Herbalist Robin Rose Bennett

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Valentine's Day and Lupercalia!

By Robin Bennett
Posted in Blog, Videos
On February 15, 2022

Happy Val/Gal-entine’s Day!


A look into Lupercalia (and conscious contraception)!
+ Rose Honeymoon Wine Recipe
+ Discount Code for my upcoming apprenticeship!

 

 

Hello Friends!

There is an older pagan holiday that predates this one and which more openly celebrated sexual heat than flowery romance. But it was ultimately turned into the Hallmark holiday that some enjoy and others dread. Some feel left out and lonely or judge themselves as “less-than” for being solo, others feel the pressure to “be romantic”
on cue, and buy overpriced gifts, overbred roses, and
lots of chocolate to prove their love.

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It doesn't take much to show someone you care!

There are several Valentines from ancient Rome who were martyred (all beheaded) on February 14th. One purportedly sent a love letter to the jailor’s daughter, signed “From your Valentine”, which is one theory of where we get the tradition today! It took a thousand years, but his story became wildly popular in the Middle Ages, during the age of chivalry, romance, and heroism.

 

Predating Valentinus was the pagan Roman festival called Lupercalia! Lupa is the wolf, and wolves are breeding now in the wild. Sexual energy is quickening along with the longer days! Lupercalia is named after the Lupercal cave, where Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were suckled by a she-wolf.

One popular Lupercalia tradition was for maidens to write their names on slips of papyrus and put them into a jar. Then the single men would pull out one of the names and those two would spend the day and night together. Some of these unions became formal marriages, perhaps others were simply fun, hot dates (we can hope).

 

Towards the end of the 5th Century, however, the Christian church dominated the land and with their infamously repressive notions of the evil of pleasure, especially sexual pleasure, they outlawed all Lupercalia celebrations and introduced the new holiday: St. Valentine’s Day.

The day of sexual adventure picked at random became the classic notes and love letters that many of us were taught to make by hand and required to send to all our classmates back in elementary school.

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Whether you are single or in a relationship with a partner or partners, and whatever your sexual preference(s), celebrating your own sensuality and sexuality is always good! Celebrate yourself today! Celebrate every day! Here's a great recipe for self-love:

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I’ve created a number of these to give to newlyweds, but hey, anyone can get to feel like they’re on their honeymoon with this wine!

 

Did you make whoopee yesterday and have a “whoopsie”? Queen Anne’s Lace to the rescue! Watch this video for an introduction to
Wild Carrot (Daucus carota),
also known as Queen Anne’s lace:


In life and on the internet, I get asked more questions about wild carrot than most other herbs. I wonder why…!
For any configuration of coupling that does not invoke the possibility of an unintended pregnancy, please share the information with any of your friends for whom it might be relevant! And other valuable info about wild carrot is included, too!
Daucus carota (Wild Carrot/Queen Anne’s Lace) has been used for conscious, natural contraception for at least 2,000 years. It is not for everyone, as detailed below, and I want to emphasize that wild carrot is not a drug. It is a multi-faceted plant with many benefits for the sexual reproductive/hormonal/endocrine system. It can reduce gas and cramping, help the kidneys and bladder, increase breast milk, and the flowers atop a salad are beautiful!

Wild carrot’s spirit is playful and powerful. This plant is a witchy, shamanic shape-shifter and helps us get clear in our intentionality. If we were forced to compare it with a drug, it is more like Plan B than RU486, in that it makes the uterine lining less hospitable temporarily, and you can go on to have a healthy baby if you did get pregnant (as can happen with ANY method) and chose to continue the pregnancy.

 

Using wild carrot for conscious contraception is great for women - and for any people who could potentially become pregnant - who do NOT wish to conceive a child - who:

+ Have regular cycles
+ Practice fertility awareness
+ Are crystal clear in her/their intention and want to engage
the energy of fertility in other creative ways

It is not a great method and contra-indicated
for the woman/person who:

- Doesn’t want to think about it
- Has irregular periods
- Is within three months of any hormonal disruptions from
Medications such as BC pills and hormonal IUDS,
or has had a miscarriage, abortion, or recently given birth
- Is hyper-fertile and has become pregnant using multiple
forms of contraception
- Develops the side effects of sore breasts or cycle changes in
the first month of taking flowers and/or seeds in any form

Use with caution and clear intention in peri/early menopause if cycles are still regular…and perhaps combine with another herb such as Artemisia vulgaris.

This wild version of our common carrot is considered safe to use while breastfeeding, and as long as cycles have been re-established for at least three months, it will be reliable again after a big hormonal event like giving birth or ongoing hormonal disruption through pharmaceutical medications.

If you are going to use this plant regularly for this purpose, I suggest reading more about it in my book and getting to know how it feels in your body over several months before relying on it solely. It is typically taken for about one week a month, before, during and after ovulation. Except in the following example:


WHAT TO DO AFTER A WHOOPSIE:
You can take Queen Anne's Lace seeds and/or flowers as tea or tincture every 8 hours (after the whoopsie) for 1 week, and if you feel concerned continue 1-2x daily until menstruation is fully flowing.

 


Green Blessings and love,
Robin Rose
~*~

Robin Bennett

Robin Bennett

Robin Rose Bennett is a writer, teacher, green witch, herbalist, and a wisewoman… one who loves the earth and gives voice to the healing wild food and medicine plants which surround us. She has been a practicing herbalism for over 30 years, based in New Jersey & NYC. Robin focuses on the spiritual and ecological lessons of plants and treatment of illness.