Penny Blake

Extraordinary Everyday

Month: November, 2014

The Tea Activists’ Handbook: Suggested Activities for December

Activities For December:

– Knit cup jackets and pot cozies for friends and family.

– Knit blankets, hats, scarves, socks or  mittens for a local homeless shelter, animal sanctuary or premature baby unit.

– Adopt a granny (or granddad)! Contact your local retirement or care home and find out if there is an elderly person who would appreciate regular visits for tea and cake.

– Invite your neighbors in for tea and mince pies.

– Send boxes of tea to friends and relatives abroad.

– Set up a stall to give away free cups of hot tea in your local area. If the police ask what you are doing, give them a free cup too!

– Donate some really nice tea or other cheerful festive treats to your local food bank.

– Organise a tea and mice pie sale. Use the money to buy presents for children at your local hospital, homeless or women’s shelter.

– Make teacup candles by melting wax beads (or grated wax from spent candles) and pouring it into old teacups with a weighted wick. Give as gifts to friends and family.

– Make your own spiced tea by filling jam jars with your favourite black tea and adding chopped or ground dried spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger or star anise. Tie the jars with ribbon and give as gifts. Don’t forget to keep one for yourself.

– Surprise someone in your family with a cup of tea.

– Set aside a quiet hour to enjoy a nice cup of tea with your favorite biscuit.

– Recycle your tea boxes by filling them with small gifts and posting them to distant friends and relations.

Advertisements

Tea Activists’ Handbook: Introduction to December

December was gifted to us by The Powers That Tea, so that we might have a month in which it is perfectly acceptable to combine alcohol and tea. In December we stoke our inner flame with the warming spices of chai and remember that our actions in the world can bring this warmth and comfort to others.

The Sacred Tea for December is Masala Chai.

The Scared Ritual for the first of December is as follows:

The Chant:

Oh tree of tea, oh tree of tea

How sacred art thy leaves to me

Oh tree of tea, oh tree of tea

Thy blessed blossoms should be free

Yes free to all, not hoarded up

To fill some greedy guzzler’s cup

Oh tree of tea, oh tree of tea

Divine gift to humanity.

The Oath:

           

I solemnly swear to accept the gift of the month of December as a month for spreading comfort, warmth and sustenance to those around me. I will honour the Powers That Tea by drinking Chai with respect and acknowledging that these delicious spices are a divine gift to all, not to be hoarded or monopolized by one group of greedy guzzlers. As a mark of this vow I will wear my Festive Tea Socks every day during the month of December.

            I solemnly swear that I am up to a lot of good… although it may not seem like it at the time.

Optional Ceremonial Garb:

The Festive Tea Socks

The Tea Activist’s Handbook: Introduction To Winter

The first day of winter may be taken as the first day you need to turn your heating on indoors, or the first time you catch a cold, whichever is sooner. Winter is traditionally a time of good cheer amongst tea fiends. Strange rituals that we are forced to keep secret for most of the year, for example dressing our cups in fashionable knitted jackets or brewing chai in large cauldrons over a smoldering fire, suddenly acquire a certain festive charm and are not likely to subject us to social ridicule or death by angry pitch forks.

On a serious note, winter is the time when guerrilla tea activism is most needed because for many it is a cold, bleak and lonely period when  the line between those who are able to skip through life on rainbow-spangled wings, and those who are forced to crawl belly down in the dirt to make way for them is at its starkest.

This darkest, coldest, cruelest time of the year is when we must step up to the mark in earnest and make our presents felt…or wool, or wax or anything that comes to hand that is good for present making will do actually, doesn’t have to be felt at all…

We must look around at our nearest and dearest, at our neighbors and friends, at those in our community, and yes sometimes maybe even our enemies… and see who is in need and how we can help them.

Winter is also a time to recognize if we are in need and to seek out nourishment, comfort, companionship and the gentleness of deep dreaming and wild imagining that only sitting by the fire with a blanket and a mug of hot chai can bring.

The Tea Activists’ Handbook: Introduction to November

November

 

November was gifted to us by The Powers That Tea, so that we could stand outside in the cold and the dark, drinking bonfire-flavoured Yerba Mate and reflecting on the fact that it is probably not very nice to burn people on bonfires or blow each other up, or shoot at each other with guns. Important messages which, like a nice Masala Chai, need mulling over, lest we forget.

 

The Sacred Tea for November is Yerba Mate.

 

The Scared Ritual for the first of November is as follows:

 

The Chant:

 

Red the poppies of the field

            Red the blood that has been spilled

            Green the tea this day we make

            Green the life, not ours to take

.

The Oath:

           

I solemnly swear to accept the gift of the month of November as a month for contemplating endings and beginnings, for comforting those who grieve, for celebrating and enriching the lives of those around me. I will honour the Powers That Tea by drinking Yerba Mate with respect and acknowledging that its life-giving goodness is a divine gift to all, not to be hoarded or monopolized by one group of greedy guzzlers. As a mark of this vow I will wear my  Sacred Tea Scarf every day during the month of November.

I solemnly swear that I am up to a lot of good… although it may not seem like it at the time.

 

Ceremonial Garb: (Optional)

 

The Sacred Tea Scarf