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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in tea

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Tea with Frigga

I intended to make it more elaborate. I thought of getting out the embroidered round altar piece with Frigga spelled out in runes, at least. Possibly a decorative spindle. Find and bring out a matching tea pot and tea cup and even a saucer. Get or maybe even make some tea cookies. In reality I just made the tea in the usual pot that was already sitting on the kitchen counter. Instead of a beautifully arranged altar setup we just had our tea at the table, without even a table cloth, like a friend had dropped over to help out and express support.

Who knew the sovereign goddess, the queen of heaven, the goddess most associated with the running of an efficient estate, could also be the sort of friend who ignores the mess when one is overwhelmed?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tea Magick – Going Within

Tea is as old as plants and water. Humans seem to always have known the valuable properties tea can offer; From alleviating symptoms of the common cold to lowering cholesterol, to stimulating the sex drive… and so much more. Tea has been around for centuries and has been used by many cultures in a variety of ways; including Magick!

I have been a practicing Witch for well over 2 decades. I have been a certified Master Herbalist for well over 15 years, and one thing I feel is missing from the Magickal world is tea. Rarely do you hear about tea being used in ritual and Magick. Of course, we have all heard of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, but this is a limited view of how tea is used in a meaningful way. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Honoring Mothers

Besides honoring our own moms this Sunday, there’s a mother goddess who could use a nod from us as well. Holding an "afternoon tea” for all of the beloved mothers in your life: friends whose parenting skills you admire, grandmothers, yourself – could be just the appropriate way to embrace the feminine energies flowing full-force right about now.

Since most consider it a luxury to sleep in, honor that too and shoot for a mid-day brunch. Hosting it yourself skips over-priced restaurants with long wait lines and gives your highly-regarded female friends a break with having to lift a finger. Have a variety of teas available to choose from, caffeinated and herbal. Make it a fancy affair with a tea service, if you have access to one, cream, honey, sugar cubes, and lemon slices. I would stop short of requiring people to dress up, however. In fact, encouraging slouchy sweats, comfy yoga pants, and hide-in hoodies should really be the order of the day.

If you do have some British blood in your family tree, by all means, embrace that. Set out a collection of small plates filled with cucumber finger sandwiches, assorted cookies and mini scones, and seasonal and organic fresh fruit. Play some Mozart in the background to set the mood and create a stimulating backdrop for intriguing conversation.

If weather permits, take it out to the patio. Regardless, have several vases of colorful fresh-picked flowers set out to welcome your guests. Gift everyone with a sachet of real lavender to take home and put in a dresser drawer or under a pillow. Before departing, let everyone there know how much they mean to you and how blessed you are to have them in your life. This is a feel-good day that should be about nurturing – for yourself and for others. Even if you are not a mother in this lifetime, that doesn’t mean you can’t practice some of those caring skills on your long-neglected you.

CUCUMBER WATERCRESS SANDWICHES
32 thin slices peeled English (hothouse) cucumber
4 tablespoons Neufchâtel cheese, at room temperature
8 thin slices white sandwich bread
1/2 cup watercress leaves (or assorted fresh local microgreens)
1/2 cup radishes, sliced thin
coarse salt
     To make the cucumber-watercress sandwiches, using paper towels, pat the cut surfaces of the cucumber slices to remove any excess   
moisture. Lightly spread cheese on one side of bread slice. Scatter the watercress leaves evenly over all of the spread bread slices. Layer the cucumber slices over the watercress leaves on 4 of the bread slices. Top the cucumber with some of the radishes and a pinch of salt. Top with the remaining 4 bread slices, cheese side down.
     (Recipe adapted from Steve Siegelman, "Williams-Sonoma Entertaining"

Photo by Stuart Miles from freedigitalphotos.net

 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
On Loki and Teacups

Long-time readers of this blog have watched me go through a strange journey. After 25 years as Priestess of Freya, comfortable with my spiritual routines, it was weird to suddenly have Loki crack open my head and funnel all the other gods in, all because I walked out of a movie saying, "I bet I could write something more authentic than that."

It's had it's up and downs, but my life is so much better now. Some of the changes have been big, some small. Sometimes it's the small things that impact everyday life. Once, one of my friends on social media asked rhetorically "Who needs more chaos in their life?"

Well, I did. Or at least, I needed less order. I needed to be less rigid in my personal rules for myself. I had thought there was something wrong with drinking tea from a coffee cup. My mom, with whom I share a house, thought there was something wrong with making a kettle of tea and using a real teacup for a single cup when I could just microwave a coffee mug. Rather than either argue with her or use the "wrong" cup for my tea, sometimes I wanted a cup of tea and didn't make one.  Loki reduced my excessive rule-following. He showed me it was OK to have tea in a coffee cup.

One of the processes Loki led me through was to break each of my unthinking routines, one by one. Each one had to be examined to see if it was really useful or if it was unnecessary. The useful habits were kept, and the unnecessary ones jettisoned, just like going through an old closet and trying on the clothes to see which ones to keep.

I got used to being able to drink my tea from a coffee cup and not feel uncomfortable. And then-- presto! About a year later I found a box of gorgeous antique teacups in the garage. My gramma's, I guess. So now I can drink tea from a teacup again-- a better one. And that's Loki all over.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Goddesses Brew

My Northern Lights Goddesses Brew debuted at Yule 2016, but it can be used for any occasion when one wishes to honor the heathen goddesses. It's an extract of herbs in grain alcohol. Because it uses fresh lavender, I can only make it when lavender is blooming in my garden. The grain in the grain alcohol honors Sif, goddess of wheat and corn. The herbs honor other goddesses, as listed below. I first extract and then strain the fresh lavender, which takes between one to three weeks, and then extract the other herbs from commercial tea, which takes about a week. 

Grain for Sif 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tea and Incantation

Once per month on the 4th Tuesday at 8pm, I host a Tea and Chanting session at my shop, The Sacred Well in Oakland, CA. For each session, I prepare an intention for the group to consider, a new tea recipe to try, and a mantra that we will all chant 108 times. We then settle in to our meditation space, sip tea, chant, and increase our overall wholeness, wellness, and quality of energy with this practice. There is something really satisfying about this ritual. It clears and opens significant channels of energy and healing via the throat chakra.

I extend this experience in myTea and Incantation class in The Witch's Garden series as an exploration of how the art of drinking tea and chanting can positively affect the body, mind, and spirit. The throat, an important gateway of speech, song, breath, and consumption of food and drink, deserves lots of warm, kind, honeyed love. How many times per day do you find yourself talking, talking, talking or listening, listening, listening, and longing for silence? How often do you feel like you can't even catch a breath because you feel overrun and overwhelmed? We all feel that way sometimes. Drinking tea and chanting can be a great antidote to a loud and stressful environment, job, or life circumstances.

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