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 !

July 22, 2019

Vanilla plant image by Karen Arnold. Licensed under CC 0.0

I’m all about Vanilla. I cook with it. I use it in my magick, and have even been known to wear it as a perfume. The botanical name for this delicious beauty is Vanilla planifolia.  This tasty bean comes to us from a species of Orchid, and can be used in your kitchen magick and elsewhere. The original Vanilla orchids were cultivated by Ancient Mexicans and were not used for eating at all but instead an aphrodisiac and a beauty aid. The pods were woven into the hair of young women to attract lovers, a practice I think we should bring back today. Later on in Mexico, Vanilla was used by the Aztecs as a culinary treat, being added to chocolate to make a tasty beverage fit for Kings and Queens.

Charles Darwin in his correspondence talked about this delightful plant “What frightful trouble you have taken about Vanilla; you really must not take an atom more; for the Orchids are more play than real work.”

It is used as an offering to the Orisha Oshún , the Goddess Hecate and other divinities. Like all the other orchids Vanilla is ruled by the planet Venus and the element of Water.

Magickal Properties of Vanilla

  • Beauty
  • Clarity
  • Communication
  • Confidence
  • Healing
  • Romantic Love
  • Happiness
  • Prophecy
  • Empowerment
  • Energy

The Goddess Lilith has a special affinity for Vanilla. The following recipe uses it to honor her and bring love to the table.

Lilith Bites – These tiny delicious little bites are an ode to sensuality and decadence. They include chocolate which is known to stimulate the body and float it towards higher consciousness. It also includes Vanilla to help fill your life with love and happiness. This magickal recipe is great to use as an offering to Lilith, and/or to share with your lovers.

Cupcake Ingredients:

2 ¼ cups flour, sifted
¾ teaspoon Baking powder
¾ teaspoon Baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ cups Sugar
1 ½ cups Water
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
9 Tablespoons Vegetable oil
2 Large Bowls
1 Small Bowl

Filling Ingredients:

8 Tablespoons sugar
6 ounces Cream Cheese
3 Tablespoons beaten egg
½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
¾ cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, Baking powder, Baking soda, salt, Cocoa powder and sugar together in a bowl. In the other large bowl mix together the water, Vanilla, and Vegetable oil. Grease a mini muffin tin. Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture. Stir until combined. Fill each of the muffin cups half way full with batter. Next in the small bowl combine all the filling ingredients together. Mix well. Spoon one teaspoon of filling into each of the muffin cups. Top with remaining cake batter. Bake 15- 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. This will make approximately 24 mini cake bites. This can also be made into larger muffins or a single loaf, just adjust the timing accordingly.

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May 21, 2019

Maguey photo. Image courtesy of pixabay. Licensed under CC 0.0

Maguey (Agave spp.) also goes by the names Century plant, Miracle of Nature, Spiked Aloe, and Rattlesnake Master.  Most people are familiar with this powerful plant because it is an ingredient used in making tequila. Maguey is native to Mexico, and for some there it is considered the Tree of Life.

In Hoodoo and Conjure this herb is used in spells for passion and lust. You may wish to add some Maguey to your Gris Gris bags to bring sensual and lustful energy to your life and relationships. Some other useful herbs and oils to add if this is your desired intent would be patchouly, passion flower, hibiscus, ylang ylang, musk, vanilla, and red roses.

To flip the switch a little bit, the thorns of  Maguey are also used in hexing and controlling spells. Some people also use the thorns in magick where they are attempting to set boundaries.  An 1895 issue of the Journal of American Folk-lore tells of how legend says that there are ghostly phantoms that are said to appear to individuals giving them magick Agave thorns, these were said to bestow bravery, courage and strength. Another way the plant can be used is with the leaves. These are known to have healing properties but are also useful for writing or carving candles. Be careful though this plant can be toxic.

Santa Muerte is also very partial to Maguey as an offering. They are used in spells for her both as a single ingredient, and also in pulque and tequila. For more information about using this for the Bony Lady consider taking a look at Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, The Skeleton Saint by Andrew Chestnut.

This post is only one in our extensive Herbal Magic series, please take a look. As always if you have enjoyed what you read here please remember to like, comment and share !

April 15, 2019

Common Chicory flower photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

A rabbit sneeze on the morning breeze sets homesick hearts aglow sitting with his rumps in a chicory clump and longing for a nice plump doe. — Richard Adams

Chicory is one wonderful magickal edible. Growing just about anywhere, this herb is very hardy. It is found growing in Europe, Africa, America, and Australia and New Zealand. Also called succory, coffeeweed, and blue sailors, it has been used for its healing properties for almost 5,000 years. Over the years it has developed quite a reputation in Folklore and Mythology.

Chicory Lore

  • Put a piece in your pocket to help you get over past relationships
  • Chicory is one of the traditional herbs for Passover
  • Offerings of Chicory are said to remove barriers and obstacles
  • Greek mythology associated this herb with the nympth Clytia, lover of Apollo
  • The most magickal time for collection of this plant is said to be St. Peter’s Day – June 29th


In New Orleans Voodoo we know all about chicory. We use it our magick, and very importantly, in our coffee. In my post New Orleans Ritual Voodoo Coffee I write ” There are many different ritual coffee drinks used around the Afro-Diasporan world. Many of these are alcoholic and are used both as offerings to the Lwa, and fortification for the worshippers. This one is great for honoring the ancestors at Halloween, or Samhain. The following recipe is dedicated to my dear friends at the Voodoo Spiritual Temple (1428 N. Rampart st.) in New Orleans, and the coffeehouse Voobrew Café which used to be next door to the original location.” Then I give the following recipe :


1 large cup dark roast coffee with chicory

1 dash light cream

1 pinch cinnamon

1 pinch nutmeg

1 dash dark rum ( we prefer Barbancourt)

1 tsp. cocoa powder

Mix all ingredients together. Enjoy !

Please tell me your favorite uses for this herb below. As always if you have enjoyed anything you have read here please remember to like, comment, and share this post !

September 3, 2018

Sunflowers photo by Lilith Dorsey. All rights reserved.

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It’s what the sunflowers do. – Helen Keller

Sunflowers are sacred to many different Gods and Goddesses. Adored by everyone from Apollo to Baba Yaga  to Oshun to Incan priestesses, the love of this flower is worldwide. There is the legend of Helios and Clytie. The University of Melbourne website shares the following version of the story:

“Before scientists studied a plant’s internal clock, the Greek myth of Clytie and Helios was used to explain their movements. Clytie was a water nymph who fell madly in love with Helios, the sun god. But Helios had eyes for another woman and ignored Clytie. Full of unrequited love, Clytie would watch Helios race his chariot across the sky. She didn’t eat or drink and after nine days of watching him cross the sky, she became rooted to the ground and transformed into a sunflower.”

This story explains a Sunflowers delightful tendency to turn with the sun throughout the day before its blossoms are fully opened. Turning is only one of the delightful features that this flower exhibits in the garden. Of particular interest to me is the fact that these plants will clean the soil of toxic components like arsenic. Maybe this is one reason it is so popular in urban settings. Sunflowers are native to North and South America, and very easy to grow. Several varieties are both hear and/or drought tolerant. They come in a variety of sizes and a range of colors mostly in the orange and yellow family.

Folklore and Facts about Sunflowers

  • Some Indigenous North Americans view Sunflowers as a symbol of courage.
  • Sunflowers are referred to as the fourth sister of the Three Sisters corn, bean, and squash.
  • Putting these plants in your yard is said to attract luck.
  • Many Asian philosophies equate sunflowers with a long life, good fortune, and vitality.
  • Give them on your third anniversary to symbolize loyalty and adoration.
  • Eating the seeds are said to make one fertile.
  • Leaving a bowl of seeds on a new grave is said to help the deceased journey successfully to the afterlife.

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

July 30, 2018

Licorice root photo courtesy of pixabay. Licensed under CC 0.

For some licorice root is merely and ingredient in candy, but its magickal history is much more complex. Used in Hoodoo, Conjure, and traditional European magicks this root is certainly a worthy addition to the witch’s arsenal.

Useful for culinary, medicinal, and magickal applications licorice has its root in many different areas. This plant is also known as Sweet Root, Lacris, Lacrisse, Lycorys, Yastimadhu, and Reglisse. It is ruled by the planets Mercury and Venus, and is associated with the element of water. It can be found growing wild in Greece, Spain, Italy, Iraq, Syria, Russia, and China. However, you can also grow it at home, just be sure to soak the seeds before planting.

According to ThePracticalHerbalist.com ” Traditional Chinese Medicine describes licorice root as the ultimate harmonizer, offering strength to the other herbs in the formula and blending the energies of the formula to achieve the desired results. ” When we are discussing magick the root also takes on this property.

Magickal Uses of Licorice Root

Primarily, licorice root is used magickally in love and lust spells. It can be carried to attract romance and passion. Alternatively it could be added to a mojo bag to help strengthen the fidelity in a partnership.

There is also a long history of licorice being used in spells to control and compel. The ethics of these types of workings are questionable so please proceed with caution. One area where this might be useful however, is when applying for a new job or position. Here’s a spell you might want to use.

Job Interview Licorice Spell

1 Tbs. Licorice Root chips

1 oz. Sweet Almond oil

3 drops Patchouli oil

3 drops Vetivert oil

3 drops Ginger oil

Glass Bottle

Put sweet almond oil into the bottle. Add remaining ingredients. Close the bottle and rub it between your palms. Focus on success and luck coming to you. Wear the oil when you go for a job interview or meeting.


If you enjoy this post please check out the rest of the writings in our Herbal Magick series, and as always remember to like, comment, and share !

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