Herbs and Spices
- Ruler: Mars
- Type: Spice
- Magickal Form: ground, whole
Heat producing and fiery chili pepper makes a great lust ingredient. Add to coconut and chocolate to turn up the flames of desire. Place a circle of red peppercorns around a photograph of your lover to keep others away from him or her. Pepper is also used for war and separation spells. Sprinkle white pepper in the corners of a room to overcome anger and dissension. Black pepper and pepper corns can hurt others or give protection. Black pepper mixed with salt and sulfur gets rid of someone you don’t want around. Cayenne pepper makes a good boundary, and can be used to seal a sacred circle protecting those inside the circle from negative or harmful energies.
What follows is a dry and lengthy discussion about peppercorns as legal tender. I included it here at the Magickal Apothecary because it interested me and because I think the concept can be used in magick as well.
Consider this – you want to do magick, and you’d like to invoke the aid of a deity, an elemental spirit, or some magickal entity but you are unsure as to how to “seal the deal.” In a court of law, a “legal” contract, in order to be binding, requires that both sides provide consideration, and I think that in magick this could be true as well.
So, my thought is, that a peppercorn might be offered up when food, or other offerings are inappropriate or inadvisable. A tiny little peppercorn could be left anywhere! I think peppercorns could also be used in binding spells and rituals, as well as other types of magickal agreements.
The Dry and Lengthy Discussion from Wikipedia:
A peppercorn in legal parlance is a metaphor for a very small payment, a nominal consideration, used to satisfy the requirements for the creation of a legal contract. “A peppercorn does not cease to be good consideration if it is established that the promisee does not like pepper and will throw away the corn.” Somervell LJ in Chappell v Nestlé  .
In English law, and other countries with similar common law systems, a legal contract requires that both sides provide consideration. In other words, if an agreement does not specify that each party will give something of value to the other party, then it is not considered a binding contract, and cannot be enforced in court. This requirement does not exist in contracts with civil law systems.
However, courts will not generally inquire into the adequacy or relative value of the consideration provided by each party. So, if a contract calls for one party to give up something of great value, while the other party gives up something of much lesser value, then it will generally still be considered a valid contract, even though the exchange of value greatly favors one side. Courts, however, will reject “consideration” that was not truly bargained for.
For example in the American case Fischer v. Union Trust Co., the Michigan court held that one dollar paid in exchange for the sale of real property did not constitute valuable consideration since the transaction was not bargained for. The dollar is considered nominal consideration, not because the dollar was too small an amount, but because it did not induce the seller to part with the property. Such promises that are motivated by love and affection are insufficient to constitute consideration.
So, in order for an essentially one-sided contract to still be valid and binding, the contract will generally be written so that one side gives up something of value, while the other side gives a token sum such as one pound, one dollar, or—literally—one peppercorn.
Peppercorn payments are sometimes used when a struggling company is sold. A failing company’s net worth may actually be negative, since its liabilities may exceed its assets. So if some other party agrees to take over the company and assume its liabilities as well as its assets, the seller may actually agree to make a large payment to the buyer. But the buyer must still make some payment for the company—even if that payment is only one dollar or one pound—in order to establish that both sides have given consideration.
A peppercorn is also used in more balanced contracts, where one side wishes to conceal the nature of their payment. For example, since real estate contracts are generally matters of public record, the purchaser of a house may not wish to list the exact amount of the payment on the contract. But there must be some specific payment listed in the contract, or the contract will be considered void for lack of consideration. So the contract may be written to reflect that the house is being sold in return for “ten dollars and other good and valuable consideration”. The ten dollars is the “peppercorn” that provides concrete consideration and ensures that the contract is valid, while the actual amount paid for the house is hidden and referred to only as the “good and valuable consideration”.
Another common example of a peppercorn payment being used in legal contracts is the English practice of peppercorn rent, which refers to a nominal rental sum for property, land or buildings. Where a rental contract is put in place and the owner of the property wishes it to be rent free it is normal to charge, say, one pound sterling as a peppercorn rent. Again, this is because, if the owner wants to lease the property, they must charge some rent so that consideration exists for both parties.
Furthermore, a peppercorn rent is often used as a form of nominal ground rent where a (potentially substantial) premium has also been paid on commencement of a long lease of, say, 99 or 125 years (a “virtual freehold”). The notional collection of the annual peppercorn rent helps to maintain a formal Landlord and Tenant relationship between the two parties, precluding the risk of a claim for adverse possession from the tenant arising, were no consideration to be paid for an extended period.
This is a, by no means complete, listing of plants and herbs that come especially under the dominion of the Moon, or are strongly Lunar. Many of these plants are also deeply associated with other planetary influences as well.
- Acanthus – Acanthus mollis
- All-Seed – Atriplex silvestris
- Cabbage (all kinds) – Brassicae
- Cabbage (Lettuce) – Lactuca sativa
- Chickweed – Stellaria media
- Cleavers – Galium aparine
- Cuckoo Flower – Cardamine pratense
- Cucumber – Cucumis sativus
- Daisy – Bellis perennis
- Duckweed – Lenticula palustris
- Galium – Galium aparine
- Goose Grass – Galium aparine
- Gourd – Cucurbita Pepo
- Hawkweed – Hieracium pilosella
- Hyssop – Hyssopus officinalis
- Iris (Florentine) – Iris florentina
- Iris (German) – Iris germanica, dark blue flowers
- Iris (Pale) – Iris pallida, pale blue flowers
- Lady’s Smock – Cardamine pratense
- Lettuce (Cabbage) – Lactuca sativa
- Lily (White) – Lilium album
- Lime Tree – Tilia
- Moneywort – Lysimachia nummularia
- Monk’s Pepper – Agnus castus
- Moonwort – Ruta lunaria
- Mouse Ear – Hieracium pilosella
- Myrtle – Vinca minor
- Notchweed – Atriplex silvestris
- Nutmeg – Myristica fragrans
- Orache – Atriplex silvestris
- Orpine – Sedum telephium
- Papaya – Carica papaya
- Periwinkle – Vinca minor
- Poppy (Corn) – Papa ver rhoeas
- Poppy (Opium) – Papaver somnifrruni
- Privet – Ligustrum vulgare
- Pumpkin – Cucurbita Pepo
- Saxifrage – Saxifraga
- Sedum – Telephium vulgare
- Sharp Stonecrop – Sedum acre
- Speedwell – Veronica officinalis
- Turmeric – Curcuma longa
- Wallflower – Cheiranthus cheiri
- Wall Pepper – Sedum acre
- Water Chestnut – Trapa natans
- Watercress – Nasturtium officinale
- Water Lily – Nymphaea alba
- Willow (all kinds) – Salices
This is a, by no means complete, listing of plants and herbs that come especially under the dominion of the Sun. Many of these plants are also under the dominion of, or are deeply associated with other planets as well.
- Angelica – Angelica archangelica
- Angelica (Wild) – Angelica silvestris
- Ash – Fraxinus excelsior
- Bergamot – Citrus bergamium
- Blueweed – Fchium valgare
- Calamus – Calamus aromaticus (Acorus calamus)
- Chamomile (German) – Matricaria chamomilla
- Celandine – Chelidonium majus
- Cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon – Cinnamonum ceylanicum
- Cinquefoil – Potentilla reptans
- Clove Tree – Caryophyllus (Syzygium aromaticum)
- Dittany – Dictamnus albus
- Elecampane – mula helenium
- Eyebright – Euphrasia officinalis
- Five Leaf or Finger Grass – Potentilla reptans
- Gentian – Gentiana lutea
- Ginger – Zingiber officinale
- Grape Vine – Vitis vinifrra
- Ground Ivy – Glechoma hederacea
- Juniper – Juniperus communis
- Laurel – Laurus nobilis
- Lemon Balm – Melissa offtcinalis
- Lemon Tree – Citrus limonum
- Lesser Centaury – Erythrea centaurium (Entaurium umbellatum)
- Lingwort – Angelica archangelica
- Marigold – Calendula officinalis
- Marshmallow – Althaea officinalis
- Mistletoe – Viscum album
- Mustard (Black and White) – Sinapis nigra, alba
- Olive Tree – Olea europea
- Orange Tree – Citrus aurantium
- Passionflower – Passiflora incarnata
- Peony – Paeonia officinalis
- Pepper (White and Black) – Piper
- Plantain – Plantago major
- Ribwort – Plantago lanceolata
- Rice – Oryza sativa
- Roman Chamomile – Anthemis nobilis
- Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis
- Rue (Common) – Ruta graveolens
- Saint John’s Wort – Hypericum perforaturn
- Scarlet Pimpernel (Common) – Anagallis arvensis
- Sundew – Drosera rotundifrlia
- Sunflower – Helian thus anuus
- Viper’s Buglass – Fchium valgare
- Walnut Tree – Juglans regia
- Wild Strawberry – Fragaria vesca
- Zedoaria, Zedoary – Curcuma zedoaria
Angelica was linked sometimes with St. Michael the Archangel and was even called “The Root of the Holy Ghost”. It protects against witchcraft, evil spirits, spells and enchantments.
- Basil (Sweet):
Basil is believed to have derived its name form the Basilisk, the fabulous dragon-like creature that was deadly to anyone who looked at it. This may have spawned the old belief that Basil begot scorpions.
- Betony (Wood):
Betony, the original herb of Magic and medicine discovered by Chiron the Centaur. Cured against ‘elf sickness’. Believed that animals seek it out when ill. Old lore says that if two snakes are put into a ring of Betony, they will fight to the death. Considered magically powerful against evil spirits.
The word bistort means ‘twice twisted’. The twisted root resembles a snake. English names include snakeweed and adderwort. Regarded as a cure for snake bites. Lore also says that this herb can help a woman conceive a child.
Blackberry was considered to be a holy plant. In the Highlands, they’re called Blessed Brambles. If twined into a wreath with rowan and ivy, will keep away evil spirits. Brambles or alternatively osieres, would be plaited around a grave to keep a ghost from rising. Believed that Christ used a bramble to drive the money changers out of the temple and to spur his donkey onto Jerusalem. Thought to cure various ailments if the sick would walk under an archway of bramble rooted at each end.
A piece of broom is worn in a cap because its ancient reputation as a plant both useful to witches and against them. Was also used as a magic sleep enhancer and as a power in love spells.
- Byrony (White):
White Byrony is used in place of European Mandrake root. Helped in fertility spells for barren women. Also called Womandrake and related to the Yam family. In France was called “Herb of Beaten Wives” because the berry juice resembles the black and blue marks of beatings.
Discovered by Chiron the Centaur. Centaury was used to cure fevers. Was considered to be another powerful herb against Witchcraft and Magic.
Chicory was believed to be a cure for failing sight and poor eyes because its flowers only open during sunlight. If gathered by a special ritual, it was believed to make one invisible and also open locked doors and chests. To do so, one must cut the plant with a gold blade on St. Jame’s Day, July 25.
- Cinquefoil (Potentilla):
Cinquefoil meant “small and powerful”. Hung in doorways to keep out evil spirits. A main ingredient in Witch potions and ointments.
- Devil’s Bit (Scabious):
Old lore says that the Devil bit it for envy because the herb had so many good virtues and was so good for mankind. In Cornwall England, was referred to as Devil’s Button and to pick the plant one was sure to receive a nocturnal visit from the Devil.
Dill was known as an anti-witch plant. Was used to lull people into stupors and thus mothers used it on their babies to keep them sleepy. Used in and against spells.
St. Michael used it along with rue and three drops from the Well of Life to anoint his hurt eyes after his battle with the Devil and the latter’s fall.
Fennel has genuine wind-expelling properties. Used to keep evil spirits away especially on Midsummer’s Eve when it would be hung with St. John’s Wort over doorways. Keyholes blocked with fennel would keep out ghosts. Was also believed to confer longevity and improve strength and courage.
Foxglove was associated with fairies and elves as they gave gloves to the fox so he could raid the chickens and escape harm. Said that if the fairies wore these ‘gloves’ they could do anything. Was believed to be dangerous to cut foxglove but once you’d done so and lived it was a good defense against the little people.
In Wales it’s juice was rubbed into a floor in the shape of a cross to protect the home from the fey folk. It could also be used to kill a changeling child. Also believed that the souls of the dead inhabited the flowers thus the alternate names of ‘bells’, ‘thimbles’ or ‘deadman’s fingers’.
Known alternatively as St. John’s Herb and Mugwort was considered to be the “Mother of Al Herbs.” Some believed that St. John the Baptist wore a girdle of Mugwort in the forest where he lived. Was cured in the Midsummer bonfires and hung up over doorways to keep evil at bay. Also used to keep travelers from getting too weary.
Orchid, another name for Satyrion root which was believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac. Men and women ate the tubers as sexual stimulants and in the hopes of defining what sex a newborn would take.
Parsley was not originally considered an herb but rather in connections with both ‘noble’ and ‘funeral’. The Greeks strewn it on graves. It was used on food plates as a garnish as an antidote to poison and thus put on a plate was considered a token of trust. It was also thought if a man ate some of the seeds prior to drinking he’d be able to drink more and still retain his faculties.
The Peony was regarded as having a divine origin. Sacred to Peon, physician to the Gods. Would protect from evil spirits and storms and would in particular protect shepherds and their flocks, farmers and their crops. Was considered as dangerous as Mandrake to dig up and thus the same kinds of protections must be used. It was also believed to be highly dangerous to dig up if a woodpecker was nearby as the gatherer of the herb would lose his sight.
Plantain was known as ‘healing herb’ in Scotland and Ireland. Was considered a very powerful plant since it could stand back up against the boot heel or chariot wheel crushing it down. Due to this belief, it was used to treat wounds and bruises.
Rosemary was dropped into coffins as a way of letting the dead know that you’d not forget them. Also very protective against physical injury and thunder and or lightning. Could renew youth and help ‘special’ enterprises to grow and succeed.
Sage has an ancient reputation as a healing plant and thought to confer long life. Tradition says that if the plant lives or dies so will a business owner’s livelihood thrive or fail.
- Solomon’s Seal:
Solomon’s Seas is said to bear a symbol on its roots, the two interwoven triangles which make up the hexagram, will scare off evil spirits! The white flowers were used in love potions and the plant was used to help ‘knit bones’ together.
Also known as Little Dragon, Tarragon is reputed to have sprung up where the banished serpent from the Garden of Eden brushed up over the ground along with Mugwort and Wormwood. Since Dragons were both terrifying and protective, it was believed to cure snake-bite.
- Viper’s Bugloss:
The seeds of this herb resemble a viper’s head and thus thought to be another cure against snake bite.
Yarrow, also known as Bloodwort is noted for its wound healing powers and was regarded as another herb dedicated to the Devil.
Collected from various sources
To prepare herbal tea, use approximately one to three teaspoons of herb per cup of boiling water. Boil water but do not use an aluminum kettle. Pour water into a mug or pot leaving herbs to steep for at least five minutes, but don’t leave for longer than ten minutes or the tea may become bitter. For stronger tea, use more herb rather than steeping the tea for a longer time.
Store herbal tea in amber colored or opaque jars, never in clear glass jars. The potency of the herb may be destroyed by light. Mild teas can be used daily over long periods of time with no ill effects.
- Anise: Protection, purification, awareness, joy, calling Spirits.
- Basil: Protection, love, healing relationships, courage, fertility, exorcism. Calming the nerves.
- Bergamont: Success
- Burdock Root: Purity, Protection
- Caraway: Protection, passion. Has the power to prevent the theft of any object that contains the seed and to keep lovers from losing interest in one another.
- Catnip (flavor with mint): Peace.
- Chamomile: Love, Relaxation. Calming, Mediation
- Cinnamon: Spiritual quests, augmenting power, love, success, psychic work, healing, cleansing.
- Clove: Dispels negativity, protection, draws money, defrays gossip, vision, cleansing.
- Comfrey: Safe travel, draws money, healing.
- Dandelion: Divination, welcoming, messages.
- Elder Flower: Divination
- Eyebright: Mental and Psychic Power
- Fennel: Purification, protection, healing, money.
- Ginger: Protection. Power, success, love, money. (place a few slices of fresh ginger in boiling water).
- Ginseng: Love, wishes, beauty, desire.
- Hyssop: Purification
- Lemon: Purification, love, blessings.
- Lemon (Leaves): Lust
- Lemon Balm: Health, Success
- Licorice Root: Love and Sex. (boil licorice root)
- Mint, Spearmint, Peppermint: Draws money, healing, strength, augments power, purification, luck, safe travel.
- Mugwort: Divination
- Mullein: Divination
- Nettle: Averts danger, protection, healing. Use gloves to handle so as to avoid getting pricked.
- Rose Hips: Psychic Power and Divination
- Rose Hips and Hibiscus: Love, friendship, luck, protection, psychic power and divination.
- Rosemary: Improves memory, sleep, purification, youth, love, power, healing, protection, intellectual.
- Sage (sweetened with honey): Long life. Fertility, wishes, wisdom, protection.
- Thyme: Sleep, psychic energy, courage, healing. Use both the leaves and flowers.
- Valerian: Love, calming, sleep. Gets fighting couples together.
- Yarrow: Courage, love, psychic abilities, divination. The tea drunk prior to divination will enhance one’s powers of perception (a touch of added peppermint enhances its action).
- Ruler: Zeus, Obatala, Ra, Bast, solar deities
- Type: Plant
- Magickal form: oil, bark, branch, flower
- Other names: Cassie Flower, Catechu, Egyptian Thorn, Gum Arabic, Cape Gum
- Basic powers: Protection, Clairvoyance
Acacia is much revered in religious and magickal practice as an emblem of immortality and of initation, in the sense that initiation is symbolic of resurrection. The ancient Egyptians made funeral wreaths of Acacia leaves and the Hebrews planted a sprig of evergreen Acacia to mark the grave of a departed friend.
Carry the wood as a protective amulet.
Acacia wood is the Biblical shittim-wood from which Noah’s Ark and the Tabernacle and Altar wer made. Jewish legend tells us that the Burning Bus of Moses was an Acacia. Christian lore links an Acacia tree with the Cross and its spiny branches with the Crown of Thorns. The sap of some spiny Acacia species yields Gum Arabic, used as a binding agent.
Sitting under an acacia tree or burning the dried flowers brings wisdom and insight. The oil extracted from the plant is considered holy and used for purification and anointing. It is especially powerful when attempting to contact the dead and should be rubbed into white candles and not worn on the body while attempting such work. For personal anointing, mix with other oils (like musk or camellia) to cut and then it is said to bring happiness.
- To contact the dead:
Dip acacia leaves in holy water and sprinkle an altar with the water, or burn Acacia as incense to communicate with or to memorialize the dead.
- To open the mind to visions:
Acacia leaves are burned on charcoal to induce spiritual phenomena and develop personal psychic power; adding Frankincense and Myrrh is used to intensify the effect.
Mace is a spice made from the waxy red covering which covers nutmeg seeds. It is completely different from the protective pepper spray with the same name.
Mace is produced by, Myristica franrans, a member of the mayriticaceae family. This plant, native to Indonesia, grows into a tropical evergreen tree of up to thirty feet tall.
Mace is actually the aril of the nutmeg seed shell. It is removed from the shell. The broken part of it is generally known as blades. Nutmeg and mace are treated separately. But the history of both of them is related to each other. The color of mace can be different from one to another place. The mace from West Indies is generally yellowish brown. On the other side mace from East Indian nutmegs are actually orange when dried. Mace is sweet and fragrant but quite stronger than nutmeg. The flavor of mace is aromatic, sharp and warm and is sweeter than nutmeg.
Magickal Uses for Mace:
- Planet: Mercury
- Element: Air
- Magickal influences: Psychic awareness
Mace emits a powerful, spicy odor and is well known from its use in cooking. It smells a lot like nutmeg, which makes complete sense, since mace is actually the covering of the nutmeg nut. Because it has this aspect of being like a peel or rind, it is usually considered ruled by Mercury according to sources like Agrippa, even though its scent is warmish, reminding one more of Jupiter or Sun. But Mercury works well for just about any magical purpose, since Mercury rules magic itself.
It is designated as the primary incense in Grimoirium Verum, in particular for censing the Circle. Mace has a more complex scent than nutmeg, perhaps not as flowery: a blend of spice, bitterness, clove, and pine. Mace is one of the winter spices in Wassail bowl, along with cardamom, clove, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and coriander, and is often, along with them, used in prosperity charms. The nice thing about blade mace is that you can be sure there is nothing in it but mace.
To enhance psychic awareness, sit comfortably and inhale the aroma, visualizing it penetrating your conscious mind, relaxing its hold and traveling to your deep consciousness. Psychic awareness will blossom.
Sprinkle some outside doors and windows for protection. Mace also stimulates brain activity and creativity. Smell the spice for inspiration, or mix with success formulas and burn as incense. You can also dust your hands with the powder.
Mace at one time found use in a money-drawing douche among prostitutes, who mixed the powder with distilled vinegar and water. It was said that a man whose member came in contact with a woman who had thus “dressed her pussy” would be under her control, and would seek her out and pay her well for repeated trysts.
The money drawing powers of mace makes sense because mace grows attached to the nutmeg, itself a celebrated money drawing spice.
- ACACIA: divination
- ADDER”S TONGUE: divination
- ANGELICA: exorcism, healing, and protection against evil influences.
- AVENS: soul purification.
- BASIL: exorcism, love spells and protection against evil influences.
- BAY: clairvoyance, healing, good luck and protection against evil influences.
- BERGAMOT: prosperity.
- CAMPHOR: divination.
- CATNIP: love spells.
- CARNATION: psychic healing.
- CEDAR: healing, prosperity and sanctification.
- CHAMOMILE: sleep potions.
- CINNAMON: clairvoyance, healing and love spells.
- CINQUEFOIL: prosperity.
- CLOVES: divination, exorcism, love and spiritual purification.
- CLOVER: anti-sorcery, counterspells and protection against evil influences.
- CORIANDER: love spells.
- DILL: anti-sorcery and protection against evil influences.
- DRAGON’S BLOOD: exorcism and love spells.
- ELDER: aphrodisiac, love spells and prosperity.
- FENNEL: healing and purification.
- FERN: exorcism and spells to attract rain.
- FRANKINCENSE: consecration, divination, exorcism, healing, love spells and spiritual purification.
- GARDENIA: healing and love spells.
- GARLIC: exorcism, protection against evil influences and purification.
- GINGER: aphrodisiacs and love spells.
- HAWTHORNE FLOWERS: clairvoyance and divination.
- HAZEL: aphrodisiacs and love spells.
- HONEYSUCKLE: divination.
- HOPS: healing and sleep potions.
- JASMINE: aphrodisiacs and love spells.
- JUNIPER: aphrodisiacs, exorcism, healing, love spells and protection against evil influences.
- LAVENDER: aphrodisiacs and love spells.
- LEMON BALM: healing and love spells.
- LEMON GRASS: divination.
- LILAC: exorcism.
- LOVAGE: aphrodisiacs and love spells.
- MACE: divination.
- MALLOW: exorcism.
- MANDRAKE ROOT: aphrodisiac, cursing enemies, love spells, protection against evil influences and spells to increase psychic powers.
- MARJORAM: prophetic dreams and protection against evil influences.
- MINT: exorcism and healing.
- MUGWORT: astral projection, clairvoyance, divination, prophetic dreams, and Spells to increase psychic powers.
- MYRRH:consecration, exorcism, healing and meditation.
- MYRTLE: sleep potions.
- NUTMEG: divination and healing.
- ORRIS ROOT: clairvoyance and divination.
- PASSION FLOWER: sleep potions.
- PATCHOULI: invocation of elemental powers.
- PEONY ROOT: anti-sorcery and protection against evil influences.
- PINE: prosperity.
- ROSE: divination, healing and love spells.
- ROSEMARY: counterspells, healing, love spells and purification.
- RUE: exorcism and hexing of enemies.
- SAFFRON: love spells.
- SANDALWOOD: consecration, healing and protecting against evil influences.
- SASSAFRASS: prosperity.
- SERPENTARIA ROOT: aphrodisiacs and love spells.
- SOLOMON’S SEAL: exorcism.
- THISTLE: exorcism.
- THYME: divination and healing.
- TONKA: love spells and prosperity.
- VERVAIN: anti-sorcery, astral projection and sleep potions.
- VIOLET: Healing and love spells.
- WILLOW: healing.
- WOOD ALOE: prosperity.
- WOODRUFF: prosperity.
- WORMWOOD: clairvoyance, divination and good luck.
- YARROW: divination, exorcism, love spells, prophetic dreams,and spells to increases psychic powers.
- YERBA SANTA: healing.
Lemon Balm is bound to the moon and water. It is used in spells associated with healing, health, friendship, love, and success. Historically, it is a symbolic plant used to transmit messages between lovers.
- Latin name: Melissa officinalis
- Folk or Common names: Melissa, Sweet Balm, Balm Mint, Bee Balm, Blue Balm, Cure-all, Dropsy Plant, Garden Balm, Sweet Balm
- Ruler: Venus, Jupiter, Diana
- Planet: Moon or Neptune
- Gender: Feminine
- Element: Water
- Parts Used: Leaves, Essential Oil
- Tarot Card: The Chariot
- Basic powers: Love potions, aphrodisiacs, fertility anti-depressant.
Lemon Balm is used in spells to bring animal healing, compassion, endings, fertility, happiness, healing, longevity, love, mental, prosperity, psychic, release, success,and youth.
Lemon Balm has a long history, dating back to ancient Turkey where it was planted near bee hives to encourage the bees to return home to the hive rather than swarm away. It’s name, Melissa officinalis, is derived from the Greek word Melissa, meaning honeybee, and it was planted and used by the beekeepers of the Temple of Artemis to help keep the sacred honeybees content.
In ancient times Lemon Balm was planted by ones front door to drive away evil spirits. It is an herb which attracts, and is sometimes made into a charm and worn to bring a lover into one’s life.
Lemon balm (as herb or essential oil) may be used in as an ingredient or substitute for magick spells and formulas related to lunar matters (compassion, dreams, family, fertility, gardening, healing, love, peace, promoting sleep, prophecy, prophetic (or psychic) dreams), psychic awareness, sleep, and spirituality).
Lemon Balm was carried into Europe through Spanish trade routes, eventually making its way into the monastic gardens through out Europe. It was included in the formula for Carmelite water, a drink and perfume developed and closely guarded by the Carmelite friars and used as a drink to ward off nervous headaches and as a perfume to bring good cheer while masking strong odors in medieval and renaissance Europe.
Considered sacred to Diana, it is believed that it was once used in her temples. lemon balm was called “heart’s delight” in southern Europe. A tea made of the leaves brings calm, which is appropriate for magickal students while preparing for ritual work. Lemon Balm may also be used as a bathing herbe toward a variety of goals. It may be used as part of the ritual process of invoking the Goddess.
Writers over the centuries have praised lemon balm for its ability to dispel melancholy and in aromatherapy it is used to combat depression. Its pleasing scent makes it a popular ingredient in herbal pillows, often used to promote relaxation and sound sleep. Lemon balm is associated with the energies of the moon and used to help balance emotions, allowing us to perceive our feelings without becoming wrapped up in them.
Drink as an infusion to soothe emotional pains after a relationship ends. For magickal purposes, balm is ideally suited for healing those who suffer from mental or nervous disorders. It is also very useful for those of sound mind who need to keep their mental processes in superior condition.
Carry Lemon Balm in a charm or sachet to find love, or burn it as an incense when doing spells related to success. Drink as a Tea to ease emotional pain after the break-up of a relationship or other personal hurt.
Soak leaves in wine for several hours, strain, then share the wine with the object of your affection to influence love. Historically, it is a symbolic plant used to transmit messages between lovers.
It may be used when sharing a ritual bath with one’s partner; or it may be used to find the fulfillment of one’s personal desires. This usage of lemon balm opens one to the divine love of the Goddess, but is also believed to add energy to one’s being which makes you more appealing in the world of love and romance.
Lemon Balm guides us as we traverse the misty emotional state of the Moon and enables us to view our emotions and feelings without getting lost in them. Lemon Balm sachets placed under your pillow or near the bed are reputed to provide a refreshing, relaxing sleep. In folklore, Lemon Balm was used to ward off evil, and to promote good health, love, and good cheer.
Lemon Balm’s presence is quiet and strong. Running through the soil like her minty cousins, she spreads just under the surface with steady, clear intention. In this way, she reminds us good cheer and sunny confidence will proliferate even when we’re not aware of their presence on the surface of our lives. Lemon Balm magic is the magic of quiet, steady trust.
Lemon Balm’s effect on honeybees, attracting them and encouraging them to remain in their hives, reminds us to nurture our homes, our friends and family, our communities. Through the simple act of contributing to our household, we nurture ourselves. In this way, Lemon Balm asks us to seek joy and peace in the mundane tasks of life as a way of self-nurturing.
Thriving in both sun and shade, soils of a wide pH, dry and damp conditions, Lemon Balm teaches versatility, particularly in how we grow. If Lemon Balm has popped up in your life, it may be time to ask yourself what conditions are present in your life that you must embrace to thrive. Has a challenge surfaced that you resist? Have you identified an aspect of your life that feels unbearable, burdensome, like a whole lotta work? Lemon Balm can help you identify the trouble and find ways to adapt and thrive amidst it, or maybe in spite of it.
I like to think of Lemon Balm magic as the magic of relax-its-only-life. That’s the feeling I get from bruising her leaves and taking in her scent. However melancholy I may feel, whatever darkness or heaviness seems to plague my life, the scent of Melissa officinalis always brings a smile to my lips. Lemon Balm magic is the magic of steady, calm, persistent, good cheer.
Collected from a variety of sources including Herbal Riot