Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Herbs & Prayers for Bed Time

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Recently I have been looking into traditional Gaelic methods that help to promote sleep, good dreams and to keep nightmares at bay. One book that has been particularly helpful is Healing Threads by Mary Beith, which I highly recommend to anyone who is interested in traditional Scottish folk healing and magic.
In it the author mentions various different herbs used to help with sleep; heather was used for bedding and later on put under pillows, and thyme was also put under pillows to ward off nightmares. Nettle, chickweed, oats, apple, and poppy were also used, mainly to deal with insomnia.
With this in mind, I decided to create some herbal sleeping charms to be placed under pillows. In them I put heather {to promote sleep}, thyme {to keep away nightmares}, mugwort {to promote dreaming}, rowan leaves {for protection} and a few drops of lavender essential oil for a soothing smell. The herbs were sewn into wool plaid squares that are 3 by 3 inches each and stitched with red thread for extra protection.
In the Carmina Gadelica {Vol I} there are a variety of prayers and blessings for a restful and protected sleep. The prayer that I say every night is an adaptation of two of them: A Resting Prayer  and Sleep Consecration:
May the Three shield this house tonight,
And all who dwell within.
Preserve us from all danger and harm,
From disaster and foe.
Protect my loved ones in this place
And where ever they may sleep,
This night and every night.
Tonight I will sleep in peace and protection
With the blessings of the Gods
With the blessings of my Ancestors
With the blessings of the Good Folk.
And tonight I lay down with the blessings of
Macha, Airmid, Flidais, An Callieach, and Brigid.
May I always have the blessings of Them and the Great Three.
There is quite a bit more lore for me to go over, so I will likely do a more in depth post on this topic in the future.

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