In the spirit of the mystery and the magic of the month of October, I explore the mystery and magic surrounding the garden and all that grows in it.
The day and month of our birth is associated with a sun sign and, just as the characteristics of these signs are associated with a flower or stone, they are also associated with a Garden Herb.
Herbs can be mixed and combined, based on the characteristics of the Herb, to produce a “recipe”that’s meant to match your individual characteristics. These particular herb combinations are meant to bring you strength in times of stress or sickness. The qualities of the herbs harness the positive qualities the individual sun signs with the intention of creating balance and positive growth.
- Aries- March 21-April 20
Aries people are energetic and impulsive. They are quick-witted and can grasp many facts in a short time. They reach conclusions swiftly and are often compared to “a bullet”- a red-hot burst of energy capable of overcoming any obstacle by charging straight at it. The ruler of Aries is Mars, the “red” planet, the ancient god of war. Mars has an affinity for all things hot and spicy. It should come as no surprise then, the herbs that correspond with Aries are also a bit “hot” to the taste. Use them in cooking to raise Aries’ endorphins, the substance Mars loves best.
- Taurus – April 21- May 21
Apple, apricot, blackberry, cherry, heather, hibiscus, raspberry, rose.
Taureans are tenacious, diligent and discriminating. This is the sign of the insatiable appetite, not just for food but for everything fine and refined. It is the sign that’s fondest of the pleasures that life has to offer- elegant eccentricity. Whether it’s a beautiful sunset, a symphony by Mozart, or a delicious meal, Taureans are experts at enjoying the physical delights of all the senses. Taureans savor their meals and are drawn to the gourmet, finest of cuisines. Venus is the purveyor of sweetness and, it follows, that the herbs Taureans enjoys most are the sweet ones. Use each of them to satisfy the Taurean sweet tooth.
- Gemini – May 22- June 22
Geminis are the zodiac’s perpetual children, refusing, at any age, to betray their innocent belief in the possibility of a happier world for all. Geminis love to ask questions and are always up for a good debate. The expression “variety is the spice of life” was probably written for or by a Gemini. The quick-witted, fleet-footed energy of this sign just loves variety. Each of these herbs provide a different type of taste, and most can be combined in a light, aromatic tea you can sip on the run. Use clove or slippery elm to protect against gossip and to keep your thoughts and actions grounded.
- Cancer – June 23- July 23
Aloe, lemon balm, chamomile, mimosa, lavender, lilac.
Cancerians are the Zodiac’s most sensitive souls. They are natural nurturers and cannot help but empathize with, and feel concern for, all of humanity. Cancerians are happiest when making someone else happy and saddest when they feel they have cause another pain or suffering. There’s nothing Cancer likes better than a home that smells good, whether it’s because there’s something wonderful simmering on the stove, a vase of fresh flowers on the dining room table, or a warm, fragrant bubble bath. Cancerians like to play it safe and they would be dull, unadventurous people were it not for one thing: very powerful emotions! Cancerians cannot help but follow their attraction and passions and, consequently, they spend their lives trying to stabilize the last big upheaval before the next one arrives. Cancer rules the stomach, which is why Cancerians find a sense of great security in eating their favorite foods- and also great difficulty in following a diet! Each of the herbs listed above are known for their ability to calm, heal, or bring a wonderful aroma to the environment. Use aloe to soothe burns and scrapes and chamomile for a wonderful bedtime/bath-time tea.
- Leo – July 24- Aug 24
Chicory, ginger, cinnamon, peppermint, golden-seal, rosemary, St. John’s Wort, sandalwood.
Leo’s greatest gift is his natural buoyancy. Leo is ruled by the Sun, the source of life and warmth that keeps us all alive and provides us with the energy we need to keep pursuing our life’s quest. Leo, like the Sun, demands admiration and respect. It makes perfect sense, that the bright, cheerful sunflower would be the perfect representation of Leo’s equally bright and happy sign. When it comes to food, Leo prefers spicy, colorful and expensive. Leo’s aren’t greedy but they cannot resist a delicacy- even if they aren’t hungry. The spiciness Leo’s are fond of is not necessarily that of curry or chili but more the sharp aromatic tang of ginger, peppermint, cinnamon, and sandalwood.Herbs like golden-seal and St. John’s Wort are tailor-made for Leo, too, since their ability to keep the body resistant to illness and depression are well known. Mix a bit of chicory with your morning coffee to help remove any obstacles that come up.
- Virgo – Aug 24- Sept 23
Caraway, dill, eyebright, horehound, lily of the valley, marjoram, savory.
Every Virgo has a mission to inform and educate. Virgos are a quick-thinking meticulous sign likes nothing better than a mental challenge, whether it’s organizing a pile of papers at the office, solving a puzzle, or learning a new skill. Virgos seek true physical and emotional well-being for all of their fellow humans. Virgos are neither passive nor aggressive, they are simply sensible yet sensual. They want to enjoy life to the fullest but maintain awareness of any dangers attached to their hungers. Virgos are very particular about food, what they eat depends on what mood they’re in. Virgo takes great pleasure in keeping his body intelligently nourished. The herbs listed above are all well known for their subtle abilities to strengthen the mind, and many can be mixed together in teas to give a boost at the end of a long day, often needed by Virgos. The lily of the valley is perfect for Virgos, with its subtle, “clean” scent and delicate flowers.
- Libra – Sept 24- Oct 23
Catnip, passion flower, persimmon, rose, sugar cane, violet.
Libra is the zodiac’s appointed guardian of justice. Libran’s life task is to weigh intellect against intuition and to the need to be fair against the need to be firm. Libras are like chameleons and can fit in almost anywhere with almost anyone. They are frequently accused of being indecisive. There’s no sign as fond of pleasing others as Libra, whether it’s by saying just the right thing to bring warring factions together, or by using polite charm to seduce their object of desire. Libras are fussy about décor and will often be more interested in a restaurant’s tablecloth or lighting choice than what’s on the menu. Voluptuous Venus gives Libra an appetite for life’s most sensual pleasures. Catnip is famous for its effects on our feline friends, but its also traditionally used in conjunction with rose petals to bring loving relationships that last forever. Since Libras are ruled by Venus, they are capable of being every bit as sweet as the sugar cane – however, they sometimes need a bit of help to attract a beloved. Sugar cane is a potent plant that’s long been used to conjure love, and can be very useful to romantic Libra.
- Scorpio – Oct 24-Nov 22
Ginseng, dill, patchouli, pomegranate, saffron, vanilla.
Scorpios mission is to discover the truth and to awaken others to it. Scorpios are blessed with sharp minds, sharper instincts and still sharper tongues. The Scorpio may be sharp in his quest to find truth but his personality is endlessly, vulnerably, soft. Scorpios are used to getting what they want or, at least, what they want at the moment. Scorpios are guided by the pursuit of an impossible dream and enough is never enough. Scorpios like food with sharp, distinctive flavor and they tend to prefer savory dishes to sweet. The herbs best suited for Scorpios are famous for their use in stirring up passion. Drink ginseng tea (or offer some to your beloved) to induce a magnetic physical attraction. Wear patchouli to arouse lust and silently conjure the magic of the Beltane rituals. Present the object of your desire with a pomegranate, the fruit traditionally associated with seductive Pluto, Scorpio’s ruling planet.
- Sagittarius – Nov 23- Dec 21
Anise, clove, fig, hyssop, mugwort, myrtle, nutmeg, rosemary, sage.
The Sagittarian’s quest is for spiritual enlightenment. Sagittarians will indulge travel ,adventure, escapade and fascination in his desire to discover the bridge of wisdom between the finite and the infinite. There’s no sign that hangs on to youth with more fervency and determination than Sagittarius. Sagittarians are always hungry and tend to eat their food very quickly. To keep that youthful appearance and disposition going as Sagittarius travels the world in search of yet another experience: drink a tea made of anise, rosemary, and Vervain. To aid in making your dreams more prophetic than they already are, use mugwort. Burn clove incense to attract the wealth you’ll need to pay for your travels.
- Capricorn – Dec 22- Jan 20
Comfrey, horsetail, mint, poppy, sassafras, woodruff.
Capricorns are the keepers of the cosmic clock. The Capricorn’s quest is to treasure the past and measure the mystery of each passing hour. Capricorn seeks to make the most of life’s precious resources and to create the opportunity for others to do the same. Capricorn is described as a very “focused” sign. Capricorn is intent on self-sufficiency and material success. The influence of Capricorn’s planet, Saturn, gives the ambition and self-discipline to attain those goals, and to ensure success and prosperity in business matters. Capricorns tend to prefer plain, wholesome home cooking and, are unimpressed by fancy cuisine or expensively presented food. Each of the herbs mentioned above are known for their ability to attract, expressively, Capricorn’s desired success, and most can be mixed together in a tea.
- Aquarius – Jan 21- Feb 19
Anise, bittersweet, citron, dandelion, lemon verbena, rosemary, sage.
Aquarius belongs to thought, philosophy and intellect. Aquarians possess plenty of sensitivity and passion but they believe emotion should be the servant, not the master, of the heart. Aquarius is a cerebral sign and his ability to turn “odd” or eccentric ideas into strokes of genius is well known. Aquarians love to experiment with new recipes and dishes. How the new or unique dishes actually taste is of secondary importance to their potential value as a talking point. Since communication (and mass communication in particular) is Aquaruis’ specialty, the herbs above are all associated with the air principle, which rules the intellectual side of life. To increase the Aquarians already powerful intuition, use citron, clover, or rosemary. Above all else, listen to that intuition. It will seldom prove to be wrong.
- Pisces – Feb 20 – Mar 20
Aloe, bay, cotton, eucalyptus, lavender, Norfolk Island pine, rue.
Pisces are the Zodiac’s magicians. Pisces greatest gift is their ability to transform despair into hope and fear into faith. Pisces specialize in helping everyone else find hidden wonder in that which we may be tempted to dismiss as ordinary. Pisces have a special inner radar which lets them tune into hidden messages and, somehow, always know what’s really going on in people’s hearts. Ruled by Neptune, the great celestial illusionist, Pisces are particularly fond of food that looks like it’s going taste like one thing but turns out to be something entirely different. As the most sensitive and psychic of all signs, Pisces, is the one that requires help to ward off the adverse thoughts and intentions of others. Since Pisces have no boundaries to keep them separate from others, they need protection against negative influences. To that end, use rue, a powerful herb known to ward off ills of every kind. To stay positive and healthy keep a lavender plant growing either outside or inside your home.