Wagickat Herb Lore

January

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 some parts of the world, the old Pagan custom of wassailing apple trees each year on this day continues to be observed.

20th: Saint Agnes' Eve: According to Pagan tradition, drinking parsley tea and eating stale bread before going to sleep this night will bring you a dream about the man or woman destined to be your future marriage partner. The Celtic tree month of Birch (Beth) ends.

21st: The Celtic tree month of Rowan (Luis) begins.

February

2nd: Candlemas (also known as Imbolc), 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: angelica, basil, bay, myrrh, celandine, heather, wisteria, and all yellow flowers.

3rd: On this day the Japanese celebrate their annual Setsu-bun festival, during which people drive away evil spirits by throwing dried soy beans (one for each year of their age) and chanting: "Oni-wa soto! Fuku-wa uchi!" (Translation: "Devils out! Good luck in!")

8th: Birthday of herbalist and author, Susun Weed.

13th: Herbal lore holds that if a young woman sleeps this night with five bay leaves beneath her pillow, she will dream about the man destined to be her future husband. If she does not dream, this is said to be an omen that she will remain a spinster for at least another year.

14th: Saint Valentine's Day. In the Victorian language of flowers, the following plants speak of love in the following ways: ambrosia (love returned), bridal rose (marriage), coreopsis (love at first sight), forget-me-not (true love, forget me not), ivy (marriage and fidelity), lemon blossom (fidelity in love), linden (conjugal love), lotus flower (estranged love), moss (maternal love), motherwort (concealed love), myrtle (love), pink carnation (woman's love), rose (love), yellow acacia (secret love), yellow tulip (hopeless love).

17th: In ancient Rome, an annual festival known as the Fornacalia was observed to pay homage to the oven goddess and to ensure a good growing season for crops. "On this day," says Nigel Pennick in The Pagan Book of Days, "plants should be tended with extra loving care." The Celtic tree month of Rowan (Luis) ends.

18th: The Celtic tree month of Ash (Nuin) begins.

23rd: The maple tree and its sugar are honored on this day by the Iroquois Indians.

24th: In Elizabethan times, bridesmaids traditionally planted sprigs of myrtle each year on this day to make their romances blossom into marriage.

March

1st: Saint David's Day honors the patron saint of Wales and his sacred plants, the leek and the daffodil, which symbolize vigorous growth.

14th: The Runic half-month of Boerc, which is symbolized by the birch tree, begins on this day.

16th: In ancient Greece, the annual 2-day rites of Dionysus began on this day to honor the wine-god and to ensure a bountiful grape harvest.

17th: Saint Patrick's Day is observed each year on this day. It is said that Saint Patrick is actually an assimilation of the Pagan Celtic deity Trefuilngid Tre-eochair, whose sacred plant, the shamrock, bore all edible fruits including the apples of immortality. This day marks the rebirth of the Green Man (a deity who embodies the vitality of all plant life). In olden times, an annual festival for the greening of Mother Earth was celebrated on this day in Europe. The Celtic tree month of Ash (Nuin) ends.

18th: The Celtic tree month of Alder (Fearn) begins.

19th: On this day, the annual Yoruba and Santeria feast in honor of Osanyin, the Orisha of Green Leaves, is celebrated.

21st: The Spring Equinox, one of the four minor (or lesser) sabbats observed by Witches and other Pagans, occurs approximately on this date each year. The traditional herbs associated with this sabbat include: acorns, celandine, cinquefoil, crocus, daffodil, dogwood, Easter lily, honeysuckle, iris, jasmine, rose, strawberry, tansy, and violets.

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Responses

  • ermanno
    What is herbal holy water?
    8 years ago

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