Monday, December 31, 2007

Simply Natural Homemade Granola

All natural, quick & easy to prepare...And good for you!

All you need is:
-1 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats
-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil or almond oil
-2 tbsp maple syrup, raw honey or agave syrup (whatever your preferences are, you might also want to consider and herb infused honey)

Remember that for optimum nutrition & health benefits, it's important to choose ingredients that are either organic, ethically wildcrafted, grown without pesticide or fair trade (they're usually natural).

Preheat your oven at 375F.
In a bowl, mix the oats with the oil and the natural sweetener.
Pour the mixture in a greased baking pan (I usually choose the same oil than the one I use in the recipe) and press it down with a fork.
Place the pan in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Once ready, let it cool down before breaking the granola into chunks (with a fork).
Enjoy!

Most commercial brands use canola oil in the making of their granolas.
I recommend you stay away from canola oil:
A/Canola oil is made with GMOs
B/Canola oil goes rancid quickly
C/Canola is a refined oil that has a tendency to clog arteries

I really like La Tourangelle Artisan Oils. They're a little more pricey than other brands but the quality & variety of their oils make them worth having.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Homemade Muesli with Berries

Muesli is a natural and nutritious alternative to the overly popular granola, which is packed with lots of sugar and oil (not the best quality ones either).
You can enjoy muesli any time of the day: breakfast, afternoon or even late night snack. And it's very easy to blend. Some purist like it plain with just a few nuts, other people enjoy it with exotic fruits...I like mine with berries.
Dried fruits and berries are convenient and easy to find all year long but if you can use fresh and seasonal fruits in your muesli, it's even better.
I got the following ingredients from Bob's Red Mill, Whole Foods and/or Sprouts.
Remember that it's better to use organic and/or pesticide free ingredients.

You'll need:
-1 cup of rolled oats
-1 cup of rolled barley flakes (but you can also use wheat, spelt or rye flakes)
-1/4 cup dried diced apples
-1/4 cup sliced almonds
-1/8 cup shelled raw sunflower seeds (you can slightly toast seeds and nuts if you prefer)
-1/8 cup raisins
-1/8 cup dried currants
-1/8 cup dried cranberries
-1/8 cup dried blueberries

Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a jar, sealable container or a ziploc bag.
You can enjoy your muesli with milk, yogurt (plain or with fruits) or fruit juice (my favorites being apple and pear juices...mango works too. I suppose peach and apricot might also work).
If you don't use juice, you may need to sweeten your muesli a little. Besides sugar, try a drizzle of honey, agave syrup, maple syrup...Or any natural/fruity syrup.

Enjoy and Be Well ;)!

P-S: If you do no wish to make your own muesli but still would like to try some, I can recommend the following ones...Most of them are organic:
http://www.germandeli.com/kocege.html

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Pagan Roman Prayer to the Earth Goddess

"Hear, I beseech thee, and be favourable to my prayer.
Whatsoever herb thy power dost produce, give, I pray, with goodwill to all nations to save them and grant me this my medicine. Come to me with thy powers, and howsoever I may use them may they have good success and to whomsoever I may give them.
Whatever thou dost grant it may prosper. To thee all things return.
Those who rightly receive these herbs from me, do thou make whole.
Goddess, I beseech thee; I pray thee as a suppliant that by thy majesty thou grant this to me.
Now I make intercession to you all ye powers and herbs and to your majesty, ye whom Earth parent of all hath produced and given as a medicine of health to all nations and hath put majesty upon you, be, I pray you, the greatest help to the human race."

From a 12th century herbal.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Paper Incense

As you all know, I love herbs...And I love using them in new and various ways. My latest interest is natural incense making so besides botanical cones, I now also make paper incense!

If you're familiar with armenian paper, this is pretty similar.

Basically I soak parchment-like paper in a strongly scented tincture (homemade) which imparts some scent to the paper so when you burn it, you get some of that subtile scent.

I currently have some White Sage Paper Incense available and I'm preparing a tincture of frankincense & myrrh which should be ready in about 2 weeks or so.

Thanks for browsing ;): http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=36753&section_id=5180295

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Smells like Tree Spirit...

I am proud to share with you the beginning of a new line of herbal products: "Scented Trails Botanical Incense".

These are hand crafted incense cones made with:

-Organic, wildrafted and/or pesticide free herbs (including flowers, leaves, seeds, roots & barks), spices and/or resins

-Benzoin gum, guar gum or makko powder

-Spring water, tea/herbal infusions or floral waters/hydrosols

-May contain some herbal tincture(s).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Homemade Lavender Cologne

It's very easy to prepare, all you need is:
1 glass jar that can hold 1 cup of liquid (I use a recycled honey jar)
1/2 cup 80 proof vodka
1/4 cup rosewater (food grade, nothing fancy)
1/4 cup orange blossom water (food grade)
3 tbsp organic dried lavender
1 tbsp pesticide-free dried rose petals
1 tsp organic cinnamon chips
1/2 tsp organic cloves

Make sure your jar is clean and dry. Add all the herbs & spices. Cover with the vodka and the floral waters. Close the jar and give it a good shake (make sure it doesn't leak).
Then leave it to macerate for 10 to 15 days in a dark place (closet, bookshelf...) while shaking from time to time. When you feel it's ready, just strain and bottle.
You can even pour some in a spray bottle. Just use as perfume, hair & body spray. I wouldn't recommend using this one as skin toner because of the warming spices.
This cologne has a warm, sweet fragrance (and a nice amber color) yet the scent is stronger in the bottle than on the skin.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Got Grains?

A great way to improve your health is by adding more grains to your diet: they're nutritious (rich in proteins, vitamins & minerals), very low in fat (good for your heart) and you won't be tempted to eat cookies, sweets or junk foods because grains are filling (unlike most snacks & fast foods out there).

There are many ways to add them to your diet: through cereals of course (there is a vast choice of grains available nowadays and even gluten free ones), by substituting your usual rice or pasta with whole grains, or by baking your own bread, cookies or cakes (whole grain bread or pancake mixes are also available). Most grocery stores are now offering more than just your regular wheat flour, look for the natural/organic aisle.

I personally like the following brands for the quality of their products:
-HODGSON MILL
http://www.hodgsonmill.com/

-BOB'S RED MILL (they offer a 5% discount for online orders)
http://www.bobsredmill.com/

-KING ARTHUR FLOUR
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/

-ARROWHEAD MILLS
http://www.arrowheadmills.com/index.php

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Causes of Disease

This is taken from "Herbs Partners in Life" by Adele G. Dawson:

"The causes of disease are often multiple, sometimes indirect; they may lurk behind little-noticed dangers of short-sighted or profit-motivated technology. Here is a check-list of some common background causes of poor health:

1/Excessive (constant) use of "junk foods"
a. Foods with artificial coloring and/or artificial flavoring
b. Foods with preservatives (for longer "shelf-life" but probably shorter human life)
c. Package foods that substitute synthetic for natural food

2/Fast foods, eaten in a hurry or in an athmosphere lacking in serenity and visual pleasure

3/Continued tension

4/Over-exposure to artificial light

5/Lack of exposure to natural light, not necessarly sunlight

6/Continued fatigue

7/Excessive exposure (daily) to pollutants:
a. Chemical
b. Mineral
c. Radioactive
d. Noise
e. Air-borne

8/Dissatisfaction with:
a. Job
b. Social life and social situation
c. Family situation

9/Lack of opportunity for:
a. Exercise
b. Continuing education
c. Creative leisure-time interests
d. Service to others (community service, sharing of abilities)

10/Excessive use of:
a. Cigarettes
b. Stimulants and depressants
c. Pills

Scanning this list, you may find an unobtrusive cause of stress in your body which is producing symptoms whose cause you may not have traced. Exposure to virus and bacterial infection is not included in the list because the "healthy and well-balanced person", as Chi Po suggested to the Emperor, is seldom affected by disease."

http://www.amazon.com/Herbs-Partners-Cooking-Gardening-Cultivated/dp/0892814292/ref=ed_oe_p/103-1763048-0899848

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Flavors of Atlantis...

I just created a new limited edition tea that I named Atlantis...Why? Because this tea reminds me of the Mediterranean with its aroma & taste but I just couldn't pinpoint the where and the when.

It's a caffeine-free blend of organic green rooibos, organic sage, organic rosemary, coriander seeds, organic orange peel & organic raisins.

Have a sip and let your mind wander...;)

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7573488

Monday, October 15, 2007

Irrational Behavior...

Have you ever found yourself behaving strangely with no apparent reason? Saying things that never crossed your mind before if not being nonsensical? Or being overly emotional/angry?

Then maybe you are one of those people who are super sensitive to planetary and/or lunar influences. There's a website that I find amazingly accurate and very informative about what's happening in the cosmos and how it affects us (yet I'm not into astrology):

http://www.moodalert.com/

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Crème de Cocoa Body Balm

I wanted a product specifically for using on those parts of the body that tend to be dry: knees, heels, feet, elbows & hands.

So here's a natural body balm just for that! Of course if you wish to use it on the rest of your body it's ok...Except on the face.

Crème de Cocoa Body Balm is handmade with with unrefined cocoa butter, extra virgin sweet almond oil, unrefined beeswax or apricot kernel wax (vegan), natural perfume oil & benzoin tincture (a natural preservative).

It's available unscented or scented with the following perfume oils:
-Amber (amber resin in sweet almond oil)
-Amber Rose (amber resin & rose essential oil in sweet almond oil) OR
-Amber Myrrh (amber resin & myrrh essential oil in sweet almond oil)

A wonderful combination of the chocolatey smell of cocoa butter and a hint of warm amber (my favorite scent)...far from overpowering. In the future, I will probably offer more complex perfume oils to scent the balm, they will remain amber based anyway. Simple is also nice ;).

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7342305

Monday, October 01, 2007

Samhain / All Hallows Tea

A tea blend in the Spirit of the Season...Fragrant, warm & spicy ;)!

It's a 100% organic blend of black tea, rooibos, orange peel, cinnamon, ginger, cloves & rosehips.

Since it's a seasonal blend, it will only be available for a short period of time...
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7281434

Note that this tea is part of the "AutumnEast Challenge" organized by EarthPath Artisans (EAST).

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Teas for Women...

...But a little bit of Nourishment wouldn't hurt Men either ;).

My tea blends are based on and inspired by Folk Medicine and a branch of herbalism called the Wise Woman Tradition which focuses on Nourishment and Prevention to remain healthy and to heal thyself. Interconnectedness with Nature and the Spiritual Realms is also very important. This branch of herbalism has its roots in the knowledge and wisdom of our Foremothers and Ancestors as well as being in harmony with Nature and its Seasons (changes don't only occur in the Wild, but in our bodies as well).

- WEMOON HERBAL TONIC is a nutritious herbal tea blend naturally loaded with vitamins & minerals. Forget about the synthetic vitamin tablets that your body can't assimilate...It's time to start drinking nourishing teas along with a healthy balance diet. Your body will thank you ;).
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7221204

-WISE WOMAN POWER TEA is a gentle blend that aims at strenghtening your body and balancing your cycle naturally.
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7222668

Both these teas have been tasted, tested and approved by me...They taste great and make me feel good (healthy & energized) ;).

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Words of Wisdom...

"For years, copying other people, I tried to know myself.
From within, I couldn't decide what to do.
Unable to see, I heard my name being called.
Then I walked outside.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep. "

RUMI

Thursday, September 20, 2007

EARTH GODDESS CLAY BROOCH

Hopefully this is the first of a long serie of Clay Goddesses ;)!

I only use natural clay: white, red or black (a very dark grey in fact).

I intend to add more engravings, stones and even incorporate some pigments or herbs...Whatever my Muse will suggest. I will most likely make more brooches, pendants...Maybe some figurines too ;).

I like this design, it's both primitive and modern with a discreet charm. I think she'll look great on a jacket or a shawl.
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7151894

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Alchemy of the Autumn Equinox

This is taken from Glennie Kindred's book "The Alchemist's Journey". As you already know, she is one of my favorite authors. I have a lot of books, and this one is one of my best acquisitions.

"...The Autumn Equinox is a point of Union and balance between the Light and the Dark, between Fire and Water, between the Yang and the Yin. We all have been encouraged to become disconnected from our Yin, the intuitive, "feeling" parts of ourselves, when in reality both our Yin and Yang aspects create the whole self and, if they are not blocked, flow in a continuous holistic motion of Unity and equilibrium.

...The Autumn Equinox reminds me to balance all parts of myself, the active and the passive, the known and the unknown, the outer journey and the inner journey, the seen and the unseen, the logical and the intuitive, the conscious and the unconscious. From this place of Unity new doors open, and new directions and new possibilities are revealed.

...At this time of the Earth's harvest, I look at my own personal harvest - what has come to fruition in my personal life, what I have learned from my experiences. I am aware that the Earth's energy is about to change and I follow Nature's lead, gradually closing down the outer world and opening up to the inner world, preparing for rest, regeneration and reconnection to my roots.

The Sun has ripened the fruit on the outside, and inside lie the seeds from which next year's harvest will grow. As I look at my personal harvest, I also look for the seeds that lie hidden within it, the seeds that I will nurture in the dark of the winter. It is time to gather my seeds, my resources, to look within, to seek wisdom in the dark of the year, to find renewal in rest and to explore hidden parts of myself.

I am learning to listen to my inner voice, to value and develop my inner senses, to trust my intuition, to follow my heart, to find balance and wholeness in myself, in my life and in the world..."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Alchemille's Garden featured in September's Little Black Box

What is the Little Black Box?
The Little Black Box is the perfect place for consumers to try sample sizes of their favorite bath/body and candle products before they purchase from wonderful online retailers.

The next sample box goes on sale September 21, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. PST!

I prepared 3 different teas for the occasion: Amber Spice tea, Timeless tea and Love Potion...Which one will you get in your Little Black Box? It's a surprise!

http://thelittleblackboxes.com/index.html

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Organic Calendula

If you're looking for high quality dried calendula flowers, I suggest you check Mountain Rose Herbs.

I've been very pleased with their calendula flowers. They have a very bright golden-orange color with a strong scent that doesn't dissipate when you use them.

I just made a calendula infused oil today with their flowers. The oil came out with a beautiful deep golden color and a strong calendula scent...I'm really delighted ;).

http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/ (or see my links)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Wild & Wise Collective celebrates the Fall

We've had a creative challenge going on and I must say that we have been very creative and inspired. Lots of colors and warm scents. We are all ready for the change of season.

Here's a little flavor of our offerings:
-Griselda from Awesomeart has made 5 one of a kind Spirit Art Dolls which make great altar decorations and conversational pieces.

-Madame Night from ShaktiStudios made a pair of "Druid Bling" Autumn Oak and Acorn earrings with beautiful earthy colors : shades of copper and green to symbolize the changing trees. Bronze Pearls that look like the burnished brown harvest of nutbearing trees, copper beads that kinda reminiscent of pine cones, green Bloodstones, copper glass beads as well as a beautiful copper Oak Leaf charm and an Acorn charm. Don't miss out on her ultraviolet handsculpted altar Goddess ;).

-Madame Piper from WhimsyHollow prepared a batch of Apple Jack & Peel handmade soaps. These soaps are symbolic of the abundance of the autumn harvest, the crisp and comforting scents of autumn... juicy ripe apples, warm grounding cinnamon and clove.

-Melissa from manicmagnolia makes us dive deeper into the Fall with her Pumpkin Harvest Soaps. Moisturizing and loaded with natural goodness: Pumpkin puree, goat's milk, organic honey and many spicy, woody oils.

-Sarah from lilithsapothecary wants to adorn and pamper us for the Fall. She made an Autumn Equinox necklace with glass seed beads, citrine nuggets, orange jade trade beads, swarkovski crystals, glass nuggets, bali silver, and silver ivy leaf pendants. As well as herbalicious facial steams and body polish ;).

-Juli from OzarkGypsyArt made a Folk Art Rag Doll with recycled materials. A wonderful creature ready to bless any space with his delightful presence.

-Madame Xiane from the House of the Three Ravens blended a Lunarsa anointing oil. A base of Safflower oil - safflower being one of humanity's oldest crops - Red sandalwood powder has been steeped to add a woody base scent as well as a vivid orange shade to the oil. Macerated with the red sandalwood is crushed Coriander seed, which adds a lemony-spicy note to the oil, and finally pure Red Mandarin essential oil.

-Michelle from violetroseherbals prepared an Autumn’s Salt and Earth Scrub. Blended with dead sea salt and sassafras, this scrub is a great exfoliator and detoxifies the skin. Sassafras root is a blood purifier and has been used for skin troubles. Apricot oil is a light, non-greasy oil appropriate for any skin type. The essential oils include bottom notes, such as patchouli and cedarwood, and are sure to calm the spirit.

-I have prepared some natural Spicy Harvest Soaps with organic apple juice, real cinnamon and cloves, a touch of rhassoul clay and a wee bit of amber perfume oil. The scent is gentle yet gets stronger under the shower ;). I also blended a Mabon/Fall Equinox tea with organic rooibos, apple and spices...Sweet, earthy, fragrant and aromatic. It's a Fall Symphony in your cup ;).

To find out more about our creations, please go to: http://www.etsy.com/search_results.php?search_query=twwc%20mabon&search_type=tag_title&order=&page=1

Thank you for browsing.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Celebration of Fall

There is a creative challenge going on with my fellow wise women from the Wild & Wise Collective. We are celebrating the arrival of Fall through our creations. There are still a few days to go before the deadline but we already have some very nice items: soaps, jewelry and tea.

I love the Fall, it has always been my favorite season so I've been very inspired ;). I currently have 2 items listed: a tea and some soap.

*MABON / FALL EQUINOX TEA*:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6988619

*SPICY HARVEST SOAP(S)*:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6988996

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

TRIPLE GODDESS LOTIONS

I have a new line of natural lotions for women following the 3 different stages of Womanhood: Maiden, Mother & Crone. Your skin's needs are very different whether you are 15 or 30, that is why I formulated 3 different lotions with 3 different blends of oils and herbs.

You can choose from:
-THE MAIDEN LOTION with a blend of organic extra virgin olive oil and camellia oil infused with organic elder blossoms, organic chamomile, organic thyme and pesticide-free rose petals as well as organic lavender hydrosol. Recommended for women age 15 to 25.

-THE MOTHER LOTION with a blend of organic extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil infused with organic lady's mantle, organic nettle, organic marshmallow roots and pesticide-free rose petals as well as organic rose hydrosol. Recommended for women age 20 to 45.
USE SPARINGLY DURING PREGNANCY.

-THE CRONE LOTION with a blend of organic extra virgin olive oil and shea oil infused with organic sage, organic nettle, organic elder blossoms and pesticide-free rose petals as well as organic rose geranium hydrosol. Recommended for women age 40 and more.

To find out more about these products go to:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6976318

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Vegan Friendly...

I will be offering a vegan version of some of my products. I discovered today a natural and vegan substitute to beeswax: apricot kernel wax. It's not a widely known product but it can be used wherever and whenever beeswax is needed.
I have already listed a vegan version of my Wise Woman Creams on Etsy, with apricot wax instead of honey and beeswax in the formulation.
I guess it can be interesting to use it in soaps too...I will have to try ;).

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tokens from the Spirit World

Everyday is another day. You can wake up with a new idea, change some habits, decide to turn left instead of right, choose a new path...Everyday is a brand new world of possibilities, it's all up to you to make it happen (with a little help from the Universe).

I've made choices that were not easy to make and are/were not understood or acknowledged by those who surround me and I made a few mistakes too along the way (nobody's perfect)...But when you are on the right track, you just know it.

When you are on a spiritual path, things start to unfold and become more obvious. You are also more aware and receptive...especially when it comes to signs. The signs you see are usually only meant to you to see and for you to understand.

To me they are comforting and reassuring. I feel privileged and honored when I get a sign because it means that not only is the Universe aware of what I'm doing but it also means that what I do is appreciated and supported by the Spirit Realms. I usually get these signs when there's a major change going on or when there is a new path/idea that I have to pursue...I got one of these signs no later than last night (with a Full Moon and Total Lunar Eclipse). These signs can take different shapes depending on the person, to me they usually manifest themselves in little coins with my year of birth on them: 1978. I have found these coins in strange places when I least expected to find them (I've also had more strange/paranormal/unexplicable signs but that's another story)...these little tokens from the Spirit World mean a lot to me.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Doing More for Women...

Those who know me also know that I always go further in whatever I invest myself and my time in...That's part of being a perfectionist. I just want to offer the best stuff to people and if I'm not satisfied first, why would anybody else be?

Being a woman, I'm naturally interested in improving the well-being, health and quality of life of other women. That is why I am currently working on more women-oriented products (amongst other projects).

Soon should the following items appear on my shop and in my catalog:
-A WeMoon Herbal Tonic which is an herbal tea blend naturally rich in vitamins and minerals, which can also be used during pregnancy (a time when women need even more nourishment).
-A Wild & Wise Tea which nourishes and balances body & yoni...and should help alleviate PMS.
-A Moon Thyme Incense made with a blend of herbs and meant to be used during women's moon time...A time of introspection which holds great power and wisdom.
-A set of Triple Goddess Creams: 1 for each aspect of womanhood - Maiden, Mother & Crone.
...I might go further in the future and work more on mothers, mothers-to-be and babies. Only time will tell ;)!

I also have 2 interesting creative challenges going on: the first celebrates the arrival of the Fall and the 2nd one as "Oracle" for a theme...I feel very inspired!

Some people have request a Black Chai from me...so Black Chai there shall be...soon!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

More about the Moon...


After watching that beautiful caramel crescent of Moon last night (unfortunately I missed the Moonset), I thought I should share more of the words of Glennie Kindred.

"NEW MOON (Dark Moon):
Here Sun & Moon rose together in the East, the Moon is invisible because she is hidden by the Sun's brightness in the day and is on the other side of the Earth with the Sun at night. Astrologically, the Sun and Moon are in conjunction. This means that they are linked together, mutually helpful to each other, enhancing each other's energy. Their combined energy brings the potential for new beginnings. This is the best time to begin new projects, take new directions and make new resolutions, affirmations and statements of intent. The New Moon represents the Maiden aspect of the Triple Moon Goddess. She is full of potential ans daring. This is the seed phase. Use it for planting seeds in the Earth and for planting the seeds of ideas, future intentions and seeds of hope.

CRESCENT MOON (Waxing Towards Full/Waxing Crescent):
This is the first visible sliver of Moon seen in the Western sky in the late afternoon and early evening. The Crescent Moon brings new growth to ideas and plans. This is the sprouting phase.

FIRST QUARTER MOON (Waxing Half Moon):
She rises at noon and sets at midnight. Astrologically, the Moon is square to the Sun. This is challenging energy which, if faced, will propel things forward. This is the growth phase, as the Moon is waxing towards full.

GIBBOUS MOON (Almost Full):
She rises mid-afternoon and sets just before dawn. This is a time for activity and personal expression through our feelings.

FULL MOON:
She rises at sunset and sets at sunrise and astrologically the Sun and Moon are in opposition. This means that their energies are diametrically opposite, polarizing or complementary, and this can cause mood swings and emotional turmoil. Sacred to the Mother aspect of the Triple Moon Goddess, the Full Moon brings abundance and represents the flowering, the peak of fullness. Use this time for completion, self-expression and celebration.

DISSEMINATING MOON (Waning Full Moon):
The Moon now begins to wane, visibly getting smaller each night. She rises mid-evening and sets mid-morning. In Nature the Waning Moon cycle promotes root development and the swelling of fruit. She brings self-assessment and turning within.

LAST QUARTER MOON (Waning Half-Moon):
She rises around midnight and sets around noon. Astrologically, the Moon is square to the Sun, creating a challenge in their relationship. This is the harvest phase of the Moon, a time for reaping the fruits of our wisdom, for assimilation and quiet reflection.

BALSAMIC MOON (Waning Crescent Moon):
This is the last sliver of Moon seen in the Eastern sky at dawn when she rises and is visible until she sets in the early afternoon. The Waning Moon is sacred to the Crone or Wise Woman aspect of the Triple Moon Goddess, bringing inner wisdom, guidance and the mysteries. This is the time for letting go of things that are no longer helpful to you, for breaking psychic links, shedding the old so that you can begin anew. Use this time for transformation and change."

"Earth Wisdom - A Heartwarming Mixture of the Spiritual, the Practical, and the Proactive" by Glennie Kindred

Indian Summer Ice Tea

I'm longing for the Fall...Most people are sun lovers but I'm not one of them ;P. I like the fog (the denser, the better), the smell of the humid soil combined with decomposing leaves, moss and mushrooms, the trees changing colors and that distinct introspective atmosphere...

But Summer is not over yet even though the season is already changing (just look at the Sun and you'll understand) and we still need to cool down. So I blended a tasty ice tea with a touch of spice (even though spices are considered warm and mostly used during the cold months, they can make you sweat and cool your body...that's why you can use them to treat colds & fevers) and fall flavors.

For 1 quart, you'll need:
1 jar
3 cups of spring water
3 teabags of rooibos chai (but you can also use black chai or regular rooibos with or without adding spices)
1 cup unfiltered apple juice or apple cider (fresh and unpasteurized usually taste better...but you can also try with orange juice)
3 tbsp (raw) honey

Put the teabags in the jar. Boil the water and pour it over the teabags. Steep 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the teabags and add the apple juice. Stir a little then add the honey. Stir again and put the jar in the fridge...Once cool: enjoy (with or without ice cubes).

Try a hot version of this tea during the fall and winter, as an afternoon or evening tea...By the fireplace it's even better! It's similar to a hot cider with mulling spices ;).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Follow the Moon...


"The Moon is closer to the Earth than any other heavenly body and influences our lives in many ways. Her cycle of 29 days corresponds to the menstrual cycle of a woman and so in the past our ancestors personified her as a Triple Moon Goddess: the new Moon was the young Maiden, full of emerging potential, the full Moon was the Mother, the abundant provider, and the dark of the Moon was the Crone, the guardian of the inner realms and wisdom.
Everything that flows on the Earth moves in rythm with the Moon. The force of her gravitational pull is so powerful that she influences all the Water on the Earth, the oceans' tides, the underground Waters deep in the Earth, the life fluids of plants, animals and people, all female reproductive cycles and the migration patterns of birds. The Moon can also influence our emotional patterns and our behavior, bringing constant change to our lives.
The phase of the Moon reflects the angle between the Sun and the Moon as seen from the Earth. There are 8 lunar phases and each one lasts 3 to 4 days. The Moon changes astrological Sun every 2 and a half days."
This is taken from "Earth Wisdom - A Heartwarming Mixture of the Spiritual, the Practical, and the Proactive" by Glennie Kindred. She has become one of my favorite author. I own 3 of her books: "Sacred Celebrations", "Herbal Healers" and this one...And I intend to get more.
I love the way she expresses herself, she's genuinely kind, loving and gentle. Her books are full of knowledge, wisdom and interesting ideas. Even her illustrations are worth it. I can only recommend her work warmly ;).


Keeping Your Cool When the Weather is Hot...

A very helpful article written by herbalist Brigitte Mars who suggests the use of cooling herbs, some dietary recommendations, elements of chinese medicine, aromatherapy...and a lot of common sense.

http://www.brigittemars.com/framefiles/article_hotweather.htm

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Good Vibrations

I've decided to bring back my "Good Vibrations" tea. It was my most popular tea at the Alternative Healing Arts Fair last Sunday. I originally created this tea for healing work, especially energy healing.

It's a blend of pesticide-free rose petals, wildcrafted white sage and organic lavender plus...a little blessing (all my teas are blessed). Soothing rose petals for love and opening the heart chakra, white sage to clear energetic blockages and prepare the body for spiritual/healing work & lavender to calm and relax.

With the help of a fellow chakra healer and a tea taster, I've tried a little experiment which had an amazing and very positive result: the tea taster was energetically scanned before and after drinking the tea. It appears that her energy level raised by 12%...and she didn't even finish her cup!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Oyle of Rose

I've bought some rose infused oil before, handmade with fresh rose petals infused in (extra virgin) olive oil...Well I wasn't too impressed. I won't deny that the softening, soothing and healing qualities of the Rose weren't in the oil but the scent was so faint that I must have compensated with my imagination to smell the roses.

So I decided to give it a try, it took me 2 months but the result is pretty satisfying. I started on May 31st, on the Blue Moon. I filled a pint size glass jar with fresh rose petals from my very fragrant dwarf rose bush, then I added a few fresh rose geranium leaves (Attar of Rose variety) and a few fresh sprigs of rose thyme. I covered the herbs with a blend of organic extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil (1 to 1 ratio). I closed the lid and left in on my porch, under the sun for 1 lunar month, shaking the jar from time to time.

On June 30th, at the Full Moon (this one was the Faerie Moon), I strained my oil and decided to reinfuse it. So I filled the same jar with pesticide-free dried rose petals, half pink and the other half red (rosa centifolia) and added a few fresh rose geranium leaves as well as a few sprigs of fresh rose thyme. I covered the herbs with the oil I strained before and left the jar in the sun for another lunar month.

The result was a pleasant lightly scented rose oil, with a velvety texture which leaves the skin soft and not greasy. With both solar and lunar influences...Plus when I use this oil, my husband says I'm glowing ;). Conclusion: if you wanna be a natural beauty queen, ask the Rose.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

FOUR SEASON GODDESS CREAMS

Whether you are aware of it or not, your body is not only affected by the sun and the lunar cycle, but also by the seasons. Our wise ancestors, who were knowledgeable about all things natural, knew that fact very well.

We all react to seasonal changes differently. The best way is to find out what your needs are is to observe, eat seasonal food and be in tune with your body.

Your skin also has different needs throughout the year. That is why I created a new line of face creams inspired by the four seasons. I incorporated my knowledge of herbs, teas, seasonal and nutritional herbalism into those creams. For example, in winter your body needs more vitamin C to strenghten the immune system and because winter food is less rich and less varied than summer food so your body needs to compensate for that lack of nutrients. Thus my WINTER GODDESS CREAM contains rooibos which is naturally rich in vitamins and minerals as well as hibiscus which is a natural source of vitamin C. Vitamin C also makes your skin glow with health.

My creams are handmade with infused tea (with spring water), herbally infused extra virgin olive oil, unrefined beeswax and benzoin tincture. They have a natural delicate scent and a lighter texture than the Wise Woman Creams.

-SPRING GODDESS CREAM contains jasmine green tea & extra virgin olive oil infused with nettle, rose petals and/or rose geranium leaves.

-SUMMER GODDESS CREAM contains white lilac tea & extra virgin olive oil infused with elder blossoms, rose petals and/or rose geranium leaves.

-FALL GODDESS CREAM contains vanilla rooibos & extra virgin olive oil infused with calendula, rose petals and/or rose geranium leaves.

-WINTER GODDESS CREAM contains earl grey rooibos & extra virgin olive oil infused with hibiscus, rose petals and/or rose geranium leaves.

I should soon add the Summer Goddess Cream to my Etsy offerings...Thank you for browsing ;).

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

3 NEW LIMITED EDITION TEAS

I have 3 teas with 3 different and distinct flavors & aromas:

-BRITTANIA, inspired from British brews, reminds a little bit of Earl Grey with a twist and a floral touch. The presence of rooibos tempers the caffeine. Enjoy this tea with or without fog... http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6558162

-FEMME FLEUR is a fairy-like floral blend. Soft, light, slightly sweet and...enchanting. A timeless blend! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6558039

-ZEN COFFEE looks like coffee, smells like coffee and even tastes like coffee but believe it or not, it's a tea! And almost caffeine-free with a hint of spice. If you like tasty surprises, you should give it a try. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6557902

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

ALTERNATIVE HEALING ARTS FAIR AT THE PATH

My friend Marie hosts an Alternative Healing Arts Fair on:
Sunday August 5th 2007 from 11am to 5pm

At THE PATH
813 Torrance Blvd,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(310) 944-3780

Come, learn about and experience Shamanic Healings, Polarity, Qigong, Reiki, Massage, Ear Candling, Aqua Chi, Footbath, Kangen Water...etc

And I'll be there with my teas ;)...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Inspiration from a fellow wise woman...

"I am a medicine woman.
I walk softly on the earth. I walk in balance, feet bared to rushing waters, sharp rocks and soft grasses. I embrace the pleasure and the pain. I am the Mother’s Joy, and the Mother is my Joy.

I am a medicine woman.
I am the guardian and the messenger of the sacred earth. I listen to the songs on the wind And sing them alive. The rocks and the trees, they speak to me. I seek the misty inbetweenness. I journey up, down and around the unseen world to bring healing home.

I am a medicine woman.
The plants are my teachers, and my friends. They show me how to heal and how to help those in need. I am an alchemist.

I am a medicine woman.
I create sacred community- bridging between women and men, the plants, the animals, the earth and the sky. Sing songs of remembrance- songs of the ancestors. I live with the old ways and create the new. I am a medicine woman. I have not forgotten."

by Darcey Blue French (visit her blog http://www.desertmedicinewoman.blogspot.com/)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

FAIRY KISSES Artisan Lip Balm


I am currently updating my catalog with new products that I believe, reflect more my personality, my passions and aspirations.
This lip balm is one of the novelties of my catalog. It's handmade with Kalahari Melon Seed oil, unrefined beeswax and honey...Nothing else added, nothing else needed ;)!
This Melon Seed oil has a natural sweet and fruity fragrance and is a very moisturizing, skin quenching oil. Women of the Namib Desert, one of the driest places on Earth, use this oil to keep their skin moist and healthy looking.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Wild and Wise News #3 : Lammas Celebration

Lammas is approaching slowly but surely and to celebrate the beginning of the season of harvests, some members of the Wild & Wise Collective have expressed their inspiration and creativity through wonderful and unique natural products:

-Night from ShaktiStudios was inspired by Lady Igraine who was a Priestess of Avalon skilled in prophecy, the second sight, healing and also in touch with her loved ones through dreams and projection. Night created a pair of Sterling silver Celtic Knotwork earrings with fiery Carnelian gemstone drops.
-Michelle from violetroseherbals, who just joined us, created some Lammas Cleansing Grains and Face Mask which is an earthy & complex blend of cornmeal, oats, buckwheat, rhassoul clay, kaolin clay, goldenrod, mugwort, yarrow, calendula, marshmallow root, lavender and tea tree oil.
-Piper from WhimsyHollow made some pretty glycerine based cold processed soaps with oats, cornmeal and a nice berry fragrance to celebrate the spirit of the season.
-I blended an organic Lammas tea with green rooibos, oatstraw, rosemary, orange peel and cinnamon. These herbs are ruled by the earth and the sun. I also introduced my first jewelry pieces (Rising Stone Jewelry) that I called MAIZE which are made of embossed red clay with a corn motif.
I hope you'll enjoy our creations and thank you for browsing ;).

Thursday, July 12, 2007

First jewelry pieces...

I thought the Lammas creative challenge was a good opportunity to make my first pieces for Rising Stone Jewelry. Since it is about celebrating the first harvest, my items are very earthy.

I made a MAIZE ring and a pair of matching MAIZE earrings made of red clay embossed with a corn kernel motif. They have been lightly varnished to strenghten the clay and give a little shine. I also added touches of gold and copper paint.

These unique items have been created to celebrate Lammas, the beginning of Harvest. The red clay symbolizes Mother Earth.The corn/maize is a symbol of the Sacred Mother, Giver of Life. The Corn Mother is the provider of abundance and fertility. Corn is also associated with divination, harmony with cycles, life force, blessings and protection.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Lammas Tea

I like throwing creative challenges with the Wild & Wise Collective...We usually do that to celebrate the seasons and the wheel of the year. So we currently have a Lammas challenge going on.

I created a Lammas tea with organic herbs ruled by the Sun & the Earth. It's a blend of green rooibos, oatstraw, rosemary, orange peel and cinnamon. Gentle and aromatic with a very pleasant taste.
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6406046

Next week I should post the creations of my fellow wise women for this Lammas challenge.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Meditation Bible by Madonna Gauding

Like many people, I've tried a few meditation techniques before finding which one worked best for me. Personally, the candle flame thing never worked. I enjoyed using a landscape picture and let my mind wander through the landscape. I became advanced enough to feel the wind, smell the earth and even hear animals. The next step was a more mediumnistic technique involving an imaginary place where I would meet spirits...which led me later to my shamanic path.

The great thing about this book though, it that it uses many different techniques for different purposes. These techniques are drawn from various traditions such as Buddhism, Kabbalah, Wicca and Native American just to name a few. The book starts with an introduction to meditation and how to prepare yourself and your sacred space. Then there is a meditation directory covering the following:
-Calming and centering
-Living mindfully
-Healing body, mind and spirit
-Get moving
-Love and compassion
-Problem-solving
-Manifesting your dreams
-Connecting to the divine

Meditation doesn't require any special gift and can help you relax & heal physically and mentally during hard times (from my own experience). Here's an example of vocal meditation called "Healing through Toning" which can help you release tension, uplift your spirit and heal the body. It has an energizing effect:
"Find a place where you are alone and out of the earshot of others.

1/Stand with your feet well grounded and your shoulders and arms relaxed. Begin to hum into your centre; it may be your lower abdomen or your heart area. Gradually feel your hum expand throughout your entire body. Hum into your bones, muscles and internal organs.

2/Allow your hum to open gradually into a full-voiced sound or tone, and continue to feel it resonating throughout your whole body.

3/Ask what needs to be healed. Visualize any toxins being expelled through your feet. Continue toning into any area of your body needing release or healing. Make any sounds your want. Let them arise spontaneously. Imagine that your toning is connected with the vibrations of the entire universe.

4/When you feel ready, end your toning meditation. Stand quietly for a moment and affirm that your body is completely healed and rejuvenated."

Who said meditation was boring? ;)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Rhassoul & Castille Body Wash

This is a head to toe natural body wash, it is so gentle that you can use it on face, hair and body. Very easy to prepare, you only need 3 ingredients: liquid castille soap, rhassoul clay and a floral water of your choice.

Castille soap is made with saponified olive oil, it's very gentle and can be used on sensitive skin. Most commercial soaps and shampoos are drying and abrasive...This is not the case of castille soap which can also be used for washing babies and pets. Rhassoul clay gently exfoliates dead skin cells, softens the skin and is effective for oily hair and dandruff. Floral waters are soothing to the skin and impart a nice natural fragrance which is far from overpowering.

You'll need:
-A 8 oz plastic bottle (easy to grab, shake and squeeze)
-6 oz of (organic) liquid castille soap
-2 oz of (organic) floral water/hydrosol of your choice (I like using rosewater or orange blossom water, but you can also use a fragrant herbal infusion)
-1 tbsp of rhassoul clay
-optional for dry skin/hair types: 1 tbsp of (organic) oil of your choice (my favorites are: olive oil, argan oil, shea oil)
-A funnel
-A whisk

In a bowl whisk the rhassoul with a little bit of castille soap until perfectly blended. Pour the mixture inside the bottle. Add the remaining castille soap and the floral water. Close the lid and...voila!

You may need to shake the bottle before use because the rhassoul tends to go to the bottom of the bottle. Other than that...enjoy ;)!

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Introducing Rising Stone Jewelry...

I have Alchemille's Garden for the teas, Natura Botanica for the body care...I thought it was the right time for a third and complementary line of natural jewelry.

Rising Stone Jewelry is inspired by Nature and the 4 Elements which determine the choice and variety of materials used: from stones, to clay, to botanicals, metals...etc. Rising Stone Jewelry is primitive, ephemeral, wild, poetic...and without pretention.

These earthy jewels can be worn everyday as well as for special occasions but in any case, they won't be unnoticed and will quickly become conversational pieces ;). They will help you reconnect with Nature, the Goddess, the Ancestors...and the Wild Woman within you.

For this new line, I opened a new shop which will soon display my creations: http://risingstone.etsy.com/ ...Thanks for checking!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Plant at a Time: Rosehips (Rosa spp)

I know it's a little early to talk about rosehips but since I just strained and bottled my rosehip honegar...

Rosehips are one of Nature's gems: they're both edible and medicinal.
The hips are rich in vitamins B1, B2, C, E and K as well as beta-carotene, flavonoids, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sulfur, zinc, polyphenols, tannin, malic acid, pectin and vanillin.
Their properties are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antioxidant, antiviral, astrigent, blood tonic, cardioprotective, digestive, mild diuretic, emmenagogue, kidney tonic, laxative, nutritive, stimulant and tonic.

Rosehips are rich in flavonoids that help strenghten the capillaries of the body. They also improve the body's assimilation of vitamin C. Rosehips have a tart, fruity, sour and sweet flavor. They're often combined with hibiscus in teas. Rosehips can be prepared as herbal tea/infusion, herbal vinegars & honegars, tinctures and jams.

There are more than 10,000 species of roses worldwide. The color and shape of the hips vary from one species to another. When harvesting rosehips, you may either choose wild roses (rosa canina, rosa nutkana...etc) or heirloom/medicinal roses (rosa gallica, rosa damascena, rosa centifolia...etc). Modern and hybrid varieties are not usually recommended. Also make sure that they grow in a pesticide-free area. You can harvest the hips in the fall and the winter, I read that they taste even better after the first frost (it probably concentrates the sugars inside the plant).

How to harvest rosehips? Well, first you want to find some nice red plump hips. The bigger the better, because once you remove the seeds from small ones, there's not much left. So collect your hips at their prime then wash them well and remove stems and dried sepals from the ends. The seeds inside are covered with fine, silvery hairs which can cause digestive problems if ingested, so it's better to cut the hips in half and scrape them clean (rinse if necessary).

If you want to use them right away, you can prepare a rosehip tea by crushing the fruits and steeping them for15-20 minutes in boiling water. Strain and sweeten with honey if you wish. You can also use the fresh fruits in jams (1 part fruit to 1/2 -1 part sugar, honey and/or maple syrup...You may need to add some water though, and a little splash of brandy to preserve your jam). If you're familiar with herbal preparations, you can also tincture them. A little extra vitamin C is always useful in the winter. Otherwise you can dry the fruits for later use. Turn your oven on 150F, place your rosehips on a dish inside the oven and let the oven's door slightly open. It may take an hour or so for the hips to dry, it's good to check them from time to time.

You can also buy organic dried rosehips from Jean's Greens, Living Earth Herbs or Mountain Rose Herbs (see my links).

Rosehips can be used medicinally to treat bruising, colds, cough, diarrhea, exhaustion, flu, gingivitis, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, urinary tract infections...and more. Consult your physician along with an herbalist to make the right choices regarding your health.

If you like harvesting wild plants for foods, tea and medicine, I can recommend "Drink in the Wild - Teas, Cordials, Jams and More" by Hilary Stewart

Monday, June 11, 2007

Protection Against Mischievous Spirits


No matter how careful you are and no matter how good you are at protecting yourself and purifying your home, you might still encounter malicious spirits, unfriendly faeries or negative entities who won't leave you in peace unless they get what they want. Don't bother asking them nicely to leave, you're wasting your time...

I've been in that situation recently. A dark elf invited himself in my apartment asking for something I couldn't and wouldn't give him. I managed to cast him out with the help of my spirit guides, nonetheless before he left he had found the way to leave 4 fingerprints behind my back (with a light burning sensation)...Needless is to say that I was kind of scared (no spirit ever attacked me physically before) and that I needed to find a quick and effective solution to keep him from coming back. I don't know any Faery expert and the 2 friends that could have possibly helped me where out of town...

A few months ago I had bought a book about Faery Magick that proved very useful. I tried the first part of a ritual that was very effective. After I was done, the energy inside my apartment was drastically different, even my husband felt how positive, peaceful and comforting the energy became. I will share this simple ritual with you: all you need is salt. I find coarse salt easier to manipulate and it reminds me of crystals.

"Start by calling the Small Folk to your aid while you pour a small amount of salt into the palm of one hand. Say Faery Queen so bright and good, bless this salt with the highest of positive powers.

Then chant:
King and queen of Faery Land,
Relieve me of this troublesome band.
I also call the warrior Fay,
To send the evil ones on their way.


Moving clockwise around each room, sprinkle a few grains of salt into every corner, including closets. Repeat this in every roon until you have blessed the entire house."


Each time I entered a new room, I asked for a blessing over the salt. I also chanted 3 times because the number 3 is a magical number in the celtic tradition, it may have to do with the fact of being heard in all realms. It's very important that you focus and believe in what you are doing.

I found this ritual in "The Ancient Art of Faery Magick" by D.J. Conway

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A little bit of humor...

A SHORT HISTORY OF MEDICINE:
"Doctor, I have an ear ache."
2000 B.C.—"Here, eat this root."
1000 B.C.—"That root is heathen, say this prayer."
1850 A.D.—"That prayer is superstition, drink this potion."
1940 A.D.—"That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill."
1985 A.D.—"That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic."
2000 A.D.—"That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root!"

Oh, Where Do The Fairies Hide?


"Oh, where do fairies hide their heads
When snow lies on the hills,
When frost has spoiled their mossy beds,
And crystallized their rills?

Beneath the moon they can not trip
In circles o'er the plain;
And draughts of dew they cannot sip,
Till green leaves come again.

Perhaps in small blue diving bells,
They plunge beneath the waves,
Inhabiting the twisted shells
That lie in coral caves.

Perhaps in red Vesuvius,
Carousals they maintain;
And cheer their drooping spirits thus,
Till green leaves come again.

When they return there will be mirth,
And music in the air,
And fairy wings upon the earth,
And mischief everywhere.

The maids, to keep the elves aloof,
Will bar the doors in vain;
No keyhole will be fairy proof,
When green leaves come again."


This Poem was written by Thomas Haynes Bayly

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Walking Meditation

The following text is part of a "Warrior of the Light Online" newsletter from Paulo Coehlo. Subscription is free and you can choose from several languages, just go to: http://www.warriorofthelight.com/

"1] You have already arrived. So, feel pleasure at each step and do not worry about things that you still have to face. We have nothing before us, just a road to be traveled at each moment with joy. When we practice pilgrim meditation, we are always arriving, our home is the present moment, and nothing more.

2] For that reason, always smile while you walk. Even if you have to force it a bit and feel ridiculous. Get used to smiling and you will end up happy. Do not be afraid of displaying your contentment.

3] If you think that peace and joy always lie ahead, you will never manage to achieve them. Try to understand that they are both your traveling companions.

4] When you walk, you are massaging and honoring the earth. In the same way, the earth is trying to help you to balance your organism and mind. Understand this relationship and try to respect it – may your steps have the firmness of a lion, the elegance of a tiger and the dignity of an emperor.

5] Pay attention to what is going on around you. And concentrate on your breathing – this will help you to get rid of the problems and worries that try to accompany you on your journey.

6] When you walk, it is not just you that is moving, but all past and future generations. In the so-called “real” world, time is a measure, but in the true world nothing exists beyond the present moment. Be fully aware that everything that has happened and everything that will happen is in each step you take.

7] Enjoy yourself. Make pilgrim meditation a constant meeting with yourself, never a penance in search of reward. May flowers and fruit always grow in the places touched by your feet."

On the same topic, I recommend the following book: "The Spirited Walker - Fitness Walking for Clarity, Balance, and Spiritual Connection" by Carolyn Scott Kortge

Monday, June 04, 2007

Four Seasons of Tea

I now offer seasonal tea subscriptions (and yearly too upon request) so that you, fellow tea afficionado, can enjoy each month a different tea, a different taste and a different experience. I will mail 1 tea pouch each month, according to my selection.

WINTER:
-JANUARY: Amber Spice tea, a 100% organic blend of rooibos, orange peel, cinnamon & cloves. Caffeine free. USE SPARINGELY DURING PREGNANCY.

-FEBRUARY: French Romance with organic black tea, organic rooibos with Madagascar vanilla, pesticide-free rose petals & organic orange peel. Black tea contains caffeine which is not recommended during pregnancy.

-MARCH: Cottage Fairy Blend with organic spearmint, organic sweet marjoram, organic lemon verbena & pesticide-free rose petals. AVOID DURING PREGNANCY.

SPRING:
-APRIL: French Riviera with organic rooibos, pesticide-free rose petals, organic lavender, organic rosehips & organic calendula. Caffeine free. AVOID DURING PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING.

-MAY: Timeless Tea with organic white tea, pesticide-free rose petals & organic lavender. White tea contains a little caffeine which is not recommended during pregnancy.

-JUNE: Tisane de Provence (also known as Wild Provence Tea) , a 100% organic blend of thyme, rosemary, lavender & lemon balm. AVOID DURING PREGNANCY.

SUMMER:
-JULY: Marrakesh Express with organic green tea, spearmint, peppermint & rose petals. Contains some caffeine. USE SPARINGELY DURING PREGNANCY.

-AUGUST: L'Arlésienne (also known as Provençal Nights), a 100% organic blend of lemon balm & lavender. Caffeine free.

-SEPTEMBER: Caravan Chai with organic rooibos, organic cinnamon, organic ginger, cardamom & organic cloves. Caffeine free. USE SPARINGELY DURING PREGNANCY.

FALL
-OCTOBER: Thé du Matin (also known as Morning Tea), a 100% blend of green tea, rosemary, orange peel, rosehips, cinnamon & cloves. Contains some caffeine. AVOID DURING PREGNANCY.

-NOVEMBER: L'Orangerie, a 100% organic blend of black tea, rooibos, orange peel, cacao nibs & cinnamon. Contains some caffeine. USE SPARINGELY DURING PREGNANCY.

-DECEMBER: Thé à l'Eglantine (also known as Rosehip Tea) with organic black tea, organic rosehips, pesticide-free rose petals & organic cloves. Black tea contains caffeine which is not recommended during pregnancy.

All my artisan teas are freshly hand blended upon request. The Summer Tea Selection/Subscription is already available on my shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=36753&section_id=5089549 ;).

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Tea Specials on Etsy...

I now offer a "MOON GODDESS Gift Bag" with 1 lunar month worth (28 days) of Luna Teas to help you harmonize yourself and your body with the Moon, its cycle and its influences. With 7 teabags each of Veiled Moon, First Crescent, Bright Moon & Last Crescent teas. For more details, please visit my e-shop:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6105771

I also carry "WOOD ROSE", a limited edition artisan herbal tea loaded with minerals and vitamin C. This blend reminds me of my childhood and vacations with my grandmother in Germany:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6050388

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

How to make a Honegar


Honegars are a variation of Apple Cider Vinegar tinctures. The nutritive aspect is as important or more than the healing aspect of these home remedies. They are fairly easy to prepare, especially if you're familiar with the art of tincturing "folk medicine" style ;).

I like to use dried plants rather than fresh ones: the reason is that you have a wider range of herbs to choose from and you don't depend on seasons or availability to prepare your tinctures. Yet I understand that the energy and potency given by fresh plant material can be greater if you harvest it yourself and at the right time of the year.

The recipe I'll give is for a 1 cup/8 fl oz container and using dry plant material (feel free to adapt the recipe to fresh herbs if needed). Pick an herb amongst the wide choice of nourishing herbs: the most commonly used are chickweed, dandelion, nettle and dock...Herbs and especially weeds are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals. I chose to tincture rosehips for my honegar. Rosehips are a natural source of vitamin C, combined with the minerals of the apple cider vinegar and the sweetness of the honey, it will be perfect.

In my 8 oz container, I put 1/8 cup of dried organic rosehips on which I poured 1/2 cup/4 fl oz of organic apple cider vinegar. Since vinegar corrodes metallic lids, I added a layer of plastic wrap in between. I will let my rosehips macerate in the vinegar for 1 month, after I'll strain the tincture and I'll add 1/2 cup of (raw) honey to it (you need 1 part herbal tincture to 1 part honey). Stir well and pour in a jar or a bottle. Store in a dark place (or in the fridge). Traditionally Apple Cider Tinctures can be kept for 1 year.

The basic dosage is 1 tablespoon of honegar for 8 oz of water, 1 to 3 times daily. It is delicious, full of nutrition and refreshing!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Luna Teas are back...

It would be foolish to consider the Moon only as a pretty shiny celestial sphere that glows in the darkness of the night. The Moon influences the Earth, Nature and the seasons, the tides, the animals, women's cycles and...each and every one of us on a daily basis. Never wondered why you're feeling energized or exhausted, tense or relaxed? Never wondered why you seem to have trouble sleeping or meaningful dreams during some time of the month? Your ups & downs and emotions evolve with the Moon as it waxes from New Moon to First Quarter and Full Moon, then wanes to Last Quarter and back to New Moon.

We're all made of stardust: the same elements found in the Earth, Stars and Planets are found in our body. How could we possibly deny our connection to Nature and the Universe?

I carry Spiritual, Astrological and Seasonal tea blends (amongst others)...I thought it was the right time to reconnect with Dame Lune and reintroduce my Luna Teas:

-VEILED MOON is a blend of organic green tea, organic dandelion leaves, fennel seeds, cardamom and organic orange peel. A tea to enjoy around and between the New Moon to the First Crescent. This tea has a detoxifying, stimulating and invigorating effect on the body. AVOID DURING PREGNANCY.

-FIRST CRESCENT is a 100% organic blend of green rooibos, nettle, oatstraw, ginger, rosehips and orange peel. A tea to enjoy during the waxing phase of the Moon: between the First Quarter, through the First Quarter and when the Moon is almost full. This tea has a strenghtening and fortifying effect on the body. It also allows for a better absorption of food and nutrients.

-BRIGHT MOON is a blend of organic lemon balm, organic raspberry leaves, organic oatstraw, coriander seeds and organic calendula. A tea to enjoy around and during the Full Moon. This tea has a calming, nourishing and harmonizing effect on the body. AVOID DURING PREGNANCY, BREASTFEEDING AND IF YOU HAVE THYROID PROBLEMS.

-LAST CRESCENT is a blend of organic green tea, organic peppermint, wildcrafted white sage, organic nettle and organic dandelion leaves. A tea to enjoy during the waning phase of the Moon: between the Last Quarter, through the Last Crescent to around the New Moon. This tea has a nourishing, detoxifying and purifying effect on the body. AVOID DURING PREGNANCY.

-BLUE MOON is a 100% organic blend of white tea, lavender, cornflowers and bilberries (European blueberries). A magical tea for a magical time. This tea has a soothing, relaxing and calming effect on the body. USE SPARINGELY DURING PREGNANCY.

You can find my Luna Teas under my shop, I freshly blend them upon request :) : http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=36753&section_id=5096792

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Confessions of a Pagan Nun by Kate Horsley


I'm not usually into historical novels but I was naturally drawn to the theme of this book. The story takes place in Celtic Ireland as its tuaths (tribes, clans) are converted to the new faith: Christiany. The old ways being replaced by new ones in order to improve people's lives. We often forget, in our modern comfort, how harsh were the lives of the ones who walked this Earth before us. We forget that they were at the mercy of famines, diseases, floods, harsh winters...etc. These hard living conditions are intertwined with the story told in this novel.
The narrator, Gwynneve, who was brought up in the old ways, has become a nun in a monastery dedicated to Saint Brigit. She is one of few literate women and her task is to transcribe scriptures from St Patrick and St Augustine in the loneliness of her cold and damp clochan (a beehive-shaped cell made of stone). Even though she embraced Christianity, she admits that there were some truths in her old pagan beliefs and questions some things of her new faith that she's seen, read and heard in the monastery (page 22 "I have read and transcribed our bishops' rules that say women must not try to be attractive to men but must scorn the qualities in themselves that cause men to fall from grace. It has puzzled me that men, who claim more and more authority over women, show such fear of those whom they call weak. Perhaps they are hoping that women will come to believe that they need to be protected and dominated, but I cannot imagine any woman being so foolish.").
She misses her freedom as a woman, the teachings of her wise mother who knew about the healing herbs (page 5 "She worshipped not God but what He created, and she knew plants well but not as a scholar. The tonsured men were not yet here to give the plants their Latin names: fraechoga (woodberries), crem (wild garlic) and birer (watercress). When there was sickness in the tuath, many were glad to see my mother's slender feet walk the mud paths between huts with her bundles of herbs."), the knowledge and wisdom of her druid teacher...
I am only half way through the book and can hardly put it down. Some people might think that the style is heavy but it is in the Celtic Nature to be descriptive and poetic at the same time. I can only recommend this novel warmly and will complete this review once I finish the book.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Become Lady Marmelade...

We're slowly moving closer to the summer and already the markets are covered with berries and summer fruits. The garden also provides the first strawberries and a myriad of edible herbs. If you like foraging, Nature is generous to the ones who know where to look...:)
Enjoy everything, fresh or cooked, while you can. Some edibles have a very short growing season. If you align your diet with seasonal produces (what we should all do since our ancestors had no other choice), you know that winter isn't as bountiful. Why not preserve a little bit of spring or summer to enjoy during the winter months? The simpliest way is to make jams and jellies...You too can become Lady Marmelade :).

MORELLO CHERRY & VANILLA JAM
3 1/2 cups sugar (vanilla sugar if you have)
1 vanilla bean
3 lb morello cherries (or any type of cherry available to you)
the juice of 2 lemons or 1 1/4 cups or red or white currant juice

Dissolve the sugar in 1 1/4 cups of water over a low heat, then bring to a boil. Add the vanilla bean and the cherries. (If you have time, pit the cherries and add the buised pits to the misture in a muslin bag). Boil for 15 minutes, then leave to cool overnight. The following day add the lemon or currant juice and boil until setting point is reached. Remove the bag of pits and the vanilla bean, pour the jam into warm jelly glasses, seal and cover.

ROSE PETAL JAM
1 lb (12 cups) red rose petals (grown without pesticide, don't use roses from a flower shop)
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup honey
the juice of 2 lemons

Collect the petals from unsprayed, scented roses and snip off the bitter white heels. They can be collected over several days and stores in a covered jar, sprinkled with lemon juice. Simmer the petals in a little water until tender, then stir in the sugar, honey and lemon juice and cook until the syrup is thick. Pour into warmed jelly glasses and seal.

These 2 recipes where selected from the following book: "The Complete Book of Herbs & Spices" by Sarah Garland

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Rose Hand Cream Recipe

This is a simple, naturally scented cream that softens and moisturizes the hands.
You'll need:
1 tsp beeswax
1/4 tsp honey
2 oz/4 tbsp almond oil
2 oz/4 tbsp rosewater

1/Put the beeswax, honey and almond oil in a glass jar standing in a small pan of hot water. Stir until melted and blended.
2/Stir vigorously pouring in the rosewater. Take the jar out of the water and continue to stir gently until the mixture has cooled.

What the recipe doesn't say is that you should pour the cream, when it's still warm, in a 4 oz jar. This is a basic recipe that you can customize using your favorite oil(s), infused oils will do too. Rosewater can be replaced by orange blossom water or any floral water/hydrosol. Be creative and don't be afraid to experiment...This is your hand cream :).




For more herbal recipes (natural beauty, culinary or tea), I recommend "The Complete Book of Herbs" by Andi Clevely and Katherine Richmond

Friday, May 11, 2007

Portrait of an Artisan: For the Love of Patchouly

Daphne blends perfume oils. She's been perfecting that art for the past 10 years! Daphne also has a passion for the exotic patchouli and shares her passion for this scent through her creations. But not all her perfume oils contain patchouli...As a matter of fact 2 of my favorite blends don't contain any patchouli (don't be mistaken, I do not dislike patchouli).

I was really impressed by the quality of her fragrances, they stay on the skin all day. I really love Amber (probably my all time favorite) so I was naturally drawn to the exotic KUNDALINI: a rich blend of 3 ambers, frankincense, morrocan myrrh and black opium.

My other favorite is OSHUN, though I'm not too much into light floral scent...My husband seems to like it too :). Oshun is the name of an Orishan water-goddess who reigns over love, intimacy, beauty, wealth and diplomacy. It's a feminine & sexy blend of orange blossom, muguet du bois and Moroccan rose floating on a base of white amber and white sandalwood.

Daphne also has many patchouli blends, one of her best sellers being a unisex scent named HIPPIE LOVE which is an earthy blend of Indian patchouli, white musk, ginger and and amber. There is no limit to creativity and I truely recommend trying her natural and affordable perfume oils, you won't be deceived.

http://patchouly.etsy.com

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Chakra Dance Flow: Movement Meditation (bellydance, freestyle, guided meditation)



Chakra Dance Flow is not a traditional workout, no past pace or sweat building repetitive movements. Chakra Dance flow is a meditative dance workout that combines elements of yoga and bellydance and uses the system of the 7 chakras as guidance in energy work.

It is a relaxing and uplifting journey to reconnect with your inner self, the Universe and the Goddess. It will allow you to be aware, unblock and open each of the 7 chakras (individually or all together) and let energy flow. This guided meditation reconnects the physical with the emotional and the spiritual. It helps reawakening energy centers, releasing tension and anxiety and reclaiming inner balance.

I appreciated the fact that elements of meditation and spiritual work were brought up and integrated in the workout, such as : clearing, energizing, centering and grounding. Also energy being the flowing life force within and around us, it was refreshing to see slow, gracious, flowing moves, the integration of sound, the consciousness of breath and the awareness of the elements.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Herbal Recipe: Elderflower Champagne

This is a recipe I've been wanting to try for some time now (just need to buy some nice corked bottles first). Though it's called champagne, it's not a real champagne since it's a non-alcoholic drink. There is a natural substance in the flower heads that makes this drink fizz.

Before starting, you'll need to harvest fresh elderflower heads. Just make sure you know how to identify the tree: any mistake could be toxic if not lethal. Stay away from the cone shaped flower heads of the red elder tree...the flowers and berries are poisonous.

"This delicious, effervescent summer drink has a flavor reminiscent of muscatel wine.

RECIPE:

-4.5 litres/1 gallon/20 cups water (you may want to use good spring water and not tap water)

-500g/1 1/4 lb sugar

-6-8 fresh elderflower heads

-2 lemons, sliced

30ml/2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1/Heat half the water to just below boiling point and add the sugar. Stir to dissolve, add the rest of the water and leave to cool. Add the remaining ingredients and leave to stand for 24-48 hours. 2/Strain into strong glass bottles and cork tightly. The drink will be ready to serve in about six days."

For more herbal recipes, I recommend the following book: "Herbal Tea Remedies - Tisanes, Cordials and Tonics for Health and Healing" by Jessica Houdret

Celebrate Mothers Day under the sign of the Rose...

You may ask why the Rose? Well, Roses and Rosewater have been used through the millenniums for religious ceremonies, as a courtesy to guests, for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. There is no other flower that is so closely associated with love, beauty, health and feminity. The Rose is a flower that is universally appreciated by women for its beauty, its uses and its scent. No other flower has been as celebrated as the rose in art, poetry or even music. My mother likes roses (like most mothers or so I think). Thus I thought it was very appropriate to celebrate Mothers (and Mothers-to-be) with roses in my products. Some of them are brand new and specially concoted just for the occasion:

-Moroccan Rose Face & Body Lotion is all natural and hand blended with Moroccan virgin argan oil, true Moroccan rosewater (distilled with Damask roses), organic aloe vera gel, unrefined cocoa butter and unrefined beeswax. It's non greasy and moisturizes the skin all day long...plus this lotion leaves the skin very silky :). http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=5915480

-Mon Amie La Rose Face Cream is hand blended with true Moroccan rose water (distilled with Damask roses), Moroccan virgin argan oil and unrefined beeswax. The texture is much lighter than most of my creams so that it can be used even by combination skin types. With this cream, you'll agree that the Rose is a true friend of your skin. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=5914253

-Rose Kiss Balm is handcrafted with organic extra virgin olive oil infused with pesticide-free rose petals and/or rose geranium leaves, unrefined beeswax and honey. Only pure natural goodness for your or your mom's lips...Plus the tin is ornated with a pretty ribbon rose :). http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=5817082

-Timeless Tea is one of my favorites. It's a gentle and feminine blend of organic white tea, pesticide-free rose petals and organic lavender. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=5765440

-Moroccan Rose is a dreamy and exotic blend of organic jasmine green tea and pesticide-free rose petals. A delight for the senses. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=5682975

-Thé à l'églantine aka Rosehip tea is more traditional yet not less tasty than the teas above. It's a blend of organic black tea, organic rosehips, pesticide-free rose petals and organic cloves. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=5785258

Please feel free to contact me if:
-You have any question.
-You wish me to list an item specially for you.
-You wish to place an order but not through Etsy.
-You wish me to prepare a special gift bag with some of the items mentioned above and list it (or not) on Etsy.
CURRENT MOON

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