I was absolutely over the moon to receive in the mail today this most cherished bottle of Middle East Peace perfume as a gift from The 7 Virtues Perfume Company .
This grand delivery of aromatic peace came about through a synchronistic connection on Instagram noting how the three main ingredients are a beautiful Tridoshic blend (with hydrating sweet grapefruit for Vata, cooling lime for Pitta, and energizing basil for Kapha). The Sweetie Grapefruit essential oil is from Israel and the Lime and Basil from Iran. How profound that the aromatic plant medicines are being called to heal relationships on our planet when stewarded by awake souls through conscious business practices.
When beauty aligns it manifests in the most mystical and tangible ways – for the good of all.
I just LOVE women entrepreneurs and companies who are tuned in and inspired. They give so generously to uplift others with their vision. Thank you Barb and The 7 Virtues, I’m beyond delighted and mesmerized by your perfumes and their stories and so grateful for your gorgeous gift. I LOVE it.
Barbara Stegemann is the founder of The 7 Virtues and has been on my radar since I watched how she took The Dragons Den investors by storm with her incredible heartwarming and authentic story of friendship, and radical social change through business. My nose, always interested in sniffing out aromatic beauty, was smitten.
Barb started a perfume company with the vision of inspiring peace, and rebuilding and empowering communities through the procuring of essential oils from war torn countries such as Haiti, Afghanistan, and Rwanda. The company mission isMake Perfume Not War. That struck a note with me on so many levels. The documentary of the same name is a must-watch.
Barb’s book The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen, a woman’s guide to living & leading in an illogical world, is a must-read for all women in business wanting to inspire, take action, and stand for social justice and change. I love that it is deeply about self-care and self-empowerment. Barb’s book lit me up and inspired me in my own practice and business.
The perfumes are exquisite – Afghanistan Orange Blossom, Noble Rose of Afghanistan, Vetiver of Haiti, Patchouli of Rwanda, and Lisa ray Jasmine of India. These uplifting perfumes are all without phthalates, parabens or sulfates. This is goosebumpy on many levels. Good for people, the plants, and the planet.
THE 7 VIRTUES (OF A PHILOSOPHER QUEEN)…as per Barb’s book Wonder. Moderation.
LOOKING FOR INNER PEACE?
The main ingredients in the 7 Virtues Middle East Peace Perfume captured my attention from an Ayurvedic perspective. Bright Juicy citrus fruits of Grapefruit and Lime with pungent Basil (or Tulsi which is holy Basil) have great benefits to the health of our body.
Basil/Tulsi is in a class of adaptogenic herbs considered one of the primary herbal medicines for restoring harmony and balance to the mind. In Ayurvedic as well as Chinese medicine it is revered as an herb that is a rasayana or Shen-tonic which means it nourishes the spirit, and has a powerful restorative effect on the nervous system.
In other words, P E A C E.
GRAPEFRUIT ESSENTIAL OIL
Feel juicy Vata! Uplifting and hydrating, soothing to the nervous system and clarifying to the mind.
LIME ESSENTIAL OIL
Feel refreshed Pitta! An alkaline restorative tonic that reduces acidity. Restores energy when feeling burn-out.
BASIL ESSENTIAL OIL
Feel expansive Kapha! Energizing, clearing. Basil clears congestion in lungs, eliminates stagnancy in the tissues.
This aromatic refreshing triad of essential oils are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. The combined effect brings a sense of inner peace and wellbeing as they act as a restorative tonic to all the doshas.
FINALLY THE DIVINE ROSE JAM RECIPE I PROMISED
1 cup fresh rose petals washed and dried so no water remains on petals.
2-3 cups coconut sugar.
1/4 cup honey.
1 TBSP toasted and ground cardamom seeds (not pods).
1 TBSP fresh ginger juice (grate 2inch piece fresh ginger and squeeeeeze the juice out with your hands)
1 tsp shatavari powder (optional)
1/2 tsp white pearl powder (optional)
METHOD: Pour all the honey into a glass bowl. On top of that, layer 1/4 cup at a time the rose petals and coconut sugar. Sprinkle a pinch of the cardamom, (and pearl and shatavari if using them) and drizzle ginger juice on each layer. Repeat until all ingredients are used. With your fingers (yes! get in there it feels amaaaazing) meld all together. Keep on melding layer into layer until rose petals have absorbed the sugar and become sticky. They will turn a deep purply pink colour. When the consistency is sticky and dense and all the rose petals have broken down enough your gulkand is ready. Keep in a well sealed mason jar out of the fridge.
Note: if you are using rose petals that are partially but not completely dried add a tsp ghee to the layers and meld in well as you blend. Eat by the teaspoon or spread on toast, add to oats etc! This is a rejuvenating jam to boost your #ojas your immunity, and to act as a restorative tonic. Such good medicine.
May your days be filled with beauty, your mind with peace, your body with freedom and your spirit with joy.
Love and fragrant blessings,
Your Spice Mistress
DO YOU KNOW THE NAMES OF THE SUN AND WHY THEY IMPACT YOUR DAILY WELLBEING?
If you’ve ever taken a yoga class (and I’m 99.9% sure that you have!), you’ll have practiced at some point SURYANAMASKAR, the sun salutation. You may know that this health-giving yoga practice actually has 12 names to salute the sun and each one is specific to each part of this life-giving yoga flow.
This morning as I woke up to the first day of Summer, the first thing that popped into my head was “Salutations to the Sun”. The second thing was “ohmigosh that is going to be my Solstice Spice Blend.” I originally was going to make a Solstice Rose Spice Blend and I had already harvested, washed and dried the rose petals and they were ready. I knew EXACTLY where these would go in my 12 Spice Solstice blend. Beauty! Roses are all about beauty.
I was on fire. I jumped out of bed and went to gather my spices. Twelve spices for 12 Sun salutations. Yes, perfect. Now to tune in and listen to which spice aligns with what name. It was so easy because the spices speak to me (seriously tho’) and this all happened through a deep relationship of listening I’ve been cultivating with them for many years.
First I had to refresh my memory and chant the full Suryanamaskar before getting started.
It was so completely fascinating to me as I began to chant each one and remember the meanings of the names matching them to a specific spice. The qualities and actions of the spices harmonize with the names of the Sun to create this nourishing, enlivening spice blend. A digestive tonic activating the fire God Agni, stimulating digestion, nourishing all tissues, bringing illumination and pleasure and adorning your food.
The 12 Names of Surya the Sun God Agni, and the companion spices.
Om Mitraya namah: Salutations to Him who is affectionate to all FENNEL: The Friend of all.
Fennel is tridoshic and good for all digestive issues. Good digestion=happiness.
Om Ravaye namah:Salutations to Him who is the cause for change CARDAMOM: Praised by all.
Cardamom is a warming sweet spice that gently enkindles the digestive fire and sweetens the breath.
Om Suryaya namah: Salutations to Him who inspires movement STAR ANISE: The Guiding light to all.
Star anise blasts through congestion in the micro channels of the body making way for light.
Om Bhanave namah: Salutations to the One who diffuses light into everything ROSE: The Bestower of beauty.
Rose reduces inflammation in the body and brings love and beauty to the mind.
Om Khagaya namah: Salutations to Him who moves across the sky SALT: Stimulator of the senses.
Salt is townifying to the system and enhances the flavour in foods, herbs and spices.
Om Pushne namah: Salutations to Him who nourishes and sustains all. SESAME SEED: The Nourisher of all.
Sesame seeds nourish the deeper tissue layers of the body and are grounding and fortifying.
Om Hiranyagarbhaya namah: Salutations to Him who contains everything COCOA: The Light in the Spiritual Heart.
The flavanols in cocoa ease depression, are antioxidants and bring pleasure to life, increasing healthy longevity.
Om Marichaya namah: Salutations to Him who’s rays destroy ignorance. BLACK PEPPER: The Destroyer of Disease.
Black pepper is a potent digestive, helping other foods and medicines to become bioavailable. Decongestant.
Om Adityaya namah: Salutations to Him who is God of gods. COCONUT: The One who inspires.
Coconut is deeply nourishing as a healthy bioavailable fat. Boosts the immune system, heals the skin.
Om Savitre namah: Salutations to the One who produces light. GINGER: The Purifier.
Ginger is a digestive, aids in the assimilation of nutrients and other herbs and spices.
Om Arkaya namah: Salutations to The Beloved. TURMERIC: The Radiant One.
Turmeric is called the ONE MEDICINE. Anti-inflammatory, blood and liver purifier.
Om Bhaskaraya namah: Salutations to The One who Shines so we may Shine. SAFFRON: The Illuminator.
Saffron pacifies Pitta and excess heat in the body. Revitalizes the reproductive system. Aphrodisiac.
12 SPICE SOLSTICE RECIPE
This aromatic sweet, salty, spicy, solar spice blend will bring great rasa/taste to your food and innumerable health benefits to your body, aiding digestion and uplifting the heart. Sprinkle lavishly on all your foods from popcorn to salads to veggies to grains to avocado toast.
Individually toast each spice until the aromatic seeds begin to pop. Watch the coconut, it toasts quickly and will be ready when it turns a light caramel colour. Do not toast the turmeric, salt, ginger or saffron.
Individually toast and grind (crack the seeds unless specified so they are textured and not completely powdered)
1 TBSP Fennel seed, 1 TBSP cardamom seeds (not the pods), 1-2 whole star anise well ground, 1/2 cup dried rose petals (to make 2 TBSP ground petals), 1 TBSP salt, 1 cup sesame seeds, 2 TBSP cocoa nibs, 1 TBSP Black Pepper, 1/2 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut (no need to grind), 1 TBSP ground ginger, 1 TBSP ground turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp saffron.
Grind each spice while chanting the correlating name of the sun. Pour into a bowl.
Meld all 12 spices together while chanting the 12 names of the sun.
Sprinkle lavishly. Enjoy as the potent solar energy imbues your food and life with pleasure and illuminates your healing capacity. You are radiant as the sun. The seeds know this and they are here to remind you.
Let me know how you are enjoying your blend. Inspire the community and share photos of your Solstice blend on Facebook. You can eat this Tridoshic blend through the Summer season.
I have been bursting to share this GORGEOUS three and a half page spread in VISTA Magazine’s Summer Issue. I almost passed out with pleasure when it came out. My good friends Katharine Herringer (Editor) and Iván Álvarez de Lorenzano (Art Director) have turned this magazine into a feast for the eyes. These recipes were part classic Ayurvedic faves that I make again and again like the Kichadi cakes (with a twist), and perfumed chocolate Goddess brownies, and part experimental taste explosions like the 3 Divine Dips and the incredible Tridoshic breakfast smoothie (actually more like a pudding).
The theme was Women’s Health. My perspective was an Ayurvedic one. PERFUME was my first thought leading me to add just a few drops of Floracopeia’s Rose Geranium essential oil in both the brownies and the chia 3 level breakfast smoothie. (for safety the ingestion of essential oils must be done in a very small dosage of carrier (fat or liquid) to EO and never to be taken internally in it’s undiluted form).
Now I really do get the hashtag #foodporn. Sensual, orgasmic, pleasurable, beauty-full, tasty experiences while preparing, discovering and enjoying the uplifting health benefits of good food made with passion and awareness.
KICHADI CAKES WITH 3 DIVINE DIPS
These jewel-tone dips were inspired by the six taste principle and the desire for tangy, spicy, creamy condiments. These totally jazz up the crunchy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside kichadi cakes. (fried in ghee, oh my they are TASTY). Read the digital version at VISTA ISSUE 112 (Pg 54/55) #foodporn
AZTEC BLESSING GOMASALA
SPICES that played a starring role in the recipes and photo shoot appeared in my special AZTEC BLESSING GOMASALA ( Gomasala being the name I created for a spice blend inspired by the Macrobiotic Japanese Gomasio with a base of sesame seeds and salt, and the East Indian Masala). Crushed Volcanic rock-ground corn chips, cumin, cardamom, cayenne, paprika, black pepper, turmeric, coriander sesame seeds and Himalayan pink salt. For the full recipe read the article in VISTA ISSUE 112 (Pg 56/57) #foodporn
TRIDOSHIC BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE
This was my favourite experiment in the kitchen. I had never made a breakfast smoothie that is more like a breakfast PUDDING before. Straw or spoon? Definitely a spoon. The three layers are distinct, starting with a creamy coconut milk chia piece of heaven at the bottom, a sweet and tangy very berry rose-geranium EO and shatavari infused middle, and a tart refreshing spinach-sesame-lemon top. Dig in deep with a spoon and capture all 3 layers together for the full Ayurvedic 6 taste experience. I hope you love it as much as I do.
Those four words individually rock my world and put together in one sentence are a ticket to Nirvana : )
I’ve been making versions of this easy treat for years. Now taken to a whole new level perfumed with Rose Geranium essential oil, extra shavings of dark chocolate, creamy coconut milk and nutty almond flour. They are light, aromatic and crumbly and go oh so well with coconut ice-cream or whipped coconut milk.
Make your full moon wish. Declare your intention. Manifest the wild scatterings of your dream seeds.
Does it feel that no matter how hard you try, how much you pray, how well intended your actions are, that you cannot manifest the one thing you truly desire? Then this Pink Full Moon is for you my gorgeous friend.
The April Spring full moon’s pink colour represents the blossoming of the flowers that appear soon after the last Winter chill. No flower can bloom without the planting of seeds or the wild scattering of so many dreams, and this gives us hope.
I too have struggled at times with the feeling of not achieving the full blossoming of some of my creative endeavours – they may have been utterly beautiful, useful, of service, and yet their time had not or maybe will never come in this lifetime. So what do I do? I continue to create because I’ve learned that timing is Divine and has nothing to do with our human agenda. And sometimes this is the hardest thing in the world because when we become discouraged we feel like giving up.
Like the full moon our creative desires always rise again. Some manifest, bloom and thrive and others just don’t. Do we stop planting, allowing the landscape of our life to become bleak as we impatiently pull hard at the delicate beauty we have created? Hell no! We plant, we water with patient trust, we imagine the flowers.
The moon always without fail appears in the night sky, and pulls at our most magnificent gifts from within us whether we can see it or not.
For many years I held a Full Moon Masala gathering, where we would chant our desires and grind a spice masala under the light of the full moon with the sound of stone on stone and seed on seed. We would then adorn our food with this lunar-energized blend, manifesting until the next full moon.
This Pink Moon Masala is for you medicine women, kitchen Goddesses, spice healers, moon worshippers, and for you who wish to adorn your food with this moon’s mighty manifesting energy. Make your wish. Declare your intention and sprinkle lavishly knowing that the seeds you plant today will blossom when their time has come.
PINK FULL MOON MASALA RECIPE
Lightly toast the whole spices until the volatile oils are aromatically released (so fragrant!)
Add 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp whole black pepper, 1/2 tsp pink peppercorns, 1 tsp cardamom seeds (not the pods) and grind them together in your mortar and pestle or electric spice/coffee grinder. Toast and then grind or ‘crack’ separately 12 TBSP whole sesame seeds, careful not to turn this into a paste. I prefer a ‘textured’ masala and avoid grinding the spices too finely.
Add 1 tsp ground beet powder and 1 tsp finely ground dried rose petals. Optional to add 2 drops of organic geranium oil. Add 1/2 tsp ground Himalayan pink salt. Meld together for a stunningly fragrant pink and spicy Springtime Masala. Sprinkle lavishly over grains, veggies, avocado toast, popcorn with ghee, salads, sandwiches. Adorn your food with pink!
This Spring Masala energizes your true desires and also stimulates the Kapha Dosha to move out of a stuck, cold energy and into strong action.
Chant, whisper, or declare out loud your desires and watch over the month as they flower into your mightiest manifestations.
Without any scent at all you can experience the benefits of aromatherapy.
I have been teaching aromatherapy for several years at the Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage (VSBM). In each first class, we spend time calling up scent memories before we even smell a thing. I have the students share their favourite scent. What happens every time is that the scent is accompanied by a story of a pleasurable emotional trigger memory. This conjures up feelings of love or joy, or connection to family, home, or to meaningful places and people. They are all scents that have had some kind of positive emotional impact.
The mood in the class becomes relaxed, playful, and open and encourages a welcoming atmosphere for the powerful modality of aromatherapy.
I realized how powerful these scent-memories are. I understood how they could be used to quickly elevate us to a positive state without the actual presence of any physical essential oils. To call upon a scent-memory for uplifting, energizing, and connecting us at any time in any scent-free environment, could be so transformative. All we need to take us there is the breath and our mind.
The Limbic system is a portal for emotional memory.
This primal part of the brain is directly connected to smells. Scent-memories are stored here as a survival mechanism for our protection or connection. These are linked to people, places, and events that have made an impact on our emotions. They can be called upon with focus at any time by just saying the name or describing the smell. Memories can even be provoked by looking at images.
Sometimes it can be very difficult to pull ourselves out of a bad mood or depressed state. If we can distract our mind for just a few seconds from the triggers that are evoking our anxiety, fear, sadness, anger, depression, then we can imbue the dark places with fragrant intelligence and light. Of course it is also very powerful to actually use essential oils for aromatic healing practices. The beauty of the ‘scent-free’ meditation technique is that we don’t need those oils with us all the time to create a powerful healing experience.
Hit play. Close your eyes. Breathe.
Enjoy this uplifting scent-free aromatic meditation I created for you to stabilize Vata by relieving anxiety, soothe Pitta by relieving stress, and energize Kapha by removing stagnation.
With Fragrant Blessings,
Glynn (Spice Mistress) and Mel (Cinnamon Girl)
If you are anything like me and every other female creature on the planet, you WANT to move your hips. You may just not have gotten round to it yet. Or you may have found yourself trapped in your perfectly designed ergonomic computer chair. Or you’re too shy to shake it even when nobody is looking. Whatever the reason, as women we can all relate and we all wanna shake it.
Why shake your hips, move your body, expand your mind, or groove to the inner beating of your own heart? Simply put. It’s good for you. And seriously when last did you take a women-only time-out to restore your energy and make you feel alive and connected again.
Soooooo…..along comes a Goddess or two who not only make it their business to shake their hips and stir up some serious mojo but also make it their service to all women to reset the joy button. On September 17 an event is happening in Victoria BC (have you been there lately – it is a STUNNING place to visit!) that will give you every reason to get unstuck from the daily same-same and to jive with your beautiful, joyful, inspired, free-flowing ecstatic self.
Sounds like a gorgeous dream? It’s happening and I promise it will rock your world like it rocked mine the last two times I participated. Alice Bracegirdle, the beautiful founder of Bellyfit® is an entrepreneur with great heart and the ability to move everyone she meets. Literally! She has inspired thousands of women to transform their lives through her spirited creation. Alice is all about empowering women.