Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Herbs and You.

Someone recently asked me about what I mean when I say I have a working relationship with the deva/ally of a plant. I explained that each plant is sort of like a hive-mind. Each is it's own individual, but the species collective shares traits so closely, and are so fluid that Wormwood from one place -can be- the same plant spirit you knew from another place. But it's also more than that... it's about experimenting with the plant's physical side.

I am an unashamed hater of hokey. I have a real hard time with "too weird to be true" tales told with a sly grin and try as I might I can't dig the following out of that mental place for me, so I will just have to try to dampen the snarkiness on it for a time.

Whenever I procure a new herb (or locate the growing plant in my yard), I take the time to mediate with it. Not "Ohm" with the lights out, but still, quiet, time spent feeling both the physical quality of the material*, and it's energetic nature. I will burn a bit*, simmer a bit, taste a bit*, see how it grinds in a mortar, see how it chops or breaks in the fingers*... and fill out a little sheet something like this (note, this is not the actual sheet, but terribly close). * (assuming it's nontoxic)

An Example "Sheet"

Name: Wormwood
Latin name: Artemisia absinthium.
Planets: Mars (with distinct feelings of Mercury).
Other Names: King's Crown, Crown for A King.

Magical Uses: Banishing negative entities, psychic insight, cleansing, consecration.
Medicinal uses: De-wormer, good for poultices, though less practical than other methods.
Personal Experiences: When used in consecration I prefer this to all other herbs. Banishes not only negative entities, but ALL entities. Do not use if attempting to summon anything, or share space with nonphysicals.
Warnings: Nerve toxin if excessively consumed, bitter flavoring makes this hardly a concern.
Special Handling: Does not appreciate being planted under shade, nor does it particularly enjoy being "set aside" for a "better" herb in rituals. Deva is the legendary Green Fairy of the Absinthe and should be dealt with with utter caution. She is jealous, spiteful, and wicked. Does not grind. At all.
Planting and Harvesting Information: Plant in full sun, sheltered on at least one side. Harvest later in the summer, with either fingers or white knife.
Scent: Burning electrical wire while fresh. Similar to white sage when dry. Burning electrical wire on a pile of burning tires when burnt. Not exactly the freshest idea for incenses, but tolerable in smaller amounts if balanced with something sweet.

It may seem a little dry and snarky, but I find that these sheets help me to better fix ideas and experiences in my mind, and provide interesting study-fodder for others that I share notes with.

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