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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Rosehips – For Tea and For Magic

Now that autumn is almost here, many types of rose bushes are producing fruit known as rosehips and rose haws. The dog rose or wild briar (Rosa canina) and the sweet briar rose (Rosa rubiginosa syn. R. eglanteria) produce some of the best rosehips. These roses have simple flowers with five petals. The flowers of the dog rose are white to pale pink; the sweet briar flowers are pink with white centers. Sweet briar’s leaves have an apple-like scent. Both plants are thicket-forming shrubs with arching stems studded with thorns.
        If you want rosehips to develop, the flowers must stay on the bush after they fade. Wait for cool weather before collecting rosehips. At the time of harvest, hips should be firm but have a little give. Sing or chant as you gather the rosehips, to put magical energy into them. They can be used for magical practices as well as a healing tea.
         Faeries are said to enjoy cavorting in dog rose thickets; the rosehip from a dog rose is also known as a pixy pear. In Scandinavia and Germany, roses were believed to be under the protection of elves and dwarves. During the Middle Ages in parts of Europe, a dried rosehip was carried as a charm against certain diseases as well as for protection against enchantment and sorcery. The rose was known as Frigg’s thorn to Germanic people.
        For drying rosehips, you will need a heavy-duty needle and thick thread to string the rosehips together into a circlet. Hang it in a cool, dry place until the rosehips are hard. Make a circlet large enough so when you lay it on your altar you can place things within the circle. Rosehips are especially supportive for clairvoyance. Consider making a smaller circlet to wear as a bracelet for divination, or psychic work. It can also be hung on your bedpost to enhance dream work. Use dried and crumbled rosehips to break hexes and in spells to banish unwanted things from your life. Carry a whole, dried rosehip to attract luck or provide protection.
        Rosehips are full of vitamin C and make a wonderful healing tea to have on hand for the winter. Gathering and preparing your own rosehips gives you the opportunity to infuse them with magical, healing energy. Give them a thorough rinse with cool water, let them dry, and then cut off the ends. If you are drying a circlet of rosehips, don’t cut off the ends.
        For use as tea or magical powder, cut the larger rosehips in half so they will dry faster. Lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place them on low heat in the oven with the door ajar. They will be hard and brittle when dry. Use a food processor to chop them into small pieces. Place the pieces in a sieve and gently shake them. This gets rid of the little hairs that grow on the rosehips. Store them in a jar with a tight-fitting lid out of direct light.
        When you’re ready for tea, put one to two teaspoons of rose hips in a mug and pour in a cup of boiling water. Cover and let it steep for about fifteen minutes, and then strain. Rosehip tea is a little tart, so you may want to add a spoonful of honey. While it can help ease a cold, a cup of steaming rosehip tea brings cozy comfort on chilly nights.

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The author of over a dozen books, Sandra is 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 Maine where she lives in an 1850s farmhouse surrounded by meadows and woods.  


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