Mastic · Clary Sage · Narcissus · Valerian · Cèpes · Carrot Seed
Welcome to September, sweet friends, and the final chapter of summertime. While moved to check in and ask; “how have you been?”, we suspect you may feel as though you’ve been white-knuckling it through the start of Virgo season, which debuted on August 23rd.
A mutable, Mercury-ruled earth sign, mindful maiden Virgo demands that we make stock of the ways we’ve grown and the crops we’ve gathered throughout the first three quarters of the year before we move into the last. Mercury retrograde, too, began on August 23rd, joining Venus in inviting us to stop, reflect, and carefully (re)consider our next steps before proceeding. While it may feel counterintuitive or disharmonious, there is divinity within the timing of this transit; Virgo is no stranger to splitting the wheat from its shaft, and though she thrives best in the company of the communities she works so diligently to sustain, she is well-equipped to navigate the hermetic nature of this retrograde—especially with a little extra help.
Suggested below are a handful of botanical helpers whose olfactory extracts can strengthen Virgo’s hold as she takes our hand, guiding us through her celestial ruler’s shadow. Call on their gifts of clarity when re-thinking, re-aligning, and re-rooting, networks and foundations, or when your perception, judgement, or ability to communicate feels a little muddled.
Mastic is a resin of service and support; it may relieve pulmonary, circulatory, digestive, and oral complaints, while its radiant green aroma is prized for helping clear the mind. It is mentioned in Key of Solomon as an excellent way to bolster any mercurial magic, acting as a bonding agent between our actions and intended outcome.
A member of the Mercury-ruled Mint family, Clary Sage is prized in perfumery for its coumarinic (or freshly-mown hay) aroma and leathery ambergris undertones. Aromatherapeutically, it can help bring clarity and calm by uplifting the senes while soothing frayed nerves.
Most of us are familiar with the tale of Narcissus and his fatal self-absorption. Lush and green in both scent and energetics, these namesake blooms and their essences can be used to balance polar extremes of self-adulation and self-deprecation during introspection—especially when under hypercritical Virgo’s influence.
17th century astrological botanist Nicholas Culpeper posited Mercury as the ruler of Valerian, whose roots have been used to aid with matters of the central nervous system like restful sleep and peaceful communication. With its rather polarizing aroma, Valerian isn’t for everyone - but then, neither is Virgo, despite their shared affinity for grounding and calm
French Occultist Valentin Bresle, who authored the 1942 booklet ‘Les Parfums et leurs influences magiques’ prescribed mutable Virgo the magic perfumes of the mushroom kingdom, undoubtedly to highlight their shared ability to create complex support networks by harnessing and mindfully redistributing resources through communication and connection.
You may remember Daucus Carota from our previous newsletter about the bounty of the late summer harvest. A prominent part of the estival cornucopia, its scent is mild and root-y, and can be used in perfumery to ground a fragrance and deepen its earthen qualities, similar to how its aromatherapeutic qualities affect the body and spirit.
As always, thank you for taking this time with us. Through this astrological series, we hope to not only help you familiarize yourself with different plants, and ways of communing with them, but to remind you that no celestial transit or personal challenge is too big for you to overcome, and that you will always have a readily available support network so long as you know where to look.