Journal: Cancer And The Green Angel

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Journal excerpt: I’m coming up the my ninth [re-]birthday! I really am!

Nine years ago, last May, I went for extensive hospital tests (so we’re talking about May 2007), and as I sat on the end of the bed the oncology consultant returned to the room. He said,’ I’m guessing , Mr Gardner, you’re a person who likes to be told things quickly’. I nodded. He was professional and yet sensitive, and then said, ‘You have oesophageal cancer’.

The rest of the day was a blur. I can only describe it as total soul loss. It was as if I was disconnected from reality, that my being had received a hefty kick n the backside and been propelled a mile alway; and as people spoke to me, it was as if I was at the far end of tunnel, struggling to hear, struggling to comprehend, struggling to reply.

Sleep came late that night, as I thought about that awful news and further tests they were to do, and later, my memory was jolted to a dream I had had just weeks before.

Did you know God speaks through dreams – ancient sacred texts are full of such events. That some chemical discoveries (benzine?) were found when a scientist had (night) dream. And, that we’re continually in a light-sleep, daydream state throughout even our waking moments (but the physical events of the day ‘crowd out’ that dream-like, imaginative  state. It’s the way we’re wired up! To have dreams.

So, there was this angel, all green. Absolutely green. Green eyes, green skin, green clothes. Everything was green. So much green, that it was difficult to know where his body stopped and his unusual clothing started. He didn’t have any wings, but I just knew I was in the company of an extraordinary being. He must have been about 6ft 6 inches, well over 2m high and ‘solid’; he was built like a Olympic wrestler. And, there he was, standing in my garden as I looked out the living-room window. I have to admit I was somewhat confused and perplexed.

A dream it may have been, but I was aware. I knew what was going on. In that dream I was thinking and reasoning to with myself, and an internal dialogue was taking place about my next course of action. The very next moment I was in the garden, and just a few feet away from the angel. He started to walk away, as if to leave.

Immediately, my mind went into overdrive as I sought to delay him. The only thing I could think, was to ask him a question, to ask him if there was anything he needed.

‘Water,’ he said.

Immediately, I found myself in the kitchen, reaching for a glass and started to fill it with water. Even then, I was thinking of how to prolong this extraordinary encounter, and so I only half filled the glass. Surely, I thought, that won’t quench his thirst, and he’ll stay even longer.

I went back to the angel in the garden, and he took the glass of water, and drank. He turned slightly and started to leave. Again, in my dream I was reasoning how to make the most of this encounter. I knew I had enough time, probably, only for one question. I thought to myself, should I ask, ‘Is there a God’, but I had answered that one myself – after all, here’s an angel, a messenger from God. Still moving towards the garden wall as if to leave, the angel stopped monetarily, probably anticipating my one and only question.

‘What is God like?’, I asked. He replied, ‘Love(ly)’.

The reply was more of a ‘feeling’, an experience, rather than just words, and so his reply could have been ‘love’ or ‘lovely’. I like to think that in that Otherworldly, brief encounter where experiences are as important as words, and maybe, more so, that it was both of those words, and more! And, then the angel vanished.

I woke up, and over the next few weeks and months researched the Green Angel, and found that he appeared in the writings of at least two or three cultures, is a messenger of Life itself, and in Islam has an association with water, the water of Life.

I’m recounting this dream because it meant something to me, and still means a lot to me. There’s just a little bit more to this encounter. Timing.

This dream occurred a few weeks before that shocking diagnosis of cancer, and – the sceptic that I was, then – had it occurred after the diagnosis I would have explained it away as the mind trying to ‘comfort’ itself. But, it happened before all this, and was given at that time for me to ponder upon at a later stage, that is, at the time of diagnosis.

Some may discount dreams as the random firing of nuerons, or this dream as the result of a piece of undigested cheese laying in my stomach, but to me, it meant something profound, something reassuring. Howver, tough the time was ahead (and it was ), I took some comfort and strength from that dream. I knew that what would happen, would happen, and there was life beyond this.

Meaningful Myth: The ‘treasure’ buried in Arthurian legend

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I love stories. I love myth. What about you? Reading stories and myths from antiquity is like uncovering gold.

At the heart of each tribe, or even a modern nation, is a myth (or several).

Myth, to many people, in the modern sense is something that is not true; but in the academic and real sense a myth is any story that is recounted to tell the founding story of a nation, or it is something that is re-told over the centuries because it is of paramount importance to that tribe or nation, true of not.

With such stories, or myths, one has to dig deep to uncover the ‘treasure’ they contain, and apply their meaning, the moral, and cosmic relevance to each one of us today.

We have forgotten our foundational myths.

We suffer from ‘founding myth amnesia’ or relegate myth or legend to the same level as the latest Hollywood movie; or worse, because of ‘improved’ story-lines and computer animation, modern stories and movies seem to take precedence. Those old stories and myths, in books, stay on the shelf collecting dust. Until, one day….

So, sit back, get comfortable, hold onto the sides of the chair, let your thoughts wander and read this short, adapted, story that touches earth and The Other, in a cosmic mystery that will take us further (I hope) on our journey.

Expect the unexpected in myth.

Enter Sir Percival. Now, there’s someone from a myth that can teach each one of us a thing or two.

Percival, before he was a knight, had a strict upbringing. As a child and youth he was told what to do, told not to ask questions, not even to talk in the presence of adults, and was told to work hard.

His life centred on being a ‘doer’, not a ‘thinker’. If he lived today, he would have been told inaction means you have no spine. Work, action, and more work means you’re a man, an adult, are taking responsibility. And so, he grew up knowing only that.

It seems our society lauds such action, rather than waiting, thinking things through. Our politicians and company executives want more for less,  greater action, less responsibility, and so we end up a ‘fracking’ mentality.

Pecival would have been at home, here. If you have a crowd of people, and an ‘action’ person speaks, and a ‘let us think about this’ person who speaks, in all probability the ‘action’ person will be seen as the strong one, and the ‘thinking, let us wait an see’ and reflective person will be seen as the weak one; and not many want to be seen as weak. Reflection, going deep, are seen as dirty words, today.

So, Percival grew up, and got his wish of being a knight. But, a night is a man of action, and   needs a quest. Soon, Percival encounters the Fisher King. The latter is, or rather, was a mighty King, but he had sustained a dreadful wound and was slowly dying. In some strange way the King and his Kingdom were connected; and so as the King was dying, so was his Kingdom.

Isn’t that the same today? Maybe, many wouldn’t adopt the ‘leader to nation’ mystical connection (though I do), but we do reap what we sow (that’s Biblical), and a nation inherits the benefits or ‘fall-out’ of its leaders’ policies (and I understand this, too). It’s one aspect of connectedness.

Sir Percival, the knight, now in the court of the Fisher King sees (or is it a vision of ) a young man carrying a bleeding lance, then two boys carrying a candelabra, and finally, he witnesses a beautiful young girl bearing an elaborately decorated cup, the holy grail, which he understand to be the cup that the Christ used at His last supper on earth. He believes that that holy grail will heal the King, and so heal the land. And, he immediately leaves for his quest: to find the holy grail, and bring it to the King, for healing to take place.

Decisiveness, might, strong-willed, a flexing of those ‘muscles’, and off a youthful Sir Percival goes. What will he find? What will he do? Will he be successful? The story, this myth (of which there are many variations, and this is but one), continues:

Sir Percival over a number of months, the duration of his quest, encounters rogue knights and vanquishes them. No holy grail! He meets up with all sorts of witches, goblins, even hob-goblins and defeats them, but still no holy grail. Battered, bruised and a little bloodied, he valiantly fights against a dragon and defeats it. [I do wish he hadn’t done that to a dragon. A wyvern, yes; but not a dragon. It’s a well-known mythological fact that dragons are wise and fairly friendly (though you wouldn’t want to upset one), but wyverns are wild and nasty.]. So, he defeats a dragon, just, but still no holy grail. And, so the story continues.

There is so much action here. Sir Percival’s story would make a great movie, and has done, several of them! Each one, ‘jammed-packed’ with sweaty, bloodied action…each one missing the point. We now fast-forward:

The Fisher King is very close to death, his Kingdom is in ruins about him. Sir Percival has still not found and brought the holy grail to the king.

The story is almost finished, and from our ‘action’ dominated society this seems too early an ending, too abrupt, unfinished, even. But, there’s more:

Sir Percival is told that his quest was, indeed, futile. The holy grail wouldn’t have saved the King or the Kingdom. But, asking three questions would have healed the King and the Kingdom.

Sir Percival’s upbringing had worked against him. Being taught to hold his tongue, to keep quiet, to ‘do’ and not to ‘think’, had been his downfall, and the King’s, too, as a consequence.

So, what are the three questions that Sir Percival should have asked of the King, right at the beginning?

Sir Percival was told that he (only) needed to ask three questions in the Fisher King’s presence, and then the King and kingdom would have been healed, and these questions were:

What ails thee, dear King?

Whom does the grail serve?

How can I, as a knight, assist thee?

So, had Sir Percival asked those three questions the King (and Kingdom) would have been healed, and the story ends there, and so you must draw your own conclusion about the outcome.

There are many theories about this myth, and of course some have added to it, or ‘strained’ interpretation is bizarre ways. To many, the grail was Christ’s cup, others (more recently) have said it is a box of bones, a severed head or even the (representational) womb of Mary! These are interesting, but, personally, I think they miss the point, and miss the meaning that has been there for centuries.

Uncovering the deep meaning of this myth, reveals and amazing truth. Treasure awaits.

This is a myth that we can all benefit from as individuals, and that nations (such as the UK in its current political turmoil) can benefit from, too.

It is clear that asking questions is good, but there’s more.

These questions, that Sir Percival should have asked, are ones borne out of love.

It was love that would have saved the King and his Kingdom in this myth. And, we should show love. Anything else is ‘window-dressing’.

Love wins, every time. It’s love!

Celtic Daily Wisdom: Liminal Space #1

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If you have ever travelled on the London underground (train system), and especially waited at stations built on the curve of the track, you are more than likely to have heard a periodic announcement as the train pulled in: ‘Mind the gap’.

Such an announcement, encourages due care and attention, lest anyone miss their footing and partially slip, unintentionally, into the gap between the safety of the platform, and the huge and powerful train!

The ‘gap’, then,  is an interesting concept, and as regards the ‘gap’  known  in deep spirituality, it is  a theme well-know to ancient and latter-day Celts and those of other faiths, especially but not only those ancient and/or nature-based faiths, such as my wican, and pagan friends, and fellow-druids etc.

Definition

To many, today, that understanding of the ‘gap’ is known as liminality or liminal space – from the latin word ‘limen’, meaning threshold.

‘I looked for someone among them who would…stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land…’. Ezekiel 22.30a (part), The Book

If you’re standing outside your house, for instance, you’re obviously outside. And, once inside your house, you’re obviously inside. But, you need to move through the doorway, walk across that front step, over the threshold, and that’s the limen; that’s what liminality is all about – partially in, partially out!

The limen or liminal space, then, is that glorious ‘in-between-ness’, and from a spiritual point of view, is one filled with power and potential, and where elements of the mundane and spiritual mingle. It’s from there that we can benefit.

It’s a place that some want to inhabit (occasionally), but some don’t. I’m assuming you do, so I’ll carry on writing. What follows is a brief introduction to liminal space.

The liminal can be encountered accidentally as we journey through life, but also intentionally, and in various ways. For instance:

Accidental Or Planned?

I live not far from Capel Curig in north Wales, and a fifteen minute drive from where I live is a wonderful family-owned bakery. I hadn’t been there for some time (as my ministry takes me far and wide), but upon entering the bakery I immediately happenchanced upon the wonderful aroma of bread being baked.

Immediately, in my mind and memory, I was transported back many years to when I was a small child and would visit my grandmother. She always seems to be baking fresh bread over the open fire, and the smell was absolutely gorgeous. It enveloped you as you walked into her house, in a sort of ‘aromatic hug’. Invitational.

Smell, it seems, can be liminal and transport us in our memory to re-experience wonderful and deep moments. It only lasted a few seconds, and I was ‘jolted’ back into ‘the present’, by the female baker asking me, ‘And what can I do for you, love?’. An accidental liminal encounter! (Though I like to think even these things are more than accidents in the grand scheme of things. Maybe planned by the Other?)

I had the privilege of conducting a number of hand-fasting ceremonies recently, and one only a couple of weeks ago. During part of the open-air ceremony the couple exchanged vows as they held each other’s hands, and I concluded with a prayer, wrapping cords around the couples’ clasped hands, and finally draping the stole I was wearing (or rather the end of it) over their hands.

At that point it was as if time stood still. In their garden, the air temperature seemed to drop ever so slightly, local noise (the coughs, joyful crying, babies gurgling etc) seemed muffled and yet birdsong could be heard in the distance; and it was as if there was an increase of ozone, that kind of ‘electric’-on-the-skin feeling, that one experiences from an approaching storm, and it filled the air. We were, and there was no doubt in my mind, ushered into liminal space – that space of power and potential, and where things happen, where we can encounter the Source in a profound way.

Some who attended, came up to me afterward, and asked what had happened. For many of them, it was an unknown but a most welcome experience. It was an intentional encounter of the liminal kind!

Yes, encountering the liminal can be by ‘chance’ or by intention.

Ways To Encounter!

It can be encountered in various ways. For instance: At the baker’s, mentioned above, it was smell; and part of my work is ushering discerning men and women into liminal space for healing, growth, meditation, transformation, house-cleansing especially and more, involving herbalism, especially of the aromatic kind, or the use of power-rocks ie intentionality.

‘…even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him [Paul] were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured…’. Acts 19.12 (part), The Book

As mentioned, I lead various ceremonies, and ritual and liturgy, because what we do and say can open us up to liminal space, and allow us to step into that ‘mid-space’ by moving over the ‘door step’.

Ofcourse, if ritual and liturgy are just done without thinking then little is achieved. But, if time and reverence is given to the event, and there is intentionality, then things happen and we are ushered into liminal space, that glorious ‘inbetween-ness’.

This is interesting to note when celebrating the Caim (intercessory) prayer – and more will be said about that in the coming days

‘There are things known, and things unknown, and in between are the Doors’. Aldous Huxley

Ofcourse, there are a myriad of other ways to access that threshold. For some it may be poetry, for others it may be music or spiritual writing, an awesome sight etc. And, the depth at which people ‘surrender’ varies. Some may only skate upon the surface, maybe fearing to go too deep. Others surrender to the experience completely, and reap the benefits.

‘The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless’. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Another part of my ministry is to usher people into liminal space and utilise the imagination by creative visualisation/active imagination, wherever they are.

Many often believe that the imagination is not real and not useful – advertisers and others know differently. Whatever we do starts with a thought that comes from afar; we allow it to mull around in our imagination or the imaginal realm as many call it; and it slowly ‘solidifies’ and becomes an physical action, though intentionality.

And so, I work with clients, moving them into that imaginal realm of power and potential, where they can encounter….well, they can encounter whatever they can imagine: archetypes, angels, their Companion or the Friend, the Source etc, maybe imagining exotic and beneficial locations to obtain answers, healing, growth, transformation etc in a wonderful ‘inner’ adventure.

A Metaphor?

Maybe these are metaphors for things so deep our words fail us, but symbolism in the imaginal realm can take us further? Maybe, it’s for that reason that much inspiration, contact with the Other etc is mediated through dreams and the imagination?

‘The man who has no imagination has no wings’. Muhammad Ali

It is in that liminal space, that the gap between the mundane and the Other, that things happen – power and potential, and awesome encounters take place.

Accidentally or intentionally you can enter liminal space; you can ‘fly’ and, you can benefit.

Tadhg

PS: Over the next few days, we’ll return to the theme of liminal space, and look at its various stages, examples of how it can be utilised by you or for others, and how it can be expressed (in liturgy, ritual, mediation, visualisation etc).

 

–oOo—

Do contact me regarding liminal space. Part of my work as an anamcara [gaelic/Celtic for ‘soul friend’] is to work with discerning men and women who want to obtain answers to questions, discover more (about themselves),  grow, mature and/or be transformed though creative visualisation/active imagination as a ‘vehicle’ to be ushered into liminal space via the imaginal realm, and/or who would like to enquire about a ceremony, herbalism etc – all forms of liminality..

Herbarium: Dragon’s Blood

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Do you need some ‘spice’ in your life? Would you like a ‘wealth-increaser’? Could your house do with a spiritual ‘uplift’, banishing negativity and encouraging positivity to take root? Dragon’s blood maybe the answer.

As an Anamcara, Tadhg has much experience regarding the traditional use of ancient herbs and ‘power rocks’ etc. Indeed, Tadhg’s Apothecary uses many such herbs and plants etc for clients, today.

Here’s one that may be beneficial to you.

Dragons Blood (Daemomorops Draco) is a resin from the rattan palm. It was known to the Romans of the first century, and was, for them, an important trading commodity.

There is something of the dragon in this. Strong. Powerful. Effective. Albeit benevolent.

It has a bright red appearance, is a good, natural colourant, and so was (and still is, sometimes) used as a cloth dye, or to make waxes and seals.

It has been used by many cultures in various ceremonies, and was used by some, formerly, as an ingestible medicine, but not so, now. If you have not smelled Dragon’s Blood…it is quite fragrant, similar to that of Myrrh and Frankincense, and so, is somewhat reminiscent of a Catholic mass.

Dragon’s Blood is also excellent for ritual and ceremony for your group (or for you), or around the house.

Myth: Ladon was the name of the dragon, who was believed to guard the apples of the Hesperides, appointed to watch in the gardens of the  by Juno, and never slept. The dragon, however, was slain by Heracles; and the image of the fight was placed by Zeus among the stars. Dragons Blood, the red resin, was, according to this myth, the bloody, earthly remain of Ladon.

Usage by Tadhg: From the ancient, traditional and complementary healing arts of the ancient Celts, Dragons Blood was very useful.

Tadhg’s Apothecary works with it, still:

  • preparing mixes for incense for clients and churches for use in specific ritual and ceremonies,
  • preparing ‘air essences’ for ‘locations and placement-uplift’ eg rooms, workplaces, or for rituals etc.

Could it assist you?

Traditionally, it was used for the healing of : various physical ailment (formerly), but is now not used for ingestion or physical use.

It could be said to be the spice of life! It’s said to be an aphrodisiac!

It is said to have the following properties:

  • an aromatic/pungent
  • an aphrodisiac
  • astringent (that which contracts organic tissue, reducing secretions or discharges of mucous and fluid from the body)

It is also viewed, and is still used by some, ceremonially, as important for:

  • bringing back good memories
  • the banishment of negativity
  • a blessing and protection
  • increasing wealth
  • fertility or as an aphrodisiac
  • various rituals

It may be mixed with other herbs, for specific purposes (depending on your requirements) and for definite church (and other) ceremonies or to use around the house as an ‘air essence’, or in a general manner such as one would use in the hall-way or bathroom etc.

Tadhg could prepare this for you as an ‘air essence’ for the home or as incense for ritual and ceremonial uses, and maybe mix it with other herbs depending on your requirements – its usual for 3-5 herbs to be used – or perhaps there’s some other requirement?

Caution: Dragons Blood should never be ingested, nor used externally on the body.

Next step: To find out more, and how Tadhg’s Apothecary can assist you with a preparation of this herb (or a mix of this and others, depending on your requirements), do contact him for more information and/or to book a consultation, wherever you are.

Note: Intentionality is important. Also, the above-mentioned is for informational purposes only. This ministry is complementary, and not an alternative to allopathic medicine. E&OE. Do not self-medicate. Bt, do contact Tadhg for more information.

Herbarium: Mistletoe

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European Mistletoe

As an Anamcara, Tadhg’s specialism is liminality, covering mind, body and spirit; and one way this is used to benefit discerning men and women is through the use of herbs for physical, mind, spiritual and ‘locational’ benefits. What follows, then, is information regarding Mistletoe from a traditional herbalist’s point of view.

Mistletoe is one of my favourites. Surrounded by ‘myth and magic’, bound up in history and the Christmas ‘rituals’ of kissing under it, it has some amazing properties for those with ailments, or those who require it for its  ‘locational’ benefits around the house etc.

Name & Description
The English name is said to have come from the Anglo-Saxon Misteltan, mistel from ‘mist’ and tan meaning ‘twig’. The plant is called Herbe de la Croix in Brittany as legend has it that Jesus’s cross came from its wood.

Mistletoe is an evergreen, plant found on the branches of deciduous trees. Roots growing from the yellowish-green, forked stem penetrate through the bark into the wood of the host. The leaves are opposite, leathery, yellow-green, and narrowly obovate. Pale yellow or green flowers appear from March to May.

Mistletoe ‘is under the dominion of the Sun, with something of the nature of Jupiter…’
Nicholas Culpeper, 1653

Folklore
Mistletoe, especially at Christmastime, is associated with kissing. Many trace this custom back to the Greeks who used mistletoe in the Saturnalia festival. Mistletoe also figures in a Scandinavian legend of Balder, the god of Peace, who was killed with an arrow of mistletoe. He was restored to life, and mistletoe was then given to the goddess of Love, and it was ordained that everyone who passed under it should receive a kiss, to show that the branch had become an emblem of love, and not of hate. Something to think about, this Christmastime. And, ancient Celts, and their Druids used branches of the Mistletoe to announce the entrance of the new year, and as a protection against evil, especially (but not only) by hanging it from the ceiling.

Properties
It is said to have the following properties:

  • antispasmodic [relieves or eases muscular spasms]
  • cardio-tonic [stimulates or otherwise affects the heart]
  • diuretic [increases the volume and flow of urine which cleanses the urinary system]
  • emetic [causes vomiting]
  • hypotensive [lowers blood pressure]
  • narcotic [relieves pain and induces sleep]
  • nervine [has a calming or soothing effect on the nerves]
  • stimulant [excites or quickens the functional activity of the tissues giving more energy]
  • tonic [tones, strengthens and invigorates, giving a feeling of well-being]
  • vasodilator [widens the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure]

Hippocrates and 17th centuary herbalist Culpepper prescribed it for disorders of the spleen.

Uses (previously)
It has been said, formerly, to have been used in the treatment of breast cancer and/or for the side effects of chemotherapy in Europe, for heart conditions, lowering blood pressure, epilepsy, gout, depression and sleep disorders, tinnitus, dizziness, feelings of anxiety etc. However, even formerly, if the dosage was misjudged, then vomiting, diarrhoea and cramping etc could follow, and it wasn’t used for those that were pregnant or breast-feeding. It is for these reasons and others, including the fact that the US Food and Drug Administration lists this plant as ‘unsafe’ and the UK MHRA has Mistletoe berries on its list of banned substances, that we don’t suggest, nor use it (as a tincture) for internal or external bodily usage. We do, however, suggest it for use for ritual and ceremonial purposes (whether formal or informal), and ‘locational’ purposes around the house eg in rooms, home altar etc, workplace, faith-group meeting place.

‘It could have been the steeple bell, that wrapped us up within it’s spell. It only took one kiss to know… It must have been the mistletoe!’
Barbara Mandrell, It Must Have Been The Mistletoe

Current uses
For ritual, ceremony or for ‘locational purposes’, we currently use Mistletoe for the purposes mentioned above, but not in tincture form, as well as for:

  • dispelling negativity by hanging from ceilings etc
  • romance, love and fertility
  • healing
  • protection against evil

It us usual to combine it with an aromatic. Mistletoe can be combined with:

  • Thyme (an enhancer of the main constituent). Thyme also brings the benefits of rest, tranquillity and peace.
  • Myrrh. Myrrh has similar benefits to Mistletoe but also encourages deep spirituality, and is therefore popular for rituals and ceremony.
  • Sage. A sage ‘bundle’ used to ‘smudge’ can ‘hold’ the Mistletoe well, and is said to have the added benefit of making dreams come true.

It can be bought from Tadhg as:

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What to do now
For more information about mistletoe and to book a consultation for a herbal prescription and quantity of it, in this case for ritual and ‘locational’ uses only, wherever you are do please contact Tadhg direct.

Tadhg’s work is complementary and not alternative to allopathic medicine. Although we use mistletoe externally for ritual and ‘locational’ purposes, should you have an ailment do see your health practitioner, and should you have done so already and have been given advice and/or medicine, do please continue to use it until told otherwise by them. And remember, ‘intentionality’ is always important when it comes to a herbs effectiveness. Photographs used above are for representational purposes only. Do not self-medicate. Information here is for informational purposes only. E&OE.

Herbarium: Frankincense

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Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

As an Anamcara, Tadhg has much experience regarding the use of ancient herbs etc. Indeed, using traditional understanding Tadhg’s Apothecary uses many such herbs and plants for clients, today. Here’s one that may be beneficial to you.

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii), also known as Olibanum, is part of the Burseraceae plant family. It originates from Arabia and Somalia, has been traded for over 5000 years, and is used today, initially, in its resin form.

The ancient Egyptians ground charred Frankincense resin into a powder called kohl, and this was used, formerly, to make the distinctive black eyeliner seen on so many figures in Egyptian art.

Frankincense is a symbol of holiness and righteousness.

Ancient sacred text says: And going into the house they [the Magi, Wise Men] saw the [Christ] child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Usage by Tadhg: From the ancient, traditional and complementary healing arts of the ancient Celts, Frankincense was very useful. Tadhg’s Apothecary works with it, still:

  • preparing mixes for incense for clients and churches for use in specific ritual and ceremonies
  • preparing ‘air essences’ for ‘locations and placement-uplift’ eg rooms, workplaces, or for rituals etc.

Traditionally, it was used for the healing of: various physical ailments, but this is no longer the case.

Frankincense in a thurible

Frankincense in a thurible

Frankincense has a strong, other-worldly aroma that seems to allow a greater depth of thought and meditation. Client use it in the home in rituals, in the home for general purposes, and some churches like us to mix it with other herbs etc, for them.

It is said to have the following properties:

  • an aromatic (producing a nice smell, pungent)
  • an anti-septic (kills or reduces micro-organisms)
  • an aphrodisiac
  • a hypnotic (sleep inducing, soporific)
  • an immunostimulant (stimulates the immune system)
  • a sedative (promotes calmness, tranquillity, reduces stress or anxiety

It is also viewed by some as important for:

  • protection
  • ritual purification
  • blessing of people, places, houses/offices, churches etc
  • increasing spiritual depth and meditation
  • various ceremonies and rituals
  • dispelling gloomy thoughts, depression, despair, lessens anxiety
  • banishing negativity, encouraging positivity
  • soap and perfume

Caution: Frankincense should never be ingested. It is sometimes used externally on the body in a very dilute form and mixed with oil, but care must be taken, and we would advise against this.

Next step: To find out more, and how Tadhg and Tadhg’s Apothecary can assist you with a preparation of this herb (or a mix of this and others, depending on your requirements), do contact him for more information and/or to book a consultation, wherever you are. For general information about booking etc, consultation and product costs, do check here: Tadhg’s Apothecary (main page)

Note: Intentionality is important. Also, the above-mentioned is for informational purposes only. This ministry is complementary, and not an alternative to allopathic medicine. E&OE. Do not self-medicate. Do read the notes of ‘Tadhg’s Apothecary’ page