This coming Monday, August 7, is Rhaksha Bandhan, also known as Rhaki, a Hindu festival that celebrates the bond of brother and sisterhood. It is celebrated on the full moon by sisters tying thread bracelets onto the brother's wrists. These bracelets are usually made from red or gold thread and are also tied around the wrist of a soldier, close friends and by priests to the congregation members. The custom is that the rhakis are blessed with sacred lyrics and are then able to offer protection for the following year. After tying the rhaki a prayer is given for prosperity and happiness.At FaithHaus we like to thing about and offer ideas about how you might incorporate a ritual into your life. We love the idea of putting a bracelet on someone's wrist (perhaps you blessed it earlier) and offering them the wishes of love and bounty. We've taken it one step further with a quick lens into a Hindu world which you might like to be a part of.
BRACELETSWe don't have traditional rhaki bracelets but we do have these! If you are just exploring the tradition then a string will do. The left picture is The Wish Red String Bracelet which comes with various sterling silver charms. We like this with the hamsa -Hand Of God- protection charm. $24. The center picture is a colorful Tibetan Friendship Bracelet which is can be tied on a wrist or ankle. $3. The right picture is The Handmade Lucky Knot Rope Bracelet and they are in the traditional colors of red or gold. $12. Remember it's in the spirit so choose what works for you and give the gift of spirit to one you love!EATSWe are really in love with the blog from Nik Sharma, A Brown Table. We love that he gave up his 'traditional' job to follow his passion in food. His recipes are delicious and do-able (for us non-chef folks). Double whammy that this dish is made in a crock pot- my favorite kitchen tool next to the citrus juicer:). This recipe is for Slow-Cooker Goan Chicken Coconut Curry. What a great way to get in the spirit of a Hindu celebration than through food!MEDITATION/PRAYER/MANTRAMantras are sacred words and most often chanted. However you can print and read to yourself, place in your altar or shrine, or just say in your head if that feels better. The Gayantri Mantra is to give wisdom and enlightenment, according to Amit from The Spiritual Indian blog.“Aum Bhur Bhuva Svah
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat”MUSICDo you remember when George Harrison collaborated with Ravi Shankar for the song Norwegian Wood? This was the first time a sitar was played in Western music and led to a new generation of music dubbed Raga Rock incorporated by The Beatles, The Kinks and The Yardbirds. Listen here. WalesOnline compiled a list of 15 Indian-inspired songs you can't stop listening to. Check them out!BEAUTYThis Attar Perfume Oil is 100% pure Indian sandalwood. Sandalwood is sacred in the Hindu Ayurveda and used for worshipping the God Shiva. It is believe the Goddess Lakshmi lives in the sandalwood tree. It's a great meditation tool and when applied to the third eye it awakens intelligence and lifts the spirit. Shop here, $59Here's honoring you with the gift of friendship and the bond of brotherhood.Love & light!
This week kicked off with two celebrations that have similar concepts: Lammas (Christian) and Lughnasadh (Pagan) on August 1st. They rejoice in the harvest-as this time of year in certain regions is so bountiful with its production of plant life and edibles. Historically, this is the first harvesting of wheat and with that we give thanks for what will sustain us through the colder winter months.
We have compiled a few easy ways to add Harvest ritual into your life.
It may be the start of Harvest but while it's still warm out we think salads. The earth is producing so many amazing foods right now and this recipe from Bon Appetit for Bresaola-Wrapped Persimmons with Arugula hits the spot. Peaches are big in our region so we decided to swap those out for the persimmons. Yum!
We love the yogaseasonal site for fitness by the season. They have all sorts of ideas on how to work on your physical self depending on what time of year it is. The Lammas holiday is about unconditional love- for yourself and others.
Rose geranium is great for reproduction (love anyone??) and skincare. Double duty during the hot summer months. Use this with an oil burner or mix with vodka and a little water to make a spray (good for room or body). At $5, how can you afford not to? Shop here
This little ceramic buddha has a secret...the top comes off and there's a place for your essential oils. Use the rose geranium oil or a little patchouli and fill your space with love! $35, Shop here
Peridot is protective and associated with love, faithfulness and loyalty. Remember this season is about unconditional love? So crystals are a great addition to your meditation or prayer sessions to help manifest these qualities. Bliss Crystals on Etsy is a great shop to get these and they are very affordable. Place them on your altar or in your sacred space and manifest love!
WEEKLY ASTRO PLAN
There's a lot happening with the planets this August too. The sun warms the earth and produces a bounty of foods and the planets are active with new moons and eclipses. We turn to Janet Amid for some guidance at this time. Zoos are watching their animals this month because of all the celestial goings-on which means you should pay attention too!
Remember to love others, the earth, and yourself.
Love & light!
Zaatar? Harissa? Heard of these?
So you've attended your co-workers celebration and the food was outstanding. The tastes may be new to you but it's not impossible to re-create. Time to get familiar with spices from around the world and many of them from the Middle East. The internet has made finding recipes and buying exotic ingredients easy so no excuses! Here FaithHaus showcases five favorites and ways to make them yours.
If you only stock your pantry with one spice make it Zaatar (or Za'atar or Zahatar). Nutty, zesty and herbacous, this blend brings EVERYTHING to life. It's Middle Eastern umami! From pizza to meats to grains (or maybe even on it's own!) this is a multi-tasking spice that lives up to the challenge. You will find it at Jewish and Muslim meals as the spice blend originates from the mid-East and is widely used. Huffington Post hooks us up with multiple recipes for zaatar. (Hint: it's summer time, try the corn!) $15, shop here
ALEPPO MARASH PEPPER BLEND
All the rage and not easy to find. Aleppo Marash Pepper blend is the perfect upgrade to your standard red pepper. Smoky and medium in heat, this Turkish red pepper gives the zing you need. This seductive spice works great in this recipe for Muhammara from Epicurious, a red pepper spread you serve with pita or crackers that's fresh and delicious! $15, shop here
A North African and Middle Eastern spice, you frequently find it mixed into a paste or a condiment. A bit spicy and bold, we love it as an aioli (mixed into olive oil or mayo and garlic!) or as a seasoning on fish or chicken. This recipe from IFoodReal is for Spicy Chicken Meatballs with Balsamic Harissa Sauce- we could eat these daily! $13, shop here
Frequently found in Lebanon, Syria, and Israel, Baharat is not as widely known to American foodies. But it should be! A bit of pepper in a sultry blend of cinnamon, coriander, cardomom, cloves and nutmeg. A really nutty and exotic blend that can work in everything from a latte (yes, sprinkle a bit on top for a nutty and spicy take!) to soups and ground meat. This House and Garden chicken recipe is easy and works great for summer dining. They call for you to roast it but we say marinate and grill! $15, shop here
Crisp, clean and delicious is togarashi spice! Seaweed and citrus blend with chili pepper and more for a fresh Japanese spice that Paleo lovers should delight in. This fabulous recipe for Salmon Poke from Cooking with Cocktail Rings has a creamy togarashi spice sauce and we say MAKE THIS for your next potluck and wow the crowd. $14, shop here
So while the roots aren't in faith, spices are used in many cultures and are familiar at celebratory meals. Give your table an international flair with spice blends that take you from basic to fantastic. Happy summer cooking!
The Cancer (June 22-July 22) is the sign of the crab. Tough to get through that outer shell but once you do they hold on and don't let go. The Cancer is known to live in emotion and stress can really set them off. If you know your moon or rising sign is a Cancer this works for you too! FaithHaus has something to help you make the best of your characteristics. Read on...
Flower-White flowers, specially rose flowers
Eye pillows are great for relaxation but also for sore necks and heads. The lovely pillow is a modern design featuring white roses which represent purity and spirituality. It's filled with lavender, chamomile and a touch of vanilla for the perfect lull into la la land. $20, shop here
Birthstone-moonstone and emeralds
Emeralds are great for cleansing the energy. They are balancing, give emotional strength, calming and serene. What more can you ask for in a stone? These gold anklets come with an emerald Swarovski crystal and the hamsa- Hand of God- to protect you. $35, shop here
Tarragon is a staple in French cooking. Simple to grow and such a nice addition to recipes. The herb aids in digestion, balances female hormones, promotes sleep and aids in cardiovascular health. We love this recipe for Tarragon Chicken from the NY Times. The perfect summer staple. Recipe, click here
Body- Rules the stomach and the breast
Despite the picture these temporary tatts are unisex and can go anywhere! We love them on the chest (or the breasts) and the Yoga collection contains the perfect symbolic reminders to take care of yourself and honor the moon (rules Cancer!). $10, shop here
Essential Oil- lavender (calming, digestive aid)
Lavender is the ultimate de-stresser. Calming and soothing and great for bath time which is the perfect way to unwind. This blend is lavender, neroli (orange) and chamomile which entices you to melt into the water and wash your worries away. $26, shop here
Happy July and happy summer to all you Cancers out there. Don't forget to take your moments to unwind during the hustle and bustle of summer fun.
A solstice is a time for celebration. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and the shortest night. Having rituals honors occasion and in this case it honors the new season and the changes that come with that. We suggest honoring the Sun God in a few simple ways. An of course we have things you can buy for each idea but you can easily find or make your own items.
Do you need to dress up for solstice? Of course not! But why not have fun with the occasion and make it memorable for you and those you celebrate with. This time of year there is an abundance of flowers. You might notice lots of weddings too. The sunlight allows these flowers to grow and we like to honor that process with a floral crown or headpiece. Perfect for that beach-y or forest-y wedding and perfect for your solstice celebration. $59, shop here. Make your own a la Lauren Conrad, read here.
WRITING DOWN YOUR INTENTIONS
Writing down your intentions is always good practice. The changing of the seasons is a great time to set new goals or intentions and writing them down helps to solidify them. We also like to write down what we want to change or get rid of and then burn it! Yes, throw those pages in the backyard bonfire and say goodbye to old bad habits. Aum Journal $38, shop here. DIY- grab any old paper you have, write down your thoughts and burn or manifest.
ESSENTIAL OIL BATH
We talk about essential oils a lot at FaithHaus. They have such a deep history in spirituality and religion. Long used in rituals and this blend is perfect for a solstice bath. Basil oils and nectarine (orange) oils are all associated with the summer heat. Draw a bath and add a few drops of this luxe oil and set intentions for an uplifting and productive summer. Bath oil $20, shop here. DIY- our go-to make of all things essential oil at Fresh-Picked Beauty, see here.
We are obsessed (underscore and exclamation) with the incense cones from Age of Earth. Mystical blends that take you to another place- we love these for meditation and any ritual that calls for a beautiful blend of vetiver and holy basil. Buy here, $14 DIY- yes you can make your own incense cones! Find out how here
Have a magical solstice friends!
Love and light,