Hi Hidden Treasures Readers,
Some of you may be looking for my Enhancing Your Life with Herbs book, promised by the end of November. I thought everything was in place to move forward.
Then Google said my domain name was resold, even though it was renewed until February 2024. They blocked the e-mail I purchased ,so I can’t use it with Convertkit, the site that will distribute the e-book. This has been going on for weeks and my domain provider isn’t able to resolve it.
My best option may be to get a new domain name. If you aren’t on my e-mail list, I’ll update you on this blog page.
Thank you for your patience. I’m so frustrated that I can’t deliver what I was hoping would be a wonderful gift to all of you. I appreciate your patience and hope this can be resolved, but right now it seems it isn’t supposed to happen.
Happy Saint Nicholas Day!
St. Nicholas was born in the 4th Century in Lycia, Asia Minor to very wealthy parents. Even as a child he was very religious. He was very young when he became a priest and he went on to become a bishop. Sadly, his parents died shortly after he was ordained. He inherited a great fortune, and he shared it generously with people in need. His giving was from the heart - he was not interested in credit or compensation. He often gave unanimously. He was dedicated to common people and emperors alike.
St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children, laborers, merchants, pawn brokers, and particularly sailors and those who work near water.
There are many stories describing his generosity. A nobleman who had lost his fortune was unable to provide dowries for his three daughters so planned to sell them into slavery. St. Nicholas galloped by their castle in the dark of night and threw a bag of gold in the window. He did this three nights in a row, providing each daughter with a dowry. Eventually, it was discovered that he had been the generous benefactor. His fame as a gift giver spread through out many lands and he has been credited with the concepts of Father Christmas and Santa Claus.
The three bags of gold represent the three golden balls found on the signage outside pawn broker's shops.
In another more gruesome story, he saved three babies, often pictured beside him. During a famine, an inn keeper had no meat to feed his customers so he cut up three children and tossed them into a brine filled pickling tub. Thankfully, St. Nicholas walked in just in time to bless the boys and bring them back to life!
During that same famine, he convinced sailors on a ship filled with grain to unload some of their cargo to feed those who were starving. They were initially reluctant since the grain had been weighed and they wanted to deliver the entire shipment. He assured them that the cargo would weigh exactly the same amount when it was delivered. It did.
As you celebrate St. Nicholas Day, give a gift from the heart. It doesn't need to be expensive. It could be a kind word, a quote that would make someone feel valued, a thank you. Or is could be a poem, or a recipe! Here's my gift to you!
Golden Bishop's Tea
4 cups black or green tea
4 cups apricot nectar
Serve hot with a honey if desired and a sprig of rosemary
and a sprinkling of nutmeg
Optional: 1 Tablespoon apricot brandy per cup
Golden Apricots, Tansy and Wheat
As you celebrate St. Nicholas Day, think gold! Decorate with golden wheat and tansy! Serve apricot or orange nut bread with Golden Bishop's Tea. Create your own golden delights!
Denim and Lace
Birthday gift for a friend! I sewed love into every stitch - hand sewn. I found both the jacket and the lace at the Bedford Street antiques in Carlisle, PA.. I always find wonderful items at great prices and they are open 7 days week.
Rosemary, the Herb of Remembrance
#halloweenherbs, #hauntingherbs, #herballegends,
We’ve come to the end of our herbs for haunting series. Thank you for joining me! I could write volumes about each herb, and there are so many I didn’t mention. Next year I may start on October 1 and share for 31 days! I’ve just finished an Enhancing Your Life with Herbs e-book that I’ll be sharing soon if you sign up for my newsletters, so watch for it if you are interested!
We’re ending with rosemary, beloved by so many. You’ll find it in every major life event. It is hung over the cradles of infants to protect them, and given in bouquets to celebrate friendship, birthdays and anniversaries. Rosemary is carried in bridal bouquets to celebrate love and new beginnings and tossed into graves at funerals to cherished memories of those who have passed.
It was used as a strewing herb to ward off disease and the plague, and is used in hospitals and sick rooms to protect, purify and cleanse. If you are troubled by nightmares, put a sprig of rosemary under the bed and your dreams will be peaceful. Carry it tonight, Halloween, to protect you from all kinds of evil if you are brave enough to venture out!
Rosemary symbolizes remembrance and reminds us to look for diversity in nature’s gifts, including plants, animals and each other! We are all multifaceted with a wealth of gifts and talents to share and lessons to learn. Hopefully as you read through legends associated with the haunting herbs, you noticed that some characteristics are positive, and others have been negative. It’s the same with each of us. We have assets and deficits, wisdom to share and lessons to learn. Let’s practice tolerance, compassion and kindness as we move into Samhain and the shorter days and longer nights ahead!
The Devil’s Herb
#Halloweenherbs, #hauntingherbs, #herballegends
And you thought is was just an innocent garnish!
I had a question about why I wasn’t mentioning some of the deadly herbs associated with Halloween and haunting - aconite, belladonna, bittersweet night shade, jimsonweed, foxglove and others. I’ve painted them all, and done extensive research, but since they are poisonous, I’ve avoided highlighting them. As I stated at the beginning of this 14 day series. “this is a light hearted look at herbs” and I’ve avoided any that could be harmful.
Parsley, as we all know, is edible, but it does have some serious associations. The first parsley plant was said to have sprung up from the blood of Archemorus, the son of Death, when serpents devoured him. Evil associations continued from this dire beginning. It is recommended that you plant four times as many seeds as you will need in order to give the devil his due, and during its month long germination, roots must go to the devil and back nine times before the plant will grow. Women were advised not to plant the seeds as they could become pregnant instantly. In contrast, it has also been said to induce abortion.
Planting parsley on Good Friday during the rising moon was recommended for those willing to take a chance and hoping to avoid evil associations.
The most gruesome association I’m aware of is the October 1937 Parsley Massacre. Michele Wucker notes in The River Massacre, The Real and Imagined Borders of Hispaniola, "During just a few weeks in October 1937, Dominican soldiers killed 30,000 Haitians along the border because the victims' skin was dark, even though Dominicans were just a few shades lighter. On the Dominican border, dictator Trujillo's men asked anyone with dark skin to identify the sprigs of parsley they held up. Haitians, whose Kreyol uses a wide, flat "R", could not pronounce the trilled "R" in the Spanish word for parsley, "perejil.” If they pronounced parsley incorrectly, they were executed.
Of course, that was a racist dictator’s fault, not the innocent herb’s.
On a brighter note, Roman soldiers carried parsley for protection. Other legends recommend using it in your bath to immediately end all misfortune. And if you are heading out for an evening of heavy drinking, wearing a wreath of parsley on your head will prevent you from becoming intoxicated!
#halloweenherbs, #hauntingherbs, #herballegends
When my two daughters were in their early teens we moved into a haunted 1820s farm house. Through research and conversations with neighbors about who had lived, and died, in our home, we determined she was probably a poltergeist.
I didn’t discover the powers of bay until later.
Hanging bay in a house haunted by a poltergeist will prevent them from actively creating mischief.
If I had known, would I have chased our ghost away with the bay? Probably not. We collected a myriad of amusing memories while living with the her. She seemed more mischievous and playful than dangerous.
If you are currently living with a poltergeist, you will need to decide whether you will chase her away or allow her to continue to disrupt your living space. Good luck!
An Herb to Prevent Haunting
#halloweenherbs, #hauntingherbs, #herballegends
If you are concerned that someone who has recently died has intentions of coming back to haunt you, place rowan on their grave and they will be unable to escape!
Even if no one making threats has recently passed on, rowan, is still useful. Like Ash, sailors used it for protection against drowning, It can be used to make protective walking sticks, and carrying the berries will aid in healing from the plague or other illnesses.
It’s been used to make magic wands and incense, and will increase your psychic powers!
Adelma Simmons, beloved herbalist from Capriland who has sadly passed on, made necklaces by using red linen thread to string the berries to protect her pigs and cattle from being bewitched.
If you don’t find of any of these purposes useful, you cam always use it to make rowan berry chutney, jelly or wine!
Herbs that Cause Confusion!
# hauntingherbs, #halloweenherbs, #herballegends
Mullein has always been one of my favorites! I was born in Greencastle, Indiana and James Whitcomb Riley, known as the Children’s Poet and also a Hoosier (Indiana native), wrote one of my favorite poems - The Pixie People. It described the pixie people, “pouring from the steeple of a mullein stalk.” There was, and is, no doubt in my mind that the fairies not only existed, but played and frolicked very near by around the numerous mullein stalks on my grandmother’s farm.
Their relationship to witches is controversial. Some say it is a witch repellant. Others say witches carry it as a torch to light their way. Folk names, such as Hag’s Taper, support that theory.
Mullein also comes in handy if you are working on a spell and you run out of graveyard dust! It’s a perfectly acceptable substitute!
Welcome!! I’m Mikell (pronounced Michael). If you love spicing up your life with herbs, recipes, decorating and crafts, symbolism and rituals like I do, I hope you’ll sign up for my newsletter and free Enhancing Your Life with Herbs e-book!
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!