Updated: Jul 9, 2020
Many of us are familiar with the flavor benefits of cooking with herbs, and using them for their medicinal properties is becoming increasingly popular, but herbs also play an important role when it comes to witchcraft and magic.
But if you’re starting off with just your current spice collection and are wondering how common household herbs can be used, or you’re looking to add to said collection, I’ve compiled a list of the Top 5 herbs you need in your stash.
Solar System: Mars
Basil to me is truly the universal herb. It can be used for everything, from prosperity to protection to love to banishment, making it an easy substitution in various spells of these categories. No herb collection should be without dried basil, and it’s not a bad idea to keep fresh on hand, too.
Tip: You can charge basil oil with basically any magical intention, then anoint a candle for your next spell or burn on your altar during meditation. It’s also never a bad idea to throw some dried basil in your herb sachets.
Solar System: Venus
While most know this as the stimulating playtime herb of our feline friends, catnip actually offers many benefits to us humans as well. It tends to have the opposite effect on us, creating inner peace and releasing tension throughout the body.
Tip: Because of its stress-reducing yet psychic-inducing qualities, this is a wonderful herb to aid in dream work, so drink a cup of this tea before bed and have your dream journal at the ready.
Solar System: Mercury
Lavender’s scent is so very lovely. It has become possibly the most popular herb among thr majority of people. It has long been used in aromatherapy for its calming properties, and it is now getting even more recognition in the culinary world for its delicate floral flavor. While most of us associate lavender with its ability to promote peaceful rest, my favorite magical attribute of lavender is its ability to open one’s third eye, making it perfect to use for creative or clairvoyant meditation.
Tip: Use a lavender pillow spray, like this one from Apothecary Craft + Brew, prior to meditation to enhance your psychic focus or before going to sleep to quiet a stressed mind. It is wonderful at banishing nightmares or keeping negative, unproductive thoughts at bay while trying to reach a meditative state.
Solar System: Sun
Rosemary is one of the oldest incenses and has many uses. I always associate rosemary with its protection powers, but it is also wonderful for purification and cleansing, healing, and amplifying the mind/mental abilities.
Tip: Rosemary makes beautiful wreaths for Yule or other winter holidays. Pick up a foam/wire wreath base from your local craft shop and fasten sprigs of rosemary in a circular pattern with butcher’s twine. Or adorn a wreath you already own for a fresh look and wonderful aroma. Hang on the inside or outside of your front door to ward off evil. (Bonus: add holly and juniper to the wreath for decoration and added protection.)
5. Bay Leaves
Solar System: Sun
The dried leaves from the Bay Laurel Tree should already be in your kitchen pantry (I feel rather strongly about bay leaves). Throw a couple into your favorite soup, stock, stew, or chili (and don’t stop there, experiment with these bad boys! You won’t be disappointed) and its savory flavor will permeate your dish for that can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on-it delicious taste. Cooking aside, bay leaves to me just exude Olde Magick. They’re a super-aid in manifestation rituals, opening up an opportunistic mind and bringing about successful results.
Tip: One of the oldest spells is to write a wish on a bay leaf and then burn it to make it come true. You can also write a yes or no question on the leaf, the kind of question you might use your pendulum for. If the leaf burns easily, it likely means “yes” and a smooth road ahead, but if it has trouble burning, it typically means “no” and there will be struggle or turmoil.
Okay, so salt obviously isn’t an herb, it’s a mineral. BUT it is super important for any witch to have salt in their cupboard (and you may as well make it a big box while you’re at it). We all know how often we use salt in cooking, but it is also a powerful, magical tool. Salt offers strong psychic protection and can break hexes. It is also wonderful for blessing a new home and attracting longevity, wealth, and knowledge. Many recommend using kosher or sea salt in any kind of witchcraft, but I’ve known many witches to use table salt and still obtain successful results.
Tip: Take a salt bath before a spell to purify the body and spirit, and/or afterwards to aid in the grounding process.
Drop a comment below and let me know what other herbs you’d like more tips for!