Crafting Herbal Magic
August 23, 2021
The keys to successful herbal magic are to work with herbs as you would with friends, know the herbs special gifts and know your intent well enough to select the right herbs. The use of herbs is a foundational practice in many Earth based belief systems. You don’t need to be a master herbalist or have a cupboard full of herbs to practice effective magic with herbs. In truth, it isn’t the herbs that are making the magic. They are just along to help support the magic that is already within and around you.
I’ve included some references at the end of this article. They include where to buy plants and seeds and books you may want to consider for reference.
Herbs as Individuals
Herbs for this article relates to any member of the plant kingdom including mosses, ferns, trees, flowering, and aquatic plants. Many in Earth based magic practice regard herbs as sentient beings meaning they can perceive, experience and feel. You and I are sentient which is why I refer to herbs as “Plant People” or “plant friends”. How you choose to perceive something is the first step in how you identify and relate to it. Acknowledging the body, soul, and spirit of the plant people can help you to relate to them as friends, who are here to help along the journey.
If you’ve never worked with the plant people before then it would be like working with a stranger. I suspect you, and most others, would probably not walk up to any stranger on the street and ask them to help you find self-love, inner peace, or directions on the path of life. Then why do people pick out a magic spell on the internet or a book, gather some Plant People they don’t know and demand they help them with these same topics? A lot of magick fails because people don’t take the time to get to know who (herbs, crystals, tools, spirits and energies) they are asking help of.
For a moment, let us set aside academia. Put away the books. The best way to connect with herbs is to nurture them. Plant a seed, root or rhizome and observe it as it grows. What does the stem, leaves and flowers look like? How does it smell? How fast or slow does it grow? How long did it take to germinate? What time of year does it sprout? What time of year does it flower? Does it live perpetually or does it die and return or just die? All of this information is part of who the plant person is. It’s like watching a best friend grow and mature. This is by far the most intimate way of knowing how a plant person and you relate.
Herbal Magic -Herbs Culture and History
Herbs are a different people and culture. How would you study another people group or culture? You would not start with books on how to exploit these individuals’ skills. Instead, you would choose books that provide details on their heritage, history and culture. Don’t buy books or find resources on how to do magic with herbs. Buy books and find resources on and about herbs. What is a seed? How do plants grow? How do plants eat? How do plants breathe? What environment do plants like? Get to know the fundamentals of plants.
After you meet somebody, you may like them and want to know more about them. You want to know their story. To know of the herbs story, you need to research how these plant friends show up in mythology and folklore. What are their stories as they relate to how they have helped others? Chances are, they may help you the same way. Just like us, they have attitudes. They have the capacity to help and to harm. But you won’t know that if you don’t get to know their stories or history.
Herbs Magical Personalities
Herbal magic can’t happen without the herb’s magic associations and properties. I call this part the herbs magic personality. What groups does the herb associate with? Consider associations extended friendships or membership in an organization. Herbal associations include what elemental, planetary and astrological links the herb has. Are they associated with being masculine, feminine or neutral? Do they work well with Fire or is Water a better match for them? What planet or planets do they associate with? You’re in effect discovering their extended social circles.
Next are the plant persons properties. I think a better term is the plant friend’s skill’s, and abilities. Do they have a special skill in love or protection? Maybe they’re a bit more psychic and can aid in dreams and divination. You will find these skills and abilities reinforced in the historical references of how they were used in magic.
Sometimes the information on an herbs magic can be conflicting. There is no universal absolute for these associations and properties. One reference may have an herb associated with fire and air; another may have it as masculine and earth. When this happens, you must use your own insight and intuition to decern for yourself what the herbs magic properties are for yourself.
Herbal Magic - Selecting Herbs
I am not going to cover what motive or intent is in magic here. I am going to presume you know what that is. If you don’t, stop right here. I’ll address magical planning in another blog and video.
I hope you are already on your way to figuring out how herbs and magic come together for herbal magic. You have an outcome you wish to achieve with magic. You have your own magic and the energies of the universe. Adding herbs that align with your magic outcomes is like inviting a friend who specializes in a specific magic to join you.
It is easier to explain how this comes together with an example. This is just an example; it is not the only way to an outcome.
For example: “I want to find the roots of my anger and release myself from it in a loving way without guilt.” Anger can be associate with Mars and/or the element Fire. Using herbs with an association of Mars or Fire may help. These herbs would understand anger. You need help with releasing or banishing and filling the void with love. Look for herbs whose magic skills include banishing, love, perhaps healing as well as maybe some protection. Your list may look something like this (If your on a cell phone this is not going to be easy to read – sorry) :
|Black Cohosh Root (Actaea racemose)||Masculine - Fire - Mars||Courage - Love - Protection - Potency|
|Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)||Masculine - Fire - Mars||Love - Protection - Purification|
|Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)||Masculine - Fire - Mars - Moon||Hand fasting - Healing - Health - Love - Peace|
|Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens)||Masculine - Fire - Jupiter - Mars - Aries||Banishing - Exorcism - Protection - Purification|
|Dragon's Blood (Daemonorops draco)||Masculine- Fire - Mars - Pluto - Gemini||Amplify Magick - Banishing evil/negativity - Love - Protection|
|Gentian Root (Gentiana lutea)||Masculine - Fire - Mercury - Mars - Virgo||Emotional Strength - Love|
|Pennyroyal (Hedeoma pulegioides)||Masculine - Fire - Mars||Strength - Protection - Peace|
|Peppermint (Mentha piperita)||Masculine - Fire - Mercury - Mars||Purification - Sleep - Love - Healing - Psychic Dreams|
|Poke root (Phytolacca americana)||Masculine - Fire - Mars - Saturn - Aries||Courage - Hex-Breaking - Vision quest|
In my opinion, I would use 1 part Devil’s Claw, 2 parts Gentian Root, 1 part Dragon’s Blood. Look at the associations and properties, can you reason out why I would choose this combination? What combination would you choose because there is never only one right answer?
How could this be used in magic? You could burn a little in a ritual cleansing yourself (add some rosemary for cleansing) and preparing yourself to find the roots of your anger, to lovingly let go and to strengthen your emotions so you develop a longer fuse. During the ritual you can fill a small bag with some of the herbs and maybe a crystal or two to carry with you to help bolster your strength and self-love. (You can apply the same selection process to choose crystals or essential oils or any other ingredients.)
Using herbs in magic is like inviting friends into your magic to bolster support and energies. You wouldn’t entrust your spiritual well-being to a stranger so it is best to build a relationship with herbs and other metaphysical tools before using them in magic. Acknowledging the body, soul and spirit of plants brings their magic to life; these are not inanimate objects they are sentient beings. Knowing the plant people’s associations and magical skills and abilities allows you pick the right friends to help. (You wouldn’t call a plumber friend to work on your car.) Having a connection with herbs, with the right associations and magic skills empowers you to craft your own herbal magic.
These are NOT affiliate links. These are resources that we trust enough to share.
Plants & Seeds
Companion Plants: https://www.companionplants.com/
Strictly Medicinal Seeds: https://strictlymedicinalseeds.com/
We have these in our cupboards:
These next two books are out of print; you may find them on https://www.abebooks.com/
Folkard, Richard. Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics: Embracing the Myths, Traditions, Superstitions, and Folk-Lore. Alpha Editions, 2019.
Grieve, Maud. A Modern Herbal: the Medicinal, Culinary, Cosmetic and Economic Properties, Cultivation and Folk-Lore of Herbs, Grasses, Fungi, Shrubs, & Trees with All Their Modern Scientific Uses. Dover Publications, 1982.
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