Lesson Two: Basic Herbs
Most people will have at least the basic kitchen herbs in their cabinet. Remember the term “herb” does not exclude flowers and trees. You may be surprised to know how many different flowers and woods fall into the magickal category.
Roses are traditionally aligned with water. They can be used for psychic powers, love divination, luck, protection, and healing. Use a single rose in a vase on the altar for powerful help in love divinations. A cup of rosewater tea at bed time can help you dream prophetic dreams.
Even a Daisy has power where lust and love is concerned, and is said to bring love when worn. A simple divination that’s been done for years can be done with a daisy. Remember the “He loves me, He loves me not?” That is love divination in its most basic form.
Carnations can offer protection, healing and strength. Place carnations on the altar during healing rituals, and use the petals in amulets and incense.
Oak is good to use for money, protection, potency, fertility, and luck. It is said that carrying any piece of oak will draw good luck. Take 2 twigs from an oak tree and tie them together in an equal armed cross; hang them in your house to guard against evil. Make a small equal armed cross and carry it with you in your wallet or purse for protection during the day.
So much for the garden, on to the kitchen.
Have you ever felt the need for just a little extra strength? Take out the Bay Leaf. Bay lends strength to you or your purpose. Use bay in workings involving purification and protection. Bay is also used for wisdom blends. Burn bay in incense for help in solving a problem, or use it in a ritual bath when you’ll be facing a situation where you’ll really need your wits about you.
Basil has been called “the Witches Herb” for centuries. Basil has been used for exorcism, protection, in “flying ointments”, and love potions. “Where Basil grows, no evil goes!” and “Where Basil is, no evil lives,” goes the old adages. Basil, given as a gift, will bring good luck to a new home. Sprinkled around the house, it wards off evil.
Sage helps to promote wisdom. It can also be used for wishes and protection. Carrying sage is said to bring you wisdom. Some traditions say it is bad luck to plant sage in your own garden; instead, you should have someone else do it for you. If you take a sage leaf and write your fondest wish upon it, then place it under your pillow for three nights, it is said you’ll dream of what you wish, and your dream will come true. I use sage in incense to help with learning.
Anise is good for protection and purification. I use it sometimes in candles or incense for meditation and protection.
Last but not least, is Salt. Sea salt is best. Salt cleanses and purifies. It can be used in cleansing rituals, and banishings. Use salted water to purify new tools. If you have a fire place, throw pine needles into into the first fire of the season. After they begin burning, throw some salt into the flames. This will help protect your house, dispel evil, and bring happiness to the home.
More Common Herbs
Chamomile gives relaxation, calmness, love, and purification. This is an excellent herb to include in a ritual bath sachet. It brings peace and protection to the user. It is a love herb but what is so different about it is the fact that it can help get rid of evil. (That’s a little different for an herb that is used in love and relaxation).
Use Pennyroyal for strength, protection and peace. Known as the “Herb of Peace,” pennyroyal given to two fighting partners will cause them to stop fighting. Used in ritual, pennyroyal adds strength to you and your working.
Use Wood Betony for protection, purification, and love. Betony is added to purification mixtures and incenses. It is traditional to burn betony in a bonfire on Midsummer and then jump through the smoke to purify the body of ills and evil. Betony is also said to help people be more attractive to the opposite sex.
Use Catnip for Love, Happiness, and (of course) cat magick. Given to your cat, it will create a psychic bond between the two of you. However, it can be intoxicating to the cat. Catnip and rose petals are used in love sachets.
Damiana is burned for visions, and is also used in lust spells.
Ferns are good for protection, luck, riches, and banishings. Dried fern is thrown upon hot coals to banish evil and protect the home. Wearing Fern is said to draw the riches to the wearer. You can also use it in natural incense for a little extra power. Fern is like a little push; it kind of hides in the blend until the right moment, and then comes out to add that last little kick, just when you need it most.
Honeysuckle is used to increase psychic powers and provide protection. A honeysuckle bush growing near your house will bring good luck.