Prayer Week. No judgment, no news, no social media. Quiet. Time for meditation and reflection. Last year was fruitful. Self respect, well being, harmony with Spirit, the simple life, all crystallized within me now. Ways of life. We have run hard, me and my allies. We look at each other now, hold hands and walk, not run into the future. For me, ten years is foundational, organic growth. Land, experience, skill to build upon.
I have purchased the book Raja Yoga by Swami Vivikenanda, which is his translation of Patanjali’s Yoga Aphorisms (Sutras). Swami Vivekananda was very influential in bringing Hinduism to the Western world in the late nineteenth century. I am a purist and always like to look for origins. We are in the blessed place in time where we can still see and honor origins. Hindusim presented to the Western world looks like a good place to start deepening my yoga practice. As I have mentioned, I read the Upanishads, central literature in Hinduism, very sweet because nature is revered. Written by a a sage know as Vyasa during the Vedic Age (c. 1500 – 500 BCE). I just love herstory/history. We do have access to the truth. We may have short-sighted tendencies, but when we find the time for research, it is a wonderful journey. I enjoy it thoroughly. At the moment I am reading The Diversity of Life by Edward O. Wilson, life from the microscopic to us and our impact on the planet. Along with my writing practice, I developed a reading practice two years ago. I read six hours a week now. I was having trouble finishing books in the three weeks allotted by the library. No problem now!
Since Covid, it has been difficult to purchase seed for the growing season. I have had to visit sites more than once to get everything (waiting lists, etc.). At least as a people, we understand the sustainable way to exist on Earth. The excitement for the season mounts. Our blanket of snow here in the Northeast bodes well for a productive season, barring extended cool temperatures, rain and hurricanes. Earth rests and we look forward to her awakening. Usually, I have photos of my Plant Family in Winter this time of year, but I would rather have snow. My social media posts have turned to video and photographs of my stored herbal wares. I did get one photograph of Garlic Mustard at Seed Song before the snow.
Garlic Mustard, Alliaria petiolata, Brassicaceae, Biennial, North Africa, Asia, Europe
One can fry the green seed pods. Garlic Mustard leaves taste like Garlic and the dried seeds taste like Mustard. Go figure. Isn’t Mother delightful placing two distinctly different flavors on one plant! I use the leaves for Wild Salad sparingly. Holding the same properties as Garlic, the leaves are heart medicine as well as immune boosting. The leaf tea can be used to purify the blood. A poultice can be used for skin ulcers and cuts.
Oatstraw, Avena sativa, Graminae, Annual, Western Europe
Our lovely Oatmeal for morning breakfast. I use the dried milky tops to make an infusion steeped 4 – 6 hours or overnight. Strain off the green and drink within thirty-six hours. Heart medicine as well as for a strong nervous system, yummy sweetness. No need to add honey.
It is Hungry Moon, the time of year when our Winter stores grow slim and we look forward to Spring and the opportunity to gather food again. I suppose our cleansing and fasting this time of year is a reflection of this ancient wisdom. Visions of gardens, gardens, gardens, dance in my head. Soon it’s time to go outside again and play! Ache!