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How to Support yourself through the autumn

How to Support yourself through the autumn

I absolutely love the Autumn, perhaps it is my Northern heritage or the return to school after spending 24 years of my life in school, but when the sun’s intensity diminishes and the leaves begin to change and I feel that urge to pull out my sweater and scarves my whole being feels nourished in a way that no other season provides. 

In Chinese Medicine the fall begins with the earth element which rules the stomach and spleen and helps to nourish us and bring us together  in celebration of the harvest and the memories of the delights of summer. A healthy transition into the earth aspects of our being allow for an easier transition in to the metal element and the season of the lungs and large intestine, grief and letting go. This year with Covid, loss of livelihoods and recognition of lost BIPOC lives and the fires on the west coast of the US the grief we all hold is almost more than many can bare and it is extra important to build up a strong earth foundation that will transform into pure luminous metal. In Shamanism, the fall is also associated with letting go and beginning to dream a new dream and it is the best time to call upon your ancestors and spirit guides for help. So let’s dive into how to support yourself through this seasonal change. 

We will begin with the earth element which rules our digestion, our four limbs, our sense of taste and our ability to manifest our dreams into reality just as we turn our food into amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates and qi to build and repair our bodies. The earth element is supported by eating regular meals without distraction, avoiding damp, greasy, overly sweet and processed foods while emphasizing warm, gently spiced whole foods, especially root vegetables which feed us the essence of the earth itself, time spent with loved ones and in communion with the earth and mindfulness practices that help prevent us from ruminating on worries. One of my current daily practices that is deeply supportive of the earth element is to go for a morning walking meditation along the water. This moves my qi and my four limbs, allows me to let go of my worries and spend time tapped into the earth. Here is one of my favourite guided walking meditations if you want to try. Another thing I am getting back into is making Chai, you will find a recipe here that will help warm the body, soothe the mind and nourish the soul. 

The Earth’s transition into Autumn varies depending on where you are located but here on the West Coast of Canada it is around thanksgiving. It is the time when the tree’s leaves have fully turned and begun to fall and the final harvests of the land have been completed. This marks the turning inwards of the earth and all her children. In the modern Western world we don’t tend to turn inwards at this point and we can pay for it with colds and flus, exhaustion and grief. The metal element rules the lungs and large intestine, the skin, nose and the somatic experiences of our bodies. It is most closely tied to grief and the loss of our dreams, our loved ones and ourselves. In a world fixated on being more productive, doing more and pushing through, we are not customed to stopping to let go of what no longer serves us and honour what we have lost in our lives. This year especially many have lost so much and it is especially important to stop and take the time to let go. I will share a ritual below to help with this. Letting go allows our dreams, our old beliefs, and patterns fall and become the fertile soil that will nourish our new dreams, just as the trees drop their leaves to nourish the new growth of the spring. In order to support your lungs and large intestine, it is important to breath, breath deeply and exhale fully, taking up a breathwork practice can be incredibly beneficial, Making sure we get lots of fibre and water to ensure regular bowel movements supports the large intestine, eating white pungent foods will also nourish the metal element, getting lots of rest, going to bed earlier and waking later and of course keeping bundled up with a scarf around your neck will help prevent wind cold attacks. 

Along with Diet, seasonal living and of course Acupuncture, my other favourite way to work with the elements is to create rituals to honour the transition that I am going through and so for the fall I like to work with the concepts of letting go, creating a new dream and connecting to my ancestors and guides who are especially strong in the fall as we move inwards and into our own dream time.

Autumn Ritual

What you will need:

  • a candle
  • some paper
  • a pen
  • something that represents a dream you have
  • pictures or objects connected to your ancestors and/or guides

Instructions:

  • Begin by finding a quiet space and clearing it with a broom, smoke or flame.
  • Take a few deep breaths to center yourself
  • Create sacred space by visualizing a circle around you or call in the four directions
  • light your candle and ask for the support of great spirit
  • Call in your ancestors and guides one by one first honouring them for what they do for you and then asking for their support this season, placing their objects around the candle
  • write down what no longer serves you and ask for this to be released and then hold it over the flame letting it go
  • feel the space that has opened up in your life and body
  • now begin to dream about what you wish to call into this space. visualize it and feel into what your life will be like with it.
  • When you are done, thank your ancestors and guides and asking for their continued support
  • Thank great spirit and blow out the candle
  • release the directions or unwind your circle
  • go about your day as if this future is already here

 

May this fall be deeply nourishing to you and yours. Please feel free to reach out if you need any support and if you wish to learn to connect with your ancestors and clear deeper patterns in your life my new course Transforming Ancestral Trauma: Understanding where you come from so you can remember who you are begins on Tuesday Sept 2020.

 

Many Blessings,

 

Immune-Boosting, Earth-Nourishing Chai

Immune-Boosting, Earth-Nourishing Chai

Once the signs of autumn roll in I immediately start craving chai. It has been a favourite drink of mine for a long time but especially after living in India and daily finding the Chai wallah on the closest street and sipping on the warm, sweetly spiced beverage. Here is my version that I make at home. You can adjust i based on your preferences either doing a base of black tea if you want a little kick or some medicinal mushrooms if you want something more rejuvenating (chaga and reishi are my favourite) or a simple herbal base like red rooibos. You can also adjust the spices to your liking making it more heating and spicy with chilies, ginger, black pepper and clove or more neutral and sweet with cardamom and cinnamon. You can sweeten it with honey, maple syrup, sugar, xylitol or stevia and add any animal or alternative milk based on your preference. 

Immune-boosting, earth-nourishing Chai

Ingredients
  • Base- two bags black tea, two tablespoons medicinal mushrooms or other adaptogenic herbs or one tablespoon red rooibos
  • 3 cups Milk- Goat, cow, sheep, almond, cashew, oat,…
  • 3 cups water
  • thumb sized piece of ginger – peeled and sliced
  • one tablespoon spice mix (cinnamon, clove, chilli, cardamom, black pepper, fennel, fenugreek, allspice, nutmeg,….)
  • sweetener- honey, maple syrup, cane sugar, xylitol, stevia
Instructions
  1. Pour water and milk into a pot and put on medium high
  2. Peel and slice ginger and add to water
  3. Collect what spices you like and grind in a mortar and pestle (I usually make lots and keep extra in a jar)
  4. Add spices to the pot
  5. If using medicinal mushrooms or other herbs add now
  6. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 10- 20 mins
  7. Add black tea or rooibos
  8. allow to steep for 5 mins
  9. strain into a cup and add sweetener as desired
  10. Enjoy!!
Spring Equinox Drum Journey

Spring Equinox Drum Journey

On Saturday I lead my family through a spring equinox ceremony in order to support us in these times of change and transition into the spring. Part of it was a drum journey to take us into the spirit realms to gather a message, support, encouragement, inspiration in these times. I recorded it to share with you so that you all may connect with spirit and bring forth what you need at this time. 

Find yourself a nice quiet comfortable space, lie down or sit up tall and follow the drum.

Spring Equinox Blessings to all

Marika

A Love Letter to Mother Earth

A Love Letter to Mother Earth

Dear Mother Earth,

It is with all my heart, body, mind and spirit that I thank you for all that you do for me, for all of your children. Every minute, of every hour, of every day you nourish us without question or asking for something in return. Yours is the unconditional love that is written about in tales and songs, that makes me wonder if I am worth of such love and care. You offer us power, peace, love, support and beauty but though you are a benevolent being I know you are hurting and lashing out at us disrespectful children, forever sucking at the teet till mother has no more.

I know I have not always been good to you and chosen the easy, disposable, fast way of life. But without you I would be lost, You are my connection to this human body, you are one of the most amazing things in this game we are playing, you are spirit manifest in pure form, shining your light and love on all of us. It brings me great sadness when I see the abuse committed to you, just as we abuse each other and ourselves. If only we all woke up and remembered connection is the greatest medicine and how sitting upon you and breathing you in settles our nervous systems, relieves our stress and reminds us we are not alone.

I sat up on you this afternoon and offered you up my gratitude and prayers. I prayed that I always keep my connection to you and that our relationship grows stronger everyday and that all beings may work to create such a relationship. I know that in a mutual relationship of care and respect we can thrive all together. We are your stewards and in sitting with you and witnessing the miraculous way in which you work, we can create a way of being that is based in unconditional love and respect and through your love and support we can heal the pain and loneliness that lies deep within.

I am so blessed to live in a place where I can be with you daily and am in constant awe of your beauty, power, strength, support and nourishment. Thank you for being the role model you are to me, for feeding me, for the beauty you break me open to, for listening to my prayers, pains and discomforts and offering me your love and support. I love you so much!!!

With endless love and gratitude,

Marika

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New Moon Solar Eclipse in Pisces


march-solar-eclipse-astrologyPisces calls to our highest selves, the part of us that knows we are divine manifestations and from this place asks of us to be of service to the greatest good of all beings in this universe. Being the last sign before the coming spring and rebirth of Aries, Pisces holds in it the wisdom of a full lived life and the intuition and imagination of one who has seen all things come to pass. In conjunction with Chiron (the wounded healer) We are given a chance to look at our woundings with the most compassionate and loving eyes and from this place transform our stories and become empowered by them. Realizing we are the makers of our own fate, we can remember that we chose this path and it has made us who we are today. Through taking back our power and no longer playing the victims in our lives we can heal ourselves and share this wisdom of our empowerment.

I have shared my own story here on my dear friend Jenn’s blog, please give it a read and in honour of this powerful time I wish to offer you a ritual to work with your own empowerment. I will be offering these rituals each month, one for the new moon and one for the full moon, to help us all move into greater connection with spirit.

 

Find a quiet place, cleanse it, light a candle and call in your guides and helpers.

 

Grounding- tree exercise- asking for wisdom from the sun, moon, and chiron

 

write down the story of your wounding or a story that you hold that you are a victim to at the moment.

 

Reread it and focus on the feelings, energies and impressions you get from it.

 

Reflect on how this story has helped to strengthen you and make you who you are today

 

Now take your story and thank spirit for the lessons you have learned and burn it in the flames of your candle feeling the energy of it dissolve.

 

Rewrite the story from a place of gratitude and power, focusing on the strength you have gained and the lessons you have learned

 

Place your new story on your altar or in a special place where you can see it throughout your day until the full moon.

 

Thank your guides, spirit and helpers and blow out your candle, clearing the space again.

The beginnings of my journey to myself on the Camino

I have been on the camino for two weeks now and it feels as if it has been a lifetime. When I meet people in town and describe something to them the days run into each other and the places I stayed and the people I met are a Blur. The few consistent things have been my body which keeps me going each day despite the aches and pains from walking 20+km a day, my bag which carries the few belongings I have chosen to carry on this journey and a few people I have walked with or continue to meet in Albergues along the way. The rest of life moves along as I do, walking through different terrains and towns, past different people, local and fellow pilgrims. The camino truly is life and it constantly reminds me to not get attached: to an idea, a place, a person. We must just flow with whatever comes up.

The first lesson I learned is to move at my own pace. The first three days I attempted to keep up with my friend Julie and the route suggested by our guidebook, but when my feet began to swell and blister from the rocky mountain paths and the heat of the day I had to stop to rest and listen to my body. In those first days there was nothing quite like reaching town, having a shower, rubbing my muscles down with some oils and putting my feet up with a cold beer. Thank goodness for the other pilgrims I met who could relate and create a bond of solidarity with, as we helped doctor each other’s wounds. It creates a great sense of comradery doing something as amazing and crazy as walking 900km from one country to the coast of another

At the beginning the camino was not what I expected! The number of pilgrims far surpassed what I thought, some 300+ a day, the 26.5km 1400m climb up and down from St Jean to Roncesvalles on the first day was way more intense than I could have imagined and my belief that this was going to be relatively easy for me was quickly shaken. But each day I keep on walking and meeting new people of different ages, health and fitness levels and reasons for embarking on this journey and it kept me going. There is no special type of pilgrim, just a desire for something different, something simple, something profound.

The landscapes the first few days through the Pyrenees and the Basque country were absolutely spectacular with foggy mornings keeping the sun at bay till it finally melted away and revealed the mountains, blue skies and animals grazing in the fields whose bells we could hear ring through the fog. The towns along this stretch did not seem Spanish at all but something out of a German film, White washed with red roofs. Not until we reached Pamplona did it feel like we were in Spain. I absolutely loved Pamplona, a university city with lively tapas bars, street music, funky shops and a spirit of youth and fun. The day we spent there was such a bolster to my spirit and a good break for my body. It wasn’t until I reached Logrono and bought new walking sandles that were a size bigger than usual that my feet finally felt good and I was able to continue walking at a comfortable pace. I spent two days walking alone in the rain and was able to find the peace and serenity I expected of the camino. On my own I was able to find my own pace, breaking for coffee or meditation when the urge called me. It is such a simple and awesome thing to live in this way, waking in the morning and throwing on your only clothes, eating breakfast, setting out to walk until you need rest, food, water or are inspired to, then when your body has had enough and you come up on a town with a place to stay you stop and allow yourself to be welcomed into this new place, given a bed, a place to wash, a meal and if you are lucky a washing machine to clean the two changes of clothes that you carry on with you. It brings so much gratitude to my heart!

More to come soon.
Love and light on the road of life
Marika

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