Working with the Elements Series: Fire

sunset-472981_640The Elements are Vital Energetic Forces.

Earth. Air. Fire. Water. Spirit. The elements can seem like separate things, but they are always with us, everywhere. They are part of our bodies, our minds, our hearts and our spirits. They are what make up this Earth and the entire Cosmos. The elements are far more than what we might envision when we think of the physical entities that embody earth, air, fire, and water. They are the underlying energy that creates the movement, shape, and form of everything. You could think of them as the energy and aliveness of the Universe or the Divine. You could possibly see them as the soul and expression of the Divine Energy. I find them fascinating.

This is the first in a 5-part series on the elements and how we can invite them to connect with us and work with us more deeply in our lives. As soon as you begin to become aware of the all-pervading presence of the elements and connect with them in a sacred and prayerful way, you feel a powerful shift. It is as if the Divine whispers to you through the elements, saying, “Welcome home. I am so glad you remembered how to connect to me. Let’s work together.”

Fire is the element that generates the most fear and fascination. Many people shy away from the element of fire to some degree. It can seem as though fire can do nothing but cause harm or death. We learn to fear heat and fire as very young children. Each of the elements has the capacity to destroy, as destruction and death are only another way to bring in change and new life. Fire is no exception. It is wise to have respect for each of the elements. To work with them well is to use reverence and restraint. And yet, there is no reason to fear the elements. Without any of them, there would be no life.

Fire brings the creative and productive life force energy that generates life force itself. The act of creation begins with a burst of Fire energy and that energy propels forward until it is calmed or slowed by other elements blending and working with it to help that life take form. What an amazing thing this is! And yet no life–not even human life–can begin without some type of destruction or burning away. Something must change in order for the new to be brought through in each case. Seed to flower, egg to bird, acorn to tree, sperm and ova to human life.

Fire is present in warmth and heat, the sun, the stars, electricity, and flame. We also feel Fire in the sting of bees, wasps, and other insects, as well as some plants, such as stinging nettle. Fire is action, movement, motivation, determination, persistence. It is summer, excitement, and growth. It is the ability to discern and choose wisely. It is the spark behind our intentions that activates their manifestation. Fire is the energy of life, change, creation, and destruction. Fire is our life force and our will. It is what we can think of as our personal energy, that spark of the Divine that manifests as a unique being given its own life force energy to create with in the world.

Fire can certainly cause damage and it can be misused when it is not used wisely by humans. Interestingly, when I was searching for images for this article, most every image of fire that I came across reflected a human-controlled fire or fire that was destructive and out of control. It showed the fear that we have of the Fire element and the power that we try to exert over it. Yet, when I think of the element of Fire, I think of something much larger than us. I think of the Sun, or a sunset, heat that warms every living being on the planet with life.

Working with Fire well means to use wisdom and constraint, not to force our will and control over another. We often subconsciously mistake Fire energy for greed, abuse of power and taking what is not ours. That is an imbalance between Fire and the other elements. It is a misuse of our personal Fire energy and other energies as well. We all get out of balance at times.

To work with the elements well means to bring balance to the elements within our mind, body, heart, and our energy or spirit. It is consciously connecting with the elements in the Divine Field of Energy and in the Natural world around us. It is seeing the elements at work in others, without trying to change how they work within them. It is prayerful and sacred and it always comes back to remembering that your own soul is part of the elements and the Divine. Your own body expresses the elements in form.

The great balancer of Fire is Water. When we get overly caught in our will or determination, overly involved in our own busyness or creative expression of energy, it is often our love and emotions (Water) that can remind us that there are things need our softness and compassion. That whispering, slowness, and gentleness are best sometimes. Yet, even compassion requires Fire to be effective at times. And even Water can be destructive–as will see later in the series. No one element is more important than another. They all work together and temper each other.

Earth can also bring a stabilizing force to the energy of Fire. Of course, with physical fire, earth will extinguish or contain the flames. The element of Earth provides a calming, cooling, grounding force that quiets the energy of Fire. Much like physical soil, it roots it and contains it. This element brings the balance of wisdom, strength, and proper discernment to Fire’s action and creation.

To work with Fire in your own life, begin with an aspect of Fire energy that feels comfortable and familiar to you.

  • You might wish to choose 2 or 3 aspects, if that feels good to you, so that you can approach it from different parts of life. For example, the warmth of your shower in the morning, the heat of the sun and your own body heat.
  • Explore what these aspects of Fire mean to you. Express your gratitude for them in your life.
  • As you contemplate these aspects of Fire, think about other ways that you can see the energy of Fire moving in your life and in your actions. How do you work with your personal energy? How do you see the energy of Fire in your choices and in your creativity? Do you see it expressed in your anger? How about in your wise compassion or discernment?
  • Where would you like to bring more balance to the ways you work with Fire? Invite it to guide you to work with it wisely and well. Feel the Fire in your belly and nourish it. Know that it is your life force, given from the Divine.

Join me for the next four weeks for the rest of this free mini-class on working with the elements! If you are not subscribed and want to follow the series, please follow this link to sign up. If you have a friend who would enjoy this series, please share this with them so they can sign up too! Everyone is welcome!

Peace, Joy and Many Blessings,
Angie
https://angie-webster-healing.thinkific.com/


Found this newsletter on social media and want to subscribe? Go here.

Heal Your Heart with Plant Energy Medicine

hawthorn-1726549_640

Recently I have been very moved and guided to work with hawthorn more. Hawthorn is best known for its benefits in supporting and balancing the heart. It is full of vitamin C, B vitamins and is rich in antioxidants and bioflavonoids. It’s a deeply nourishing food that also acts as a tonic and brings greater balance to our systems in an extremely gentle manner. It helps to balance blood pressure and bring support and balance to veins, arteries, and capillaries. Because it helps to support and stabilize the collagen in our bodies also helps to repair and build health in the joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. It is also helpful for many digestive problems. 
In herbal healing, the energetic factor is often overlooked–the ways in which herbs help us emotionally and spiritually. Plants connect with us not just physically, but energetically. Hawthorn is a very special plant for supporting the healing of the heart on a spiritual and emotional level, as well as physical. It helps to heal and release grief, opens the heart to true expression and connection, and eases anxiety and deep sadness, especially as related to loss or feelings of being “shut down.” Hawthorn brings balance to the energetic heart, allowing for healthy boundaries, which make the heart capable of peaceful, compassionate, and gentle connection. That is a deeply nurturing and wise healing lesson for our physical cells and our souls.
Here is the recipe I was inspired to create. It is so delicious and can be eaten as a treat that is nutritious and healing on many levels. Astragalus is an adaptogen, helping to bring the entire body, mind, and spirit into balance. Ginger helps bring energy and movement to the herbs and into the body, and it brightens the other flavors and makes their sweetness “pop.”

Love Your Heart Herb Balls:
2 part hawthorn powder
1 part astragalus powder
1/2 part ginger powder
honey
Mix the powders together. Add a small bit of honey (maybe a teaspoon), enough to help the powders bind together and form a dough ball. Mix well until a nice dough ball is formed, then pinch off small pieces and roll into balls. Roll the balls in a little hawthorn powder to coat them and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

I’m not sure why I was led to work with hawthorn or inspired to create this recipe. But I have been working with the plant energy long enough to know that when I am called to work with one, there is always a reason. The energy reaches out where it is meant to go. May it bless any that can benefit from it.

Joy and Peace,
Angie

P.S. Just a reminder…there is still a little time left to take advantage of my Solstice specials on my Herbal Basics Class and my Animal Reiki Class. These are both 25% off through the Solstice on June 21, 2017. The links will take you directly to the information and enrollment page with the discounted price.

Sign Up for Regular Updates and Get a FREE Release Ceremony Download!

butterfly-2032295_960_720

I send out newsletters about once a week that offer supportive information and tools for your path and your growth. My goal is to get you thinking and exploring, trying new things and looking at the world and at healing in new ways. I hope you enjoy the journey with me! You can sign up for my newsletter here. Make sure to check out my Facebook page while you’re there!

The release ceremony you will receive is wonderful to help let go of old beliefs or energies that may be weighing you down. It is also great for the new moon, full moon, or during the change of seasons to help open space for new energies to come into your life.

If you would prefer to have an herbal recipe as your welcome gift, please write to me at angiewebsterhealing@gmail.com and I will get that right out to you.

Again, the place to sign up for my newsletter is here. Looking forward to connecting!

Joy, Peace and Bright Blessings,

Angie

Zucchini “Apple” Cobbler

zucchiniZucchini  “Apple” Cobbler

This is a delicious and easy dessert and a fantastic way to use up the abundance of zucchini that rolls in during the summer months!

Filling

6 cups or so of peeled, cubed zucchini (I used 1 large and 1 medium)

juice of 1 lemon

1/3 cup sugar or other replacement, such as honey

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8-1/4 cup raisins (I just threw in a good sized handful)

Topping

1 cup almond flour/meal (other flour would probably work fine)

@1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup softened butter or coconut oil

handful of chopped pecans or walnuts(optional)

1. Put cubed zucchini in saucepan with lemon juice and sugar. Stir. Slowly bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat, add raisins & spices, cover pan and simmer for about 5 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a square baking dish.

3.Prepare the topping by mixing the flour, salt and cinnamon, then cut in the butter or coconut oil with then side of a spoon. When the filling is done simmering, pour in to greased dish and sprinkle pecans or walnuts on top, if using. Then sprinkle the topping over the nuts.

4. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown on top and the zucchini is tender.

Taste just like apple crisp/cobbler! Top with ice cream or whipped cream or just enjoy it straight out of the oven!

 

Grain Free Zucchini Muffins

Grain free zucchini muffinsI’ve recently had to make some changes in the way I cook and eat. My body has been sending me signals for awhile that it was having major issues with grains–all grains, even gluten free ones. I already knew sugars were an issue for me, but I had been ignoring that and steadily increasing my intake of various sugars for some time. My body was letting me know it couldn’t handle much more. I had to get off of the sugars again and I had to find a way to stop eating grains. This was a bummer thing to realize just as my zucchini were coming into season and berries everywhere were ripening! I wanted to bake! However, I am not one to be deterred. I have been in this place before when I had to go gluten free, and I found entirely new ways of looking at food and cooking. I have been able to do that again and I am rocking the kitchen once more! I have been making grain free, sugar free or extremely low sugar (no processed sugar) pies, cobblers, breads and muffins.
I have also learned a few things about how grains are processed in our bodies and what can make that difficult for us. In learning that, I have found that with many grains, if I soak them I have no trouble eating them. This has led to me learning how to make oat porridge (delicious!) and sourdough (makes great pancakes!), which I will be making bread from in the next day or two. Soaking grains allows them to release the nutrients, which aren’t available without soaking, and also neutralizes toxins that are naturally present in the grains. Our ancestors always did this. Only in recent modern times did we stop. Notice how in recent times our autoimmune disease have increased as well as digestive disease and gluten/grain sensitivity and celiac? There may be a correlation as the immune system is largely in the digestive tract, extending to the brain and the bloodstream.
Now that I’ve given you somewhat sciencey lesson in grains and immune health, I would like to share a new recipe I have created for grain free zucchini muffins! I made these for breakfast this morning and they are awesome! Nice and fluffy; sort of an egg like fluffiness. If you want a bit more of a grain-like feel, you could add a scant 1/4 cup of almond meal/flour to the recipe and that should achieve that for you nicely without sacrificing the airiness of the muffins. I may try that next time, just to see what it’s like.

Grain Free Zucchini Muffins
1/2 coconut flour
scant 1/4 almond flour/meal (optional, for a more grain-like texture)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice (optional, but good)
(*Note: You could 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice in place of the previous 3 spices)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 eggs, preferably pastured
3 Tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup (grade B works best for cooking)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 small or medium zucchini, shredded (you need about 1 cup)
1/4-1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare muffin pans with liners or by greasing well.

1) Shred the zucchini and squeeze the excess liquid out then set aside. 2) Mix the eggs, honey or syrup and applesauce in a medium bowl until well blended. 3) Add in the flour(s), the zucchini, salt, baking soda and spices, mix well. 4) If using nuts, stir those in now. 5) Fill prepared muffin cups about 2/3 full. 6) Bake 20 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins.

5 Things I Have Learned (So Far) In My Garden

1024px-Raised_bed5 Things I Have Learned (So Far) In My Garden
This has been my first year with a vegetable garden, so I am still quite a novice. But Like most things I do, especially when they have to do with plants, herbs, nutrition and being outside, I approached it with great curiosity, spend lots of hands on time with it, and done a lot of reading and asking questions. I also follow my own gut instincts and intuition an awful lot. So far it is going very well and I have learned a lot. One of the things I have learned about gardening is you are never finished learning about gardening. I have talked to people who have grown up on farms who admit they don’t know and are still learning. That’s good, because when you think you know everything, you are officially stuck for life!
Here are some of the things I have learned so far:
1) Plant garlic in a few places around the perimeter of your garden. Onions are good as part of your border, too. The reason is, garlic naturally repel rabbits, raccoons and other animals that may want to check out what goodies you have in your garden. The bonus is you get garlic (and onions, if you plant those). Just take a clove of garlic and plant it about an inch down.
2) Plant some flowers and herbs. Even if you think you don’t have enough room, or you don’t care about flowers or herbs. It’s not for you. It’s for the beneficial insects and the multitude of ways they can help make your gardening so much easier. Also, plant a variety of veggies. Planting your garden like this draws a diversity of beneficial bugs so that if the harmful bugs show up, they are there to defend your plants by eating them. Did you know that plants send out a pheromone signal that is specific to the bug that can rescue them from the bug that is eating them? But that signal only carries so far. Having a diversity of plants and flowers helps insure that they are more likely to reach the right bugs to help. Not to mention you draw multiple pollinators! And truly, having fresh flowers in the house and fresh herbs to cook with is pretty amazing, too!
3) Don’t be afraid of fertilizer! Fertilizer is your garden’s friend. And yours, too. It nourishes your plants and it builds the fruits and vegetables into healthy, large and tasty pickings. Not only will they not be very big or taste very good without fertilizer, if your plants produce much at all, but your fruits and veggies won’t have nearly as many nutrient. The plants transfer the nutrients the get from the soil into the produce they make, so depleted, malnourished soil mans you are undernourishing yourself as well. Choose a good fertilizer that is not made from chemicals as these leach into the plant and what they produce. There are various types of compost that can be bought very inexpensively or even obtained for free. You can also find compost mixed with manure for a very low price. Some folks are fearful of using manure as fertilizer, but I think the worries of E. coli are out of context with home gardening. Wash your hands after gardening. Soak your veggies in a tub or sink of warm water and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, then rinse to disinfect and to remove bugs. These steps, along with the regular small exposures to your own soil will reduce any likelihood of getting sick from fertilizer. If you feel more comfortable, choose a compost with no manure or a vermiculture compost, but do fertilize!
4) Cucumbers and tomatoes need a trellis or cage! Seriously, don’t wait. Especially with cucumbers. They kind of go crazy, fast! And they wrap around everything in an effort to find something to support them. As soon as they come up, provide them with a sturdy trellis. It needn’t be anything fancy. I made mine out of strong sticks I found in the yard after a storm blew some branches down, and a little twine. I threw a trellis net over that and they are happy campers now. The same with the tomato plant. Strong sticks and twine and I built a very tall tomato cage. I have had to add a new line of twine once, but the cage has held, even with strong storms.
5) There is more than one planting season. You can plant several times and keep your garden producing throughout the season, if you choose to. I planted my first crop in the spring of broccoli, cauliflower, onions, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes , carrots, and herbs. Now my onions are harvested and I just planted okra where they were. I am in the process of slowly harvesting my potatoes and I will plant something else there. As I harvest lettuce, I plant more so I continue to have more all year. There are other crops that are fine to plant even at the end of the summer to harvest in the fall.
Share with me, if you have tips! As I learn more, I will gladly share what I learn along the way. Happy growing!

Water Blessing

i-heart-waterWater Blessing

Today and every day may water be blessed.

May we send our deepest gratitude to all water, everywhere.

The largest, saltiest ocean and the smallest, purest drop of dew,

The vast lakes and rivers and the tiny winding creeks,

The water that flows from our taps and wells,

The water that constructs our cells.

We remember the water that flows through the roots and leaves of all the plants and trees of the world.

We remember that these plants provide us, and every animal, with nourishment.

We never forget that they could not do this without water, clean and pure.

We bless the water which flows through the soil, at some level, through every land on Earth.

We send love to the water to which every being, and every other element, including fire, is drawn.

All things seek out water, for we all know that this is the essence from which life springs.

When life was being created, water was there. We needed it first.

May we never forget that pure, clean water is primarily what we are.

When we send love to water, we send love to our own cells.

We heal ourselves. We rebuild. We remember what our bodies are built from.

We send love and gratitude to that which is the Source of all this wonder.

May all water be clean, pure and healed from this day forward.

May all beings accept the purity and necessity of the world’s water from this day forward.

May we all understand our unbreakable, holy connection to water.