- Folk Names: Trefoil, Honeystalks, Three-leafed Grass
- Ruler: Jupiter, Mercury
- Element: Earth, Air, Fire, Water
- Types: Red, White
- Magickal Forms: Three leaf, four leaf, and five leaf
- Basic Powers: Protection, Luck, Fertility, and Abundance
Clover was one of the anti-witch plants which protected human beings and animals from the spells of malevolent witches and the wiles of fairies, and brought good luck to those who kept it in the house, or wore it in their buttonholes or hats. Some varieties of clover have three distinctly heart shaped leaves ~ both elements, the number 3 and the shape, contribute to its benevolent reputation.
The shamrock, the form of clover that is synonymous with all things Irish – was known as the shamrakh in Arabic countries and symbolized the triple aspect of the Goddess. A symbol of luck, leprechauns, and wishes, the shamrock is a powerful talisman to carry.
It could be used in love-divination; and to dream of it was very fortunate for young people, since such a dream foretold a happy and prosperous marriage.
Red clover flowers bring good luck in love and marriage matters and are carried in mojos for satisfying conjugal relations and to ensure a happy marriage. White clover flowers protect from evil and bring an end to “crossed” conditions.
In folk magic Red Clover is used in a ritual bath to attract money and prosperity to the bather and is also used as a floorwash to chase out evil and unwanted ghosts. White Clover is used for breaking curses and is worn as a sachet or put in the four corners or a house or someone’s property to achieve this.
If someone has done well in life, he or she is said to be “living in clover.” This probably originates from the fact that cattle grow best when grazing in fields of clover.
Clover keeps snakes away from your property, if grown there. When placed in the left shoe, and then forgotten, clover keeps evil from you. Worn over the right breast it brings success in all undertakings.
If you have been disappointed in love, wear clover near your heart in a piece of blue silk to help you through.
It also protects against madness, strengthens psychic powers, enables you to detect the presence of spirits, and leads the wearer to gold, money, or treasures.
Clover vs Shamrock
The term shamrock is derived from the Gaelic word seamrog which means “little clover.” It is famous as a symbol of Ireland. St. Patrick believed that the three tiny leaves represent the Holy Trinity, which it is all over the place on St. Patrick’s Day.
There is no specific “shamrock plant.” However, most scientists agree that the term “shamrock” refers to Trifolium Repens or the white clover. Others believe that it is also used when referring to Trifolium Dubium or suckling clover. Both species have leaves that are separated into three leaflets, hence the term “trifolium.”
On the other hand, clover or “trefoil” is a common term that refers to any of the 300 species that belongs to the Trifolium family. Trifolium plants like the red clover, white clover, Swedish clover, strawberry clover, and Alsatian clover are small, green, flower-bearing, and herbaceous. They can be short-lived, perennial, or annual.
A clover is trifoliate, which means the leaves are subdivided into three toothed leaflets, although four-leaf, five-leaf, and six-leaf clovers can be occasionally found due to a natural genetic mutation. It is believed that there is only one four-leaf clover in a hundred thousand three-leaf clovers, which is why it is widely accepted as a symbol of luck.
What, then, is the difference between a shamrock and a clover?
“Clover” is a generic term that refers to trefoils, or any of the 300 species that belong to the Trifolium family. These plants have leaves that are separated into three leaflets, but you may find four-leaf, five-leaf or even six-leaf clovers as a genetic abnormality. “Shamrock,” on the other hand, means “little clover” and is used to refer to the white clover species or the suckling clover species. It is also the symbol of Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day.
In conclusion, shamrocks are clovers, but not all clovers are shamrocks. So, that green leaf you see on St. Patrick’s Day? It’s a shamrock and a clover.
Three Leaf Clover
Some folk traditions assign a different attribute to each leaf of a clover. The three leaf clover represents the Holy Trinity ~ Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Alternatively, it represents the Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
The three leafed clover is often used in rituals designed to protect or to keep one looking youthful and fair. As a protection carry one on your person.
To keep looking young, gather dew on May Day morning, just before the Sun rises. Put into this water three clover stalks. Let these steep all day out of the Sun’s rays. The next morning, again before the sun rises, rub a little of the water on your face. Do this every morning until the water is used up. Cover the bowl with a cloth to keep the water clean and store in a place where it will remain untouched until the following morning.
Early Christian proselytizers, such as St. Patrick, used both the shamrock and the clover to demonstrate the three-in-one notion of the trinity ( father, son, and holy spirit). It is also said that snakes will not venture where clover grows, which ties into the idea of St Patrick and his reputation for driving the snakes out of Ireland.
That said, the Irish had imbued the shamrock with meaning before St. Patrick came along. Three-leaf clovers featured prominently in ancient Celtic rituals and folklore (triads and the number three were considered spiritually significant back then, too).
With its three leaves, Clover is a very shamanic plant allowing one to see into and interact with the Otherworld. It is a good talisman of protection and power for traveling out of body and walking between worlds. Never underestimate the magical power of this simple and harmless weed. It also makes a good offering to Mercurial deities and can be burned with incense, added to ritual smoking blend, made into alcoholic brews, or left with a food offering.
Four Leaf Clover
Although all clover has the same magickal properties, it is the rare four leafed kind that is especially powerful. Such a plant, when found, enabled the finder to see fairies, detect witches, and recognize evil spirits. Anyone wearing a four-branched leaf was safe from malicious enchantments and one hidden in the dairy, or barn prevented witches from harming the milk supply or the butter.
If a girl wore a four leaf clover in her right shoe, the first unmarried man she met on her first journey with it would be her future husband, or if not he, then another man of the same name. Another method is to pin the four leaf clover above the front door of her home. Again, the first unmarried man who walks through her door will become her husband.
There is a story in the Denham Tracts of a Northumberland girl who, when returning from milking, saw fairies dancing in the field. No one else could see them, though she pointed them out. She was not normally second-sighted, and it was afterwards discovered that the source of her vision lay in the circular pad she wore on her head to support the milk pail. Among the grasses with which it was stuffed was a four leaf clover.
Four leafed clovers are genetic mutations of the three leafed varieties, and well-known European – American charms, bringing in (and representing) health, wealth, love and luck, and protecting from witchcraft. An old rhyme is as follows:
One leaf for fame,
One leaf for wealth,
And one for a faithful lover,
And one leaf to bring you glorious health,
Are all in the four leaf clover.
The luckiest four leaf clover is one you find when you are not looking for one. The four leaf clover carries all the symbolism of the number 4.
Some people press four leafed clovers in a book, such as the Bible, and keep them in the house. Others carry a dried and flattened four leafed clover in their wallet, to draw money, even going so far as to laminate them to card-stock to preserve them. Jewelers make effigies of them, working these into key chain fobs, brooches, pendants, and rings.
An old legend says that when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, Eve took a four leaf clover with her to remind her of the happiness she had enjoyed there. Consequently finding a four leaf clover became a sign of good luck and happiness. Anyone lucky enough to be in possession of a four leaf clover has a piece of the blessed Paradise.
In the seventeenth century, four leaf clovers were sometimes strewn in the path of a bride to provide her with extra protection from evil spirits on her special day.
Four leaf clovers are carried to prevent madness. It is also a popular amulet to avoid military service. Gather the four leaf clovers in the morning, then walk to the nearest hill. As the Sun rises throw one clover to the North, and one to each of the other directions, calling upon the powers of the Elements to protect you, to keep you from getting drafted or whatever your wish is. Then, after finishing the ritual, pluck one more four leaf clover (remember, leave something in payment to the earth for the plant taken) and keep it as a magickal link with the elements.
They are also a frequent image on good luck tokens and they appear on greeting cards and postcards conveying good wishes to the recipient. Some say that four-leaf clovers grant the power to see fairies. In other traditions it is said that they are related to St. Patrick’s use of the shamrock to explain Christianity to the Irish, the cross of Jesus being made up of 4 parts.
The earliest mention of “Fower-leafed or purple grasse” is from 1640 and simply says that it was kept in gardens because it was “good for the purples in children or others.” John Melton, an English writer wrote the following in 1620 about the clover:
“That if any man walking in the fields, find any foure-leaved grasse, he shall in a small while after find some good thing.”
A description from 1869 says that four-leaf clovers were “gathered at night-time during the full moon by sorceresses, who mixed it with vervain and other ingredients, while young girls in search of a token of perfect happiness made quest of the plant by day.” The first reference to luck might be from an 11-year-old girl, who wrote in an 1877 letter to St. Nicholas Magazine, “Did the fairies ever whisper in your ear, that a four-leaf clover brought good luck to the finder?”
Five Leaf Clovers
Sometimes a five leafed clover might be spotted by those who have particularly sharp eyesight. Because the number five combines the feminine 2 with the masculine 3 , it symbolizes marriage or engagements.
The five leaf clover also represents the pentagram or five pointed star and multiplies the blessings of the shamrock by five. The first leaf represents hope, the second stands for faith, the third is for love and the fourth leaf brings luck to the finder. A fifth leaf represents money, but there is no meaning as yet for the sixth leaf and above. Some reports claim six to be fame and seven to be longevity, though the notions’ origination is unknown.
Five-leaf clovers are less commonly found naturally than four-leaf clovers; however, they have been successfully cultivated. Some four-leaf clover collectors, particularly in Ireland, regard the five-leaf clover, known as a rose clover, as a particular prize.
In exceptionally rare cases, clovers are able to grow with six leaves and more in nature. The most leaves ever found on a single clover stem (Trifolium repens L.) is 156 and was discovered by Shigeo Obara of Hanamaki City, Iwate, Japan, on 10 May 2009.
Clover Blossoms For Purification
Here are some ways clover blossom can be used for purification:
- Place two drops clover blossom flower essence in a mister of rose water and mist an interior space to purify the vibrations. You can also mist your body and aura for the same purpose.
- Drink two to three cups white clover blossom tea per day to support physical detoxification. Drink two to three cups red clover blossom tea per day to support emotional detoxification (after abuse, a challenging breakup, etc.)
- Take four drops white or red clover blossom essence under the tongue or in water twice per day to support physical and emotional purification.
- Place fresh clover blossoms in bath water, along with one cup sea salt, for a physical/emotional/spiritual purification bath.
- After space clearing, arrange fresh clover blossoms and soy candles together on a plate and place in a central location in a room. Repeat in each room and area of the home, and light the candles to help set the new vibration in place and to further purify and uplift the energy.
Not a Clover
Because four leaf clovers are fairly rare, an unrelated plant called Oxalis (which has similar looking leaves, but entirely different flowers) is sometimes sold as a substitute for them. At Saint Patrick’s Day, many nurseries sell potted Oxalis as “lucky shamrocks.”
There are a number of plants that look like clover and have three or four leaflets. In particular, Oxalis tetraphylla (also known as O. deppei) has spread from cultivation and can be found living wild in various places. It has four leaflets and is actually known as four-leaf clover in some places.
O. tetraphylla is also known as four-leaf sorrel or Iron Cross, and it does look a lot like a four-leafed white clover. The primary difference is that the center of O. tetraphylla is often tinged with purple – and it does not produce the white flowers we normally associate with white clover.
Marsilea mutica, is another plant that is billed as a variegated four leaf clover, and sold as an attractive and versatile addition to your pond. Each leaf appears to be a perfect 4 leaf clover, and is advertised as bringing the luck of the leprechaun to all who view it. Whether luck and leprechauns are truly drawn to it, I do not know.
Each plant, animal, rock, and other entity has a spirit (consciousness resonance matrix). These spirits can join together, in a hive-mind, as a spirit of an area. Nature spirits include real biological intelligences, are psychically powerful, and are much less abstract and controllable than the Elementals that many magical people who perform all of their rituals indoors are familiar with. They can be extremely powerful allies.
It is possible to sense nature spirits, to determine if they are receptive to a ritual planned, and to have them actively participate in magical workings if they are.
Some Effects of Working With Nature Spirits:
Spectacular physical manifestations can happen when working with nature spirits in the wild. I have personally seen actual foxfire mark the boundaries of a magic circle at a location that was identified as a receptive power spot and attuned to a planned ritual the day before.
I have seen more than one site attuned for ritual be dry and comfortable, with a round hole in the clouds overhead, on days that were cold and rainy at other nearby locations. Birds have joined in rituals, flying around the circle when energy was being raised; and insects, birds and animals have joined in chants. In addition, the wind often responds to invocations. Generally, these spectacular manifestations happen unexpectedly.
With or without such manifestations, nature spirits often will channel tremendous amounts of power into the magic being performed. It is suggested that you do not consciously try for specific manifestations. Let Nature channel her power into the magic in her own way. If approached with respect, nature may give you many pleasant surprises.
Spectacular physical manifestations are not a necessary sign of success. If you need a spectacular manifestation and nature spirits know this, you will get it. The best success in magic is on the inner planes and more subtle than such manifestations. This success involves beneficial changes in consciousness that last and helpful chains of synchronicity. In addition, working with Nature Spirits can also bring a deep sense of partnership with Nature, and bring new levels of attunement.
To get the best results, perform nature spirit attunement several hours to several days before the main ritual. The purposes of such attunement are to find suitable power spots and to get the help of friendly nature spirits. This timing gives Nature time to gather her children and to prepare to actively participate in the main ritual.
What to NOT do:
If nature spirits are approached with disrespect by attempting to command them rather than listening to them and inviting them to work with you, nature spirits may flee, rebel, or attack. I once attended a ritual by some pseudo-Crowleyites who attempted to perform the “Ritual of the Barbarous Names” at a power spot in a forest and then to extend the circle several hundred yards in all directions.
While the forest in general had loud insect and frog noises, the area at which the ritual took place got quiet immediately when the main ritualist declared that all spirits were subject unto him. The vibes from nature could best be characterized as “Oh yea, Mother…!”
One participant was quickly possessed by an angry spirit and kept repeating “You killed my children, your children will never live in peace.” When the priestess stepped out of the boundaries of the original circle, she was attacked by bees; and bees covered the Book of the Law. Magicians should know better than to attempt to command spirits whose true names they do not know!
Calling Nature Spirits:
To make the most out of working magical ritual in the wild, one should find power spots where nature spirits are receptive to the ritual planned and approach the spirits with respect, as equals. In my experience, the most effective power spots for working with the living intelligences of nature are located in wild areas with diverse, active ecologies.
When entering a wild area to find a site for a ritual, find a place that feels good. Then do the following, either individually or, if in a group, as a guided meditation:
- Relax, while standing upright, and focus on your breathing.
- Breathe deep breaths from the diaphragm. Breathe together if in a group.
- Feel the wind, and let it relax you and awaken your spirit within, as your deep breathing takes you into non-ordinary reality.
- Picture, in your mind’s eye, a light inside you.
- As you breathe, feel the light expand, purify and energize you – as it expands to fill your aura.
- Feel yourself glowing, balanced, purified, and full of power.
- Connect with your inner self (your higher self), and feel your intuitive self operating.
Feel yourself as:
- The wind, full of life and intelligence, communicating with all round.
- The Sunlight, warm, alive, channeling the power to communicate with nature and energizing all around.
- Water, emotional, intuitive, refreshing, and connected with nature.
- The Earth, and note how your physical body is able to wander while remaining part of Mother Earth.
Focus on your spiritual self, and:
- Note the light within and feel it as love,
Expand the light and love beyond the immediate aura of your body to the surrounding area – where you will go to find a power spot and contact nature spirits.
- Telepathically (by thinking while channeling the love and light energy) send out signals to nature spirits to emerge and be aware of your presence.
- Say why you have come, and invite them to join in sharing, mutual celebration, and the work you intend.
- Visualize the light and love energy you are channeling extending out and merging with the light from distant places.
- Feel the power of the Earth flowing up through your body and feet.
- Feel the power from the sky, and channel this power also to further energize the carrier signal of light and love for communicating with nature.
- Visualize the light expanding and merging.
- Continue to send out telepathic signals.
Now go deeper:
- Close your eyes, sit on the Earth, and feel your connection while you channel more light and love.
- Continue modulating the light and love with your thoughts – inviting receptive spirits to join with you and to make themselves known.
- If in a group, someone should start playing a drum at a rate of about one beat per second; and you should listen to the drum and let the drum take you deeper.
Affirm that you are a nature magician, a medicine person, who knows and communicates with nature. Let this part of yourself emerge to full consciousness. Let the drum and the connection to your inner self awaken that part of yourself that naturally communicates with other life forms. Let it awaken your telepathic senses.
- Continue sending telepathic signals to nature.
When you feel ready and an inner urge to begin, open your eyes a crack and look around, while continuing to channel love and light and telepathically calling for a response.
You may see light coming from certain areas that are receptive. You may get other signals, such as a feeling of power or love returning in a certain direction. Perhaps the type of response to this work will be unexpected; follow your intuition in interpreting it.
You may test your connection by communicating (mentally) instructions for signals for yes/no responses (such as light getting brighter for less and darker for no) and then mentally ask questions and observe the responses.
When you have found an areas that seems to be responsive and receptive, begin walking to the area, while beaming love energy. Extend your aura to the area and sense the energy.
Entering A Power Spot:
Before entering a power spot, ask permission to enter. If the response is good, enter; if not, locate another more receptive area.
When entering the power spot, look around. Perhaps the responsive energy will be concentrated around some singularity (a bush, a tree, a specific branch, a moss covered rock, or other entity that stands out). Perhaps the energy will be more general. Use your intuition and feedback from the spirits to guide your actions.
If it feels right, send out a signal that you would like to touch the singularity (or the ground) for better communication. If the response is good, approach beaming love energy, and then touch or hug the singularity (or the ground).
Treat the spirits as you would other Pagans you meet for the first time – be sensitive, open, and listen.
Deepening Communication With Nature Spirits:
Now that you have made contact with spirits that seem receptive, deepen the communication:
- Breathe deep breaths from the diaphragm, and with each breath, feel more refreshed.
- Now imagine that your spine is the trunk of a tree; and, from its base, roots extend deep into the Earth. Deep into the rich moist Earth.
- With every breath, feel the roots extending deeper,
- Feel the energy deep within the Earth and within the waters of the Earth.
- Feel your roots absorbing nourishment from the Earth and from its waters.
- Feel the moist, warm energy rising.
- Feel it bursting up from the Earth and rising up your spine, like sap rises in a tree.
- Feel the energy rise to your crown chakra (at the top of your head).
- Now imagine that you have branches, branches that sweep up and then bend down towards the Earth, like the limbs of a willow.
- Feel the branches extending and interweaving with your surroundings.
- Feel the warm, moist energy of the Earth flowing through your branches.
- As it flows, feel yourself being purified, centered, and connected to the Earth.
- Feel the power from the Earth flowing through your branches and then down back to the Earth, like a fountain.
- Note how your branches absorb energy from the air.
- Also, feel them receiving light (fire) from the sky.
- Feel the energy from above penetrating deep through your body into the Earth.
- Feel the warmth of the Earth rising also.
- Feel the energy circulating.
- Notice how your branches intertwine with the branches of energy surrounding you.
- Feel the energy dancing among your branches and the branches around you.
- Notice how your roots also intertwine with underground energy channels.
- Feel the energy dancing between your roots and the surrounding energy patterns.
Notice how you and the life around you are rooted in the same Earth, breathing the same air, receiving the same fire, drinking the same water, sharing the same underlying essence. You are one with the magical grove.
Telepathically mention the time in the past when nature spirits and people communicated regularly and the need to establish such communication now.
Test your connection by asking questions and observing the responses.
Working With Nature Spirits:
Explain to the spirits the purpose of your coming to them and the nature of the ritual you plan.
If the spirits you contacted are receptive, explain to them the details of the ritual and invite them to provide ideas. Listen, you may receive suggestions on how to improve the ritual. Such suggestions may come in the form of hunches, visions, answers to yes/no questions using pre-arranged signals, or in other ways.
Explain what type of space is needed and ask what the best place to perform the ritual is. You may see light or get other psychic signals leading you to other sites, or you may be at one of them.
You may also ask what the best places for other aspects of the planned work are (picnicking, individual vision quests, etc.).
If preparation of the site is needed (removing briars, preparing a fire circle, etc.) ask permission of the spirits before proceeding with such action.
Before you leave the power spot:
- Tell the spirits you have contacted when you plan to return to do the ritual (visualizing the associated lunar and solar aspects can help with this communication).
- Invite them to join in the ritual when you return and to bring their friends.
- Ask if it would be best to return silently, with drums, with chanting, or with some other form of approach.
- You can also ask the spirits to provide guidance for working in balance and to provide a teacher to provide further guidance.
- Thank the spirits,
- Channel love energy,
- Trigger your memory of the experience,
- If it feels right, leave an offering of tobacco, or beer and honey poured on the ground (or other suitable material).
- Leave in peace and love.
Proceed to other sites that were indicated by the spirits, doing similar meditations at each site.
If you need something, like a staff, a Maypole, or a wand, you can also ask where you can find it and follow the guidance you receive (not slavishly, but as you would guidance from another Pagan).
Before leaving the general area in which you found power spots and contacted nature spirits:
- Channel love energy towards the receptive sites you found,
- Thank the spirits of the land,
- Pull back your roots and branches,
- Ground any excess energy into the Earth (placing your hands on the Earth, breathe in any excess energy, and channel the energy down your arms, while visualizing and feeling the energy going into the Earth),
- Leave in peace and love.
Naturally, you should leave the area at least as clean, and preferably cleaner, than you found it.
If you work with techniques of Wicca or Ceremonial Magic, you may find that by casting a circle, calling the Elements, the Goddess, the Gods, and the local nature spirits while you are at receptive sites, you may be able to greatly increase communication.
Through the use of drums and other power raising techniques, it is even possible to energize receptive nature spirits. The results can be very interesting. If with a coven, such circles can be done as part of a group attunement to a power spot you have located.
If you do not get good feelings in response to your explanation of the ritual and are unable to come up with a ritual that gives good responses, do not try to force a good response. You would only be fooling yourself.
- Thank the spirits for their attention.
- Ask them why they are not receptive (if it feels right and they are communicative).
- Trigger your memory.
- Pull back your “roots and branches,” return any excess energy you feel into the Earth.
- If it feels appropriate, leave an offering of tobacco or other appropriate material, out of respect for the spirits.
- Move to a more receptive site.
If it is hard to find a site that is really receptive, you should consider any impressions you got of why the nature spirits weren’t receptive in the area you were in, and re-think your plans for a ritual, as necessary and appropriate.
It may also be appropriate to look for another general area in which to find a suitable power site that is receptive to the work planned.
It can be very powerful to purify and center yourself and to attune to the spirits of the land using the techniques previously described for calling nature spirits immediately upon returning to the site.
Often, individuals may have found small specific power spots to which they have a special attunement, where the spirits are interested in participating; but where the site is too small, has too much vegetation, or is otherwise unsuitable for the main ritual. Individual attunement to the spirits in such areas and inviting them to participate in the main ritual can be worthwhile.
Then approach the main ritual site using the previously arranged technique. You should have the details worked out with the spirits of the land. An exceptionally powerful technique involves doing a procession through or past receptive power spots, inviting nature spirits to join as you pass each power spot, and then moving to the central power spot for the main ritual. If participants are at individual power spots, they can join the procession as it passes nearby.
When consecrating space in the wild, or casting a circle, do not set up the perimeter as a barrier to all outside forces; it should be a beacon to attract friendly nature spirits, a container for holding magical power, and a barrier to spirits who it isn’t right to be with.
One thing that is fun and worthwhile in nature is to bring instruments, such as a rattle, a flute and/or a drum, to tune in to nature’s sounds, and to make music in time to nature’s sounds. You may be able to get some very interesting back and forth exchanges of music going with selected creatures of the wild, and get into an amazing jam session.
After the work is complete, be sure to thank the spirits for their participation. Libations and other offerings may also be left for the spirits during and/or after the ritual.
This article is written by Larry Cornett
- What it is: Bioluminescent Fungi
- Associated with: Foxes, Fox Spirits, Will-o’-the-Wisp, Fairies
- Important: None of the bioluminescent fungi are edible. Do not eat them.
If you ever find yourself walking through a damp, dark woods at night without any flashlight, you might just witness something amazing. If you’re lucky, in the undergrowth concentrated on and around rotting logs, you’ll notice a green or blue glow. It’s foxfire, and it’s beautiful. Often foxfire looks as if the bark of a fallen log or old tree branch is glowing at night. It’s not the wood but rather what’s feeding on it that’s creating the light. With some species, it’s the mushroom cap itself that glows, in other species only the underside of the cap is luminescent.
For centuries this was called fairy fire or will-o-the-wisp and was attributed to something mystical. The oldest recorded foxfire sighting was by Aristotle in 382 BC, he thought it was a cold fire burning on the logs. The actual cause of foxfire was only discovered in 1823 when glowing beams in mine shafts were investigated.
Foxfire in the wild is magickal all by itself, and can indicate a message from the underworld, or a warning to be careful where you are going. It not easy to come by, and if you are lucky enough to have a place in the wild where you can see it, be very protective of the area.
If you acquire some foxfire, use it to set a magickal mood, to bring the energy of the fairy realm to a dark moon ritual, or to make contact with Fox Spirits, ghosts, and other creatures of the night.
The compound in the fungi that creates the light is called Luciferin (meaning light bringer), which brings to mind thoughts of Lucifer and the underworld. If you are involved in dark magick, foxfire would definitely be an ingredient that could be added to rituals and spells, particularly for magickal workings designed to lead someone astray.
How can you experience foxfire for yourself?
The best way to see foxfire is in old, moist oak woods where plenty of big dead limbs and old stumps litter the ground. Foxfire can be seen in the spring as the forest floor warms. The light is so dim, many people never notice it. To see foxfire, pick a night with no moon. Keep away from areas with artificial lights and do not use a flashlight. Your eyes must be well adjusted to the dark.
The aim is to be out on a dark night, with a mild temperature and to walk in woods that are damp but not wet. Think of foxfire as Goldilocks — not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not too dry. When conditions are just right, and you’re in just the right spot with your eyes adjusted to the dark, the forest around you will glow — and it’s magical.
According to Carol Probets, a nature guide from the Blue Mountains of Australia, “If you learn to recognize it in the daytime, it’s much easier to find it in the nighttime rather than wandering around in the dark.”
Amazon sells bioluminescent fungi kits for those who want to grow their own. The Glow in the Dark Mushroom Habitat Kit features Panellus Stipticus (Bitter Oyster) spores along with whatever is needed to get them growing. Or you could explore all the other glow in the dark fungi available for sale online.
A personal experience with Jack-O-Lantern (Omphalotus illudens) luminescent mushrooms:
A couple of years ago, I went out at night to sit with a clump of jack o’lanterns around a stump in my neighbor’s lawn. It took about 10 minutes for my eyes to be able to make out the glow. During that time, I counted shooting stars, meditated on the answer to the ultimate question (42), and listened to night sounds. Among those sounds was a persistent shushing, coming from all around me. When I had basked long enough in the glow and switched on my flashlight, I found I was surrounded by hungry giant slugs, slithering softly through the grass as they homed in on the Jack O’Lanterns, which apparently don’t upset slug tummies at all.
A teacher at Cornell University talks about Bitter Oyster (Panellus stipticus).
I have often sent students home with hunks of wood bearing this fungus. If you are prone to wakefulness in the middle of the night, as I am lately, P. stipticus is a great thing to have on your bedside table. Waking up and finding its glow on your nightstand is a sure way to erase the day’s worries, dispel night terrors, and forget that strange clunking in the basement. You’ll need a fresh northeastern specimen–nice pliable fruiting bodies. It’s handy to know that fairly crispy, dry specimens will revive well if you wet them. I run them under the kitchen tap, and wrap them in wet paper towel. When I go to bed, I peel back the paper towel, and leave their hunk of wood sitting damply in a dish until I awake and find them glowing steadfastly beside me.
While most fungi don’t possess this ability, there are some 71 known species of bioluminescent mushrooms contained within three groups— the Omphalotus, Armillaria, and Mycenoid lineages. Their degrees of light intensity differ; while many of the Australian species are very luminous, North American species tend to emit less light and require adjustment to the dark before they can be seen. Some don’t glow brightly enough for their light to be visible to the human eye – rather, the glowing effect shows up after a long exposure when taking a photograph.
Here is a short list of a few of the more well known bioluminescent mushrooms, along with a little bit of information about each one:
- Armillaria mellea – Honey Mushroom – The most widespread of the bioluminescent fungi because it populates forests throughout North America and all the way over to Asia.
- Armillaria fuscipes – Honey Fungus – Plant pathogen that causes Armillaria root rot on Pinus, coffee plants, tea and various hardwood trees. It is common in South Africa. The mycelium of the fungus is bioluminescent.
- Mycena chlorophos – Night-light Mushroom or Green Pepe – Glows brightest at one day old, around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the caps open, time is limited, and the bioluminescence fades.
- Mycena haematopus – Bleeding Fairy Helmet – One of the prettiest bioluminescent mushrooms. It can be found throughout Europe and North America. They get their name from the red latex they ooze when they’re damaged.
- Mycena luxaeterna – Eternal Light Mushroom – A rainforest fungus that can only be found in Brazil. Their hollow stems glow in the dark.
- Neonothopanus gardneri – Flor de Coco – One of the world’s brightest bioluminescent fungi, found on decaying palm leaves, native to Goiás, Piauí and Tocantins states in Brazil.
- Omphalotus illudens – Jack-o’lantern – Found in hardwood forests in eastern North America, only its gills glow.
- Omphalotus nidiformis – Ghost Fungus – The best time to look for it is in autumn, particularly after a bit of rain. It occurs in Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, generally growing on tree trunks and stumps.
- Panellus pusillus – Takes over tree branches in large groups. The result is like sparkling string lights in the dark forest. It has been recorded in Australia, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.
- Panellus stipticus – Bitter Oyster – An unassuming fungus by day and a striking beauty by night. Its gills glow under their own power. Though this fungus occurs in Europe and in the Pacific Northwest , individuals found outside the northeast don’t glow.
- Roridomyces roridus – Dripping Bonnet – This species can be bioluminescent, and is one of the several causative species of foxfire.
- Xylaria hypoxylon– Candlestick Fungus – Typically grows in clusters on decaying hardwood. The fungus can cause a root rot in hawthorn and gooseberry plants.
In Scandinavia, mycelia-infested bark was used as a sort of night light during the long winter nights. The practical uses of these mushrooms extended to other areas of the globe as well; in the late 17th Century in Herbarium Amboiense, Dutch physician G.E. Rumph commented on how Indonesian natives used bioluminescent mushrooms as primitive flashlights.
Heather is sacred to the Summer Solstice, the date of which varies slightly from year to year, and falling between June 20 and June 22.
- Latin name: Calluna vulgaris
- Celtic name: Ura (pronounced: Oor’ uh)
- Folk or Common names: Common Heather, Ling, Scottish Heather
- Ruler: Hestia or Vesta, Isis,
- Planet: Venus
- Element: Water
- Parts Used: herb, flowering shoots, dried or fresh flowers, or oil.
- Basic powers: For magick involving maturity, consummation, general luck, love, ritual power, conjuring ghosts, healing, protection, rain-making and water magick.
When worn or carried, this virginal flower wards off unwanted sexual advances. It essentially tones down the passions. Carry as a guard against rape. Take a bath in heather flowers, preferably during the moon’s waning phase, to help break sex addictions. Wear heather oil to bring a relationship back to a friendship.
Burn with fern to attract rain.
Add the flowers to a floor wash to bless the home. Sprinkle some around the workplace to calm down a tyrannical boss.
Heather is considered a lucky plant, and sometimes gypsies sell sprigs of it for luck. White heather is the luckiest variety, but in Scotland people have doubts about this. This is because a sprig of it was given to Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745, and it did him no good at all.
Magical History and Associations:
Heather is associated with the sun, and with the planet of Venus. Its color is resin colored and its element is water. Heather’s bird is the lark, and its animal association is the honey bee. In ancient times the Danes brewed a powerful beer made from honey and Heather. And for centuries the heather flowers have also been a special beverage to the bee, who in return creates delightful Heather honey! Its stones are amethyst, peridot, and amertine – and it is a feminine herb. The herb is sacred to many Goddesses: Isis, Venus-Erycina, Uroica, Garbh Ogh, Cybele, Osiris, Venus, Guinevere, and Butes among them.
White Heather was considered unlucky by Scottish loyalists because of its connection with the banishment of Bonny Prince Charles. Heather is the home to a type of Fey called Heather Pixies. Like other Pixies, the Heather Pixies have clear or golden auras and delicate, translucent wings. But these faeries are attracted specifically to the moors and to the Heather which covers them. They are not averse to human contact, but they don’t seek them out. They have a pranksterish nature.
Heather is used for magick involving maturity, consummation, general luck, love, ritual power, conjuring ghosts, healing, protection, rain-making and water magick. Charms made with Heather can be worn or carried as protection against danger, rape and other violent crimes.
This flower represents good fortune and Heather can also be carried as a lucky charm. It was believed that wearing the blossom associated with your month of birth would bring exceptionally good luck – therefore people born in the month of Heather (August) should carry White Heather, for even better luck throughout the year.
Legend has it that a gift of white Heather brings luck to both the giver and the receiver, whereas red Heather is said to have been colored by heathens killed in battle by Christians, so is less lucky.
Heather is associated with secrets from the Otherworld. A sprig of white Heather placed in a special place of silence and meditation has the power to conjure ghosts, haints or spirits.
After picking a piece of white Heather at midnight, place it in a glass of river water in the darkest corner of your home. Sit and think of a departed loved one and it is said that the loved ones shadow will visit you.
Heather is said to ignite faery passions and open portals between their world and our own. Heather represents solitude because it thrives in wide open spaces, and Faeries who enjoy living in such undisturbed places are said to feast on the tender stalks of Heather. The Fae of this flower are drawn to humans who are shy.
Heather is useful for Solitary healing work (going within). Heather, if used along with Mistletoe, creates powerful healing medicine in both spiritual and physical aspects.
Heather can be used at Midsummer to promote love – carry red Heather for passion or white Heather for cooling the passion of unwanted suitors. If you give someone a gift of Heather it means: ‘Admiration’. A charm bag filled with Heather can be carried for decreasing egotism or self-involvement.
As a water herb, Heather is very useful in weather magick. When burned outdoors with Fern, the herbal smoke of Heather attracts rain. Bouquets of Heather and Fern can also be dipped in water to call rain.
- Year of Moons, Season of Trees
- Tree Medicine Tree Magic
- A Druid’s Herbal
- Celtic Astrology
- Glamoury: Magic of the Celtic Green World
- The Book of Druidry
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
- Ruler: Venus
- Gender: Feminine
- Element: Water
- Type: Flower
- Magickal Form: Petals and flowers
- Deities: Freya, Ostara, Aphrodite, Artemis
- Basic Power: Friendship, Courtship, Divination
The Daisy is traditionally assigned to the month of April. A flower of friendship and courtship, the daisy is used to open up social or romantic opportunity. Add the petals to bathwater on Wednesdays to draw new friends. Place whole flowers on a love altar with pink candles to attract romantic possibilities.
Modern practices include the growing of Daisies as an herb to further attract the Devas and the Fae. Grieve’s “A Modern Herbal” suggests there may be an association between Daisies and a Dryad (a woodland nymph) named Belidis. Dryads are often associated with elemental Earth, and Daisies may be used ritually to help one commune with this element.
Decorate your altar or home with Daisies for Midsummer’s Eve. There is also a Magickal association with babies and newborn infants. The Daisy may be incorporated into baby blessings, or used to bring protective Magick into the baby’s sleeping area.
In Scotland because children use it to make daisy chains; daisy is an appropriate herb to decorate the cradle and the altar. The daisy brings love when worn. Sleeping with the root beneath your pillow may cause an absent love to return.
Decorate the house with daisies at Midsummer’s Eve to bring happiness to the home and to obtain the blessings of faeries. Daisies are also worn at Midsummer for luck and blessings. In the old times, young maidens would weave and wear daisy chains in their hair to attract their beloved.
Dreaming of Daisies is considered good luck in Spring, and bad luck in Winter. It is lucky to step on the first flowers in the spring but extremely unlucky to uproot them. Daisies were popular in Medieval times, when knights at tournaments wore the flower, while their ladies wore Daisy wreaths as crowns.
The daisy is the emotional and intellectual “getting to know you” flower. It is not a flower of passion and it is a great choice for young men and women who prefer a long courtship based on friendship and common goals.
Daisy flowers are perhaps the best known of all plant divinations for love. One of the most touching literary allusions to the daisy divination is found in the garden scene in the first part of Goethe’s famous drama, Faust. In Germany, the daisy was known as:
- Orakelblume – Oracle Flower
- Liebesblume – Love Flower
- Massliebchen – Little Measure of Love
Divination with daisies most commonly consists of removing each petal from the daisy while saying “she loves me, she loves me not.” (The masculine pronoun is used where appropriate.) The sentence stated as the last petal removed reveals the truth. Any daisy-like flower can be used.
This technique can be further improved upon by placing daisy roots under your beneath your pillow to dream of your true love.
A second form of daisy divination isn’t limited to matters of love. Ask a binary question. As you pluck each petal, say yes or no. As the last petal falls, the answer has been given.
A very short poem from the 1800’s gives us this variation:
- He loves me
- He don’t
- He’ll have me
- He won’t
- He would if he could
- But he can’t
- So he won’t
Another form of daisy divination is as follows:
Get a bunch of daisies and put them on a table. With eyes closed, take a handful while asking how many days you will wait to be asked for a date. If you prefer, you may ask in weeks or months. Open your eyes and count the picked daisies. The number of flowers represents the number of days you will wait. This can also be used to count the time till you will marry.
This can also be done while sitting on a daisy-laden lawn, closing your eyes and grabbing a handful of grass. The number of daisies you end up with in your hand will determine the number of months until you marry. If you do not have access to a daisy filled yard, dandelions make for an acceptable substitute.
Collected from various sources
When the Moon is at the full,
mushrooms you can safely pull,
but when the Moon is on the wane,
wait ere you think to pluck again.
Along with oysters, mushrooms have always been considered aphrodisiacs. The aphrodisiacal effect was increased if the mushrooms were picked at the time of the full moon.
Primitive people treated mushrooms with great respect, as it was so difficult to determine whether they were safe to eat. Even experts on mushrooms need to remember the old saying, “There are old mushroom hunters and bold mushroom hunters, but there are no old, bold mushroom hunters.”
Many mushrooms have “magical” properties, the toxins within them seeming to provide a gateway to another world. Images of fairies, elves, and goblins inevitably have a mushroom or toadstool nearby. In Chinese Mythology, mushrooms were one of the sacred foods eaten by the Immortals; they induced bodily lightness. Further, the fly agaric mushroom was said to grow only during times of peace and prudent leadership.
- Ruler: Neptune
- Type: Vegetable
- Magickal Form: Raw, cooked
This is the “flower” of illusion and many mushrooms are actually hallucinogenic. All mushrooms hold the property of fantasy and are eaten to invoke glamour or to create illusions.
- For love they should be cooked in soups with paprika and/or fish.
- To create glamours, or illusions, eat them raw.
The hallucinogenic effect of fungi has always been known, and used by shamans and warriors preparing for battle. Native Americans used hallucinogenic mushrooms in rites to produce visions, or embark on vision quests.
Rock paintings dating back at least 2000 years ago in the Tassili Plateau in southern Algeria depict shamans, apparently dancing around, holding mushrooms in their hands, with mushrooms sprouting from their bodies.
The Hebrews considered mushrooms as sacred and only priests were allowed to eat them.
Mushrooms were considered a delicacy in Roman times, but there was always the problem of determining whether or not they were edible. Emperor Claudius had this problem solved, as he used a food taster to eat some of his food first. Unfortunately, the mushrooms his taster tried one night produced no immediate effects. Consequently, Emperor Claudius ate them, and both he and his taster died. It is widely believed that his second wife, Aggripinna, who wanted her son Nero to have the throne, deliberately poisoned her husband.
Collected from various sources
Furze (also known as Gorse) is a druid Sacred tree, whose flowers are associated with the Vernal Equinox (Aprox. March 20).
- Latin name: ulex europaeus
- Celtic name: ‘O’ – Onn
- Folk or Common names: Broom, Frey, Furze, Fyrs, Gorst, Goss, Prickly Broom, Ruffet, and Whin.
- Parts Used: Flowers
Magical History and Associations:
Furze is a thorny shrub with bright yellow flowers that is associated with the Spring Equinox. This herb is a symbol of the young sun at the spring equinox and royalty. Furze is associated with the astrological sign of Aries, the planet of Mars, the element of Fire, and is a masculine herb. Furze is associated with Jupiter, Thor, Onn, and also with the Gallic ash-grove Goddess On-niona. The color for Furze is dun, and its bird is the cormorant.
Furze is a symbol of fertility and has the magickal uses of Protection and Money. Furze is also used in money spells; it attracts gold. Furze is a good herb to use as a proctectant against evil. In Wales hedges of the prickly Gorse are used to protect the home against dark fairies, who cannot penetrate the hedge. Furze wood and blooms can be burned for protection and also for preparation for conflict of any sort. There are two school of thought about giving Furze flowers as a gift. On one had the gift is supposed to be good luck, but on the other hand if you give them to someone that you love it means: Anger.
There is an old rhyme about Furze that refers to its all-year-round flowering habits:
“When Gorse is out of bloom,
Kissing is out of season.”
- Ruler: Fairies, Venus
- Element: Air
- Planet: Mercury
- Type: Herb
- Magickal Form: Leaf – fresh or dried, Essential Oil
Thyme was called thymos by the Greeks, which meant “fumigate”. They associated thyme with valor in battle, and the restoration of physical power. Roman soldiers were known to bathe in a decoction of thyme before going into combat, to boost strength and courage. The Sumerians used it as an antiseptic, and in Egypt, thyme was one of the herbs which was used in the mummification process.
Thyme cleanses and renews the spirit and calls angelic forces to one’s aid. Long utilized in the energy cleansing and clearing of temples in Greece, thyme can be burned or strewn to disperse stagnant vibrations and invite the new. Bathe in the oil for serious purification after you have come in contact with death.
Thyme can be used in healing rituals, or to bring about restful sleep. Women who wear thyme on their person are irresistible to men, and carrying sprigs in your pocket aids in developing your psychic abilities. Burn some thyme to help boost your courage before confrontations. Add this herb to foods to increase your awareness, sight, and memory.
It is also used in love spells to invoke more gentleness and understanding into a relationship.
Attractive to the fairy folk, thyme can be grown in the garden to entice their plant blessings, and a little thyme under the tongue allows one to see them more clearly.
An herb that helps connect with psychic consciousness, thyme in a divination formula aids the mind in understanding and deciphering psychic visions and impressions.
Burn as incense or wear to attract good health. Place a sprig beneath your pillow to ensure dream-free sleep. It is frequently burned before ritual to cleanse the area. Burn when asking advice of loved ones who have passed on.
Compiled from various sources.
Thymus mastichina is a very special thyme, native in the mountains of the Iberian Peninsula, Central Spain and Portugal. It is known by a number of different common names including Spanish Marjoram, Spanish Wood Marjoram, White Thyme, Wild Marjoram or Mastic Thyme.
Thymus mastichina should not be confused with Marjoram also known as sweet Marjoram, knotted Marjoram and previously classed as Marjorana hortensis (Origanum majorana). Nor should it be confused with the Mastic Tree (Pistacia lentiscus).
I could not find anything about the magickal properties of this specific plant, and so I would assume that because it is a variety of Thyme, the magickal purposes would be the same as for common Thyme, but possibly with a wilder energy or effect. These would include the following:
- Cleansing and Clearing
- Making way for the new
- Attractive to fairies
Here is what I did find out about this herb:
As the name implies it grows primarily in Spain. Thymus mastichina produces tiny, oval-shaped, green leaves, which have an intense flavor. In its Spanish homeland it is used as a culinary herb for meat dishes, stews and sauces and because of its strong aroma has been commonly used in Andalucía to season and preserve olives.
Despite this fact, it is prized more for its essential oils than for its herbal properties. The plant has an herbaceous scent with eucalyptus-like overtones with a hint of a vanilla note, which, in aromatherapy, is used for its soothing, relaxing effect. It’s oil is pale orange to amber in color and has a distinctive eucalyptus like aroma. It is also considered to be especially beneficial in relaxing muscles.
Used fresh or in dried form, its leaves are used to make an herbal tea that is considered useful in treating sore throats, catarrh and colds. If preferred, the tea can be used to gargle with rather than ingested. Infusions are attributed curative or palliative properties of arthritis and rheumatism. Mastic Thyme, may be effective in protecting against colon cancer.
The species name mastichina and the common name of Mastic Thyme derive from the Greek word massein, meaning ‘to chew’, or the verb mastichein meaning ‘to gnash the teeth’. It is the origin of the English word masticate.
Interestingly, the Mastic Tree is a small Mediterranean evergreen tree (Pistacia lentiscus) of the cashew family. The tree produces an aromatic, ivory-coloured resin, also known as mastic, is harvested as a spice from the cultivated mastic trees grown in the south of the Greek island of Chios in the Aegean Sea. Mastic resin is a relatively expensive kind of spice that has been used principally as a chewing gum. The flavor can be described as a strong, slightly smoky, resiny aroma.
The genus name Thyme derives from Latin thymus, which goes back to Greek thymon meaning ‘spirit’, originally meaning ‘smoke’ or ‘to fumigate’ (it is related to Latin fumus meaning ‘smoke’ or ‘perfume’) and the verb thyein meaning ‘smoke, cure or offer an incense sacrifice’.
Thyme was used it as incense, for its balsamic odor. The antiseptic properties of Thyme were also fully recognized in classic times, there being a reference in Virgil’s Georgics to its use as a fumigator, and Pliny tells us that, when burnt, it puts to flight all venomous creatures.
Others derive the name from the Greek word thumus, signifying courage, the plant being held in ancient and mediaeval days to be a great source of invigoration, its cordial qualities inspiring courage.
Lady Northcote (in The Herb Garden) says that among the Greeks, Thyme denoted graceful elegance; ‘to smell of Thyme’ was an expression of praise, applied to those whose style was admirable. It was an emblem of activity, bravery and energy, and in the days of chivalry it was the custom for ladies to embroider a bee hovering over a sprig of Thyme on the scarves they presented to their knights.