Wild Coyotea

Herbal Alchemy Inspired by California

Herbs to the People!

Wild CoyoteaComment

I first opened Wild Coyotea in November 2014, and here we are two and a half years later! I paused my shop toward the end of my pregnancy, and I’m finally reopening with a nine-month-old baby! I thought I would have some new products for you, but we are keeping it simple with my bestsellers (for now).  I am currently moving into a new apothecary, and I have lots of new projects/herbal products coming very soon. 

My sister, Asherah Weiss, redesigned my labels, and I am enchanted with them. I am retiring my hand printed canvas bags, and have opted for a screw top lid, so the tins will stand alone. This allows me to sell each blend for $10, instead of $13.  I’ve been noticing lately how much herbal blends retail for in stores, and many are ridiculously overpriced. I’d much rather bring HERBS TO THE PEOPLE, and forego fancy packaging.

Although Wild Coyotea is a small business, I would like to imagine we have a genuine impact – from the personal rituals of tea making and rolling herbal joints, to the way you feel when using these specific blends, to the environmental impact of loose herbs vs heavily packaged, and maybe Wild Coyotea will even inspire you to continue working on your own labors of love.  My pre-launch to-do list seemed daunting (order labels, blend herbs, update website, write blog + newsletter, etc), and with a sweet little babe who requires my constant attention (I don’t mind), I wondered if I would ever finish everything.  The reality is, everything is a work in progress – AND what really matters to you will persevere.  I encourage you to let go of things you think you “should” be doing, and follow your latest obsession, even for 10 minutes a day.  You will amaze yourself.  I can’t not be an herbal alchemist – I am a “plant person”, and sharing the wisdom and magic of their medicine is a great joy of mine.  As I write this, my girl is asleep across my lap as I type one-handed on my laptop on the couch. I hope I can at least influence her in the spirit of staying inspired and curious. 

Please stay in touch! Let me know what you love, what herbs you’d like to see me work with, or if you have a project you’d like to collaborate with me + Wild Coyotea.  I’d love to hear from you!

Your Plant Loving Friend,

Califa Moon Witsch

Califa@wildcoyotea.com

new tins.jpg

Forgiveness Magic: Ritual for Healing

RitualWild Coyotea2 Comments

My boyfriend and I recently started reading “Forgive for Good” by Dr. Fred Luskin.  I immediately recognized the important lessons, and knew that forgiving was good for my mind, body and spirit – but I was understanding those things mentally and not spiritually. Then I had a horrific nightmare about a friend who is no longer with us – and she wanted to kill me.  The day after the nightmare, and only a few chapters into “Forgive for Good,” I was meditating and all of a sudden I had a flood of faces and scenarios that showed up as long-standing grievances in my life. People and situations that I had felt betrayed by came flooding to the forefront and I realized that the forgiveness book was going to play much more intimately in my life. I had some major healing and forgiving to do.  I felt the hurt of betrayals, mostly from women who I had considered my friends, and knew that shoving those really uncomfortable feelings of sadness, shame, guilt, and innocence into the closet was not good for me.  I had to forgive, let go, face my fears, and move on as much as possible.  I know that I am not alone in my need for Forgiveness, so I created this ritual to share.  Be kind to yourself, be compassionate, open your heart and get the good healing.

 

PRE-RITUAL ENCOURAGEMENT: You may alter this in any way you please, change words or concepts to work for you.  If you have never done a healing ritual for yourself, you can just follow the “instructions” and follow your heart, you can’t go wrong.

 F O R G I V E N E S S    R I T U A L

 

Find a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted. Get comfortable in a seated position, whether that is on a yoga mat, on a comfy pillow, or even a chair or couch, whatever feels good to you.

 

Light a candle.  This represents the lightness of Love, the flame of the Heart, and Purity. 

 

Close your eyes and imagine a rod of light running from the crown of your head all the way down your spine to the earth.  Feel the energy of the earth coming up your spine.  Imagine yourself growing roots into the ground and acknowledge the earthy pulse of all that you are connected to.  You are supported.  Imagine that energy, or rod of light, going up through the bottom of your spine (root chakra, survival), up through your pelvis (sexuality and creativity), your core (power center), up to your heart (compassion), throat chakra (communication), third eye (intuition) and out the crown of your head (cosmic consciousness).  Imagine that rod of light going up into the stars, connecting you to the astral plane, to all that is.  Take as long as you need with this process until you feel grounded, centered and open-hearted. 

 

Start envisioning people or scenarios you have felt hurt by, or any sort of grievance that could heal with forgiveness. You can choose to only focus on one person or grievance, or many, it’s up to you.  Imagine the face of the person you felt hurt by, and while keeping your heart open, say to them (in your mind) whatever you need to feel as complete as possible in this moment. Keep it simple and kind.  Remember, you are forgiving for YOU, for YOUR HEALING. Acknowledge your part in the hurt or suffering. Offer as much forgiveness as you can to this person (remember, 10% forgiveness is more than 0%.  100% is incredibly awesome).  Forgive yourself for your role in the grievance.  Imagine the person in white and gold light and see your heart radiating love. 

 

Read the Following or SAY OUT LOUD for best results:

I am Protected.

I forgive Myself.

I forgive ________.

I stand in Love and ask (The Universe, God/dess, Hanuman, you choose) for the Blessing of Divine Forgiveness.

And So it Is. 

 

Light some palo santo or sage, blowing the smoke around the room and around yourself for cleansing and purity.  Blow out the candle, or let it burn if you remain in the room.  Thank yourself for taking time to Forgive.

 

Be good to yourself, forgiveness can be a process.  You can repeat this ritual as often as necessary to continue with a forgiveness practice.  If I get enough response from this ritual, maybe we can do a whole week of forgiveness magic!  Thank you for taking time to read and take care of yourself. Please share this link!

 

XO,

Califa Coyote


Cosmic Spring Moon - Ritual + Wisdom

RitualWild CoyoteaComment

I follow the cycles of the moon and seasons.  Every 28 days, the moon shines her full brightness, then wanes until we have a dark moon, a New Moon, 14 days later. The New Moon of this Spring Equinox will wax full in two more weeks, continuing the natural lunar cycle.

While some folks look forward to Christmas or Easter, I grandly celebrate the seasons and the moon cycles.  It is a great time to remember the waxing and waning of our personal lives.  A New Moon's darkness is a great time to let go of anything from the past month, year, or lifetime, to be ready for the expansion of lunar and personal light.  

Not only is today the New Moon, it is also the beginning of Spring.  We have come through the darkest nights of winter, often hibernating (physically or spiritually), sometimes mimicking the darkness in our selves by becoming more reclusive, incubating new ideas that will be ready to sprout once Spring comes to town.  She is here!  It is a perfect time to reflect on the lessons of winter, and give yourself permission to step into a new chapter of growth and expansion.  NOW IS THE TIME.

A good friend and mentor, Shiloh Sophia, sent out a beautiful poetry practice this morning, inviting us to BE in the space of the New Moon Eclipse Equinox, and it inspired the following poem. To be inspired regularly by the wild, soulful, visionary artist and teacher (she just presented at the UN!), get in Shiloh's vibe.

 

Cosmic Spring Moon.

Comfort.

Chaos.

Ceremony.

Wildly vivid dream worlds.

Kissing, killing, searching.

Bright Green Growth.

Tender love, dancing renewed.

Lady Luna guiding and reminding,

Revolving through the darkness of Winter,

Into Spring’s fresh sweet brightness.

Eclipse giving us inevitable images

Of our own shadowy transformation.

No excuses, we must go forward now.

And so I shall accept All As Is.

And so I shall believe in the power of my own curving path.

And so I shall spring into my confident heart, stitching hearts and moons of gratitude

as I follow the sun’s bright trail,

Living out my delicate incarnation one earth day at a time. 

New Moon + Spring Ritual

Give yourself time to sit with a journal or piece of paper and pen.  Make a cup of tea or coffee or kombucha, whatever suits your fancy.  Light a candle to represent the Spring and forthcoming Light.  

Ask yourself these questions, and write freely.  Do not censor yourself.

  • What are you allowing yourself to let go of right now?

  • What seeds have you started sowing?

  • What darkness can you acknowledge and release?

  • What is the Light in your life? 

  • How are you transforming?

  • What are you dreaming of?

Once you have written freely, choose a new piece of paper and divide it into two columns: Darkness and Light. 

Write words or phrases on each side. For example, under darkness I wrote: self doubt, fear of failure, sadness. Light: love, partnership, creativity.  You can interpret darkness and light as you will.  Darkness is not necessarily "bad" nor light "good", they are just different parts of the same whole. Once you have filled this up, thank yourself for diving into this deeply personal process, and safely burn the paper.  You may burn it in a ceramic bowl, in a fireplace, or an outdoor fire pit.  Allow the Universe to work Magic.  If you feel brave enough to share about how this process was for you, please respond in the comments below, or email me wildcoyotea@gmail.com I love to hear about your own Moon + Spring Rituals. Be kind to yourself, this is a big time of transformation. Remember to sleep enough, eat nourishing foods, and stay hydrated.  Keep listening to your inner wisdom and follow your own unique path.

With Love + Respect,

Califa Coyote

Photo by the wildly talented Allison Pharmakis.

Popcorn 4ever!

RecipesWild CoyoteaComment

In my family, popcorn is not just a snack at the movies.  As a kid, I was introduced to the treat by my dad, who was very serious about his habit.  He was so dedicated to his nightly ritual of popcorn making that he actually brought a little propane stove, pot + ingredients with him when he travelled, which was often.  We usually made it on the stove, but we also had an old-fashioned popcorn machine like they have at movie theaters.  As a kid, popcorn was topped with salt and that’s it.  Butter wasn’t something that entered my popcorn equation until much later on.   My neighbors always added nutritional yeast to theirs, and I became hooked on this vegan cheesy flavored B-vitamin packed powder at an early age.   

Here’s a basic recipe for stellar popcorn, feel free to add your favorite toppings. Get creative! 

Basic Ingredients:

Coconut Oil

Popcorn Kernels

Turn the stove on high heat, add about two tablespoons of coconut oil – you want the bottom of the pot to be covered.  Throw in a few kernels and wait for them to pop.  Don’t forget to put the lid on!  Once the first kernels pop, add 2/3 cup of kernels or enough to cover the bottom of the pot.  (You can add salt here as well.) With hot mits and the lid on, give the pot a little shake so the kernels get covered in oil.  Then sit back and listen to the pop!  No need to continuously shake the pot.  When the pops slow down, give the pot a few shakes so the popcorn on the bottom doesn’t burn and any unpopped kernels can make their final explosions.  When it’s slowed down to popping every few seconds, turn the burner off. 

 

Now the fun part!  Add all the delicious toppings!

Here are my favorites:

Cultured Salted Butter

Nutritional Yeast (find in the bulk section at your local health food store)

Sea Salt

Pepper

Cayenne Pepper

Parmesan cheese

Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (spray bottle works great)

Olive Oil

Toss all the deliciousness together and you have a Class A snack, treat, meal substitute (I’ve had popcorn for dinner).

Enjoy!

With Love, Califa 

New Red and Green Brews for You!

Herbal WisdomWild CoyoteaComment

I created two new brews!

Introducing: Queen Ruby and Morning Greens!

 

Enjoy the rich color, and light, sweet, floral palate of this Queen. 

Queen Ruby is a royal powerhouse of health.  

Rooibos: Antioxidant, anti-spasmodic, good for respiratory health, hyperactive gastrointestinal disorders, calming

Rose Petals: Calming, indigestion

Goji Berries: Antioxidant, mineral-rich

Rose hips: vitamin C

This caffeine-free green herbal tea is a great morning (or any time) immune booster! 

Morning Greens is a leaf-lovers dream!

Nettles: Immune system boost, allergy relief, anti-inflammatory

Red Clover Leaf: immunity, cholesterol

Ginger Root: Digestive aid, anti-inflammatory

Spearmint: Digestive  aid, anti-fungal

I have also created a five-pack of all the herbal brews (teas, not including smoking blends)! If you desire Wild Coyotea in your kitchen, or some handcrafted, healthy gifts to share with friends, I am offering a discount when you buy them as a package deal

Ezra the Forager

Herbal Wisdom, InterviewsWild CoyoteaComment

My friend Jacqui told be about her boyfriend's nephew Ezra: a young man who took plant foraging very seriously. I was impressed by his dedication and passion to this ancient practice. I hope you are inspired by the possibilities of young people showing such respect and joy for the natural world.

 

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the idea of becoming completely sustainable. Not having to rely on major companies to give me the food I eat has always seemed desirable to me, and foraging is such a fulfilling way of doing so.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about foraging, and teaching the world about foraging. It is the first way we sustained ourselves and is in all of our genetics. It is food in its raw form, and its most powerful

What are your favorite plants to forage?

#1 favorite thing to forage- Wood Nettle. I love it because it' a challenge to find, but once you do, you are rewarded with its wonderful taste. It also grows in large patches where it does grow, so its even more satisfying once you find it

#2 Serviceberries. They were one of my first foraged items, and therefore are one of my favorite. In season, they have many times prevented me from turning my homework in on time

#3 Lambs Quarters. Available most of the time, incredibly delicious, and just all around a great food.

                                                                                         Serviceberries

                                                                                         Serviceberries

 

What project/s are you working on right now?

I am not working on a lot right now. Winter is a bit of a dead time for me with foraging, so I'm just waiting it out for the spring.

What keeps you going when you’re “stuck”?

When I get stuck, I often find I just need time to think it over or just keep on trying. The thought of success will keep me trying, If it is something worth putting my time into.

How do you take care of yourself?

I take care of myself my walking, staying active, and eating well (Maybe a bit too much sugar)

What qualities about yourself work to your advantage? (What do you like about yourself?)

I like my determination, my leadership skills, and my foraging knowledge 

What is your favorite place on earth?

My favorite place is my grandparents mountain house in northern Pennsylvania. So much of my growing as a person and a forager has happened there.

What is your next travel destination?

Nowhere to my current knowledge. I would love to go to Peru, but that isn't going to happen

What is your favorite beverage?

Nettle tea
 

 

What is your favorite food or recipe?

Periwinkle Escargot- All foraged

What are your Utopian ideals?

A society where everybody is equal, all conflicts resolved with cooking competitions, and the government is made up of yogi's.

What is your astrological sign?

I am a Capricorn.

Check out Ezra's Blog: Forager in Philly


Alternative to Coffee + Cigarettes!

Wild CoyoteaComment

Enjoy a healthy alternative to Coffee + Cigarettes! This duo includes our Spiced Herbal Coffee and Original Ritual Smoking Blend.  No caffeine, no nicotine, just pure enjoyment! 

Why is it called herbal coffee? Well, it’s dark and rich like coffee, and it goes great with cream and honey. I like raw local honey from Sonoma County with coconut milk! Also, you can add half and half or almond milk, or whatever kind of creaminess and sweetness you like.  The roasted chicory root is great for your digestion and since I am now using chicory root powder instead of chunky chicory root, the powder dissolves in the hot water and gives a nice body to the beverage. Dandelion root is great for liver function and digestion, breaking down fats. Ginger root is wonderful for digestion, easing the stomach, as well as being very warming.  Cinnamon is good for cholesterol and is warming as well. Pau d’arco is known for its active ingredient, lapachol, which is an excellent immune booster, even known to kill cancer cells.

 

I love the ritual act of smoking, though I don’t smoke cigarettes. This is a great alternative to tobacco, or to be blended with cannabis.  Mullein is an expectorant, which means it is good to remove phlegm from the lungs. It helps clean you out! Mugwort is a dreamy herb and causes a euphoric feeling when smoked. Lavender and Spearmint offer subtle flavor notes, reminiscent of being in an open field of wildflowers and herbs. Raspberry leaf is a traditional herb smoked by Native American tribes, and very commonly found in herbal smoking blends.

When smoked by itself, the Ritual Smoking Blend gives a euphoric and dreamy feeling.

It can also be burnt like an incense in a firesafe ceramic or metal bowl. 

 

Top 10 Must Haves for a Healthy Kitchen

Herbal Wisdom, RecipesWild Coyotea1 Comment

Here are my Top 10 for a healthy kitchen! I recommend having them on hand at all times to incorporate into your daily practices of nourishment! 

 

Lemons

I add lemon juice to hot water in the morning to flush my system.  Also great for dressings or whenever you need a little tang! Even though they seem acidic, lemon juice actually helps alkalize your body. 


Raw Hemp Seeds

One of the most easily digestible vegan proteins! I add it to smoothies, salads, rice bowls, popcorn- everything!

Coconut Oil

Great high heat cooking oil, good for your skin, brain, heart, tastes great! I also add it to my pup’s food for a shiny coat.

Garlic

Immune booster!

Ginger

Warming, anti-inflammatory.  I use finely chopped ginger with my lemon water, it makes a great soothing herbal tonic.

Real Salt

Don’t mess with processed salt. Get the kind that still has its natural minerals

Dark leafy Greens

Because, duh. (Chlorophyll. Fiber. Vitamin A.)

Nut Butter

Protein! I love almond butter.  If you are into the peanut variety, make sure it’s organic. Non-organic peanuts are known to have TONS of chemicals.

Chocolate

Dark Chocolate.  Antioxidants. Vitamins. Essential Fatty Acids.

 


Raw Honey

Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties!  Delicious.  I use raw honey in my herbal teas and with hot lemon ginger tonic!

 

Eyes on the Prize with Ria Dolly Barbosa Wilson

InterviewsWild CoyoteaComment

I met Ria Dolly Barbosa Wilson in the Summer of 2013 when we both worked at SQIRL in Virgil Village, Los Angeles.  This was pre-remodel, when the place was truly a hole-in-the-wall.  I was immediately impressed with Ria and her husband Matt, as they were leading the tiny kitchen with big flavors.  Ria's dedication to creating - dare I say *perfect* dishes - was obvious, as the line around the block of anxious diners waited to try her fresh, unique yet timeless fare.  Now, Ria and Matt have their own project: WILD at Canele, where they create the lunch menu at the Atwater Village restaurant.  I feel honored to feature this exceptional chef!  

What inspires you?

It began when I came across the television show Great Chef's of The World when I was in the third grade.  I'd never seen food like that before!  It was new and intriguing and so delicious looking.  The only thing I knew how to cook fairly well at the time was rice (via rice cooker) and scrambled eggs, and I would prepare myself a bowl of rice and eggs before the show would air.  Every time each Chef would finish their dish, I would take a bite of my rice bowl and pretend I was tasting their dish.  Thinking about it now still gets me excited.  That was the spark, my first inspiration.  From then on, my parents continued to inspire me with all the delicious dishes they would prepare be it a quiet dinner at home or large family party.  I'll never forget the first time my dad prepared hummus.  He worked in Saudi Arabia for years before I was born and fell in love with the richly spiced food.  That hummus and pita introduction became another branch of food to explore.  I guess when it comes down to it, the resonating inspirations are my parents and exciting/foreign ingredients.  If it hadn't been for them and our bootleg cable, I would not have been exposed to the start of all the delicious things to come.

Hot Stone Rice Bowl at WILD at Canele

Hot Stone Rice Bowl at WILD at Canele

What are you passionate about?

FOOD!  Not only is it my passion, it is my life.  I love to recreate comfort and share it with loved ones and strangers alike.  Working in an open kitchen is great because you get to see your food go out and then instantly see your diner's reactions.  Every smile, nodding head, brief closing of the eyes, and this always gets to me - when children are so into it, it is such a reward.  

What project are you working on right now?

Right now the focus is all on WILD at Canele.  It is yet another step towards our goal of having our own restaurant.  We are lucky to have a great Chef and mentor, Corina Weibel, have so much faith and trust in us that she allowed us to create our own menu to begin her lunch program.

 

What keeps you going when you're "stuck"?

I think this is a very important question -- often times in this industry you are expected to put up a wall and just keep pushing through.  And for the most part that is all that outsiders see.  When I think of stuck, the culinary version of writer's block, doubting one's self, not finding inspiration in anything and the ebbs and flows of how busy you are or aren't (and how scary continuous slow days are) first come to mind, and are things that I've gone through personally over the years.  My end goal is usually enough to keep my "eyes on the prize" so to speak.  But when I'm really stuck, my husband and partner, Matt Wilson is the Goo Be Gone to my price sticker remnants.  He is my voice of strength and support when the going gets tough.  I think maybe it's a little easier when you have someone with you who has the same goal to keep you focused and can relate to whatever is troubling you.

Uni fettucine with Santa Barbara stone crab and furikake

Uni fettucine with Santa Barbara stone crab and furikake

 

How do you take care of yourself?

With the stresses the industry comes with, it's easy to forget to take care of yourself.  With that in mind, I tend to try to eat better when making meals at home, walking to and from work and the occasional massage never hurts!  It helps me clear my mind and relaxes my muscles.

What is your favorite place on earth?

As much as I love the beach and water elements, I've always been drawn to the dessert.  I can sometimes feel the electricity in the air all the way to my bones.  It's a very energizing feeling.

What is your favorite food or recipe?

This is a funny question to me especially since it's the root of who I am and in a way it's like asking a parent who their favorite child is.  And it's also similar to when people ask me what my "specialty" is.  We are in a day and age where one can be influenced by the cuisines of their childhood, a recent trip to somewhere exotic, a vivid dream they've had, or their neighborhood hole in the wall all at the same time.  I don't think you should limit yourself, to any single genre.  Follow your heart and your tastebuds!

What is your astrological sign?

I am a Virgo through and through!

Ria's LA Sunset

Ria's LA Sunset