The thing about rosemary is that I love just touching the leaves. This is what I remember most as a child, when discovering herbs. They seemingly ask to be touched, and the scent that lingers behind is pure magic! This plant seems so regal and proud even being cooped up in a pot in the house. The picture that comes to mind when thinking of her image is a strong yet gentle, regal green goddess with her feet planted firmly in the earth.
In my book and online research I've discovered there are so many uses for rosemary it's almost overwhelming. Everything from natural home cleaning, medicinal uses, flavoring foods, beauty and ritual. The folklore is facinating stuff. I tend to digress and get way off track whenever studying the plant, jotting down notes for future uses and concoctions, getting lost in the folklore and poetry. I could probably benefit from some tea right now just to keep me on track. She is a practical, strong, useful plant. Though I tend to wander off and get interested in other herbs when reading the posts others have done on their ally, I really could spend a least a year with this plant and all that she offers. It's mind boggling really.
I'm also having a wonderful time discovering some beautiful writings about this herb. One of my favorite herbalists, Juliette de Bairacli Levy shares an old story here about rosemary:
"When Mary and Joseph were fleeing with the infant Jesus, Mary placed her damp blue cloak on the rosemary bush to dry it. The rosemary, thus blessed, forever more has had blue flowers, and the absolute power to protect against evil. A sprig of rosemary hung by the door banishes all thieves; a bush of rosemary growing by the door allows only love to enter.
And this lovely poem, author unknown, will also be included in my journal:
I thank you gentle rosemary
Henceforward you shall bear Blue clusters for remembrance
Of this cloak I wear.
And not your blossoms only I give you as reward.
But where His raiment clung to you Which clad the little Lord
All shall be aromatic, Said Mary, for I bless
Leaf, stem, and flower
That from this hour
Shall smell of Holiness.
Since beginning my research it has become apparent to me that I am a romantic dreamer, approaching my herbal challenge much the same way I approach many things, slowly, deliberately, with an emphasis on the sensory level. Rosemary has chosen me I think, to help me gently ground and center.
So I share here some of my books used for my rosemary research:
Growing and Using Herbs and Spices, Milo Miloradovich
Plant Spirit Healing, Pam Montgomery
Herbal Rituals, Judith Berger
Opening Our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs, Gaith Faith Edwards
The Wild & Weedy Apothecary, Doreen Shababy
And here a couple of pictures of the journal in progress:
Along the way I wandered off and found this book, and couldn't resist adding it to my library, again I digress....
And have added this one to my wish list....
Through the Wild Heart of Mary; Teachings of the 20 Mysteries of the Rosary and the Herbs and Foods Associated with Them; Gail Faith Edwards.
And since I don't want to take too many cuttings from my plant, I discovered I'm out of dried rosemary so will be purchasing some this weekend from Roots, or better yet getting some from my mother's stash if she still has some left.
I currently don't have any rosemary essential oil, but when doing my reading and working in my journal I've taken to burning a bit of Young Living's "Thieves" or "Purification" oils, both of which contain rosemary in the blend. This has helped to make the bits of time I devote to my herbal studies more of a sacred ritual for me.
Thanks for sharing in my herbal journey with rosemary. I will continue to post on the challenges as I move forward.