Plant Magic: Wisdom from the Green World

Whether you live in a city or the countryside, the magic of plants can be found everywhere and sometimes where you least expect it. Be open and explore the magic that surrounds you.

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Magic in the Herb Garden

 Summer is a time to have fun outdoors and enjoy the beauty of the green world. With so many plants growing and blooming, there is magic aplenty in our own backyards. Even if you live in a city, you can enjoy the magic of herbs grown on a windowsill. Alternatively, buy cut herbs at a farmers’ market or dried ones at a health food stores.

With a strong spicy aroma, it is probably no surprise that basil (Ocimum basilicum) is one of the most popular herbs today. It was also favored in ancient times. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used basil for medicinal and culinary purposes. During the Middle Ages, sprigs of basil were scattered on floors to freshen and clear the air as well as to protect against witches.

For magical use, inhale the scent of fresh basil leaves to boost your divination skills. This is also helpful when developing psychic abilities. Stimulating and refreshing, basil brings mental clarity for decision-making. Use fresh or dried leaves in spells to attract love or to release hexes and banish negative energy. Basil also helps to smooth out problems between lovers, especially where fidelity is concerned. Give a potted basil plant as a housewarming gift to bring luck and prosperity to the receiver. To promote harmony in a household, make tea with the leaves, and then sprinkle a few drops of it in each room.

Whether for magical or mundane purposes, following is a recipe for tea. If the tea is for a specific magical goal, chant, sing, or visualize what you want to achieve.

Herb Tea Recipe
1 - 2 teaspoons dried herb, crumbled
      or 2 - 4 teaspoons fresh herb, chopped
1 cup boiling water
           Bring the water to a boil, remove from the heat, and let it sit for a moment. Pour it into a cup containing the herb(s), cover, and let it steep for 10 to 20 minutes. Strain out the herbs.

One of my favorite herbs is thyme (Thymus vulgaris). It is one of the classic herbs in Mediterranean cuisine that dates to ancient times. The Greeks and Romans not only used this herb in cooking, but also as a healing antiseptic. Thyme was an ingredient in a range of remedies and was used to fumigate homes to avert infectious diseases.

Although thyme is a common herb, it is a powerhouse for magic. Well known for its purification properties, thyme is ideal for preparing ritual space and consecrating altars. Also use thyme to clear negativity anywhere you may need it. To stimulate energy and enhance awareness for divination or psychic work, sprinkle dried leaves on your altar or wherever you engage in these activities. Use dried leaves to increase the effectiveness of spells involving love, luck, and money. Stuff a little dream pillow with thyme leaves and/or flowers to help remember and interpret your dreams. Thyme is also helpful in any type of work involving the fairy realm. Wear a fresh sprig when contacting the otherworld.

Since ancient times, rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) was used in religious ceremonies, magic spells, and more mundanely as a medicinal herb. The Greeks and Romans used it at weddings as a symbol of fidelity and at funerals for remembrance. In the belief that rosemary improved memory, students in ancient Greece burned it or wore a sprig of it in their hair for help in passing exams.

Rosemary enhances awareness and increases magic and psychic powers. Its cleansing properties make it useful for clearing stale or unwanted energy. Burn a few dried leaves before ritual, magic, or healing work to prepare your space. Also burn it for defensive magic to release and protect against hexes. Dried rosemary leaves and/or flowers are effective in spells to help bind people together.

Popular in herbal medicine, the chamomiles are great for magic, too. German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is the one that stands tall, reaching two or three feet in height. Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) is a spreading herb with stems that creep along the ground. Used interchangeably, both types of chamomile have been popular in European herbal medicine since antiquity.

Not only does chamomile aid in physical and emotional healing, it also brings clarity and success to communication skills. Drink a cup of tea before going to bed to enhance dream work, or before divination sessions. Chamomile also aids in grounding energy for psychic work. It can be used to purify and consecrate altars as well as ritual and magic tools. Use the flowers in spells to attract love, luck, money, and prosperity. To counteract hexes, place two stems of German chamomile on your altar in the form of the letter X.

Cultivated for thousands of years, dill (Anethum graveolens) has been an important culinary and medicinal herb. In addition to being associated with the cult of Dionysus, it was also used as offerings to Adonis and Bacchus. During the Middle Ages, dill was a popular ingredient in love potions and commonly used to provide protection from witches and evil spirits.

Burn dried dill leaves, and the scatter the ashes around your property for defensive magic or to divert any type of negative energy from your home. The leaves can also be burned to purify ritual space. Alternatively, sweep the area around your altar with long dill stalks. Hang a bundle of dried dill in your kitchen to invite abundance. To boost creativity, place a couple of dried flowers in your workspace.

Whether you grow your own herbs or purchase them ready to go, they provide a connection with the green world, support magic, and enhance our everyday lives.

           

 

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  The author of over a dozen books, Sandra describes herself as an explorer of history, myth, and magic. Her writing has been featured in SageWoman, The Magical Times, The Portal, and Circle magazines, Utne Reader and Magical Buffet websites, and various Llewellyn almanacs. Although she is a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, she travels a solitary Goddess-centered path through the Druidic woods. She has lived in New York City, Europe, England, and now coastal New England where she lives in a Victorian-era house with her family, cats, and a couple of ghosts.  

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