Myrtle: Freshness of Love

In the place where I live, myrtle doesn’t grow except of gardens because it needs human protection during the winter months. Myrtle comes from southern countries around Mediterranean Sea and belongs to plants that were significant from ancient times.

Myrtle contains a high percentage of volatile oils mostly based on camphor, pine and lemon. Together it makes a very fresh scent to which you are almost magically attracted. That fact has been used for ages in fragrance oils for both, religious and secular purposes.

The ancient Greeks dedicated myrtle to the goddess of beauty and love, to Aphrodite. They had number of rituals with myrtle about purity, love and marriage. Some of them are still alive, they have become a tradition. In my country, no one can imagine a wedding without myrtle.

The newlyweds, each of the wedding guests and even the wedding cars are decorated by myrtle along with a white bow – both as a symbol of purity and fresh love. In some families, newly married couples put a young myrtle tree at their home. They say that marriage will be successful as long as the myrtle grows well.

Sometimes, myrtle grows too well, and then it’s better to shape it by trimming. The relationship should be also shaped, right?

Do not throw away what you cut. You can easily prepare the fragrance oil at home when you put myrtle into the carrier oil (olive, kernel apricot, etc.) and let it macerate for a few weeks. Later, when you have the myrtle oil on your body, you will feel the power of beauty and love like Aphrodite and no one will resist you 😊

Do you have any experience with myrtle – as a plant or as a symbol? Do you have any tradition with myrtle in your country?

With love, Ivana

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Back to School!

I live with my herbs on daily and more or less intuitive basis. Of course, I have some knowledge. Herbs interested me since childhood, but I cannot call it an obsession. That changed in the last few years, when I use them also externally for ointments, salves and especially soaps.

With herbs, I usually follow my instincts and then I double check the nature of my intuitive recipes in books and online resources. I would like to continue in this manner, but recently I decided to structure the knowledge base a little bit.

I enrolled in the Herbal Materia Medica Course on The Herbal Academy website last week. They impressed me by the combination of scientific and intuitive approach and I’m happy for the practical exercises. And what’s more, they push us to study only one plant in one moment, which I consider very useful. So back to school!

It is necessary to quickly pass the botanical definitions, which I learned in elementary school already, although not in English. It means shapes of leaves, their arrangements on stem, types of inflorescences, etc. Plus to observe the herbs of my choice according to these definitions. And because the fresh herbs are not available under snow, I have to work with dried ones. Luckily I still have enough from the last year’s harvest.

However, there is one thing which I do not feel harmony with. I should find the names of my herbs according to Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. I spent a lot of time on the internet with very disappointing results. First, I am not familiar with these types of medicine. I fully respect both because they proved their longterm validity and efficiency. But somehow they are not compatible with my body and mind. All my inner setup has four elements rather than five. I am able to perceive how the herb works inside of the Kabalistic Tree of Life but my effort to see anything through the five elements leads me into the empty darkness again and again. So I gave up!

Instead, I returned to my own setup. I will continue in the course, looking forward to next interesting lessons. I will continue to believe that the most effective medicinal herb grows for anyone near his home because I continue to trust in wisdom of the Creator.

What is your opinion?

With love, Ivana

The Night of Miracles

Whether we celebrate Christmas or Chanukah, we celebrate the night of miracles. Each of us may need to believe in miracles, because we live in a cynical age when wars, suffering and death of thousands are watched on TV at breakfast.

Belief in miracles brings hope, that one day we ourselves are going to become part of a miracle. It encourages us to overcome obstacles and not to be indifferent to the surrounding life. Belief in miracles doesn’t mean to wait for them at home and doing nothing.

So let’s celebrate! Happy Christmas and Chanukah!