Trauma with Lilac

Lilac is now blooming in all shades of violet, spreading its sweet narcotic aroma far away. It would be easy to say that I don’t like the scent or that I don’t like the lilac as such. But the whole truth comes from the past.

I grew up in a socialist country during the Cold War, being in many ways brainwashed toward to the “heroic Soviet Union” and against the “imperialist villains of the West”. The top season of the campaign was always concentrated to the beginning of May. On the May 1st you should expect a huge demonstration in honor of the Labor Day, participation was a duty with no excuse. A few days later a magnificent celebration of liberation by the Red Army took a place. My mind already rechecked the memory of the past by the eyes of an adult person, but there still remains a symbol of these days which is Lilac.

I remember a number of pictures from the last days of the World War II, where people welcomed the RA soldiers with lilac bouquets. As a child I was forced to draw either lilac or red flags, boys were allowed to draw also tanks for the celebration. We created many lilac flowers from the paper and then used them like windows decoration or a kind of flags during demonstration. All possible and impossible places were decorated by Lilac in the beginning of May because Lilac was the flower of victory of the Red Army, the victory of the Soviet bloc.

On some point I’m still a small girl who does not understand why people kill each other. I don’t like to split the world for white and black only. Looking at beautiful lilac blossoms I know that I’m not fair to them. But even today I feel metallic and oily taste in my mouth, as if every Lilac grew from a tank instead of a garden. And the sweet aroma keeps me alert so I don’t adopt too much outside influence even it would promise the sweet future.

And so it happened, that Lilac in my memories suffers from a bad ideology, and I am sometimes too careful in my life. I hope I can dissolve the rest of my trauma soon. That’s why I tried, for the first time in my life, draw a tank! It was a big challenge for my pacifistic mind, but I did it like a therapy, like an attempt to go along with Lilac.

Ivana

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Reading cards

I do tarot readings and I do it often, so I have a range of graphic versions of it. Some of them are more compatible with my intuition and some less. It might change with people and period of time, but it works pretty well. For more than 10 years, every Sunday I do a public reading card for the following week and I pick various pictures for the same card for better understanding.

However, it seems that thousands of existing versions are not enough for me. A few years ago I was tempted to draw my personal cards. I didn’t have the ambition to create a real tarot set with a fixed structure, I wanted to draw pictures according to my inner calling and watch what was going to happen.

And it happened. I was surprised how quickly I was sure what to draw. Although my pictures are naïve and people look strange, the biggest surprise was how well the cards work. The set is open, so I can add a card at any time, or even cancel the one that is not longer relevant.

In the beginning, I was ashamed and worked with them only when I was alone. Later I showed them to a few of my friends. And now I have decided to show samples to you! 😊

With love, Ivana

Is herbal soap without flavor acceptable?

I love to make soaps loaded by herbs. I love to experiment with various combinations, listening to my inner voice and remembering University knowledge. I’ve learned how to infuse herbal energy and active compounds into the soaps effectively and I am happy to apply them on my body. Each time in the shower my lovely soaps remind me the whole adventure from harvesting herbs to final bubbles.

I believe the desire to share passions with close people is natural. So I did and proudly offered my herbal soaps to friends. All of them did the same thing. They skipped a visual survey and immediately began to smell intensively. As if the smell could reveal everything about the quality. One by one they told me the same thing with the same disappointment: “It smells only like soap!”

Looking at my disappointment, they listened to my lecture on the effects of herbs and natural oils I had used, but it was obvious that there is nothing to compensate a lack of proper smell.

Next, I wanted to make the others happier, so I made a lot of various herbal soaps with various added flavors. I did my best and used essential oils labeled “natural”, considering it was a compromise. The others gave me compliments for innovation, but I felt somehow that I was moving away from myself.

Because I am not a big manufacturer, I only make a few soaps for a while, the whole process took a couple of years. I have to admit it now. I lied to myself in trying to be successful in the eyes of my friends. The truth is, that I need to have my soaps full of herbs but with no added flavors, doesn’t matter how much they are “natural”.

Today, I have a bunch of violets on the table ready to become a part of soap soon. They are so beautiful with hidden power for skin treatment and I finally know that I am not allowed to kill their uniqueness by added flavor. And just time will show if such decision is acceptable to more people than just for me.

What do you think?

With love, Ivana

Spring flowers syrup

Most of spring flowers are naturally juicy similar to the soil after snow melting. There was almost no snow in my area this year and now the soil is very dry even in the beginning of April. I was foraging violets and they had for my surprise really unpleasant taste. Later I realized it was due to lack of irrigation.

However, I wanted to prepare tasty syrup from spring flowers. After disaster with violets I foraged some young flowers (buds) of Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) even they were also rare because of drought. In my language, the name of Butterbur sounds like “9 powers” and this is something that can be useful. I have already mentioned its quality here Power of Butterbur, so we are kind of fellows some time.

But for the first time I decided to make syrup. Butterbur has very specific taste and you need to get used to it. I am happy with the result, the consistency is similar to honey and the final taste is emphasized with a little lemon. Now I have my 9 sweet powers for morning porridge 😊

My one small jar success made me hungry for another one. Yesterday I foraged Lungwort and I was lucky to find some really sweet violets. Feeling like an experienced master, I put them into the procedure. Everything looked good, but also according to the proverb “pride precedes a fall”.

When I poured the hot syrup into a jar, it broke and most of the hot and sweet liquid flooded the kitchen counter. I was lucky that only a few drops hit my hand, which I then treated with cold water and the oil from St.John’s wort. The great success of this attempt is: I have no blisters! 😋

Waiting for another experiment, Ivana

Happy birthday, Hanka!

The post and the picture are dedicated to my friend Hanka, who celebrated her birthday by successful participation in the Prague Half Marathon few days ago. I have a strong respect for endurance and vitality, which she runs in her running and living as well.

Hanka, I wish you all the best for your birthday! You are entering the year 7 in your life path, so you can expect an important crossroad ahead. You will probably meet a number of opportunities for change, but it’s up to you to decide and accept. I feel a great challenge on the field of work, where change could bring a significant growth.

Seven is also the number of truth. Unfortunately, the truth is often revealed by breaking of myths under which it was long time hidden. It can hurt, but for a healthy future, the truth is a more stable base than a beautiful myth. I believe, you know the core of that truth. After you discover the whole story, you will move forward. And moving forward is another key feature of the seven.

Seven is touching our heart and soul. If it’s done with honesty and open mind, the Universe offers all we need for success and happiness. The seven wants us to stop sticking to old patterns and prejudices, and start opening to the offered gifts. And there are plenty of them!

With love, Ivana