Spring has sprung here in Florida, and with temperatures ranging from the 70’s to the 80’s, it’s been perfect weather for cloud watching and wildcrafting with some of the beauties right here in my yard and garden.
With spring fever behind us and hot days ahead, I’ve grown more and more interested in weather lore and other folk lore isolated to Florida and the Southeast. I have checked out some books on Florida’s climate and general weather patterns, but I want the old folk’s lore of weather and cloud divination.
I want to learn about the clouds moving overhead, about what those movements mean for my home and garden, my place in the local Land, and about how to perceive outcomes of various garden-related happenings when divined.
I want the magical and mystical workings of rain and clouds and fog. I want to gain and use my knowledge and experience of the weather patterns and learn how to read them with the purpose of divining future energies of all things home and garden.
So what does one do when one is looking for some divine guidance in seeking out the appropriate information about a spiritual topic of interest?
Invite the Ancestors to tea, of course. And a little bit of Lyreleaf Sage goes a long way.
This sage (Salvia lyrata; other common names include wild sage and cancerweed/cancer root) grows wild in yards, meadows, roadsides ditches, culverts…you pick a spot, and these babies will root there. They’re hardy little herbaceous perennials and readily self-seed and spread like crazy in ideal conditions.
Which is good for me, because hey, if I can use it as an edible and a healer, I sure as hell will! And this little plant is wonderful as a calming tea at 10 o’clock at night, curled up with a good book. The fresh young leaves and blossoms can be used in salads, and have a very light and pleasant minty flavor.
While the Lyreleaf’s medicinal properties don’t pack as much of a punch as other species of salvias, Lyreleaf can be used as a carminative/laxative (a mild tea made for kiddo’s gassy tummy or constipation…hey, it happens), and for relief during cold and flu season. Lyreleaf sage also makes a relieving salve for cuts, sores (warts and zits and boils, oh my!) and minor wounds.
On the spiritual and magical side, sage is also a plant linked with divination, purification, protection, and psychic learning. I’ve come to connect sage’s otherworldly attributes to, well, the other-world. Ancestors can be invited when sage is burned.
Now, traditionally White sage, or Sacred sage (Salvia apiana), is the sage of choice for burning and smudging, but I’ve found that the edible sages work well for these purposes, too. So I decided to harvest and dry my Florida Lyreleaf for tea, as well as a bundle for smudging/incense.
Then we’ll see what we see.
I haven’t used this particular sage in an infusion or for spiritual purposes yet, but am anxious to have it dry so I can get down to business.
Until then, I’ll keep reading my library books on weather and atmospheric phenomenon, and offer these lovely tidbits on my new friend, Lyreleaf sage:
[Close-up of Lyreleaf blossom photo: ©Mark Hutchinson for http://www.fnps.org]