April 2019 Herbal Forecast
These notes are suggestions for herbal allies to assist with the effects of the cosmic influences of this month. Before imbibing any of the herbs recommended, research what is a recommended dosage, & ask yourself & research such questions as, Does this herb interfere with any medications I am taking?, Does this herb match with my constitution?, Do I really need to take this herb into my body? Be wise: listen to your own body, intuition, guiding spirits & the plants themselves.
Imbibing the herbs recommended is of course only one way of meeting the herbs. There are countless manners of developing relationships with our herbal allies including sitting with the fresh or dry herbs, or a picture/drawing of the herb, making an amulet to wear or have on your altar (adhering to planetary hours/days is important here), visioning or meditating with the plant, & taking an herbal body or foot bath (In this case remember your skin is the largest organ of your body). Use your imagination & listen to the plants, they have been on this planet much longer than we have, are our Elders & have great wisdom to offer.
Ascending from the murky Underworld of last month, many Spring plant beings, have stepped forth, some of Fire & some of Water & some with aspects of both. This month seems both Fire & Water dwelling, telling of the Winter/Spring dance, some days of light snow & others of an ever warming Sun, of the heat of the Earth rising along with the blessed Spring rains.
Nettle (Urtica dioica) has been one of the loudest beings to step forth. Nettle is ruled by Mars & Fire, yet also has a deep relationship with Water. Nettle has stinging hairs that tell of its warrior nature, yet its desired habitat of damp conditions tells of its ability to move water both in its own body & in ours. Its sweet, bitter, salty & earthy taste tells us of its gifts of nourishment, digestive health, & ability to move fluids in our body. Nettle knows how to move energy, not allowing stagnancy to take hold.
I often call Nettle the ‘Seaweed of the Land’ as it is so full of vitamins & minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, chromium, cobalt, iron, zinc, copper, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamins A, C, D & K. . This verdant warrior supports strong immune health, respiratory aid including for allergies, musculoskeletal health, integumentary support for teeth, nails, skin, & hair, digestive support including assisting with the assimilation of proteins, liver support, & is a lymphatic & excretory champion, promoting movement of fluids through the body, supporting strong kidney health, even being known to dismiss the need for kidney dialysis.
Nettle is a trophorestorative as it brings life back to bodies that have atrophied or have been inactive, including out-of-balance thyroid, menstruation, hormones, nerves, muscles etc., restoring healthy functioning Bringing us from Winter body to Spring body. “When in doubt, give Nettles,” says Herbalist David Hoffman. Nettles are the epitome of Veriditas, the greening energy of nature, a term coined by 12th century Herbalist/Abbess?Creative force, Hildegard von Bingen. Nettles are supreme nourishment & a green warrior who has ones back.
The formic acid found in the hairs of Nettle, also found in the sting from an ant bite, reminds one to be in the present moment, to be alert, focused & aware. Calling upon the sting of Nettle is called Urtication, which “creates an intense physical and energetic stimulus to capillaries/circulation, nerves/meridians, muscle fibers, lymphatic flow, and cellular metabolism…” says Susun Weed. People call upon Nettle sting to assist with the pain of arthritis, to heal those with palsy, paralysis, chronic headaches, tight muscles, sciatica, cold feet, gout & other chronic congestive conditions. Fresh Stinging Nettle oil or ointment offers sweating when applied as well as offers succor to those dealing with hives (also called urticaria), allergic reaction, rashes & itchy conditions.
Nettle has been called upon for ages to remove curses, sprinkled around the home to keep our negative energies, thrown into a fire to keep away danger, held in ones had to keep away ghosts, and combined with Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) to ward off negative influences. Traditionally, a pot of freshly cut Nettles is placed under the sickbed to quicken to person’s recovery.
The Sun in Aries until April 20 will benefit from relationship with Martian Nettle. Aries, under Marian rulership, finds comradeship with Nettles & the fiery Sun feels comfortable with the confidence conveyed from having Nettle as an ally. Mars in Gemini throughout the month, will benefit from this relationship as well as the formic acid on the hairs of Nettle serve to promptly remind one to stay on the path, the task at hand, to be present with the moment, & to focus on ones way. Nutrient rich Nettle also grounds this airy sign of Gemini. Mercury heading into heated Aries on the 17th will be eased by the solid foundation Nettle supplies.
When the Sun ingresses into Earthly Taurus on the 20th, the solid grounding that Nettle offers will be appreciated. The disciplined nature of retrograde Saturn, beginning the 29th at 8 pm, will value the preparedness of this green warrior.
Nettle’s focus can assist with retrograde Jupiter’s strategic planning & stamina for sagely attending to & caring for the expansion that is already in place thanks to Jupiter’s rulership placement.
For Venus’ time in exaltation in Pisces for most of this month, Violet (Viola odorata/ Johnny Jump-Up (V. tricolor) is a grand ally. I call upon the Violas interchangeably. This moistening, cooling Venusain herb that loves the damp, shady places of nurturing & solace brings an uplift of spirit, moistening to soul & bravery in speaking our truths. This moistening pampers & holds ones being in the vitality of Spring.
The first flowers of Violet are not it’s reproductive flowers, but instead a joyous celebration of Spring, allowing us to welcome & be ready for this new vigorous growth. The reproductive flowers of Violet come later & are much smaller than the jubilant first flowers of Spring.
Violet dissolves hardened, inflexible & stuck emotions or obstacles & can be used in magical workings for such. Violet has repeatedly shown the ability to dissolve hardness in the body when used over a long period of time. Violet dissolves reproductive cysts & tumors that are expelled Violet also has been known to dissolve cancerous cells in our bodies & help to create a strong immune system & environment where these cancers cannot thrive.
The moistening & cooling qualities of Violet soothe a sore throat. Many herbs that soothe the respiratory system also calm the digestive system, & Violet is one of these. Violet can cool a heated irritation in the digestive tract, bringing healing & pain relief for intestinal & stomach ulcers. Violet can cool any situation with excess heat.
Violets have pain-relieving qualities due to the salicylates found in their leaves & flowers. Violet infusion assists after dental visits & with headaches & aches & pains. The leaves can be placed directly on the gums to quell pain & to dispel cold sores. In ancient Greece, Violet was worn to calm the nerves, to cool heated temperaments & to bring on sleep. Violets worn on the head have been used to allay a headache & cure drunkenness, as well as leaves have been placed in a green satchel to assist in the curing of wounds.
Violet is called upon in salads (edible leaves & flowers), tea, syrup, vinegar, tincture, or simply carrying a picture of Violet, to calm the nervous system in times of anxiety & panic. Violet is called upon to restore one to health & well being after physical or emotional trauma from surgery, chemotherapy, invasive diagnostic procedures, abortion or from the trials of daily life in our challenging world. This nourishing time of Venus in her exaltation, with Violet’s help, can assist in working through these areas of resistance in our being, especially with the Sun in Aries as confidence & action support & Nettle as grand warrior. The Sun moving into Venus ruled Taurus will enjoy this plant of beauty, calm & its growth so close to the Earth.
Picking & carrying the first Violet of Spring allows ones wish to come true, yet as liminal Violet is also related to death & mourning in Europe, bringing one Violet into the home is traditionally said to invite in misfortune, fleas, pests or even death into ones home, so bring in more than one if you must. Shelley wrote, “Lillies for bridal bed, Roses for the matron’s head, Violets for a maiden dead.”
Cooling Violet also calms anger & eases a sorrowful heart, hence one of its common names, Heart’s Ease. Traditionally Violets are used in love philters, house clearing & for creating such charms & spells. In Germany, Violets decorated the Bride’s and the babe’s beds & on Mothering Sunday, it was traditional to give a posy of Violets. The heart shaped leaves of Violet are a signature that this ally helps one to heal from broken hearts & heartaches. The heart shape also is reminiscent of feminine reproductive organs, for which Violet is also a supreme ally. This gentle & strong ally will assist one through any challenges found this month from the three retrogrades of Jupiter, Saturn & Pluto, to the fiery nature of Mercury & Venus in Aries, to meeting Saturn conjunct the South Node with an honest & brave readiness to release that which is not serving. This fluidity of Violet will allow us to flow more freely with the sporadic & volatile Uranus in Taurus. Taurus being ruled by Venus will appreciate soothing Venusian Violet.
Both Nettle & Violet have cooling qualities to them, so adding warming & moistening, Sun ruled Calendula (Calendula officinalis) will assure one is not too cooled in this transitional time. This protective ally greatly assists the lymphatic system in clearing toxins & leftover winter from the body. It is a grand vulnerary, skin support, liver support (yellow flowers tells us of this), & moistening & warming for the digestive system. . It also helps to clear out old, lingering infections of the lungs, digestive system or lymphatic system. Calendula helps to clear swollen glands by moving the fluids out of the body. It is helpful for those who are recovering from an illness to support the lymphatic system in removing the toxins. This can be applied to magical workings as well to clear out the old, no longer necessary.
Saturn conjunct the South Node throughout the month will be assisted by this champion mover of toxins & of the superfluous. As well Calendula can bring a moistened warmth to these cold, dry Capricorn placements.
The yellow & orange flowers of Calendula seem as though the Sun has released some of its beauty & allowed it to fall to the Earth in the form of these composite flowers. This brightness of Calendula is supportive of the nervous system, bringing brightness & delight to those feeling anxious, nervous or tense. Calendula also wards off nightmares & dried flowers can be placed under ones mattress to keep these equines at bay. The Sun in Aries will benefit from this alliance with Calendula & when it ingresses into Taurus on the 20th the subtle strength of Calendula can be called upon. Mercury & Venus moving into Aries, on the 17th & 20th respectively, will understand the bold aesthetics & self-confidence of Calendula.
The bold, colorful, exuberant dance continues.
Moon of Hyldemoer, Suzanne Stone, Community Herbalist
This material is not a substitute for a health care practitioner. Please do not duplicate this material without permission.