Magick Herbal Correspondences: Saffron to Ylang Ylang
All about herbs used in magic, their botanical names, what part of the plant is used, and Herbal Lore. Magical Use describes the correspondence in Spellwork or as a Talisman. Some herbs are commonly used in Aromatherapy. Many herbs have historical value as used for homeopathic medicinal use- please take care to follow any guidelines indicated and talk to your pharmacist.
SAFFRON: (Crocus sativus) The stigmas and style tops flavor and color liqueurs and many dishes, especially rice. Saffron is considered an aphrodisiac, but too much may be narcotic. It is given to reduce fevers, cramps, and enlarged livers, and to calm nerves, and is applies externally for bruises, rheumatism, and neuralgia. In India saffron is used ceremonially. Although water soluble, it is used cosmetically and as a sacred dye. Turmeric is mistakenly called saffron in Asia.
Parts Used: Stamens
Magical Use: Saffron is added to love sachets as well as though aimed at raising lustful feelings. It is used in healing spells, and the infusion is used as wash water for the hands prior to healing rituals. Sheets were rinsed with a saffron infusion in Ireland so that the arms and legs would be strengthened during sleep, and the ancient Persians used Saffron to raise the wind. Use in spells for: Happiness, Health/Healing, Lust, Psychic Awareness, Wing Raising, Strength.
SAGE: (Salvia officinalis) Sage leaf has a strong taste that increases when dried. Used sparingly to flavor and aid the digestion of fatty meats, it is popular in poultry stuffing and combines well with strongly flavored floors. The flowers are tossed in salads and are brewed for a light, balsamic tea, while the leaf tea is an antiseptic nerve and blood tonics. Sage contains hormone precursors that help irregular menstruation and menopause symptoms. Sage is a drying agent for the body. The tea of the leaf will dry up night sweats, breast milk, and mucous congestion. It benefits the nerves and the menstrual cycle as well. Being astringent, it helps with diarrhea. Use it as a sore throat gargle and as a poultice for sores and stings. Use two teaspoons of the herb per cup of water, steep for twenty minutes and take a quarter cup four times a day. Tincture, fifteen to forty drops, up to four times a day.
Parts Used: Leaf
Magical Use: Sage absorbs negativity and misfortune. It drives away disturbances and tensions, and lifts the spirits above the mundane cars of life. Burn it to consecrate a ritual space. Carry it as an herb of protection. Use it in the ritual bath and chalice. Tradition holds that those who eat sage become immortal in both wisdom and years. Sage is used in wish manifestations and to attract money. Smolder to promote healing and spirituality. Carry to promote wisdom. Use in spells for: Protection, Wisdom, Health, Money and Riches, Spirituality.
Aromatherapy Use: (Clary Sage Salvia sclarea) Acne, Boils, Dandruff, Hair Loss, Inflamed Skin Conditions, Oily Skin and Hair, Ulcers, Wrinkles, High Blood Pressure, Muscular Aches and Pains, Asthma, Throat Infections, Whooping Cough, Colic, Cramps, Dyspepsia, Flatulence, Labor Pain, Irregular Menstruation, Depression, Frigidity, Impotence, Migraine, Nervous Tension, Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities: Relaxing, Rejuvenating, Balancing, Inspiring, sedative, Revitalizing, Aphrodisiac, Intoxicating, Euphoric, Warming.
ST. JOHN’S WORT: (Hypericum perforatum) A Druid sacred herb, the Celts passed it through the smoke of the Summer Solstice fire, then wore it in battle for invincibility. This herb has woody-based stems, with pairs of small, balsamic-scented leaves and clusters of lemon-scented, yellow summer flowers. The leaves are used in salads and to flavor liqueurs. Extract of the flowering tops is antiviral, astringent, and sedative, it treats inflammation, wounds, and diarrhea. Taken internally, it calms nerves and treats depression. It is under research for AIDS treatment. The flowers yield yellow and red dyes. The herb is the part used for lung problems, bladder complaints, diarrhea, dysentery, depression, hemorrhages, and jaundice. Steep two teaspoons of the herb per cup of water for twenty minutes. Take one-half cup in the morning and one-half cup at bed time. Bedwetting is helped by a nightly cup of the tea. The oil and fomentation are applied externally the injuries, especially when nerve endings are involved (i.e. fingers and toes) and to soften tumors and caked breasts. To make the oil, cover the flowers with good cold-pressed olive oil and leave the sealed preparation in the hot sun for twenty-one days or until it becomes a rich red. The oil is excellent for massages, as it affects the spine directly. Varicose veins, mild burns, inflammations, neuralgia, and rheumatism are helped by a poultice of it.
CAUTION: Malignant tumors must be treated with care. Never rub or massage a malignant growth, as cells may become detached and travel to other parts of the body.
Parts Used: Flower, leaf, and stem
Magical Use: The Welsh called this plant “leaf of the blessed.” It was understood to be an idea combination of water and fire, the ultimate healing essence. Fire symbolized the fruitful light-filled forces of summer, and water the gathering and settling forces of the dark season. Midsummer was the time of balance between these forces of light and dark. Burn at Litha to send away negativity, wear for invincibility, health and willpower. Gather at Litha or on a Friday and worn it will keep mental illness at bay and also cure melancholy. When placed in a jar and hung by a window, St. John’s Wrote protects against thunderbolts, fire and evil spirits. Both flowers and leaves are used for this purpose. At one time St. John’s Wort was held to the mouth of accused Witches to attempt to force them to confess.
SANDALWOOD: (Santalum album) Sandalwood is one of the most valuable woods in the world. All parts yields Sandalwood oil, particularly the heartwood and the roots, which yield about 6 percent essential oil. Recorded in Ayuvedic medicine and Egyptian embalming, the oil is now used as an inhalant for its expectorant and sedative effect on coughs and as a powerful antiseptic for lung and urinary tract infections. Sandalwood makes a popular incense, as its calming effect aids meditation. It is commonly used for funeral pyres in India, where devotees believe the scent protects places from evil spirits. The fragrant heartwood is a classic for bladder infections. It is taken to help in the passing of stones, in kidney inflammations, and in prostatitis. The oil is cooling to the body and useful for fevers and infections when used as a massage. The scent is calming to the mind. Sandalwood has been used internally for chronic bronchitis and to treat gonorrhea and the urethral discharge that results. Simmer one teaspoon of the wood per cup of water for twenty minutes, and take up to two cups a day in quarter-cup doses.
Parts Used: Heartwood
Magical Use: Lower grades of Sandalwood (light colored with little scent) are not recommended to use in magic. Sandalwood powder is burned during protection, healing and exorcism spells. When mixed with lavender it makes an incense designed to conjure spirits. This fragrant wood possesses very high spiritual vibrations and is mixed with Frankincense and burned at séances and Full Moon rituals. Powdered sandalwood can be scattered about a place to clear it of negativity. Sandalwood beads are protective and promote a spiritual awareness when worn. Sandalwood oil placed on the forehead aids in focusing the mind. The scent opens the highest spiritual centers and so makes an appropriate incense for rituals, exorcisms, and healings. The scents of frankincense and sandalwood have some of the highest vibrations inherent in any plant. They will resonate with aspects of ourselves or with Devic/Angelic beings of the highest order. Rose is another herb held to have that frequency, thus attracting or eliciting the highest spiritual vibrations from within ourselves and the cosmos. Sandalwood is used as an incense base for: Protection, Healing, Exorcise, Spirituality, Wishes, Full Moon Esbats, Wards Negativity, Astral Projection, Reincarnation, Spirit Offering.
Aromatherapy Use: Acne, Dry, Cracked, Chapped Skin, After Shave, Greasy Skin, Moisturizer, Bronchitis, Catarrh, Coughs (dry, persistent), Laryngitis, Sore Throat, Diarrhea, Nausea, Cystitis, Depression, Insomnia, Nervous Tension, Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities: Aphrodisiac, Soothing, Relaxing, Uplifting, Purifying, Warming, Grounding, Opening, Elevating, Sedative.
SPEARMINT: (Mentha spicata) Also called Garden Mint, Our Lady’s Mint, Sage of Bethlehem, Erba Santa Maria and Lamb Mint. Spearmint is the most generally cultivated of the culinary mints. The leaves are almost or completely stalkless, lance-shaped bright-green and hairless. Mice hate the smell of mint and will avoid any place where the herb is scattered.
Magical Use: Spearmint is used in all healing applications, especially in aiding lung diseases. Smelled, spearmint increases and sharpens mental powers. For protection while asleep, stuff a pillow or mattress with spearmint.
Aromatherapy Use: See Mint
STAR ANISE: (Illicium verum) All parts of this small, evergreen tree are aromatic, the smooth, gray-white bark, narrow to elliptic shiny green leaves, solitary yellow flowers, and glossy brown seeds. The distinctive seeds and pods are used as a spice in Asian cookery, notably as an ingredient of Chinese five-spice powder. The fruits and foliage yield an essential oil, used as a substitute anise seed flavoring, or, medicinally to relieve chest complaints, rheumatism, and flatulence. The oil appears in soaps, hair oils, and Asian perfumes. Chew the seeds after a meal to help the digestion. Simmer the seeds to make a tea for colic and rheumatic complaints. Steep one teaspoon of the crushed seed in one cup of boiled water for twenty minutes and take up to two cups a day. Often added to other brews to improve taste, the tea of the seed will help cramps and nausea, promote menstruation, and increase breast milk. It also relieves insomnia. The seeds are simmered into salves for scabies and lice. The oil is a stomach tonic. The seeds can be tinctured in brandy (rather than the usual vodka, whiskey, or grain alcohol) with some lemon peel, the dose is one-fourth to one-half teaspoon.
Parts Used: Seed
Magical Use: The powdered bark is used as an incense in Japanese temples. The tree is planted by the Japanese around temples and on graves as an herb of consecration and protection. The seeds are burned as incense to increase psychic powers, and are also worn as beads for the same purpose. Sometimes star anise is placed on the altar to give it power, one is placed to each of the four directions. It is also carried as a general luck-bringer, and the seeds make excellent pendulums. The tree is often grown near Buddhist temples where it is revered.
Aromatherapy Use: Couldn’t find any reference to it’s use in Aromatherapy, though it is widely used in homeopathy.
SUNFLOWER: (Helianthus annuus) This fast-growing annual has a thick, tall, hairy stem, heart-shaped leaves, and large yellow flower heads in late summer. The nutritious seeds are eaten raw, roasted, and ground into meal or nut butter and were used by Native American warriors as “energy cakes.” The flower buds give a yellow dye and are cooked like artichokes. The pressed seeds yield an all-purpose oil with culinary, cosmetic, and industrial uses. Medicinally, the seeds are used as a diuretic and expectorant and treat coughs, dysentery, and kidney inflammation. The root is a laxative and treats stomach pan. The stem pith yields potash and fibers for textiles and paper, and its cellular lightness is used for microscope slide mounts. The seed heads provide food for birds in winter.
Parts Used: flower, leaves, stalk, root and seeds
Magical Use: In Aztec temples of the sun, priestesses carried sunflowers and wore them as crowns. As sun symbols, these flowers symbolize the healthy ego, the wisdom, and the fertility of the solar logos. Sunflower seeds are eaten by women who wish to conceive. To protect yourself against smallpox wear sunflower seeds around the neck, either in a bag or strung like beads. If you cut a sunflower at sunset while making a wish, the wish will come true before another sunset – as long as the wish isn’t too grand. Sleeping with a sunflower under the bed allows you to know the truth in any matter. If you wish to become virtuous, anoint yourself with juice pressed from the stems of the sunflower. Sunflowers growing in the garden guard it against pests and grant the best of luck to the gardener.
TEA TREE: (Melaleuca alternifolia) Tea tree oil has huge healing potential. It is a powerful antiseptic and immune stimulant, active against bacteria, viruses, and fungi such as athlete’s foot and thrush. It helps treat colds, flu, lesions, warts and acne. Tea Tree is the best remedy for yeast infections!
Magical use: Relief for feminine ills, and to improve circulatory problems. Use sparingly in bath mixed with mint or lemongrass, can also be used to clear a room of negativity after a distressful situation between two or more female adversaries.
Aromatherapy Use: Abscesses, Acne, Athlete’s Foot, Blisters, Burns, Bruises, Chicken Pox Rash, Cold Sores, Dandruff, Herpes, Insect Bites, Oily Skin, Spots, Rashes, Warts, Wounds (infected), Asthma, Bronchitis, Catarrh, Coughs, Sinusitis, Tuberculosis, Whooping Cough, Thrush, Vaginitis, Colds, Fever, Flu, Infectious Illnesses, Cystitis, Pruritis. Key Qualities: Penetrating, Medicinal, Stimulating, Refreshing.
THYME: (Thymus vulgaris) Also known as Common Thyme, Mother of Thyme, and Garden Thyme. A Druid sacred herb, culinary Thyme aids the digestion of fatty foods and is part of bouquet garni and Benedictine liqueur. Thyme oil is distilled from the leaves and flowering tops and is a stimulant and antiseptic. It is a nerve tonic used externally to treat depression, colds, muscular pain and respiratory problems. The oil is added to acne lotions and mouthwashes. Research has confirmed Thyme strengthens the immune system. Thyme is an excellent lung cleanser. Use it to dry up and clear out moist phlegm and to treat whooping cough. It makes a good tea for the mother after childbirth, as it helps expel the placenta. Steam one-half teaspoon fresh herb or one teaspoon dried herb in one-half cup of hot water for five minutes. Take up to one and a half cups a day in quarter-cup doses. A natural antiseptic, thyme is often used in salves for wounds, swellings, sciatica, and failing eyes. The tea relieves gas and colic (as does the oil, taken in one- to five-drop doses). The tincture can be used in ten- to twenty-drop doses, taken three times a day. Use thyme for headaches and hangovers.
Parts Used: Above-ground portions of the herb.
Magical Use: Thyme is burned in incense to purify an area. A place where wild thyme grows will be a particularly powerful energy center on earth. A magical cleansing bath can be make by pouring a tea made with thyme and marjoram into the bathwater. A pillow stuffed with thyme cures nightmares. When attending a funeral, wear a sprig of thyme to repel the negativity of the mourners. Use as incense for: Health, Healing, Purification, Clairvoyance, Courage, Love, Psychic Awareness, Energy, Power, Strength. Thyme is often burned prior to magical rituals to cleanse the area. Carried and smelled to give courage and energy.
Aromatherapy Use: Abscess, Acne, Bruises, Burns, Cuts, Dermatitis, Eczema, Insect Bites, Lice, Arthritis, Gout, Muscular Aches and Pains, Obesity, Edema, Poor Circulation, Rheumatism, Sprains, Asthma, Bronchitis, catarrh, Coughs, Laryngitis, Sinusitis, Tonsillitis, Diarrhea, Dyspepsia, Flatulence, Chills, Colds, Flu, Infectious Diseases, Cystitis, Urethritis, Headaches, Insomnia, Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities: Stimulating, Restorative, Warming, Reviving, Refreshing, Purifying, Antidepressant.
TOBACCO: (Nicotiana tabacum) This annual or biennial has large, long leaves and green-white to rose tubular flowers. The cured, dried leaves are smoked as a narcotic, but the poisonous nicotine they contain causes heart and lung disease and cancer. North and South American tribes smoke the leaves in ceremonies and apply poultices to sprains, to infected cuts and bites, and to problem skin. The juice is applied externally to relieve facial neuralgia, and wet leaves offer a quick cure for hemorrhoids. Research has revealed a chemical in the leaves that inhibits tumors.
Parts Used: Leaf
Magical Use: Candidates for some shamanic systems must drink tobacco juice to induce visions as part of their training. Tobacco has long been used in religious ceremonies by some of the American Indians. Indeed many peoples still regard the plant as sacred. Tobacco is a magical substitute for sulphur, as well as for datura and nightshade, both of which are related to tobacco. It can be substituted for any other poisonous herb in ritual incense blends. Although it is regularly smoked by millions, tobacco is a very poisonous plant and can kill.
VALERIAN: (Valeriana officinalis) Also known as Garden Heliotrope, Vandal Root, and St. George’s Herb. Valerian has compound leaves with a fresh pea pod scent, and clusters of honey scented flowers in midsummer. Both have unpleasant fetid undertones. Their musky root is used in stews and perfumes and unskinned root is a tranquilizer. The herb treats headaches, muscle cramps and irritable bowel syndrome and is used topically for wounds, ulcers, and eczema. Laboratory tests show anti-tumor activity. Composted leaves are rich in minerals. Do not take large doses or continuously. Although the root of the herb has a strong pungent scent, some cats love it more than catnip. (Mine do!!)
Parts Used: Root
Magical Use: A sprig of the plant pinned to a woman’s clothing will cause men to ‘follow her like children’. Valerian Root is added to Love Sachets. Put in pillows to promote deep rest. Use in spells for: Protection, Purification, Harmony, Peace, Happiness, Love, Creative Work, Money and Riches.
Aromatherapy Use: Insomnia, Nervous Indigestion, Migraine, Restlessness, Tension States. Key Qualities: Sedative, Depressant of the Central Nervous System, Mildly Hypnotic, Regulator, Calming, Soothing, Grounding.
VERVAIN: (Verbena officinalis) Also known as Enchanters Herb, Holy Herb, Verbena, Blue Vervain, and Holy Wort. A Druid sacred herb, common in their many rites and incantations, this hardy perennial has deeply cut lower leaves and smooth upper leaves with small dense spikes of pale lilac-pink flowers. An ancient sacred herb of purification, visions, and love potions, it was included in liqueurs and aphrodisiacs. Vervain was so highly regarded by the Druids that offerings were placed on altars. “Vervain” is a derivative of the Celtic fer (to drive away) and faen (stone), given to it because of its ability to purge calculi (gravel) from the bladder. A tea of the herb helps to increase breast mild and is helpful in lowering fever, especially of the intermittent type. It will benefit eczema and other skin eruptions, as it is a kidney and liver cleanser. Jaundice, whooping cough, edema, mastitis, and headaches fall under its sphere. To make the tea, steam one tablespoon of the herb per cup of water for twenty minutes. Externally, vervain is used in poultices for ear infections, rheumatism and wounds. Vervain is an emmenagogue (brings down the menses) and soothes the nerves. It is reputed to have aphrodisiac properties. It is a powerful lymphatic detoxifier and has a cleansing effect on the female organs. Blue Vervain (Vervena hastata), the American variety, is a natural tranquilizer and is helpful with colds and fevers, especially when the upper respiratory tract is involved. It will eliminate intestinal worms and is used externally for wounds. It is distinguished from the European vervain by its deeper blue flowers and denser, bristly flower spikes. Blue vervain is also prepared in a standard infusion or tinctured in alcohol.
Parts Used: Above ground portions of the herb.
Magical Use: Vervain is a profoundly magical herb belonging to the sphere of Venus. Roman priests and priestesses used it as an altar plant – it was tied in bundles and used to ritually “sweep” and purify the altar. Druids placed it in water that was sprinkled on worshipers as a blessing. Vervain was picked at the rising of the Dog Star, at the dark of the moon, just before flowering. It was taken from the earth with the sacred sickle and raised aloft in the left hand. After prayers of thanksgiving were spoken the Druid or Druidess left a gift of honey to recompense the Earth for her loss. Vervain was once infused in wine and worn on the body to ward off the stings of insects and serpents. It is used in the bath as a protection from enchantments and to make dreams come true. Wearing or bathing in vervain places one under the influence of Diana. After washing your hands in the infusion, it will be possible to engender love in the one you touch. To dispel fears, light a candle daily and surround it with vervain. Speak aloud a prayer to the Gods and Goddesses asking for release from your fear. Do this as long as necessary. On the night of the full moon, go outside with a chalice filled with water, vervain and salt. Take also a candle and a piece of petrified wood. Dip the stone into the water mixture and then pass it through the candle flame. Touch the stone to your feet, hands, shoulders, and head. As you do this ask for the blessings of youth and beauty. Repeat the process seven times. Vervain is worn as a crown during Druidic initiatory rites and as protection for those who are working magic. Sprinkle throughout the home for protection and to bring peace. Keep some in the bedroom to bring tranquil dreams. Keep it in the home to attract wealth and to keep plants healthy. Sprinkle some on the garden as an offering to the elementals and other nature spirits. Drinking the juice of fresh vervain is said to cut sexual desire. Burn it to banish the pangs of unrequited love. Vervain is worn to recover stolen articles. Tucked into a child’s cradle, the plant brings joy and a lively intellect. When burned, Vervain is powerful for warding psychic attack, but it is also used in spells for love, purification and attracting wealth. It is a powerful attractant to the opposite sex. Use for Anointing, Banishing, Gather and burn at Litha, Altar Offering, Creativity, Energy, Strength, Power.
VETIVERT: (Vetivera zizanioides) Also called Khus-khus. This perennial grass grows in dense clumps of stout stems with long leaves and has an aromatic rhizome and roots. The distilled root essential oil flavors Asian sherbets and sweets, fixes perfumes, and scents quality soaps, cosmetics and aftershaves. The scent is a deep yet refreshing, woody, resinous mixture of myrrh and violets.
Parts Used: Root
Magical Use: Vetivert root is burned to overcome evil spells. It is also used in love powders, sachet and incenses and is added to the bathwater in a sachet to make yourself more attractive to the opposite sex. Vetivert is also used in money spells and mixtures, placed in the cash register to increase business, carried to attract luck, and burned in anti-theft incenses.
Aromatherapy Use: Acne, Cuts, Oily Skin, Wounds, Arthritis, Muscular Aches and Pains, Rheumatism, Sprains, Stiffness, Debility, Depression, Insomnia, Nervous Tension. Known as the “Oil of Tranquility”. Key Qualities: Sedative, Soothing, Calming, Tonic, Grounding, Uplifting, Protective.
VIOLET: (Viola odorata) Also called Heartsease, Little Faces, and Viola. This stem less perennial has scalloped, heart-shaped leaves and violet or white, sweetly scented flowers from winter to spring. The crystallized flowers flavor sweets and liqueurs and are tossed in salads with the leaves. The root treats bronchitis The leaves are a folk remedy for breast and lung cancer. The flower syrup is antiseptic and a mild laxative, and with the leaves treats coughs, headaches, and insomnia. Ancient Greeks wore the violet to calm tempers and to induce sleep The whole plant is used, fresh or dry. The leaves can be eaten as a type of wild spinach, and the flowers are used in salads and desserts. High in iron, the fresh leaf is used internally and externally for cancer, especially of the colon, throat, and tongue. For this purpose, the fresh laves should be infused daily and taken as tea, using one teaspoon of plant parts to a half cup of water, steep and take a quarter cup four times a day. The tea can be applied externally as a fomentation. The flowers are laxative, the roots and stems are emetic and purgative. The fresh leaves are used in salves and poultices for wounds.
Parts Used: Whole Plant
Magical Use: violet crowns are said to cure headache, bring sleep, and calm anger. Violets are mixed with lavender, apple blossoms, yarrow, and roses in love potions. The leaf is a protection from all evil. Use for: Protection, Luck, Love, Lust, Wishes, Peace, Healing. Mixed with Lavender, the flowers are a powerful live stimulant and also arouse lust. Violets and Periwinkle are used to decorate the graves and corpses of children.
WILLOW: (Salix alba) Also known as White Willow, European Willow, Tree of Enchantment, and Witches Aspirin. One of the Seven Sacred Trees of the Irish. A Druid sacred tree, the willow is a Moon tree sacred to the White Lady. It’s groves were considered so magical that priests, priestesses and all types of artisans sat among these trees to gain eloquence, inspiration, skills, and prophecies. The stem bark is a painkiller, a fever-reducer, and an original source for salicylic acid for aspirin. The infused leaves make a tea for nervous insomnia and are added to baths to ease rheumatism. The Salix species provide the best-quality artists’ charcoal, branches are used for weaving, and the White Willow var. caerulea is the source of wood for cricket bats. The genus name Salix comes from the Celtic sal-lis, “near water”. Black willow (S. nigra) bark is used to treat gonorrhea and ovarian pain. The white willow contains salicin, the active constituent from which Aspirin was first synthesized. White willow bark is used for rheumatic complaints, arthritis and headaches as well as diarrhea and dysentary. Fevers, edema, and the aftereffects of worms are treated with willow bark. To make the tea, steep three teaspoons of the bark in on cup of cold water for two to five hours, boil for one minute, and strain. Willow is also available as a powder. The dose is one teaspoon, three times a day in tea or capsules. The tincture can be taken in ten- to twenty-drop doses four times a day.
Parts Used: Bark, collected in the Spring.
Magical Use: Willows are commonly found near ancient British burial sites. The willow is a guardian tree, said to protect from evil influences. The willow tree has a healing aura that blesses all it touches. All parts of the willow guard against evil and can be carried or placed in the home for this purpose. Burn bark with sandalwood for divination and love. Magical brooms, especially Witch’s brooms, are traditionally bound with a willow branch.
WITCH HAZEL: (Hammamelis virginiana) Also called Spotted Alder, and Winter Bloom, Witch Hazel, a distillation from the leaves and flower-bearing twigs, is included in skin products for its disinfectant and astringent properties. It is used on chapped and sunburned skin, bruises, swellings, and rashes, to stop bleeding, and to reduce varicose veins and hemorrhoids. The seeds are edible and the leaves can be brewed for a warming tea. Commercially distilled witch hazel contains 14 percent alcohol. It must not be confused with tincture of Witch Hazel, which may be much more astringent and could disfigure skin.
Parts Used: Leaf and young twigs
Magical Use: Witch hazel has long been used to fashion divining rods, hence the common name. The bark and twigs are also used to protect against evil influences. If carried, witch hazel helps to mend a broken heart and cool the passions.
Aromatherapy Use: Distilled witch hazel is one of the basics in any home first aid kit. It is useful for stings, bruises, cuts, scrapes, sprains, tissue swelling, and many other minor conditions. It is also useful in skin care regimes.
WOOD ALOE: (Aquilaria agallocha) The prized elusive scent of Wood Aloe exists only in resin-saturated diseased wood.
Magical Use: Wood Aloe possesses high spiritual vibrations. Will bring love if worn. Use in incense for Love, Protection, Money and Riches, and Spirituality.
WORMWOOD: (Artemisia absinthium) Also known as Absinthe. A Druid sacred herb, Wormwood is very magical and sacred to Moon deities. An accumulative poison if ingested. Wormwood is a bitter herb used to flavor vermouth and the now-banned liqueur absinthe. A leaf and flowering top infusion is a tonic for the digestive system, liver, gallbladder, and blood, reducing inflammation and clearing impurities. The plant treats fever, expels worms, and reduces the toxicity of lead poisoning. As a companion plant, it acts as a deterrent against several insect pests. Toxic in high doses! The leaves and flowers are used in a light infusion to help digestion, flatulence, and heartburn. Wormwood improves circulation and stimulates the liver. The tea is said to relieve labor pains. Use one teaspoon per cup and steep for twenty minutes, take a quarter cup up to four times a day, or use as a tincture, eight to ten drops in water up to three times a day. A fomentation of the leaves and flowers soothes bruises and sprains. The oil relieves arthritis. CAUTION: The oil is for external use only! Prolonged use of wormwood can lead to nerve damage.
Parts Used: Leaf and flower
Magical Use: The scent of wormwood is said to increase psychic powers. Burned with incenses on Samhain to aid evocation, divination, scrying and prophecy. Especially good when combined with Mugwort. Strengthens incenses for exorcism and protection. Hung from a rear-view mirror, wormwood protects vehicles from accidents on treacherous roads. Use in spells for: Binding, Psychic Awareness, Evocation, Love, Clairvoyance.
YARROW: (Achillea millefolium) Also known as Seven Year’s Love, Milfoil, and Woundwort. The flowering tops are a digestive and cleaning tonic and a diuretic and are used to reduce high blood pressure. Fresh leaves arrest bleeding and are applied as a poultice to wounds or are placed on shaving cuts. One of the true treasures of the earth, Yarrow essential oil is naturally blue and possesses an incredible scent. The oil treats colds , flu, and inflamed joints. This is a classic herb for flu, especially the intestinal variety. Try a mixture of elderflower, peppermint, and yarrow to bring down a fever and induce perspiration. The tea benefits the kidneys. Yarrow is used in salves for hemorrhoids and in poultices to stop bleeding and help heal wounds. Cramps and rheumatism are treated with the tea, as are intestinal gas, diarrhea, anorexia, and hyperacidity.
Parts Used: Above-ground portions of the herb
Magical Use: Large patches of yarrow growing in a field indicate a very grounded energy spot. Sit there to center and relax. Yarrow is used to exorcise evil and negativity from a person, place or thing. A bunch of dried yarrow hung over the bed or yarrow used in wedding decorations ensures a love lasting at least seven years. Use in spells for: Divination, Love, Happy Marriage, Wards Negativity, Defense, Protection, Gather at Litha, Psychic Awareness, Banishing, Releasing, Clairvoyance.
Aromatherapy Use: Acne, Burns, Cuts, Eczema, Hair Rinse, Inflammation, Rashes, Scars, Wounds, Arteriosclerosis, High Blood Pressure, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Thrombosis, Varicose Veins, Constipation, Cramps, Flatulence, Hemorrhoids, Indigestion, Amenorrhea, Colds, Fever, Flu, Cystitis, Hypertension, Insomnia, Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities: Balancing, Restorative, Tonic, Strengthening, Opening, Grounding, Revitalizing, Mildly Stimulating.
YLANG-YLANG: (Cananga odorata) Ylang-ylang has glossy leaves and masses of perfumed, greenish-yellow (sometimes mauve or pink) flowers with narrow petals that resemble witch hazel flowers but appear during two flowering periods. The essential oil is distilled by steam from freshly picked flowers and is featured in many perfumes, soaps, skin lotions, and to balance sebum in Macasser hair oil. Use in moderation, since the oil’s heady scent can cause headaches or nausea. Ylang-Ylang means “flower of flowers”.
Magical Use: (Oil) Useful for Peace, Love and Sex Spells. It can be worn on the body or included in mixtures for these purposes.
Aromatherapy Use: (Oil) Acne, Hair Growth, Hair Rinse, Insect Bites, Irritated and Oily Skin, General Skin Care, High Blood Pressure, Palpitations, Depression, Frigidity, Impotence, Insomnia, Nervous Tension, Stress Related Disorders. Key Qualities: Powerfully Sedative, Soothing, Calming, Regulating, Euphoria-inducing, and narcotic when used in large quantities, Aphrodisiac.