The first cross-quarter day following Midwinter this day falls on the first of February, and marks the first stirrings of Spring. It is a time for self-reflection and purification in anticipation of the new season. This is the festival of Imbolc. And it’s your time to be a Pearly King or Queen.
This year, I recommend the pearl as your route to purification. The use of pearl powder is less widespread in Europe than in Asia, but it has long been used both in creams and taken internally for keeping skin healthy, healing of scars and lesions, reducing lines and wrinkles and preserving the teeth and bones.
In the pearl-producing countries, there are a large number of pearl-rejects which do not reach the Grade A system of lustre, shape, size and shape, and these pearls are crushed and ground into powder and used for medicine and beauty treatments.
Pearls have been long believed to have the mystical properties of purity, innocence, integrity, focus, meditation, tranquility, wisdom and are especially auspicious if you are born in the month of June.
Pearl powder can also help sooth digestive disorders and the soft organs of the body, relieving bloating and biliousness. Very useful for those who have overindulged during the Yule period!
You can buy powdered pearl online, and mix it into drinks and food. If you observe the moon at this time, it resembles a huge pearl, suspended in the sky.
This is not a coincidence. This only serves to auger that you may want to consider investing in pearls, for your own wellbeing. Whether this means ordering some pearl powder from Amazon and mixing it into drinks, or visiting your local Tiffany outlet for some pearl ear studs is entirely up to you, and your current budget of course. Tiffany have an excellent website and wrap jewelry beautifully if you order it for delivery, just saying. And it really keeps its value if you need to sell it at any point, so is in fact a terrific investment. Take pause here to read that over again, as it is absolutely the only time I will ever offer financial advice on this site.
Cleopatra is the most famous devourer of pearls in history- this legendary queen playfully bet Mark Antony that she could spend a fortune on a dinner, then after serving a normal meal and enduring his teasing that she had failed, ordered a cup of strong vinegar, took off a priceless pearl earring, dropped it in, let it dissolve and drank it down.
It’s surprising that this technique was not called into play in the film “Brewsters Millions”. A quick overview of Cleo’s bio on Wikipedia makes it clear that this is a chick you might want to get down with. A feminist far ahead of her time.
Pearls can in fact be dissolved in vinegar and drunk. If you wish to emulate Cleo, go to it. It takes a little while but it will be awfully good for your bones and teeth. And if you can score some cred points off a would-be lover by doing so, rock and roll…
If you don’t feel inclined to that, maybe try one of these cocktails, which include powdered pearl. Make it, drink it, and let the ancient sass of a historic Egyptian queen enter your bloodstream. They are also rich in Vitamin C, so they count as medicine, practically.
Half a shot Pearl Wedding Cake vodka
1 shot Vanilla vodka
Juice of 3 limes
1 tablespoon pearl powder
Zest of 1 lime
Muddle lime zest and pearl powder with vodkas
Add lime juice & shake over ice
Serve in glass rimmed with pearl powder or vanilla sugar, garnished with a slice of lime.
Pearl brand vodka is an amazing thing – not available in the UK as far as I am aware, but if you live in the USA, do seek it out. They have every possible flavour of vodka. I happened upon Wedding Cake Pearl vodka on a trip to the Deep South last year, purely by accident. In a tiny but pleasant way, it changed my life. If I die before my time, I’d like it to be noted here that I wish my health to be drunk in Pearl Wedding Cake or Grape vodka.
Pearls are also the traditional gift for 30 year anniversaries, so if you can think of anything you have been doing for 30 years, this would be an excellent drink to celebrate that.
As you sip it, think nacreous and iridescent thoughts, and remember: “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”