Herbal Forecast February 2019
February 2019, Moon of Hyldemoer Herbal Forecast for Liminal Light
These notes are suggestions for herbal allies to assist with the effects of the cosmic influences of this month. Before imbibing any of the herbs recommended, research what is a recommended dosage, & ask yourself & research such questions as, Does this herb interfere with any medications I am taking?, Does this herb match with my constitution?, Do I really need to take this herb into my body? Be wise: listen to your own body, intuition, guiding spirits & the plants themselves.
Imbibing the herbs recommended is of course only one way of meeting the herbs. There are countless manners of developing relationships with our herbal allies including sitting with the fresh or dry herbs, or a picture/drawing of the herb, making an amulet to wear or have on your altar (adhering to planetary hours/days is important here), visioning or meditating with the plant, & taking an herbal body or foot bath (In this case remember your skin is the largest organ of your body). Use your imagination & listen to the plants, they have been on this planet much longer than we have, are our Elders & have great wisdom to offer.
The overall herbal ally of this month I find to be steadfast Oats (Avena sativa) in the form of Milky Oat tops or Oatstraw, the seed & stalk of the Oat plant. This time of year I call upon Oatstraw from my previous year’s garden to make Brigit’s crosses at Imbolc as well as to form the Brideog to be comforted & fed next to my hearthfire, to convey blessings to my home from Brigit & to welcome the ever-quickening light. Oats, a member of the grass family (Poaceae), a cooling plant, offers strong grounding, nervous system support, blood strengthening & adrenal support. As well as being a Venus ruled herb of moistening & nurturing, I find Saturn in Capricorn would welcome Oats to the table because of its ability to build a strong structure from which one can move with confidence & vigor into the world. Venus visiting Saturn in its rulership in Capricorn is Oats incarnate. If ones constitution or life is already bordering on the damp & watery, one could add warming herbs like Angelica (Angelica archangelica), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), or Cinnamon (Cinnamonum zeylanicum, C. verum) to add some fire. Angelica will be talked about later in this forecast.
Oats will be helpful as the Sun moves from Aquarius to Pisces throughout this month offering soothing & grounding during an air & water ruled time. Aquarius is associated body-wise with the lower legs, including calves and ankles, the electrical impulses of the nervous system, the adrenal system, and with blood circulation & Pisces with the feet, lymphatic, immune, & emotional health.
Oats/Oatstraw contains abundant vitamins & minerals in easily digestible forms. It contains more magnesium than any other plant. Even though Oats have 7X the quantity of fat as rice, Oats offer this in a constituent combination that offers protection to the heart, increases circulation as well as balances cholesterol. Those who drink & eat of dear Oats are offered a nourished nervous system, digestive system, immune system, healthy skin & bones & teeth leading to physical, emotional, spiritual & mental hardiness.
Oats soothe nerves & enliven exhausted adrenals. Oatstraw helps one to be ever-present to receive the subtle & expansive energies that life is offering. It encourages deep, sound sleep & reverses fatigue from immune system depletion, stress or depression. Oatstraw allows an inner sense of calm so that we are fortified to faces life’s stresses with an uplifted spirit. Oats/Oatstraw is a calm warrior to call upon for daily nutrition, clear guidance & sense of wellbeing. Avena sativa offers increased levels of serotonin, dopamine/norepinephrine as well as choline all offering balance to the nervous system.
Milky Oats/Oatstraw builds strong bones & teeth, stabilizes sugar levels in the blood as well as helps to keep veins & arteries elastic so that blood is able to flow freely. The saponins in Milky Oats/Oatstraw bring nourishment to the pancreas, adrenals, & liver. They do this by
reducing the cholesterols that are not healthy for us (LDLs) & increasing ones circulatory functioning. The heart muscles & urinary organs are moistened & nourished. Diabetics & hypoglycemics benefit from the sugar balancing Milky Oats/Oatstraw.
As Mars in Aries squares Pluto in Capricorn, Oats will provide access to our confidence when facing the unknown “enemy” who could even possibly be our ally or ourselves. Oats are not afraid of the unknown & relish in the murky, cold times of late Winter/early Spring when comfort can be lacking & survival is still at the forefront.
As Mars conjuncts Uranus in Aries in the middle of February, one of the most combustible, fiery conjoinings, Oats will provide the calmness of the eye of the storm needed when risks are abounding or chosen & when chaos seems to be surrounding all.
As Mars moves into Taurus on February 14, Oats, being ruled by Venus & the Earth element, will completely understand this slower, steadier Mars energy & allow for self-nourishment & patience in this sign that Mars can find to be a bit of drudgery.
Venus conjuncting Saturn in Capricorn on Monday, February 18, will enjoy the mineral rich structure that is being built with Oats as an ally. Saturn in its rulership, as stated earlier, will appreciate the solidity of this Venusian herb.
Again as Venus conjuncts Pluto in Capricorn, this firm basis of Venusian Oats will carry one through the void, possibly even welcoming this as much can be gained from this adventure. Oats welcomes the unknown, as it knows it has the resiliency to weather all that it faces & all that is brought forth.
Oats provide a sturdiness to ones magical practice: the pragmatic underlay that allows for broader vision, deeper questing in the Other lands, increased nourishment for ones ancestors & spirits, confidence to step into requested roles & an enlivening of sensual & sexual energies
(When horses are fed Oats, they become more spirited & to spread our “seeds”, we ‘scatter our wild Oats where we may’.) Late Winter/early Spring, once the ground has thawed, one can plant a bed of Oats in their garden, bringing medicine in the form of herb as well as in the form of planting a place of grounding & protection on ones land. Planting Oats or performing magical workings with Oats during Venus and/or Saturn times will call these energies into the Oats.
The second herb that I would recommend to focus on this month is warming Angelica (Angelica archangelica). Herbalist Gail Faith Edwards says of Angelica,“Old wives say inhaling the fragrance of Angelica, fresh plant or essential oil, promotes intuitive awareness of subtle energies and helps us develop our spiritual gifts.”
Angelica, ruled by the Sun, lends support to our welcoming the returning light as a growing force in our lives. Scattering dried Angelica in all four corners of ones home & around its perimeter will ward off negative energies during this liminal time.
Angelica combines many tastes 8 thus many actions. It is bitter, sweet, pungent & salty, offering warming, oily, stimulating & diffusive qualities. The bitter & sweet tastes stimulate the appetite, the pungent assists with circulating the vitamins & minerals to the stomach, & the oily quality helps to stimulate the adrenal cortex, which allows for cortisol to aid digestion & raises blood sugar levels. This blood circulation helps to deliver nutrients & stimulates the movement of fluid in our body. All of these qualities tone & warm the digestive system, as well as quell nausea, relieve gas & intestinal colic.
Angelica is high in B vitamins, even B12 that is not common in herbs. The Vitamin B complex as well as the calcium & magnesium in Angelica strengthen & soothe the nervous system & promote sound sleep.
[Caveat: Angelica is contraindicated during pregnancy, while on one’s moon, if tend towards heavy bleeding, if one has uterine fibroids, or if one is taking blood thinning medication. Also,
one could confuse Angelica with poisonous Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata), so know Angelica by sight & smell or have an experienced plant person with you. Know your plants! Sometimes it is helpful to call upon another herb like Licorice, Marshmallow, Oats, Violet or another moisturizing herb along with Angelica to make sure the stomach is not overwhelmed..]
I would recommend Angelica as ones ally especially when Pluto in Capricorn is aspected by other planets this month. Angelica is an idea-filled, tough, confident warrior ally to call upon during times when facing the unknown. The fiery quality blends with the bitter, sweet & pungent qualities to have a well-rounded guide into the Other realms. Bringing this torch of Angelica into the airy & watery Aquarius/Pisces Sun times allows one to have a powerful source from which to call upon, a central fire to warm oneself by in the headiness of Aquarius & murkiness of Pisces.
Both Oats & Angelica are moistening, but Oats offers cooling as Angelica offers warmth. Angelica is one of our warming bitters as most bitters are cooling. They both are nourishing to the nervous system with their strong Vitamin B constitutions. Angelica can be used in incenses as well as for smoking the leaves to bring visions, which can be helpful with the Pluto conjunctions.
Mercury at the opening of February is in Aquarius & then transits into its fall and detriment in Pisces on 10th. This placement of Mercury would benefit from one calling upon Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) or Cedar (Thuja occidentalis, T. plicata), as both of these herbs grow in wet, damp, watery zones so know how to function in this sodden Piscean realm.
Mercurial Gotu Kola, has been called upon for centuries for its ability to decrease the pain of rheumatism & arthritis, for treating leprosy & tuberculosis, for stimulating brain functioning & promoting longevity. It has often been called the Elixir of Life & there is a legendary saying, ‘two leaves a day (of Gotu Kola), keeps old age away”. It possibly has no equal in the treatment of general debility & decline & has been called a ’pharmacy in one herb’. Through Gotu Kola’s bitter taste, digestion is stimulated & nourished.
In India, Gotu Kola has been called upon to promote calmness & clarity, increasing memory & concentration, revitalizing nerve & brain cells, increasing ones ability to meditate as well as balancing the left & right brain functionings. It does not contain caffeine, so offers great focus without the jitteriness side effects that can come with caffeine. Gotu Kola can provide a raft in this oceanic dreamscape of Mercury in Pisces that even is further adrift in this foggy sea on February 19 when Mercury conjuncts Neptune in this Piscean realm. Gotu Kola balances ones ability to be alert & calm as one find themselves immersed in the fantastical Piscean/Neptune seas.
Northern White Cedar, (Thuja occidentalis) & Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) are not true Cedars, but are a part of the Cupressaceae family, the Cypress family. Also called the Tree of Life in many cultures, these trees are ruled by the Sun & the element Fire. They offer protection, clearing, banishing, purification & prosperity, all which can be of service as Mercury finds his detriment in watery & murky Pisces.
These Cedars grow in damp, wet places, their bark & wood is impervious to water, thereby Cedar has been called upon by native peoples of many lands for building materials, clothing, & boat making. Cedar smudges have been burned for centuries to dispel negativity. Cedar’s genus name ’Thuja’ comes from the Greek meaning “to fumigate”. A sprig of Cedar placed in a satchel brings prosperity & increases ones psychic powers. Cedar groves have long been seen as sacred groves, & once one has experienced being in such a grove, one can feel the sacred protection & calm. There is such a grove near my home & it does feel as if time stops here &
another realm is accessible. A barred owl & kestrel visit this Cedar grove during the winter months.
Cedar can also expel excess dampness & moisture from inside ones body. Inhaling the steam of Cedar opens the bronchial passageways as well as heals infection. As a tea or tincture it offers the same medicine. Also, I find great solace from damp respiratory issues with Cedar/Poplar bud/Elecampane tincture. This is warming, infection fighting & soothing blend.
Caveat: Cedar is not ally to be taken internally on a daily basis, as it is so strong, so once ones respiratory infection has cleared, thank Cedar & save this ally for another time of need. As well it is an emmenagogue, so should not be taken in excess by one who is pregnant.
Cedar roots itself in the damp Earth & sends its spires up to blend with the Cosmos. As our grand communicator/messenger Mercury dwells in water-logged Pisces, Cedar connected both above & below, can be our world axis, offering vision beyond & because of our murky depths.