Ok. Here it goes.... If you don't want to hear me talk about some of the barbaric roots of this holiday and would just like this lovely recipe click here to pass my spiel. The rest of you, I invite you into a little history lesson with me.
Valentines Day. I have a love/hate relationship with this holiday and I am never fully comfortable with celebrating it. I love celebrating romance and love! I just think it's weird that we only have this day of romance splashed everywhere you look for one day a year. I mean can't everyday be Valentine's Day?
Here's the scoop. The roots of Valentines Day are blurry. There are multiple stories and nothing is perfectly clear. One aspect of the holiday began in Ancient Rome where they celebrated the Feast of Lupercalia. The festival name is derived from the Latin word lupus, meaning wolf. Just like a wolf, this holiday was wild, untamed and quite a bit barbaric. On this special day the men sacrificed a goat and a dog, they then continued the fun by whipping women with the hides of the animals they had sacrificed. The women would line up for this abusive act because they believed it would make them fertile. The men would then draw names of women and they would be paired up as couples for the remainder of festival, engaging in a drunken frenzy of sexual activities. I know. Crazy.
Another aspect of the holiday is that Emperor Claudius II (aka Claudius the Cruel) was having trouble getting men to join in his army. To solve the problem, he banned marriage and engagement between couples because he thought men would be less attached by not having wives and families. In his eyes they would be more likely to join his forces when they weren't romantically involved. A Bishop by the name of Valentine didn't agree with this unreasonable law the Emperor had laid down so he was officiating weddings in secret. Once Emperor Claudius II found out, Bishop Valentine was captured and made a prisoner to the Emperor. Bishop Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution that included beating, stoning, and in the end, beheading. All this because this man believed in love and stood for marriage. Also crazy. For his martyrdom, Bishop Valentine came to be remembered as Saint Valentine.
Years later, Pope Gelasius I confused the whole thing by combining Lupercalia and St. Valentines Day in hopes of disposing of the Lupercalia Festival. It was still a crazy, anything goes kind of festival, but with some more class.
That's my understanding, in a nutshell. So now, every year on Februray 14th people all over the globe celebrate this holiday as a day of love and fertility and although it is, its roots are dark and dirty. Now it's a day of consumerism at its finest. From Hallmark cards to flowers and chocolates. From negligee to romantic dinners out.
Don't get me wrong, as I said before I am all about celebrating love and romance but the roots of this day are just bizarre. I honor the man, Saint Valentine for rebeling and standing up for what is good and right, putting his life on the line for love. That's just awesome. So I vote for a new way of celebrating the day of love....I call it by many names: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. That's right! Let's celebrate love. Every. Single. Day.
As a token of honoring and celebrating love, I am sharing with you a recipe that I created in the kitchen a couple of weeks ago with my good friend Sheila over at White Moth Wisdom. This recipe is a lovely restorative blend for the body and sexually charged with herbs to wake up those ovaries. So if you're feeling the love, make some of these this Valentines Day or any day to celebrate the sweetness of love!
Aphrodite's Love Bombs
2 Tbsp. Shatavari root powder
2 Tbsp. Cacao powder
1 Tbsp. Ashwaganda root powder
1 Tbsp. Astragalus root powder
1 Tbsp. Eleuthero root powder
1 Tbsp. Holy Basil powder
1 Tbsp. ground Ginger
1 1/2 tsp. Schisandra berry powder
1 Tbsp. crushed Cacao nibs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup raw honey
1 Tbsp. almond butter
1 Tbsp. peanut butter
2 Tbsp. crushed raw cashews
1/4 cup coconut oil
8 Medjool dates
1. Mix all of the dates with 1/2 of the coconut oil in a food processor.
2. Put mixture into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.
3. Slowly mix it together with a fork or you can knead it with your hands.
4. Once it is well mixed, roll into balls
5. Once you have formed into balls, you can roll them in cacao powder or toasted coconut. Another option would be to put in the refrigerator for an hour, melt some chocolate in a double boiler, then dip the balls in the chocolate. drizzle with coarse sea salt.
*Contraindications and special considerations: May cause reaction if you have a nightshade sensitivity, consult an herbalist before using these herbs if taking any medications as there may be herb/drug interactions, purchase from a reputable source such as Mountain Rose Herbs or Jeans Greens (some of these herbs have been known to be adulterated).