I am very much a Witch of the Old World. NO, Not because I am ‘Old’ but because I have trust the Old World ways of healing and magick. Herbs are truly a gift of the Goddess. Every day of our lives we have the opportunity to hold these gifts in our hands. Those of us called Herb Witches have also learned how to touch the Goddess. How to hold Her blessings of both healing and power within each of Her green gifts. From the time of my Great Grandmother herbs were used for both Magickal and Medical works. My Great Grandmother was the Wise Woman, the Wise One, the Sage Woman. She was a Witch. She was Cajun, wear Witch clothing, has half Quapaw Indian and half French.
I would learn in secret from my Great Grandmother how to watch the signs of Nature. She taught me what herbs were best for concocting potions, teas, tonics, powders and brews. Which herbs were just right for not only healing but the magick of healing as well as for spells and with heart and love, anything was possible from the powers of the Earth and within Nature. I learned the ways of the Old World. In the same way as my Great Grandmother had learned from her Grandmother and her Grandmother had learned from all the generations before. I learned by watching, listening and helping my Great Grandmother.
Witch Mug collection
My Great Grandmother was raised in a time where it was common practice for people to go to the Wise One, the Wise Woman or Shaman, for help in healing or for help in magick. Many would come for help with problems of money, love, and harvest, as well as healing. People would come to get the magick within her spells, pouches or brews for everything from, money, to protection. They came for mixtures of healing herbs and leaves when sick. I watched as she would work with her wonderful gifts of magick in healing and the magick of nature.
There were usually no doctors around for miles and little money to pay one. I would learn from My Great Grandmother how to call the wind in a whisper.
How to see what wasn’t seen, not by the in-worlders. Those who would or could not see the magick all around them. I would hear her speak wonderful incantations and spells. I would watch her make potions and brews to heal the sick. I would see her do magick, the kind of magick that stirs the soul.
I was brought up as a child to understand such things were never spoke of, and considered foolish by many. I wouldn’t truly appreciate all these wonderful gifts of healing and magick until much later in my life. Even now, my Great Grandmother still influences my life with wonder. I can when quietly listening, hear her sweet voice upon the wind in whispers. As if within magick. It was so heartbreaking that as my Grandmother passed away, and for many years, so did the magick. All her great wisdom pasted down through the generations. Her wonderful gifts would be rejected as with the old ways.
There are many facets of Magick, Herb Magick being one of the blessed ones. I believe that a Witch’s Herb cabinet is one of our most essential tools. Herbs have been used in Magick and Healing since the beginning for time. Used in Home Remedies, Make-up, Poultices, Salves, Creams, Infusions, Brews, Teas, Potions, and Elixirs. Most herbs have both a Magickal and Medical use. You must have a great respect for herbs. Whether using them Medicinally in Healing or Magickally in Spells. You need to be careful and sure of what you are using. Always make sure the herb is exactly what you think it us.
In a quick look, Queen Ann’s Lace, Angelica and Hemlock look a lot alike, but the out come will be completely different. If you are looking for a particular herb for use in either Magickal Work or Healing, and you’re not completely sure if the one you have found is that herb. Just, Don’t Use It! You will find that in most cases the herbs and plants you need can be easily be acquired from your local grocery, herb shop, or even a florist. For some of the less common and less known herbs you may find it easer getting them from an herb shop. When there’s a certain Herb called for in a spell and you don’t have that particular herb, check what it is being used for. Is it for power, is it for psychic power, is it for dreams, is it for the Goddess or God…?
In most cases when a spell calls for Herbs for a particular purpose, there are other Herbs out there that have the same influential powers. This is wonderful because if you’re working on a spell for psychic powers and can’t find Sumbul or Stillengia you can always use Bay Leaves, Cinnamon or Grass. All of these herbs are for strengthening psychic powers. Normally grass is pretty easy to find though I wouldn‘t use it in a tea potion or brew that was going to be drunk. Grass has a truly rank taste. Herbs have also been used throughout history for medical healing. From poultices for bruised and blacken eyes, to healing sickness and disease. Being one of Wise One’s who carried the knowledge of healing was considered to be a great gift and this gift was not shared with everyone.
Today you will find more and more people as well as doctors who are returning to The Old Ways and a more natural way of healing. You can’t go through a department store, grocery store, or even a mall without seeing a place that sells herbs and natural remedies.
It seems so ridicules that this Old World knowledge is looked upon as some New Age miracle. It may well be a miracle or magick, but one that was given to us at the beginning of time, through the blessing of Mother Earth. But for some reason we of this ultramodern world seem to think if we didn’t come up with an idea on our own, than it must not be a good one. So we call everything New Age. All the wonders that are of the Old World, Old Religion and Old Knowledge have somehow became New Age. No matter what you call it, New Age or Old World Knowledge, it works.
Remember those fairy tales and stories you were told as a child? Where the old Witches used Bat’s Wings and Devil‘s Eye, within their magickal brews. Get ready, you will find yourself using them as well. That’s because in the Old World, witches used many folk names for plants and herbs. Bat Wings are dried English Holly leaves, think about it, they do kind of look like Bat Wings and Devil’s Eye is just another name for Periwinkle. It may sounds strange but if there were ingredients you wanted to keep secret and not share with anyone wouldn’t this be a fabulous way to do it.
Especially, if you kept a Book of Shadows, Book of Secrets or Cookbook as my Great Grandmother Called hers, where you wrote down your Spells and Healing potions. You would use Folk names, names the In-worlders didn’t understand. (In-worlders: those who cannot or will not see all the magick before them.) Knowing it’s a lot harder for someone to find Devil’s Eye than Periwinkle. Making your herbs into medicine that you can use to help heal and ease another’s pain is truly rewarding. It was amazing for me as a child to watch as my Great Grandmother as she would put together just the right herbs for people who would come to her for help and healing. They would tell her all the problems they were carrying and you could see her, as she would listen to their needs of healing and of heart. It didn’t matter if someone came to her with complaints of something so insignificant as warts or complaints of great pain. She would begin to mix and brew, stir and work the wonderful magick of healing.
It is a shame that we have allowed so much of this knowledge of healing to be lost in the rush to have instant fixes for what ales us. You can go to just about any doctor and walk out with a fist full of prescriptions, for anything and everything. Many times the instant fixes and quickie trips through the doctors’ offices leave us felling more like cattle than like people with souls and spirits. I sometimes wonder where the heart of caring and understanding has gone. So many of those in the medical professions just simply don’t have or don’t take the time for the heart that is truly needed in healing.
Don’t get me wrong there is a time and place for all kinds of healing, including doctors and pills. But I think we have become so dependent on the instant fixes that we have forgotten the ability of true healing.
True healing comes from within the body, mind and spirit. If you leave one of these uncared for this will allow the illness to return. In true healing it doesn’t matter if you are healing a disease or a hangnail be sure you look for all the answers. The answers that are found in the Heart. There is a power we find within ourselves when crushing and blending, brewing and stewing up remedies and spells. Herbs are used in healing everything from the day-to-day aches and pains of life to the magickal answers of lost loves. Magick is not about only the spells or the healings, it is about who we are and the Old World gifts given to all the Wise Ones from a time when magick and wonders were forever possible within your heart with truth, and love.