By Shelly Kay - Our In House Magickal Herbalist
Yarrow - or Achillea Millefolium is thought to have been a favorite of Merlin’s, Yarrow is a beautiful little flower that is usually white, but can also be yellow, pink, or purple and looks like a miniature daisy that grows in a cluster at the top of the stalk. You might find it in the nursery under the name of Milfoil. It grows wild all over the world and in almost every culture it is used for both its healing and magical properties. It was found in a Neanderthal woman’s grave in Iraq, which was dated around 60,000 BC. She was buried surrounded with several different flowers and herbs.
It’s name refers to Achilles, who created the herb from the rust of his spear and used it to heal his soldiers wounds and has been carried by soldiers for centuries afterwards. How can a weapon used for war and bloodshed create a healing herb? You can’t have life without death, dark without light. They always coexist and bring balance. There is nothing in this world that does not have its counterpart. The Yin and Yang.
Which brings us to China and the I-Ching. The yarrow stalks are used in this divination tool where they are divided and counted to determine the flow of yin and yang. This is a slow process that lends itself to meditation quite well. The I-Ching is also known as the Yellow Stalk Oracle. The stalks create a Hexagram of six lines with 64 unique combinations each with their particular interpretation. This is a loving gentle exploration of the universe at work if done as a ritual.
Druids used yarrow stalks for weather divination and is one of their sacred plants devoted to Air and known as Eerie. Which today means creepily frightening! This most likely stemmed from a children's game of drawing the yarrow leaves across the face to create a tingling sensation. Not surprising since it was used to keep witches and fairies away by hanging over a baby's cradle, in houses and churches (especially on St. John’s Eve) or woven into a garland in the home.
Today, it is used to exorcise evil and negativity, ease heartache. When worn, it protects the wearer. Hold it in your hand to banish fear and find courage. It brings love of all kinds into your life, not just romantic, from friendship to self-love. Also associated with personal power. Use this blend below to claim your personal power and your love for yourself.
Love Thyself Magickal Blend
There are 4 ways I recommend:
Steep about 1 cups worth in boiling water for 10-15 minutes and add to your bath
Steep ½ cup blend with 4 quarts steaming water as a facial steam (be aware will clear your sinuses) for about 15 minutes
Place sachet under pillow
Burn on charcoal disk for meditation ritual use
I like to use this chant by Karen Drucker “I will be gentle with myself”:
I will be gentle with myself;
I will love myself
I am a child of the universe
Being born each moment
You can hear it here. Drink the tea (see Warning below if you are pregnant) to improve your psychic powers, place or rub the leaves over the eyes increases second sight, or place under your pillow to dream of your mate. Carrying yarrow will bring friends and distant relations into contact and draws the attention of the one you are focusing on.
Recite this charm blessing upon bedtime when placing the yarrow sprigs under the pillow
“Thou pretty herb of Venus’ tree,
Thy true name it is Yarrow;
Now who my bosom friend must be,
Pray tell thou me to-morrow.”
Yarrow is ruled by the planet Venus, and the zodiac sign of Aries. Its element is Water of Air (Water & Air), has a feminine expression and is associated with the 7th Chakra. Because of its harmonizing nature with friendship and love, I associate this with the four of wands in the tarot.
When harvesting, the Gaelic will recite this charm blessing:
“I will pluck the yarrow fair
That more benign will be my face,
That more warm shall be my lips,
That more chaste shall be my speech,
Be my speech the beams of the sun,
Be my lips the sap of the strawberry.
May I be an isle in the sea,
May I be a hill on the shore,
May I be a star in the waning of the moon,
May I be a staff to the weak.
Wound can I every man,
Wound can no man me.”
Warning: Yarrow should not be used while pregnant, but is fine for lactating mothers. Taken internally, large doses and long term use can cause your skin to be sensitive to light increasing the likelihood of sunburns. Persons with allergies to other members of the Asteraceae family (such as feverfew, chamomile, or echinacea species) should exercise caution with yarrow, as allergic cross-reactivity is common to Asteraceae plants.