Light from Darkness - A New Moon Solstice

It's that time of year again.  :)

"To yield is to be preserved whole.
To be bent is to become straight.
To be empty is to be full.
To be worn out is to be renewed.
To have little is to possess."
 - Lao Tzu

...and when you go into the Darkness, you can find Light.  Today, the Winter Solstice, is the shortest day of the year lightwise, and the longest night.  Take this opportunity to go within, to be quiet, to be present with what is, even in the dark corners.  To rest.

Our ancestors who didn't have electricity would have spent this time being less active out of necessity - spending more time around the fire, more time sleeping, more time in quiet and stillness.  But they knew the wheel of the year turned and that this severe Yin Darkness marked the Yang Birth of the Sun.  Because when you go to an extreme of Yin, you get Yang, and an extreme of Yang, you get Yin.  That is the paradox of living within dichotomy.  For however dark it is, the light is always within that darkness, waiting...

And this is a special Solstice, for it is also the New Moon.  So we have the increasing energies of the Moon waxing, becoming Full.  Even the Yin Moon is moving toward being Yang, Full.  Use this time and potential energies wisely, what will you birth?

Speaking of birth, today is also my Birthday; I'm going into my forties which is a trip in itself, but a whole other blog post.  :)  I was born at high noon on the day of the longest night.  When I think about this and how it influences me... I see it as my being able to be with the Dark, residing there, but also being able to shine out with what is Light within that Darkness.  I can see how my life has followed this path.  I've never shied away from difficulty or unpleasantries, wanting to see what they too had to offer.  And in so doing, I have found that Darkness holds the brightest Light.

In this vein, my collagework has reflected this regard for both the Light and the Dark; the fullness of experience.  Collage has helped me through dark times and I have been doing workshops sharing this ability of collage to facilitate transition, presence, transformation...
If you are local, I will be offering more workshops at Mountain Mystic in Front Royal, VA.
See this group on Facebook for more details and updates:

Here is my latest collage work, finished this morning:

Eternal AutoPsychoNautica

Under morning light coming in the window:


 Outdoors under daylight:


This collage showcasing the merging of the macrocosm with the mircocosm, with its scenes of the Universe, electron microscope pictures of plants, seemingly alien underwater creatures, the meandering waterway, the reptilian eye, the spider weaving, and other various compatriots, including the man stirring his way down the river with a boat full of cut flowers for sale,...   serves to represent the exploration within and the brightness to be found there; a brightness the world so needs right now.

Consciousness is Life knowing itself, ALL interconnected, 
ALL integral aspects the the whole gloriousness that is HERE NOW.

Eternal AutoPsychoNautica



Herbals Truffles - a.k.a. Little Balls of Utter Bliss!

These de-stressing herbal treats move Liver Qi, help digestion,
are high in antioxidants, and are adaptogenic.

Have one as needed, share them with guests, make them as gifts...they taste out of this world.

These are made with Rosebud, Tulsi, Ashwaganda, Tangerine Peel, Cardamom, and Ginger.

So, I am bad about actually using or writing down recipes when I create food and herbal remedies.  With these herbal truffles, I usually just mix ingredients until I feel satisfied with the combination and texture.  This time I did this with my apprentices and made it a point to create a recipe with measured amounts.   That said, please feel free to deviate.

You can start simply with alternating a different nut, or using nut butter, or altering the herbs used.  Just making these seemingly simple changes though can change the consistency and you want them to stick together.  So if needed, add more coconut oil, maybe a little honey if you need its stickiness, or maybe use another fat that will be firm at cold temperatures such as cocoa butter.  If you need it more wet, you could even add some avocado or coconut milk.  Experiment.  If need be start with this exact recipe until you feel comfortable with it, then deviate...

These have no added sugar; dates and raisins were used for sweetness.  These balls have some bitterness, but those of us who enjoy straight tea, black coffee, hoppy beer, or dark chocolate won't mind.  You could try other fruits...I do find dates to be the sweetest and raisins to be nice and gummy adding a good texture.

If you try an experimental batch that you can't seem to get right to roll into balls, add a bit of whole grain flour and a few eggs and bake it.  It's hard to go wrong with these ingredients.

Keep refrigerated.

Here's what to use and how to make the balls pictured above:
Grind all your Herbs and Cacao into powder (or buy them already powdered) before mixing them;
I use a coffee grinder that is not used for coffee. (until I can get one of these that is ....someday) 
Bear in mind that powdered herbs do not last anywhere near as long as whole or cut & sifted ones.
I try not to buy my herbs powdered for this reason, unless I will use them right away, and also because I don't care for the sludge in the bottom of my decoctions.

Mix all dry ingredients together (all ground)
1/2 c. Mei Gui Hua, Rosebuds
1/2 c. Chen Pi, Tangerine peel (you can make your own and can use other organic citrus if you wish)
1/4 c. Ashwaganda
1/2 c. Tulsi
1 Tb. Cardamom
1 ts. Ginger
1 c. raw Cacao
pinch sea salt

Blend "wet" ingredients
6 Dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 c. Raisins
2 Tb. Coconut oil, melted
1/2 tspn. Vanilla
2 c. Walnuts
optional:  about 5 drops of a flower essence, these included Bee Balm.

Then stir or blend both together; it will be dry but should form a sticky ball with pressure once mixed.  You can add a little water for moisture if you need to, but these did not have any added.

On the side mix 1/4 c. ea. Hemp seeds and ground Cacao
After pressing into to ball, roll the ball into this coating.

These balls are more herb than food; for a ball more food than herb, see this recipe.