Foraging, Wellbeing

A Wild Brew

A practice I find incredibly grounding at this time of year is to get outdoors and gently gather some beautiful fresh Spring plants for a brew.

There are so many medicinal plants growing in abundance at this time of year that are perfectly aligned to help nourish and cleanse the body after Winter. Many even make their way into our gardens if we let them!

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Wellbeing, Wheel of the Year

Mindful Spring Practices

I don’t know about you, but I can find myself feeling pretty restless at this time of year. The transition away from Winter can be a long one. The promise of Spring feels so sweet when it arrives. Those first warm rays on the skin and the sound of bird song lift my heart so much. And just as I am about to lean right in to the new season, Winter announces she isn’t quite done as she delivers one last blast…

I have noticed over the past few years that my mind can become restless at this time of year. My mood and energy feel as mixed as the weather. One foot planted amongst the hopeful wildflowers of Spring, the other hanging back in the heavy malaise of Winter’s end.

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Wheel of the Year

The energy of Samhain

Samhain (pronouced sow-ein) is one of the eight seasonal festivals that make up the wheel of the year, an ancient way of observing the yearly cycle, and the transition of the sun and the seasons. Samhain is celebrated at the end of October/beginning of November (the origins of modern day Halloween) and marks the final harvest period of the year and the birth of the Winter. At this time of year we can observe the natural world preparing for the Winter months that stretch ahead. Trees lose their leaves, plants die back, and animals stock up and may begin to migrate or hibernate.

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Wellbeing

Lessons from a Primrose

After a shaky few days, taking my morning cup of tea out in the garden this morning felt like an act of restoration. Walking barefoot across the lawn, moving from the shade into the sun I came to sit down in front of a small patch of Primroses. I noticed that the petals of most of the flowers were wilting now, nibbled (not by me) and turning brown in patches as they were reaching the end of their blooming period here in the UK.

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Wheel of the Year

Beltane

The next festival in our Wheel of the Year journey is Beltane or May day, celebrated From the evening of April 30th to May 1st in the Northern hemisphere. Beltane is the peak of Spring, a celebration of fertility and the height of the earth’s growing energy. At this time of year we begin to see the very first signs of Summer emerging.

This is a time of abundance, union and life force. Flowers are blooming, new life is being born and the Sun’s strength is increasing. This is a fertile time in the natural world, and can help us to ignite projects, cultivate new actions and reflect on what we need in order to bloom. This increase in active energy, can leave us feeling a little worn out at times, so it is good time to ensure rest, self care and nourishment is established to balance this busy time.

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Wheel of the Year

Spring Equinox/Ostara

In astronomical terms, the Spring Equinox (also known as Ostara) marks the beginning of the Spring season in the Northern hemisphere and falls between the 20th – 23rd March each year.

The word ‘equinox’ comes from the Latin word meaning ‘equal night’ and twice a year, on both the Spring and Autumn equinoxes, night and day length are in balance. The light has slowly but surely been increasing from it’s lowest point at the Winter Solstice in December. It will now continue to expand, overtaking the hours of darkness, until it reaches its peak on our longest day at the Summer Solstice in June.

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Foraging

Spring Greens!

Eating seasonally is one of my favourite ways of feeling more aligned with earth’s cycles and come Spring I really start craving fresher, zingier and lighter meals with lots and lots of greens. And just as if Nature intended, our gardens and woodlands are bursting full of Spring greens, that nourish and cleanse our bodies after a heavy winter.

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Wheel of the Year

Imbolc

Traditionally celebrated over 1st and 2nd of February in the Northern Hemisphere, Imbolc marks the earliest signs of Spring and falls midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. At this time, the earth is beginning to awaken from Winter’s slumber. Light is increasing, encouraging changes in the behaviour of our animal friends. Most growth is still occurring in the darkness of the Earth’s belly but some little pioneer plants bloom first, signalling the quickening of the year.

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Wheel of the Year

Samhain

Samhain is a seasonal festival that falls roughly half way between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice. It is the third harvest festival (following Lammas and Autumn Equinox) celebrating the time to collect the last of the year’s berries and nuts. Samhain is the end of the growth part of the cycle and the origin of Halloween. It can be thought of as the birth of the Winter and dark half of the year.

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Wheel of the Year

Autumn Equinox/Mabon

Autumn Equinox, falls between September 20th and 23rd in the Northern Hemisphere. At this point each year, day and night length reaches equal balance once more as we pass through the doorway to the dark half of the year. After this point, the balance tips as hours of darkness increase and day length shortens. This heralds a time to begin slowing down, give thanks for what we harvest, release the old and turn our gaze inwards.

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