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Happy Valentine’s Day, Beautiful You!

Heralding the turning point of winter, we have recently celebrated the Lunar New Year and Imbolc, and now: Valentine’s Day.

Today is a reminder to tend to the inner fire and sanctum of our Hearts.

The history of Valentine’s Day is convoluted with no clear answer as to when it began, was it an ancient Roman festival (Lupercalia), or the death of martyr (St. Valentine), or a festival about lover’s and fertility, held in Normandy, that became absorbed into the days surrounding Valentine’s Day (Galatin’s Day)?

No matter the history of this day, or our feelings about what this day brings, here in the 21st Century, we are flooded with imagery and symbols that infer vitality, fertility and romantic, coupled, partnered love: hearts and roses.

Whether we are coupled or not, we can metaphorically take to heart the messages from our most esteemed Queen Rose.

According to Grieve, in Greco-Roman times, a rose was once suspended over the dinner table as a sign that all that was shared, in confidence, was to be held sacred.

Rose bushes themselves also a sacred kind of space, wherein we need to respect the bush’s thorns while also enjoying the flower’s delights.

Valentine’s Day calls us to tend, to dream and confer with the hearts we hold sacred, and to release what has lingered past it’s usefulness such that we are aligned with our Heart’s desires.

In Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, and Western herbalism, the rose is utilized to soothe the spirt and mind, our Shen, and to alleviate stagnation (especially relating to the Liver meridian: anger, menses, etc).

An easy recipe for a rose “jam” is to mix rose petals with honey or raw sugar, then let sit for at least a month, then remove the petals and use the resultant syrup in tea, spread on toast, in crepes and so on. (You can reuse the petals by soaking them in a good quality brandy or other alcohol to enjoy in a cocktail.)

My favorite way to take rose is to make an elixir of rose, brandy and honey.

Fill a jar with rose petals, then add honey to half of the jar, and fill the remaining half with brandy. Shake, then set aside for at least a month.

Strain the petals out, and use in tea, mix with sparkling water, take by the spoonful, any time that you feel blue, bleak, filled with frustration, or just plain old “stuck” – this sweet and fragrant elixir will help you release what’s weighing your shoulders down.

This Valentine’s Day offers us the time to discover what we value, what we desire, what we want, and start dreaming it into reality.

We can look within, to see what we have been holding, and release what may no longer serve us so that what we are left with is rich, fertile soil to nurture the growth of the next season.

May we all take the time today to reconnect with our own Hearts, and to hold sacred the secrets and passions within.

Recipes featuring Rose:

Rose Petal Honey Paste

Black Sesame Rose-Cardamom-Orange Truffles

Milk with Spiced Fruits and Rose Honey

Wishing you a day filled with Heart and Love,

Note: because Rose moves Qi, they are contraindicated in pregnancy.