Friday, March 15, 2019

Good Luck and Bad

I think March is best known for 1 Wind (and, yes we’ve been having that – all the damn time); 2 The Ides of March (that’s today, the 15th); and 3 St. Patrick’s Day (that’s the 17th). 

So, the wind is just something we have to deal with.  The three-year-old that controls the thermostat, is also controlling the fan.  Honestly, in the past two weeks, we’ve gone from temps in the 30’s to temps in the 80’s to temps in the 50’s – all with wind.  Well, it could certainly be worse though I’m not going to speculate as I don’t want any of those “worse” choices.

Now, for the Ides of March, I can make a few suggestions. 

Although, these days, March 15th, is considered unlucky, originally it was a day for religious observances.  Participants celebrated with food, wine and music and offered sacrifices to the Roman deity Anna Perenna for a happy and prosperous new year. 

Then, of course, came the whole Julius Caesar thing.  In February 44 (BCE) Caesar was warned by Spurinna that the next 30 days were to be fraught with peril, but the danger would end on the Ides of March. 

Beware the Ides of March

On the Ides of March, 44 BCE, Caesar was murdered, stabbed to death by the conspirators near the Theatre of Pompey where the Senate was meeting.

Since that time, March 15 has been considered unlucky – yes, well, it was certainly unlucky for Caesar but people being people, stuck with the thought that the Ides of March is unlucky or a portent of doom for everyone. 


Fighting weeds?  Well, leave the Purslane.  In ancient Greece, purslane was thought to attract good fortune.  If you found a patch of it, you would have a happy year.  In addition, purslane was used to sooth bee stings and snake bites, protect against osteoporosis, stimulate blood circulation, help with lung and mouth cancers and a number of other things.  Add it to a salad or with stir-fry dishes.  But, since we’re talking about luck – leave some around your home as it brings luck, happiness, and protection against evil.

Plant Lemon Verbena.  It is not only a wonderful herb for cooking, it has the power to change bad luck to good.  In addition to bringing good luck, lemon verbena leaves can be used in fish and poultry dishes, salad dressings, jams, puddings, sorbet, and beverages.  Medicinally, it can be used for digestive disorders (including indigestion, gas, colic, diarrhea, and constipation), for agitation, joint pain, insomnia, asthma, colds, fever, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, skin conditions, and chills.

Here’s one everyone knows and many plant – Basil.  Given as a gift, basil brings good luck to a home.  And, another – Parsley.  Never give away your parsley as you will be giving away your luck. 

How about Yarrow.  Yarrow was, for centuries, carried into battle as a lucky charm.  It was considered a strong protective herb.  In China, it is said that where yarrow grew, neither tigers nor wolves could venture and poisonous plants could not be found.  In Europe, it was grown by the front and back doors so evil could not enter.  Historically it was also a medicinal plant and chewed for toothaches, used as an infusion for earaches, as a tea for head colds, to reduce fever and aid in sleep. 

Ok, one more and then I’m done.  Lucky Bamboo (which isn’t a bamboo all but a type of Dracaena) is associated with Feng-Shui (a belief which claims to use energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment).  Arrangement of this plant has a specific number of stalks, each with its own meaning: three means happiness, longevity and wealth; five stalks are for wealth; six will bring luck; seven good health, eight for growth and 10 for completion. If you’re “lucky” enough to have 21 stalks, then it’s believed to bring blessings of enduring health and great wealth.

OK, works for me!

15 Mar 2019

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