Week 11 – Growing with Plants

Dates                                    October 11th to October 17th

Natural Element              Plants

Affirmation                        I accept abundance and freely grow.

Add an Altar Piece          Bowl

Creative Cooking             Floral Herbs

Having living things in our spaces reminds us to grow, patiently and purposefully.  Do plants worry about gathering abundance?  Not at all … they accept the gifts of the universe and gladly grow and expand.  How about you?

Adding a bowl to your altar gives you a place to put found items or mix up some salted water.  Use a bowl from your everyday or find a special one at a tag sale or antique store.

Floral herbs are a treat to cook with.  Lavender adds sparkle to a dish.  Nasturtiums are peppery on the tongue and so beautiful in colour. There are so many plants that offer us variety of tastes with their flowers.  Do a bit of research though – no eating the monkshood.

Week 10 – Precious Metals

Dates                                    October 4th to October 10th

Natural Element              Metals

Affirmation                        My thoughts conduct joy through my entire body.

Add an Altar Piece          A favourite pen or pencil

Creative Cooking             Dried Fruits

Metals can connect things.  Electricity and heat are conducted through metal.  What a lovely element to focus on writing and sharing your ideas.

Your special papers deserve a favourite writing implement.  Find one that fits your mood to create and dream.  With the pen and paper in place, you have all you need to make some special notes for your day. The end of harvest time approaches … what will be your focus in the dark months?

Dried fruits such as raisins and apricots are non-animal sources of iron in our diet.  Many of us suffer from low levels of iron in blood and this leads to general fatigue and muscle soreness.  Adding some sweet and chewy dried fruits to a dish improves the taste and adds some iron. Try it.

Week 9 – Hug a Tree

Dates                                    September 27th  to October 3rd

Natural Element              The Forest

Affirmation                        I am healed by and I heal with the life around me.

Add an Altar Piece          Special writing papers

Creative Cooking             Cook with Aromatic Herbs

The Forest is a naturally healing place.  Some say just a simple walk in trees can calm the mind, heart and soul.  The trees heal us and through them we can heal others. Take a moment to find a wooded area and stop to breathe in the healing air.

A lovely place to sit and write is right in front of your seasonal altar.  Add some special writing papers to your décor.  So many are lovely or you can make some yourself.  Cutting up old greeting cards can provide wonderfully shaped spaces to create.

Oh, just imagine the smell of ginger tea on a cool fall day – so soothing and healing.  The aromatic herbs help to balance your kapha dosha bringing us back to calm and gentle places.  Turmeric is well known to reduce overall inflammation in the body.  At this time of year, a little garlic can help you avoid viral or bacterial disease.

Week 8 – Let the Sunshine in

Dates                                    September 20th  to September 27th

Natural Element              The Sun

Affirmation                        I add my own light to the world as I shine.

Add an Altar Piece          A Shining Gemstone

Creative Cooking             Cook with Oranges

Our Sun is getting noticeably weaker each day as it dips a little further towards the horizon. Let the Sun’s lingering rays warm your cheeks on a nature walk.  Absorb the light and let yourself shine.

Add a shining gemstone to your altar.  This can be something you have at home or a jewel that you find in a thrift store or market stall.  Cleanse the gem with salted water and incense before placing it on your own autumn altar.

Oranges evoke colour and scent in our cooking.  Add the juice or zest of an orange can brighten any dish.  Food that is a joy to look at and smell gets our own juices flowing to help our digestion.  Eat real food!

Week 7 – After the Storm

Dates                    September 12th  to September 19th

Natural Element              Lightening

Affirmation        I am energized by the powers of the sky.  I breathe the fresh air after the storm.

Add an Altar Piece          Tree Bark

Creative Cooking             Cook with Nuts

As the season changes, weather becomes more turbulent and with that the change of thunderstorms.  While startling in the moment, these storms are clearing the air and bringing much needed moisture to the ground for its winter sleep.  Being able to breathe deeply after any storm is a blessing.

At this time of year, a walk through any forested area will allow you to find a piece of tree bark to add to your fall altar.  Pick one that sings to you.  Remember to leave any insects or animal life in their forest home.

In honour of the trees, add some nuts to your food this week.  Full of protein and nutrients, these tasty packages add fiber, phytochemicals and healthy fats into your diet.  In Ayurveda, nuts soothe Vata energies which may be heightened in the fall winds.  Enjoy.

Week 6 – Moon Dreams

Dates                    September 5th  to September 12th

Natural Element              Moon

Affirmation        I shape my life in the moonlight.  My dreams transform me.

Add an Altar Piece          Essential Oil

Creative Cooking             Cook with Mint

This week we see a beautiful, full harvest Moon hanging over our landscape.  The Moon is the celestial power associated with dreams and magic, and is a driving force for your imagination.   Let the affirmation connect you with the Moon as we approach the Autumnal Equinox.

Select an Essential Oil to keep on your altar.  Simply sniffing a key essential oil can transform you from ordinary space into dreamy space.  Select an essential oil you can put on the skin if you wish.

Mint is abundant and ready for harvest at this time of the season.  Pick it in the early day or late in the evening to retain its wonderful oils.  Cook with mint this week to remind you of the power of the Moon.  Drink a tea in the evening bringing calmness into your night.

Week 5 – Healing Waters

Dates                    August 29th  to September 5th

Natural Element              Rain

Affirmation          I welcome healing.  My body accepts the soothing power of water.

Add an Altar Piece          Find a Unique bottle

Creative Cooking             Cook with lemon and lime

This week’s element is Rain.  Traditionally water and especially rain have been bringers of healing both physically and mentally.

You may have to do some digging this week to find a unique bottle to hold water you may flavour with herbs, or empower with energies, or use in cleansing and healing rituals.  Try to find one with a big enough opening that you can insert items and retrieve them.  Clean the bottle thoroughly and then cleanse it of all past energies with some salted water.

Let’s add a little tartness to our lives by including lemons or limes in our cooking. Sour tastes heat the body decreasing vata energies.  This in turn sharpens the senses, improves digestion and enhances secretions such as saliva.

Week 4 – Reach for the Stars

Dates                    August 22th  to August 28th

Natural Element                Stars

Affirmation          I am open to unlimited opportunity.  I always choose what is best.

Add an Altar Piece          Star Symbol

Creative Cooking             Add a dash of Vinegar

Today we shift focus from the Earth to the element of the Stars in the unlimited universe. The intention opens you to the best opportunities around you.

Your altar has some bones now, but it needs some bling.  Find something starry.  Perhaps a pentagram symbol is for you.   Make or draw something to keep it personal.

Let’s brighten up our cooking as well.  Vinegars are a great way to do just that.  Take some fresh herbs and put them into apple cider or red wine vinegar for a lovely way to add a dash of flavour to any dish.

Week 3 – Get down to Earth

Dates                    August 15th  to August 21th

Natural Element                Earth

Affirmation          I accept abundance.  I deserve the gifts of the Earth.

Add an Altar Piece          Altar Stone

Creative Cooking             Cook with sage

Your intention is one of personal acceptance of abundance from the universe.  Let the flow of nature inspire you.  You do deserve it.  Expect it.

This week, seek out an altar stone for your table that will represent a small, sacred and personal area where you can work your magic – burn candles, mix herbs, honour items and the like.  It should be flat, fireproof, and easy to clean. If you can find one in nature this is great – but garden centres carry very nice stones.  Or you can make a stone using a mold and concrete. Place it in the centre of your table.

The earthiest herb is probably sage.  This savoury flavour can be quite strong to some people.  Try some dry and some fresh this week.  Sage supports the pranic energy and encourages positive energies.

Week 2 – Into the Fire

Dates                    August 8th  to August 14th

Natural Element                Fire

Affirmation          I am creative.  I carry the fire to clear and recreate.

Add an Altar Piece          Centre Candle

Creative Cooking             Cook with HOT peppers

Congratulations on working with natural intention for one whole week!  How did it go?  Remember to work one week at a time with mindfulness.  Today we shift focus from the Wind to the element of FIRE.

How do you notice Fire in your days this week?  Let the intention guide your way to clarity and new adventures.  See Fire in unexpected places and smoldering where you may least expect it.

For your altar table, add a central candle.  This should be a large enough candle to last through the 13 weeks so perhaps pick a pillar type, but be sure you enjoy this candle – the colour, the scent, the size. Remember to keep things safe whenever lighting the candle – try to burn it a little each day this week.

And for the kitchen creations – let’s get hot.   Fire up your pitta energy by adding hot peppers to your dishes.  Fire foods enhance digestion and absorption of the nutrients into the blood.