Wednesday 26 September 2012

Spell To Help Get a Good Night's Sleep

This spell to help you get a good night's sleep was inspired by three things - a herbal remedy from the TV series and book Grow Your Own Drugs by ethnobotanist James Wong, instructions on how to make a lavender favour from a book called Crafts from the Countrysideand a short visualisation I devised long ago when I felt my mind needed a little guiding to the land of sleep.

You need 13 long-stemmed heads of lavender, three hop flowers, a metre of narrow ribbon and a little cotton thread.

Small pillows containing dried a mixture of dried lavender and hops are a traditional way of encouraging sleep as the smell is one that naturally makes people feel drowsy. James Wong showed how to make lavender and hop pillows in Grow Your Own Drugs, but I think enclosing the hops and lavender in a favour (like the one you can see in the picture on the right) looks prettier than a pillow.

Here's how you make the lavender and hop favours. Take the 13 long stems of lavender and tie them very firmly with cotton just below the heads. Then, tie one end of the length of ribbon over the cotton, to secure the ribbon in place.

Bend each of the lavender stalks back over the flower heads, encasing the knotted cotton, tied ribbon end and flowers within them. Then weave the ribbon in and out of the stalks, forming a basket around the flowers.

Carry on weaving beyond the tops of the flowers for a couple of centimetres, then stuff the three hop flowers into the basket you have woven, on top of the lavender.

With some more cotton, tie the stalks again around the top of the flowers, fully enclosing them so they can't fall out. Once more, tie the ribbon over the cotton. Make a little loop to form a ribbon handle at the top of the favour, then tie a small bow of ribbon tightly around the loop to hold the handle in place and make the favour look pretty.

Trim the stalks so that just a little of them stick out at the top. The finished result should look something like the one in the photo to the right.

If you use fresh hop and lavender flowers, the scent will be very strong and effective, but will fade a bit after a while. If you use dried flowers then the whole thing will last longer, but the scent will be weaker.

Hang the favour at the head of your bed.

Now for the visualisation part. When you are tucked up in bed wanting to drift off to sleep, visualise a long, long ribbon, just the colour of the one that is tied around the lavender and hop favour. This ribbon is so long that it has no end you can see. It starts at the favour, and spirals off into the night sky. It leads to the land of dreams.

Visualise holding the ribbon and ask it to lead you safely to sleep. Imagine yourself following it. You drift into an indigo mist, but the ribbon still guides you; on and on it takes you, and you feel yourself getting sleepier and sleepier. Just follow it on and on and on. Eventually, you will fall asleep.

I find this much more effective than counting sheep.

Note: This spell is for entertainment/information only and is not medical advice. Always consult a qualified medical herbalist before taking or using any herbal remedy. If you suffer from insomnia, often have trouble getting to sleep or feel unwell consult your GP.

Links and previous related posts
Crafts from the Countryside

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