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Botanical Name: Hedra helix.

Gender: Cold, Feminine.

Planet: Saturn.

Element: Water.

Deities: Bacchus, Osiris, Dionysus, Cerridwen.

Folklore: Ivy was in high esteem among the ancients. It's leaves formed the poets crown, as well as the wreath of Bacchus, to whom the plant was dedicated, probably because of the practice of binding the brow with ivy leaves to prevent intoxication, a quality formally attributed to the plant.

Medicinal uses: Used as a poultice to sooth neuralgia, rheumatism and sciatica, and in a tincture for toothpaste and whooping cough. Reduces fever, expels worms and in a compress reduces cellulite.

Magical properties: Connected with Yule or the winter solstice when it is used for decorating. Ivy provides protection when growing on or near a house. Ivy is equated with fidelity and is woven into marriage wreaths. Use in charms to bind love, luck and fidelity to your person. Traditional crowns for the bride and groom are made of holly (a male plant) and ivy (a female plant).

CAUTION: The plant is poisonous in large doses.  The leaves and fruits if ingested can cause breathing difficulties and coma. The sap can cause dermatitis with blistering and inflammation.

Herb of the Month: Ivy

Rune of the Month: Othala

Featured in: Anglo-Saxon, Elder Futhark

English letter: O

English translation: Ancestral property

Gender: Masculine

Meaning: Inherited property or possessions, a house, a home. What is truly important to one. Group order, group property. Land of birth. Spiritual heritage, experience and fundamental values. Aid in spiritual and physical journeys. Source of safety, increase and abundance.

Persuasion. Travel and improvement. Any journey will be profitable. Anxieties will be resolved. A move from stormy seas to a tranquil lake. You have learnt from problems. Often heralds marriage proposals. Feel free and happy. There may be visitors from abroad, or even a move there yourself.

Image used is from the Medieval Scapini Tarot.

Card of the Month: 6 of Swords

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