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by Mary Lane - Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 03:46 PM
Anyone in the world

I would love to share my early morning prayerful inspiration on this blessed Solstice morning with you. Please go to this link to read it. You may find something for yourself that supports your own shift as we welcome the light of our new year.


Tags: Solstice
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by Anne-Marie Fryer - Tuesday, December 14, 2010, 01:48 PM
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After a long snow shoe hike in the woods I like to sit around the wood cooking stove and eat a bowl of warm, nourishing split peas soup. It is a very common dish in Scandinavia eaten weekly during the winter month and typically served with smoked sausages and the delicious staple of northern Europe, dark rye bread.

Yellow Split Peas Soup with Caraway Seeds Rye Bread and Butter

1 ½ cup yellow split peas

3 inches kombu sea vegetable (optional)

1 ½ quart soup stock

1 medium onion diced

1 big carrot cut in flowers

2 tablespoon dried thyme or 4 tablespoons fresh thyme

1 tablespoon whole caraway seed

1 tablespoon sesame oil

½ -1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon chives or scallions cut thin

Clean and soak the split peas for 8-12 hours.

Drain the split peas, place in a pot with water or light soup stock. Bring to a boil. Skim off foam on the surface. Add the kombu, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the split peas are soft. The spit peas must be completely cooked and creamy. Discard any remains of the kombu.

Heat a small saucepan, add the oil and sauté the caraway seeds and onions for 3 minutes.

Crumble the dry thyme or tie it in a cheese cloth bag.

Add the thyme, salt, onion mixture and the carrots to the split peas. Add more water if necessary. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Remove the cheese cloth bag.

Serve in big bowls and garnish with scallions or chives.

I am Anne-Marie Fryer. I am mentoring two courses at WWU; Cooking for the Love of Children and Culturing from the Heart. Participants will rediscover the richness of fermented foods and how to nourish and care for children in body and soul.

See also my web site www.cookingfortheloveoftheworld.com

[ Modified: Tuesday, December 14, 2010, 02:26 PM ]
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by Mary Lane - Friday, November 26, 2010, 05:34 PM
Anyone in the world

The holidays are coming. I certainly don’t need more “stuff.” In fact, I don’t know anyone who needs more stuff. I request that if anyone wants to give me anything, I prefer it is sharing one of their gifts with me. I have many friends in my life with amazing gifts they have cultivated as a result of their life journey. Not only do I get a gift of their soul’s journey, they get an opportunity to experience themselves as they share it, and build the energy around their gifts to the world. It’s a win, win. Consider this exchange as a Christmas Holiday idea.

One of the most fun and rewarding days I have spent are days I gather the women and we have a day of nourishing ourselves with facials, food, foot rubs, etc. I create a spa day. In fact, I share a day of this nourishment I created when I was living on Maui in my book. You can read about it on my web site as one of the book excerpts. www.divinenourishment.net. Hopefully, it will inspire you to create a day with your friends. It is one of my gifts. I love making herbal facials, moisturizers, cleansers, etc. I love creating the space for women to just hang, nourish, and share. I love creating self kindness days. I need self kindness days.

None of us need more stuff for the holidays. I don’t know anyone who couldn’t use more self kindness. So consider offering a day of self nourishment, shared with friends as a gift that will have a much more meaningful rippling effect than a “thing” bought at the store that will eventually end up in a landfill somewhere. Consider having a soul gift exchange. What do you want to offer the world? Offer it as a gift someone can purchase for their beloved. Offer it to a friend that has a soul gift of their own to give you in exchange. It takes gift exchange to another level that supports us to grow into ourselves.

For those of you who don’t live in the Asheville, NC area here is a holiday gift from me that will support you to spend some time just giving yourself some extra kindness. It is my favorite facial recipe. It is a wonderful facial that moistens your skin during the drying winter months.

Avocado, Carrot, Cream Mask
1 avocado
1 cooked carrot
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg
3 TBS honey
Place in a food processor and whip the ingredients into a nice smooth paste.
Spread this on you face and neck and hang out having a cup of tea. After about 15-20 minutes remove this with a warm washcloth and apply moisturizer.

For those of you who live in the Asheville area I am offering a “Day of Self Kindness” in my cozy warm mountain home on Saturday, January 8th from 10:00AM -5:00PM for food and facials. It is a day of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. We will prepare and share a warming winter soup together. We will make and partake in food grade facials, and a beautiful rose, calendula facial moisturizer. I will show you how to make these facial products, and you will take home a jar of this nourishing facial moisturizer. If you like it and want to continue making it on your own, it will save you a ton of money. Consider giving this gift to someone you know who could use a day like this. Ask for it as a gift if you need it yourself. It is only $95.00 for the day all inclusive. We will affirm more self kindness as a new year resolution, and put it into action.

You may contact me at mary@divinenourishment.net if you are interested in this as a gift for you or a loved one.

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by Mary Lane - Monday, November 1, 2010, 03:36 PM
Anyone in the world

The weather is beginning to get colder now in the fall where I live and I automatically want to have a breakfast that is warming when I get up on a cold morning. Plus, I have all these beautiful sweet potatoes in my basement from my garden. Here is a nourishing fall "Jook" that will warm you and bring such deep comfort to your digestive system and soul.


6-7 cups water
3/4 cup millet - rinsed and drained
3/4 cup sweet potato - peeled and diced
1 slice peeled fresh ginger
1 cinnamon stick

2 TBL honey

Place all ingredients in crock pot and cook overnight on low. Add honey to your bowl.
Yes, it is that simple.

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by Mary Lane - Monday, October 25, 2010, 11:03 PM
Anyone in the world

Here is a great recipe for those of you who like to honor the feminine in her entirety by celebrating Samhain.

Hot-and-Sour Pumpkin Soup

yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings, or about 10 cups
Active time: 40 min Start to finish: 1 1/2 hr
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (3-lb) sugar or cheese pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 cup dry white wine
2 qt vegetable stock
6 lemongrass stalks (bottom 5 inches only), coarsely chopped
1 (1-inch) piece galangal (thawed if frozen), peeled and coarsely chopped
3 to 5 fresh (1 1/2-inch) Thai chiles or 2 fresh jalapeño chiles, trimmed and coarsely chopped (seed chiles if a milder flavor is desired)
4 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or frozen)
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce

Cook onion, garlic, and ginger in 1 tablespoon oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Add pumpkin and wine and boil, uncovered, until wine is reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Stir in stock and simmer, covered, until pumpkin is tender, about 20 minutes.

Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté lemongrass, galangal, and chiles to taste, stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Purée pumpkin mixture in batches (use caution when blending hot liquids) and return to pot. Stir in lemongrass mixture, lime leaves, lime juice, and fish sauce.It's true what they say. Embrace and share the feelings that arise in a creative way, put it into art, honor it, and it shifts. I love it. Simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes. Pour soup through a sieve, discarding solids, and season well with salt and pepper.

[ Modified: Monday, October 25, 2010, 11:08 PM ]
This is a picture of me in my diningroom/library/homework/art room!
by Melissa Potter - Monday, October 18, 2010, 05:06 PM
Anyone in the world
Merry Meet to All of the Folks at Wise Woman University!
I have learned through being alive long enough, that if I keep following my heart, my life will begin to look like my favorite dreams of childhood.  I really believe that if we are looking for answers as to what we are meant to do in this world, we can look to what most inspired us as children!  In other words, ask yourself, "What did I most want to be when I grew up?"
OK, it may be "too late" to be an astronaut but you can still take an astronomy class or study astrology.  Or maybe you can volunteer at the planetarium or take classes at a local school.   No matter how old you are, you can still reach for those stars that you longed for as a young child!
Picture yourself like Hansel or Gretel (minus the oven) (Though symbolic ovens can have a way of transforming us for the better at times! Just ask any fire Goddess!)....But when you feel like you've reached the danger point, turn around on the path and head backward towards your innocence and safety.  For little did you know that along the way to growing up, your wise soul scattered small pieces of the bread of your life along the pathway so that you would not lose your way back if you needed to retrieve some of that childhood wisdom one day in the future....Follow your intuition home!
(And e-mail me if you need help doing this.
I am a great tour guide through the inner realms!)
Below, you can read my latest article in this falls' issue of Spiritual Renaissance which is published by Deborah and Leo Knighton-Tallarico of Portland, Maine.
The Magic of Autumn 
by Melissa Potter

Fall is my most favorite time of the year! I am excited to learn, to delve deep, to decorate for Halloween! I love Thanksgiving ~ both our American traditional Thanksgiving in November and the Neo-Pagan Thanksgiving, known as Mabon or Autumn Equinox, in September. I am filled with memories of childhood during this time of year.


When I see myself as a young girl, it’s from the perspective of looking down at my own feet as I walk through the brightly colored leaves on the city sidewalks. There are mounds of red, orange, yellow, and best of all, the multi-colored, fiery, maple leaves in the gutters alongside the curb. I am making a path with my swooshing and have to be extra careful not to step on a crack, lest I break my mother’s back; and to watch for the places where Mother Nature has pushed herself up through the concrete and made swells in the sidewalk where old beautiful tree roots burst through.


In my body-memories I can sense the magic and spookiness of Halloween. I can smell the scent of the apple orchard we visited each fall. I can feel the cozy fabric of my new corduroy pants and other school clothes and I can see the castle walls of Prattville Park (the ones I loved to walk upon) covered with autumn leaves.


My thoughts, back then, were revolved around what I wanted to be for Halloween. Should I be a witch (again) or a gypsy (again)? When I was a gypsy, I could treasure-hunt through my two, teen-aged aunts’ jewelry boxes. They were filled to overflowing with 1970’s wooden bead necklaces and bracelets and trinkle things in every color. I wore a bandanna around my head and an exotic mole on the left side of my chin. It was so exciting!


I vividly remember, in the very cells of my body, walking up and down the streets of our neighborhood in the Prattville section of Chelsea with my mother and sister, Kimmy on Halloween night. (I only had one sister back then ~ I now have three! Kristen and Kelly were still star-dreams in the quiet night sky of my Mother’s womb. Did my father ever go trick-or-treating with us? I can’t remember! ) I can practically hear the cold, October wind blowing, the leaves swirling and landing, the swish of our feet through the piles of them. And there was nothing more exciting than the heart-thumping thrill of knocking on the doors of the “haunted houses” that had scary music coming from their windows!


After trick-or-treating, we would go back to Jones Avenue, the small, dead-end street where my Nana’s house was. Into the front parlor we would dash with our pillow cases filled with candy! Onto the rug we would fall as quickly as possible to empty out, and count the candy bars. My favorite were the Sugar Daddy’s! And how I loved when my Mom and Nana asked me for a piece of their favorite candy!


If I knew better back then I could have held a crystal ball with my child hands and seen the gypsy woman looking back at me. She would have said, “Look into my crystal ball, Little Melissa. You will grow up to be an adventuring woman after all. You will be very intuitive and magical. You will, in fact, get a crystal ball by default from an eccentric roommate you will have who will disap¬pear without a trace one winter night from the haunted house you are renting with him in Nashua, NH...


You will begin reading tarot cards and collect them all of your life! You will become the witch you always dress up to be at Halloween, but a good witch, a wise-woman witch with circles of other women witches around you....look into my crystal ball and see that all the things you love now as a child, you will become when you’re a grownup, too!”


It’s so funny to me now that everything I always played as a child has come to pass in my life! I was forever playing teacher and school, writing poems and dreaming of keeping journals that would some day be published, dressing up as a witch and a gypsy (I’ve moved about fifty times in my life and Goddess knows I am a witch!) I always loved the Native Americans, called the “Indians” back then, in all the Western films and especially was heart-broken by the commercial of the Native American man on the bank of a polluted waterway with a tear in his eyes. To this day I love Mother Nature (which is what they referred to Her as, in the “Parkay Margarine” commercials!) (TV references fill my childhood memories!) and to this day I do whatever I can and whatever new things I learn about to help protect, honor and love my Mother Earth. It has all come to pass.


The childhood seeds of the things I loved most in life are the blossoming flowers and trees of who I am and who I am becoming in my life today.


Feeling My Autumn Essence


When I was in my twenties, I began recording my dreams and the fall is when they became the most potent, magical and colorful. Beginning at the first harvest festival of the year, on August 2, known as Lammas, my desire to write and journal and remember my dreams begins to fill my life with excitement. My connection to myself was always the deepest in the fall. I always say that fall is when I am in my “essence.” Friends from all over and way-back-when suddenly call me in autumn because, “It’s fall and I just thought of you, Missie,” they say to me. I was conceived in the fall and I conceived my own child in the fall as well.


I do believe that I did choose to enter the world during this most magical time of the year. My astrologer puts my conception date at October 31! I always hope that when I die someday when I am very old and a grandmother and healthy in all ways except for the old-age part, it will be during the season of autumn. It would be the perfect time to release one’s body, to offer it up to the blessed earth in time to transform, renew, and rebirth myself in the womb of some new mother in the springtime of the year.


Gratitude, Celebration and Deepening


This is a time of the beauty and abundance of the harvest season. It’s a festive time of giving thanks, feasting, and gratitude for all we have ~ our family, our friends, the fullness of the earth around us, our dreams and our hopes. I hope that you will take the time you deserve to rest and evaluate what you have harvested this past year. Have a bonfire, a campfire, a wood stove or fireplace fire. If you can do none of these things, light an autumn colored candle and feel the warmth of the fire element in your heart of hearts.


Autumn Equinox celebrates the abundance of the harvest time, gratitude and the balance of light and dark. It is a traditional time to gather in community with others in gratitude for all we have received. In the spiritual sense, it’s also a time to prepare for the coming dark & cold time of the year.


Autumn Equinox is the symbolic doorway that leads us into ourselves. In the fall we begin the journey down the double spiral pathway that leads to the inner realms. Deep inside our sacred self is the home we return to where, in autumn and in winter, we rest, renew and transform ourselves. We pull our energy deep down into our roots as the plants, animals and trees of our region have taught us to do.


It is also traditional in some cultures to have a Giveaway Ceremony. As the trees are releasing their beautiful, colored leaves and the ripe apples hang heavy on their boughs, we see all around us that Mother Earth is giving herself to us freely and fully. Look around your home and space. What is it time to let go of? This would be anything that comes from your heart, that you know you need to pass on, that you are ready to release. Wrap this gift up beautifully and gift it to a friend, gift it to a stranger, leave it on someone’s doorstep!


When I’m grateful for the blessings in my life, my heart is wide open with love, a feeling of joy, abundance, magic and well-being. Gratitude is the secret to living a life of true joy and meaning for me.


May you feel the love of the earth and spirit within your heart this day and always.


Blessed Be,


Melissa Potter


Melissa Potter, LMT lives in New Hampshire with her son, Seamus Raven and their cat, Jack. She is the proprietress of MotherRoots Healing Arts, a small healing center in Newmarket, NH that offers craniosacral therapy, somato-emotional release, therapeutic massage, spiritual counseling and inspiration! Melissa loves to sing, write and study astrology. She is also a mentor at Wise Woman University ! Visit her web site at www.motherroot for more information.

[ Modified: Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 02:38 AM ]
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by Mary Lane - Monday, October 4, 2010, 08:00 PM
Anyone in the world

The ancient ones did not have TV for distraction or books to learn from. They did not have homes that separated them from the elements and natural world. Their lives were simple and moved with the rhythm of nature. They turned to nature as their teacher and realized it was the manifestation of Divine intelligence. Each season embodied the seasons of their lives. Every plant that emerged held the wisdom of that season and nourished not only their bodies, but their soul. They witnessed how every plant and animal became food for another, eventually retuning to the earth as sustenance for the next generation. Because they were on top of the food chain and knew how many beings had offered their life as food for another they knew they were woven into the very fabric of their surroundings. Their life was full of ritual and gratitude for the sacrifice of each and every one that provided the nourishment that allowed them to have this earthly experience. As exchange for this sacrifice they respected and cared for the plants and animals and did not interfere with them living the life they were designed to live.

The ancient Taoists were just one culture who considered the intelligence of the natural world as their greatest teacher in how to live and nourish themselves. Through astute observation they were able to realize that they were a microcosm of this bigger picture and articulate the connection, mapping out how to stay aligned through the Five Element System. This alignment enabled them to feel as one with the Divine.

Fast forward to modern times and it is obvious how humans have lost this sense of connection and ignored the wisdom of nature losing their gratitude as they became more separated. We became more ill as each generation passed struggling to find health inventing one diet after another as the answer. We do not have to figure it out. It has already been well thought out. All we have to do is honor the intelligence that far surpasses our own.
When we eat according to this wisdom, and live according to the rules of our Great Mother we not only are given the optimum diet through what she puts out naturally in the environment in which we live, we return to our knowing that we are woven into the very fabric of it all. Without this sense of connection, the honoring of this intelligence, the gratitude for her gifts and sacrifices of our fellow creatures there can be no real health. The ritual of cooking with the knowing of all that has gone into each meal, not only for our health, but the sensuality of all the flavors, textures, aromas is a celebration in receiving the love bestowed upon us by our Divine Mother, which is the greatest ingredient of all to nourish our health and well being.

Eating the local seasonal foods in their natural form supports us to embody the wisdom of our Divine Mother and we can trust our bodies to know it needs throughout the year, and throughout our life. It adjusts as its needs shift. Listening to our bodies and honoring it’s wisdom just as we honor the Earth’s we can let go of the latest diet trends that over ride our bodies’ signals and we can nourish ourselves optimally according to our own wisdom.

Mary Lane
Author of Divine Nourishment, Introduction to 5 Element online Course at WWU

[ Modified: Monday, October 4, 2010, 08:13 PM ]
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by Mary Lane - Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 09:00 PM
Anyone in the world

I hope to see you at the Southeast Women's Herbal Conference. It is always a wonderful gathering of women. I will be teaching "Seasonal Living & the Art of Transformation" at 9AM Sunday at the conference. Please join me if you are there and interested.

On another note, it is the fall equinox. A moment in time when we have the opportunity and support to embrace the harvest of our year with honor for ourselves and all sentient beings, valuing the journey, letting go of what no longer serves us as we surrender into our next cycle of growth and evolution after a nourishing time out for self reflection so we can spring forward renewed once again. Don't you just love this divine seasonal plan?

[ Modified: Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 09:08 PM ]
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by JoAnne Dodgson - Sunday, September 19, 2010, 04:02 PM
Anyone in the world
JoAnne Dodgson

The transitions of the earth’s seasons are filled with dynamic energies – the subtle shiftings, the visible changes, the feeling of anticipation, the curiosities about what will come to be. Here north of the equator, the Equinox on September 22/23 marks the transition into Fall. In the lands and waters south of the equator, Spring is awakening. Wherever we are, we are immersed in a rich weaving of diverse textured rhythms unfolding all at once on the earth.

Equinox is a unique interplay with the sunrise and sunset which generates balance, an equal (or close to it) amount of daytime and night. The season of Fall is a time of letting go. Leaves falling from trees. Wildflowers fading. Birds taking flight on their migrations.

The invitation offered up by Fall Equinox is to learn about creating balance in the midst of letting go. To choose to allow the natural transitions when something has served it’s purpose and the time has come to change form, to move on, to die away. For many of us, letting go is a process we avoid and resist. We don’t want to let go of what’s known and familiar as we expect only grief, disorientation and loss. Yet holding on out of fear disrupts the natural flow, keeping everyone and everything stuck in place. Letting go opens up sacred space for the new.

Finding balance in the midst of letting go. It’s a creative healing art. It’s a dance of diverse rhythms. And the earth is a trustworthy guide. If we take a look around – listen and feel, smell, taste, reach out to touch – the seasons and cycles and all the beings involved have endless wisdoms to share.

What do you see happening in the world around you? How do the plants and winged ones and four-leggeds and little creepy-crawlies move through the transitions, the letting go, the dying away? You may discover a connection with a certain tree or animal or bird or body of water who serves as a special guide for this particular season in the passages of your life.

This year, Fall Equinox coincides with the Full Moon. The Full Moon is a radiant and magical presence, bringing light to this time of transition on the earth. Full Moon reminds us to come out of hiding, to shine brightly, to express freely, to join up with and celebrate the mysteries and magic of life. All this in the midst of the Fall’s letting go. Reach out to explore what the Full Moon is sharing with you – about balance during transitions, about honoring what has been, about not holding back and letting your light shine, about welcoming change with open hearts.

Manaole U Manaole

from my heart to the heart of mother earth to your heart,

JoAnne Dodgson

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by Mary Lane - Sunday, September 12, 2010, 04:38 PM
Anyone in the world

I can't help celebrating the abundance of beauty as I walk through the stalls at the farmer's markets this time of year. It is glorious! This time of year brings out the co-creative energy in me. And I want to sing, dance and stir my way through the kitchen as I celebrate life, and let go of whatever stands in my way of that. Autumn is a wondrous, sacred time of honoring our world. Food is a very potent doorway.

Join me this fall for my new online course at WWU as we celebrate food, our life, and the wisdom of the Earth.

Mary Lane
Divine Nourishment

Mary Lane, author of Divine Nourishment, A Woman's Sacred Journey with Food. Through Mary’s 30 year career as a professional chef she awakened and deepened her understanding of the connection between food and nourishment, sustainability, the wisdom of nature, sexuality, and the Divine Feminine. She draws upon the wisdom of her own journey and weaves it with her expertise in the ancient Taoist 5 Element System of Nutrition, Plant Spirit Medicine, sacred sexuality, wildcrafting, and professional training as a chef. She is dedicated to supporting women to transform the self rejection buried in the shadowy depths of our unconscious to self care, honor and love.

Her course Divine Nourishment is offered at WWU and her book is now available in our Wise Woman bookstore.

[ Modified: Monday, October 25, 2010, 11:10 PM ]
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