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Divine Nourishment, Safety, & the Inner Child

It has been a wild ride since my last newsletter. I uprooted from Asheville, NC and moved back home to Maui, via a month on the Big Island. The growing need and experiment to follow where I am called and not have an agenda that is so strong I can’t be guided has put me to the test with such a big move. And it took awhile to get grounded. It wasn’t until I did ground that I realized I was being blown all over the place. It has once again been a great reminder of the benefits of being rooted in the body with feet on the Earth while staying open to Divine guidance. I don’t know about you, but I need to practice this — a lot.

Letting go of the fear of survival, which the energy of fall supports, and dropping into myself deep enough to feel an unshakable commitment to my soul’s song and contract no matter what, has been the grounding I needed so I can trust myself to steward my gifts with the integrity they deserve. I am seeing this process unfold in others around me and wonder if this is indeed a collective wave we are all riding in our own way.

I continue to come back to the seasonal energetic wave that nature provides so I can flow with the current, stop trying to swim upstream, thrash around in the froth of the waves, or dig my heals in the sand.

Coming home to myself, to the arms of the Mother, as she holds my inner child and makes her feel safe is a glorious journey that dissolves all the false beliefs and structures that were built to keep a fearful inner child feeling safe to begin with.

Fall and winter are superb seasons to take a look at those structures that no longer serve, let them go and access the soul’s treasure chest of gifts unrestricted by fear. Isn’t it an outrageous ride we are all on as we usher ourselves into a new way of being.

Remember, you have a very wise, compassionate Mother guiding you, holding you, supporting you to come home to her and yourself.

If you do not already have my book there is a section in it that supports you to strengthen your internal Mother and use her compassion to heal your inner child. This is where I have found the true safety to be. It is within us. It is not trying to control the world outside ourselves to keep the child safe. It is having a solid, healthy internal Mother and child relationship so the child no longer runs our lives from the background trying to be safe. If you have my book review this section.

For us to move into a new paradigm that is not run by fear is it possible that it is all within ourselves? Strengthen your internal Mother by living aligned with her wisdom reflected to you in nature. Heal your relationship with the Mother, nourish and heal your child. Heal your child and heal our world. Feel her arms around you and you are unshakable in your commitment to your own soul’s song.

Coming home to the arms of my beloved Mother Maui, bathing in her compassionate energy, trusting her to take care of me upon my return, trusting my own internal Mother to care for my child is strengthening the sense of safety and trust in myself. When we feel safe we can have healthy, loving relationships with one another that supports us all to shine brightly. Isn’t that what we are all moving toward in our new paradigm?

Fall and Winter seasons, when honored, is the reflective inward time of the year that supports this journey. Allow yourself to slow down, spend time inward and explore what old beliefs are running your life. Make that child feel safe so you can dismantle those beliefs. Those beliefs are going no where and will continue to run our lives until that child feels safe.

Remembering the Sacred Art of Nourishing

The sacred art of nourishing was practiced in ancient goddess traditions in many forms. It was a way of honoring the sensual pleasures and blessings that came with our physical existence. Nourishing one’s self through food, beauty, touch, sex, music, art and nature is an act of receiving Divine love. The destruction of the goddess cultures has resulted in disconnecting from this sacred art and the belief by many that they are unworthy of this nourishment.

I have met and worked with many women over the years and it has become glaringly apparent to me that just about every woman I’ve known is comfortable with offering nourishment to others. Receiving it is another matter.

I lived in a rather funky little jungle house built into the side of a ridge in the rainforest on Maui. It was an indoor, outdoor lifestyle. The house was all glass on one side overlooking the jungle, with the ocean a short walk away.

I decided to create a day of nourishment for five of my women friends and called it Pele’s Parlor. They gathered one morning at my jungle home for tea from local herbs I had gathered and dried.

We walked down a rutted, dirt road that ended on the cliff of the north shore overlooking the ocean and a special bay. It was whale season so we hung out on the cliff awhile, watching the whales breaching and swimming past. The view was breathtaking. The bay was lined with lava rock that had been ground smooth from the ocean’s constant ebb and flow. I could lie in my bed at home and listen to her roll the rocks back and forth in the stillness of the night. It was her song for the whole neighborhood.

The five of us built a small fire in the shade under a large false almond tree. Then we stripped off our clothes, dove into the ocean waves, and lounged on the warm boulders with the surf crashing around us. I ceremoniously brought out the sacred red dirt harvested from a vein that ran through the cliff, put it in my coconut bowl and added a little ocean water, mixing it into a fine slip. We gathered around and smeared this iron-rich mud all over our bodies. The only thing showing that was not bright red were the rings around our eyes. We basked on the boulders in the sun as the sacred mud drew out toxins and filled us with blood-nourishing iron.

Some women could not help but release their primordial screams as they danced on the rocks, covered in mud with the waves crashing around them. We dove into the ocean and scrubbed off the mud with seaweed, then returned to the fire for a snack in the shade. Each of us ran our fingers over our silky skin—oohing, aahing and feeling primal.

We walked back to the lanai of my jungle house where I had set up a table filled with bowls of avocado, yogurt, papaya, oatmeal and yogurt, breast massage creams, foot massage oils, moisturizers, washcloths and towels.  We gave ourselves facials with the various ingredients and ate the wonderful fruits that grew wild in the jungle, We had bananas, mango, guava, pineapple and coconut.

After awhile, with faces smeared with food, we all went into the kitchen and prepared a meal together giggling, talking story and drinking my wild-crafted tea. We convened back to the lanai and sat around a beautifully-set table with flowers that grew abundantly around the house.

Another woman friend who specializes in the ancient Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage set up a massage table and altar in the downstairs, outdoor room. Each woman took her turn receiving a massage. Another woman brought her Tarot cards and gave each of us a short reading. We continued to drop deeper into self-nourishment while being filled by our friendship. The image of one of the women sitting on my lanai eating wild guava, tear-streaked face smeared with avocado while she massaged her breasts with oil, will forever be etched in my memory. Her tears flowed with the merged feelings of gratitude for this experience and the deep grief of not feeling worthy of such frivolity.

As the day unfolded every woman had a moment of deep grief woven with joy and ecstasy.  At some point throughout the day, each of us fell into our moment of recognition of the absence of this in our lives. Unanimously the feeling of not deserving nourishment in the form of pure pleasure was expressed by the women as if it came from the same underground pool.

Soon it was dusk. With the candles lit, the Hawaiian music playing, another snack, we all melted into a moment of deep nourishment and self-love. We were full.

The next morning I received a call from the one of the husbands. “I don’t know what you women did yesterday, but a monster left in the morning and a goddess returned.”

 Simple, Sacred & Fun!

If you live on Maui or planning a trip consider a sacred day of nourishment. I am offering a day you can share with friends celebrating a birthday, upcoming wedding, or just being alive.  I will guide you on a hike through one of our valleys, up rivers, or to a waterfall enjoying the ritual of nourishing ourselves on many levels while tapping into our primal selves. There is no describing the journey into the arms of Mother Maui, receiving her deep nourishment when we take the time to check out of our fast paced lives and honor ourselves.


Trees are sanctuaries.
 Whoever knows how to speak to them,
whoever knows how to listen to them,
can learn the truth.
 They do not preach learning and precepts,
they preach, undeterred by particulars,
the ancient law of life.
~ Hermann Hesse

You Are What You Eat

Introduction to 5 Element Cooking        

When we feed our bodies energetically aligned with the Earth’s wisdom with seasonal local foods we eventually EMBODY that wisdom. The Taoist 5 Element perspective on nourishment honors her wisdom for body, mind, spirit and our human journey. This is the wisdom of the Divine Feminine. Bringing her back into our world requires us to embody her. In 30 years on the path of sacred food as a professional chef I have found nothing that compares to eating aligned with nature’s wisdom. It awakens our own body’s wisdom and we can let go of the latest food trends and allow our natural body wisdom guide us.

If embodying this wisdom is of interest to you please consider registering for my next 6 week live teleseminar course, “Introduction to 5 Element Cooking beginning Tuesday, Sept 6th at 8:30PM EST. You will receive a solid foundation that will not only nourish you on all levels, but support the health of our Mother Earth as well. You do not need to become a 5 element foodist. You only need a desire to live and eat in harmony with a wisdom that sustains and honors life taught by the master herself. Nature. For details on this course click link. If you can not attend this course, but have interest in this nourishment wisdom please check out my book Divine Nourishment, A Woman’s Sacred Journey with Food.

Blessings on all our journeys of transformation


Rebirth Into Union

It’s easy to get lost in the idea that if you go deep within in the winter, you will somehow get lost down there and never resurface. In many parts of the country and world you are surrounded by death in the plant kingdom during winter.

Every spring, without fail the world comes back to life. Not only does it come back to life, it is brilliant in its expression of itself. Dazzling, alive, renewed, and full of life force surging with potential.

After writing my previous posts through winter and sharing a little about my journey, I wanted to also share with you that, no, I did not get lost down there. In fact, quite the contrary.

This winter was my all time experiment in going to the depths, discovering what is underneath the layers of survival techniques, and go for the gold, the treasures that await me if I am brave enough to take the journey.

I felt prepared and equipped after taking smaller excursions each year, and deepening my skill of aligning, and nourishing myself. I had the inner strength and trust that I would resurface no matter how deep I dove. My desire was stronger than my resistance and fear.

I was, and am not disappointed! Well worth the trip! On the other side of the old beliefs, conditioning, of not only me, but my long line of ancestors, what was waiting to be discovered, waiting for me to claim, waiting for me to experience, was ME. The me that I  have not known, but oh so longed for.

The tools of aligning myself with the Divine Goddess, Mother Earth in how I live and nourish myself has been a necessary step in knowing myself as her. Each step I took that brought our alignment into form was an action that embraced my inner masculine who is in service to her. Every time I allowed this cooperative dance to support my journey one baby step at a time I strengthened their relationship, their love for one another.  But until I freed myself of all the old beliefs that fed the collective miasm that kept them apart, they could not fully embrace.

The lies, conditioning, beliefs that has been passed down to us all that has split these lovers apart, creating war within ourselves has been a painful history with obvious horrific results in our world. The lies run so deep, they are so buried in our unconscious and have gone on for so long that it takes a strong headlamp, courage, desire, and commitment to dive deep enough to see what a ridiculous bunch of nonsense we have been fed. As long as these two lovers within are estranged, we are in strife.

It takes deep trust for the feminine aspect of ourselves to surrender enough to do her inherent job of receiving Divine guidance. Bringing her Divinely inspired gifts out into the world of form without the support of her beloved masculine who’s job is to bring the guidance she receives into form and out into the world is next to impossible.

On the other side of this collective miasm that I referred to in my other writings are two lovers in harmony, and IN LOVE! Gloriously IN LOVE!!!!!!! I am loving the integration that is strengthening every day as this long awaited UNION deepens, and nourishes me.

Imagine a life with these two lovers within fully embracing one another. Imagine a life that the feminine aspect of yourself is so safe surrendered in her beloved’s arms within that she is an open vessel for Divine energy, creativity, and inspiration to flow through. Imagine a life that your inner masculine is so devoted to her, so in love with her, that he feels honored to bring these Divine gifts into form. Imagine this level of creation that has flowed through the channel of the most exquisite love affair imaginable. Imagine what it is like to have them right inside of you. Imagine a world as that this love affair radiates out into. Imagine!

Don’t Be Afraid

After spending a week on an exquisite healing journey for myself, freeing myself from old beliefs that held me down, igniting the juice of union within, this really speaks to me. It was offered on facebook as an inspiration. I wanted to share it as I remind you of my upcoming live online course at Wise Woman University beginning Tuesday, Feb 15th 8:30pm EST. If you are interested in support and acquiring valuable tools for freeing yourself from the old collective negative beliefs about ourselves that imprison the feminine, and reclaim her with no apologies consider joining me. I promise it will be a juicy exploration and journey together.

“Don’t be afraid to take risks, wear your heart on your sleeve, speak your truth, create necessary boundaries, let go of all the pain of the past, be the freedom you wish to see in the World and say goodbye to unhealthy relationships; Love with no expectations, embrace the beauty of the EArth with the depths of your soul and give with no need for reward ~ because you are already rewarding yourself and loving yourself by not living in suppression, fear, insecurity and doubt. Who cares who it scares away, its not about them, its about you and your own ability to live and celebrate your true expression! If we all did this, our bodies would thank us and truly heal and the energy we radiate, would assist Gaia in these shift times and inspire all to awaken to their true SElf – free of the need for approval, validation and the desire to be fulfilled by others… We have all we need within ourselves and Sacred Union happens when you first allow yourself this blessing and birth-right…”

Heal, Nourish, & Honor the Feminine Within

It has been a quiet winter allowing myself to sink into my own depths, for my own healing. Not much to say to the outside world on my blog, facebook page, etc. I went mute as I dove deeper into the stillness.

I thought about this not so great, but noble attempt, seven layer dinner my Mother use to make when I was a kid. It came to me as I witnessed my travels this year. My top layer being the defenses I created over my lifetime that would support me to survive. This is quite a hard shell that not only doesn’t allow others to feel my vulnerability, but it doesn’t even allow me to feel it. Finding my way through that maze of constructs has been years in the making.

I drop to a deeper layer on this journey every winter. One by one the old worn out beliefs that lie beneath the outer crust of my defenses come forward. It is obvious the defense layer is to protect me from the pain and grief that is woven amongst these old beliefs.

Not only is there a collective miasm of negativity swirling around the energy field of our world that I can’t deny I’m a part of, I am dealing with an entire lineage that I am the accumulation of. Then comes my personal version from a life that reflects the bigger picture internalized.

I have seen how every one of these personal beliefs hidden in the shadows that resonate with the collective unconscious about the feminine is like a tentacle to this negative energy field, feeding it my life force. It is up to me to address each one of these old beliefs that resonate and stop feeding it. Stop feeding this monster with my unconscious beliefs that have been fed to me, my ancestors, women and men for thousands of years.

Instead of being a victim, which is like dessert to this hungry monster, my willingness and commitment to stop this feeding frenzy opens the door for the support from the ancestors. They know that if I heal this it will heal them as well. They are eager to support me to do this work from the unseen realms. Instead of blaming them for my wounding, etc, we have become a cooperative team to heal this collective miasm that affects them, myself and others.

The good news is that I, like everyone else, have been given my own small manageable bite-size piece of this very large impersonal picture to heal. Every feeding tube I remove from this negative energy mass the weaker it gets. Multiply that by all of us and it has lost its strength, power and can not survive. It survives on our life force every time we buy into a belief that resonates with its energy frequency. This is in the unconscious and is not just whisked away by a few positive affirmations. That’s like putting whipped cream on a pile of poop. It may taste good for a few bites, but eventually you are going to work your way back down to the pile of poop.

This layer of my being is where I need my torch, courage, and strength to navigate. The light I bring with me into the darkness where these old beliefs from a brokenhearted collective feminine resides is the light I carry in my heart fueled by my love, my love for myself and others. Most important, my love for myself. Yes, it’s possible to hold both love and heartbreak.

It is the realm of our being that the old fairy tales, myths, even Indiana Jones movies share that is the dangerous territory we have to travel through in order to get to the real treasures. Treasures beyond our wildest imaginations. I’m finding it’s not so dangerous after all. However, you have to admit these adventures are always exciting in the stories. it can be an exciting adventure for us as well. It’s all a matter of perspective.

She is under the defenses, under the old beliefs, under it all. She is the gold. She is the keeper of the gate for the Divine to flow through us and into our world.

Bringing the light of love as the torch to find our way through the labyrinth of our being, offering love to each part of ourself that has acted out of love to help us cope with this missing piece, thanking it, allowing it to move on with dignity and grace is a worthwhile task. You have just outgrown it like an outfit that doesn’t reflect who you are anymore. Thank and honor it after it has been in service to you for generations and lifetimes. It has supported you to grow into an incredible being that has the strength to incarnate at this time in history.

We are not light weights. We have chosen to come here, to go through the wounding that would take us on this collective journey of transformation. We would not be able to reclaim this most necessary aspect of ourselves, of our world, if we were not focusing on healing the result of her absence. No, we are not victims, we are co-creators, and we created this scenario. We have the power to travel this territory, diving deeper and bring her up out of the underworld, out of the shadows through each and every one of us. We are that powerful. And we can do it. She is waiting for each of us to recognize her within, underneath all the layers that have hidden her.

I take this journey every winter, no matter where I live as my energy goes inward. I am happy to say that this year I have traveled within to a place where I got a glimpse of her, felt her, knew her. Enough of a glimpse to give me the knowing I can go the distance, merge and experience her intimately, free from all the shackles that have kept me from her. I am learning the territory, mapping the way, gathering the tools, gaining the compassion, so that I may serve others as I support myself on this journey. I am a plant in the autumn of my life composting the old dead, dried up limbs, blossoms, fruits, implanting the wisdom garnered on my journey into my precious seeds for the next generations. It is the natural order that I am aligned with.

Join me for my “Heal, Nourish & Honor the Feminine Within” six week teleseminar course at Wise Woman University starting Tuesday, Feb 15th 8:30PM EST.

For a preview and taste of this course please join me for a free 30 minute class

Tuesday, January 25th 8:30PM EST

For more details:

Crone: Empowered, Wise, Self-defined

c 1996, Bayla Bower, Crone

The crone eludes precise definition. Some traditions, organizations, and individuals variously define the crone as a woman who is either 50, 52, or 56, post-menopausal, consciously aging, willing to acknowledge her shadow side. Crone is a term used to describe an ancient archetype, an aspect of the triple goddess (maiden/mother/crone), and the third phase of a woman’s life. When a woman is near, in, or past menopause, she is potentially a crone. The designation refers to a perspective or point of view rather than a specific age or physical event.

A woman who calls herself crone is willing to acknowledge her age, wisdom, and power. Through conscious self-definition, she helps to reverse hundreds of years of oppression, degradation, and abuse aimed at old women. Although she may prefer to be called elder, grandmother, or wisewoman, she does not dismiss, disavow, or use pejoratively terms such as crone, witch, or hag.

The wisewoman/crone/grandmother realizes that the true meaning of these terms, and the woman-centered traditions from which they originate, have been obscured and distorted by patriarchal systems.

In ancient times, the crone was revered as an old woman who embodied wisdom and knew the truth of cyclic existence. Crones cared for the dying and were spiritual midwives at the end of life, the link in the cycle of death and rebirth. They were healers, teachers, way-showers, bearers of sacred power, knowers of mysteries, mediators between the world of spirit and the world of form. In pre-patriarchical societies, women’s wisdom held healing power, and crone wisdom was the most potent of all. For nearly thirty thousand years, old women were strong, powerful sources of wisdom. Crones were respected and honored in their communities.

Then patriarchy demanded obedience to outer authority and acceptance of linear concepts. Death became a finality, the end of the line. Because crones followed inner guidance and knew the truth of the cycle of life, they were dangerous to the hierarchy. Old women were persecuted, shunned, and denigrated. Although our forecrones resisted, persisted, and adapted in any way they could, most of our traditions have been lost. The lineage of crone teachings, herbal remedies, sacred practices, and wisewoman ways was broken when the information was burned, buried, and otherwise silenced.

Crone consciousness is on the rise today, spreading in a grassroots movement throughout America and around the globe. We are awakening the ancient crone within ourselves, and learning to trust the power of our inner knowing. We will not become invisible, trivialized, or shamed by a society obsessed with youth and terrified of aging.

We honor each person’s wisdom, and take part in dismantling the ageist, ableist, racist, classist, sexist, heterosexist, and other hierarchical structures that separate us from ourselves, our forecrones, one another, and our connection with all beings. We teach, speak, and quietly inspire one another, all women, and all peoples who wish to embrace the totality of life.

We are reviving the ancient custom of croning with ceremonies that celebrate the fullness of our evolution. We respect the crones who preceded us and pass on our wisdom to those who will follow. We tell our sacred stories one-to-one, in small and large gatherings, at conventions and meetings. We name our blessings and challenges, the truths and the treasures of our lives, sharing the harvest of our life experience. Empowered from within and strengthened by our growing numbers, we claim our place as elders in our families, communities, and groupings. We are women of age, power, and wisdom. We are honored to be known as crones.

Encounter with the Sea Goddess

This is an excerpt from my book, “Divine Nourishment.” It will

support you through the cold winter months. Not only with your food, but your perspective and relationship with the Dark Goddess that is supporting you to dive deep and heal what’s in the shadows. Winter is the ideal time for this work.

It is winter. She calls me. I ignore her. She tugs at me. I’m busy. She tugs harder. I resist. The sharks are out there. I’ll be devoured. I’ll drown in her churning force. I refuse. She washes the sand away from under my feet. I cling to the rocks, screaming for help. She’s pulling me in. I thrash around in the high surf, my body rigid. She throws me around like a rag doll. I tumble, crashing into the sand.  She demands that I return to her every winter. “Remember!” she cries out. I can no longer pry myself from her grip. I let go, knowing I will surely die, and I sink.

My life replays itself. Old unresolved wounds appear like a swarm of giant wasps attacking their prey. My stomach twists itself into a knot. My heart beats with the ferocity of a ninety-piece percussion band. My limbs go numb. My mind goes mad, unable to sort it out. I sink deeper. She envelops me with her rhythmic warmth. The deep blue water becomes still. She holds me. I relax, surrender to my fate.

My yearly ritual with Grandmother Ocean is as predictable as winter following autumn. I know it’s coming every year when the leaves begin to fall and the earth retreats into the depths. The element of water rules the  season.

The great goddess, Grandmother Ocean, embodies this element. She holds the story of all there is and ever was. Life would not exist without her. She flows from the heavens, through the forests, across the land, nourishing and kissing everything along the way. She circulates, becomes rain, creeks, rivers, lakes, giving life—always returning to herself. She holds the deep wisdom that is found at the depths of the still waters.

Every winter she calls, engulfing me with her embrace. I struggle. Finally, I curl up and suckle at the bosom of her infinite well of consciousness.

She cleanses my soul. She fills me with life force, gives me the will to live, teaches me to flow, rest and fill up in winter with her essence. She fuels my sexual, creative energy—the chi, life force, that animates my life. She washes away the accumulated garbage that I drag around, that keeps me from feeling alive. She drowns the demons that hold me by the throat.  She surrounds my heart. Why do I resist her every year? She embodies life—and death.

I am torn between two worlds.  In the inward stillness of this season, she reminds me of what I need to heal so I may give birth to myself in spring.  She insists that I do my part, that I confront the demons that keep me from loving all aspects of myself and block the doorway to my freedom and joy.

But sometimes all the lights and holiday celebrations seduce me.  Joining the rush of the holidays, I avoid my agreement with her and the challenging work of transformation.  But my soul pleads with me as Grandmother Ocean offers her assistance, “I remember!”

It is time to deeply nourish myself in these winter months and wash myself.  My holidays become slower-paced, more intimate with my loved ones.  I give up on trying to avoid this journey.  She insists that I surrender, rest, nourish myself and own her.

The foods I eat in this season and how I cook them play a big role in supporting me to receive her gifts. I shift my eating habits to stay connected with her. I eat more foods that grow beneath the surface, cook for a longer period of time—slow-cooking soups, long-roasted, or braised dishes. When I eat in sync with the season, it’s as if a wise woman appears along a cold, barren trail. She invites me to warm myself by a fire with a deep bed of coals, and offers me a hot bowl of soup, a loaf of bread.

All five flavors are included in my diet—salty, sour, bitter, sweet, pungent. This helps me nourish all of myself and keep my balance. Eating only a few of the selected flavors is like riding on a surfboard, balanced on one foot, leaning to the right or left. I will end up thrashing around in the winter surf.

I look for ingredients that have been grown near where I live. These foods are on the same cycle and resonate energetically with me. I don’t eat foods from the opposite hemisphere that only grow in the summer months. Summer foods float on the surface of the water while I’m swimming ninety feet below in the winter. It’s okay for me to have fewer ingredients to play with in this season. I discovered simple is not necessarily less delicious.

I make sure I have plenty of foods from the waters, such as local fish or seaweed, in my diet in the winter. They are highly nourishing to the kidneys and bladder, the organs related to winter and the water element. I don’t scrimp on foods and herbs that nourish my kidneys. They directly affect how much creative, sexual, life-force energy I have. I certainly don’t want to run out of that.

Whole grains, such as brown rice, wheat berries, and wild rice are superb for calming the nervous system, also related to winter and the water element. A calm nervous system allows a sense of awe and supports one’s ability to go with the flow, instead of floating rigid, in fear. This can definitely have an effect on my perspective as I dive into the depths.

I indulge in cups of hot teas. Schizandra Berry is common for building both the yin and yang of our kidney energy. It is important to rinse and soak these berries overnight before using them to remove toxicity that can irritate the kidneys.  Discard the water and rinse the soaked berries once again before cooking. It is also important to simmer them in a clay or glass pot. They do not mix well with metal.

Simmer a couple tablespoons of soaked berries in about four cups of water for 20-30 minutes. Strain and drink. I use these berries for two rounds of water for my tea before they are used up. Another good tea combination is Horsetail with Oatstraw. The Horsetail supports the kidneys while the Oatstraw nourishes the nervous system. This tea I steep in boiled water.

I slow down and moderate my outgoing energy so I can build my life force. I take time to reflect and enjoy long cups of hot tea or a bowl of soup with an intimate friend. I sit by the fire, let it melt the armor around my heart and get my body massaged.

Most of all, I eat some sumptuous dark, rich chocolate to remind me how grand life is. I smear this luscious, melted nectar in the faces of my demons and keep my sense of humor.

I support the winter journey by nourishing myself in this way and let Great Grandmother carry me. Without fail, she cradles me, nourishes me, cleanses me and floats me back to the surface in spring, renewed, rejuvenated and bursting with life force to fuel my new growth. Once again, I survive death.