Saturday, November 23, 2013
Warding off the chill of late Autumn is often a challenge: the damp,penetrating cold seems to seep right into your bones. While Autumn is my favorite time of year-who doesn't love the colors of fallen leaves?-it's also the herald of my favorite time of year in the kitchen.
The tastes and smells of Autumn are as invigorating as the landscape. The bouquet of Autumn spices -allspice,cinnamon,ginger,nutmeg,cloves,mace, cardamon -warm the body and soul not only in the kitchen, but raise the energy vibration in rituals during the cold weather months.
Allspice's masculine/fire (think Mars) energy is applied when it is combined into mojo bags or incense to attract luck or money. Cinnamon reflects the feminine side of these qualities (influenced by Venus) with the addition of success and power. Ginger adds earthy heat; try drinking a tea containing ginger prior to engaging in ritual and feel the power of the Sun/Mars/Ra within. Nutmeg awakens the vastness of the planet Jupiter and has been carried as a prosperity amulet for centuries. Cloves is an excellent ingredient in mixtures intended to raise spiritual vibrations, and it's useful for driving out negativity. Mace is the outer covering of the nutmeg and increases psychic ability because it opens the Third Eye.
Cardamon-the spice that gives Chai Tea it's distinctive flavor- has been used in Asia to 'inflame' the fires of passion.
All of the above mentioned spices correspond to vitality and a robustness for life. Perhaps that is why they appear in various combinations in our favorite savory Fall/Winter foods.