From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet: Angelica

By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Instagram: @thewandcarver

Angelica Archangelica coblands-co-uk

Angelica Archangelica ~

As Angelica Archangelica grows wild in every country lay-by ditch practically, you can wildcraft this herb very easily, however, be very careful not to confuse it with Water Hemlock, which is very poisonous. Angelica is a member of the parsley family and grows to be three to eight feet tall. I have read that it is possibly originally from Syria, but no matter, as it is probably nationalised in every country in the world by now. That is, if the soil is moist and rich and not getting too much sun. If you choose to grow your own, keep this in mind. It is not overly fond of sun beating down upon it. If you do wish to plant your own Angelica, do not plant them near Dill, should you also be growing it.


Angelica has a history of being the “Warder”. It was used to ward off the Plague and many other sicknesses and evils. Nicholas Culpeper wrote: “It [Angelica] resists poison, by defending and comforting the heart, blood, and spirits; it doth the like against the Plague and all epidemical diseases, if the root be taken in powder to the weight of half a dram at a time, with some good treacle in some Carduus water and the party thereupon laid to sweat in his bed.

Angelica has always been used to ward off evil as long ago as when the old Julian calendar was used and was so named because it usually came into bloom around the feast day of the Archangel Michael, whom appeared in a vision to explain the plant’s protective powers against evil. Nowadays with the Gregorian calendar the plant does not bloom quite so near the feast day. Just to tell you how far different the two calendars are, today, as I write this is 6 May 2018. If we were still using the Julian calendar, it would be 23 April 2018!



My dried Angelica ~ photo by i.macy

Magickally speaking, the time to gather Angelica is during the time the Sun is in Leo and gather in the hour of Jupiter. Per Nicholas Culpeper: “Let Sol be angular; observe the like in the gathering of herbs [of other planets, as well] and you may happen to do wonders.
Angelica is commonly used for general protection, especially against evil spirits and hex-breaking as well as general blessing and is especially useful for the defence of women. Grow Angelica on your property to protect your garden and home.


Angelica root can be carried alone or added to talismans  to increase longevity and ward off illness and evil spirits. Keep Angelica in a white bag and charge it to protect your baby.

Smoking the leaves is said to increase clairvoyance and encourage visions. We, of course, do not advocate the smoking of anything *ahem*

Angelica is excellent in incenses for exorcisms, healing and protection. It is also used as a bath to remove curses placed on the individual and sprinkled around a home to protect the house and those within from baneful magick. Mix with consecrated salt before sprinkling around your home.

According to Culpeper in his Complete Herbal, Angelica helped all disease of the lungs and breast, including pleurisy, coughs, shortness of breath. It helped the pain of cholic and stoppage of urine, opened stoppings of the liver and spleen, “dis-cusseth” all windiness and inward swellings. Just below I have copied and pasted this from another place in my computer papers:

Angelica tea is useful for colic, gas, indigestion, hepatitis, heartburn, nausea, ulcers and various other digestive ailments. It is a good general tonic which strengthens the liver and improves general well-being and mental harmony and is good for chronic headaches, fevers and general body weakness as it improves circulation and increases energy.”

Isn’t it wonderful that, what Physicians learnt all those centuries ago about herbs were correct? And that it was a blessing for the people of that time or more would have died needlessly from not having the modern medications we do today. Still, we do strive not to give way to the modern medications any more than necessary and much prefer the old ways of curative herbalism.

Be careful of using too much Angelica at a time and it would not hurt to stick to the old herbals for the amount to take, for instance, half a dram. Of course, many people prefer to buy their herbal remedies online or in the shops – and this is fine, not everyone can grow all the herbs they need! – so be sure to follow the directions for use carefully.

Externally, Angelica can be used to cleanse wounds and promote healing. Just make a tincture of the leaves and/or roots to cleanse your wound.

Warnings – Angelica should not be used by pregnant women as it encourages activity in the pelvic region and may cause miscarriage.

Because of its high sugar concentration, Angelica should be used with extreme caution or not at all by diabetics.

Planetary: Sun
Zodiac: Leo
Element: Fire
Deity: Venus, Helios, Lugh, Apollo, Frey and Ra
Powers: Protection
Other Names: Lady of the Meadow, Queen of the Ditch, Bridewort, Archangel, Masterwort, Ground Ash, Holy Ghost Root, Archangel Root, Dong Quai, Root of the Holy Ghost

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The English Physician and Complete Herbal, by Nicholas Culpeper, 17th century
The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

About Isabella

Everything worth knowing, I learned from my Nana. I'm a sixty-six year old cunning woman who practises a solitary English hedgewitch life in as near the old ways as I can. I do not sacrifice small animals, neighbours, nor eat children. I'm more interested in visiting my ancestors on hedgewalks. And, I am owned entirely by my lovely feline companion, Pippa [Lady Philipa Cattington].
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