Category Archives for Fairytales and Folklore

A to Z Herbarium: Xue Jie

Love, Protection, Exorcism, Potency

Ok, so I had to use the Chinese name for this herb, as herbs starting with X in either English or Latin are seemingly non-existent.

Anywho, turns out that xue jie, in English, is dragon’s blood (from the Latin sanguis draconis). It’s the resin from a number of different plants belonging to genera Croton, Dracaena, Daemonorops, Calamus rotang and Pterocarpus. That all seems terribly complicated, so let’s just say it comes from the dragon tree (which is actually true).

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A to Z Herbarium: Wormwood

Psychic Powers, Protection, Love, Calling Spirits

Wormwood is used in incenses intended to develop psychic powers. Carrying wormwood will protect against bewitchment and bites from sea serpents. According to ancient tradition, wormwood will also counteract poisoning by hemlock and toadstools (take this advice with an epic-sized grain of salt).

Burning wormwood will summon spirits, and is sometimes mixed with sandalwood for this purpose. If burned in graveyards, it’s said that spirits of the dead will rise and speak.

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A to Z Herbarium: Violet

Protection, Luck, Love, Lust, Wishes, Peace, Healing

Carrying violet will protect one against wicked spirits, and bring about a change in luck and fortune. When mixed with lavender, violets stimulate love and lust. Gathering the first violet in spring means your greatest wish will be granted.

In ancient Greece, violets were worn to cool tempers and bring about sleep. Ancient Romans made wine out of violet blossoms. A wreath of violets worn on the head was believed to cure headaches and dizziness. Violets have also been associated with death and mourning. It’s possible this connection goes back to ancient times, as it’s said when the Phrygian god Attis died, violets sprung wherever his blood fell.

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A to Z Herbarium: Uva Ursi

Psychic Workings

Also known as bearberry, because apparently bears enjoy eating the fruit. Can be used in sachets to increase psychic powers. It’s also used in ceremonial smoking mixtures among a number of Native American tribes.

In Iceland, uva ursi was used to make ink, tan leather, and dye yarn. A tonic made from the berries was used to stimulate the blood and increase appetite. It was also believed carrying bearberry would protect one against evil spirits and ghosts.

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A to Z Herbarium: Thistle


Strength, Protection, Healing, Exorcism, Hex-Breaking

When grown in the garden, thistles protect against thieves. When grown in a pot on the doorstep, they protect against evil. Throw thistle onto a fire to protect the house from lightning. Carrying a thistle blossom will protect the bearer. Carrying any part of the thistle will provide energy and strength, and stave off melancholy. Men who carry thistles will apparently become better lovers.

If a spell has been cast against you, wear a shirt made of thistle fibers to break it. Hex-breaking poppets are stuffed with thistles. When strewn in the home, thistles will exorcise evil.

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