Overview of Nature’s Wisdom

Sustainable, local, organic, are currently common buzz words. Many people have been aware of the need for this lifestyle for quite some time. Many more join this revolution every day as they consciously make choices that have a nourishing supportive affect on the environment, their local communities, and their bodies. Thinking sustainable, local and organic is a giant step toward an appropriate relationship with our sacred earth.

Taken a step further we recognize that sustainability is not just something we do to the environment that has a positive outcome. Sustainability includes honoring the brilliance of this master teacher who has given us life out of her own body. Her creative design connects every living being as one becomes food for another. She creates balance and order with the life and death cycle, and has given us a map to live by that supports transformation as we align with the natural flow of life.

This map is laid out and reflected to us through nature, the physical expression of her brilliance. It is not enough to treat her more kindly as if she were someone separate that we are caring for. As any woman knows, she wants to be honored for her wisdom. She asks us to recognize that we are an integral part of her. Anything less than this simply will not do, for she is not a disempowered female that needs to be taken care of, but dismissed in her wisdom. Anyone who has ridden out a hurricane, survived an earthquake, or surfed a giant wave knows this is no twinkie goddess – and she runs with a rather formidable crowd.

When we align with her wisdom according to the surroundings we are rooted in it becomes apparent that what is happening in the natural world is also happening within our own internal world on every level. The more aligned we are, the more we become our essential selves, the more we feel held and supported by our Mother’s presence, and the more we feel a part of her, just as we did in her womb. Imagine what that would do for the fear level that pervades this world.

Each season has a distinct flavor that adds an ingredient necessary for this continual transformation and evolution to take place. Embracing her wisdom in its entirety is necessary for the yearly circle to spiral our awareness into our oneness of all there is and knowing of our immortality, uniting the physical and spiritual world as one.

Following is a summary of this map as one season flows into another creating a picture of the brilliant wisdom of our great Mother.

In Spring nature is birthing the seeds that gestated in her womb over the winter. The young shoots have a blueprint as to who they mature into. An acorn has no choice but to become an oak tree. Its fragile sprout in the spring has to push with all its might to rise above the surface so it can begin its journey to become its full potential. It has to overcome obstacles and dangers that could prevent it from surviving its journey at such a vulnerable time. Mother Nature provides the acorn with everything it needs to take this journey. Every animal, insect, weather condition, etc appears not by chance to support this seedling to become an adult living its fullest. This is just one small example of this design in the spring.

This time of year energetically supports us to do the same. We also have a blueprint that we are to become with the support of our life’s journey. Every plant, animal, insect, human, etc has a self similar unfolding in the spring whether it is physical, emotional, or spiritual. This unfolding happens multi-dimensionally on every level within us. This masterful design also has a self similar unfolding. There is the spring of ones life, the spring of each year, the dawning of each day.

There are the organ systems in the physical body that relate to this season. The liver and gallbladder govern particular emotions such as the force of appropriate anger to push through the obstacles that can hold one back from their life’s potential. We naturally reach for the sun, the light that will shine upon our own uniqueness and gifts. If we were to take this out even farther we would discover the master of each season that shows up as a prevailing elemental force that connects us all to this aspect of the universal piece of the puzzle on every single level.

Summer sets in and the vulnerable time of fragility has passed. The roots are more established. The small oak tree is relying on its relationships of the surrounding plants, animals, worms, insects, etc to support its growth and transformation into an adult tree. With no confusion about what it is, it doesn’t hold back its beauty. It can freely be who it is with the support of its surrounding community.

When aligned this is the time of year when we usually socialize more and express ourselves, our creativity peaks, we feel passionate about who we are and want to share ourselves in relationship to others. Just as many plants express their ultimate beauty with being in full leaf or blossom, we also naturally step out and share our beauty at this time.

The organ systems that govern this time of year are the heart and small intestine. They support our relationships and give us the ability to discern. When we are confident that we are guided by our hearts we don’t hold back so our creative, sexual energy flows in whatever is an appropriate expression for our time in life.

Some of the desert areas in nature dry up and become barren at this time. Everyone experiences this barren existence at some point on their journey of evolution. Our journey into right relationship with all there is nourishes our hearts and we flourish. Just as the small oak tree can not survive and become a strong healthy adult tree without the integrated support from its surrounding community, or the fruit tree can not produce fruit without the support of the pollinating creatures and elements, neither can we. Just as the small oak tree has overcome the obstacles in the spring and celebrates who it is designed to be in its full leafing, we naturally want to celebrate by sharing ourselves.

By the time late summer arrives we are ready to ground and center ourselves in who we are at this time of our lives. We stabilize and become comfortable with who we have become thus far.  We realize that we need to maintain a balance of how much energy is put out in the world and how much is needed for nourishing just ourselves. It is a time to start pulling in and digest the years’ unfoldment – who we have become. The organ systems that govern this season are the stomach and spleen. Without them we can not receive the nourishment or harvest of our efforts.

This is when the plants, including the oak tree begin to concentrate on the energy it will take to ripen the fruit of their harvest for the year, or the ripening and readying of their seeds for their next generation. Their leaves become a little duller, not so dazzling to others. They are down to business with the task at hand so they can contribute their gifts for the nourishment of their surrounding community and future generations.

As late summer turns into fall the great yearly cosmic lovemaking happens between our great Mother and Heavenly Father. It is a time to reflect and honor the gifts the essential masculine contributes to our existence. Many areas become alive with brilliant golden colors expressing through its vibrant, electric beauty that something very sacred is taking place. The union of this sacred relationship is consecrated. This is when there is perfect balance and honoring of the masculine and feminine aspects of life. This is when the harvest occurs from this union. This is when our mother earth is impregnated with the seeds of her next generation. This is when we reap our harvest for the year.

The letting go of the old to fertilize the next generation is required. It is required that the body of one dies so it can provide life giving nourishment for another. Many plants die or drop their leaves to create the fertile top soil in which their seeds can be safe from the elements while gestating through the winter.

It is time for us to let go of what no longer serves us and use it as fertilizer for the wisdom we are gaining on our journey. What we hold in our bodies such as old memories, patterns, belief systems, and negative attitudes about ourselves keep us from evolving into our essential selves. These old memories become toxic just like old matter that accumulates in our lungs and colon, the organ systems that govern this season. Natures’ focus is on the next yearly cycle so she willingly lets go of many she has nourished all year so they can become food for the next generation. We let go, allow ourselves to grieve the passing of the familiar and use it to fertilize and make room for who we are becoming.

Winter sets in and it’s time to rest and allow regeneration to occur. This is when the death part of the cycle completes itself as the great Mother takes time for herself and limits her output of nourishing others. It is the reflection of how the death of one body whether it plant or animal becomes nourishment for another. It is the time when a limiting unreal aspect of our self dies and becomes nourishment for our evolution into our essential selves. This is the time we build our core energy that resides in the governing organ, the kidneys so that we have the life force to create ourselves in alignment with the Divine plan. The corresponding organ, the bladder eliminates and keeps the fluids moving in the stillness of our depths. Often times fear gets a grip on us at this time as we sink deeper into ourselves to regenerate from the core. Along the way we meet aspects of ourself that is disowned and considered unacceptable by our conditioning. It can be a challenging time and rest and regeneration does not take place when we are doing this battle. When we are aligned and honoring of all the feelings that are related to each season, there is no reason to ban these parts of ourselves to the dungeons of our being, only to be dealt with as we naturally sink deeper into ourselves in winter, just as nature does. When this critical season is embraced, the judgments die off and we allow time for the rest and regeneration. We then have the creative, sexual life force to burst forward through obstacles once again in the spring. We have completed a round of transformation that each yearly cycle provides, bringing us closer to our core essential nature that is aligned and at one with our Divine Source. The journey consists of cycling around time after time transforming and evolving not only our personal consciousness, but our contribution as a thread integrated in the incredible tapestry, playing our part in the Divine unfolding.

How does all this relate to food and the art of cooking sustainable, local and organic food sources? The saying that “you are what you eat” is a rather simplistic summary of all this – but true. When nature offers her body in the various forms as food at the times of the year of her choice she is nourishing us with the physical body of beings that hold the energy and consciousness that aligns with this seasonal map. When ingested we become this, energetically and consciously.

When we eat foods that we have a respectful relationship with in all its flavors in our everyday life we are consciously choosing to live by the wisdom of our great Mother in its entirety. We are choosing to honor and respect the beings who are offering their bodies for our nourishment. We are recognizing our interconnectedness in the physical world. Our daily life in our physical bodies becomes a sacred walk filled with gratitude. This gratitude opens the door to our Divine connection as human beings. Because we are multi-dimensional this conscious act reverberates out into all aspects of ourselves and everything we are connected to, which according to this, is everything. When we eat foods from plants and animals that have lived a life that is respectful of who they are and how they were designed in their essential nature that is exactly what we are honoring within ourselves. When we eat foods that have been disregarded, abused, adulterated to look and taste like something it is not, that is exactly what we are becoming ourselves. From this perspective what we choose to put into your body, and when, has a far greater impact than one can imagine.

Ancient Fall Ritual

The fall Equinox had a very different flavor than the spring and sumer rituals. The receptive inhalation of the surrounding natural world greatly influenced the activities just as it did in the previous seasons. The Earth was beginning to pull in after much outward expression and energy put toward nourishing all her offspring. It was time to let go of the past cycle, reap the harvest, take the falling seeds into her womb in the wild, and let the plants die off to create a warm bed of fertile, composting soil to nourish her next generation. The leaves of her plants and deciduous trees let go into a rotting mulch after their last glorious outburst of color celebrating a life well lived.

There was much work to be done as everyone brought in the last of the yearly harvest of root crops, squashes, apples, pears, onions, garlic, grains and stored them for winter.

It was a time for harvest and letting go. They meticulously gathered the seeds from the plants in their garden to store for next year’s spring planting. The seeds of their food held the ancestral memory passed down from generation to generation. The seeds of the food they fed their bodies enabled them to stay connected to the ancestors and keep their thread to the ancient ones in tact. Just as the Mother passed on the seeds of each generation in the forest keeping the connection between the past, present and future, so did the people of these times. Without the past there would be no future. Without the wisdom held within each seed, carried through generations they would lose their connection as one with the physical natural world. The seeds were the lifeline to the Source of their life. The plants they grew to know and used for their food and medicine carried the wisdom of the Mother. Without them they lost the nourishment of this great wisdom she infused them with. It was important to keep this thread alive and unbroken. The harvest of the seeds were as important as the food itself.

It was a time when they celebrated and gave thanks to the Gods and Goddesses for the harvest they prayed for in the spring ritual. The harvest of their nourishment on the physical level, their creative endeavors, and their spiritual growth were all celebrated. They learned from the Great Mother that there would be no harvest each yearly cycle if she did not let go of the old and use it as compost to nourish the next generation. She was a constant flow of giving birth, and taking life. They clearly learned from her that if they didn’t let go of the old there would be no room for the harvest of the new. One did not exist without the other.

The older women let go of their maidenhood in the autumn of their life as their blood ceased to flow. The young girls let go of their childhood as their blood began to flow. Both were sacred passages as each woman moved on from one phase of life to the next. The elder Aunties prepared to let go of their physical lives so they were cleansed of any residue when they moved onto their next incarnation. They knew the time was drawing near and made sure they took flight from their bodies unencumbered.

Once the physical work was complete and they were ready to enter the cold dark winter months, they had their autumn celebration. As usual, they had a big feast sharing the bounty of the season.

Once the chores and harvest celebration was complete the women of all ages gathered together. No matter if they were living in the temple or the village it was a time to honor the ancestors and make their pilgrimage to the ocean several miles away.

They pulled together their provisions and packed the large baskets they slung over the backs of their mules and goats. They headed down the long windy trail that would eventually bring them to the water’s edge of Great Grandmother Ocean. It was a long trip and they needed to return before it became too cold. So they set out as soon as they could. Even though it was a long trip, it was an easy walk through much beauty as they made their way through the brilliant multi-colored changing leaves. They always looked forward to this pilgrimage. The visual feast along the way was like a delicious dessert after a bountiful harvest meal.

It was a five day walk before arriving at the ocean’s edge with many springs, streams and waterfalls along the way so water was easy to access for themselves and animals. There was an abundance of wild mushrooms growing along the trail. They gathered boletes, chantrelles, black trumpets, honey, and oyster mushrooms. Food and water was readily available so their pilgrimage became a treasure hunt, and site seeing adventure they all thoroughly enjoyed.

Once they arrived at the water’s edge they set up camp in a meadow tucked away off the rocky shoreline. The stones were all sizes, round and smooth from being rolled back and forth endlessly by the ebb and flow of the water. They grew to love the music of the stone people all night as it lulled them to sleep. Each young girl and woman sat until one of the stones spoke to her. It became the stone they held in their hand the entire time there. They rubbed their bodies clean from the energetic residue with the stone.

They stayed four days, praying and asking to be cleansed of what did not serve them, to make room for next year’s harvest. They spent their time in silence except for minor logistics that needed to be communicated so they could go inward and listen. They prayed to be shown what they carry either from their current life or the previous lives they and their ancestors had embodied that was ready to be let go of.

Every sunrise and sunset they offered flowers to the waters, stripped naked and walked into the ocean asking to be cleansed. They spent four days in prayer emptying themselves of what was old and no longer needed, except as compost for the the next cycle of their lives.

What was once valuable- what had shown them who they thought themselves to be could be let go of as they grew with the support of the yearly cycle of transformation. The residue could not be shed until they had learned what it was there to teach them. Allowing something to burrow into their inner crevices longer than necessary created toxicity as it putrified, and poisoned them physically, emotionally and spiritually. Everything had value at some time in their life as a teacher for them. Valuing it, honoring it and letting it go was the energy of this season. It was a precious time of inner reflection and release. If they were successful they would be given a glimpse of the seed they would give birth to in the spring after nourishing themselves through the gestation period of the winter months. They nourished the seed as they nourished their bodies when they pulled in for the winter, just as the Great Mother.

They sat around the fire, and under the trees, took walks, wrote, sat, cooked simple meals, and stared, as they watched, listened, and prayed to their ancestors. They were shown what was ready to be released, and undramatically rubbed it away with their smooth chosen stone and gave it back to the ocean. This was an important phase of the creative process. They couldn’t create with a clear vessel without honoring this phase of the cycle.

The older women quietly sat around the fire after dinner and through their soft spoken voices shared stories about the wisdom of this season. They were the only ones who spoke during their four days together. It was a time for them to be honored as the embodiment of this season. They had much to share that supported the younger women. It was a very special, intimate time together for the women that prepared them for the winter months ahead. The pilgrimage was their doorway into their inner yearly descent. It was difficult for the young girls and women at first, but over time and with the support of the elder women they grew to appreciate and look forward to a time when they could deepen their relationship with the inner workings of their heart and soul. They looked forward to the rest after the harvest of a busy, active time of the year. They separated the wheat from the chaff so they could rebuild and rest in the dark womb of the Mother and receive nourishment from the depths of her wellspring. They were preparing for the death phase of the cycle so they could be rebirthed once again in the spring.

Their ancestors took the journey with them. There was much at stake for them. Those who left their body still holding onto unresolved issues continued to carry them, passing them onto the next generation. Over time the clear channel to the source was clouded by the ancestral unfinished business. When the women healed and cleansed themselves of past karmic issues passed down through their lineage it healed and cleansed the ancestors as well. This cleansing kept the door open for the women to access clear, clean guidance and Divine energy through their ancestral lineage. They healed all who came before them. When the ancestors returned for their next incarnation they were free of their unresolved issues. The future generations were greatly affected. The healing and cleansing reverberated through the past, present and future. The ancestors supported this healing, and cleansing ritual helping them to see what was hidden in the shadows to be released. They worked together to clear the channel of all residue so they would not be cut off from the Divine source. Their relationship with their ancestors was very important. The ancestors walked behind them through life. The women were very aware that their time to go within, heal and let go had an everlasting affect on their lineage, now, and forever.

The stories the elder women shared around the fire during this intimate time together supported the young women to understand the power and responsibility of cleansing, clearing and keeping their channel open and unobstructed.

Spring & Anger

According to Chinese Astrology we have entered into the Wood Horse year, after two years of water element with the dragon and snake. They supported us to go inward and shed the skin of our past, and limiting beliefs about ourselves. And as shown in a myriad of ways, nature knows exactly what she is doing. These two years are followed by the Wood Horse, just like spring follows winter.

The energy is about moving forward. Giddeeup and go for it! To utilize this energy one needs an understanding of the wood element, and how to harness the energy. It is a powerful, magical energy that energetically supports you to become the unique expression you were designed to in the world. So I am sharing the following to hopefully help give you permission to saddle up, grab the reins, and ride this powerful energy in a healthy way.

Spring & Anger 

In winter, most of nature almost comes to a halt. Springtime is about bursting forward, taking birth, growing, unfolding.  The power of springtime is the power of the element WOOD.  The power of birth and growth.  It is a special magic.  Growth is that force that combines all the other elements.  Growth is the principle that combines the other 4 elements according to a special pattern, and comes up with something unique.  Wood is about unfolding that uniqueness, (our uniqueness) in the world – the power and upward thrusts in growth to overcome whatever obstacles there may be to unfolding the self.

Growth is a process of overcoming obstacles.  There is no growth without obstacles, and we need the power that springtime provides us.  The power of birth and growth come to their strongest point in spring, but it is also true that it goes on at all times of the year, and throughout our lives.  If you look at a tree, it is a wonderful example of the wood element.  Observe how it lives – continues to grow throughout its life.  When it stops growing, it starts dying – and this is true of us.

The forces of growth can be thwarted and unable to overcome the obstacles.  The process of birth, of labor is a lot of hard work – the obstacles require power to bring it about.  So when growth and self expression become thwarted, instead of creativity and unfoldment, those forces turn into anger.  Anger is one of the emotions that has a bad wrap, but anger is the power of growth.  It pushes you forward.  You need it to overcome obstacles that would prevent you from being reborn.  It is a bad situation if you can’t get appropriately angry.

If you can’t get angry, you become a doormat – there is no growth there.  After a period of growth being thwarted, that anger turns to resignation, and we begin to die from the inside out, like a tree rotting at its core.

Anger is what happens when the energy of wood becomes thwarted.  The emotional expression called anger is the energy of wood collecting itself to push through an obstacle.A blade of grass pushing up through the earth  ) – not anger, but the same energy. Giving birth – pushing through )

The force of wood manifests as unfolding of self.  You can call it the energy of creativity constantly in process of giving birth to ourselves, always pushing to unfold who we are, to take our place, to extend ourselves, proclaim ourselves – otherwise we wither up and die.

This energy is powerful, energetic, forceful, upward thrust – call it whatever you want – the power of creativity/in another phase, anger – both are true.

You see a tremendous distortion of wood in our society.  Any sane society considers one of the highest goals is to grow into elderhood – we have not had elders, the people who have grown through life and attained the fruit of growth, i.e. wisdom, one of the highest truths of life – so that the highest respect is paid to elders.

In our society, we are back to front.  We worship youth, and when people are past their prime consumer years, we toss them on the scrap heap.  There are no elders in our society, because there is no initiation of the young.

Wood and growth involves

• force, upward thrust

• orderliness and a pattern to it.

• the power of growth proceeds according to a vision of the future, a blueprint, a plan.  It combines the other elements according to that vision.

It is serious magic that the seed combines the other elements in a way that is totally true to form.  Those other elements can be combined in billions of ways, but it grows perfectly true to form – organized and orchestrated.

Wood gives us the power of vision.  Physical vision and the eyes are under wood, and the secretion that relates to wood is the tears. But vision is also of the mind and spirit.

Initiation in traditional societies is a ritual that is performed at a time of life around or after puberty.  Puberty is a moment which announces that the physical growth process is complete, that sexual maturity is achieved.  Therefore it is a time for the forces of growth to be guided into the mind and spirit. Initiation is the ritual by which the young are given the vision – the blueprint – for their own life – the unfoldment of their own spirit.

Growth needs to proceed along patterns of vision.  If we have no vision, growth becomes chaotic and uncontrolled, like cancer which is chaotic and uncontrolled growth.

In a way, our whole society is cancerous, always wanting unlimited uncoordinated growth.  Forces of growth in our society don’t have a chance of getting safely conducted into spirit, so we have uncontrolled material growth, leading to people dying of cancer, and the whole planet dying of cancer as well.

Our youth don’t get initiated, so they never grow up.  Most adults are spiritually adolescent living in a fantasy world of unlimited possibilities instead of going about the unfoldment of their gifts.  So we have no elders, just old people.

But we need elders to initiate our young people – so our young people have no vision, they are lost, frustrated, and dying of cancer.  Also because growth is arrested in adolescence by lack of vision, we are a culture worshipping adolescence.  We worship youth because we don’t have a vision of where to go after that.

So the role of wood and the power of growth in our society is very out of balance which creates problems and produces rage which turns into destruction.  The rage of our youth is getting worse. The force of growth has no place to go so it turns into rage.  It either turns against society or gets turned inward, and we destroy the self with drugs, traffic accidents, suicide, chronic degenerative illnesses – are all rage turned against the self.

ANGER:  People in our society manage anger poorly.  They grow up and are taught not to express anger or their parents withdraw love from them. This is devastating for kids.  The love of their parents is a matter of survival.  So they grow up with a distorted relationship to anger.  It is not acceptable.  Don’t express it because it threatens survival.

But unexpressed anger is unresolved.  Either it becomes explosive and we do harm to others, or it turns inward and harms the self through disease. Anger doesn’t go away, so we develop different strategies to deal with the situation of having it, but not being able to express it.  e.g. facade to hide anger – being unbelievably nice.

How to deal with anger:  Anger is one of five elemental energies, naturally in process of evolving into something else.  It only becomes problematic when we are not allowed to move into something else.  When we are not encouraged to express it in a healthy way, and think to have anger is bad.  We build up unrealistic ideals about it, e.g. to be saintly, well-balanced etc. means not having anger.  This is not true.  Not having anger means we are in trouble,  When it gets expressed, it gets a chance to move into the next thing which is JOY.

Nature provided us with a perfect way of discharging anger.  SHOUTING.  What is necessary is to express and discharge it, but not target anybody/anything. So shout, but not at anybody.  It makes it worse to direct it at somebody.  You can say what you want to say about that person, but not in front of them.  Shout on the highway.  Into a pillow.

If you have a problem with anger, it is helpful to develop the practice of shouting three to four times every day – it works miracles. It is a helpful practice whether or not you feel like it.  It is easy to deny anger. Shouting discharges the energy and helps it move on.


Sisterhood & Our Fire

Mary, Tenji, Pele small

It is summer, the fire element, the element that rules our sexual, creative energy. It is the season that is based on relationships and transformation and the peak of the wave of the yearly seasonal cycle.

There are two primary aspects of the Divine Feminine. Our healing journey embraces both and brings them into harmony. In my work with women we begin with cultivating a strong relationship with our inner Divine Mother energy so we can call upon her to support us to transform our unconscious self rejection to self love. She is within us and she makes it possible for us to give this to ourselves. The other primary aspect of the feminine principle is the powerful, centered, sexual creatress.

It’s important to strengthen our relationship with our Divine Mother energy first so as we embrace this powerful creative energy, we are running it through a channel of self love instead of self rejection. At some point in our evolution the relationship between these two primary aspects of ourself clicks and becomes one. One without the other makes it next to impossible to bring our gifts into the world with compassion and consideration for the well being of all.

When these two aspects of ourself are dancing together our fire, passion, light, comes through in every thing we do, or person we encounter.

My relationship with my sisters, and our support for one another in this time of collective transition is very important to me. I feel it is a critical piece to our collective healing. It is not just the healing of women I refer to, but the healing of us all that will be affected through this sisterhood.

Relationships are important to the feminine. As women travel the transformational journey of healing the feminine principle we are confronted with the shadow side of relating from a disempowered posture in life. We have believed in a dysfunctional society’s perspective of our own power, or lack of it.

As I focus on my own strengthening and merging of these two aspects of the feminine I recently discovered a shadow side of my relationship with the beloved sisterhood I cherish.

Through much of my transition back to Maui I found myself always in someone else’s world. It took awhile for me to ground and find my home. A home that reflected who I am, and supported me to deepen and play with what I am passionate about. A home that I felt was the outer reflection of my inner world. The wait was well worth it. I had finally grounded in a home that allowed me to invite others into my world.

The joy of feeling the light and fire of my soul manifested in my physical surroundings is exuberant, passionate, and empowering.

One day I had a visitor who obviously struggles with the pain of dimming her light over for a celebration of a mutual friend. What she reflected back to me was a voice within myself that had plagued me long enough, criticizing the joy and passion. Basically, it is not OK to shine your light, feel your joy, exuberance and power.

In the past when that projection of someone’s self criticism has assaulted my passion, fire, I have shrunk and been apologetic for being so bold. This time I stood up to that voice she was embodying and said, “No, I will no longer dim my light because it makes you uncomfortable.”

I realized that a part of me felt my relationships with my women friends are so important that I wouldn’t allow myself to be my full expression, especially if there is any indication that it feels threatening to them. I have dimmed my fire all my life so I would be accepted.

My deepening relationship with my own Pele energy has brought this to the surface as she demands that I no longer apologize for who I am, in all my glorious, wondrous, divine feminine magnificence.

How many of us women are dimming our light fueled by our fire because we don’t want to be rejected? The other side of the dysfunctional coin is how many of us know how to shine this light fueled by our fire that is not wrapped in the package of what we were taught by a society that fears it? How many of us women feel threatened by another who allows this to shine through? How many of us are clean with this energy and know it beyond the perspective of a very old worn out paradigm?

These are good questions to ask ourselves in this season of the fire element. We need our sisterhood. We also need our sexual creative life force energy. We need a different perspective on this energy so we are not threatened by it, so we can fan the flames for one another to shine in our magnificence, offering our gifts to a world that needs them. We need to own this energy with no apologies. Embrace an authentic relationship with it so we are not threatened by another’s expression of their fire. Become masters of this sexual, creative energy so our light can shine and create a society that is aligned with our authentic fire.

Enjoy this summer, enjoy your fire, and allow it to fuel your relationships in a healthy authentic way with no apologies for your magnificence. Allow your fire to burn brightly.



Spring is a time for rebirth. Bursting through the obstacles that hold us back is necessary for growth. We are at a time in history that we are doing this on a collective level to the degree some say is unprecedented. Why not use the force of the natural world to support us? It is the time of year the Earth’s energy is rising and she is giving birth to her next generation of seedlings. They are very vulnerable and tender at this stage of their new life. But within that vulnerability they never lose sight of who they were designed to become. They use a force to burst through the encapsulating seed, and the crust of the earth. They dare to be seen in the light of day and risk everything to become their true self, never wavering. Something to aspire to.

We are going through the same journey of transformation as the Earth. If we follow her lead, utilize her energy, and live in sync, our journey becomes much easier.

The force the plant kingdom uses in the spring to birth itself is similar to the energy of anger in our human world. Not anger that is destructive to self and others, but the anger that refuses to be held down and stuck in a prison of old limiting beliefs. The anger that says, “No, I will not put up with this any longer, I want something better for myself.” The anger that says, “ I will not live under the thumb of fear and control.” The anger that refuses to be held back and condemned to a life unlived. This is a healthy anger and supports you to burst through the obstacles that hold you back and keep you imprisoned by your own beliefs that you can not do anything about it.

I don’t think there has ever been a time that we need a healthy relationship with this energy more than now. The life of our earth and human race is depending on our ability to say, “Enough is enough of this old paradigm.” Without this force of energy we can not take action and thrust ourselves across the threshold of the doorway into another way of life.

When this energy is not used to keep us moving forward and breaking free from the old worn out mode of life it turns toxic and is either inflicted on others or turned inward creating disease, depression, resignation and unhappiness. When it is accessed and used properly it transforms into joy. Yes, it leads to joy as we experience our personal growth and freedom to express more our own unique expression of our true nature.

It makes sense that our liver and gallbladder, the organs that process toxicity in our bodies would relate to this emotion. Spring is the time to gently cleanse and nourish our liver to support our bodies to let go of what is keeping us “stuck.” Many people over cleanse and with dramatic cleansing programs. This can do damage to your liver and body. It is always about being kind and gentle to your body, no matter if it is a cleanse or other food related program. I have an easy, gentle spring cleanse in my book, “Divine Nourishment” if you do not already have one that works for you.





Turmeric, (Curcuma longa) ‘Olena

Inflammation in the joints, and digestive system seems to be plaguing a lot of people, including myself. So I got on the trail of exploring turmeric. I think it is fairly well known that turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory. I found that it has many other medicinal qualities as well. Below is quite a list of benefits from having turmeric in our diet on a regular basis. Seems like a good all around ingredient to have in our food to support the prevention of the following list of ailments. I cook a lot with turmeric in the cooler months because the food I like it in is more compatible with colder weather. But now I am exploring other ways to include it in my diet during the warmer months so I receive the benefits year round. I am lucky that it grows prolifically here on Maui so I have access to the fresh root.

For acute situations such as inflammation when my joints are inflamed, and I am suffering from a case of bloating because I just couldn’t stay away from that one slice of pizza the night before, loosing all willpower and throwing caution to the wind, just gotta do it sometimes, you know what I mean? I load my food, and sometimes I even buy turmeric powder in bulk and a bunch of empty capsules and spend an hour or so filling the capsules so I can take a couple two or three times a day.

Common Medicinal Uses


Liver disorders

Digestive aid



Removes blood stagnation

Moves chi and stops pain

Sinus and ear problems

Meridian Affinities

Stomach, spleen, liver

Issues it addresses


Indigestion or heartburn

Abdominal (stomach) pain or bloating

Excessive bleeding

Rheumatoid arthritis



Loss of appetite

Jaundice, hepatitis, or other liver problems

High cholesterol

Gallstones or other gallbladder problems


Absent menstrual periods (amenorrhea)

Cancer (for both prevention and treatment)

Fluid retention


Bronchitis, the common cold, or other respiratory infections


Kidney problems

Bladder infections.

Applying turmeric topically (to the skin) is said to be beneficial for the following problems:




Leech wounds




I have made a salve with turmeric, ginger, and cayenne and rub it on my wrists that some times get inflamed when I have to do a lot of cooking, weeding, etc. It really helps with the inflammation and increases circulation.

If you would like to learn more about turmeric and receive recipes that include it, join my free newsletter on my home page. The September issue is focused on turmeric and shares its medicine and magic on many levels

Cooking with Turmeric Video Demo 

Earth Element & Late Summer

Everything comes to us that belongs

to us if we create the capacity to

receive it.

Rabindranath Tagore

Divine Nourishment Audio Introduction 

A student of mine sent this quote to me. It so embodies the many pieces I weave together to support the healing of our “receptive” feminine nature so we can receive the Divine Nourishment life is offering us on every level.

I know it has been, and continues to be the healing path I am on. I embody both the light and shadow side of this journey. It is obvious it is a key piece to our collective healing, and everyone has their own personal version of this to reconcile.

We are moving into late summer, the Earth element. The element that embodies the Great Divine Mother energy that graces us with compassion, nourishment, sensuality, a body, guidance, balance, safety, grounding, union and balance of our receptive, feminine, and active, masculine principles, and a place to experience this human journey so our soul can grow.

Is any of this different from what any healthy Mother would do? Having lost our connection with her over the last several hundred years has created much fear and pain in our collective.

It is exciting to see the world wide movement toward honoring our Mother, by changing our eating habits, and sustainable methods for living. We still have a long way to go, but many are moving down the correct trail, if we want to reconnect with our Mother Earth, and deepen our relationship with her.

Creating our capacity to receive is no less than healing our relationship with our Mother, feminine principle that has been shunned for two thousand years, and our conditioned belief structures that we are unworthy to receive life’s gifts. No small task.

Walking through life with a receptive posture takes nothing less than complete trust in our Divine Mother to care for us through her guidance, and our ability to receive it and act upon it.

This is a great time of year to practice balancing our ability to receive and take action. Ground ourselves in the delicious harvest of the many foods that come into season now. It is a wonderful time to open to the gifts our Divine Mother Earth is offering through her nourishment of food, music, friendships, and sensual pleasures. It is an optimum time to shift our perception from life happening to us, and participate in our own unfolding as she presents experiences to support our soul’s growth.

The 5 Elements have very specific energetic qualities. Through our awareness of these qualities, and grounding from the seasonal foods, we can identify and connect with our Mother’s wisdom. We can relate to what she is showing us about ourselves, what needs healing, what is magnificent about us, why we deserve to “Receive” her love, compassion, and nourishment.

The virtual courses I teach are all created to support our understanding of her language, wisdom, and heal our capacity to receive so we can  be empowered as co-creators.

The first course, “Introduction to 5 Element Nourishment” supports you to ground yourself in her wisdom, understand it, and nourish yourself aligned with it. It is the first piece of healing. We must heal our ability to ground ourselves in the nourishment of food, our bodies and our Mother Earth.

This opens a powerful doorway that allows us to be available to heal our capacity to “receive” by addressing our personal version of the collective wounding of our feminine receptive principle hidden in the shadows. The first course prepares you to ground yourself so you can and allow the healing possible in the second course, “Heal, Nourish & Honor the Feminine Within.”

These two courses then prepare you for opening to the natural creative process of giving and receiving. It is inherent in a healthy relationship with our sexual creative energy. It requires our receptive feminine principle and active masculine principle to be equal and honoring of what each brings to the creative process. They need to be alive, healthy and in union within each of us, no matter if we are make or female if we are to create a balanced life and society aligned and in harmony with our natural world. This is addressed after preparation from the first two courses in the third, “Food, Sex, Nature & the Art of Transformation.”

All three courses support you to ride the wave of creative energy through the natural seasonal map of transformation as a conscious participant. So we can move out of fear from feeling disconnected into awe from becoming aware of the incredible magic of the unfolding around us that is in direct support of our soul’s growth. What a different way to walk through life.

This does not mean you don’t meet challenges, pain, even hardship from time to time. What it means is we are connected and aware so we can garner the teaching available to us and we grow and evolve from it. We nourish our own bodies with foods that embody our Mother Earth’s wisdom, and we become both receptive and active participants in the Divine creative process. It all starts at the foundation, the grounding in our Mother Earth and her food.

This season can support you to reconnecting and ground yourself in her deep wisdom. Let go of feeling like a Motherless child in fear of your survival, take in the Divine Nourishment of life and open your heart to compassion for others. What a glorious season this is indeed.

Soul Food

We are use to thinking that food for the body and food for the soul are different forms of nourishment. Rarely do we consider that food has a far reaching affect on our whole being.

Take the most simple perspective of sharing food. Coming together in community with family and friends has been an important sacred ritual in every culture across the globe for eons. This ritual held the community together and reminded everyone what our Mother Earth provided for them. It is only recently in our modern culture that we have lost that sacred ritual. Along with it we lost our connection with our Mother Earth.

Our soul’s journey throughout our lifetime has been made possible by food. Without food we would not have a physical experience. It is the physical journey that supports our soul to grow and evolve.

Our connection with the environment in which we live, our Mother Earth, is vital to our soul’s growth. Obviously she considers her role as a nourisher of the utmost importance. She offers nourishment wherever we live in every form imaginable supporting our soul’s growth through our deep connection with her as she feeds our bodies from her own. She imbues our very cells with her love, consciousness and wisdom. She supports us to ground ourselves in her wisdom through the food she offers and provides a seasonal map for transformation, all made possible through food. When we nourish ourselves aligned with her wisdom we are very much indeed nourishing our soul.

The creative process of bringing the sensuality of flavors, textures, smells, colors, and medicine of food is a primal act that embodies our interconnectedness with our sacred world, which is necessary nourishment for the soul.

Enjoy the summer bounty, and feed your soul!

Fire, Nature & the Art of Transformation

Happy Solstice! And welcome to the fire element, and season of the yearly cycle. This element rules the heart , small intestine and sex circulation. We are collectively transforming our relationship with all three of these aspects of the fire element. In fact we are transforming our relationship with the fire element in general and maturing into a human race that is more heart centered. We are welcoming the receptive feminine principle back into our world to create the much needed balance we all long for.

So what is her role in this fire element? We have the heart which rules our passion, relationships, joy, warmth, transformation, creativity, and just plain juiciness of life that emanates care toward everything and everyone else. The heart’s partner in this is the small intestine that supports the heart by sifting through and separating the pure from the impure. It supports the heart to follow what is pure with discernment. When we walk through life with an open heart and follow it, a good companion is discernment.

Sex circulation moves our raw creative energy through the channels and supports us to create, bring into manifestation and form from the realm of the unmanifest. It supports the nourishment of all the organ systems so they are alive and healthy, contributing to the creative process.

The Divine Feminine has many facets to her. She is vast. She is pure sexual creative energy connected to the Divine Source as the womb of the realm of possibility. She gives birth to all there is, she nourishes it, guides it, devours it. In her wholeness she is united with her masculine essence that brings her unbridled sexual creative energy into focus, resulting in form. All form can be traced back to her. Everything is self similar. It just vibrates at a different frequency depending on the dimension in which it is accessed. Form is the densest frequency, but by all means no less Divine.

No wonder she scared the beejeezes out of those who didn’t understand her. However, she has never left us. Her wisdom, intelligence, compassion, fierceness, beauty, the list is endless, has just been disregarded, ignored, hidden, and pushed back into the shadows until we were mature enough to handle her. Seems we are finally approaching that time in history. Her intelligence in it’s least distorted manifestation comes into form as nature, our beloved Mother Earth.

It is no coincidence that when she was devalued and ignored, so was the physical manifestation of her wisdom in the form of the natural world, the body, and women. They are all self similar. It is also no coincidence that as we honor the Divine Feminine and welcome her wisdom back into our world, we are returning to honoring women, our bodies and the Earth. You can not separate them.

Fifteen years ago I experienced a kundalini awakening that lasted about two years. The serpent uncoiled and took me for an indescribable ride that I’m still integrating. It was the Divine Feminine in her unbridled, unmanifested raw sexual energy surging through my body at about 660 volts. What a ride! I experienced the tiniest thought reverberate out in infinite larger, grander expressions of itself, manifesting as it grew from my personal experience to the collective and beyond. It shined a light like a beacon into every crack and crevice in my psyche, showing me the negative thought patterns that was not aligned with her authenticity. She’s still doing this.

We are witnessing the same thing on the collective level as she shines a light on all the corrupted belief patterns in our society causing them to crumble. They are just a larger manifestation of individual unconscious and disowned beliefs, thrown into one big pot of yucky tasting soup. If we are to welcome her, then we must honor her in her entirety, not try to save her. We must honor her as she is manifested as the Earth, not try to save her.  We must honor her as manifested as woman, not try to save her. We must honor our bodies’ wisdom, as it is her wisdom. “Saving” still comes from the patriarchal stance that we are superior. What a joke.

So how does this relate to the art of transformation? As it has been taught by the ancient ones in many cultures, sexual energy has enormous transformative power. It creates and transforms. However, it is not discriminating. It creates form of whatever consciousness it is channeled through. As long as we are hooked into the consciousness of our old negative beliefs, and the patriarchal collective system that is what will be created. However, she will not stop shining a light on this, and we may see what is hidden in the shadows and allow this energy to transform into a consciousness that is more aligned with hers if we choose.

If the natural world and Earth is a physical manifestation of the Divine Feminine and  self similar to us then the same kundalini energy that moves through our bodies and consciousness also moves through the Earth’s. This wave of creative life force moving through the Earth’s body can be witnessed as seasons going through the process of creation, life, and destruction, death. We are witnessing her infinite creativity and willingness to let go of what no longer serves, and become food for the birth of the new. It is transformation at it’s best.

As self similar creatures we are souls who have manifested as a physical being on a human journey to evolve. Our physical surroundings are transforming constantly. When we are aligned with this wisdom of the Divine Feminine we are one with this ongoing transformation, and we are carried by this wave of sexual energy. We let go of what no longer serves us and give birth to new creations of our soul’s growth cycle by cycle. Spring birth transforms into summer’s full expression, transforming into the harvest of our creation, letting go of what is no longer aligned in fall, planting seeds for new growth, and allowing death to become compost for these seeds of potential in winter for the new life ahead.

Take this yearly cycle and apply our self similarity and you have the same cycle every day, every minute, every breath.

She is the master. She is a manifestation of this transformative process in the form of the natural world. She carries us through the transformation, and when aligned with her wisdom, the wisdom that honors all of her creation, and the harmony of life and death, this raw sexual creative energy that flows through our bodies, consciousness, and Earth we will become the channels for this Divine wisdom and love. We will enjoy the journey, and experience the ecstasy that comes from unbridled sexual creative energy brought into form through our imaginations free from old limited negative beliefs.

Sounds like a lot to accomplish? She has brilliantly set this wisdom in motion one cycle at a time, making it doable as an exciting adventure one digestible bite at a time. Aligning with the wisdom of the Divine Feminine physically manifested as the Earth will support us to grow, evolve, and raise our consciousness as a collective reflection of her creation. Honoring the Divine Masculine energy that is a part of her supports us to bring her creation into form. We can know ourselves as a self similar embodiment of her Divine creative energy, wisdom, and love. She is the Master!

Growing into a healthy relationship with the fire element is not for sissies. But then, from what I can tell those souls who have incarnated to support the planetary transformation are far from being sissies. When we can truly own who we are, know our value, and honor ourselves from every fiber of our being, imagine what form that raw creative sexual energy can take.

Wild Spring Greens

This is my favorite time of the year for gathering wild greens on the mainland. My wild salads were superb and I could gather all I needed for supporting my liver, blood, and excitement for new beginnings. It is a beautiful verdant time of the year with so many incredible foods to harvest.

It is a glorious time to be out in nature, and connect with her awakening from her winter rest. So many gifts she is offering right now for your health and enjoyment.
Here are a few wildcrafting tips my herbalist friend, Heidi Berkovitz and I put together for a Spring Wild Foods class in NC, and several recipes that include some of my favorite wild spring greens. They will support you to harvest consciously and inspire ways to enjoy the harvest.

Wildcrafting Tips

  • Do not wildcraft from polluted areas
  • Do not harvest from chemically sprayed lawns or other contaminated areas (roadsides are debatable)
  • Positively ID plant before ingesting
  • Harvest only healthy plants
  • Wear gloves when appropriate
  • Make sure you have permission to harvest from the site you are on
  • Ask your friends and neighbors what weeds they want eradicated from their yard and garden, and go harvest till your hearts content!
  • Be conscious that you are taking from a living organism
  • Have respect for the plant and the surrounding environment
  • Ask permission
  • Leave an offering: Tobacco, strand of hair or a silent thank you
  • Make sure there are more of the same kind of plants around it.
  • Do not over harvest. Never clean out an entire patch.
  • When clipping small branches from trees always clip them just on the outside of the nodule, the same way you would prune a tree, so that it will grow more branches.
  • Pinch or cut off only a few selected leaves per plant, right at the nodules, so that more of the plant can continue to grow.
  • Leave an area as beautiful as, or better than, you found it.
  • Do not gather endangered plants. Visit United Plant Savers at www.unitedplantsavers.org
  • Get to know an area throughout the seasons. Watch those plants throughout the yearly cycle. Get to know them in every stage of their growth.
  • Take a class so someone local and knowledgeable can make your first introduction to the plant
  • Different parts of the plant offers different medicine and food at different times of the year.
  • Learn more about it with your field guide, getting familiar with it’s taste and appearance at different times of the year.
  • Some spring greens have a slightly sour taste in the spring, but turn more bitter as they get older. If you know that plant from your spring hike, and you know it is the same plant even though it has a different taste you can enjoy it with confidence and receive it’s benefits for that season.
  • Building a relationship with the plants in this way attunes you to them and makes it easy to wildcraft throughout the year.


Chickweed is great as an addition to green salads. Eat as much raw as possible this way combined with other spring greens such as young lamb’s quarters leaves, mint, arugula, wild chives, sweet cicely, cochani, violet leaves and flowers, field cress, young baby spinach, sheep sorrel. Lightly dressed with fresh lemon juice or light vinegar and good olive oil makes a very flavorful salad with a lot of life force energy. The younger the chickweed the more tender it will be, but it can be eaten even while flowering.

Wild Chickweed and Mint Pesto

Amounts are approximations, as it is according to personal taste.

4 cups packed wild chickweed
1/4 cup wild mint
2 TBS chopped wild garlic
3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, (optional)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
Drizzle of water
Salt/white pepper to taste

Gather chickweed that has not yet flowered. Cut with knife toward top of plants, so you get a nice clean top. Do not pull plant out by roots. Do the same with mint. Rinse in colander and spin dry in salad spinner.

Toast walnuts on sheet pan in 350 degree oven just until you can smell them. About 10 minutes.

Chop garlic. Shred parmesan. Place chickweed, mint and garlic in food processor and begin to process. Stop and add parmesan, walnuts, a little lemon juice, salt & pepper.

While processing drizzle in a little olive oil until it becomes blended. Do not over blend. Thin if needed with small amount of water. This should be done fairly quickly so as not to over process walnuts.


Chicory and dandelion leaves are interchangeable in recipes. They have a similar bitter flavor that is excellent steamed, sautéed, or chopped and added to soups. Young chicory leaves, same as dandelion, are good raw in salads as well. Older leaves can be boiled first, discarding water.

This is a good recipe for older chicory leaves. This would also be good with wild mushrooms sauteed first with the garlic, then add blanched chicory leaves to the saute’.

Garlic Braised Chicory

½ cup chopped wild garlic
4 cups chopped wild chicory leaves
½ cup vegetable broth
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Wash chicory. Cook in an 8-quart pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water), uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well.
Dry pot, then heat oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook garlic stirring, until golden, about 1 minute.
Add chicory, stirring to coat. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Salt and white pepper to taste. Toss with a little olive oil.


Mediterranean Steamed Dandelion Leaves

Dandelion leaves can be substituted with chicory leaves, yellow dock leaves, lamb’s quarters, nettles, and wild mustard greens. This is a good general healthy way to prepare wild spring greens. If lemon is not available, a little apple cider vinegar is a good substitute.

Prep and cooking time: 15 minutes

About 8 cups, roughly chopped dandelion leaves
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 tsp soy sauce, (low sodium tamari)
2 medium cloves garlic, pressed
extra virgin olive oil to taste
salt and white pepper to taste

Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a steamer with a tight fitting lid.
Roughly chop the greens.
Add dandelion greens to steamer basket and steam covered for about 3-5 minutes, until tender.
Slightly press out excess water from greens with the back of a spoon and toss with rest of ingredients.
Serves 4 as a side dish

Cooking Tip: Make sure you don’t over greens. They should still be bright green when done. Otherwise they turn a dull color, and aren’t as flavorful.

Curly Dock/Yellow Dock

Dock leaves can be tough and usually have a fair amount of oxalic acid as they age, so it is preferable to not eat them raw unless very young and tender. However, if you boil in salted water for a few minutes first, discard water, press dry, it can be cooked and used the same as the other wild green leaves such as dandelion, chicory, lamb’s quarters. It is best eaten in the early spring when the young leaves are tender. They have a slightly lemony flavor.

Poached Eggs Over Sautéed Greens


4 organic free range chicken eggs
1 tsp light vinegar, (rice, apple cider, or white wine)
about 4 cups water
1 cup thinly sliced leeks, about 1 large leek, white part only
6 medium cloves garlic, sliced
4 cups chopped wild greens, such as young curly dock leaves
3 chicken or vegetable broth
salt and black pepper to taste

Bring water and vinegar to a fast simmer in a skillet large enough to fit eggs. Do Not add salt to simmering water. Make sure there is enough water to cover eggs.
While water is coming to a simmer, sauté sliced leeks in olive oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add garlic slices and continue to sauté stirring constantly for another minute.
Add curly dock leaves, broth, and simmer covered on medium low heat for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
When done season with salt and pepper.
Poach eggs until desired doneness. This will take about 5 minutes, or just until the white is set and the yolk has filmed over. Remove from vinegar water with a slotted spoon, and place on top of greens. You may want to lay the spoon with the egg on a towel briefly after removing egg from water. This allows the towel to absorb some of the poaching water, and it won’t dilute the flavor of your greens.
Serves 4


Nettles are best gathered before they flower and go to seed. If you clip the tops of the plant off at the center stem it will branch out with new growth and you can get more cuttings before flowering. You can harvest leaves all summer. Let it go to seed in late summer, early fall so it can complete it’s natural cycle.

Rubber gloves are an ideal way to handle nettle stems as you harvest. I cut the stem from the plant, hold it in one hand and clip the leaves over a colander with the other. Rinse leaves in the colander. You have removed most of the sting with this clipping as much of it is in the stems. However, once nettle leaves are crushed, dried or cooked all the sting is completely gone. Making nettle pesto is possible with raw leaves because chopping them in the food processor accomplishes this. So you get the nutrients of the raw leaves, which are substantial.

Nettle Pesto

1 cup raw almonds
1 (15- to 17-inch-long) baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
10 cloves or 1 large head garlic
1 teaspoon mineral salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
4 cups spring nettles*
3 cups loosely packed arugula leaves
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
Dash of water to thin if necessary
*optional 3 cups finely grated parmesan cheese (I prefer omitting this and serving on top of goat cheese)
Adjust seasoning, oil, lemon, water to taste
* Use just the leaves of nettles. They lose their sting once chopped, dried, or cooked.

Preheat oven to 350°F. In shallow baking pan, toss together walnuts and pine nuts, then place in oven, stirring occasionally, and bake until golden, about 8 minutes. Cool completely.

Arrange baguette slices on large baking sheet and bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

With food processor running, drop in whole garlic cloves. Process until finely chopped, then stop motor and add cooled nuts, nettles, arugula, lemon juice. Process until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil and process until incorporated. Add a little water if needed, or more oil. Fold in grated cheese. Makes 3 1/2 cups pesto (with leftovers). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Nettle, Sweet Potato Soup

Prep and cooking time: 30 minutes
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 inch fresh ginger, chopped
4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, diced in ½ inch cubes
3 cups fresh chopped nettle leaves, rinsed,
salt and white pepper to taste

Sauté ginger and onion over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add garlic and continue to sauté for another minute. Add broth, and bring to a boil on high heat.
Once it comes to a boil reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered for another 5 minutes. Add potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 more minutes.
Add rest of ingredients and cook another 5 minutes. If you simmer for a longer time for extra flavor and richness, add a little more broth.
Serves 4

Cooking Tips: This soup can be made with other wild spring greens as well, such as dandelion, lamb’s quarters in late spring, yellow dock, chicory, etc. You can also add ramps, wild garlic for extra flavor. Play with this recipe, it is flexible and a great early spring cleansing soup. Also, this soup is better after it has had a chance to sit for awhile.

Violet Leaves

Violets have exceptionally delicious leaves and flowers. They are abundant early to late spring. The flowers have a mild flavor and add beautiful color to salads. The leaves are mild tasting at first and end with a little peppery taste. They are fantastic eaten raw in salads. I have not found a more suitable way to enjoy these young tender leaves and flowers.

Wild Mustard Leaves

Spring Greens and Lima Bean Soup

yield: Makes 8 servings
This light and satisfying soup highlights the earthy flavor of the greens.
1 cup dried large lima beans
2 bunches mustard greens (1 1/2 pounds total), tough bottom stems removed, leaves cut into 2-inch pieces
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
8 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, drained
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Place beans in large bowl. Pour enough cold water over to cover; let soak overnight.
Drain beans; place in heavy large pot and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until beans are just tender, about 45 minutes. Add greens to pot; cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain; set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in same pot over medium heat. Add celery, carrots, and onion. Sauté until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, and bean mixture. Reduce heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Cover and let soup rest 15 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil.

Wild Ginger

Spring Cleaning Tonic

This is a good tonic that you can drink all through spring. Go out in nature and gather as much of the greens as possible. Not only is this a good liver tonic, but gathering wild greens out in nature gets you in touch with nature’s reflection of spring energy.

2-3 handfuls mixed herbs: stinging nettle leaves, parsley, dandelion leaves, mint, chickweed, miner’s lettuce, plantain, violet leaves
1 TBS chopped fresh wild ginger root
2 cups freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.
2 TBS fresh lemon juice.
1-2 TBS honey
2 cups water

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until leaves are liquefied. Allow to stand for an hour or more and strain. Discard the solids and drink the refreshing liquid.

Sweet Cicely/Anise Root

Sweet Cicely is excellent added to fresh green salads. I prefer using the flavorful green leaves of the plant in the spring. The bulb can also be incorporated into dishes, but better used later in the season as the energy of the plant moves downward. The leaves have a delicate flavor so make sure other ingredients don’t overpower it.

Berries Infused with Sweet Cicely

Pick wild berries, or get them from your local farmer’s market. Spring is a good time to harvest fresh strawberries. Make an infusion with the leaves of sweet cicely by removing just the leaves from the plant, rinse thoroughly and add to water. The amount depends on the amount of berries you have picked, approximately 1/4 cup liquid to 1 1/2 cups berries.

Use plenty of leaves for flavoring. Add raw sugar, honey, or agave according to how sweet you like things, and simmer these leaves in the sweetened water for about 20 minutes.

Strain out leaves and continue to simmer until liquid has slightly thickened. Let cool to warm temperature and pour over bowl of berries and let cool.


Both the bulb and green leaves are delicious and can be used in dishes. There is a short season in early spring before the trees leaf out. So it is good to cook with them as often as possible in place of scallions, leeks, spring onions, even garlic. Use them abundantly while they last. They are so loved that gourmet stores are carrying them now while in season.

Wild Ramp Goat Cheese Sauce

Prep and cooking time: 20 minutes

1 cup chopped ramps, (white and green parts)
4 oz Chevre goat cheese
1 cup vegetable stock
salt and white pepper to taste

Sauté ramps in olive oil medium sauté pan for 5 minutes stirring frequently.
Add stock and cheese and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Blend in blender and season with salt and pepper. Make sure you don’t fill blender more than half full. Start on low speed so sauce doesn’t erupt and burn you.

Wild Ramp Tart Over Bed of Wild Spring Salad Greens

¾ cup walnuts
¾ cup sunflower seeds
2 TBS sesame seeds
2 TBS flax seeds soaked with ¼ cup water
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Tart Filling
2 cups thinly chopped ramps, (use both green tops & bulbs) for a milder taste use more tops or mix with domestic leeks
½ TBS dried thyme
4-5 eggs
¼ cup soft mild goat cheese
pinch of salt and white pepper

Wild Salad Greens

Gather wild greens such as chickweed, lambs quarters, sweet cicily, violet leaves, field cress
Baby spinach
Fresh lemon juice & olive oil to taste
Salt & cracked black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Soak flax seeds in ¼ cup water while preparing rest of ingredients, about 10 minutes.
3. Grind rest of seeds and nuts in food processor until well ground. Add flax seeds with
water and continue to grind for another 30 seconds. Press evenly into a 9 inch tart pan
and bake 15 minutes.
5. While tart shell is baking wash and chop ramps.
6, Saute’ ramps in a small amount of olive oil for about 5 minutes.
7. Remove tart shell from oven and spread cooked ramps evenly over bottom of shell.
Whisk together eggs, and a little salt and pepper. Pour over ramps and top with goat
cheese evenly over entire tart. Returrn tart to oven. Bake for another 30 minutes.
Toss salad greens with a light coating of lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper.
Serve a wedge of tart on bed of salad greens.
Serves 4

Grilled Ramp Soup

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 quarts chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons olive oi
4 bunches fresh ramps, trimmed and large leaves removed
4 grilled ramps
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Crust bread
Combine the vegetable oil and the flour in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, to make a blond roux, 5 to 6 minutes. Whisk in the stock and the cream. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low.

Lightly grill 6 of the ramps. Cut the remaining ramps into 1-inch pieces. Add the chopped ramps to the soup, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for about 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree the soup until smooth.

Ladle the soup into shallow bowls, garnish with the grilled ramps and the parsley. Serve with crusty bread.

Makes 6 servings

Wild Mint

Wild mint plants always smell like mint and have square stems, so they are easy to identify. Use the leaves as you would with any mint. It is a good plant to dry as well for tea.

Minted Carrots with Pumpkin Seeds

Prep and cooking time: 15 minutes

6 medium sized carrots peeled and cut in ½ inch pieces
½ TBS fresh chopped parsley
1 TBS fresh chopped wild mint
1 TBS coarsely chopped pumpkin seeds
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
extra virgin olive oil to taste
salt and cracked black pepper to taste

1. Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a steamer with a tight fitting lid.
Steam carrots in basket until slightly crunchy inside, (el dente). Depending on thickness of
the carrot pieces this takes about 7-10 minutes.
3. Chop rest of ingredients and toss with carrots when done.
Serves 6

Cooking Tip: Make sure you remove carrots from the steamer while they are still bright in color and a little crisp inside for the best flavor.

Fiddlehead Fern

In selecting fiddleheads look for a tight coil and only an inch or two of stem beyond the coil. There is a brown papery chaff that surrounds the fiddlehead on the plant. The outside of the coil should have an intricate pattern of tiny leaves arranged along the sides of the spiral. Size of the coil should be 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. Larger size is acceptable as long as they are tightly coiled. Common bracken and other ferns also produce tightly coiled new growth in the Spring but none of these are suitable for eating.
If more than 2 inches of stem remains attached beyond the coiled part of the fiddlehead snap or cut it off. If any of the paper chaff remains on the fiddleheads you may rub it off by hand. Since the chaff is very light, you may want to clean off the chaff outdoors by fanning them or lightly shaking them in an open wire salad basket.
After the chaff is removed wash the fiddleheads in several changes of cold water to remove any dirt or grit. Drain the fiddleheads completely. Use them fresh, and soon after harvest.
If you must store fresh Fiddleheads keep well cooled (35 F) and tightly wrapped to prevent drying out. If you have stored them, you may wish to trim the stem again just before use since the cut end will darken in storage. They may be kept in refrigeration for about 10 days, although flavor will be best if used as soon as possible after harvest. Good fiddleheads should have a distinctly crisp texture, both raw and after brief cooking.

Marinated Fiddlehead Fern

1 lb fresh fiddleheads
1/4 lb fresh wild leeks, ramps or shallots
Dried red pepper flakes – hot or mild to taste
Fresh herbs (cut fine)- basil, tarragon, thyme, and chives.
1 cup apple cider or wine vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
dash raw sugar, or honey and salt to taste


Clean and rinse fiddleheads. Blanch fiddleheads in boiling salted water for 1 minute. Remove from heat, drain and rinse in cold water to cool them. Clean and cut up peppers, wild leeks and fresh herbs.
Pour vinegar over cooled fiddleheads in a non-reactive container. Add cut up peppers, wild leeks, herbs, sugar and salt. Stir to wet all ingredients. Add Olive Oil and stir again. Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving. Can be kept in refrigerator for awhile and will still remain crisp.

Sheep Sorrel

Sheep Sorrel Sauce

This is a quick and delicious sauce that can be put on many dishes for a zesty, herbal taste. The tangy flavor of sorrel makes this particularly versatile. Sheep Sorrel is available all year round in most areas. In the spring it is fabulous raw in salads. As it gets older throughout the year try cooking it, and adding it to cooked dishes. Try it on poached fish, steamed butternut squash, braised red cabbage, baked potato, or anything else that comes to your mind. The list is endless.

Prep time: 10 minutes
1 TBS lemon juice
1 clove pressed garlic
3-4 TBS chopped fresh sheep sorrel

1 TBS chopped fresh parsley
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 TBS olive oil
Mix together all ingredients, whisking in olive oil a little at a time at end.


You can saute’ them, bake them, or include them in stews, soups, casseroles, but they need to be cooked for at least 15 minutes. Morels, or any wild mushroom for that matter should never be eaten raw. When hunting morels make sure you have a positive ID. The cap, honeycombed is contiguous with the stalk, so if you cut one of these mushrooms in half lengthwise it will be hollow from cap to stem with no division between the cap and stem.

Lemony Wild Mushroom Risotto

2 2/3 cups boiling-hot water
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 lb wild morel mushrooms
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 TBS chopped garlic
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Arborio rice (8 oz)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Pour 2/3 cup hot water over porcini in a heatproof cup and let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Lift porcini out of water, squeezing excess liquid back into cup, and rinse well to remove any grit. Coarsely chop porcini. Pour soaking liquid through a paper-towel-lined sieve into a glass measure and reserve.
Meanwhile, bring broth and remaining 2 cups hot water to a simmer. Keep at a bare simmer, covered.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté onions, garlic and morels, stirring, until browned, about 7 minutes.
Add porcini and reserved soaking liquid to skillet and boil, stirring, 1 minute. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until absorbed.
Stir in 1/2 cup simmering broth mixture and cook at a strong simmer, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition become absorbed before adding the next, until rice is tender but still al dente and creamy (it should be the consistency of a thick soup), 18 minutes. (There will be leftover broth.)
Stir in zest, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, parmesan, parsley, and pepper to taste. (If necessary, thin risotto with some of remaining broth.) Serve immediately.

Serves 4 (main course) or 6 to 8 (side dish).

Wild Garlic

This is similar to field garlic, but the laves are flat instead of round. Both the leaves and bulb can be used. Peel the bulb of excess dirty skin before using.

Mountain Trout with Wild Garlic Pesto

2 mountain trout
2 oz butter, melted
salt, white pepper

1 tsp garam masala (cumin, clove, nutmeg, coriander)
3 cups chopped wild garlic
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
Dash of lime juice
Dash of water
Salt & white pepper to taste

1 cup dry white wine
2 shallots finely minced
½ tsp fresh lemon juice
12 oz lightly salted butter
Pinch of salt & white pepper

Debone trout, remove head, and cut in half lengthwise for two fillets.
Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt & white pepper.
Place on sheet pan skin side down, and set aside
Preheat oven to 350
Place pesto ingredients into food processor and pulse until pesto consistency. You may need to add a little extra lemon juice or water to taste. Set aside
While trout is baking sauté shallots in a little butter.
Add white wine and reduce to half.
Whisk in rest of butter, salt and white pepper
Place baked trout onto plate, surround with butter sauce and place a spoonful of pesto on top.
Serves 2

Wild Cress

Chilled Wild Cress Soup

3 cups (packed) cress, thick stems trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), sliced
6 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons minced fresh wild chives

Blanch watercress in pot of boiling salted water 30 seconds. Drain; set aside.
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes and leeks; sauté 4 minutes. Add 6 cups broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover partially and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add watercress; simmer uncovered 5 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Mix in cream. Season with salt and white pepper. Chill at least 4 hours and up to 1 day. Thin with more broth, if desired. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with wild chives.

Elder Flower

Sparkling Elderflower Wine

10 bunches elder flowers (an umbel is a flower cluster all starting from the same point, literally a little umbrella)
350 ml water
8 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons honey
1 lemon, juice of
Rinse the elderberry flowers- they must be just in bloom.
Cut the lemon into thin slices and mix with the flowers and the remaining ingredients in a reasonably large container.
Cover the container and leave in a warm place.
The juice can be drunk after 24 hours.
If necessary add lemon and honey to taste.
After 2-3 days the drink will begin to effervesce.
Then sieve, put into screwtop bottles and store in a dark room.
The juice will turn into sparkling wine in around 4 weeks.