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How to use Herbs in Spell Work and Ritual- Part 1


Photo of Herbs and flowers in Jars
Herbs In jars

With such a wide variety of herbs, roots, flowers, barks and resins, it can be a little overwhelming on what to use and how to use them, especially when starting to use Herbs in Spell work and Ritual.


In this 2 part series of posts we will look at the ways we can use them in Magick and Ritual, including tools that will aid us whilst doing so.


Tools for using Herbs in Spell Work and Ritual

We don't need a huge range of tools to get started using herbs but the following are vital for Magickal herbalism.


Pestle and Mortar

If you only have 1 tool for working with herbs then this is it. Useful for crushing and mixing herbs, especially when making powders. The Pestle and Mortar also enables you to mix herbs, and quite frankly nothing makes me feel more “Witchy” then stood in my kitchen bashing and mixing herbs together!


Coffee Grinder

Now this one might sound a little strange, but when you are dealing with Roots and bigger dried leaves such as Bay Leaves this one is your best friend. It will make it easier to work on some of the tougher ingredients that you want to use in powders.

Invest in a good electric one, I have tried a few different manual ones and the teeth on them just don't get the job done!


Vials and bottles

You have mixed your Herbs, roots, flowers, barks and resins, or created your powders, now what? Well you will need something to store them in. Depending on what you intend to use them for you are going to need an airtight jar if you are making teas, or vials/jars for storing incense, spell mixes or powders.

If you intend to make your own herbal infused oils, you will need a suitable airtight jar, with enough space to pour in the oil, add the herbs. You will also need cheesecloth to strain out the oil should you wish to have an oil with no herbs. Although most practitioners like to keep the mixture in the herbs.


Crystals

Whilst not a Traditional practice, many of our beautiful eclectic friends love to use Crystals to infuse their mixtures further. Either placing them in with the mixture whilst its charging, in this case it would be a Crystal that matches the Magickal need. Some may place Gemstone Chips in with Herbal Infusion Oils to create Anointing Oils.


If the intention is to place the Crystal in with a mix for Tea, please ensure its thoroughly cleaned first and removed before placing the mix in water. And be mindful that certain Crystals can’t get wet!


Wands and Athames

Whilst I tend to use my hands whilst charging my mixtures, some practitioners prefer to use a Wand or Athame for the purpose of directing energy into the mix. This is a perfectly valid way of charging your mix.


You can even circle your mixture clockwise for growth/birthing a desire or counter clockwise for banishing removing something from your life.


How to use Herbs. Roots, Flowers, Barks and Resins.


For me each one has a different use and different type of Magick, however this is more a personal practice, than something written in stone.


Based on the Celtic Cosmology of the Crann Bethadh, the Tree of Life, the Roots of the Tree represent the Lower or Underworld, The Trunk represents the Middle World and the Branches represent the Upper World.


Herbs and Leaves

As the branches/stems reach up to the Sky (even from ground level) this very much represents that connection to the Higher Spiritual Domains. This also includes several Weeds like Mugwort, Wormwood and Ragwort that can facilitate Otherworldly journeys


Although it has to be stated that the Herbs, Weeds and Leaves exist in the Middle World and also connect us to our desires that we wish to have birthed into the physical world.


Flowers

Flowers represent to me life is in Bloom, the opening of the Flower, its Pollen being carried by Bees and the Wind, help the land come into growth. As your intentions are carried on the Wind via your voice, you are “Pollinating” your life with the Seeds of new life.


Barks and Resins

Barks are the outer covering of the Tree, and very much symbolize their protective nature. For example, the Oak which on a Magickal level represents Strength and Endurance, its Bark then would represent the Magickal protection of inner Strength and Endurance that brings Sovereignty into your life.

The Resin very much represents the Blood of the Tree, its life force that Oozes out through the Bark, then hardens, which can be burnt to release its inner power.


Roots

Roots connect us to the Lower or Underworld, and the Goddess and Spirits that live there. The Magick of Roots is very much centred around the removal, banishing of things that no longer serve us.


Angelica Root for example can help us banish unwanted Spirits or influences and Dandelion Root can help us to connect with Underworld/Dark Gods/Goddesses.


Whilst this is very much a personal philosophy for me, there are always exceptions to “rules”. I would encourage you to experiment with different Herbs, Roots, Flowers, Barks and Resins, and see what comes forward for you.


Remember Witchcraft and Magick is very much a personal practice. Once you understand the use, customs, taboos and rules to Magick, you can pull it apart and adapt to your own personal style.


Join me for Part 2 where we go into the many ways you can use herbs, from creating Incense to use in Spell work and Magickal Workings.


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