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Capricorn: The Astroherbology Profile

It's time to get things done.

It's time to explore the sign of Capricorn! You're getting a snapshot into the ever expanding astroherbology magick of the Lunar Apothecary - amazing! 

I will be exploring all twelve signs from a medical astrology perspective with an emphasis on herbal healing. To learn more about the series and what all the correspondences mean check out the introduction to The Introduction to Astroherbology Series. Looking for the other signs of the Zodiac? Find out about the astroherbology wisdom of AriesTaurusGeminiCancerLeoVirgoLibraScorpioSagittariusCapricornAquariusPisces.

AstroherbologyCapricornTitle.png

Element: Earth
Mode: Cardinal
Guardian Planet: Saturn
Direction: North
Season: Winter
House: 10th House / Angular
Lunar Mansions: 22nd Mansion, 23rd Mansion + 24th Mansion
Solar Gemstone: Lapis Lazuli
Tarot: The Devil, the World, 2 of Pentacles (12/22 - 12/30), 3 of Pentacles (12/31 - 1/9), 4 of Pentacles (1/10 - 1/19), Queen of Pentacles
Tissue State: Cold/Depression Tissue State

Body Systems: Skin, hair, and knees. Teeth. Joints, especially the knees. Bones and the skeletal system. Anterior pituitary gland. Gall bladder. Processing and maintaining energy reserves. Regulation of body systems, especially through the hormonal system. Antiperistaltic movement.

Imbalances + Diseases: Excess of cold, constriction, and lack of moisture. Slow metabolism and slow-acting wasting diseases. Skin complaints. Joint pain and damage, as well as knee injuries such as strains and fractures. Bone disorders including broken, fractured, and brittle bones. Tooth and dental disease. Chronic tissue infection. Poor digestion stemming from lack of digestive fire. Lack of absorption of calcium. Colic, fussy, and low-vitality babies (that grow into vitality with age). Imbalances of hormones secreted by the anterior pituitary gland including growth hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, adrenocorticotrophic hormone, gonadotropic hormones, luteinising hormone, prolactin, and melanin stimulating hormone. Pituitary tumors. Deafness. Parkinson’s disease. Diseases arising from tension and lack of moisture in the body. Rheumatism and arthritis. Gangrene and gout. Scabies and lice. Impetigo. Conjunctivitis. Parasitic diseases. Depression and melancholy. Feeling unsupported. Very body-conscious, manifesting as vanity, insecurity, self-doubt, and preoccupation with being “right” in dress and appearance. Being rigid, restrictive, and controlling. Cynicism. Too much emphasis on “correctness,” including in appearance, and adhering to tradition. Lacking imagination and prone to pessimism and arrogance.

Disease Degrees: 1 degree: right patella; 2 degrees: left patella; 3 degrees: cutaneous nerves of thigh, eyesight; 4 degrees: cutaneous nerves of lower leg; 5 degrees: cutaneous nerves of knee; 6 degrees: right adductor muscle; 7 degrees: left adductor muscle; 8 degrees: lymph vessels, knee, paralysis; 9 degrees: nerves of knee; 10 degrees: right cruciate ligaments; 11 degrees: left cruciate ligaments; 12 degrees: right knee joint; 13 degrees: left knee joint; 14 degrees: right knee cartilage; 15 degrees: left knee cartilage; 16 degrees: condyle of right tibia; 17 degrees: condyle of left tibia; 18 degrees: ligaments of right knee; 19 degrees: ligaments of left knee; 20 degrees: tendons of right knee; 21 degrees: tendons of left knee; 22 degrees: muscle insertions of upper to lower legs; 23 degrees: muscle insertions of upper to lower legs; 24 degrees: muscle insertions of upper to lower legs; 25 degrees: connections between femur and tibia; 26 degrees: connections between femur and tibia, azimene; 27 degrees: deep nerves, azimene; 28 degrees: right genicular arteries, azimene; 29 degrees: left genicular arteries, azimene; 30 degrees: adductor muscle.

Remedies for Imbalanced and/or Weakened Capricorn: Digestive tonics, such as bitters, liver and gall bladder tonics and cleansers, as well as herbs that are nutritive, warming, and oily in nature. Learning to manage your own world, not everyone else’s experience. Recognizing the merit of other’s ideas. Understanding the difference between asking for accountability and enforcing conformity. Laugh!

Gifts of Capricorn: Self-preservation, self-determination, self-control, traditional, hard-working, grounded, compassion, trust, accountability, systematic ways of thinking, dependability, patience, humor, social justice awakenings.

Rituals of Capricorn: Healing rites – especially for long-term and chronic illnesses, web-weaving rituals for support, community, and security, rituals for careers, long-term goals and ambitions, medicine-blessing rituals, home blessings, and grounding rites of self-determination and social justice.

Capricorn Guardian Herbs: Mullein (Thapsus verbascum), Comfrey (Symphytum officinale), Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), Goatweed (Epimedium spp.), Horsetail (Equisetum arvense), Amla (Emblica officinalis), Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), Plantain (Plantago major), Blessed Thistle (Cnicus bendictus), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis).

Capricorn Remedy Herbs: Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), Cayenne (Capsicum annuum), Amla (Emblica officinalis), Goat’s Rue (Galega officinalis), Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), Ginger (Zingiber officinalis), Solomon Seal (Polygonatum multiflorum), Oats (Avena sativa), Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis).

Flower + Gem Essences: Rock Water, Sunflower (Helianthus annuus), Larch (Larix decidua), Birch (Betula alba), Elm (Ulmus procera), Garnet, Agate, Turquoise.

The Sun in Capricorn

The mighty goatfish is one of the hardest working signs of the zodiac. They are known for their self-determination, authoritative expression, and self-control. A core value of many Capricorn folk is responsibility - their sense of self is often shaped by what they perceive their responsibilities (especially to others) to be. They appreciate the usefulness of tradition and then sometimes get lost in preserving tradition for tradition’s sake instead of evolving customs to meet changing needs. Sometimes their sense of responsibility and frustration that the world is not ordered in the “right” way can lead to a deep sense of pessimism and depression. They can easily become stagnant and unmoving in their cynicism. Capricorns can get so caught up in what is “acceptable” that they forget their own needs and desires. Yet, while Capricorn is so often described as a very serious sign they have a surprising trickster element becoming the old wise one with the strange and illuminating jokes once they learn to ease up on their self-imposed constraints.

Within astroherbology, Capricorn is the sign of regulation, reflecting the power of their Guardian Planet, Saturn. The sign guards the pituitary gland which secretes important regulatory hormones throughout the body. When Capricorn gets into trouble is when they attempt to live an over-regulated life, seeking to exert control over every aspect of living, often leading to restriction of movement and stagnation. A common trait I see with a lot of Capricorn folk that leads to a number of health imbalances is unexpressed anger which then builds up in the liver and gall bladder. Problems with the liver leads to problems with the digestion and Capricorn folk, who tend to run cold and dry, can often have a weakened digestive system to begin with. Painful gall stones, too, can build up. They are a sign known for a build-up of tension, so learning a variety of self-relaxation techniques is key to longevity. It is also very important for Capricorn folk to pay attention to the foods they eat, discovering and addressing any food allergies they may have, and being mindful of restricting calories unnecessarily (which can start as an attempt to alleviate an underperforming digestive system that feels unable to digest food properly). Food allergies and other imbalances often make themselves known through skin irritations such as eczema and other rashes. Another aspect of Capricorns is that they are often more sick earlier in life and grow in strength as they age (remember the old wise one with the illuminating jokes I mentioned?).

Capricorn folk need their space to make plans, find inspiration, and cultivate peace in quiet. They are not the most collaborative of signs, preferring more hierarchical structures to collectives, but having clear definitions of roles in any of their relationships helps them to lighten up and work better in groups. Remember, even if Capricorn folks may sometimes come off as strict and judgmental, they are often far more restricting and judging of themselves on a level that most of us will never (thankfully) attain. Be kind to your grumpy neighborhood goatfish because their magick is so very worth it. When they are dwelling confidently in their wisdom, Capricorn folks bring the gift of unexpected homecomings. They can open up ways of feeling at home that lost souls never thought possible again. Capricorn folks can be sturdy powerhouses of social change once they learn that taking care of and cultivating self-worth within themselves first will allow them to better help others to do the same.

Capricorn Guardian Herbs

Mullein via  wikipedia

Mullein via wikipedia

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

Mullein is described by Nicholas Culpeper as being under the guardianship of Saturn, which is in part why the herb is considered a Guardian of Capricorn. The herb is a great ally during the winter months, helping to clear phlegm from the system, reduce inflammation, and protect against infection. It is excellent for clearing out chronic, long-standing coughs, especially dry and spasmodic coughs, and can help with a number of respiratory complaints including bronchitis, asthma, and general lung weakness. Add the herb to your cold and flu blends with Elder (Sambucus nigra) and Peppermint (Mentha piperita) for a lung-opening, immunomodulating blend. Mullein is useful, too, for Capricorn folk who tend towards stagnant cold states which lead to swellings and cysts as the herb helps to dissolve such manifestations of buildup. In her Physica, Hildegard von Bingen recommended Mullein for “one who is hoarse or has a pain in his chest” recommending that they combine the herb with Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) in a medicinal wine.

Topically, the mucilaginous Mullein is excellent for dry skin conditions but also as a healing compress for boils, bruises, inflammation, hemorrhoids, and joint pain. Mullein and garlic ear oil is a trusted remedy for ear infections helping to relieve pain and infection. I always keep a small bottle of Mullein and Garlic oil in my home care kit just for this reason. The long thick stems are sometimes referred to as Hag’s Tapers (the dried stalks dipped in wax will burn as a somewhat messy candle) as they are associated with the magickal workings of Witchfolk. You can also tuck the leaves into your shoe for added comfort and protection on your journeys.

Capricorn Remedy Herbs

Cayenne via  wikipedia

Cayenne via wikipedia

Cayenne (Capsicum annuum)

Cayenne is a traditional remedy for states of excess cold and moistness. The hot and drying herb is an excellent remedy for a stomach weakened by cold - a common ailment of out-of-balance Capricorn folk. American herbalist and founder of the Thompsonian system of medicine, Samuel Thompson, used Cayenne as a primary remedy in his practice as it was so effective at clearing out a congested gut and stimulating the digestive fire. Cayenne helps to relieve pain by stimulating the release of endorphins in the brain to whatever area it is applied to. The herb is a great ally in times of colds and ‘flus, clearing congestion, relieving aches and pain, and warming cold body systems. Mix together 1 quart of water with half a lemon, a 1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne powder, some maple syrup to taste, for an effective and hydrating cold remedy brew (I used this on more than one occasion during my college years when ingredients for my remedies consisted of what I could find in the dining hall). The herb stimulates circulation and warms the blood, which can be great during the winter, in helping to recover from a period of illness, dissipating pain caused from the cold and stagnation, as well as stimulate the libido.  

Topically, it is used in compresses and oils for arthritis, sprains, strains, bruises, inflammation, and to warm under-stimulated parts of the body. Use in a foot bath for colds and the ‘flu or in a gargle for sore throats. The herb also stops bleeding quickly. A little Cayenne goes a long way internally or externally to be effective - too much can invite an irritating bite. 

Sun in Capricorn Flower Essence

Elm (Ulmus procera) Flower Essence is for Capricorn folk who have been going, going, going, and now they can’t go anymore. They have been so focused on getting it done that they have taxed their limits, often ignoring their own basic needs (like eating enough food and getting enough sleep) because of their overwhelming sense of responsibility. Elm helps Capricorn folk to realize that they are responsible to their needs, too, and it is not responsible to work themselves to the point of a nervous and physical breakdown. The essence helps Capricorn folk to slow-down and restore the spirit, learning how shift their sense of self-worth from being based solely on their ability to complete their perceived responsibilities, to understanding that they don’t have to prove themselves worthy - they already are and always will be.

Want to dive into the world of astroherbology?

Get access to the Capricorn Tamer and Capricorn Power! blends, Capricorn inspired rituals and charms, as well as a full astroherbology profile on Capricorn's Guardian Planets of Saturn plus a whole lot more! 

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Cooler Than You: Slytherin House Iced Tea

While the countdown to the next and final installment of the Harry Potter movies ticks away, we'll be featuring the crossover between herbalism and magical herbology. While we're exploring more of the magical and medicinal world of herbalism, let's make some iced tea - Slytherin style.  SLYTHERIN House Iced Tea is far superior, we've been assured by Slytherin students themselves, than any other iced tea a lesser another Hogwarts House may serve.  Why, you might ask?  "Because it has class," was their response.*  We'll let you, kind reader, negotiate Hogwarts House rivalries, while we shall proceed with making some chilly tea.

Begin by making a regular cup of tea, but instead of 1 teaspoon per cup of water, add two heaping teaspoons per cup of water brewed.  The hot tea will be diluted when mixed with ice, so never fear, the flavors will be balanced.

Get some ice from your freezer, local grocer or disapparate to the far north for the freshest glacial ice that can be found!

Death eater shaped ice is optional, but the more difficult, dangerous and life-threatening the ice is for your house elves to attain, select Slytherin students assure us, the more respected your iced tea and you yourself shall be.

After brewing your tea, fill your drinking glass a 1/3 of the way full.  Add any sweetener or not of your choice.  Add ice and stir, which will cool down your hot beverage as well as dilute it.  Add more ice and enjoy!

One of the herbs that is most cooling in the Slytherin House Tea Blend is Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis which was valued by the alchemist and botanist Paracelsus as being able to restore life.  It cools an excited and inflamed system, calming mind, body and spirit.  If you've recently found yourself wounded in a sword fight (all too common these days in the Wizarding world), rub Lemon Balm leaves on the blade that harmed you and you should stop your bleeding.  You'll probably want to follow up with some Lemon Balm tea to prevent and lessen any fever that may follow after such a fight.  Lemon Balm is also used in charms and elixirs to attract romance and may have the special ear of the Gods since it attracts so many of their divine messengers, the bees.

We hope most of all that you enjoy Lemon Balm in your Slytherin House Iced Tea!

*All opinions expressed by Slytherin students are not opinions necessarily supported by Worts + Cunning Apothecary.

Owl Post! ~ Hogwarts House Teas Have Arrived ~

image from the hp-lexicon.org

Clever ones, I no longer sell my herbal teas and remedies such as my Hogwarts House Teas... but sign-up for my Magick Mail to keep updated on when I'll be releasing the recipes for each blend to the public!

We are delighted to introduce our new line of Hogwarts-inspired House Teas to those lovely Muggles, Witches, and Wizards who shop the Apothecary.  It is no secret that we're fans of the magical world of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, and have spent many an hour dressed up as Professor Trelawney and dreaming of having a copy of One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by former Hogwarts Headmistress Phyllida Spore.  Hopefully our new Hogwarts House Teas will inspire the student of magic in you!

“You might belong in Gryffindor,Where dwell the brave at heart,Their daring, nerve, and chivalrySet Gryffindors apart…” The Sorting Hat from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Our Gryffindor House Tea features herbs that evoke courage, bravery, and hopefully grant a bit a luck to those daring individuals whom the sorting hat has placed in Godric’s house.

DANDELION LEAF Taraxacum officinale: The jagged shape of the leaves has inspired Dandelion’s association with Gryffindor’s bold mascot.  The leaves are extremely nutritious and are used to treat a large variety of ills – just like our brave Gryffindors who face all manners of challenges.

BORAGE Borago officinalis: Borage is the plant of courage, strengthening the heart with resolve in face of the unimaginable.

BASIL Ocimum basilicum: The origins of the name Basil comes from the Greek basilikon phuton, meaning “valiant” and “kingly.”  While Ron may wish to forget his time as “king,” all Gryffindors would probably appreciate being recognized as valiant.

SARSPARILLA Smilax ornate: Sarsparilla has an almost bubbly-taste and was added for the essential ingredient of love that keeps strong the will of Gryffindor.

“Hufflepuff,Where they are just and loyal,Those patient Hufflepuffs are trueAnd unafraid of toil…” The Sorting Hat from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

The loyalty of those of the House of Hufflepuff cannot be matched.  They’re a grounded bunch, too, not getting carried away by big ideas but remaining focused on the here and now.  The Hufflepuff House Tea is a combination of the practical and enchanted.

CARAWAY Carum carvi: Carried between friends and lovers as a promise to fidelity, Caraway embodies the steadfast loyalty of Hufflepuffs to the people and causes they love.

HAWTHORN Craetagus monogyna: The Hufflepuff mascot, the badger, is fond of the magical hawthorn, and so we imagine the Hufflepuffs would probably be, too.

LICORICE Glycyrrhiza glabra: Licorice has traditionally used in tea blends to harmonize the energies of all other herbs involved.  Hufflepuffs often seemed to do just that throughout Hogwarts, reminding folks of what really mattered.

CHICKWEED Stellaria alsine: Another herb of steadfastness, Chickweed’s Latin name reveals its relationship to the celestial kingdom, lest we forget the truly unique brightness of a house that accepts any student as long as they are hard-working and loyal.

“Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,if you’ve a ready mind,Where those of wit and learning,Will always find their kind…” The Sorting Hat from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Refinement, learning, and an ever-cool disposition, the Ravenclaw House Tea honors the grand history of tea drinking with the classic Early Grey while staying true to innovation with the addition of gingko, lavender, and peppermint. Contains caffeine.

EARL GREY: A refined, fragrant black tea

LAVENDER Lavandula officinalis:  Blue to honor Ravenclaw’s house color, Lavender is a keep-it-cool herb that will help to settle any studying nerves.  Not that those clever Ravenclaws ever lose their nerve.

GINGKO Gingko biloba: A renowned brain tonic, our Ravenclaw blend would not be complete without nourishing their greatest source of talent.

PEPPERMINT Mentha piperita: Fresh and invigorating, Peppermint stimulates new ways of working out solutions to the trickiest N.E.W.T. exam questions.

“Or perhaps in SlytherinYou’ll make your real friends,Those cunning folks use any meansTo achieve their ends.” The Sorting Hat from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

The green brew of the Slytherin House Tea is a compelling blend of ancient herbs, snake charms, and the ambitious drive to gain the most while sacrificing little by way of purity.

HORSETAIL Equisetum arvense: To play a whistle made from the stem of the Horsetail plant, is to be able to call and charm Slytherin’s mascot, the snake.  Horsetail is an ancient plant lending itself well to a House preoccupied with ancestry.

NETTLES Urtica dioica: Salazar Slytherin, the founder of Slytherin House, felt particular anxiety around the admission of the Muggle-born into Hogwarts.  So you find Slytherin to be predominantly “pure-blood” students and in their House Tea, the blood-purifying Nettles are included.

LEMON BALM Melissa officinalis: There is always a bit of a nervous, somewhat sour edge to Slytherins, so Lemon Balm adds a hint of sour while soothing the nervous thoughts of ambitious witches and wizards.

HIBISCUS Hibiscus sabdariffa: Known also as sour-sour, the blood-red of Hibiscus adds to the pure-blooded, puckering tendencies of the Slytherin stock.

Our Hogwarts House Teas can be purchased individually or as a Remedy Kit in our S H O P.

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