A beautiful thing about the world we live in is that there is an element of mystery. We cultivate a sense of courage in our being when we dance in the liminal spaces, or the spaces of the in-between. The space between the known, and that we do not yet know. The spaces of intersection, such as that where a beautiful merging of ancient wisdom meets the modern revolutions of today. And what if, with our bravery in exploring the liminal, and in exploring the mystery, we realize and remember deep and profound magic? What if we discover that there is so much more to our world than what meets the eye? With a mind that is open and curious, join our circle with a heart of gratitude, learn from the herbs in a new way. The herbs are magic. Our deepest ancestors across the earth knew this. We learned deep wisdom about ourselves and our interaction with the living world from the plants. They spoke to us, and continue to do this today. When we sip an herbal tea, we are opening ourselves to a downloading of information. When we meditate with an herb, we not only hear them, we meet their spirit. We have the ability to awaken and remember from the most ancient part of ourselves, and to reconnect with what it means to be in relationship with the land. We invite you to explore the concept of herbal magic, and the ways that the plants offer so much more to us than just physical benefits. They are our protectors, our guides, or connection to the divine!
Before we go deeper, it might be helpful to ground ourselves in our perception and definition of magic. In our modern times, the term “magic” has become a bit convoluted; synonymous with that which we believe to be impossible. When we use the term magic, we often get images created by Hollywood and CGI. We think of such things as Harry Potter waving a magic wand, of the kooky witches in Hocus Pocus casting spells written in an enchanted book, or of Tinkerbell granting the ability to fly through the sprinkling of pixie dust. However, the concept of magic as we are presenting it in this context is actually quite simple, and can help us to understand our role as being interconnected on an energetic level with all things. To explore this further, we will use the definition of magic as written by Dion Fortune, author, magician, and famed occultist from Britain, as the “art of changing consciousness at will.” While such a simple phrase, these few words hold a lot of meaning in contributing to our understanding of our ability to tap into, or even practice, magic. For example, we can take the action of meditation. This practice is often associated with mindfulness as a way to come into deep presence and grounding, in addition to being a way to support and regulate our nervous system. However, for some, meditation can also be a sort of conduit to energy bigger than ourselves. It is a way of opening our “mind’s eye,” or a tool in which to awaken deep realms of our own consciousness. Meditation can be a way in which to elevate our own energetic vibration, allowing us to receive wisdom. And with an intentional focus on something singular, such as meditation with an individual plant, it can be a way in which to “hear,” or put more simply, receive mental impressions, the ways in which the plant can work with us, answer our questions, or provide guidance. One could argue that this is magic, as we are using a tool (meditation) to intentionally change our consciousness. While our individual ability to change consciousness is up to us, through the contribution of our own energy and intention, the plants are incredible supports for us in our journey. In this way, they co-create with us, activating, elevating, or contributing to our magic.
Magical HerbalismSince ancient times, as documented in folklore and tradition, humans have long worked with herbs as tools and medicine. Perhaps you too have felt called to understand herbs on a deep level, whether physical or in the energetic realm. Join us in exploring some of the ways you can tap into the magical aspect of plants.
Invoking the Divine and SacredThere are a multitude of herbs that have been aligned with the holy and the sacred. Many religions spanning the globe have associated specific plants with sacred rituals, as guardians of the liminal spaces, to help us see what is unseen, or that have an affinity for particular deities. We too can tap into this energy of utilizing herbs to invoke the divine. A simple way to do this is through the act of burning aromatic herbs to create sacred smoke. Sacred smoke has long been a practice for creating ritual space, cleansing, and opening our spiritual selves. For example, Rosemary was burned in many ancient Greek and Roman spaces to build relationships to ancient deities, or the Druids of ancient Ireland called upon sacred herbs like Mugwort and Vervain during their mystical practices. When burning sacred herbs, it is important to do research to ensure that you are doing this in an ethical way - many herbs such as White Sage or Palo Santo are unethically harvested. It is important to work with herbs that align with your heritage and lineage and that are sourced ethically and with respect. Additionally, if working with deities is something that calls to you, it can be a beautiful practice to explore if a particular deity has an affinity or special relationship with certain plants. Creating offerings of these plants can be a sweet way to build a bond with the deity of your choosing.
Herbs as Talismans or Charms
Plants have also long been worked with as talismans or charms serving a particular purpose. Most commonly, plants were used for such things as protection, drawing in abundance, cleansing, and banishment. There are a multitude of ways that herbs can be used in this way, starting with something as simple as wearing them on your person. For example, it was thought that wearing Mugwort in one’s shoes would bring extra strength on a long journey or race. Or by placing a bay leaf in your suitcase, it would bring extra protection as you travel. Some may choose to keep parts of a plant in a locket, or create a small charm bag infused with intention and the herbs with magical properties you seek to invoke and carrying them with you in your pocket or bag.
Photo by Dagmara Dombrovska on Unsplash[/caption] Herbs can also be used for the home; for example, some herbs can be used in the cleaning products you use to add additional magical energy for your home. Or you can simply hang herbs that have protective properties such as Calendula or Rowan over the doorway to prevent bad energy from entering the home. Some may choose to plant particular herbs near the gateway of a garden for protection of the harvest, or plant herbs that promote fertility and abundance near prized crops to support growth. Remember to thank the herbs for their workings and the energy they are providing to support you!