6th April

Welcome to the Eightfold Year. Every day a different painting will appear, along with moon phases, saints days, seasonal plants and other festive celebrations.

You can find out more about the concept of the Eightfold Year here.

We hope you enjoy this website. We will be adding content as we go through the year and welcoming your feedback and suggestions.

Onwards and Upwards!


Fritillary on balcony, Liverpool, Spring 2008: Maria Hughes

Moon Phases, April 2015
Full Moon – April 4, 13:07
Third Quarter – April 12, 04:46
New Moon – April 18, 19:58
First Quarter – April 26, 12:56




New shoots, Liverpool, Spring 2011: Jamie Reid

Saint's Day:
Peter of Verona
Marcellinus of Carthage
Pope Celestine I
Bl. Catherine of Pallanza
Æthelwold of Winchester
St. Eutychius
Prudentius of Troyes
Notker the Stammerer
Bl. Paul Tinh
Pierina Morosini
William of Æbelholt

Chakri Day, commemorating the reign of the Chakri Dynasty. (Thailand)
Tartan Day (United States)

Flowering Now by Saul Hughes: Ribwort Plantain
Plantago Lanceolata.
Family: Plantaginaceae.
Gaelic Name: Slan Lus.


Also known as Snake Plantain, Long Plantain, Black Jack, Lamb’s Tongue and Kemps.
A very common plant in meadow lands and growing comfortably along the roadside and land laid to waste. The name plantain and the name of the family order that this belongs to both stem from the Latin word ‘Planta’ meaning ‘sole of the foot ‘heel’ and ‘side of the foot’, and is in reference to the shape of the leaves of the major representative of this order that of plantago major whose leaves resemble the heel of a foot. The name of this species lanceolata is derived from the Latin ‘lanceolatus’ meaning armed with a lance or spear point, in relation to the shape of the leaves of this particular species. The name ribwort is in allusion to the prominent veining’s of the leaves and the name ‘wort’ is an Anglo-Saxon word for a healing plant. The Gaelic name of Slan Lus, means the healing plant.
The folk names of ‘long plantain’ is in reference to the long leaves and stems of this plant, the name ‘Snake Plantain’ is in reference to the stem and flower which were thought to resemble a snake: ‘Black Jacks is in reference to the dark flower heads, ‘Lambs Tongue’ is from the leaves being slightly hairy and silver, and was thought to resemble a lamb’s tongue and the name ‘Kemps’ is from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘Cempa’ meaning a soldier and referrers to a children’s game with this plant rather like conkers were the flower heads would be struck, the loser being the one whose flower head would fall off; In Scotland this game was called ‘Carl Doddies’ and the name was derived from Charles (The Jacobite Bonny Prince) and George (Hanoverian King).


The medicinal qualities of this plant are very similar to the plantago major, and both species were known as white man’s foot, as the seed travelled from Europe to the America’s and New Zealand and would spring up were ever the white man went. Medicinally it contains Apigenin (An Enzyme responsible for the metabolism of many pharmaceutical drugs in the body), Baicalein (Acts as an anti-inflammatory), Benzoic-Acid, Ascorbic-Acid, Chlorogenic-Acid, Citric-Acid, Ferulic-Acid, Ursolic-Acid and Salicylic-Acid, all of which are beneficial to the body.
Its medicinal actions are: Antidote (Counter acts poisons), Anti-bacterial (Fights bacteria), Anti-inflammatory (Aids Inflammation), Anti-septic (Kills Bacteria), Anti-tussive (Treats coughing), Astringent (Constricts Body Tissue), Cardiac (Aids the Heart), Diuretic (Elevates the Rate of Urination), Deobstruent (Removes Obstructions), Demulcent (Forms a soothing film), Expectorant (Dissolves Thick Mucus), Haemostatic (Stems Bleeding), Laxative (Induces Bowel Movement), Ophthalmic (Good for the Eyes), Refrigerant (Coolant agent )and as a Vermifuge (Expels parasitic Worms).
It has been used for the treatment of malignant ulcers, inflammation and wounds of the skin, intermittent fevers, for arresting haemorrhages and for the bleeding of the lungs, respiratory complaints and coughs. It was also used for treating insect bites, nettle stings, Haemorrhoids, burns and scalds. It was taken internally also for gastritis, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhoea, loss of voice and bleeding in the urinary tract. It was also used for snake bites because of the shape of the stem and the flower heads, a practice harking back to the doctrine of signatures as expounded by Dioscorides (40AD-90AD) and Galen (129AD-199/217AD) were the shape of a plant suggests what it is good for.


Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654) say’s it is good for ‘all torments or excoriations of the bowels, helps the distillations of the rheum from the head, stays all manner of fluxes even the menses of women, good for the spitting of blood and other bleedings of the mouth, good for the consumption of the lungs and ulcers thereof, the seed being good against the dropsy, the falling sickness, yellow jaundice and stoppings of the liver. The juice being good for old and hollow ulcers that are hard to cure, cancers of the mouth and private parts and applied to the head eases the pains thereof and helps lunatic and phrenetic persons very much’.
The seed in former times was ground into a powder and added to flour when making bread and cakes.
Magically it is under the dominion of the planet Venus, and is a protector and companion of the journeyman, as an amulet it protects against the unforeseen dangers of travel and in Ireland it is associated with Saint Patrick on account of its healing qualities resulting from snake bites and averting them if worn as a amulet.
It is a food plant for the Thrip (Thrips Nigropilosus) and its larva, the Weevils (Alophus Triguttatus), (gymnetron Pascuorum), (Mecinus Circulatus), (Mecinus Pyraster), (Trichosirocalus Rufulus), (Trichosirocalus Troglodytes) and the leaves are grazed by the leaf beetles (Chrysolina Staphylaea), (Chrysolina banksi) and the leaf is mined by the leaf mining fly (Phytomyza Plantaginis)*

Also on this day:

1199 – King Richard I of England dies from an infection following the removal of an arrow from his shoulder.

1320 – The Scots reaffirm their independence by signing the Declaration of Arbroath.

1327 – The poet Petrarch first sees his idealized love, Laura, in the church of Saint Clare in Avignon.

1793 – During the French Revolution, the Committee of Public Safety becomes the executive organ of the republic

1814 – Nominal beginning of the Bourbon Restoration — anniversary date that Napoleon abdicates and is exiled to Elba. (Rule by the Bourbon's was delayed a few weeks, though allies held most key locales of France.)

1895 – Oscar Wilde is arrested in the Cadogan Hotel, London after losing a libel case against the John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry.

1919 – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi orders a general strike.

1930 – Gandhi raises a lump of mud and salt and declares, "With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire." beginning the Salt Satyagraha.

* All information regarding the uses of the plants is exactly for that informational purposes only, and that the author and owners of the web do not encourage anyone to be eating, or disturbing wild plants, but merely to admire them in their natural environment and to ponder on their rise and fall within human culture.