If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, especially in the U.S. where we just “turned our clocks back” then you cannot but notice that we have entered the time of darkness. Though the shortest day of the year is December 21, November often feels like the darkest month. Time to slow down and welcome the dark. Traditionally this is done by bringing in the light: lighting candles, putting up twinkly lights, but how about sitting with the dark in the dark and letting it greet your own dark? How about acknowledging the dark with dark instead of light?
The Cimaruta is an ancient symbol and charm that represents the Streghe/Janarre (Italian medicine) lineage and is also seen to be a potent tool against the evil eye.
The symbol is a stylized sprig of the rue plant (ruta) with various charms hanging off of it, all representative of the craft in varying ways. On the Strega Tree Apothecary’s cimaruta logo hangs the moon, a key, the snake and a flower. We chose these for our logo as they represent the powers that we work with.
Theresa and Annie are a direct descendants of a Strega lineage through their great and great-great-grandmother on their father/grandfather’s Italian side This ancestress is a powerful ally in our work. All Strega Tree diviners are initiated into this lineage since they are initiated through Theresa, Annie or one of her mentees. Janarra is the deeper layer of this lineage.
According to Italian folk belief, il malocchio, the evil eye, can afflict anyone at any time, in any place. One can never be too careful. Believed to be a common cause of distress—physical, spiritual and emotional—it often needs addressing. It is believed to be caused primarily by jealousy which in the Strega tradition is seen to be the root of all trouble: jealousy and envy.