Sep 20, 2014

Verbena, the Herb of Pure magick

Verbena is  the common name for any of the plants from Verbena genus, in  the Verbenaceae family. This article, however deals with Verbena or Vervain, which is used in magick and will therefore deal with Verbena officinalis, frequent  common name also being Common Verbena. Other names include:  Herba Sancta, Holy Herb, Devil’s bane ( Welsh ), Enchanter’s plant, Tears of Isis, Tears of Juno, Herba Veneris, Altar plant and more.
Verbena officinalis ,
botanical illustration

It’s native in Europe, though it has been naturalized in States, and is found abundantly both in Europe and Americas, particularly on lime soils, and in urbanized areas.
It’s a herbaceous, perennial plant with an upright habitus, and  deeply lobed leaves, oppositely arranged, with toothed edges, and spike inflorescence bearing   many small flowers, with five petals,  ranging in color from pale blue to purple. While inconspicuous, regardless of being rather tall and growing up to a meter high, it’s  quite easy to memorize, and usually when people see it once, they are able to recognize it easily.
It has been used enough in folk herbal medicine to know that’s safe to ingest even in larger doses,  and there are some evidences to support its use as anthireumathic, diaphoretic, and galactogogue, and anti-inflamatory agent .[1]  A teacup on 150ml of boiling water is standard dose for tea/infusion, which is taken 2-3 times ( cups ) per day. It is however, highly contraindicated for use during pregnancy as it may cause miscarriage!  Folk herbal medicine use it for a wider range  of condition, including respiratory infections, and wounds that heal too slow, or skin ulcers topically.

Verbena in magick

Verbena is one of the most profusely used herbs in magick, and it’s uses range from purification and protection, to  transfiguration, the last at least mythically, with all the plethora of uses in-between.
It corresponds to planet Venus and the Element of Earth [2] It’s allegedly* a treasured Druid plant, used by Druid bards for inspiration, in initiation rituals. It is however, a speculated ingredient in Celtic goddess Kerdiwen’s Cauldron of Knowledge.

Verbena is ( again, according to Druidic teachings ) collected when the Dog star ( Sirius ) is on the rise, that is during the “dark of the Moon” when neither Sun nor Moon can be seen on sky. Either then, or on Midsummer.  Folk would dry Verbena over Midsummer fires and then spread them over the fields to ensure fruitful crops, and healthy plants, and even nowadays, it’s scattered throughout the gardens to ensure that the plants in it thrive. However, it can more than likely be equally efficient, If /when collected any other time really, though one should always approach such powerful plant with respect.

It’s a herb associated with knowledge, even in modern magick, particularly magickal knowledge or studious success. In Hoodoo, children are often bathed with Verbena infusion, or Verbena is placed bellow their pillows to help them memorize lessons better and be more  proficient in their studies ( kind of like Smartweed ), however the adults can use it the same way.

It’s juice, which is used often in magick, is sometimes smeared on palms and/or forehead prior to magick spells and rituals  for extra strength. Smeared on the body, the juice is said to make people soften towards You, and be more prone to agree with You and do You favors.  Smeared on the body, the juice of Verbena is also reputed to:  cures diseases, entices precognition,  turns enemies into friends, attracts lovers, and guards from enchantments.  Drunk, in a specific ritual, the juice is reputed to induce chastity;

To remain chaste for long periods of time, rise before the sun on the first day  of the New Moon. Gather Vervain ( still before Sunrise ), press out it’s juice and drink it down.  According to ancient instructions, it will cause You to lose all desire for s*x for seven years” [3]

A tea is drunk to induce prophetic dreams, inspire to write ,   strengthen magickal powers and bring magickal knowledge, or halt nightmares and dreams. In fact some say that verbena infusion, drunk prior to bed ensures sleep “without” dreams.

Verbena is widely held to be magickaly curative,  and to holds the power to seal the wounds and stop bleeding, much akin to Lemon Balm. In Hoodoo, it’s believed to be able to cure “unnatural diseases”   that manifest as fever or poisoning.

A packet of Verbena worn on the body is said to help those suffering from fever, or poisoning as a result  of  a curse” [4]

It’s also the herb in some Christian myths, that was used  to staunch Lord Christ’s wounds upon removal from the Cross.
But it’s greatest  spiritual value perhaps lies within its  splendid apotropaic powers, that enable one to defy the most powerful of evil spirits, and enchantments.  A crown of Verbena may be worn on head to protect the Conjurer that invokes spirits to come.  A infusion of the plant sprinkled in home, or dwelling will clear negative vibrations and  evil from it, including evil spirits, it’s a proper demonifuge. A nineherb blend  , including Verbena is said to uncross and protect from baneful witchcraft. In fact,  when combined with Trefoil, Clover and St John’s wort   in a charm bag it’s believed to make witches utterly powerless against one, and there is an old proverb about it ( see post about St John’s wort on here, to learn more about it ).  It can turn bad luck into good one, and help in times of dire need, if only carried on person, for the latter.  You can use it in a ritual to Turn the tables on bad luck  , where a double action candle is rolled in Verbena for this purpose.

With Eclampane, and Mistletoe leafs, it was believed to form a true love Middleage powder formulae. [5] It’s a powerful love herb even today, and is ingredient in lust and infatuation inducing infusions ( cooking a teaspoon in a glass of wine, for example ). It’s often mixed with 8 other Venus plants,and used in a love charm bag 

It’s also said to re-kindle a lost love, repel vampires if drunk, protect the home from bad weather if placed in it, and bring money when leafs are burnt as incense [6]
Following are some practical advices and tips

Bath to sweeten Your enemies up

The following bath is said to induce affection for You in Your enemies.
Pour infusion made with Verbena and Orissroot, in a basin ( tub ) with water, and add some essential oil of Myrrh and Sandalwood to it. [7]

Charm to find something lost, or to find direction

In a charm bag ( like mojo bag ) combine:
·         A piece of lodestone, or a magnet
·         Blue Tourmaline

If You have lost a specific item, You can write something about it, or better yet, draw it,  on a piece of paper, place the paper on the saucer, or in some bowl, place lodestone on it, and then sprinkle it all abundantly with Verbena.  Place it on some elevated place in home until You find the item.

Sachet to hinder evil dreams

Whether they are plainly anxiety-induced nightmares that deplete You of quality sleep, or spiritual shrapnel of a curse or hex sent to torment You ( or any form of “attack while sleeping” psychic and occult attacks ), the following combo, placed in a sachet under Your pillow will do  with them terrifying nightmares away:

·         Verbena
·         Wood Betony
·         Chrisoprase crystal

Potion to restore magickal powers 

If someone has caused blocked condition in You, bound or blocked Your spiritual prowess, replenish Your skills with the following potion:

·         A teaspoon of Verbena, dry
·         A teaspoon of Alder leaves, dry
·         A small chunk of Ginger rhizome

Put all in 300-500ml  boiling water,  stir few times, remove from heat,  cover, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, that strain and drink every day  ( for few days, or week, until You notice the results ) a cup or two. You can sweeten with honey If You wish .

NOTES: This  article  was written and composed by myself,   so If You wish to use it elswhere  online, feel free, but add credits ; Shadow of the Shadows magick place, ,  or a direct link to this post .

* Being that Druidism is tradition which is spread orally ( and very discriminatively ), the little we know about it must  always be taken with a grain of  salt, more so if it comes from Roman scribes, who had been prone to misunderstanding or  intentionally twisting  the information they had been gathering  and writing down about Druids
[2] According to Scott Cunningham, as stated in his “Cunningham’s encyclopedia of magickal herbs” 252nd page
[3] Retrieved from same source as listed under [2], quoted here for  educational purposes, as a brief quotation, with no ill will
[4] Quotation from “Hoodoo Herbs and Root magic;  a material magica of African American conjure” by Catherine Yronwode, quoted here for educational purpose, without any ill will
[7] According to Judika Illes, as stated In her   “Encyclopedia of 5000 spells”, paraphrased here


The image is from  :  , used here for    illustrative and explanatory purposes, without any ill will

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