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CHRIS REPPUCCI

212 Barker Rd. 

Troy, ME

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Herbal Forecast for July 2019

 

July 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.}

 

          Much of this month is ruled by Water (Venus in Cancer until June 27, the New Moon, Cancer/Capricorn axis, Neptune in Pisces, Mercury returning to Cancer) & Fire (Jupiter in Sagittarius, Mars & Mercury in Leo, the Sun & Venus ingressing into Leo) with a bit of shaken Earth offered by Uranus in Taurus who squares Mars & the Sun, July 11 & July 29 respectively as well as sullen, challenging Saturn, Pluto & the South Nodes in Capricorn, & no Air. This reminds one of a humid, warm, swampy, anaerobic landscape with some electricity running through under the ground sporadically, but not accessible. Fire dries up the bogginess by the end of the month, with Mercury returning to see what they may have left behind in this bog & why.

 

          For the first half of the month of July, I have chosen wetland dweller, Lunar-ruled Purple Loosestrife (Lythrym salicaria). & both Sun/Moon ruled Ox-Eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), touching upon the fiery/watery influences of the month. As the second half of July’s focus shifts more towards Leo, Fiery, Sun-ruled Saint John’s (Joan’s) Wort (Hypericum perforatum) comes more into play. Although Lunar ruled Purple Loosestrife & Oxe-Eye Daisy will continue to guide Mercury as they revisit lunar Cancer beginning on July 19.

 

          Part of the Lythraceae (Loosestrife) family, Loosestrife, meaning ‘dissolving strife’ comes from king Lysimachus of ancient Sicily who was said to first call upon this plant to calm irritable oxen teams who were ploughing the fields, by placing the leaves & flowers on the oxen’s shoulders to discourage biting insects. Purple Loosestrife dried in bundles can be burned for the same purposes. The species name salicaria means ‘willow-like’, probably referring to its thin, tapering Willow-like leaves.

 

          Purple Loosestrife is native to Eurasia & probably came to the Americas in the ballasts of ships, which emptied into the waterways & was so successful in this new land that by the 1800s, botanists thought that this plant was native to here.

          Purple Loosestrife’s single rootstock can cover many square feet & send up 30-50, 8’ tall stems. One plant can produce 2 million seeds in one season. This tenacious, vital plant is seen as an ‘invasive species’ in many places in the US. There are reports of $45 million spent each year on herbicides in unsuccessful attempts to rid the land of this plant, often called the “Purple Plague”.

All the while, Purple Loosestrife is rehabilitating the wetlands with its ability to absorb excess Ni & P that builds up from runoff from agricultural poisonings & lawn & golf course pesticides. Purple Loosestrife also prevents soil erosion in disturbed wetlands. This ally also can neutralize

chemical contaminants like lead or PCBs. Purple Loosestrife not only offers this medicine for the land but also for assisting people’s bodies in removing toxins when taken as an ally.

Bees harvest this abundant nectar in the midsummer from Purple Loosestrife & also receive the medicinal qualities from this ally. Beekeepers have long loved Purple Loosestrife honey; this great love may have led to its great movement west.

          Purple Loosestrife has powerful antimicrobial properties for infections of the respiratory & digestive systems. Purple Loosestrife is a wonderful immune supporting herb combined with other wetland members, Boneset & Joe Pye Weed.

           Purple Loosestrife is so rich in tannins that this plant has been used to tan leather. Taken internally, this astringency is combined with Purple Loosestrife’s high mucilage content thereby easing inflamed tissues at the same time as toning the tissues. Such a special quality of offering astringency that tones, as well as moistening mucilage.

           Purple Loosestrife has been called upon both in Western & in Chinese medicine for treating diarrhea, dysentery, leaky gut, irritable bowel & many forms of discharge that are bloody & inflamed, including excessive menstrual bleeding. In the 19th century, Purple Loosestrife was called upon to treat epidemics of infant cholera & typhus. Purple Loosestrife has great potential for treating today’s pandemic infections in our wetlands & in our bodies.

As a vulnerary, Purple Loosestrife treats spots from small pox & measles, wounds, scars, burns & snakebites. Studies have shown Purple Loosestrife’s strength as an anodyne, or pain reliever.

Purple Loosestrife offers great eye care, lessening the load of At-Risk plant Eyebright (Euphrasia). Maude Grieve states, Purple Loosestrife “is superior to Eyebright for preserving the sight and curing sore eyes..even in blindness if the crystalline humour is not destroyed.”

Purple Loosestrife extracts have been found effective in vitro to restrain the growth of Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli and the phytopathogenic fungus Cladosporium cucumerinum. Purple Loosestrife has been seen to possess strong free-radical scavenging abilities & to be able to chelate excess iron.

 

          Being a Lunar herb, Purple Loosestrife can assist with guiding us through this lunar ruled time in Cancer opposing Saturn/Pluto/South Node. Venus entered Cancer on July 3, whose placement can accentuate interpersonal discord, thus burning bundles of dried Purple Loosestrife or carrying the plant on ones being, can help to quell this contention. The purple color relates to the crown chakra as well as to the nervous system, bringing a calming & clarity to see a broader vision & relax into ones being when emotions can be running high. Purple Loosestrife’s moistening qualities can soothe this raw emotional time.

          Mercury stations retrograde for most of this month, (we have already been in the shadow in June), ingressing into Cancer once again on July 19, revisiting our emotional needs we met last month. Lunar ruled Purple Loosestrife can understand the boggy territories of Lunar-ruled Cancer & sort through that which needs to be assimilated & that which needs to be eliminated.

 

 

          “It consolidates and conglutinates the Lips of Wounds to a Miracle.” -Salmon, 1710

Ox-Eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) (common white flower) was once called ‘Moon flower’ as this plant was associated with the Goddess Artemis, the Goddess of the Moon. Later the Daisy was seen to be associated with St. Margaret & St. Mary Magdalene, often called Marguerittes & Maudlinwort. This plant’s old botanical name was Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, meaning ‘gold flower/white flower’, telling of its dual nature of day/night. Some other names include, Billy Button, Cow’s Eye, Devil’s Daisy, Thunder Daisy, Fair Maids of France, Gools, Grandmothers, Horse Blob, Maudlin, Povertyweed & Rising Sun. Daisy extensively growing in a field was seen as neglected land & Henry VI of England initiated punishments for such farmers. In Scotland, the ‘gools’ growing amongst the grasses denoted fines of one ‘wether’, or castrated sheep.

Daisy was one of St. John’s sacred plants, gathered for Midsummer Eve festivities. The flowers were always picked & never pulled by the root as this was seen to stunt the growth of ones children. The roots of Daisy boiled in milk & fed to puppies was thought to stunt these animals’ growth as well.

          In a hot, dry environment, the Ox-Eye Daisy protects itself from these extremes by creating a more bitter, acrid juice in its stem that makes it foul-tasting to grazing animals & people alike. In only five days time, in these conditions, the Ox-Eye Daisy creates viable seed that can lie dormant in the ground for many years until the proper time to germinate.

The acrid, bitter taste of the Ox-Eye Daisy tells of its antispasmodic nature, especially for whooping cough & asthma. The boiled root has been called upon for reducing night sweats.

An infusion of Ox-Eye Daisy flowers has offered relief from chronic coughs & respiratory woes.

Externally, Ox-Eye Daisy infusion has been used to treat wounds & bruises as well as an eyewash for sore eyes. Salmon in 1710 recommended Ox-Eye Daisy distilled water for ruptures of the bowels, inner wounds & spitting of blood. Ox-Eye Daisy infused in olive oil makes an excellent remedy for bruises, aching limbs, as for a chest rub when there is congestion. Gerard stated, “daisies do mitigate all kinds of pain, especially in the joints, and gout proceeding from a hot humour.”

          A 2015 study showed Ox-Eye Daisy has strong potential for phytoremediation as they readily grow in crude oil polluted soils & can transform these to health.

Young Daisy leaves & white flower petals can be added to salads & the flowers can be made into a wine similar to Dandelion wine.

 

          Daisy’s affinity with both the Moon & the Sun, the flower being awake & open for both luminaries, allow for Cancer & Leo placements of planets to find kinship. Daisy’s flower essence is seen to assist those in assimilating information & to enhance concentration, assisting in incorporating all that is learned, even though cryptic from the Underworld of Saturn & Pluto, during the eclipse season on the Cancer/Capricorn axis.

          The Sun ingresses into Leo on July 22, in rulership. The Sun rules the heart as well has a strong influence over the eyes, the part of our body that perceives light. The health of ones eyes is reliant on healthy circulation of blood through the small capillary beds that sustain them. Both Purple Loosestrife & Oxe-Eye Daisy, strong eye supporting herbs, assure care during this time of the greatest amount of light.

          Purple Loosestrife & Oxe-Eye Daisy also are both excellent phytoremediators, transforming toxins into fertile ground for new, unknown growth in areas that seemed too poisoned to allow for such fruition. These two transformers can help Mars & the Sun in Leo wade through the unknown wasteland of squaring Uranus in Taurus, finding their way out into more productive, fecund landscapes.

 

 

 

          “St John’s Wort, scaring from the midnight heath/The witch & goblin with its spicy breath” -Traditional saying

          St John’s Wort’s botanical species name, perforatum, tells of the tiny clear circles found in the leaves of the plant. Holding the leaves up to the light, one can see these sweet stained glass windows. These are actually oil glands of hypericin, found in even greater amounts in the flowers. The genus name, Hypericum, is from Greek, meaning ‘’hyper ikon’, or ‘over an

apparation’.  This came from the belief that evil spirits, upon smelling St Joan’s Wort flowers, would find them so loathsome that they would flee, therefore being an herb of protection.  In Tabernaemontanus’ Herbal he stated, “The old women say that this herb is for ghosts when it is carried on the person. That’s why it is called Fuga daemonium.” St. Joan’s Wort was in the magic balm of Pforzheim, called upon to assist those who were possessed, afflicted by nightmares, & disoriented by love potions. There is a St John’s Wort (Hypericum choisianum) that grows in the Himalayas, whose flowers have been offerings for Kali.

          Hypericum was given to children on St. John’s Eve to keep illness at bay. To cure against the ‘Evil Eye’, St. Joan’s Wort juice boiled in water was the only cure. St. Joan’s Wort was one of the seven Irish herbs that would protect anyone from anything supernatural or otherworldly. The others are Vervain, Speedwell, Eyebright, Mallow, Yarrow & Self-Heal. To be the most effective these seven protective plants needed to be harvested at noon on a sunny day as near to the Full Moon as possible. If they were harvested on May Eve (Walpurgis), & Satan was invoked, these herbs could do much harm.

          On St. John’s Eve (June 22), St. John’s Wort was harvested & hung in the homes to protect from harm’s way. The feast day of St. John (June 23), the time of Midsummer, the Solstice, until July 4, was thought to be the best time to harvest for medicinal purposes. On St. John’s day, the plant was harvested at sunrise & burned over the fires as an offering. In French there is a saying, ‘avoir toutes les herbes de la St-Jean’ which has the meaning of ‘being ready for anything’.

In Scotland, St. John’s Wort was believed to keep away second sight, bewitchment, the evil eye & even death. A home that grew St. John’ Wort was a safe, protected & prosperous home. St. John’s Wort was carried secretly under ones left armpit to protect against enchantment. This was however only operative if the St. John’s Wort was found accidently & was exceptionally powerful to bring peace & prosperity to ones animals if found growing among them. It was also associated with St. Comcille, or Columba, so that when children found it growing, they would say, “St Columba’s wort. Unsought, unasked, and please God I won’t die tonight.” After picking the plant, they would recite, “Arm-pit package of Columba, kindly/Unsought by me, unlooked for!/I shall not be lifted away in my sleep/And I shall not be thrust upon iron./Better the reward of it under my arm/Than a crowd of calving kine;/Better the reward of its virtues/Than a herd of white cattle.”

In England, anyone who wore St. John’s Wort was protected within nine paces of an approaching devil. Gathered on a Friday (Freya’s day) & worn around the neck offered extra special protection against malevolence & melancholia. If a woman felt she was possessed by the devil, she would gather St. John’s Wort & place it over her bosom & place it around her home to relinquish this hold.

          In Wales, St. John’s Wort was placed over doorways for protection, was gathered on St. John’s Day for a cure for most ailments & the root was dug at midnight to repulse the devil & witches. On the Isle of Man, if a person rode or walked over St. John’s Wort after dark on St. John’s Eve, a fairy horse would rise from the ground & give the person an ethereal ride until the sun rose.

St. Joan’s Wort magically makes warriors invincible, attracts love, & gathered on a Friday (Freya’s day), it will keep away mental illness & help to lift spirits. Hung in the window or around the home, St. Joan is very protecting.

In the Middle Ages, St Joan’s Wort & Wood Betony were the most important remedies for mental illness. Today, St Joan’s Wort is called upon for mild depression especially helpful for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

          St Joan’s Wort, a Leo ruled herb, is an ally to all warriors, offering strength, courage, compassion & recharge of energies. Carrying St. Joan on ones being will strengthen these qualities within. St Joan’s Wort also heals external wounds with its antimicrobial properties & is very active against gram positive bacteria like E.coli & Staphyloccus aureus.

St Joan’s Wort, being antifungal, fights thrush, candida, & fungus of the skin & nails. Powdered St Joan’s Wort can help with external fungus attacks. St Joan’s Wort also aids those dealing with psoriasis & eczema, applied as an infused oil twice/day for over a year.

          St Joan’s Wort is an ally to the nervous system. Sharp shooting pain & inflammation, along nerves is quelled with St Joan’s Wort. It is one of the best herbal remedies for pain relief especially along wounded nerve centers. It also helps to rebuild nerve cells that have been damaged from accidents or surgery. Taken internally as a tincture & applied externally as an infused oil or a poultice, St Joan’s Wort helps to strengthen & rebuild our nervous systems.

St Joan’s Wort has been a very important ally for burn wounds, healing these rapidly. A study has shown that St Joan’s Wort’s oil applied to first, second & third degree burns, healed at least three times faster than with other methods & scarring was lessened. Scars from surgeries also heal faster taking both St Joan’s Wort & Chickweed tinctures as well as applying St.Joan’s Wort oil externally.

St Joan’s Wort has been found to strength blood flow in the body, similar to the effects of Hawthorn, due to its procyanin constituents.

           There are a few caveats with the use of St Joan’s Wort. St. John’s Wort should not be taken with an MAO-inhibiting antidepressant drug as the mix of the two can endanger your health. Extended use of St Joan’s Wort could cause those with fair skin to sunburn more easily. But at the same time, St Joan’s Wort infused oil applied externally helps to prevent sunburn as it has more sun protective properties than PABA. If one does receive a sunburn, the oil of St Joan’s Wort will come to ones aid.

 

          Sun to heart to eyes to yellow to red to blood. As Mars has headed into Leo on the very first day of July, St. John’s Wort, often worn as protection when one was to go into battle, serves as defense for this fiery warrior. The Sun ingressing into Leo on the 22nd will find camaraderie with Leo & Sun ruled St. John’s Wort. Venus ingressing into Leo on July 27 will find a beacon as a guide with St. John’s Wort.

          Any wounds to the spirit, emotions or body received during the eclipse season or Mercury’s return to Cancer can be uplifted by St. John’s Wort. The flower essence of St. John’s Wort can protect for psychic attack & fears, both which can be met in the Underworld of Saturn & Pluto. St. Joan will bear a lighted torch & a warrior’s shield while in these realms.

St. John’s Wort nurtures ones solar plexus, ones central balance & vital source, allowing yellow light to emanate forth & offering one trust in the unknown. By the New Moon in Leo on July 31, transformations will be assured by Purple Loosestrife & Oxe-Eye Daisy & St. John’s Wort will remind one to shine.

 

References:

Boyer, Corrine. ‘The Gathering Basket’ Issues 7-21, 2013-2017.

Brown, Tom, Jr. Tom Brown’s Field Guide: Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants, 1985.

Bruton-Seal, Julie & Seal, Matthew. Backyard Medicine for All Skyhorse Publishing, 2017.

Cunningham, Scott. Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs Llewellyn Publications, 1997.

Dawson, Adele. Herbs: Partners in Life Healing Arts Press, 1991.

De Bariracli Levy, Juliette. Common Herbs for Natural Health Ash Tree Publishing, 1997.

Edwards, Gail Faith. Opening Our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs Ash Tree Publishing, 2000.

Grieve, Maude. A Modern Herbal Vol I&II Dover Publications, 1971.

Mac Coitir, Niall. Irish Wild Plants The Collins Press, 2006.

McIntyre, Anne. Flower Power Henry Holt, 1996.

Muller-Ebeling,, Claudia, Ratsc Christian, & Storl, Wolf-Dieter. Witchcraft Medicine Inner Traditions, 1998.

Popham, Sajah. Evolutionary Herbalism North Atlantic Books, 2019.

Sanders, Jack. Hedgemaids and Fairy Candles Ragged Mountain Press, 1995.

Silverman, Maida. A City Herbal David R. Godine, Publisher, 1990.

Treben, Maria. Healing Through God’s Pharmacy Ennsthaler Publishing, 2007.

United Plant Savers, ‘Journal of Medicinal Plant Conservation’ Spring 2019.

Vickery, Roy. Oxford Dictionary of Plant-Lore Oxford University Press, 1995.

Wood, Matthew. The Book of Herbal Wisdom North Atlantic Books, 1997.

Wood, Matthew. The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants North Atlantic Books, 2008.

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