Artemisia vulgaris, the oldest of herbs, portending a journey,
A cloak of protection from demonic possession
Divining guidance through the sleeping unconscious,
Declared at the council of the gods to push away poisons and bad humours;
Empowered against the loathsome of the land; stimulating the physical and the psychic.
Are you breathing? Breathe deeper.
Take yarrow to the cauldron. Blanch and place on the temples. Bind tightly with cloth, covering the eyes.
Block out the light.
Where does it take you?
Are you feeling warm?
We use radiant heat to penetrate the skin,
Sending the humours into battle for survival in a climate that can no longer support them all.
Each rivulet of sweat a line drawn on the topography of the body
Cultivate the viscera, promote blood circulation, accelerate metabolism, improve body immunity;
Penetration, radiation, refraction and reflection.
The powerful expelling the weak
The noxious humours, released
Sweat it out
Shake it off
Make space to take them in again.
Nine herbs with power against nine evil spirits,
against nine poisons and against nine infections:
Against the red poison, against the foul poison,
against the white poison, against the pale blue poison,
against the yellow poison, against the green poison,
against the black poison, against the blue poison,
against the brown poison, against the crimson poison,
against worm-blister, against water-blister,
against thorn-blister, against thistle-blister,
against ice-blister, against poison-blister,
For vasolidation, for detoxification,
For flushing out pores, for tightening skin
For eternal youth, for unblocked passages
For mindfulness, for meditation,
Are you feeling warmer?
Nettle, known by touch, grazing at ankles with sharp teeth, 
Leaving an angry trace to mark its presence
It drives out the hostile one, it casts out poison.
This is the herb that fought against the serpent,
It must have won.
It has power against poison, it has power against infection,
It has power against the loathsome foes roving through the land.
Put to flight now, venom-loather, the greater poisons,
though you are the lesser, until he is cured of both.
Which poison are you?
The tree of Venus, birch, veins heavy with astringent waters,
Used to cleanse the dead, to ward off evil,
To grow roots poised to crawl through the paths traced by fire, 
To reclaim and repopulate barren landscapes
I alone know a running stream,
and the nine adders beware of it.
May all the weeds spring up from their roots,
the seas slip apart, all salt water,
when I blow this poison from you.
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