Berry Magickal! The Magick of Berries

The passion of Spring and Summer is never more embodied than in the delectable taste of a ripe berry! In this post, I want to focus on a few powerful berries and their magickal use. I'll even share a few recipes and spells, so read on!


The first berry I want to talk abut is Blueberry, also known as Bilberry. Blueberries possess the power of protection and are used to represent the Dark Lord. You can place them beneath your doormat to protect your home, or soak dried blueberry leaves in hot water overnight with the intention of "bothering" an enemy (simply stir in black mustard seed the following morning and throw this concoction across your enemy’s path, where they will step in it).  You can also burn them as incense on your altar, or use them to speed the healing process of bruises (as well as make your skin more resilient to bruising in the future).

In Ireland you can find a festival called Fraughan Sunday on the last Sunday in July, where bilberries, or as the Irish call it “fraughan” are gathered, and they also gather bilberries during Lammas. The Polish call bilberries “jagody” and make jagodzianka by putting bilberries in sweet buns as filling. Bilberries can even be found in the De-Militarized Zone of north Korea – where they have bog bilberry brandy.

    Blueberry Bread Pudding 

Cook Time 50 minutes

Total Time 50 minutes

Servings 12 servings

INGREDIENTS
3 large eggs
2 cups half and half cream
2 cups milk I used 2 %
3/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 loaf 1 pound French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
Blueberry Sauce
1 cup blueberries
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
     *Eating blueberry pie internalizes the protective energy and makes it most potent

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine eggs, cream, milk, sugar and vanilla. Stir in blueberries. Combine mixture with bread cubs. Allow to stand 15 minutes or until bread is softened.
Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, 45-60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand a few minutes before serving.
For sauce:
In a small saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar and water. Stir often and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Allow to cool slightly or serve at room temperature. Serve with bread pudding.


Raspberries

Associated with Venus, Water, and love. 

The brambles (branches) of the raspberry are hung up at doors and windows for protection. This is also done when a death has occurred, so that the spirit won’t re-enter the house once it has left.

Hoodoo mojo, “To Hold a Man”:  There are a few ways that this plant can be used to bind a man to you– and you’d better make darn sure you want him before you do this, because once it’s done, you can’t change your mind…1)  Make a tincture with raspberry leaves in a quart jar filled with spring water.  Pour this tincture over your body while repeatedly reciting the man’s name. 2)  It’s said that a man will never want to wander far from his woman or stray from the marital bed if she washes her genitals in raspberry leaf tea, sprinkles periwinkle on his food, and hides a magnolia leaf in the mattress…good luck, Ladies.

Turn about is fair play.

Now it’s the guys’ turn– more hoodoo mojo, “To Hold a Woman”:  You have to find a branch of raspberry that has rooted at the tip, and take some of this from the plant without killing the plant.  Boil the root in spring water, bathe in it, drink some of it; then serve the rest of it to your wife.  It will keep the little woman faithful– if it doesn’t make her sick.

      Iced raspberry mint green tea

Servings: 3

Ingredients
3 Red Raspberry tea bags
3 Green Tea with Mint tea bags
4 cups water divided
Raspberries
Mint leaves
Ice

Instructions
To prepare the iced tea:
Place the six tea bags in a heat-safe bowl or container. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, and then pour over tea bags. Let steep for 10 or so minutes.
Once steeped, remove tea bags and pour in 3 cups of cold water. Chill until ready to serve.
To serve:
Add several raspberries and fresh mint leaves to the bottom of a sturdy glass. Using a muddler or a wooden spoon, press down on the raspberries/mint leaves and lightly twist. The raspberries will burst slightly and the mint leaves will become even more fragrant.
Add ice and pour tea over top. Garnish with extra raspberries and mint leaves if you like.


Strawberries

Strawberries leaves are often carried for good luck. They are an aphrodisiac. Use strawberry fruits and baked goods as offerings when invoking Venus for help and support when it comes to matters of the heart.

Many Native Americans believe that during menstruation and pregnancy a woman’s body becomes very toxic. Since they view strawberries and their leaves as blood purifiers and builders, laxatives, diuretics, and astringents, they can be used to cleanse the woman’s body during menstruation and after childbirth.

And, of course, there are the Roman legends about strawberries. Most commonly, that when Adonis died, Venus wept tears that dropped to the earth and became heart shaped strawberries.

Ever consider bathing in the juice of fresh strawberries? Twenty-two pounds of crushed strawberries made up the bathwater that went into the tub when Madame Talien, one of the court figures of Emperor Napoleon, took her bath. This ritual did not occur often since people did not bathe regularly during Napoleon's time, mid 1700s into the early 1800s.


   Strawberry Pound Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hr 20 – 30 minutes
Serves: I Loaf

Ingredients:

3/4 cup or 175 g softened butter
1/4 cup or 60 ml milk
1 1/2 cups or 290 g regular sugar
3 eggs (lightly beaten)
9 oz or 250 g Fresh Strawberries, mashed
1 3/4 cups or 225 g Plain / All purpose flour (sieved)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

  

Instructions:

1. Heat oven to 160 C, Gas 3, 310 F. Grease and line your baking tin.

2. Get all your ingredients ready, i.e mash the strawberries so there are chunks, i.e don’t over mash!, sieve the flour, and add the salt and baking powder to the flour etc.

3. Start with making the cake batter by creaming the butter and sugar until a pale light color.

4. Slowly add the beaten eggs to the mixer, on a low-speed setting, a bit at a time. If the mixture starts to curdle or split, add a spoonful of your sieved flour, keep on adding the eggs, and a bit of flour if necessary, until all the eggs are added.

You will need a loaf tin, mine measures 30 cm x 12 cm, and 8 cm deep. (12-inch pan)
The batter may also fit in a 9-inch loaf pan. If you have any left over, make some cupcakes!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hr 20 – 30 minutes
Serves: I Loaf

Ingredients:

3/4 cup or 175 g softened butter
1/4 cup or 60 ml milk
1 1/2 cups or 290 g regular sugar
3 eggs (lightly beaten)
9 oz or 250 g Fresh Strawberries, mashed
1 3/4 cups or 225 g Plain / All purpose flour (sieved)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Instructions:

1. Heat oven to 160 C, Gas 3, 310 F. Grease and line your baking tin. See here for how to line.
** Please note, if using a Bundt tin, be sure to grease it very well as it can be hard to get the cake out of such a shaped tin.

How To Line a Loaf or Pound Tin

2. Get all your ingredients ready, i.e mash the strawberries so there are chunks, i.e don’t over mash!, sieve the flour, and add the salt and baking powder to the flour etc.

3. Start with making the cake batter by creaming the butter and sugar until a pale light colour.

4. Slowly add the beaten eggs to the mixer, on a low-speed setting, a bit at a time. If the mixture starts to curdle or split, add a spoonful of your sieved flour, keep on adding the eggs, and a bit of flour if necessary, until all the eggs are added.

5. Add half the milk with half of the flour, keeping the mixer on a slow speed. Once combined, add the vanilla extract, the rest of the milk and flour. Right at the end, fold in the mashed strawberries.

6. Transfer the cake mixture to the greased and lined loaf tin. Place in the oven for 1 hr and 20 – 30 minutes. Test if done by placing a skewer in the center of the cake and make sure it comes out clean. Every oven is different so cook times will vary a little.

  Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container. 


Elderberries

Elder has a long and magical history of use on the British Isles, the home of the Elder mother, a faery spirit who watches over children and punishes those who cut her wood without permission. To have an elder tree growing in your garden is said to be very lucky, attracting good spirits, and its many practical and medicinal uses make it an important addition to any wise woman’s garden.

To gather berries, flowers or leaves for magic or medicine from the elder you need to first identify the tree correctly, using a guidebook or looking online, and then you need to have the permission of the Elder Mother, so that the good magic of the tree assists you.
To do this just approach the tree and whisper into its branches, ‘Elder lady Elder tree may I have some of your magic and blessed be?’ (or use your own words), then wait a moment in silence.
How do you feel? What does your intuition say? If you feel a knot in your stomach, take that as a ‘no’ and go buy some berries online or in a health store. But the Elder is a kind spirit so the chances are the answer will be ‘yes’ – in which case, go ahead! Just make sure you don’t damage the tree, and whisper ‘Thank you!’ afterwards.
Gather the berries carefully, washing them before use and gently tugging them away from the stems which are indigestible. They can be lightly cooked in a small amount of water for a few minutes and frozen for use later, or dried slowly by spreading them thinly over a piece of muslin draped over a wire rack, and leaving them somewhere sunny.
Alternatively they can be dried gently in an oven. Heat the oven to 125C and then turn off, and place the berries inside on a clean baking tray. This may need to be repeated several times to be effective, but preserves more of the goodness than cooking them first.

      Try this simple protection spell to keep negative energies at bay
With the tree’s permission, gather some elderberries and elder leaves and, when dried (if the berries are not dried they will leak juice which can stain!), place a handful of them into a small muslin bag, or a clean handkerchief, with a few spoonfuls of sea salt.
Tie the top of the bag with red embroidery thread, knotting it three times. Place the bag somewhere discreet by the doorway to your house, or under the doormat, to prevent any unwelcome energy from entering your home, and to attract blessings.
Use one charm bag for each major entrance to your home Replace with a fresh batch every year to keep the magic strong.

     Elderberry Wine recipe (using fresh or dried elderberries)

This recipe is from the 1976 ‘Winemakers’ Recipe Handbook’. 

Many people choose to mix elderberries with another fruit to make a blend, a common one being elderberry and blackberry. Many winemakers also use elderberries to add some flavor and color to other wines. We chose to only use elderberries in this recipe to know the base taste of blue elderberries then we can make adjustments as time goes on. 


Elderberry wine making supplies


Primary Fermentor * 
Secondary carboy Fermentor *
* The size of your primary and secondary fermentor will depend on how much wine you plan on making. 

Nylon straining bag (the size will depend on your primary fermenter)
Siphon Hose with Shut-Off Clamp
Hydrometer & Test Jar
Bubbler air-lock & carboy bung
Bottles
Corks
Corker 

This recipe makes 1 gallon of wine. If you’re using a larger wine vessel then you need to increase everything except the yeast. You need to know the basics of wine making for this recipe. 

  FREEZE THE ELDERBERRIES BEFORE USING THEM TO KILL OFF WILD YEAST

Using Fresh Elderberries

3lb Elderberries
7 pints Water
2 1/4 lb of Sugar
1 tsp Acid Blend
1 tsp of Nutrient
1 Campden, crushed
1 pkg of Wine Yeast
Using Dried Elderberries

5 oz Dried Elderberry
1/2 pt Red Grape Concentrate or 1lb Dk raisins
1 gal Water
2 1/4 lb Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Acid Blend
1 tsp Nutrient
1 Campden crushed
1 pkg Wine Yeast
      instructions for elderberry wine
Strip berries from stems. Wash and sort out any blemished or moldy berries. Using a nylon straining bag (or with a press) mash and strain out the juice into the primary fermenter. Keeping all the pulp in the bag (with dried berries put in with chopped raisins), tie top, and place in primary.
Stir in all the ingredients EXCEPT the wine yeast. Starting S.G 1.095- 1.100. Cover primary.
After 24 hours add yeast (we proofed it first). Cover primary.
Stir daily, check S.G and press pulp lightly to aid in juice extraction.
When ferment reaches an S.G of 1.030 (about 5 days) strain juice lightly from bag. Syphon wine off sediment into sterilized glass secondary. Attach airlock.
When ferment is complete (S.G has dropped to 1.000- about 3 weeks) syphon off sediment into clean secondary. Reattach airlock.
To aid in clearing syphon again in 2 months and again if necessary before bottling.
notes for making elderberry wine
These blue-blackberries will result in a ‘Chianti’ type of wine. You can also make a ‘Port’ type wine by increasing the elderberries to 4 1/2 lbs and another 3/4 lb of sugar and use Sherry or Port Yeast. Keep in mind that if you’re multiplying the batch for a port wine it has more berries and sugar for increased volume (so you might only be able to multiply it 4 times for a 5 gallon for example)
Using 1/4 oz of oak chips per gallon of wine will benefit this wine with an ‘aged-in-oak’ flavor.


Blackberries

For healing. Feminine in nature and ruled by Earth. Hang onto your hoodoo hats, “To Send Back Evil”:  You’ll need a black candle in the shape of a human figure, whether it’s male or female will depend upon your enemy, and most new-age shops carry these candles.  Lay this candle on a red cloth, sprinkle it with blackberry leaves and black salt.  Wrap it up and tie both ends shut with a black ribbon.  Hit this bundle three times with a hammer while shouting out the name of your enemy and exactly what evil-ass energy you want to return to them.  Do this for seven days, repeating the exact words each time.  On the eighth day, take this bundle to the graveyard, bury it and ask the spirits of the dead to dole out justice.

Berries should be harvested as soon as they ripen (they turn black). Overripe berries should be discarded and under-ripe berries should not be eaten. Berries can be used fresh or dried, or preserved in a jelly, jam, wine or any number of tasty treats.

Leaves should be harvested before or during flowering and laid to dry in the usual manner.

Roots can be dug in the spring and fall. After the berries have been harvested in the second year is the best time to do this. They should be dried quickly, in an oven or under a hot sun.

Blackberry plant parts for use in protective magic should be gathered during the waning moon.

The fruit is especially good for the liver and kidneys, while the leaf acts on the stomach and intestines.

The fruit should be eaten, either fresh, or in jam or wine, by those having trouble with stones or diarrhea. A decoction of the root bark or an infusionof the leaves may also be used. For stones, simmer 1 tbsp of root per cup of water for 20 minutes. Add enough water to return it to one cup, and drink one cup per day, spaced out throughout the day in 1/4 cup intervals.

In the summer when the berries are ripe, make this syrup to help ease winter colds and flu- cover fresh berries with malt vinegar and let them stand for three days. Mash and strain. Add one pound of sugar for each pint of juice that results and bring it all to a boil. Allow it to boil for five minutes, then let cool and seal. Add a teaspoon of this syrup to a cup of water to help keep your feverish little ones hydrated.

The root is used to make an astringent tea to ease diarrhea. The dried leaves may be added to herbal tea blends.

  Blackberry Pie

Prep time

1 hour

Bake time

50 mins

Total time

1 hour 50 mins

   Ingredients
2 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup flour
9 tbsp.cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
8 tbsp. cold rendered leaf lard, cut into 8 pieces
1 tsp. kosher salt
6 cups (about 1 1/2 lbs) blackberries
3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
A very small grating of nutmeg
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 egg white
Procedure
Put 2 1/2 cups flour, 8 tbsp. butter, lard, and half of the salt into a large bowl. Using your fingers, blend together until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Sprinkle 10 tbsp. ice-cold water over the mixture; stir gently with a fork until dough comes together. Halve dough; from it into 2 thick discs (my original notes to them called them "chubby" discs), each about 5" wide. Wrap disks separately in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour.
Unwrap 1 dough disk; transfer it to a well-floured surface. Whack it with a rolling pin several times to flatten it out; turn it over and repeat. Roll out dough to form an 11" circle; transfer it to a 9" deep-dish pie pan. (If dough tears and needs mending, dab a little water where it requires patching and "glue" on a piece of dough.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Arrange a baking sheet on lower rack of oven; heat to 425F. Put berries, 3/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, zest, nutmeg, remaining flour, and salt into a bowl. Using a wooden spoon, mash gently to make a textured filling; pour into chilled crust; dot with remaining butter; set aside.
Beat egg white and 1 tbsp. water together in a bowl; set aside. Roll out remaining dough disk into an 11" circle; cut into 3/4"-wide strips. Arrange strips over pie in a lattice pattern; trim excess dough and crimp edges of pie. Brush crust with egg mixture; sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until crust is just golden, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F; bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 30 minutes more. Let cool before serving.
Notes


Juniper Berries

During meditation it helps focusing and concentration. It has also been associated with prophecy and divination. Juniper can be used in rites of passage and as a protector on shamanic journeys to the Otherworld. It is an excellent herb for getting in touch with the deities and spirits of nature.

Juniper berries are a common ingredient in Germanic food. In Alsace, a French province bordering Germany, choucroute garnie is a hot sauerkraut dish with sausage and other meats that’s especially popular in winter. 
https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/choucroute-garnie


Bayberry

Every part of the Bayberry plant serves some medicinal, magickal, or household purpose. Wax extracted from the berries was used to make soap and candles in place of animal tallow. The leaves are aromatic (similar to the unrelated kitchen herb Bay), and the roots can be harvested and dried for use as a natural antibiotic. It is also unrelated to Chinese Bayberry, an Asian species that bears red, lychee-like fruit.

As a New World herb, Bayberry doesn’t appear in magick spells based on medieval grimoires or traditional British Witchcraft. Rather, the plant’s benefits are expressed in American folk magick and Hoodoo.

Bayberry grows wild in marshes and thickets on the Atlantic Coast, and is sometimes cultivated as a hardy ornamental. In stores, you’re most likely to find Bayberry in dried or oil form. Chopped and powdered Bayberry root is available from herbal suppliers. The spicy, fir-like aroma of Bayberry oil makes it a popular choice for holiday soaps and candles.

Bayberry wax (or Myrtle wax) is harder to find, but is sometimes marketed as a vegan substitute for beeswax. It has an earthy, resinous fragrance and a dull green color. If you can find (or make!) Bayberry wax, it makes excellent candles for spellwork. A green or white candle anointed with Bayberry oil is a suitable substitute for a Bayberry wax candle. 

Bayberry oil and Bayberry-scented candles are the go-to tools for money-drawing magick. If you prefer to work with the dried root, it can be carried, scattered, burned in incense, or infused in baths and floor washes.

Correspondences of Bayberry

Bayberry’s association with good fortune and prosperity place it firmly under the dominion of Jupiter. Like many other Jupiter herbs, Bayberry proliferates in the wild and can grow to enormous proportions if not pruned back.

Bayberry has a woodsy, balsamic aroma, a plain appearance, and it brings material comfort to hearth and home. The elemental correspondence is Earth.

Spells and Formulas with Bayberry

A New England tradition involves burning a Bayberry candle on dark winter nights to bring prosperity at New Year’s. The old saying goes, “A bayberry candle burned to the socket brings joy to the heart and gold to the pocket.” Give Bayberry candles as Yule gifts to pass the blessings on to friends.

If you have access to fresh boughs, bring them indoors at Yuletide for extra luck. (The leaves release their fragrance when rubbed.)

When moving into a new home, dress a white candle with Bayberry oil and burn it on your hearth. The ritual is said to keep evil away and invite good fortune.

A few drops of Bayberry oil added to a floor wash will keep prosperity flowing through the house.

Men can wear Bayberry oil to attract a partner and boost their powers of persuasion.

Precautions

There are no known hazards from Bayberry if not taken internally. The bark can cause gastrointestinal problems if ingested in large quantities.

Scent Profile: Woodsy, Spicy, Sweet

Correspondences: Earth, Jupiter

Occult properties of herbs are provided for historical interest only, and no outcome is guaranteed. Nothing on this website should be taken as medical or legal advice. Please use herbs responsibly.


Bearberry

Bearberry produces small, edible berries that may be red, purple, or black depending on the variety. As you may have guessed from the name, the berries are a favorite food of foraging bears. Bearberry’s Latin name (Uva-ursi) literally means, “bear’s grape.”

Bearberry is available in dried form (usually wildcrafted) for ritual use. For medicinal purposes, people buy it in various other forms: Medicinal tea bags, tablets, extracts and tinctures. The tea is a popular remedy for bladder and kidney health. Bearberry does not contain a high concentration of fragrance oils, and is rarely distilled for essential oil.

Native Americans blend Bearberry and Tobacco to make a smoking blend called Kinnikinnick. Most people think of Bearberry as a New World herb, but in fact it grows natively in Scotland and northern England. It was first documented in a 13th-century Welsh herbal almanac.

Add to purple mojo bags to increase psychic powers.

Make an infusion of Bearberry to wash or steep talismans (especially animal talismans).

Sprinkling the powdered or crumbled leaves in your shoes is supposed to take you to your true love.

The smoking blend known as Kinnikinnick is said to increase gifts of vision and prophecy, purify ritual space, and carry prayers to the heavens. Combine equal parts Bearberry and Tobacco leaf. Smoke in a pipe, or burn as incense prior to magickal work.

Offer the fresh or dried berries to Bear spirit guides.

Precautions

Bearberry is considered safe to use in moderation. There are no known hazards from handling it or using it in incenses or smoking blends.

Bearberry teas and extracts have healing properties, but can cause side effects. Do not take if pregnant. Consult a doctor or herbalist before using Bearberry medicinally.

Scent Profile: Autumn leaves, Pine

Correspondences: Mars/Jupiter, Earth

Occult properties of herbs are provided for historical interest only, and no outcome is guaranteed. Nothing on this website should be taken as medical or legal advice. Please use herbs responsibly.


Sumac Berries

 It is said that carrying these in your pocket when heading off to trial can result in a shorter sentence/smaller fine. These are also used in Peace Sprays around the home. 

Everyone's heard of poison sumac but the plant is much different than the edible species. You'll use upright red berries in the following Sumac Tea recipe. 

     

Pick 3-5 bright red berry clusters on a dry day and crush lightly with your hands. Put the berries in a pitcher and fill with cold water. Let the berries infuse for anywhere between a couple hours to a couple days depending on your taste. Strain through a coffee filter or cheese cloth as some varieties of sumac have irritating, tiny hairs that you'd rather not ingest. (A coffee press or french press is a great investment as it has a strainer built in) Once your tea is strained, sip and enjoy.


Cubeb Berries

Often used to attract a new lover. The common name tailed pepper is in reference to the stalks that remain attached to the dried berries resembling tails. The name cubeb comes from Arabic kabāba. The fruits are gathered before they are ripe, while still green, and carefully dried. Store dried cubeb berries in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

You can use whole cubeb berry as an addition to foods or you can use the essential oil to help treat whatever is ailing you. Most people prefer to use the entire berry because it’s flavorful and you’ll get all of the nutrients it has to offer.

 


Rowan Berries

 The blossom end of the berry is marked with a natural pentacle. The berries’ energy leans more towards the Solar nature of the Rowan. If the berries are charged in a ritual they achieve special vital energy potency so that if one berry is consumed it gives the prana (life force) of nine meals. It requires nine people to perform the charging. The berries can be very useful for healing, strenuous work, and staying strong while fasting. Even without the ritual, 1 berry quartered and brewed as a tea greatly increases second sight. Never eat or burn fresh Rowan berries as they contain parasorbic acid which is destroys vitamin C. This won’t cause discomfort but isn’t good for you. If the berries are dried, cooked, or fermented they are safe for internal use.

*If you find a Rowan’s tree whose roots are spread over a boulder or a outcropping of rock so that it appears to be sitting atop the stones, this is a Flying Rowan. Wherever you find such a tree, there is a pivot point between this world and many others. Perform ritual around a Flying Rowan or practice the soul arts of trance beneath one to travel or to call forth spirits.

**Rowan’s voice calls the spirits, and banishes them, and Rowan knows them because it truly lives in multiple worlds at once. If a Rowan tree is approached with respect, it is possible to take an imprint of its energy into your aura so that for a span of time you may borrow these powers. These borrowed powers can persist for as much as a day and a night even if you travel far from the tree that granted you its imprint.

Check out these adorable spells and charms


Goji Berries

Add to sachets and incense to promote happiness and healing. Use in cleansing rituals.

   I LOVE using these in my bone broth infusions with beet extract and dang gui tincture! Goji berries restore youth and vigor, particularly among men. They're also INCREDIBLE for spell candles- request yours today right here


Blackthorn Berries

These berries ripen after the first frost and the flowers bloom even before the first leaves. they're often used in left-hand path work, crone work, and baneful spells. 

  Taken from Goddess Tree:

Ogham Name: Straif
Letter: Z, Ss, St, Z
Color: Bright Purple
Animal: Wolf, Toad and Black Cat
Virtue: Unity
Association: Bad luck, strife, unexpected changes. Resentment, confusion, refusing to see truth.
Challenge: Turn a negative situation into a positive one.

Planet: Mars, Saturn

Element: Earth, Fire

Zodiac: Aries, Scorpio

Symbolism:  The inevitability of Death, Protection and Revenge, Strife and Negativity,

The Balance between light and darkness.

Stone: Black Opal, agate, bloodstone

Birds: Thrush

Color: White, Black, Red

Deity: Morrigan

Sabbat: Samhain

Folk Names: sloe, sloe plum, wishing thorn, faery tree

 

Medicinal properties: The fruit and leaves contain Vitamin C, organic acids, tannins, and sugars. Steep the flowers for a diuretic, tonic, and laxative. Her dried fruits can treat bladder, kidney and stomach ailments. Boil the leaves for a mouthwash or to sooth the throat from tonsillitis or laryngitis.

 

Magickal properties: The thorns were used as pins to stick in a poppet. Wand or Staff can be used for help in exorcisms or for protection from fire and for general protection.  A staff can be used to make wishes, and carrying the wand or Staff protects one from evil. The wood makes a good divining rod.

 

The blossoms, the fruits and the crimson sap display the three colors of the Great Goddess: 

white, black, and red. The dangerous long spikes and the red "blood" that flows in the veins of this tree enhance the dramatic effect of her symbolism. The advance of dualistic religions, which separate the world into "good" and "evil" brought about the demonization of the Blackthorn tree.

Where it once had provided magical protection against negative influence, it now became the emblem of evil forces. 

Blackthorns are sacred to the Luantishees, which are Blackthorn Fairies who guard the trees. Their Festival is November 11th.


Bittersweet, aka Scarlet Berry DEADLY NIGHTSHADE

Harvest the berries when they are bright red and let them over-ripen before extracting the seeds. Ruled by Capricorn and the planet Saturn, but other sources say it is ruled by Mercury and the signs of Air. Deities who have an association with this plant include Hermes and Hecate — shamanic deities who easily travel through all three realms of sea, earth, and sky. It can be added to a witches’ salve used to access the World Tree and communicate with both deities and the spirits of the dead. In folk magic it is used to heal a broken heart by either placing some of the dried herb beneath your pillow or carrying it in a sachet on your person. 

The berries are not used for medicine.; they are POISONOUS. Rather, these berries have a magickal use associated with any magick done on the Dark Moon. They're perfect for spells involving beauty or faerie glamour. I've hung these berries upside down in front of my door to protect myself from harmful energies. 


Pokeberries

Associated with Uranus; wards off bad vibes. 

    Make Pokeberry Ink

You’ll need:

2 Cups pokeweed berries
1 tsp vinegar
A glass jar or bottle
Mash the berries into a pulp in a small strainer over your jar. This will allow the juice to seep into the jar while the skins and seeds of the berries remain behind. Crush the berries as much as you can.

Once you have the juice in the jar, add the vinegar and mix thoroughly. This will help thin the ink enough to use it in a fountain pen, as well as preventing spoilage. 

Use a quill or calligraphy pen to write or inscribe spells and incantations during magical workings. The ink really does have the bright pinkish-purple shade that you see in the photos! Be sure to cap the jar when not in use.

*Note: Some people recommend adding a dash of salt to the ink, or boiling the juice


Last of all, I'll cover Hawthorn berries!

 Hawthorn trees are an important part of the ecosystem, being a nectary for insects in the spring and providing food and shelter for many birds and mammals.  Because the haws are a very late-dropping fruit and some may remain on the trees even into the winter, thrushes and cedar waxwings will eat them and spread the berries through their droppings.  Certain moths and butterflies feed exclusively on the nectar and leaves of the hawthorn tree.

In terms of harvesting, some hawthorn trees are more “friendly” than others, meaning they have less thorns on the branches. These trees are associated with Mars, and a distilled water of its flowers will draw out thorns and splinters! Flowers and berries are astringent, and therefore useful in a decoction for sore throats. 

Teas: To create teas (infusions and decoctions) from the hawthorn, use the leaves and flowers or de-seeded berries.  For a strong medicine, pour boiling water over the leaves and flowers, seep for 10-20 min, and drink (with honey, if you’d like!).  For the berries, bring water to a boil, add berries, and boil covered for at least 20 min (depending on if they are whole or smashed prior to drying).
Syrups: Chop of hawthorn and cover with 1 quart of water. Boil this for an hour or so, then strain the berries.  Boil it down to 1 cup, then add your choice of sweetener (honey, maple syrup).
Elixirs: Tincture in brandy with honey or maple syrup; Elixirs as concentrated as a typical tincture
Paste: Hawthorn berry powder can be made into paste or pastilles with a bit of honey.  Spread it, ball it up and eat it, however you’d like!
Hawthorn Schnapps: Tincture of fresh berries in lower-proof vodka (80proof) for an enjoyable beverage!
A pregnancy infusion for preeclampsia: hawthorn, nettle, raspberry leaf, and oat straw: this functions as a troporestorative for the liver and can be used as early as the 1st trimester.

 

 What other plants (or fruits) would you like to learn the magical properties of? We'd love to hear your feedback!