In response to my post on herb magic, Aidan wrote:
“Where was this when I first got involved with herbalism and really had no idea just HOW MUCH 2oz of chamomile flowers really was? It’s been years and I still have a full jar. I will never not have chamomile again. I’m probably going to die and be buried with a jar of chamomile flowers.”
And man, can I sympathize. Because fucking calendula.
Toward the end of my drinking career, this
narcissist dipsomaniac gentleman caller with whom I was terribly smitten asked me to make an herbal charm for a court case he had coming up. Calendula is considered lucky in matters of the law, so I phoned a few places to find some, and had the following conversation with the sales clerk of a local occult shop, which I promise I am not making up.
Clerk: “Hello! Thanks for calling [redacted]!”
Me: “Hi, I just have a quick question. Do you carry an herb called calendula?”
Clerk: “We sure do!
Me: “Great, I’ll be right…”
Clerk: “Do you know the other name for calendula?”
Me: “Actually, I don’t. But I just wanted to see if…”
Clerk: “Marigold! So if you’re ever looking for calendula and can’t find it, you can also ask for marigold.”
Me: “Good to know.”
Clerk: “Because you see…”
[Insert 10-minute lecture on the mystical properties and various ritual uses of calendula/marigold.]
Clerk: “… so after you’ve asked the Goddess for Her permission, leave the polished stones in a silver bowl of blessed water under the Full Moon. And that’s how you use calendula correctly!”
Me: “Well, wow, very interesting. Thank you for the information. So I guess I’ll drop by in a bit to pick up some calendula.”
Clerk: “Ooh, sorry. We’re sold out.”
Had this interaction gone down face-to-face, no jury in the world would’ve convicted me.
Anyway, I did some more searching and finally found calendula. I made the herbal charm, his court case ended favorably, and he turned out to be a rip-snorting douche-canoe. And then I got sober. The End. Sort of. The mid-credits scene is as follows:
This is my leftover calendula. Nations will rise and fall before I run out of calendula. I won’t just be buried with calendula; I’ll be buried in calendula. The flowers themselves are edible and apparently have medicinal qualities, but I’ve had them for so long that I don’t know if it would be safe to actually ingest them. And of course, if I toss them out or cast the petals to the winds or whatever, I’ll immediately find myself in an emergency situation where one of the other bystanders/passengers/hostages will go, “If only we had some calendula,” and everyone will look to me with hope and desperation, and I’ll have to be like, “Oh. Sorry. I got rid of it. But I do have some spikenard…?” And then we’ll all die.
At this point, I’m about ready to just stuff an oversized body pillow with calendula to serve as a surrogate snuggle buddy when Ben‘s not in town. But before I start stitching, if anyone out there is gearing up to contest a traffic ticket or something, just let me know, and I’ll make you an herbal charm. Out of a duffel bag.