The Smart Witch

Herbalism in Magic


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):

  • Rosemary has many uses in magic. Rosemary from one’s garden can be used in magic, but it is also found as incense and an essential oil. The primary associations of rosemary are: healing, protection, purification, love, strength, memory, stress relief, and mental clarity. Rosemary is associated with the Sun and with the zodiac sign of Leo.
  • Thyme has numerous magical properties. It is available as an essential oil, it can be burned as incense and the leaves can be made into poultices and teas. Thyme’s associations include: healing, love, psychic knowledge and purification. Thyme is associated with two planets, Mercury and Venus; with the element of water; and with Taurus and Libra.
  • Lavender can be used in dream pillows, as incense and as an essential oil. Lavender’s associations include: happiness, love, beauty, protection, purification, relaxation, sleep and psychic knowledge. Lavender is associated with the planet Mercury; with the element of air; and with Gemini and Virgo.

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:


  • Acacia – Protection, Psychic Powers, Love Spells, Money Spells and Secret Love.
  • Aconite Protection and Invisibility. Also called wolfsbane, monkshood, blue rocket. DO NOT INGEST - POISON.
  • Acorn – Growth, Luck, Money, Popularity and Safety.
  • Adam & Eve RootsLove and Happiness.
  • Adders Tongue – Healing.
  • African Violet – Spirituality and Protection.
  • AgaricFertility. Also known as magic mushroom, redcap, death angel and death cap. DO NOT INGEST - POISON.
  • Agrimony Herb – Protection, Sleep and Reversal of Spells.
  • Ague Root – Protection.
  • Alfalfa – Prosperity, Anti-hunger, Brings in Money and Protects against Financial Misfortune.
  • AlkanetPurification and Prosperity.
  • Allspice – Money, Luck and Healing.
  • Almond – Money, Prosperity and Wisdom.
  • Aloe Vera – Protection and Luck.
  • Aloes, Wood – Love and Spirituality.
  • AltheaProtection and Psychic Powers.
  • Alyssum – Protection and Moderating Anger.
  • Amaranth – Healing, Protection and Invisibility.
  • Anemone – Health and Protection.
  • Angelica Leaves – Protection and Healing.
  • Angelica Root – Exorcism, Protection, Healing, Visions, Cures and Bewitchment. Deflects Curses.
  • Anise Seed – Awakening Subtle Energies for Magic, Ward Against “the Evil Eye,” Keeps Away Nightmares.
  • Apple Bark – Leadership, Negativity and Power.
  • Apple Blossom – Preference, Good Fortune and Perfection.
  • Apple Fruit – Love, Healing, Garden Magic and Immortality.
  • Apricot – Love.
  • Arabic Gum – Purify Negativity and Evil.
  • Arbutus Protection and Exorcism.
  • Arnica - Bruises and Sprains. Stimulates the Heart. CAUTION: Do not apply to broken skin. Do not take internally.
  • Asafetida – Exorcism, Purification and Protection.
  • Ash Prickly Bark – Protection against Sorcery, Prosperity, Sea Rituals and Health.
  • Ash Protection, Prosperity, Health and Sea Rituals.
  • Aspen – Eloquence and Anti-Theft.
  • Aster – Love.
  • Avens Love, Purification and Exorcism.
  • Avocado Fruit – Love, Lust and Beauty.


  • Baby’s Breath – Everlasting Love, Happiness and a Pure Heart.
  • Bachelor’s Buttons – Love.
  • Balm, Lemon – Love, Success and Healing.
  • Balm of Gilead – Love, Manifestations, Protection, Healing, Anti-bacterial, Expectorate and Ease of Rheumatic Pain.
  • Bamboo – Protection, Luck, Hex Breaking and Banishing, and Wishes.
  • Banana – Fertility, Potency and Prosperity.
  • Banyan – Luck.
  • Barberry - Digestion and Antiviral. CAUTION: Do not use during pregnancy.
  • Barley Grass – Love, Healing and Protection.
  • Basil, Sweet – Love, Exorcism, Wealth, Flying, Protection and Courage.
  • Bay Leaves – Protection, Psychic Powers, Healing, Purification, Strength and Divination.
  • Bayberry Bark – Money.
  • Bean, Pinto –Protection, Exorcism, Wart Charming, Reconciliation, Potency and Love.
  • Bedstraw, Fragrant - Love.
  • Beech - Wishes.
  • Beet Root – Love.
  • BelladonnaVisions and Astral Projection. CAUTION: TOXIC.
  • Benzoin – Purification, Prosperity, Banishing Negativity and Astral Travel.
  • Bergamot, Orange – Money and Success.
  • Be-Still – Luck.
  • Betony, Wood – Protection, Purification and Love.
  • Birch Bark – Protection, Exorcism and Purification.
  • Bistort Psychic Powers and Fertility.
  • Bittersweet – Protection and Healing.
  • Blackberry Leaves – Healing, Money and Protection.
  • Black Haw - Menstrual Pains, a Women's Herb.
  • Bladderwrack – Protection, Sea Spells, Wind Spells, Money and Psychic Powers.
  • Bleeding Heart – Love.
  • Blessed Thistle Herb – Strengthens Energy. A Digestive Tonic. CAUTION: Strong infusions may be emetic and cause diarrhea.
  • Bloodroot – Love, Protection and Purification.
  • Bluebell – Luck, Truth, Lasting Love, Humility and Constancy.
  • Blueberry Leaves – Protection.
  • Blue Cohosh For Stomach Cramps, Labor Pains and Arthritis.
  • Blue Flag – Money.
  • Bodhi – Fertility, Protection, Wisdom and Meditation.
  • Boneset – Protection, Exorcism, Drives Away Evil, North American Indian Remedy for Colds, Flu and Digestion.
  • Borage – Courage and Psychic Powers. Use to flavor summer wine cups. CAUTION: Avoid excessive consumption.
  • Bracken – Healing, Rune Magic and Prophetic Dreams.
  • Brazil Nut – Love.
  • Briony – Image Magic, Money and Protection.
  • Bromelaid – Protection and Money.
  • Broom – Purification, Protection, Wind Spells and Divination.
  • Buchu – Psychic Powers, Prophetic Dreams.
  • Buckthorn – Protection, Exorcism, Wishes and Legal Matters.
  • Buckwheat – Money and Protection.
  • Burdock Leaves – Removing Negativity. Purifies and cleanses the tissues.
  • Burdock Root – Protection and Healing.


  • Cabbage White Root – Luck.
  • Cactus – Protection and Chastity.
  • Calamus – Luck, Healing, Money and Protection. *POISON*
  • Camellia Brings Riches and Luxury, Admiration and Perfection.
  • Camellia, Pink To Gain Love or to Mesmerize.
  • Camellia, Red Positive Love, Contentment and Infatuation.
  • Camellia, White Adoration.
  • Camphor Chastity, Health, Cleaning, Divination and Prophetic Dreams. *DO NOT INJEST*
  • Caper Potency, Luck and Lust.
  • Caraway Protection, Lust, Mental Powers, Health and Anti-Theft.
  • Cardamom Love and Lust.
  • Carnation Strength, Protection, Health, Energy, Healing and Fascination. Bonds Affection.
  • Carnation, Pink Unforgettable.
  • Carnation, Purple – Whimsical and Changeable.
  • Carnation, Red – Admiration.
  • Carnation, White – Innocence and Pure Love.
  • Carob Health and Protection.
  • Carrot Fertility and Lust.
  • Cascara Sagrada Money, Legal Matters and Protection.
  • Cashew Money.
  • Castor Protection.
  • Catnip Cat Magic, Beauty, Happiness and Love.
  • Cattail Lust.
  • Cedar Healing, Purification, Money and Protection.
  • Celandine Protection, Happiness, Legal Matters and Escape.
  • Celery Mental Powers, Psychic Powers and Lust.
  • Centaury Snake Removal.
  • Chamomile Sleep, Money, Love and Purification.
  • Cherry Love and Divination.
  • Chestnut Love.
  • Chickweed Fertility, Love, Poultice or Ointment for Skin Inflammations.
  • Chicory Removal of Obstacles, Invisibility, Favors and Frugality. A Digestive Tonic. For Gallstones, Rheumatism and Gout.
  • Chili Pepper Fidelity, Love and Hex Breaking.
  • China Berry Luck and Change.
  • Chrysanthemum Protection and Cheerfulness.
  • Chrysanthemum, Red Love and Worship.
  • Chrysanthemum, White Truth, Honesty and Protection Against Spirits.
  • Cinchona Luck and Protection.
  • Cinnamon Spirituality, Success, Power, Love, Lust, Protection, Psychic Powers, Mental Focus and Healing.
  • Cinquefoil Money, Protection, Sleep, Be Rid of Hexes and Prophetic Dreams.
  • Citron Psychic Powers and Healing.
  • Cloth of Gold Understanding Animal Languages.
  • Clove Protection, Exorcism, Love and Money.
  • Clover Protection, Money, Love, Fidelity, Success, Luck and Exorcism.
  • Club Moss Power and Protection.
  • Coconut Purification, Protection and Chastity.
  • Coffee Ritual Stimulant.
  • Cohosh, Black Love, Protection, Courage and Potency.
  • Coshosh, Blue – Healing, Purification, Woman's Power and Woman's Energizer.
  • Coltsfoot Love and Visions.
  • Columbine Love and Courage.
  • Columbo American, Root Power, Energy and Dispelling Evil.
  • Comfrey Good for any Magical Healing. Tissue and Bone Healer. For Ulcers, Colitis, Bronchitis and Back Pain. Money Spells. Safety during Travel. CAUTION: Avoid excessive consumption.
  • Copal Love and Purification.
  • Coriander Love, Health and Healing. Fights Mystical Evils.
  • Corn Luck, Protection and Divination.
  • Cornflower Psychism. Patron Herb of Herbalists.
  • Costmary Flavor Cakes and Beer. Scent for Hair Rinses and Baths.
  • Cotton Luck, Healing, Protection, Fishing Magic and Rain.
  • Cowslip Youth, Healing and Treasure Finding.
  • Crampbark Muscle and nervous relaxant. CAUTION: The fresh berries are poisonous.
  • Crocus Love and Visions.
  • Cubeb Love.
  • Cuckoo-flower Fertility, Love.
  • Cucumber Chastity, Healing and Fertility. Soothing and Cooling to the Psyche. Assists Astral Travel.
  • Cumin Fidelity, Protection, Anti-Theft and Exorcism.
  • Curry Protection.
  • Cyclamen Fertility, Protection, Happiness and Lust.
  • Cypress Longevity, Healing, Protection and Comfort. Increases the Power of Invocations.


  • Daffodil Love, Luck and Fertility.
  • Dahlia Regalness and to Receive Goodness.
  • Daisy Luck, Innocence, Purity, Faith and Lust.
  • Damiana Love, Lust and Visions.
  • Dandelion Divination, Wishes and Calling Spirits.
  • Datura Sleep, Protection and Hex Breaking. *POISON*
  • Deerstongue Lust and Psychic Powers.
  • Devil's Bit Love, Lust, Protection and Exorcism.
  • Devil's Shoestring Luck, Power, Employment, Protection, Gambling and Banishing Fear.
  • Dill Protection, Money, Lust and Luck.
  • Dittany of Crete Manifestations and Astral Projection.
  • Dock Healing, Money and Fertility.
  • Dodder Love, Divination and Knot Magic.
  • Dogbane Magical Love Mixtures (use the flowers).
  • Dogwood Wishes and Protection. Keeps Writings Secret (use for Book of Shadows).
  • Dragon's Blood Love, Protection, Exorcism and Potency. Increases Magical Power.
  • Dulse Lust and Harmony.
  • Dutchman's Britches Love.


  • Ebony Protection and Power.
  • Echinacea, Purpurea Rt. Strengthening Spells.
  • Echinacea, Angustifolia Rt. Invoking Spirits to Assist Magical Workings.
  • Edelweiss Invisibility and Bullet-proofing.
  • Elder Black Bark Exorcism, Protection, Peace, Prosperity and Healing.
  • Elder Black Fruit Leadership, Monogamy and Popularity.
  • Elecampane Love, Protection and Psychic Powers.
  • Elm Slippery Bark Love, Understanding and Divination.
  • Endive Love and Lust.
  • Eryngo Peace, Love, Lust and Travelers Luck.
  • Eucalyptus Healing and Protection.
  • Euphorbia Purification and Protection.
  • Eyebright Mental and Psychic Powers.


  • Fennel Protection, Healing and Purification.
  • Fenugreek Money.
  • Fern Rain Making, Protection, Luck, Eternal Youth, Health, Exorcism and Riches.
  • Feverfew Protection.
  • Fig Fruit Dry Divination.
  • Fig Leaves Fertility and Love.
  • Figwort Health and Protection.
  • Flax Seed Golden Money, Protection, Beauty, Healing and Psychic Powers.
  • Fleabane Exorcism, Protection and Chastity.
  • Forget-Me-Not True Love and Memories.
  • Foxglove Protection.
  • Frankincense Protection, Spirituality, Purifying One's Space and Exorcism.
  • Fumitory Money and Exorcism.
  • Fuzzy Weed Love and Hunting.


  • Galangal Health, Money, Protection, Lust, Psychic Powers and Hex Breaking.
  • Gardenia Love, Peace, Healing and Spirituality.
  • Garlic Protection, Healing, Lust, Anti-Theft and Exorcism.
  • Gentain Love and Power.
  • Geranium Fertility, Health, Love and Protection.
  • Ginger Love, Money, Success and Power.
  • Ginkgo Leaves Mental Clarity and Strength of Mind.
  • Ginseng Love, Wishes, Healing, Beauty, Protection, Blessing, Psychic Ability and Lust.
  • Gladiolus Attracting Love and Strength.
  • Goats Rue Healing and Health.
  • Goldenrod Money and Divination.
  • Golden Seal Healing and Money.
  • Gorse Money and Protection.
  • Gotu Kola Meditation and Stress Relief.
  • Gourd Protection.
  • Grain Protection.
  • Grains of Paradise Love, Lust, Luck, Money and Wishes.
  • Grape Fertility, Garden Magic, Mental Powers and Money.
  • Grass Psychic Powers and Protection.
  • Ground Ivy Divination.
  • Groundsel Health and Healing.


  • Hawthorn Leaves – Happiness, Chastity, Fertility and Fishing Magic.
  • Hazel –Luck, Fertility, Wishes, Protection and Anti-Lightening.
  • Heather, Lavender – Admiration.
  • Heather, Pink – Protection, Luck and Rain Making.
  • Heather, White – Wishes and Good Luck.
  • Heliotrope – Wealth, Healing, Prophetic Dreams, Invisibility and Exorcism.
  • Hellebore, Black – Protection. *POISON*
  • Hemlock – Destroys Sexual Drives *POISON*
  • Hemp – Love, Meditation, Vision and Healing
  • Henbane – Not used. *POISON*
  • Henna, Red –Healing
  • Hibiscus – Love, Lust and Divination.
  • Hickory – Legal Matters.
  • High John the Conqueror – Love, Money, Success and Happiness.
  • Holly – Enchantment, Luck, Dream Magic, Protection and Anti-Lightening.
  • Honesty – Money and Repelling Monsters.
  • Honeysuckle – Money, Protection, Psychic Powers and Love Binding.
  • Hops – Healing and Sleep.
  • Horehound, White – Mental Powers, Protection, Healing and Exorcism.
  • Horse Chestnut – Money and Healing.
  • Horseradish – Purification and Exorcism.
  • Horsetail – Fertility and Snake Charming.
  • Hound's-tongue – Tying Dogs Tongues.
  • Houseleek – Love, Luck and Protection.
  • Huckleberry – Luck, Protection, Dream Magic and Hex Breaking.
  • Hyacinth – Love, Happiness, Protection and Cure for Fascination.
  • Hydrangea – Hex Breaking.
  • Hyssop – Purification and Protection.


  • Indian Paint Brush – Love.
  • Iris – Faith, Hope, Wisdom and Purification.
  • Irish Moss – Money, Luck and Protection.
  • Ivy – Protection, Healing and Fidelity.


  • Jasmine Flowers – Love, Sensuality, Money, Meditation and Propehtic Dreams.
  • Jimson Weed – Wishes, Desires and Release of Inhibitions.
  • Jobs Tears – Healing, Wishes and Luck.
  • Joe-Pye Weed – Love and Respect.
  • Juniper Berries – Love, Health, Protection, Anti-Theft and Exorcism.


  • Kava-Kava – Luck, Visions and Protection.
  • Knotweed – Binding and Health.


  • Lady's Mantle Love.
  • Lady's Slipper Protection.
  • Larch Anti-Theft and Protection.
  • Larkspur  Health and Protection.
  • Lavender Love, Chastity (when used with Rosemary), Sleep, Protection, Purification, Peace, Longevity and Happiness.
  • Leek Love, Exorcism and Protection.
  • Lemon Friendship, Love, Longevity and Purification.
  • Lemongrass Psychic Powers, Lust and Repelling of Snakes.
  • Lemon Verbena Purification and Love.
  • Lettuce Chastity, Divination, Love, Protection and Sleep.
  • Licorice Fidelity, Love and Lust.
  • Life Everlasting Health, Healing and Longevity.
  • Lilac Exorcism and Protection.
  • Lily Breaking of Love Spells and Protection.
  • Lily of the Valley Happiness and Mental Powers.
  • Lime Healing, Love and Protection.
  • Linden Love, Luck, Immortality, Sleep and Protection.
  • Liverwort Love and Protection.
  • Loosestrife Peace and Protection.
  • Lotus Lock Opening and Protection.
  • Lovage Love.
  • Love Seed Friendship and Love.
  • Lucky Hand Employment, Luck, Money, Protection and Travel.


  • To Be Continued ...


  • To Be Continued ...


  • To Be Continued ...

The Soul of the Rose (My Sweet Rose)
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,
  Supernature, 1973

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 : 

  • It conditions the mind by stimulating one's sense of smell.
  • In connection with spells, it draws down the spirits through its magical association with the element of Air.
  • According to ancient beliefs, when a spell is done, it raises the spell up into the ether and sends it on its way.

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. 

  • Blue Berry - Burn this to keep unwanted influences away from your home and property.  
  • Blue Roses - Is specially crafted to honor the Goddess in all her aspects. 
  • Carnations - This is a sweet floral scent traditionally used for healing. 
  • Cherry - Is sacred to Venus, this blend will attract and stimulate love. 
  • Cinnamon - Is used to gain wealth and success. 
  • Coconut - Burn this for protection and purification. 
  • Copal - Is sacred to the Mayan and Aztecs. This blend is suitable for honoring the Gods. 
  • Frangipani - Burn this to brighten your home with friendship and love. 
  • Frankincense - Use this to draw upon the energy of the sun to create sacred space, consecrate objects, and stimulate positive vibrations. 
  • Honeysuckle - Burn this for good health, luck, and psychic power. 
  • Jasmine - Is used for luck in general, especially in matters relating to love. 
  • Lotus - Is used for inner peace and outer harmony, to aid in meditation and open the mind's eye. 
  • Musk - Burn this for courage and vitality, or to heighten sensual passion. 
  • Myrrh - This is ancient incense for protection, healing, purification and spirituality. 
  • Passionflower - Is used for peace of mind. This sweet scent will soothe troubles and aid in sleep problems. 
  • Patchouli - Is an earthy scent used in prosperity and attraction spells. 
  • Pine - Burn this for strength, and to reverse negative energies. 
  • Rose - Is used for love magic, and to return calm energies to the home. 
  • Sandalwood - Is a delicious all-purpose scent used to heal and protect, also for purification. 
  • Spice - Is a fiery scent and used for any magic workings. 
  • Spirit - Use this to raise your personal vibration, attract spirit guides and honor your personal deity. 
  • Strawberry - Is used for love, luck and friendship. 
  • Tangerine - A solar aroma used to attract prosperity. 
  • Temple - Devotional incense used on the altar during ritual. 
  • Vanilla - Is used to stimulate amorous appetites and enhance memory.

Herbal Baths

Rose Herb Bath
Make an infusion of red roses, white roses, yellow roses, pink roses, peppermint and parsley, and add it to your bath.

Verbena  Bath
Vervain, sometimes called verbena and lemon verbena, are often and easily confused. The two can complement one another: lemon verbena provides purification while vervain offers magical protection.
Make a strong infusion by pouring boiling water over the combined botanicals. Add the water to your bath, together with a splash of vinegar and slices of lemon.

Parsley Bath
Make an infusion by pouring boiling water over an entire bunch of parsley and one sliced parsley root. Add the infusion to bathwater. This bath is not suitable for use during pregnancy.

Kitchen Herb Bath
Magically powerful plants masquerade as common kitchen herbs. Make a strong infusion by pouring boiling water over fennel, dill and chervil, then adding it to your bath water.

Lavender Bath
Lavender derives its name from "lavare," meaning "to wash." "Laundry" comes from the same root source. This bath may be dedicated to Hecate, for whom lavender is a sacred plant. Add essential oil of lavender, lavender hydrosol or an infusion to the bath for spiritual and physical cleaning.

Lovage Bath
This is especially effective for magically cleansing off degrading traces of a failed love affair or an unhappy one-night stand. Grind and powder a dried lovage root. Sprinkle onto your bath water and distribute well.

Maximum Power Spiritual Cleansing Bath
This formula is recommended for spiritual cleansing following abuse, violence, sexual violation or any sort of profound humiliation. Add copious quantities of sea salt to the bath water. Add essential oils of lavender, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, frankincense and myrrh, plus some white rose hydrosol. Float rose and calendula blossoms in the water if possible.

Herbs of the Kitchen Witch

Choose about a dozen herbs for your herbal collection, and try growing some in your garden. Here are some typical herbs for your Witch's Cupboard:
  • Anise - Attributed to protection, youth and purification, Anise is tied to the planet Jupiter and the element of Air. Anise aids in sleeplessness and helps to ward off bad dreams. To strengthen psychic and spiritual development, drink a cup of Anise tea once per day. To create a purifying bath, add bay leaves in a sachet with Star Anise. Burning dried anise seeds aids in protection and meditation rituals.
  • Basil - Basil is a wonderful, robust herb, which is attributed to a variety of magical uses such as consecration, divination, exorcism, fertility, fidelity, luck, happiness, harmony and love. Basil is bound to the planet Mars and the element Fire.
  • Bay Leaves - Bay Leaves can be the leaf of either of two types of trees: the sweet bay tree and the laurel tree. Bay Leaves are one of those herbs that should adorn every witch's (and non-witch's) cupboard for the fantastic flavor it adds to soups and sauces. It's magical properties include wisdom, clairvoyance, protection and psychic power. Bay Leaves also are used in aiding healing and purification. Bay leaves are also known to keep moths away and keep your clothing and linens fresh.
  • Chamomile - Being a medicinal herb, the volatile oils of Chamomile are an anti-spasmodic which is used in treating indigestion as well as menstrual cramps and other common stomach ailments. Also known as an anti-inflammatory and anti-infective, Chamomile is great for treating minor skin disorders. Try having a cup of hot Chamomile tea to ensure a good night's rest.
  • Cinnamon - Cinnamon is a wonderful herb to burn as an incense or to make into a sachet. Fill a gold or green sachet bag with Cinnamon to draw money and success. A pink or red sachet of Cinnamon can be carried, worn or placed under your bed to draw love. A purple sachet can increase your magical and psychic powers. A white Cinnamon sachet helps to increase your spirituality and confers protection.
  • Cloves - Burn Cloves as an incense to draw wealth and prosperity and produce positive spiritual vibrations. Burning Cloves also can drive away negative or hostile forces and purify the area in which they are burned. Wear or carry cloves to attract members of the opposite sex. Using Cloves in your magical spells can ensure that your magical intention is realized.
  • Eucalyptus - The unsurpassed herb for healing is Eucalyptus. It can be used for protection as well. Carry Eucalyptus leaves with you for protection. To relieve colds and other respiratory infections, encircle green candles with Eucalyptus leaves and pods and visualize yourself as healed; allow the candles to burn down completely.
  • Lavender - Lavender flowers are wonderful when used in love spells. Sprinkle Lavender flowers around your home to bring peacefulness. Burn Lavender as an incense to help you sleep.
  • Peppermint - Drink Peppermint tea for healing and to increase your psychic ability. It is especially useful for stomach aches. Before reading the Tarot, scrying, consulting runes or dowsing, drink some Peppermint tea. This herb can aid in producing visions and helping you to sleep. Sprinkle Peppermint around your home for purification.
  • Rose - Use Rose buds and petals in spells to draw love. Use red for passionate love; pink or white will draw romantic or true love. A single Rose bud on your altar is a powerful love attractant. Rose buds and petals can be used for psychic powers (make a tea), for healing, protection and luck. To make a love candle, prepare a glass jar with a wick and metal tab attached. Melt several pink household candles over low heat. In the mean time, grind several pink or red rosebuds. When the candles are completely melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the ground rosebuds and about two dozen drops of Rose oil. Pour into the prepared jar and allow to cool and harden. Burn on the first Friday after the New Moon to draw love to you.
  • Rosemary - Rosemary is an all-purpose herb that no witch should be without, as it can be substituted for just about any other herb. Its powers include love, lust, protection, purification, healing, longevity, mental powers, sleep, exorcism and youth. Smoulder a bit of rosemary to emit powerful cleansing and purifying vibrations, and to eliminate negativity. It is especially helpful to burn Rosemary before performing magic. Place a sprig of Rosemary under your pillow to ensure a good night's sleep. Wear it to help your memory and to help you to remain healthy. Add an infusion of Rosemary to your bath to preserve youthfulness and to purify yourself before working magic.

Herbs for Health: Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile plant materials - essential oils - and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering one's mind, mood, health or cognitive function. Some essential oils, such as tea tree oil, have demonstrated anti-microbial effects.

Some of the materials used in aromatherapy include:
  • Absolutes - Fragrant oils, such as rose absolute, extracted primarily from flowers or delicate plant tissues through solvent or super-critical fluid extraction.
  • Carrier Oils - Usually oily plant based triacylglycerides, such as sweet almond oil, that dilute essential oils for use on the skin.
  • Essential Oils - Fragrant oils extracted from plants primarily through steam distillation or expression.
  • Hydrosols or Herbal Distillates - the aqueous by-products, such as rosewater, of the distillation process.
  • Infusions - Aqueous extracts, such as infusion of chamomile, of various plant material
Some caveats. As with any bio-active substance, essential oils may pose hazards for pregnant and lactating women. Oils - both ingested and applied to the skin -  potentially can negatively interact with conventional medicines. Because essential oils are highly concentrated and can irritate the skin when undiluted, a carrier oil should be used for topical application. The Smart Witch Store carries a large selection of essential oils and books with additional information on aromatherapy.

Herbs in Magic

Smudging is a way of using the smoke from burning herbs as a way to cleanse the body, an object or an area of negative influences. A smudge stick is a bundle of dried herbs, most commonly white sage (Salvia apiana). Often other herbs or botanicals are added, and the leaves are bound with string in a small bundle and dried.

Other herbs that may be used with or in place of white sage include common sage, rosemary, juniper, cilantro, cedar, lavender, sweetgrass and mugwort. Smudge sticks are analogous to censing with a thurible or aspersion, and may be used in rituals or meditation.

Magical practitioners regard smudging rituals as psychologically and spiritually cleansing, and as a means of clearing negative energy. You can smudge yourself or others by lighting a smudge herb bundle and, with your hand or a feather, fanning the smoke in the appropriate direction. Smudge your home for purification, and to repel and cleanse evil influences. For cleansing your home, first offer the smoke to each of the Quarters, them go through each room, making sure the smoke penetrates every nook and cranny. Then light a white candle to - literally - light up your home.

Always perform smudging with care and reverence, and in an attitude of love. Honor the plants in the smudge bundle, and they will keep you well and free from disease and negative energy.

Medicine Bag (Mojo Bag) or Talisman

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.

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