it’s own merit, tastes a bit like black pepper when steeped. For those unfamiliar with tulsi, it is a sacred plant of Hindi people and also known as holy basil, and she is truly the Queen of Herbs. Tulsi literally means “beyond compare” in Sanskrit. There is no limit to her health benefits and I’ve known her to be excellent in mediation and protection. I routinely consume tulsi (Davidson’s organic blend, from Amazon) and always have her growing in my home. I’ve never smelled a plant more pleasant or known one to be of such a high vibration…

Witchy Chai Recipe                                                                                                                       The Ingredients (for one)

4 cardamom pods                                                               1 T loose rooibos

1 inch of cinnamon stick                                                  1 generous T loose tulsi

4 cloves                                                                                 1 C water

1/4 t ground nutmeg                                                          1 C milk

dash of allspice                                                                    honey to taste

1/8 inch of fresh ginger                                                     1 star anise (optional)

 

The Instructions                                                                                                                               

In a small sauce pan, gently heat up 1 C water and 1 C milk. As that comes to a gentle simmer (do not boil), and using your mortar and pestle, grind together cardamom pods, cinnamon, and cloves. Grate in nutmeg (or alternatively, use ground nutmeg) and add a dash of allspice. Separately, slice a small piece of ginger (or alternatively, use 1/8 t of dried ginger).  Combine the loose leaf rooibos and tulsi to the mortar and blend all clockwise and pouring in your love and appreciation. The energy of these tea herbs and the earthy spices will sync harmoniously without further effort on your part.

Once the water/milk is warm enough to lift a slight steam, but before it would ever boil, add in the combined ingredients and stir thoroughly and gently with a whisk. Once combined well, turn off the heat and let the concoction steep for two minutes. Drop the star anise into the bottom of your mug (if using), lay a small straining sieve over the top of your large mug (or another holding container), and gently pour the contents of your potion into your mug. It is important to separate the solids from your brew lest it continue to steep.

Grab a spoon and dip it in your honey, or alternatively, add about 1-2 t of honey to your chai tea. Your chai will be hot, but because of the freshly pulverized spices will be among the most aromatic drinks you’ve been exposed to.  Enjoy!  Even if all you do while you enjoy your tea is ponder upon all that you have to be grateful for or your hopes and dreams, you will notice the energy of the tea you consume seeping and empowering your ideas. You will feel the warmth of the herbs and spices continue to warm your soul long after you’ve consumed your potion.  And yes, there will likely be enough sediment in the bottom of your mug for tasseomancy.

Note- This will keep in the fridge for a week if you protect it from air exposure (use a lidded mason jar) and be suitable for reheating. Separately, one can grind and combine the appropriate ratios of the dried spices & herbs and put it in a hermetically sealed jar for greater ease when making this tea (great Samhain or Yule gifting idea).

 

enjoy

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Changing of the Guard

Here in Alaska we have three seasons; summer, winter and breakup.  Autumn is my favorite, but it whips by in a flash.  One day the world is on fire with orange tundra, red fireweed stalks and yellow leaves, but upon the first deep frost most becomes naked overnight. It shifts from brilliant to seemingly barren and it leaves a void.  It reminds me of the moon that was just there the last time you checked, but now it seems irrationally missing.  The stillness of it.  …things seem that they aren’t always what they seem…

I’ve decided time is fluid, in that it flows like water or air. Moving at differing rates and changing sometimes imperceptibly until much later when it takes you by surprise.  But that is the way of life isn’t it?  I can jog up to the top of the stairs and muse upon how strong I still am, until 3 seconds later and my heart rate and muscles tell remind me I’m not fit any more. Expectations and reality are different. It takes me by surprise every time.

This pattern repeats itself in the life experience of the sacred feminine. She too has three seasons and their arrival and departure can be just as abrupt. I remember playing as a little girl in the mud, often half clad. Tadpoles and fish hearts moved within my palm and it was impossible to count all the wishes upon a ‘blowflower’. I sang as loud as I wanted to in the shower.  My experience was as exciting or mundane as I allowed.  But my intrigue for this world and the next never waned.  I was innocent and unafraid. As I got comfortable with understanding my environment my body shifted.

Imperceptibly at first until the first bloody rude awakening.  I was disgusted and found the process so crude.  Frustrated that I was now trapped into a 28 day ‘Groundhogs Day’ scenario seemed limiting.  Over time, though I realized it for the gift that it was.  This season of my life was a gift, even if it was a gift I’d not expected.  Able to experience passion and romance, pure unadulterated fear and raw love in a way I couldn’t have known otherwise. I realized the depth of my emotion had doubled, but birthing a child pulls it all into focus. Blood again. Life blood.  Such power it takes to bring the nonphysical into the physical, and only a woman can do it.  Is there a mother who ever thought “I’ve got this, no big deal”?  I doubt it.  It’s unnerving holding that much power.

The shift into the season of the mother is just as abrupt and again, we feel grossly unprepared for it’s gifts and ill-equipped to receive it’s full blessings with grace and dignity.  Some of us step into the role willingly in the spirit of adventure, others are pulled into it as a consequence.  Either way the movement is there, flowing as fluid and adjusting only as a yoni is capable.  There is nothing as fierce as a mother’s love, of this I’m certain.  I’ve come to appreciate it’s gifts and I can only sit back in awe as the people I’ve created grow and realize their potentials. It’s humbling and I admit to basking in the splendor of it.  It’s funny though, that after the lesson is learned you are forced to move on.  Do you think the trees really want to let go of those leaves in the fall or are they sad when it happens. Does it hurt when a seed’s shell rips apart as it sprouts?  Can they appreciate the process??

Today is the day of my Croning. Again the changing of the guard has crept up on me.  I look into the mirror and am startled by the grey hair that is framing my changing face. How inconsiderate. I thought blood suddenly running down my legs in school was a mean trick, only to have that topped by the pain and blood and gore of childbirth. Suffering such indignity in the beautiful process often opens us up to the reality of the power within.  You’re so alive and naked there’s nowhere to hide. Might as well own up to it.  Build up, release, and start from scratch again. Repeat. Own it.

Here I am again, a little unappreciative of the process of the changing of the guard, a little blind to the miracle that it all is, not fully able to get a bead on the gifts that come with it. Today’s indignity is being laid skyclad on a slab unconscious as the hands of strange men move across and inside my body.  They’ll pull my universe, my womb, out of my vagina and plop her into a cold silver sterile pan to be whisked away. The dichotomy of being a wombed-one without a womb…is this another joke?  I wonder what barren will feel like. It is that stillness of the soul again?  I’ve experienced emptiness and loss, will this be the same?  No doubt I’ll feel both violated and liberated at the same time.  This is a pattern which repeats at each changing of the guard.  I’m just wise enough now to learn to go with the flow rather than to resist it.

This time I’m here at the seasonal change by choice, backed by circumstance. The crone’s children can survive independent of her.  I know that the crone is no longer distracted by the monthly cycles of life.  I’ve paid attention long enough that I know what Luna is doing because I feel it in my bones, I don’t have to look at a calendar or wait for the pelvic ache to warn me. I look back and see that I’ve been through phases of learning, and through phases of having knowledge, and now possess the wisdom distilled from the process. I’ll not have tampax in my bathroom drawers anymore, any more than I’ll have sippy cups on the coffee tables.  Nah, I’ve been there done that.  And, since I’m comfortable, It makes sense that I’m going to birth anew reality again.  It will be full of gore and beauty.  Fully alive with nowhere to hide.  Blood yet again.

I’m leveling up and surveying my surroundings.  I have a garden full of powerful herbs that I’ve loved and grew from sprouts- and I know how to use them, cupboards full of potent supplies and have already collected all the tools I need.  I’ve birthed my grimoire and she’s beautiful and amazing.  I’m proud like only a mother can be. I realize that croning is a process, as I’m sitting in my power now and able to sense bullshit a mile away.  Drama makes me queasy these days, so I reach for a glass of wine without flinching. My role is to continue to distill knowledge, collect and dispense wisdom.  Like a toddler learning to walk, I’ll be a bit unsteady but not nervous about the process. No, leaves aren’t afraid of falling, or seeds afraid of sprouting, or the feminine afraid of bleeding.  There is no moving outside the cycle and the crone is one who has learned to cherish the seasons. She knows in her bones and blood that there is a reason for everything.

I’m curious what being a crone will be like. I’ll have more time to journey and am looking forward to the new depth I’ll find.  Today is my ‘day the frost came and took the leaves’. It’s startling and looks oddly desolate from this side of the fence because I don’t belong on this side of the fence anymore. I’ll never be the damsel in distress again, and I’ll likely never participate in the mommy co-op network of parenting that occurs either.  Thank God and Goddess because I’m out of fucks to give.  I get to focus on me. Only me.  I can walk in the woods alone knowing I’m the most potent thing there. My ass will fit just fine in my seat of power and that it will be an increasingly comfortable fit. I’m excited to see how the healer part within me will dispense grace and the witch will dispense wrath lol. Capable? Yes. Willing?  we’ll see.

I don’t know what it will feel like in the next season tomorrow. But I know it is going to be powerful, true and raw.  As always, there will be blood but I’m not going to apologize for it.  Oddly, I’m good with it.  It’s literally life after all. I’ll be fully alive and wild with anticipation. I’ll grow my hair long so that it can be wild, curly, and unruly in the most witchy way…perfect for me.  I can feel the shackles loosening like leaves dropping to the ground already.  Grace will come and the gifts will unfold with them but this time my arms will be open wide.  I’m fearless and have earned the right to be. My eyes still twinkle and my hair may whiten, but each day I’ll more alive, more powerful, more authentic. I celebrate the changing of the guard today and can feel the electricity buzzing around and through me.  I plan to spend a lot of time enjoying my new season. It’s going to be the most fulfilling one yet!