February 28, 2021

Galangal root photo courtesy of wikimedia commons. Licensed under CC 0.0
Galangal root photo courtesy of wikimedia commons. Licensed under CC 0.0

Galangal root or Little John root is a popular ingredient in Hoodoo and Conjure spells and workings. Also known as Little John to chew (because you are supposed to chew it and spit out small pieces around the home,) it’s classified as Alpinia galanga. Botanically related to ginger, this rhizome is found growing naturally in Indonesia and Iran. It can grow up to 6 feet tall with beautiful foliage over a foot long. It can be grown in the Southern US, particularly zones 9 and 10. A full galangal root is called a hand, as the individual roots resemble fingers.

Asian medicine employs galangal root for a variety of issues such as digestion, coughs, arthritis and even Alzheimer’s. The website for whiterabbitinstituteofhealing.org shares “Galangal has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It was brought to England and northern Europe in the 13th century by the crusaders where it became a popular spice and medicine. St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179 C.E.), recommended the herb as the spice for life and used it in many of her formulas. The herb also has a long history in Arabic medicine for its healing properties.” There aren’t just medical uses of the plant there are many different magickal one.

Magickal Uses of Galangal Root

  • Traditionally galangal root is used in court cases and situations where justice is needed.
  • The root can be placed under the bed for love and passion.
  • It can be placed in a mojo bag along with small pieces of silver to attract wealth.
  • Burn the root on charcoal to help break curses and hexes.
  • Place a piece with your tarot cards or other divination tools to help increase psychic connection.
  • Put the powder or a small piece of the root under your doormat to protect your home.

If you’re interested please check out the Herbal Magick series here on this blog. As  always if you value what you read here please remember to like, comment, and share !

January 6, 2021

Peonia seeds photo by Lilith Dorsey

One of the most popular magickal ingredients in La Regla Lucumí (Santería,) is Peonia seeds. Also called Crab’s Eye, Lady Bug Seed, Sailor’s Valentine, Jambee beads, Wayruros and Huayruro (pronounced Why-RU-RO) seed these tiny treasures of magick can be worn, carried, or placed about your space to gain special blessings. The seeds are used all across the globe and their power is known worldwide.

The plant grows natively all throughout South America. Historically it was said to be used even by the Incas as a charm of protection. It has been a valued part of my spiritual arsenal for decades.

The most common form of the seed is an intense red, with a black spot. Some refer to these ones as male, while the purely red seeds are said to be female. The seeds are toxic so please don’t eat them, and be extra cautious around children and pets. It worth a mention that while researching this post I found an article title “Woman Suffers Hallucinations After Buying Bracelet on Ebay.”

The blog TwoWorldsOneChica tells us that ” The native Peruvians believe the seed brings positive energy, happiness, fertility, good luck and wards off negative energy. They also make huayruro bracelets for newborns to help keep them safe from harm. ”

Uses for Peonia Seeds

  • Protection
  • Healing
  • Removal of Hexes and Curses
  • Prosperity
  • Decision Making
  • Good Luck
  • Fertility and Abundance

Ritual Jewelry is such an important part of magick and protection. For those wishing to learn more about the topic here is an interesting video from creator Chameleon’s Eye about Afro/Tribal Mystic Jewellry (please remember to like and subscribe):


This post is part of an extensive series on Herbal Magick, please check out the other posts about Mistletoe, Wisteria, Vanilla, Juniper Berries, Jezebel Root, and many more.

As always if you have enjoyed what you read here please remember to like, comment, and share.

December 10, 2020

Mistletoe print. Internet book archive, no known copyright restrictions.

Yule means trees, fires, and mistletoe. The darkest night of the year is traditionally a time for magick and mystery. Mistletoe has always carried a high spiritual vibration. In nature, it grows attached to another plant, usually an oak or other hardwood tree. The plant gets all of it’s nutrition from its host, and thusly became a symbol of interdependence. It is important to remember that this plant is poisonous, so use with caution.

Yule Love Mistletoe

The connection between mistletoe and Yule season goes back quite some time. The Mistletoe Pages explain “The plant has had a special place in mid-winter customs for a very long time, and its use pre-dates Christianity. Indeed, despite its use at Christmas it is still considered to be a pagan plant by the Church and is often banned from Church decorations. “

Kiss Me

The practice of kissing under the plant is based in fertility magick. Scholars have traced its origins back to the early Roman festival of Saturnaila. In Victorian times when public kissing was prohibited, it was still okay to partake if you were around this plant.

 

Mistletoe Legends and Lore

  • A kiss shared under mistletoe is said to ensure lasting love
  • It is also hung in the home during the holidays for peace and protection
  • Customs in France say that this should be given as part of a New Year celebration
  • Folklore says that this herb will grow where lightning has struck
  • Some believe that the root word mistle is derived from the Germanic word for dung
  • The plant was particularly sacred to Druids, who were known to only pick it after a psychic vision

For more important information about the Yule season check out my posts on 10 Pagan DIY Gifts for Yule , and Frankincense and Myrrh: Magick of the Holidays. As always if you enjoy what you read here do me a favor and please remember to like, comment, and share.

August 31, 2020

Cinnamon sticks. Licensed under CC 0

I’m one of those people who believes cinnamon can go on almost anything. It dances the line between sweet and savory dishes, and you can even use it to spice up hot chocolate or chai, and drink it down ! Unlike some other magickal spices cinnamon is easy to obtain, and you may even have some in your cupboard now. You can purchase cinnamon sticks, powdered cinnamon, and even cinnamon oil.

Technically cinnamon isn’t an herb but instead a spice. In my post earlier this year about Pumpkin Spice I told everyone that Cinnamon is hands down a spice of love. It also contains properties of healing, and one of my favorite powers that of invisibility. In my book Love Magic I write ” Cinnamon heats things up, and love and sex are no exception; it’s the rule. ”

When it comes to cinnamon people can use sticks, powder, or essential oil in their magicks. As always with essential oils, please use gloves, and proceed with caution as they are highly concentrated. There are also cautions to be mindful of when burning cinnamon, as it can be irritating to one’s lungs.

5 Interesting Facts About Cinnamon Sticks

  • Ancient Egyptians used this spice to help with embalming the dead.
  • Putting a Cinnamon stick in your wallet or handbag is said to draw money to you.
  • Cinnamon is said to stimulate and heal the root chakra.
  • These sticks can be placed in your cabinets as an insect repellent, said to be particularly helpful against ants.
  • St. Benedict Crispus was said have used a concoction of pepper, cinnamon, and other spices to combat the plague. Maybe we should try it now !

Cinnamon can be used in a variety of ways in your magick and daily life ! One of my favorite things to do is to use it to make Hoodoo Money Rice, you can find the instructions here. What are your favorite uses for cinnamon ? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.  If you have enjoyed what you read here please remember to like, comment, and share !

July 26, 2020

Magickal properties of Wisteria photo by Lilith Dorsey. All rights reserved.

Wisteria has always been one of my favorite flowers. It presents like a glorious waterfall of delightful purple blooms cascading from it’s weeping branches. As many of you know I have recently moved to New Orleans, and life in the swamp has been challenging. I haven’t been able to have a garden for a very long time. Much of my work since I arrived has been spent on carving out the wild space I landed on. Initially I began by taking back the overgrown small strip of land that leads to the backyard. Yes, I put down cardboard, and weed membrane, and mulch, and rocks…. This isn’t my first rodeo (in fact my minor in college was plant science.) Then I started to clip back the weeds. Now I know a weed is any unwanted plant, and there were many aggressive intruders coming from the other side of the fence.

Then the other day I spied some early summer blooms, and I realized what was crossing the divide to come and greet me. It was Wisteria. The magickal properties of wisteria are many, I recommend using the blooms very carefully in your workings as they are toxic to humans and animals. Unfortunately, almost all commercial oil formulas for wisteria are synthetic based. My favorite way to use them in ritual is to simply place a bouquet on the altar or shrine.

Magickal Properties of Wisteria-

  • Beauty
  • Grace
  • Self-love
  • Emotional Healing
  • Intelligence
  • Wisdom
  • Inspiration
  • Prosperity
  • New Beginnings
  • Longevity

The most popular connotation for Wisteria is longevity. The reason for this is that the plant is known to live for a very long time. Some trees are over a hundred years old, and one in Japan is said to have been thriving for 1200 years. Considering planting some as a symbol of elegance and permanence.

Growing Wisteria

Wisteria is known to do well in zones 4-9. It does best in full or partial sun, and tolerates a wide variety of soils. If you are wondering which type to plant almanac.com tells us “Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) and Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) are not native to North America and are considered invasive species in some states. The native wisteria species, American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) and Kentucky wisteria (Wisteria macrostachya), are great alternatives to the Asian species, so if you’re planning on adding a new wisteria to your garden, we suggest that you go with one of the North American species.”

Caution: All parts of the Wisteria plant are toxic to humans and pets, please do not ingest.

Be sure to check out the other Herb Magick posts on this blog, for information about Willow, Ginger, Vanilla, Chicory, and more. As always if you have enjoyed what you read here please remember to like, comment, and share !

January 27, 2020

Weeping willow photo courtesy of pixabay. Licensed under CC 0.0

Witchcraft and Willow go hand and hand. Having properties of healing, creativity, protection, fertility and divination, it is honored in many different magickal traditions. In the Celtic tradition the Willow Moon time was said to occur from April 15 to May 12th. On Learnreligions.com Patti Wigington writes this ” moon was known to the Celts as Saille, pronounced Sahl-yeh. The Willow grows best when there’s lots of rain, and in northern Europe there’s no shortage of that this time of year. This is a tree associated with healing and growth, for obvious reasons.” In Conjure and Hoodoo the tree branches are one of the items used in making a conjure or controlling hand. In this case it is wrapped up with red and black peppers, pins and needles, to gain control over an individual. Obviously consider the ethics of this type of working before attempting anything. Controlling another will always come at a complicated price. But no matter what, this is a good component to keep in your magickal toolbox.

Goddesses Honored With Willow

These trees are nicknamed Goddess trees and many are associated with this plant.

Artemis– A goddess of the hunt, Artemis is offered honey cakes and willow branches.

Brighid– Honored most often on February 2 at Imbolc, Brighid is frequently given this plant as an offering.

Cerridwen– A Celtic goddess of the hearth and cauldron, Cerridwen is honored with bark as an offering.

Flora– This Roman Goddess of flowers is often offered this botanical.

Persephone – This famous Goddess of the underworld is also known to be partial to willow.

Luna– Willow is said to be connected to the moon, so it makes since that Luna a moon goddess is associated with this plant.

This wood is also often the chosen material for witch’s wands and brooms. For best results magickal tools like these should be handcrafted. Try your best to find a piece of wood that truly resonates with you, speaking on some level to both your heart and soul. Traditionally when making a broom Ash is used for the stick, Birch or Broom used for the brush itself, and bound with Willow in honor of the Goddess Hecate. Even Shakespeare mentions this magickal plant writing:

The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree,

Sing all a green willow.

Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,

Sing willow, willow, willow.

~William Shakespeare, Othello

This post is part of our Herbal Magick series here on Voodoo Universe. As always if you have enjoyed what you read here please remember to like, comment and share !

October 6, 2019

Ginger root photo. Licensed under CC 0.0

Ginger is one of my go to spices for both magick and natural medicine. The botanical name for this plant is Zingiber officinale. People also call it Jamaican or African Ginger, as it is used heavily in both of those cuisines. Lots of people are also familiar with it as a primarily ingredient in Asian cooking, especially since it has been used in China starting around 500 BCE. Actually what is used most often isn’t really a root, but instead an underground stem. The English King Henry VIII was even known to recommend ginger as a way to combat plague.

It believed to by ruled both by the Sun and the planet Mars. In the Norse pantheon the plant is said to be honored by the Good Dwarves. While in the Hindu tradition Yogis and other Holy people are said to drink a fermented brew of ginger, pepper and lemon. Luckily for us, there are many different magickal uses for the plant.

Using Ginger in Your Magickal Life

  • Grow a Ginger plant in your home to promote luck and success.
  • Like I mention in my book Love Magic, you can carry it in your pocket to increase passion and sensual energy.
  • Tossing a root into the sea is said to calm any impending storms.
  • Sprinkled in your purse or wallet, the powdered root is said to attract money.
  • Added to incense it can be used to cleanse ritual tools and spaces.
  • In general this plant is said to raise psychic ability and awareness.
  • If you carve your initials into a piece of ginger and give it to your love, it is said to help solidify your relationship.
  • Place a piece directly under your bed to chase away nightmares.
  • Use this in connection with the Strength Tarot Card for greater understanding of this energy.

 

Please be sure to check out the other posts in our Herbal Magick series. As always if you have enjoyed what you read here, please remember to like, comment, and share !




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