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!
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?