I have a confession to make; I take the shortcut through the herb garden and I use commercial grounded herb spices as an alternative to the real plant for my occasional rituals. Silly or acceptable? The spices that I commonly use (sage, allspice, rosemary, basil, salt, etc) all do originate from the real plant. Therefore (in my mind, to the least), I'd say herbal spice bottles for Pagan use can be a good alternative if you struggle to find the herbs you need in plant form instead. The spices are literally everywhere. Today I'll be pondering the magickal and physical uses of herbs.
The holistic healing approach in the medical field has grown tremendously. It has also dominated households across the world when it comes to curing common illness. Surprisingly, even veterinary medicine is starting to offer herbal remedy care for our furry friends. My family veterinarian specializes in it, thus leaving our family dog and even my baby guinea pig to new treatment options. The lore of herbalism started in ancient times, as we all know, and every herb has physical attributes to everyday healing. Yes, it's been proven. In terms of Pagan spirituality, the community's discussion on herbs makes complete sense--nature is an ailment-and that's what draws us into the witchy ways. It proves Mother Earth's aliveness. It gives us something that we know is there and something sacred to rely on.
You will see the use of herbalism in almost every Pagan sect; it's almost inevitable. Now, we do know of many common attributes some herbs hold. Let's take a look at chamomile. It has been relied on as a relaxant to sniff, wear, or infuse into tea to calm us down and enhance drowsiness. Chamomile is regularly used as a natural sleep remedy. Aloe is popular with skin treatments, commonly known as Aloe Vera on the market. It is used to reduce skin swelling, itching, and cools down sunburn for temporary relief. These are just a few examples of the physical benefits herbs have. Every herb has them. If you study ancient civilization and the beginning of religion in manhood, you will typically see that each herb has been assigned several magickal properties. This is what I still wonder about.
What influenced the ancients to assign these sacred characteristics to these astonishing plants?
I've been attempting to research this, which failed, but I think my cigarette break gave me a logical answer (tobacco is astonishing, too...!) The way the herbs helped the people survive became a holy source to them. So, maybe if they felt the affects of chamomile, for instance, they decided they could use it for peace, dreaming, and whatever else their merry little hearts chose fit best. And as the Neo movement has grown, us as modern people have applied science to discover more physical uses in the everyday plants around us. We have added on magickal uses due to losing many documented bits of our Pagan history. Screw the Burning Times. It's horrid to think that other people murdered our original ideas to fit their satisfaction level. Unfortunately, all we have been able to do is discover any missing piece to our struggled puzzle. Overall, I feel we've done a great job!
Herbalism is such a wonderful concept to have in our spiritual practice. May the magick from the roots grow on in our soil and in our beings! Let the healing begin!