By Ana Vice
Magickal herbs, plants, and roots to help find a new job, bring in money, and add more prosperity to your world.
Many of you may already have some of these plants in your magickal apothecary or cabinet, but they can also be purchased at your local supermarket, farmer's market, or at Enchantments (which has a botanica of over 150 herbs for your spiritual needs). Please note that they are not for ingestion, but for magickal use only. Some plants are poisonous to both humans and animals and should be handled with care (i.e. High John the Conqueror and Horse Chestnut). In conjunction with all magickal practices, be sure to consult your physician before using plant-based medicine to aid in your physical and/or mental health.
If you’re interested in learning more about the magickal use of herbs (especially for love, healing, and protection), check out our new Herbal Series here.
Banyan (Ficus benghalensis)
The banyan tree (aka Arched Fig, Indian God Tree, and Vada Tree) is associated with the planet Jupiter, air element, and often used in luck magick. Some believe that just to sit beneath or look at a banyan tree brings good luck. Others believe that getting married under a banyan tree means the marriage will be a happy one.
The banyan tree is planted outside and around places of worship in India by Hindus. Many believe the banyan tree to be Kalpavriksha, a Tree of Life that grants wishes and brings wealth and abundance. It symbolizes Trimurti: Lord Vishnu is the bark, Lord Brahma the roots, and Lord Shiva the branches. Buddha was also said to have sat under a banyan tree when he gained enlightenment.
Banyan trees are included in Ayurveda because many of the herbs that are associated with the tree of life are sacred to this ancient practice. Ayurvedic medicine, a holistic healing system developed more than 3,000 years ago in India, is based on the belief that well-being and good health depends on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit.
There is also the Hindu Story of Svetaketu: A father had his son gather fruit from the sacred banyan tree and look at the seeds inside. The boy told his father that he saw nothing. His father uses this concept as a way to describe the idea that great things can come from very little or nothing at all.
Others believe that banyan is eternal and its roots never stop growing as they make their way down into the Earth. Because of its extensive root system, when a banyan tree is cut down, it will use its powerful roots to rebirth or renew itself. The Chamorro of Guam believe in tales of Taotao Mo'na and other spirits of old. Taotao Mo'na are guardians of banyan trees – not ghosts or living dead, but instead ancestral spirits that are said to live in banyan trees. The trees are believed to change direction every night because their roots allow them to move.
Many people also make annual visits to the Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees (Banyan Trees) at the Tim Hau Temple in Hong Kong. They make a wish by writing their name, birthday, and a wish on yellow paper and throwing it in the air. If it gets caught on a branch, then their wish will come true.
Witchy Tip: If you are unable to physically be near a banyan tree then use creative visualization to imagine each root, leaf, and aspect of the banyan tree in all its glory. Imagine yourself seated below it and safe. Focus on welcoming in abundance and good luck to your life.
Lucky Hand (Orchis spp.)
Lucky Hand (aka Hand of Power, Hand Root, Helping Hand, and Salap) is associated with the planet Venus, water element, and used magickally to bring employment, luck, protection, money, and safe travel.
This root is obtained from an orchid root and has different properties than the flower. Lucky hand is a general staple of New Orleans magical and botanical shops and it’s often added to sachets and conjure bags for luck and overall success. Carrying a lucky hand can attract gainful employment opportunities and to provide protection.
Lucky hand can be ground up and used to prepare powders for incense or to dust money, lottery tickets, or the corners of a room where a game of chance might take place. Lucky hand oil can be made from lucky hand root to anoint candles and/or your person. Any left over powder could be used in a bath or combined with laundry detergent to wash your clothes.
Lucky Hand is considered by those who work with it to be one of the most powerful ingredients that can be added to a gris gris (mojo bag) used specifically for luck in gambling or success in finding employment. When doing hoodoo, the lucky hand can be combined with five-finger grass and High John the Conqueror root for success, luck, and money drawing. Some practitioners also add a lodestone to attract money.
Placing a Lucky Hand Root along with High John the Conqueror Root in your conjure bag can bring power, wealth, and wish fulfillment. While reciting Psalm 23, hold the root while setting an intention/praying for what you want. Add the lucky hand inside a blue cloth charm bag and tie off with a white ribbon. Carry this for good luck.
Witchy Tip: Try filling a jar with rose essential oil and placing a few lucky hands into the rose oil and let them soak for a while. Take one of them and wear it as needed. For example, if you wish to travel put it in your shoe or if you need money, carry one in your wallet or handbag.
Alfalfa (Medicago saliva)
Alfalfa (aka Buffalo Herb, Lucerne, and Purple Medic) is associated with the planet Venus, earth element, prosperity, money, and luck. Money drawing spells sometimes include alfalfa and it can be kept in the home to protect against poverty and hunger. Some believe scattering the ashes of burnt alfalfa around your home’s property aids in maintaining prosperity and wealth.
Alfalfa originated from the Middle East and was known as al-fac-facah, which means "Father of all Foods." It contains many vitamins and minerals and was brought from Persia to China by General Chang Chien of the Han dynasty (around 2000 ACE) and called Mu-su in Chinese medicine. It eventually made its way to England and South Africa, where it was called Buffalo Herb.
Alfalfa is believed to have the spiritual power to bring prosperity, draw money and good fortune in business matters. It is said that alfalfa can bring good luck in gambling, as well. This symbolism may come from its use as a food to keep farm animals fed in times of need. Often found on foothills and mountainous areas, Alfalfa leaf tea is said to improve appetite, alleviate peptic ulcers due to its diuretic properties.
Witchy Tip: Fill a small mason jar with alfalfa and put it in your kitchen cabinet to welcome prosperity, money, and protect against hunger. Add a bit to a sachet and keep it at your place of business to bring good fortune.
Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum; A. spp.) Poison
Horse Chestnut (aka Buckeye) is linked to the planet Jupiter, fire element, and used for money drawing and healing. It can be carried to ward off aches and pains. If three horse chestnuts are carried at the same time, it’s said they can ward off giddiness. Alternatively, if you wrap a dollar bill around a horse chestnut and put it in a sachet to carry around with you, money will come. Carrying a horse chestnut is thought to bring for success in everything you do.
The horse chestnut tree produces fruit encased in a burr (similar to a chestnut) but the fruit is not edible. The nuts contain aesculin which can be toxic to humans and animals. Native Americans used the horse chestnut's toxic ability to stun fish by grinding it into a powder.
In England horse chestnuts are called conkers and were used in a game by the same name. Kinger, a version played in parts of North Dakota in the United States, is played with Ohio Buckeye nuts. In America, traditionally, carrying a buckeye brings good luck.
Witchy Tip: Obtain a Horse Chestnut and polish it. Carry it with you for good luck.
Devil’s Shoestring (Vibumum alnifolium, Vibumum spp.)
Devil's Shoestring is actually a general name for a few plants that grow in the United States and Canada. A popular good luck charm amongst gamblers, it's used for protection, gambling luck, and employment, and also believed to keep away all evil when worn and protect its bearer against accidental poisoning.
A suggested way to use this herb root is to cut it into tiny pieces and put them into a jar filled with spirits of camphor and whiskey. Take out a piece of root to rub on your hands when needed. Carrying Devil’s shoestring can help you obtain gainful employment or smooth out any difficulties at your job. It can also be put into a wallet or handbag to draw money.
An additional use for Devil's Shoestring is that it is said to help in preventing the bearer from being affected by Goofer dust. Traditionally, Goofer dust is a hexing dust used in hoodoo originating from the Southeastern part of the United States. Devil’s Shoestring is also a common ingredient used for mojo hands (voodoo amulet or charm). Mojo hands act as a material manifestation of power to bring about a desired outcome. Viburnum alnifolium, Viburnum opulus, and Viburnum prunifolium are all in the honeysuckle family and appear stringy. The roots of all three are used medically as antispasmodics and sometimes used to relieve menstrual cramps.
Witchy Tip: Try making a blended anointing oil: Use pecan oil, a lucky hand, and some devil's shoestring (which you can purchase here) and let them sit for several days in a cool dry place. This can be used in a bath, to wear, or to anoint candles for the purpose of success, attaining employment, gambling luck, or protection.
Bergamot, Orange (Mentha citrata)
Bergamot (aka Orange Mint) is associated with the planet Mercury, air element, and money draw and success spells. The leaves of the orange bergamot can be put into sachets, wallets and purses to draw in money. Fresh leaves can be rubbed directly onto money before making a purchase in order to promote the money to return. It can also be incorporated into baths, soaps, baths, etc. since the scent is uplifting and promotes joy.
The bergamot orange rind can be used to make essential oil and is commonly used in the perfume industry. It’s also used for massage therapy and various forms of aromatherapy; The oil may also be directly inhaled and act as an expectorant or decongestant during an illness.
Earl Grey tea, a popular black tea blend with bergamot orange, was invented in the 1830s. British Prime Minister Charles Grey began drinking black tea infused with the citrus-scented oil. Legend has it that a Mandarin Chinese man bestowed the gift of bergamot-orange flavored tea upon the Earl for saving his child, however Jacksons of Piccadilly claims that they invented the original Earl Grey blend in the early 1800s. Also for any of you Star Trek fans, Earl Grey tea is Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s favorite.
Witchy Tip: Carry some bergamot in your wallet to draw money or use a few drops of essential bergamot orange oil (which you can purchase from Enchantments here) in a bath to promote success and lift your mood.
High John the Conqueror (Ipomoea Purga or I. jalapa) Poison
High John the Conqueror is associated with the planet Mars, fire element, and money, love, success, and happiness. There are many spiritual uses for this root, but please note that it is highly poisonous and not to ingested.
You can carry High John with you to attract money and success in all that you do, since it's said to lift one’s mood, attract love, protect the wearer from curses and break hexes. It can be burned, put into oils, incenses, poppets, conjure bags, or sachets.
High John the Conqueror anointing oil can be used for many purposes and is made from cut roots that are left to soak in olive or mineral oil for a few weeks. This is great for anointing candles to be used for Candle Magick (but again, do not anoint your body with it).
High John the Conqueror was named after a once-enslaved African prince who was sold into slavery. He was said to be very clever and had an enduring spirit. He tricked his master into freeing him, and upon being liberated, the Prince left his power and strong spirit inside a High John root. He did this for the people of Africa that had been made slaves so they would have a sense of empowerment and protection. High John the Conqueror root has become very well known because of this legend. High John the Conqueror is known as an all-powerful trickster that is likened to the God Loki of Norse mythology and the Coyote spirit of Native American beliefs.
Witchy Tip: Combine High John the Conqueror root with High John the Conqueror oil and carry it in a green bag to bring money, luck, success, happiness, and love.
Winter’s Bark (Drimys winteri)
Winter’s Bark (aka True Winter’s Bark, Wintera, Drimys Bark, and Winter’s Cinnamon) is used spiritually for success in all areas and can be put into sachets, baths, blended into incense, or carried on one’s person.
When Sir Francis Drake sailed around the world in 1577-1580 AD in the Golden Hind, the only other ship to make it around Cape Horn with him was the ship named Elizabeth (whose Captain was John Wynter). Illness befell the crew and so Wynter sent a boat ashore in order to find medicinal herbs. He was successful and returned in 1579 with a good supply of Winter's Bark. It was used to treat scurvy before vitamin C became a known remedy.
Winter’s Bark also sustained Captain James Cook and his crew in the South Pacific. A naturalist by the name of Johann Reinhold Forster on board was the first person to actually describe and name Drimys winteri.
Witchy Tip: Burn some winter’s bark and set the intention of success in all that you do – or create a sachet to carry wherever you go in order to promote success.
Pecan (Carya illinoensis)
Pecan (aka Hickory, Butternut or Sweet Pecan) is associated with the planet Mercury, air element, and money, employment, and prosperity spells. Growing as tall as 75 feet, pecan trees can be fruitful for up to 300 years.
The pecan tree symbolizes wealth and financial stability. The word pecan comes from an Algonquin word that has to do with nuts that have shells to be cracked. It has been said that Native Americans gathered pecans primarily as a food source. However, pecans had other uses too: some were used to make dye and oil.
The genus name carya is based on the ancient Greek word karya meaning “nut.” Karya is derived from Carya (Lady of the Nut Tree), who later became known as the Olympian Nature Goddess Artemis Caryatis.
Native to the southern United States and parts of Mexico, pecans were also useful in trading: In 1541 AD Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto wrote about pecans and eventually brought them to Spain. The pecan spread as far as Asia and Africa. The French settlers in Louisiana took the pecan into their culinary culture, creating pecan pie (which is my fave).
How about some kitchen witchery? Make a pecan pie with the intention of welcoming wealth and prosperity (you can find a recipe here).
Basil (Ocimum basilicum, O. tenuiflorum, O. sanctum)
There are 21 different names for basil including, Sweet Basil, Holy Basil, and Witches Herb. Often associated with the planet Mars and fire element, it can be used to attract wealth, prosperity, harmony, luck, money, love or used in protection, flying, and exorcism spells. It also can be used to attract customers or clients to a place of business (this is done by putting some in the cash register or at the door). You can also use basil in in sachets, baths, incense, floor wash, sprays, and in kitchen witchery. It is utilized spiritually in a number of spiritual traditions including Santeria, Voodoo, Hoodoo and ones associated with Hinduism.
Basil has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat inflammation and other illnesses. It is speculated that it originally comes from Asia but is now found in all over the world.
Holy Basil in particular (O. tenuiflorum or sanctum) is an annual plant and has clove-like scented leaves that can grow up to 2 feet tall. Sacred to the Hindus, who use it in both cooking and medicines, it also shows up in sacred mythology. Holy basil (aka Tulsi) symbolizes the manifestation of the Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth and Good Fortune) and wife of Vishnu (God of Preservation and Protector of Good), and can be used as an offering to her. Vishnu has been said to wear a garland of holy basil leaves and for these reasons holy basil is grown in many Hindu homes and cultivated at temples. Once the plant withers, the woody stems can be used to create beads for rosaries (japa mala).
Witchy Tip: Plant a holy basil plant in your home to invite wealth and good fortune into your life or as tribute to Lakshmi. Another tip would be to create a money drawing box: Fill a small wooden or cardboard box with basil leaves (which you can purchase from Enchantments here), a five dollar bill, and anoint it with a money draw oil or prosperity oil. Place your petition inside the box to draw in money.
By Amber C. Snider
Learn how to respectfully petition water spirits, make moon water, and perform beach rituals.
The four elements are present in all of us: earth in our bones, air in our lungs, fire in our spirits, and water that continuously moves through our blood. Many of us are especially attracted to that last element: the call of the ocean is contained within us, the shoreline beckons us, and the sound of rain, waves, and streams is akin to holy music. We seek out water every day, whether it’s a cup of tap water to nourish our physical bodies or sinking into a daily ritual bath. And it’s no surprise that we’re so drawn to the power of water, since the human body is made of 60% of the stuff.
Like fire, water has the power to both cleanse and destroy. Think of how salt water from the ocean can heal wounds and also wipe out entire coastal towns. It’s an element that deserves the highest respect, for we are no match for the fertile, engulfing power of the ocean. For witches and spiritual practitioners, performing spells and rituals by the seaside is also important: It brings us closer to our spiritual roots, grants us interior reprieve and rest, and recenters us.
Here are ways you can work with the power of water in your rituals:
No two streams are alike
Each body of water, whether it’s the ocean, a river, cenote, or mountain stream, has a different energy and ‘presence’. For sensitive folks, this change in essence is palpable and every water source very much alive. Sit at the water’s edge and listen. Pray for insight to a question or problem and then wait for your answer. Like a slow breeze, the answer may come in a hushed whisper or an internal “knowing.”
Respect your surroundings
It’s good to get to know the energies of a place before you petition the spirits there, but the main common thread between them all is respect. If you bring things to the water, be sure to take it back with you. I personally do not believe in leaving ritual offerings at water sites – if it didn’t come from the ocean/river, etc. (and you brought it with you), take it back with you when you leave. It’s a quick way to anger the spirits of the land when you leave trash and/or foreign objects in their home.
Tip from Enchantments’ witch Carmen
“When making offerings to water deities, be aware of the signs that they send you. If your offering is not enough or it is not the right time, you may feel anxiety or discomfort while you set up or before you leave. Honor your intuition and reset your intentions, or come back at a later time when you feel compelled to continue. Remember, to leave these sacred spaces just as you found them. Make sure there are no plastics or non-biodegradable items in your offering. Clean up and take your trash with you.”
Get to know the Goddesses associated with water
...and honor them accordingly (especially before working with them). Yemaya, the Great Ocean Mother and a powerful orisha, is both nurturing, protective, healing, and fierce. (Read more about her here). You can honor her by lighting blue and white candles, building an altar with cowrie shells, watermelon, and white flowers. You can also honor her by simply picking up trash at the beach whenever you see it. Venus, the Goddess of Love and Fertility, was “conceived” in the ocean, so the water’s edge is a great place to petition her for love. You can light green or pink candles to honor her, carry white roses with you (or use them in a bath) with offerings of copper. But again, as with all water rituals, I highly recommend you take all your ritual supplies with you when you leave.
Ancient power of Cenotes
Cenotes, primarily found in the Yucatan region in modern day Mexico, are highly charged spiritual sites dating back to the Ancient Mayans. Locals say that each cenote is “guarded” by a protective spirit, as well as aluxes (playful yet mischievous guardian spirits at the cenote’s entrance). With over 7,000 present in Yucatan, cenotes have become popular swimming sites for tourists – but don’t let that fool you into thinking that dulls their spiritual power in any way. Most cenotes were the site of Mayan rituals (including human sacrifice), so it’s extremely important for folks to be respectful when visiting.
I also recommend doing a “light meditation” (envision a powerful white light around you with an outlining blue edge) when entering the cenote water or cave in order to protect your spirit, especially because not all the entities and spirits who live there are necessarily “friendly.”
Making Moon Water
Water and the moon are inextricably linked. Just think of the moon’s power on the tide – of course it has an effect on the human body. You can harness the power of the moon in many ways, but one practical way is to create moon water. Simply take spring water and put it into a clean mason jar to “charge” under the full moon for up to three nights. Speak to the water, say a prayer, or recite a specific intention over it. You can think of it as “collecting” positive energetic power to enhance your spellwork over the month. Add cupfuls at a time to your bath water over the month or drink it with intention. Some full moons are more chaotic than others, so be sure to check the influence of the planets before you make your moon water to ensure the energies you are harnessing are conducive to what you want manifest in your life.
Ritual baths are another practical way to work your water magick. Try adding sea salt baths (or try these with blended essential oils and herbs), essential oils (lavender for peace and protection, rose for love, musk for sensuality, citrus for invigoration, or any intention-based oil), herbs or flowers, and even teas to your baths. Keep your bath rituals technology-free (unless you’re playing music, then keep the phone on airplane mode) and try to be as ‘present’ as possible in the water. As you dunk your head under, ask for purification and imagine any spiritual impurities and negative energies washing away from you. As you watch the water drain from the tub, visualize a pure, radiant light around you – cleansing you entirely. One tip is to add your herbs to a cheesecloth sachet or tea bag for easy clean up.
Collect a few shells and natural ornaments that you find at the water’s edge. Place them in front of you and light a small white candle. If you brought offerings with you, place them alongside the candle. Create a sacred circle by calling upon the elements (earth, wind, fire, water), your ancestors, or spirits for protection and draw a circle around you in the sand. Sit in the space you’ve created and write out a petition or spell on a very small piece of paper. Meditate on the intention of the spell, try to envision its positive effects in your life and others around you. When you’re ready, burn the paper and say “So mote it be” or “Amen.” Collect everything you brought with you (but leave the natural shells and ornaments) and don’t look back. Continue to light the candle at home over the next few days until it’s completely burned out. Pay attention to the sign over the next few weeks. Once your prayer or spell has been answered, I always recommend following it up with a separate gratitude ritual to give thanks for the new blessings.
Want more stories on water magick? Check out this amazing book from Weiser or this story on how to perform a bath ritual.
By Ana Vice
Need a touch of magick in your love life?
There are all kinds of ways to use herbs with magickal intent: You can add them to oils, incenses, baths, ointments, lotions, soaps, perfumes, teas, tinctures, elixirs, pillows, poppets, and more. While Enchantments’ herbs aren’t for ingestion, it’s still important to clearly label your herbs, handle them with care, and separate those that may be poisonous to humans and animals (for example, morning glory and saffron are toxic to cats and dogs). The majority of herbs in this article are non-toxic, but still intended for spiritual and magickal use only. Many of you may already have some of these in your home apothecary or cabinet, but others you can buy at the grocery store, farmers market, or at the Enchantments shop, which has a botanica containing over 150 herbs.
Here we share the beautiful folklore behind these ten "love" herbs, as well as their spiritual uses and connotations.
Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum)
Sugarcane (sometimes known as Ko in Hawaii) is associated with the planet Venus and water element. Sugar in general has long been used in love and lust potions or magickal formuli. Some believe chewing on a piece of sugarcane whilst thinking of your loved one attracts them in a loving way. Sugar can also be used to “sweeten” someone to favor you or as an offering.
Yemayá’s (one of the main Orishas in Santeria) favorite foods are watermelon and sugarcane syrup. As the mother of all living things and ruler over motherhood, she owns all the waters of the Earth and gave birth to the stars, moon, sun, and most of the Orishas. Yemaya’s aché is nurturing, protective and includes fertility. Yemayá is also a fierce warrior that protects her children from harm. Yemayá can be found in all the waters of the world and because of this she has many aspects of “caminos” (roads). She, like Oshún, carries all of the experiences of womanhood within her caminos.
In the Philippines there is a myth about a sad chieftain. He was experiencing ennui despite the fact that he did so much for his tribe as a youth. He no longer found meaning in all his success and wondered what heaven might be like. One day he was making a prayer to Bathala (Creator God) to let Bathala know how fed up and bored he had become. According to the Tagalog, Bathala is the supreme deity who created the universe. The chieftain wished to end life on Earth and go to Heaven. Abruptly, a voice said that his time on earth was not done. Disappointed, the chieftain left his palace to go walk through the forest.
There, he came across an old man who tried to cheer him up by saying that he could find heaven here on earth. The old man led the chieftain to a sugarcane plant and said that its sweet stem will take him to heaven. The chieftain began to chew the stem of sugarcane and was delighted by its sweetness. Sugarcane allowed the chieftain to realize that it’s the simple things in life that bring us joy.
Witchy Tip: If you already work with Yemayá and want to conceive a child, you can use sugarcane syrup as an offering to her. Set your intention for fertility and the ability to conceive a healthy child. Light white and blue candles, and consider additional offerings of seven white flowers, cowries, or silver coins. Because she is the Great Ocean Mother, rituals at the beach are also an option.
Beet (Beta vulgaris)
Also known as mangel and mangold, beet is often associated with the planet Saturn, earth element, and love (it has been said that if two people eat from the same beet they will fall in love). Beet juice can be consumed as a beverage, but also used as an ink in love magick.
For the Greeks, the Goddess Aphrodite symbolizes beauty, sensuality, love, and desire. One of her secret pleasures was said to be beetroot (aka pantzaria). It was believed that beets could make someone healthier and more beautiful, in addition to being an aphrodisiac. Records show that Greeks began cultivating beetroot around 300 BCE and they ate the leaves and used roots as offerings to Apollo (God of Sun and Light, and also one of Aphrodite’s lovers) in the temple of Delphi. The Greeks considered it to be worth its weight in silver, and Hippocrates may have even used beetroot leaves for binding and dressing wounds, as well as for medicine.
Evidence of humans using beets dates back to the Neolithic site of Aartswoud in the Netherlands. Beets were associated with the Saqqara pyramid at Thebes, Egypt, which dates to the time of the Third Dynasty circa 2600 BCE. There were also Assyrian texts that describe beetroots growing in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in 800 BCE.
Romans consumed beetroots, but mainly for medicinal purposes (namely as a laxative or to cure fever). Apicius, an ancient Roman gourmet, wrote a book called The Art of Cooking and some of his recipes contained beetroots, including broths and salad dressings made of mustard, oil, and vinegar. Ranging in orange, yellow, or red in coloring, Celtic women have been known to use beetroot for lipstick and blush.
Witchy Tip: Buy a good sized red beet at your local farmers market. Clean and carve your first name and astrological sign, then place the beetroot in a bowl and set your intention to attract love. Soaking the beet beforehand in warm water will yield a red water that can be used as ink if you wish to write out your intention.
Lavender (Lavendula officinale or L. vera)
Lavender (also known as elf leaf, nard, nardus, and spike) is associated with the planet Mercury and air element. Its spiritual attributes are protection, purification, sleep, chastity, love, happiness, and peace. Lavender is often used in sachets, pillows, baths, soaps, perfume, oils, poppets, and/or added to incense.
Its fragrant flowers can be put into dresser drawers to scent clothing (especially to attract love) or the flowers can be burned to promote calm and restful sleep. A piece of paper on which you’ve rubbed lavender is excellent for writing love letters. It has also been used as a substitution for rice as wedding confetti. Lavender used to be worn by “ladies of the night” to attract customers and let people know they were available. Despite love associations with lavender, during the Renaissance it was thought that the combination of rosemary and lavender could keep a woman’s chastity.
Ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians and Arabians used lavender as a perfume to attract love, too. While the Egyptians mummified their dead in lavender-dipped shrouds, Cleopatra apparently used lavender in her to seduce her lovers. Some say the energy of this plant is so strong that it can lift melancholy at the mere sight of it and bring in happiness. It’s often used in healing blends and purification baths. Some believe if you carry it with you to a place where there are ghosts or spirits that you’ll have the ability to see them. It can also be protective and ward off the evil eye.
Witchy Tip: Make a small pillow and stuff it with lavender. Place it under your pillow at night. Before falling into a peaceful sleep free of bad dreams make a wish or set an intention for one or more of the following: love, happiness, protection, longevity, or peace.
Morning Glory (Ipomoea spp.) Poison
Often associated with the planet Saturn and water element, morning glory (aka bindweed) can promote happiness and peace. Try placing its seeds beneath your pillow or within a sachet to prevent bad dreams. You can make blended oils with it or add essential oil to incense blends and baths.
Morning glory flowers bloom and die within one day. The Japanese were the first to cultivate morning glory (Asagao) as decorative flowers in the 800s AD. Asa means morning and kao is face, and the flowers were often used at japanese weddings. Most morning glory species bloom in the morning and start curling up a few hours before nighttime. They require full sun exposure and mesic soils to grow well.
Morning glory flowers have a short lifespan, so sometimes it can be associated with the fleeting nature of love. But since it also gives birth to new flowers in the morning, it can signify the renewable nature of affection. In the Victorian symbolism of flowers, morning glory represents love in vain, and morning glory vines were often placed on headstones to symbolize mourning, a short life span, or even resurrection.
According to the Chinese folklore, the star-shape of the flower signifies the day when the Chinese lovers Chien Niu and Chih Neu are permitted to meet for a single day each year. According to this story, the young boy Chien Niu was given the responsibility to take care of the water buffalos and the girl, Chih Neu, was entrusted with the task of sewing dresses. They fell deeply in love and eventually started ignoring their duties. This angered their God so much that they were separated on opposite sides of a silent river. Only once a year they were allowed to meet. Since the morning glory has such a short lifespan and ephemeral nature, it is befitting to symbolize the short-lived union between these young lovers.
During the Aztec civilization, people utilized the juice of some morning glory species to form a rubber-like substance. They also mixed the seeds with tobacco and insects to slather on their bodies before performing ritualistic human sacrifice in order to dull the pain. It was believed that morning glory would help the victim to travel to the afterlife and be reborn. Aztec shamans are also said to have used the seeds in order to have visions and communicate with their gods.
Morning glories inspired Louisa May Allcott to write Morning Glories and Other Stories and later Georgia O’Keeffe to paint Blue Morning Glories and Ram's Head, Blue Morning Glory in 1938.
Witchy Tip: Make a small pillow out of blue cloth and stuff with morning glories to place under your head or pillow at night to get rid of nightmares and maintain a happy, peaceful slumber.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
Catnip (aka cat, catmint, field balm, and nip) is associated with the planet Venus and water element. Its spiritual and magickal attributes are love, beauty, joy, and happiness. Used in love or cat magick, it can be used as an offering to Bast or Bastet – the Egyptian goddess associated with protection, cats, perfumes, fertility, children, music, joy, the arts, and warfare. Growing catnip in your garden or hanging it over your front door it is thought to attract good spirits.
Catnip has been used in traditional European medicine for hundreds of years. It was first mentioned the De viribus herbarum and valued for its ability to calm anxiety and act as a sleep aid. Furthermore, it was applied externally as a poultice to reduce swelling. Catnip can also be made into a juice to use for topical application, as was the practice by Nicholas Culpepper (a 17th century botanist, avid astrologer, physician, and herbalist). Mainly the flowering tops are used (dried for tea or fresh for an essential oil), but there are accounts of the root being used, too.
Catnip is part of American folk medicine and has been used by The Hoh, Delaware, Cherokee, and Iroquois Native American tribes to make a gentle tea for children to help an upset stomach or with trouble falling asleep. The Cherokee also used catnip to make a strengthening tonic. In the southwestern United States, catnip (a.k.a. nebada in Spanish) was sold as a brandy infusion with fennel in a digestive tonic. Europeans used it as a remedy for digestive upset, as well.
Witchy Tip: Put catnip and rose petals into a pink or red sachet bag to invoke love.
Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin or P. patchouli)
Patchouli (also known as pucha-pot and kablin) is associated with the planet Saturn, earth element, love, lust, fertility, and money. Patchouli has a strong earthy, musky scent and is often used for love or lustful magickal formulas (including fertility talismans), or money and prosperity spells. Patchouli can be made into a floor wash, incense, soap, or used in place of graveyard dust.
A member of the mint family and covered in purplish-white flowers, the most commonly used portions of the plant are the dried leaves. When grown, the patchouli bush can reach nearly three feet tall. Patchouli comes from Southeast Asia and has a long history as an essential oil and folk remedy for skin ailments and anti-aging. Patchouli comes from the Hindui word pacholi meaning “to scent,” and East Indian shawls and fabrics were scented with patchouli oil in the 1800s. Both patchouli oil and incense underwent a surge in popularity in the 1960s and ‘70s in the US and Europe, mainly as a result of the hippie movement of those decades. In the 1980s it was a scent sometimes worn by Goths in the Gothic underground movement.
Some believe that patchouli dispels negativity and promotes good dreams, in addition to attracting love. With its feminine, yet masculine characteristics, patchouli is associated with the deities Aphrodite and Pan. Patchouli is synonymous with passion and putting dried patchouli into small sleep pillows or sachets may promote an amorous atmosphere. The deep and lusty scent might entice your lover to feel romantic, especially since it’s a well-known aphrodisiac. To attract someone you desire, wear patchouli oil or place some patchouli root in a mojo bag to carry in your pocket or to wear around your neck.
Witchy tip 5: Take a dram (1/6th of an ounce) of patchouli essential oil and make a spray with it. Spray yourself, your clothing, your wallet and anything else you desire to attract love and prosperity into your life. You can also anoint a green or pink votive candle with patchouli essential oil (3-6 drops) and set your intention for drawing either love or money.
Orchids (Orchis spp.)
Orchids (aka levant salap, sahlab, saloop, and satyrion) are associated with the planet Venus and water element. Used in love spells, especially the root, orchids can be carried in sachets or sewn into clothing. Some variations of orchids are used in inducing visions, trance-states, and for heightening psychic powers.
Orchids, which come in a variety of colors, patterns, and shapes, are both captivating and inspiring. These exotic plants have made their way around the world and are often associated with love, fertility, and sensuality. One of the major orchid genera is Paphiopedilum (a.k.a. Venus Slipper and Venus is the Roman equivalent of Aphrodite). The name is derived from the word “Paphos” which is also the name of the Sanctuary of Aphrodite at Paphia, where the Greek Goddess of love was worshiped. In Ancient Greece, it was believed that parents could choose the sex of their child by eating the orchid’s tubers: If the father ate thick, fleshier tubers, the child would turn out to be a boy. If the mother ate smaller, thinner tubers, the child would turn out to be a girl.
The orchid receives its name from a Greek myth: The young minor god Orchis is a little too young to be taken with one of Bacchus’ (the Greek God of wine) priestesses. Predictably, Bacchus has a wild response for this behaviour and little Orchis is divided across the land, a wild Orchid growing wherever a piece fell. This legend, retold across Europe as the Greek & Roman cultures collided, gives the orchid a passionate, fertile status. Indeed, the final piece of Orchis landed in the sea and some say led to the birth of Aphrodite.
Native to Asia and the Mediterranean, the orchid’s role in China begins with over 2,000 years of cultivation and cultural importance. In China, orchids are regarded as emblems of integrity, elegance and friendship. Depictions of the distinctive flower in art and literature are common. Confucius believed the orchid to be a symbol of nobility and strength that should be valued. Aztecs commonly mixed vanilla, orchids, and chocolate to create an elixir that brought on power and strength.
Witchy Tip: Create an Aphrodite love drawing sachet from fabric (preferably a pink, green, copper, or combination thereof) and fill with orchids + a petition or folded letter of intention. Carry it with you.
Rose (Rosa spp.)
Associated with the planet Venus and water element, rose can be used to enhance psychic powers, love divination, and invoke healing, luck, and protection. Petals and rose hips are often used for love magic, in addition to essential oil. A garland of roses can be worn when performing love spells or a single rose in a vase placed on an altar can aid in love-magick spellwork.
Rose water made from rose petals can be added to love baths (i.e. self love and love attraction) and petals can be used to stuff a love poppet or sachet. It has been said that in order to discover their romantic future, women would make tea with green rose leaves and name each for one of their lovers. The one that remains green the longest corresponds to the love that will be true and lasting.
Symbols for the Greek Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, include roses, doves, myrtles, sparrows, and swans. In modern times, the red rose is still associated with love. In the epic poem The Illiad, Homer tells us how Hector’s body was anointed with rose oil after his death at Achilles hand. According to the poet Anacreon, seafoam dripping from the body of Aphrodite as she is born turns into white roses representing her purity and innocence. Later, when she is trying to help her wounded lover, Adonis, Aphrodite sheds a few drops of blood onto a white rose and changes it to red representing her desire and passion.
Another well-known Greek story is about the marriage of Eros (the God of Love and Sexual Desire) and Psyche (a mortal woman who became Goddess of the Soul aka Breath of Life). At their wedding ceremony, Zeus’s daughters (sometimes referred to as either the Horae or the three Gratiae aka Graces or Charities) covered the land in roses.
Outside of Greek mythology, roses symbolize purity and sometimes motherly love. For Catholics, roses are often associated with the Virgin Mary and with activity of God or of a Saint in association to Our Lady of Guadalupe. A man named Juan Diego believed that he was given a sign by the Virgin Mary to bring the bishop to town and establish a church in her honor at the Hill of Tepeyac (Mexico City). He was told by Mary to go to the top of the hill to cut all the roses he found blooming there and place them in his cloak. Juan was a faithful man and went up the hill as he was asked. To his surprise he found a rose bush full of beautiful and fragrant roses at the top of the hill. He gathered them and brought them to the bishop as was requested by Mary. Upon seeing the bishop, Juan opened his cloak and the many beautiful roses fell out revealing a vivid image of Blessed Mary on the fabric of Juan’s cloak. Considered a miracle, the bishop agreed to build the church for Mary on the hill. Ultimately, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe was established and celebrated each year on December 12.
Witchy Tip: Draw yourself a hot bath, fill with rose petals, a few spoonfuls of sea salt, and several drops of essential rose oil. As you enter the bath allow all distractions of the day to fade. Seat yourself and take in the rose fragrance. Meditate or set an intention for self love or love attraction. Make robust petition to a Goddess of Love (such as Aphrodite or Venus). Otherwise, contemplate all that is love and let it wash over you as you take your bath. Feel the warmth and joy in this process. If you want, burn pink candles or play music to set the mood.
Saffron (Crocus saliva)
Also known as autumn crocus, krokos, kunkuma (Sanskrit), and saffer (Arabic), saffron is associated with the Sun, the fire element, love, lust, happiness, and strength.
The Phoenecians baked saffron into crescent-shaped cakes, which they ate in honor of the Moon and fertility Goddess, Ashtoreth. Saffron can be added to love sachets, as well as lusty or happiness potions. Saffron crocuses were sometimes worn at the girdle and believed to relieve menstrual cramps, while saffron spice was used medicinally for this very purpose. It was also believed to induce a higher level of sexual potency in men who took saffron.
According to Greek mythology, Medea apparently used saffron to create the Promethean salve, which she smeared on Jason's body and then prayed to Hekate for her help. It was hoped that this ointment and blessing would render him invulnerable. The Promethean salve contained some of the sacred crocus (saffron).
A tale of the two lovers Hermes and Krokos is a different origin myth for saffron. Krokos was a mortal and one time, while rough housing together, he was wounded by Hermes. Wherever Krokos’s blood fell, a saffron flower grew there. Another myth tells the story of how the saffron crocus arose from the blood of Prometheus, who was crucified in Caucasus; the toxic autumn crocus (sometimes known as meadow saffron) became known as the Promethean herb. In the East, right down to the present day, saffron robes are associated with dyes used for Buddhist and Hindu garments. Saffron spice is also often used in cuisines around the world, including Spanish paella and East Indian Biryani.
Witchy Tip: Make a small sachet from golden orange or red fabric and stuff it with saffron. Wear this on your person to attract love and happiness or to heighten lustful feelings between you and your lover.
Strawberry (Fragaria vesca)
Also known as poziomki, tchilek, and jordboer, strawberries are associated with the planet Venus, the water element, love and luck. The delicious berry is considered a “love food” and the leaves can be carried for luck. Some believe that carrying a small packet of strawberry leaves eases pregnancy pains.
Strawberries often appear in European myths and folklore as the fertility and love fruit of various love Goddesses, such as Aphrodite and Freyja. Aphrodite was said to have created the strawberry when she wept heart-shaped tears of sorrow for her love, Adonis (Aphrodite’s mortal lover) after he was run through by a wild boar.
The strawberry holds both spiritual and medicinal importance to a number of Native American tribes, such as the Pomo, Iroquois, Cherokee, and Navajo. The Native American Pomo tribe of what is now called California had special Strawberry Festivals representing springtime and new life. The Kashaya band of Pomo still holds Strawberry Festivals to this day. Among the Iroquois, strawberries were symbols of blessings and used to give thanks, while the Cherokee associated strawberries with love and happiness.
One Cherokee story involves the very first strawberry and it goes something like this: At the beginning of time, the very first man and woman set up their home next to a big river as a newly married couple. They had everything they needed for a joyful life and lived very well until their first argument – which began small, but got bigger over time. The man asked why the woman did not cook what he enjoyed to eat. The woman asked him why he had not brought in firewood, and so after a while they began to insult each other and throw things. The woman was so upset she took off towards the rising Sun whilst the man lay sleeping. When the man awoke he noticed the woman was gone and so he found her tracks and followed them.
The Sun could see what was happening and asked the husband if he was still angry with his wife. He confessed that he was not angry at his wife. Then the Sun asked if he would like to have her back. The man said that he would and so the Sun decided to help him. The Sun’s gentle rays reached the ground along the woman’s path. First, a huckleberry bush sprang up. But she kept walking. Next, blackberries grew on her path. She kept walking. Then the Sun decided to create something so striking, fragrant, and delicious that the woman could not help but notice it, despite her melancholy mood.
This “something” was the very first patch of strawberries ever to exist. Their sweet scent filled the air and took hold of the woman’s senses. She felt her sadness lift. She immediately saw the heart-shaped, red strawberries and tried one. By tasting its sweetness on her tongue, she started to remember the joy she knew when she and her husband first met. She sat down on the ground and wondered what to do.
Her husband caught up to her and sat down quietly beside her and smiled. She gave him strawberries to eat, too. They realized how much they loved one another and walked back home together taking a few strawberry plants with them to plant at their garden so they would never forget this lesson. The moral of this story is to do nothing in haste, consider all things thoroughly, and be able to forgive others for their faults.
Witchy Tip: Prepare some freshly cleaned strawberries as an offering to the Goddess Freya appealing to her Love aspect. Light pink (love) and red (desire and sensuality) votive candles anointed with Freya oil. Set your intention to welcome a robust love into your life or take the opportunity to empower yourself and set the intention for self love.