By Kathleen Kiernan Bailey, Aug 16 2016 10:48PM
It has been a long time since my last post! Thanks for your patience!
One of my favourite plants. It has been a great aid at various times in my life. Sacred to Hesta, Greek Goddess of the Hearth or Vesta, Roman Goddess of the Hearth. As the Goddesses suggest, it is native to the Medterannean and parts of Africa. One of it's other names is Chaste Tree. For men, it was often used in Church life to help men control their sexual drive, hence the common name. For women, it actually increases vitality and can increase sexual drive.
The plant itself is spiky and has a beautiful peppery flavour and can be used as a substitute. It is a quintessential herb of fire and as such can help regulate own own inner Fire energies. Agnus Castus is wonderful for women who are in need of balancing their hormones in peri-menopause or menopause and its heat can help release toxins like a hot flash through the body, although I have yet to see it be as strong as a hot flash in myself. If you have another kind of experience, please share! It brings an evening to the inner fire, so can improve mood, overall energy levels and lessen irritability. It is also excellent for pre-menstrual tension, aiding digestion and water retention.
Known by its other name as Vitex, it can help when working with raising kundalini by balancing the fierceness that can accompany such awakenings. As its flowers suggest by their purple colour, it connects the creative fire up through the crown, if working with the Indian system. As it channels the sexual drive, it can help you find the creative pathways that most need expression and I find, asks that you fully engage with our body on the physical to relieve inner spiritual, emotional, or mental tension. So if you feel tension in the body while using this herb, try yoga, stretching, dancing or any other activity that can help you explore your body's strengths and weaknesses with compassion and an eye towards inner growth.
Both Hesta and Vesta, like the Goddess Brigit in Ireland/Britain is known for having an Eternal Flame. It is a wonderful plant to use in helping with issues of hearth and home and can help with purification of energies, clearing and like Fire itself, for reflecting on times past, stories and hopes for the future.
If you have been feeling sluggish or unsure of how to start creative projects of any kind, this is the plant that can help rekindle your passion and gently show you the way inwardly and outwardly to being and once the project is begun, how to bring it successfully to completion.
I will be placing some of the berries in an offering bowl on my hearthto honour the late harvest and keep the hearth nourished while I am traveling on dance and other adventures over the next couple of months.
Blessings of late summer/early autumn to you as we enjoy the harvest and the beggining of the descent of lengthening days.
Photo courtesy of http://garden.org/plants/photo/88983/