field thistle

INVITATION

Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy
and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles
for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,
or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air
as they strive
melodiously
not for your sake
and not for mine
and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude—
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,
do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.
It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.

MARY OLIVER

Kurama’s Garden

Originally posted by wilted-scenes

There is a plant native to the deeper reaches of Makai called the Sleeping Thistle that has some of the most beautiful blossoms.  It grows in bushes that can sometimes cover entire fields.  The flowers are large with wide spreading petals that can come in a variety of colors but they are always vivid.  However beautiful it may be, this species of flora is dangerous.  The Sleeping Thistle is predatory and when it senses life near it, it exudes a powerful aroma that attracts the affected to come closer.  

Once near, the prickly leaves exude a toxin that lulls the victim into a deep sleep that renders them almost into a coma.  Then it’s roots begin to grow and will completely cover the body within a day.  This is the only way that the Sleeping Thistle can survive and this would mean that the fields of Sleeping Thistle are just one large graveyard.

While Kurama doesn’t grow it within his personal garden, he has some seeds.  Leaves harvested from this bush can be brewed into a tea or made into a potion for a powerful sedative and sleep aid.  The petals can be used to craft aphrodisiacs.

355- Roost

Flying Type: Charm. Replenish your energy with this simple sleep sachet. Please keep in mind, that I am new to sachets, and so this is pretty experimental, so feel free (as always) to change things to suit your needs. If you find something that works better for you, I’d like to hear. There’s always room to improve!

What You’ll Need~

  • Field thistle down (the soft white stuff attached to the seed)
  • 2 willow leaves
  • 1 vanilla bean/1-2 drops of vanilla extract
  • 1-2 sprigs of lavender
  • 1 small piece of amethyst
  • 1 pale blue pouch or bag

Procedure~

  1. Assemble ingredients, and put them into the sachet. Honestly, the amount you put in depends on size, but the numbers given above are just what I personally think.
  2. Whisper to the sachet, “It’s time to rest and reenergize, until once again it’s time to rise.”
  3. Put it under your pillow or near you when you’re ready to sleep.

TIPS

  • Milkweed down is a suitable replacement for that of thistle.
  • I’ve heard that when putting crystals into sachets you should use the slim chips, which makes sense, so if you do put your sachet under your pillow it won’t be so lumpy.
Things I think of when I think of the signs
  • Aries: bonfires, skydiving, volcanoes, rollercoasters, tigers, road rage, spontaneous adventures
  • Taurus: mountains, statues, rainy days, hot fudge sundaes, red wine, dirt roads, movie nights with friends
  • Gemini: birds, hard liquor, rubix cubes, ocean breeze, house parties, reflections, dandelions
  • Cancer: warm blankets, fireplaces, hot apple cider, freshly baked bread, hand-knit sweaters, humming a familiar tune
  • Leo: ferraris, gold, big cities, fedoras, lightning, disco balls, starry skies, high heels
  • Virgo: old books, forests, museums, log cabins, black coffee, vinyl records, oxford shoes
  • Libra: diamonds, velvet, lip gloss, sapphires, bubblegum, elegant gowns, champagne, calm waves
  • Scorpio: blood, daggers, red lipstick, horror films, halloween, plunging necklines, secrets, gothic cathedrals
  • Sagittarius: cliffs, airplanes, hiking, salty pretzels, flannel shirts, vintage leather jackets
  • Capricorn: icicles, freshly washed clothes, corn fields, thistles, horseback riding, sunrise, snow cones
  • Aquarius: clouds, flat caps, spaceships, ferry rides, finger painting, glow sticks
  • Pisces: rainbows, jumpropes, charm bracelets, spun sugar, karma, unicorns, pixie dust, dreams
Prairie’s Plants: Thistle

This is one of those words that starts sounding weird as soon as you say it twice in a row. Thistle, thistle, thistle… anyway, shoutout to @thecrackedamethyst to suggesting this(tle). 

Scientific name: Cirsium sp. There are other things that are called thistles, but Circiums are what I (and most people) familiar with–other plants could sub in for metaphoric or symbolic uses of thistles, but obviously their chemistry and habits will be slightly to substantially different. Research before you substitute!

Common names: (Some of these are specific to particular Circium species) Common thistle, field thistle, wavyleaf thistle, Flodman’s thistle, grey thistle, bull thistle, spear thistle, plume thistle

Appearance: Varies by species, but typically plants range from quite small to nearly 3 ft tall. Growth tends to be largely vertical, with alternating lobed leaves typically bearing spines. Leaves and stem may be downy or hairy. Blooms through most of the growing season with disc-like flowers common to all Asteraceas that may be pink, purple, white, or yellow. The base of the flower is often enlarged and prickly. 

Range: Most species within Cirsium are native to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa–however, the handful of species native to North America are incredibly robust and have thoroughly established themselves across the continent. 

Historical and medicinal uses: Taken internally, thistles are generally emetic–they produce vomiting, alongside any other benefit that may be had if taken in great quantities. The strength of this varies in species, and though all are edible, take care–there’s a non-zero chance you’ll have terrible digestion, or worse. Generally the older the leaves are, the worse this effect is. 

Most thistles also produce sweating, useful for breaking a fever among other things. Some say they provide energy–I have a friend who drinks thistle tea like coffee in the morning–but I’ve never experienced this myself. 

Associations and Potential Uses: I consult a lot of web stuff as well as my books when I’m working on these posts, and in researching I came across this herbalriot post that describes (milk) thistle as “snake enraging.” I have no experience with that, just thought I’d share it. 

Thistles’ use is manyfold in magic: when included in protective washes, satchels, or spells, it protects the home from storms and lightning. Carrying it improves strength and vitality; it’s a fairly common ingredient in spells for sex or sex magic as well. It can be used to summon spirits but also to provide protection from the same. 

Despite its fairly vicious appearance, it’s worth noting that many practicioners (including myself) have had just no luck using it as a component in hexing or baneful work. Despite appearances, thistle rarely bears ill will–it would rather empower than break down. 

Field thistle (Cirsium discolor). Composite family (Compositae).

Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179): “The sweat of the earth, from which this herb is born, makes it twisted. Just as people sweat when they are anxious, so also the sweat of the earth sends forth twisted herbs that are harmful.” (Hildegard’s Healing Plants: From Her Medieval Classic Physica, p. 92.)

Photo taken at Sugarcreek Metro Park, Bellbrook, OH. 9/2/2016.