Card for Tuesday, May 17th, 2022
Madre of Fire paired with Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
In the Herbcrafters Tarot the Madres - referred to as Queens in many other decks - highlight plants with a traditional history of nourishing. These plants have a long record of common use and are abundant in their respective climates. The Madres, as their name might suggest, are calm, reliable, confident, and patient. Here adventure combines with love, as the Madres share with those around them, inviting us to take our time as we walk our own path, nurtured and supported. The Madres are Healers and Guides, representing each Element through care and practicality.
The Suit of Fire - equated with Wands or Batons in other decks - is the realm of action. In this suit we see that heat erupts, then heals. The herbs chosen for the Suit of Fire are spicy and intense. Not only used as tonics but also employed in the moment or added in small amounts to formulations as activators, transformed through alchemical processes to release their heat.
As this busy kitchen scene suggests, the Madre of Fire lives an active and creative life. Surrounded by the tools of the craft, this Madre draws inspiration from the wisdom of the past as represented by the books on their table, to the work of the moment, adding their particular flair and flavor to everything they make. The Madre of Fire, much like her counterpart the Queen of Wands, has a love for life, a versatility in the passions she pursues, a home filled with magic and imagination. She is described as upbeat and knows to accept life’s paradoxes without question.
Thyme, primarily though of as a culinary herb, is a warming, restorative tonic which benefits the whole body. Originally native to northern Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa, Thyme has a deep history dating back to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. A member of the Mint family, Thyme is antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic, with a long list of traditional uses, both topically and internally.
Thyme supports the Respiratory, Nervous, Digestive, and Cardiovascular systems. Thyme is used to relieve spasmodic coughing and thin mucous in lung ailments such as bronchitis and whooping cough, is a calmative nervine and antispasmodic, useful in the presence of tension headaches, muscle spasm, and hyperactivity. Its volatile oils are soothing to the digestive tract, quelling inflammation and inhibiting such infections as E. coli and various types of Salmonella.
Modern day in vitro studies have shown that Thyme has a normalizing effect on blood vessels aiding in the regulation of blood pressure and atherosclerosis. Thyme also has a history of use in Women’s health as well, relaxing muscles and relieving cramping in dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation). Topically, in a blend or carrier oil, as a rinse, liniment, wash or bath, Thyme has been used to care for outbreaks of candida, thrush, HSV, and for bruises and sprains.
Thyme Essential Oil is prized in steam baths and inhalation therapy for colds and flu and is considered an excellent anti-infectious agent when diffused into the air. There are thought to be over 350 species of Thyme, from smallish shrubs to creeping, woody plants, but all are said to have interchangeable uses with the highest chemical compounds found in the volatile (aromatic) oils that the plant releases.
As a culinary, Thyme is safe to consume in pregnancy and when breastfeeding, and a common additive to most European style cooking, flavoring meat, poultry, game, tomato dishes, stews, and vegetable based soups. It is also a popular ingredient in Creole gumbos and various Cajun dishes.
Shine within and for yourself today. Building on the theme introduced by the Hijas and Madres of the last few days, we are being called to turn up the heat for ourselves as we put our “A” Game on the table. Just like the ever versatile Thyme, we can find a myriad of ways to embrace our inner spark, stoke our creative fires, honoring both shadow and light as we experience healing and bring it forth to guide and nurture.
As the Madre of Fire shows us, we can proceed with poise and confidence no matter what life brings for we are wise and impassioned, vibrant, and love filled. We do have to remember to be kind to ourselves, to take gentle care, to nourish from within, both physically and emotionally, as best we can, to find constructive ways to add a little peace to our lives, to value our shadow in equal measure as it presents itself.
In giving of ourselves from a better fortified place, we will always have more to offer when the time is right. Accept and embody your inner radiance, your spicy nature, for it warms and inspires the hearts of others.
A WORD OF CAUTION: Only use Thyme win culinary amounts in pregnancy and while breastfeeding and avoid the essential oil. Never put Thyme essential oil on mucous membranes or broken skin and do not use “neat” (without a carrier oil) as irritation may occur. Not recommended for bathing or in use with children. Allergies to even culinary use of Thyme are rare but have been documented.
*Information shared on herbs and their historical or traditional uses is meant for point-of-interest only. None of the above is meant to diagnosis, treat, or cure any health imbalances.*
Tarot deck : The Herbcrafter’s Tarot written by Latisha Guthrie, Artwork by Joanna Powell Colbert This Interpretation by Teri “Cricket” Heinichen Owens, RN, BSN, MS