Spellbinding Sweet Woodruff Cake: Prosperity Magic – gather

In my tiny wildish garden, nestling at the foot of a tall tree is sweet woodruff. Her glossy leaves and small white blossoms may be hidden by a profusion of taller plants, but it is her scent that…

Source: Spellbinding Sweet Woodruff Cake: Prosperity Magic – gather

I’m going to be baking this cake again for May Day Eve (April 29th) also known as Floralia by the Romans, Walpurgisnacht by the Teutons and Beltane by the Celts. This is a high time for magic as it falls exactly six months from All Hallow’s Eve, or Samhain, and thus was also a night when the veil between the worlds thinned. As a result ghosts, fairies, shapeshifter, and witches were at their most powerful, which is why it is also known as Hexennacht, from the Dutch (Heksennacht) meaning Witches’ Night.

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Earth Teachings

My greatest wisdom teacher has been the Earth

My education never gave me the tools to navigate the biggest lessons of my life…

It didn’t teach me how to care for a smashed-open heart,

how to be strong during a birth,

or what words to speak when midwifing someone through a death.

It didn’t give me the techniques to understand that fear is rather normal,

doubt will always dance next to me,

and that is life is really most interesting when we just let it Be…

Wild. Unkempt. And a bit messy.

My greatest wisdom teacher has been the Earth.

And it wasn’t until I got intimate with her elements,

that I learned how to deal with all the initiations that the journey has brought my way.

She’s the grace that swoops in when I’m taking life all too seriously.

She’s the force that keeps me strong when life gets serious.

She’s the presence that has my back when life feels totally alone.

And, she the one that keeps reminding me…

to keep my heart open, unbridled and free.

(Because True Love will never come near a barbed-wired fence.)

Her Air…

is the whisper that inspires,

reminding me to express all that I am.

Her Fire…

is the force that both warms and destroys, turning things to ash,

so that something can renew, and rise again.

Her Water…

is the thing that preaches surrender, to stay centered,

don’t resist the current, and always, go with the flow.

Her Soil…

is my constant reminder to live life now…because maybe not yesterday, or not even tomorrow, but someday, she’ll reclaim my bones as her own.

The Earth taught me the meaning of each season…

A time to Fall, harvest the fruits of our labors.

A time to Winter, go dark and hibernate within.

A time to Spring, when that unrelenting life-force bursts through.

A time to Summer, to bask and blossom in the heat of the Solar Sun.

bristlecone pine

 

And then, the time to hunt, and to gather,

knowing, without a doubt, the cycle will begin again.

 

I wonder if we all had been raised in the Earth School,

and not had the original awe and wonder taught right out of us,

would we spend less time, excavating her wisdom inside?

 

I wonder what life would be like if we spent more time in reverence…

worshipping at the foot of a snow-capped peak, praying on a hunk of cold granite, or listening to the teachings the ancient bristlecone pine forest has to tell.

 

But mostly I wonder, if having a certain devotion to the beauty of a planet we are on, would allow us to live more fully, breathe a bit easier, and to love full out…

understanding and knowing,

that all rhythms have a reason

and that every, single season, is sacred.

handcrafted by Angela – my life imperfectly handcrafted

Source: handcrafted by Angela – my life imperfectly handcrafted

As of late this evening the new listings that I have been working on went live in my Shoppe & Offerings.

New listings are for :  Handmade Reusable Cleansing Pads (made with love by Ouma), Lavender & Oatmeal SoapBergamot & Sunshine Oil SoapPine Cone Essential Oil Diffusers & the last of my knitted hats Chocolate Bunny.

So, if any of these appeals to you, please help yourself. I courier all through South Africa via Aramex Shop To Door at a fixed rate. And, for those not here in not so sunny at the moment South Africa, I can arrange some form of postal and tracking service with a quote.

In the coming month, I will be adding a line of Essential Oils (not mine – so keep your eyes open for that review) and Environmentally friendly family Toothbrushes! I am super excited and can’t wait!!

Thank you for supporting Small Mama Handcrafted Businesses!

love always, Angela xx

***Note: Angela is a very dear friend of mine. I fully endorse her shoppe and her blog is absolutely full of divine intentions. And, absolutely not an affiliate.

https://handcraftedbyangela.co.za/mystic-pines-cottage/

Coming To Terms With Wounded Instincts

A look at the astrology of the week of April 17, 2018 – April 23, 2018

For those of you who have been thick in the intensity of the last couple of weeks, hang on to your hats. It is not letting up just yet! Mercury has returned to direct motion (on Apr. 15 — thank god!)  but will take a few days to get back up to normal speed, meaning there is an extra flavor packet of Trickster Special Spice sprinkled into attempts at communications, connections, and commerce. The Aries New Moon on April 15 could continue to reverberate through the week, portending changes, sudden breaks in relationships or obligations as well as a potential quality of “resetting” areas of our life. 

Such changes may cause some to run for old comfort routines and find those either strangely lacking or, on the other hand, exerting a strangely possessive influence. If your old comforts no longer soothe, it may indicate a greater readiness to move into the change and to turn towards the work of change. If you find yourself caught in the grips of whatever helps you check out from life, perhaps a more gentle approach is needed. Moving at the pace of your slowest part may be more beneficial—even if it means prolonging some discomfort—than trying to force yourself to either accept changed circumstances or to power through your own resistance.

Because there is a lot of ambition, power and determination in the air this week, with Mars at the midpoint of Saturn and Pluto, who are both soon stationing retrograde (Saturn on Apr. 17, Pluto on Apr. 22), which boosts the signal of those two planets a bit. Where we have been drifting from our path or our most important goals, and where we have been undermining ourselves will become more obvious. But understanding the feedback we receive from our environment, or the consequences of our decisions, requires us to powerfully root into Self or Soul or Source, or however you might conceive of your own divine nature.  The potential to get caught up in power struggles is high and could be just a distraction and a siphon of your energy and focus if such struggles are not forming some greater lesson around choice that is important for you to understand.

There could even be a feeling of “fighting for one’s life,” as Mars conjoins Pluto (exact Apr. 26). Vitality will be surging and remaining focused on one’s own goals, sense of higher purpose and calling can assist in all the areas of life where you need to express “No.” No is a wonderful word! “No” is a force of creation as much as negation and if used strategically, this period of time—however fraughtcould signal the beginnings of something solid, long-term and worth working for or contributing to. Potential pitfalls are falling into old patterns which undermine your discipline or focus, either due to fear or unreflective reactions to various pressures or demands. Remain dedicated to your highest good to achieve the best outcome. Resist any temptation to listen to how others may define what you “should” do, and rather listen to your own deepest knowing, your own heart’s truest aim. With Uranus’ last moments in Aries and Chiron’s fresh entry into Aries (Apr. 17), it is imperative to blaze your own path.

Note that this is distinct from mowing down other people to pursue some unreflective, unrefined or unhealthy desire rooted in fear of some kind, which is another possibility in the skies. It can be terrifying to trust one’s own deeper knowing for all the responsibility that it carries, and yes all of us can—and will—make mistakes. The true courage of a heart willing to be vulnerable to—and discerning about—one’s own power will bring the depth necessary to evoke some blessings of Venus in Taurus opposite Jupiter in Scorpio (exact Apr. 16): a great feast of truth and beauty, dedication, and abundance.

Herbs to alleviate current transits:

MOON HERBS:  have the potential to give us access to childhood memories, and memories of our past that are currently shaping our emotional body. Unlocking and opening these doors can be hard, yet it leads to emotional freedom when worked with properly.

Current Favorites: Astragalus, Blue Lotus, Ginger, Milk Thistle, Moringa, Muira Puama, Poppy, Tulsi.

URANUS HERBS:  uranian herbs have the potential to help us let go, take chances and keel life adventurous. These herbs help us access inspiration, creativity with fierce intuition. These herbs tend to be stimulating, activating and energizing.

Current Favorites: Ashwagandha, Cacao, Guarana, Green Coffee Bean, Mucuna, Rhodiola, Suma.

New Moon in Aries

Sunday, April 15th at 6:57 pm PST (9:57 pm EST)

Tonight we have a New Moon in Aries ~ a time of unexpected things to come! This fiery sign is sure to stir your passions up and that can sometimes be as uncomfortable as it is exciting. If you are not following your heart or hearts desires, it can definitely bring up reasons that it is important to look at them again. New Moons are here to share with you the opportunities or dreams that you are quick to bury or put aside as not possible or achievable. This Moon is one of those yearly moons that is sitting in a position to hold a fire to your intentions and with Mercury moving out of retrograde ~ or moreso in his stop before starting his move direct ~ it brings us more clarity of thought and word on how to communicate and work towards these fire-powered dreams. Sprouts require watering and so New Moons are a time of watering ~ taking time to give them the nourishment they need to come to life. And remember Moon Sisters & Brothers, this may take months of nourishment at times so stay the course and be kind to your dreams as they are waiting for you to bring them to life.

This Moon is also a Cazimi Moon, meaning that its center is within 17 minutes of arch with the center of the Sun in celestial longitude. This position is said to create a very powerful, yet gentle and loving period starting 30 minutes before the Moon is in her full darkness and running 30 minutes after. This is a time to really align with your hearts desires.

Aries is a masculine, cardinal, fire sign. It is ruled by Mars and rules the head. That is why this is such a powerful time to get your heart and head to connect and move them in the same direction.  Use this fire awaken your dreams and take on that Aries confidence, strength and passion and put it to go use.

willow woman

The Celtic Tree for this New Moon Cycle is Willow. The Willow tree seeks out water and like no other tree is associated with the Moon in all her phases.  She encourages expression of deeply buried feelings and teaches us to surrender completely to the watery world of emotions and the subconscious so that we can move into a deeper understanding of your inner-most feelings, toward a better appreciation of our hidden motives and secret fears and desires.  She allows us to realize that within every loss is a seed of potential for something new! The magic of the willow carries creativity, inspiration and female rights of passage. Follow the labyrinth trail, connect with the power of wisdom and the rhythm of your soul and return to your ordinary world strengthened. You will find that your awareness of your purpose is stronger and your intentions cannot be broken by the spell of someone else’s desire.  Remember your fertile inner strength is like that of the Willow. You have the flexibility to bend around obstacles ~ your desires can be woven into the shape. Tell your wishes to the willow.  This is a wonderful time to

Use the New Moon in Aries to write out your intentions and deepen your movement forward. A ritual for this new moon ~

Map it out! Let’s try something new for this New Moon by mapping out our intention for the next two weeks. If you want to do a larger mapping save it for another time. Let us keep this one simple.

    1. First, quiet yourself. Take a few minutes to light candles, create an altar or place items on your altar to bring in this new Moon.  A few suggestions are placing gemstones on your altar that work well with this moon energy such as fire opal, bloodstone, or moonstone. Colors are red and yellow. Rosemary is a wonderful essential oil to calm your body and keep you from feeling the fight or flight sensation and helping you to focus.
    2. Intentions are best set once you take the time to move into a place of feeling contentment as opposed to a place of lack or need. So if you like do a short breathing meditation to calm the mind and connect it with your heart.
    3. Get a piece of paper and write out your intention and then sit with it for a few minutes allowing yourself to go into the dream state of how you would feel if you had accomplished or completed your intention.  What do you feel? How do you look? How will you move forward on this journey to the next?
    4. Now, get out your colored pencils and larger paper for drawing out your map. Create the steps to getting there by drawing or writing words and mix it up with dates and arrows! Add anything else that you want like maybe ~ flowers, gemstones for energy or even essential oils for smells to bring you back to your intention as the weeks pass. Be sure to create steps that you can accomplish ~ this is important ~ and yet don’t hold back on the outcome. If there are only three steps from this New Moon to the next that is perfect! It is more important to accomplish the step and continue to the Full Moon or next New Moon.
    5. Place your map/drawing on your altar and use the gemstones or essential oils to guide you as the weeks’ pass. Another thought is to wear red and eat red foods over the next week to help you to connect with your steps and intention!

This Moon has a special energy because it is the New Moon in Aries 2018. It is unique. Remember Moon Family, what you are seeking to become is actually by nature what you already are ~ this is a time to become conscious of your essence and bring it into form and express it in a creative way.

Today is a new day ~ every day.

Herbalism: A History – How Herbalists Of The Past Paved The Way For Today

Read on to discover how modern-day herbalism came to be, and how the history of herbalism paved the way for today!

Source: Herbalism: A History – How Herbalists Of The Past Paved The Way For Today

Have you ever wondered how modern-day herbalism came to be? Before the dawn of Instagram herbalism or online herbal education (like the Herbal Academy!), the roots of herbalism run quite deep. Tracing these roots all the way back to prehistory (the time before writing systems were developed), we find that different cultures around the world have been utilizing herbs for health support. In this article, we will trace the evolution and growth of herbalism from its earliest recorded beginnings all the way to its modern-day applications. You might be surprised how relevant the original notions of herbalism still are today. Read on to discover how herbalists of the past paved the way for today.

Herbalism: A History

The history of herbalism is a long path which winds all over the world. This makes it nearly impossible to map on one timeline all of the influential herbalists of the past who have paved the way! While it is certainly a challenge to encapsulate thousands of years of herbal history in one place, we wanted to provide a brief historical timeline that gives you a basic yet foundational outline of how modern herbalism came to be today.

Indefinitely Wild; Foraging Wild Strawberries

Once abundant, wild strawberries provided helpful medicine to Native Americans and early settlers.

Picture it; An abandoned field of wild strawberries, ripe and shimmering under a bright June sun. The field is isolated, bounded on three sides by leafy, benevolent hardwoods. A light breeze moves gently through the leaves and sparse grasses.

A Berry in History

I’m not alone, of course, in my love of this summertime fruit. The wild strawberry {Fragaria virginiana, or F. vesca} held a special place in the lives of several Native American tribes – in their mythology, diets, and medicine – which they shared with early settlers.

In Medicinal and Other Uses of North American Plants, Charlotte Erichsen-Brown reveals some uses of the wild strawberry plant through the eyes of early Europeans, whose research was likely based on what they learned from these native tribes as well as their own observations. From a 1643 quotation from Roger Williams in reference to his association with the Narragansett people; “This berry is the wonder of all fruits growing naturally in these parts. It is of itself excellent; so that one of the chiefest doctors of England was wont to say that God could have made, but God never did make, a better berry. In some parts where the Indians have planted, I have many times seen as many as would fill a good ship.”

In 1785, Manasseh Cutler, one of the first non-native Americans to significantly research the botany of the Americas, described the uses of wild strawberries; “The fruit in its uncultivated state, if the soil be rich, is large and well tasted, but may be greatly improved with culture. It is subacid, cooling… Dr. Withering says they promote perspiration, impart a violet smell to the urine, and dissolve the tartarous encrustation on the teeth. People afflicted with the stone or gout have found great relief from using them very freely. Hoffman says he has known consumptive people cured by them.”

In 1828, the botanist Constantine Samuel Rafinesque explained; “Although strawberries have been commonly considered as an article of food, they highly deserve a place among medicaments, which are not the worse, I should think, for being palatable. Linnaeus introduced them in his Materia Medica… They are useful in fevers, Gravel, Gout, Scurvey. Phthisis {pulmonary tuberculosis}. They are cooling, promote perspiration, give relief in diseases of the bladder and kidneys… Hoffman and {Carl} Linnaeus have long ago extolled them in gout and phthisis; persons laboring under these chronic complaints ought to eat them frequently when in season, and use at other times their Syrup. They possess all the properties of curing chilblains {inflammation of the skin’s small blood vessels in response to cold}… The plant and leaves have nearly the same properties, although they are less cooling and more astringent. Both have been employed for sore throats, swollen gums, bowel complaints, Jaundice, and fevers in infusion and decoctions.”

Botanist Ronald Campbell Gunn in 1859 noted; “Strawberry leaves and roots are an excellent astringent and useful in bowel complaints, especially for children. A strong decoction or tea may be made of them, or of leaves alone, and used freely, or a syrup or cordial may be made… the roots alone are also said to be diuretic. The berry is a very delicious fruit and to most persons healthy.”

A study by a Canadian pharmacy in 1868 honed in on what it considered one of the berry’s medicinal constituents; “Dr. T. L. Philson has recently been engaged in an examination of the constituents of the roots of the strawberry plant, and finds it to contain several substances which are closely allied to some which are yielded by cinchona {a South American tree that contains quinine}. One of these, which he terms fragarianine, is a kind of tannin allied to quinotannic acid, but instead of yielding cinchona red, it gives another substance, to which the name fragarine has been applied.”

In 1933, American naturalist Herbert Huntingdon Smith described strawberries’ use by the Potawatomi; “Use the root for treatment of stomach complaints… Gather large quantities for food… They sometimes dry them and at other times preserve them for winter food.”

In 1916, Frederick Wilkerson Waugh, who worked for Canada’s Anthropology Division, described the importance of wild strawberries to the Iroquois; “Among the earliest berry to ripen is the strawberry… These welcome events are celebrated by longhouse ceremonies in which thanks are given, while quantities of the fruit are eaten in the feasts which follow.”

A Native Origin Story

Wild strawberries were very important to the Cherokee. As one version of the legend of strawberries goes; The first couple had an argument and the woman left in anger, walking eastward. After a time, the man followed his wife’s path. Sun looked down on the man with pity and asked if he was still angry. When he responded that the anger had passed, Sun found the woman still striding eastward. In an effort to entice her to stop, Sun conjured lovely, ripe blueberries to grow at her feet but she paid no attention and kept walking. Then Sun created luscious blackberries to grow beside the path, but she ignored these, too. Finally, Sun invented a plant that had never grown on the earth before. It covered the ground in front of the woman and suddenly she became aware of an unfamiliar fragrance. Stopping, she looked down on the plants with shiny green leaves, a few white blossoms, and aromatic red berries. She picked one and tasted it – sweet and delicious. As she ate the berries, the anger faded and she thought of her husband and how the two had parted in anger. She gathered all the berries she could carry and turned westward toward home. She met her husband on the path and they shared the berries. Then they walked hand in hand back home.

The Cherokee word for strawberry is ani, and the rich lands of old Cherokee country were noted for their abundance of ani and other wild fruit. Even today, strawberries are often kept in Cherokee homes. They remind us not to argue and they serve as a symbol of good luck.

An Abenaki woman told me another version of the story; Long before white settlers came to the area, a young Abenaki couple had a lover’s quarrel. The young woman ran across the fields and into the forest, her tears falling as she ran. After a time, when she hadn’t returned, the young man grew concerned. It was a brief spat, after all, between two people who loved each other very much. While searching the ground for her footprints, he discovered small, red, heart-shaped berries amidst low-growing green leaves. He was sure they hadn’t been there before; in fact, he’d never seen or tasted this kind of berry, and he knew the land quite well. He had no way of knowing, of course, that wherever his lover’s tears had fallen, a strawberry plant with ripe berries sprouted from the ground. Mystified, the young man followed the trail of heart-shaped berries right to his lover. She stopped crying and they happily reunited.

A Beguiling “Berry”

The wild strawberry is a perennial herbaceous plant that belongs to the rose {Rosaceae} family. Its stalks have three toothed leaflets and paper-white flowers that usually stand above the leaves. The fruit has tiny seeds. Since strawberries have multiple ovaries, the strawberry is, in fact, not a true berry. Like raspberries and blackberries, strawberries are known as aggregate fruits, meaning they’re formed from multiple carpels. But while the former two fruits are considered “drupes” {each drupe contains a seed}, botanists classify strawberries as achenes – the name of the little yellow ovals covering the surface. These actually contain the seeds.

If you’re lucky enough to find them, wild strawberries usually grow along roadsides, woodland trails, and meadows. They need sufficient sunlight to produce fruit and tolerate a mix of moisture levels, though they will not fare well in extreme wet or dry conditions. Their range includes as far north as Labrador and as far south as Georgia. There are many variations in size and shape of the berry in the wild, runners from the roots produce new plants.

wild-strawberries-large

Wild Strawberry Pudding

A favorite recipe my family enjoys, this dessert really showcases the flavor of the wild strawberry.*

For the bread:

2 egg yolks, beaten {save whites for strawberry sauce}

1 tsp cream of tartar

3/4 cup milk

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

Mix well and heat in a double boiler over boiling water; cover and steam for about 1 hour.

For the sauce:

2 cups crushed strawberries, juice and all

Whites of 2 eggs, beaten stiff

1 1/4 cup sugar beaten with 1/3 cup butter

Blend together gently with a mixer or eggbeater. When the bread has finished steaming, slice and serve with strawberry sauce.

*Note: I suggest using only eggs from organic, cage-free hens since you won’t be cooking the egg whites. {This recipe came from the days when we had our own laying hens and didn’t worry about salmonella.}

A Modern Medicine

As one author notes; ‘Wild strawberries are one of those fruits where not only the berries themselves are great for medicinal use, but the whole {darn} plant as well...”! Anthocyanidins, the fruit’s colorful pigments, are powerful antioxidants useful in preventing heart disease and other inflammatory conditions. One study from the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that women who consumed 16 or more strawberries per week were 14 percent less likely to have high levels of C-reactive protein {CRP}, a substance the liver produces in response to inflammation. According to The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, these anthocyanidins show promise in burning stored fat, making them a potential aid in weight loss. They can also boost short-term memory, according to that same publication.

They also serve as a low-calorie source of vitamins C and K, as well as fiber, folic acid, manganese, and potassium. And their content of biotin and ellagic acid promotes strong hair and healthy skin.

According to the Archives of Ophthalmology, consuming three or more servings of berries {including strawberries} can lower the risk of macular degeneration.

For digestion, strawberry leaf tea can help relieve an upset stomach, nausea, and cramping, thanks to the leaves’ tannins, which also help mitigate the symptoms of diarrhea. The tea also acts as a diuretic, and people have found success in using it as a way to soothe a sore throat and treat dehydration.

Lastly, as “Dr. Withering” suggested more than 200 years ago, the fruit offers a natural way to clean and whiten teeth.

Crystals; Encoded with Sacred Geometry E-Kit – Hibiscus Moon 

Crystals are deeply encoded with sacred geometry and hold ancient knowledge to be discovered.

Source: Crystals; Encoded with Sacred Geometry E-Kit – Hibiscus Moon 

This eKit is for you only if you’re ready to…

  • Reawaken your DNA with ancient knowledge through sacred geometry
  • Allow for more efficient resonance with your crystals by understanding the science behind the sacred geo-connection
  • Awaken & vibe-up your higher self to your highest potential 

The info I give you in this eKit will alter your current reality & deepen your crystal-connection, while also empowering you with ancient knowledge. You’ll feel so connected to your crystals, fueling you with knowledge + confidence to positively impact change.

With this eKit, we’ll be deep-diving into:

  • navigating the universal wisdom found within the sacred Platonic Solids
  • the Platonic Solids’ unique relationship to crystals
  • learning specific techniques & cosmic info to fully reach your potential
  • experiential exercises to deepen your connection to source energy
  • Plus, so much more!

The joy I had while creating this eKit is fully infused into the energy of it & you’ll surely feel it. If sacred geometry + crystals have been calling to you, fluttering awake your curiosity & intuition, then this eKit will be perfect for you.

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