by marikare | Sep 19, 2020 | body wisdom, chinese medicine, Five elements, Medicine Making, nervous system, resilience, Self-Love, Uncategorized, wild food |
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
- 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
- Pour water and milk into a pot and put on medium high
- Peel and slice ginger and add to water
- Collect what spices you like and grind in a mortar and pestle (I usually make lots and keep extra in a jar)
- Add spices to the pot
- If using medicinal mushrooms or other herbs add now
- Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 10- 20 mins
- Add black tea or rooibos
- allow to steep for 5 mins
- strain into a cup and add sweetener as desired
by marikare | Mar 31, 2020 | Acupuncture, astrology, birth, body wisdom, chinese medicine, death, family, Friends, grief, Ritual, Self-Love, Soul wisdom, traditions, wild food |
These are extraordinary times we are living in and they call for us to gather up all our strength and tools to navigate them. In shamanic traditions it is believed we are constantly dreaming our world into being and advances in the world of quantum physics we are beginning to see how true it is. So I challenge you at this time to begin to allow yourself to dream. Think on all the things in your life that aren’t working for you and begin to paint a picture of how they can improve, think on all the things you love in your life and how you want them amplified, expand your thought to your family, friends, community, city, country and out across the whole world.
Here is mine:
I want to live in a world that is ridiculously accepting, generous and loving.
Where children can feel safe to play in their communities
Where everyone can feel safe to be who they are
Where people touch, hug, kiss and express their love, joy and gratitude for each other
Where everyone’s perspective is welcome
Where we know ourselves as the stewards of mother earth and care for all her children
Where we use only what we need and share what we have
Where people are connected to their dreams, their spirit guides, their ancestors and their higher selves
Where life is regarded as a true miracle and death is regarded as the next step in a well lived life
Where ritual marks each day and the initiations we pass through are honoured and celebrated, allowing for time and space to mourn and grieve
Where we care more about the quality of the food we eat and where it comes from than our latest new gadget
Where integrative and traditional medicines are valued just as highly as modern medicine
Where companies give back to the communities they work in, take from and are responsible for the full life cycle of the things they create
Where our elders are seen as the bearers of great wisdom and the passers down of memory
Where each choice we make takes into consideration the next seven generations
Where every person has enough food, water, clothing, a warm, cozy, safe home, access to the tools needed to practice their passions, hobbies, work and art
I’d love to hear your dream! Please share in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
by marikare | Mar 19, 2020 | Acupuncture, body wisdom, chinese medicine, death, family, Friends, grief, research, traditions, wild food |
Wow, what a time we are living in!! I have to remind myself daily that this is the world we have dreamed and it is truly amazing to see how people are coming together, how the pollution of the world is down, how we are being asked to move more slowly in such a fast paced world. I really and truly see it as a gift we are being offered and not one to take lightly. Below you will find some information on covid-19 that perhaps you have not come across and some resources to help you through this and all the other challenges life has in store for us.
All life is connected, in fact our bodies are literally made up of bacteria and viruses. They help us break down our food and bolster our immune systems and challenge us to evolve physically, mentally and spiritually. Viruses are especially fascinating as they require a host cell to replicate and so parts of our DNA are actually virus DNA.
We can not escape this truth nor can we escape interacting with these microorganisms. It is a part of being human. But many of us view these tiny beings we share the planet with as something to be eradicated. I think however it is more about harmony than war. Our bodies are innately clever and built to decide which organisms are friend and which are foe. Our greatest defence against organisms that threaten our lives is in our immune systems and part of the immune system is built up of good microorganisms.
In traditional Chinese medicine pathogens are broken down into wind, cold, hot or toxins often with accompanying dampness. In order to expel the pathogens we need strong wei Qi and Zheng Qi (immunity) which are built out of kidney and and stomach fluids. If we are stressed, depleted, or weak than we won’t have enough Qi to defend our bodies and the sicker we will become.
So how can you boost your immune system firstly through diet, eating warm wet foods- porridge, soup, broth, stew, avoiding cold, damp building foods like candy, ice cream, dairy, processed foods. We can also take supplements, herbs and at home practices that have been shown to improve our immune systems.
Chaga and reishi mushrooms
Finally we need to release the fear, anxiety and stress as it is one of the primary things that weakens our immune system. Here are a few suggestions
time in nature.
talking with loved ones,
Meditation ( sign up for my newsletter to download my tree of life meditation)
All of this goes far beyond just the virus, the incredible amounts of change that are being asked of us are unsettling to our instinctive centre. Residing just below our root chakra, our instinctive centre remembers all of our early childhood, ancestoral and past life traumas. Whenever anything is unsettling to it, whether it be childhood trauma, an ancestor who died of the spanish influenza or our own death many life times ago from another epidemic, our body remembers and the fear rises up, even if we rationally know the fear is not justified by the circumstances our bodies don’t know that and we are sent into a fight, flight or freeze response. The best ways to manage this are with breath, bringing awareness into your body and your environment to remember you aren’t in immediate threat, smudging yourself with tobacco, palo santo or sage and getting shamanic healing to clear the fear and realign the body, mind and spirit.
Remember all challenges are opportunities, For the first time in years you can hear the birds singing in Wuhan, there is no smog in the skies of major cities like LA, people are coming together online to support those less fortunate in need. We are truly at a time of writing a new dream for humanity. I personally am incredibly excited about this opportunity! In Shamanism, there is a practice of dreaming our worlds into being, most shamanic cultures believe that everything we believe comes true and so each moment we have a chance to dream a new and better world into being. Through practices like mindfulness this is what we are doing, we are becoming aware of our surroundings, our actions and our reactions and learning to change them, creating a new reality for ourselves. What better time to try and do this then when we are asked to change our lives and are given the time and space to rest, reflect and dream.
I hope you take this time to dive deep, walk in nature, move slowly, enjoy time with your loved ones and really imagine what a better world would be like.
To help you I have recorded a tree of life mediation which is part of my morning routine and is excellent at releasing fear, worry, anxiety and stress, grounding oneself and realigning body, mind and spirit with all that is. You can get your free copy when you sign up for my email newsletter.
I am also offering sliding scale distance shamanic healings. A powerful way to reset our systems, clear our fears and begin to dream again. $30-60/session
I will be available for a limited number of acupuncture and shamanic acupuncture sessions for those in need.
I am also available by email if you have any questions or concerns.
Marika Reid Hall RAc HDP BA
by marikare | Sep 25, 2016 | astrology, chinese medicine, Five elements, traditions, wild food |
Autumn is my favourite season. As the daylight comes later and the rains return here on the NorthWest coast, I can feel autumn laying it’s cloak upon me, it is thick and cool made of fog, wind, dimming light and vibrant decomposing leaves. It reminds me that nature is preparing for its winter slumber and urges me to do the same. Everything needs time to rest and rejuvenate, to return to source and realign with who it is and how it serves. With modern technologies and our seemingly never-ending drive to do more, be more, have more, we no longer allow ourselves to enjoy this movement inward, as our ancestors, not so long ago, did. I, for one, wish to reclaim the powers of the seasons and not become another burned out, frustrated, hormonally imbalanced, directionless human. I want to live a life in alignment with my natural cycles and spirit and working with the seasons aids me in doing that.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Autumn is the transition time moving from the hot fiery yang energies of summer to the cold watery yin energies of winter. It is governed by the element of metal that allows us to cut away what no longer serves, just as the trees drop their leaves and these will decompose and become the fertilizer for the new growth of spring. The Metal element helps us discriminate what is precious and what needs to go. It shows us, if we are listening, where the golden nuggets lie and which are the real gold, nourishing our self worth and connection to spirit and which are fools gold, hiding our dragons of self-deprecation, arrogance, self-destruction, martyrdom,…… Shamanism also sees the fall as a time of letting go and of great dreaming and if we can let go of feeding our dragons, we can dream a new dream that serves our highest purpose and all that live on this planet with us.
In our bodies, Metal is reflected in the paired organs of the lung and large intestine. They are the organs that filter the precious from the waste. Our lungs inhale clear qi from the heavens and exhale old turbid qi. They are connected to the skin, body hair and nose and protect us from external pathogens. They are also responsible for grief. The lungs capacity for grief allows us to honour and have gratitude for what we are letting go of and recognize that our lives will be transformed by this process. This is the gift of grief and how the decomposing of the old becomes the new life of the spring. If we do not allow our lungs to inspire and expire and move through grief naturally, our lung qi becomes stagnated and we may produce excess phlegm, become short of breath, get sick frequently, have chronic nasal issues, asthma or a chronic cough. On the other side if we get rid of too much and see nothing as precious our lungs may become deficient and we can have similar problems marked with more dryness and weakness.
The large Intestine also acts as a discriminator for us, when our colon is healthy we are able to reabsorb the precious minerals and water we need and expel the waste. When we can’t let go we become stagnated with toxins, emotions, and old habits and these can show up as pain in the lower abdomen, constipation or weight gain and just like with the lung when we let go of too much we become depleted of our own nourishment.
In the five element cycle, healthy metal nourishes our water, which is reflected in our kidneys and bladder and controls our deepest resources, our ancestoral essence/genetics, as well as our fear. Metal also helps control the wood element, preventing our livers from overacting on our other organs with anger, aggression and fire. When we work with our metal it assists us to make the long stretch of winter with ease and strength, which encourages a fertile and vibrant spring guided by spirit.
There are several things we can do to nourish our metal during this season:
- Slow down and take stock of our lives, reflecting on what no longer serves and what is most precious in our lives and begin to release through gently cleansing our bodies and minds, saying goodbye to relationships and old stuff, creating a simple releasing ritual to honour this process and your grief.
- Allow grief and sadness a place in your life. When it comes up recognize it and let it flow through you, letting it go through breath, crying, movement
- Eating warm, seasonal, easily digestible Pungent foods. These help promote circulation and digestion and release excess phlegm, Such as: ginger, onion, leeks, green onion, black peppercorn, garlic, celery, cilantro, fennel, spearmint, radish, chile pepper, sweet pepper, turnip, taro, cinnamon, cabbage, cardamom, cloves, oregano, mustard seeds, wine. Also eating yin nourishing foods to help protect against the dryness and winds of the fall, such as: pears, apples, mushrooms, tofu, seaweed, almonds, pine nuts, oils (olive, grapeseed, coconut, sesame), pork. As with any eating make sure you don’t over do it on any one kind of food.
- Wear a scarf to protect yourself from external pathogens, especially wind
- Take herbs that clear, moisten and nourish the lungs and intestines: A simple tea made of some of the pungent herbs above to clear phlegm and warm the body like the always classic lemon, ginger and honey or a nice moistening blend with slippery elm, marshmallow and licorice root.
- Practice gentle movement practices to keep your qi moving but also build your qi and strength for the winter like qi gong, yin yoga, tai chi, walking,
- Spend time outside breathing in clear qi from the heavens
- And of course get some acupuncture! For low cost acupuncture, check out the local acupuncture schools or community acupuncture clinics in your area. For more psycho-spiritual assistance look for a five element or alchemical acupuncturist.
If you wish to go even deeper into your process and the process of the cosmos, the autumn/metal time of year is supported by three primary astrological signs:
- Libra- Sept. 23 to Oct. 22- the sign of balance, justice, beauty, truth, perfection and relationships. A wonderful time to delve into your relationships with self, other, spirit, work, body and the planet.
- Scorpio- Oct. 23 to Nov. 21- the sign of self-will, taboo, secrets, transition. A time to go deep within and look at our shadowy places around emotions, love, sex, secrets and taboos. What needs to be brought up to the light and what needs to be let go.
- Sagittarius- Nov. 22 to Dec. 21- The sign of higher knowledge, learning, wisdom, spirituality, philosophy. This sign helps us to start to dream a new dream and find the wisdom in all of our letting go, helping us to make the transition to winter.
Wishing you all a gentle, nourishing and deep Autumn,
Marika Reid Hall
References and Resources to go deeper:
by marikare | Mar 22, 2016 | Ritual, traditions, wild food |
A few years ago when I was doing a three day solo during my shamanic apprenticeship, I was gifted with several large chunks of resin from the Ponderosa Pine trees that lined my solo site. These trees had kept me company, aided me in anchoring myself to the earth and growing up to the heavens and even gave me a song to use in ceremony and healings. Since that time the resin has sat in my medicine box just waiting to be turned into medicine and finally I have come up with an amazing and delicious way to use some of this precious tree essence.
As apart of an equinox/eclipse ritual I have been preparing I wanted to offer the participants some delicious treats that invoked the season of spring, the spirit of wood and support the liver/gallbladder. What better way to invoke the spirit of wood, than to ingest it in some delicious raw chocolate. You can find more other recipe for Nettle Pesto Layered Panigacci here.
Pine is incredibly medicinal:
- Decongestant of the lymphatic system
“The pine may be used in cases of bronchitis, sinuitis, or upper respiratory catarrh, [cough], both as an inhalant and internally. It may also be helpful in asthma. The stimulating action gives the herb a role in the internal treatment of rheumatism and arthritis. There is a tradition of adding a preparation of the twigs to bath water to ease fatique, nervous debility, and sleeplessness, as well as aiding the healing of cuts and soothing skin irritations.”
- The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman, p. 124
Pine Resin Raw Chocolate
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
pinch of sea salt
1 Tbsp Pine essence
- In the bottom of a double boiler heat up some water and add your coconut oil and honey to the top of the boiler, whisking it until it melts and combines.
- Once honey and oil are fully melted and combined, add the vanilla, cacao and salt and mix until completely combined.
- Next slowly add the cedar essence, 1 Tbsp the way I have prepared it is enough to just give the faintest taste without the bitterness. Even with this little amount you are still taking in this precious medicine.
- pour the chocolate into a flat glass dish or chocolate molds and put in the freezer. It usually takes about a hour to freeze depending on the thickness.
While you eat these make sure to fully embody the cedar and witness how your body responds to it.
Quick Pine Essence:
1/4 cup Coconut Oil
1 tsp Pine resin
Slowly heat oil and add resin, stirring until it is melted but don’t leave it too long as lots of the essential oils will be burned off.
Strain into a glass jar and let cool. It should keep indefinitely.
If you have more time. You can break up the resin into bits and put it into a glass mason jar and fill it with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Grapeseed oil or liquid Coconut oil and leave it for two to six weeks. This will keep all the essential oils.
by marikare | Mar 22, 2016 | Ritual, traditions, wild food |
Here in BC, Nettles are growing everywhere at this time of year. You can find them in the local parks and out in the rainforest. Nettle is an amazing healing wild food and I love to go and pick it each spring. Drying some for tea through the year and making it into soup, spanakopita, pesto, really anything that greens go in.
Here are some of the amazing nutritional facts about Nettles, you can find out more info at Organic Facts.
Some of the most important health benefits of stinging nettle include its ability to detoxify the body, improve metabolic efficiency, boost immune health, increase circulation, improve energy levels, manage menstruation, minimize menopausal symptoms, heal skin conditions, protect kidney and gallbladder health, lower inflammation, increase muscle mass, regulate hormonal activity, prevent diabetes, lower blood pressure, soothe hemorrhoids, and improve respiratory conditions.
In preparing for my equinox/eclipse ritual I wanted to include some recipes that would help us to ingest and align with the energies of spring and the wood element. So I revised a favourite old Italian farmhouse recipe of mine with nettle pesto! You can find my other recipe for Ponderosa Pine Resin Chocolate here.
3 cloves garlic
1 red thai chile
1 loose handful basil leaves
100g nettles, blanched
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 handfuls cashew nuts
1 handful Parmesan Cheese
1 handful Asiago Cheese
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Salt and pepper
First boil a pot of water and add the nettle leaves, allowing them to gently boil for a few minutes to remove the Formic acid. Remove it from the water, rinse under cool water and drain. Use a cheese cloth or paper towel to squeeze out the extra liquid. (You can save the liquid that you boiled and use it to cook pasta or as a tonic drink)
Next, Combine all ingredients into a food processor or Vitamix, starting with about 1/2 a cup of Olive Oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Adding more oil and salt and pepper till you get the desired taste and consistency you like.
You can substitute several things in this recipe, use only nettles or add another green instead like parsley or cilantro. You can use only Parmesan or another mix some other hard sharp cheeses. You can use the traditional pine nuts or another nut. And of course you can omit or add more chile and garlic.
This sauce can be used for all sorts of things; on pasta, with spaghetti squash, as a dip or sandwich spread. I have chosen to use it with layered Panigacci. Panigacci is much like crepes and so I like to use a basic crepe recipe substituting wheat for Spelt.
Spelt Crepe Recipe
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup spelt flour
1 1/4 cups milk (I use almond milk)
Butter for melting
Whisk eggs and salt in large bowl. Gradually whisk in flour, then 1 1/4 cups milk. Let stand 1 hour.
If necessary, add more milk by tablespoonfuls to batter to thin to consistency of heavy whipping cream.
Heat 8-inch-diameter nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush with melted butter. Pour 3 tablespoons batter into skillet and swirl to coat bottom evenly. Cook until top appears dry, loosening sides of crepe with spatula, about 45 seconds. Turn and cook until brown spots appear on second side, about 30 seconds. Turn crepe out onto plate. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with butter and stacking crepes on plate.
Now that you have your pesto and your crepes you can begin the magic of layering them!! lay one crepe down on a plate and cover generously with pesto, place another crepe on top and cover with pesto again, continue this process until your tower has reached your desired height.
To serve cut into triangles.