Grandmother’s Healing Winter Soup

This month seems to be pretty weather-ful, even in Southern California! So I thought I would share my healing winter soup recipe. Now, some of you probably have similar, fantastic recipes from your grandmothers. This post is not for you. You grandmother’s soup probably works best with your DNA. This post if for people who didn’t have kitchen witch / Jewish / Italian / Southern grandmothers. Also, this is not for vegetarians. I have no idea what to tell you if you’re vegetarian; maybe suck on an elderberry lozenge or something.

One whole chicken (check to see if there is a bag of gizzards in the chest cavity, and remove it if there is)

One large head (not clove, the whole thing) of garlic

A piece of garlic root about the size/mass of two of your fingers

Fresh basil, if you can get it

Fresh mint, if you can get it

Two juicy limes

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

If you tolerate spicy, some small red peppers

Carrots

Celery

A large yellow onion

A handful of yellow, red, or purple potatoes, depending on availability and preference

A turnip, or whatever other root vegetables seem to be available

Some fresh beets, preferably with the stalks still attached

Half a head of white/green cabbage

Fresh miso paste (I’d go with yellow, but you do you, Boo)

Take anything that’s not the chicken (string, etc) off the chicken, and put it in a large stock pot. DO NOT USE YOUR INSTAPOT. The slow cooking method, complete with paying attention, it vital to this recipe.

If your chicken came with its gizzards, congratulations, you have a good grocery store! Taken them out of the bag and toss them in the stockpot as well. Yes, even the neck. If you had chicken feet, I would tell you to throw them in too, but if you had chicken feet, you wouldn’t need this post.

Break apart your head of garlic, roll each clove between your palms to remove the skin, and toss them in the pot.

Peel your onion and cut it into chunks, and add that to the pot.

Chop your carrots and celery and toss them in.

Cut your potatoes and turnip (or whatever) into chunks and toss those in. If you can leave the skins on the potatoes, it’s better.

Slice the ginger, fairly thick, and toss that in.

Cut the tops off the beets and put the tops in the pot. Set aside the rest of the beet.

Toss about 1/3 of your herbs in

If you opted for spicy, slice your peppers, remove the seeds unless you’re one of those crazy people who REALLY like spicy, and toss about 1/2 of them in the pot.

Add water to cover.

Bring to a boil, stir, reduce the heat somewhat, so it’s just simmering, and let it cook for about 45-90 minutes, or until the chicken comes easily off the bone. Yes, you’ll have to fidget with your soup.

Witch tip: whenever stirring a healing soup, try your best to stir clockwise.

Strain the liquid, keep both.

Go through the parts and get the bones and skin out. Get the chicken meat into bite sized pieces. You can also pull the beet tops.

Put the liquid and veggies back in the pot.

Chop the rest of your herbs, put them in.

Chop the beets into large-ish chunks (big bites?) and add them.

* This is a place holder in the narrative. Yes, my recipe has foreshadowing.

Chop the cabbage, add to pot.

Salt & pepper to taste. Yes, you should be tasting it.

I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN THE OTHER THINGS. Be patient.

Simmer until the cabbage is soft.

Add the chicken back in, and the rest of your peppers, and get those heated up.

When you’re ready to serve it, put a spoonful of miso paste in your bowl with a splash of the broth and whisk it together with a fork until the paste isn’t really pasty. Ladle soup in to bowl, stir, squeeze a little line in there, and eat it up.

If you are going to freeze the soup, you’ll like it better with hasn’t-been-frozen chicken, so make chicken salad out of that chicken, freeze the veggies and broth at the phase where I put the placeholder, and add some freshly cooked chicken (may I recommend the thighs?) etc when you’re ready to eat the thawed broth.

You could probably eat this when you’re not sick too… Just sayin’…

Posted in Faery, Healing, Health, Herbalism, Hoodoo, magic, Practice, Ritual, Shamanism, Tools, Winter

Psalms: Talking Back to the Divine

I thought it would be nice to write about something that wasn’t astrology for once. I keep telling people I’m not an astrologer… So let’s talk about Psalms. Most of the Abrahamic sacred texts are variants and interpretations of the Divine talking to humans. The Psalms are humans talking back to the Divine. They contain Kabbalistic keys, which is interesting, and they have been adapted for use in a lot of folk magic. I even talk about a couple of them in my Psychic Protection class.

The Book of Psalms as it currently exists was canonized about 2000 years ago. As with most canonizations of texts, there were politics involved, and possibly some creative editing. In order to end up with exactly 150 Psalms, they combined a couple of the psalms, and didn’t number one at all, and, of course, left out several thousand. The number 150, by the way, in Abrahamic texts, is frequently thought to signify a spiritual journey.

As originally written, the Psalms were meant to be sung (and generally accompanied by a lyre), and had poetic structure. Most of the current “approved” translations are not mu cup of tea, but there’s a lovely re-translation or re-interpretation by Stephen Mitchell, called simply “A Book Of Psalms“. He only included about 80 or so of the 150, but they’re just exquisite.

How wonderful it is to live
  in harmony with all people;
like stepping out of the bath,
  your whole body fresh and vibrant;
like the morning dew, glistening
  on the tiniest blade of grass.
It is God’s infinite blessing,
  a taste of eternal life.
Psalm 133

So when I am using Psalms as a tool for reaching out, gathering energy, or otherwise talking to the Divine, I prefer to use the versions of those Psalms where the poetry really flows for me. Why squawk to the Divine when you can sing? Occasionally there is a point to use the King James translation – if I’m interested in tapping into the energy inherent in the specific word combinations used by millions of people over time. My own practice, though, is usually of a more personal nature.

Some decent references on which Psalms work for which purposes:
Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Magic
Conjure/Hoodoo – The Top 5 Most Powerful Psalms
A more complete list from Conjure & The Root
Using the Psalms as prayers
A good Conjure treatise on using the Psalms

My own recommendation would be to find a translation that works for you, and to read through them, making notes about how each one feels to you. What is the energetic flavor of a Psalm? What is it about? Does it feel like it contains the power or ask that you might be seeking? Create your own reference list. It doesn’t hurt to go through the references above, I’ve listed them for a reason. I do feel that magic and spirituality are more powerful when they feel personal, though, so do some of your own research as well.

God acts within every moment
  and creates the world with each breath.
He speaks from the center of the universe,
  in the silence beyond all thought.
Mightier than the crash of a thunderstorm,
  mightier than the roar of the sea,
is God’s voice silently speaking
  in the depths of the listening heart.
Psalm 93

May you be the light of the world!

Posted in Hoodoo, Kabbalah, magic, Mysticism, Practice, Ritual, Sacred Texts, Tools

Using the Cycles of the Moon to your Advantage


The reason I schedule my Kabbalah Meditations at or close to the First Quarter Moon is because of the growth energy that is inherently accessible at that time. The First Quarter Moon asks “Are we there yet? How do we get there? Where is there?’ It has, at its core, an excited anticipation that can carry us forward towards our goals.

The challenge with excited anticipation is that it has the same chemical reaction in the body as fear. Every stimulus in our lives, every sensory input, every thought, creates a chemical reaction in the body. The emotion comes from the physical sensation of that chemical reaction; it is a judgment or opinion, a label. So excited anticipation feels the same in the body as fear or anxiety. We may interpret in a dis-empowering way.

But we can use that energy as a power source to fuel our forward progress, and to blow through blocks. So choosing to go into meditation and ritual at this time can help us take our power back and transcend the potential for fear and resistance. Since my Kabbalah classes are geared towards personal growth on all levels, the First Quarter Moon is the one of the best times to consciously work on forward propulsion.

If you want to create a pattern for yourself, using the cycles of the moon to increase your effectiveness, set your intention at the New Moon. This is the time for planting seeds, deciding to go after new goals, or start a new phase of going after an old goal, and creating new plans. At the First Quarter Moon, evaluate where you are, how far you have gotten. Depending on the size of the goal, you may not have gotten far, it has only been a week. Checking in and reassessing is still indicated at this time. Take it into meditation for insight on next indicated action(s) and guidance from Spirit. At the Full Moon, celebrate and successes you have had, no matter how small, and look at how the thing you’re working on will be expressed outward. Between Full and Third Quarter moon, tie up any loose ends that are dangling so you’re not always running back to fix things you have already worked on. Recharge your batteries between Third Quarter and the New Moon, so you can launch yourself forward again with renewed effort. Everything in the Universe has an ebb and a flow, a waxing and waning, an inhale and an exhale. Using the moon to work with and honor that will make you more effective, and comfortable as well!

Posted in Astrology, Kabbalah, Moon, Tools

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