/// M E L T // S O F T E N // Q U I C K E N /// I don't know about where you live, but here in southeastern PA, winter has been extra rough. We haven't really gotten a nice calm, sparkly snow yet. You know, the kind where the snow cover mutes the chatter of the world and throws every little sound outside into sharp relief against the hush. I've lived here all of my 37 years, and I can remember some monster blizzards, but I've never heard of a winter storm called a bomb cyclone (happening on the … [Read more...]
I was inspired by the festivals in the Celtic ritual year to put together these “Gathering Boxes.” These boxes are meant to connect you to these festivals or small seasons through the traditional and ritual use of herbs and story. The feast days themselves are also each a time of gathering together to honor the year's turning and celebrate each passing season and also welcome the new one. Each box is rooted in in my love for the stories of Celtic culture, but sometimes I do pull inspiration from the mythologies of other cultures as well (mainly European, though, because that’s my heritage- Scandinavian/Danish, Celtic, and some German). I’m recording them here mainly as a way for me to look back and see what I made, but also for you to see what kinds of things you can expect in a Gathering Box if you’re thinking of purchasing one through my apothecary. Just to give you an idea, some things I have included in the past are a medicinal food-type item (an electuary or a solids extract), an internal medicinal (tinctures, elixirs, etc), a topical medicinal (creams, serums, oils, herbal baths), or an energetic or spiritual preparation (a medicine bag or a flower essence). I might also happen to get the inspiration to write a poem, prayer, or guided meditation for the box, but that’s highly dependent on if and when the inspiration strikes.
Like most things around Yuletide, this box felt rich and indulgent. I had so many ideas for the goodies to make for this box, that it ended up being a little bigger than previous boxes, but I'm ok with that, Yule being the creature that it is. It's a time for feasting and friends, entertaining and making merry. While we are busy making things bright and cheerful inside, a very different thing is happening outside. The sunlight has been gradually fading and nights have been growing longer … [Read more...]
This box was so much fun to create! I was getting ideas for it while making the Mabon Box and couldn't wait to put it together. I went back and forth about whether to call it Samhain or Samhuinn. The latter is the Scots Gaelic spelling (and that's what I'm partial to), but the former is more widely recognizable, so I went with that. Maybe next year, I'll go with Samhuinn. The herbs gathered in this box are to help you honor those who have come before. "Samhain" means "summer's end", and … [Read more...]
This was my first go at creating what I am calling "Gathering Boxes." Mabon is the name for the festival that falls on the autumnal equinox. Where I live, this time of year in late summer feels like a "fifth season", a space between. We are approaching a period of equal day and night as the wheel turns towards darkness. It's natural to want to resist the shift from summer to fall, but there is medicine in the balance. The Mabon Gathering Box contains seasonally appropriate herbs to help support … [Read more...]