Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Everyday Herbal Magick

Red Clover
When I was flushed by the discovery that what I had been doing on my own since I was a teen actually had a name, I joined a Goddess-centric group of women because it was a way to identify my spirituality to myself and others. Friends of alike mind in my UU fellowship convinced me that I needed a few of the tangible trappings, so I walked over  to the conveniently local metaphysical store in my then hometown and picked up a few of those things- a lovely pottery chalice, a little iron cauldron, a few bags of herbs and some smudge sticks. Made me feel witchy and all that. The herbs were good quality...but they were expensive.

And you know, I soon learned a valuable lesson: they didn't seem to work in my spells any better than the ones I found around the community and in my own kitchen cabinet. Now, to be quite honest, I didn't have any of the more popular herbs- cinquefoil, mugwort, devil's shoestring just lying around the house, so those did have to be purchased from a reputable source. And I wasn't really very good at plant identification or correspondences at that time, and I wasn't especially good at finding substitutes, so my magick was limited. Or so I thought.

Walking around the college town I lived in, I would take photos and samples (with permission) of the plants around me. Then I set out to identify and classify them according to magickal use, which was easier than I thought it would be since I lived within walking distance of the university. Lo and behold the joy of discovery! Not only did I quickly find that I had a rapidly growing apothecary, I had expanded my magical knowledge as well...and it cost me nary a dime.

>>>Here's where I make the obligatory disclaimer that I am not personally recommending any herb or other plant as a medicinal cure. Be aware of the potentially poisonous properties of some plants and handle them with caution. Do not ingest or inhale any plant you are unfamiliar with and always wash your hands thoroughly after use. Severe allergic reactions to some plants is possible <<<

Another thing: this list is from my notes/grimorie and is in no way complete list as to the uses, names or magickal correspondences. You may find others elsewhere in your study.

Red clover is wild in most places; it's often considered a weed, so it's plentiful. I saw it growing in a neighbor's carefully designed flowerbed and offered to 'weed' it for her to return a favor and got all the red clover I could use for free. I tied it in bunches and hung it from hooks on my kitchen rack to dry. The 'green' scent reminded me of newly cut hay, and it's used for this very reason in in perfumes. It's uses in alternative medicine (according to the iconic Way of Herbs by Dr. Michael Tierra) are alleged to include curing colds, coughs and fevers, and it contains a naturally occurring form of coumarin (benzopyrone ), which is a blood thinner. In high concentrations it's toxic to the liver and kidneys. It's magickal correspondence is Mercury and Air; it is protective and used for wish fulfillment and in healing spells, among other things.

Dandelion is also considered a weed, but it is popularly used as a bitter salad green; it's roots are roasted and brewed much like coffee.Be sure dandelion is untainted by pesticides if you do use it for these purposes. Also known as Lion's Tooth and Puffball in some areas. It is used in folk magic to call spirits, foreseeing the future and to increase psychic powers.

is a popular addition to any garden, but beware that it puts out underground runners and is evasive if not carefully pruned. It it safe to use as a tea and is commercially prepared and found in your local grocery store. It is a widely approved to sooth stomach upset and nausea, like ginger. Be aware that peppermint oil can cause burning and localized allergic reaction on the skin and mucus membranes in some individuals. Magically it is used in protection spells, for astral travel and purification. Rub it on the inside corners of your home for protection from evil.

Other plants found in the home and yard and spices found in your kitchen cupboard with magickal uses that can be used instead of expensive ingredients include:

African Violet-ruled by Venus/Water
Allspice-ruled by Mars/Fire
Almond-rules by Mercury/ Air and associated with Attis and Hermes;Divination, Clairvoyance, Wisdom, Money
Basil-ruled by Mars/Fire and associated with Vishnu and Eszuli
Black Pepper-ruled by Mars/Fire
Chrysanthemum-ruled by Sun/Fire
Cinnamon-ruled by Sun/Fire and associated with Venus and Aphrodite
Cloves- ruled by Jupiter/Fire
Coconut-ruled by Venus/Water; Purity, Chasity, Healing
Cucumber-ruled by the Moon/Waters
Dill-ruled by Mercury/Fire
Garlic-ruled by Mars/Fire
Holly-ruled by Mars/Fire
Honeysuckle-ruled by Jupiter/Earth
Ivy-ruled by Saturn/Water and associated with Bacchus and Dionysus
Lemon- ruled by Sun/Water; Divination, Healing, Chasity, NeutralityLime- ruled by Sun/Water; Divination, Healing, Chasity, Neutrality
Morning glory-ruled by Saturn/Water
Oak-ruled by Sun/Fire and associated with all male gods. AKA "Jove's Nuts"; Healing, Strength, Money, LongevityOlive- ruled by Sun/Air; Peace, Fruitfulness
Onion-ruled by Mars/Fire and associated with Isis
Parsley-ruled by Mercury/Air and associated with Persephone
Pine-ruled by Mars/Fire
Rose-ruled by Venus/Water
Rosemary- ruled by Sun/Fire
Sunflower-ruled by Sol/Fire or Air

Additional easy everyday substitutions:

Use thread in appropriate colors when out of ribbon or cord.

White candles take the place of any other color; a tea light takes less time to burn.

Store herbs in small zip-lock bags to keep them dry.

Recycle pill bottles for spells or to store herbs.

Inexpensive felt in appropriate colors replaces any fabric for spell bags, etc.

**I'd appreciate any ideas you'd like to share!**

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