In ancient Egypt this was the Day of Sekhmet, the goddess of healing. Depicted as a lioness, she is a protectress, and related to the sun – a universal sign of life, renewal, and healing. World mythography recalls many healers, such as the Greek Hygieia (whose name we know today as ‘hygiene’), and Old Norse Eir.
Regarding the latter, little is known of her function; scholars debate if she was a Dis, a Valkyrie, an actual physician, or handmaiden. The only clues are found in her name, which in Old Norse mean both “help, mercy; to spare, lenient”, and “brass, copper; brazen vessel”. From this it may be assumed that she was a healer; first, that she is mentioned as such in lore, and next, that copper vessels have long histories as tools of the healer/physician.
Innate curiosity lead me to look at the ‘copper’ connection to her name. For instance, I found that copper is biostatic, meaning bacteria will not grow on it, and that numerous studies have shown that its antimicrobial efficacy is capable of destroying a wide range of bacteria – to include influenza A virus, adenovirus, and fungi (to name but a few). Little wonder than that medicinal pots were often forged of copper.
Folk medicine certainly retains similar information on a wide array of illnesses and conditions impacted by the introduction/use of copper, such as:
-copper bracelets for arthritis and rheumatic disease,
-alignment of the body’s energy field,
-strengthen/purify the blood,
-promote glandular function,
-general detoxification, and
-improved oxygen absorption.
So on this Ninth Day of Yule, let your attention be drawn to your health and healing, or that of those dear to you. Likewise to those healing gods your ancestors may have known, such as:
-Airmed, Irish goddess associated with healing and resurrection.
-Beiwe, Saami goddess of the sun, spring, fertility and sanity, who restored the mental health of those driven mad by the darkness of the winter,
-Brigid, Irish goddess associated with healing
-Dian Cecht, Irish god of healing, and
-Żywie, Slavic goddess of health and healing.