The altar cloth is laid out, incense spirals through the air as I prepare to concoct a custom tea inspired by the magic of autumn. This time of year is full of visual turning points. The golden gates of summer have closed, leaving behind dusky skies filled with ashy smoke from the wood burning stoves. Crisp leaves fall at our feet bearing the skeletal limbs of the aspen trees. As I pull leaves roots, flowers and seeds from the apothecary cupboard I pause and listen to what plants speak to me. Their vibrations become the audible chants of the Deva spirits.
I settle into a meditative rhythm as I begin to stir the herbs deosil, direction of the sun.
Inspired by Mother Nature’s pageantry of color, I sprinkle in calendula and safflower petals and the blend sings autumns praises.
The aroma begins to release as the herbs transfuse. I declare to the botanicals that they provide the receiver with a reminder that all things must come to and end, to make time for celebrations and feast on your successes. With the stirrings of magic in the air, I believe autumn to be the most auspicious time to begin a tea ritual practice, a time for reflection and gratitude.
This is the season of ‘thankfulness’ for the cornucopia of abundance. We have worked hard to cultivate our dream seeds and tended to them as they grew. We watched them ripen and harvested the fields of their manifestation.
Now is the time to celebrate. Now is the time for tea.
The candles are lit, come inside. Have a seat by the fire and sit for a spell as I start the kettle. I have a story to share…Let’s take a moment before the kettle sings, sit in stillness and see what it brings.
Fill your body up with breath.
Belly, lungs, open your chest.
Pause and then release.
Slowly dear, there’s no hurry here.
Take this moment to give peace and thanks.
The kettles ready and the water’s hot, fill your cup with all you’ve got. Steep your herbs and let’s breathe again. We are taking a journey as the veil thins. Honor the past, and the dearly departed. Light a candle to guide the broken hearted. Now stir in some honey to renew the sweetness of life. Lift the cup to your lips and draw in the spice. Let the flavors of the season wax on your tongue. Dance and sing for autumn has begun!
Recipe: Autumnal Brew
A pinch of brown sugar
Fresh slice of orange
1 apple wedge
1 slice fresh ginger root
1 fiery cinnamon stick
A sprinkle of whole cloves
1 whole aromatic star anise
Half of a vanilla bean
A splash of cream (or dairy alternative)
A dollop of raw honey
A dusting rreshly grated nutmeg
In a small sauce pan bring 8 oz. water to a rolling boil.
Add the following ingredients: apple, orange, ginger root,
cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, vanilla bean.
Let simmer for 8-10 minutes.
Strain botanicals through a fine mesh colander or your tea infuser.
Add honey, cream and dust lightly with nutmeg.
~Lindsay Luna, Danmala Teas