Happy Vernal Equinox (Ostara)!
Welcome to our seasonal newsletter containing information about scheduled classes for Spring 2012.
What a difference a year makes! Last year’s never-ending-winter was still maintaining it’s snowy/icy grip at the Vernal Equinox, and now in 2012, we have had such a relatively mild season that I can hardly even call it 'winter'. Six weeks ago at Imbolc, the daffodils were already pushing up through the unfrozen ground; this year as we approach March 21, hyacinths, daffodils, tulips and crocus area already blooming, trees are budding and decorative shrubs, roses, lilacs and viburnams have their new leaves emerging. The ground is soft and moist, but not soggy. With nearly no snow this winter (excepting the freak Halloween storm that pummeled the trees and knocked out power for 8 days here in northwestern NJ) I can hear the cries of ‘drought’ in the not too distant future. For now, the world is greening again as the days lengthen and the daytime temps soar into the 60’s and 70’s as they have been intermittently for the last six weeks. (The weather forecasters are calling for temps in the 80's for this Thursday, March 22)!
Be sure to take a few moments to be outside and be part of the emerging Spring as we turn the wheel of the year to a new season!
Donna at Willow Moon Herbals
In this issue:
Celebrating Vernal Equinox (Ostara)!
March 21st is widely-known as the Spring Equinox, one of the two days a year when the sun is directly over the equator, and there are equal hours of daylight and nighttime. For thousands of years, indigenous populations, clans, tribal peoples and even religions have marked the beginning of spring with rituals celebrating the return of warmth, sunshine and new life.
One ancient holiday associated with the Vernal Equinox is Ostara, which is a traditional celebration honoring the Saxon lunar goddess, Eostre. Different tribal traditions tell the story slightly differently, but the underlying thread is still the same: Eostre once rescued a wounded bird, whose feathers and wings had become totally frozen by the harsh cold of winter. Eostre changed her into a hare, enabling her to survive the winter more easily.
In keeping with her avian origins, the transformed creature was still able to lay eggs ~ and she expressed her unyielding gratitude to Eostre by decorating those eggs and giving them as a genuine gift from her heart. Is this starting to sound vaguely familiar? Good. It should. Missionaries adapted and incorporated these rituals of Ostara into the traditions of their Easter celebrations thereby hoping to convert pagans to Christianity. (Hmmm: Ostara = Eostre = Easter - similar spelling 'coincidences'?)
Pagan and Christian celebrations at this time of year share common roots with themes of death and rebirth. For Christians, the observance is the Easter death and rebirth of Christ. Ancient pagans who worshipped Cybele held a ritual for Attis, her consort of virgin birth believed to die and be reborn at this time during the spring. These rites were brought to Rome about 204 BCE, predating Christian worship by about 250 years.
Whatever your "Spring" holiday traditions, rituals, celebrations and/or spiritual practices may be ~ enjoy the lengthening days, the overall increasing warmth with each day, and be sure to take a moment to appreciate the gifts that each season brings. Blessed Be!
Sip this delightfully light tea when you take a few moments to get outside and be a part of Spring emerging: Always try to use organic ingredients! These dried herbs can usually be found in your local health-food store. A 'part' can be anything from a tablespoon to a cup - depending on how much you want to make.
1/2 part dandelion leaf (supports the kidneys and bladder)
1 part nettle leaf (builds the blood)
1 part milky oats (supports the central nervous system)
1/2 part chamomile (relaxing, soothing)
pinch peppermint, optional (adds flavor)
2 parts hawthorn leaves and flowers (nourishes the heart muscle and supports the circulatory system)
1 part rose hips (full of Vitamin C)
pinch cut/sifted licorice root or one dried sliced root (synergizes all the herbs and lends a smooth, silky feel to the tea)
Combine herbs and mix well. To make tea, use 2 teaspoons herb blend per pint of water. Steep for 15 to 20 minutes and strain. Drink up to 2 cups per day as uplifting spring rejuvenating tea. Store any unused portion in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Note: Any remedies or information listed on this newsletter are from historical references and used for teaching/educational purposes only. The contents are not meant to diagnose, treat, prescribe, cure or substitute consultation with a licensed health-care professional. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Currently Scheduled Classes
The following classes are scheduled at The Room Above, located at 2 East Main Street, Brookside, NJ. Be sure to check out the other wonderful holistic services and educational classes offered at The Room Above! Visit The Room Above on Facebook
.RSVP by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 201/650-7500. Checks can be made out to Willow Moon Herbals and mailed to PO Box 147, Schooley’s Mtn, NJ 07870, or visit our website and use PayPal to register. Remember to bring the receipt with you.
Saturday, April 14, 2012 (**Rescheduled due to snow)
Class: "Embracing Menopause "
The transition through peri-menopause, menopause and finally to post-menopause is a natural process, NOT a deficiency disease or syndrome as it is commonly viewed and treated in conventional allopathic medicine. This class does not treat Menopause as an isolated process, but encompasses the entire transition cycle and examines diet, exercise and the medicinal botanicals to support the body systems herbally for a healthier menopause transition. Attendees will sample a nourishing tea during class.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Class: "Introduction to Ayurveda Herbs for Optimal Women's Health"
This class provides a high-level review of the Five Elements and the Three Doshas of Ayurveda. We then discuss 16 Ayurveda herbs and formulas that can be used every day in cooking as spices and/or as food, and also taken as supplements. A nourishing tea is sampled during class, as well asother Ayurveda foods used as part of a daily protocol for health.
The following classes are scheduled at the Essex County Environmental Center, located at 621 Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland, NJ
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Time: 10:30AM - 12:30PM
Class: "Your Apothecary Kitchen"
Link to Class info and Registration with ECEC
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Time: 10:30AM - 12:30PM
Class: "Wetlands Herb Walk"
Link to Herb Walk info and Registration with ECEC