Indigenous cultures from around the world celebrated the spring and fall equinoxes and the summer and winter solstices. When the traditional religions originated their festivals were also celebrated around the solstices and equinoxes. Over time the religions gradually removed the experiences of the seasons from their festival celebrations. They no longer have any significant connection to nature and the rhythmical interweaving of cosmic and earthly forces. As religious practices separated from the yearly cycles, so did humanity slowly separate from the living world it is so interconnected with.
Today there is a resurgence and genuine interest in a renewal of the festivals. Many sense a longing to reunite with the living world in a practical way. We know in our hearts that the spiritual divine essence is active in the life processes taking place within the seasons. Intuitively we feel that nature holds the key to the festivals and that our spiritual practices should not become separated from life as it breathes through the year.
The way to renew these traditional festivals is to re-create a genuine interest in nature and contemplate the true meaning of the particular traditional festivals that we celebrate and its place in the evolution of the earth. Only then will we have a living experience of the divine spirit as it weaves throughout the seasonal and hemispheric changes.
We can be observant of our connection with the divine spirit and how it interweaves in our daily lives by bringing attention to the times of transformation from day into night, night into day, and the yearly seasons. These significant times offer unique opportunities to unite with the divine forces radiating powerfully in the world. When we deeply experience inwardly the spring and summer growth and the declining of fall and winter we enter into the divine will of the world in the widest possible way. Our experience of the living world becomes real and genuine as we become conscious of the breathing rhythms in nature and begin to sense these outer changes in our own inner soul life. The moods of the seasons, the moon phases, planetary movements and the different parts of the days are within us and fashion our soul and body.
We are familiar with the feeling of the dark, cold, cozy winter days and how different this feeling is from the light, warm and dreamy mood of summer. Many also sense the difference of the full moon and the new moon. Nearly everyone notices the variation in the course of the day. The morning brings a completely different inner mood and bodily experience than the evening.
Poetically, I imagine and sense the life forces of the earth as a radiant cloak of divine light belonging to the spirit of the earth, the Spirit of Love. As the radiant cloak draws in during the wintertime I imagine the interior of the earth, the womb, shining deeper and brighter as the earth continues her inbreath. From a cosmic perspective I envision the earth being a brilliant golden star. Inwardly I am connected with this divine light and let it glow within me.
In spring I feel the divine light being exhaled with the life forces of the earth as the world manifests abundance of new life. I imagine the radiant cloak of light expanding into the cosmos. I unite myself with this jubilation, my inner soul life becomes one with the greening world.
I picture the forces at summer solstice, the height of this out breathing, meeting and interweaving with the cosmic forces streaming towards the earth. I sense a kind of dialog or conversation taking place. In this conversation I picture an exchange of visions and questions of destiny. I imagine my own soul/spirit-light echoing this cosmic dialog. I weave a basket in my heart to catch the fruits coming from the spiritual world. Enthusiasm, joy and anticipation of what are to come permeate my being.
When the radiant cloak of light in late summer and early fall draws back towards the earth again, I imagine the visions and renewed forces from the summer’s dialog interweaving the light. I sense an inner strength emerge with the courage to be true to my own destiny. I feel the spirit-light brightens within me as it joins with the world community of divine light.
I see this archetypal drama moving rhythmical in waves throughout the planet earth, changing seasonally with the hemispheric breathing. I imagine humanity uniting itself with these hemispheric breathing forces and in doing so the divine light becoming stronger and brighter as the earth, a star, grows brighter and more spiritual.
These old fashion oatmeal cookies are crisp and rich. Instead of carob use dark chocolate chips or cut dried fruit. Blend in whole oat flakes for a heartier cookie. For better digestibility, mix all the dry ingredients, except baking soda. Add one teaspoon of vinegar, or liquid from cultured foods to the wet ingredients. Mix the batter and let it rest for 6 hours in room temperature. Add the baking soda to a little flour, and mix it completely into the dough before spooning the dough on the baking sheet.
1 1/2 cups rolled quick oats
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup baking soda
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened carob chips (optional)
1/2 cup rice syrup
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a blender grind the oats to flour.
Heat a skillet and lightly toast the oat flour.
Mix oat and pastry flour, sea salt, baking soda, walnuts and carob chips together.
Whisk rice syrup, oil and maple syrup together, and add liquids to dry ingredients. If the dough is too dry, adjust by adding water.
Spoon the dough onto an oiled baking sheet. Cookies will expand, so leave room in between. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, then flip over and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until light golden. Let cool before serving.
by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt
A heart-centered, warmth-filled guide to the nurturing art of cooking.
"Cooking delicious nourishing meals - with heart and soul - is easy, fast, and fun with this great guide. Everything you need to know is right here - along with exercises and experiences that will help you love cooking, love yourself,
and love the earth."
-Susun S. Weed, Author, Healing Wise
Jessie Conaway, herbalist and experiential educator, takes you into the woods and out into her backyard to teach about wildcrafting and preparation and use of herbal remedies. Topics covered include trip planning, wildcrafting tips, herbal traditions, backyard wildcrafting and herb preparation. Herbs discussed are agrimony, balsam fir, blueberry, burdock, chaga, elder, goldthread, hazelnut, horsetail, mullein, partridgeberry, sarsaparilla, usnea, white oak, white pine, wintergreen and yarrow. Chapter index included.
I noticed the Wise Woman Herbal Ezine for January in my new mail folder just before leaving for the holidays. I discovered the power of the right moment when all my wishes went directly to my heart.
So I am returning to you all my very best wishes for the new year. May it give you all the joy and power you need for your life and loves and work. And please give my special thanks and good wishes to Susun who is the "center" of all.
I felt so relieved when I found the Susunweed.com and discovered that there was a whole community of women loving the goddess and the green earth in a way similar to my own. Since then I learned so much and found so much confirmation in your pages!
Susun and you keep "digging" up and sharing so much women treasures lost and hid and destroyed for such a long time.
I always supposed that she was around my own age (born 1949) and am happy to read that she is a little ahead of me, because I hoped and longed (and still do) that she would share too, what she will discover about growing and being old and living with death approaching.
Blessings and love to you and Susun finishing a decade and entering a new one.