Herbalism

Learning from the Herbs

What was the first plant you connected with?

Personally, I am super grateful for the common herbs for being my introduction to gardening.

Especially I thank the “gateway” herb – Marijuana who opened my eyes to the plant path and widen my conciousness to include all life as beings.

Even the most common herbs: basil, rosemary, and sage (as pictured here) have much wisdom to share.

The best way to learn is by interacting with the plants themselves: harvesting, drying, and using them in meals. Luckily these three herbs are easy to grow & found in nurseries and gardens just about everywhere.

Other tools, like books, classes (both in person & online) and walks with an herbalist friend are also important to the practice of learning. Here are three of my favorite and most used books:

So, let me know, what plants introduced you to gardening and/or herbalism. Leave a 💚 of it was cannabis too 🌿… Here are a few of the responses I got over on my Instagram page:

Herbalism

My Herbalism Practice – Libra Herbología 

I have been an herbalist for some years now. And recently I began selling herbs from my garden in the local health food store (where I also work).

and just so you know, Libra Herbologia is also a blog on tumblr …

Where I share posts of mine and other herbalist/brujas too, mostly en español. If you want to check out that tumblr page this link will take you there : https://libra-herbologia.tumblr.com/

E-journal

Crafting with Moon Magick

Maybe it is the changing of the seasons. Or maybe it is the influence of the homesteading and green witch videos I have been watching lately. Either way I have been busy each day crafting, preserving, and making medicine.

Echinacea :: root medicine

Three springs ago I planted Echinacea seeds which bloomed into flowers each successive summer. Now it is fall here and I am beginning to harvest the roots because their immunity-supporting medicine is most potent after 2 or 3 years growing.

During the three days surrounding the full moon I have been preparing all kinds of medicinals – marmalade and teas and this immunity supporting tea with Echinacea roots & leaves as well as orange peel harvested in winter. In order to charge the tincture with the healing vibes of this most recent full moon in Virgo, I left the tinctures (sealed) outside in the garden to soak up the rays of the full moon.

Medicinal Marmalade

Since moving to this farm I have gotten to know a truly magical tree that lives on the edge of the woods. This tree is called Hawthorn and is abundant with medicine – flowers in the spring and bright red berries in the fall. Last spring I collected and dried a huge jar of the flowers and now I am working on recipes to encorporate the heart healing medicine of the berries.

Besides hawthorn, quince and rose hips are also in season so I made a marmalade with all three plus a little ginger & cinnamon to add some extra warmth as I we plan to eat these during the winter months.

I will post the recipe for this marmalade and pictures of the final product soon. Until then I wanted to share a few of my favorite magical channels that have been inspiring me, my herbalism practice and crafts lately:

Gardening

Garden Journal :: Late Summer Bouquets

Zinnias for happiness, Dahlias for beauty & mystery, Goldenrod to bring inside the brightness or the sun and blue sage foliage for grounding & protection.

Call it a bouquet or a sculpture made of flowers, anytime one makes art there is the possibility to infuse life with meaning 💐🌻🌼

For drying, for salads, for indoor decoration 🌿🌼 these are just some of the gifts for the garden in the magical time when summer transforms into fall.

And speaking of fall which is quickly approaching, these past few days I have been spending time each morning harvest & processing. I am drying herbs, making tomatoe sauce, and medicinals jams – trying my best to save and savor the abundance.

These hours in the morning become my own little rituals. A way to connect with the place where I live and be in the now moment, while simultaneously preparing for colder months ahead when flowers and fruit will be scarce.

Vara de Oro – Golden Rod flowers
Gardening

Garden Journal :: Summer to Fall

Looking forward to the fall garden because, to be honest, our summer garden was not very productive.

In years past we harvested more tomatoes & cucumbers than we knew what to do with but this year only the basil did well, sadly.

But I want to be honest, gardening is hard and sometimes things go wrong without any clear reason as to why. I think, in this case, we haven’t had a good summer season because we tried to take on too much: we extended the garden beds, tried out new crops in addition to work and all the other responsibilities of our work-trade for living here.

And another reason might be that this is just a sign (one of many) that we aren’t meant to live here permanently, that the time to move on from this farm is coming.

So, this upcoming fall I’m committing to doing less and focusing on what I know grows well: leafy greens and herbs as well as scaling back to just a few, intensive garden beds and potted plants.

Wherever you are, and whatever season it is , I wish you luck in your gardening efforts.

Crafts

Magical Days

When big changes occur it is easy to forget about our daily routines and the little things that make us happy.

Getting back into my routines means getting back into my magical practices: harvesting herbs, making herb sachets and  getting acquainted with my newest tools.

Handmade herbal bouquets to bring tranquility and self-love, made with plants growing in our garden.
Floral resin runes – a solstice gift to myself. I am excited to explore these ancestral symbols and have already recieved some insightful messages.

On my other blog Libra Herbolgía I share much more on the subject of botanical magic both in English las Español – check it out if that is your thing.

What activities are part of your magical practice? Let me know in the comments!

Crafts

Herbal Crafts :: spell bottles

I am all about drinking tea and eating veggies from the garden but, I also like to make art and magic with the harvest. Herbal bottles or bottle spells are a staple in the world of green magick, they are easy to make and very cute. In this article I am going to walk your through a simple floral bottle and some magical meanings of common flowers and herbs.

bottle one

The first step is collecting and processing your herbs and flowers. These bottles are not for consumption so you can use any herb or flower that feels right to you. Depending on the goal of your bottle spell you will use different herb / flower combinations. In this example I used rose & calendula petals and whole yarrow flowers to attract self-love and friendship.

To determine the meaning of each flower I used the book “the Green Witch” by Arin Murphy-Hisock and inspiration from one of my favorite podcasts called Herb Oracle which goes in depth into the medicinal and emotional meanings of one herb each week- I highly recommend it!

As well as the classical magical meanings of each herb, I also incorporate my own intuition and associations with each herb or flower.

magical books

All of the flowers were grown in my garden or collected in the fields of the farm were I live. This place was once a perfumery so there are a lot of roses growing all around. I personally prefer to use herbs I grow or collect myself but, you can certainly use herbs or flowers you bought or collected from a special place. Just make sure the material is thoroughly dried before inserting into the bottle.

Spell bottle combinations:

Protection bottle : yarrow, vervain, rosemary, and cedar or pine.

Friendship bottle : calendula flowers pink or white roses, zinnia flowers, sunflower petals and orange peel.

Self love bottle : vervain, lavender, pink or red roses, yarrow, lemon or orange peel.

These are combinations I came up with based on the spiritual meanings for the plants. I also only included herbs that I have access to. Think of these as suggestions or guidelines and feel free to replace or alter the ingredients based on your intention and what herbs and flowers you have access too. For this craft I like to use a very small bottle or tiny jar, so not much herbal material is needed. It is more important the quality and care you put into collecting and processing the materials for this jar than having large quantities or diversity of herbs.

Making your bottle:

Now that you have all the materials and the herby contents are totally dry, we can discuss when you will construct this bottle spell. Depending on the goal of your spell you will want to choose a specific day to do the spell. For example, if your bottle is about love, beauty or self-love you should work on Friday – Venus or Aphrodite’s day. A bottle for friendship or communication should be made on Wednesday – Mercury’s day. But, you can be flexible and creative with this for example if you want to do a self-love spell to help connect with and accept your emotional self, Monday or Moon’s day would be good too. If you want to make a bottle to encourage you to achieve your fullest protection, SunDay would also work.

bottle two

Next, write out the ingredients and/or your intentions on a beautiful piece of paper. In this example I made a spell bottle for my sister and only wrote the meaning of each ingredient, on the back she can write her personal intentions when she receives the bottle in a couple of weeks – she lives in California so I mailed her bottle from where I live in Argentina.

all the bottles

That day – last Friday – I made several bottles for my sister, a friend, my partner and myself so each person will do as they wish with their bottle and consecrate them in the manner of their choice. Even though I have no control over what day they will receive the bottle or how they are to use them. I made the bottles with love & care and that energy will surely aid whatever magic they are working in their lives