It is almost the time of Lammas, and where I am, the meadowsweet is in flower.
If you have some growing near you, and you want to try making some tea, here is a link I would like you to read first, Rosalee de la Foret is a herbalist and at the end of the article she gives the potential health warnings. The main one being that Meadowsweet contains the same compounds as aspirin, so if you have to avoid taking aspirin, then the same cautions apply to this tea
And please, only do this if you can correctly identify Meadowsweet in the first place. You should do this as easily as identifying a carton of milk in the supermarket. If you have to think about whether it is Meadowsweet or not, then don’t do it.
If you know where Meadowsweet grows, take a walk there. Don’t just get out of your car and go and pick it, spend time walking there if possible. Or sitting with the plant if mobility is an issue. Evening is a good time when things are quiet and we move into that space between day and night. Be there long enough for your daytime stresses and ‘baggage’ to slip to the back of your mind.
Smell the flowers, feel them on your skin. collect a small amount to make a tea with. Equal parts of leaf and flower. Just take enough to make a couple of cups with rather than take a lot and then decide you don’t like it. Also think about how your picking could affect the local Meadowsweet population. It needs to be able to set flowers and seed.
Remember Blodeuedd and think of her as you smell, and pick.
Take the handful home and lay it out on a surface, arrange it into a circle so that it looks attractive and pleasing to the eye. Photograph it if you wish. If it is pleasing to you.
Think of Blodeuedd as the scent of the flowers fills the room. There may be a place that comes to mind, where you sit out in nature, on a bright afternoon, with the plants growing and thriving around you. This may be where you took the meadowsweet from, or it may be somewhere else. For me it was somewhere else, somewhere wilder than the park that I had been in. The feeling was gentle, and I felt the breathing of the trees and the vitality of the life growing all round me. Keep that feeling with you.
After sunset, make the tea. This is a ‘dreaming tea’ at least it wasn’t for me. But to drink it after sunset is significant. But not just before you go to bed.
Gronw went after the stag. At the river Cynfael he caught up with the stag and killed it. And there he was, skinning the stag and baiting his hounds until the night closed in on him. And as the day was failing and the night drawing near, he came past the gate of the court.
“God knows ” she said, ” The chieftan will pour scorn on us for letting him go at this hour to another land if we do not invite him in.”
“God knows”, lady” they said, “It is only proper to invite him in”
(The Mabinogion, Sioned Davies)
Boil some water in the kettle and get a teapot. Place the leaves and flowers in the clean teapot and pour over the water, put the lid on and leave it for 15/20 minutes to brew.
Pour our the tea into your favourite mug. Smell the vapour. Look at the colour of the tea. Put your lips to the edge of the cup and feel the temperature of the tea against your lip. Welcome Blodeuedd into you. May you experience her, and may she experience you.
The tea should be cool enough to drink. Drink it all, How does it taste? Just drink the tea, don’t mix it with eating anything else, so your sense of taste is solely that of meadowsweet.
Does she tell you anything?