Double, double toil and trouble Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Working with herbs is an easy way to apply energy correspondences. Every Kitchen Witch knows that even the most common herb welds magickal energies. Parsley is used for fertility, thyme for clairvoyance, garlic for protection... And that sprinkling an herb over a dish or simmering a few into a dinner can imbue a meal with energy. Energy abounds in nature. In magick natural aspects are gathered and infused with intent. Learning how these natural energies complement and work together is how an apprentice becomes a magi. Adding herbs to your cooking not only adds nutrients (yes, each herbal teaspoon is loaded not only with flavor but with antioxidants and vitamins too) it will add energy to manifest intent. For example: while the French regard their food as 'the food of Love', it's actually the Italians that steps up to the magickal index. Basil, Marjoram, Rosemary, and Thyme are all herbs with magickal properties used to kindle affection. One of the easiest love spells to work is to serve a nice Italian meal incorporating these herbs into a sauce. As you make the sauce firmly hold your intention in your mind then serve the meal to the object of your desire.
The Crafty Witch ...You have to get crafty. Making real magick is about investing energy and infusing it with intent. Which means that little pretty potion you picked up at the market is probably pretty tepid. Think about it. Was it manufactured in a giant industrial plant or was it created with intent? How many miles did it travel to reach you? Through how many hands did it pass? What energy was it subjected to? Real magick is born in individual creation. It is the act of an individual's labor, infused with their own energy signature, molded by a unique intent. This is the applied to Know, to Will, to Dare of it.
Here are some ways herbs are commonly used: Amulets, Sachets, Talismans – Herbal mixtures that are bundled together for a specific purpose. Aspersers - Bundles of herbs that are used to sprinkle salt water in a ritual or around the home in purification. Baths - Mixtures of fresh or dried herbs or oils to create magickal baths. Oils can be added to mixtures of Epsom salts and baking soda to create wonderful bath salts. Brews and infusions - Herbs combinations that are steep and can be taken internal or externally. Can be added to baths, used as wash or sprinkled. Dream Pillows - Herbs stuffed into pillows for a particular purpose; better sleep, psychic dreams, vivid or lucid dreams. Incense - Burning dried plant materials or formed into sticks or cones. Inks - for creating Talismans on Parchment paper and other magickal writings. Doves Blood ink is tradition made of amber resin and orris root Ointments - Herbs or essential oils mixed into some kind of fat/lard/oil and bees wax. Essential Oils - Used for anointing people, candles or objects. Powders - Finely ground herbs added to mixtures, ritual fires or sprinkled on an altar or ritual space to add energy to the working. Potpourri - Attractive mixtures of scented, usually dried, plant materials. Can be simmered or added to infuser or ritual fire. Tinctures - Plant materials are added to an alcohol base. The energies are released into the alcohol and the plant material is strained.
And don't forget about the importance of with aromas. Of all the senses, the sense of smell is often the sense considered least important. Yet a scent has the power to set the mind reeling. Scent not only has the power to affect mood and invoke memories, a scent can shape your entire sense of well-being. Scent can even affect the way others respond to you. Fragrances have been casting their spells for thousands of years. The olfactory nerves are connected directly with your brain, where scent impulses create instant memories and reaction. A single scent has the power to trigger feelings of peace, energy and even a good night's sleep. Use the scent of rose and vanilla evoke feelings of romance, lavender is for inner calm, while rosemary is for remembrance.
"Herbal potion, cauldron brew, now be charged with magick true. With intent I speak this charm, all be blessed and none be harmed. Ever minding the law of three, This is my will, so mote it be..."
Common Herbal Correspondences
Here is a list of 45 of the more common flower, herb and resins you should try to memorize. They can be invaluable to you for their convenience, low price and effectiveness. These herbs are both reliable and relatively potent in magickal workings. Many on this list fall into the category of Culinary Herbs which means you should be able to find them at any grocery store. The rest can be found as loose herbs, incense or oils in most health food stores.
All-Heal: Healing, Health, Vitality
Aloe: Healing, Protection Against Harmful Spirits, Luck, Water Elemental Invocation
Allspice: Money, Luck, Healing
Amber: Mental Magic, Balance, Protection, Protection Against Harmful Spirits, Protection Against Hexes, Protection Against Psychic Attack