Saturday, May 5, 2007

Purification & Protection Potion for Spring Cleaning:

The weather this week has gone from sunny to cloudy to hailstorm to rainbows then drizzle and cycling around in enough variations for anyone to see that it’s spring in Portland.

Today was a rare sunny and dry day for a May Day festival complete with ribboned May pole dancing.

I decided it must be time to do some spring cleaning.

My intention was to actually clean the floors but also to purify and protect the space in a deep cleaning spring cleaning sort of way.

I began by making a strong tea with

Rosemary for protection, for remembering what is good and for clarity

Hawthorne, very strongly protective, because of the thorns and it’s especially powerful this time of year, it is the “branch of May” from fairy tales and the scent of the flowers is old and wise, (a lot of people think it stinks)

and a bit of

Sea salt for good measure. Sea salt is the ultimate purifier.

Oh yeah, I used red roses

Roses invoke love, that’s what we want, love is all you need.

After I gathered the herbs, I brought them to a simmer in a big pot of water, then turned off the heat, covered and steeped for twenty minutes.

In the meantime, I filled a bucket with a couple tablespoons of dish soap, I use Ecover, but whatever you have will do.

If you want to try this and you don’t have all the ingredients listed, just wing it and trust your instincts.

There are a few things we say again and again in classes and especially in Herb Camp and “Wing It” is one of them. You often just have to make due with what you have. Think of it as a creative process.

Life is complicated enough, don’t stress just use some salt, parsley and rosemary from your kitchen, a blackberry leaf from the alley and some of your will.

You get the idea.

So, the recipe:

Equal parts (I used a big handful. You could use a teaspoon if you like):

hawthorne leaves and flowers

rosemary leaves


and a pinch or two of salt

Put it all in a big pot of water, bring to a boil, turn off heat, cover and steep 20 minutes or longer

strain the herb mixture into your mop bucket (you can use a colander if you made a lot)


2 tablespoons dish soap in a bucket

Fill with warm water, set your intentions and get to work

As you mop, either old-school on your hands and knees the way my grandma taught me or the modern way, think of all that you want to be released (washed away) and all that you want to invite in.

Hum, sing, say your prayers, whatever feels right, but stay in the moment. Take your time.

Perhaps the most important thing is to dispose of the dirty water as soon as your work is done.

Pour the dirty water down the sink or in the toilet then rinse the mop & bucket and wash your hands twice. Once for the dirt and once for letting go of any last things.

Taking a shower would even be better.

Good job.


*do a patch test to make sure this won’t stain your floors

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