Fleabane is an unlikely herb of Venus. In 2021, I am going to transcribe the Housewitchery Mp3, add some extra content, and turn it into a book. Fleabane, Fridge-free living, Stinging Nettles and Chimney ghosts will be some of the new topics. Here, however, is something about Fleabane. (Yes, the fridge-free rant is imminent.) Read on if you’re in nest mode or having a Jupiter conjunct Hekate house witching moment.
Uranus in Taurus has inspired me to deepen my relationship with plants – I’ve been reading up on books like the Plant Magic one in the Mystic recommendations and Nicholas Culpepper‘s astrological associations. But what seemed to work the best with my plants – apart from remembering to water them and preventing the acid-rain-like dog wee from getting near them – was creating a connection. I simply conveyed that I would be grateful for some leaves but would never uproot the whole plant. Since then, the basil, in particular, has grown hyperbolically. It has vibe. And, I already mentioned the magical dandelion experience in the health bit of the Turbulent Times series.
An Ancient Aztec Remedy?
So when a strange plant appeared, an arm-length tall, that had not been there the day before, I was intrigued. It was in a pot that just had soil in it but nothing planted, as I was waiting for a herb seedling. Was it a weird variety of Sage? Jupiter had just gone into Aquarius at the time and Sage is Jupiterian. But no, it wasn’t Sage. Mugwort? The flower of Artemis? You can trace my incipient shamanic-botanic line of thought here. I even had a dream that it was an ancient Aztec remedy of immense power. But then the mystery plant was identified: Fleabane – a noxious weed!
Initial disappointment at such a dull-sounding thing turned to awe. Fleabane is loathed by councils and regional governments the world over because it is glycophosphate resistant – that’s right. It is apparently the only plant species that laughs in the face of Round-Up. This, to me, makes it magic. We should be revering it for such strength and investigating its medicinal properties. It was also known as Butterweed, Prideweed and – brilliantly – Semen of Hephaistos, swords-forger and jewelry maker to the Gods. Perhaps this has something to do with Culpepper and co classifying Fleabane as Venusian?
Effective For Exorcisms, Fleas and Future Forecasting
Dried Fleabane was burned in exorcisms and a pot of it growing outside the front door repelled pests, presumably fleas in particular. It pops up practically everywhere in history, noted as being used to make steam for sweat lodges by some of the First Nations people of America here, a 13th Century apotropaic cake recipe from China there. Studies On The Early Papacy says “fleabane in India is more precious than pepper.”
But my fave mention of it is in the fantastic Dwellers On The Threshold: Far from being a nuisance, it says, “The inhalation of the odours of linseed and fleabane seed, and roots of violet and parsley, will endow one with the power of foreseeing the future.”*
“Tear it up,” said the nursery and then the botanist who confirmed it to be Fleabane. “It spreads everywhere and you can’t kill it with weed spray.” But the Fleabane stays. I know it’s a weed, a renegade: a plant once revered for its apparent powers to fix everything from diarrhea to hauntings – turned council enemy number one. And now it’s resisting the most lethal herbicide on the planet. But I can’t join the anti-fleabane brigade. You’d think that a natural and apparently stunningly effective insect repellent would have an application in companion planting but poison is presumably more profitable.
And guess what? Fleabane is listed in this inventory of plants found in ancient Aztec ruins. My dream was correct.
*Not a prescription or a suggestion – just keep a dream diary, seriously.