Herbal Witchcraft Magazine Blog

Franklin Lakes, NJ Copyright 2002 by Gerina Dunwich All rights reserved under the Pan-American and International Copyright Conventions. This book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or hereafter invented, without written permission from the publisher, The Career Press. Edited and typeset by Nicole...

August

1st Lammas (also known as Lughnasadh), one of the four major sabbats celebrated each year by Witches and other Pagans, is observed on this day. The traditional herbs associated with this sabbat include acacia flowers, aloes, cornstalks, cyclamen, fenugreek, frankincense, heather, hollyhock, myrtle, oak, sunflower, and wheat. As a thanksgiving offering to the Goddess, many Wiccans bake a loaf of corn bread and lay it upon their altar. 4th The Celtic tree month of Holly (Tinne) ends. 5th The...

Holly

Known by many names, including bat's wings and Christ's thorn, the holly is a plant strongly connected to the Yuletide season and highly valued by Witches for its magickal and divinatory powers. It was once believed to safeguard a house and its inhabitants against lightning strikes, evil entities, hauntings, and black magick when planted near the dwelling. Carrying a wand or walking stick made of holly wood will prevent you from falling victim to all hexes and bewitchments, according to occult...

Hops for Prosperity and Good Luck

The hop, a plant commonly employed as a flavoring and preservative in beer since the 14th century, has long been regarded by Witches as an herb of prosperity and good luck. It is an old custom among the English to hang a spray of flowering hops in the kitchen or dining room to ensure the prosperity of all in the household. Many Witches and other magickal practitioners believe that hops possess healing energy vibrations and use the plant's flowers and leaves to stuff healing poppets and sachets....

Hoodoo Spell to Draw the Love of Another

On a Friday when the moon is in its waxing phase and the hour of the day or night is ruled by the planet Venus, place a lucky hand root (the root of an orchid plant) in a small jar filled with rose oil. Seal the jar with a lid, and then enchant it by thrice reciting the following magickal incantation Waxing moon and Venus hour, Charge this root with mystic power. Let it work without ado, And draw to me a love so true. Allow the root to soak in the rose oil for seven consecutive days and nights....

Henbane

Known by the folk names black nightshade, devil's eye, Jupiter's bean, and poison tobacco, the henbane is a poisonous plant that was commonly used by sorcerers of old in rituals to conjure forth demons and fantastic apparitions. It was also used in the art of weatherworking, as the plant was believed to hold the power to bring forth rain from the heavens above. Like many of the Old World plants used by practitioners of the Black Arts, henbane was attributed with divinatory powers and employed...

Mothers Gypsy Fertility Charm

Being brought up in a Queens, New York, neighborhood not far from a Romanian Gypsy settlement that existed in Maspeth from the mid-1920s until 1939, my mother was both leery of, and intrigued by, the Gypsies. Like many other children growing up in the early decades of the 20th century, she was frightened by the old stories she heard of Gypsies stealing babies and was warned by her elders that the Gypsies were a people not to be trusted. This, however, did not prevent her from later marrying a...

Spells to Win a Court Case

If you are involved in a court case and are in need of a little magickal assistance, perform any of the following hoodoo spells to ensure that the judge will rule in your favor Mix a pinch of the herb known as black candle tobacco with a bit of salt, and then burn it along with a black candle prior to going to court. It is said that courtroom victory is awarded to those who bathe in a tub of water into which a lovage root has been added. Brewing a tea from cascara sagrada (also known as sacred...

Mugwort

Sacred to the Pagan goddesses Artemis and Diana, the mugwort is a significant magickal herb and one with many connections to occult folklore. According to an ancient tradition, a mugwort plant must be picked on the eve of a Summer Solstice in order for its magickal properties to be properly activated. Christians in the Middle Ages seldom pulled a mugwort from the soil of the earth without first making the sign of the cross to ward off any evil spirits that might have taken up residence within...

Tea Spells and Superstitions

In addition to its role in divination, the tea plant (Camellia spp.) has long been linked to folk magick and superstition. Burned by Chinese sorcerers to attain wealth, the leaves of the tea plant are often added to money-attracting potions and sachets. Various parts of the tea plant are also used in spells for increasing one's courage and strength, and some modern Witches have been known to use infusions of tea as a base for mixing drinks designed to provoke lust. A magickal method to keep...

Chapter Healing by Root Flower

Lee Prosser is a dear friend of mine who was born and raised in Southwest Missouri, where the old ways of the hill people and the mysteries of that area left positive impressions on his life. According to Lee, There is no heaven, no hell, only continuity. And what is done prior to that is always helped along with a good cup of herbal tea. An interesting statement, and one that I (being the tea lover that I am) am inclined to agree with. In the following paragraphs, Lee discusses four of his...

Poison Hemlock

As its name implies, the poison hemlock is a highly toxic plant that, under no circumstances, should be eaten or used in potions intended for human consumption. A good number of sorcerers and sorceresses in the Middle Ages are know to have met their fate experimenting with this magickal, but deadly, plant. Hemlock was the poison of choice for Socrates, who died by his own hand after being sentenced to death. A plant sacred to the Greek goddess Hecate, hemlock is said to have been used by some...

May

1st Beltane, one of the four major sabbats celebrated each year by Witches and other Pagans, is observed on this day. The traditional herbs associated with this sabbat include almond, angelica, ash tree, bluebells, cinquefoil, daisy, frankincense, hawthorn, ivy, lilac, marigold, meadowsweet, primrose, roses, satyrion root, woodruff, and yellow cowslips. The Pueblo and Zuni Indians of the American southwest celebrate the annual Green Corn Dances on this day. According to legend, the Corn Maidens...

Chinese Wea Cth SpeCC

An old Chinese spell to increase one's luck and wealth calls for three coins to be wrapped in red paper and then buried in the soil of a potted plant with round (not pointed) leaves. The larger the plant, the more potent the spell is said to be. Additionally, the time of the new moon is the best time at which to perform this spell. It is also important that you keep the plant healthy and happy, and take care to remove all fading or dead leaves at once. Should you fail to do this, the positive...

Hemp Seed Divination

To determine whom their future husbands will be, many young women throughout Europe have used the seeds of the hemp plant in a divinatory ritual that is centuries old. Traditionally performed at the witching hour on either Midsummer Eve or Christmas Eve, hemp divinations (if worked correctly) are said to make the image of one's future husband manifest. One such method calls for an unmarried girl to walk alone through a garden, field, or churchyard while tossing hemp seeds over her right...

Bay Leaf Divinations for Lovers

The following method of divination, when performed on Saint John's Eve, is designed to determine whether or not your lover has been faithful to you Just before bedtime, take a bay leaf and prick your lover's name or initials upon it with a pin. After doing this, pin the leaf to your brassiere or nightgown so that it will be in place over your heart as you sleep. When you wake up, check the leaf to see if it has turned brown. If it has, this is a sure sign that your beloved has been true to you....

Hawthorn

Also known as hagthorn due to its long association with Witches , the hawthorn is a very magickal tree that is said to be sacred to the Pagan deities Cardea, Flora, and Hymen. In England it was once believed that the hawthorn was one of the three trees most sacred to the fairy-folk the others being the oak and the ash . It is customary for many modern Witches to decorate their Beltane altars and May poles with hawthorn. In ancient times, many a superstitious soul believed that hawthorns were...

Midsummer Herb Lore

The rite called for the herb to be cut with a single stroke of a gold sickle, and it was strictly forbidden for the plant to make contact with the ground. Properly harvested mistletoe was believed to hold abundant healing and divinatory powers. Another plant with a strong link to Midsummer is Saint John's wort. In the Middle Ages, Europeans who felt a need for protection against demons, ghosts, and sorcerers would gather up Saint John's wort every year on Midsummer, dry the flowers and leaves...

The Magickal History of Hemp

Also known by the folk names gallowgrass, ganja, and neckweed, the hemp is an intoxicating plant with a long magickal history. Being a common ingredient in many love spells from centuries gone by, it was also added to love potions to inspire the affections of others. Additionally, it was believed to facilitate the psychic powers, and for this reason it was often dried and burned by diviners as incense along with mugwort prior to, and during, the scrying of magick mirrors. In China, it was once...

Holly Weather Divination

To determine what sort of winter weather lies ahead, according to an old and popular method of divination from New England, examine the number of berries growing on a holly tree. If there are many, this is a sign that inclement weather is in the offing. But if there are few or none, this indicates that the weather will be mild. Tasseography or tasseomancy is the art and practice of divination by the reading of tea leaves. Known in Scotland as reading the cups, it is a popular method of...

The Magick of Hers

from Priestess and Pentacle by Gerina Dunwich In this section you will find close to 250 different plants arranged alphabetically by their common names. Each listing herein contains the plant's botanical name in Latin , its Pagan folk name s if known , type perennial, annual, or biennial , planetary and elemental rulers, and the Pagan gods and goddesses that the plant is associated with in myth or magick. Botanical name Acacia Senegal Plant type deciduous evergreen shrub Planetary ruler Sun...

Chapter Gods and Goddesses

The following is an alphabetically-arranged list of Pagan gods and goddesses from various pantheons throughout the world. Each deity is linked in one way or another to plants, trees, flowers, medicinal herbs, magickal herbs, and the planting and or harvesting of crops. Invoke one the next time you plant an herb garden, gather wildflowers, or celebrate a harvest rite. Abellio Romano-Celtic Gallic god of apple trees. Abnoba Romano-Celtic Continental European goddess of forests and rivers....

Wormwood Curses and Charms

Wormwood is a dual-purpose herb that has long been used by Witches and other magickal folks to send curses as well as to protect against them. In the southern region of the United States, it is not uncommon for a hoodoo practitioner to seek revenge against an enemy by sprinkling a bit of dried and powdered wormwood upon the individual's path when the moon is waning. According to hoodoo belief, wormwood causes strife and misfortune to befall those who tread upon it or upon whose footprints it is...

Lucky and Unlucky Herbs

The following plants, according to Scott Cunningham, possess the power to attract good luck allspice, aloe vera, bamboo, banyan, be-still, bluebell, cabbage, calamus, Chinaberry, cinchona, cotton, daffodil, devil's-bit, ferns, grains of paradise, hazel, holly, houseleek, huckleberry, Irish moss, Job's tears, linden, lucky hand root, moss, nutmeg, oak, orange, persimmon, pineapple, pomegranate, poppy, purslane, rose, snakeroot, star anise, straw, strawberry, sumbul, vetivert, violet, and wood...

Wagickat Herb Lore

5th On the eve before the Festival of the Three Kings, an old Christian tradition calls for blessed dried herbs to be ritually burned and doorways sprinkled with holy water. 6th Twelfth Day. According to a centuries-old English tradition, all yuletide decorations of holly, ivy, mistletoe, and evergreens should be removed from the house and burnt on the morning of Twelfth Day the last day of the yuletide season . This is believed to avert 12 months of bad luck or a death in the family. 13th In...

Herbal Amulets for Protection

There are a variety of herbs, and other amulets, used by a Gypsy chovihani for protection. Among the most popular is garlic, which is often placed under a woman in childbirth to keep her, as well as her newborn baby, safe from any onlookers who may possess the evil eye. Garlic is also rubbed upon the spines of horses during the waning of the moon to have them always in good spirits and lively. Hungarian Gypsies believe that hanging the twigs from a thistle plant on a stable door will protect...

Herbs Associated with Supernatural Creatures

The following is a list of plants, beginning with their common names or botanical names in italics , and followed by their nicknames relating to fairies, dragons, and other mythological and supernatural creatures. Ague root unicorn root Arisaema wakerobin dragon tail Arisaema draconitium dragons-head Bistort dragonwort Calliandra eriophylla fairy duster Calochortus albus white fairy lantern Calochortus amabilis green fairy lantern Calypso bulbosa fairy slipper Cat tail fairy woman's spindle...

Herbs of the Devil

As any contemporary Witch, Neo-Pagan, or educated occult historian can tell you, worship of the Christian's devil was never an element of the Old Religion or the Witches' Craft. However, the vast majority of Christians in the Middle Ages believed otherwise. They viewed all Witches as being in league with the Prince of Darkness, and were convinced that it was from him that the Witches received their evil powers. This had a big impact in the area of herbal folklore, as many of the plants used...

High John the Conqueror

The root known as High John the Conqueror is one of the staples of hoodoo magick. Legend has it that this root was named after an African king who was sold into slavery but able to outsmart his captors through his cleverness. High John the Conqueror is popular as a charm to conquer any situation, achieve success in any undertaking, attract money, protect against evil and harm, increase one's strength and or confidence, gain mastery, ensure good luck especially involving lotteries and games of...

Gypsy Love Magick

The continental Gypsies, according to Scott Cunningham, have , used it in their amatory spells and sachets for hundreds of years. As this root grows And as this blossom blows, May his or her heart be Turned unto me by fairy-folk, and to undo one invites bad luck. To recover stolen goods, a Gypsy man will often tie a string around a willow-knot and say With this string I bind the thief's luck But if it is the love of a particular woman that he desires, he will...

Esbat of the Wort Moon

An Esbat is a monthly Witches' gathering or coven meeting that takes place 13 times a year when the moon is full. The full moon that occurs during the month of July is known as the wort or wyrt moon. However, some folks apply this name to the full moon of August. The word wort is old Anglo Saxon for herb or green plant. As the wort moon of July waxes, this is the traditional time for many Pagans to go out into the garden or woods and gather herbs for magickal and or medicinal use. An Esbat of...