There are some things that once considered from a different perspective are irrevocable. This year rolled into existence unlike any other, without the new year, new resolutions bind.  From the year of unknowns to a year filled with many more, instinctively it felt so right to remain quiet.  No new year resolutions to make and break for me, no planning, visioning as of yet, firing up the engine to power into another year on this less travelled path. I am remain in the pause, the place between, still in the roots of winter, listening and learning from the quiet..  There has been much to learn, much to let go of and much to become at peace with before the gentle sprouting of seeds deep in my soul want to grow with all the possibilities.

I have been so blissfully buried amongst pages and pages of inspiring books and this one has flipped the mind.

Environmental arts therapy and the Tree of Life by Ian Siddons Heginworth.  In its own words it guides us through the Celtic calendar to explore the relationship between the feeling experience of the human heart and the turning year. Practical, poetic, innovative and magical, it eaches us how to take the personal issues that bind and oppress us out into Nature where they can be met, confronted and transformed.  It is the perfect remedy for this place of Pause, January. The place between the tomb of December and the womb of February.

This book is for anyone who loves Nature.  This book is for anyone who longs for meaningful ritual and seeks to make it a living part of their lives. This book is for anyone who loves the magical language of metaphor and is beginning to understand its boundless power to manifest change, and this book is for anyone who loves fairy tales, myths and stories and wonders at their possible meanings.

This book has refined the beginning of the year for me.  Instead of getting caught up in the drama and disappointment of a New Year, unrealistic resolutions pitched at the wrong time,  I am convinced of the importance to stay inward, to deeply listen and to wait in the stillness for our own seeds of intention to waken with the light of spring. 

Nature is the wisest of teachers and once we have opened our hearts to her and learned her language she never ceases to guide us.

Ian Siddons Heginworth

As we near the end of the our winter Dreamtime we prepare for the Celtic Celebration of Imbolc.  Deeply rested we can bring forward our intentions to give possibility to.  

SPRING is the season of bitter flavours and awakening of the detox ogans of the body. Bitter flavors get our digestive juices flowing. 

Making your own digestive bitters is a wonderful spring activity. This is your personal tincture of bitter herbs, spices, roots and peels which you will then infuse in apple cider vinegar.  If you have been already speaking the language of Nature, then your apple cider vinegar will be ready after a nice long winter ferment and your dandelion roots are still available to harvest. Dandelion roots can be harvested from late autumn through to early spring, when the plant is dormant and has stored up energy in the root. For medicinal use, most sources say Autumn harvest is best. Never fret because it is possible to buy them dried too from health food stores.

These bitters help to soothe gas, burping, bloating and indigestion. They also balance our cravings for sweetness and help transition us off the heavier comforting foods of winter.  

This transition from Winter to Spring can be tricky as when it is cold we tend to eat more fatty foods. Embracing this time of year with foods that helps us digest foods with ease will give us the energy to power on through the year with the clarity and focus we bring to this new season of awakening. 

It is a really simple process. Take a jar of your preferred size and fill it with your preferred combination of bitter and aromatic ingredients listed to the right.  Then top this jar with your raw unpasteurised apple cider vinegar.  Reading the ingredients alone give me a burst of excitement and refreshment.

Fill your jar with combinations to ingredients listed and top with apple cider vinegar, leaving to infuse for a minimum of 2 weeks.  I like to leave it as long as possible, six weeks on occasion.

BITTER BASE:

Citrus peels: lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit (organic necessary)

Bitter roots: dandelion root, liquorice root, turmeric root, ginger root.

AROMATICS:

Spices: allspice, aniseed (anise), caraway, cardamom, celery seed, chillies, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, fennel, ground ginger, juniper berries, nutmeg, peppercorns, star anise, vanilla pods

Herbs and flowers: chamomile, hibiscus, hops, lavender, lemongrass, mint, rose, rosemary, sage, thyme

Beans: cacao beans, cocoa nibs, coffee beans