Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

Yarrow has been in use in various cultures around the globe since ancient times.  The stalks were used by the Chinese to make pieces for the divinatory system known as I Ching.  European alchemists associated the plant with Mars and prescribed it as a talisman against being wounded in battle.  Modern root workers make use of it to improve courage and reveal one’s future mate.  Wiccans say it can attract love, enhance psychic powers and drive away evil.

Yarrow is carried on the person to draw love.  Scott Cunningham says that carrying the leaves of the plant will bring far away friends and relatives to your side.  An old Mediterranean ritual involves hanging dried yarrow over a bridal bed to ensure the couple will love one another for at least seven years.  Yarrow is also used in wedding bouquets for the same reason.  Hoodoos say that a girl who puts a little bunch of yarrow under her pillow will dream of her future husband.

Flowers from the yarrow plant can be infused into a tea and added to a bath to improve psychic powers.  An old wives’ tale says that rinsing the head once a month with a yarrow infusion will prevent baldness, but it will not bring back hair that has already been lost.

Courage can be gained by making a mojo with dried yarrow and nettle.  First, write down your fears on a piece of paper.  Turn the paper one quarter turn to your left and write your full name nine times over what you have already written, crossing the fears with your name.  Fold up the paper and place it in a yellow bag.  Follow that with a bit of nettle and a bit of yarrow.  Seal the bag and carry it with you to overcome your fears.  In a pinch, simply grasp a yarrow leaf in your hand for an instant boost of courage.  Bonne chance ~

Header: Yarrow plant from a Medieval herbal housed at the Bailey Howe Library


Timmy! said...

Where does one find yarrow leaf? Just curious, Pauline.

Pauline said...

At botanicas and hoodoo shops and such. Or else you grow it the garden I would say.