Visit me, Hygeia, gird me with health, in both body and mind for work ahead. I would build structures that increase some wealth, not just to myself: your springs, it is said, bring healing to all, and not one alone. Help me to plan, and see my purpose done, and to delegate where my vision fails: Cleanse with hyssop and polish me like stone. Then sweat me hard ’til the labor’s well done, and the work’s complete: roads and iron rails carry us along toward our desires; markets and law courts make each city fair; temples and power plants stoke common fires; pipelines and fountains make clean our first care. Yet remind me that each work has a cost, paid out in coin and sweat and dignity — and riches stripped from Earth and Sky and Sea. Guide my work so the effort is not lost, but last results reflect divinity: a mirror that shows what no one can see. By colophonum’s scent and smoking curls arising as a pillar from the earth — help me build a structure that long endures, and prospers the many who share its worth. Help me to gather the crew that I need, whose commingled sweat shall build what I ask (and see that their work earns a just reward). Make further flowerings bloom from my seed, as full systems unfold from my first task — to value my health with proper regard.
For most of the last year, I have only shared poetry with my Patreon subscribers, rather than posting this material to the blog. However, at the end of the year, I’ve had a number of requests for this content about cleanliness and preventative medicine. I have decided that it makes sense to make this particular piece of content public, for the use of the larger community.
May you have health, wealth, peace and￼ opportunity in the coming year!
A Brief Note: Colophonum, or Colophony, is a resinous by-product of pine trees, and is an ingredient in paper and fabric sizing, adhesives, skin-care products, musical instrument rosin, and other products. It’s also for some people a skin irritant and a definite asthma risk when burned. While it is attested in ancient sources as an incense used at rites of Hygiea, you may want to simply replace it with a commercially available pine-scented incense or fragrance oil… and still may want to avoid burning it in large quantities indoors.