Herbs For Love Spells & Other Spells
History of Herbs
Mankind has always sought remedies to what ails him in nature, to soothe his spirit with a walk through meadows and woodland, or to heal his body and mind, with the bounty he found in the fields and woods. Healing and magical herbs were known to have been widely used in the very ancient Sumeria of 3000 BC and Egypt and were employed in healing ceremonies. By the time of the ancient Greeks the first compilation books of herbal usage or herbals, for healing and magical use, were written by such men as Dioscorides, (40 - 90 B.C.) who is still renowned for his five volume book De Materia Medica, one of the most influential herbals ever written, which was still widely studied during the Renaissance. Amongst others, Theophrastus, (371 – 287 BC) also wrote on herbs in his ten volume work, The Enquiry into Plants, which was read until the 1400s throughout Europe, as the flowering of herbal magic for the good of all, blossomed and continued to spread. Our ancestors believed that plants grew into shapes similar to parts of the body, so that we could see they could heal that body part, hence lungwort, in sympathetic magic or herbalism, was denominated good for healing pulmonary conditions, because the leaves look like diseased lungs. An Anglo-Saxon herbal healing charm, transcribed in the 10th century, was The Nine Herbs Charm:
And you, Plantain, the mother of herbs,
Open from the east, mighty inside.
Over you chariots drove, over you queens rode,
Over you brides cried out, over you bulls snorted.
You withstood them all, you dashed against them.
May you likewise withstand poison and infection
And the loathsome enemy roaming through the land.
'Stune' is the name of this herb, it grew on a stone,
It stands up against poison, it dashes against poison,
It drives out the hostile one, it casts out poison.
This is the herb that fought against the snake,
It has power against poison; it has power against infection,
It has power against the loathsome enemy roaming through the land.
Put to flight now, Venom-hater, the greater poisons,
Though you are the lesser,
You the mightier, conquer the lesser poisons, until he is cured of both.
This charm was meant to treat those poisoned or infected and instructed that the herbs; Mugwort, Cock's-spur grass, Stune or Lamb's cress, Plantain, May-weed, Nettle, Crab-apple, Thyme and Fennel, should be pulverised to powder and mixed with apple juice and soap (the old variety, i.e. animal fats mixed with alkaline salts or tallow and ashes). The witch come doctor, was then told to make this into a paste with ashes, water and boiled fennel water and then apply it, having first bathed the wound, before and after its application, with beaten egg. The charm goes onto instruct that it must be chanted three times over all the ingredients and into the mouth, ears and over the wound of the patient, before the herb salve was applied. Malcolm Laurence Cameron has noted that this charm had a "marvellously incantatory effect," which must have given hope and soothed the patient.
In Shakespeare's' play, Midsummer night's Dream, we see that the idea of magic herbs had permeated into entertainment. Oberon, King of the Fairies, squeezes the juice from a magic herb, Love-in-idleness, (Pansy or Heartsease) into the sleeping eyes of Titania, Queen of the Fairies, so that she will fall in love with the first being she sees.
In the eighteenth century, a Dr. William Withering discovered digitalis and thanked witchcraft herbal lore for having revealed the benefits to the heart of this herb, foxglove. Digitalis is now prescribed by the medical establishment as a drug for heart disease and is especially used for heart failure. Willow, widely used in herbal lore since ancient times, as it contains salicylic acid, had it's chemical compound copied into what is now called aspirin. This in turn led to the formulation of a new group of drugs, commonly prescribed today, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDS. In the 1970's herbal magic, herb gardens and a wishing to reconnect with nature, to return to our healing roots, literal 'flower power,' to escape the deadening urban afflictions of modern life, led to an upsurge of herbalism and herbal magic.
Herbs in Witchcraft & Love Spells
Herbs have a powerful magic all their own and in ancient times as we've seen, wise men learnt from wise women or witches, who were usually versed and wise in what we now call herbalism. Herbalism, old wives herbal lore or folk medicine, was an understanding of how to use herbs for medicinal, cosmetic, culinary and magical usage, passed on from mother to daughter, in kitchens throughout the world. If on being stung by a nettle, your mother ever taught you that dock leaves always grow near nettles and to rub a dock leaf onto the stings to relieve pain, you have taken part in this lineage of tradition. What these women knew was that herbs have a life force, that not only make them good to eat, fragrant and health enhancing, but they can also heal your life when used in magic spells.
A witch will utilise the energy or life force of herbs, fusing her energies with those of the herb to make a more powerful force, instruct it with a task and send it on its way. Witches prefer to gather their herbs at night during the full moon, for the sound reason that plants and herbs are at their zenith of biologically active, phytochemical potency at this time, pure plant biology. Science is almost catching up with the ancient herbal magic lore of women.
The ingredients used since probably prehistoric times, for these medicinal and healing mixtures include flowers, seeds, barks, roots, inner bark and berries. A culinary herb is a non-woody plant, often the leaves alone. Whereas all parts of the plants may be used in medicinal or magical use, including the vegetables or fruits, which are all denominated 'herbs.'
Most sorceresses will tell you that herbs are purely magical, when used in spell work, rituals, healing or being a kitchen or housewife witch, we love them. We use them for beauty; to purify our homes, ourselves and our implements of magic.
To sweeten and fragrance your home while clearing it of negative energy: As our medieval ancestors commonly did, strew your floors with your favourite fragrant herbs, tread them down, releasing their fragrance and power and then vacuum them up.
Oils: Place the desired herbs in oil, steep them for a few days, then strain out the herbs. These oils are useful for ritual work and for beauty, making a luxurious and aphrodisiac body oil (use jojoba or coconut oil as a base) hair conditioner (apply a hot damp towel and leave for 20 minutes before washing out). For cooking, steep your favourite culinary herbs, such as summer savoury, in olive oil to add extra flavour.
For herbal incense: Using dried herbs, grind them to powder with a pestle and mortar and burn them on charcoal.
Teas: Herbs can be used to heal illness when brewed as a tea. Kava kava and valerian can be used to induce a semi trance-like state.
For a purifying or beautifying bath: make a napkin of linen or cheesecloth, place your herbs on it, tie it into a bundle with thread, then tie it with the thread onto the hot tap, so that the hot tap flushes the goodness from the herbs into your bath water. Once run, let the herbal bag steep in your bath as you enjoy bathing. Balm of Gilead, if used in this way, heals the hurts of love, draws new love and alleviates stress. As you relax in your bath, visualise your wish manifesting.
In spell work herbs can be used to outline the limits that you wish your spell to work within, such as if placed around the home or alter.
Aloe - helps to protect against fires or accidents with heat. It is also very curative when applied to burns.
Anise - drinking Anise tea helps to hold onto youthful looks.
Angelica Root - removes hexes or curses against you and helps to impart an uplifting, joyful attitude. Also good, in small quantities for cleansing of phlegm congestion after respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis, beware of large doses, which are very harmful.
Basil - for protection. Burn it as incense to banish evil and cleanse spiritually and exorcism.
Caraway - for passion! Caraway should be used in aphrodisiac cakes for seduction or what better than your wedding cake? It ensures, fidelity and lust, so perhaps it should be served to spouses on wedding anniversaries too! Also carry it in a sachet for protection or place it under your pillow so that you will remember your dreams. Great for love spells!
Catnip - for feline bliss and also feeding a small amount to your cat creates the spiritual connection to make your cat into your familiar. Also burn the dried leaves as incense for your love desires while visualising.
Cayenne - eat with a meal before a night out, as it helps to mitigate drunkenness.
Camomile - grow in your garden to ward off pests and boost healing. Camomile also attracts prosperity.
Cinnamon - boosts health, hastens healing and wear as an amulet for libido in men.
Clove - engenders visions.
Dandelion - the leaves and flowers are used as a healing tea and the roots, placed in sachets for promoting sleep.
Elder - used for making magic wands.
Elecampane - rids the home of violent or hostile emotions, secrete in a sachet around the home.
Eucalyptus - used for healing, especially of the lungs, burn in the home to keep illness at bay.
Eye-bright - made into a tea it is used to dab onto the eyes to tune in clairvoyantly, for using the third eye.
Fennel - is a protective herb that when eaten boots virility, libido and fertility.
Garlic - Strings of garlic are used to ward away evil and it is known to promote lust when eaten. It is also very good for the health of the heart.
Hawthorn - is used for boosting success in work.
Hyssop - is used for protection and healing of every sort, stress both mental and physical. It is best used as a healing herbal bath.
Lavender - when burned as incense or placed in sachets or distributed about the home as potpourri, encourages a harmonious and happy home.
Marigold - aids visions pertaining to love, so helpful when divining on matters of love.
Mandrake root - strengthens the power of spells and is used for protection, love, money and fertility.
Onion - boosts libido and fertility.
Peppermint - aids with divination if drunk as a tea.
Rosemary - increases memory and keeps evil at bay.
Sage - used to purify away negativity, makes as excellent besom broom to sweep away evil and boosts courage, long life, wisdom and strength.
Thyme - increases psychic powers when worn.
Valerian - known as the witch’s herb, is used for ritual purification of the self, be very careful ingesting as it can be very dangerous in high doses.
Vervain - known as the 'enchanting herb' in Wales, boosts, love, sexual desire and sexual fulfilment. Often used in love spells.
White Willow Bark - the herb of immortality, is used for healing, it's chemical compound now transferred to a synthetic copy, aspirin, it is also used for treating arthritis. It is excellent when utilised for healing spells and dedicated to Hecate and other deities.
Wintergreen - for removing curses.
Witch Hazel - used for making divining rods.
Yarrow - the flowers are used in handfastings as it is dedicated to Cernunnos.
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