Happy Meditrinalia! and happy National Coming Out Day!

This post originally appeared on 10/11/2014

Novum vetus vinum bibo: novo veteri morbo medeor!

Meditrinalia (from Latin mederi “to be healed”) was an ancient Roman festival that celebrated both the grape harvest and healing. Held on October 11th, the custom was to make a libation of old wine along with the new (basically, probably fresh-pressed grape juice), and then to drink it for healing.  It appears that Jupiter was the deity originally honored on this day. (Varro, De Lingua Latina, 6.21, courtesy of Novaroma.org.). As the celebrant tasted the mixed old and new wines before pouring it out, they uttered the phrase above, Novum vetus vinum bibo: novo veteri morbo medeor, which means:

Wine new and old I drink, of illness new and old I am cured*.

(*Note: this is an ancient Latin saying for this festival. Needless to say, it is not offered as medical advice, nor is any claim made that drinking new wine mixed with old has been found to treat illness. Plus, if you struggle with alcohol misuse, you shouldn’t drink wine. etc.) 

This phrase represents for me the guiding principle of how I approach healing: use the old and the new together to bring healing. Botanical medicine and the latest labs, biochemistry and hydrotherapy — all the modalities I use, both old and new, are blended together to help people find wholeness.

Interestingly, October 11th is also National Coming Out Day. While I am sure that the founders of NCOD weren’t looking at ancient Roman festivals, for many people this is a day of healing. Whether an individual comes out to one other person or blazes it all over the internet, coming out allows people to step into their wholeness as individuals. It allows them to begin to reclaim themselves from stereotypes and slurs.

Everyone starts, though, with coming out to the person in the mirror: themselves.

On this day, may we all begin to find healing. And may the older and the newer parts of our lives come together to bring wholeness to us.