Autumn is a time of transformation. It may feel as if many things are changing and sometimes that what you value is slipping away. We all love summertime fun, but there is a special vibrancy to Autumn. Use the magic of the plant kingdom to enrich you.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HERBS
A herb is any useful plant, but the term is usually reserved for plants that we use in a special way, for healing, flavouring, decorating, to create an atmosphere or to make magic. Magic is simply the ability to bring about transformation. Herbs are essential for this for several reasons.
Used in incense, they create aromas that activate the instinctual levels of the brain, making it easier for you to think positive or to meditate. Used in crafts they bring all the wisdom of nature into your work. Each plant is associated with a specific ‘energy’ ruled by one of the planets, meaning they bring about certain results. Their health-giving properties are well-known, and few dishes would be the same without the addition of some herbs.
So cheer up your autumn and open up a world of possibilities with these specially selected herbs.
All evergreen trees reassure us that life goes on, even into the winter months. Many people mostly think of ‘evergreen’ in terms of conifers. The shiny, luxuriant leaves of bay bring a message of the continuing generosity of Nature.
Bay is ruled by the sun, and is the same as the laurel, with which victors in classical athletic contests were crowned. Bay leaves were chewed by the Delphic oracle. They have a slightly narcotic quality, so if you want to achieve a really deep meditation, try sucking a few leaves beforehand, if you like the taste.
Magically, bay can be used for strength, prophecy, healing and protection. Place a few bay leaves under your pillow for meaningful dreams. Keep a few bay leaves with you to give you that extra edge if you’re dealing with anything challenging. They will also help ward off any winter negativity.
Bay keeps that solar energy shining on you, through the darker months.
This plant is ruled by the moon, sacred to the ancient temple of Diana. It is a hardy, herbaceous perennial. Although it likes a sunny position it prefers to be out of the midday glare.
It can bring you love, healing and general success. A tea made from lemon balm leaves can gently revive you and is a good emotional pick-me-up. Infuse the leaves in wine as a love potion or just carry a few leaves with you, to attract good fortune.
This herb is entirely edible, from its delicate web-like leaves to the tip of its roots. It is ruled by Mercury, who was a guide in the classical Underworld. Perhaps this is why it can fend off ghosts. When the autumn wind whines around your dwelling, fennel stuffed into keyholes is said to keep away phantoms.
Fennel can also be hung at your windows and doors to repel anything harmful or negative. As a herbal tea it has a lovely mild aniseed flavor. It’s good for getting rid of flatulence and constipation and can lift hangovers if you’ve had a little too much tipple during the darker evenings.
A cook’s favourite, thyme is an evergreen shrub that likes full sun. Ruled by Venus it is friendly to all plants nearby. According to folklore if you wear a sprig of thyme it will open your eyes to fairies, and these are said to be more visible at those in-between times such as Autumn Equinox. It can also increase psychic powers, so you can sense spirits when the veil between this world and the Otherworld is thin, as it is now.
Like all culinary herbs, eating thyme helps your body cope with toxins in foods. It can ease flatulence, diarrhea, coughs and laryngitis as it can be made into a tea. Place it under your pillow to prevent nightmares and sniff it if you’re going into a difficult situation and need courage. You can also add the leaves to your bathwater for energy and grace.
Grow this aromatic herb on your windowsill and use it to enrich soups and stews. Ruled by fiery Mars, basil gives a boost to your digestion, but it also acts as a protective influence wherever it is placed. In your home it’s heartening presence can soothe any strife and also drive out malicious spirits.
If you burn basil in incense or in a joss stick it purifies your living area. Carry a few of the fragrant leaves to attract wealth or rub them against your skin for an erotic fragrance. Basil drives out the Autumn chill with its spicy warmth.
Ruled by lucky Jupiter there aren’t many good things this herb isn’t credited with bringing. Its gifts include money, protection, longevity, wisdom and wishes coming true. It’s considered unlucky to leave sage growing alone in its bed – this hardy evergreen likes companions.
Sage has antiseptic qualities. Medicinally, an infusion is good for mouth ulcers and sore throats. Carry sage if you want to be wise and burn it as incense before studying, to absorb new ideas deeply and quickly. Sage is a good encouragement at the start of the new academic term.
This herb grows best in warm climates, so you will find it more easily as essential oil or in joss sticks. Although the leaves can be used to make a tea, patchouli is powerful as incense or oil, and will give boost your sensuality.
Ruled by Saturn, patchouli is rich and earthy. Rub the oil into a green candle and burn, to attract money. If you’re spending an intimate night in with your lover, vaporize patchouli or light a joss stick to get you in the mood.
Patchouli combines the practical and the exotic so you retain your lust for life into the winter months.
HOW WE CAN HELP
The seven herbs above will all add a special something to your Autumn experience, but plants, however special, can only do so much. If you need real human understanding and insight just call one of our sympathetic Readers and get the boost you need.
PUBLISHED: 27 September 2017