by Kolika Elle Kirk
What happens when that love goes away? What happens when you think you find that love but that love doesn’t necessarily find you? What happens when you don’t even know if you’re capable of feeling love because life has taught you that goodbye is all that there is? Most members of the fairer sex like myself turn to chocolate, or ice cream, or junk food, or sometimes the sauce. I know that when I have a broken heart, nothing can start the healing process like a bag of Oreos and a few episodes of “Sex and the City.”
I suddenly began to wonder what the women in the Dark Ages did, pre-Oreos. I know that chocolate first came to France somewhere in the 1500s from Spanish monks that sent bricks of the stuff, but it wasn’t something that was readily available to the peasants with broken hearts.
Somehow, this thought-process turned into a chat between myself and my fabulous Style Coven, Miss Marie, Joshua’s Evil M or simply… Marie. Long story short, she told me about possibly the best hook that could have come out of the conversation: Balm of Gilead.
The Queen of Sheba was one of the most-powerful figures in mythical history. There is speculation as to if she was even a queen at all, and not a queen consort or a queen regnant. There are also speculations as to her religious affiliations and political standing, and even about her existence in general. One thing that seems to be of little question, however, is that she visited King Solomon and brought gifts from her land. One of these gifts was the Balm of Gilead.
Balm of Gilead was said to be one of the Queen of Sheba’s gifts to King Solomon, a miraculous herb that had the power to bring love to you and heal a broken heart. Balm of Gilead in the modern world has been used as an actual healer for sores and cuts when made into a balm.
It took a ridiculous amount of research for me to find a recipe even close to what could be this ancient remedy. I had actually heard about Balm of Gilead wine prior to this chat with Marie, but I had never questioned if I would ever use it. (Why oh why did I do that?) I didn’t find a recipe, but I did get my Balm of Gilead buds in the mail.
(Balm of Gilead - Poplar Buds - The Shaman Shop)
I took them in my hands and touched and smelled the little buds. They looked like football-shaped raisins, with a similar color. The smell vaguely reminded me of a mixture of spices and roses. I didn’t want to eat them straight, but once I had them in my palm I decided to try my hand at creating my own version.
Kolika’s Balm of Gilead Brandy Wine
- 1 oz. Balm of Gilead buds(for healing)
- 1 bottle of good Brandy
- 1/3 cup Cognac(for a kick)
- 1 Tbsp ground Cardamom(for lust and love)
- The petals from 1 full, red rose(for passion and romance)
- 3 Tbsp honey(a magically neutral sweetener/binder)
With any potion/brewing, always use either a cast-iron cauldron or a reaction-free casserole, like a ceramic dish. I used an electric slow-cooker with a ceramic bowl to brew it, and left it all day while I went to work. I started on a Friday morning just as the sun was rising. Turn on your slow-cooker to high.
Using a whisk, plop in the honey and whisk (clockwise, please) in the Cognac to emulsify. Sprinkle the cardamom, and imagine that it’s sparkling in the sunlight, taking in its energetic properties and filling the wine with the warmth and light of the sun. Add the Brandy slowly, pouring in a clockwise motion. Watch the golden liquid flood the bottom of the slow-cooker and imagine it washing over your heart, healing its cracks and filling it with love. Really think about how this may not cure your broken heart, but it will taste good and it will make you feel better.
(Rose Petals - Lucky Mojo)
Once all the Brandy is in, pull apart the rose petals and drop it into the mixture, one by one. You can say a little chant if you want to, but I find that a little positive thinking is enough. Think of it as a bath that your lover has drawn for you, and he’s lovingly sprinkling rose petals in the water. (Awfully sappy, I know, but it’s fun to pretend.) Stir three times clockwise with a wooden spoon, and say “Heal, heal, heal.” Blow the brew a kiss, set it to low, and forget about it.
Go off to work, take your time on the street, go and buy yourself a new hat. Forget that you even have the stuff on your kitchen counter. Do not think about your sorrow or your broken heart. Maybe visit that cafe you always see on the corner but never go into. Once you get home, pour yourself a glass of the warm Brandy wine and drink it while looking up at the moon. Watch the stars and watch the clouds swirl in little circles. Take a long, hot shower. Go to sleep that night and in the morning you’ll feel much better.