Walking in the woods, striding through deserts, climbing mountains or strolling along beaches are refreshing activities in and of themselves. When combined with a quest for magickal herbs they can be exciting adventures.
There are some basic ideas to follow here:
*Collect only what you need. Do you really need five paper sacks full of mugwort?
*Attune with the plant before collecting from it. You may do this by placing your hands around it and feeling its energies, chanting a simple rhyme or a few words that describe why you’re taking part of its energy(leaves and flowers), and/or by placing an object of worth in the soil at the base of the plant. If you have nothing else with you, put a coin or dollar bill beneath the plant before havesting. This represents your willingness to give of yourself in exchange for the plant’s sacrifice.
*Never collect more than 25 percent of the plant’s growth. If you’re collecting roots you must, of course, take the whole plant, so be sure to leave other nearby plants of the same type untouched.
*Don’t collect after rain or heavy dew. At least, not until the Sun has dried the plants. Otherwise they might mold while drying.
*Choose your collection site carefully. Never collect plants near highways, roads, stagnant or polluted waters, near factories or military installations.
To dry herbs you’ve harvested, strip off the leaves of flowers and lay on ceramic, wooden or steel racks in a warm, dry place out of direct sunlight. Or place them in baskets and shake the herbs daily until dry. Store in airtight, labelled jars.
“The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews”