Winter Solstice-Water Element Podcast Episode

The ultimate yin energy is upon us on December 21st as Winter Solstice approaches and we experience the shortest day and longest night of the year. This year, we will also have a Solstice Full Moon to illuminate the night sky. 

In Chinese medicine, the day after Winter Solstice is when yang begins to rise again. As yin was dominant with the lengthening days, yang ascends slowly to overtake yin. Yang dominates after Spring Equinox when yin and yang reside in balance for a brief Earth day. 

The beginning of Winter also moves us from the Metal Element into the Water Element. (This statement needs a little clarification: For many of us that study the 5 elements, the Earth element/phase represents the 18 day transitional period between each season; therefore the Earth element is between the Metal and Water elements, and so forth).

The Water Element has many correspondences, like the season of Winter, the color of black/dark blue, and the flavor of salty. Instead of writing it all out for you- listen to this week’s episode of The Herb Walk Podcast where I discuss Winter Solstice, the Water Element, and deer penises (you’re just gonna have to listen to find out why!)

May your days be merry and bright!

With love,

Jessica 

when energy flows, wellness grows 

Winter Solstice Celebration

Winter Solstice is the celebration of the longest night of the year. It is a time to gather with loved ones and reflect on the past year. It is a time to honor what we have lost and gained. We celebrate the harvest and the cycles of the Earth. We honor our own cycles and what has transpired for us since the last dark night.

On Winter Solstice, we gather to write down what we need to get rid of before the return of the Sun. We go deep within and root out our darkest fears, so they can be brought to light, transformed, and released. Build a fire and write down these fears, throw them into the flames and watch them burn and be transformed into smoke and ash. Now write down what you want to cultivate in the year ahead. It can be cultivating kindness, community, or money. Tape your intentions to your bathroom mirror and say them out loud every morning. You will be surprised at how quickly these thoughts and words become reality.

As you hold your ceremony, you might want to have your herbal allies to help bring insight into your fears and intentions.

Herbs that Ground & Guide

Rosemary– spicy, aromatic, and stimulating, rosemary reminds you of who you are. Rosemary guides energy through all three burners (san jiao in Chinese medicine) and transforms dampness, bringing clarity to all situations. A sprig in 8 ounces of hot water will also help with bloating and nausea after eating.

Reishi mushroom– bitter and calming, reishi mushroom assists you in going deep. Reishi calms the mind and the spirit, making it an important herb in quieting an overactive mind and nervous system. One medium sized mushroom can be decocted in a quart of water for 1-12 hours as a medicinal tonic (take 1-4 ounces of decoction daily). The longer you boil, the more bitter the tea becomes.

Marshmallow root– cool and nourishing, marshmallow root soothes irritation in the digestive and urinary tracts. It benefits anybody that needs to be nurtured and supported. One tablespoon of marshmallow root simmered in 8 ounces of water for 15 minutes makes a grounding, earthy tasting tea.

For the love of plants,

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Jessica

when energy flows, wellness grows

Image credit: Annya

 

Winter Solstice Anointing Oil

Winter Solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. It is celebrated as the turning of the wheel and the return of the Sun. We are in rhythm with these holy days and we feel our own energy slowly begin to rise as our yang energy increases with the sun.

This essential oil blend honors the holy season of spiritual rebirth with Frankincense, Myrrh and Hemp and celebrates the return of the sun with Saint John’s Wort. It is divine!

Winter Solstice Blendfrankincense-essential-oil

1 ounce Apricot Kernel Oil

3 drops Frankincense essential oil

3 drops Myrrh essential oil

2 drops Hemp essential oil

2 drops St. John’s Wort essential oil

Add essential oils to Apricot kernel oil, one at a time, blending completely between each addition. Pour into a 1 ounce roll-on bottle. Anoint yourself and your loved ones on the top of the head, temples, chest, and lower back.

Invoke the energy of the sun and give thanks for the warmth, light and life it provides.

With love,

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Jessica

Photo credit: Organic Facts

Recipe: Spiced Cider in Time for the Winter Solstice

Today brings the Winter Solstice, a time of introspection and renewal as we once again welcome the lengthening of days. Solstice is one of my favorite holy days and I find comfort and warmth in knowing that slowly the days will catch up to the night.

Like many of you, my year has been full of changes that have been both overwhelming and amazing.

LiaandFaunaThe most heart warming occurrence is the birth of my niece Fauna Jessette Sunshine Schneider on Dec. 3, 2015, at 3:03 a.m. Much to the surprise of my sister Lia and her husband Scott, Fauna came a couple of months early because she just had to have all the auspicious threes in her birth chart and the adventurous nature of Sagittarius was beckoning her to enter the world. My heart melts just thinking about her!

Another great thing that happened was I finally have my Blurbs on Herbs video series on YouTube.  I also have a free business video to share with you. As soon as I have the approval from NCCAOM, I will also share my three videos I have for sale for those that need your Acupuncture CEU/PDA. The first month the videos are available I will have a 20 percent off sale on all 2016 classes (live and distance learning).

I hope all of  your holy day celebrations are filled with love, laughter, and good memories. Try to keep the drama low and the compassion high as you sit down with friends and family the next couple of weeks.

Here is a spiced cider to warm you on cold winter nights. It is also great with a shot or two of brandy added. As always, use organic ingredients.

Recipe: Spiced Cider

Ingredients/Instructions:
1 to 2 grams hawthorn berries
1 cinnamon stick
A pinch of clove
A handful of orange peel

Simmer all ingredients with apple juice for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain, sip and enjoy.