Sukkar (Hair-Removing Caramel)

This traditional hair removal method is particularly practiced in Lebanon and Egypt, where it’s simply called sukkar, “sugar”. Online it’s sometimes referred to as “sugar wax” but that’s entirely too misleading. What it literally is, is caramel (as in the movie) with a bit of lemon juice. It’s completely natural, washes away without a trace, you can make it at home (no packaging), and the leftover can be stored indefinitely in a jar (I keep it in my dresser). It is one of the somewhat painful hair removal methods, yes (but not the most painful, and the degree depends on the part of the body), but having started with it as a teen, then used every method on the market before returning to it, I can vouch for the superior results of sukkar in leaving the skin smooth and comfortable, both on the body and the face, for much longer than a shave. It’s also a sticky operation, but set an hour aside and do it in the bathroom so you can hop under the shower when done. Note that it may not work is hair is too short: let it grow out a bit.

Making the caramel

The step-by-step recipe, which only requires (regular white) sugar and lemon, is given below. It takes a bit of practice to get the caramel right the first time, and a candy thermometer, while not necessary, really helps take out the guesswork. The end result after cooling should be firm enough to handle, but sticky enough to actually adhere to the hairs and pull them off. Press a little of it on your skin: if there’s no tack, it’s too hard. If you don’t get it right, however, there’s no need to throw away your batch, you can fix it:

  • If your caramel is too sticky, it didn’t get hot enough, so just cook it again.
  • If it’s too hard, it’s overcooked: add some water (no more than 1/4C) and heat it up again so it melts and you can mix the water in; then proceed with cooking till it reaches the correct point.

How to use it

  1. Start by having a wash under a hot shower, and dry yourself off thoroughly. Clean skin prevents irritation; the heat opens your pores making hair removal easier; dryness is important as water dissolves the sugar and completely stops it working.
  2. Pinch off a walnut-sized amount and knead it between your fingers to warm it up. In warm weather this is not even necessary. If you’re tempted to pop some in your mouth, do so now, before you start using it 😉
  3. Spread against the hair growth, and pull away along the hair growth (some people do it the other way around, this is gentler on the skin). In areas where the skin is a bit loose, hold it taut with your other hand so you don’t yank it (that’s much more painful than pulling hair).
  4. Reuse the same bit of sugar until it’s too sticky to be workable. Drop it in your toilet or sink (it’ll melt!) and pick up a new one. If you’re concerned about pain, feel free to use an ice cube inside a towel to soothe the skin after sugaring (just keep it dry till you’re done).
  5. If it’s gone too sticky and bits are staying on your skin that you can’t pull off, don’t panic. Let them be. When you have your rinsing shower, the warm water will take care of them.

Feel free to print this image for your private use. Click here for more DIY Personal Care products and how to source the ingredients.


The Greater Conversation

by Maj-Brit Jo Arnested,

The rich communities of this Earth consist primarily of the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom, the elements, and the in-betweeners*. All equal participants in creating, sustaining and exploring life on this Earth. But Earth herself is also more than the sum of these beings, she is in her own right a being of soul and matter. Earth speaks both in all of her beings and as a singular identity. This is important to understand when engaging and igniting once more the greater conversation.

Humans have lost “the great conversation” and in this losing we have made ourselves extremely poor. We live in greater poverty now than ever before because it is a poverty of being out of contact with the essential nature of what it means to be human. It is a self-made condemnation from the rest of the living communities of this Earth. But there is a way to rekindle this conversation; there is a way for us to once more reconnect to the other communities of Earth and engage in right relationship with them and the whole.

The Earth communities are vast and different in their appearances and physical make up, yet we are all one large family. All plants, the vast and rich animal kingdom ranging from insects to bear, eagle and the human being, the elements: wind, water, fire and earth, all have their own language and yet we are all living and sharing life on this Earth collectively. Even though we can sit down and observe all these other species and decode some of the language we either see with our eyes or hear vocally, there is another and deeper conversation waiting to happen. It is a conversation of our joint livelihood on this Earth.

For far too long human beings have isolated themselves from the rest of the Earth community, and there is sadness from the rest of the community that we have done so. They long to enter into a responsible and mature conversation with us. A conversation where the well-being of the whole is taken into account, not just the well-being of human beings. We are loved by many of these communities, or at least we are still loved by the plant community. We use to be loved by our animal brothers too but they fear us now, so we have to rebuild trust; with them we have to regain our brotherhood status. This can only be done through right action and respectful conduct so that they may regain their trust back in us. They want to trust us, they want to establish our rightful bond to them but we have done too much harm and been too deceitful for to long. I don’t know how long it will take for us to prove ourselves worthy once more, but it is urgent that we gather in circle with them now to begin this work. It is vital and urgent that we gather in circle with the heart and soul of all of Earth’s communities now, at this time. We need to begin to listen to what they want; we need to hear their vision of the future. We need to let them lead the way into a new way of being and a new way of life. It is no longer about human beings and our needs; it is about the Earth as a whole. For all the miserable things we have done, we need to take a step back and listen, so that we may serve this Earth as we were intended to.

How do we do that?

Ever wondered how to communicate with other species without learning their language or teaching them ours? Even though this is a broad field with many spectrums, I will try and give a few pointers here. But before you begin, please make sure that the communication is not to satisfy human thirst for knowledge, power, vision or personal gain. If you enter with this thirst you will not get far and you can risk opening yourself up to more dubious characters that live and engage in this field too. If you enter with right intent, with respect and a wish to listen and not push your agenda upon the conversation, then you can experience a connection and love beyond measure; you will find family! But always, always respect a wish for non-communication!

There is a silent field where no words are necessary, yet the communication in this field is richer and fuller than anything else. It can in one instant say more than a thousand words. There are no rules here, all you need to do is sit down, be still and listen inwardly, and let that expand outwardly. It sounds easy but it takes practice; practice to silence the collective mind’s chatter and to build another muscle of impressionable hearing. Spectrums of impressions will rise upon you and the exchange has begun. More intimate than anything else, no misunderstandings are possible in this impressionable field and even though much sadness or loss can be expressed here, joy seems to be the tapestry behind it all.

Once you accustom your body to this way of communicating, you slowly attune your inner ear and heart to it and it becomes more fluent. Just like you workout a muscle you also need to build this ability within yourself.

Even though this impressionable field seems to be the ground of interspecies communication, it is only a common ground of meeting. The meeting always takes hold in the entities/energies gathered there and their individual adaptable range of understanding the communication that is happening. Therefore, sound or words may arise in you, or pictures or forms. These are a form of translational media so that individuals understand each other. This is good as we as humans live in a world where we need to justify the communication through our mind’s ability to understand and reflect upon it, as well as reflect it back into culture. This, however, is a field where misunderstanding can occur because of translation both within yourself and to others. Also beware of what you lose or cannot translate, it is not insignificant.

Humans are so far the only physical species that I have encountered which is able to say one thing whilst their body- and/or soul-nature communicates something else. In other words, they are not in congruence; their mind is not listening to the deeper truer level of their body and soul, or they have their own agenda. Animals and plants cannot do this: they are always congruent. Respect their wishes; not all beings find communication with humans enjoyable or worth their time, and not all will have a friendly intention. Remember it is not about you, it is about the whole and you need to hold the highest respect at all time, as well as, common sense in order to navigate safely in this field.

Practices that develops the “impressionable field” muscle:

  • Immersing yourself in nature; walks, swims, sitting or lying on the
    grass/ground/sand/stones, skiing, diving, playing outside, barefooted movement, naps in nature etc.
  • Meditation; any form of meditation that stills the mind or teaches you to ignore it
    and disregard the thoughts happening.
  • Awareness of breath.
  • Sitting around the campfire, as well as cooking and sharing meals in open outdoor
  • Re-learning the art of foraging.
  • Garden work in all forms but especially including working with seeds.
  • Working or volunteering at animal wildlife centers or shelters.
  • Qi-Gong or Tai Chi might help some.

If you wish to engage further in this, please check in regularly on this website and blog dedicated to the opening of the greater conversation:

* The in-betweeners consist of elemental beings, deva’s, certain energies and other energetic beings. It is not out of disrespect that I call them the in-betweeners, as they really belong to the Earth much more than we do. However, they are commonly not perceived with the eyes or ears by the majority of human beings, as a functioning in the brain rules out the visionary or oral input of/from them due to cultural inhibition and lack of recognition of their forms. In other words: your brain tunes them out. They are ok with the term “in-betweeners” because there isn’t much psychological and cultural heritage associated with it, and as such it doesn’t produce a fixed image in the mind of human beings: they can therefore stand more freely because of that. At this moment the term “in-betweeners” is fine with them.

Nut Milks

[Feel free to print this image for your private use. Click here for more food basics to make at home.]

Whatever your reasons for keeping away from dairy, nut milks are a common and diverse substitute. But they cannot be found package-free, and in addition tend to be produced by big brands engaged in mass-scale agriculture, so they are not Earth-friendly. Happily, they are the easiest thing to make at home from bulk-bought nuts – all you need is a blender. This same method also works for making your own coconut milk rather than buying it tinned.


DIY deodorant

Tip: If the weather is hot (above 24ÂșC), it’s best to keep this in the fridge. Otherwise the coconut oil goes melty and the powders sink to the bottom of your container. Then when it solidifies again, you’ll only pick up coconut oil when putting it on. If this happens, just  give it a good shake and freeze it again for a few minutes. This hardens it before the powders can decant again, and it’s as good as new.