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.
This full moon. Promising to pull from the depths our everything. A spice blend, committed and complex, imbued with the black gold of Nigella Sativa. Do you know this spice? It excavates to the depths anything holding back the treasure of good health. And with the colour of a moonless night it works in the shadows to heal.
Intriguing with the common name of black cumin.
There is nothing common about this aromatic spice medicine. Illuminated by the power of the full flower moon, it shines along with the others. Cardamom, sesame, cayenne and paprika. Turmeric, walnuts, hemp nut, white pepper and salt.
A masala to celebrate the Scorpio May Moon.
To adorn and empower your food with lunar magic
elevating the vibration of your creative expression.
Sprinkle lavishly. You will see.
FULL FLOWER MOON MASALA RECIPE
1 cup Sesame seeds
1/2 cup ground Nigella Sativa seeds (or 3/4 cup whole seeds)
1 TBSP Cardamom seeds (not the pods)
1 tsp ground Paprika
1 tsp ground Turmeric
1 tsp whole White Pepper
1/2 tsp ground Cayenne
1/4 cup Hemp nuts/seeds
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1 tsp Himalayan salt
Toast the sesame seeds and ‘crack’ them in a mortar and pestle to maintain the texture. Do not grind to a powder or paste. I like ’em chunky style! Toast the other whole seeds, walnuts and hemp seeds individually being careful not to burn them. You will know they are ready when the aromatic molecules have been released (you will smell it!). Grind spices and nuts and add to the sesame seeds. Add the powdered spices and salt. Meld together and keep in an airtight glass jar or tin. Sprinkle lavishly until the next full moon.
Delicious over roasted veggies, salads, sandwiches and of course the ever-popular avocado toast with a splash of olive oil and balsamic. YUM!
NIGELLA SATIVA BLACK SEED BENEFITS: (from published bio-research)
And these are just to name a few. Try this peppery rich spice and let me know what you create!
May your Full Moon creativity blossom and manifest from the full deep dark, your wildest dreams.
With Love and Fragrant Blessings,
The Spice Mistress
ps. In my AromaDosha Blueprint online learning experience you will learn about these spice medicines and how to bring them and the aromatic plant essences into your daily nourishment. You get to customize your own Ayurvedic Blueprint and understand your relationship to these healing treasures for a transformative self-care practice you will love. (Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit. ALL IN!)
Yes, indeed this Day of Love was created and is ritualized worldwide. Even though I believe every day to be a day of LOVE how can we not engage as lovers and beloveds everywhere ceremoniously declare their love on this day.
You may not be surprised that the spices come to mind when talking of amore. Swoon-worthy aromatics have been used throughout history and in the mystical realms of myth and magic to seduce, excite, and adore. Today on this auspicious day of love allow me to entice you with a spice that according to legend has Birds of Paradise swooning to the ground. The musky and intoxicating smell is so overpowering that these magnificent birds fall blissfully from the tree. This actually may have more to do with the narcotic properties when the birds nibble on the fruits of these psychotropic gems.
NUTMEG and MACE! This duo of sensual spices is created in a lovers embrace in the womb of the fruit on the branch of the Myristica fragrans tree. Entwined in a duet of aromatic intimacy, the two-spices-in-one make a most formidable psychoactive, aphrodisiac, dream-enhancing duo. The mace sensually embracing the nutmeg with it’s exquisite red lace, as one they emerge from their succulent temple.
As for love and matters of the heart…
The twelfth century mystic Hildegard von Bingen said of this mystical spice (and includes a recipe I am most definitely going to make)…
“When a human being eats nutmeg it opens her heart, and her sense is pure, and it puts her in a good state of mind. Take nutmeg and (in the same amount) cinnamon and some cloves and grind them up. And then, from this powder and some water, make flour–and roll out some little tarts. Eat these often and it will lower the bitterness of your heart and your mind and open your heart and your numbed senses.It will make your spirit happy, purify and cleanse your mind, lower all bad fluids in you, give your blood a good tonic, and make you strong”.
Oooooooooh I cannot wait to get home and make this. After a beautiful weekend of teaching and sharing and communing at the Victoria Yoga Conference. I am certainly filled up with love and now the nutmeg/mace calls me. Of course so do the arms of my beloved after being apart for 5 days!
Happy Valentines Day!Enjoy our gift to you of the MACE Spice Deck Card below. Grate a little nutmeg and mace (if you can find this rare gem of a spice) into your food today and be sure to have a soft place to swoon onto.
With Fragrant Blessings of LOVE,
Glynn and Mel
Excited to bring you another card in the SPICE WISDOM DECK with just the essentials and all you need to know when getting to befriend this most gorgeous of spices.
8 Petalled Star
Star Anise is an absolute fave spice of mine in and out of the kitchen. SO many incredible benefits and of course the beauty of it all. The perfect star has 8 ‘petals’ or carpals and is splayed in an exquisite floral star-like pattern. I have fallen in love with both its stark beauty and intriguing complex flavour.
Once you bring this aromatic spice into your life you will use it often as it has so many incredible benefits to compliment its unique and sweetly alluring scent. Start by making this chai, a warm and sweetly spicy libation just in time for the gorgeous Fall season. A must try! I have this almost daily in the cooler months as an uplifting tonic.
Enjoy and stay tuned for more cards in the Spice Wisdom Deck!
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)