A goddess is a woman who embraces who she is, creates magic in her own life and treats herself with great reverence. The name “Auset” is an African Goddess in various west African religious traditions. In these various traditions, Auset represents several entities such as Divine Mother, Divine Teacher, Healer, Creator of Magic, and Creator of Heaven. And in these various entities, Auset embodies my ancestors and teachers of self-care.
My first lessons in self-care came from three powerful goddesses in my family. For most of their lives, they lived in poverty. But they gave me lessons that money could not buy and that would serve me well throughout my life.
My Great-Aunt Lucy Ward was my Divine Healer. She was a firm believer in going to nature first to heal whatever ailed you. We lived in rural Preston, Georgia, which meant that nature was literally our back yard. Every winter, Aunt Lucy would take beef tallow and mix it with herbs and essential oils to make a cold salve to use during the cold and flu season. She would share the salve every winter with anyone in our community who came down with a cold. I hated catching a cold, but I loved when she would come over to my Grandmother’s house with her Crisco tin. She used the tin to hold her cold remedy and would rub the salve on my chest and under my nose. It warmed my little chest and smelled like pine. And after a good lather, I would wake up feeling better. I learned early on that nature can provide what we need.
Great-Aunt Emma Lee was my Divine Teacher. She had a garden in her backyard filled with collard greens, turnips, watermelon, and whatever healthy goodies you can think of. In that garden, she shared secrets of planting, growing, and enjoying. Aunt Emma Lee would also take me on walks after school to pick blackberries. Afterward, we would go back to her house, and I would watch as she made me, what is to this day, the best homemade blackberry pie I’ve ever had. I still use her recipe when I make blackberry pie although I’ve never learned how to get the dough quite like her’s. Aunt Emma Lee was a master in the kitchen and the yard, and I ate any scraps of knowledge and food that she tossed my way. The trips we took to the blackberry bush, her chicken coup, and her backyard garden taught me that nature can provide for my physical nourishment and it can also refresh my soul.
My Grandmother was the Divine Mother figure in my life. While I never saw her step foot in a church, my grandmother was the most spiritually in-tune woman I’ve ever known. After a long day of working as a maid or picking crops for local farmers, she would sit on her porch, sing hymns, and pray out loud. Watching her sing and pray by herself showed me the importance of nurturing my spirit and honoring the divinity both outside of and inside of me. Our Creator is the God outside of us who made us and loves us, and the goddess inside each of us has the responsibility of taking who the Creator has made and loving, nurturing, and growing that person into confident, beautiful women. Inside each of us is a goddess deserving love and care. And when we provide her with both, magic happens.
Auset Naturals embodies the care and love that each of us deserve. Auset Naturals strives to honor the divinity of our ancestors and the divinity in each of us by offering the highest-quality, handcrafted products made with all-natural, healthy ingredients. Each product is created with the intention to heal and nurture our bodies and spirits as we engage the practice self-care and self-love.
(left) Me and my grandmother, Bertha Mae Brown.
(right) My Great Aunt Lucy Ward to the left of me and my Great Aunt Emma Lee Jones on the right.