Helen’s Golden Tears

Dear pagan readers,

 

Today, let’s talk about a very powerful aromatic plant which everyone knows and which many of you probably eat to on a daily basis. It is still widely used and considered in our kitchen and herbal medicine of nowadays, but not even as half as it was back in antiquity. This plant was considered sacred among ancient europeans and his name was synonymous with courage and bravery in ancient Greece. Ancient Greeks believed this plant and its extracts could restore vigor and mental acuity. They burned it as a religious incense to give them courage in battle. It was also burned as an incense at funerals and placed in the burial mound of the dead. Even Gaius Plinius Secundus, (circa 23 – 79 A.C.E.), better known as Pliny the Elder, said that when it is burned, it “puts to flight all venomous creatures”.

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Moreover, at the time of knights, ladies embroidered a bee buzzing around a sprig of thyme on the scarf of the knights. It was meant to make them remember that they should always bring fairness and kindness in their activities and that it would give them courage and strength, a kind of silent memory from the distant past. Thyme was used throughout the ancient world: the Egyptians applied it in the mummification process, the Greeks burnt it as incense in sacred temples, and Romans treated the depression with it. The ancient egyptians used thyme in the making of their embalmment preparation because of his antiseptic virtue and aroma. It was also used to perfume and purify the sacred greek temples and public bath for the same reason. And the romans were pretending to cure depression by eating and burning it. As said earlier, thyme is linked with bees and honey. Bees appreciate thyme flowers a lot and mediterranean thyme honey is among the most tasty and reputated honey around the world. During the middle ages a sprig of thyme was placed under the pillow to induce sleep and to prevent nightmares. According to another folk belief, fairies supposedly love thyme. Throughout Europe people used to plant large beds of thyme to attract fairies. In A Midsummer Nights Dream, Shakespeare referenced that folk association when writing that Titania, the Queen of the fairies, often went to “a bank whereon the wild thyme blows”. My grand mother told me once ”Oh! Such beautiful memories I keep of the hikes through the hills of Spain and Italy when we found blooming bushes of thyme. What flavor, what strength and power which emerged from small leaves that look more like needles. Indeed, when it grows in its place of origin, thyme is picked pretty dry but with a concentration that we do not get here in our wetter and colder climate”. ”It is the enemy of the toxines because it is a powerful antiseptic” thus said Armand Trousseau(1801-1867) the famous french doctor who performed the first tracheotomy in Paris. This claim as been clinically proven nowadays. As you can see, thyme is a thousand purposes plant, symbol of purity and courage throughout the ages.

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After all, it’s pretty normal that this plant is highly considered for so long when we learn that it is born from the silent tear drop of the most beautiful of all women on earth. Thymus vulgaris, as told in the Iliad, is born from the tear drop of Ἑλένη της Σπάρτα, better known as Helen of Troy, one of the three iconic sorceresses in the pagan initiation ritual. In fact, thyme, is one of the secret lore given to the initiate by the sorceress. A gift, to strengthen the May King’s Hamingja. For a person ‘said to smell of thyme’ meant someone of admirable style, activity, and energy. As you may have understand, the Iliad is in fact a description of the pagan initiation ritual. But that is another subject that I will eleborate in future articles…

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Once again I ask you all: will you refuse such a beautiful gift given to us by a living goddess? So celebrate the health, purity and courage by making good use of the thyme!

 

Hail the pagan secret lores! Hail Europa!

 

Fredrik Blanchet

 

 

 

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Healer of the battlefields

Dear pagan readers,

Let me introduce you to a plant used in medicine for tens of thousands of years. It was even a part of our neanderthal ancestors pharmacy in prehistory. But we use to link it with greek antiquity because the origin of his name is linked to a greek hero which everyone knows, and also because it is mentionned in the great books of herbal lore of antiquity. It is a plant undeniably linked to the battlefield and war in general as the title of this article suggest.

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According to Pliny the Elder, the Roman naturalist of the first century AD, its name comes from Ἀχιλλεύς(Achilles), hero of the Greek mythology, who used it to heal Τήλεφος(Telephus) wounds in the Trojan war. This herbal secret, according to Ὅμηρος(Homer), was conveyed to his pupil by Χείρων(Chiron) the centaur. Achillea millefolium was also mentionned by Πεδάνιος Διοσκουρίδης(Pedanius Dioscorides) as an incomparable plant to heal wounds and ulcers. In antiquity, it was known as herbal militaris  for its use in stanching the flow of blood from wounds. In fact, as far as we can go back in time, it as always been a part of the European pharmacopoeia.

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The second part of the name, millefolium, means thousand leaves because of the shape of the leaf. Achillea millefolium is commonly known as yarrow nowadays. The English name yarrow comes from the Saxon word gearwe, which is related to both the Dutch word gerw and the Old High German word garawa. Other common names for this species include gordaldo, nosebleed plant, old man’s pepper, devil’s nettle, sanguinary, milfoil, soldier’s woundwort, thousand-leaf, and thousand-seal.  It is a flowering plant in the  Asteraceae’s family . It is native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Asia, Europe, and North America. This herb is purported to be a diaphoretic, astringent, tonic, stimulant and mild aromatic. It contains isovaleric acid, salicylic acid, asparagin, sterols, flavonoids, bitters, tannins, and coumarins. The leaves encourage clotting, so it can be used fresh for nosebleeds and wounds. The aerial parts of the plant are used for phlegm conditions, as a bitter digestive tonic to encourage bile flow, and as a diuretic. The aerial parts act as a tonic for the blood. It stimulate the circulation and can be used for high blood pressure. It is also useful in menstrual disorders, and as an effective sweating remedy to bring down fevers. Yarrow intensifies the medicinal action of other herbs taken with it. It is reported to be associated with the treatment of the ailments such as pain, antiphlogistic, bleeding, gastrointestinal disorders, cholereticinflammation, emmenagogue and stomachache. It can be used as an oil, infusion, tincture, liquid extract or even fresh.

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I could have talked about this plant a whole day but now I have to go back to work; cucumbers, tomatoes, spaghetti squashes, onions, etc… needs to be harvested. So I leave you with the Achillea millefolium who’s also asking to be harvested right now through the whole northern hemisphere. Make good use of the centaur herbal secrets and maybe you will become a European hero yourself! Hail Achillea millefolium!

Frederik Blanchet

Hecate’s flower of Strength

Dear pagan readers,

Let me present you a plant whose nowadays reputation is far from what is used to be in pagan times. It is now mostly cursed as one of the main weed, being considered the plague of the golf courses, parks and gardens. But let me tell you that the greatest European pharmacologists, botanists and herbalists of antiquity had it in great esteem. And for good reasons of course.

In Greek mythology, it is even a part of one of the most well known myth; the goddess Ἑκάτη, widely known as Hecate, fed Θησεύς, the hero known as Theseus, with this sacred plant for 30 days, giving him enough strength to defeat the Μῑνώταυρος(Minotaur) in the Cretan Labyrinth – testament indeed to the value of this excellent herb! This plant led the Greek Hero Theseus to victory in his pagan initiation and let him cultivate his Hamingja to a full potential. I will elaborate deeper about the undeniable link between this myth and Ôðalism in a future article.

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This is a plant many of us know well, or at least, most think they know it well. This plant is called Taraxacum officinale in Latin, it is the Common Dandelion. From French dent-de-lion (lion’s tooth), also in Late Latin dēns leōnis. The term has since died out in French (except in Swiss French), but compare Spanish diente de león, Italian dente di leone, Norwegian løvetann, Portuguese dente-de-leão, and also German Löwenzahn, all having the same literal meaning. It is called after the shape of the leaves that looks like lion’s teeth. Some say the Latin name comes from the Greek ταράξω(taráxo̱), meaning ”disorder”, and ἄκος(akos), meaning ”remedy”. 

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Πεδάνιος Διοσκουρίδης, one of my main influence regarding Herbalism, better known as Pedanius Dioscorides, mentioned the Dandelion in is gigantic five volume encyclopaedia called Περί ύλης ιατρικής(De Materia Medica Libre).

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Dandelion is a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Dandelion leaves can be used to add flavor to salads, sandwiches, and teas. The roots can be used in some coffee substitutes, and the flowers can be used to make wines.

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As you might have understand, Dandelion is not a weed, but a wild vegetable, more nutritious than the broccoli or spinach that cleanse the blood and kidneys, reduces gas, blood pressure, fat and cholesterol and increases muscular strength, all this without side effects. In medicine, the roots are mainly used as an appetite stimulant, and for liver and gallbladder problems and the leaves are used as a diuretic to help the body get rid of excess fluid.

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You can harvest the leaves and flowers from spring until autumn. About the roots, I mentioned that Hecate fed Theseus with Taraxacum officiale, and therefore the best time to gather the root is in November, the month of Hecate. If you live in a northern area, it must be harvested a little bit earlier as the snow and cold weather are coming earlier.

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As European folks, how can you turn your back on the magic herb given by the night goddess to Theseus, thus making him one of our famous European hero? Will you be such a hero yourself? Will you gain your Hamingja? Let’s begin by thanking the Goddess Hecate for her precious gift by making good use of it! So enjoy!

Frederik Blanchet

βηχιον

Dear pagan readers,

I’m taking a few minutes of my time to introduce you to a plant I’m currently harvesting through the Laurentides Mountains. Gaius Plinius Secundus, better known as ”Pliny The Elder”, mentioned and prescribed this wonderful plant in his gigantic work called Naturalis Historia under the name farfarum. It is surely one of the greatest encyclopedia made in the pagan era. Πεδάνιος Διοσκουρίδης, better known as Pedanius Dioscorides, also mentioned the ”Filius ante patrem” in his huge work called Περί ύλης ιατρικής(De materia medica libre). He called it βηχιον(bêchion) from βηχις meaning ”which calms cough”. It is a plant linked to the ánd(breath of life, thought, spirit).

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The plant is commonly known as the Coltsfoot or Tussilago farfara. It is a plant whose blooming comes before the growth of the leaves. That’s why it was called ”Filius ante patrem”(the son before the father). This plant is used in many concoctions to heal pectoral illness such as bronchitis and also skin problems.

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The flower heads are edible raw or cooked. The leaves are also edible. Very young, they can be eaten raw, especially their petiole is juicy. Soon, the leaves will become rubbery and are better cooked. The flower and leaves are good sources of vitamin C, zinc and also contains a natural antibiotic. Also the ash of burnt and dried leaves create a salt substitute. It was used as a condiment once upon a time.

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It is one of the first flower that BalduR offers us each year when spring comes. Like I already asked you in a previous article: will you refuse such a beautiful gift from the beautiful shining gods?

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HailaR BalþuR!

Frederik Blanchet

Arbor Vitae

Dear pagan readers,

Let’s talk about a tree whose medicine will be essential in case of bad crops or abnormally long and harsh winters. Many asked me to write about survivalism, so I decided to combine both herbalism and survivalism in one article. Let me put you into a survival context before I present you this perfumed perennial foliage tree. Then you will realize his full potential as an essential survival medicine.

Hypothetical situation:

It’s been a few years since our societies collapsed. The constant war state and increasingly cold and bad weather reduced your crops as close to none. You have passed through all your stockpiled food and a long winter as just begun. The first week was not so bad, you managed to catch a few fishes and trapped and hunted a few games. But after a month barely only eating to meat and working hard to keep you warm, you’re feeling yourself weakling more and more each day that passed. You have a fever and your teeth and bones are painful. Your legs start to swell… You know that you’re suffering of vitamin deficiency and even maybe of scurvy, you’re not stupid enough not to realize this as a fact. But you can’t find any plants growing in frozen ground or under a layer of snow. At first look, there is no source of vitamin anywhere around.

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What would you do then? Wait for you and your family to die of illness?

”Surely not, there must be another way” you probably answered yourself. And yes, fortunately, there is another way and I am going to tell you what to do instead of waiting for death to grab you and your relatives.

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Now let me present you the best source of vitamin C you can find in such a situation: It is the White Cedar(Thuja occidentalis). Do not be confused by the common name, it is not a Cedar tree but a Thuja tree, but it looks pretty similar to Cedars. It is a very powerful medicine. The foliage infusion do not only provide a good dose of vitamin C, it heals bronchitis, fevers, headaches, coughs and rheumatic pains, etc. But be prudent, due to the neurotoxic compound thujone, internal use can be harmful if used for prolonged periods or while pregnancy. Do not exceed a cup a day for two or three days maximum. It can also be used as essential oil or tincture for other medicinal purpose such as treatment for warts, ringworm and thrush.

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This tree wear the surname ”Arbor vitae”(The tree of life) in the Vinland and Markland area(North Eastern America) because it is said that it heals all illnesses and because it can live up a millenium and more. The oldest specimen found and analyzed were about 1700 years old and the biggest were over 30m high and over 1,50m diameter.

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This tree is said to be native to North America but as been introduced in many european countries in the middle of the 16th century. The White Cedar grows naturally in wet forests, being particularly abundant in coniferous swamps where other larger and faster-growing trees cannot compete successfully. It also occurs on other sites with reduced tree competition such as cliffs. The largest known specimen is 34 m tall and 175 cm diameter, on South Manitou Island within Leelanau County, Michigan. Even if it is not growing in the wild nature where you live, you will easily find some ornamental specimen in many parks, gardens and farms of Europe. Remember that the Arbor vitae can save your life and keep you healthy in the worst imaginable survival situation! Hail the evergreen tree of life!

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-Frederik Blanchett

Belus is coming back! Part III: No beauty comes without suffering

Dear pagan readers,

In the last article, I have introduced you to the ”feet of Belus” commonly called Plantago. You have learned that the leaves can be eat and use to heal and calm the pain of all wounds, even insects stings. A truly divine plant offered to us by Belus. Today I’m going to talk about a plant whose harvest is inextricably linked with the use Plantago.

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It is again a plant that you can eat the leaves during spring season. It’s also a very powerful plant, so powerful that nature gave it a weapon to protect herself from abusive use.  Even if the stings caused by this weapon is really painful, it is also very beneficial at the same time. Also if you like butterflies, you will forgive it for all the pain it caused: No beauty comes without suffering. It is a hotbed for “useful fauna”, including many species of butterflies, beetles and bugs. In Western Europe, it is the mandatory host plant for thirty insects including butterflies (important pollinators, often receding) such as Inachis io, the Vulcan(Vanessa atalanta), the Araschnia levana, the Aglais urticae. It is also the host of moths such as Eurrhypara hortulata. I call this plant the ”helpful heat of Máni”, but it is commonly known as Urtica dioica or Stinging nettle. Once again there’s many reliable sources of information about this plant on the web, so here’s a few links:

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stinging_nettle

http://www.ageless.co.za/herb-nettle.htm

http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/stinging_nettle.htm

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Once again, I will focus on what is unsaid. Let’s start with the full list of medicinal virtues: antiallergic, anti-anemia, antibacterial, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-gout, astringent, depurative, diuretic, galactagogue, hemostatic, nutritive, revulsive, tonic, reduces enlarged prostate. It is a plant with multiple purposes. Like I said, you can eat the leaves during spring, before blooming. The leaves are very rich in proteins, minerals and vitamins A & C. You use it dried(then it loose all his urticant power) , or cooked in soup and stew, especially in potatoes based meals. You can also make and infusion with chamomile and mint. Be careful when you harvest, most people put gloves on because it’s stinging like his name suggest. The irrtation is due to the liquid contained in the base of the bristles. It contain formic acid, histamine, acetylcholine, serotonin and leukotrienes. An interresting fact that the scientist still can’t explain is that some people do not suffer from the Urtica stings, or in some cases, not always. It is said in old tales that if you touch it with a noble intention and fair heart, it won’t hurt you. And I can confirm it myself. Believe it or not, sometimes it is stinging, sometimes it is not.

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This is when the Plantago comes in context: you use it to calm the irritation, otherwise the pain will last several days. You can also use Burdock(Arctium) or Curly Dock(Rumex crispus) to calm the irritation, those plants always grow close to Urtica dioica. But the best and unsuspected way to calm the burning is to rub Urtica leaves until the juice gets out. I told you earlier that the stings were beneficial. In fact it heals nothing less than rheumatism and arthritis. You can also make a manure, very rich, every gardeners should have it. It is the perfect fertilizer. His fiber is used for thousands of years to make textile. Clothes made of it were found in many very old tombs. Another interesting purpose is to use the juice of the plant as sealant for little cracks on wood pieces. If you have wooden dishes, it will make it waterproof. Very useful.

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In the last paragraph, I mentioned that the ”helpful heat of Máni” is very useful for gardeners. But not only as manure I may add. It is perfect for companionship with all vegetables, fruits, and spices. This plant gives more to the soil than it takes. And it protects it’s surroundings from parasites. It is also a plant that release a lot of heat at night time. If you live in the north, you certainly know that the nights are pretty cold even during summertime. It will then keep your garden from freezing and you will have a much better crop. This is where it gets its name. The helpful heat of Máni!

”όποιος αγαπά, τιμωρεί”

Frederik Blanchett

P.S

If you want to know all the good effects it have on every parts of the body, you can ask me. There is so many uses and concoctions I haven’t mentioned them all. If you have any questions let me know.

Belus is coming back! Part II: The saviour that you trample upon

Dear pagan readers,

Now let’s talk about a plant that saved me and my relatives many times from infections and illnesses. It is even a part of our nutrition(very rich in calcium, vitamin A, C & K). You have surely trampled upon that magic plant many times in your life yet without knowing. Don’t be afraid, you haven’t cause any important damage to this plant by doing so, it always rises stronger again. Perhaps you even helped the plant by transporting the pollen and seeds under your feet so be consoled my friends!

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For me, it is one of the most sacred of all plants. It is commonly called the Plantago(Plantain in french), but I prefer to call it ”Belus’ footprint” or simply ”Belus’ feet”. Like I said, I use it in my nutrition but also as an internal/external medicine. It is one of the plants that will ensure the hunter gatherer lifestyle. People think they need to grow vegetables and grains to get enough minerals and vitamins in their nutrition. That is the kind of plant who prove them wrong. There’s a plenty of information about the Plantago and his medicinal virtues on the web.So here’s a few links that will give you information about the 3 main varieties in the Plantago family.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago_major

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago_lanceolata

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago_media

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So I won’t lose my time writing what as already been written. Instead I will write about what is unsaid about ”The feet of Belus”. One thing that as puzzled me for long about this magic plant is the fact that it even start growing under thick layers of snow in early spring. I even start gathering some leaves in early March. For long I have asked myself: how can a plant grow without light? For long I have figured that it must be some kind of invisible vibrations that is feeding this plant. I think a part of the answer can be found here. Thanks to Marie Cachet for such bright description of this phenomenon. It is the electromagnetic radiations from the celestial bodies that are feeding the plantago even under a thick layer of snow of course!  A divine plant fed by the divine light! Nothing less! It is the feet of Belus! Use it to heal your wounds, even for ophthalmic purpose. Eat it fresh in salad during spring, and cook it in stew during summer and autumn. It is a gift to us offered by Belus! Will you refuse such a marvelous gift from a god? Open your arms to the gifts of the gods!

Frederik Blanchett

P.S

Tell your relatives but not a word to those who are not worth it. Let them pray their false god ’til death instead! He will give them what they deserve…