HERBS FOR MERCURY RETROGRADE
It’s that time again, witches. July 7th ushered in our favorite astrological scapegoat: Mercury Retrograde. We brace ourselves for 3 weeks of screaming at our computers and sending the wrong text messages. This headache time must be serving us in some way, right?! Yes—but it’s hard to see when we’re in the thick of it. This month’s herbal allies will provide some clarity to cut the mental fog.
Mercury is inviting us to pause and pay closer attention to how we think and communicate. It’s time to pause and reflect rather than fumble forward in logical and verbal chaos. Capitalism demands constant communication and pushes our minds into overdrive. We are not intended to be running mental marathons 24/7. Practice radical self care and s-l-o-w down that brilliant brain of yours.
I recently had the pleasure of receiving a Mercury Retrograde reading from Cristina Farella of Eighth House Astrology. Cristina referenced astrologer Anne Ortelee, encouraging awareness towards the prefix "re-" during this time. How can we REassess, REvisit, REconsider, REcognize, etc? It can be hard to look back, especially for those of us who tend to anxiously stretch towards the future. You’re not alone, witches, the plants are here to support you.
Lavender (Lavandula sp): Ruled by Mercury and the element of air, lavender is the mind’s best friend. The latin root “lavare” means “to cleanse”, both emotionally and physically. Lavender helps cleanse the mind of stress and intrusive thoughts. The beautiful smell goes straight from our olfactory senses to our emotional (limbic) brain, encouraging it to RElax and REstore. When in doubt this month, lavender lavender lavender. Grow it, smell it, drink it, shower with it. Just live lavender this month.
Flowers and Stars’ Focus Pocus anointing oil combines Mercury ruled lavender with grounding cedarwood and vetiver to support focus and concentration.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis): Shakespeare famously deemed “Rosemary for remembrance.” Sorry to quote a dead white guy, but it’s just too apt to leave out. Rosemary not only supports mental clarity and alertness, but is also deeply connected to our memory. Ruled by the sun, Rosemary is illuminating as Mercury retrogrades through Leo. Rosemary brings healing to painful memories and shines light towards our forgotten gifts. I burn rosemary to bring clarity to my workspace and inspire my writing.
Holy Basil (Ocimum Sanctum/Tenuiflorum): Life doesn’t slow down just because Mercury is retrograde. Holy Basil, or Tulsi, supports a calm, clear mind while helping our bodies adapt to everyday stressors. Coffee may be extra agitating to some this month as it is ruled by Mercury and highly stimulating. Whatever mental unrest Mercury provokes could be kicked up a notch by coffee. Holy Basil is a wonderful alternative because it supports focus and alertness without the jitters of coffee. It’s also delicious iced!
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra): Mercury rules the respiratory system in addition to the mind. The breath for our spoken words come from our lungs and throats; the center for the body’s air element. During a time where communication can go awry, it’s important to take care of these areas of our body. Licorice is ruled by Mercury and also provides soothing comfort to the lungs and throat. It has a naturally sweet taste that lends nicely to iced tea. Lightly simmer the chopped root for 10-15 minutes, put on ice and enjoy!
Note: Licorice should not be used by persons who are pregnant, have hypertension, liver disorders, edema, severe kidney insufficiency, low blood potassium, or heart disease. Better to be safe than sorry, check with a health professional if you have concerns.
Mint (Mentha spp): I don’t know about you, but mint is rapidly encroaching upon my garden. I like to pay attention to what is abundant and asking for my attention. Scott Cunningham places garden mint in the element of air, ruled by Mercury. Mint is calming to the nervous system and supports digestion. Heightened anxiety paired with summer heat can upset the stomach. Cool off with some mint iced tea or put a couple fresh sprigs in ice water.
Love these herbal allies? Be sure to check out a delightful recipe for Lavender Chamomile ice cubes for your iced tea in Blotto Botany by Spencre L.R. McGowan.
I hope you find these herbal allies supportive and REfreshing this July! You got this.
Kate Laurel has been studying plant medicine, crystal and energy healing over 6 years. She runs Laurel Tree Healing Arts and supports her clients through Reiki, tarot, and distance healing. She uses her holistic and magical training to tap into the mind and body’s intuitive knowledge. Kate also leads the Herb Witch tour with NowAge Travel. You can book a magical herbal consult, Reiki session or tarot session with her here.
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