Herbal Forecast for August 2019
August 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 the month. Before imbibing any of the herbs recommended, research what is a recommended dosage, ask oneself & 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 ones 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.
These first weeks of August continuing with the fiery, heartfelt Leo season are such a pleasant Sun-fire change from the grips of the watery, moody eclipse season. August 8th, Venus in Leo is trining Jupiter in Sagittarius with the Moon soon to be conjunct the greater benefic on the 9th. Auspiciousness at its finest for this year.
In these first two fire-ruled weeks of August, Jupiter trines the Sun & Venus & later Jupiter stations direct on August 11, I find myself calling upon Marigold (Tagetes spp.). This is not Calendula (Calendula officinalis), although I could be calling upon this Sun ruled flower, but instead the ruffled, lion’s mane of the dear Marigold flower many plant amongst their tomato plants to ward off insects that have similar appetites to humans. Marigold has glorious, bright-orange petals that are both bold & soft like the external & internal Leo-ruled heart.
Bathing in a bath of Marigold flowers & squeezing the moistened petal over my body brings to me an uplift of spirit, a remembrance of the fiery strength I hold inside as well as opens me wide to the expansive dreams of Jupiter in Sagittarius. One growing season I grew Tagetes erecta in a greenhouse where these plants grew to the 10’ height of the greenhouse & offered blossom after blossom of the drops of the Sun. I made garland after garland of these blossoms & hung them in my home & gave gifts all around, feeling the energy of the Sun wherever they were placed. Marigold offers li0n-hearted divinity, the ability to be open to the possibilities of the cosmos & the beauty & strength of ferocity. Truly a flower for this time. Create garlands, dry some flowers to sprinkle into tea blends in the middle of Winter when one needs the full glimpse of the Sun, bring these flowers in the bath & grow them in the garden for great prosperity & the ability to see this prosperity in its many forms.
Medicinally, Tagetes offers digestive & respiratory aid, is an emmenagogue, a vermifuge & externally is called upon for treating sores, eczema, sore eyes & rheumatic complaints. Placing Marigold flowers, that have been soaking in cold water, over hot, irritated or tired eyes of excess Leo & Fire can bring cooling & relief.
Another Sun herb of Leo is Rue(Ruta graveolens) of the Citrus family. Rue is a beautiful green-blue lacey leaved plant with bright yellow flowers in the Midsummer. Rue has a strong scent that arises from its skin irritating sap. It is more irritating to some than to others & this irritation of the leaves can be accentuated by the sunlight. Brushing against Sun-ruled Rue at such a sunny time may lead to a burning sensation on the skin for some & for others, nothing. In this way, the Rue plant can be planted as a protective hedge & used for exterior protection in ones magical practice, be that the garden, home, altar or magical circle. Since Rue’s irritating sap is accentuated by the sunlight, harvesting at this time offers the strongest medicine.
Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars love to feed on the Rue plant, which increase their toxicity to birds. If they cannot feed on Rue, they like Parsley, Carrot, Dill, Parsnip or Celery. All of these Apiaceae family plants (minus Rue) contain ‘bergapten’, the chemical that causes the skin blisters in some people from touching the Rue leaves.
Rue is a strong bitter & has been placed in small amounts in salads & foods to assist with digestion. This strong bitter is called Rutin, after Rue, & is also found in the bitter white pith of citrus peels, Rue’s cousin.
Rue is not used as much in herbal medicine these days, & it is a bit of a low-dose botanical (small doses only). In Italy, a small amount of Rue is chopped up in salads & sandwiches as a preventative against illness. In China, Rue is taken as a tincture to sedate, quell rheumatic pain, to increase circulation & to reduce swelling. Rue during the Middle Ages was an ingredient in the “Four Thieves” vinegar, seen below.
A cure for fainting attacks from Bald’s Leechbook III is as follows: “Against fainting: take Rue and Sage and Fennel and Ground Ivy, Betony & Lily; pound all these herbs together; put into one bag; steep with water; rub well, let it drip out into a vat; take the liquid and warm it and rinse the head with it; do likewise as often as may be needful.”
A compress soaked in a strong decoction of Rue applied to the chest eases the symptoms of bronchitis. A liniment can also be made to alleviate the pain of rheumatism. The warming Sun qualities of Rue dry up this excess dampness in the body.
Rue helps to ease coughs, colic & flatulence. It also helps to clear blood congestion in veins, a possible excess Sun indication.
Warm Rue tea can be taken as an emmenagogue,(thus not an ally during pregnancy) but because of its emetic qualities, should not be taken soon after eating. A Rue tea can be a uterine tonic, often combined with nicer tasting herbs like Chamomile or Red Raspberry leaf.
Chewing on a leaf or two will offer a refreshing aromatic flavor to the mouth, allaying a nervous headache, spasm or palpitation.
Placing Rue leaves on the forehead relieves a headache. Worn around ones neck, Rue keeps away all illnesses. Sniffing Rue clears the mind of love matters & baths with Rue break curses. Hung upon the doorway, Rue protects the home & fresh leaves rubbed along the floor sends ill wishes away. Also adding Rue or Pennyroyal.to mopping water will dispose of fleas in the home. Rue, used as an Asperger to sprinkle salt water throughout the house, clears away negative energy.
Carrying Rue on ones body was thought to keep away epilepsy, insanity, inflammation of the eyes & the Evil Eye. In English courthouses, Rue was strewn over the grown to repel vermin, plague & “jail fever” or thyphus carried by lice & fleas. Rue has been burned to rid areas of illnesses.
After the Full Moon in Saturn-ruled Aquarius arrives mid-month, on the same day as Mercury exits their shadow & Venus joins the Sun for a superior conjunction, we begin to see a shift from Fire to Earth rulership. On the 18th, Mars ingresses into Earthen Virgo, joined by Venus on the 21st & the Sun on the 22nd. Finally on the 29th,, Mercury ingresses into Virgo & the New Moon in Virgo on the 30th. The trines of the greater benefic now turn to trines with Uranus in Taurus, instead of offering expansion, possibly offering sporadic change & innovation.
Even as Virgo is an Earth sign, its rulership is with more airy Mercury as well as Virgo rules the nervous system of the body. So many planets in Virgo can bring great attention to detail & great focus on work to be done, yet excessive Virgo & thus Mercury, can also lead to tense nervous
system leading to indigestion & tightness in the body. Many aromatic herbs, including Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana), are carminatives, quelling digestive woes, are spasmolytic, & nerviness, supporting the health of the nervous system & are expectorant, expelling congestion from the respiratory system. The scent of Sweet Marjoram, for me, brings me into the present moment, lifts tenseness & brings beauty to a dulled situation. Sweet Marjoram is also associated with Jupiter, Zeus & Thor & thus protects from lightning strike, possibly allowing one to flow more fluently amongst the possible lightning strikes of Uranus trines.
Marjoram/Oregano are called on for love spells as well as added to food to fortify love. They are placed around the home for protection, a little in each room that is then renewed each month. Marjoram/Oregano grown in the garden are protective for the household. Carried in a pouch Marjoram/Oregano can assist those dealing with depression & can also bring wealth. Marjoram/Oregano appearing on a gravesite in Greece meant the departed is happy & peaceful. Those to be married were crowned with garlands of Marjoram/Oregano & Demeter also is shown wearing such a garland. It was as strewing herbs to bring sweet aromas to a home.
Marjoram, with its antispasmodic qualities offers relief from menstrual cramps as well as can bring on late menses by drinking 2-4 cups infusion in a day. Marjoram also allays nausea & the colic of a baby. Marjoram helps to rid the body of a cough, headaches, & helps those who cannot relax, to wish to rest, an important detail for a time of excess Virgo.
Marjoram infusion or compress relieves a headache. This ally is a vasodilator & can help to reduce high blood pressure. Infused oil, liniment, or poultice of Marjoram eases rheumatic complaints, increasing the circulation & healing in the areas applied.
Marjoram soothes a broken or grieving heart both internally & externally.
Rue, with its spasmolytic qualities, can aid the tenseness of excess Virgo, as well as burning the dried seed pods can bring freshness & clarity to a situation. Both Sweet Marjoram & Rue will be helpful allies for the New Moon in Virgo, allowing for relaxed breathing as new details are discovered in the depths of Virgo while the next day, Mercury in rulership in Virgo trines Uranus in Taurus.