Tarot BlogHop: Tarot and a Seven Course Brunch

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food-and-tarot

I’m thrilled to be participating in the “Foodies Guide to the Tarot” BlogHop hosted by our co-wranglers Jay Cassels and Arwen Lynch Poe. The topic was left wide open for us bloggers to go in any direction of our pleasure, as long as it had to do with tarot and it had to do with food. I’m thinking I’ve done just that.

The Major Arcana of the tarot deck can be subdivided into Three Septenaries. The First Septenary of the Major Arcana is about the primal dramas of the ego, expressed by the first seven Keys of the Majors: Keys I through VII. You can read more about the Three Septenaries here.

Menu Planning with Tarot?
Menu Planning with Tarot?

Inspired by the First Septenary, I will be preparing a seven course brunch for Hubby and me. (Jay and Arwen: the hubby thanks you for your BlogHop topic idea). Here we go.

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Review of Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford

Healing_with_Whole_Foods_by_Paul_Pitchford

Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul Pitchford (North Atlantic Books) is one of those reference tomes every holistic healing practitioner will want to have in the personal library. I’ll be reviewing the Third Edition published in 2002. It was first released in 1993 and since then, over 500,000 copies have been sold and no wonder.

Click image to enlarge.
Click image to enlarge.

Healing is well-organized, which is a prerequisite for any reference book. He begins where every holistic healer using traditional Chinese medicine would begin: covering Qi vitality and the binary of yin and yang, which he then expands on to cover hot/cold temperaments; interior/exterior physical conditions; and diagnosing for excess versus deficiency.

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Edible Rune Divination: Black Sesame Shortbread Rune Cookies

Rune Cookies 01

These black sesame shortbread rune cookies look like beautiful stone runes but are also absolutely delicious to eat. I am so excited to be sharing this recipe, which comes from a book I’ve been loving, Kyotofu: Uniquely Delicious Japanese Desserts by Nicole Bermensolo and Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn. It’s published by Running Press.

The recipe in Kyotofu is just for straightforward black sesame shortbread cookies, a fantastic recipe, and then I took it a step further and turned these cookies into runes. Now, I don’t know much about runes or rune divination, so bear with me here and I welcome any corrections in the comments section.

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Jujubes: Traditional Chinese Medicine That Tastes Good

Jujubes 5

I’ve been told that jujubes have been used as part of traditional Chinese medicine for at least 2,500 years, and that they’re great for those with weaker constitutions or frailer health. Drinking jujube tea regularly is supposed to be a great health tonic, and can improve your blood circulation and immune system. Even jujube pits are made into a medicine to heal wounds and treat abdominal pain; the leaves are supposed to help with fevers; and the fruit great for overall physical well-being. Jujube wood is also made into mala prayer beads for meditation, and the metaphysical properties for jujube wood is believed to facilitate spiritual healing.

For women who care about beauty, jujube juice helps improve skintone and complexion, and is supposed to help with beauty. Hey. I’m sold. Pour me some of that jujube juice! It’s also my understanding that they’re “warm,” and so great for those with “cooler” constitutions, like me. So I’ve been trying to improve my health (and hey, I’ll admit it, beauty) with regular dosages of jujube tea. Fortunately, we have a jujube tree in our front yard.

Our jujube tree in the spring.
Our jujube tree in the spring.

In the spring and early summer, the jujube tree blooms these delicate white and fragrant blossoms. In the above photo, they haven’t reached their full whiteness yet. I took this pic last spring. Jujube blossoms symbolize love and romance in Eastern cultures, an association likely to have come from the fragrant scent of these flowers.

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Bones For Your Health: Metaphysical Energy Work with Bone

Shank Bone 1

I love bone soup. Beef shank (that is mostly bone), a lineup of dried Chinese medicinal herbs, shallots, and carrots go into a big pot with water and is simmered for a whole weekend. The broth that results is magical. Serious! With the end result, we used everything but the bone. The fat skimmed off would be saved in the fridge and over the course of the week, used for stir-frying vegetable dishes. All the goopy herby junk would go to compost. And, well of course, the broth would be used for the most amazing soups and noodle soups you’ve ever had.

But those bones. What to do with the bones? Finally found a use.

In the past month, I opted to time my broth making to the lunar phases, once over the first quarter, a waxing moon, again through the full moon, and a final time through the waning moon, for a total of three cleaned shank bones. I noted how after the long, arduous cooking time for the broth, the shank bones pretty much could be pulled out of the pot clean, just as you see it above. I then rinsed them in rain water (the rainfall being perfectly timed where I live, if I might add, so that I could do that) and then buried the bones in sandalwood and sage ash, which I’ve collected over who knows how many times of burning sandalwood or sage here around the house, plus a quartz crystal for good amplifying measure.

The bones will then go through a few more processes this Friday through the new moon, which coincides with the first day of spring. So not only is the bone broth that I’ve made good for my health, but I’ll be able to put these bones to use, too.

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Candied Kumquats for Soothing Sore Throats and Coughs

CandiedKumquats_10

Kumquat tea is the best for sore throats and coughs. You make that by first drying out fresh kumquats in the sun for a few days, then storing in an air-tight glass jar filled with sea salt. Let that sit in your basement for at least a month. When you want to make the tea, you remove a couple of the dried, preserved kumquats from the jar (that has been sitting in your basement for a month), steep it with boiling water, and add a few spoonfuls of honey for a great home remedy to cure sore throats and coughs. I’m not a big fan of kumquat tea or jars of salted fruit that’s been sitting in my basement. So I present to you candied kumquats, a great alternative. It still works and in fact helped soothe my sore throat and dry cough that I came down with over the weekend.

CandiedKumquats_1 Peeled and Chopped

The fruits from our kumquat tree are pretty small, so I halved them only. If your kumquats are larger or like the store-bought ones, then you may want to quarter them. I pulled out all of the interior, which can be reserved for making tea or tossing with dark green leafy salads (either kale or baby spinach salads).  The skin is the sweetest part, so I only make this candy with the skins. Continue reading “Candied Kumquats for Soothing Sore Throats and Coughs”

Pomegranate Meditation (and Tea!)

pomegranates on the tree 2

Hubby and I have a pomegranate tree in our front yard, and it’s pomegranate season. We’ve got pomegranates filled with juicy, blood-red seeds, tangy but still with a touch of sweetness. I’ve been making iced tea/juice with the pomegranates (I’m not sure whether to call this a tea or juice. I’m leaning toward tea, but I don’t brew it with any tea leaves. It’s just pomegranate.) And I’m posting this because pomegranates sort of relate to tarot.

pomegranates_in_tarot

Across many cultures, East through West, pomegranates symbolize fertility and abundance, and the importance of the pomegranate is expressed in the tarot. You have the pomegranate motif in Key III: The Empress in the Rider Waite tarot, symbolizing fertility, fruition, and abundance, and also righteousness, themes also taken from Judeo-Christian mythos. The Chinese also believe that pomegranates symbolize fertility.

In Key II: The High Priestess, the pomegranates represent knowledge, learning, and wisdom. The imagery in that card also calls to mind 1 Kings 7:13-22 in the Holy Bible, describing the twin pillars in front of King Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem as being adorned with pomegranates. Some Biblical scholars speculate that the forbidden fruit was in fact the pomegranate. The manifestation of the pomegranate symbolism progresses from Key II to Key III: knowledge, learning, and wisdom begets fruition and natural abundance.

de-seeding pomegranates 2

Today, folks are into pomegranates because they’re rich in vitamins and antioxidants. They can help increase blood flow to the heart (in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, pomegranate seeds and juice are used as a healing, medicinal tonic for treating the heart and also strengthens blood flow; it’s very pitta, for fire energy) , decrease the levels of bad cholesterol, prevent and repair DNA damage, reduce the risk of prostate cancer, and, interestingly enough (since metaphysically it symbolizes fertility), great for those who are pregnant (the juice, that is). The juice in the pomegranate seeds contain many of the nutrients women need to maintain health and wellness through their pregnancy. Recent studies show that pomegranate juice can help reduce the risk of damage to the placenta.

I’ve been making pomegranate juice (but based on methodology, is probably more of a tea) with our home-grown pomegranates and turning the process into a form of meditation. It’s meditation with instant results… sweet, delicious, fabulous pomegranate juice!

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