PBP – Hellebore

Hellebore, image found here: http://www.broadviewgardens.co.uk/

Hellebore, image found here: http://www.broadviewgardens.co.uk/

Please note that hellebore is quite poisonous and should not be used by those who haven’t knowledge of how to work with poisonous herbs.

Latin Name:
Helleborus niger (black hellebore is the traditional magickal herb, called black for its roots, as the flowers are usually pink or white)

Common Names:
Christe Herbe, Christmas Rose, Winter Rose, Melampode

Parts Used:
Root, rhizome

Image from Botanical.com

Image from Botanical.com

Medicinal Uses:
Please do not use hellebore for medicinal purposes, the following is a recounting of historical medical practices concerning the herb.

Hellebore is a severe purgative, emmenagogue, and anthelmintic (rids the body of parasites), but is an extreme narcotic.

Previously employed quite frequently to treat dropsy and amenorrhoea,  as well as proved useful in the treatment of hysteria and nervous disorders. It was generally used in tincture form, but applying the tincture to the skin proved a violent irritant. 

Since it is so poisonous, foxglove and dogbane were used more often as they weren’t nearly as poisonous as hellebore.

Magickal Uses:
Associated with Saturn, Mars, and the element of Water.

Was once used to bless cattle against evil spells and baneful influences. In fact, there was a specific ritual performed whilst digging the roots, the details of which have been unfortunately lost with the passage of time.

An ingredient in incense meant to consecrate talismans of Saturn. It was, according to Agrippa, used as well to raise spirits of Mars.

Scatter hellebore that has been powdered in front of you as you move and you will be invisible.

At one time used to induce astral projection (but not recommended as again, very poisonous), along with exorcism rituals. It is also employed for banishing and necromancy.

Photo by  Archenzo Moggio.

Photo by Archenzo Moggio.

Allspice

Image from Wikipedia

Latin Name: Pimenta dioica

Common Names: Pimento, Jamaica Pepper, Eddo, Madere, Basheen, Kouroubaga

Parts Used: Fruit, the shells in particular

Herbal Usages:
Although Allspice is now mostly used as a flavouring and condiment in foods, it does aid in griping (pain in the bowels), and when using a purgative (cleansing) for the bowels. It will rid you of the flatulence associated with bowel issues.

Image from Wikipedia

Magical Properties:
This is a spice associated with Fire and Mars, a very masculine spice indeed. It is used for attracting money, luck, success, and healing. Carried in a green flannel bag, it will bring you luck while gambling. Allspice will help you beat out your competition, so carrying some on you while going for interviews, or while competing for something will greatly increase your chances of coming out on top. It is a very useful spice to carry while being a salesperson as it makes it more likely people will buy more from you. Sprinkle the powder at your business or place of work to bring great success; rubbing your hands with it will attract money to your hands.

Image from Wikipedia

Month of the Rowan



Celtic Name
LuisLatin Name
Sorbus Aucuparia

Dates
January 21 – February 17

Parts Used
Berries, bark

Medicinal Qualities
The  bark of the Rowan, as well as most other tree’s bark, has astringent and tannic properties. The bark would be used in a decoction as a blood cleanser, to treat diarrhea, nausea and upset stomach.

The berries are high in vitamin C, and were used to fight scurvy. The berries were made into jams and jellies; teas for diarrhea, hemorrhoids and urinary tract conditions as the berries have diuretic properties; a gargle of the fresh berry juice aids with inflamed mucous membranes

*Please note that before consuming the berries, they must be cooked as they contain parasorbic acid, a cancer causing compound.

Magical Properties
Associated with masculinity, Mars, fire, Imbolc, Brighid.

Used in protection spells, especially against fire and lightning. It was hung around dog’s necks for increased speed, hung in homes to protect against charms of fire, and protection against fires. The Rowan also has the powers to protect humans and animals alike against baneful spirits. It is also used in healing of the body. Equal armed crosses of Rowan are carried for protection against harm and wands placed above doorways for luck and good fortune.
The trees were planted in churchyards to watch over the dead. Because of the five pointed star you see when you slice a berry in half, it is believed that the tree has the ability to protect against witchery, trickery and enchantment. The tree is also said to bring about more strength through courage.

Month of the Holly


We are now enjoying the month of the Holly, Tinne, from the 8th of July to the 4th of August. Awesomely enough, the new place we are living in has a nice Holly tree in the front yard! They are beautiful trees to say the least and hold a lot of mythological and magical history.

Latin Name:
Ilex aquifolium (English Holly)
Ilex opaca (American Holly)

Parts Used:
Bark, berries, leaves

Herbal Usages:
Holly leaves have been used in infusions as a diaphoretic (induces perspiration) for fevers. The juice of the leaves also aids in jaundice.

The berries are a very strong emetic and purgative, and therefor should not be ingested unless vomiting is needed. In which case, only a few should be taken.
The berries in powder form is also used as an astringent for swelling and to check bleeding.

Associations:
Fire; Holly King; spear; Odin; Mars; Ares; feminine; life, death and rebirth; dark half of the year.

Magic(k)al Workings:
An incredible protective wood, it is used to ward off negative energies, evil spirits, poisons, angry elementals and lightning. It is also used in dream magic(k), placing a piece of holly under your pillow is said to bring prophetic dreams. It works very well in fertility magic(k) too.

It is very useful in magic(k)s that overthrow the old to bring in the new; to bring success to a new stage of development; and when seeking for a successful business endeavour.


Basil

I love basil. It is one of my favourite herbs to add to food, and to work with magic(k)ally. There are a ton of different kinds, and each one smells so delicious. It is quite a powerfully fragrant herb, and is also used in powerful magic(k)s in the Craft, as it can be used for exorcism.
It is believed that basil got its name from the Greek basileus “a king”, because the smell of this herb is “fit for a king’s house.”

Latin Name:
Oncimum basilicum

Parts Used:
Leaf and stem


Herbal Usages:
Basil can be used for mild nervous disorders, dried leaves used as snuff (to be inhaled through the nose), which is  said to cure nervous headaches. A drop of essential oil on your pillow (or a facecloth inside your pillowcase) will help insomnia and depression.
Works well for tired muscles, or wandering rheumatic pains. A poultice (a moist mass of bread, clay, meal or other adhesive base, combined with herbs and heated, spread on a cloth and placed on an inflamed or aching part of the body) helps to heal wounds because of its antibacterial properties.
Also said to cure warts, and is great for acne.
An infusion will help relieve gas and stomach pains, is said to stop vomiting and calm nausea. The infusion is also really good for chest infections, and bronchial troubles.
Great for repelling insects and treating bites.

Associations:
Mars; Scorpio; fire; masculine; kings; scorpions; leaving a leaf under a pot would turn into a scorpion

Magic(k)al Workings
Sprinkled in each corner of all rooms in the home, and using in bathwater will exorcise negativity. Will bring good luck to a new home.
Mending lovers’ quarrels as well as being worn to encourage two people, who may be in danger of a big blow-out, to have sympathy for one another and avoid argument.
Used in charms hung or placed in vehicles for safe travel.
Leaves are carried in wallets to attract money, and aid in financial needs. Carried in pockets when gambling for luck, and sprinkled across the doorway of a business to encourage it to flourish.
To foretell the success of a relationship, place two leaves on a charcoal. If they separate while burning, the relationship will not work out. If they lay there quietly burning, the couple will be successful in their relationship. Sprinkling basil over a lovers’ heart keeps them faithful to you.
Basil incense is used for purification before ritual; can also be burned for vision quests. Juices are also used in flying ointments.
Lastly, many potions for love, health, money and protection are made with basil.