New Moon Prayer Week once again. I can get used to this. The quiet, the meditation, the vision. I believe Astrology and Tarot are tools to guide us on the journey. I cast my own Astrology chart using The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need by Joanne Martine Woolfolk many Moons ago and then I had my chart done professionally and I was off by just a little bit. I think the astrologer may had had my birth time and place wrong which can affect the outcome. With Tarot, which I cast with Tarot for Yourself by Mary K. Greer one can have a Soul Card, which is one’s soul purpose through all their lifetimes and a Personality card which is what one has come into this lifetime to learn. They can be the same card like me in which case one is working on their soul purpose in this lifetime. Then there is a Year card for the annual work for every year of one’s life. Astrology comes from India and Tarot from Egypt. In love with history these days, perhaps it’s time to delve further into these origins. Origins ground me, I am prone to flights of fancy and I have the ability to compensate in the other direction now through history. Places it all into perspective. And eliminates unnecessary fret over the issues of today. I also use Runes, which we got from the Vikings, stones with symbols on them thought to have originated with the God Odin after hanging wounded upside down from a tree for nine nights.
I read through my Astrology chart this year wanting to cast my chart for the year, but have decided to leave it up to astrologers like Rob Brezsny. Once one has formulated the Tarot over the length of one’s life, the results can be charted on graph paper where patterns emerge. I just finished a ten year cycle. I think it is brilliant to find patterns through numerology, which is how Tarot is done. And don’t get me started on Astrology and Moon, Sun, Stars and Planets. I might start to levitate!
I have bought several Tarot decks over the years and have created an art piece with five decks and the runes for the last two years in my current journal, usually during Winter Solstice, to set my intention for the year. This year I am adding the Tarot of the Orishas by Zolrak & Durkin which I have always wanted. I have been purchasing practical things of late acquiring some unexpected income, but I thought it was time to invest in my spiritual practice as well. My practice has of course served me over the years, having enriched my life, filled my life with wonder and delight. Encapsulating the universal Spirit available like a garden tool. For me, they are tools that facilitate this work called life. I may as well have a bright and colorful way to experience it.
I haven’t watched the news since I started New Moon Prayer Week. Change is scary. I feel nervous, seemingly “escaping” the issues of the day, but don’t I also deserve to explore my spiritual self? Haven’t I grown to this point? Obviously I have. My mantra this year is “take the journey.” I am charting new territory and there is no view of the outcome. I will undoubtedly change by the end of the year, but as has always been the case, my core self will remain, that I know. I am Earth based in my Spirituality. There is no journey to Spirit for me without Earth. She is my Mother, my sustenance.
If you haven’t noticed by now, I am sharing my Plant Family alphabetically so look back through previous blog posts to start from the letter A. I continue with my Wild Plant Family.
Elderberry, Sambucas canadensis, Caprifoliaceae, Shrub, Tree, Northern hemisphere
Elderberry has been elusive for me over the years showing up in friend’s gardens, but never finding the time to connect and harvest. I was gifted berries a couple of years ago and I just found them in my freezer and had to toss them. Poke has always come to me in abundance and I believe plants come to one to teach one about themselves, Poke has been my go to for allergy, colds, antibiotic. Elderberry is safe for children, though and Elderberry elixir is yummy. I have found a source for bare root this year - a minimum of ten trees, so she may be planted at Hiddenbrooke and SDG this season. Kinda exciting! The flowers have been used culinarily, for the eyes, skin and for headache. The berries contain vitamins A and C. The leaves can be used for bruises and sprains. The bark has been used to treat epilepsy. Know as the “country medicine chest.”
Evening Primrose, Oenothera biennis, Onagraceae, Biennial, Eastern Turtle Island
I saw Evening Primrose for the first time on Denning’s Point and then she showed up at SDG now been over-run by Bull Thistle. She did choose another spot last season, but a single plant, not forming a huge stand like the first time she showed up. I was so happy to see her beautiful yellow flowers. I think she had been gone for a season. I have not used her for anything. Another elusive. The leaf and stem have been food for the Blackfoot tribe. Roots and tops can be boiled in honey to make cough syrup. Seed oil has fatty acids for healthy skin, containing gammalinolenic acid which can be used for PMS, allergic eczema and reduces blood pressure. Seeds contain tryptophan, which has been used as a sedative.
Garlic Mustard, Alliaria petiolata, Cruciferae, Biennial, Africa, Asia, Europe
Woods are overrun with Garlic Mustard these days. Leaves taste like Garlic and are a spicy addition to our Wild Salad. Garlic Mustard is biennial and can be found in either stage. Quickly going to flower where the leaves go bitter. The seeds taste like mustard. I have made Garlic Mustard vinegar. Leaf tea purifies the blood. In flower the plant is expectorant, antiseptic, stimulant and antiasthmatic, expels worms and can help heal wounds.