How Gypsies Cure Allergies

As many Lyon’s Roar followers and lovely bluebirds know, I have Hungarian gypsy blood coursing through my veins and I’ve written about it a couple times. I don’t talk about it much. I promise I will write more about the history of these gypsy people, gypsy lore I know, and some tinctures and remedies I know of as well. And the language…oh, the beautiful language, which is dying and which I am trying to learn. Gypsies aren’t just people who are dirty nomads and beggars; they are savvy, self-sufficient, and connected with the earth and the world around them. They are artists. They are a real demographic [which still exist!] and which I am a relative of. I’ll write about the history of my own family and the group that constitutes the modern gypsy population of eastern Europe. 

This gypsy blood…That’s why I have a tendency to wander–both in spirit and in body. That’s why I sing and paint and write. It’s why I wear long flowing skirts sometimes. It’s why I don’t identify with rootedness, but crave tightly-knitted community circles. The world is magic, moving, and lyrical. These legs can go far. And this spring, because I’ve been jonesing for runs, bike rides, horse time, and sojourns, I have terrible allergies. This is how my Hungarian gypsy kin would fix them:  

Pain in the eyes–allergies!– is cured with a wash made of spring or well water and saffron. During the application the following is recited:

“Oh dukh ándrál yákhá
Já ándré páñi
Já andrál páñi
Andre safráne
André pçuv.
Já andrál pçuv
Kiyá Pçuvusheske—
Odoy hin cerçá,
Odoy ja te ça.”

Oh, pain from the eyes
Go into the water,
Go out of the water
Into the saffron,
Go out of the saffron
Into the earth.
To the Earth-Spirit.
There’s thy home.
There go and eat.”

This incantation casts light upon the earliest Hungarian Shamanic remedies. When it was discovered that certain herbs really possessed healing qualities when tinctured or concentrated or even consumed in their natural form, this was attributed to inherent magic virtues. The increase of their power by mixing them with water, or spanking them, was due to mystic affinities by which a spirit passed from one to another. The entire Spirit of Earth and Sun channeled into saffron, that of saffron into water. From ancient times saffron, as one of the earliest flowers of spring, because of its color, was consecrated to magic and love. Eos, the Greek goddess of the Aurora, was called “the one with the saffron garment.” Even in Christian symbolism it meant love: “In the Christian religion the colours saffron and orange were the symbols of God embracing the heart and illuminating the souls of the faithful” (“Des Couleurs Symboliques,” Paris, 1837, p. 240). So we can see the path from the origins Shamanism, preserved by the gypsies (like my family!), to the “civilized” Greek, and from the Greek to the form still existent. Saffron! 

So, in short, this is how you fix your allergies this spring. Go get some saffron now, giddyup! 

Love you all. 

J. Bird 

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