Using Herbs in Your Spells
Herbs are a fundamental part of magic. Plants are our “herbal allies,” the tools that give oomph to our spellwork. When we use an herb in a spell we are bringing support to our intention even if we don’t feel 100% confident about the outcome. When you start researching herb magic, what you’ll notice is that not all plants are listed in herb magic books. And why is that? There are almost 300,000 species of plants in the world. Does that mean that only the plants listed are magical and that other plants are not magical? Not at all. It’s just that no one has compiled all the plants and their magical purposes, and there are plenty of plants (in fact the majority of plants) that we haven’t yet discovered their magical uses. That means that there are a whole lot of plants that you can spend time with and discover their magical use for yourself. Be an intrepid herbal explorer and get out there and see what the plants tell you that they can do magically.
Why are herbs magical?
Herbs are living things which have a vibration. The energy that herbs give off can support our intentions and different herbs vibrate around different topics. Some herbs are attractive, others cleanse and clear, some focus on issues surrounding money and prosperity, others center on issues of the heart, and so on. When people lived much more closely to the land, they were growing their own crops and harvesting plants in the wild. If you can learn to identify wild plants or grow a plant from a seed, it will open your eyes to “who” the plant is and what it can offer you. When you are in close communion with the plant world, you can ask the plants directly how they can assist you magically.
Communicating with Magical Herbs
When I say “ask the plants,” I don’t mean that I am having an actual conversation with a plant. Talking with a plant is a lot like talking to your spirit guides. You ask internally and you get internal answers to your questions. Before researching what an herb can do magically, Get some of the herb and hold it in both hands. Hold the herb in both hands and just begin by looking at it. When you start to look at the shape, color and texture, you may start to get some hints as to what it can do.
The Doctrine of Signatures
One of the ways that our ancestors discovered the magical associations of plants was through the Doctrine of Signatures. The Doctrine of Signatures is the herbalist’s understanding that some plants will physically resemble the condition they are meant to address. So for example, the heart-shaped leaf of the Violet is used for love spells or the five leaves of Five Finger Grass assist in bringing luck to things that you do with your hands. Not all magical herbs follow the doctrine of signatures, but it’s a great place to start when you are trying to ascertain how you can use an herb in your spells.
Messages from Magical Herbs
After you’ve looked at the herb, focus on asking it what it can help with and then just sit in a meditative way and see what messages you get back. Some people get an even stronger sense of the herb by smelling it while they’re doing this. Once you’ve received all that the herb wants to tell you, then go look up the magical uses of the herb and see if you get similar messages to what others have received for that plant. Even if the messages that you received are radically different than what others say about the herb and its magical uses, then sit with the herb again and see if you still get the same message or a revised one. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the message that you got initially is wrong. It may be that there are other ways that the herb can be used magically for you and you alone. test out these personal uses magically to see if the herb works for you in your newly discovered way.
Learn How to Use Herbs for Spells
If you are interested in really delving into using herbs in your spell work and would like some helpful resources that you can refer to time and again with your spellwork, then I recommend two books that I find completely indispensable: The first one is Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. This book is a great resource for mostly European-based herb magic. The other book I refer to time and time again is Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic. This one is the ultimate reference for African-American folk magic. If you are ready to dive in deeply to working with herbs, and as a magic worker, I really recommend at least trying to work with herbs. Spend some time in nature. Go on a walk and notice the plants around you. Find ones that you are drawn to and converse with them. Buy magical herbs that don’t grow around you and try them out in spells and see how they work. Take the time to get to know these gorgeous herbal allies. Become friends with them and invite them to assist you in your spells.
The Parlour of Wonders is a complete esoteric emporium – be sure to check out our vast array of witchcraft tools and spiritual supplies.