Herbs have been used by witches for eons, Myrrh was burned on a daily basis by the ancient Egyptians this was done as an offering to the gods, and there were many stories told about people and gods being transformed into trees.
Irish moss, holly, hazel, daffodil, orange, star anise, poppy, violet, wood rose, strawberry, apple, rosemary, moss and cotton are just some of the plants that are considered lucky, these and others will always be part of a witch’s arsenal.
To protect the home have some white heather in your kitchen. Witches also love to use hydrangea flowers in their magic spells, and for protecting the home sprinkle oregano around the outside while chanting, “I am protected”. Mistletoe can be worn or placed around the home for protection also. The Druids burned elder for blessings and elder was often hanging over people’s doors and windows. The following are plants used by witches;
Ague root; known as, unicorn root
Arisaema; known as, dragon tail
Bistort; known as, dragonwort
Calliandra eriphylla; known as, fairy duster
Calochortus albus; known as, fairy duster
Calypso bulbosa; known as, fairy slipper
Cat tail; fairy woman’s spindle
Ceratopteris spp; known as, water sprite
Cowslip; known as, fairy cup
Daemomorops draco; known as dragon’s blood
Datura; known as, ghost flower
Devil’s bit; known as, unicorn root
Disporum smithii; known as, coast fairy bells
Dracaena spp; known as, dragon’s blood
Elecampane; known as, elf dock
Elm, known as, elven
Epipogium aphyllum; ghost orchid
Eucalyptus papuana; known as, ghost gum
Foxglove; known as, fairy fingers
Juncus effuses, known as, unicorn
Lavender; known as, silver ghost
Molukka bean; known as fairy’s eggs
Moringa ovalifolia; known as, phantom tree
Mohavea confertiflora; known as, ghost flower
Peristeria elata; known as, ghost orchid
Polpompholyx; known as, fairy aprons
Primula malacoides; known as, fairy primrose
Ragwort; known as, fairy’s horses
Rosemary; known as, elf leaf
Toadflax, known as, dragon bushes
Wood sorrel, known as, fairy’s bells
Zephyranthes; known as, fairy’s lily
On Midsummer’s Day, the 24th June the Druids traditionally cut mistletoe as the plants powers were at their most potent on this day. Many witches still follow this tradition, as it is believed that it has healing and divinatory properties. Another plant to be used as this time is Saint John’s wort which is used for healing. Vervain is a multipurpose plant also harvested on Midsummer and used for divination, healing and protection. The plants mentioned can be harvested at other times of the year, but Midsummer is said to be when they are at their most potent. Some witches harvested chicory on Midsummer’s Day to use for invisibility purposes. Wood betony can be placed under the pillow to stop nightmares, or placed in an amulet to be worn for protection.
Many witches gather thirteen times a year when the moon is full, this gathering is called an Esbat this is also a time for them to practice powerful magic, they would each bring an offering with them. Most witches have an herb garden inhabited by fairies and other spirit creatures, and as they spend time tending their garden they often find that they are inspired to make magic.
Botanomancy which is the practice of divination using herbs is an ancient method of magic practiced by witches, they would burn plants and trees and read the message in the ashes.
The Druids held rituals associated with trees and plants, they used vervain and mistletoe for divination, for healing and for protection. Witches of long ago would sprinkle incense on a fire and watch how the incense smoke drifted to give them a yes or no answer to a question, if the smoke emanating from the incense drifts to the right this is yes, if the smoke drifts to the left the answer is no. If the smoke breaks up this means take care of your finances, if the smoke clusters and moves upwards this is a good sign for new enterprise, and financial gain. If the base of the smoke is very thin and wider at the top you are urged to move forward with care and show caution with money. Choose carefully the people you spend time with. If the smoke of the incense breaks in two it means you should slow down and give yourself some time to meditate, you may be taking on too much and are overwhelmed.
In ancient Greece the petals and leaves of roses were used to foretell the future, a rose with a concave shape is for answering a yes or no question, the diviner holds the rose petal and meditates, then press both hands together in a clapping motion. A burst petal is a yes answer and a whole petal is a no answer.
A form of divination that psychic witches use when a couple want to know their fate, is the taking of two acorns on the night of a full moon, the initials of one partner is written on one acorn, and the initials of the other partner is written on the other acorn. The acorns are placed six centimeters apart then placed in a cauldron filled with water, their movements are observed. If they move towards each other the couple will stay together, if they move apart, the couple will not stay together. If the acorns don’t move at all the message given is to ask the question at a later date as their fate is not yet clear.
There is a superstition that requires you to take a root of ribwort and place it beneath a stone, to then leave it overnight, you do this when the moon is full. If there is marriage for you within twelve months, the initials of the one you are to marry will be found on the plant’s root. Another way of divining your marital future is to pick twelve sage leaves during the evening of Halloween, and on the twelfth leaf you will see the face of your future partner. If no face appears, it means you will not be marrying within the next twelve months.
To find out if your lover has been faithful to you, take a bay leaf during the evening a full moon, prick your lover’s name upon the leaf with a pin, when this is done place the leaf under your pillow before you go to sleep. In the morning look to see if the leaf has turned brown, if it has you will know that your lover is faithful to you. If the leaf is the same colour, there is deception around you.
If you sleep with ivy leaves, mistletoe or myrtle under your pillow, and you are unattached, you will dream of your future partner in marriage. Or on a Saturday night at midnight you can take seven leaves from a holly plant, tie the leaves in a handkerchief, or a piece of square fabric, and place the handkerchief under your pillow before going to sleep, this will also encourage you to dream of your marriage partner to be.
Wizards often divine the weather by counting the berries on a holly tree, if the tree is abundant with berries the weather will not be good and there will be many storms, if there are few, the weather will be mild.
All witches are adept at tea leaf reading and this art has been practiced for hundreds of years. Make a pot of tea and turn the teapot once to the right and twice to the left, you then pour the tea into a teacup, when you have finished drinking the tea, swirl the cup clockwise and tip the cup upside down on a napkin. The leaves are then examined and the shapes deciphered, such as if you see a heart you know that romance is in the air, if two hearts are together there is to be a marriage ceremony. If a dagger shape is seen this means you should take care of your health, the shape of the moon foretells change to very soon take place in the querants life. The shape of the snake is warning you to be careful of who you spend time with there is deception around you, a bird spells a journey to come, a cat represents someone who is not being honest with you, and a dog represents time spent with a close friend. Dots are telling you that there is money to come, a star, or horseshoe is indicative of luck to come your way. If a triangle or a pyramid is seen something utterly wonderful is to take place in your life, these are extremely fortuitous signs, you can expect great success. Many symbols in teacup reading are symbolic, like any form of divination some things that are divined are symbolic and others are actual, how a reading progresses depends on the ability of the psychic reader. Witches sprinkle tealeaves around the house for luck and protection, and if tea is spilled it indicates good luck. Very strong tea suggests that a new friend is on the horizon. If the top is left off the teapot accidentally it suggests a stranger in your midst.
All witches will tell you that it is bad luck for more than one person to pour from a pot of tea, bubbles on top of your teacup means you will have financial luck. If the bubbles are near the side of the cup you can expect romance. There is a tealeaf reading article in Witcheslore that will give you more details on how to do a tealeaf reading. When making a pot of tea a witch will always tell you to stir the tea clockwise, witches often foretold a child or twins and whether a woman would soon find herself pregnant, an adept tealeaf reader is able to give time with a certain degree of accuracy. Never throw you tealeaves away, always tip them into your garden.
A witch uses mugwort for psychic clarity and to help them connect to the astral realms, when making mugwort tea the goddess Bast is called upon to bless the tea.
For centuries witches have been healing with plants, flowers and herbs, such as using foxglove as an astringent and for a sore throat, it can also be carried on the person or sprinkled around the home for protective purposes. Mugwort tea is useful if you wish to have prophetic dreams, it is also an aid in astral travel, if taken before retiring for the night it is a useful gateway to other dimensions. Dandelion tea helps to call the spirits, and is an aid in foretelling the future as it helps heighten psychic abilities. Peppermint tea can be used in healing spells and if sprinkled around the home keeps away evil spirits, it is also useful when casting happiness spells.
For health and wellbeing, carry any of the following, rosemary, vervain, ginseng root, angelica, the blackberry bush was used for healing in the Middle Ages and it was thought that if rubbed onto a person they would be magically cured of whatever ailed them.
If witches wanted to cure an ailment they strung together thirteen garlic cloves, and wore them for thirteen days and nights. A mixture of thyme and essential oil, if rubbed on the chest, is said to help chest inflammation. Elder twig has been used by witches over the centuries as an antidote for rheumatism and peppermint tea is often used for nausea. To relieve joint pain, witches have healed using tea made from willow bark.
As witches often cast wart on the nose spells they use dried bean rubbed into the rubbed onto the wart, or they chant the following to help the war disappear.
Wart away wart to go
Be gone be gone
Magic mine power strong
Wart be gone by midnight hour
It will be done
It will be done
It will be done
Magic mine power strong
Wart be gone
In ancient times plants were used that could not be used in this day and age, such as the poisonous belladonna plant which many sorcerers used to help them connect readily to the astral plane. Witches often used belladonna in their flying ointments and, they also used belladonna to help them have clearer psychic vision. It was often placed above the front door in peoples home and used for protection. As witches work with powerful energies they always have belladonna hanging over their front door for its exceptionally powerful protection properties.
Many of the old sorcerers, magicians and witches used henbane, it produced vivid imagery and helped with psychic visions, many deeply involved in divination practices used henbane. This like belladonna is a poisonous plant, and was used in flying ointments. Witches made enchantments out of henbane and if the witch was particularly powerful, the enchantment was used to make people fall in love.
A witch’s pantry would not be complete without the mandrake plant with its magical properties, it is used in spell casting and in enchantments, it is suitable for love spells and for protection spells, it can help psychic visions and attract love. It is also used for fertility spells, and when used as a love enchantment it heightens desire. Mandrake was added to ointments in ancient times and used to give witches the ability to fly, it was also used to create an invisibility spell. When using the mandrake there is a mental connection with the witch casting the spell, and only the witch casting the spell can uproot the mandrake plant for magical use. The mandrake has historically been used for dark magic.
The highly poisonous hemlock plant brought many sorcerers to their fateful end as they experimented with this toxic plant. Many witches have used hemlock for the purpose of astral projection and divination.
Wolfbane has been used for centuries in an amulet for protection again a vampire, a wolfbane amulet was used by witches when casting a powerful invisibility spell.
Hemp is an ingredient that has been used to enhance psychic powers, for invisibility and for shape shifting, and to rid people of evil spirits.
Sorcerers and witches alike have used angelica root to ward off evil spirits, and it is especially potent if mixed with lavender and placed in a small bag in the home. Buckeye nuts are used as a lucky charm and were carried by those who wished to improve their financial viability. Hang devils pod above your front door if you wish to keep away evil spirits.
For extremely powerful protection, good health and luck, carry an amulet with salep root oil inside, this good luck charm has been prepared by witches and used by gamblers over the centuries. Witches smear Wolf’s bane inside an amulet and wear is as a protection against those who would use witchcraft against them.
Garlic was used as a protection during childbirth, and if placed under a woman giving birth, it is said to keep both the baby and mother, safe from harm.
If you want to secure the affections of someone, you can bake a loaf of bread with rye in it, the rye seeds will secure the love of the one you present it to, once the object of your affection has eaten it. Another love food is pimento, when put in food and served to an individual, they will then develop romantic feelings for them. Place an onion in an unused pot and chant to it each day at sunset and as each day passes, your intended romantic partner, will be drawn to you and have romantic feelings for you. You may chant the following;
Growing growing your love does grow
Love blossoms your heart for me
I am the one for you
Merlin watches chants for us
I call and you hear me now
We are to be
And so it is
Growing growing your love does grow
You are to give your heart to me
We are to be
Witches often made an aphrodisiac for those who came to them, it contained the fresh roots of an asparagus, boiled in red wine and if a person and their partner drinks the wine, they will have romantic and sensual yearnings towards each other. Witches were often called upon to make powerful love amulets for people. The witch would place beans in a small container chant her magic and then it was then carried by a man or woman and would arouse sensual feelings. It had more power if both partners carried the enchanted beans on their person. If vervain is gathered during a new moon and placed under the pillow before going to sleep it will ensnare the affections of the one you are thinking about, if there is no special person you can focus on love and draw it to you.
If you wish to make an astrological herb garden you can section a planting area into seven sections, the Sun, the Moon, the planets Saturn, Venus, Mars, Mercury and Jupiter. Plant the following in the Sun section, on a Sunday, do it when the moon is full, saffron, angelica, lovage, rosemary, chamomile, lovage. Plant the Moon section on a Monday when the Moon is new, saxifrage, moonwort and purslane. In the Mars area plant on a Tuesday during a half Moon, horseradish, rhubarb, basil, garlic. In your Mercury area, plant on a Wednesday during a new moon, fennel, lavender, parsley, dill and caraway. For your Jupiter section, plant on a Thursday during a new moon, chervil sage, asparagus and borage. For the section dedicated to the planet Venus begin planting on a Friday, when the moon is full, mugwort, strawberry, vervain and violets. On a Saturday during a half Moon you can plant, mullein, Solomon’s seal, comfrey and bistort.
To build a beautiful garden of love and magic, the following herbs can be planted on a night when the Moon is full, daffodil, hibiscus, gentian, geranium, gardenia, coriander, basil, Adam and Eve, catnip, cherry, gentian, love seed, jasmine, lavender, poppy, valerian, vanilla, yarrow, willow, pansy, peppermint, lemon verbena, love seed, maidenhair, strawberry, thyme, hibiscus and hyacinth.
If you want to draw love into your life, place the root of an orchid plant in a jar, add some rose oil and seal the jar recite the following twice;
Venus planet of love let true love be
Love is mine it is to be
Love will be bound for you and me
This special love is meant to be
So it will be
Intense love there is to be
Overwhelming love is to be
Leave the jar out in the night for three weeks then open it, take the orchid root from the jar and place it next to the bed, before going to sleep touch the root and recite twice for three nights in a row, this is said to bring powerful love into your life. Another powerful love enchantment is the burning of wood aloes on a Saturday night during a new moon, you think deeply of lover coming into your life before the next new moon.
A spell for wealth, take three gold coins and wrap them in gold paper, tie with a gold ribbon and place them in the soil beneath a lucky bamboo plant, do this only when the moon is full, maintain the plant with tender loving care to help it become strong and sturdy. Witches often use the hop plant to draw prosperity and good luck, it was hung in the doorway of the kitchen, many people would go to the witch to have the plant enchanted before using it, a witch’s chant will make the plant more powerful. The hop plant has been used by witches for centuries as a healing remedy, hops was mixed with incense and burnt to help heal maladies and to ward off nightmares, it was also used to treat insomnia. Black candle mixed with salt and burned, was used by sorcerers and witches alike to help people who had difficult financial or legal matters, it was said to help things turn in their favour. Before legal matter, or any undertakings to do with money or the law, the burning of dried galangal was practiced by witches.
If you wish to attract spirits to your garden, you can plant the following, thistle, sweet grass, lavender, dandelion and wormwood, mix these with various flowers and plants and each evening go into your garden and chant to the nature spirits. You may think of someone who has passed away and call on them to visit you.
Spirit light spirit bright
May you enter my garden this night
Come hither laugh and sing
I call you to be
Open arms to embrace
Spirit light spirit bright
May you enter my garden this
Let it be
The following will ward off unwanted spirits, you can burn a sage stick, plant holly around your home, hang fennel in the doorways, burn the root of dried ginseng root, you many carry fennel seed on your person, in a tiny bag tied with a black ribbon, you can also hang St. Johns wort over doorways, or carry it in a small bag tied with a black ribbon. To ward off evil spirits place a bag of cinquefoil, tied with a black ribbon, under your pillow, it will keep the bad spirits away and ensure you have a restful night’s sleep.
To keep your home and family safe you can plant a garden of protection with the following, marigold rose, rosemary, thistle, willow, radish, mugwort, lavender, hazel carnation, cactus, basil, clove, aloe vera, bloodroot, mandrake, raspberry, oak, parsley, mint, lily, mulberry, lilac, ivy, juniper, fennel, wolf’s bane and snapdragon.
If you want to break a hex you can’t go past the hydrangea, as it has natural protection properties, it can be placed around the home, carried in a mojo bag or grown in your garden. If you feel you have been hexed or you are having bad luck you can place the hydrangea in a vase and place seven drops of pure lavender essence keep next to your bed, and if you wish you can chant the following on a Friday evening after 8pm. Chant twice.
I am released
Be gone from here
I am enchanted
I am serenity
You cease to be
Be gone from here
So be it
A good way to protect yourself from the evil of others is to sprinkle wormwood around your home , this will help deflect any hexes or magic perpetrated by other witches and send the energy back to them. You can also carry for protection, a mojo bag with wormwood anointed by rose essence,
If you wish to create a garden of nature spirits you can plant the following, and as you are planting imagine the fairies, elves, gnomes, and a myriad of other creatures inhabiting it, you can also use this as a wishing garden, when you wish do it when the sky is dark, if you make your wish during the new moon, the energies will be more powerful at this time. Nature spirits love the following, lavender, vervain, petunias, daisies, foxglove, carnations, pansies, primroses, petunias, foxglove, cosmos, hollyhock, yarrow and petunias. Nature spirits also love apple trees, ash, holly, silver birch and blackthorn. As fairies love the water, mainly so they can gaze at their beautiful reflection, you may wish to include a bird bath in your garden, they would also be drawn to a fish pond. You may wish to use statues of fairies, gnomes, elves, pixies and all manner of other magical creatures.
All witches have the following in their garden, bird of paradise, sunflowers, beech, bamboo, dandelion, hazel, sandalwood, violet and buckthorn, witches often make good luck and wish spells for people, as they stand in this area of their garden.
If you wish to ensure a good night’s sleep, place anise seeds in a bag and tie with a white ribbon, place the bag under your pillow, witches have been using anise to help them have pleasant dreams, for centuries. As a protection, the leaves of an anise plant may be scattered around your bedroom.
For prophetic dreams and to be protected against nightmares, place leaves from an ash tree under your pillow before going to sleep, be sure to write in your dream book as soon as you wake. Or you can include your dream journal in your book of shadow. Two bay leaves under the pillow have long been used to ensure prophetic dreams. Dried buchu leaves mixed with lavender essence, and put in a small bag with a red ribbon and placed next to the bed, will help you to have prophetic dreams.
If you place a root of the bracken tree under your pillow you will wake in the morning with an answer to a problem you have been having. The bracken, when placed around the home and carried, will offer protection from the negativity of others.
Burn cedar incense as a protection against bad dreams, it also helps to strengthen your psychic powers, if you tie a cedar branch to your bed, or place it under the bed, it offers protection from evil forces and hexes.
For prophecies of love, a bag of cinquefoil under your pillow, or under your bed, will create dreams of the man, or woman you are to be with. For prophetic dreams of any nature, place some heliotrope leaves under your pillow before you go to sleep. Holly leaves can be placed under the pillow and they will induce prophetic dreams, remember to write your dreams down as soon as you wake.
For a restful night’s sleep burn some jasmine incense and place some jasmine flowers under your pillow. Lemon verbena placed in a bag and left under your pillow will also ensure a good night’s sleep.
All witches know that by placing a mandrake root next to the bed, you will be protected from harm, and your psyche will be heightened. Marigold placed next to the bed, or under the pillow, helps to induce prophetic dreams, marigold can also be used for protection. Mimosa works to ensure you will have prophetic dreams and will help to strengthen your psychic ability.
Mistletoe has been used for love for centuries, but if you place it beneath your pillow at night it will help keep always nightmares. Mugwort placed under your pillow will be sure to give you a dream filled night, it is quite potent and induces a vivid dream state, write your dreams down in the morning. Prophetic dreams can also be induced by placing peppermint leaves under your pillow, you may also drink peppermint tea, if it is to your liking.
If a rose is placed under the pillow it is said that you will dream of the one who is to be your partner in life. Place St. Johns wort under your pillow and dream of your future partner. Rosemary under your pillow and next to your bed to be protected from any manner of harm.
Within everyone’s home and garden there can be magic and by understanding the workings of herbs and plants your creative juices can flow, be the witch you have always wanted to be and become empowered by your creativity. Take the time to familiarise yourself with herbs and plants and bring a little magic into your life every day. Always take care to understand the properties of herbs and plants before you cook and ingest them.
These are just a few ancient spells that come from hundreds of witches and Ill have more spells and more on the magic of herbs and herbalism on more pages in the future!