Age Old Herbal Superstitions

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Happy Friday 13th Herb lovers,

Today being Friday the 13th,  I thought it would be a good idea to have a look at other superstitions – of the herbal kind.
Thanks to Gerina Dunwich’s Herbal Magick

Angelica – Associated with Saint Michael the Archangel, angelica was once thought to dispel lustful thoughts and protect against sorcery, the Black Death, attacks by rabid and venomous beasts, and a wide variety of illnesses.

Blackberry – In England, it was once believed that bad luck would befall anyone who dared to pick blackberries after the 11th day of October (the old date of the Christian feast of Michaelmas). Legend has it that on this day many eons ago the devil fell into a thorny blackberry thicket and laid a curse upon the plant.

Daffodil – If the very first daffodil you lay your eyes upon in the spring or summer hangs its head towards you, this is said to be an omen of bad luck for the remainder of the year. This herbal superstition, which is centuries old, continues to live on in many parts of Great Britain.

Garlic – To keep vampires and evil spirits at bay, apparently only garlic gathered in May can truly be effective. Garlic is also said to absorb the diseases of man and beast, as well as trap and destroy negative vibrations and evil influences in cursed or haunted dwellings.

Hydrangea – According to old English lore, the hydrangea is an unlucky plant for young ladies who wish to find a husband. Grown near the house – especially near the door – hydrangeas are said to curse daughters of the house to be cursed with lonely lives of spinsterhood.

Ivy – Illness will befall anyone who picks a leaf from an ivy plant growing on a church wall. If ivy growing on a house wall suddenly dies it is said to be a sign of impending death in that household.

Leaves – Any type of leaves blown into the house are said to be omens of bad luck. If you make a secret wish while catching a falling leaf on Halloween it will surely come true.

Mugwort – Mugwort is a magical herb linked to Pagan goddesses Artemis and Diana. Ancient tradition dictates that the plant must be picked on the eve of Summer Solstice in order to activate its magical properties. In the Middle Ages, Christians usually made the sign of the cross to ward off evil spirits before harvesting mugwort.

Peas – It is good luck to find a pod containing 9 peas and even better luck if the pod contains only one pea. It was once thought that a wart could be cured by rubbing it with a pod of nine peas while reciting special instructions.

Willow – Willow trees have long been held to protect against sorcery and the evil eye. Many individuals will still touch them to ensure good luck. Beware never to share a secret beneath a willow, lest it be repeated by the wind.

Ahhh, it’s all a bit of fun, or is it? Do you walk under ladders? I don’t allow shoes on a table, Light of My Life refuses to open an umbrella indoors – but we are not superstitious, oh no!

Stay herbal

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