At 6.30am this morning, I pulled a Spice Oracle Card with a prayer for all beings everywhere. This was the exact time (Pacific Time) of the 2020 Autumnal Equinox. Magic happens at such an hour on such a Celestial occasion and so I suppose, although enchanted, I was not very surprised when I pulled the Sesame card.
SESAME SEED IS YOUR MEDICINE
Ground yourself in meditation. This is your message and your medicine. Plant the seeds of deep understanding by connecting to the cosmic energy, the giver of all life.
Here you will find true nourishment.
Sesame spice-medicine has a very aligned message and some serious magic for us at this auspicious time in our human evolution, and also in the seasonal shift we are experiencing now in the Northern Hemisphere. You see, Autumn or Fall, however you name this season, is when the Vata elements of Air and Ether are presiding and in order to remain grounded, stable, and sane, we need Sesame. And other Vata-pacifying food and lifestyle practices.
If you understand the effects of Vata and the Doshas, you will already be noticing the elevated qualities of this ethereal, mobile, light, quick, dry, cold, erratic force of nature. Vata is VAYU which means Wind. The Sanskrit word Vata literally means ‘blown’ and Vayu, ‘blower.’ So we have the blown and the blower, and this is what can knock us off our course, derange our thoughts, unsettle our hearts, and make us feel as if we are flying wildly and without direction, in an uncontrollable vaccuum of fear, anxiety, exhaustion, and confusion, especially during the Fall season.
So Sesame Medicine is true nourishment. The kind that comes from the deep and consistent practice of meditation. What a perfect Spice Oracle for this day, this season, this human life. Rather than being blown about by the winds of change, we can find ever-present, unchangeable peace and serenity by tuning in every day to the Giver of all life through a daily meditation practice.
Sesame tells us to chew our life experiences well, to grind our seeds of practice into a nourishing life habit. When you chew well on the seeds, you can properly absorb the myriad vitamins and minerals it provides. When you patiently grind sesame seeds, you make tahini, a creamy paste that is easy to digest, tastes delicious, and feels nourishing. We also produce a sublime substance with similar qualities, through our meditation practice, it is called SOMA, the nectar of bliss-awakening.
Ah, I am on a path of sharing profound wisdom this morning, bestowed on me by my aromatic spice companions. I also realized that pulling the Sesame Oracle Card, was synchronistic with the just-launched Autumn issue of Maple Magazine.My Ayurvedic article in there for the season was all about, ya you guessed it, Sesame!
In the article I talk about how tila or sesame seeds are named in the Vedas, as seeds of immortality. In Ayurveda, this refers to the rich and fortifying nutrition, and life-giving qualities of the food and oil that comes from the seed. They boost our ojas or immunity, and bless us with longevity. They are a rasayana, a sacred restorative food.
Through external oiling of the body with sesame oil, and internal nutrition of the seed as a spice, we gain double-benefits for our healthy state of being, body, mind and soul.
Sesame is loaded with calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and a high level of plant protein. How do you include this in your daily diet? Gently toast and blend the seeds with other spices and sprinkle lavishly on warming grains, soups, stews, and kitchari. Spread the paste on earthy whole-grain bread or make a dressing/sauce for your sweet roasted root veggies.
Thank you Sesame for blessing us all with your message today, and with your grounding nourishment every day. My lovely friends, I wish you the true Nourishment of the season, and steadfast mojo for your Fall meditations.
Fragrant Blessings, Your Spice Mistress, Glynnis xo
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.
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)
Namaste beautiful friend.This may be one of our most essential blogs yet because without attention to these three very important building blocks of our immunity, happiness, survival, health and wellbeing, we cannot thrive sustainably.
Strange that these are the very 3 things we may take for granted most of the time.
Food. Sex. Sleep.
We neglect, overindulge in, or put them last on our list of priorities and distract ourselves with lesser activities that we allow to take precedence. And then we are starving (through lack of real nourishment), exhausted (through lack of proper sleep), or frustrated, angry, apathetic, or obsessed (through unfulfilling sex).
Ayurveda views these as the most significant factors in our longevity. The powerful balance of living for a long time in the most vibrant way is the true goal of longevity and as with anything worth having, it takes an intentional practice. Practice to eat well, sleep well and engage in sex well. There are strategies around all three of these pillars of life but as with anything Ayurveda always says “it depends.” This means to be well, we need to live well and observe what is best for our own personal dosha or mind/body type.
In my article in the July/August issue of VISTA Magazine (pg 44-45) I discuss food, sex, and sleep according to the doshas.
“Good food, good sleep, and good sex produce Soma – the nectar of bliss in our life. We cannot fake it or buy it. Soma is a gift of our awakened innate intelligence and commitment to right living. Without this mystical essence our lives are dry, dull, limited, depleted, stale, and devoid of pleasure.
So how does Ayurveda view good food, sleep, and sex? We begin with knowing that every one of us has a unique mind/body type or dosha and are nourished according to our specific needs. Soma is discerning for each individual and the gifts of bliss are showered accordingly”
In Ayurvedic food wisdom, spices are the desirable rasa. The irresistible fragrant jewels which bring the mouth-watering, ecstacy-provoking, digestive-juice activating taste to your food and less commonly but very certainly to your beverages as well.
Summertime and you’ll be lightening up with more juices, smoothies, and salads which makes good sense being the Pitta time of year. You need the cooling, easygoing fare of Summer and there are several aroma-activating spices to include to up the ante when making your own booster-juice. For cleansing as well as nourishing, juicing is a concentrated super-food. When enjoyed regularly, spiced-up juices cheerfully flush the yucky’s out of your body while keeping the yummies in.
Juices, just like Pitta Dosha, are intense. Consider they are a pure concentrated shot of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (without the fibre for the digestive system to slog through). As if released by the bow of a master archer, they shoot directly into the bloodstream as concentrated nutrition.
Now if you don’t have an actual juicer take heart.
All you need is a regular blender, some veggies, spices, filtered water and a nut-milk bag. (I use an awesome one from a company called Me + You). So why will you love this? Because it is quick, easy, and clean up is minimal. Also, you can put the remaining pulp in a bag in the freezer with other veggie trimmings to make a weekly broth or you can compost them (there is really very little pulp remaining because as you may know fruits and veggies are made up largely of water). True, you may not squeeze the total maximum nutrients out as you would with a cold-pressed juice from a pro-juicer, but very few of us have those fabulous gizmos in our kitchens.
So here it is simple and quick:
THE BLENDER METHOD SPICE BOOSTED SUPER-JUICE
Place about 4 cups of your fave fruit/veggies in the blender (I LOVE my Vitamix) and add one cup of filtered water, or half water and half coconut water. Add your spices of choice*
Blend until everything is completely liquid (with a bit of pulp remaining of course).
Pour through your nut-milk bag and then squeeze as much liquid through as you can into a bowl.
Pour into a nice tall glass and enjoy. Refrigerate the rest in a mason jar for up to 2 days.
Compost or you can freeze the remaining pulp for broth (there will still be some nutrients left as the blender won’t get them all). You could also add the pulp to a savoury veggie muffin recipe in place of say zucchini or apple.
*If you’re using a traditional juicer you can toast and grind the spices first to release the aromatic molecules and stir them in at the end. If you buy already ground spices it is harder to ensure they are still potent, so as much as possible grind your own whole seeds – its so worth the time. Strain the juice so you have no gritty spice residue in your juice. If you are using fresh ginger or turmeric you can just juice along with the other fruits and veggies.
It has been said you are the oil of love and trust.
I have felt that bond with you my fragrant friend.
You showed me loyalty when I felt most abandoned.
You gave me love when I felt lost.
Geranium, enduring and true,
steadily you ushered me back into delight.
Into the light.
As a native South African, the geranium plant, which is also native to Southern Africa, calls from a familiar place. A relationship with roots, something to be trusted and aligned with. This is the quality of this diverse and powerful aromatic plant medicine for healing the broken heart. Loyal, enduring, safe, reliable, dependable, trustworthy, loving, sweet, generous, stable, with uplifting spiritual energy.
THE HEALING HEART OIL
I have prescribed essential oil of Rose Geranium (pelargonium roseum) to many of my clients and students as a tonic to the nervous system. Specifically as an aromatic doctor for helping with erratic moods and chronic depression. Geranium has a distinct effect on the nervous system. Remarkably it is both sedative and stimulating, depending on the individual needs. Just a simple hand-palm inhalation or infusion of the oil into the environment through a diffuser or in a massage oil blend can bring relief from mood swings, anxiety, depression, grief, and emotional imbalances.
Of course as with any healing practice, this needs to be used consistently until one feels the results and notices positive change. There is no magic bullet but just one lingering inhalation of this sweet floral scent and it seems that suddenly the world feels like a more beautiful, mystical, and manageable place.