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.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Is it Wolf’s Bane? Leopard’s Bane? No Just Arnica

Poor Arnica (Arnica montana) has been misidentified for centuries. During the Middle Ages in German-speaking areas of Europe, it had the folk name wohlverleih, meaning “bestowing wellbeing.” Unfortunately, the name was misunderstood and arnica was called wolfsleiche, which meant “wolf’s corpse.” German mystic and herbalist Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) added to the confusion by calling it Wolfesgelegena.

Its folk name leopard’s bane is another case of misidentification. Arnica looks very similar to great leopard’s bane (Doronicum pardalianches), which was believed to have the poisonous power to bring down a leopard. While arnica does not have the power to dispatch a great cat, Hildegard noted that it was an aphrodisiac and used in love magic.

In addition to love spells, Arnica has other magical qualities. Place a sprig of leaves on your altar to increase and enhance your psychic abilities during divination sessions. Use the seeds for a protection spell. Sprinkle them at the corners of your property as you visualize energy rising and creating a dome of safety. Raising energy inside your home with arnica helps settle restless spirits.



Last modified on
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.  


Additional information