Greetings magickal folk, I apologise for my lack of presence here on the website, it is the growing season and as herbs do what herbs do best and that is grow like weeds at this time; I have been happily harvesting stock and preparing and creating new curio for magickal folk to benefit from. I have also been spending much time at my local esoteric haunt; Dyoligy in Traralgon where the craft and curio are stocked, so I have had the privilege of chatting to folk about their magickal needs and the most prevalent issue folk are finding have been concerning banishing evil, house spirits and hauntings and nightmares; so here is a 10 minute read on herbs and curio that may help with these concerns. In many various rites of banishing evil, herbs and curio play a leading role. They are used in ritual washes and cleanses, floor washes, burned over smoldering coal, used as incense and burned as herbal bundles to fumigate spaces and people. Herbal infusions and decoctions are sprinkled around buildings where an evil presence or hex has been placed, using an asperger - a special broom that helps to sprinkle the liquid. Such a broom may be made with herbs that aid the cause. Herbal infusions may also be added to the floor wash or poured into a bath for purification. If there is no bath, an infusion may be made into a bucket or large bowl and poured over the subject during a cleansing shower. Dried and powdered herbs may be mixed with salt and put into a cloth bag and rubbed over the body prior to taking a shower also. Dried herbs may be put into a cloth bag and worn on the body to absorb negativity and provide purification and cleansing. Dried and powdered herbs may be rolled onto a beeswax candle to intensify their power during a ritual. A protective circle prior to the ritual may be cast by sprinkling herbs around the altar and oneself. Quite commonly the go-to-method among the New Age movement is to "smudge with white sage", although this is very popular and sacred to the Native American Peoples - there are many more powerful and herbs and curio for protection and banishing evil demons, malevolent spirits, illness, one’s own bad thoughts, general negativity, nightmares etc. that are waiting for you. The following is all listed on my website and can be found using the search bar. These may be used solitary or in a mixture that enhances properties of each individual herb. Here are a few that may assist to get you started and a little bit of lore behind them. *Wormwood – A powerful anti-demonic herb. The scent of this herb can banish practically any evil spirit from the household. It is also prized by exorcists as demons fear it and abandon the body they possess when this herb is smoldered around it. Also, it is famous for scaring away water spirits. Slavic water spirit Rusalki fear it. Wormwood was hung around the house and added to outdoor fires in order to persuade Rusalki to leave human dwellings. On Kupala’s Eve (Midsummer, Summer Solstice), wormwood was added to herbal and floral crowns worn by young men to protect them. Its English name derives from its ability to kill parasites, and back in the days people seasoned meat with wormwood in order to prevent the parasites that live in meat from infecting their bodies.
Due to its strong bitter taste, wormwood is rarely used in teas. It is taken internally in smallest amounts possible. It is believed to use part of its power in a water-based infusion; however, it is a common component of smudge sticks. When concentration of its smoke is high, some sensitive people may start seeing entities from the spirit world, which is why it is prized among those practicing divination and communication with spirits. Wormwood helps restore our connection with Nature, and therefore is used to enhance magical abilities - especially during the otherworldly contact.
*Stinging Nettle is known to stand up to evil sorcery. It was used when the body was weak and powerless, laid under the insoles of a bewitched person, so that the evil spirits would be unable to drag him/her into the Underworld. Brooms made of nettle were used to sweep the floors in a cursed building in order to banish evil spirits from it. Stinging nettles were used to weave doormats – anyone with bad intentions was believed to lose his/her powers upon entering the home with a such a doormat at the front door. Herbal bundles made of stinging nettles were used to banish evil spirits from the household. Infusions and baths prepared from stinging nettles were used to restore one’s strength. Nettle is also a common ingredient of ancient potions for beauty and youth. Cunning men and women use candles to which stinging nettles were added to enhance their
magical powers, as this herb is believed to strengthen will that is essential in any magical working. Sewn in a pouch and worn around the neck, stinging nettle is believed to bring on courage; however, this herb should not be used by cowardly (and not willing to change) and aggressive people. In traditional witchcraft, stinging nettle helps get rid of bad habits.
*Thistle – in Russian, the name of this plant could be literally translated as Demon’s Fear. This plant is known to grow in energetically “dirty” places – there, it doesn’t allow evil to penetrate our world. Growing on the graves of sorcerers and people who were cursed, it doesn’t allow demons to drag their souls into Peklo or Nav (The Slavic name for the Underworld). People hung bundles of this herb by the front door in order not to let the evil spirits in. Letavets (Slavic Incubus) fears this herb, as well as many other demons, this is why thistle was stuck in every gap and crack in the house when trying to get rid of this spirit.
Voshchanka is a protective amulet made with a piece of linen cloth soaked in melted wax in which a hair of the person it was made for and some thistle had been “cooked”, and then sewn into a pouch. Such amulet is believed to work like a cross necklace (body cross) for Christians scaring away all the evil from its bearer. A simple talisman for protection can be made by wrapping one’s own hair around a thistle flower and sewing it in a pouch.
Thistle leaves and flowers may be used as incense (burn it outside as the smoke is very pungent), smudge (same applies); thistle infusion may be used as a floor wash or water for sprinkling to purify a place and banish evil spirits. Thistle added to a candle enhances its ability to banish evil. In combination with black salt and other banishing herbs, thistle may be sewn into a magical pincushion (see my book, Magical Herbs of Slavs for detailed instructions how to make such a pincushion) or sprinkled on magical instruments used to remove hexes to cleanse them from the accumulated negativity. Oil infused with thistle and wormwood is used for banishing. Thistle leaves and flowers are in abundance right and I haven't had the time yet to get them picked and packaged, but I encourage you to go out there and gather some for your needs. They're so beautiful to behold.
*Yarrow is good for purification of the astral and physical body. It weakens evil and doesn’t let it spread. Yarrow tea prevents a hex from further spreading and taking over the body. In combination with other herbs, it is used to banish evil spirits from a place.
*Thyme is most commonly used by women for protection of themselves and their children. Slavic Mother stuffed pillows with thyme and mugwort and gave them to her daughter as a wedding gift. When stuffing children’s mattresses and pillows, mothers added thyme for sweet dreams and St. John’s Wort for protection against nightmares. Thyme tea helps get rid of less powerful evil spirits; if evil affected skin, it may be removed by bathing in thyme infusion. This herb scares off astral larvae – the energy parasites. Thyme is added to meat to prevent evil spirit or hex from entering the body through it. In absence of frankincense, thyme was used as incense during religious services and rituals. Herbal infusions are added to bath or used as a face and hair wash for youth and beauty as thyme is known to strengthen weak hair.
*Tansy possesses a strong bitter scent, which is why it was believed to scare away evil spirits. Combined with other herbs, it is used for personal purification.
*Birch leaves benefit those who have been affected by evil magic, especially if sewn in a pillow. Dried birch leaves are used as incense or smudge for any kind of hex.
*Basil leaves added to food were believed to protect one from temptation and remove any possible hexes cast on food. Planted around the house, it protected its inhabitants against evil gossip. Placed under a child’s mattress, it protected his or her sleep. Basil may be added to children’s or adult’s bath or used as incense to banish evil (stems with leaves but no seeds are used for this). Basil seeds are also considered a powerful remedy against evil. Dried basil in sea salt may be used in floor washes to cleanse and protect the home. There is an old saying: No evil can be where Basil has been.
*Cascarilla is ritual powder made from crushed hens’ eggs used primarily for protection and banishing. Repels negative energy, and the vibration of negative energy. A traditional hoodoo powder used to reverse bad luck, remove curses and all negativity ; great for overall protection. Use it in voodoo dolls, mojo bags, box spells, spiritual bathing and candle magick.
Cascarilla powder is made of finely crushed eggshells from a chicken hen. The protective nature of the eggshell, which protects an embryo as it develops is embodied in the powder when it is used for protective magick. But the protective nature of cascarilla seems to come primarily from its banishing qualities. It seems that negative energy cannot exist in the presence of enough cascarilla and spirit beings find it repulsive. Thus, a line of cascarilla acts as a barrier to the entrance of spirits and harmful or destructive energies.
* Bay leaves are a powerful Witch’s herb that is useful for protection, warding off evil, spirit exorcism and cleansing space. Wear or carry when performing healing to amplify power, work faster and stronger and ward off negativity and evil during rituals.
Use in any protection spell. Burn bay leaves to exorcise harmful energies, or use the fresh leaves to sprinkle blessed Florida, Moon, or holy water to create a sacred space.
Warding off evil especially malicious energy such as malicious spirits, ghosts or demons, evil eye, or if someone has cursed you. Place one dried leaf in each corner of a room to avoid being jinxed, use in exorcism rites, banishing rites, and breaking curses. Bay leaves mixed with sandalwood can be burned to remove curses and evil spells. Used as a floor sweep by sprinkling them onto the floor and then sweeping them out the front door. Infuse bay leaves to add it to floor wash to get rid of jinxes and enemy tricks.
*Sulphur/Brimstone: This ritual powder removes curses, hexes, jinxes. Use for Protection, Cleansing, Purification, Exorcism, Uncrossing, Reversing and Banishing.
Caution: Sulphur is Toxic
Burn over charcoal, add to charm bags, blends, use as an offering, use for uncrossing, protection, banishing. Used in crossing powders, hot-foot powders, and burned as an incense to rid your home of negativity and malevolent spirits. Used in exorcism and protection spells; It’s used in incense for hex breaking, fire magic, banishing and counter magic. It is also used in ritual baths and floor washes. Brimstone Powder, also known as Sulfur or Sulphur, has a strong, fierce energy and is used to remove or prevent any spell, curse, hex or black magic cast against you, and also to destroy an enemy’s power over you. It is used as for powerful protection against negative, harmful or evil forces. Many spells call for the use of Brimstone for the banishment or exorcism of evil things. One may be familiar with the infamous Brimstone of scripture and legend – due to its horrid odor, Sulphur has been associated with Demons, Devils, and baneful spirits since its discovery. If you are not familiar with the lingering scent of Sulphur, think of rotten eggs, or a gas leak. Only worse. Even the merest contact with the powder will leave an indelible stench on one’s skin and in clothing. *Mullein is one of the best spiritual allies when there is a need for energetic alignment. When a person's energy is scattered all over the place, and they need to focus and direct their energies, mullein can be a great help. Use as an incense or smoke in a pipe or rolled cigarette. Mullein was named Hekate’s torch, useful for banishing evil spirits and used in uncrossing ritual and in assist gaining clarity even in the most obscure situations. The dried herb guards against negative magic and is added to sachets and charms hung over doors and windows for these purposes. Keep a bag of Mullein leaves under the pillow to Prevent Nightmares. Others wear the leaves in their shoes or bathe for 5 days in Mullein tea to engender courage and drive away enemies. Powdered mullein can be used as a replacement in spells that call for graveyard dirt. It is mixed with dill, salt and fennel, then sprinkled around haunted areas to repel malicious spirits or ghosts.
Other powerful herbs and curio for protection and guard against evil are: Plantain: used in charms and talismans to prevent nightmares and protect against evil spirits/sprites. Put it into a sachet to place underneath your pillow at night for a good night’s sleep and protect against nightmares. Mugwort: Hang a bundle or powdered and mixed with salt in a cloth bag near the front door to prevent evil from entering. Lavender: To aid in protection in your home hang sachets of dried lavender at the four corners of your home. Make a dream salve to protect from nightmares and for use as a protective balm.
Blackberry bramble is one of the most powerful protective plants. Use it to make a wreath and place it on your front door to keep evil spirits away. And then there is old faithful Black Witches Salt that will assist in these purposes also. These are all available from my website if you wish to purchase and if you see that it is out of stock please let me know via messenger, email or carrier pigeon and I will find it, create it, conjure it up for you. I bestow the humblest of blessings to you, and grant you protection on this spiritual path and thank you deeply for supporting me.