Tea as Ceremony ~
There is such potent and pure magic when it comes to brewing earth’s offerings, their seeds, berries, flowers, leaves, bark, and roots. They offer an invitation to take in the elements of fire, water, earth, and air. It starts with the plant, they hold an embodiment, an energetic quality. Then that plant is gathered with love, curiosity, and reverence. The art of pouring hot water onto the delicate parts of the plant or simmering fibrous plant parts, allows their medicine and aroma to permeate and be carried by the water. The water then delivers their medicine into our body, invoking warmth, clarity, and awareness. This may feel grounding and expansive like the earth, or uplifting and formless like our breath. With every sip of the brewed plant, I can feel my breath traveling deeper into the marginalized parts of my body, spiraling deeper to fill me up.
Ancestral magic ~
My relationship with this practice began with my family. We drank maramiyah (Arabic for sage) after dinner to ease digestion and welcome the energy of relaxation. Then, after transplanting myself to the Pacific Northwest, I felt a lot of transitions occurring within. Excitement and openness, but also deepening anxiety and inner shadows. I began to reintroduce tea into my practice, to soothe nervous digestion of thoughts, feelings, food, and nourishment. I began to notice this life-force radiating within every sip, every brew held a different message and insight for me. They held space for weaving elements of birth, growth, and death. From each breath, I inhaled the gifts the aroma carried in the air filled with microscopic spores and bacteria. I could then allow my breath to release in a more gentle way. My soul ached for harmony, for the space to recognize myself that I found in these rituals.
This practice is a dynamic observation, noticing how the energy of the tea in-forms my being. This magic begins with creating space, to honor myself. I have come to understand, when I hold space for myself, I hold space for others. To be able to sit in the intimacy of receptivity and focused awareness. I feel inspired to share this practice. It is a practice that requires play, sensory participation, and your willingness to slow down. It is then, that your mind and soul feel more at ease. Opening the portals to commune with ourselves and the brewed medicine. It is then, that you may choose to walk into that portal, the portal where messages and insights may be revealed to you.
Although tea ceremonies traditionally have honored the plant Camellia sinensis for thousands of years, I choose to also honor all plants and fungi to partake in my version of tea ceremony. (Technically, herbal tea is referred to as tisane.) They all hold their own unique medicine, offering a gateway to slow down and reconnect with our own medicine. This is a practice. A practice to reclaim our power to be, a practice to reconnect with our heart-space, a power that welcomes all people. My practice involves caring for myself, finding ways to stay connected with myself. This journey is always a practice.
How to Connect with Your Tea ~
Smell the herb(s) before steeping or simmering. Bring your attention to their aroma, their appearance. If you feel so, set an intention for this brew, as this is a special time for you.
Pour the water. This is also a great time to check in with your feelings and your inner state of being.
Let it steep, take some breaths. Feel the energy within your body, within the world around you.
Pour your cup, smell the tea. What memories or feelings are triggered?
You may say a prayer, take a sip --- (if tasting a tea for the first time, I’ve learned that slurping it with some air allows you to take in the flavor profiles deeper.)
Notice any thoughts, body tension, how does your world feel? Tune into the energy of your hands, their temperature, feel into your heart-space. Let this experience guide you, as you bring your awareness into this very moment, this sip.
May you feel nourished, may you feel protected and supported. ~ Thank the tea for their thyme and magic ~
Thank you dear one.
Herbal infusions are one of the oldest remedies for tending an aching heart and exhausted spirit, addressing illness, re-aligning imbalances within our terrain and well-being while providing comfort, clarity, and faith towards any feelings of dis-ease.
Medicine for Our Enduring Self ~
Herbal teas can teach us how to nurture our inner and outer landscapes. Despite what we have been told, we are all capable of caring for ourselves and our place through our lived experience. Like nature, our bodies are incredibly intuitive and designed to heal themselves. The body is able to tune into the microcosms and the macrocosms of relationships, just like how the skin repairs itself after a cut or when we cough to discharge a pathogen. However, when we work against our body’s wisdom due to fear and discomfort, we tend to block the vital flow within our body and thus overstretching ourselves too thin, which leads to an accumulation of imbalance. Sometimes, an invitation to sit down and connect deeply with another is healing and grounding. Allowing us to release what is burdening us while inviting us to feel heard. I feel that tea can serve as a guide and ally to lift the weight of life from within our body, emotion, mind, and spirit while offering therapeutic support and a sense of belonging.
Partaking in tea ceremony is to commune with the plant or fungi, their medicine, and our medicine. This way of connecting with a cup of plant magic distills a feeling of nourishment and wholeness. Many cultures have integrated a tea practice to reconnect with our own nature so that we are able to relate with ourselves and each other. Inviting us to return awareness to this present and intimate moment. The art of brewing tea is a process of weaving the stories of the plant, their energy, character, prayer, and medicine into a robust basket that is strong enough to hold us and welcome us into our home. Their medicine becomes part of you, spiraling into the paths you choose to take.
If you are ready and willing to reconnect with the ancient art of tea, I invite you to brew something for yourself and/or for your community. I have put together a tea recipe that nurtures you during times of emotional overload and stressful times. It is my intention to share this simple and nourishing recipe to be able to offer our magic, soft-power, courage, and faith for ourselves, community, and relations with our place in this world.
1 tsp Lemon Balm 1 tsp Oatstraw 1 tsp Chamomile 1 tsp Holy Basil 1 inch Ginger, grated Handful of Rose Petals