Herbs have enormous magical power, as they hold the earth’s energy within them. Each herb has unique properties that can enhance one’s magical goals. Herbs also may have medicinal properties. The magical practitioner can draw upon either aspect when performing a spell.
Following are three key herbs I use in my work, and the magical properties associated with each (I will discuss additional herbs in the Forum):
Harvest herbs in the morning after the sun has dried the dew but before the heat of the day sets in. Use a sharp magical knife (a bolline) to cut herbs; the knife should be consecrated specifically for this purpose. Thank the plant for its gift, and offer it something in return, perhaps some water, organic fertilizer or mulch. Harvest only the amount of herbs needed, except when pruning the plants, to ensure healthy growth for the following season.
The most prevalent ingredients of magic spells are processed botanicals, especially dried plants, herbs and oils. Drying plants preserves them for extended use, allowing you to work with plants out of season and with those that are cannot be grown in your region.
Dried botanicals frequently are sold already chopped, cut or powdered. As these actions usually need to be done before spell casting, purchasing botanicals that are ready to be used can save time and effort. There is a caveat, of course. Leaves and blossoms, even chopped often retain their characteristics, such as aroma, and so are easily distinguishable. You are unlikely to confuse rose with peppermint or hibiscus!
Roots on the other hand - often the most magically potent part of the plant - once chopped or powdered are fairly indistinguishable one from the other. It is not uncommon for unethical or ignorant vendors to substitute one root for another. If you need a distinct root, buy the whole root and grind and powder it yourself, even thought this can be difficult and time consuming. This is the only way to guarantee that you are receiving what you want. The only way to maintain control over what may be a pivotal ingredient.
Familiarize yourself with herbs and other botanicals. Know what they should look like, and what they should smell like, and you'll be less likely to be fooled.
If you grow plants or have access to fresh ones, it is quite easy to dry them yourself. Hang botanicals upside down in small bunches. Don't overcrowd them - you want air to circulate. Allow the botanicals to hang in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight until dry.
Herbs for Magic
Here are some magic uses for herbs and botanicals:
John William Waterhouse
There is life on earth - one life, which embraces every animal and plant on the planet. Time has divided it up into several million parts, but each is an integral part of the whole. A rose is a rose, but it is also a robin and a rabbit. We are all of one flesh, drawn from the same crucible.
- Lyall Watson,
Incense in Magic
Incense long has been associated with magic and witchcraft, as indeed it is used commonly by many other religions.
The use of incense in witchcraft is threefold :
In magic, the type of incense used should correspond to the nature of the spell being worked. Most spells require incense associated with a particular planet or deity. Many are used for their purification and cleansing properties during ritual. Below is a list of commonly used incenses and their corresponding associations.
A medicine bag - also known as a mojo bag or talisman - is easy to make, and may provide powerful luck and protective magic. Make one simple or elaborate, according to your personal tastes.
Find some scraps of leather, felt or other heavy, tightly woven fabric that appeal to you. Cut two identical pieces in a shape that appeals to you. There is no need to make fancy shapes - a rectangle or square is easiest. At the top of each shape, you can make a bit of an "out dent," as wide as you need it to be, for the mouth of the bag.
Place the two pieces of leather or fabric with their outsides facing each other and with a heavy needle and thread, stitch all the way around the outside, leaving the mouth open. Put extra stitches around the mouth area for extra strength. Once you've tied off your thread, turn your bag right-side out and you're done.
You can now place whatever herbs or other objects you wish to inside of it and tie off the mouth with a ribbon or cord. If you want to make a drawstring for your bag, simply cut little evenly spaced holes around the mouth area of the bag and thread your chord through them so that the two loose ends meet up again at the same side. Tie the two loose ends together.
Many objects can be placed inside this bag and it can be carried or worn around the neck as a charm to bring luck, love, money or to ward off evil spirits or curses. Some people wear very personal bags representative of their own totem spirits. These bags may contain dried herbs, various types of stones, feathers, animal claws, bits of fur, seeds or whatever else the practitioner decides will be useful.