Happy Beltaine, Beltane, or Bealtaine, however you spell it. Warm weather has finally come to Sacramento. Tegwedd switched her wardrobe out today, packing away her fall and winter wardrobe, and getting out her spring and summer wardrobe. She was astonished at how many pairs of shorts she has, and how many little nothing dresses. When Tegwedd was a little girl, we used to celebrate May Day by making little “cootie catcher” baskets, filling them with flowers from our mothers’ flower beds, and putting them on our neighbors’ front stoops without being seen. When she grew up, she learned how the Communists, the Soviets and the Red Chinese had co-opted May Day for their own dull drab purposes. But for her, May Day, which became Beltaine for her from 1974 on, was always about flowers, Maypoles, and May baskets.
Progress continues on the Ultimate Guide to the Tarot. According to Stephen, it is a community effort. “If you contribute knowledge to the writing of this book, your websites will be featured in the back of the book, and whatever name it is your Will to go by will be mentioned in the acknowledgements at the beginning of the book. The links have to be Pagan-related, they can’t be some restaurant or something, but they can be a Pagan occult magickal shop.” .
With the coming of spring and summer, comes yardwork. Tegwedd uses her breaks when watering or weeding to do her nature awareness sessions for the ADF Dedicant Program. Thursday night she brought a sample of one of the weeds in the side and back yards. Lindsay Harbaugh, a fledgeling herbalist, identified the clingy, sticky weed/herb as cleavers, or Lady’s Bedstraw, an herb of many uses. It is an anti-inflammatory, which can be taken both internally, and topically for ailments such as gall bladder and urinary infections, gonorrhea, and even psoriasis. Tegwedd offered Lindsay all the Lady’s Bed Straw in the backyard because otherwise it’s all going in the Green Waste truck to be made into either mulch or compost. Tegwedd has no idea what happens to the plant material that gets picked up by the Green Waste people.
Tegwedd and her friend Len McQueed changed the userpic for her Live journal account. She changed it for two rather vain reasons: she had just finished the tam, and was inordinately proud of how she looked in it, and she thought she looked slimmer than she had in the picture in her Druid green nobles.
We also have dandelions. Dandelion comes from the Latin dente-de-lion: teeth of the lion, from the jagged “toothy” leaves of the plants. Dandelions also have several medicinal uses, and you can make wine from the flowers. You can eat the leaves in salads, or as greens like spinach, and they contain Vitamin C, and more A than carrots do. We used to hold the flowers under each other’s chins to see if our friends liked butter (the yellow reflection under our friends’ chins meant they liked butter.) and when the flowers became puffballs, we’d make a wish, blow on them, and watch the winged seeds scatter. If you managed to blow all the seeds off of the stem, your wish/Will will come true. The flowers, leaves or roots are good for: alcoholism, bladder infections (UTI), bronchitis, bruises, cholesterol control, colds, culinary, diabetes, digestion, female hormones, hypertension, Irritable bowel syndrome, liver, memory improvement and mental focus, osteoporosis, PMS, pregnancy, tonic, and warts.
There is a philosophy which reads that weeds are only plants with no herbal uses. We don’t have the space for all the recipes for herbal remedies you can make with the dandelion parts. But there are many herbals you can consult for these. Tegwedd’s favorite is Mrs. Grieve’s 2 volume herbal, which dates from the 17th century. There is also Culpepper’s famous herbal, also from the 17th century, published in 1653, to be exact. Tegwedd has five or six herbals in her personal library, including Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical [sic] Herbs. She has the Star Herbal which she uses for making embroidery patterns from the illustrations, Jude’s Herbal,which has all kinds of home remedies, and the Barefoot Doctor’s Manual, which is available from the US Government Printing Office. It has Chinese herbs in it.
Tell us about your Beltaine/Beltane/Bealtinne activities and plans.