Understanding the Symbolism of the Acorn By: Nora Mueller

For many, the unassuming acorns that fall from an oak tree are the bane of those with driveways and front lawns that they’d like to keep clean underfoot. But in recent years, there has been a growing trend towards finding an alternative use for acorns, rather than just raking them together in a seemingly endless heap.

In many ways, acorns are the crystallization of the recent wild, foraged food trend; they are frequently considered an annoyance (like nettles) but are secretly a superfood– a gluten-free nut and grain alternative that’s high in amino acids.

Acorns can also be stored in their shells for years, and– when properly treated– can be used in a multitude of recipes, infusing nutrients and essential vitamins wherever they are added.

Eating acorns is, of course, not a recent trend; along with their progenitor, the oak tree, they have long been revered as a resource, with a rich history in mythologies around the world. In Sanskrit, the word for oak evokes the concept of thunder, life, soul, and spirit; for the Druids, the oak tree was the most sacred tree– so much so that historians believe the word “Druid” itself is from the Celtic word for “acorn”. Abundant as they are, it’s little surprise that acorns have long been consumed both as a delicacy and as an everyday meal.

Acorns are a token of nature’s alchemical magic: a tiny, hardened nut transforms into a tall, wizened tree.

In America, most people know that Native American tribes– particularly those in California– make use of acorns, cooking them into porridge, pancakes, cakes, breads, soups, and patties.

But internationally, different cultures across the world have found their own ways of adopting the nut and incorporating it into their cuisine: in Korea, acorns are transformed into a jelly known as dotorimuk while in Turkey acorns are buried in the dirt to remove tannins (which is the compound that gives acorns their bitter taste) before being washed, dried, and ground with spices into a drink known as raccahout.

Outside of direct human consumption, acorns also have had an important culinary role: jamon iberico, derived from pigs raised on acorns, is considered a Spanish specialty, and oak trees are being planted to help support truffle production. Historically, acorns have also enjoyed uses outside of the gustatory world, used as dye and prepared into a medicine taken by Native American elders to promote longevity.

Today, acorns are becoming more of a mainstream commodity as foraging increasingly becomes a popular activity, one that has spread beyond the realm of picking berries and gathering mushrooms.

Acorns are cropping up in classic recipes (acorn mousse anyone?), especially as acorn flour becomes more readily available and mechanization has cut out the long and arduous process of leaching tannins by oneself (which in days of yore could sometimes take months).

If you do want to

READ MORE HERE:  https://gardencollage.com/nourish/farm-to-table/acorns-ultimate-forgeable-fall-food/

 

 

 

Experts Reveal When To Smudge Sage Versus Palo Santo By: JANELL HICKMAN

Experts Reveal When To Smudge Sage Versus Palo Santo

Growing up in a Caribbean household, the smell of sage was always omnipresent. My mother, aunts, and grandmother often reminded me to “clear the space” prior to getting cozy. Along with Florida Water (ICYMI: Solange brought her own bottle to the Met Ball), it’s been my saving grace in new or uncomfortable environments.

It’s no surprise that the practice of smudging has accelerated in popularity, but the ritualistic burning of woods and herbs is by no means new. It has been an ancient cleansing practice for many cultures, particularly those of Native American descent, and has roots in Asia and the Middle East as well.

“Smudging is the use of sacred plant medicine to bring or clear energy into a space using the combined elemental energies of fire (flame), earth (plant), and air (smoke),” explains crystal healer, Azalea Lee. In short, smudge ‘deposits’ the energy of the plant into the space helping to dissipate old, lingering energies. Essentially, the practice can “unstick energies stuck to the aura of objects and people,” according to Lee.

Experts Reveal When To Smudge Sage Versus Palo Santo
Photographed by Lauren Edith Anderson.

While there are many ways to smudge, people traditionally lean towards either palo santo or sage to keep the good vibes going. But there’s a bit of confusion about what to use (and when) since each plant medicine has its own unique benefits.

“Known as ‘holy wood’, Palo Santo is able to be used once these trees have naturally fallen in the rainforest and lie dead for four to ten years before they are harvested,” explains Sabrina Riccio, a soulistic alchemist, soul activator, and medicine priestess. “This sacred plant medicine offers a grounded and clear energy while also enhancing creativity and/or bringing forth good fortune,” she shares.

“Sage comes from the Latin word ‘salvia’ which translates as ‘to heal.’ Often, burning sage can bring forth wisdom and clarity as it increases your spiritual awareness,” she continues. “[It carries] more of the masculine/yang aspect. White sage specifically has been used by Native Americans for thousands of years for cleansing, purification, warding off evil spirits, and negative energies.”

After you set an intention [Editor’s Note: All three practitioners interviewed emphasized this] it’s up to you on how frequently you’d like to do it. “Some people do this [smudge] every day, as a ritual or way to start their day. I say do it when you feel your space needs it,” adds meditation and mineral guide, Lauren Spencer King. “There is no wrong time. When I smudge before I have

READ MORE:  http://www.lonny.com/See+It+Now/articles/9xBLBIGGRsS/Experts+Reveal+Smudge+Sage+Versus+Palo+Santo

 

 

 

 

 

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