Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"this isn't bad"

                                                                                                                                                                                                brigid's fire

As you may recall, yesterday I had myself a little Brigid ritual in which I burned some old plant matter. I put last year's dream pillow, some dried lavender, comfrey stalks, etc. into an iron cauldron. It was in the zero degree range outside and windy -- I couldn't keep a fire going so I impulsively put in a stub of beeswax candle and the fire took off. It took off so nicely it wouldn't stop burning and I was cold; so I set the cauldron by Buddha out in the garden and came back into the house. Well, it's just never comfortable with something burning unattended so I went out a few times to check on the fire and take a picture. I didn't wear a jacket the last time out so was in a hurry and did I mention, it was cold and icy?

The next thing I knew I was in the air. Ascension! I arose and was held in space for a nanosecond and I kid you not, had the thought "this isn't bad" and then boom on my butt and my wrist. Never one to stay down for long, I checked the still-burning fire, and ran -- not learning my lesson at all -- back to the house straight for the arnica. (Arnica is the homeopathic first-aid remedy to treat bruising.) Slathered a thick coating of comfrey salve on my wrist, took a hot bath with about 1/4 cup of lavender oil added, then slathered more comfrey salve on the wrist, more arnica, and I'm good this morning.

And so lucky that it wasn't bad.

I attribute the entire episode to cosmic forces and to Brigid, the goddess of healing and inspiration. The very dried-up plants I burned were among the ones that I turned to for healing, comfrey and lavender. A reminder that the most common plants in my garden are deeply healing, even on the first day of February. I take them for granted sometimes.

                                                                                                             the last jar of comfrey leaf salve

This episode inspired me to use something else from my garden that I take for granted, dried chili peppers, to make a pain-relieving capsicum oil this morning. Just to have on hand as I seem to have need for such things lately -- plus I've never used it and want to try it out. Today is also the new moon (in Aquarius) making now the perfect time to make herbal preparations to be strained at the full moon in two weeks.

                                                           slightly crushing dried chili peppers

Capsicum sp. is good for joint and muscle pain, increases circulation and is generally warming, as we all know. Some people apply it to their hands and feet before going outside into cold temperatures. It can be made with a tablespoon of cayenne powder from your spice bottle added to a cup of olive oil. I made mine with some wicked-hot dried chili peppers. So hot that I used only four of these tiny peppers to about three-quarters of a cup of olive oil. It has been capped tightly and will infuse on a protected surface (in case of oozing) in a dark cupboard until the next full moon; if it's not hot enough, more peppers can be added -- if it's too hot, more olive oil. The oil can be strained and used as is or made into a salve. Salve-making is very easy -- heat a cup of the infused oil with just under an ounce of beeswax until it melts, then pour into small container. Don't cap until it sets completely. If it comes out too stiff, simply reheat adding more oil; too runny, add more beeswax. This oil is for external use only.

Warning:  Keep hands away from eyes after making or applying!

                                                                                                      capsicum oil

Turmeric and I have a dye-date later today to meet up with a old cotton produce bag, a mini-skein of wool yarn, and at least one old & stained t-shirt. What will happen?


Suzanna said...

This is very interesting! I'm going to try making a salve...

woman with wings said...

Suzanna -- oh, good! I love it when people use the plants for healing.

Shishi said...

Peggy, I hope that you aren't too bruised...hopefully your remedies will help you.Geeze!

I hung out my white cloth last night, took a couple of pics, and honored Brigid quietly. This morning the cloth was frozen solid in a beautiful design..took a pic. Thanks for the info. It was new to me and I enjoyed honoring Brigid that way.

Herm said...

be careful handling those chili peppers, don't rub your eyes by mistake, it's awful painful!!!!

Herm said...

forgot to tell you that Turmeric will give you a darkish yellow and if you put something "rusted" like a nail from railroad tracks, it gets darker yet.

Marie said...

I use tumeric and water, mixed, to relieve any swelling.
(I drink it!)
Arnica gel is fabulous too! Any aches and pain just
rub in the spot and ahhh relief!
Thank you for sharing your healing remedies.
Sorry about the fall! Glad you are ok.

woman with wings said...

Shishi, your Brigid cloth sounds wonderful, I'd love to see it. I totally forgot to put one out! I used a Brigid cloth many years ago on my children when they were sick with colds and coughs. One year I made a red Brigid cloth that was hemmed by hand. And that was a big deal cuz I didn't have much sewing time back then! Seems so odd now that it was such a big thing to hem something by hand. Still have that one. Maybe it's due for some embellishment.

woman with wings said...

Herm, yes, had a little incident once putting my contacts in after touching jalapenos!! I'll put a warning on that -- and thanks so much for reminding me.

All I can say now about turmeric is that it is absolutely AMAZING. Things are drying now, will take some photos. Think I'll iron it all to set the color? What do you think? Has it held the color for you?

woman with wings said...

Marie, thanks! And thank you, too, for the turmeric tip -- haven't drank it yet although I use it in cooking quite a bit. Had my hands in turmeric part of yesterday, and breathed it in, too, as each batch simmered for a half-hour. Interesting I chose to dye with it on a day I probably needed an anti-inflammatory! Always like to experiment with different forms of plant healing on myself so that I can pass it on. So, the lesson here is to dye with turmeric the day after!

deb g said...

Definitely making some this summer. So far I've made salves with roses, calendula, and comfrey.

woman with wings said...

Deb, love hearing plans for the summer -- I'm starting to think in that direction, too!

Tammy said...

I love all of this .. dyeing with Turmeric I want to try that ..but I'm very intrigued by the salves. How do you learn what to use? I have seen what you have done with the red peppers but the Arnica have you made this or do you purchase it? What is it? I would love it if you could email me this info... Thank you .. love all your dyeing experiments. Very nice!!!

woman with wings said...

Thank you, Tammy! Homemade salves are fun and very easy to make. The best way to learn is to get an herbal or two from the library -- I recommend books by Tammi Hartung, Rosemary Gladstar, or Susun Weed. I apprenticed & studied with Tammi Hartung for 2 years so am partial to her! The arnica I took when I fell here was the oral homeopathic pellet form you can buy at a healthy food store like Whole Foods. There is an arnica topical cream available commercially but is not to be used on any open wound. Hope this helps!xo

Tammy said...

Yes this helps .. I will look up these books in the library!!! It's funny how blogger doesn't let you know where you posted a comment or I haven't figured out how that works yet haha .. but it sure took me a good bit to find your reply haha. Thanks again!!! :)