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!
Herbs to Stay Upright on Your Broom!
How’s it going?
You’ve made your broom from the best possible broom making herbs, you have rubbed your handle with a non-poisonous levitation herb . . . but it you’re like many of us, staying seated upright can be a challenge! I’ll never forget my first attempt! I was twirling around in the sky like an autumn leaf in a windstorm. Fortunately, a more experienced rider shared a secret.
You thought it was just for pesto, right?
Drinking 1/2 cup of basil juice before taking off on your broomstick will keep you safely seated in an upright position. I’ve been told chewing celery seeds help too! Have fun!
Libra Zodiac Herbs!
As much as I love being a Pisces, the herbs of Venus, representing the zodiac signs of Libra, an air sign (September 23 - October 22) and Taurus, an earth sign (April 20 - May 20), include some of my favorite herbs!
Happy Birthday Libras!
During the pandemic, I made 12 collages featuring Taurus herbs for my oldest daughter. My biggest challenge was deciding which herbs to highlight, since there are an abundance of herbs ruled by Venus. Some signs have a more limited selection.
Other Libra herbs, herbs of Venus, include African violet, apple, apricot, aster, avocado, cardamon, cherry, coltsfoot, columbine, daffodil, daisy, foxglove, goldenrod, iris, lilac, and violet. There are many more.
Nicholas Culpeper (Oct. 18-1616 to January 10, 1654), a physician, botanist, herbalist and astrologer, is credited with identifying the planets and their zodiac sign affiliations. Each zodiac sign is ruled by a planet and the herbs under that planet’s influence are assigned to the corresponding zodiac signs.
Other than Earth, the planets discovered before the 1700 were given the names of Roman deities. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto came after the 1700s and were assigned to planet who previously shared plants with other signs.
Signs and their planets are
I’ll be including more on the Zodiac herbs in my blog posts and my e-book, Enhancing Your Life with Herbs, named after a course I’ve delivered numerous times over the last decade. I’ll be finalizing the illustrations and releasing it by the end of October. Watch for it!
The post below is from the archives - September 2015
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!