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February 2nd is the midpoint between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. Still in winter's grip, yet the quickening of spring is felt with each day's growing light.

At this turning, honoring and celebrating the hearth, acknowledging the central fire of the home settles the sometimes uneasiness of winter energy. The holidays are over. Spring is not yet here. The emerging light kindles an ember within while earth still dreams her winter dreams. It is a time for story, dreams, and movement.

In this gateway, the hearth calls. The hearth, where a home finds warmth, where sustenance is provided and spirit is tended. Take time to tend & bless your hearth while moving through this gateway. A candle? A twig with swollen buds in a vase? A blossom of witch hazel or snowbells errant enough to burst forth in full mid-winter flower? What green blessing finds you as you walk through this gateway?

Rejoice in the warmth provided through winter. Where does the warmth in your home come from? Here, at RavenCroft, wood, stored solar energy, provides warmth. Making a fire each morning begins with finding different kinds of wood to start and keep a fire going. Each type of tree has its own way with fire. Some start well, others hold well. Greeting and chopping cedar kindling, the starting wood that ignites with ease, begins this daily ritual. Gradually, adding larger pieces, one by one as flame gains energy and takes hold of log until the holding-well pieces of fir or alder are added. What are your morning rituals? How do you start your day? What gets your fire going?

This is the long cooking season. Take stock. Make stock. Vegetable stock, bone broth. Bake bread or, perhaps, a cake. Long cooked foods infuse the body with lasting heat. Sitting with a bowl of steaming soup or stew and a hearty slice of bread & butter nourishes deeply bringing comfort.

Handwork, mending, tending, garbling herbs from last summer's harvest. Using summer's sun drenched herbs in teas, tinctures, vinegars and cordials through the cold, dark months nourishes a braided lifeline weaving us into the world in which we live. What herbs have woven into your life this season? Are you feeling the braiding of life with earth in your heart this winter? How far have you come in your herb walk since last winter?

GOSH! Glory of the South Hedge wine...

GOSH! Glory of the South Hedge wine

It is time to plant leek seeds in a greenhouse or sunny south facing window. Easily done in small pots or flats. Simply fill a pot with compost or potting soil, scatter seeds on top, press into the soil, mist lightly. Then, wait and watch in wonder for the emerging miracle. No matter how many seeds I've planted in my life and literally, there have been tens of thousands, each time a seed sprouts, I am once again, awestruck. What has struck your heart with awe this winter?


Winter is a season for games...

HEARTH: A word game celebrating the hearth and all that lives within it. You'll be surprised by what lives within the HEARTH. How many words can you find in the word HEARTH?

May your hearth fire be kindled anew in this gateway...


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