How to Make Tofu

The tofu is top left hand corner, looking (and tasting) like fried halloumi I cheese.

If you are a healer or guide in any sense, you need to stop supporting the suffering and death of others. Nowadays, it’s not exactly difficult or strange to take meat out of your diet. And here, I’m giving you one more way to enjoy that feeling of smug self-satisfaction. Friends, I give you:

Tofu that tastes like ricotta, that you can make in 30 minutes and with minimum effort, using ingredients you can easily buy in any supermarket and equipment you undoubtedly already have at home.

You can put it on salads, in sandwiches and stews and curries. You can press it till it’s hard then fry it like halloumi cheese. You can load it over nachos. Or you can scoop it out of the container on the end of a taco chip, like hummus, and shovel that creamy goodness down your throat.

Ready? Here goes.

Ingredients:

1 litre of plain soy milk

1/2 cup vinegar and / or lemon juice

1 teaspoon of sea salt or rock salt. Do not use chemical salt. Ever. See why HERE.

Nutritional yeast, if liked

pepper, herbs, garlic to taste.

Method:

Take a large pan and put the soy milk in it. Bring slowly to a simmer. When the milk is simmering, add the vinegar / lemon juice bit by bit. Eventually, the milk will curdle. You will see it separate into solid-looking curds in a yellowish-greenish clear liquid. If you are not sure whether the liquid is clear enough, stir it. If the liquid looks at all milky, keep adding the vinegar. Once curdled, turn of the heat.

Here you can see the chopsticks have properly formed, although still very mini curds.

Put a large sieve or colander in the sink. Metal is best for this job. Line it with a tea towel or bandana, one that doesn’t have any holes at all. Yes, I learned that the hard way. Tip the contents of the pan into the cloth-lined colander.

Here’s hoping I used the cloth without holes…

Add your salt, and any other herbs, spices, whatever, you are interested in. Dried mint is nice, so is oregano and thyme. Stir everything around. You will see the clear water-like liquid draining out through the cloth.


Yes I have a small and slightly messy kitchen.

Without scalding your fingers (you might want to wear rubber gloves) tie opposite corners of the cloth together. Then hang your bag of dripping tofu over your sink to drain. That part will take about 5 minutes. Then, depending on what consistency you want your tofu, you can either just use it as a very soft, cottage cheese-like consistency, or you can press it.

I’ve left it hanging up overnight with rubber bands squeezing the water out, but actually but it looked quite freaky so I don’t do that anymore.

My pressing system is about as unscientific as it’s possible to be. I put the cloth full of tofu back in the colander, then I fill a Le Creuset pot full of water, put the lid on, and set that over the bag to press out the remaining water quickly. You will need to check back on it from time to time and rearrange it so that it gets evenly pressed.


Here I made tofu with 2 litres of soy milk.

Once it is at a consistency that is to your liking, store your tofu in a container – a bowl with a plate on top is perfect and avoids using plastic – and you can keep it in the fridge for up to a week. Some people keep their tofu in water in the bowl, but I think it makes it go softer. It’s best eaten as soon as possible. Mmm. Warm…


This is about half of what I made, and it worked out enough for 3 people.

I make this in large batches using 2 litres at a time, but for experimental purposes you could try 1 litre first and see if you like it.

I started making this recipe because I used to make paneer, which is basically the exact same method but using cow’s milk. Then I cut down on / practically stopped using cow’s milk products because of THIS. When I started using soy milk in a lot of recipes, I noticed how soy milk curdles when you add lemon juice and vinegar, so I decided to try making tofu and it worked. I prefer using vinegar or lemon to using nigari / magnesium chloride, which is the traditional Japanese curdling agent, because there is always a disconcerting bitter aftertaste with that, I find. Also with vinegar and salt you get a very nice light cheesy taste. There are other versions of this recipe elsewhere on the web, though, but basically they use pretty much the same system as me.

You can also make your own soy milk for this, if you have the time and energy. I like MIYOKO SCHINNER’s version.

I’d love to hear how it turned out for you. Please leave a comment!

As always, you can use my pictures / text, but ONLY with my permission. Thanks for respecting my work. Remember: Witches collect.

How to Honour Your Animal Spirit Guide

There is a lot of talk about the difference between Animal Spirit Guides and Animal Totems. At the risk of sounding simplistic, for me there is no real difference.

Your Animal Spirit Guide will present itself to you in a form you can understand and relate to in terms of its qualities.

For example, if your Guide would like you to identify it with immense strength, power and intelligence, with a fierce and predatory nature, because that is what is going to help you to achieve your Sankalpa in this lifetime, it might present itself to you as a tiger or lion. On the other hand, if you need to be more subtle, or perhaps hard-working and in tune with others, you might find your Guide looks like an ant. Ok so that’s a little extreme, but it’s a possibility.

There are a lot of great (and possibly not so great!) videos and meditations out there on how to go about meeting your Animal Spirit Guide. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my favourite book on the subject is Ted Andrews’ How to Meet & Work with Spirit Guides.  However, once you’ve found your guide, what do you do with it?

Let’s imagine you meet your spirit guide and it’s a Male Lion. What are the qualities of Male Lion?

It’s a fierce predator, lives in a pride, eats the cubs of other lions. So in real human life, that means: stalk your spiritual goal with relentless determination as if your life and the life of your clan depended on it, cultivate excellent relationships and bonds with the other people in your clan, be strong and defend them, and singlemindedly develop your spiritual lineage. If your Spirit Guide is Female Lion, you also need to stalk your Sankalpa with terrifying focus, and you need to develop your Sangha / spiritual community more and be more defensive of smaller people.

So that’s all well and good for your inner journey and spiritual goals, how about honouring your Animal Spirit Guide in a real way?

Giving to conservation charities that pinpoint the animal you work with is an amazing way to say thank you. However, if you’re a little strapped for cash at the moment, following them on social media and sharing their posts also goes a long way towards helping.

How do you enjoy and celebrate the bond between you and your Animal Spirit Guide?

I know a former mixed martial arts fighter who wears a silver whale tie pin. Whether he know it or not, his Animal Spirit Guide is Whale. Do you wear leopardskin patterns? Do you have bear fridge magnets? Do you visualise your Guide walking down the street with you? Do you meet it in non-ordinary reality and hang like bffs? Let us know in the comments below.

A Light in the Darkness

I received this in my inbox this afternoon and instantly donated. But you don’t need to donate anything, just signing petitions helps so much. If you feel sad, depressed or angry about world events, organisations like AVAAZ actually do make a difference. See their victories HERE.

Udemy Course – the story so far

Instead of running the beginners’ course directly from this site, I’ve decided to post it on Udemy. The advantage is that my newsletter and blog subscribers can get it free, because you can get vouchers and the like, apparently.

The slightly sad and sorry news is that it’s taking me a lot longer than expected to get that thing up and running. I thought I would be able to just transfer files from the Beginners’ Tarot course that I ran earlier this year. However, looking back on that I realised that in fact I pretty much had to re-write the whole thing. But that’s ok, I love talking about Tarot. ETA is about mid-July at present.

So if you want a really amazing (!) comprehensive beginners’ Tarot course, subscribe to my blog! There’s a link in the side-tab on the right.

Timing Events with the Chaldean Decans

Tokyo Tarot Meetup rides again, at Denny’s Restaurant, Shinagawa, and this time we focused on  the magnificent Chaldean Decans, or decanates, whichever you prefer.

This system is based on the Chaldean calendar. The idea is that you can time events in the future using Tarot cards. I love this kind of fortune telling, because you get prediction and timing together.

Coming up soon, I will be offering a Chaldean Decan mini e-course, which will be FREE to Star Tarot Blog and newsletter Subscribers, and Patreon supporters.

If you want to see a much more beautiful version of the Chaldean calendar, see THIS blog post. In the reading on the table above, the member asked when she was getting married. Based on what the Tarot said, and looking at the calendar, what do you think?

Tarot Telesummit

Mass excitement here at Star Tarot as the indefatigable Kim Wilborn announces what promises to be another “Fly Higher, Fly Further” Tarot telesummit: Tarot Horizons. In case you’ve never participated in one of these, they are free to join, and take place live over 5 days, with recorded replays available for 48 hours. Guest speakers are usually pretty fantastic, you definitely learn a lot. My advice is hook yourself up. If you love Tarot, then this is the event for you.

Which is better, to reject and refuse negativity, or to explore difficult emotions?

Tears for those who yearn for liberation © 2013 Rose-Lynn Fisher

Great Healers often say you should strongly and fully reject and repel negativity, negative people, the shadow and the darkness. Modern-day psychotherapy says that it’s only by fully exploring and acknowledging the darkness inside us that we can be fully integrated human beings. What do you think?

Star Spread: How do I know I have Permission?

Warning: Adult Content, y’all.

How do I know I have permission to succeed and feel fulfilled? Because of course I do have permission, I only need to get out of my own way. So in many ways the spread should be titled: “How do I get out of my own way, already?”

This spread is in Tom Benjamin’s book Tarot on Earth, which I just finished it this morning. It’s an Elemental Dignities spread, where you see how the Element of the card conflicts or complements the Element of the position. I like that. Tom also says that just because two elements clash according to conventional ED theory, it doesn’t actually mean they clash in reality, and can work together rilly well. Take Fire and Water: How you gonna get yourself in a nice hot bath if you don’t heat it up? But then I wonder if conflicting Elements are another case of “The Death Card Doesn’t Always Mean Death, Until of Course it Does”? Sigh. Here we are back at the reason I bought that book in the first place: to learn to use my intuition in a reading, instead of what I have learned empirically.

Speaking of which, let’s crack on and do this bad boy, shall we? What imma gonna do is a kind of hybrid visual language meets learned meanings. Hang on to your ovaries, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Card Interpretation
Spirit: Spare Card. Aha! The Tarot is in cahoots with my Higher Self and saying you can't have that information now. I kind of love it when that happens – which is why I always leave the spare cards in the deck. “Check back later friend.”
Water: Tower. Ben Says that this is actually a lot more like a phallic symbol than a nuclear explosion taking place all over your shit. As this is in the Water aspect of my spread and it's a hard-hitting Fire card I'd say it looks like some jerk just came all over my favourite black shantung blouse. If only I had a black shantung blouse. But actually you know it's about how my emotions just explode everywhere and take me back to ground zero. Looking for equanimity? It's a long way to the top if you want to rock'n'roll.
Fire: Hierophant. My passion is teaching apparently. The only thing is that I'm a Gemini so basically that whole Taurus vibe (Hierophant is Taurus) is a little s-l-o-w for me. Perhaps if I can see the long view that’s how I get to the place I want to be.
Air: Queen of Coins. I kind of despise my own materialism and wanting to succeed. My inner critic basically rules my inner roost. Just look at the way she's glaring at that Spirit position card.
Earth: 8 of Coins. OK good at least here I know I'm on the right track. Here the 8 of Coins looks like a field with flowers in it which is also a back-burner plan of mine. As this is the only card that is aligned with it's positional element and the only Pip to boot (what I feel I can do for myself) maybe this is the clue I've been waiting for.
Topics: There are a lot of Majors here. I seem to think that this situation is kind of out of my grasp and the signifier is the grasping old Queen of Coins. The only pip is the 8 of Coins and I guess that means that I know I'm on the right path.
Overall: So how DO I get out of my own way? I think I have to get over my fear of material success and align myself with a very Taurean view of the future.

Did the reading answer the question? What would you have done differently? Thoughts?

Court Cards – you can’t live with them and you can’t shoot them.

A lot of people have a big fat problem when it comes to Court Cards in the Tarot. As a Tarot teacher I usually advise my students to match each Court Card profile to a person they know, a celebrity, a character from a book or a film. That way, you get to know the Court Cards as individual personalities, which I think makes it a whole lot easier to relate to them and understand what they mean if / when they pop up in a reading. I made a series of YouTube videos and you can watch them via the link on my website HERE.

As you know if you read my post about the Tarot blogs I follow, one of my favourite Tarot writers is Kate, the Daily Tarot Girl. Her latest post was as usual hilarious, irreverent and a strong blast of insight into the Tarot. So if you have ishuze with the Court Cards, I strongly suggest you hop on over to her blog, have a good laugh and never worry about those pesky little buggers ever again. Check it out HERE.

Free 3-Card Draw in Exchange for Feedback

Tarot de Jacques Vieville from Editions Sivilixi

At the moment I’m reading Tarot on Earth by Tom Benjamin because I want to expand my skills and learn to read the cards using the visual language of the Marseille deck, instead of all the card meanings I learned from books. In order to practice this skill / technique, I need some kind volunteers. So I am offering three free 3-Card readings, in exchange for feedback. This is on a first-come, first-severed basis.  Remember that I am still at a totally experimental level with this, so who knows what could happen? But as with everything Tarot-related, expect the unexpected.  Use the contact form below:

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