Updated: Mar 6
10 Magical Herbs for beginner Witches.
Magical herbalism is one of the most popular forms of magic in modern witchcraft.
For centuries and across cultures and traditions, witches have drawn on the power of herbs within spellwork. We inherently understand the power of herbs to both heal and assist us within our magic to achieve change in our lives.
Today, if you pick up any modern spellbook, most of the spells will have correspondences for using herbs.
“Plants are an embodiment of life and abundance on earth. We can learn so much from the myriad specifies of vegetation around us – resilience in the face of obstacles, the ability to continually renew and reinvent ourselves, and a desire to be of service to those around us.” (Judy Ann Nock, The Modern Witchcraft Guide to Magickal Herbs, 2019)
In this blog post, we will be using the term ‘herbs’; but it is worth noting that we are often talking about a wide range of botanicals and parts of a plant, this will include, roots, leaves, flowers and petals.
Technically, each of these has it’s own unique magical category but to keep things simple for now; we will refer to all of them as herbs.
Spellcrafting with Herbs
There are entire books and websites devoted to herbal correspondences in witchcraft.
When we talk about correspondences, we mean the way in which a herb represents another object, person or concept. One of the most well-known examples of this in popular culture is the association of red roses with love and St Valentine’s Day.
When we see a red rose, we automatically think of love, relationships, romance and passion, therefore it is no surprise to know that rose is a key ingredient in love spells.
The principle of correspondences brings together connections between non-magical items and magical concepts. When we work with herbs, we are tapping into the inherent powers of the plant and as well as it’s associations.
One of the best ways to work with herbs effectively is through hands-on experience.
If you can, select a herb if you wish to work with, either fresh or dried, and hold it in your hands. Take a deep breath and centre yourself, and ask to connect to the energies of the plant so it can share its wisdom with you.
You may get a visual image of how to use it, intuit a particular energy or you may ‘know’ what that herb wants to teach you.
We can work magic with herbs through utilising the natural energy contained within the plant towards a specific goal.
We can produce powerful results by ensuring we fully align our intentions to the herbs we select. Some of the things to consider when choosing a herb to work with are:
Physical properties, e.g. stinging nettles for protection work
By considering these different aspects of a herbs properties, we can build a spell that really packs a potent magical punch and is entirely in tune with our intention. Magical herbalism is so popular with witches because there are herbal correspondences for so many different intentions. We can find a suitable herb for any magical goal or purpose we can imagine.
Using herbs in magic is also extremely versatile, and we can use herbs in multiple different types of magic. Examples of different kinds of spellwork using herbs include:
spell or charm bags
charging sigils, and crystal grids
And more besides!
Building your Magical Apothecary
As a new witch, it is easy to get carried away and believe you need to spend a lot of money on 50 different herbs that you don’t ever use.
We recommend building a small collection of herbs that you will find yourself reaching for again and again and then add to your apothecary over time.
Unlike some other witchcraft tools, herbs are cheap, readily available and are very flexible. We can find herbs growing in our local area, or if we have space and green fingers, we can grow our own.
We can also buy fresh or dried herbs in supermarkets as well as health or witchcraft and pagan shops. It is worth stressing that you do not need to buy ‘special’ witchcraft herbs and the majority of the herbs mentioned in the blog are easily found in your supermarket.
Safety is always crucial, and especially if you are using herbs in spellwork where you will be consuming them, such as tea magic or making tinctures.
Just because herbs are natural – does not mean that they are not dangerous. Some herbs are highly poisonous and should not be ingested or handled without gloves (though these are not included here).
Therefore, please do your research and ensure any herbs are safe to consume, and there are no interactions with any medication you may be taking. Also, please look at buying herbs described as ‘food grade’ to ensure they are safe for internal or topical use.
You may want to invest in is a solid mortar and pestle as for some spells, herbs need to be ground to a fine powder.
Or you can cheat like I do and use an electric coffee-grinder! You may also want to consider how you are going to store your herbs and ensure they are correctly labelled.