The Novice’s Grimoire: Mar 3rd – 10th

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The Novice’s Grimoire: Mar 3rd – 10th

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Dear Novices, here we are again, scouting the mysterious known and unknown for those ethereal and earthly wonders. You may have felt it, I certainly know I have, that elbowing-in of spring; its finger tips peek a little earlier each morning, its heady scent permeates the afternoon, and its welcoming warmth lingers late into the evening. In your garden you may have seen a few brave greens pushing their way out towards the light and the great coloration to come. One of these expeditious little travelers is most likely your local peppermint plant; the topic of our discussion this week.

Herb – Peppermint
Genus and Species: Mentha piperita
Energies: Protective and Strengthening

Planet: Mercury
Elements: Fire (though in other sources, Air)
Deity: Pluto
Powers: Purification, Sleep, Love, Healing, Psychic abilities

Screen Shot 2016 03 03 at 8.54.42 AM

Dear Novices, here we are again, scouting the mysterious known and unknown for those ethereal and earthly wonders. You may have felt it, I certainly know I have, that elbowing-in of spring; its finger tips peek a little earlier each morning, its heady scent permeates the afternoon, and its welcoming warmth lingers late into the evening. In your garden you may have seen a few brave greens pushing their way out towards the light and the great coloration to come. One of these expeditious little travelers is most likely your local peppermint plant; the topic of our discussion this week.

Peppermint has had a long and luxurious history both in medicine and in magic (Can you believe they were once, out in the forests and fields, considered the same thing? On some level, maybe they still are, or should be.) Peppermint is mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus, the world’s oldest medical text. From Egypt the use of peppermint spread throughout the ancient world. It became known in Palestine, where it was used to pay taxes, and then entered Greece where it was integrated into Greek mythology (see the myth of Hades and Minthe). Today peppermint is, perhaps, most well known as a stomach soother and digestive aid, and to all gardeners, as an amazingly resilient little herb. Yet its uses in medicine and magic are ever growing. Below are a few simple ways to utilize your peppermint.

Medicinal/practical uses:

If you are experiencing digestive problems, eat some fresh mint leaves. The menthol in peppermint soothes the muscle lining of the digestive tract, easing every step of the process (although peppermint has been known to agitate acid reflux). Similarly, if you are experiencing menstrual cramps, drinking peppermint tea or applying peppermint oil to your lower abdomen may ease the gripping intensity. I have, for many years, and due to an injury in my youth, dealt with rather debilitating headaches; and I find that rubbing a few drops of peppermint oil into the throbbing area creates a relieving coolness, easing the tension in moments. For a crisp and relaxing drink, try adding peppermint leaves to your favorite lemonade mixture—this can be a great drink to take hiking.

Magical uses:

For personal, energetic and spatial purification you can burn a bundle of peppermint leaves or a few drops of oil, while visualizing the pure white light entering and the negative grime dispersing—perhaps best approached as a meditative exercise. Peppermint leaves, with a knowing energetic connection, can be strung together and worn around the wrist to ward off illnesses. If placed under your pillow, peppermint has the ability to show future events in the form of dreams. I have before, and with much success, taken fresh peppermint leaves, and kept them in my wallet as a means to attract funds.

Note: Though peppermint and its relatives (water-mint, spearmint, chocolate mint, and others) are similar in taste and appearance, they are not altogether interchangeable in medicine or magic. For the highest potency in either field, peppermint should be used; in a pinch, substitutions may be made. For consumption, preferred taste should be of the highest consideration.

Thank you for stopping into The Novice’s Grimoire this week; hopefully we have covered enough to further pique your interest in herbal wonders of peppermint. Next week, we will move to cover the crystal chrysoprase—a unique crystal with calming and wonder-inducing abilities. Until then, spend some time outside; breathe deep the blooming spring air.

Z. Smith is a cookie connoisseur, moonlight meanderer, and aesthete at large. His work has previously appeared in 13 Experiments, Folio, Stone Soup Review, SLUG Magazine, and CATALYST Magazine. He earned his BA in English from The University of Utah and currently writes from a room with many plants.

Sources:

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham

Herbs and Things by Jeanne Rose

The New Healing Herbs by Michael Castleman

 
 
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