Marigolds (Tagetes sp.) on the porch after bath

In Rainforest Home Remedies: The Maya Way to Heal Your Body and Replenish Your Soul, Rosita Arvigo says that one must never brag about spiritual healing, that one must not have an audience. So, I here I will try my best.

For the past eight evenings, I picked nine stems of marigold from our garden. One evening, I sent Jared to harvest. "Say prayers and give thanks," I told him. He nodded, and went to the garden. And so, nine nights, nine stems.

Marigolds have been a favorite flower. I've always liked the smell, sweet but pungent. As a child, I remember saving marigold seeds with my mother.

When I read Rainforest Home Remedies, I was surprised to find marigolds (Tagetes erecta and related species) discussed. I had heard of for them as helpful companion plants in the vegetable garden, but not as remedy for insect bites, bacterial infections, and illnesses of the spirit.

In the North and West (Northern Hemisphere and "The West"), we hardly consider spiritual illness. Stress and depression, both of which I have suffered, skirt close. But how often have I heard, "You have headaches. Are you stressed?" or "Try relaxing more."

Neither approach the root or give hope or gravitas to the person and their state. Perhaps the best line I ever read in a conventional, mainstream self help book on depression was something like - a person capable of terrible lows is also equally capable of experiencing equally profound joy. I took that sentiment, packed it into my luggage, and have carried it with me since.

And so, marigolds. Humble marigolds, coarse marigolds. For sale at every garden center, Agway, and roadside stand. A remedy for susto. Fright.

For nine nights, I added marigolds to the bath. Some nights I made a golden tea and poured it into the warm water. Other nights, I sprinkled the flowers in. One night, I could not draw a bath. Instead, I made an infusion and wiped hands with a rag soaked in the golden waters.

I won't tell what has changed, but something new has happened.  Something that has not happened before.