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Since the beginning of time, man has been engaging with nature's devices to survive. Herbs, plants, trees and flowers offered food, shelter, medicine, magick and also aesthetic appeal. It is, pragmatically speaking, no different today. Modern medicine emulated nature's devices to create the synthetic medicines in use today and modern science harnesses nature to offer the creature comforts modern man demands.

Herbalism, in particular, transcended dynasties, empires, religious institutions, political dogma and entire civilizations. It even survived all those natural disasters of cataclysmic proportions over the ages that threatened the continued existence of life on this small planet we call earth.

That, in itself, is magick.

The question on most people's minds is how the power of herbs works. The answer is perhaps a little complicated, but here goes anyway:

Everything in nature has a life-force, or spirit, or essence. The essence of each herb is a part of the cosmos. The role of the essence is to affect a change that will result in maintaining or restoring the balance within its own microcosm. By doing this, it helps in maintaining the equilibrium of the cosmos as a whole.

The essence can also be put to use to restore imbalances in other living organisms. Here we can think of trees processing noxious gasses such as nitrogen and carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. We can also think of the bruise on a person's leg which is rapidly healed by applying Arnica. At another level still we can think of how lavender clears negativity in a room when burnt as incense.

Such is the power of the herb and for this reason literally hundreds upon thousands of herbs that have been across the ages and across all continents. The same holds true where magickal practices were concerned.

Today, more than 100 types of herbs are commonly known and used in Wiccan practices. Each of these herbs has masculine or feminine characteristics, is associated with one of the four elements and may often be a favorite of a particular god or goddess. The herbs can be used in various ways, including in charms or sachets, incense, bath products, oils, teas, smoking, or sprinkled to assign a line or area of protection.

Wiccans are encouraged to grow as many of the herbs themselves as possible for their own use, as it adds the power of the individual to the attributes of the herb. Each herb has the characteristics of the ruling planet, the element with which it is associated and a masculine or feminine bias.
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Since the dawn of man, humans have looked to their natural surroundings for food, shelter and medicinal treatment. Wiccans step this one step further by utilizing the powers inherent in herbs, crystals and stones for use in magic spells and divination rituals. Here is a list of herbs commonly used in the practice of Wicca.

Angelica root: Traditionally used in Chinese medicine for the blood, this herb is used in magic to build creative feminine energy. It is aromatic and can be used to flavor a drink.

Balm of Gilead Buds: The resin from these buds (extracted by letting them soak in olive oil for a couple of weeks) can be used in matters of necromancy, divination and concentration. In love spells, it does well to reunite separated lovers.

Bay leaves: This herb is a great multi-use ingredient to have around for spells. It can be stuffed under a pillow to help with dreams of a divinatory nature. Amulets or talismans made from the leaves offer protection. Under the waxing moon, the leaves can bear wish messages and be burned for them to come true. It is powerful in love spells, especially in attracting masculine energies.

Belladonna: Caution needs to be used with this herb as it is poisonous. You shouldn't allow it to come in contact with your skin and definitely keep it away from the mouth and eyes. If you do ingest it, make a trip to the hospital as people have died from consuming belladonna. Ideally, keep the herb sealed in a bag or container. If it needs to be burned, do so in a ventilated area and stay clear of the smoke. Its uses include astral projection and protection spells for soldiers.

Beth root: This herb was once used medicinally to treat problems with the female reproductive system. It can be used in magic to protect your home or family and is potent in love spells.

Black Nightshade: This herb is poisonous and should not be ingested. Keep away from skin, eyes and mouth and seek medical attention of there is contact. It is used in Samhain celebrations and to honor Hekate. It is potent when used in spells calling on the moon.

Blackthorn berries: This herb (berry, technically) works wonders in protection spells but its controlling powers can also be used to do harm upon others through control. It can be ingested, especially when used to infuse a drink, and is known to help with sleep troubles and inflammations.

Blue Mallow Flowers: This herb was used in Mayday celebrations. In magic, it can be used in love and water spells. Putting it under a pillow can help with dream work and since this doesn't have a scent won't bother you to have so close to your head.

Cardamom: This herb is considered an aphrodisiac and is therefore great to use in spells pertaining to love or sexuality. It can also be used in protection spells. Medicinally, it has been used to treat headaches, depression and improving digestion.

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