While going through my stores recently, I couldn’t help but take notice that certain jars contained significantly less matter than others. This got me thinking of beginner witches first starting out, not knowing which herbs to turn to in their early days of discovery. An exciting albeit uncertain stage that we all go through when undertaking any new endeavor, having a little guidance from a seasoned practitioner could be just what this situation calls for.
All of these herbs have become strong and powerful allies in my personal apothecary. I’ve turned to them in times of both magickal and medicinal need. However, I must mention that this post is only covering herbal magick and is not in any way, shape, or form medical advice. Having said that, let’s begin!
All-purpose and readily available, rosemary can do it all. She can be used in place of any other herb in your workings.
“Then why get any other herbs if rosemary is an all-purpose herb?”
Well, a substitute is just that – not as good as the real thing, but will make do if need be.
Beyond this, her history is rich. According to the Herb Society of America (which Candle Cross Coven is a proud member of!):
“Rosemary has been used since the time of the early Greeks and Romans. Greek scholars often wore a garland of the herb on their heads to help their memory during examinations. In the ninth century, Charlemagne insisted that the herb be grown in his royal gardens. The Eau de Cologne that Napoleon Bonaparte used was made with rosemary. The herb was also the subject of many poems and was mentioned in five of Shakespeare’s plays.”Herb Society of America
-Carry in a healing poppet to promote good health
-Burn as an incense to remove negativity and purify spaces
-Wear to improve your memory
-Use in a dream pillow for nightmare prevention
-Wear while studying to retain the information better
-Wear to promote clear thinking
-Infuse rosemary in water and use it as a hand wash before performing healing magick
-Use in love or lust spells
-Bathe in rosemary water for purification
Also Known As:
-Dew of the Sea
-Star of the Sea
Related to the Greek Goddess Artemis, Mugwort (whose botanical name is Artemisia Vulgaris) honors her through the same correspondences: the Moon, cycles, childbirth, and women’s health. Mugwort quickly became one of my favorite herbs to work with as I felt a strong connection with her from the start.
You may notice on your magickal journey with herb workings that you feel more of a connection with certain herbs over others. I’ve had the thought that my connection to Mugwort could be due to the working relationship I have with Artemis as one of my Deities.
-Use in a dream pillow to stimulate prophetic dreams
-Mugwort as an infusion can be used to clean divination tools like crystal balls and scrying mirrors
-Place near or around your bed to boost astral travel
-Carry to supercharge fertility and lust
-Carry for backache prevention
-Increase divination and scrying tools’ effectiveness by placing Mugwort close to them
-Use in spellwork to cure madness
Also Known As:
-St. John’s Plant
What do I think of when I see Alfalfa? MONEY! A tried and true magickal herb for abundance spells, prosperity workings, and money candle dressing, Alfalfa is just one of those herbs that spoke to me early on. Going on a gambling boat or casino trip? This is your herb. It may also be used for anti-hunger spells.
The bright, pretty green caught my eye as a young witch. I remember being drawn to it, inexplicably. Since then, Alfalfa has become a close confidant in my workings.
-When applying for a loan, carry it with you to the lender
-Scatter the ashes of burned Alfalfa around your property for protection
-Use the ashes of burned Alfalfa in amulets for protection against poverty and hunger
-Weave Alfalfa strands together to create a protective amulet against poverty
-Put some in your pocket before going to gamble
-Keep a small jar in the pantry to protect your home and inhabitants from poverty, hunger, and unhappiness
Also Known As:
When one thinks of Chamomile, it’s hard not to associate this herb with tea. But its use goes way beyond preparing you for a good night’s sleep.
There are multiple genus of Chamomile, including Roman, German, and Egyptian. Their use magickally only varies slightly, however.
Magickal Uses (German):
-Use in an incense to calm and induce sleep
-Brew into a tea for a night of restful sleep
-Use in spellwork to combat curses and hexes
Magickal Uses (Roman):
-Use in sachets to attract money
-Wash hands in an infusion before gambling to endure winnings
-Use in meditation incenses
-Add to bathwater to attract love
-Sprinkle around your property to remove curses and hexes cast against you
Magickal Uses (Egyptian):
-Add to a dream pillow to induce divinatory dreams
-Add to a simmer pot to dispel negativity from the home
-Infuse in a floor wash to promote good fortune and health
-Love, luck, and money candle spells use Egyptian Chamomile
Also Known As:
In my mid-20s, I interned on a lavender, blueberry, and goat farm in the Appalachian Mountains. It was a beautiful farm in North Carolina that holds many dear memories for me. There I learned how hard farming is, yet how rewarding it can be.
Part of the internship was learning how to grow things. Learning how to not only grow Lavender, but harvest and dry the herb, as well as use it in soaps and food expanded my appreciation for the herb. Lavender held a place in my magickal workings before the farm; however, afterwards my whole view shifted on this magickal ally.
Known for its scent, it’s been used in love spells and sachets to attract men. Prostitutes would wear lavender essential oil as a way to advertise their profession, as well as attract customers magickally. Lavender is also used to induce calm, sleep, and peacefulness.
-Wear a fresh sprig or place a Lavender sachet in your clothes drawer to attract love
-Rub Lavender on a piece of paper before writing a love letter to promote reciprocated feelings
-Wear for protection from cruel treatment at the hands of a lover or spouse
-Burn to induce sleep
-Scatter Lavender buds around the home to promote peace
-Gaze upon the flower to uplift one’s mood
-Those looking to go ghost hunting, carry a little Lavender in your pocket to promote your chances.
-Long life is said to be had by those who consistently inhale the fragrance.
-Protect against the Evil Eye by wearing a fresh sprig
-When paired with Rosemary, it is believed to preserve a woman’s chastity
-Use for wish divination: Right before bed, place Lavender under your pillow while imagining your wish. If you dream of anything in relation to your wish, it will come to be. However, no dreams or dreams unconnected to your wish means it will not come true.
Also Known As:
*PLEASE NOTE THAT THE OIL IS POISONOUS*
Pennyroyal made its way to me when I was doing research for one of my first home protection spells. The name stood out to me as an oxymoron: a penny not being worth very much monetarily and the opposite, royal, as being grand and majestic.
After using this herb for the first time, it just made its way into a lot of my spellwork. Sometimes that’s just how magick works. Before you know it, you have list of favorite go-to herbs for no real reason other than you pair well with them.
-Place Pennyroyal in your shoe to prevent weariness
-Place Pennyroayl in your shoe for general strength in the body
-Wear it to bring in business success
-Pennyroyal in a sachet and hung above your front door rids the home of negative thoughts against you
-Carry to repel seasickness
-Wear to protect against the Evil Eye
-Give to a couple to cease fighting and promote peace
-Kept in the home, Pennyroyal protects all inhabitants (keep away from children and pets)
-Dress a candle with Pennyroyal (herb, not oil) before an uncomfortable meeting and burn to promote ease
-Carry on you when anticipating coming into contact with negativity
Also Known As:
Known by many names with many magickal uses, Yarrow easily makes my top ten. This powerhouse of an herb can be used in love spells, courage workings, aiding and boosting psychic powers and exorcising evil. Yarrow is also extremely potent in protection work as well.
-For protection, simply wear it
-When you need courage, hold Yarrow in your hand
-Use Yarrow in general love workings
-Carry it with you to bring in love
-Carry to attract friends
-Carry to attract distant relations you wish to get into contact with
-Keep Yarrow on you to draw the attention of those you wish to see the most
-Drink an infusion of Yarrow tea to boost psychic powers*
-Use in exorcism rituals to banish evil from a person, place, or thing
-To overcome your fears, write them on a piece of paper and put into a yellow flannel bag with Yarrow and keep this with you until you’ve conquered them
-Prevent baldness by washing the head in a Yarrow infusion; will not be effective if balding has already begun
-For love to last at least seven years, hang a bunch of dried Yarrow over the bed or use fresh Yarrow in the wedding decorations
Also Known As:
-Bad Man’s Plaything
-Hundred Leaved Grass
-Old Man’s Mustard
-Old Man’s Pepper
-Seven Year’s Love
- DANDELION LEAF AND ROOT
As a devotee to Hecate, Dandelions play an important part in my practice. Not just in my working relationship to the Goddess of Witches, but in my casting, too. With Dandelions, I use both the leaf and root. Just like the varying genus of Chamomile, these different parts of the plant have different uses.
Magickal Uses (Leaf):
-To make wishes come true, add to sachets and charms
-To bring favorable winds to aid you in your workings, bury in the Northwest corner of your yard
-Use in summoning spells for spirits
-Wonderful in healing spells
-Burn in purification rites
-Use in anti-negativity workings
Magickal Uses (Root):
-Burn as an incense to aid in divination rituals
-Add to a wish sachet (choose a corresponding color for what you’re wishing for, i.e. purple for magickal abilities or green for fertility)
-Pierce root pieces and thread together to make a necklace to wear while invoking Hecate
-Wear the same necklace to conjure spirits
Also Known As:
Another dynamo herb, Basil’s use stretches from love and conquering fears to wealth and beyond. It’s also associated with Candlemas. The name Basil itself translates to ‘King’ or ‘Royal’. Thus, it is one of my set-in-stone go-to’s. I always make sure to keep track of how much Basil I have on hand because I rely on it so much.
-Sprinkle a Basil infusion in the four corners of your business to attract prosperity and success
-Regardless of dangerous paths ahead, carry Basil in order to move forward in positive ways
-Wear or carry Basil to attract money to you
-Wear or carry to repel unwanted love pursuants and drive off misguided suitors
-The aroma of fresh Basil generates sympathy between two people: use to soothe a lovers’ quarrel
-Add to love incenses and sachets
-Love Divination: Place two Basil leaves on top of a live coal.
-If they stay still and burn quickly, the relationship will be compatible.
-Crackling noises indicate the relationship will be plagued by arguments.
-If the leaves separate with intense crackling, the relationship is doomed.
-Basil cast on floors will provide protection from evil
-Use in exorcism incenses
-Use in purification baths
-Give Basil as a housewarming gift to bring luck to a new home
-With caution, sprinkle a Basil infusion outside of the building where you wish to be employed for good fortune in a job interview (make sure you’re not seen!)
Also Known As:
-St. Joseph’s Wort
Beyond the smell of fresh Peppermint, I like to keep this guy on hand for its variety of magickal purposes. Healing, purification, raising vibrational energy, calling in good spirits, cleansing rites, prophetic dreaming, money, travel – a strong magickal ally as you can see.
-Rub your wallet with Peppermint leaves to attract money to you
-Use in traveling spells for easy journeys
-Use in healing tinctures and potions
-Rub Peppermint leaves against your head and temples to releive headaches
-Wear Peppermint at the wrist to keep illness at bay
-Keep in places where you wish to raise the vibration
-Peppermint is said to excite love
-Fresh Peppermint offered on your altar will call in good spirits to aid you in workings
-When smelled, it will aid in good sleep
-Place under your pillow to aid in prophetic dreaming
-Rub Peppermint over walls, against furniture, and on floorboards to rid spaces of negativity
Also Known As:
This post is intended to give you a glimpse into my personal magickal apothecary – what I use most, why, and how you can begin to incorporate these herbs into your practice. As with anything, results will vary from practitioner to practitioner. Experiment with your own casting and keep track of how the herbs respond to you.
As members of the Herb Society of America, we source our herb supply from sustainable harvesters. Each magickal ally is hand-packed with care, allowing us to inspect each batch for quality.
*Always consult a medical practitioner before ingesting any herbal infusions.