My journey has moved me inward of late: I find myself giving more time and energy to contemplative and mystical pursuits as I seek to re-establish broken parts of my connection with my self. Having awoken to profound wounds, I am doing the work necessary to heal.
And so it is that after a long and painful separation, I am back at my desk with my pen and my pages in hand for an even more painful reconciliation. I sit in some very deep emotions at haunting precipices–and I am engaging every tool I have to support my healing process.
At the midnight mark of one especially dark night of the soul, I was face-first in my huge cedar chest digging through my old journals and Books of Shadows. “I remember this discomfort,” I thought. “I have been here before, I KNOW IT… and I could swear I made a blend, an elixir, something for this….”
After rifling through the chest for an hour, I finally found the journal entry, notes, and recipe I’d been thinking of…
…and I straight-up laughed when I realized that the magical honey I created to facilitate my shadow work over 20 years ago is basically honey infused with traditional chai spices.
If you’ve ever had spiced chai, you are already familiar its rich, spicy flavor and warming sweetness. I remember my first, served by a cherished friend in front of a roaring kiva fireplace in Santa Fe some years ago.
Chai simply means tea, so technically any tea could be called chai. The flavors most of us associate with popularized spiced “chai” tea are technically drawn from Masala chai spices. Featuring green cardamom, black peppercorns, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, and other spices with black tea, hot milk, and honey, popularized chai is a sublime treat, especially in dark and cold times. The associated spices are more than delicious–they also offer some powerful magical associations that align perfectly with journal and shadow work.
Traditional spiced chai tea is very much informed by culture and heritage. To be clear, this recipe isn’t grounded in or even inspired by traditional chai–I had never heard of chai when I first combined these spices in a dry incense blend for protection and used their essential oils in a blend for sanctifying ritual space. That these magical spices shape-shifted from an incense to an oil blend to an infused honey for daily use in tea that I now recognize as, well, chai, is more than a little hilarious to me.
For while this spiced honey reflects chai flavors, it was originally inspired by the particular magical associations of the featured spices: all of them bring sublime support for creating still, sacred space, quieting racing thoughts, protecting energy, encouraging focus, inspiring eloquence, and eliminating the garbage that likes to get in the way of authentic expression.
= PURE MAGICAL ALIGNMENT FOR JOURNAL WORK
This recipe makes a little less than 16 ounces of infused honey–enough to stock your own pantry for a cozy, contemplative winter or enough to share in small jars with friends as stocking stuffers and homemade gifts.
Magical Chai Spiced Honey
Sweet honey infused with traditional Masala chai spices--warming, rich, and inspiring. A perfect shortcut for making hot, chai-flavored beverages in winter and a sublime ally for contemplative tea time!
- 1 lb raw local organic honey
- 1/2 cup whole organic green cardamom pods
- 1/4 cup whole organic black peppercorns
- 1/4 cup whole organic cloves
- 20 whole organic star anise
- 5 (6-inch) or 10 (3-inch) organic cinnamon sticks
- Step 1 In a large, clean half-gallon canning jar, add all of the spices.
- Step 2 Pour honey over to cover. Use a pickling weight, if you have one, to help press and keep the spices below the surface of the honey.
- Step 3 Close and tightly seal the jar. If you have a warm, sunny window at this time of year, set the jar in the window and allow the honey to infuse. No warm, sunny window? Place in a warm corner of your kitchen–I keep mine next to our wood stove!–to infuse.
- Step 4 Use a chopstick to stir occasionally to circulate the spices in the honey and press the spices down.
- Step 5 After 3-4 weeks, strain the infusion into a large glass measuring cup through a fine stainless steel sieve.
- Step 6 Pour strained honey into clean glass jars.
To enjoy your spiced honey, add honey to an equal mix of hot black tea and hot milk (or almond milk) to taste. Stir into cocoa for an inspired hot chocolate. Drizzle on hearty oatmeal with raisins, dried cherries, and almonds. Toss with whole, raw nuts and roast for an inspired treat.
Or enjoy this sublime honey in the same elixir I first recorded over 25 year ago in the Book of Shadows that helped me along my first healing journey. Whereas I enjoyed it with whole milk then, I’m loving it with almond milk these days.
Book of Shadows Elixir
A rich, hot beverage imbued with magic to facilitate inspired journal and shadow work.
- 6 oz organic full-fat dairy or almond milk
- 6 oz organic Oolong or other black tea
- Masala-chai spiced honey to taste
- Step 1 Put on the kettle and prepare leaves or bags to create 6 oz total of strong, hot black tea. Steep tea leaves/bags in hot–but not boiling–water for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags/tea strainer.
- Step 2 Heat the milk on the stove until heated through, but not boiling.
- Step 3 Pour the hot milk and steeped black tea into an oversized mug. Stir in chai spice-infused honey to taste.
- Step 4 Sip this protective, supportive magical blend while creating, writing, meditating, or blending.