Ostara, Easter, and the New Beginning

crocus-spring-equinoxToday is a celebration of hope.  The indigenous cultures of old and the modern spiritualists and witches of today will be celebrating.  So will gardeners everywhere.  ‘Tis the Solstice, also known as Ostara.

Seeds in hand, faces to the sun, coffee hot, hose at the ready, we are grateful and joyous that the days will now be growing longer.  Oh, happy day.  More sun.  More Vitamin D.  More outdoor play.  Spring brings with it baby animals and freshly turned soil and new life.

eggs

Ostara celebrates life conquering death.  It had been celebrated long before organized religion did it.  The word “Easter” comes from the word “Ostara.”  Now, Pagans were nothing if they weren’t artists.  Eggs were symbols of new life and fertility and were painted in beautiful colors.  The Ukrainian folk art depicted on eggs is a fine example of art.

Ostara, the Greek goddess of fertility, loved the painted eggs so much that she asked the rabbit to distribute them all over the world.

The Solstice on the agrarian calendar was the date that seeds began to be planted and new life was born.  The death of winter was past and new life has begun.

Our bodies and our lives are a part of nature as much as they ever were, we just kind of hid away behind screens and modern lives and forgot.  You will find that death and new beginnings are prevalent right now.  The Universe may have a bright new beginning for you.  That means death comes first, but know that the sun is shining every day and that life always conquers.  Welcome your new beginning.  Happy Solstice!

How to Make Your Own Sunscreen (stop poisoning the kids!)

There is a lot of documentation, and one could even just look at the ingredients and know, that sunscreen actually causes skin cancer.  Skin cancer is big business.  Furthermore, if one has skin cancer it needs to be treated systemically as cancer cells are pulled through the skin from the blood stream by way of our marvelous detoxifying sun!  The sun does not cause skin cancer.  If so, how on earth did the pioneers, Natives, and all our ancestors ever survive without sunscreen?!

sunscreen

However, some of us lighter folk don’t necessarily want to look like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer at the beach either.  Tanning, or the pigmentation of the skin, is the body’s way of protecting against burning (the natural response from being in the sun, not a tanning booth).  That first bout in the sun can be too much at first after a winter under too many clothes.  Sometimes if you are hiking for a long day or hanging out at the beach you may need something a little stronger.  Infants and young children may need more protection from sun burns too.  Coconut oil is a SPF 16.  The lotion recipe I shared yesterday is a SPF 12.  Red clover, chaparral, comfrey, and other herbs create their own SPF.  Eating a diet primarily made up of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains further increase your body’s own defense against sun burn and skin cancer because those antioxidants keep the blood oxygenated and cancer cannot survive in an oxygenated environment.  All we are really trying to do here is not fry that first day out!

First we will make my anti-cancer oil.  You will add a teaspoon of this to your 4 ounce jar of lotion I taught you how to make yesterday.

In a pint jar add 2 Tablespoons each of chaparral, comfrey, and red clover and cover to 1/2 inch head space with olive oil.  Keep lid real loose and place in window for two weeks.  This kills free radicals on the skin.

For even further protection add 1/2 teaspoon of micronized zinc oxide to that 4 ounces of lotion and blend well.

All of these ingredients can be bought online (or in the shop if you are local).  This takes your sunscreen to a SPF 45 plus.  Great for newborns and any skin type.

Taking back our choices for our own family’s health is empowering and essential.  Making your own body products is just one more way to do so.  You can see other recipes under Beauty/Health and Herbal Remedies tabs on my home page.

Now, I am going to throw my sunscreen into my suitcase and get to the airport!  I’ll be writing you from sunny San Diego tomorrow!

 

Warm Fall Days

leaves

Happiness is not having deadlines.  Being thankful that I forgot to store the outdoor furniture before November.  A cushioned chair awaits amongst golden piles of crisp leaves.  The ocean blue sky with feathered clouds that stretch lazily across the open expanse.  And the sun, so low and toasty, I cannot help but tilt my face upwards to bask in its glow.  Chickens surrounding me, resting, preening, rustling the leaves, enjoying the warm day.  A cold glass of chardonnay and a Christmas magazine on my lap.

Happiness is a warm fall day.