Observing change in our lives
Its been a busy month. I have found myself here at Halloween, the day of the dead.
It is blustery here in Vermont, and as the season shifts to cooler air, and a slight frost dusts my windows so early in the morning I am taking note of the changes around me. It is nearing the time where we enter back into our bodies and allow ourselves to go deep. To creep back into our souls and come home for a while. To nourish and feed our bodies.
In the five element practice of chinese herbalism we find ourselves coming back into the time of metal. Where we shed what we do not need, we let go, and allow ourself to ground and think about all that has happened over the past year. When I look to the trees I see that this process is happening already. Their vital energy is moving back down to the roots to hibernate for winter. Their brilliant leaves of red and oranges and gold are changing to brown and collecting on the ground.
Here in vermont, winter is coming, even the distant peaks of the Adirondacks across the lake have had the first dusting of snow in the high peaks and southern parts have already felt the first of the snow.
I think today is the perfect day for subtly observing what you do not need in your life.
Traditionally halloween, or the festival of Samhain was a marking point of the end of the harvest, the lighter more fruitful part of the year and the beginning of the darker half. In some cultures this day is marked as the eve before the first day of winter; November 1st.
I cant say that I am fully ready for the winter to arrive, but I do feel prepared to allow the change to happen. I always look forward to a little down time.
Lately I have taken to a favorite drink , one that I believe is grounding and nourishing and helps to support my body during the changing of the seasons . Id like to share the recipe with you..
I have always loved chai, but this recipe combines all sorts of recipes from herbalist friends, and a little twist of inspiration from my herb shelf. Every time I formulate the herbs, it changes just a little bit. I stand in front of my herbs with a bowl, and begin to add whatever calls to me. However, It always contains spices to warm and circulate the blood, roots and adaptogens to nourish and ground and a few flower blossoms to keep the heart open.
Here is my recipe but feel free to change and alter, and come up with your own ideas.
1/2 cup Cinnamon chips/ or a few sticks.
1/3 cup ginger root
1/4 cup Cardamom pods
2 tbl Star anise
2 tbl Black peppercorns
1 tbl clove buds
1/4 cup rose petals
1/4 cup holy basil leaves
1/2 cup Astragalus root
1/2 cup Eleuthero (Siberian ginseng) root
1/3 cup Burdock root
1/4 cup Hawthorn berries
a few pieces of orange peel
a slice of vanilla bean
Depending of how much I am making I use about 2 tablespoons of the mix to a cup of water in a pan. Bring the tea to a boil and then reduce and simmer for 20 minutes. (Bask in that glorious smell) When finished strain out the herbs and add milk and honey to your taste. Sometimes I even add coconut milk as an extra treat, and a little maple syrup. Sip with intention!
So, here is to nourishing our bodies and embracing the ritual of coming home again.