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Elder Tree and Elderberry Folklore

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Trois Histoires Pour Halloween (French Podcasts)

Traditional Halloween/Samhain was very different to what we know today. There were no candies but soul cakes, turnips were carved instead of pumpkins, and people used to wear scary costumes in order to fool the spirits of the dead wandering on the land.

And stories were told around the fire…Here I chose, read & recorded three French stories from Jean Markale‘s book “Contes de la Mort des Pays de France“. Enjoy…

La Mort dans une Bouteille (Bourgogne)

La Messe des Fantômes (Gascogne)

Le Charretier du Diable (Perche)

 

 

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Card of the Day: The World Tree (from the Wild Wood Tarot)

Ok…It came with The Guardian which indicates that I’m about to face a “life-changing” challenge which will lead to the happy ending of The World Tree. I’ve been lately foretold about the upcoming end of a cycle, and it is true that within the past few days I’ve become aware of quite a few new things that make a lot of sense and ring true to me but these same things also make my head spin…

Let’s focus on the World Tree, shall we?!

“No matter how long the journey of life may be, however many twists and turns the maze may offer us, in the end, if we persevere, we will reach the point of fulfillment.

This may relate to material gain and wealth or to spiritual happiness and emotional security but after the long process of learning, responsibility, and rebirth, it is now time to bathe in the light of renewal, attainment, and personal triumph.”

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‘Morning by the Countryside’ French Tea Recipe

Morning by the Countryside

As far as I can remember tea has always been a big part of my life, probably stemming from my mom’s German heritage. There were always a few pots filled with dried herbs in the kitchen pantry, but my grandmother had even more…

This tea is a recreation of an herbal tea blend I used to buy all the time and enjoy back in France. It’s caffeine free and I like to reserve it for days when I don’t have to hurry but have time to enjoy the morning’s stillness & the song of the birds.

Some of these herbs may surprise you as you’d never think you’d find these in a tea but trust me the taste is very pleasant. I like it even better with a touch of honey ;).

“Morning by the Countryside” Tea Blend:

  • 1 part lemon thyme (thym citron)
  • 1 part sweet marjoram (marjolaine)
  • 1 part spearmint (menthe douce)
  • 1 part basil (basilic)
  • 1/2 part crushed rosehips (baies de cynorrodhon)

Blend all these herbs together and keep them in a hermetic jar, away from direct sunlight. I recommend that you use your blend within 6 months to a year. To brew a cup of tea: infuse 1 tsp of the blend with boiling water for about 5 minutes (adjust the ratio if you want to brew more than a cup). Sweeten (or not) to your liking.

Notes:

  • Please keep in mind that herbs are medicinal in nature and that they all contain active ingredients which may or may not interfere with medications.
  • Some herbs can also be unsafe to use during pregnancy (while others may be used sparingly) because they can overstimulate the uterus. Following the information that I found in “Conceiving Healthy Babies“, I would use the above tea blend cautiously.
  • I recommend using organic & pesticide free herbs (homegrown is even better). If you don’t know where to find these herbs I can suggest Mountain Rose Herbs, from which I’ve been buying herbs for more than a decade. They are a reliable source and you can now get whatever herb you need by the ounce.
  • Whether you choose to use a tablespoon, a cup, a jar or a bucket as a measurement unit for tea blending, be consistent. Altering the measurements and/or ratios will ultimately alter the taste of the tea (which might or might not be to your liking).