Baneful Herbs in Magical Practice | Coby Michael Ward

Using Baneful Herbs in Magic

With their infamous reputations and prominent place in myth and folklore, the Baneful herbs begin to seem more like mischievous magical creatures appearing throughout history in folktales and first-hand accounts.  They are powerful in their chemistry and in their occult power, but they are still plants.  The deadly nightshade grows in the same soil as the mint and the lavender.  They get light and water from the same sky.  It is important to remember this when incorporating baneful plant spirits into your magical practice.  People often ask how these herbs can benefit one magically, and how to use them.  The answer is, that they all have their own unique powers and applications, and other than ingesting, they can be used magically like any other herb.

 

In magic, herbs, woods and/or resins are used in pretty much everything.  They can be incorporated into spells in so many different and creative ways.  For some reason, I think we forget this when we are working with Baneful herbs.  Maybe it is their strong personality that distracts us from this fact when it comes to using these herbs in magic.  Perhaps it is their desire to work with us in the capacity of a plant teacher or plant spirit familiar. Rather than play the role of a single ingredient, the powerful spirits of Wolfsbane or Belladonna want to participate in the entire ritual.

Plant Spirit Familiars 

Just like any other spirit familiar, plant spirit familiars act as teachers and guides.  They manifest in different ways to different people, helping us to learn and grow, while elevating our Craft.

  • Regular contact with the plant spirit through meditation, ritual, and offerings.  Pact making, coming to an agreement with the plant spirit to work in partnership.
  • Physical vessel for the plant spirit.  Ritually constructed receptacles containing both a plant’s physical and energetic bodies.
  • Roots and stems, the bones of the plant, can be fashioned into effigies to house the plant spirit.  The living plant is the most natural vessel for the plant spirit.
  • Liquid vessels such as tinctures or infusions can be used to transfer the plant’s spirit to other objects.  Using the green liquid to enliven bones or other ritual objects with green fire.
  • Creating glyphs and sigils for the plant, and using ritual ink empowered by the actual plant material to draw them.

Spell Ingredients- Dusts & Powders

Baneful herbs can be incorporated into spell work just like other herbal ingredients used for sprinkling, dusting, or adding to charm bags.  Because of their connection to witchcraft, the Baneful herbs are especially predisposed to our arte.

  •  Added to spell bottles, charm bags, talismans.
  • Sprinkle to bring a Saturnian influence to obscure something from view, hide one’s actions or to bind another’s
  • Spirit flight, shapeshifting, maleficia, and weather magic
  • Use to enhance the power of other formulas.

Oils and Washes

  • by adding the baneful and otherworldly influence of these herbs to anointing oils, washes, or spirits we can incorporate them into our work in more ways
  •  anointing the body, ritual tools, effigies, creating magical space
  •  in dedication to specific deities or spirits
  •  Producing oils or other infusions containing the plant’s physical properties
  •  Creating energetic infusions or essences

Flower Essences 

  • A safe way to work with Baneful herbs internally
  • Cathartic mental and emotional healing
  • Helping to process trauma, overcome anger, anxiety, healing and integrating the shadow
  • Confronting fears,  use during periods of mourning to ease the grief
  • Ancestral healing, past life trauma, removing attachments
  • opening chakras and clearing blockages

*With any liquid infusion or extraction care must be taken with these plants.  Even topically applied ritual oils can have unwanted effects if not prepared properly.  Understanding the plants you are using and how to use them is a must.  There are also a few trusted online sources where these kinds of preparations can be purchased.  Bane and Beauty, Poisoner’s Apothecary, or @poisonplantcult on facebook and Instagram.

The Magickal Application of Baneful Herbs

This is a list of just some of the magical applications for baneful herbs.  Their powers aren’t limited to this list, and working closely with the individual plant spirits will reveal many more ways of working with them.

Wolfsbane/Monkshood

  • shapeshifting to take on the desired qualities of a specific animal, introspection, withdrawing from the world (The Hermit)
  • Attuning with dark goddess energy
  • Empowering magical weapons and ritual tools
  • Hekate, Shiva, Cerberus

Datura

  • psychic enhancement, dream magic, healing, blessing, and cursing
  • divination and spirit flight
  • soul retrieval, breaking ancestral curses, removing attachments
  • tricksters, coyote and other nocturnal animals

Foxglove

  • Faery magic, underworld/otherworld
  • love magic, manipulating the heart
  • the wild adversary, King, and Queen of Elphame
  • Taming iron to use in ritual, protection from the fae, bringing tools to the otherworld

Hemlock

  •  Use to destroy sex drive or break up lovers
  • Consecration of ritual blades
  • Deities of witchcraft, dark spirits

Henbane

  • Bridges the gap between the living and the dead
  • rain magic, divination, spirit manifestation
  • coercive love magic
  • Jupiter, Saturn, Thor, Apollo

Mandrake 

  • Protection, fertility, money, love
  •  invocations and hearing spirits
  • increases spell potency
  • Venus, Hekate, Circe, Medea

Belladonna 

  • Sexuality, protection, and death
  • opens gateways to other realms
  • astral flight and battle magic
  • Hekate, Hela, Valkyries and witch goddesses

Yew

  • banishing, necromancy and astral travel
  • Saturn, Pluto, the Otherworld
  • transformation and death work

Hellebore

  • classical herb of ritual magic used in banishing and necromancy
  • consecrating talismans to Saturn and Mars

 

Magickal Inks

  • plant material can be added to existing ink formulas to add their influence
  • plants with berries like Belladonna and Black Nightshade can be made into an ink because of their dark color
  • use for writing petitions, symbols, and sigils, seals for summoning spirits
  • writs of protection, banishing and cursing
  • staining and enlivening bones with plant spirits

Magickal Inks

  • plant material can be added to existing ink formulas to add their influence
  • plants with berries like Belladonna and Black Nightshade can be made into an ink because of their dark color
  • use for writing petitions, symbols, and sigils, seals for summoning spirits
  • writs of protection, banishing and cursing
  • staining and enlivening bones with plant spirits

By drawing from existing practices in magical herbalism and witchcraft we can incorporate baneful herbs into our practical spellwork in ways that allow us […]

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