Seasonal clock

Even if the life seems to be ruined into pieces and difficult to fix, there are rules we can rely on. The all known universe works on the principle of regular repeating events. If you like to profit from it, observe. Be aware of what surrounds you.

Soon you find that everything has a rhythm. And depends on your inner tuning, through which rhythm you see the world. My tuning works with four beats, but there are systems built on three or five beats as well. All of them have a logic and even tradition, so follow your self.

My “seasonal clock” could represent anything what is repeated regularly and makes a cycle. It could be a year, a day, a month, a life, etc. For the picture above I have chosen the year, divided to zodiac signs in the inner circuit and illustrated by typical nature/people event on the outer circuit.

I have applied the 4 beats rhythm, so the circle is divided into 4 main parts (elements) – fire (red), air (yellow and green), water (blue) and earth (brown). Most people would probably orientate the picture upside down, because it is more common to see the fire and air above the water and earth. Both are OK.

Relating seasons with elements was quite easy. The hot summer belongs to the fire, while the cold and wet winter is represented by water. Autumn is the harvest time, so it fits to the earth, while the major sign of the spring is a fast move and change, so it fits to the air. Then the vertical line indicates solstice and the horizontal line indicates the equinox.

We can do the same with the lunar cycle and you see it on the picture too. The full moon is the place on the circle, where is the most light, so it corresponds to the summer solstice of the solar cycle. The new moon is the place full of darkness, so you find it on the same place as the winter solstice, while the quarters are placed like equinoxes. Do you see the trick?

If we talk about the day, so morning is spring, noon is summer solstice, afternoon is summer, evening is autumn, midnight is winter solstice and the night is winter. The same could be applied to the life: spring is childhood, summer is youth, autumn is maturity and winter is old age and also prenatal age (spent in water).

Once you comprehend the rhythm of the life and typical characteristics of each phase, you will be more stabilized, better choose the right timing and succeed more easily.

I have even started to read my body through the same clock. Still in a process, but there are some results! Hopefully I will share them soon.

With love, Ivana

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Cooling herbs

Why to mention cooling herbs in the winter season, when is quite cold outdoors anyway and the holidays call much more for warming spices? Well, you can need some of cooling functions even now!

First, we can easily get cold or flu which means we need to increase the immunity level and support the fight with viral disease and often always with a fever. First aid could be provided by herbal tea from the Rose hip, Echinacea and Elderflower. This combination is cooling, soothing and a bit diuretic, so it forces you to drink a lot of your medicine. Fluid exchange quickly reduces fever, antiviral components fight against viral origin, while the antioxidants prevent to spread of infection into the healthy cells. Additionally, there are anticarrhal and expectorant features that handle work with increased mucus secretion typical for this type of diseases.

But there are other kinds of inflammation you can meet and need to cool, for example various types of skin inflammations. In this case we look for different herbs and usually external application. For me, number one is always yarrow, especially the fresh one which is easily applicable directly to afflicted area. Yarrow quickly closes the wound, cleanses and protects against infection, and heals the skin surface. I like to use yarrow also in ointment.

Speaking of cooling, it means to speak about mental soothing as well. When we are exposed to massive amount of stress, then we may look for herbal ally. St.John’s wort is a good choice, especially using like infused oil for body massage. Then you will really feel total release of accumulated tension because the influence of the massage will be enhanced by healing effects of the St.John’s wort.

The range of mental soothing also includes help with poor sleep. For me, number one is hops. It will send you to the realm of sleep with rocket speed. The most effective applications are either tincture (ok, beer could be enough) or direct consumption of a dried herb, for example in capsules.

The last type of cooling or soothing for today is the release of spasm. If you have more frequent muscle spasm, you should definitely look at the magnesium consumption in your diet. In the case of internal spasm I would recommend Silverweed (Potentilla anserine) which effectively releases smooth muscle tissue and so can handle painful spasm of the organs we cannot control. Silverweed is best to use in the tea form, either solo or in blends.

There are plenty of cooling herbs for every season and my present selection was an instant idea and a small rebellion against the holiday tradition. I hope you will enjoy it anyway.

With love, Ivana

Socks knitting addiction

As many of you have predicted, I am starting to suffer from a slight addiction of knitting socks. I watch myself robbing time from other activities (including writing and reading here) just to save it for knitting. Please tell me that the craziness will end as suddenly as it started!

The problem is that I am still discovering what to improve, so I have to knit more and more socks to apply it. And I like my knitting developments.

At the moment I am working on the first pair of socks for somebody else, so I put extra attention on it. Naturally, I wish to succeed but on the other hand I do not wish to create a geometric range of new socks requirements and support my knitting addiction.

I hope to keep my balance and cool head!
Ivana

Herbal magic for healthy hair

There are many useful herbs to improve quality of your hair. I took an example of my local herbs, divided in groups according to the type of hair. I’ve been testing them by myself and few of my friends.

Blond and/or thin

The key herb of the group is definitely Chamomile (Matricaria Chamomilla) from the family Asteraceae. Trying to sense the energy, it makes clear that Chamomile brings a floral softness and asterisk lightness into the hair. Don’t expect hair thickening from it! Chamomile is proud of its gentle quality and ready to share.

Other herbs could make a good company to Chamomile. Usually I choose a birch leaf or linden blossom. Both of them are a good companion for another group of hair too.

Red and/or middle

The leading herb of this group is hops, either alone or processed in beer. At least in Europe, using beer for strong and shiny hair has a long tradition. Try to imagine growing hops (Humulus lupulus) and you will see long lianas, richly covered by leaves and small green cones called strobili. They are highly aromatic, full of useful components for your hair and skin. No wonder, hops belongs to the family Cannabaceae and is completely legal worldwide.

Longterm use of hops makes your hair thicker (like lianas) and your scalp healthier. But it doesn’t make sense to use it for really thin hair. It seems to me that the strong aroma of hops and fullness of the compounds are too hard (aggressive) for thin hair.

Birch could be a reasonable support for thin hair thickening and is a good companion for hops too. If you imagine birch tree (Betula spp) you will see long but light branches with small, heart shaped leaves. The birch has a beautiful and lifted hairstyle and you can achieve that for thin and middle hair.

Rich look of your hairstyle could be also supported by linden blossoms (valid for thin and thin/middle hair). If you imagine a flowering linden tree (Tilia spp), it will be clear to you. At the time of flowering the linden tree increases its volume and beauty. Blossoms shine with color and scent, attracting attention of bees and humans. It can work for you in the same way – except of insects 😃

Dark and/or thick

This is the group of hair with a good quality, sometimes too strong or thick to style them. Could you imagine a plant with a similar energy other than nettle? The nettle has tiny stingy hairs in huge amount and is ready to share the same quality with you.

Nettle (Urtica dioica) is the leader of the group and it is probably the most famous herb for a hair promotion. But as I have mentioned several times, for some hair (or hair skin) types, the nettle is too rough. For example, my scalp every time turns red after using nettles and it doesn’t matter whether it was in a decoction or processed in soap. The stinging power of nettle is simply too strong for me.

In case your hair isn’t extremely thick or you have a problem with nettle, a suitable alternative for you could be the wild thyme. The purple color of its flowers is a good guide where to use this herb. Disinfecting aroma helps to remove toxins from hair and scalp, and sometimes also from the mind beneath. I like adding the wild thyme for the red hair blends in the winter when they need more protection.

Method

You can easily prepare decoction (like more concentrated tea) and rinse your hair after washing. Or you can even wash your hair with a special soap that contains a suitable blend of herbs. And because it is much more comfortable, I prepare such soaps at home from the herbs I personally gather. Then it is a great pleasure to wash my hair.

I must say that it might be tricky to choose the right combination for chemically colored hair. They usually don’t cooperate well with herbal soaps, decoctions could be fine.

My originally red hairs (treated with henna) are more than happy with the herbal soap (hops, birch, linden blossoms) for more than two years. Even my hairdresser confirmed improvement of their quality.

I’m curious about your experience if you like to share it.

With love, Ivana

Before getting power

Almost everyone knows the story about Phoenix, who has risen from his own ashes. There are many images of this fascinating creature, always full of gold and fire. I have always admired the power and courage hidden in them as I have always doubted that I would be able to do such a thing.

Trying to do so, I was brought to the thoughts of what was happening just before the Phoenix burnt and was born again. How much he was afraid when the hot Inferno flames flashed around him?

And the wisdom, born from my picture, is quite similar to the many that we know from movies and books. Being afraid is not a reason for shame. Being afraid doesn’t mean you cannot achieve a big goal. You may be afraid but you have to go on to finish what has been started either by you or by the universe.

Hopefully my picture helps me to take the fear into my hand and enter the rebirth flames together. And maybe it also helps some of you 😃

With love, Ivana

Happy birthday!

In these days, a lot of my friends celebrate their birthday and unlike previous years, I will not have the opportunity to celebrate with them. Life is a continuous evolution, and there is nothing more to do than to accept it. So, even at a distance, happy birthday to all of you!

I was born in the Scorpio sign as well, and my birthday is coming next Saturday. As always, around my birthday, I feel some change of energy flow in my life. It is an undefined tension, like when you have a tremor before the show. I have already learned to accept it as a fact and not to worry about it.

But still I am the person of many questions and I like to discover at least the clue to a hidden mystery. Due to a regularity of the energy flow changes around my birthday I have been looking for answers or explanations. The pattern of numbers and tarot cards gives me a kind of understanding what is hidden beneath.

Now, I am going to enter the energy of the Hanged man in the big cycle of Lovers. Briefly it means the energy of dead ends in the area of relationships. Yes, it helps me to accept zero celebrations with my friends this year. And I have felt the necessity to change my friends’ portfolio for some time, but I am a conservative person who doesn’t like to lose what cares about. But again, life is an evolution and we cannot keep everything to block the stream.

The Hanged man card contains a message. You see the world upside down and you have to change your angle of view radically to heal yourself. It is useless to continue on the same path because it doesn’t lead to anywhere. That would be head against the wall.

And this is something difficult to accept, even though I am well aware that the Hanged man card is the shadow that precedes release and abundance. There must to be a sacrifice to bring the result. This is a historical formula that can be applied up today. But still it hurts.

And that’s why my mood is not cheerful and my post lacks a joke. I hope it will improve soon!

But still with love,

Ivana

When the winter asks…

I believe that in many countries, at least in the areas where the climate brings a big difference between winter and summer, exists similar proverb. When the winter asks what did you do in the summer? And now there is the time which is going to test the summer activities.

During windy weather last week I caught a small cold, so it was the first opportunity to check my tincture made in summer. It is a highly aromatic blend of herbs in strong alcohol, balanced to touch typical winter disorders. This one is better to use against bacteria based infections, but is usable against flu as well. Most herbs act antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, helping to cleanse the body and increase its own immunity.

I have used following herbs:

Oak bark: Oak is a symbol of strength and its bark is an effective shield against lot of enemies for our health. It protects against a wide range of viruses and bacteria, and if some attack the body, it can squeeze them out. Oak bark is ready to absorb redundant moisture and so relieve most of “wet” diseases. Additionally, it stimulates the energy circulation in the body and so accelerates whole process of healing.

Sage: Sage is a sign of wisdom and cleansing, often used in magical rituals too. It means there must be a power inside! I respect all the abilities of sage, but somehow I perceive sage as a provocateur, who only cares where that person is unable to do it. In other cases sage forces a person to act in order to protect himself. So, sage is a big help in various situations, but it is primarily a great teacher, who keeps us in bed if necessary.

Plantain: Unlike the previous herbs, Plantain is here to care directly for throat and lungs. It works like a good uncle who treats injured places and exchanges wet tiles for them.

Wild thyme: Thyme is known especially for its use in the kitchen, but it has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects too. It is a good supporter for lung and breathing.

Goldenrod: Goldenrod has yellow-gold brushes that sweep many afflictions out and increase immunity so they cannot easily return. If necessary, goldenrod has a strong vulnerary effect.

Lavender: Lavender is another sign of cleansing or better to say “cleansing with calm head”. One of big lavender’s hobby is to disinfect and bring its own energy instead. Lavender soothes and lets us for a moment forget that we are sick.

Clove: Clove is an active part among the herbs, even in small quantity. It is another from stimulants, ready to fight with microbial enemies. Clove works through the whole body, but oral cavity is a home base for it. And to be honest, mouth is often very touched by winter disorders.

I made a range of tinctures in summer, but I successfully used this one for the small cold of the last week.

With love for herbs and people,

Ivana