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  • Wednesday, September 18, 2019 8:02 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)


    Photo by Bianca Ockedahl



    I am Earth. 

    Steady, strong and as slow growing as the ancient mountains peaks. 

     

    I am Water. 

    As the rivers of life-blood within me; as the Mother ocean ebbs and flows with the waning and waxing of the Grandmother moon. 

     

    I am Fire. 

    Transforming all that is consumed into nourishment, lessons and alchemical magick.

     

    I am Air. 

    As the whispering winds which dance from all the sacred directions, which guide us to move, celebrate and to fly! 

     

    I am Spirit. 

    For all that is sacred is now honoured with every breath, every tear, and moments of tranquil silence. 

     

    I am this body. 

    A sacred temple adorned by the myriad of gifts my ancestors blessed me with. My ancestors who prayed for this expression to heal, to sing, and to evolve. 

    Our ancestors determined to empower each moment with appreciation that all of life, death and rebirth is a venerated blessing of the spiralling dance between Goddess and God. 

     

    I am all that was, all that will be and all that is. 

    I am infinite.

     

    Written by: Melanie Mucciarone

    IG: @green_rose_alchemist

  • Wednesday, September 18, 2019 11:26 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    The Science of Mother Love
    by Cory Young


    Photo by Bianca Ockedahl


    A growing body of scientific evidence shows that the way babies are cared for by their mothers will determine not only their emotional development, but the biological development of the child's brain and central nervous system as well. The nature of love, and how the capacity to love develops, has become the subject of scientific study over the last decade. New data is emerging from a multitude of disciplines including neurology, psychology, biology, ethology, anthropology and neurocardiology. Something scientific disciplines find in common when putting love under the microscope is that in addition to shaping the brains of infants, mother's love acts as a template for love itself and has far reaching effects on her child's ability to love throughout life.


    To mothers holding their newborn babies it will come as little surprise that the 'decade of the brain' has lead science to the wisdom of the mother's heart.


    According to Alan Schore, assistant clinical professor in the department of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA School of Medicine, a major conclusion of the last decade of developmental neuroscience research is that the infant brain is designed to be molded by the environment it encounters.1 In other words, babies are born with a certain set of genetics, but they must be activated by early experience and interaction. Schore believes the most crucial component of these earliest interactions is the primary caregiver - the mother. "The child's first relationship, the one with the mother, acts as a template, as it permanently molds the individual's capacities to enter into all later emotional relationships." Others agree. The first months of an infant's life constitute what is known as a critical period - a time when events are imprinted in the nervous system.


    "Hugs and kisses during these critical periods make those neurons grow and connect properly with other neurons." Says Dr. Arthur Janov, in his book Biology of Love. "You can kiss that brain into maturity."

     

    Hormones, The Language of Love
    In his beautiful book, The Scientification of Love, French obstetrician Michel Odent explains how Oxytocin, a hormone released by the pituitary gland stimulates the release of chemical messengers in the heart. Oxytocin, which is essential during birth, stimulating contractions, and during lactation, stimulating the 'milk ejection reflex', is also involved in other 'loving behaviors'. "It is noticeable that whatever the facet of love we consider, oxytocin is involved.' Says Odent. "During intercourse both partners - female and male - release oxytocin." One study even shows that the simple act of sharing a meal with other people increases our levels of this 'love hormone'.2


    The altruistic oxytocin is part of a complex hormonal balance. A sudden release of Oxytocin creates an urge toward loving which can be directed in different ways depending on the presence of other hormones, which is why there are different types of love. For example, with a high level of prolactin, a well-known mothering hormone, the urge to love is directed toward babies.


    While Oxytocin is an altruistic hormone and prolactin a mothering hormone, endorphins represent our 'reward system'. "Each time we mammals do something that benefits the survival of the species, we are rewarded by the secretion of these morphine-like substances." Says Odent.


    During birth there is also an increase in the level of endorphins in the fetus so that in the moments following birth both mother and baby are under the effects of opiates. The role of these hormones is to encourage dependency, which ensures a strong attachment between mother and infant. In situations of failed affectional bonding between mother and baby there will be a deficiency of the appropriate hormones, which could leave a child susceptible to substance abuse in later life as the system continually attempts to right itself.3 You can say no to drugs, but not to neurobiology. Human brains have evolved from earlier mammals. The first portion of our brain that evolved on top of its reptilian heritage is the limbic system, the seat of emotion. It is this portion of the brain that permits mothers and their babies to bond. Mothers and babies are hardwired for the experience of togetherness. The habits of breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and babywearing practiced by the majority of! mothers in non-industrialized cultures, and more and more in our own, facilitate two of the main components needed for optimal mother/child bonding: proximity and touch.

     

    PROXIMITY, Between Mammals, the Nature of Love is Heart to Heart
    In many ways it's obvious why a helpless newborn would require continuous close proximity to a caregiver; they're helpless and unable to provide for themselves. But science is unveiling other less obvious benefits of holding baby close. Mother/child bonding isn't just for brains, but is also an affair of the heart. In his 1992 work, Evolution's End, Joseph Chilton Pearce describes the dual role of the heart cell, saying that it not only contracts and expands rhythmically to pump blood, it communicates with its fellow cells. "If you isolate a cell from the heart, keep it alive and examine it through a microscope, you will see it lose it's synchronous rhythm and begin to fibrillate until it dies. If you put another isolated heart cell on that microscopic slide it will also fibrillate . If you move the two cells within a certain proximity, however , they synchronize and beat in unison." Perhaps this is why most mothers instinctively place their babies to their left breast, keeping those hearts in proximity. The heart produces the hormone, ANF that dramatically affects every major system of the body. "All evidence indicates that the mother's developed heart stimulates the newborn heart, thereby activating a dialogue between the infant's brain-mind and heart." says Pearce who believes this heart to heart communication activates intelligences in the mother also. "On holding her infant in the left-breast position with its corresponding heart contact, a major block of dormant intelligences is activated in the mother, causing precise shifts of brain function and permanent behavior changes." In this beautiful dynamic the infant's system is activated by being held closely; and this proximity also stimulates a new intelligence in the mother, which helps her to respond to and nurture her infant. Pretty nifty plan - and another good reason to aim for a natural birth. If nature is handing out intelligence to help us in our role as mothers we want to be awake and alert.

     

    TOUCH
    "The easiest and quickest way to induce depression and alienation in an infant or child is not to touch it, hold it, or carry it on your body." - James W. Prescott, PhD

    Research in neuroscience has shown that touch is necessary for human development and that a lack of touch damages not only individuals, but our whole society. Human touch and love is essential to health. A lack of stimulus and touch very early on causes the stress hormone, cortisol to be released which creates a toxic brain environment and can damage certain brain structures. According to James W. Prescott, PhD, of the Institute of Humanistic Science, and former research scientist at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, sensory deprivation results in behavioral abnormalities such as depression, impulse dyscontrol, violence, substance abuse, and in impaired immunological functioning in mother deprived infants.4 For over a million years babies have enjoyed almost constant in-arms contact with their mothers or other caregivers, usually members of an extended family, receiving constant touch for the first year or so of life. "In nature's nativity scene, ! mother's arms have always been baby's bed, breakfast, transportation, even entertainment, and, for most of the world's babies, they still are." says developmental psychologist, Sharon Heller in, The Vital Touch: How Intimate Contact With Your Baby Leads to Happier, Healthier Development.5


    To babies,touch = love and fully loved babies develop healthy brains. During the critical period of development following birth the infant brain is undergoing a massive growth of neural connections. Synaptic connections in the cortex continue to proliferate for about two years, when they peak. During this period one of the most crucial things to survival and healthy development is touch. All mammal mothers seem to know this instinctively, and, if allowed to bond successfully with their babies they will provide continuous loving touch.


    Touch deprivation in infant monkeys is so traumatic their whole system goes haywire, with an increase of stress hormones, increased heart rate, compromised immune system and sleep disturbances.6


    With only 25% of our adult brain size, we are the least mature at birth of any mammal. Anthropologist, Ashley Montagu concluded that given our upright position and large brains, human infants are born prematurely while our heads can still fit through the birth canal, and that brain development must therefore extend into postnatal life. He believed the human gestation period to actually be eighteen months long - nine in the womb and another nine outside it, and that touch is absolutely vital to this time of "exterogestation."7


    Newborns are born expecting to be held, handled, cuddled, rubbed, kissed, and maybe even licked. All mammals lick their newborns vigorously, off and on, during the first hours and days after birth in order to activate their sensory nerve endings, which are involved in motor movements, spatial, and visual orientation. These nerve endings cannot be activated until after birth due to the insulation of the watery womb environment and the coating of vernix casseus on the baby's skin.


    Recall Dr. Janov's claim that you can kiss a brain into maturity. Janov believes that very early touch is central to developing a healthy brain. "Irrespective of the neurojuices involved, it is clear that lack of love changes the chemicals in the brain and can eventually change the structure of that brain."

     

    BREASTFEEDING: Liquid Love
    Breastfeeding neatly brings together nourishment for baby with the need for closeness shared by mother and child; and is another crucial way that mother's love helps shape baby's brain. Research shows that breastmilk is the perfect "brain food", essential for normal brain development, particularly, those brain processes associated with depression, violence, and social and sexual behaviors.8


    Mother's milk, a living liquid, contains just the right amount of fatty acids, lactose, water, and amino acids for human digestion, brain development, and growth. It also contains many immunities a baby needs in early life while her own immune system is maturing. One more instance of mother extending her own power, (love) to her developing child.

     

    LIMBIC REGULATION: The Loop of Love
    Another key to understanding how a mother's love shapes the emerging capacities of her infant is what doctors Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini, and Richard Lannon , authors of A General Theory of Love, call limbic regulation; a mutually synchronizing hormonal exchange between mother and child which serves to regulate vital rhythms.


    Human physiology, they say, does not direct all of its own functions; it is interdependent. It must be steadied by the physical presence of another to maintain both physical and emotional health. "Limbic regulation mandates interdependence for social mammals of all ages." says Lewis, "But young mammals are in special need of it's guidance: their neural systems are not only immature but also growing and changing. One of the physiologic processes that limbic regulation directs, in other words, is the development of the brain itself - and that means attachment determines the ultimate nature of a child's mind." A baby's physiology is maximally open-loop: without limbic regulation, vital rhythms collapse posing great danger, even death.


    The regulatory information required by infants can alter hormone levels, cardiovascular function, sleep rhythms, immune function, and more. Lewis, et al contend that , the steady piston of mother's heart along with the regularity of her breathing coordinate the ebb and flow of an infant's young internal rhythms. They believe sleep to be an intricate brain rhythm which the neurally immature infant must first borrow from parents. "Although it sounds outlandish to some American ears, exposure to parents can keep a sleeping baby alive."

     

    The Myth of Independence
    This interdependence mandated by limbic regulation is vital during infancy, but it's also something we need throughout the rest of childhood and on into adulthood. In many ways, humans cannot be stable on their own-we require others to survive. Recall that our nervous systems are not self-contained; they link with those of the people close to us in a silent rhythm that helps regulate our physiology. This is not a popular notion in a culture that values independence over interdependence. However, as a society that cherishes individual freedoms more than any other, we must respect the process whereby autonomy develops.


    Children require ongoing neural synchrony from parents in order for their natural capacity for self-directedness to emerge. A mother's love is a continuous shaping force throughout childhood and requires an adequate stage of dependency. The work of Mary Ainsworth has shown that maternal responsiveness and close bodily contact lead to the unfolding of self-reliance and self confidence.9 Because our culture does not sufficiently value interpersonal relationships, the mother/child bond is not recognized and supported as it could be.


    The ability of a mother to read the emotional state of her child is older than our own species, and is essential to our survival, health and happiness. We are reminded of this each time a hurt child changes from sad/scared/angry to peaceful in our loving embrace. Warm human contact generates the internal release of opiates, making mother's love a powerful anodyne. Even teenagers who sometimes behave as if they are 'so over' the need for a mother's affection must be kept in the limbic loop. Children at this age might be at special risk for falling through the emotional cracks. If they don't get the emotional regulation that family relationships are designed to provide, their hungry brains may seek ineffectual substitutes like drugs and alcohol.


    Children left too long under the electronic stewardship of television, video games, etc., are not receiving the steady limbic connection with a resonant parent. Without this a child cannot internalize emotional balance properly.


    Our hearts and brains are hardwired for love, and from infancy to old age our health and happiness depend on receiving it.


    As the research keeps coming in and we gain a gradually expanding vision of how mother love shapes our species, we see an obvious need to take steps to protect and provide for the mother/child bond. We can take heart knowing that all the while we carry in our genes over a million years of evolutionary refinements equipping us for our role as mothers. The answers sought by science beat steadily within our own hearts.


    Notes 1. Schore, Alan, Effects of a Secure Attachment Relationship on Right Brain Development, Affect Regulation, and Infant Mental Health, 2001 2.Verbalis, J.G., McCann, McHale and Stricker, 'Oxytocin secretion in response to cholecystoknin and food: differentiation of nausea from satiety.' Science 1986, 232: 1417-19 3. Prescott, James W., PhD, Breastfeeding: Brain Nutrients in Brain Development For Human Love and Peace, From Touch The Future Newsletter, Spring 1997 http://www.violence.de/prescott/ttf/article.html 4. Prescott, James W., PhD, The Origins of Human Love and Violence, From Pre and Perinatal Psychology Journal, Volume 10, #3: Spring 1996 5. Henry Holt, 1997 6. Prescott, James W. , Ph.D , Rock A Bye Baby, Time Life Documentary, 1970, Executive Producer: Lothar Wolff, Scientific Consultant. (last modified 2001/04/16). 7. Montagu, Ashley Touching : The Human Significance of the Skin, Harper, 1986 8. Prescott, James W., PhD, Breastfeeding: Brain Nutrients in Brain Development For Human Love and Peace, From Touch The Future Newsletter, Spring 1997 http://www.violence.de/prescott/ttf/article.html 9. Ainsworth, M.D.S., "Attachments Across the Life Span." Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine 61, 1985


    References

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    Carter, C.S., Willams, J.R., Witt, D.M., Insel, T;;.R. (1992). Oxytocin and social bonding. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Jun 12. 652:204-211.

    Castrogiovanni, P., Capone, M.R., Maremmani, I. and Marazziti, D. (1994). Platelet serotonergic markers and aggressive behaviour in healthy subjects. Neuropsychobiology. 29(3):105-107.

    Cook, P.S. (1996). Early Child Care: Infants & Nations At Risk. News Weekly Books Melbourne

    Fazzolari-Nesci, A., Domianello, D., Sotera, V. and Raiha, N.C. (1992). Tryptophan fortification of adapted formula increaes plasma tryptophan concentrations to levels not different from those found in breast-fed infants. J. Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. May. 14(4): 456-459.

    Ferris, C.F., Foote, K.B., Melster, H.M., Plenby, M.G., Smith, K.L., Insel, T.R. (1992). Oxytocin in the amygdala facilitates maternal aggression. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. June 12. 652:456-457.

    Gutkowska, J., Antunes-Rodrigues, J. and McCann, S.M.'Atrialnatriuretic peptide in brain and pituitary gland.' Physiological Review 1997; 77; 2:465-515

    Higley, J.D., Suomi, S.J., Linnoila, M. (1990). Parallels in Aggression and Serotonin: Consideration of Development, Rearing History, and Sex Differences. In: Violence and Suicidality: Perspectives In Clinical and Psychobiological Research (Herman van Praag, Robert Plutchik and Alan Apter, Eds) NY: Brummer/Mazel.

    Higley, J.D., Hasert, M.F., Suomi, S.J. and Linnoila, M. (1991). Nonhuman primate model of alcohol abuse: Effects of early experience, personality, and stress on alcohol consumption.Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA V. 88, 7261-7265.

    Insel, T.R. (1992). Oxytocin--a nuropeptide for affiliation: evidence from behavioral, receptor autoradiographic, and comparative studies. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 17(1):3-35.

    Kamimura, S., Eguchi, K., Sekiba, K. (1991). Tryptophan and its metabolite concentrations in human plasma and breast milk during the perinatal period. Acta Medica Okayama. April 45(2):101-106.

    Lanting, D.I., Fidler, V. Huisman, M., Touwen, B.C., Boersma, E.R. (1994). Neurological differences between 9-year old children fed breast-milk or formula-milk as babies. (1994). Lancet. Nov 12 344(8933):1319-22.

    Mahalati, K., Okanoya, K., Witt, D.M., Carter, C.S. (1991). Oxytocin inhibits male sexual behavior in prairie voles. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. May. 39(1)219-22

    Murphy, M.R. Checkley, s.A., Secki, J.R., Lightman, S.L. (1990). Naloxone inhibits oxytocin release at orgasm in man. (1990). J. of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Oct. 71(4):1056-1058.

    Neuringer, M. (1993). Cerebral cortex docosahexaenoic acid is lower in formula-fed than in breast-fed infants.Nutrition Reviews. August 51(8):238-41.

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    Salk,L., Lipsitt, L.P., Sturner, W.Q., Reilly, B.M. and Levate, R.HJ. (1985). Relationship of maternal and perinatal conditions to eventual adolescent suicide. The Lancet. March 15.

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    Winslow, J.T. and Insel, T.R. (1991). Social status in pairs of male squirrel monkeys determines the behavioral response to central oxytocin administration. J. of Neuroscience. Jul 11(7):2032-2038.

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  • Thursday, September 12, 2019 7:44 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Cultured and Fermented Foods
    by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt



    I serve some kind of fermented or raw food with each meal. Naturally fermented and cultured foods are an exceptional way to prepare different ingredients and some of the most important side dishes or condiments in our diet. They are often overlooked or not mentioned when we describe what we had for dinner and yet they are pivotal in creating a well-balanced nutritious meal. They add a bounty of nourishing and life promoting substances and forces, almost miraculous curative properties and a wealth of color, flavors and shapes. They increase the appetite, stimulate the digestion and make any simple meal festive and satisfying.

    It is an old art to make naturally fermented and cultured foods. They are prepared without the direct use of fire or heat and were an excellent way to preserve food for the times where fresh produce was not available. People of all cultures enjoy fermented and cultured foods. The Greeks pickle olives, Germans turn cabbages into appetizing sauerkraut and the Japanese transform green, immature plums into the tasty medicinal umeboshi plums. Grains and beans are cultured in the Far East creating the now well-known nutritious miso and tamari soy sauce. Indonesia families culture soybeans to create tempeh. In many places of the world people ferment grains or fruit into vine, beer or vinegars. Everywhere flours of various grains are traditionally leavened with sourdough to create delicious breads. From Scandinavia and Russia came the tasty drinks kvass and kombucha, which kept young and old healthy and satisfied the need for fresh foods throughout the long winters. Many societies in the world culture the dairy of animals to make yogurt, butter, kefir and cheese.

    The most significant aspects of these foods are found in the process in which they are made. The fermentation or culturing process is more important than the foods that are fermented. When green cabbage is shredded and placed under pressure with a little sea salt, the liquids are extracted from the cabbage. In this liquid ethereal life forces and gases are freed. While the cabbage mixture increases in temperature, chemical interactions take place and substances transform. The matured and finished sauerkraut, has become an individual unique food with an inner liveliness, flavor and aroma completely its own. A whole new product has been created consisting of ‘magical’ living microorganisms and an abundance of nutritious substances and forces. The microorganisms in the sauerkraut, the lacto bacilli, create not only flavors and textures they also produce an environment wherein ‘unwanted bacteria’ can not live and therefore the foods are preserved instead of rotting.

    It is relatively simple to ferment or pickle vegetable foods. They can be ready in a few hours or in a few days and others, like miso, can take years to mature. The different pickles and fermented foods have different properties, effects, flavors and consistency. Some are more sour, some salty, some crispy and some soft, some are strengthening and warming, others loosening and cooling.  If for example a heavier meal is served with fried foods and well-cooked dishes a lighter, cooling fermented food is preferred to balance the meal.


    Light Vegetable Soup with Dill
    Frying vegetables before cooking them in a soup brings out their sweetness and creates a more warming dish.

    2 teaspoons dark roasted sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 cup leeks, washed well, cut thinly on the diagonal
    1/2 cup carrot cut in fine matchsticks
    1 quart water or light soup stock
    1-2 tablespoons barley or rice miso to taste
    4 tablespoons of dill, cut very fine

    Heat a soup pot, add oil and sauté the leeks for a minute. Add carrots and sauté for 2 minutes.
    Add water or light stock and let simmer for 7 minutes.
    Dilute and puree miso in a little soup water before adding it to the pot. Let it simmer a few minutes.
    Serve the soup in individual bowls garnished with fresh dill.


    Here is another delicious Salmon Miso Soup recipe complete with step-by-step pictures and detailed instructions: https://www.jenreviews.com/miso-soup/





    Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt is a Waldorf class and kindergarten teacher, biodynamic farmer, author and nutritional counselor. She has taught nutritional cooking and counseled for 25 years in her homeland Denmark, Europe and the United States.

    She trained as a macrobiotic cooking teacher and counselor and studied the principles of oriental medicine and the research of Dr. Weston A. Price before embracing the anthroposophical approach to nutrition, food and cooking.





    This Four week course will explore some of the many benefits of fermented and cultured foods, and why it is important to include them regularly with every meal. You will be guided through the steps of making sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled vegetables, kefir, soft cheese, and yogurt, as well as get a chance to discover new fermented drinks such as kvass, wines, and beers. I will aim at answering personal questions around your culturing and fermenting experiences.


    Intuitively we know that cultured and fermented foods are real health foods. Naturally fermented and cultured foods are an exceptional way to prepare different ingredients and some of the most important side dishes and condiments in our diet. They are often overlooked or not mentioned when we describe what we had for dinner, and yet they are pivotal in creating a well-balanced, nutritious meal.

    They add a bounty of nourishing, life-promoting substances and life forces, almost miraculous curative properties, and a wealth of colors, flavors, and shapes. They increase the appetite, stimulate the digestion, and make any simple meal festive and satisfying. The course will be highly practical with many hands-on activities.


     

    In this Four week course you will learn about the nutritional needs of your growing child and receive delicious, seasonal, wholesome nutritious menus and recipes on affordable budget so as to encourage children to eat and live healthy.

    During this course we will explore the nutritious needs for your growing child.

    We will discover how rhythm, simplicity and nourishing activities support a healthy child development. You will find new ways to encourage your child to develop a taste for natural, wholesome foods as well as receive and create delicious, seasonal nutritious menus and recipes that stay within the limits of your budget.





    Cooking for the Love of the World:
    Awakening our Spirituality through Cooking

    by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt



    A heart-centered, warmth-filled guide to the nurturing art of cooking. 200 pages, softbound


     
  • Saturday, September 07, 2019 2:58 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    *Acorn: The Forgotten Nut*
    by Linda Conroy




    Foraging is a lifeway for us and we take every opportunity to harvest. This past week we are harvesting as well as processing some of our fall harvest.
    One of the nuts we harvested in October are acorns. We harvested them here in Wisconsin as well as when we traveled to Kansas for the Mother Earth News Fair. 

    The acorns from Kansas are more than twice the size of the nut here in Wisconsin. So we were very excited, as the larger acorns ultimately mean more yield for us! We have to date put up 30lbs of Acorn flour! We are still processing them, so more to come. This will be our predominant flour for the winter.

    Many people do not think of these as nuts, which is why I call them the forgotten nut. Most people see them as food for squirrels. And while they indeed are food for other critters we can eat them too!

    Oak trees can produce large amounts of acorns. Harvesting and processing them before the weevils turn them into a powdery dust and render them inedible is one of the keys to ending up with delicious flour.

    Historically acorns were an important important food source to North American indigenous people. They were as important as many grains are today.

    Acorns are nutritionally dense, containing protein, minerals, vitamins and fiber.  Acorns have also been tested and shown to have the potential for controlling blood sugar levels.

    In order for humans to ingest this nut the tannins need to be leached out of them. Tannins are organic substances, which occur in plant tissues.
    Tannins in small amounts are not harmful, but in large quantities they can upset your stomach and promote dehydration. Plus they taste bitter and thus make the nut initially unappetizing.

    If you are interested in processing acorns or at least seeing how we process them you can watch our new youtube video below put together by our very own John Holzwart. Thanks John!

    http://youtu.be/T_4Zc55iIEo?list=UUCbOsbgXBghT_eZPJp0EOkg

    We will be adding the flour to many of the dishes we prepare over the next few months, including acorn soup.

    Below is a recipe for this delicious soup. For other recipes, enjoy being creative and introducing acorn flour wherever flour is called for. If you would like your baked item to rise you will need to add something that has a leavening agent, whether it be glutenous flour or some other rising medium.

    I like to use Eikorn wheat for bread and muffins. For flat bread, pie crust and crackers you do not need to add these as there is no need for rising.

    The nut meat of Acorns can be used as is. I have made a chili style dish, added them to tomato sauce in place of meat and simply toasted them and put them on top of salads. As with all wild edibles use your taste buds, imagination and creativity!

    *Acorn Soup Recipe*

    ~Boil in broth cut up carrots and onions until tender (you can use any
    broth, I like to make a rich bone broth, but a chicken, vegetable or
    mushroom broth will work well.

    ~Add ground acorns, dry or wet and simmer for 10 minutes

    ~In the meantime, sautee oil with powdered wild ginger (if you don’t have
    wild ginger you can add cultivated ginger)

    ~Add the boiled vegetables to the sautee pan. Simmer for 20 minutes

    ~Place all of this in a food processor and/or blender. Blend until smooth



     

    Linda Conroy is a bioregional, wise woman herbalist, educator,wildcrafter, permaculturist and an advocate for women's health.

    She is the proprietress of Moonwise Herbs and the founder of Wild Eats: a movement to encourage people and communities to incorporate whole and wild food into their daily lives. She is passionate about women's health and has been working with women for over 20 years in a wide variety of settings.

    Linda is a student of nonviolent communication and she has a masters degree in Social Work as well as Law and Social Policy. Linda has been offering hands on herbal programs and food education classes for well over a decade.

    She has completed two herbal apprenticeship programs, one of which was with Susun Weed at the Wise Woman Center and she has a certificate in Permaculture Design.

    Linda is a curious woman whose primary teachers are the plants; they never cease to instill a sense of awe and amazement.

    Her poetic friend Julene Tripp Weaver, eloquently describes Linda when she writes, "She listens to the bees, takes tips from the moon, and follows her heart."

    Listen to a thirty minute interview with mentor Linda Conroy

     

    Study with Linda Conroy from Home

    ~Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making~
    ( Link to detailed description of Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making )

    The goal of the course is to have participants become familiar with herbal medicine, to become comfortable incorporating herbs into daily life and to gain hands on experience making simple remedies at home.

  • Friday, August 30, 2019 3:58 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Virgo New Moon: Forging Forward with Freedom &amp; Hope

    by Kathy Crabbe






    Enjoy this 3 card spread and pick-a-card to figure out what's up for you in the moonth ahead. Featured cards are from my Lefty deck, Elfin Ally deck and coming soon in the Spring of 2020, the Goddess Zodiac deck.

    Time now to go deep.
    Relax.
    Take some breaths.
    Choose a card above then scroll down for the REVEAL.

    Virgo New Moon Reading by Kathy Crabbe


    Card 1: Carolee (Lefty deck)

    Mantra: I am free.
    Affirmation: I dare to be free.
    Element: Earth

    Song
     I am moon.
     I am stars.
     I am sun.
     I am earth.
     
     YOU, with your lies and false promises
     will NEVER crush me.

    I AM WOMAN

    fierce,
     gentle,
     proud,
     defiant.
     
     I AM YOU.

    If this card appears in a reading you are more than ready to forge ahead. You are brave and you are going for it; nothing or no one can stand in your way. Simple.
     
     In my own life this card also speaks of raw, naked ambition and flaunting it without shame or fear. It’s a feminist card, a fighter card, a power card. Blessed Be.




    Card 2: Grey Squirrel (Elfin Ally deck)



    Keyword: Inventive
     Meaning: Your curious mind comes up with a brilliant solution.
     Reversed: If only you could figure things out but you’re over thinking it.

    Affirmation: I am speedy.
     Astrology: Mercury
     Element: Air, Earth

    Medicine: In the spirit of fun and frolic, you keep us on our toes and ready for action.







    Card 3: Aquarian Goddess Ix Chel (Goddess Zodiac deck)

    Ix Chel is the Great Mayan Snake Goddess of water and the moon who guides women in childbirth and those on the loom.

    Change Begins With You:

    - See the interdependence of all life forms in an unbroken web of consciousness
    - Feel hope and freedom as you dream of the future
    - Know that the earth is alive
    - Teach us how to care ethically
    - Spread goddess consciousness wherever you go

    - Walk your talk



    Oracle Decks by Kathy Crabbe








    Kathy Crabbe has been an artist forever and a soul reader since awakening her intuitive gifts at age forty after five years painting with her non dominant left hand. This awoke her intuition in a big way. In 2008 she created a Lefty Oracle deck and started giving intuitive soul readings that have touched many lives in profound and playful ways. Kathy lives in sunny Southern California with her pet muses and architect husband in an adobe home they built themselves.

    Kathy’s art and writing has been published and shown throughout the world at museum shows, galleries, art fairs, magazines and books including the San Diego Women’s History Museum, We’Moon Datebook, and Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach to name a few. She has self-published several books, zines, oracle decks and ecourses and maintains a regularly updated blog, etsy store and portfolio site. Kathy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Queen’s University and a Graphic Design Diploma from St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Canada. She has been working as a professional artist since 1992. Kathy has been an educator and mentor at Laguna Outreach Community Artists, Mt. San Jacinto College, Wise Woman University, Inspire San Diego Studio, HGTV, Michelle Shocked’s International Women’s Day Show as well as teaching her own classes: “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul”, and New Moon Circles. She is a founding member of the Temecula Artist’s Circle, the Temecula Writer’s Café and the Riverside Art Museum’s Printmaker’s Network. Metaphysically speaking, Kathy has studied with Francesca De Grandis (Third Road Celtic Faerie Shamanism), Adam Higgs (psychic mediumship), Om, devotee of Sri Chinmoy (meditation), Atma Khalsa (yoga), Susun Weed (Green Witch Intensive), Joyce Fournier, RN (Therapeutic Touch), Steven Forrest & Jeffrey Wolf Green (astrology) and she received certification in crystal healing from Katrina Raphaell’s Crystal Academy.
    Learn more here.


    Kathy’s 4 week eClass “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul” is once again being offered at Wise Woman University so get ready to Moon Collage your heart out starting one week prior to the New Moon each month…more details here: eClass.
  • Monday, August 19, 2019 6:51 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    The Journey of the Rose ~ A Shamanic Herbal Tale Part III

    Toward Earth
            by Julie Charette Nunn, Crow’s Daughter

            



    The wild rose is quietly growing now outside my door. All her energy is going into the ripening of the wild rose hips. There is a subtle peace in acknowledging rose’s task of ripening, putting forth energy into her fruit so that she will continue. the Art of Wen HsuI like to think I am doing the same, working hard at tasks, expanding and ripening my work in the world. I enjoy noticing that rose is outside, without complaining, growing in heat or cold and continuing.

    The medicine of wild rose is something rather awesome. I met a man a few years back at an herbal fair in eastern Washington. He noticed that I had wild rose tincture for sale. He told me he was one of the researchers of Pacific yew who discovered the incredible anti-cancer properties in it. He continued to talk and shared that the University of British Columbia has been doing laboratory tests on Rosa nutkana and a few other plants. He said that Rosa nutkana aka wild rose tincture kills the cold virus in the laboratory. He shared that the tincture was made with the leaf and flower tips of the wild rose in full bloom. Up until this point, I had been making wild rose tincture with just the flower and flower buds. Well, I couldn’t wait to try this method of making the tincture.

    Just a year ago, I had the opportunity to utilize this wild rose tincture when I had a cold. I used 25 drops of tincture about every 3-4 hours. The energy of the tincture is gentle and rather calming. And I was able to recover from my cold within a few days.

    This “Pacific Yew Man” (I call him that because I didn’t get his name) said that the reason the wild rose tincture was made with the flowering tips was so that they could positively identify the species of rose they used as Rosa nutkana. He thought wild rose hips tincture would also be effective.

    When autumn equinox comes round this year, the wild rose hips will be ready to harvest. I have heard that waiting until the first frost to pick will insure a higher concentration of vitamin C in the hips. It rains so much here in fall that waiting may mean soggy rose hips. There are numerous herbal preparations to be made with these plump red berries. Collecting the hips and drying them is quite a joyful task. I like to collect the hips in a bag I can sling over my shoulder. Gathering and dropping them in the bag is a peaceful way to spend a fall afternoon.

    Once the wild rose hips are dry you can make nourishing herbal infusions with them. Here is how I do it. Put one ounce of rose hips in a quart jar, fill to the top with boiling water and let this sit overnight, the typical infusion recipe. Doing it this way will allow the Vitamin C in the rose hips to be utilized. But I don’t feel like I get enough of the goodness from the rose hips this way so, after I strain this brew, I take the rose hips and boil them again for a while and thus get more juice out of them. I then mix these two concoctions together. It is a bit of work, but so worth it. This wild rose hips brew is deeply nourishing and sensuously delicious.

    Last fall I made rose hips vinegar, rose hips infused oil and rose hips infused honey. The vinegar is rich in Vitamin C and other fine minerals. The rose hips infused honey is the most amazing concoction and can be used medicinally when a cold overtakes you. But don’t wait to get sick to try this delicacy.

    The wild rose hips herbal infused oil is really intriguing me right now. It smells wonderful and feels very good and wholesome to touch. I get the sense that it has deep healing within it.

    I remember the day I returned to the place on the Olympic Peninsula to gather wild rose hips in October. I picked rose berries, one by one, noticing which ones were most vibrant and the varying shapes and sizes. I was entranced with the deep medicine of this plant . . .  love and beauty again came to mind, but in the fall season I also sensed a strong pull toward Earth. The wild rose blossoms expressed to me a manifestation of heart, while the ripe, red berries spoke of womb medicine, the deep dark medicine of feminine power.

    May it be in beauty. 



    Julie Charette Nunn, Crow’s Daughter joyfully teaches the shamanic herbal tradition of the wise woman through apprenticeships, classes and one to one teachings at her farm on Whidbey Island in Washington State. She lives and works close to the earth, gathering and crafting plants for nourishment and healing. She sees the common plants as her wisest teachers. Her latest endeavor is a 13-month home study course in shamanic herbalism. www.crowsdaughter.com

  • Thursday, August 15, 2019 11:05 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Pick-a-Card for the Aquarius Full Moon: Take Care of You & Avoid Burnout

    by Kathy Crabbe



    As I pull cards for you I'm happy to say I'll soon have a third oracle card deck to add to the mix: The Goddess Zodiac Oracle Deck coming out in Spring, 2020.

    Time now to go deep.
    Relax.
    Take some breaths.
    Choose a card below then scroll down for the REVEAL.





    Aquarius Full Moon Reading

    Card 1: Sandpiper (Elfin Ally Oracle)

    Keyword: Swirly
     Meaning: This is an emotional time so take care of yourself first.
     Reversed: You are trying to do too much and are in danger of burning out.

    Affirmation: I am LOVE.
     Astrology: Aquarius, Neptune, Pisces, Pluto
     Element: Air, Water

    Medicine: You reach deep down into the heart of the VOID to release the Magick within.
     
     Lore: She belonged by the sea, with Sandpiper, her ally, at her side. It was the light and the sounds and the water babies cooing that kept her there year after year, singing her song.

    You open me up to the very depths of my being, scraping the corners of my heart with your sensitive bill, feeling into my empty spaces to fill them up with all that ever was – JOY.




    Card 2: Demon (Lefty Oracle)

    Mantra: I transform.

    Affirmation: I journey into the dark to discover inner truths.

    Element: Spirit

    Song
     Be brave dear Soul,
     face your fright.
     open the door,
     welcome the light.

    If this card appears in a reading expect the unexpected! There is a trickster in your midst. Maybe it’s you? Not a mean trickster, but a true trickster; one who shifts your reality and helps you see things from a new perspective. Perhaps you’ve become complacent, or lazy, or overly self satisfied, and are no longer seeing the big picture because you’re too caught up in small details and worries. This WILL change soon so get ready to open your eyes wide and see the world in a whole new way.

    In my own life I do my best to see negative, challenging experiences on a deeper level and I ask questions, such as, “What is the teaching in this? What is being mirrored back to me about myself? What changes need to happen now?”

     

    Card 3: Jack Rabbit (Elfin Ally Oracle)

    Keyword: Noble
     Meaning: Romance is in the air; succumb to it, if you dare.
     Reversed: A missed opportunity is not worth tears.
     
     Affirmation: My love flowers only for one.
     Astrology: Mercury, Moon, Taurus, Venus, Saturn
     Element: Air, Earth, Water

    Medicine: Your magic is untamed, tricksy and loving, so take care in choosing the ONE.

    Lore: This was HER heart on the line, and it hurt. So she called upon Jack Rabbit, her ally, to make it better. He advised speed, but it was time that she needed instead. So, into the pink she leapt where sweetness dreamed and magic slept.

    She has tasted the sweetness of love flowering and just as quickly seen it fade away. As Elf Princess she had a higher, deeper path to follow and it was not with her Beloved Rose. Luckily, she had Jack Rabbit as her ally and he reminded her daily, that love would wait for she was a Priestess-to-be and happily pleasure and great passion was her birthright.

    Left Oracle Deck

    Elfin Ally Oracle Deck





    Kathy Crabbe has been an artist forever and a soul reader since awakening her intuitive gifts at age forty after five years painting with her non dominant left hand. This awoke her intuition in a big way. In 2008 she created a Lefty Oracle deck and started giving intuitive soul readings that have touched many lives in profound and playful ways. Kathy lives in sunny Southern California with her pet muses and architect husband in an adobe home they built themselves.

    Kathy’s art and writing has been published and shown throughout the world at museum shows, galleries, art fairs, magazines and books including the San Diego Women’s History Museum, We’Moon Datebook, and Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach to name a few. She has self-published several books, zines, oracle decks and ecourses and maintains a regularly updated blog, etsy store and portfolio site. Kathy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Queen’s University and a Graphic Design Diploma from St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Canada. She has been working as a professional artist since 1992. Kathy has been an educator and mentor at Laguna Outreach Community Artists, Mt. San Jacinto College, Wise Woman University, Inspire San Diego Studio, HGTV, Michelle Shocked’s International Women’s Day Show as well as teaching her own classes: “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul”, and New Moon Circles. She is a founding member of the Temecula Artist’s Circle, the Temecula Writer’s Café and the Riverside Art Museum’s Printmaker’s Network. Metaphysically speaking, Kathy has studied with Francesca De Grandis (Third Road Celtic Faerie Shamanism), Adam Higgs (psychic mediumship), Om, devotee of Sri Chinmoy (meditation), Atma Khalsa (yoga), Susun Weed (Green Witch Intensive), Joyce Fournier, RN (Therapeutic Touch), Steven Forrest & Jeffrey Wolf Green (astrology) and she received certification in crystal healing from Katrina Raphaell’s Crystal Academy.
    Learn more here.


    Kathy’s 4 week eClass “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul” is once again being offered at Wise Woman University so get ready to Moon Collage your heart out starting one week prior to the New Moon each month…more details here: eClass.

  • Wednesday, August 07, 2019 4:07 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    The Journey of the Rose ~
    A Shamanic Herbal Tale Part II

    Breathing the Breath of Rose
    by Julie Charette Nunn, Crow’s Daughter



     

    The wild roses are in full bloom now on our land, enough for all kinds of herbal preparations. We discovered a variety of wild rose buds as we wildcrafted recently. One flower bud being is dark fushcia pink; , another more mauve in color.


    Last fall as we gathered the ripe rose hips, we noticed even more species of rose. Some large and fat, some round, some oval, some ripening quite early and others not quite ripe.


    The fullness of this diversity is heart warming. Even within the wild rose community, when you look closely you will see many unique and wonderful gifts.


    The wild rose, her teachings, her healing properties, her uses are an example of the ancient wise woman tradition of only utilizing a few plants for healing. Once, long ago, there were plants that were known to heal everything, anything. These plants were the companions of wise women and helped guide their healing practices. I enjoy discovering these plants and their shamanic teachings as well as utilizing them in as many ways as possible.


    Rose is a spiritual teacher. I mean this in the shamanic sense. She is the one who will lead you to other plants that will nourish and heal you. In order to discover the teachings of wild rose, it is best to begin outside with her, listening. Here is a shamanic exercise that will facilitate this relationship:

    • Take a walk and find a wild rose plant you feel a connection with.
      Sit or stand near rose.
      Observe the rose plant, noticing how it comes up out of the ground and how it twists and turns toward the light.
      Find the thorns and observe the thorns.
      Observe the intricate patterns of the leaves, the buds and flowers, allowing yourself to detect the aroma.
      As you detect the scent of the rose notice your breath, breathing in and out three times
      Begin to feel yourself take shape as a rose.
      Feel yourself become the rose in all its intricacy, noticing many details
      Bring awareness back to breath again, breathing in the oxygen of this rose, breathing out offering your breath, and now breathe in as rose, breathe out offering oxygen. Do this for seven cycles.
      Listen. Listening is more than hearing. What do you see, hear, smell, feel?
      Now, ask yourself, “Who am I? ” Take note.
      When this feels complete, open your eyes and move and stand once again.
      Give thanks to the rose.
      While proceeding with this exercise, do your best not to interpret what you are experiencing. When you are completely done, this is a good time to write and explore fully what this means for you.
      Return to the same rose. Connect again, remembering its details and the interchange.

    Now take basket in hand and gather rose.


    There are many concoctions that you can make with wild rose. I have two favorites, wild rose infused oil and wild rose infused honey.


    To make the wild rose infused oil, I used to gather just the rose petals and buds. This makes an incredibly fragrant oil. Recently though, I have been experimenting with also using the wild rose leaves in my infused oil. The fragrance is a bit deeper and the healing tremendous.


    Gather wild roses in your basket. Immediately cut up the petals, buds and leaves, place them in a jar and drizzle olive oil over them just below the top of the jar. Put a lid on this and shake. Label with name, date, and perhaps something you remember from your journey and put it in the dark. Six weeks later, strain it and bless your skin with this precious oil.


    Wild Rose infused honey is made just this way. Instead of olive oil, drizzle raw, local honey over the roses. You won’t have to wait six weeks for the honey. In fact, you can make this and use it the next day. But do be patient to let some of it sit for six weeks to increase its potency. This sensual delicacy is extraordinary. Not only is it delicious, you can utilize this honey for deep healing of infections.


    Wild rose is anti-bacterial, antiseptic, very softening for skin and quite gentle. I have received feedback recently from people using wild rose balm (a combination of wild rose infused oil, wild rose infused honey and bees wax) who have experienced tremendous healing.


    A woman with auto-immune disease and a terrible rash that would not go away put wild rose balm on the affected area and overnight it had began healing. Another woman put some of this balm on an open cut that was very painful and within a few seconds, the pain had subsided. Such a powerful and yet gentle healer.


    As I reflect on the many ways that wild rose offers herself to us, I am reminded again of the wise woman. She is strong and compassionate, and she is also sensuous and joyous.


    May it be in Beauty.


    Julie Charette Nunn, Crow’s Daughter joyfully teaches the shamanic herbal tradition of the wise woman through apprenticeships, classes and one to one teachings at her farm on Whidbey Island in Washington State. She lives and works close to the earth, gathering and crafting plants for nourishment and healing. She sees the common plants as her wisest teachers. Her latest endeavor is a 13-month home study course in shamanic herbalism. www.crowsdaughter.com

     

  • Tuesday, July 30, 2019 1:40 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Shine Bright! Leo New Moon
    by Kathy Crabbe




    Leo New Moon Reading by Kathy Crabbe


    Close your eyes.
    Take a deep breath
    And go within.
    Where all the good, juicy stuff is.

    Leo Energy asks us to step up to the plate and play - SHINE time!

    Where in your life are you shining right now?

    For me, the focus is on the Divine Feminine and my big art exhibition opening at Siler Gallery (more info at bottom of page). It’s a chance to put my soul, my heart, my life on-the-line, so to speak. The opening also coincides with LAMMAS; first harvest. Whatever the outcome I know I’ll have shone bright.

    Did you know the Sun was considered female in some cultures and the Moon, male? This is a great time of year to remember that.

    Do you have a BIG PROJECT up your sleeve? A dream, idea or goal? Imagine it as a flower. What kind, color, shape, smell is it? Now, plant that flower in your heart, then nurture it, tend it, watch it grow as this New Moon waxes to full.

    Leo New Moon Oracle Cards



    Card 1: I Refuse to Take Sides (Lefty Oracle Deck)

    Mantra: I flow.
    Affirmation: I stand for truth, beauty, intelligence and integrity.
    Element: Water

    If this card appears in a reading you ARE in your power. Un-swayed by others, you know what you want. Guided by your own moral compass, intuition and intellect, the path is made easier. There is a fated quality to your decision. This is what you were put here to do.

    In my own life there is a lot of second-guessing, so when the above happens and things feel fated I just KNOW I’m on the right track. Often a dream will confirm it. It’s so much easier to move forward with pluck and confidence when this happens. I can only describe it as a bone-deep knowingness; so deep that nothing can touch it because it’s meant to be.



    Card 2: Black Swan (Elfin Ally Oracle Deck)

    Keyword: Fanciful
     Meaning: Your beauty is refreshing.
     Reversed: What are you hiding?

    Affirmation: I bring joy and tears wherever I go.
     Astrology: Aquarius, Gemini, Mercury, Neptune, Venus
     Element: Air, Water

    Medicine: You awaken the Sun, Moon and Stars within.

    Lefty Oracle Deck

    Eflin Ally Oracle Deck




    Kathy Crabbe has been an artist forever and a soul reader since awakening her intuitive gifts at age forty after five years painting with her non dominant left hand. This awoke her intuition in a big way. In 2008 she created a Lefty Oracle deck and started giving intuitive soul readings that have touched many lives in profound and playful ways. Kathy lives in sunny Southern California with her pet muses and architect husband in an adobe home they built themselves.

    Kathy’s art and writing has been published and shown throughout the world at museum shows, galleries, art fairs, magazines and books including the San Diego Women’s History Museum, We’Moon Datebook, and Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach to name a few. She has self-published several books, zines, oracle decks and ecourses and maintains a regularly updated blog, etsy store and portfolio site. Kathy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Queen’s University and a Graphic Design Diploma from St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Canada. She has been working as a professional artist since 1992. Kathy has been an educator and mentor at Laguna Outreach Community Artists, Mt. San Jacinto College, Wise Woman University, Inspire San Diego Studio, HGTV, Michelle Shocked’s International Women’s Day Show as well as teaching her own classes: “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul”, and New Moon Circles. She is a founding member of the Temecula Artist’s Circle, the Temecula Writer’s Café and the Riverside Art Museum’s Printmaker’s Network. Metaphysically speaking, Kathy has studied with Francesca De Grandis (Third Road Celtic Faerie Shamanism), Adam Higgs (psychic mediumship), Om, devotee of Sri Chinmoy (meditation), Atma Khalsa (yoga), Susun Weed (Green Witch Intensive), Joyce Fournier, RN (Therapeutic Touch), Steven Forrest & Jeffrey Wolf Green (astrology) and she received certification in crystal healing from Katrina Raphaell’s Crystal Academy.
    Learn more here.


    Kathy’s 4 week eClass “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul” is once again being offered at Wise Woman University so get ready to Moon Collage your heart out starting one week prior to the New Moon each month…more details here: eClass.
  • Thursday, July 25, 2019 3:01 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Thankfulness -The Ways of the Ojibwa

    by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt


    Several years ago a Native Ojibwa Elder had been coming to our Waldorf School and my class of twice a year sharing age appropriate stories, teachings and songs with the students. A class teacher in a Waldorf School stays with the same class from 1st through 8th grade and teaches the majority of lessons through those years.


    The students and I had developed a warm relationship with this charismatic and kind Elder since his beginning visit in first grade years. When we got to Sixth grade he invited us to camp for almost a week at his village that he (and others) had build on the Lac de Flambeau reservation in north Wisconsin. The class of about 20 students and I were there to experience the Ojibwa ways. During the days we were educated of the traditional village and ways of the natives. In the evening we went into the teaching lodge with our Ojibwa Elder. We would enter one by one through the East door, take tobacco with our left hand, sprinkle it on the fire as an offering before we sat down -boys on one side and girls on the other- completely quiet absorbed in reverence. No one was told to be silent or had to be reminded. We were simply wrapped in this Elder's presence of humility, receptive listening, and genuine integrity so deeply that it became us. It was as if holiness itself was present and pervaded us.


    One evening, as he lit up his peace pipe and passed tobacco around for giving thanks, he spoke of the Rites of Passages and the responsibilities of these soon to be young adults sitting around him; their responsibilities as Keepers of the Fire, Keepers of the Heart and Keepers of Mother Earth. He told us that the way of the Ojibwa, Anishinabe people, was to always, always give thanks to the Great Spirit for life. He sang songs, drummed and told us stories that made us be filled with joy and veneration. We left the teaching lodge through the West door in the same reverential mood as we had entered through the East door, but this time a little more humble and in a cloak of awe.


    The next morning, as I woke early looking out from my tent over the lake blanketed by a gentle mist, I heard loons call. I felt then that these calls, in a strange way, were connected to our evening lodge gatherings around the fire. Thankfulness visited me as an inner presence centered in the heart, where a felt palpable spaciousness unites 'the inner' and 'the outer'.


    I enter this heart presence regularly through out the day. It has become a way of being -kind of being within Thankfulness - within the soul spirit Earth presence that is also us and is always here. It never goes away, it is us who leave this presence.

    And as an outer gesture of this inner presence I place a tiny portion of food (a piece of bread for example) on a small platter before we sit down to eat as an affirmation that with the food we eat spiritual substances are assimilated as well.


    Blessings on the Meal!


    Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

    Bread made with sourdough is nutritious and delicious. Caring for the starter will make it stronger and last for a long time. In Denmark I had a mother-dough that was over 100 years old; passed down though generations. Sourdough bread keeps well for 6-10 days in a cool place. Store the bread in paper placed inside a plastic bag. Week old bread can be sliced, toasted or steamed before serving.


    Mother Dough, the Starter


    1 cup freshly ground whole wheat flour

    1 cup water

    6 x 1/4 cups water

    6 x 1/4 cups whole wheat flour


    Mix 1 cup flour and 1 cup water in a glass bowl or jar. Cover with a cotton cloth and put in a cool place or outside in a shaded area.


    Everyday, for the next 6 days, transfer the mother dough to a new clean bowl or jar. Feed the starter with 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup flour, cover with a cloth and return it to the cool place.


    Keep at least a cup of the mother dough starter, in the refrigerator. Use a jar with a lid that allows it to breathe. If kept longer than one week, feed it again as described above, and put it back in the refrigerator.


    The day before baking, feed the mother dough with enough flour and water to make 3 cups. Two cups are for the bread, and one cup is to keep for next bread-making. The mother dough is always kept separate from the bread dough, and fed whole-wheat flour and water every week.



    Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread


    3 cups mother dough or starter

    1 3/4 cups of water

    1 tablespoon sea salt

    4-5 cups whole wheat flour or half unbleached white flour

    Avocado or olive oil


    Place 2 cups mother dough in a large mixing bowl. Place the remaining 1 cup in a pint size jar in the refrigerator for next bread making. Add water and salt to the 2 cups of starter in the bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon.


    Add flour a little at a time. Form a firm but moist, light dough, the consistency of an ear lobe. Too much flour will make the dough hard.


    Cover with a moist cotton cloth and let rise in a warm place to double size, about 3 hours. The rising time may vary. Over-rising makes the bread sour.


    Oil a bread pan with avocado or olive oil.


    Moisten hands. Knead the dough gently for a few minutes. Place the dough in the bread pan. The dough should fill the pan about one-half to two-thirds. Let the dough rise again in a warm place, for 3 hours, or until double the size.


    Bake the loaf at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing.






    Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt is a Waldorf class and kindergarten teacher, biodynamic farmer, author and nutritional counselor. She has taught nutritional cooking and counseled for 25 years in her homeland Denmark, Europe and the United States.

    She trained as a macrobiotic cooking teacher and counselor and studied the principles of oriental medicine and the research of Dr. Weston A. Price before embracing the anthroposophical approach to nutrition, food and cooking.





    This Four week course will explore some of the many benefits of fermented and cultured foods, and why it is important to include them regularly with every meal. You will be guided through the steps of making sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled vegetables, kefir, soft cheese, and yogurt, as well as get a chance to discover new fermented drinks such as kvass, wines, and beers. I will aim at answering personal questions around your culturing and fermenting experiences.


    Intuitively we know that cultured and fermented foods are real health foods. Naturally fermented and cultured foods are an exceptional way to prepare different ingredients and some of the most important side dishes and condiments in our diet. They are often overlooked or not mentioned when we describe what we had for dinner, and yet they are pivotal in creating a well-balanced, nutritious meal.

    They add a bounty of nourishing, life-promoting substances and life forces, almost miraculous curative properties, and a wealth of colors, flavors, and shapes. They increase the appetite, stimulate the digestion, and make any simple meal festive and satisfying. The course will be highly practical with many hands-on activities.


     

    In this Four week course you will learn about the nutritional needs of your growing child and receive delicious, seasonal, wholesome nutritious menus and recipes on affordable budget so as to encourage children to eat and live healthy.

    During this course we will explore the nutritious needs for your growing child.

    We will discover how rhythm, simplicity and nourishing activities support a healthy child development. You will find new ways to encourage your child to develop a taste for natural, wholesome foods as well as receive and create delicious, seasonal nutritious menus and recipes that stay within the limits of your budget.





    Cooking for the Love of the World:
    Awakening our Spirituality through Cooking

    by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt



    A heart-centered, warmth-filled guide to the nurturing art of cooking. 200 pages, softbound


     
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