According to the Celtic mythology of trees, Mistletoe is the tree of the day after the Winter Solstice (Aprox. December 23). In Druidic lore Mistletoe is an herb of the Winter Solstice and is the special plant for the day after Yule.
- Latin name: Viscum Album
- Celtic name: It is said that Mistletoe is too sacred to have a written word.
- Folk or Common names: Donnerbesen, Birdlime, All Heal, Golden Bough, Devil’s Fuge, Thunderbesom
- Parts Used: Leaves, berries, twigs
- Basic Powers: Protection, Love
Mistletoe is a plant of the sun and also of the planet of Jupiter. It is associated with the element of the air. The colors of Mistletoe are green, gold and white, and its herb is hyssop. The gemstones associated with Mistletoe are Black Quartz, Amber, Pearl and green Obsidian. Mistletoe has the immortal creature the Gryphon-Eagle associated with it and also the plain eagle is its bird association. There are many deities associated with Mistletoe: Loki, Blader, Hercules, Shu, Osirus, and Aeneas are a few of those deities.
Romans, Celtics, and Germans believed that mistletoe is the key to the supernatural. Mistletoe will aid and strengthen all magickal works but is best called upon for healing, protection, and beautiful dreams – dreams which will unlock the secrets of immortality. Mistletoe is a good wood to use for making wands, other ritual tools and magickal rings.
The Berries are used in love incenses, plus a few berries can be added to the ritual cup at a handfasting. Boughs of Mistletoe can be hung for all purpose protection around the house. Sprigs of Mistletoe can be carried as an herb of protection – plus amulets and jewelry can be made out of Mistletoe wood as protective talismans.
Hung over the cradle, Mistletoe will protect the child from being stolen by the fey and Mistletoe that is carried will protect the bearer from werewolves. Mistletoe stood for sex and fertility – hence our tradition of kissing under the mistletoe. It is traditionally hung in the home at Yule, and those who walk under it exchange a kiss of peace.
Pick on Midsummer’s Eve, or when the moon is six days old (six days after the New Moon). Wear as a protective amulet, or to help conceive. The wood is often carved into rings and other magickal objects. A good anti-lightning charm. The herb hung anywhere is an excellent all-purpose protective device. Extinguishes fire. Wear as an amulet to preserve against wounds.
Kissing Under the Mistletoe:
Kissing under the mistletoe seems to be a purely English custom, of which no trace has been found in other countries unless Englishmen have settled there at some time. Strange as it may seem to us now, the English were once much given to kissing. Foreign visitors in the 16th and 17th centuries frequently remarked with surprise on the way in which men and women exchanged kisses without self-consciousness, even slight acquaintances and newly-introduced strangers being thus pleasantly greeted.
The last shadow of this old freedom is now cast by the mistletoe bough at Christmas. If a girl stands under it, she cannot refuse to be kissed by anyone who claims the privilege. At one time, the young men had the right to pluck a berry from the bough for every kiss they took.
It was also thought that if a girl was kissed seven times in one day under the mistletoe, she would be married within a year. A girl who stood under the mistletoe but did not receive a kiss was doomed to remain without a husband for at least one year. A girl who gets married without ever having been kissed under the mistletoe will never have children.
Kissing under the mistletoe is not only for lovers. You should kiss anyone and everyone possible while the mistletoe is hanging. This brings good luck to everyone in the house for a whole year.
Mistletoe, the Golden Bough of classical legend, was a sacred and wonder working plant alike for the Celtic Druids, by whom it was ceremonially cut at the Winter and Summer Solstice festivals. Mistletoe is one of the Druid’s most sacred trees – as Ovid said, “Ad viscum Druidae cantare solebant.” (The Druids are wont to sing to the Mistletoe.).
The Druids gathered their Mistletoe at Midsummer or at the 6th day of the moon. The Druid priests or priestesses would wear white robes while gathering the plant and would use a golden knife to cut the plant from the tree.
The mistletoe was caught in their robes to prevent any from falling to the ground, where it would lose its magickal qualities, and so extreme care was taken not to let the plant touch the ground. Two oxen were often sacrificed for the harvest. The Druids considered that the Mistletoe that grew on Oak trees was the most potent and sacred.
For the Norsemen, it was the holy and terrible plant which slew Baldur the Beautiful when all things in Heaven and Earth had sworn not to harm him. But the mistletoe was forgotten because, rooting on trees and not in the ground, it was not in Heaven or Earth, but only between them. Consequently Loki, the trickster, was able to use it to kill the Dun God when all other things had failed him.
It was also the plant of peace in ancient Scandinavia. A bunch hung outside a house denoted a safe welcome within, and if enemies happened to meet under a tree that bore it, they had to lay down their arms and fight no more on that day.
It is said that if a branch or sprig of the mistletoe was cut with a new dirk on Halloween, after the cutter had walked three times round the oak sunwise, it was sure guard in the day of battle, and a protection at all times against glamour and witchery. A similar sprig laid in the cradle protected the child from being stolen by the fairies and replaced by a changeling.
Being a thunder-plant, its presence in a house protected it from thunder and lightning, as well as from witches and evil spirits. In Britain, it was anciently called All Heal, because it cured many diseases, composed quarrels, and was an antidote to poison. It brought good luck and fertility. For all these reasons it was, and remains, an essential part of Christmas decorations in almost every house, though not in churches.
Its strong pagan associations probably caused it to be banned from churches at Christmas or any other season. This prohibition still prevails in most parishes, and if a sprig or branch is accidentally included in the general greenery, it is usually removed as soon as the clergyman sees it. In one Oxford parish several years ago, permission was given to hang a bunch in the porch, but not inside the church itself.
An exception to this rule in the Middle Ages was at York Minster, where a branch was ceremonially laid on the altar on Christmas Eve and left there throughout the Twelve Days of Christmas. A general pardon and liberty throughout the city was proclaimed for so long as it remained there.
In Worcestershire, where it grows very freely, it is said to be unlucky to cut mistletoe at any time but Christmas. Until very recently (and perhaps still in some households), it was usual to keep the Christmas bunch throughout the year for good luck, and then to replace it by a new one on Christmas Eve.
In some districts, sprigs from such a bunch were given to the cow that calved first after New Year’s Day, to ensure the prosperity of the herd in the following twelve months. In Herefordshire formerly, it was unlucky to bring mistletoe into the house before New Year’s morning. It was not included in the Christmas decorations, but was brought in at the time of the Burning the Bush.
To cut down a mistletoe-bearing tree was once considered to be very unlucky. Many stories are told of misfortunes which fell upon those who did so.
A curious tradition relating to the Hays of Errol, in Perthshire, is connected with this idea. The continued existence and prosperity of that family was bound up with an ancient mistletoe-bearing oak growing near the Falcon Stone. So long as the tree stood and the mistletoe grew on it, they would flourish, but, as we read in the verses traditionally ascribed to Thomas the Rhymer,
… when the root of the aik decays,
And the mistletoe dwines on its withered breast,
The grass sall grow on Errol’s hearthstone,
And the corbie roup in the falcon’s nest.
Oak and mistletoe together have vanished now, and the estate no longer belongs to the Hays. Exactly when the tree was cut down is not now remembered, but local tradition says that it was before the lands were sold, and that it was because of that destruction they were lost to the family.
CAUTION: Mistletoe berries are extremely poisonous and have been known to cause miscarriage.
Mistletoe tea was widely believed to cure the falling sickness or epilepsy, and is still recommended by herbalists for that purpose. The plant was also used in folk-medicine for a variety of other ills, including St Vitus’ Dance, heart troubles and nerve complaints, sores, the bites of venomous creatures, and toothache.
Mistletoe can be used as a stimulant to soothe muscles and to produce a rise in blood pressure. It increases the contraction of the uterus and intestine. Mistletoe has been recommended as an oxytocic in postpartum hemorrhage and menorrhagia. It is also used as a circulatory and uterine stimulant. This plant can induce menstruation. It has shown effective in treating tumors in some animals. It is recommended that due to the toxicity of this plant that ingestion of this herb be avoided.
- Magickal Herbalism
- Encyclopedia of Superstitions
- Common names: Thoroughfwort, White Snake Root, Agueweed, Indian Sage
- Scientific name: Eupatorium perfoliatum
- Element: Water
- Planet: Saturn:
- Parts Used: Leaf
Boneset guides ghosts elsewhere, attracting protective, benevolent spirits instead. Boneset may also be used to protect people and animals from “ghost sickness,” the illness that some believe may emerge after extended contact with the dead.
The most potent boneset is found growing on or near graves. Supplement it with white pine for added enhancement.
Hang fresh boneset branches over doorways, or burn young boneset branches and twigs within a cauldron to drive away existing ghosts.
In addition to it’s ghost busting power, boneset opposes unnatural illness and snakes.
To counteract occult poisons they have been fed, folks rub dry boneset leaves all over their body, then take the leaves outdoors and burn them with a holy or purifying incense.
Brew boneset leaf tea and bathe in it to get rid of enemy tricks that have affected your health. Boneset can also be used to purify a sickroom by sprinkling it onto the floor and then sweeping it out the front door.
Burn boneset in an Incense to balance the energies of a space or to ground and focus your energy. Added to an Elixir or Philtre, boneset promotes health. Mixed with angelica and added to the bath, boneset is excellent for ritual cleansings.
From: The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells
And: Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic and other sources
Various botanicals are said to discourage the presence of ghosts, especially rue and garlic. Here is a list of more botanical ghost busters and how to use them:
A strong scent of real carnations discourages and pacifies ghosts. Synthetic scents will not have the same effect. The best method is to strategically place bouquets of carnations replacing them as their aroma fades.
Hawthorn repels evil ghosts, while permitting the entry of helpful souls. Maintain a barrier of living hawthorn bushes and trees outside the home or bring branches within; the catch to the latter plan being that hawthorn is among the plants most associated with Fairies. Do not break off a branch without first seeking permission from Fairies, lest ghosts become the least of your problems. Branches found already fallen may be considered a gift and safely retrieved.
Boneset guides ghosts elsewhere, attracting protective, benevolent spirits instead. Boneset may also be used to protect people and animals from “ghost sickness,” the illness that some believe may emerge after extended contact with the dead. The most potent boneset is found growing on or near graves. Supplement it with white pine for added enhancement.
Hang fresh boneset branches over doorways, or burn young boneset branches and twigs within a cauldron to drive away existing ghosts.
To prevent hauntings, surround your home with living bean plants. Not only do beans repel ghosts but allegedly, the plants sing to wandering ghosts, guiding them to the next realm. If you’d like to hear these songs, a shamanic art, sit under the vines while they’re in bloom. Meditate or allow yourself to fall asleep.
Burn dried powdered bistort to banish ghosts, wafting the fragrance as needed.
Fennel can be used to ghost-proof individual rooms or an entire building. It only works on some ghosts but may be worth trying. Stuff keyholes full of fennel to prevent ghosts from entering the room. It also stops them from leaving, so if the ghost is already in the room, it may be trapped.
According to Hildegard of Bingen, ghosts hate pine trees and avoid places where they grow. If it’s not possible to surround your home with living pines, bring small living trees within it and situate them strategically.
Tiger lilies planted near doors and windows allegedly prevents the entry of ghosts.
If a ghost has taken up residence in your home or within another building, hanging alyssum up in every corner of a house will exorcise it.
A wreath of fresh bay laurel leaves posted on your entrance doors signals “No Trespassing” to ghosts. To provide relief from destructive and mischievous ghosts and poltergeist, maintain fresh bay laurel branches and /or leaves within the home. Replace them as their green color fades.
Fumigating an area with camphor and mint is used to send unwanted ghosts in search of new housing. One application may not be sufficient, however. Use repetitions of mystical numbers for reinforcement. Repeat for three, seven, nine, eighteen, twenty-one, or twenty-seven days as needed.
Sprinkle a strong infusion of bayberry inside and around the perimeter of a house to exorcise existing ghosts and repel new ones.
Make a decoction of angelica roots or pour boiling water over the dried, powdered root to make an infusion. Sprinkling this within and around the home is an Iroquois recommendation for exorcising and preventing ghosts.
To attract faeries to dance in your garden. On Beltane eve, make an ankle bracelet of “Bluebells” and “jingle” bells to attract helpful fae folk to you.
A sacred faery plant, clovers of all kinds will attract them. Lay seven grains of wheat on a four-leafed clover to see the Faery.
Used to make Faery wine, these berries can be burned on a fire to invite the Good Folk to a gathering. Make a homemade brew of Elderberry Wine and you are sure to have some thirsty visitors. It is said that if a human drinks the wine, he or she will be able to see the Faery. If a human should drink Elderberry wine from the same goblet as a Faery being, he will be able to see them forever after.
Also known as Elfswort. This root can be scattered around the home to attract the Sidhe. It can be added to any magick or spell to invoke Faery blessing.
The source of the modern heart drug Digitalis, Foxglove can have seriously dangerous results if taken internally. DO NOT INGEST!! Instead, plant Foxglove near your front door to invite the Faery in. Put a dried sprig of Foxglove in a talisman to keep you surrounded in Faery light.
Heather is said to ignite faery passions and open portals between their world and our own. Make an offering of Heather on “Beltane” eve to attract good fae to your garden
The sweet scent is said to draw Fae spirits to your garden. Lilac and primroses for midsummers eve, will please the Fae.
The most sacred herb of the Druids. Mistletoe is a magickal activator. In Faery spells, use a dash of Mistletoe taken on Summer Solstice to empower your workings with Faery magick.
Both Monarch butterflies and fairies like milkweed. If Milkweed is planted in a Witch’s garden, the fey will always be in the area. The silky tassels of the milkweed pods can be added to a dream pillow to not only make it softer, but also to make you dream of fairies. In the Autumn when the pods are bursting and the fluffy seeds are flying across the fields, a wish is granted for each seed that can be caught and then released again.
Peony seeds were once used to protect children from faeries. A garland of the seeds were placed around the child’s neck to keep them safe.
Said to invoke the faery into your dreams Make a dream pillow of fresh poppies to entice the fae to your dreams.
When planted in a garden or hung dried on the front door, primroses will attract the company of Faeries. If you have them growing under your care, do not let them die! The Faery will be deeply offended by your carelessness. Primroses are great in container gardens. Tie a pink ribbon around your container of Primroses while chanting; “Sacred roses, hear my cry for your protection, this I tie.”
Roses are loved by the fey so you can plant Roses in your garden to attract fairies. Their sweet scent will lure elemental spirits to take up residence close by. Roses can be used in Faery love spells. When performing the spell, sprinkle rose petals under your feet and dance softly upon them while asking the Faery for their blessing on your magick. Wild Roses are best for this purpose. Say the following spell as you plant your baby Rose bush:
“I ask a fairy from the wild,
To come and tend this wee rose-child.
A babe of air she thrives today,
Root her soul in the Goddesses’ good clay.
Fairies make this twig your bower,
By your magic shall time see her flower!”
Wearing thyme will increase your ability to see the Sidhe. Sprinkle it at the base of your door, and on window sills to invite the Faery to enter your home.
~collected from a 17th century work
- Planet: Mars
- Element: Fire
- Type: Plant
- Part Used: Living plant, cuttings
- Basic Power: Protection
Thistle is one of the best herbs to carry when involved in magickal wars. It prevents hexes and curses from taking place. Carry a piece as a defense against psychic or real attack.
Throw onto a fire if you fear being struck by lightning during a storm. Grow in the garden to ward off thieves. A bowl of thistles in a room strengthens and energizes those within it, so they are often used in sickrooms or in places where people are recuperating.
- Pregnant women should carry milk thistle (Silybum) to keep their partners from cheating.
- Holy thistle (Cnicus benedictus) is used for purification and to get rid of guilty feelings.
Collected from various sources
The name is said to be derived either from the fact that its whitish, blue-green color gives it the appearance of smoke rising from the ground, or, according to Pliny, because the juice of the plant brings on such a flow of tears that the sight becomes dim as with smoke, and hence its reputed use in afflictions of the eye.
According to the ancient exorcists, when the plant is burned, its smoke has the power of expelling evil spirits, it having been used for this purpose in the famous geometrical gardens of St. Gall.
Earth Smoke is also known as Fumitory. There is a legend that the plant was produced, not from seed, but from vapors arising out of the earth.
While this herb is most often used in money drawing incense formulas, it is also carried (in it’s dry form) in the shoes by salesmen for luck in making quick sales. It can also be brewed in water and the liquid sprinkled around the business premises to bring in quick money.
Formulas using Earth Smoke can be found here:
Ruler: Mars, Saturn
Magickal Form: Whole or ground beans, brewed
Magickal Uses: Energy, Success, Uncrossing
- Sprinkling ground coffee in the four corners of a room, or brewing coffee in the room will make the occupants work harder.
- Add a brewed pot of coffee to the bathwater for energy. It will give you extra stamina and push you to forge ahead and work longer hours. The coffee bath is more beneficial than drinking it because it will not cause undue stress and there is no risk of overdosing.
- Carry whole coffee beans in the pocket for success in love.
- Coffee grounds can be read in the cup the same way as tea leaves.
- Coffee bean husks are highly reputed for use in uncrossing and jinx removing baths.
Collected from various sources
Here is a listing of herbs classified by gender. This is simply an old way of categorizing herbs by their basic type of vibration. Another method would be “hot” and “cold” which can be confusing.
Masculine herbs are those which are possessed of strong fiery vibrations. These are the herbs which are actually used for protection, hex breaking, exorcism, lust, to maintain sexual potency, health, strength, courage, etc. as well as any that strengthen the mind. The list is as follows:
Acacia, Allspice, Angelica, Ash, Aspen, Basil, Bay, Bittersweet, Borage, Brazil Nut, Broom, Caraway, Carnation, Cedar, Chamomile, Chestnut, Cinnamon, Clove, Clover, Curry, Dandelion, Dill, Dragon’s Blood, Eyebright, Fennel, Flax, Frankincense, Ginger, Hazel, Heliotrope, Holly, Honeysuckle, Hops, Juniper, Larch, Lavender, Lily of the Valley, Mandrake, Maple, Marigold, Marjoram, Meadowsweet, Mint, Mistletoe, Oak, Orange, Pecan, Pennyroyal, Pine, Pomegranate, Red Sandalwood, Rice, Rosemary, Rowan, Saffron, Sage, Sesame, Sunflower, Thistle, Walnut, Yucca
Feminine herbs are plants which are quieter, subtler, softer in their effects. Thus they are used to attract love, increase beauty, recapture youth, aid in healing and in developing psychic powers, increase fertility, draw wealth, promote happiness and peace, aid sleep and spirituality, and cause visions. The list is as follows:
Aloe, Apple, Apricot, banana, Barley, Beech, Belladonna, Birch, Blackberry, Cherry, Coltsfoot, Comfrey, Cypress, Daffodil, Daisy, Elder, Elm, Eucalyptus, Foxglove, Gardenia, Goldenrod, Grape, Heather, Hellebore, Honesty, Iris, Irish Moss, Ivy, Jasmine, Lady’s Mantle, Lemon, Lilac, Lily, Lucky Hand, Magnolia, Mugwort, Myrrh, Myrtle, Oats, Orchid, Pansy, Peach, Plum, Raspberry, Rose, Rye, Sagebrush, Sandalwood, Strawberry, Tansy, Thyme, Tulip, Vanilla, Violet, Wheat, Willow, Yarrow, Yew
When creating spells for a specific purpose you may want to use herbs or flowers that resonate to a specific elemental power, for example – when igniting the “flames” of passion – you might want to saturate the space with “fire” herbs, when doing a moon spell you might want to use water herbs. Alternatively, for balance you might want a little of each.
With that in mind, here is a comprehensive listing of the four elements and their respective herbal correspondences. There are many different lists of elemental herbs – this was the most extensive one I found. Not every one agrees as to the elemental properties of some of the herbs listed. When in doubt, go with what seems right to you.
Alfalfa, Barley, Beet, Buckwheat, Corn, Cotton, Cypress, Fern, Honesty, Honeysuckle, Horehound, Horsetail, Knotweed, Loose strife, Mugwort, Oats, Patchouli, Potato, Primrose, Quince, Rhubarb, Rye, Sage, Tulip, Turnip, Vervain, Vetivert, Wheat, Wood sorrel
Aloe, Apple, Apricot, Aster, Bachelor buttons, Banana, Blackberry, Bladder wrack, Bleeding heart, Burdock, Camellia, Cardamom, Catnip, Chickweed, Coconut, Comfrey, Daffodil, Daisy, Elder, Elm, Eucalyptus, Feverfew, Foxglove, Gardenia, Grape, Heather, Hibiscus, Hyacinth, Iris, Jasmine, Lady’s mantle, Lady’s slipper, Larkspur, Lemon, Lilac, Lily, Lotus, Lucky hand, Mesquite, Mimosa, Morning Glory, Myrrh, Myrtle, Orchid, Orris root, Pansy, Passion flower, Pear, Periwinkle, Plum, Plumeria, Poppy, Rose, Spearmint, Spikenard, Strawberry, Sugar cane, Sweet pea, Tansy, Thyme, Valerian, Violet, Willow, Wintergreen, Yarrow
Agrimony, Almond, Anise, Bean, Benzoin, Bergamot, Bittersweet, Borage, Broom, Caraway, Chicory, Dandelion, Endive, Eyebright, Goldenrod, Gourd, Hazel, Lavender, Lemongrass, Lemon verbena, Lily of the valley, Mace, Marjoram, Meadowsweet, Mint, Mistletoe, Mulberry, Parsley, Pine, Pistachio, Rice, Sage, Senna, Slippery elm, Star anise
Allspice, Angelica, Asafaetida, Basil, Bay, Black pepper, Cactus, Carnation, Chili pepper, Chrysanthemum, Cinnamon, Cinquefoil, Clove, Copal, Coriander, Cumin, Curry, Damiana, Dill, Dragon’s blood, Fennel, Flax, Frankincense, Galangal, Garlic, Ginger, Ginseng, Goldenseal, Hawthorn, Heliotrope, High John the Conqueror, Holly, Hyssop, Lovage, Mandrake, Marigold, Masterwort, May apple, Mullein, Mustard, Nutmeg, Onion, Orange, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Pomegranate, Rosemary, Rue, Saffron, St John’s Wort, Sassafras, Sesame, Snapdragon, Sunflower, Thistle, Ti, Tobacco, Venus flytrap, Witch hazel, Woodruff, Wormwood, Yucca
From: Elemental Witch
Here is a listing of the planets and the herbs associated with them:
Sun: Acacia, Ash, Bay, Carnation, Cedar, Chamomile, Cimmamon, Hazel, Heliotrope, Juniper, Marigold, Misteltoe, Oak, Orange, Pam, Peony, Rice, Rosemary, Saffron, Sunflower, Tea, Walnut
Moon: Aloe, Cotton, Dulse, Eucalyptus, Gardenia, Grape, Irish Moss, Jasmine, Lemon, Liiy, Myrrh, Poppy, Potato, Sandalwood, Willow
Mercury Almond, Aspen, Bittersweet, Brazil Nut, Caraway, Clover, Dill, Fennel, Fern, Flax, Lavendar, Mandrake, Marjoram, Mint, Mulberry, Parsley, Pecan, Senna
Venus: Apple, Apricot, Avocado, Barley, Birch, Blackberry, Cherry, Corn, Cowslip, Daffodil, Daisy, Elder, Foxglove, Goldenrod, Iris, Lilac, Magnolia, Oats, Pea, Peach, Plum, Raspberry, Rose, Sugar Cane, Thyme, Vanilla, Violet, Willow
Mars: Allspice, Basil, Briony, Broom, Carrot, Chili Pepper, Dragon’s Blood, Ginger, Holly, Hops, Onion, Pennyroyal, Pine, Reed, Thistle, Woodruff
Jupiter: Anise, Bodhi, Chestnut, Clove, Honeysuckle, Maple, Meadowsweet, Nutmeg, Sage, Witch Grass
Saturn: Amaranth, Beech, Belladonna, Cypress, Elm, Hellebore, Ivy, Lady’s Slipper, Mimosa, Pansy, Patchouli, Tamarisk, Yew
Found at: Magic Spells