Many everyday herbs are magical tools hidden in plain sight
Our ancestors knew the spiritual power contained in a simple herbal infusion. More than just treatments for physical ailments, herbal medicine used to be a way of life, supporting spiritual, emotional and physical health.
Wise women – and men – in villages across the globe would (and many still do) prescribe specific remedies not because they’d read about it in a book, or gone to study it for 7 years at University, but because they had an intimate relationship with the plant world. They understood that herbs are our allies, our friends! And in leaf, flower, stem, and root, then possess the kind of spiritual wisdom that it’s hard to find anywhere else in life.
In all of the hundreds of years that have passed since those times in the West, we may have changed, our communities may have changed, but you know what?
The herbs haven’t.
They’re still here, and they’re waiting for us ordinary human beings to remember them and bring their magic back into our lives.
Most of the time these days, they’re resigned to kitchen cupboards – sprinkled on food or pre-packed into herbal tea bags – but these plant allies do a lot more than add flavor. In shamanic (for that you can read “witch”) traditions around the world, it’s well understood that herbs have a consciousness. As an extension of earth consciousness, they are here to offer support, healing, and protection as we move through the ascension process.
*(It’s good to remember, that although it sounds pretty glamorous, ascension and achieving higher consciousness can be a long and tricky old process of healing trauma and shedding layers, so we should take all the help we can get!)
So why do we need herbs now?
Herbal wisdom isn’t like reading a book or watching a youtube video and then understanding something new. It isn’t about more consumption. Its power weaves through the body, most often bypassing the mental level and working on our cells, cutting straight through to the emotional and spiritual bodies.
It’s a state we all need to be moving towards as we enter into the new paradigm:
…Of letting go of this need to rationally understand, so that we can also let go of making decisions from the ego mind, and instead let the intuition of the body lead. It’s what herbs do. This means the effect and experience you have of many herbal medicines will probably be subtle, build up over time and work with the attention, intentions, and consciousness that you offer them.
Here are 10 spiritual herbs that are common enough for you to find them and start work straight away. They’ve also been chosen because of their willingness to be taken as a simple infusion.
How to Make a Simple Herbal Infusion
- For dried herbs, the measurements are usually a teaspoon of the herb to a cup of water, plus one for the pot. So for a teapot that holds 4 cups, add 5 spoons of your herb.
Infusions aren’t just “tea”.
- Create ritual from the simple act, by giving your full awareness to the process of spooning out the herbs and pouring in the boiling water. Add an intention to open up your mind, body, and soul to the plant spirit and receive the medicine you are being offered.
- Leave your herbal infusion to steep for at least 5 minutes.
- Sometimes you can extend this – I often steep an infusion for a whole day in a glass jar, out in the sunshine or even overnight under a full Moon. This longer timeframe can allow for more of the trace minerals contained in the herb to release into the water (for example raspberry leaf contains B vitamins, vitamin C and minerals such as including magnesium, potassium, phosphorus zinc and iron, which have a much better chance of infusing, the longer you leave it). But it’s always best to go with your intuition on this.
- Strain your infusion and drink, adding a little honey to taste if you desire.
A word of warning – don’t work with every magical herb on this list! Show respect. Choose one or two that you’re drawn to and focus on creating a relationship with those first.
1.Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Known as a powerful psychic herb, this is an ingredient in many magical workings because of its ability to induce visionary states. Most effective when used in dreamwork or trance states, this is best taken as a herbal infusion before bed. Associated with the crone aspect of the Goddess, Mugwort holds a fierce but reassuring energy that can be helpful when making realizations and facing difficult truths.
*If drinking mugwort as a tea, be sure to give yourself breaks (say, a week off in every 4) as liver toxins can build up, and don’t drink if pregnant or breastfeeding.
2. Lavender (Lavandula)
Another herb of the crone aspect, lavender is both soothing and as sharp as your favorite grandmother. Inseparable from the memory of childhood sleep sachets or sprays used on pillows, lavender is a relaxant extraordinaire. Work with the flowers if you are feeling stressed or anxious, both in tea infusions, cooking and in meditation. It is especially potent when working with the third eye chakra to enhance psychic strength.
Often used in love spells to strengthen bonds, lavender is also highly protective.
3. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
Another incredible herb for calming a fractious mind and inducing sleep, chamomile helps us to surrender to the flow of life. Infuse with prosperity herbs to help lower your personal guard, and attract abundance into your life.
4. Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
A favorite herbal remedy for soothing the skin, calendula is a herb of healing and empowerment. Associated with the Sun, it’s energetically warming so especially good for moving stagnation through the systems. If you’re caught up in an old story, stuck in guilt, shame or blame, then meditating with calendula can be extremely healing.
5. Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus)
A favorite with pregnant women, drunk as a nourishing herbal infusion, raspberry leaf tea is well known to strengthen the uterus. But the womb is so much more than muscle – as the seat of female power, this energetic center provides the emotional connection to our ancestors, as well as the cosmic and creative potential in our own lives. All women can benefit from this generous herb and the healing it offers in this time of global transition.
6. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
One of the most powerful herbs and a staple in Celtic and European magic spells, rosemary is a highly protective ally in the plant kingdom. It’s often burnt like incense to ward off negative energy, used in wands or sprinkled as an oil.
It also has the unique capacity to amplify intentions, making it a great all-rounder in herbal magic like good luck spells or any other conscious energy work.
If you are ingesting this as a tea or infusion, be aware that it contains a high amount of volatile oils so go easy.
7. Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Known in witch and folklore as a hex breaker, nettle packs a potent punch, as you will know if you were unlucky enough to have upturned your bike into a nettle patch as a kid. If you feel that someone is against you (or maybe just the world in general?) then working with this often overlooked plant will give you an energetic leg. up.
8. Rose (Rosa)
Another old timer in love spells whipped up by humans all around the world, rose is a flower with huge heart-opening potential. It will infuse every encounter with compassion and generosity and forges connections from the heart.
The essential oil or flower essence is often diffused and sold in handy sprays so this gentle but strong energy can be easily accessed on the move – great if you often have to interact with a lot of different people during the day.
As a herbal tea (or ingredient in cooking) rose lifts the spirits like very little else can. Or simply buy yourself a bunch and inhale their scent!
9. Tulsi/ holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)
As a herb that’s revered throughout the Indian subcontinent as a true spiritual medicine, Tulsi (known in the west as Holy Basil) is often referred to as “The Elixir of Life” and “Mother Medicine of Nature.”
Like many of our native western herbs, tulsi is a great harmonizer of the nervous system, but this goes a little further, with its incredible capacity to restore electromagnetic balance. Which means it comes as no surprise that yogis have been using the sacred herb to balance chakras for centuries, opening up the energy body to a healthy flow of energy.
10. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Another storecupboard fave, thyme is associated with the throat chakra and wonderful for clearing through any energy blocks you may hold there. This means that as well as taking the herb as an infusion, meditating with it and connecting to it on the level of emotion can bring real shifts in personal consciousness around empowerment.
Do you have a favorite spiritual plant ally for awakening and ascension? Who are your go-to-herbal buddies? Share with us in the comments below!
*Disclaimer: If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or taking medication, consult your doctor and your intuition before embarking upon a practice of drinking herbal infusions. *