Archive for April 18th, 2011

h1

The Nine Blossoms of Blodeuwedd: Meadowsweet

April 18, 2011

Meadowsweet, Garsdale Viaduct, The Dales, UK

Image Credit: thedales.org.uk

Common names: Bridewort, Meadow Queen, Meadow-wort, Mead-wort, Pride of the Meadow, Queen of the Meadow, Lady of the Meadow, Dollof, Meadsweet, Quaker Lady, Courtship and Matrimony.

Meadowsweet is known as Bridewort because it used to be strewn on the ground at Handfastings and Weddings for the Bride to walk on (‘wort’ is an Old English word meaning root or herb). The name ‘Ulmaria’ comes from the Latin “ulmus” (elm) due to the shape of the plant’s leaves. Its Gaelic name (Ius Cuchulainn, and Rios Cuchulainn) associates the plant with the legendary warrior, Cuchulainn, who was treated with Meadowsweet baths to cure uncontrollable rage and fevers. The plant’s name ‘Filidendula’ may come from the Latin “filum” meaning thread, and “pendulus”, meaning drooping – referring to the root tubers which hang together by threads.

A peculiarity of Meadowsweet is that the scent of the leaves is quite different from that of the flowers. The latter possess an almond-like fragrance, and it was one of the fragrant herbs used to strew the floors of chambers in Medieval and Tudor times to provide fragrance and keep out insects. In allusion to this use, Gerard writes: ‘The leaves and floures of Meadowsweet farre excelle all other strowing herbs for to decke up houses, to strawe in chambers, halls and banqueting-houses in the summer-time, for the smell thereof makes the heart merrie and joyful and delighteth the senses.’

The ‘Courtship and Matrimony’ name came about because the heady smell of the flowers represented courtship, whilst the sharper smell of the foliage represented the reality of marriage.

An important food plant for hoverflies, butterflies and bees, it is also the main food plant for caterpillars of the following moths – Brown Spot Pinion, Hebrew Character, Powdered Quaker, Emperor, Lesser Cream Wave and Satyr Pug. Roots produce a black dye and the leaves a blue pigment both of which were widely used by the Celts. The seeds provide food for birds.

Skater girl

Meadowsweet is know to have been used for at least 4,000 years as traces of it have been found in the remains of a Neolithic drink in the Hebrides and a bunch of Meadowsweet was also found in a Neolithic burial near Perth. Held by Druids as one of the most sacred herbs (along with Watermint and Vervain), Northern European pagan cultures seem to have used meadowsweet primarily for medicine, and as a perfume and odor-fighter, rather than for religious ritual. However, the plant does play a small role in the Mabinogion, a collection of Welsh myths and folklore, where meadowsweet was one of the plants, along with broom and flowers of the oak used by the wizards Math and Gwydion to create the woman Blodeuwedd.

It was also one of the fifty ingredients in a drink called ‘Save,’ mentioned in Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale, in the fourteenth century when it is referred to as Medwort, or Meadwort, (i.e. the mead or honey-wine herb), and the flowers were often put into wine and beer. It is still incorporated in many herb beers. [Sourced from The Isle of Wight Druid Grove]

Advertisements
h1

The Nine Blossoms of Blodeuwedd: Bean

April 18, 2011

 

 

Coral Bean Flower Essence

Flower color: scarlet
Essence type: Individual

Flower Essence Description

Coral Bean helps overcome a drug-like dulling of the survival instinct. It stimulates focus and will in facing or recovering from dangerous situations.

Harmonizing Qualities

  • brings us in touch with inner, self-protective wisdom;
  • clarity about how to handle the same type of situation so it is no longer dangerous, but a stepping stone to owning our own power and taking care of ourself;
  • clarity about situations that in the past had been “dangerous” to ourself and our processes;
  • helps us contact and realign our will, focus and concentration;

 Patterns of Imbalance

  • “I can’t, I can’t!” attitude;
  • expecting things to be hard and go wrong;
  • feeling drugged, spacey, detached, loss of will, loss of concentration, stumbling around;
  • self-destructive;

Sourced at Desert Alchemy Flower Essence

image ran away from its home at stujenks.typepad

h1

The Nine Blossoms of Blodeuwedd: Nettle

April 18, 2011

Nettle

Image Credit: Henriette Kress

In Norse mythology Thor the god of thunder is often represented by nettles and burning them on the fire will protect you from his lightening during thunderstorms. Also in Norse mythology Loki, the trickster god,  spun fishing nets out of nettles. Actually a very good string can be made out of nettles and nettle string had many uses in the ancient world.

Stinging Nettle Flower Essence

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) – Support for coming out of the fog of living in a way that can’t support our true Being. Aids in making clear choices especially about changing your relationship to toxic situations.

Medicinal, Food & Wildlife Qualities:

Stinging nettle is a common perennial herb to 8 feet found on moist forest edges, meadows and disturbed sites with rich soil. Hollow hairs on the leaves and stems inject folic acid into the skin, causing a stinging sensation. A valuable plant to humans for food, medicine and materials:  Harvest young leaves and tender stems (wear gloves) in Spring. They are high in vitamin A, B, C, K, calcium, potassium, iron and many trace minerals and can be eaten when steamed, sauted, added to soups or stews. Do not eat raw. Tea of dried leaves and root or a tincture are used for menopause symptoms, blood building, hay fever, allergies, urinary tract infections, strengthening kidneys and nourishing the nervous system. Compresses or creams of stinging nettle can treat joint pain, sprains and strains, tendonitis, and insect bites. Historically, the late season fibrous stems were used in making strong cord for use in basketry, ropes and fishing nets.

trapeze net

Symptom:

Use Stinging Nettle Flower Essence when you lack the ability to recognize  an unhealthy, toxic or abusive situation. You may feel angry, powerless and incapable of changing the situation.  As your body responds to these feelings, it may manifest physical imbalances such as allergies, tiredness, foggy unclear thinking, a weakened immune system, arthritis and other joint issues, to name a few.

Action:

Stinging Nettle Flower Essence helps to clear your thinking so you can see and respond to unhealthy, toxic or abusive situations more appropriately. This can be on any level – a relationship that no longer serves you, negative thinking about yourself and your life,  addictive habits – anything that does not support your true being. Stinging Nettle Flower Essence may help with menopause systems if they are being fed by the above situation.  [Sourced at  Tree Frog Farm]

Further Reading:

The Stinging Nettle ~ A paradoxical Green Goddess ~ Odinic Rite Guardians

Radical Detoxification ~ Reclaiming the Wild Soul

h1

Siglo de Oro

April 18, 2011

Card Four ~ Josephine Faulk

“Wow!

What a project – colour these pictures,

cut and paste,

draw those trees.

More cutting! More pasting!

What a learning experience!!

~ Rerun van Pelt

h1

The Old Gringo

April 18, 2011
Hope Island, Gold Coast

If you meet the Buddha on the road, take him to a 7-Eleven, buy him a slushie and let Nature take its course

South-of-the-Border Slushie Recipe

 Ingredients (serves 4)

 125ml (1/2 cup) cold water

100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar

1/2 ripe honeydew melon, halved, deseeded, peeled, coarsely chopped

160ml (2/3 cup) silver tequila

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

Method

1. Place water and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

2. Place sugar syrup and honeydew in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Pour into a shallow metal container and cover with foil. Place in the freezer for 6 hours or until almost frozen.

3. Use a metal spoon to break up the honeydew mixture. Place honeydew mixture, tequila and mint in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Spoon into glasses to serve.

 

h1

Claws and Afflictions

April 18, 2011

Everything Ive ever let go of has claw marks on it

Image Credit: Jack’s Honey

This is a teaching on a Tibetan word: shenpa. The usual translation of the word shenpa is attachment. If you were to look it up in a Tibetan dictionary, you would find that the definition was attachment. But the word “attachment” absolutely doesn’t get at what it is. Dzigar Kongtrul said not to use that translation because it’s incomplete, and it doesn’t touch the magnitude of shenpa and the effect that it has on us.

If I were translating shenpa it would be very hard to find a word, but I’m going to give you a few. One word might be hooked. How we get hooked.

Another synonym for shenpa might be that sticky feeling. In terms of last night’s analogy about having scabies, that itch that goes along with that and scratching it, shenpa is the itch and it’s the urge to scratch. So, urge is another word. The urge to smoke that cigarette, the urge to overeat, the urge to have one more drink, or whatever it is where your addiction is.

Here is an everyday example of shenpa. Somebody says a mean word to you and then something in you tightens— that’s the shenpa. Then it starts to spiral into low self-esteem, or blaming them, or anger at them, denigrating yourself. And maybe if you have strong addictions, you just go right for your addiction to cover over the bad feeling that arose when that person said that mean word to you. This is a mean word that gets you, hooks you. Another mean word may not affect you but we’re talking about where it touches that sore place— that’s a shenpa. Someone criticizes you—they criticize your work, they criticize your appearance, they criticize your child— and, shenpa: almost co-arising.  [read more]

Towanda!

 

h1

The Nine Blossoms of Blodeuwedd: Broom

April 18, 2011

Scotch Broom

The Awareness Crisis

One common experience reported by people using flower essences is an intensification of certain traits prior to experiencing a transformation. For example, someone taking Willow essence for resentment may have an acute awareness of resentment, before being able to let go and forgive. This seeming increase of an emotional trait has similarities to an “aggravation” produced by a homeopathic remedy, or a “healing crisis” stimulated by such cleansing practices as fasting.

We call this phenomenon an awareness crisis, because it is caused by bringing unconscious emotions and attitudes to the surface of awareness. Since they were previously hidden or disowned, these qualities seem more intense when brought to consciousness. Such experiences provide us with a clear opportunity to witness and acknowledge negative or dysfunctional aspects of ourselves ~ Patricia Kaminski & Robert Katz, Using Flower Essences: A Practical Overview

Wi the burn stealing under the lang yellow broom ~ Robbie Burns

I remember as a child in the 1950s, yellow scotch broom was already all over the place. It would suck the ground dry with its extensive root system & nothing would grow on the ground beneath it. This meant us kids could crawl around underneath it, along a network of wonderful paths, without encountering stickers or undergrowth or even mud, the roots sucked the soil so dry. From us kids’ point of view, those stands of broom were great. ~ Image & Words by Paghat the Ratgirl

Scotch Broom

Positive Qualities: Positive and optimistic feelings about the world and about future events; sun-like forces of caring, encouragement and purpose

We live in a time of great uncertainty, transformation, and upheaval. These powerful conditions can predispose many souls to feel very anxious and depressed about their lives and the future of the Earth. Such persons may be morbidly attracted to apocalyptic scenarios of the future, or the exposure to mass media portrayal of world events may arouse intense feelings of pessimism and despair. These feelings burden the soul with extreme emotional weight so that the soul becomes heavy and “deep-pressed.”

At the core of such illness is the feeling of “What’s the use?” or “Why try?” The depression such persons experience is characterized not only by feelings about their personal lives, but about the world as a whole and their relationship to world events. Thus the soul is paralyzed in the positive use of its forces, unconsciously adding to the darkness of the “world-psyche”.

Scotch Broom gives tenacity and strength, enabling the individual to move from personal despair to impersonal service and care for the welfare of the world. This essence helps the soul to meet the challenges of our times as opportunities for self-growth and for helping others. In making this transition, the soul shifts from its unconscious identification with world darkness to the vision of a more hopeful, positive world future.

~ Flower Essence Repertory, the Flower Essence Society