As a pagan and a practicing herbalist I want to share the uses of herbs in both magic and everyday life. Each day I'll discuss a herb of the day.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Rosemary: Rosmarinus officinalis

"There's rosemary, that's for remembrance, pray, love, remember." (Shakespeare, Hamlet)

The Ancients held that Rosemary strengthened memory, and because of this it was used in love charms so that a lover would not forget their beloved while away. It was entwined in wreaths for weddings symbolizing love and fidelity. It has also been used at funerals, holidays, and all times of remembering loved-ones and family

Health Properties: reduces headaches and aids digestion. Rosemary is a stimulant of the circulatory system. It is used to treat bites and stings externally. Internally it is used to treat migraines, bad breath, and to stimulate the sexual organs. It is also used to treat nervous disorders, upset stomachs, and is used to regulate the menstrual cycle and to ease cramps.

Magical Properties: love, health, healing, sleep, mental powers, purification, youth, lust, exorcism, Remembrance, Fidelity, Oaths, Clarity, Home, Friendship, Happiness. Use in protection charms, incenses and baths. It was thought as a preventative against the plague. Wear to aid memory and learning. Is used in sea rituals and magick.Wash your hands in with rosemary infusion before performing magick as a substitute for a ritual bath. Drink the tea before exams or interview to make the mind alert. Can also be made into a protection wreath. If placed under the pillow, it is supposed to ward off bad dreams.

Mugwort: Artemisia vulgaris

"Mugwort! Mugwort! Herb of power,
Bring Desire at the Midnight Hour"

The Mugwort is said to have derived its name from having been used to flavour drinks.
Health Properties: Mugwort eases colds, colic, fevers. It is used in all conditions dealing with nervousness and insomnia. Often used to stimulate the liver and as a digestive aid. Fresh juice of the plant treats poison ivy. Pregnant women should not use it.

Magical Properties:
Protection, strength, psychic powers, prophetic dreams, healing, astral projection.
Put into the shoe while travelling, for protection from sunstroke, wild beasts and evil spirits and to prevent fatigue on long journeys.
Mugwort tea will induce clairvoyance. Rub on magick mirror and crystal balls to strengthen divination. Add to scrying, clairvoyance and crystal balls to strengthen divination incenses.
It is reputed that putting it under the doorstep, it insures no unwelcome person will enter.
A pillow filled with mugwort is said to induce vivid dreams.

Medicinal tea: Steep 1 tsp. dried herb in ½ cup boiling water, take in mouthful doses throughout the day.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mistletoe: viscum album

No longer used medicinally was once considered a panacea for all ills.

Magical Properties:
Protection, love, fertility, health, exorcism. Worn as a protective amulet, or to help conceive. Mistletoe was held in great esteem by the Druids, and was reputed to protect the wearer from evil. The old custom of mistletoe being hung at Yule and causing those who stand beneath it to kiss, originates in the legend that the God Baldur was killed with an arrow made of mistletoe; it was afterwards ordained that everyone who passed underneath it, should receive a kiss in order to demonstrate that the plant now as an emblem of love instead of hatred.

Echinacea: Echinacea Purpurea

Also known as Purple Coneflower, Echinacea has been used by Native Americans for centuries. It boosts the immune system and fights infections, bronchitis, colds, coughs and fevers. Echinacea, is a natural antibiotic and immune system stimulator, helping to build resistance to colds, flus, and infections. It increases the production of white blood cells, and improves the lymph glands. The tea from this herb should be used in all infections, and has been used in treating skin cancers and other cancers

Magical Properties:
Used primarily as a spell strenghtener, Echinacea adds a boost to any working or potion. Used in tinctures, bath teas and as a spell ingredient.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Anthemis nobilis (Roman)
Matricaria recutita (German)

“For though the Camomile, the more it is trodden on the faster it grows, yet youth, the more it is wasted the sooner it wears.”
Falstaff, Henry IV, Part 1, Act II, iv, line 400

Revered by the ancient Egyptians as sacred to the Sun God, Chamomile was strewn on floors to fragrance rooms.
Recommended for flatulence and dispepsia, Chamomile is also used for fevers, burns, as an anti-inflammatory for wounds, and as a sedative.
It is an efficient insect repellant, and an excellent hair rinse for blondes.

Magical Properties

An ideal incense for meditation, induces states of restfullness and calm. Also used for centering, in peace rituals and workings, as a pre-ritual bath and in healing charms and potions. It is beleived that a few Chamomile flowers carried in the purse or wallet will help to draw money. Used in prosperity spells.
Masculine, hot, Sun, water

A Love Spell

Agnus Castus: Vitex agnus castus
Also known as Chaste Berry

"The female's friend", Agnus Castus has been used to treat menstrual problems for thousands of years. It has a progesterone like effect and is reputed to relieve the symptoms of Pre-Menstrual tension (PMS/ PMT) and the menopause. It is also believed to promote the flow of milk in nursing mothers, and to assist in conception and fertility.

Magical Properties:

Agnus Castus is used in sachets and pillows to promote sleep and dreams and is used in travel spells. As an incense addition it promotes peace and meditation.

I currently have no information on correspondances.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Holly: Ilex Aquafolium

"I am a spear: that roars for blood" "Song of Amergin

"Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la, la la la la. "

The Quintessential Winter festival plant, Holly with its evergreen waxy, spiny leaves and bright red berries is todays plant.

One of the Ogham trees, known as Tinne, its month is the 8th July - 4th August.
In ancient Irish law Holly is one of the noble trees, and is one of the nine sacred woods used in need fires.

In folklore, Holly is brought indoors in winter to give shelter to the fairies and elves against the frosts and snows. Branches of holly should never be cut, but should be pulled from the tree. It is believed that a small branch of holly from the festive decorations should be hung outside the house to protect from lightning strikes.

The leaves are febrifugal and tonic and are normally used dried, the berries however are very toxic and although used in the past as an emetic is no longer recommended. Rabbits given a holly stick to chew on as a tonic will have their appetites restored.

Magical Properties

A tree of protection holly signifies courage, wisdom and immortallity. It is used in dream magic and as a protection against harm. It is believed that if a man carries a talisman pouch containing both leaves and berries his masculinity will be heightened. Used as Yuletide decorations and burned at Imbolc and in the need-fires of Beltain. Represents the Holly King or the turning of the year at the Solstices.
Correspondances: Masculine, Hot, Fire, Mars. Sacred to Lugh and to Habondia, the goddess of plenty.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Pennyroyal - mentha pulegium

"Sit and drink pennyroyal tea
Distill the life thats inside of me"
Nirvana, "Pennyroyal Tea"

A highly aromatic member of the mint family, pennyroyal is more pungent than the other mints.

Pennyroyal tea is an old fashioned remedy for amenorrhea. It should be used with care though for in large doses it is an abortificant. Pennyroyal oil should never be ingested.

Pennyroyal is also an efficient insect repellant.

Magical Properties:

For strength, peace, cleanses and protects. Brings harmony and is helpful in times of domestic unrest. Placed in the shoe is beleived to prevent weariness during travel and strengthens the body in general. As a ‘Herb of Peace’, aids in all types of tense situations, from business to personal negotiations. Kept in a bowl can bring peace to the household, or cease fighting between couples. Seamen scattered Pennyroyal on rough seas to calm them. You can carry Pennyroyal on board ships to prevent seasickness. Offers protection when worn or carried. Pennyroyal was used to bathe the body of dead to ensure peaceful transition to the next journey.
Correspondances: Masculine, Mars, Venus, Fire, Sacred to Demeter