Autumn Blessings - meet Zoë & her magical recipe
Written by Megan Hudson - 19th October 2022
MEET ZOË LIND VAN'T HOF
Beginning this month’s series of ‘Day of the Dead’, we are connecting to muse, entrepreneur and wisdom woman on all things plant magic. Based in her beautiful garden paradise in Mallorca, Zoe is the founder of Wunder Workshop and Essentials by ZoeLVH, businesses birthed from her curiosity of understanding impact and supporting biodiversity and soil health. She regenerates wisdom on the beauty and medicine of plants, herbs and mushrooms, whilst ‘giving back to farming communities and educating people on the health benefits of these ancient plants and remedies– valuing this traditional wisdom.’
In celebrating the coming of Autumn, we connected with Zoe to listen to her journey and her wisdom on the transitioning of the natural world and our relationship to it.
Could you tell us about your journey and your inspirations?
My biggest inspiration to start Wunder Workshop was my late mother - a holistic therapist and naturopath. Growing up with her meant I was surrounded by interesting books about traditional medicine, the power of plants and how to create all kinds of natural remedies from an early age.
I grew up eating biodynamic and locally sourced vegetarian food, we grew many of our own vegetables, we would go foraging for herbs, mushrooms and berries, we would create altars with treasures from nature inspired by pagan traditions, and we used to go to very down-to-earth Ayurvedic health retreats in Sri Lanka.
After dabbling in different career paths, I realised that my true purpose lay in what was around me all my life: health and plants. This is when I decided to go back to Sri Lanka and find a traditional farm that uses regenerative and ethical farming techniques with whom I could work together to bring some of their incredible plant knowledge in the form of herbs and spices to London. This was the beginning of Wunder Workshop.
What is your special gift or superpower?
Empathy and righteousness, which can both feel like a blessing and a curse. But I channel it to feel for and connect to everything around me, not just humans but all other beings, the trees, the mushrooms, the soil and the sea. Everything carries a vibration, and when I connect to that I feel like I have the capacity to empathise with this and move from there. I feel the same with righteousness. I try to live and breathe truth, which can feel very heavy in a world that is upside down, but I hope to inspire through speaking my truth and living it every day.
During this Autumn transition, we are exploring the theme of 'Day of the Dead', celebrating the cycles of nature and the transitioning of the season. What wisdom do you think plants and nature can impart on us during this time? Can you share your personal wisdom on how this can affect our bodies and everyday lives?
Plants and nature are interwoven into every part of our lives. Everything we consume, whether fashion or food, stems from the earth, plants, trees, soil, minerals, water springs and so much more. So, it’s a beautiful thing to be in tune and aware of nature’s rhythms as it opens up this whole world of interconnectedness and to be aware of nature in our daily lives. This concept that we are in a reciprocal relationship with other living beings is something we can observe from the mushroom world, but this isn’t a new concept at all - interconnectivity was once a normal way of life and a belief system. Over the centuries it was demonised as witchcraft or “primitive”, but now I truly believe it’s time to acknowledge the truth that we cannot continue living disconnected from what is truly part of us. Mother Earth urgently needs for all of humanity to tune back into its familiar rhythm with nature.
Nature is our mirror, and I love applying this notion to my interaction with nature. The transition into autumn, is a slow movement back into ourselves, into a cosy womb. It’s a time where we harvest the fruits from the seeds we have sown in Spring, in both a physical and metaphorical sense. It is a time when we prepare for the darkness, decay, and impermanence. It’s a reminder of the intelligence of nature and its ever turning wheel of life. This time allows for regeneration and learning to make peace with impermanence.
It’s also a time of increasing movement of air, creating a need for us to ground and stay in balance. We can grasp this opportunity of movement of air by inhaling deeply, filling our lungs with vital life force and exhaling that which we need to let go of – representing death, during this time of year.
During this beautiful transition, I love spending time saving seeds, foraging rosehips, elderberries, mushrooms, apples, and herbs that prepare us for this transition into the dark. We can use this time to prepare for Winter by preserving fruits, making chutneys, creating a root cellar, and drying mushrooms and fruits. I also enjoy making my own smudge sticks by collecting mugwort, sage, rosemary and lavender and binding them together to hang them to dry.
Are you working on anything that you are excited about and you would like to share with us?
I have launched some beautiful new teas that are inspired by our European grandmothers and witches. Grown in tune with the moon, these herbs have been gathered to bring us back to our ancient wisdom that’s all around and within us. We are currently working on bringing them to Europe, so I can’t wait to share them with you all.
AUTUMN BLESSING POTION - A MAGICAL RECIPE BY ZOE
There are many recipes that I particularly enjoy during this time of year. I would recommend harvesting your own elderberries or rosehips and creating an oxymel or tincture with them.
I particularly love nurturing my body and mind with a warming and grounding potion.
For this I blend:
· 2 tsp raw cacao powder
· 1 tsp Superior Chaga
· 1/2tsp Ceylon Cinnamon
· Rose essence or rose water
· 1 tsp coconut oil
· 2 dates
· 1 pinch of sea salt
· 200ml hot water
Add all ingredients to the blender, make sure the water isn’t boiling hot as that can be dangerous in the blender, just let it cool down a little bit before blending it all, and enjoy it mindfully in front of an autumn altar, or whilst looking at nature. I try to take these moments of drinking potions away from technology and distractions. It’s a simple way to create a moment to connect to what is.
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