The Queen of Flowers - the Rose
Over the next few weeks, as we approach Valentine's Day, I'll be revisiting some of the herbs associated with love and romance.. When it comes to matters of the heart, there are no limits to the human imagination in pursuing, wooing and attempting to ensure their love will be returned. Some of the uses are romantic and beautiful, elegant and sublime. Some are tender and heart warming.
Herbs can add a sensuous dimension to all aspects of life. Their beauty, aroma, flavors and touch delight. Some are showy and enticing with an distinctive and noticeable fragrance. Others you might walk by, or even step on, and not even notice! Often the greatest gifts are found in herbs you might not immediately notice. Hopefully these little snippets will entice you to learn more about the endless history and legacy of these treasures.
Our herb series continues with the Rose, the Queen of Flowers and the undisputed floral symbol of love. The Society of American Florists predicts that nearly 250 million roses will be sold for Valentine’s Day.
The rose is a perfect example of beauty, romance and sensuous living. She is a vision of delight, her petals are velvet, her fragrance is divine and her delicate flavor is sublime. i wish you all the gifts the rose offers - love, friendship, beauty, romance and sensuous pleasures.
Salvia comes from the Latin word “salvere”, to heal.
Officinalis refers to having been used medicinally.
Sage, salvia, is the largest genus of the mint family, Lamiaceae.
Sage has numerous powers. In addition to its healing properties, it is associated with wisdom, longevity and protection. It’s a delightful and healing tea, and the Thanksgiving turkey wouldn’t be the same without it. With the present concerns about the coronavirus, it seems a good time to focus on sage’s clearing, cleansing, protective qualities.
Sage has antimicrobial properties that keep infectious bacteria, viruses, and fungi at bay. Burning sage decreases the levels of aerial bacteria by up to 94%. It neutralizes dust, mold, and pet dander. It dispels negative energy, soothes stress, improves your mood and aides in better sleep.
My illustrated journal summary is below.
Instructions for creating your own smudging bundles from sage grown in your garden and here. The steps to the process are in my illustrated journal, above. After the sage was harvested and wrapped it needed to dry. That process takes about 4 - 6 weeks.
We smudge for a variety of reasons. One may be a general cleansing or you may want to remove germs and bacteria. You may want to clear your space to become more open to creative ideas and beautiful thoughts.
If you are smudging because someone had violated your space or made your angry or uncomfortable, it is imperative that you center yourself and come to a more positive frame of mind before you begin. It you need support, find a friend or two to help you feel positive and loved. You are clearing negative energy and adding positive to replace it so keeping a positive frame of mind during the ritual and following are vital.
It might be helpful to find, or write a prayer or poem to express your intentions. When I was in Stone Harbor, my friend Lisa had a book with a beautiful prayer to accompany a smudging ritual.I hurriedly copied it into my illustrated journal and will probably redo it on parchment, but for now, it gives you the words you need. I'm not sure who wrote it. I looked on line and found several people acknowledged. Thank you to who ever wrote such a lovely piece.
The next step is to gather your materials. If possible, use natural materials.
It is best to declutter each room before you begin. Open all of the doors, closet doors and windows so you can move from room to room easily and without interruption.
1. Light the candle and set your intention. You may use the prayer above or something you have written or found that expresses your personal perspective.
2. Use the candle flame to light the sage. Once the sage has caught fire, blow it out and watch for glowing embers. When you see the smoke begin to roll off of the smudge stick, it is ready.
3. Guide the smoke toward your heart, over your head and around your body to purify yourself before you begin.
4. Go the the lowest area you will be smudging. You will be working clockwise in each room. Use your feather, or your hand, to direct the smoke from the lowest part of the room to the highest as you move in a circle around the room Be certain to direct smoke into the corners of the room. Direct the smoke out the door or windows before you move on to the next room.
5. KEEP THE SHELL CLOSE BY TO COLLECT BURNING EMBERS. I tap the smudge stick on the shell when I begin in each room and usually another time or two as the leaves burn.
6. After you have completed smudging each room extinguish the sage by rubbing it onto the shell or on sand or dirt. Check to see that there are no burning red embers.
DO NOT wet the sage. If you do, you won't be able to use the sage again.
After the smoke clears and the negative energy has been released, fill the space with love. You can say prayers, meditate or journal about love, have dear friends over, read inspirational materials or do what ever feels best for you!
Wheat and roses are also associated with St. Barbara.
"Barbara, the Saint, was elected of God,
She gave her bread to the poor,
Her miserly father rebuked her
And threatened her with his sword.
When he caught her with bread in her lap
She cried unto God in her fear,
God turned the sword in his hand
Into a crochet needle.
When here father demanded to see
What she concealed in her lap,
She cried unto God for help
And the bread in her lap turned to roses."
~ Translation from The Syrian
Pine cones can be used to make roses, wreaths, garlands, and in table arrangements. The internet is overflowing with ideas for using pine cones as crafts.
They can be covered with peanut butter, rolled in bird seed and hung out as bird feeders.
Use tongs to dip thoroughly dried pine cones in melted paraffin or beeswax, let wax drip off and dry on wax paper or foil.
Turpentine, another gift from pine, is a distilled oil made from pine resin. Some of my most cherished moments in the art room have been surrounded by the fragrances of turpentine and linseed oil.
Amber -Pine's Gift of Golden Sunshine Energy
Pine gives us another gift! Amber! It is said to have the energy of liquid sunshine, to make the wearer more beautiful, to attract wealth and success, and dissolve opposition.
Amber has been identified in over 300 shades. Most of us are familiar with the golden yellow and orange ambers, but it can also be an orange-red, brown, green, black or even violet, though very rare.
Amber is made from the fossilized resin of the pine tree, and to be classified as true amber it must be over 100,000 years old! That is miraculous, don't you think? Copal, or Columbian Amber, less than 1,000 years old, has not yet fossilized but is also beautiful and truly remarkable. There is something sacred about pieces that have been part of the earth for so long!
Amber is revered in the Far Eastern Asian cultures. Asian Indians regard amber as the 'soul of the tiger', endowing the wearer with courage. Egyptians placed a piece of amber in the casket of a loved one to ensure the body would forever remain whole. Early physicians prescribed amber for headaches, heart problems, arthritis and a variety of other ailments. In ancient times, amber was carried by travelers for protection.
Wishing you all a holiday season of fragrant, protective pine and the warmth and sunshine of amber!
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Do The Write Thing
Fashion And Fabrics
Lessons From Nature
Pay It Forward
Take The Rose Instead
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!