Diana’s bow cast Her pale gleam of virgin silver over the gold and purple of the hushing twilight as Night gathered Her mantle over the Land on this most auspicious August Eve. The Moon is in Libra and the Royal Star of Regulus casts his leonine rule with sceptre extended.
I love watching the bees busily gathering pollen from a huge lavendar bush that grows right where I wait for the bus every morning. The fragrance of lavendar is very soothing to frayed nerves, and the color of the blooms in the vivid morning sunshine of high Summer is vivid and inspiriting. Lavendar and rosemary are for me the Divine Twins of the herbal kingdom; add patchouli and you have a true Holy Trinity. When I’m particularly fortunate, I sometimes find a bar of hand-crafted goat’s-milk soap mixed with all three herbs among the ingredients. Morning ablutions become a true divine communion.
As the years gather in more deeply, I seem to appreciate the simple, potent, profound magic of herbs all the more keenly. I found this passage last night in Chris Hunt’s exquisitely written novel Thornapple,and it beautifully communicates the natural alchemy of a Witch’s garden at the height of Summer:
If ever a place portrayed the Garden of Eden on an ancient manuscript it was the forest home of Marel in high summer. Marel said the Earth Mother kept all her jewels there… The alecost [costmary or mint geranium] bushes were waist high with clumps of tiny flowers. Slender rue thrust up its musty yellow petals. Elder trees hung low with heavy whorls of blossom. Tangled fenkel [fennel] grew as high as a man, showering the face with a golden dust of downy seeds. Marigolds shoved upwards to the sun. Bushes of betony with stems like young oaks spurted split velvet petals; caraway fruits burst with amber ripeness, and foxgloves grew purple and tall. Fresh rain lay in the strange folded leaves of Lady’s Mantle. Silvery wormwood, fragrant pink marjoram, and shimmering blue borage grew. There were boughs of rough comfrey and the homely hazel, and everywhere crimson poppies and shining chamomiles. And of them all, some hung like curtains, some crept along underfoot like exquisite snakes, some pushed themselves sturdily up, tough and honest, some tripped you as you walked, some teased you with an unexpected perfume, some curled their tendrils about your neck like fingers, some whispered, some boasted in showy splendour. They were like people. They were a kingdom in themselves.
Wishing all who read my words the joy and blessing of the harvesting of the First Fruits; a most joyous Lammastide.