According to the Celtic mythology of trees, Mistletoe is the tree of the day after the Winter Solstice (Aprox. December 23). In Druidic lore Mistletoe is an herb of the Winter Solstice and is the special plant for the day after Yule.
- Latin name: Viscum Album
- Celtic name: It is said that Mistletoe is too sacred to have a written word.
- Folk or Common names: Donnerbesen, Birdlime, All Heal, Golden Bough, Devil’s Fuge, Thunderbesom
- Parts Used: Leaves, berries, twigs
- Basic Powers: Protection, Love
Mistletoe is a plant of the sun and also of the planet of Jupiter. It is associated with the element of the air. The colors of Mistletoe are green, gold and white, and its herb is hyssop. The gemstones associated with Mistletoe are Black Quartz, Amber, Pearl and green Obsidian. Mistletoe has the immortal creature the Gryphon-Eagle associated with it and also the plain eagle is its bird association. There are many deities associated with Mistletoe: Loki, Blader, Hercules, Shu, Osirus, and Aeneas are a few of those deities.
Romans, Celtics, and Germans believed that mistletoe is the key to the supernatural. Mistletoe will aid and strengthen all magickal works but is best called upon for healing, protection, and beautiful dreams – dreams which will unlock the secrets of immortality. Mistletoe is a good wood to use for making wands, other ritual tools and magickal rings.
The Berries are used in love incenses, plus a few berries can be added to the ritual cup at a handfasting. Boughs of Mistletoe can be hung for all purpose protection around the house. Sprigs of Mistletoe can be carried as an herb of protection – plus amulets and jewelry can be made out of Mistletoe wood as protective talismans.
Hung over the cradle, Mistletoe will protect the child from being stolen by the fey and Mistletoe that is carried will protect the bearer from werewolves. Mistletoe stood for sex and fertility – hence our tradition of kissing under the mistletoe. It is traditionally hung in the home at Yule, and those who walk under it exchange a kiss of peace.
Pick on Midsummer’s Eve, or when the moon is six days old (six days after the New Moon). Wear as a protective amulet, or to help conceive. The wood is often carved into rings and other magickal objects. A good anti-lightning charm. The herb hung anywhere is an excellent all-purpose protective device. Extinguishes fire. Wear as an amulet to preserve against wounds.
Kissing Under the Mistletoe:
Kissing under the mistletoe seems to be a purely English custom, of which no trace has been found in other countries unless Englishmen have settled there at some time. Strange as it may seem to us now, the English were once much given to kissing. Foreign visitors in the 16th and 17th centuries frequently remarked with surprise on the way in which men and women exchanged kisses without self-consciousness, even slight acquaintances and newly-introduced strangers being thus pleasantly greeted.
The last shadow of this old freedom is now cast by the mistletoe bough at Christmas. If a girl stands under it, she cannot refuse to be kissed by anyone who claims the privilege. At one time, the young men had the right to pluck a berry from the bough for every kiss they took.
It was also thought that if a girl was kissed seven times in one day under the mistletoe, she would be married within a year. A girl who stood under the mistletoe but did not receive a kiss was doomed to remain without a husband for at least one year. A girl who gets married without ever having been kissed under the mistletoe will never have children.
Kissing under the mistletoe is not only for lovers. You should kiss anyone and everyone possible while the mistletoe is hanging. This brings good luck to everyone in the house for a whole year.
Mistletoe, the Golden Bough of classical legend, was a sacred and wonder working plant alike for the Celtic Druids, by whom it was ceremonially cut at the Winter and Summer Solstice festivals. Mistletoe is one of the Druid’s most sacred trees – as Ovid said, “Ad viscum Druidae cantare solebant.” (The Druids are wont to sing to the Mistletoe.).
The Druids gathered their Mistletoe at Midsummer or at the 6th day of the moon. The Druid priests or priestesses would wear white robes while gathering the plant and would use a golden knife to cut the plant from the tree.
The mistletoe was caught in their robes to prevent any from falling to the ground, where it would lose its magickal qualities, and so extreme care was taken not to let the plant touch the ground. Two oxen were often sacrificed for the harvest. The Druids considered that the Mistletoe that grew on Oak trees was the most potent and sacred.
For the Norsemen, it was the holy and terrible plant which slew Baldur the Beautiful when all things in Heaven and Earth had sworn not to harm him. But the mistletoe was forgotten because, rooting on trees and not in the ground, it was not in Heaven or Earth, but only between them. Consequently Loki, the trickster, was able to use it to kill the Dun God when all other things had failed him.
It was also the plant of peace in ancient Scandinavia. A bunch hung outside a house denoted a safe welcome within, and if enemies happened to meet under a tree that bore it, they had to lay down their arms and fight no more on that day.
It is said that if a branch or sprig of the mistletoe was cut with a new dirk on Halloween, after the cutter had walked three times round the oak sunwise, it was sure guard in the day of battle, and a protection at all times against glamour and witchery. A similar sprig laid in the cradle protected the child from being stolen by the fairies and replaced by a changeling.
Being a thunder-plant, its presence in a house protected it from thunder and lightning, as well as from witches and evil spirits. In Britain, it was anciently called All Heal, because it cured many diseases, composed quarrels, and was an antidote to poison. It brought good luck and fertility. For all these reasons it was, and remains, an essential part of Christmas decorations in almost every house, though not in churches.
Its strong pagan associations probably caused it to be banned from churches at Christmas or any other season. This prohibition still prevails in most parishes, and if a sprig or branch is accidentally included in the general greenery, it is usually removed as soon as the clergyman sees it. In one Oxford parish several years ago, permission was given to hang a bunch in the porch, but not inside the church itself.
An exception to this rule in the Middle Ages was at York Minster, where a branch was ceremonially laid on the altar on Christmas Eve and left there throughout the Twelve Days of Christmas. A general pardon and liberty throughout the city was proclaimed for so long as it remained there.
In Worcestershire, where it grows very freely, it is said to be unlucky to cut mistletoe at any time but Christmas. Until very recently (and perhaps still in some households), it was usual to keep the Christmas bunch throughout the year for good luck, and then to replace it by a new one on Christmas Eve.
In some districts, sprigs from such a bunch were given to the cow that calved first after New Year’s Day, to ensure the prosperity of the herd in the following twelve months. In Herefordshire formerly, it was unlucky to bring mistletoe into the house before New Year’s morning. It was not included in the Christmas decorations, but was brought in at the time of the Burning the Bush.
To cut down a mistletoe-bearing tree was once considered to be very unlucky. Many stories are told of misfortunes which fell upon those who did so.
A curious tradition relating to the Hays of Errol, in Perthshire, is connected with this idea. The continued existence and prosperity of that family was bound up with an ancient mistletoe-bearing oak growing near the Falcon Stone. So long as the tree stood and the mistletoe grew on it, they would flourish, but, as we read in the verses traditionally ascribed to Thomas the Rhymer,
… when the root of the aik decays,
And the mistletoe dwines on its withered breast,
The grass sall grow on Errol’s hearthstone,
And the corbie roup in the falcon’s nest.
Oak and mistletoe together have vanished now, and the estate no longer belongs to the Hays. Exactly when the tree was cut down is not now remembered, but local tradition says that it was before the lands were sold, and that it was because of that destruction they were lost to the family.
CAUTION: Mistletoe berries are extremely poisonous and have been known to cause miscarriage.
Mistletoe tea was widely believed to cure the falling sickness or epilepsy, and is still recommended by herbalists for that purpose. The plant was also used in folk-medicine for a variety of other ills, including St Vitus’ Dance, heart troubles and nerve complaints, sores, the bites of venomous creatures, and toothache.
Mistletoe can be used as a stimulant to soothe muscles and to produce a rise in blood pressure. It increases the contraction of the uterus and intestine. Mistletoe has been recommended as an oxytocic in postpartum hemorrhage and menorrhagia. It is also used as a circulatory and uterine stimulant. This plant can induce menstruation. It has shown effective in treating tumors in some animals. It is recommended that due to the toxicity of this plant that ingestion of this herb be avoided.
- Magickal Herbalism
- Encyclopedia of Superstitions
- Element (as juice): water
- Element (as berry): fire
- Ritual uses: Yule or Winter Solstice
- Deities: Marjatta (Finnish Goddess), Mars
- Good for: healing, protection, love, lust, positive energy, courage, passion, action
Oftentimes, the cranberry’s beautiful red color has associated it with the planet Mars, and as a result, its magickal correspondences are similar to that of Mars. Because of this, cranberry can be used for protection, positive energy, courage, passion, determination, goals, and action.
These little brightly colored berries look like little jewels and their bright red goodness carries huge protective energy with them – they are a power punch against negative energy. Consider having Cranberry Sauce as part of a protective meal, or drinking cranberry juice or tea while doing magick for anything associated with Mars.
If color were considered as a way of marking the cranberry’s magickal associations, it would be foolish to not highlight the deep, sensual and erotic red color as corresponding to love and lust magick. If you are cooking a meal for a loved one, consider incorporating cranberry into the meal.
You may also want to sip this tea while performing love magick. Simply add two teaspoons cherry juice to 1-cup hot cranberry tea. Stir it with a cinnamon stick clockwise. There is something incredibly comforting and warming about Cranberry, so to show your love and appreciation for your family and friends, consider adding Cranberry sauce or chutney to a dinner. It will bring a feeling of peace, comfort, warmth, good health and love to those who enjoy it.
Depending on how they are used, cranberries will either bond people together during tough times or create hardships that tear people apart.
- Drink the juice with your partner on the dark moon to keep the relationship free of trouble and going strong.
- Place a circle of cranberries around a brown or black candle and call out the names of two individuals who need to be separated while the candle burns. Continue the ritual until you obtain results.
Vanga stated that cranberries of red color symbolize the love relationship. Ripe and juicy cranberry foretells happiness in love; green berries portend upcoming problems with your loved one. According to Freud, cranberry symbolizes your sexual life.
In some cases, cranberry juice or cranberry wine can be substituted for red wine in rituals. Perhaps you will include a bowl of cranberries next to your pomegranate on your Samhain altar to show thanks to the supernatural powers of the bog, the birthplace of the cranberry.
Cranberries can be a lovely attribute to any Samhain or Yule altar. Dried cranberries can be strung on a piece of twine or cord and made into a small wreath to hang over your doorways for protection; they also make good Yule tree decorations. This not only adds a gorgeous contrast of color, but also invokes the protective and healing power of the red berry.
Cranberries and Bogs
The bog is the home of the cranberry, but was also sacrificial stomping ground of ancient societies in Northern Europe. Consider all of the archaeological findings that have been discovered in bogs from Denmark Scotland, England, Sweden, and Northern Germany: daggers, swords, shields, spears, javelins, drinking vessels, sickles, y-shaped dowsing rods and jewelry have all be recovered from bogs.
Also recovered from a bog was the famous Gundestrup Cauldron, a silver cauldron of Celtic origin, which had mythological narratives on it. Even more shockingly, excellently preserved human bodies, which appear to have been victims of sacrifice, have been discovered in bog. It appears that to ancient society, the watery bog was a place of significant importance, where sacrifices and treasures were willingly deposited.
Some researchers and academics have suggested that the bog deposits were offerings for protection, or rituals to bring fertility to the land and well-being to the land’s inhabitants. One cannot avoid the idea of a spooky, dank bog on a cold dark night either. Perhaps it is the fact that the unstable, marshy territory could lead to hazardous falls and injuries. Legend has it that the murky, watery parts of a bog were bottomless, so to step in one meant imminent doom.
Cranberry Lore and Mythology
Hans Christian Andersen shared many stories of the bog, most of which involved witches, elves and fairies. And in English and Welsh folklore, Will-o-the-wisps are said to be glowing lights that would float above the bog. Some believed that they were benevolent fairy or nature spirits that acted as guides to lost travelers; on the other hand, some saw the Will-’o-the-Wisps as ill spirited fairies, dark elves or spirits connected to the devil.
The cranberry has a special place in the hearts of the Finnish and students and admirers of ancient Lapland mythology. The Kalevala, epic legend of Finland, and reputed inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, is a compiled collection of Finnish oral stories that have been sung by Lapland bards for centuries. In the final passage, or Rune, of The Kalevala, we hear of the tale of a virgin Goddess’ encounter with the cranberry.
- Note: Many translators cannot agree on which berry Marjatta actually enjoys in The Kalevala. Translations include cranberry, bilberry, lingonberry, blackberry and strawberry. The original Finnish word used was “punapuola, ” which is indeed a variety of cranberry, though smaller and sweeter than the one grown in Northern America.
Described as a beautiful maiden, Marjatta is a Goddess who is chaste, yet connected with her Northland home. While roaming the forests, she hears the singing of the cranberry, which begs her to eat him. Because of her maidenhood, she couldn’t pluck the berry, but instead used a charm to have the berry rise from the vine and into her mouth. After she ate the berry, she was impregnated. When her family found out of her pregnancy, they did not believe her story of the cranberry and was shunned.
Similar to the story of Christ’s birth, Marjatta gave birth to her sun in a stable in a forest. The heroic god of The Kalevala, Väinämöinen, is summoned to decide the destiny of the baby. When it is told that the child’s father is a cranberry, Väinämöinen sentences the baby to banishment in the forest and seals his death. However, when the baby pleads for his life by pointing out Väinämöinen’s unfair judgement, he is saved. Väinämöinen also recognizes that the son of the cranberry would grow to be his successor: a royal king and mighty ruler.
Some of the American history and lore of cranberries is fascinating as well. Native Americans were very familiar with the cranberry, and used it graciously as food, medicine, and dye. They used the berry to flavor meats, in a poultice to heal wounds and lower inflammation, and as a dye to make deep burgundy rugs. When Dutch and German settlers came to America, they named the berry “Crane Berry.” This name was inspired by the berry’s pink spring blossoms, which were said to resemble the head and bill of a Sandhill Crane.
Although there is no record that cranberries were eaten at the first Thanksgiving, they are often associated with this holiday and symbolize the “earth’s abundance.” It would have been interesting had these berries been shared at the first thanksgiving, however, because in Victorian flower language, the cranberry blossom signifies that the receiver extend kindness to the giver. The cranberry is also seen as a democratic. In England wealthy people pair it with delectable Venison, but poorer people are also able to enjoy it.
Some Thoughts About Cranberry Magick
The tale of Marjatta reminds us of the nutritional value of the cranberry- so fertile and powerful is the cranberry, that it is the vehicle for immaculate conception. Since it is tied to immaculate conception, and the birth of a child who will replace the old King, it can be linked to rejuvenation, reincarnation, and the themes of Yule and Christmas.
Cranberry also has clear links to fertility magick in this context. Spell work aside, the nutritional benefits of the cranberry are worthy enough to be incorporated into a routine diet, as it will aid in overall health and well being.
Finally, it is important to not forget the magick of the bog, the motherland of cranberry. Here, we see cranberry’s tie to the supernatural, mystical, and ancient. In a place where humans and precious objects were sacrificed, there was much value put on the mystical powers of the bog. It is a place where the protection of people and armies, the fertility of land and nature, and the well being of those who visit it, could be determined and sought after through ritual and sacrifice.
Perhaps you will include a bowl of cranberries next to your pomegranate on your Samhain altar to show thanks to the supernatural powers of the bog. Or simply, while cooking cranberries during the colder season or enjoying its fragrance in oil or a candle, you can reflect on the mystical, protective, and fertile powers of the deep red berry.
Dreaming About Cranberries:
When you see or eat cranberries in a dream, it’s generally a sign of good health and a long and happy life. Cranberries can also represent warmth and togetherness which you might be craving right now, given the time of year.
Alternatively, you may be feeling content at present because you have just enough of this in your waking life. Perhaps you are a particularly warm person towards others and you have felt some of that back of late.
If you were drinking cranberry juice in your dream, it’s possible you have too much stress in your waking life and need to dial things back to help you to manage your stress levels better.
Cranberry juice might be an indicator of poor health too. Perhaps you need to rid your body of some toxin that you’re in the habit of feeding it. On the other hand, the dream could be telling you to let go of a thought or feeling that’s doing you no good. You need to flush the negativity and the bad out of yourself before you can carry on as normal.
If you were picking cranberries in your dream- perhaps you recognize the effort you need to put into something before you are rewarded for all your hard work. You know that there are more choices available to you if you do; consequently- you are a hard worker. If this isn’t apparent to you- it might be time to put more energy into your means of income to gain a sense of pride in what you do.
If the berries were spoiled then maybe you recognize that you’ve missed an opportunity in the recent past. With that said, another one might come along- so don’t lose faith.
- 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.
Many legumes have seeds, called peas or beans, that are lucky. There are also pasture and tree legumes whose leaves and seeds are carried for luck. There is quite a lot of magick and lore surrounding these little packages of energy.
- Ruler: Mercury
- Type: Vegetable, seed
- Magickal form: dried, raw, cooked
Use beans to appease the spirits of the dead. Throw some around the outside of the home if a ghost or poltergeist is bothering you. Beans inspire creativity and communication and can be carried raw in a pouch or cooked and eaten for inspiration.
Here is a list of the different types of beans and their specific properties:
- Black turtle beans help to jump hurdles and make important decisions.
- Butter beans reduce stress.
- Canary beans bring happiness and success in the arts.
- Cow or black-eyed peas bring luck and increase psychic vision.
- Cranberry (October) beans attract new opportunities.
- Fava beans bring power, and make wishes come true.
- Garbanzos (chickpeas) help beat the competition.
- Great northern beans bring discovery and insight; they also help to protect plans and keep them secret.
- Green baby lima beans bring new income.
- Green split peas are for money or health.
- Green pigeon beans represent resourcefulness and money.
- Large lima beans allow expansion and financial growth.
- Lentils bring peace and financial security.
- Navy beans increase strength and determination.
- Oval white beans protect assets.
- Pink beans bring confidence and romance.
- Pinto beans open channels and create action and movement.
- Red kidney beans represent wisdom, love, and healing.
- Roman beans bring power and precision.
- Small red beans provide energy and lust.
- Speckled lima beans create networking opportunities.
- Tonka beans help in romance, often found in love-drawing mojo hands.
- Whole green beans attract money.
- Yellow split peas bring luck and fame.
Two legumes are widely utilized in rituals to cause wishes to come true. The Fava bean is for general good luck wishes, and the Tonka bean is for love-drawing wishes.
Exotic to the eye, drift seeds, or “sea–beans” are actually seeds from common trees and vines that grow in the tropics. The beans fall from the parent plant, into streams and rivers, to drift with the ocean’s currents until being washed onto a shore thousands of miles from where they once grew. Floating in the sea by the thousands, only the hardiest endure long voyages on ocean currents which may finally bring them to rest on foreign shores. Sea–beans are known as symbols of good luck and longevity.
Sea beans can include the following:
- Sea Hearts
Heart shaped beans such as Entada gigas found on northern Atlantic shores, and Entada phaseoloides and rheedii from the southern Pacific. Sea Hearts are produced in huge, hanging bean pods, up to six feet long. Sometimes they are found with imprints and lacerations, caused by the teeth of fish and mammals during their voyage. They are impervious to salt water, even after floating in the ocean for several years.
These beans have been fashioned into all sorts of trinkets and useful objects. Sailors carried sea hearts as good luck charms to protect them from sickness and to ward off the evil eye. Seeds were sometimes cut in half, the contents removed and the woody seed coats hinged together. Hollowed out seeds were commonly used in Norway and Northern Europe for snuff boxes, match boxes and lockets.
It is said that a sea heart (also known as fava de Colom) inspired Christopher Columbus to set out in search of lands to the west.
- Sea Purses
Purse shaped beans such as Dioclea sp. found on Atlantic beaches, and the elusive Australian Dioclea hexandra. Coveted by collectors, Sea Purses and Saddle Beans (Dioclea sp.) are one of the rarest and most colorful of all sea beans found on any beach. Distinct color variations range from butterscotch to solid black.
It was originally grown in Asia, but has drifted to islands in the Caribbean and Central and South America, reproducing there. They are found growing on the Hawaiian Islands where they may have also drifted or, like so many other species, introduced by people.
- Hamburger Beans
Such as Mucuna sloaneii, urens, and elliptica along with a few south Pacific natives, Mucuna gigantea and membranacea, so called because they look a lot like this popular sandwich.
Seeds from the Mucuna vine are called Hamburger Beans or True Sea-Beans in the United States. In Mexico, they are known as Ojo de Venado or Deer’s Eye. There are hundreds of varieties growing in tropical regions around the globe. They can be brown, red or brindle shades of red and brown.
These beans are members of the pea and bean family that contain toxic, hallucinogenic or medicinal alkaloids and therefore figure in good luck charms.
In the case of the Mucuna bean, the mature beans are considered both aphrodisiac and very protective in Mexico and Central America against the evil eye. Nowadays they are carried for good luck.
- Vine Seeds
Every collector’s favorite, the Mary’s Bean (Merremia discoidesperma) is a rare find among drift material anywhere in the world and highly prized by drift seed collectors. Named after the Virgin Mary, it is also called the crucifixion bean because of a cross etched on one side of the seed, leading to it being used as a talisman and many superstitions and legends are connected with it.
A woman in labor was assured an easy delivery if she clenched a Mary’s bean in her hand, and the seeds were handed down from mother to daughter as treasured keepsakes. In northern Europe the Mary’s bean was a special find to pious beach-combers. The seed had obviously survived the ocean and they felt it would extend its protection to anyone lucky enough to own one.
In addition to its unique appearance, it holds the record for the longest recorded drift: 15,000 miles., along with some Caribbean Little Marbles and Florida native Bay Beans.
Bay beans (Canavalia rosea) are one of the most common and plentiful of all sea-beans growing abundantly in dunes worldwide. The vines and their pods grow low along the sand and are easy to spot on the berm with long flower-studded runners. These vines protect the dunes by stabilizing the sand along with other plants. The coloration of the beans vary from mottled and swirly browns to different shades of beige.
Little Marbles (Oxyrhynchus trinervius), also known as Black Pearls, are plentiful in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. The parent plant is an aggressive climber in the right conditions. A rare find on North American beaches, as they are not good floaters and few get very far from their parent plant.
- Shrub Seeds
Shrubs that produce these beans are some of the most resilient plants found. They came from parents growing in inhospitable conditions such as drainage ditches, along barbed-wire fencing and embedded in hard-pack soil with drainage that would kill anything else.
Recurved spines growing on their branches protect the precious seeds from animals that probably shouldn’t be eating them. They include Coral Beans (Erythrina sp) and Grey Nickars (Caesalpinia bonduc) and the less aggressive Brown Nickar (Caesalpinia major).
Grey nickars (aka Sea Pearls) found on east coast beaches of Florida may have washed in from the Gulf Stream or are from plants growing locally. The name nicker comes from an old English word meaning marble. Nickernuts are used for playing pieces in board games the world over.
Far less common than Grey Nickarbeans, and a bit larger, the Brown Nickar comes from similar plants, but have the color of light milk chocolate.
- Tree Seeds
All trees produce seeds, but not all are considered beans, much less sea-beans. More often the seed pods have flotation abilities, though short as they are since salt water starts to break them down as soon as they get wet.
Guanacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum), one of the most beautiful beans of the New World tropics comes from a huge canopy tree. It is a fast growing species and one of the largest trees found in Central America.
The word Guanacaste, which is also the name of the Costa Rican province of Guanacaste, is of Nahuatl origin and means “ear tree.” The coiled, leathery pods resemble the shape of a human ear. Guanacaste seeds have a distinctive brown “eye” and make some of the most striking seed jewelry.
Makha-Mong (Afzelia xylocarpa). This tree grows in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Burma in deciduous forests. In Southeast Asia, the seeds are harvested for medicinal purposes. The seed pulp can be used to make cigarettes, and the bark and seed are used for herbal medicine.
Laurelwood (Calophyllum calaba), also known as santa-maría or false-mamey, this medium-sized tropical evergreen tree is frequently used for reforestation, as a shade tree or a protective hedge. The seeds are perfectly round and coloring runs from light beige to dark brown. At certain times of the year, they can be plentiful on beaches, looking like small ping-pong balls. Polishing brings out their natural coloring.
Royal Poinciana (Delonix regia). In the Caribbean, the pods from these trees are used for fuel and called “woman’s tongue” for the rattling noise they make when the wind blows them. The empty pods are classified as sea-beans but only have a maximum flotation of about a month. The seeds are gathered from pods and fashioned into jewelry around the world.
Large brown beans
Some large brown beans are tropical species that accidentally get distributed worldwide because their pods float. Swept downstream, they make their way to the ocean before the pods fall apart, and when these “Sea Beans” wash up in Northern climes, they are carried as lucky pocket pieces.
Other large brown beans are cultivated as fodder. Their seeds are often mildly toxic, containing DMT compounds or L-dopa, but some find use in local medicine as vermifuges. Most are carried as amulets.
One exception to the “large brown beans are toxic” rule is the greenish-brown Fava bean, which is cultivated for use as a food despite the fact that some people are highly allergic to it. Fava beans are also known as Mojo Beans, or African Wishing Beans and are widely believed to have the power to make wishes come true.
Some large brown beans are drilled through and hung on a cord, often for protection.
Large brown beans are often treated in the same way as other large brown botanical curios like Buckeye, nutmeg, and High John the Conqueror – that is, they are oiled and carried in the pocket as a lucky piece or combined with other curios in a Mojo bag. Sea beans are handled in this way, and in addition to general good luck and gambling luck, being seaborne seeds, they are also said to protect from death by drowning.
Large poisonous brown beans carried as lucky pieces include the following:
- Entada Gigas: Sea heart, Sea bean
- Entada phaseoloides: Matchbox bean
- Mucuna pruriens, Mucuna spp: Cowhage, Cow-itch, Horse-eye nut, Nipay, Ojo de Llama, Ojo de Vaca, Ojo de Venado, Pica-Pica
Small Wild Red Beans and Peas
Many sub-tropical or tropical red beans or red peas are toxic and psychedelic, containing DMT or LSD-like substances. Some are fatal if eaten; others produce a visionary trance or altered state of consciousness. Although local shamans may prepare these dangerous seeds for ingestion, their most common magickal use is in amulets.
One exception to the “red beans are toxic” rule is the kidney bean or red bean well known as food. Like its white, brown, black, and spotted relatives in the Phaseolus genus, it plays an important role in edible bean ceremonies.
Small poisonous red beans crafted into amulets include the following:
- Abrus precatorius: Abrus a Chapelet, Colorine, Crab’s Eye, Jequerite, Jequirity Bean, Lady Bug Bean, Ojo de Cangrejo, Peronilla, Precatory Pea, Rosary Bean
- Adenanthera pavonina: Circassian seed, Jumbie, Jumble Bean
- Erythina spp: Coral Tree, Frijol de Arbol, Gallito
- Ormosia coccinea: Barakaro, Huayruru, Kokriki, Panacoco, Peonia, Wo-ka
- Ormosia macrocalyx: Alcornoque, Chocho Grande, Huayruru, Tento
- Ormosia nobilis: Huayuru Hembra, Mulungu, Tento
Beans, like many other plants with strong-smelling flowers, are traditionally associated with death and ghosts, and have been so from early pagan times down to our own day.
In ancient Rome, edible beans were distributed and eaten at funerals. Until about the beginning of the 19th century, a similar custom was observed at some, though not all, north-country English burials. When it finally lapsed, a memory of it was preserved in the children’s couplet:
God save your soul,
Beans and all.
During the Roman festival of the dead, held in May, black beans were used in ceremonies intended to placate and ward off ghosts, and in early Greek ritual, the scapegoat who annually died for the people was chosen by means of a black bean drawn in a lottery.
In his Remaines of Gentilisme and Judaisme (1686) Aubrey mentions a charm used in his boyhood to avert evil spirits, which consisted in saying very quickly, three times in one breath:
Three blew beans in a blew bladder,
Rattle, bladder, rattle.
A very widespread country belief that persisted at least as late as the end of the last century, and perhaps later, was that the souls of the dead dwelt in the flowers of the broad bean. These flowers were still thought to be ill-omened in many districts. Old colliers in northern and midland England say that accidents in the pit occur more frequently when they are in bloom than at any other time.
Cases of lunacy are also thought to be more likely then, for the scent of the flowers is supposed to induce mental disorder, bad dreams, and terrifying visions. A Leicestershire tradition says that if any one sleeps all night in a beanfield, he will suffer from appalling nightmares, and will probably go mad afterwards.
Another very common superstition is that if in a row of beans, one should come up white, it is a death omen for someone in the grower’s family.
A well-known charm for curing warts is to rub them with the white inner lining of a bean pod, and then throw the pod away, or bury it in a secure place. As it rots, so will the wart disappear. This charm has been tried with success in Oxfordshire within the last ten years.
In Ireland, poultices made from the flowers were sometimes used to reduce hard swellings. A former use for the plant, half medical in origin and half magickal, was to make women beautiful. The pods steeped in wine and vinegar, or the distilled water of the flowers, improved the complexion, and so, according to Bulleyne’s Booke of Simples (1562) did a lotion made from bean-meal mixed with cold milk.
In Leap year, broad beans are said to grow the wrong way up. Various dates are given in different districts (in England) as the only fortunate days for setting beans (and peas) but these seem to spring less from superstition than from agricultural custom and the knowledge of local weather conditions. In the northern counties gardeners should:
Sow peas and beans on David and Chad,
Whether the weather be good or bad,
David and Chad refers to March 1st and 2nd, the festival days of St David and St Chad. Farther south, beans are set “when elm leaves are as big as a farthing,” or on certain dates in early May, often connected with local fairs. A limit to the variety of these days seems to be set by a well known rhyme which says:
Be it weal or be it woe,
Beans should blow before May go.
Edible Bean Ceremonies and Celebrations
Edible beans have had religious and magickal associations for millennia. The ancient Egyptians held the red kidney bean sacred, and thus taboo as food. The high priest of the Jews was forbidden to eat beans on the Day of Atonement. Beans were thrown to the spirits of the dead during the ancient Roman feast of Lemuria in May.
Bean soup is eaten to commemorate the dead on All Souls Day in Austria and is also a feature of Jewish mourning feasts. Bean cakes are eaten in Taiwan at the August full moon ceremony. New Year’s luckiness is associated with red kidney beans in many parts of the world including Europe, where the beans are eaten, and in Japan, where priests clap their hands and throw uncooked beans upon temple goers.
For centuries witches have been using foods to create powerful magic, and love magic is one of the most favored. The secret recipes and secret spices that have been used have always been a witches most closely guarded secret. Witches spend many hours carefully crafting their love magic and using the secret ingredients containing the energy of love.
In addition to love energy, many of these foods exert other magickal influences. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You can mix and match the various ingredients to come up with your own magickal recipe for love.
In addition to love energy, some of these ingredients incorporate other magickal influences.
- Carob: (also money)
- Chocolate: (also money)
- Honey: (also purification, health, sex and sexuality, happiness, spirituality, wisdom)
- Maple Syrup: (also money)
- Truffle: (also sex)
- Dill bread
- Rye bread
- Sweetened bread
- Pink candles on a birthday cake conveys spiritual love
- Roses on a wedding cake represent wishes for love
- A birthday cake prepared with love brings positive energy to the recipient
- Chocolate cake is a powerful love stimulant
Cookies can be shaped to represent the magick you want to perform. They can be cut into magickal shapes, or decorated with magickal symbols.
- Cherry vanilla
- Chocolate, chocolate chip, and chocolate fudge: (also money)
- Peach: (also health, happiness, and wisdom)
Many of these pies serve multiple purposes.
- Apple pie: (also healing and peace)
- Chocolate cream pie: (also money)
- Cherry pie
- Lime pie: (also purification)
- Lemon pie: (also purification)
- Pineapple pie: (also healing, money, and protection)
- Raspberry pie: (also happiness and protection)
- Rhubarb pie: (also protection)
- Strawberry pie
- Rhubarb: (also protection)
- Sweet potato: (also sex)
- Apple: (also health and peace)
- Apricot: (also peace)
- Avocado: (also beauty)
- Banana: (also spirituality and money)
- Guava: (also purification)
- Lemon: (also happiness and health)
- Lime: (also health)
- Mango: (also protection and sex)
- Orange: (also health)
- Passion Fruit: (also peace)
- Peach: (also health, happiness, and wisdom)
- Quince: (also protection)
- Beet: (also beauty)
- Tomato: (also health, money, and protection)
Love Herbs and Spices
To add power to your love magic, add the following spices to fish, soup and a variety of other foods of love:
- Basil: (also protection and money)
- Caraway: (also sex)
- Cardamom: (also sex)
- Cinnamon: (also psychic awareness and money)
- Cloves: (also protection and money)
- Coriander: (also sex)
- Dill: (also conscious mind, money, and health)
- Ginger: (also money)
- Licorice: (also sex)
- Marjoram: (also peace)
- Poppy seed: (also fertility)
- Rose: (also happiness and psychic awareness)
- Thyme: (also psychic awareness and purification)
- Vanilla: (also sexuality)
As you are preparing the herbs, visualize love, as you are cooking the ingredients, visualize love, as you are serving the food, visualize love, as you are eating the food, visualize love with each mouthful you take. If there is no one currently in your life, you can visualize love coming into your life. If you are with someone, you can visualize loving moments with that person.
- Brazil nut: (also money)
- Chestnut: (also conscious mind)
When preparing foods for specific magical purposes, cook with purpose and care. Keep your goal in mind, love, money, protection, health, fertility, sex, strength, psychic awareness. Always stir clockwise, clockwise motion is thought to be in harmony with the apparent movement of the sun in the sky, and has been linked with life, health and success. Cut foods into shapes symbolic of your magical intention, such as hearts for love a Pentagram for protection etc. By contemplating the energy of love, money or protection, you can bring magic into your kitchen each day
Source: Witches Lore
- Ruler: Venus
- Type: Baked good
- Magickal form: Various fillings
Originating in ancient Greece and Rome, pies are associated with happiness, love, and wholeness. Eat cherry pie to increase self-confidence and find self-love. All fruit pies invoke love when shared with another. Meat pies create fillings of security. Place your thumb in a pie and make a wish, it might come true.
Mince pie magick and lore:
Mince pies (sometimes known as mince tarts) are a popular part of Christmas. Most people think they will gain a month of good luck for every mince pie they eat during the Christmas season, as long as a different person makes each pie. One hundred years ago, the tradition was that each pie had to be eaten at a different person’s house, and they had to be consumed between December 25 and January 6. This gave you twelve days in which to eat enough pies to guarantee a year of good luck.
The mincemeat mixture should only be stirred in a clockwise direction. To stir it anticlockwise is to bring bad luck for the coming year. A wish should be made whilst eating your first mince pie of the festive season.
Pies and Their Magickal Qualities:
- Apple pie: Love, Healing, Peace
- Banana cream pie: Money
- Blackberry pie: Money, Sex
- Chocolate cream pie: Money, Love
- Cherry pie: Confidence, Self esteem, Love
- Lime pie: Love, Purification
- Lemon pie: Purification, Love
- Mince pie: Luck, Money (always make a wish when eating a mince pie)
- Pecan pie: Money
- Pineapple pie: Love, Healing, Money, Protection
- Pumpkin pie: Money, Healing
- Raspberry pie: Happiness, Love, Protection
- Rhubarb pie: Protection, Love
- Square sweet pies: Prosperity
- Strawberry pie: Love
From: Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients and other sources
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
- Ruler: Moon, Mars
- Element: Water
- Type: Flower
- Magickal Form: Flower, Oil
- Basic Powers: Love, Healing, Protection
The geranium is a popular house and garden plant, not only because it is bright, cheerful, and hardy but also because it magically repels evil spirits. Maintain protective boundaries with geranium essential oils, or strategically place individual plants.
This positive and affirming flower is best for increasing self-confidence and healing a blow to the ego. The geranium soothes a broken heart. Rub into white candles to help make a serious decision about whether to stay or leave a relationship.
Wear the flowers or add them to love sachets. The white variety is worn to promote fertility, while the red are a good protection and aid healing. Plant the flowers in the garden (especially the pink and red) to protect the house and to keep snakes away from your property.
From: Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients and other sources
- Ruler: Mars
- Element: Fire
- Type: Herb
- Magickal Form: Fresh or dried, Essential oil
- Deities: Vishnu, Lakshmi, Erzuli
- Basic Powers: Purification, Protection, Exorcism, Love
A versatile herb, basil leaves can be used for love, protection, or to attract wealth. Burned in an incense with rose petals, basil helps to restore peace in a relationship. Add to exorcism and protection incenses. Strew your floor with the leaves to dispel discord. Use it in the bath or ingest it in a Philter to restore the vitality of your aura.
Put some basil in your wallet and you will attract money, success and prosperity. Added to an Herbal Amulet it is carried to overcome obstacles to prosperity.
When it was first introduced to England, it was not eaten, but used to provide peace of mind and freedom from pain.
Dried Basil can be lightly sprinkled about the floor and swept out the back door as a purifying floor sweep, because “evil can’t stay where Basil has been.”
To attract love and money, bring the magick of Basil into your home.
- Grow basil in your garden and around the house.
- Place pots of fresh basil by your front entrance and around the perimeter of your home.
- Cook with it, and incorporate it into spell work by placing it in a vase on your altar.
- Place fresh basil in a vase in a prominent spot in your kitchen, replacing it weekly or as soon as it starts to spoil.
In certain central regions of Mexico, basil is used to draw fortune by hanging the plant in the door or window of the shop. The plant’s growth reflects the wealth of the business, showing how dutifully the owner cares for his shop and the herb.
For happiness and peace in the family, soak dried Basil in water for three days. Strain and sprinkle the water at your doorstep to bring money and success, drive away evil, and have a happy family.
A lust herb, basil’s powerful aroma calls forth the sexual energy; eat it to invigorate the sexual appetite. Basil can also be burned to increase sensual pleasures. Place the dried leaves under a bed to reawaken the sex drive in a relationship. In Romania if a young lady offers a young man a sprig of basil, and he accepts, they are officially engaged. In Italy, basil is thought of as a sign of love.
- Eat basil on a Tuesday to summon physical strength or to prepare for battle.
- Consume on a Wednesday to open channels of communication.
Basil belongs to Maitresse Ezili Freda Dahomey, Vodou spirit of luxury, and features in many of her rituals. Holy basil, also called tulsi, is highly revered in Hinduism. It figures in the worship of the god Vishnu, is also associated with Lakshmi, the popular Hindu goddess of good fortune. In Haiti, it is associated with the loa Erzuli.
The ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks believed it would open the gates of heaven for a person passing on. In Europe, basil is placed in the hands of the dead to ensure a safe journey. In India, they place it in the mouth of the dying to ensure they reach God.
Basil has religious significance in the Greek Orthodox Church, where it is used to sprinkle holy water. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Serbian Orthodox Church, Macedonian Orthodox Church and Romanian Orthodox Church use basil to prepare holy water and pots of basil are often placed below church altars
However, basil represented hatred in ancient Greece, and European lore sometimes claims that basil is a symbol of Satan. African legend claims that basil protects against scorpions, while the English botanist Culpeper cites one “Hilarius, a French physician” as affirming it as common knowledge that smelling basil too much would breed scorpions in the brain.
The botanical name for Basil, Ocimum basilicum, is derived from the Greek “to be fragrant.” Despite that meaning, many Greeks disliked basil and believed that scorpions would breed under pots of basil.
In ancient Rome, the name for Basil was Basilescus. This name was in reference to Basilisk, the fire breathing dragon. They thought that ingesting basil would protect them against Basilisk.
Collected from various sources
Keys were traditionally made of iron. Consequently, it made good sense to touch a key whenever danger threatened. Keys were considered lucky, and commonly placed under a child’s pillow to keep him or her safe while asleep.
To find an old key is magical. It is said that the finder will experience spiritual mysteries and have prophetic dreams. They will become a channel of communication between heaven and earth. A rusty key is a good omen, as it indicates an inheritance.
Wearing an old-fashioned key will unlock spiritual doors. Perform spells with identical keys, which are then worn by lovers to protect their relationship from infiltration. A key given to a lover who is going far away will keep you in his or her heart.
When lovers exchange keys, it is believed that they are unlocking each other’s hearts. It symbolizes love and happiness.
In Japan, three keys tied together create a powerful lucky charm that attracts love, health, and wealth.
Keys can also be used as a magickal charm or talisman when something needs to be unlocked in some way. For example, Jewish midwives put the key to the synagogue into the hand of a woman who was about to give birth, in the hopes that the association would help the baby “unlock” the door of the womb. Keys were also buried with people in order that the gates to the Underworld would open easily.
It is considered bad luck to drop a key, and even worse luck to accidentally break one. To break a key is an unfortunate omen: it predicts a broken relationship. It is also considered bad luck to jangle bunches of keys on Wednesdays. However, jangling keys can avert the evil eye, and this can be done on any day of the week.
Losing keys is considered an omen of some disaster, usually involving a death.
People turning twenty-one years old were often given cardboard keys to celebrate this milestone of maturity and independence. A popular song in 1912 mentions this custom in the following lyrics:
I’m twenty-one today,
I’ve got the key of the door,
Never been twenty-one before.
Information collected from a variety of sources.