Every Christmas the table of the Monarchs of England are graced by the Holy Hawthorn of Glastonbury. Legends says it was the staff of St. Joseph of Arimathea, the wealthy merchant that supplied the tomb for Christ’s body. St. Joseph planted his staff in English soil and the staff grew into a mighty tree.
It is one of the Sacred Trinity of the Druids, which includes both the Ash and the Oak tree. Wreaths of hawthorn were left out as an offering to the fairy folks and the angels. This gnarly thorny tree, if grafted, can grow for hundreds of years and is fashioned into hedge borders for land owners.
It flowers in May and once was a symbol of the May Day Love Feast, but then history created the opposite polarity when Christian thought took hold in the land. And the Hawthorn Blossom’s was connected to Mary and her purity.
But in truth this ancient herbal medicine is about healing the human heart. It was used as an herbal tonic both in Europe and ancient China. Its May blossoms teach us the opening of our heart beyond the thorns of any human suffering we may endure. The deep red berries become an elixir for the aging. We may ask ourselves, why there is so much heart disease in our society at this day and age? Some say it is the food, the life style and all these things are important and must be taken into account. But I feel the root of the problem for heart disease is the broken heart that has not healed or refuses to forgive. The older we become, the more disappointing experiences we accumulate in our lives. These experiences are given so the soul can cultivate wisdom and discernment. But on the way to learning discernment our hearts often shut down and the trust and the joy of our inner child dies. The medicine of hawthorn heals this. Its pure sweet blossoms flower in the month of May and become medicine for our hearts. This medicine can be used in the winter years of our lives so our hearts can remain open even inspite of life’s thorns.
So I offer the heart healing berries without the thorns to our Christmas Crib today, so our hearts can be healed and we can connect to the Inner Joy of Our Inner Child once again.
This recipe comes from Boshy Dell Natives
1 GALLON HAWS
WASH HAWS AND PLACE IN A 6-8 QUART POT.
BARELY COVER WITH WATER; SIMMER UNTIL SOFT.
STRAIN THROUGH A JELLY BAG.
MEASURE JUICE, PLACE IN POT, BRING TO A ROLLING BOIL.
SKIM OFF FOAM, AND ADD ¾ CUP SUGAR FOR EACH CUP OF JUICE.
STIR UNTIL SUGAR DISSOLVES, STIRRING CONSTANTLY; COOK UNTIL SYRUP SHEETS OFF SPOON.
SEAL IN HOT, STERILIZED JARS.
PROCESS IN BOILING WATER BATH FOR 10 MINUTES.
From Jeri Mazurka, Woodland, MI.