Midwifing the Sun Back into Being
Being an herbalist means I deeply desire to fill your belly with something nourishing, especially when we work deep in the darkest time of year. My celebratory contribution this year to my tribe includes Elderberry Bellinis and Elderberry Sparkling Water. I share in the hope that you'll fill your belly with the goodness of Elder. xo-jen
Elderberry Bellini & Elderberry Sparkling Water
1-2 tablespoons Elderberry syrup
Mix gently in a beautiful glass and enjoy!
Elderberry Sparkling Water
(The Non-alcoholic Bellini)
Yes! Simply use sparkling water with your syrup. Children rave over this and delight in having beautful drinks in elegant glasses with their favorite grownups. As I'm writing this, I'm sipping this one... it's in the pics and so good! The Prosecco is in the frig for tonight.
Our immune systems often get taxed this time of year, right? Elderberry provides. Elder shores up the boundaries in all directions to the possiblity of passing colds and flus around as we celebrate through the holidays. This is such a delicious, gorgeous, and easy way to celebrate. Who said medicine usually tastes awful? Never with Elder!
– Quick & Easy Elderberry Syrup Recipe–
1 cup fresh (or 1/2 cup dried will do) Elderberries
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup raw wildflower honey
½ tsp fresh chopped ginger root
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ tsp Cinnamon powder
- Slow simmer berries, ginger, and cinnamon in water for 30 minutes. Mash the berries a bit during this simmer with the back of a fork or potato masher. Cool a bit and then strain, mashing the berries to get all the goodness. Compost the solids.
- I pour this infused juice into a large measuring cup and add 1 cup raw wild flower honey and the 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice for every cup of infused elderberry juice. Stir, bottle and label. This is fine out of the refrigerator for one day or store in the refrigerator and use up within 1 week.
- Add by the tablespoon to warm water, seltzer, or into cocktails described above.
- You can also take by the tablespoonful every few hours when exposed to viruses or have active flu symptoms.
Making Winter Solstice Releasing Bundles
Here's what you'll need to gather to make your releasing bundle:
- A 6x6" square of repurposed cloth/cotton/hemp and any natural fabric. You can certainly make it larger if you’re feeling that. Any color will do although black is traditionally called upon.
- Offerings of dried plants of loose tobacco, mugwort, or lavender. What do you have and feel you want to call upon? That’s perfect. I use small pinches of any or all of these and always white sage to shake up and make space around that which we want to move.
- Small slips of paper to write your releasing wishes on.
- A natural fiber cord, thread or string to tie it up with.
- I also have cornmeal, natural material beads, and other tiny natural items like pine needles, tiny pine cones, seeds and pods, strips of bark, or tiny feathers
- I begin with a bed of crumbled sage and add on the square of fabric. I choose tattered, repurposed fabrics to represent the imperfect beings we are and also the shadowy aspects we must learn to work with and integrate to be well.
- Sit with what you are releasing. What is it? What are you shifting? What will you be burning up and away? See if you can distill it down to the actual essence of what has bound you and write this on the slips of paper. Roll or crumple them up tiny before you add them to the pile.
- Now I offer more plants with prayers of gratitude for the support in letting these things go as they no longer serve me or the world. A pinch of cornmeal for the mother who recycles all of this is my final addition.
- Gather the corners up and tie loosely with hemp twine, thread, or string so the contents stay bundled inside. You can smudge this and keep it safe on an altar or in sacred space until the Winter Solstice.
- Tonight, the eve of Winter Solstice, set aside some time and build a fire. If you do not have access to an outdoor fire pit, or barbecue pit, you can burn it outside, in an open space, in an earthenware bowl, abalone shell, or a dug out area of earth or sand. DO BE CAREFUL and do not burn this inside. The smoke must rise outside and the ash must go to the Mother, the Earth.
- If you have no burning options then bury your bundle in a forested area, loosely tie to a shell or stone and toss off the jetty to the ocean, or drop from a mountain cliff. These are all fine but fire is the first choice for quick deconstruction of the heavy tattered aspects we are letting go of. Know that it all makes it to the Mother no matter what route you must choose.
- This practice is supported strongly through the next few days so no worries if today is full for you. Try tomorrow or the next. xo-Jen