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Herbal Terms


Herbal Terminology

Listed below are different ways in which herbs can be utilized, as well as their uses in different areas of Magick.

DECOCTION : Place one ounce of herb in one pint of water. Make certain that roots are put in to boil before leaves. Once the water has come to a boil, simmer for about 30 minutes covered, then leave to cool completely. Strain and use as directed.

INFUSION : The original form of a potion, an infusion is not unlike a tea in quality. Pour boiling water over the herb in the proportions of one ounce herb to one pint water (although you may need much less for herbs that infuse quickly in water). Steep for fifteen to thirty minutes until a tea is formed. Use as directed.

MACERATE : To steep an herb in fat, such as done with salve and ointments. Best oils to use are almond and sesame. Warm one cup of oil over a low flame and place one-half ounce herbs wrapped in cheesecloth to soak. Continue until the herbs have lost their color and the oil is rich with their scent.

OINTMENT : A fatty substance such as lard to which herbs are added. Choose herbs according to the effect you desire, or enchant them, or both. For healing ointments, choose according to physical ailment. Three teaspoon of herb to one cup of fat, steeped and heated several times should prove very nice. Vegetable shortening will work very well, especially almond and saffron. All ointments should be kept cool and in air tight containers for best results. For magic, ointments work best when applied to pulse points or chakras.

POULTICE : A portion of herbs placed in an equal amount of boiling water to steep. Once herbs have been fully dampened, strain the water and place the herbs in gauze or cheesecloth applied directly to the affected area. This can be a little messy, so have a towel handy. It works fairly well, especially for rashes and other mild skin disorders.

TINCTURE : For ounces of herb steeped in eight ounces of alcohol for about two weeks gives a reasonable tincture. The bottle should be sealed and left in a dark area, and the liquid strained when the tincture is ready.

WASH : A tea or infusion meant only for external use. A mild form of a wash would be 1/4 ounce of herb to one pint of boiling water, steeped until lukewarm, then applied.

Herbs And Magick

The following is a list of herbs and their basic associations. These can also be used as substitutes. For example: If a love spell calls for thus thus, it's possible to substitute orris root in it's place.

Love : Cube berries, orris root, spikenard, vanillin, vervain, violet flowers, laurel, Adam and Eve root, Beth root, horse chestnut, thus thus, ladies thumb, lavender, lotus, lovage, magnolia, mistletoe, passion flower, patchouli leaves, lesser periwinkle, queen Elizabeth root, quassia chips, rose buds, herba mate, sweet bugle, skullcap, rose hips, orange blossoms, five-finger grass, heratease herb.

Passion : Myrtle, absinthe, aloes, cloves, darniana, dill seed, coriander, dulse herb, sweet basil, juniper berries, saw palmetto berries, Canada snake root, fennel seed, grains of paradise, satyrion root, snake root, verbena root, liquorice stick herb, patchouli leaves.

Money : Buckeye, clover, fenugreek, high John the Conqueror root, low John the Conqueror root, nutmeg, marjoram, ruler's root, smart weed, tonka been, thyme, bayberry herb, echinacea, five-finger grass, Guinea paradise seeds, Irish moss, kelp, lemon verbena, scented lucky beans, silver weed, comfrey, colts foot, black snake root, rattlesnake root.

Luck : Alfalfa, angel's turnip, ash tree leaves, basil, blessed thistle, camomile, galangal root, grains of paradise, mustard seed, peony, yellow dock, wonder of the world root, Jezebel root, May apple (mandrake) root, little John chew, tonka beans, Irish moss, queen of the meadow root, quince seeds, parsley, five-finger grass, swiss leaves, silver weed, seven barks, sacred bark, John the conqueror root, four leaf clover, Jamaica ginger root, rosemary, sumbul root.

Success : Cinnamon, yellow dock, squill root, John the conqueror root, silver weed, Jezebel root, prince's pine, red clover, buckeye, Irish moss, five-finger grass, elm bark, thus thus, May apple (mandrake) root, scented lucky beans, tonka beans, sweet flag root, vervain leaves, golden seal herb.

Health : Vervain, thyme, sassafras leaves (and root), peppermint, horehound, hops, eucalyptus, fever few, asafoetida, catnip, dandelion leaves, sarsaparilla, life everlasting, holy herbs, heal-all herb, golden seal herb, betony, hyssop, pumpkin seed.

Protection From Evil : Vetivert, bold leaves, mandrake root, garlic, snake head, gilead buds (balm of), stone root, basil leaves, bay leaves, asafoetida, quince seeds, lucky hand root, five-finger grass, dragon's blood reed, blood root, brimstone, frankincense, high John the conqueror root, sacred bark, Saint John's wort, African ginger root, black cohosh, grape vine, fern, rattlesnake root, plant of peace, wolf bane root, caraway seed.

Cursing : Balmony root, blueberry, cruel man of the woods, Guinea pepper, knot grass, black mustard seed, pepper tree leaves, poke root, poppy seed, rue, tormentillia, twich's grass, valerian, wormwood, chicory root, flaxseed, jimson weed, mullein, red chincona bark, skunk cabbage root, yohimbee root, pepperwort.

Psychic & Spiritual Development : Five-Finger grass, anise seed, burning bush, celery seed, lemon balm, gotu kola, mugwort, acacia, marjoram, parsley, cinnamon, mint, thyme, sage, rosemary, frankincense, bethel root, buchu leaves, bugle weed, calendula flowers, eye bright herb.

Specific Uses for Specific Herbs

Cinnamon for dream magic
Nutmeg for good luck
Allspice for healing
Ginger for lunar magic
Basil for protection
Fennel seeds for spiritual healing
Garlic for spiritual purification
Marjoram for protection
Sage for spiritual purification
Cloves for protection
Mustard seeds for spiritual protection

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Copyright 2001 Wiccan Wisdom