Disclaimer: These herbs are to be used in moderation. If you are sensitive to an herb simply do not ingest, inhale or in some cases even handle. If you forage for the herbs, make certain that you are sure of the plant’s identity. If you grow the herbs especially indoors and you have a pet, do your research. Many herbs are toxic to pets if they nibble on them. Know also that many pets have delicate respiratory systems and that burning herbs/incense indoors can harm those organs. These are things to be mindful of as you plan.
What makes an herb a favorite of mine? One is ease to obtain the herb. These herbs are hardy and relatively easy to grow, therefore I view them as easy to obtain. These herbs can be found in a farmer’s market or a grocery store, so again they are easy to obtain. Two centers around the versatility of the herb. These herbs have a variety of uses and can be used in more than one form.
Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) – The bay laurel is a tree that in the right conditions can reach the height of 60 feet. It can also be grown indoors in a container but note that it will eventually get too big. Bay laurel is a very strong herb, and putting it in your mouth and crunching on it is an unpleasant experience. Yet in Ancient Greece priestesses of Apollo chewed on the herb to inhale its fumes. This herb has culinary uses, and cooking is very definitely magickal. Both its leaves and berries are cooked in foods like tomato sauces and stews. Be frugal with the amounts you use so it will not overpower your dish. Before serving the leaf is usually removed. Bay laurel is worn or burned to offer protection against illness, spirits and curses. It is put in the window to protect from lightning. You can use this herb to make yourself more attractive and to find love. Use bay laurel oil to dress a candle. As the candle burns, use it as a meditative focus. Meditate on how you can make yourself more attractive on the inside as well as the outside.
Lavender (Lavendula vera) – Lavender is fairly easy to grow in pots or a garden. It is used to alleviate depression, anxiety and insomnia. This herb attracts love. Lavender can scent clothes, love letters, candles and yourself and more. In Ancient Greece prostitutes wore lavender scent to advertise. This herb has several customs in handfastings. Lavender may be used in a pre ceremonial bath. Lavender crowns are made for the couple to wear. Lavender may be found in the bridal bouquet, a drink for the couple to share and even in the cake. This herb may be used as an aspergillam for blessing the home. Lavender is an ingredient in purification baths. It is sewn in a sachet or pillow to encourage sleep and memory of dreams. Try making a pillow stuffed with lavender. What you need:
2 pieces of fabric 9 x 12 inches
2/3 Cup dried lavender
Stitch three sides of fabric together inside out. Stitch a little on the fourth side. Turn the fabric right side out and stuff with stuffing and lavender. Stitch the pillow the rest of the way shut. Enjoy.
Mint – (The Mentha family) There are a lot of different kinds of mint such as peppermint, spearmint and chocolate mint. If you decide to grow more than one kind of mint, do not grow them near each other. They will crossbreed and you will end up with a more generic form of mint. This herb can calm the stomach, help a cold or the flu, ease stress and headaches and makes a great foot bath. Mint can be used to enhance dreams whether it is drunk in a tea or burned. It can be used as an aspergillam to help purify the home. It can be strewn and the scent under footsteps is really wonderful! I have used it as an insect repellent to be sprayed around the home. This is a simple recipe. What you need:
1 1/2 Cups water
12 drops of peppermint essential oil
Simply pour water into the spray bottle. Add the peppermint oil. Shake well before use and spray in places around the home where bugs could get in. The place will smell great!
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) – Rosemary can be grown indoors. It is difficult to grow from seed and is best grown from a cutting or a small plant. Grown outdoors it can get to be a big bush. I grew a rosemary that is 5 feet high by 10 feet by 8 feet. It is a culinary herb mainly used in meat dishes, but it can also be used on roasted carrots and potatoes. One of the properties of rosemary is that it aids memory. Carry or wear it at events such as a handfasting to make it more memorable. Wear it to aid memory when studying for and taking a test. This herb can aid sleep and rid one of nightmares. Rosemary is a great substitute for frankincense. When burned it rids the space of negative energies and purifies space. It may be burned in sick rooms to encourage healing. You can make and burn rosemary smudge sticks. Simply very tightly wrap 3 or 4 9 inch stalks of rosemary with cotton thread or string. Hang and allow to dry. You can also burn it loose on a self igniting charcoal block. Poppets can be stuffed with rosemary to help one heal. To make a poppet you will need the following:
2 pieces of cloth – 6×9 inches
3 Tablespoons rosemary
Draw a gingerbread person shape on a piece of cloth with chalk. Cut out the shape of both pieces of cloth simultaneously. Stitch the pieces together except do not sew the head. Turn the poppet right side out. Stuff with rosemary. Stitch the head. Your poppet is ready to aid healing.
Sage – There are two different kinds of sage, which are white sage (Salvia apiana) and garden sage (Salvia officinalis). White sage is all the rage, and it is being over harvested. This is the sage that is burned to purify space. If you want to burn white sage, I suggest that you use that which you have grown yourself. Now, I will move on to garden sage. This herb can be grown indoors. Sage is used to promote physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. It aids in the search for wisdom. To gain wisdom try a tonic with 9 sage leaves steeped in hot water. Carry sage in a wallet to attract money. Try burning sage when seeking knowledge in a difficult decision.
Thyme (Thymus valgaris) – Thyme is a delightful herb. It is easy to grow indoors and outdoors. It is a wonderful culinary herb. Wear a sprig to increase psychic awareness. Burn for protection against dangerous creatures such as insects and reptiles or for purification. This herb helps promote courage and keeps the heart light. Try making a charm bag for this purpose. What you need:
3 pinches of thyme
Simply put the thyme into the pouch one pinch at a time while you say 3 times, “Thyme, help my heart be strong.” Put the amethyst into the pouch saying once, “Amethyst, help my heart be light.”
Enjoy working with and determining what your favorite herbs are.
At the date of this post the moon is a waxing crescent. This is a great time to grow your plans for an herb garden.
I will continue to post on Wednesdays.
Beyerl, Paul. A Compendium of Herbal Magick, Phoenix Publishing Inc., 1998. A large book referencing herbs.
Cunningham, Scott. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, Llewellyn, 1985.
Cunningham, Scott. The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews, Llewellyn, 1989.
Fox, Selena. “Mint Magic,” Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts, July 21, 2019. Encore from 2014.
Grove and Grotto. groveandgrotto.com/blogs/articles/magickal-properties-of-sage.
The Editors. “10 Herbs You Can Grow Indoors Year-Round,” Good Housekeeping, February 3, 2021.
Wigington, Patti. Herb Magic: An Introduction to Magical Herbalism and Spells, Rockridge Press, 2020. This book is available on Kindle Unlimited.