By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Have many of you considered Oat straw in magick? It was something I had not done for many years but now find a use for it very often. I have always known oat straw – it has been used for centuries to make corn dollies as a harvest ritual. Depending upon where you live in the UK, there are regional styles of corn dollies. You would always know where they are from by their design. Corn dollies can be simple or very complex. Still, I never saw a need for oat straw in magick until a few years ago.
A little folklore for you: During the Middle Ages, Oats were thought to attract vampires, and farmers who grew the grain also had garlands of garlic wrapped around their doors and windows.
Using Oat straw as a main ingredient in magickal workings is best used on the day of Venus, Friday and during the hour of Venus.
Money is the primary magickal power of Oat straw. Perhaps it has to do with the harvests because obviously if your crop was very good, you made more money. Still, I do find the help Oat straw gives in spell work and talismans is sound. It is also excellent in fertility spell work.
The ways I have implemented Oat straw in magick is by using it in witch bottles along with other herbs/flowers/resins/woods to help with fertility or finances. I have also used it in sachets for the same reasons. And, I made a fertility incense for a woman once using Oat straw along with the appropriate oil, resin, and other herbs and wood for the cause. It must have worked for she is a mother now 😊 But you can, of course, find other ways to use Oat straw in your magick if these ones don’t work for you.
You can also make use of Oat straw for its rejuvenating properties in the form of a ritual bath or as a ritual cup of tea to invoke inner peace, enhance mental powers, concentration and endurance.
Oat straw contains protein [avenins], saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, steroidal compounds, vitamins B1, B2, D, E, carotene, starch, and fat, and it also contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron and trace elements like silicon and potassium. It has long been a food crop but has also shown itself useful in healing. Case in point, oats are very useful in helping to lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure. Did you hate eating porridge as a child? Most of us did! But these days, maybe because of my enhanced years, I have a steamy bowl of porridge each morning [when I’m not indulging in the occasional ‘breakfast cake’ 😊] It really sets me up for the day.
The oat seeds carry antispasmodic, cardiac, diuretic, emollient, nervine and stimulant properties. As I refer to Nicholas Culpeper’s The Complete Herbal and English Physician quite often, I find he writes very little about Oats and nothing about the straw. Perhaps because in those days the only use for the straw aside from using in corn dollies was to stuff pillows and mattresses and to feed cattle! Still, Mr Culpeper’s words on Oats:
“[Government and virtues] Oats fried with bay salt, and applied to the sides, take away the pains of stitches and wind in the sides of the belly. A poultice made of meal of Oats, and some oil of Bays put thereunto, helps the itch and the leprosy, as also the fistulas of the fundament, and dissolves hard imposthumes. The meal of Oats boiled with vinegar, and applied, takes away freckles and spots in the face, and other parts of the body.”
Nowadays, Oat straw is highly regarded for the nervous system and can be prepared as a tea for states of general debility and for nervous exhaustion. Oat straw is a good relaxing nervous system tonic and can be used for insomnia and anxiety when these are due to stress. It is diuretic and acts as a tonic for a weak bladder and for kidney problems. It also brings relief for liver and gallbladder problems. For external use, a decoction can be added to the bathwater to treat skin sores and eczema and that can reduce itchiness. An Oat straw bath also soothes rheumatic and gouty pains.
For those of you with gluten allergies, Oat straw does not contain gluten like other grains such as wheat, barley, and rye.
Powers: Money, Fertility, Inner Peace
Deity: Lugh, Osiris, Demeter, Ceres, Adonis
Other Names: Common oat, groats, herb oats, oatgrass, oats, wild oats.
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Encylopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham
The Complete Herbal and English Doctor, by Nicholas Culpeper