Interview with Elenore Bendel Zahn of Aeldr

Interview with Elenore Bendel Zahn of Aeldr

Elenore is the founder of Aeldr, creating tools for modern women to enter their Nourished Matriarch Eras amid everyday life. Her Modern Rituals is rooted in somatics, neuroscience, and elemental practices -- always with a side of nourished cyclical living. 

Where did you grow up, currently live and any other places that you call home? Any favorite seasons/plants/animals of those places that stick out?

Growing up in nature in Sweden gives you an insight into the local flora from the start. Nettle soup every spring, shroom foraging every fall etc. Celebrations with their roots in Norse paganism (which I realized much later) and a slew of other things offered me such a  beautiful base for my earthy heart to unfurl. We share the land with deer, red deer, so many birds, and a plentifully fruiting mycelial network. While I’ve traveled, studied, and lived elsewhere and abroad, this is home.

What is your work about? How did you find your way to this work?  

I’ve known since very early on (at 18) that I wanted to find ways to give us modern humans keys to land in the present. The Modern Rituals concept anchors us in the parasympathetic by potent daily Micro Moments and makes turning regular moments into regulating ones, second nature. It’s like magic but its us and it’s our everyday life. 

I’m getting back into a chill workflow after some years of an aligned pause while I’ve been deep in the baby and toddler years of our third little. To be super present with the beauty of it and also because it has been a few slightly tumultuous years too. Being embodied and rooted in a new home feels exciting. Pausing to me, is essential. 

What is your morning routine?  

As a mum I go with the flow of every morning but some of my morning cornerstones are:  
sunrise light in my eyes for circadian and mitochondrial health (and magic).  
something warm to drink. Often 50/50 hot and cold water with raw apple cider vinegar and some quality salt. Other times a herbal infusion from the day before  
something protein rich within an hour of waking to help my body stay grounded and settled instead of frazzled and up in the air.

What gives you the most pleasure in life? 

Nature and connecting with my loves (preferably combined) whether that’s my husband, my kiddos, my friends or family. 

Describe your perfect day.  

There would be fire in the firepit outside, the kiddos would be climbing trees, I’d be clearing in our woodland stretch or foraging, friends and family would be around, low levels of bickering between the kids :) Everyone nourished and fed around the fire and moments of stealing kisses, hugs, and laughs with Fabian, my husband.

What is your grocery shopping routine like? Any staples?  

The staples like eggs, local veggies, game meats, raw milk, flour, honey etc are picked up from local farms or markets (or the chickens and bee’s we care for with my mum and extra-dad). Grocery runs in the supermarkets aren’t my fave but they happen weekly too because we aren’t organized enough to bulk buy or order the things we need. 

What are your top 3 favorite cookbooks/books?  

Wise Woman Herbal for the childbearing year Susun Weed.
The Witch's Herbal Apothecary Marysia Miernowska  
The first forty days Heng Ou, Marisa Belger, Amely Greevan  
(I’d also throw in any kind of cycle syncing book)

Describe for me your perfect picnic spread.  

I love our beltane/may day picnics. Just us five somewhere (hopefully sunny) on our land with some raw cheese, elder flower tea, sourdough bread, jam, salami or cuts of meat (local pasture raised/ game meat), carrot sticks, eggs, and maybe pots of custard/yoghurt with last years berries. It sounds fancy but anything goes because  whatever it is, it tastes better outside.

How do you support yourself using plants?  

Primarily with nourishing herbal infusions  
Secondly with any homemade tinctures, oxymels or elixirs. 
Current favorite plant allies you’ve been working with? 
I grew heritage black oats last year that I have been loving in my milky oat tincture and in my oat straw infusion. Such a healing balm both for a mothering nervous system and for littles.  
My favorite infusion at the moment is with:  
oatstraw, red clover, nettle, fennel seeds

Any upcoming projects you want to share? Things you’re currently looking forward to?

It’s been such a treat to get to visit this space and community! There’s a Modern Rituals MICRODOSE Challenge running April 24-29th that I’m super excited about. It’s the perfect way to experience the mid everyday life regulating effects of the Modern Rituals concept and its Micro Moments -- Think: bye overstimulated boss girl (we’re all there sometimes) hi present moss girl in 6-days. In it, I’m teaching a class on The Trinity Tool which is the key to turn regular into regulating.That class is exclusive for the challenge moss club.
Other than this, the thing that makes me beam the most is really hearing from the community members about the shiUs this work has meant for them.  
My dream is nourished matriarchs all around (which to be clear, isn’t just mothers). That will create huge ripples in this world. A nourished web of us, all over.