The Healing Blanket
When my grandma heard that her sister, my great aunt, was ill, she packed up a few things and taking me in tow we headed for my great aunt and uncles ranch. I must have been around six at the time.
I remember now, how the living room always smelled of wood smoke and cherry pipe tobacco. The woodstove was opposite the front door and in the middle of the room was a large oval braided rug that my great aunt had made. As a kid, I could sit there for hours tracing the spiral pattern of the rug.
My great aunt and uncle’s bed room was off of the living room. It was a small room with a wood framed bed, night tables, and a dresser. On this particular day my great aunt was sick in bed. My uncle knew well enough to stay out of the way when there was healing to be done and so went squirrel hunting.
Grandma got busy. First she checked in on her sister and then went to the kitchen which was at the back of the house, to make some chicken noodle soup and set a kettle of water to boil. She put some honey and fresh squeeze lemon juice into a mug. Once the kettle started to whistle, she poured the water into the mug, stirring until the honey was dissolved. She took the honey lemon tea and the soup to my great aunt and told her ‘she needed to eat’.
While the two sisters chatted, grandma pulled out her healing blanket and wrapped it around my great aunts shoulders. She then lit a blessed white candle and rubbed a home remedy of eucalyptus and mint on my aunt’s chest all the while talking softly.
The healing blanket was a white cotton blanket that grandma had woven her healing energies into. She had also embroidered symbols of healing in green, blue and red on to the blanket. The green represented physical healing; blue emotional healing and red for strength. The blanket is meant to draw out the illness and trap it in cotton fibers.
Occasionally, grandma would run her hands just above my great aunts body, moving the energy of the illness out of her body and into the blanket. More honey lemon tea, more quiet talking. Once the candle burned out, grandma took the blanket from around my great aunt’s shoulders and folded it carefully in on its self and collected her things. She left a bottle of elderberry cough syrup on the night stand and said she would check in on her tomorrow.
We met my great uncle coming up the steps with a big smile on his face and holding three squirrels up by their tails. Grandma said that her sister was resting and she would check in on her the next day, but if he needed anything to call.
When we got home, grandma took the healing blanket straight to the back of the house and through it over the clothesline. She then built a small fire on the opposite side of the clothesline, just far enough away from the blanket so it wouldn’t catch fire as she beat it. I ran and got grandma’s staff, so she could beat the illness out of the blanket and into the fire to be destroyed. Grandma played baseball at family gatherings, so she had a hefty swing for a small woman.
When she was satisfied that blanket was cleared, she would pour a bucket of water on to the fire and stir the ashes looking for any signs. The ashes would be left to dry, then gathered up and buried. The blanket would be tossed into the washer with some vinegar, dried and put away until needed.
We visited my great aunt twice more and she recovered from her illness just fine.
Blessings on your Hearth & Home