context and system can be more than the object itself
There are at least two more things I didn't mention in comparing the "herb" system and the "drug" system of using substances to bring about healing in bodies.
The two I have in mind both turn out to be relevant to today's specific example. These are:
money and tradition of use.
it's all medicine
In the last post, I offered that despite what we believe (placebo/nocebo) about an herb/drug (or anything else), it does have a characteristic effect (actio) for the most part. And I who am saying this am an unapologetic magical thinker.
Despite my strong belief that belief (conscious or not) shapes experience, my experience has also been, e.g., that taking a big glug of passionflower tincture because I grabbed the wrong (and unlabeled) bottle made me catatonic in short order (and then I had to figure out what happened), and that a scoop of a BCAA product with whey not listed on the label (I believed was whey-free) led to rapid, unwelcome psychosis as whey reliably does for me.
Beliefs about herbs/drugs are influenced by contexts and systems too. And I'm a good candidate to speak to this, since I study and use herbs but also take meds that come in red plastic bottles from the pharmacy.
our bodies are neither garbage cans nor cars
Placebo, nocebo, actio--the first two words of this Latin trio are verbs; the third is a noun.
"I will please, I will harm, action."
Note: although the current sequence of posts isn't following the "tripartite spell" format established a month or two ago, the notion of the spell--the combination of word- and plant-lore--as basis for how I structure my thoughts is still very salient.
I've been thinking a lot about what it is to be conscious of what we put in our bodies--several posts to come on that. You might expect me to praise the placebo/nocebo effects, subsets of the Law of Attraction. But in fact, I want to point out that chalking everything up to placebo/nocebo can be dangerous.
what hurts can heal
I’ve been gone, and now I’m back. Once again, we’re in in-between time. Beltane, halfway between equinox and solstice. So much transition energy, and aside from the facts (which are extraneous to this particular post), I’m in the nonverbal experiential stage right now.
It’s not that I’m at a loss for words; more that it seems premature to put words to what’s morphing and shifting, for myself and for many in my weave, right now.
Resuming now, we were two-thirds through a spell to do with devils and slanderous spirits, who are not necessarily malign. So, here is the "plant" part, which is devil’s club.
a throwback post
In this spell so far, "it is what it is" is not the whole story, and a chiasmus, like that phrase, is an arrangement in the shape of the Greek letter chi χ, or of the cross.
Nice timing, yes? We're looking at the shape of the cross on Easter. Easter which coincides with Pesach this year, unusually but perhaps unsurprisingly in a year already so replete with astrological coincidences and cooccurrences.
plants and movement, feet and tails
Riddle me this: how can I write an herb post that fits in with the theme of moment/momentum?
When people talk about plant toxins, it's become somewhat a cliche to say "a plant can't run away from you, so it poisons you instead." Not much movement there, is the implication.
And riddle me this: when you think of silica, one of the first associations you might have is glass, which is about as brittle as it gets, but the mineral silica is essential to healthy skin, hair, and joints, all about flexibility.
Let's talk about horsetail.
what counts as a mistake?
Although some places are still under snow, it's feeling like spring here. Several 80+ degree days here this week, some more rain today. I'm told that this my first winter/spring in Tucson has been a kindly one in terms of the volume of rain we've been gifted.
The rains gift a spectacular blooming of this desert place. As the trees leaf out and all sorts of small weeds unfurl from the ground, there are flowers everywhere. My neighbor's magenta bougainvillea vine. Cactus and yucca and agaves sprouting spiky and marvelous inflorescences. Mesquite trees covered in yellow blossoms and bees.
A time of beginnings for plants, then. In other words, there were so many choices available to me for a plant related to the theme of apprenticing and beginning. (Mindfulness post and word post for this series.)