Thursday, June 19, 2014

THE SUMMER SOLSTICE TRADITION

SUMMER SOLSTICE musings...

The Summer Solstice is June 21st...and is the longest day of the year...and marks the beginning of the Summer cycle...the season of growth and change.

The word solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium...which literally means "sun stands still".The Latin word acknowledges that for approximately six days in June and again in December...the sun appears to rise and set at more or less the same point on the horizon...appearing to stand still in the sky at this time.This illusion is caused by the slight tilt in the Earth's axis in relation to the sun.

Traditionally...going back to ancient times...bonfires were lit on the Summer Solstice...as a way to acknowledge and express gratitude to the sun...for being the source of heat to grow their crops and have plenty to eat.They understood that the forces in nature and the land were the one constant stable foundation in their lives...and celebrating the Summer Solstice was their way of showing respect...to the ever present rising and setting of the sun... which to the ancient people...was the giver of life to the land...and to them.Without the sun...to grow their food...they knew they would perish.

Many cultures around the world still to this day... carry on the tradition of having festivals and celebrations on the Summer Solstice...with fires...dancing...food and merriment to celebrate the sun.

For me personally...traditions that honor the changing seasons...keep me connected to the land... my own feminine spirit...and all of humanity. They also keep me ever mindful how much my very own life depends on the bounty of the Earth...and the Divine Intelligence of the Universe. Everything is intertwined and connected somehow...and must be cared for and acknowledged...as part of the whole. Traditions and celebrations of the changing seasons...help to keep me...and you...aware of the balance of life here on Earth...and reminds me as well as you... the value of all life...including the land... and your place in the world...and life itself.

Because I follow the seasons... and understand that each changing season... brings me different gifts and teachings...on how to live a more harmonious life as a woman...I have a tradition each year of creating a personal celebration for myself...on the Summer Solstice. Because the summer cycle is about growth and change...my mindful intention of this yearly celebration is always about me...wanting to live a more life affirming and heart centered life...which to me... means growing my soul... more. And being willing to make those changes within me...to do that.

This is the celebration I create...and I want to share it with you... hoping you will grow...and empower yourself more...by making it a new yearly tradition ...on this seasonal event.



SUMMER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION

SUPPLIES
paper and pen
1 candle

Towards evening...find a quiet...undisturbed space and place your paper and pen before you. Light your candle...and then gently close your eyes and take a few cleansing breaths... allowing your deep breathing to relax your body and clear your mind.

Say a prayer if you wish...asking for guidance on how you can grow and change...on a personal level...all those issues you have...or patterns you have developed over the years...that are not healthy or positive in your life.

Now at the top of your sheet of paper...write down.... making four columns across...the words...MENTAL...EMOTIONAL...PHYSICAL...and SPIRITUAL.  Take as long as you need to reflect and ponder... what you want to change...or what growth on a mental... emotional... physical...and spiritual level... you know in your heart you need in your life.Be very honest with yourself... but please do not judge yourself. We all have patterns that are negative...the purpose of this process is to clear about what needs to change and grow within you.

When you are complete with this process...write down under the particular column what you want to change...or seek growth in.

When you are finished...take a few moments to read over what you have written...and what steps you will need to take to change or grow into a better you. Be sure to keep your written list somewhere where you can easily read it...to keep you focused this season...and as a reminder of all you are wanting to do for yourself.

Happy Summer Solstice
Victoria

Thursday, June 12, 2014

FATHER'S DAY HANDCRAFTED GIFT FROM THE HEART

June 15th is Father's Day...a wonderful celebration to honor and nurture all Father's and spoil them with love and affection.

What better way to show Dad you love him than by handcrafting him a gift from your heart...a sweet gift he will cherish always.

SUPPLIES
paper
pen
an old recycled bottle or jar
imagination
decoration for the bottle or jar

Have your children sit down and write a poem or love letter to Dad...sharing with him through their hearts and written word... how much Dad means to them... then fold it and place in the bottle or jar.

Decorate the jar or bottle and give to Dad on Father's Day...he will love this special gift!!!

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!!

Victoria

Monday, June 9, 2014

FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS FOR YOUR... HOME...HEARTH...AND HEART

JUNE RECIPES...

NURTURE... yourself after a long morning or afternoon in your garden... by a shower or long soak in your tub...candles lit...a soft towel...and a soothing natural muscle and joint pain oil...that you have made yourself.

THYME & CEDARWOOD JOINT
& BACKACHE RUB

Rich in thymol...menthone and pinene...this thyme massage oil rub relieves backache and joint pain. The cedarwood oil enhances the healing effects of thyme and smells wonderful...with a musky... woody scent.

2 ounces jojoba oil
12 drops of pure thyme essential oil
12 drops of pure cedarwood oil
a recycled bottle or jar...clean and dry
small glass bowl to mix.

Mix all ingredients together in the small glass bowl...and then massage into painful areas with a gentle touch. Store any left over in the clean...dry bottle or jar. Store in a cool dry place for future use.

This also makes a great gift to give...double or triple the recipe ...place in a recycled glass bottle or jar...tie a tag with the ingredients and directions for use...written on it...and tie with a pretty ribbon.





FOOD...that is healthy and easy to make...makes for a simple summer dinner...enjoy!



SNAPPER WITH ALMONDS
Serves 4

1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 snapper fillets or cod the skin on and about 4 oz. each
salt and freshly ground pepper
juice of 1 fresh lemon
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

In a nonstick fry pan...toast the almonds until lightly browned. Set aside. Warm the olive oil and butter in the frying pan.Add the snapper skin-side up. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the fish to a warm serving plate and cover loosely with foil.

Add the lemon to the pan and whisk to blend with the pan juices.Pour over the fish and sprinkle with parsley...then the toasted almonds. Serve and savor this wonderful dish.

**** Cooking tip....When you add olive oil to butter...while cooking...the butter will not burn




Sunday, June 1, 2014

FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS FOR YOUR... HOME...HEARTH...AND HEART JUNE 2014

JUNE musings...

My daughter Andrea was born this month...many June moons ago...but the joy I felt when I first saw and held her...seems like just a few moments ago...to me.

Her birth brought such positive change for me...and such a gift and blessing...and I cherish that season of my life as a woman and as her mom.

Memories like that stay with a woman and a new mom ...no matter how many years ago that you birthed your child...or how old the child is. Sometimes at the strangest times...my thoughts turn fondly when my daughters were born...or I capture a glimpse of them when they were babies or very small children. Those are the very best memories for me...always...and my daughters are my most priceless and worthy accomplishments of my life.

It is so true the more years you walk the earth journey...the more you ponder the time you have lived...and experienced...and also begin to seriously value your time and how you spend it.On days when I know my daughter Andrea will call me on Skype...and I can talk and see her beautiful face and my little grandson...who both live many... many miles away... that event...being with them...via Skype becomes and is the most important priority for me...nothing else I have planned or on my do to list that day...matters.

My garden now is my time piece... the light or shadows of the ever present Sun...my clock. Being in nature...my feet touching the Earth...breathing in the greens...the colors of my flowers...the big oak tree right smack in the middle of the backyard... is my gate keeper...of time.

My garden shows me how and when to be hopeful of new beginnings in the gentle Spring cycle...and when my garden grows quickly and unstoppable...it is time for me too to get moving on projects and grow my soul more. The slow but steady release of leaves...the brown edges of my rose bushes...are tell tale signs of the Fall season... approaching...so I too reflect on what I need to "let go" of...which as I age...seems to be more with each passing year. The Winter cycle is my favorite season ...all living things in nature have seemed to stop...to retreat and nest within. I retreat as well...into my peaceful home...to create quiet space and solitude for myself... so I can ponder the year...of lessons learned...healing I still need to begin...and to renew my spirit.

My journey as a woman...has gifted me with seasons...each season or cycle... bringing me the joys and sorrows that life brings to any woman. With each season I have had lessons...and turns in the road...that I did not ask for...or even want...but somehow made me a better person...and woman.

No time has been wasted...for each season...each trial...and setback...has helped me grow my soul...and opened my heart more. To the wonder and joy of life...and my place in it.

I am in a good season...right now...a blessed time...in my life...and I feel such gratitude for all the many blessings I have.

I am still growing and learning...and the lesson of patience is still an ongoing struggle for me.But when I feel frustrated...because " it hasn't happened yet"... I go outside and gaze at my garden...in particular my tomato plants...full of tiny green tomatoes...yearning to grow into full maturity...which they will  someday. When I am reminded of this simple truth... in my garden...I know in my heart...that being patient...having faith...and staying in integrity with myself...the best of times...are still to come.

May you be blessed this month,
Victoria
 


EARTH PRAYERS

Within the circles of our lives
we dance the circles of the years,
the circles of the seasons
within the circles of the years,
the cycles of the moon
within the circles of the seasons,
the circles of our reasons
within the cycles of the moon.

Again,again we come and go,
changed,changing. Hands.
join, unjoin in love and fear,
grief and joy.The circles turn,
each giving into each, into all.
Only music keeps us here,

each by all the others held.
In the hold of hands and eyes
we turn in pairs, that joining
joining each to all again.

And then we turn aside, alone,
out of the sunlight gone

into the darker circles of return.
by Wendell Berry



WEDDINGS IN JUNE

Did you know...some classical scholars believe that the month of June is actually named after Juno...the Roman goddess of marriage.

The Greek civilization created the tradition of placing wedding rings on the third finger of the left hand...because the ancient Greeks believed a vein in this finger ran directly to the heart.


HERBAL BRIDAL SHOWER
CONSULTATIONS WITH VICTORIA

If you are wanting to be a hostess for a family member or a close friend who is getting married...I offer you consultations... on how to plan and create beautiful...old-fashioned and unique HERBAL BRIDAL SHOWERS.

Just click on my link Feminine Living...on the right hand side of this blog and then click on the button TRADITIONS .Scroll down to Consultations...where you can place your order. I will contact you via email...when to set up your first telephone or Skype consultation with me. From start to finish...I will assist you in creating a memorable and heart warming experience for the bride to be... that will always be remembered and cherished. And because I am committed to good customer service...follow up support is always included in my fee.




WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS FOR JUNE

June 2nd my daughters birthday...June 5th World Environment Day...June 8th...World Ocean's Day...
June 14th Flag Day...June 15th..Father's Day...June 21st...Summer Solstice


FLOWERS FOR JUNE
The Rose

GEMSTONES FOR JUNE
The pearl...moonstone...alexandrite...agate...opal

FULL MOON IN JUNE
June 13th



NATURAL BEE STING MEDICINE

Bee's naturally will not harm you...unless they feel threatened or disturbed...but sometimes a bee sting does happen...especially to those who garden...spend time in nature. Below is a natural way to treat your bee sting...but if you have an allergy to bee sting...PLEASE USE YOUR PRESCRIBED MEDICINE.

If you get stung by a bee..remove the stinger with clean tweezers. Apply a paste of baking soda and cold water. A mixture of parsley juice and honey will also help to ease the irritation...just crush the parsley leaves and stems to release the juice.

Also a cold...wet tea bag makes a good poultice for bites and stings.Tea contains tannic acid...which helps to reduce swelling.



FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS...

...FOR YOUR HOME

Clear out furniture and accessories from your home this June...that just add clutter...or are so worn and torn...they make the room they are in look shabby and  worn. Take stock of what you want to keep...in each room... and then see where you can place a furniture item...picture...rug or accessory ...in one room and place it in another...rearranging in a different way. You will be so pleased and amazed how good... items in one room in your home...looks in another room as well. Things is such a practical and wonderful way to redecorate your whole house...recycling at its finest...and no expense for you!!!

Switch out all your light bulbs for more energy efficient lighting.

Start using your best china and special occasion items...everyday...it makes no sense to use these lovely items for company only...you and your family are worthy of using them everyday.


...FOR YOUR HEARTH

Be sure to eat seasonal fruit and buy fruit from local farmers...keeping prosperity in your community...as well as your food cost ...and you will also be helping the environment when you do not support air transportation or costly trucking from food that is transported out of your area.

I am easily swayed to get out my fork or spoon for anything made with fruit...or a recipe that calls for an ingredient of organic... culinary lavender. Below is a simply wonderful recipe that uses both...enjoy!


PEACH CRISP WITH LAVENDER
Serves 8

6 cups sliced ripe peaces
1 tablespoon lemon juice
about 1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 scant teaspoon dried organic...culinary lavender
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter...cut into pieces
1/8 teaspoon salt
few grinds of fresh ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter a 2-1/2 quart baking dish. Combine the peaches...lemon juice...sugar...cornstarch...and lavender flowers in a bowl and toss well. If the peaches are tart add a little more sugar.Transfer the peach mixture to the baking dish and spread evenly.

Combine the flour...brown sugar...salt...and nutmeg in a bowl and stir to blend.Cut the butter into the crisp ingredients with a pastry blender until just blended.Spread the mixture over the fruit and bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes...until the crisp is golden brown and the peaches are bubbling. Serve warm or at room temperature. This treat is great topped with vanilla ice cream too if you wish.

*** You can order organic culinary lavender from www.mountainroseherbs.com or your local organic food store should have it available.


WHOLE NUTMEG
You will never purchase ground nutmeg again once you purchase and cook with whole nutmeg... found in bottles at your food store. The taste is unbeatable when you grind it yourself...on those little tiny graters made just for this use...plus it is so easy to grate nutmeg.

I think it also looks so pretty to place whole nutmeg out on your kitchen counter...in a pretty recycled bottle or jar for all to see.



...FOR YOUR HEART

Run through the sprinkler with your children this month...and connect with your own inner child...as well as spending some quality and good old-fashioned fun time with your children.

Have reading night with your family or for yourself at least once every two weeks. This means no television...cell phones or video games. Everyone read their own books...or a family favorite to read out loud... being sure to give everyone a turn at being the chosen reader.