Friday, March 11, 2011

Rue the day

Rue, magickally speaking is an herb of defense. As mentioned in a recent post, Italians, knowing what can be done, make sure they know how to defend. The first things I learned were defense oriented and this is no exception. Rue is purifying, breaks hexes, cleanses, defends and fortifies. It's no surprise that the sprig of rue, aka Cimaruta, is the other symbol of Italian Witchcraft.

Cimarutas differ per family tradition. Not every family uses the same symbols. Rue is the basis of the amulet, for defense, with three distinct branches making up the charm. This is said to be for the triplicity of the Goddess. There is typically a key, sometimes a snake, sometimes another flower or mano fica or other hand shaped warding. Sometimes a crescent moon is pictured.

A Cimaruta, at least before they went commercial, is like a Witch Family Crest. It included the symbols important to and used most by a particular family. In my Family, we use less symbols than the commercial ones and they include the ones most meaningful to us. It isn't just a piece of jewelry you wear, it is an amulet- a spell of protection made manifest and a representation of The Mysteries as our Family has come to know it and pass it along.

I had zero intention of posting this. I was led to do this tonight. I wasn't just given the spiritual high-5, the topic was requested. I have never shown my Cimaruta to anyone outside of Family and I have no intention of doing so any time soon. It's not just a shiny to don when doing circle. I have no idea why it's ok to post this tonight when anyone on the internet can read it but it wasn't ok to share certain defensive measure with close friends who I would like to have the ability to defend themselves. Sorry, just thinking out loud. As soon as I typed it, I got my answer: The knowledge I'm putting out here isn't terribly specific whereas what I would have liked to share was in the Trade Secret™ section.

I have been meditating on my Cimaruta symbols recently, but I didn't even realize I was doing it, rather, I wasn't purposefully picking my Cimaruta symbols because they're part of it. It's put away in a special place and I don't often look at it. However, I've been finding myself drawn to different pieces of jewelry and art and imagery during my "neutral channel" mind clearing meditative practice. It came to me today that these things were all related. I'm glad I've had the opportunity to discover each symbol anew, to really think about it independently. Now I can once again meditate on the incorporated symbol as a whole with new information and new perspective. This whole experience was born of meditating on The Mysteries in the past few months. Part of the Mystery is the work that's done after. Knowledge or information being imparted or revealed is one thing, but incorporating it into your life is a whole other thing.

For those who have been following this blog and my posts on the nature of the Triple Goddess and Dual God and which ones I associate each with aspect, will be able to figure out some of the specific symbols included. I'm not going to name them and I'm not saying guess in comments. This isn't a guess how many jelly beans are in the jar contest! I know a few of my readers will see it one day.

For fun:

From The Evil Eye, by Frederick Thomas Elworthy:

Pliny says the ancients held rue in peculiar esteem; that the plant has a great liking for the fig-tree and for that tree only, and that it thrives better under it than anywhere else. He says it is one of the most active of all medicinal plants, and one of the principal ingredients used in antidotes. "Every species of rue, employed by itself, has the effect of an antidote if the leaves are bruised and taken in wine." It is good for the stings of serpents--"so much so, in fact, that weasels when about to attack them, take the precaution first of protecting themselves by eating rue." It is good too for "stings by scorpions, spiders, bees, hornets and wasps, the noxious effects produced by cantharides and salamanders, and the bites of mad dogs." He quotes Pythagoras, Harpocrates, and Diocles, as to the value of rue in a great number of diseases, and in his last paragraph says that "of all the plants that are grown, rue is the one most employed for the maladies of cattle"; altogether he cites it as being a remedy for eighty-four diseases or ailments

...the "sprig of rue" is one of the very oldest of existing amulets. We may safely give it an Etruscan or early Phœnician origin; for we must always remember that the objects among which it appears are labelled by experts, as found in tombs, "della prima età di ferro." (the first age of iron)

I highly recommend reading the page! It has pictures too.

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