Lady Tillie the Bee and Braucherei
by Silver RavenWolf
I often think about the mindset of the German people that practiced Braucherei on a daily basis. Hardworking. Practical. A focus on agriculture, animal husbandry, and the family. Even the Amish permitted flowers around the property, indicating that since plants were a gift from spirit — they could be celebrated and admired. One’s property should be well tended — as what shows without indicates what is within.
In Braucherei, protection and healing were mainstays of magick. What seems silly to us now as far as medicinal work, could kill you if untended back then. Like a bee sting. Today, we have Epi Pens and Benadryl, and bracelets to let medical personnel know if we are allergic to something. A hundred years ago MAYBE you knew what herbs to use to counteract some poisons. And maybe not. Many times your fate was left to the Gods. Even now, just because cures exist, doesn’t mean we have access to them. Take Lady Tille, for instance. She is highly allergic to quite a few things — she can’t eat fresh carrots and bees are harbingers of death.
Late in the evening, after healing circle, we congregated on the front porch, sipping our iced tea provided by Lady Celia and doing our normal after-magick-gab. I’m plopped in my rocking chair. Lady Celia is beside me. Lord Thorn is leaning on the porch rail. Lady Tillie is standing by the front door. Her husband is talking to my husband off the porch on the gravel driveway. Others are milling around.
“Shit!” she says, jumping sideways.
“What?” someone asks.
“I just saw a bee!” she says, her eyes wide.
We all know she is allergic to bees, so we are all looking around. Bees? At night?
“Darn! There it is!” she says, quickly moving away from the door. The evil thing (to her) is climbing on the glass. “Get away!” she shouts, waving her hands. And it promptly stings her.
“It burns, it burns, it burns!” she shouts, rubbing the sting frantically.
Her husband races to their vehicle. “The Epi Pen is in the glove,” she calls.
“Not there,” he shouts.
“What? No! Do you have any Benadryl?” she asks me.
I shake my head. “There is a convenience store exactly seven minutes down the road,” I said. “I know. I’ve timed it.”
“Why would you timedbit?” Her tongue is starting to swell.
“I’m a Virgo. You better go! The hospital is exactly 19 minutes from here.”
Wisely, she didn’t ask how I know that, instead, she is running down the steps heading toward the vehicle. She turns to say something about going to the hospital, but none of us can understand her. We don’t ask her to repeat. In seconds her husband is gunning it out of the driveway, stones flying, exhaust pluming through the night air.
We’re looking at each other like — damn! She could really die before she gets there, and she’s the bloody medic for heaven’s sake!
Our group has been together for a long, long time. Some of us have worked side by magickal side for over twenty years. No one said anything. We didn’t join hands. We didn’t stand in a circle. We just started to work.
I closed my eyes and began rubbing the palms of my hands together. I’m still sitting on my rocking chair, and I instantly begin the gentle movement of rocking back and forth. “Zing, Zing, Zing — Venom lose thy sting!” is the powwow chant that comes to mind. I begin whispering that, and then I move into one sentence to concentrate better — “Venom lose they power!” I say it over and over and over, rubbing my palms, focusing on Lady Tille. Within a short time, Thorn has entered the house and brought back ice. I begin rubbing the ice between my hands, continuing to chant. Its cold. I don’t care. I’m not letting go of that ice. I know that when the ice has melted, she will be okay.
Lady Celia is also chanting. She is focused on Lady Tillie’s breathing. “I hold you dear, airway clear.” She’s not stopping either.
Thorn is helping us to direct the energy we’re raising. Sort of like a ringmaster at our magickal healing circus.
Five minutes. We’re still chanting.
Six minutes. Chanting.
Seven minutes. Chanting.
Lady Tillie feels the switch. “I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t breathe and my tongue kept swelling and then…well…it was like someone flipped a switch! It just stopped getting worse, like someone put the brakes on the let’s kill Tillie train. It was…Wow!…weird!” She stumbles into the convenience store, rampaging the counter to find the Benadryl. Her husband rips open the package and she eats it. “Man, that stuff tastes like shit if you have to chew it,” she said later. She texts her daughter, who is waiting on the front steps of their home with the Epi Pen. The clerk, not exactly sure whether to hit the panic button or call 911 shakily rings up the sale.
Ten minutes. Chanting.
Fifteen minutes. Chanting. The ice has melted. They’ve driven past the hospital. They are sure they can now make it home. I seal my working, then wipe my cold dripping hands on my jeans and thank the universe. I look over at Lady Celia — she’s smiling. Job done.
Modern medicine — Old World Work — I’ll take both…anytime!
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