Beginner's Guide to Working with Herbs
Loose herbs are a versatile way to connect with the energy of plants. In modern craft practices, loose herbs are a staple connecting us to a deeper sense of Self. But how do we use them?
WORKING WITH LOOSE HERBS*
(*This is not an exhaustive list.)
- Incense - burn herbs solo or create a blend. Not all herbs smell pleasant when burned or are ideal for inhalation. Know your herbs or work with an herbal index. (LINK TO INCENSE PAGE HERE)
- Candle Magick - dress and adorn your candles with herbs. Beware! An increase of adorned herbs may shift the size of your flame. Be vigilant and prepared when working with fire.
- Floor Washes - steep herbs like you would for tea to create a floor wash. This can then be used to wipe objects or mop floors. Bury any herbs used in this process.
- Spiritual Baths - add herbs to warm water to wash hands, feet, or full body. Not all herbs are suitable for a topical soak, and some may cause an allergic reaction. Know your herbs or work with an herbal index.
- Home Remedies - whether creating tinctures or salves, herbs are nature’s remedy. Research herbs and interactions prior to creating home remedies, or work directly with an herbalist. Our consultation area at The Ninth House Shop is in the ritualistic and magickal use of herbs.
- Container Magick - herbs work wonders in layering the intention inside an object which contains spellcasting. You may choose to utilize a bottle, orange skins, half-blown egg shells, boxes, or a folded piece of paper.
- Offerings & Blessings - use herbs as a blessing or an offering in energetic exchange. You may choose to leave a pinch of rosemary near the base of a plant from which you have foraged.
- Petitions - use herbs for formal requests to Spirit. You may choose to burn your written requests with herbs holding the vibration of manifestation. Certain traditions may follow specific guidelines.
- Divination - burn herbs to set your space when working as an energetic channel. Many people like to light a mugwort bundle when using their tarot deck to assist in divinatory practices.
Some herbs are poisonous! Be knowledgeable in how to handle them properly.
Please note, item/meaning definitions can vary among traditions. If you are working within a formal lineage, we recommend working with a mentor. While herbs can impact our experience of day-to-day life, they are not a substitution for medical treatment. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, seek medical attention immediately.
RECOMMENDED READING MATERIAL
“The Magic of Herbs” by David Conway
“The Herbal Alchemists’ Handbook: A Complete Guide to Magickal Herbs & How to Use Them” by
“Entering Hekate’s Garden” by Cindi Brannon
“Sticks, Stones, Roots & Bones: Hoodoo Mojo and Conjuring with Herbs” by Stephanie Rose Bird
“Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs” by Scott Cunningham
“Magical Folkhealing” by DJ Conway
“High Magick: A Guide to Cannabis in Ritual & Mysticism” by Philip H. Farber
“Blackthorn's Botanical Magick” by Amy Blackthorn
“Botanical Curses and Poisons: The Shadow-Lives of Plants” by Fez Inkwright
Blog Post Written by Bash Quesenberry