The Clarifying Beat: Eucalyptus

from botanical.com

The dancing trees of the Eucalyptus are unmistakeable in their form and scent.  As medicine the Eucalpytus tree, specifically its essential oils and leaves, has been used as a plant of healing and purification for a very significant part of our humyn history.  The tree is said to guard against all forms of illness and the leaves are useful when placed in the body of a healing poppet.  Hand a branch of Eucalyptus above one who is afflicted with illness to bring about a speedy recovery.  Wear the pods of the Eucalyptus as charms of protection.

Whenever I think of Eucalyptus I think of koala bears (more on that later), but more importantly, dancing.  The grace of a windswept dancer curling their toes against dust of earth and stars.  Extending their breath along the lines of their arms, the straightness of their spine, the sturdiness of their thighs.  Much of Eucalyptus’ powers lie in its ability to center and call us back to our inner beating rhythm.  As a remedy, Eucalyptus is useful for those of us who are seeking our true rhythm beyond the drudgery of schedules that keep us distracted from our passions, our desires, and our calling(s) in life.  So many folks are seeking “the best new thing” whether it be the newest diet, a popular exercise regime, the latest spiritual practice, and with so much noise the resounding beat of our own healer remains unnoticed and, at worst, ignored.  Along comes the dancing trees of the Eucalyptus, who clears our visions, strengthens our breath, and with its fragrant sharpness helps set us on a path of authentic renewal and adventure.
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It’s Always Tea Time Somewhere!: May Day Tea Time

We’ve started a new project at the Apothecary based on our firm belief that It’s Always Tea Time Somewhere!  We’ll be featuring monthly posts on tea time recipes as well as stories for discussion to feed the mind and soul as well as the belly.  Our first guest post is by K. Heron of Bloody Show who writes about her first experiences of activism by marching through the streets of Olympia, WA.  Her Gluten-free Vegan Blueberry Corn Muffin Recipe is a great one to have when planning a protest, a picnic, or a lazy springtime tea time.  

You, too, can join in on the It’s Always Tea Time Somewhere! movement.  Write up your own tea time musings and recipes and let us know about them via Twitter (#It’sAlwaysTeaTimeSomewhere! or #IATTS!), on Facebook, and below in the comments.  We would love to start a collection of tea-timer photos on Pinterest, too, so take photos of your tea time lovelies if you so desire! 

Enjoy!

☆ It’s Always Tea Time Somewhere: May Day Tea Time ☆
by: K. Heron of Bloody Show

Blessed Beltaine and Happy May Day to all! On May 1, we celebrated the ancient fire holiday of Beltaine. We had a very lovely and sweet time around the fire on the actual day of Beltaine and enjoyed the Supermoon on May 5, which also happens to be Lunar Beltaine. It is hands down one of my most favorite times of the year.

from Shelton Blog: Mason County Washington’s Progressive Voices

On May 1, we also remember the Haymarket Riots here in the U.S. In high school, I had an incredible social studies teacher who gave you credit for things like standing on a street corner in my small one-horse town, holding signs and advocating for the candidate of your choice. So it was a snap to get credit to skip school for a day and head to my very first protest ever, May Day. We (the marchers and critical mass bikers) met at Rainy Day Records, the coolest music store on the west side of Olympia. We gathered and marched, shutting down the streets and wending our way all over town. We handed out leaflets, danced, and had a great time.

source unknown – please let us know if this is your artwork!

It was exhilarating. It was also scary. It was just a few months after the WTO protest in Seattle and cops showed up in full riot gear. Doggedly, we boogied on down the street. At our final destination we shut down the busiest intersection in Olympia, barring hundreds of people from easy access to the freeway. Our goal? Take back the streets. Remind other people and ourselves that people are meant to come and gather, create community, and not just ride in cars as we drive to shop at big box stores that don’t care about the environment and treat their workers terribly. (Yes, I realize this is a gross oversimplification of the reality of things. But I was also 16 and idealistic and in my head at the time it really was that easy.) Basically, we had a big party. We planted a community garden in an abandoned lot (it got bulldozed later that week by the owners of the lot who just let it sit vacant and empty for another several years). We had music and dancing. There was naked mud wrestling(!) and stilt walkers and face painting. I stayed for hours and hours and still carry that celebratory spirit within me when I think about creating positive social change.

In honor of that, I bring you a recipe for Vegan Blueberry Corn Muffins! They are completely delicious warm, great with a little bit of vegan butter (or non-vegan butter if you please), and they freeze well for a brilliant on-the-go snack (great for protests and marches!).

☆ Gluten-free Vegan Blueberry Corn Muffins ☆
(Adapted from the Blueberry Corn Muffin recipe from the brilliant Gluten-Free Goddess herself)

Preheat yer oven. 350 degrees will do ya just fine. Either line a muffin tin or grease it with a bit of oil.

You will need the following:

Dry ingredients:
¾ cup cornmeal (I like to use polenta for grainier muffins, but feel free to use any kind you want)
¼ cup buckwheat flour
¾ cup brown rice flour
½ cup potato starch
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp xanthan gum
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Wet ingredient:
¼ oil (canola, melted coconut oil, etc. I tend to avoid extra virgin olive oil in baking for its
distinct flavor)
1 Tb honey
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tb Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with ¼ cup warm water until foamy
¾ cup warm water

And finally, 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Here’s how you make these tasty gems:

Mix or whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of your batter and add the wet to that well. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until well-combined and sticky. Fold in the blueberries. Spoon batter into your muffin tins, pop them in the oven for 20 minutes or so. As with most gluten-free baked goods, allowing them to cool
for 5 minutes or so will help them keep their integrity. Eat them hot or let them rest on a wire rack until room temperature. Grab your sweetie (or mom or best friend or favorite puppy dog companion) and enjoy your tea time!