The moon gave me a gift last night.
We’d gotten home last night just before dark, the snow blowing and wind howling. We just barely got the truck up the hill that leads to the sharp turn onto our road. It took a bit of time to trudge through the yard and up the slope winding up to the warm little house, and large snowflakes clung to our warmth. The sky was starting to turn blue; and so was the snow, and the air itself then became a cornflower blue around us as we finally made it to the toasty house.
Later that night I found myself feeling anxious and jittery – it wasn’t the now steady-falling snow that was bothering me, nor the movie I couldn’t focus on, nor any one specific reason I could conjure. So I just made myself a cup of coffee and wandered aimlessly until I found myself in my quiet little bedroom.
We’d lit “just in case” candles earlier in the evening, having lost power during the last snow, and so my room was bathed in a warm and bronzey glow. The window curtain had been tied back to allow the recumbent cat’s baleful glare to bounce off of the swirling white that she so despised. I pulled over a pillow to rest on next to her, gazed outside, and found myself lost in the light.
I couldn’t see the moon for all the clouds, but I could feel the moon, full and bright. The entire world was blue and white and silver, soft and rounded. Beams of glistening light reflected in every crystal prism drifting towards the ground.
I lay there for quite some time, staring and breathing silently and deeply. I drowsed, eyes open and blurred, waking to blink and yawn and disturb the warm cat curled at my stomach.
Shapes and spirals filled my mind’s eye, sigils, and runes written on the white of my vision. Symbols of ice and water and winter, symbols of mother and snow. I felt a steady heat despite the cold eeping through the glass – held in arms bigger than I could ever see and cradled in warmth, I fell asleep at the window.
I woke after an hour or so, dazed from the nap and from waking in the darkness. My thoughts immediately began to run through the symbols I had drawn in my mind’s eye, marking them for a future mosaiced in glass. While looking for my sketchpad to document these designs, I discovered my favorite books of herblore and a notebook full of potential honey recipes and herbal remedies that I had misplaced months ago.
I poured a glass of wine and sat down to investigate. Wine always helps with divination, you know. Bibliomancy. I started flipping through the books and my own written words. Page after page, scanning the words, I realized that three herbs were indeed grabbing my attention time and time again: Motherwort, Lavender, and Oatstraw.
So I thought about what I knew of those herbs, one by one:
Motherwort: sweet mother, loving intentions, good for nerves, calming palpitations, mild sedative. She balances severe emotional swings due to stress, shock, and sorrow. She also directly invigorates uterine tissue, good for trauma recovery, good for the late third trimester of pregnancy, and excellent for post-partum depression
Lavender: good for relaxation, indigestion, nervous stress, antiseptic, good for insomnia, panic, helps with some migraines, helps control muscle spasms
Oatstraw: tonic for the heart and circulation, highly nutritious, fights panic attacks, soothes nerves, esp. good for illness/trauma recovery, a mild sedative
These three create a potent combination of nurturing herbs! Yes! This is what you give someone after they’ve been in shock and the emergency has passed. This is what you feed someone too steeped in grief to open the dams of repressed emotion and allow it to be purged. This is what an anxious stress-ball like me, a chronic fretter, needs to add to a cup of warm milk and water before bed on a cold and snowy night when it seems there is no Spring to be had!
So armed with that knowledge, inspired by a sort of meandering moon gift, I made my first ever jar of Mother Love Honey that very night.
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