October 2020 Issue #3
Earth Element 101 Harvest 2020 Attaching & Detaching Gu Qi Nutritive Fuel Skin Health Stillness Of Movement Harvest Harmony
Dao Yin Earth To Metal Turning Off Fake News Metal Element Qi Gong
Harvest Reflections The Great Balancer Ritual
Cayenne Plant Spirit Medicine Fiery Elderberry Immune Booster Immune Boost Tea Blood Moon Tonic Hawthorn Plant Spirit Medicine Happy Heart Elixir Super Antioxidant Lip Scrub Skin and Lung Renewal Seasonal Steams
Food As Medicine Pickled Green Mango & Peaches Simple Congee Roasted Squash 2 ways Harvest Porridge
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Look out for these words as clickable interactive links to take you into deeper knowledge Wisdom & understanding
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Shifting into Metal
â€œEarth occupies the center and is called the heavenly fructifier. It is the assister of Heaven. Its power is abundant and good, and cannot be assigned to the affairs of a single season only. Therefore among the five Elements and four Seasons, Earth embraces all. Although Metal, Wood, Water and Fire each have their own particular duties, they could not stand were it not for Earthâ€?. Tung Chung-Shu, Philosopher 2nd Century B.C.E.
T ung Chung-Shu, Philosopher 2nd Century B.C.E. Listen In
Harvest T ime 2020
The movement from the reprieve of later summer earth energies into fall when the landscape is illuminates by hues of yellow, orange and red and our gardens are producing their last crops we shift into gathering mode. Canning, storing, freezing and processing our harvest for the fall and winter there is a natural sense of abundance an harmony at this time of year. Stillness allows us to gather and take time out to absorb what we need to hold onto building trust that we have what we need to survive and draw energy from. The earth is preparing to turn inward as the days get shorter and sun descends on the southern horizon the rays of light are contrasted by the lingering longer shadows lengthening the passing time of daylight. The sweet spot during this transition boasts a gentle beauty that feels like nourishment if we stop to slow with its settling energy. Grounding in and getting practical with what we need to get through the coming months requires taking inventory and checking in with what is happening around us. We are shifting though uncertain political times and influxes of anxiety and worry in the social sphere making this particular harvest time unique in the fact that many people feel like that are on shaky ground. Now is a great time to stock up on staples for the winter in the form of dry, canned and frozen foods. It is a time to process the harvest and store for the coming months. Thinking more like our ancestors this year and preparing ahead will help assure stability over the fall and winter and build a sense of trust. Uncertainty hit us in spring
time of 2020 when the natural tendency of renewal was just beginning; this gave people a chance to redefine with purpose and renew a connection to the direction that is authentic to them. As we look ahead towards the yin time of year, preparation and forward thinking is key especially in the conditions of unstable ground and unsure footing society is facing. Things to place our attention on include inner fortification for yourself and family, strengthening community bonds and shared resources and a hunkering down for winter with a safety net of connection. Metal energies are naturally bringing on an unraveling and dispersing energy for release. We will experience this in the coming weeks as physical release, psychological or emotional release and even social and structural unraveling we wonâ€™t have control over. The more stability we have in our inner reserves and the storehouses apron us the easier it will be to move though the inevitable changes in the coming months.
Canned vegetables Freeze Dried Foods Dry grains like rice, oats and flour Dried beans and pastas Frozen meats and veggies Hard shelled squashes and root vegetables Bones & Stocks
Gold, Silver, Cash, Crypto Currency Boosting savings & diversifying where your â€œstoreâ€? your money and assets you are investing into.
Connection & Resources Invest into home and family Connect to ritual around Food and nourishment Childcare co-ops Homeschooling co-ops or pods Trade Circles Pot lucks Closed loop gatherings Skill Shares Hiring local Healing circles
Clean water Lysposomal Vitamin C Zinc & Vitamin D Immune supporting herbs Teas and tonics Anchoring into breath Exercise and restoration practices Eating real foods and maintaining A balanced seasonal diet
Between heaven and earth, mankind is precious. Manâ€™s head is round to symbolize the shape of heaven. The foot is square to symbolize the shape of earth. Heaven has four seasons; man has four limbs. Heaven has five phases; man has five viscera (zang). Heaven has six extremes (i.e., upper, lower, north, south, east, west); man has six bowels (fu). Heaven has eight winds (i.e., winds that blow from the eight cardinal points); man has eight joints. Heaven has nine stars; man has nine orifices. Heaven has twelve time periods; man has twelve meridians. Heaven has twenty-four solar terms; man has twenty-four shĂš points (acupuncture points that run bilaterally alone the spine). Heaven has three hundred and sixty five degrees; man has three hundred and sixty five bones and joints. Heaven has sun and moon; man has eyes. Heaven has day and night; man has wakening and sleep. Heaven has thunder and lightning; man has joy and anger. Heaven has rain and dew; man has snivel and tears. Heaven has yin and yang; man has cold and heat. Earth has springs and water; man has blood and vessels. Earth has grass and woods; man has hair on his skin and head. Earth has metal and stones; man has teeth.
-Sun Si Miao
T he Art Of Attaching & Detaching The beauty of the autumn trees never cease to amaze me how they show such brilliance luminous color just before they release their leaves to the ground below. For only a few weeks the fall colors are a spectacle of awe and symbol of stillness before letting go. I find it poetic that the last moments before letting go boast such beauty as if it were a metaphor of appreciation before release. There is a savoring of sweetness in the weeks watching the colors change, each day more yellow cascades down our creek line cutting though the vast landscape illustrating the contrast in foliage. There is a brilliant aspen grove high above where I do my standing practice. I start in darkness with cold fingertips from the crisp morning air, immersed in twilight color that seems deeper blue day by day as I face the east welcoming renewal. Time passes breath by breath as the inner heat generates from my bodies ability to match gravities force to create inner lift and expand my structure. About the time I dial in my alignment and have taken enough breaths to transform my resistance to something new, the rising sun begins illuminates the aspens high above me. The shine is a little brighter each day, yellow spreads though the green leaves and the first rays or light peak over the mountain, golden sun kissing that grove with a brightness that seems so magical it could only be a fleeting moment to savor. I absorb the light while I can knowing it will pass as the autumn fully begin letting go in the next few weeks. Metal energies are coming and the art of attaching and detaching are spotlighted. We learn this time of year to move though bonding and un-bonding, and master grace in the natural process of decline towards death and the full contraction of winter. The trees know not to cling to their leaves for as the air gets colder they must pull all their reserves inward. A beautiful blanket of what once rustled in the
soft breeze of summer and changing winds of fall will soon crunch under our feet. Some of the branches that have dies off fall to the ground and what is let is the core that settles into the restful state of reprieve. We too go though this release each year inviting in more inward refection and inner focus. In harvest time we take inventory of what we have for the winter, storing and stacking energy to be burned over the colder months. We gather based on what is important. Psychologically this is the time of year to choose what is important enough for us to give our breath to and pull closer into our center and what is a waste and needs to be discarded or composted for the future. The metal yin energies are responsible for the attachment and sustaining of bonds, this is done though the inspiration of the breath and relates to the lung energies. The lungs connect us to our instincts and identity as they naturally respond and react to the stimulus that inspires us. With each new breath we take in experience and become more of who we are by choosing to bond the external world to our inner terrain though our breathing. The lungs are known as the tender organ as they are sensitive to the world around us and our openness can be gauged though our breath patterns. We hold our breath when we are scared, go shallow and rushed when facing conflict or feel inspiration when the artistry of expression or connection takes out breath away. If we are deficient in the ability to create bonds and connections we feel un inspired and loose the capability to develop inner authority or confidence. The trees are said to be the lungs of the earth, responding and reacting to their environment, you can tell if the air quality is clean based on the mosses and lichen that grow in a forest, the populations of insects and the nature of
the earth they are planted in by the way they grow and the plants that accompany them. They provide oxygen and tell the stories of the ancestors though the leaves movement in the winds. They teach us how to respond to the air and move with it and release when the time is right to preserve ourselves. Balanced Lung energies support us to identify and respond and how to have confidence in the ease of raising without too much burden. The capacity to detach is found in the function of the yang aspect of metal element and is modulated by the out breath and the release of waste through the colon. Balanced metal energies set up the maturation of letting go. The colon energy holds on to the last bit of waste and extracts the last bit of useful hydration before eliminating and releasing it. There is a deep knowing of self and maturation that comes from the capacity to take in and release, our identity is developed though this process. The inspiration and resources we connected to become part of us and we can let go of the parts that arenâ€™t useful or have expired. When we contract in release we naturally move on and donâ€™t resit change. There is a relationship between this process and our maturation and identity, a deep knowing of how to value or honor what we has inspired us and find space to let it go. Relationships, material objects, phases and the inevitable loss though death and decline all serve as a playground for our consciousness to develop and work with these energies. Experience in attaching and detaching grows our inner authority and our truth helping us to contact back inward to what we are made of. Just as the trees show us this process each autumn with the utmost beauty and simplicity this art of transition becomes a growth phase we can touch into year after year as a source of our own inner evolution. Taking the time to assess what you have and what is important while leaving behind that which doesnâ€™t serve you invites the ultimate freedom. The freedom of letting go and excitement of moving on sets up the conditions for future growth and inspiration to come making space for what is new while keeping the rhythm of expansion and contraction in motion.
Gu Qi: the nutritive qi Nutritive qi or the Gu Qi is a special type of energy that the body needs to support all of its actions on a day to day basis, essentially it is like the gas in the tank the body runs off of. Gu Qi literally translates to “grain energy” and is extracted from the food and nutriments we take in the form of food we eat. The process to building good Gu Qi is two fold relying on both a balanced diet and the ability of the body to properly transform what we eat and drink into useful energy. Food has always been my love language and ties me deeply into family traditions and the joy of gathering around a table as well as the rich cultural learning I have experienced though traveling and tasting food from all over the world. It wasn’t until I became a mother and took on the role of nurturing another life that I learned the value of simplicity and rhythm in nourishment. I naturally gravitated to the study of food as medicine as part of my in home healthcare routines and in the support of my clients which lead me back to understanding the more we can make food “easy’ the more we can find balance. I have also learned that nourishment doesn’t only come from the physical substance of food but is absorbed though love, support and the intentions or creative processes we express and receive in life. There is a deep connection on how we nourish ourselves and our sense of value and trust, and how we were nourished and supported as children. From a mind body perspective the earth element relates directly to our primary mother bond and our ability to receive love and support as babies, as adults we learn to evolve that initial bond and care into self care and self nourishment. When we feel valued and have value in the self we naturally will want to feed ourselves with the things that bring us stability and balance and will have an easy time receiving that support. I am huge advocate for eating real food, seasonal eating and setting up a rhythm and ritual around eating to support regularity and balance. The concept of real food is simple: eat food in its whole form and reduce the amount of packaged and processed foods. This approach takes you on a wonderful journey that will teach you how to work with whole foods and learn the nuances of their characteristics. Eating real food is also more budget friendly as you learn to use all parts of the food and eliminate the cost of processing and packaging. Those extra costs are traded in for a deeper intimacy and relationship to your food that is found in handling and processing and getting creative and resourceful with all parts.
Building Gu Qi Eat a healthy diet of real whole foods Eat organic when possible Avoid cold drinks & excess raw foods Eat until just before full Sit still while eating Set a daily rhythm for cooking & eating Avoid eating on the go Take time to digest before jumping into mental or physical activities Eliminate: Food Additives Packaged foods Processed foods Refined sugar Excess dairy
â€œLet food by thy medicine and medicine be thy foodâ€? -Hippocrates
Many years ago I spent the summer gardening with my uncle Dave we would watch the skies together and notice the flight paths of airplanes and observe the movement of clouds and weather patterns together. That year I planted over 30 tomato plants in the intention of learning how to preserve them for the winter, having the help of my uncle who was a master gardener and famous for his salsa and tomatoes was a blessing that year that. He visited regularly though the season. I learned his technique for staking the tomato plants with wood and strips of old t shirts and how the timing had to be just right to assure the support and growth of the plant. I learned companion planting with marigolds, basil and was blessed with a whole bunch of his seeds and special heirloom garlic which we monitored and grew together thought the year. That year these lessons became metaphors for partnership and shared work, the acts of learning together and preservation of transition and knowledge I remember feeling such purpose and strength come though my entire being. One afternoon while I was harvesting potatoes collecting them in my apron that served as a hammock to carry them I felt nostalgic and satisfied with the harvest energy as I brushed the dirt off of them; uncle Dave looked up at me in that moment and told me I reminded him of his grandmother and his time with her as a child on the farm in Nebraska. In that moment I knew how important these simple moments around growing food were threading meant deeper connections with my roots and giving me straight to support my future. At the end of the season we harvested what felt like a field of tomatoes, peppers and garlic in preparation for salsa making. Uncle Dave showed up with stacks of mason jars and two large canning baths that belonged to my grandmother. I remember seeing the large black canning pans dotted with white specks in the basement of her house and immediately felt her presence as he set them don on the table. We chopped peppers and garlic all afternoon watching piles of them form on the counter while working in batches to boil and remove the skins from the tomatoes. By the end of the day we had gallons of salsa simmering on the stove that Dave attended to with a wooden spoon stirring regularly and tasting and adjusting herbs along the way. I remember the aroma of salsa simmering though the air as the children rushed in and out of the kitchen with playful laughter and watching him attend to the salsa with a present watchful awareness, un bothered by the children food concentrating all his intention on the perfect combination of ingredients, this is why his salsa was the best, because with every stir he wove love into its dynamic flavor. This was my first lesson in canning, learned how to sterilize the jars, wipe them clean, and full and process them for storage. I felt like I was remembering a part of my heritage and at the same time being given the keys to a depth of knowledge and empowerment I could carry on to teach my daughters to preserve, as if I was a gate keeper of part of my culture. We put up countless jars that year. Deep in the winter months there was something so profound and nourishing that happened for me every time I would crack open a fresh jar, the smell hit differently than store bought jars, like a reminder of who I am and my heritage in each pop of the seal and turn of the band. The taste seemed to penetrate every part of me and the satiation of the meal that salsa accompanied made me feel whole, content and like I could trust in myself that I held the knowledge to care for myself and my family. This is when I learned for real what food as medicine meant and that nutriments arenâ€™t only the vitamins, minerals and structure of our food but the ritual and experience that food goes though from seed to harvest and the love that is put into preparation. One of the most profound thing I think we can do for our nourishment is cook tougher with our families and preserve tradition as it is a pleasure that weaves our stories and traditions into us.
Food as medicine is a not only a concept but a lifestyle and commitment to understanding your self and relationship to your food. Though deepening this relationship over time you learn the vital nourishment that is confined in different foods, why you crave certain things the essence of color, smell and taste as well as the structure of food that ultimately becomes the structure of us. You begin to notice how foods resemble different parts of the body like carrots look like the iris of the eyes or the chambers within the tomato like the chambers on the heart. You learn about the nuances of taste and how they move energy in the body like bitter as a support to drain or cleanse energy. The art of food begins to come alive and meal by meal you recognize you are what you eat. Seasonal and local eating is another simple rule of thumb that can be worked into meal planning and provides a great framework for connecting to what you eat. When possible if you can purchase food that is grown near you will reap the benefits of its essence on many levels. The less people to handle and less travel guarantees you will be getting food that has less to go though to get to you and will maintain its freshness. Growing your now garden, farmers markets or garden swaps are a great way to know where your food is coming from and eat what is in season. There is an intelligence to when foods are ready to harvest during specific times of the year and how those foods provide the perfect nutrients for what your body needs in that season. Right now in harvest earth element time hard squashes of all sorts are a wonderful choice. The mimic the color of the changing leaves and the yellow tone of earth energy. They have a natural sweetness to them that couples with dense fiber and carbohydrates to create a fuel efficient meal that will â€œstick to your bonesâ€? The earth element is all about stability, sweetness and storage of energy. Try these simple roasted squash recipes.
Back to the Gu Qi now that we have an idea of some general rules of thumb on getting the right fuel for our bodies and the relationship to feed and nourishment; lets talk about a few other culprits found in the modern diet that are best to be avoided or only consumed in small amounts including refined sugar, additives, too much dairy, processed and packaged foods. Opting for proper fuel that includes nutrient dense foods, whole real foods and a relationship to preparation and cooking is crucial for proper gu qi. The Gu Qi is created through the earth element energies of the spleen and stomach working together to transform food into energy. This process requires a synthesis of function between these two organs and is best done in a relaxed manner. The mouth and stomach are responsible first stage of transformation and do the active or yang part of the digestion process. Chewing, and mixing the food with saliva in the mouth, swallowing and taking the food inside the body to be churned and further broken down by the stomach. This energy requires a steady downward grounding to assure the ability of the body to anchor and process the actual food material. When this yang part of digestion is disrupted symptoms like, nausea or vomiting, cramping or heart burn may show up as indicators something is off balance. From a mental emotional standpoint this could be due to stress, anxiety, worry or overthinking or the presence of something that the body can not tolerate. It is important to sit still and take food in during meals in a relaxed non distracted state. The Taoists advise the wisdom of silent eating to assure the process of digestion is not disrupted or disturbed. We become what we eat, nourishment essentially becomes the ground substance of our tissues, when we sit still we create stability and presence for digestion.
There is a specific correlation between the stomach and the conscious mind , ever heard the saying “let me chew on that” or “food for thought” or fat the feeling of not being able to “stomach” an idea? All these figures of speech are a reflection of the fact that the stomach is responsible for what thoughts, food and experiences we “swallow’ and has the job of initially breaking them down. The stomach also is related in Classical Chinese medicine to the act of thinking, you can see this as a metaphor, when something crosses our minds we mill over it, churn it around and think about it, this all creates a ripple in our consciousness that brings our attention to the mater at hand or matter of thought. Over thinking and worry disrupt this natural process of thinking getting out of hand which can take a lot of energy to keep churning on and cycling though our thoughts. There is a connection between the quality of our thinking and the stomachs function of churning and processing. This mind body connection is at the root of upper GI problems and can show up as intolerance ( the inability to process more) rejection (vomiting) and lack of appetite. Lets look at some the rhythm of eating as it related to the build up go gu qi for the day, Earth element time is 7-11 am this is when the energy is concentrated in the stomach and spleen channels. Possibly this is why you have heard the old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, makes sense that the organs that do the work to process food are highlighted during this morning time. It is this time of day typically after a morning bowel movement our bodies are ready for re-feuling for the day. The morning ritual of breakfast is a valuable asset to mental, physical, emotional grounding and balance though the day. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard in the clinic,”I don’t have time to eat” “I don’t eat breakfast” “ I eat a smoothie while in traffic” or “I am rushing the kids out the door eating while standing up, watching the morning news, shoveling snow and getting in a quick yoga stretch” breakfast has become a hustle to get in or an absent link in the daily routine for most people. Rushed morning activities, the absence of breakfast and all of the wild substitutes for sitting down and making space for this daily nourishment set up the conditions for shaky ground.
Think of it like this. If you have a whole day or doing ahead of you that you rush into without proper fueling your body, you don’t have the nourishment you need to run the active processes of the body. Breakdowns are ultimately going to happen, as you body will start to pull energy from your reserves to sustain itself. If you are running around in circles doing a million things while you are eating your first meal of the day you are putting undue stress on the digestion process giving it extra work overloading it with too much to process so it will shut down and reject the nourishment your trying to give it. The anxiety sets in as there is just simply too much for the conscious mind to process and digest! The worry sets in as their in not enough fuel for the day and your body mind begins the process of feeling the lack of nourishment and worries if it will have enough to get by. Some simple rules of thumb to build good gu qi for the day is to eat a warm morning meal between 7-9 am in a still and receptive space. No TV, no scrolling Facebook, no running around. Sitting still is important for digestion and taking the time to allow the food to settle. Chewing your food throughly before swallowing so the stomach doesn’t have to work extra hard!! Bonus on chewing your food, the saliva sends a signal to the pancreas to produce the proper enzymes to help break the food down and convert it to energy. Eating a simple meal that consists of 1-3 ingredients so your body doesn’t have to create a million enzymes to break down all the different things you took in. So now that we are getting into the transformation role of building the gu qi lets look at the spleens role in the yin aspect of digestion. We learned earlier that the stomach energy goes downward to process and can be disrupted in its flow by too much doing or thinking while eating. Spleen energy lifts upward and does the job of extracting nourishment and relies on the deep reserve energies of the body to have enough vitality to make use of the food we bring in.
F ood entering the Stomach is first “rotted and ripened”; then transformed into a usable form by the Spleen. T he energy derived from this food essence is divided by the Spleen.
The Spleen naturally works to recycle and stabilize our gu qi through the action of pushing the refined qi upward to be used by the body. If we think of the active conscious part of the earth energy belonging to the stomach the spleen partners in the function and relates to the sub conscious fabric that upholds and supports us. The spleen helps in the process of building and fortifying the blood cells by utilizing the first extraction of nourishment from our food that becomes the underpinning of our foundational support substance of healthy nourished blood. Both the Stomach and spleen are very sensitive to much cold foods and liquids because they have so much work to do to transform and process food having the extra job of warming what we ingest puts undue stress on them and in turn effects the production of gu qi. Being mindful of the amount of raw and cold drinks you take in especially as the weather gets colder is a good way to assure balanced digestion. Lightly steaming and cooking along with room temperature and warm drinks will assure your body doesn’t have to work too hard to digest. The gu qi of the body finds itself concentrated in the entire digestion system from the salivation in the mouth, thought to the stomach and spleen as well as the gallbladder and both small and large intestines. Each area supports and contributes to the processing and extraction of this qi. Gu qi then mixes with other qi energy of the body which then flows into all our meridians as well as out protective and supportive energies that keep us intact.
Simple Congee Recipe 1 Cup of rice 7 Cups of chicken broth 9 cloves of garlic minced 9 pieces of ginger sliced 4 bone in chicken thighs 8-10 Shiitake mushrooms chopped Place rice at bottom of instant pot, add in sliced ginger garlic and mushrooms. Place chicken thighs over mushrooms and cover with broth. Fit lid on instant pot and cook on porridge setting for 25 min. Serve with toppings! We especially enjoyed this batch with spicy pickled green mango Variations on this recipe include cooking on the stove covered and stirring occasionally until desired consistency. You can Make this recipe vegan by eliminating the chicken and substituting vegetable broth, you may consider adding kombu for an enriched mineral and flavor addition. This recipe is a staple in our home though the fall and winter and serves as a quick easy meal over the week. You can get creative with toppings including sautĂŠed veggies like boy choi or broccoli or even a fried egg for a nourishing breakfast meal.
Harvest P orridge 1 1/3 Cup organic Oat Bran 4 Cups water 1/2 Cup Goji Berries 2 cinnamon sticks 1 Tsp Salt 1 1/2 Cups Almond or coconut milk 1 1/2 Cups Roasted squash (acorn, delicate or butternut) Honey to taste Topping ideas Soaked nuts Hemp Seeds Butter Ground cinnamon Dried fruit Maple syrup Bring 4 Cups of water to a boil. Add Salt and cinnamon sticks whisk in at bran and goji berries. Reduce heat to low and simmer stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Combine milk and roasted squash in blender or nutibullet and mix until smooth. Add in squash mixture to oat bran, add additional 1/2 cup milk and simmer on low for 5-7 minutes. Add honey to taste. This warming and nourishing porridge is a great simple morning food that is easy to digest and will assure balanced blood sugar and energy though the morning.
Brown Rice &Squash With Micro Greens 1 c organic Brown Rice 2 cups Broth 1 TBS Butter Beyond Micro greens Broccoli Booster Sliced Avocado 1 Large Acorn or Butternut Squash
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut Squash lengthwise in half, use a spoon to remove seeds. Place squash cut side in baking dish. Add one cup of water to the pan. Roast in over for 45-60 min until tender Cook Brown Rice in rice cooker or on stove. For stove bring all ingredients to a boil then cover tightly and reduce heat to low. Cook for 45 min. Cut roasted squash pieces in half and serve with brown rice Season with salt, pepper, fat of your choice (butter, olive oil etc.) and top with Beyond Microgreens Broccoli Booster and sliced avocado. This is another simple nutritive meal that uses only a few ingredients and is easy to digest. From a Therapeutic perspective this time of year is a great time for â€˜grain cleanseâ€? where you eat one grain for 3-4 days. The approach give the digestion a rest and helps to stabilize energy and blood sugar in preparation for the later fall cold season. This simple addition of squash provides a bit of variety while still supporting the body to reset and rebuild.
Squash roasted with Cranberry & walnut 1 large Delicata Squash 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts 1/2 Cup Dried cranberries 3 Stocks Rosemary Avocado Oil Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Cut squash lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out seeds. Place squash cut side down and slice into 1/2 inch pieces. Place squash and walnuts on a baking dish and drizzle with avocado oil to coat. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 15 minutes then turn, roast 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven add in dried cranberries and toss then place back in the one and roast 10-15 more minutes. Enjoy as a side or over rice for a Simple gu qi building lunch.
Fall Skin Health
The skin is governed by the metal element and is known as the largest organ of the body. It is our barrier between us and the world around us. Our pores go though a daily rhythm of opening and closing, connecting and disconnecting while modulating what we take in and what we close ourselves off too. Our skin pores are capable of absorbing and taking in anything we touch and come into contact with whether it be what we put on our skin, the water we bath in or the feeling of someones attitude getting under our skin. The pores are a protective gateway between our inner and outer world. The integumentary system is responsible for protection , temperature regulation, excretion, better know as sweating, immunity and vitamin D synthesis. Skin is the first place we feel sensation and illicit mechanical responses due to stimulus. Fall is a perfect time to nourish the skin after long summer days in the heat and exposure of the sun. We begin to put on more layers to cover up keeping warm and protecting our skin from the dry climate of the fall and the dropping temperatures. Climate is a huge factor for the skin, changes in skin are typically a result of changing environmental conditions and exposure to those conditions. UV exposure creates free radicals that attack the skin structures breaking down the fibers of the skin and effecting the skins ability to absorb water and accelerating the aging process of the skin. The most common changes that happen in skin aging are decreased tension, dryness and wrinkles on the skin.
Balanced skin health starts with hydration and diet nourishing and building the skin form the inside out. The amount and efficiency of the bodies use of water is the under pinning to supple skin, the elasticity and quality of the skins require proper water intake On the surface and outer layers of the skin we need to have proper antioxidant response so the barrier function of skin can work to protect us from towns and potential harm. When the skin has been over exposed to the elements it is crucial to support the healing process of the skin by inducing more antioxidant support; this could be in the form of topical application or internal boring of our antioxidants though food. Antioxidants are compounds that work to effectively block the formation of free radicals they are a powerful tool to support skin health, graceful aging and the maturation of the skin one time. The topical application of antioxidants has been shown to be an effective strategy in protecting skin from oxidative stress. Our skin is directly exposed to the external world not only though climate but to pollution, toxins and stressors that effect the natural mechanism, for repair and regeneration. The modern body is craving extra antioxidants internally and externally to combat the changing conditions we live in. C60 Purple Powers is a super antioxidant support that can easily be blended into your skin care routine and help balance the body internally and externally! My family and I have had a blast preserving our skin with C60 in all kinds of ways from dabbing a bit round my eyes that drips off the bottle after adding it to my morning coffee, to making a simple skin spritz for after being in the sun or the shower and to my most favorite combining C60 Purple power MTC oil with herbal skin healing jojoba and essential oils for a weekly rejuvenation treatment and finishing that off with a brown sugar lip scrub to keep my lips soft and supple during the changing seasons. Learn more about the science of C60 Purple Powers antioxidant potential and the skin here and check out all the amazing DIY C60 Purple Power beauty and skin health recipes for fall.
The UV light of the sun impacts the cells of the skin leading to damage when over exposed.
Wind can dry our and even burn the skin leaving it exposed and more vulnerable to sun damage especially from snow reflection in winter
Water is absorbed by your skin and everything in it comes along for the ride including toxins, fungus, parasites and other irritants
Heat can blister or inflame the skin leaving rashes and inflammation
Cold can irritate or even erode the skin. Extreme conditions of cold accompanied by wind bring danger of frost bite especially on fingers, nose cheeks and ears.
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Infused F ace Oil
1 oz Infused jojoba oil 1 tbs of each dried Comfrey Chamomile Calendula Lavender Rose for infusion 1 Oz C60 PP Avocado or MTC oil Depending on skin type or preference 4-5 Drops Vitamin E oil 3 drops each Sandalwood oil Rose oil helichrysum oil Infuse Jojoba Oil Heat method: Over double boiler sir dried herbs and Jojoba oil at a consistent temperature between 100-130 Degrees for 2-4 hours Strain herbs Sun Method Combine oil and herbs in a jar and place in a sunny window for 3-5weeks shaking daily Strain herbs Combine in small glass jar or roller ball 1 oz Infused Jojoba oil 1 oz C60 Purple Power oil of your choice 4-5 drops of Vitamins E oil 3-4 drops each of sandalwood, rose and helichrysum essential oils Shake & enjoy using sparingly
Herbal Skin Steam Combine equal parts dried: Comfrey Chamomile Calendula Lavender Rose Barberry Root
Place all herbs in 5-6 cups spring water and bring to a low boil, turn off heat and cover. Drape a large towel over your head remove lid and place face in steam 5-10 minutes. Soak a washcloth in steeped liquid from face steam and cover or blot on face repeat if desired
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C60 Purple Power
Skin Sprit z
In 1oz glass spray bottle combine 1/2 oz C60 Purple Power MTC Oil and water *Optional add 10 drops each of Frankincense and Lavender essential oil to boost skin soothing and healing Shake before each use. Spritz after sun, cold or wind exposure or post bath, shower or face washing routine.
Earth Transition To Metal
Dao Yin & Acupressure Practice
The strategy of the months Dao Yin and acupressure set is to settle the Earth energies dialing in emotional stability, grounding and inner support to help the body stay in its center as the autumn Metal energies work with us to release and detach. Make space to work with these shapes through this month supporting a smooth transition and ease into fall.
Support downward movement of the stomach channel to ground emotions by stilling and stabilizing the mind
Up Dragon Lift and support the energy of the spleen channel to support inner nourishment
Open Wing & Sphinx Disperse and move energy though lung and large intestine to clear excess emotions and prepare for fall release
Metal Element Qi Gong
The Sumer of 2020 hit the world with a full on insurrection; from inflamed cultural differences, political polarization, extreme heat, and excess yang. The pendulum has shifted in nature towards fall and many people have been left raw mentally, physically and emotionally. The ancient art of qi gong and the healing sounds practice offers a medicine close to our bodies natural capacity for harmony though the union of sound and breath. Qi gongs origins are tied back to the sound shhhhhhh that a mother makes with her breath to calm a child who is upset, frustrated or overwhelmed. The Healing sounds practices are powerful way to tune the tone and notes of our organ systems to a natural harmonic restoration of function and clarity.
Return to your heart center with this simple yet powerful sound haling
practice as a resource to enhance your inner truth and stabilize your wisdom in trying times.
Forget about â€œfakeâ€? news and learn to listen to the inner broadcast of heart intelligence that reflects the frequency of nature and earth energies as the resonant link between us and all people, planetary energies, plants and animals.
What is your heart song telling you?
Equinox & Libra Season The Great Balancer September 22 was the autumnal equinox, when the day and night are of equal length. If we think of the year like a moon cycle, we can imagine winter solstice like a new moon and summer solstice as the fullness of the cycle. Each equinox, then, can be conceived of as a quarter-moon, marking us, in autumn, three-quarters through the year. On the larger scale, then, the equinox moves us into the second half of our waning period, a time for continued release and letting go, a time of introspection and evaluation to prepare us for the intentions we will set in winter, the seeds we will plant at the Winter Solstice, to lead us into the more outward, growing, extroverted months of the later winter, spring, and early summer. Virgo season, mid-August to mid-September, asked us to sort the wheat from the chaff, to release what was ready, what was hindering us and holding us back, to let crumble, fall, and burn away the brittle shells of our former selves. Libra season continues the harvest and pushes us into the time of balancing, the time of the equinox. Libra is the scale—of decisions, of choice, of justice. Libra asks us to weigh what we are willing to give, and to give up for justice. The Harvest Moon in Aries This balance chaffs against the fires of the moon in Aries—sign of individualism, passion, the movement of spring, the strength and courage of the seed to break open in the dark of soil and move toward the sunlight. With Mars retrograde here in Aries too, well, we’ve got some tension simmering. The full moon closest to the equinox is dubbed the Harvest Moon, so-called because the change of the moon rise slows, giving farmers some extra minutes of light as it rises closer to the time of sunset. The Harvest Moon amplifies the already-present energies of organization and sorting (of Virgo) and of weighing and evaluating what to keep and what to throw out (of Libra).
The Sun’s Movements The sun will change signs and move from Libra into Scorpio on October 22; Scorpio is the sign of the shadow, the repressed, the unconscious Underworld—everything a society deems taboo is Scorpio’s realm. So for us, sex, death, and the collective and personal history we’d rather bury than grapple with. The veil between the worlds grows thin during Scorpio. It’s a very powerful time to connect with those we’ve lost and our ancestral lineage.
Blue Moon on October 31 We’ll have a second full moon this month, a blue moon, on Halloween night, no less! This moon will be in Taurus and will sit directly next to (conjunct) Uranus—the bringer of shocks, upheaval, and lightning-quick change.
A Creative Writing Rt i ual for October
Gather Candle, Journal Incense.
seven items that don’t really serve who you are now and who you are becoming.
whatever doubts and fears and reasons you can’t or shouldn’t do these things pop up.
Snuff out your candle. For the next two weeks, every day, cross seven items off the list (or cross off until you get to seven items, whichever comes first).
When your timer goes off, call on any ancestors, loved ones who’ve died, spirits, and guides you work with or talk to, or a larger or higher or future version of yourself—or anything that feels natural or right to call on if this isn’t something you practice. Ask them to help you acknowledge these doubts and fears, but to move forward anyway. The goal is not to never be afraid, but to be afraid and do it anyway.
Light candle & incense
Meditate for seven minutes (or more), focusing on your exhale. If you notice any areas of tension in your body, without “trying” too hard, breathe into those areas and intentionally relax them. As sensations arise, make them the point of your attention in the meditation until you feel them shift or change or no longer call for your awareness. Now open your eyes, set a timer for seven minutes. Write a list of things you want or think you should do in the next six months to one year. (Yes, both, wants and shoulds—desires and duties.) Stay with it for the full seven minutes; if you run out of ideas, just sit quietly and see if anything else arises. And don’t be afraid to both dream big and include the small and mundane. Once the timer goes off, go through the list and cross off
After the New moon October 16 Return to the list. If you have more than seven items remaining, circle the top seven that are most exciting and most charged for you, that scare you a little, that ask you to really push into new levels and layers of yourself.
Relight your Candle & incense. Do the breath meditation again. Read the list aloud. As you do, fears, doubts and the inner critic will likely rear their heads. Set your timer for seven minutes again and free write these voices; just write about
Set your timer, one more time, for seven minutes. Free write on any messages you receive from these loved ones, spirits or guides, or a part/version of yourself that can see above and beyond these voices. If you don’t “hear” anything or sense any messages, write as if a dear friend of yours had these doubts and critical thoughts—what would you say to them? Write on that. After, rewrite the list of seven things on a new sheet of paper and set the intention in your heart to move toward and follow through on these items in the next six months. Snuff out your candle, or let it burn until it burns itself out (in a fire-safe way, like in a bathtub).
This ritual pays homage to both Libra and Scorpio season, to the late waning period we entered at the equinox, to the full Harvest Moon and blue moon, and to the new moon mid-month. If youâ€™re looking for more creativity rituals, I do a post at each new and full moon with astrology-flavored rituals and writing prompts; check it out here and sign up for my newsletter to get them delivered to your inbox. And if youâ€™re interested in creative and writing coaching, editing, and classes find more info at
Cayenne Forceful, quick, clever and active. He pushes the blood and creates irritation. Heâ€™s tricky and fast moving. Cayenne loves heat and hot situations. High energy, high emotion, hot tempers, hot words, and competition are all attractive to cayenne who will stop at nothing to achieve his many goals. Projects, projects and more projects keep him thoroughly entertained by the endless activity he is a part of. Cayenne is also highly protective and creative. Sprinkling Cayenne on the path of an enemy can trick him up due to the tricky and hot nature of this plant. Cayenne can also be sprinkled around the outside of a home to burn away any negative entities trying to get to the home. This herb is highly magical and loves to be put to work.
F iery Elderberry Immune Boost Syrup 3/4 Cup dried Elderberries 1/2 fresh Cayenne pepper *or 1 tsp dried powder 3 pieces of Astragalus root 3 Cinnamon Sticks 1/2 inch sliced ginger 1/4 Cup of rose hips 4 Cups Spring Water 1 Cup Raw Honey 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar Combine elderberries, cayenne, astragalus root, cinnamon, ginger, rose hips and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain herbs and return liquid to pan, add honey and bring to a boil, hard boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and add in apple cider vinegar. Store in refrigerator and take as necessary. This immune boost syrup can be taken during cold season as a preventive or at the first signs of fatigue or feeling under the weather. The extra heat cayenne brings in creates a dispersing effect and is especially helpful for fall respiratory health. Enjoy in hot tea or take 1-2 oz in a shot glass 3-5 times daily during signs of impending cold.
Blood Moon T onic Syrup 1bunch of large beets + greens 1/2 Cup Dried Nettle 1/2 Cup Turmeric Root (dried or fresh) 1 chopped fresh Cayenne 1/2 Cup Dried Red Clover
Combine chopped beets, beet greens and herbs with One gallon of fresh spring water and bring to a boil, simmer beets and herbs for one hour or until liquid is reduced by half. Strain herbs add liquid to one cup raw honey and hard boil for 5 minutes. Stir in One cup of apple Cider Vinegar. Store in glass jar keep refrigerated. Enjoy 2-3 ounces daily to support increased blood circulation and the delivery of oxygen to your body tissues. This blood building tonic is a powerful addition to your work out regimen to increase stamina and performance. Taken daily as a blood tonic it will held build nutritive blood to feed all your body tissues and increase fall and winter health. Combining this tonic, deep breathing practices and good nutritive qi will assure an underpinning of stable immune health, reserve strength and stability moving into the yin period of the year.
Pickled Green Mango or P eaches
Sterilized mason jars 1 large lime juiced 1 1/2c of vinegar (type optional) 1/4-1/2 (depending on desired spice) of fresh cayenne minced 1 Tbs of cilantro minced 2 Tsp of chili garlic sauce 2 Tsp of fish sauce 1 Tsp of ginger minced 2 cloves of garlic minced One green onion chopped 2 Tbs sugar Combine above ingredients to make pickling brine Slice green mango or peaches and pack tightly in serialized a mason jar. For this recipe I did not combine the fruits and did one jar of peaches and one jar of mango. Pour Brine over fruit. Seal and let sit for 24-48 hours. Refrigerate after opening. Eat as a garnish or for snacking.
Cayenne Plant Spirit Medicine
Hawthorn Hawthorn is the love warrior, the protector of hearts. His medicine is a defense from hate, evil spells and the illusions of infatuation. This plant is a bridge to understanding the cycles of heart energy. Heâ€™s the strong and loving counselor, call him for assistance. He will teach you how to guard your heart from psychic vampires and anyone who can bring harm to it. This plant wants you to take the good and the bad of a situation and be completely honest about possible outcomes. This is not a plant of bliss. This is not the plant of sudden love and romantic illusions. This is instead a plant of learning a sustainable and consistent love that comes humility and knowledge. These lessons often come painfully but Hawthorne is here to protect, expose and manifest healing.
Hawthorn F ruit Happy Heart Elixir 1/2 Cup Hawthorn fruit 1-2 cinnamon sticks or cinnamon bark 1 vanilla bean 1/4 Cup rose hips 2-3 Dried rose buds 1/8 Cup schisandra fruit Good Quality preferably local Organic Bourbon Combine all ingredients in a large mason jar, cover with bourbon and seal. Store in a cool dark place for 5-6 weeks shaking daily. For extra heart medicine follow this simple quick coherence heart math technique, breathe the sensations of gratitude from your hands and heart into the elixir as you shake it infusing it with the intentions of your deepest wisdom! Spirits have the capacity to absorb and extract energy and constituents from the material of plants as well as carry the vibration of intention and spirit of our thoughts. This powerful bourbon heart tonic can be taken in tincture form daily 1-2 droppers full in water as a heat stabilize to keep circulation strong and blood pressure in check. Enjoy as a warmed elixir after winter activities combined with hot water and honey as a heart connecting libation for cold winter nights. Tap into an especially potent intimacy ritual when enjoyed with your beloved or loved ones during the late fire phase time between 7-9 pm!
Hawthorn Plant Spirit Medicine
Steaming is a powerful way to clear out sinuses and open and moisten the airway passages. As the fall hits protecting the tenderness of lungs from cold dry air is a simple rule of thumb to assure they stay healthy. Adding in mucolugenus foods and herbs also helps to moisten the respiratory passages and maintain a protective support system for their tender lung tissue. In the Wester part of the United States we have also been hit with poor air quality from the forest fires leaving people congested and dry in their respiratory passages. Try these steams followed by enjoying warm tea and some deep belly breathing.
Equal parts of fresh or dried: • Eucalyptus • Peppermint • Rosemary • Thyme • Basil
Essential oil steam
3-4 drops each • Eucalyptus • Rosemary • Peppermint • Cypress Or we love Doterras Breath Blend Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in herbs or oils Let steep covered for 2-3 min Remove cover and place head over the water covered by a l large towel, inhale and exhale deeply for 5-10 min
C60 Purple Power Antioxidant lip scrub 2 Tbs Brown Sugar 1 Tbs Raw Honey 1 Tsp C60 Purple Power 3-4 drops peppermint essential oil
DIY Lip scrub
Combine all ingredients in small seal able container. Take a Pinch between fingers and scrub lips in a circular motion, rinse off with water and pat dry.
Lung Support Tea Simmer ginger, turmeric and black pepper, cinnamon stick and a pinch of cayenne pepper in water, almond or coconut milk for 20 min Serve with raw honey to taste.
Cinnamon Peony Immune Response tea 2 sticks of cinnamon or cinnamon bark 3 pieces Astragalus root 3-4 pieces peony root 3 1/4 in slices of fresh ginger root Simmer all ingredients in 6 cups water for 60 minutes. Strain and set aside. Return herbs to pot ad add in 3 additional cups of water simmer for 30 minutes strain and combine with first batch of liquid. Take 2-3 warm cups a day during seasonal change for immune support. This simple remedy is also wonderful if you have been exposed to sick people or are feeling under the weather, sip regularly though the day, stay warm with feet and neck covered and increase rest.
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A letter from the editor: Reasons & Seasons is a creative labor of love, wellness and elevation! We are an educational platform designed tosupport health and welling though following the language of nature, rhythm and creativity. Interested in getting this information out to your network? Please Share and contact us for partnership and advertisement opportunities! Now more than ever people need to activate the medicine within them though behavior, creativity and expression. Seasonal living and natural stages of change are the metronome of our existence. Look to the stars, follow the sun patterns and remember you are a part of this vast experience, giving and receiving, your purpose is needed now! In Wellness
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