In the practice of magical herbery, the collections of what might be considered “herbs” is far greater than in the study of medicinal herbology. Magic can encompass so many thing, the possibilities are virtually endless.
The following are generally considered “herbs” when dealing with most forms of herbal magic.
All leaf varieties of plants, both edible and non-edible.
All fruits and vegetables.
Spices and nuts.
Trees, shrubs and ground-level plants.
Weeds, both domestic (lawn weeds) and wild (meadow “weeds”)
An herb, in the practice of spell-casting and magic, can be the single item which pushes magic to its purpose, if the practitioner is in tune with the herb, leaf, plant or fruit he/she is using.
Each herb has a different molecular vibration. This is not magic, but science.
Molecules which make up a thing, vibrate to maintain the bond with surrounding molecules. When that vibration slows dramatically and ceases, the thing dies. However, the energy (soul, spirit, essence, chi) that inhabited that thing leaves its residue behind and the item maintains the signature of its former inhabitant, but not its frequency. The frequency is the rate at which the living active molecules general vibrate. The frequency of a plant with its roots firmly and healthfully imbedded in the earth has a higher frequency of vibration than that of the dried herbs in the cupboard. In each case though, we can sense or “read” the signature regardless of frequency, just as we know that the dried basil in the cupboard is the same basil cut from the garden a few months ago.
It is the signature of the herb which lends its power to magic work.
The history of magical herbery is as old as this planet. Earth has maintained living growth throughout its life, even in the Ice Age when the smallest organisms and cellular growth took place.
Before human beings evolved from the primordial soup, plant life maintained the health and healing of the beasts which roamed the planet. Animals instinctively seem to know which herb is necessary to make them feel better. They seek out that healing power by smell or recognition. Dogs will chew regular lawn grass. Annoying as that may be to the dog’s human, either in lawn care or cleanup after the animal, the dog only knows that the grass relates to his upset digestive tract and will relieve the pain or digestive block. Grass is a basic fiber (plant with heavier strings or strands of fiber running through it) and aids the dog’s digestive process.
Assuming that the first cognitive human beings watched animal behavior very closely, they would naturally try the same herbs and plants, leaves and shrubs that the animals used to heal their ills. From that practice evolved general use and experimentation with plants.
Jean Auel makes a wonderful and very believable hypothesis, set in fiction, in her series beginning with Clan Of The Cave Bear. Her primitive characters have maintained a certain “ancestral memory” which enabled them to continue adding to their stores of knowledge. As humans became more human-like and less ape-like, the ancestral store of memories was lost.
The Earth in its pure evolution, was a balanced world of equal components. For every illness or condition, there was a cure, through plant life or minerals. Pollution, erosion and overpopulation have knocked that delicate balance off kilter.
Almost instinctively, humans attune themselves to the vibrations of herbs and use them in an automatic way. As an example, basil is an herb which strengthens love, lust and feelings of romance and closeness. Have you ever wondered why romantic dinners often involve a pasta dish? Basil is most-often a key ingredient in Italian cooking.
In using herbs for magic, you must become aware of the aspects of the herb itself. Awareness is the ENTIRE key. It is vital that you take the time to look and really see, feel and really experience, smell and really recognize. With practice these are very possible.
An herb’s potential in your magical work is endless. It will interact with your key vibrations based on your intent and effort. It will expand with you as you fill with energy. Once you begin to recognize and experience the herb as a unique thing, your magic will naturally grow more powerful.
Your Responsibility In Magic
In any action, there is a reaction. This is a basic universal law. What you do with your magical work has a direct effect on the world, in some form or other. Good intent creates strong magic. An herb’s signature is neither positive or negative, but just IS. It is the intent which you place in your work that steers the energy to its intended goal.
Be responsible in your magic. Care for all things. Herb magic, nor any other form of magic should be used in the harming of others. What you send out, WILL return to you, in a different form and with a different face. You can ensure positive return if you maintain a positive intent.
Be happy in your work, take joy in your interaction with herbs and be content that you have done your best.