Change of Season

Although the seasonal shift has not “officially” changed, it certainly feels like summer is upon us! For the last 7 years, we have opened our farm and our arms to our community to gather in celebration of the summer solstice. Seasonal celebrations have been a part of our family’s tradition for sometime, and it felt right those 7 years ago, to start opening up our celebration to others.

The Summer Solstice is the summer quarter point, or mid summer. Midsummer is the time when the day is longest in the northern hemisphere and shortest in the southern hemisphere. Originally a pagan festival, celebrations for the midsummer festival date back to the pre-Christian era.

Summer Solstice is also known as St Johns Day. This day named after the patron saint St. John’s Day is celebrated as a public holiday in some countries with customs varying from location to location. Typical customs include the gathering of the perennial herb St. John’s Wort for medicinal, religious, or spiritual use. St Johns Wort The collection of flowers for floral wreaths is popular. The wreaths are dried and hung in the house all year until the next St. John’s Day.

St Johns wort can also be used internally as a tea. It is known for its sedative and pain relieving effects, giving it a great place in treating anxiety, tension and neauralgia. It can also be applies topically as it helps speeds the healing of wounds, bruises, varacoise veins and mild burns. An infused oil is especially useful for the healing of sunburn.

Whether you gather those delicately powerful flowers, make wreaths, stoke a midsummer eve fire, I invite you to invoke a tradition that works for you, to honour the seasonal shift.

May was full or promises with all of the beautiful blooming flowers and bird songs. The other day in yoga, we did a meditation on the bird sounds, listening intently to all of the different calls. It is such a simple, yet effective method of grounding into the present moment.

A lovely woman commented that she has since taken the time each day to listen in stillness for a moment, in awe of wonders of nature: what a gift!

There really is nothing like being in nature to bring you back to your self, and to connect to your senses. It allows us to view nature as a living and breathing world, that is full of magic and mystery, and that is always whispering its teachings to us. By simply closing the eyes and listening, the natural world comes alive. Can you hear the pines swaying in the breeze, the seeds floating by, the hum of the bees, or feel the sun shining its rays? Meditating in nature allows us to fully embody the senses, which Patanjali, author of the Yoga Sutra was pointing to when he wrote, “The mind can be made steady by bringing it into contact with sense experience”

Mindfulness simply occurs naturally in nature, where attention becomes more effortless, as our thoughts become drawn into the aliveness of the present moment. So I invite you, to try it for yourself. Step out into the garden, and begin to focus your attention on the birds, the smell of the earth, touching the soil, getting in touch with the cycles of nature, and seeing yourself as part of a much bigger web of life!

Happy May Day!

Happy May Day! Or as some may refer to it as Beltane. Beltane is one of the 4 cross quarter festivals, a mid way point between the spring equinox and summer solstice. This is the peak of the spring season and the beginning of the summer when the earth is clothed in green! Everywhere life is manifesting itself and moving outwards!

Beltane translates as “bright fire”, and is one of the 4 fire festivals throughout the year (Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas, Samhain). In early traditions, May-Eve was a night to be out in the wildwoods, ribbons and gifts were hung from Hawthorne Trees and in the May morning, people danced around the Maypole, symbolizing the joining female and male energy. It was a time for honoring unions of all kinds.

Growing up, it was a family tradition to rise before the sun and wash our faces in the May day morning dew. According to folklore, the dew on May 1sthas magical properties and anyone who washes their face in it will have a flawless complexion for the entire year. A traditional rhyme says that the maid who rises early on May morning, “and washes in dew from the hawthorn tree, will ever handsome be”

There are many ways traditions to celebrate May day, and were opportunities to participate in rituals that offered thanks for the blessings of the earth. These rituals supported people in connecting the rhythms of their own lives to the larger rhythms of nature. For me, these seasonal transitions allow me to pause, and appreciate the shifts and changes our Earth is going through, and to offer gratitude for the gifts that each season brings.

Happy May Day!

Happy Spring Equinox

Can you feel it in the air? This past weekend in Southern Ontario, we certainly did! The robins were out, the bees were buzzing and the winter aconites (Eranthus hyemalis) opened, offering the seasons first flower which is not only beautiful, but an important pollinator for our bees.

Winter aconite flowers open and close with the sun. When the sun is shining their petals open and they bath in the bright rays, turning their yellow faces to the adorning sun and laugh away winter, and when it goes down or on cloudy days the petals stay closed.

Today marks the spring quarter point of equal day and night, known in the northern hemisphere as the first day of spring. The balance of day and night, light and dark, inner and outer, intuition and rational, conscious and unconscious, male and female. This brings fertility and manifestation on all levels.

This is a time of year where the plans that have been incubating on the inner levels since the Autumn Equinox can now hatch out onto the physical plane. The egg is a potent symbol here, full of potential and new life.

Everything in nature is coming alive, the sun us gaining strength and the days are longer and slowly starting to get warmer. It is a time to throw off the restraints of winter and reach out for what we want, make plans, journey forth, take risks. This is certainly true for us, as we patiently await the beginning of our new building! We are hoping to break ground in April, and trust that all will work out!

When you look at this time of year through the Ayurvedic lens, you can see how nature influences both our outer and inner lives. In the Ayurvedic system of health, every season has a dosha, or set of qualities, associated with it. Winter, governed by Vata dosha, has been cold, dry and dark. When the sun lingers longer, the ground thaws and mud heralds the beginning of Kapha dosha season. Kapha season starts out wet and cold in March and ends up wet and warm, in May and June. Just as the first flowers poke their heads above the mud, and the birds singing show mating season, so to can some feel these effects in their respiratory system.

The English word “cough” comes from the Sanskrit word, KAPHA. The main location of Kapha in the body is in the chest. When the Kapha dosha becomes aggravated, mucus increases, leading to colds and problems with sinus congestion, allergies and asthma. This is why spring cleaning (both internally and externally) is a good idea this time of year, to clean out the excess for a brighter + lighter way to move through this season!

We have come up with a few formulas to help support one during this seasonal transition.

Based on both Ayurvedic and Western Herbalism practices and principles, we have put together some spring healing remedies to support you through this season

 New Spring Healing formulas!

Spring Bath Salts- A warming and stimulating blend to help brush off the excess of winter.

Spring Abyhanga Oil- Abyhanga is considered a “hug for the soul” a way to nourish and nurture oneself. Each season, we create specific formulas to help one find balance. This spring self massage oil is a blend of sesame and sunflower oil infused with Rosemary and Calamus designed to warm, revitalize and promotes energy + vitality.

Spring Teas

Spring Tonic- The spring tonic is designed to support immunity and help the body remain strong as we step outwardly into spring.

Spring Allergy Tea- Nature’s defense that may reduce springtime pollen sensitivity and allergy symptoms. Add wildflowers honey for sweetness and to build immunity!

Happy Mid-winter!

Today marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, and the waning of winter, leading us out of the darkness and towards the light!

It is also known as Imbolc, Candlemas, Groundhog day, or St Brigid’s Day. Brigid is associated with this Celtic goddess associated with poetry, fertility, healing and the arts. Like the Roman goddess Minerva, the Greek goddess Athena, and the Hindu goddess Saraswati, Brigid is a goddess who was seen as a source of wisdom and knowledge.

This is a time to connect to our inner wisdom we have gained during the winter months and bring that in to the active part of the year. A time of awakenings and new beginnings, charged with the potency of this rising energy.

This has been a particularly true in my own life over these past couple of months. A deep sense of digging deep into what makes my heart sing, putting much energy into my study of Ayurveda, Astrology + Herbalism and then seeing this being pulled out into the world. My passion and commitment to these teachings have come bubbling to the surface through new courses and products. It feels like a calling so deep in my bones, that I cannot contain it!

You will see this upward rising energy through the many new course and products coming out, all blended with herbalism, Ayurveda and Yoga.

This is also true for my marketing and branding of my company. Throughout the next few months, you will see a new website, new logo, and new branding of tea. 2018 is proving to be a year of renewal and fresh starts. My herbal tea company has grown up and its time to get her some new clothes!

For someone who likes to see things in order, and laid out nicely, it has been a challenge to try and encapsulate all that we have grown to do and offer. You see, I am not only a Registered Herbalist, I am also an Ayurvedic yoga instructor, meditation teacher, intuitive, and run special events and weddings at the farm. How do I put this all into something tangible so when people visit my website, they know exactly what I have to offer? I have often heard people call me “the tea lady”, which is how it all started. But as the years have gone by, I have continued to grow in my practice, adding to my repertoire as I go. To me, all of my work is so intertwined it is hard to separate it. You see, I create healing herbal blends, which has intuition, Ayurveda and meditation rolled into the process of making and creating. When I teach yoga, I follow the Ayurvedic seasons, the moon cycles and link herbal teas into each class. When I work with clients individually, I use a blend of clinical herbalism, Ayurveda, yoga, and intuition to connect and create formulas. Well, it seems I just need to own all of it and call it Jane Magri.

We are all our own unique blend, with different flavor notes and accents. The goal for me, is to continue to keep that steady undertone and truth of who I am, to speak and work from the heart, and let go of making it all fit into a box. To hold space for everyone who comes to the farm, and accept also, that my unique blend may not be everyone’s cup of tea!

Happy Canada Day!

We hope you all have a wonderful long weekend, filled with family, friends, sunshine and joy! For those of you that do not know, I am not Canadian by birth, I am in fact British born, and California raised, finding myself back in the Uk at 15 where I stayed for 11 years. When people ask, “where are you from?” I have to take a minute to decide which version I should share, the lengthy one, or the brief one, both of which usually heed the response, so how did you end up here? Well that, in itself, is another long story, so I then decide which track I want to take, the short or the long .

How I ended up here always amazes me, meeting my now husband Chuck in Malta, I never imagined we would end up in St Thomas, Ontario, Canada. A small town, holding many of the same people who were born and raised. Having an adventurous spirit and desire to explore new places, I was certainly up for exploring this town my husband was from, just to visit.

Briefly coming here in 2002, I enjoyed my time in St Thomas and travelling to Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City. There was a “feeling” I got from Canadians as a whole, and it was something to the effect of, kind, generous, polite with a good dose of humor along with a strength that I hadn’t witnessed for some time. This strength comes from getting through the winters, but also a sense of togetherness, like we are all going through the seasons together. Shoveling snow in the early mornings, to lighting up the BBQ’s in the summer, I felt a sense of inclusiveness that isn’t always the case in other areas I have lived.

With that, it took us almost 2 years before we were to return, this time with a new baby and a sense of excitement as we embarked on our new journey as a family of three, committed to living in Canada, and hoping to live off the land.

You see, it was the expansiveness and spaciousness that really caught my eye when first visiting. Living in the UK for so long, we could hop on a train and ride the length of the country in 8 hours, yet in Canada, it took us 8 hours just to get to another province! There was just so much space, and room to grow, we quickly decided that raising our children on the land was the thing we wanted most.

We didn’t move to the country straight away, it took us almost 5 years for the farm to find us, and I mean that honestly, as the property was never “for sale”. It just happened to land at our feet at the perfect time, and before we knew it, we had 3 months to pack up and move in to our now family farm we named Wildflowers.

We have seen such growth in our community since arriving here in 2004. The community has brought in many of the same stories, of people wanting more to be in touch with the land, getting out of the big city, and starting afresh. The amount of small businesses that have arrived, including artists, chefs, famers, visionaries, makers- Elgin County itself has flourished, and we couldn’t be happier to see this.

Our community has embraced us, and in turn, has inspired us to give back and provide the best service, events and experiences that we can.

Not only has our community embraced us, but the land has given back to us in so many ways, from the tree plantings flourishing, the plants, the wildflowers that continue to pop up and offer their gifts, to the animals and humans (!) it brings, we couldn’t feel more blessed and lucky to call Wildflowers and Canada our home. Happy Canada Day!