Acyuta-bhava Dasa 0:01
Hi everyone, this is Acyuta-bhava from Nightlight Astrology and today I'm hanging out with my wife Ashley, and we are going to talk about some recommended herbs for the upcoming Mercury retrograde in Scorpio. I'm really glad that we could get back to making some video content together. We moved and then we've been without childcare, and so it's been just a little bit since we've been able to sit down and actually make some some good stuff together. So hopefully you guys will enjoy this and get some good practical advice out of this. And thanks, Ashley for being here.
Oh, I'm so glad to be back. Yeah, it's been too long.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 0:37
Yeah, totally. Uh, let's see here. I'm just trying to get the screen adjusted so I can put the real time clock up. Okay, here we go. So let's take a look at what's happening right now you can see that right now Mercury is in the sign of Scorpio at about 10 degrees just passing over in opposition to Uranus and Taurus. And this is going to play out for a while. This Mercury Retrograde takes about three weeks but the opposition to Uranus plays a big role in this Mercury Retrograde so watch what happens. Over this weekend, you're going to see Mercury stationing. And by mid next week later next week, it turns retrograde. All of this is happening within two degrees of in opposition to Uranus, then Mercury backs up and goes into the opposition again. And you're going to see that opposition perfecting by the you know, 19th into the 20th of October. Now you want to pay close attention to Mercury whenever it's within three degrees of making an aspect to an outer planet. And that three degree range is pretty standard for Hellenistic astrologers back in the day. So three degrees doesn't let up until like October 22. You're talking about a span of like the next two weeks, that our Mercury Retrograde which is usually something to manage on its own will be amplified by an opposition to Uranus which is a lot. So you know, it was a funny thing, and I mentioned this on my YouTube channel if you guys were watching earlier this week, that we experienced a little - thankfully not too bad - attempted identity theft, and if it's synchronised it happened to synchronise very perfectly with Mercury opposite Uranus. It was one of those shocking sudden you know, twists and turns of fate and involve technology and it involves suddenly something coming to light that had been hidden from our sight. All Mercury in Scorpio meets Uranus and Taurus kinds of activities.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 2:38
So the main thing that we want to do today is give you significations for Mercury retrograde in Scorpio, Mercury opposite Uranus and then talk about which herbs are going to be our helpers. So that's what we'll do first and then I'm going to hand it over to Ashley who is going to be the herbal wizard portion of this talk. Mercury opposite Uranus, a few of the main significations are going to be: shocking events that oftentimes jar the nervous system. That's one main thing to watch for. It doesn't mean it has to be a super traumatising event. You know, for some people it could be for other people it can be, you know, garden variety, surprising information or news that comes up in the workplace or, you know, a big reveal from, you know, can be something as simple as surprise, we're having a girl and we thought we were having a boy or, I mean, sometimes it's exciting information that comes up and is not what you expected. But with Scorpio oftentimes there's that theme where it's a little bit more confrontational, it's a little bit more difficult to deal with. And there's a feeling of maybe something being uncovered that was hidden and that may be a little bit more shocking or more stressful to deal with. The other thing is that Mercury and Uranus can have to do with technological meltdowns, meltdowns and communication, sudden outbursts and communication again, a Mars-like Mercury is going to be a little bit more aggressive and edgy. And you can also have themes of like defiance or rebellion thrown in there. And then you also have to watch for things like sudden almost manic episodes where suddenly become really excited and inspired but you can't sleep. You know it's not a good time to drink caffeine, you know, if you're already sensitive or something like that. But it can be like insomnia or a wave of inspiration that comes in but that may also sort of jar you and so you have to be careful of your boundaries and taking care of yourself so that that surge of energy doesn't sort of short circuit you in any way. Mercury retrograde in general in Scorpio also has to do with going deep. If you want to uncover things if you want to go deep into the past or deep into the unconscious, deep into the dream space. It's kind of like investigative journalist meets shaman. So there's some of that energy in the air right now it's a great time to be learning things that require you to think or go one or two layers below the surface. I think those are pretty good indications for mercury. in Scorpio, you want to be careful of like reading other people's diaries or sneaking into other people's stuff, spying on people or whatever. And that's why you also have to be careful about things like identity theft. These are just a few significations. But for herbs, I'm going to hand it over to Ashley now because I want to ask, I'm going to go through three areas. Does that sound okay?
Yeah, that sounds great.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 5:34
Okay, so the first area is just what herbs should we work with right now, if we want to either respond to or maybe protect ourselves from sudden, jolting shocks or unexpected things coming up that can affect the nervous system or the mind.
Yeah, so this would really be the class of herbs that we call nervine tonics, and actually nervine relaxants as well. So I guess both of those categories would work really well. Our nervine tonics are going to kind of buffer the nervous system and give us a little bit of softening of the blows of things that can hit us and strengthen the resiliency of the nervous system. So herbs like oat straw, or milky oat tops from the same plant, avena sativa, would be a really good one to kind of fortify and protect the nervous system. Another nervine tonic that I really like is gotu kola. This is also called Brahmi in Ayurveda, and it was used by the yogis to help them you know, gain deeper states of meditation, because it really kind of harnesses the power of the nervous system. So it's a really nice one and both of them can be taken as a team. So you could brew it as like a hot infusion. But if you want to do the milky oat tops, which is really kind of like a food, it's like mother's milk, that needs to be tinctured fresh, so that would be something that most people would have to buy from a supplier.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 7:01
So the other class which other nervine relaxations. These are really good if you're feeling that sort of amped up energy like Acyuta was talking about, and you really want something that is going to take the your whole response to whatever's coming at you take it down pretty quickly. So nervine tonic, they take a long time to build up, whereas our nervine relaxations work pretty instantly. So, a few that come to mind would be skullcap is a really nice one. This is scutellaria lateraflora, and this is a really nice kind of bitter relaxant tonic. So it works kind of both ways as both a tonic and a relaxant. And it's really good, especially if you are going into a meeting that you think might be really kind of overstimulating or if you're about to like watch the debates, and you want to kind of protect yourself and sort of lower your whole reactivity levels, sort of buffer them a little bit, then you could take a dose of something like skullcap or scutellaria, to prevent kind of over excitation of the nervous system. So that's a really good one for the nervine relaxant.
Another idea would be for sleep, as you mentioned. So a nervine relaxant, like hops. Hops is just sort of a classic, or that's used for sleep, and agitation. It's really good too, for like night sweats. So if you kind of tend to sleep really hot, and your dreams can get kind of agitated, and you have difficulty with sleep, then taking a little dose of hops, and this is the same plant that's in beers. It's not the same as beer. That's, that is different. So you can take the plant, humulus lupulus is the Latin name. And so you can take that as a tincture is best because trust me, you don't want to drink a tea. It's so so bitter. But just taking you know, one dropper full 30 minutes before bed, and if you wake up in the night, taking another dropper full can be really helpful.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 9:12
Right? And what was the one that you mentioned? Or maybe you didn't mention it yet? About being able to maybe access or open up information coming through dream state?could you I think you mentioned something about the dreams earlier.
Yeah, yeah, we were talking about. Yeah, like, if you want to do that deeper underbelly work. This would be a really good place for two herbs. I would say black cohosh is a really good one to work with for that sort of, kind of what's underground, what's in the dark roots. And it's sort of I think about it as like, one of the names is black snake, or black snake root medicine. And so it has these sort of roots that get really, really wound in and so it kind of helps you just sort of pull and tease apart things that are sort of dark and in the subconscious. I just had a client a few months ago, who did too, did drop dosing. And she did it when she was doing her meditation. She said, It was amazing how even just a few drops really started to open up her awareness of some of the stuck material. And so she sort of titrated the dose up, you know, a few drops at a time. And and worked with the medicine in that way over the course of a few weeks and said, it was really profoundly helpful. So that was a good one.
And the other one is, would be a white pond lily, and this one works, really on the waters of the body. So especially for issues and I know that you mentioned Scorpio, so this is a really good Scorpionic medicine, actually, both black cohosh and white pond lily are good Scorpio medicines. But white pond lily really works, I would say a little bit more in the sexual energies. So if there's stuff in there that you want to uncover and explore, it can be really good at sort of drawing the light out of darkness and maybe past traumas that might be getting triggered at this time. It would be a good one to work with to bring those to the surface so you could look at them. And that would be you know, something you could do also drop dose and then titrate upward.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 11:21
Right on. Yeah. You mentioned black cohosh, and if I remember correctly, black cohosh can also help with lower back problems?
That's right. Yeah. So, you know, now we think of black cohosh, usually as a as a menopause or but actually, classically, it was used as an antispasmodic for back pain, specifically lower back pain, where it feels almost like there's hooks like in the kidneys or in the low back, and there's sort of this heavy dragging feeling. That's the specific indications for black cohosh. So, yeah, if you're experiencing any low back pain right now, and it's just sort of dull and dragging, this would be a really good one to move that energy and relieve that kind of pain.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 12:02
Yeah, and I say that because I'm with the Sun in Libra right now, which rules the kidneys and the Sun is often also as a planet connected with the back in the spine. Mars' opposition to the Sun, which is coming in the next two weeks as this Mercury retrograde in opposition to Uranus takes place that can also be indicative of spine, back, kidney inflammation or agitation. And there's been a lot of people in my practice and my students, social media, who have been talking about irritation or inflammation, especially dealing with back problems. So I think it's interesting that black cohosh could actually speak to a few different elements of the astrology that are happening right now. So okay, so yeah, I knew we were going to talk about dreams, black cohosh, and the other one was white pond lily, which I worked with before, by the way, if anyone is curious to hear a testimonial, that was a very healing experience. I had an ayahuasca experience a long time ago that was all about it was kind of the start of a process of working on healing, kind of like root chakra and sort of sexual energy things from the past. And I took white pondn lily upon the recommendation of Matthew Wood, some of you may know him, he's one of Ashley's teachers, but also just a really fantastic person an herbalist. In fact, I'm just hanging out here he's like our neighbour now which is cool.
I know it's amazing.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 13:48
Really cool to actually be able to sit out and talk with him. But um, he was the one who recommended white pond lily to me to get kind of deep into those that root area that sort of below the surface watery and it was so powerful, it really about a month of taking it was a really transformational period for me. So I could definitely echo that white pond lily is a good one to take.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 14:12
Okay, so we mentioned nervous system. We mentioned going beneath the surface. What about protecting yourself from people who may want to take something, invade your space, plants that could help you keep boundaries from things or people that you don't want necessarily coming in? Anything that you can think of like that?
Yeah, I mean, two of my favourite protector plants are Yarrow and Rue. So Yarrow, which is achillea millefolium. It's a very common planet grows, you know, in most places around the world, especially through Europe and North America. And you know, it's sort of the age old, classic protector. And there's, you know, stories of this being the herb, that was given by Asclepius to Chiron?
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 15:07
Yes or was it Achilles?
Or was it Achilles? Oh, it was given from Asclepius to Chiron. And then Chiron bestowed it upon Achilles and then Achilles used it when he was overseeing the battles and gave it to all the soldiers. And so the story was that the soldiers carried it in their pockets for protection. But it's also a great wound medicine. So if you did get injured, he would just pack it in the wound, because it has a bunch of those properties. But on a more sort of magical level, it's definitely seen as an herb of protection. And it it embodies the elements of air and fire really, really nicely. So it has this sort of fast acting energy to it, but also is very clarifying and purifying energy. So that that makes I think, a really good medicine to either take internally or to just have around you.
The other one is Rue and the Latin name is Ruta graveolens. This is a lesser known herb I wish I had I have a bunch downstairs, my grandmother grows and she has she gave me this huge bag full. So I've made like, all sorts of different Rue things. But Rue is used classically to protect one from the evil eye. My grandmother's Sicilian and so insistently, it's grown in people's front yards to protect them from jealousy and the evil eye. And yeah, from people wanting things that you have. So that kind of ties into this whole idea of like identity theft, which is people coveting what is not theirs. Rue has been used as a talisman and a protector in that way, I have a little necklace, a little glass amulet that my father gave me, and I keep Rue it. So when I travel, I have a little piece of dried Rue that I carry in there just to be again, like something that can protect me. And just, it also reminds me that I'm protected so that I, you know, can also de-regulate my cortisol levels, if I know I'm going to be in a stressful situation or a place where I might feel a little bit, you know, vulnerable. So I would recommend that one. It is an herb, it's very strong. So you don't want to take it if you're pregnant, if you're nursing, it is definitely a no no, in those cases. It is an emmenagogue, so it'll bring on the menses. So as a medicine, you could do drop doses of a tincture, that would be the way to work with this plant if you wanted to do it internally.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 17:35
Awesome. And one last thing that I would just mention is that this planetary transit can be about uncovering things that lead to, you know, the revelations that lead to creative action, you have a creative idea that comes through suddenly. And it turns you, you know, it kind of inspires you to start a new project, write something new. I don't know whatever the case might be. But creative inspiration can certainly be a part of Mercury Uranus opposition, invention, or inventiveness. I'm wondering if there's any good medicines out there that can piggyback on this theme of kind of magic and creativity, springing up from the depths or just anything that would be a good herb to bring along with for the potential of inspiring epiphanies that come along with this transit?
Hmm, that's such a good question. Yeah, the ones that really that popped into my head. One was St. John's wort. You know, that is a very sacred, magical and very medicinal plant. It helps you to hold the light, so it's used for seasonal affective disorder. So just the idea of like if you want to hold inspiration or hold the light inside and sort of keep your outlook very optimistic and positive. There's a long list of medications that you should not take St. John's wort with. So do check with your clinical herbalist to make sure if you are on medications, that's my little side note. But otherwise, you can work with the plant just again like as a talisman so you can have some pressed leaves nearby even just have a picture on your desk. I tell my clients to do that a lot with plants that might not be the best medicine for them to take internally is to find a nice painting or print that they can have nearby to just bring that medicine into their space.
One that might be nice for taking internally that will help kind of drive energy forward is rhodiola. The root is the part used and it's an adaptogen so it helps your body respond intelligently to stress and modulates the hypothalamic adrenal pituitary axis. So it kind of makes you It makes sure you don't go too far in either direction. But what I like about rhodiola is that it really does seem to boost confidence. That's something that I've found with clients is it's sort of like you if you need a little bit of an energy boost, but you also don't like want caffeine where it takes you too far too fast and you get kind of burned out by and dried out. rhodiola is a really nice substitute to sort of help drive that cart without exhausting yourself.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 20:29
And I'm also wondering, yeah, that's really good advice. And, if you think about this from a tarot standpoint, I feel like the Mercury Uranus opposition is a bit like the magician card has a kind of trickster archetype. You know, or you could even say that it's a little bit like the fairy figures in mythology that are sort of tricky, clever fox, maybe a little fox like. So those are the things that were coming to my, to my mind when I was thinking about it as well. I don't know if that's jars anything else?
Yeah that I totally did, like, Yeah, when you were saying that I was like, Oh, wait, I know! That would be really, really good one for lady's mantle. So alchemilla vulgaris, which is lady's mantle is also called the little Alchemist. And it's totally a plant of magic and fairies, and it has these really beautiful, kind of jagged edge, five lobed leaves that make a little cup. And we grew in our garden, back in Maryland. And when you go out in the garden in the morning, it has these little drops of dew that are like, perfect. And the story is that the fairies you know, they go out and they take these little droplets of water, they splash themselves. And so, you know, very wealthy people would pay people to go out and gather all these drops of dew from the lady's mantle leaves, it's actually a toner can be a very, very nice skin remedy. It was always associated with sort of fairies magic, it has these tiny little flowers that are like green and so just like subtle and delicate. And yeah, it almost looks like if you were to pull the leaf off, it could be like a little fairy umbrella.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 22:18
That's great. The girls would I can see them. We had an awesome herbal garden. For those of you who don't know, this, we that you guys all helped us make through the Kickstarter. A couple years ago, we had a community herbal medicine garden on like about half an acre of land that we owned, and it was very magical. I know my girls definitely met the fairies for the first time out there. And I can't identify anything in the garden - actually no, there's a few things that I would occasionally be like, is that this? and you'd be like, Yay. But um, yeah, the the garden was really special.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 23:06
Yeah well that is perfect. I think that should give everyone listenin some good things to think about for how to deal with this Mercury Retrograde using some plant allies, some some plant helpers. I think it's a great time for dream journaling. Just in general, Mercury in Scorpio, opposite Uranus. There's potential for that Promethean heat and light of revelation to come through in darker, more subterranean or unconscious spaces.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 23:37
And by the way, if you want to watch a really good kind of really weird Mercury Uranus movie that really encapsulates some of the themes of Mercury, Uranus, there was a movie that came out last year around Halloween that I was pretty high on for a minute because it was it was so mind blowing. It was called the Lighthouse. It was with Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, and there's a lot of Uranian and Mercurial themes in that film, it's pretty dark. I let you know in advance, but if you guys want to watch a movie that also kind of encapsulates the archetypal themes, check that one out.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 24:11
Well, last but not least, before we go, Ashley has been offering for 10 years now or so, an online herbal apprenticeship course that's coming up in January. It's a year long programme. You have a second year course as well. You've had a tonne of students come through the programme, we're going to be offering it for a discounted rate through my annual Kickstarter coming up at the end of November and into December. Maybe you could just tell everyone, just a little bit about it. And we'll do like a full preview later. But yeah, just tell us a little bit about your programme.
Sure. Yeah. So the year one which is called Herbal Foundations is really for people that you know, are either brand new to herbal medicine or who have some background but really want to dive into more of the nuts and bolts of how herbs work. We do a lot of herbal sampling. So that's one thing that I it's really important to me as an herbalist is tasting the herbs and, and getting to know them individually. So we do guided plant diets that we, you know, we have one plant that we focus on each month that you order in advance, we drink it together, and then we talk about our experience of having that plan in our body and in our consciousness. So it's interactive in that way. And we talk about things like plant identification. So I'll teach you how to identify plants based on plant families, how to make medicines from the plants that you do have. We'll look at organ systems and diseases and how to match herbs to different body systems and different energetic types and different body types. So it's just a nice kind of foundation level. For people that want to really understand how herbs work, and then how to apply them and how to use them with their family with friends. Maybe they already have another kind of way that they work with people and they want to add herbs in as a sort of a secondary offering. It's a really nice option for people like that as well. And then when does it start? It starts in the middle of January. So it'll start on January 23, classes will run on Saturdays, and it will run from 11am to 1:30pm. And that's Eastern Standard Time.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 26:29
Great. Yeah, thanks for adding that in and we'll be advertising and promoting this more during my Kickstarter so that people can reach it as well. But, you know, Ashley's a very masterful herbalist, as you can tell she's encyclopaedic. It's, um, it's been really fun for I mean, like, I think this is part of the reason that we kind of fell in love with each other. We, we sat down and were able to, like, really just pour out stuff that we knew a lot about and, like, just kind of wrap with stuff. And so is it's just really always been like, maybe my favourite thing about my wife is that Ashley's just really encyclopaedic and masterful and totally devoted to her craft in the same way that I consider myself to be with astrology. Eventually, we hope to do a crossover between astrology and herbalism. So we'll have a class that offers both at once. That's a little bit delayed now because of COVID. But in the meantime, you can check out Ashley's work at...
Sure, yeah, so people can find me at skyhouseherbs.com and then I have a YouTube channel actually have a whole talk on rue and a whole talk on black cohosh and white pond lily so people can check out my YouTube channel at skyhouseherbs. So if you just look up skyhouse herbs on YouTube, you can find me there too.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 27:54
So check out all the good herbal work that Ashley is doing. Thanks again for for being here and enlightening us for the the Mercury retrograde ahead. Please leave your comments in the comment section. Tell us your stories. Tell us how you're working with the plants. If you are, what insights you have during this time, if you're really into plant medicine, and there's an idea that sprung into your head while you were listening to this, you know, feel free to add your insights as well. And we will be back together again hopefully more regularly now another we can actually create some content together getting some childcare help now finally, and so hopefully we'll be back with more Astro-herbal content shortly but in the meantime, y'all take care and we'll see you soon. Bye.