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Witch plants

Witch plants

Witch plants

Many plant-based myths seem to involve protection from, or for, witches and fairies, which in turn are euphemisms for ancient deities and their acolytes; today’s Wiccans hold white to be the colour of the Goddess. Four trees in particular are associated with the old religion and so, by default, with Witchcraft.

Witch

Elder has a myriad medicinal uses from cough syrup to insect repellent, but one little-known folklore connection is that dried elder leaves were used in place of tobacco and were said to be preferred because of their relaxing properties; however botanist and physician William Withering reported in 1776 that the plant “should be avoided, and not slept under or near, due to its narcotic smell”. Perhaps the elder’s most famous folklore connection comes from the Rollright Stones in Oxfordshire where it was traditional on midsummer eve to gather around the King Stone and cut the elder flowers (‘bleed the elder’). The King Stone would then move his head. This arises from the legend that a Danish king, going to fight for the English crown, asked an elder tree witch what his fate would be. She replied by turning the king and his army into stones, thus preventing them from going into battle. The stone circle is surrounded by elders to this day. In Greek mythology, Aconite was associated with the goddess Hekate and was formed from the caustic saliva of the three headed monster dog, Cerberus, who guarded the gates of hell.

It was listed as one of the ingredients in witches’ flying ointments, but due to its lethal toxicity, this application is in question. It is one of the most poisonous plants from the Old World and was used to poison wolves, as well as human foes. Top: Evening Primrose flowers growing in the fairy section of a witch’s garden Thinking of you while out for a rambleDown by a cold frosty streamSet down on a bed of hemlocks and primrosesAnd gently I fell into a dreamI dreamed I saw a pretty fair maidenSuch beauty I’d never saw beforeHer dress was bound […] People think of witch's as being a middle ages phenomenon, but witches and people known for herbalism and healing go back to the Romans, the Greeks and much earlier. (Source: www.gothichorrorstories.com)

 

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