Ruda (Ruta graveolens)
My teacher Estela tells me "Ruda es para el áire". Everytime I come to Peru Ruda screams to me afar, every corner I turn she is blossoming her healing energy and the smell of her lures me toward her, until I say hola in a gentle voice, she allows me to use her for medicine and healing. Rue was a big teacher of mine when I entered Herbal school. I was first introduced to Ruda in Mexico from Curanderas and, soon after I learned of her stern nature when apprenticing at Herb Pharm. It was a sunny day and we were tending to the field of Rue all day, I knew she was phototoxic but I ignored covering my skin all the way. I now believe my subconscious really wanted to see what would happen, a way of playing with fire! Photo-toxicity can occur If the oils of rue get on your skin and then your skin is exposed to direct sun, it will turn to a severe burn for light skinned individuals. By the end of the work day I had blisters on my lower arm. From that point on Rue and I developed a close relationship and I go running to her when I see her in Peru or Mexico! where she is revered as a divine force.
Rue is used to treat various sufferings as well as some illnesses, such as headache, stomach ache, or parasites. It's also used for bad wind, or wayra mala, as the elders of Cuzco, Peru call dizziness. This notion of a twisting, bad wind is also used to speak about evil spirits or just bad energy. When people are struck by this wind, they pick some stems of rue and pass it over the head, forehead, and neck, before burning it. If when the rue burns it bursts then people know it took away the evil wind. There are two kinds of rue, male and female. The qualities of the female are found in the small leaves and flowers which it produces in abundance. The male has larger leaves and a different type of leaf though it is harder to find. According to the women who sell rue in the market, the correct way to use the plant requires bringing the male and female together so you can get greater power. Some say that in this way it represents Andean dualism. The plant is also used as an amulet and sign of good fortune. People will carry rue leaves and flowers in their coin purses or wallets and purses to attract money. It is a good sign when while walking in the city you run across a branch of rue with flowers or seeds. It augers for good fortune. Whenever I travel to Peru I use Rue and a egg for limpias (healing) either on myself or others. It can be a useful tool in places that attract alot of awakening, where energies can easily penetrate the etheric body.
The egg is used to cleanse a human being of physical, mental, and spiritual energies that have entered from others or their own emotions. Prayer, healing plants, and copal smoke are rubbed all over the body starting at the crown chakra and moving down the other chakras and limbs, cleansing the etheric emotional and spiritual body of any unwanted energies. The egg represents life and the yolk is a map of the physical body. The egg is then cracked into a glass of water and read by the healer, some healers read the egg once the patient leaves so they will have insight into the patients healing. The egg is then offered to pachamama. In Peru a egg cleansing is called soplo and in Mexican Curanderismo they refer to it as limpia.
Performing a soplo healing on yourself can be beneficial in the first step of taking your healing into your own hands or if you do not have a healer in your area that can perform a egg cleansing on you.
1. Find a safe sacred space that is free of distractions, light copal resin or sage and continue to burn during the whole process. Light a candle and set your intention for the healing.
2. Start standing or sitting, place an egg on the crown chakra moving the egg around the head in a circular direction, more pressure is better. Move to the arms and hands, then back to face, neck, upper back, chest, heart, breast, stomach, down inner and outer legs, bottoms of feet, back up to lower back. A good tip to remember is to start on the head, (moving in the four direction), the arms representing east and west and the legs represent south.
3. Allow your intuition to guide you, if the egg wants to direct your hand to a specific area on the body then allow it too. After you have rubbed the whole body, place the egg over the belly button and direct your breath into the egg, letting go of any remaining energies that are not yours.
4. Give the egg back to the earth or the egg can be read, but this is only done by trained Curanderos who have learned to read eggs.