Have you ever considered the light sources of the Sun and Moon as a possibility for preparing your herb teas? Both the Sun and the Moon, though distinctively different in their energy fields, provide powerful healing rays.
The Sun is shining brightly, and although unseen at this moment, the Moon is up above. Now, there is time to prepare a solar and lunar infusion.
Usually, I make one or the other. However, during this significant time, it may be even more effective to combine both solar and lunar energies, crafting a blend unique to you.
I have found the Sun to be healing for yin types of imbalances such as depression, mood swings, and for those times when deep warmth is needed, when the very soul requires warming.
The Moon lends her healing force to the more acute, fiery disruptions, aiding in balance when the gentle, cooling energy of the feminine is appropriate. I have also called upon the moonlight when creating formulas for enhanced dreaming and nurturing the creative spirit.
It is still early for most plants, but there are many in the process of awakening and rebirth. There are also possibilities with various seeds and lichens that do not rely on the beckoning of spring.
Carrying my mason jar and cutting tool, I went out into the healing fields and edge of the woods. Because we have been the recipient of wind of late, the white pine continues to drop boughs, fresh, flavorful medicine at our feet. If you follow me, you know about my sacred connection to trees, especially the conifers.
I came across much wintergreen, which is abundant. Remember to only take a few leaves, never more than one from a single plant. Do no harm. As always, give thanks to every plant that volunteers to be an ally. The healing is mutual.
I then gathered random hemlock (fir) and spruce bows, just a few. No more than what I will use, always from that which has fallen.
I also added a small handful of burdock seed, which is easy to get from a few of the burrs that withstood winter. You know, the ones that stick to your clothes and your animals if you're not careful.
Soft fuzzy mullein leaf has been poking through the snow. You only need a small piece of a leaf of the basal rosette of a first-year plant.
To find usena, I wandered into the woods where there are fallen branches and trees. It has a light greenish-white hair appearance. Please, check with the area where you live, not all usnea is the same. I am in the wilds of New Hampshire. It is very healthful.
In some garden spaces, you may find the early stages of chickweed. I cannot even begin to go on about her. She is a lovely, immeasurable helping plant. I love her so much, I have several houseplants so that I may enjoy her benefits all year round. She thrives inside as well.
I discovered baby yarrow, dandelions, and mints. I left them alone. To me, it is like child labor. They're just children. Leave them be. When they get bigger and stronger, we can talk. I have mints growing in my indoor garden. I will use them in my sacred blend.
You can also use dried herbs. Use anything. Follow your intuition, and add what speaks to you.
I have included the directions for both solar and lunar infusions. Today, I am suggesting that you make a combination. Where I am located, it will be cold tonight, close to freezing. I am placing my tea in a window. You may leave the top open or cover with wax paper.
There are two distinct methods that I employ:
Blend the herb(s) as instructed above in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. In the colder weather, you may choose to infuse with "just under boiled water" for a more potent brew, then it is not purely solar. Or, stay with the purist method, cover the plant matter with cold water, which will result in 100% solar infused tea. Set in a warm sunny spot for several hours. Though the difference is often subtle between a non-solar infused tea and a solar infused one, it is noticeable.
The other method used is to not cook the herbs at all but to place them in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Put it in a hot, sunny spot for several hours. This method will not extract the same amount of chemicals and plant material as when cooked, however, the chemicals of the herbs are only the measurable aspect of its healing properties. There are far greater forces at work than we can even imagine
When preparing lunar teas, you are employing the subtle lights and soft heat of the Moon. You are inducing enchanting, intuitive, and mystifying aspects of life. You are calling upon the unknown, releasing lunar energy that has intrigued mankind. Where did the term lunacy derive from? From the mystical, enchanting power of the Moon.
To Prepare a Lunar Tea:
Place the herb(s) in a mason jar or if you wish, an open crystal glass or bowl.
If possible, it is best to use fresh herbs and flowers. Cover your blend with clean water and place directly in the moonlight. Do not cover the brew. Allow it to infuse in the moonlight all night and drink first thing upon arising. (Again, you may use slightly heated water for a stronger brew.) SOLAR / LUNAR INFUSION Fill your vessel with your sacred plant matter. Bless the water and pour over your blend. (You may use hot water, just under boiled for stronger tea when it is cold or wintery). Place in a sunny window and then in moonlight (if you are where there are freezing temps like there are here now.)
If you are in a warmer climate or deeper into the warmth of spring, summer, and fall, go for the full outdoor infusions.
Many blessings to all. May you take great care as we are in our chrysalis. It may be somewhat tight-fitting and uncomfortable. After all, we have not been here before. Think of how beautiful it will be when we emerge, when we unfurl our wings, ready to fly again.