Crystal of the Week: Hag Stones

By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Instagram: @thewandcarver

Hag Stone 2

My Hag Stone, Top side ~ photo by i.macy

Hag stones or “holey stones” aren’t really classified as “crystals” but magickally they do a power of good for those who connect well with natural stones and crystals. They have a bit of a violent birth, most of them, being tossed and turned in oceans and sent swirling around and down rivers, clashing with other less moveable rocks in their paths. And some merely erode over a very long time from a steady dripping of water onto the same spot. It seems to me these poor hag stones get quite tortured over a great period. Most likely, many were created during the Great Flood after the ending of the Ice Age. And many were made by a burrowing bivalve mollusc called Pholas dactylus. There is no telling how old the Hag Stone you find may be. Which reminds me, you don’t find Hag Stones, they find you.



Hag Stone 1

My Hag Stone, Bottom side ~ by i.macy

In the days of cunning folk – not that they no longer exist, they do, for I am one, myself – the Hag Stone was given to people seeking to protect their children, homes, and livestock. My grandfather kept one rather large Hag Stone tied above his barn door to keep his cows safe from being made to give sour milk. My mother remembered having a necklace her father fashioned with a hag stone for her to wear as a wee girl. The reason they are called “hag” stones is that during these olden times, there was great fear of the “Night Hag” and apparently, she was responsible for the theft of horses and children at an alarming rate. If you have occasion to wander round old barns in the UK or anywhere in Europe, you will most likely see evidence of the Hag Stone still at work, protecting cows, horses, and any other animals kept.


From Legendary Dartmoor:
If ever you happen to be around any old Dartmoor farm buildings you may possibly notice a small holed stone or pebble sat on a window ledge. Occasionally if the building has a lock with a key still in it there may well be a similar looking holed stone tied to the end of it. These are known as Hex, or more commonly elsewhere, as Hag Stones and their tradition dates back to the time when witches rode along the hedgerows at night.”

Not only did farmers employ the Hag Stone, or Holey Stone, for protection, but so did sailors. In the UK, Dorset fisherman also adopted the Hag Stone as protective charm against malevolent witchcraft and still use it today according to Dr H Colley-March in his article on “Witched Fishing Boats in Dorset”, 1906.

It was “…not uncommon for row boats at Weymouth to have ‘holy stones’ tied to nails or staples in the bows…” [Colley-March] As well as holed stones attached to fisherman’s small boats, Hag Stones were also fastened to the bows of large fishing boats to protect them at sea.

Holed stones were found having been put inside of walls in many old homes whilst being built; years later during restoration and renovation they are discovered. They were installed there by the builders of those homes to prevent malevolent spells on their families and protection against Pixies [or “Piskies” if you lived in Cornwall]. Often, they used the Hag Stone on a rope to which their front door key was kept.

And, talking of Pixies, Faeries and such, in Italian Witchcraft the holed stone is associated with faeries, and often referred as the “holy stone”. It is considered a doorway, or key to the doorway, into the faery kingdom. It Italian folk magic, it is believed these stones have the power to bind a fairy to one’s service for a length of time. There are other legends to this end, but another popular one is that if you hold a holey stone up to your eye and look through it you can see creatures that you cannot normally see, such as Faeries.

Lastly, the Hag Stone has been used since around the 15th century to prevent “Night Mares”. Holed stones were often hung on bed-posts to deter demons, including the night-hag, the nightmare, or a succubus.

Some the nightmare hath prest,
With that weight upon their brest,
No returns of the breath can passe,
But to us the tale is addle,
We can take of her saddle,
And turn the night mare out to grasse.”

And, if you want to wear one, it is said to be a useful amulet for protection from the “evil eye”.

It was often thought that rheumatic pains could be eased by placing a hex stone under the mattress. I have never given this a try, so I could not possibly say if this is helpful or not.

Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Powers: Protection, Healing, Anti Nightmare
Sabbat: Samhain
Other Names: Holey Stone, Odin Stone, Hex Stone, Witch Stone, Fairy/Faerie Stone, Eye Stone, Wish Stone, Nightmare Stone, Witch-riding Stone, Witch Hammer, Ephialtes Stone, Holy Stone
Where to find: Beaches, dried river beds, streams

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Ostara Blessings

By Isabella @TheWandCarver [Twitter]
@thewandcarver [Instagram]

Spring has officially arrived with the dawning of beautiful Ostara…it’s time to herald in the warmer temps and the pretty bluebells…life is new-born and fresh once again as we slough off the oppressiveness of winter and hopefully, for most of us, no more snow!


archangel oracle for ostara

Ostara ~ Fertility, from the Goddess Guidance Oracle Card deck, by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D

Ostara or Eostra, is an Anglo-Saxon Goddess representing dawn. Many Wiccans and NeoPagans reckon that the Christian religion took the name and fashioned it into Easter to represent Spring and rebirth, namely in the person of Jesus Christ, although there is, to my knowledge, no solid proof of this being the case, the original Celtic Calendar [do NOT confuse it with the Celtic Birth Tree Calendar, as the Celtic Calendar is far older and more like the Gregorian Calendar we go by today] is a compilation of pre-Christian Celtic systems of timekeeping, including the Gaulish Coligny calendar, used by Celtic countries to define the beginning and length of the day, the week, the month, the seasons, quarter days, and festivals. In the old Celtic Calendar, the beginning of Spring was called earrach, robarta, arragh, gwanwyn, gwainten, or reverzi, depending on where you lived… these were names coming from Old Irish, Modern Irish, Gaelic, Manx, Welsh, Cornish, and Breton languages, respectively. None of them sound or even resemble Ostara – however! – in the Proto-Celtic language, there was a word for “end of winter” which is “ers-āko” which may possibly have given rise to the Ostara/Eostra/Easter word of today.


Many thinks that the ritual of welcoming in the seasons and the quarter years as a lot of NeoPagan/Wiccan hoo-hah but not so. If you study the Celtic Calendar you will see that, although the names of the seasons and quarter years are not matching what we call them today, they very much celebrated these events. Even the half year was an event as half the year is light and half the year is dark. But, let us get back to Ostara, shall we?

Ostara or whatever they called it back in the day, was celebrated much as people celebrate Easter today, with eggs, rabbits/bunnies, flowers and such. It was, and still is, a time of fertility and birth.  Cleaning out their hutches of the leavings of winter and airing out… probably making a great show of washing the winter clothing and all! It would not be a stretch of the imagination that our forebears did not wash themselves or their clothing all winter. It was, after all, very cold, and they did not have central heating or floor heating…no proper bathroom either as it were. The layer of filth on their skin most likely helped to keep them warm. Indeed, it was an enjoyable time to celebrate being able to clean up and bring forth the light and colours of Spring! And we have continued through the ages to do a “Spring clean” each year.

So, how does the Modern Pagan celebrate this time of year? If you keep an altar or altars, dress them up with fresh cut flowers. Hand-paint boiled eggs with your children or friends, hide and hunt them. Drink Dandelion and Burdock. Clean your home. And, for pities’ sakes…take a bath 😊

We here at Speaking of Witch Wands hope you have a wonderful Ostara. There is no set way to celebrate it, do whatever is in your heart. Just enjoy the warmer weather and flowers with your friends and family and warmest blessings upon all. )O(


Ostara ~ Fertility, from the Goddess Guidance Oracle Card deck, by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D  ~

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Crystal of the Week: Sunstone

By Isabella
@TheWandCarver [Twitter]
@thewandcarver [Instagram]


My Sunstones ~ by i.macy

Still keeping up the theme of the upcoming Spring Equinox next Tuesday, I couldn’t help but bring out my Sunstones to talk about this bright and beautiful crystal this week. They can clean away a blue mood straight away – hence my reasoning for talking about them, feeling slightly blue myself today – and keeping them in one’s presence keeps the mood light. Sunstone carries the energy of Ra, the Sun god, whose energy brings all potential life from within the Earth. What’s not to be happy about with all the new life forming around us this time of year?


Sunstone is a member of the Feldspar family, and is named for its warm shades of gold, orange, reds and browns that sparkle like the sun. Inclusions of Goethite or Haematite refract light between the different crystal layers and produce an iridescent effect as the stone is viewed from various angles. Sunstone may be clear and transparent, or opaque. If you have a red Sunstone, you are very lucky, indeed, for they are very rare.

Magickal Uses and Other Things….
Sunstone as mentioned, is a fab mood booster. Wear it when you need to feel enthusiastic and happy… or just carry a Sunstone in your pocket. It literally increases vitality in your being. If you have a high energy job, it will serve you well to keep Sunstone upon you for the day ahead. As mentioned, it not only instantly boosts your spirit but maintains it as well.

Those who hold back because of fears and self-doubt may find Sunstone melts away the sense of unworthiness, feelings of being discriminated against, disadvantaged or abandoned. It emanates a rich and positive spectrum of energies that re-balances one’s emotional patterns and encourages optimism and enthusiasm. It can help transform anger into energy and judgment into joy.

Sunstone provides a source of strength if you are dependent on others emotionally or have suffered the sudden loss of a partner. It helps alleviate fearfulness and stress and protects against those who drain your energies or finances. It is also an excellent crystal for phobia sufferers to ease fear of the dark, enclosed places, or the presence of other triggers. I’m not claustrophobic, however, I have a challenging time spending 40 to 50 minutes in a closed MRI. Sunstone helps me to endure the clanging, banging, and being in this tube unable to move.

Sunstone is an abundance stone. It encourages independence and originality, is inspirational in revealing talents, and attracts fame and unexpected prosperity. It is an excellent “good luck” crystal. Worn as a ring on the receptive hand, Sunstone helps one receive what is needed and desired. On the transmitting hand, it channels multiple healings and blessings to others. If you wish to use our business spell, it would be an excellent talisman to charge and carry to help your business to be more profitable.

Sunstone warms the body, increasing metabolism, digestion, and vitality. It stimulates self-healing powers, regulating and bringing harmony to all the body’s organs. With its powers of the Sun and light, Sunstone clears and cleanses all the chakras*, restoring joy and nurturing the spirit. It is particularly energising to the Base and Sacral Chakras, stimulating leadership and will, creativity and sexuality. Since ancient times, Sunstone has been used as a grid around the body to relieve cartilage problems, rheumatism, and general aches and pains. Today it is also used to treat osteoarthritis, cramps, fever, various infections, and athletic injury.

Sunstone is used to treat chronic sore throats, and to reduce stomach tension and ulcers. Placed on the Solar Plexus, it is excellent for lifting depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder and is helpful in chasing away nightmares.

The red and brown shades of Sunstone activate the Base, or Root Chakra, located at the base of the spine that controls the energy for kinaesthetic feeling and movement. It is the foundation of physical and spiritual energy for the body. When physically out of balance the symptoms will manifest themselves as lethargy, low levels of activity, low enthusiasm, and a need for constant stimulation. When its spiritual energies are out of balance, you will feel flighty, disconnected from reality, and distant. When the Base Chakra is in balance, the physical body regains its strength and stamina, and the spiritual energy is rekindled in the form of security and sense of one’s own power. It often leads to independence and spontaneous leadership.

The gold and orange shades of Sunstone identify with the Sacral Chakra, or Second Chakra, located below the naval and above the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis. It controls the flow of energy and is the centre of gravity of the body. It is the centre of the Life Force of the body, and controls the flow of information from the body to the mind and from the mind to the body. Gut feelings, intuition, and other “non-linear” communication comes from this chakra. When it is out of balance the symptoms will manifest themselves as confusion, over dependency on others, repression of feelings, inability to feel joy, fear of sensuality or sex, and frustration. When it is in balance you have grace, feel pleasure in life, find you are flexible and can “go with the flow” and do so in good spirit.

Chakras: Base/Root and Sacral
Deity: Ra, Cerridwen
Powers: Healing, Vitality, Prosperity, Sexual, Strength
Element: Fire
Planet: Sun
Astrological: Leo, Libra
Numerical Vibration: 1

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Cassandra Eason, The New Crystal Bible [London: Carlton Books Ltd., 2010]
Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible [Cincinnati, OH: Walking Stick Press, 2003]
Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible 2 [Cincinnati, OH: Walking Stick Press, 2009]

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The Magickal Gorse Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver [Twitter
@thewandcarver [Instagram]

Gorse Ogham Onn

Gorse Ogham

I have been saving Gorse for Spring. Yes, I am a week early but I have other plans for that day. Gorse is an ogham tree, but not a Celtic Birth Tree. It is the symbol of the Spring Equinox… the beginning of Ostara/Eostra. Gorse is the second vowel of the ogham and it is called “onn”. There are several folk names for Gorse, but it seems “Furze” is most predominately used. It is a perennial evergreen shrub belonging to the pea family. It forms a much branched, stunted shrub usually no taller than six feet high, therefore, I almost want to call it an ogham shrub, but it is still considered a tree. The plant’s thorns and its dense habit make Gorse/ Furze an excellent hedging plant. It can also be used as a barrier to protect young tree seedlings in coppices. The thorny nature of the plant means that it is often viewed as having protective powers. In Wales it was said to guard against witches. The flowers are a deep yellow and have a pungent coconut scent. Although the main flowering period is from March to August, flowers can be found on bushes throughout the year. This lengthy flowering led to the country saying: when the Gorse is out of bloom, kissing is out of fashion.




As well as its use as a hedging material, furze was traditionally gathered into faggots and used as tinder to start fires. In 1864 it was cultivated in Surrey and other English counties especially for this purpose, being popular with bakers to whom it was sold as fuel for their ovens. The bark and flowers produce a fine yellow dye. In Eire the flowers were also used to flavour and add colour to whiskey and the Danes were reputed to use them to make beer. They can also be used to make wine and tea. Flower buds collected and potted with a blade of mace and some peppercorns, in a white wine vinegar and salt solution, make a fine pickle.


[Nicholas] Culpepper states in his Herbal, that Gorse was good to open obstructions of the liver and spleen.

A decoction made with the flowers therof hath been found effectual against the jaundice and also to provoke urine, cleanse the kidneys from gravel or stone ingendered in them.”

Nicholas Culpeper was a seventeenth-century English botanist, herbalist, physician, and astrologer. Published over 350 years ago as a practical health guide, The Complete Herbal (1653), is still the most complete and definitive herbal available today. It contains a rich store of pharmaceutical and herbal knowledge, including herbs and where to find them, herb preparation, plasters, and much more.

Medicinal properties:
There is a Bach Flower Remedy that is given to the hopeless, those who feel they are beyond help, or suffer a serious illness. “Greenman Essence of Gorse” helps ease frustration, restlessness, and jealousy, and helps promote emotional security and a feeling of deep inner joy.   Edward Bach was an English homeopath in the 1930s.

Gorse flowers are high in protein and can eaten raw in salads, made into fruit tea, cordial or syrup. It adds extra flavour and colour to beer, wine or spirits, and a whole range of sweet delights like chocolate and ice cream. The buds can be pickled in vinegar and eaten like capers. Don’t overeat! The plant contains slightly toxic alkaloids.

Gorse has surprisingly few medicinal uses, though its flowers have been used in the treatment of jaundice, scarlet fever, diarrhoea and kidney stones.

Magickal properties:
Herb of Love, Protection against evil. Restoration of Faith, Hope and Optimism. Gathering of Strength. It also attracts gold, so it is used in money spells.

Associated with love, protection, romance, and weddings. Used to further the romance of a consensual relationship. Protects against negativity and dark magick.

Carve the name “Gorse” into a gold or yellow candle. Face east, light the candle, and meditate on the light. Ask for protection, money, love, whatever it has to offer that you desire

In Wales hedges of the prickly gorse are used to protect the home against fairies, who cannot penetrate the hedge.

Planet: Mercury, The Sun
Element: Fire
Colour: Yellow and Gold
Bird: Cormorant, Harrier Hawk
Stone: Topaz
Deity: Lugh, Celtic God of light and genius
Folk Names: Broom, Frey, Furze, Gorst, Goss, Prickly Broom, Ruffett, Whin

Thy yellow blooms – oh, they to me
Are gold and sunshine blent together
– Moses Teggart 1908

Many thanks for reading and I hope you have found something useful to take away from this. If you have enjoyed it, please rate us 5 stars, leave a comment, give us a like, and share via the various social media buttons below. Many thanks and warm blessings x


Culpeper’s English Physician: And Complete Herbal (Classic Reprint) by Nicholas Culpepper

The Bach Flower Remedies, by Edward Bach, 1998 reprint

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Happy Mothering Sunday to All Women

By Isabella @TheWandCarver [Twitter] @thewandcarver [Instagram]

Mothering Sunday

from Google images

Wait, I hear you say – Not all women are Mothers! Perhaps not in the generally accepted meaning of Motherhood. Oxford Dictionary’s definition: “Look after (someone) kindly and protectively, sometimes excessively so”. A Mother is a nurturing woman. It doesn’t really matter if the “child” is born to her biologically, adopted, fostered, or if the “child” is covered in fur. She is a mother, through and through, because she looks after this child kindly and protectively, sometimes excessively so.


I have an acquaintance who can not have children. She wants a child desperately and if I could wave my magick wand and make that happen for her, I would have done, long ago. Magick has its virtues but it isn’t always this simple. However, she adores and pampers her kitty and loves unreservedly. I know if she did have a child it would be the luckiest and most loved child ever. This woman is a Mother. I have a friend who never really minded either way if she had children and she never did give birth biologically. Still, she was a stellar step-mother and is a wonderful cat mum. Her care knows no bounds. She is a Mother. I have a friend who has never given birth but for nearly 50 years has fostered children. She has loved every one of them and has kept contact with most. She is a Mother. My parents had a friend who, along with her husband, adopted a baby many years ago…no one save for the couple and my parents knew the child was adopted especially for the wonderful way he was brought up and loved by…. his Mother.

I want to wish all of you a Happy Mothering Sunday today and bless you for being loving, caring, protective, and sometimes being “excessively so” to your children. Whether they are human or furry, birthed by you or another, I don’t think this matters a bit. You are a Mum, you are a nurturer, you are there for someone who needs you, a loving Goddess full of protection and forgiveness and guidance for the small being in your care.

Warmest Blessings upon every one of you.

Did you know?
History of Mothering Sunday
Most Sundays in the year churchgoers in England worship at their nearest parish or ‘daughter church’.

Centuries ago it was considered important for people to return to their home or ‘mother’ church once a year. So, each year in the middle of Lent, everyone would visit their ‘mother’ church – the main church or cathedral of the area.

Inevitably the return to the ‘mother’ church became an occasion for family reunions when children who were working away returned home. (It was quite common in those days for children to leave home for work once they were ten years old.)

And most historians think that it was the return to the ‘Mother’ church which led to the tradition of children, particularly those working as domestic servants, or as apprentices, being given the day off to visit their mother and family.

As they walked along the country lanes, children would pick wild flowers or violets to take to church or give to their mother as a small gift. ~

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Crystal of the Week: Peach Quartz

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Peach Quartz

My collection of Peach Quartz ~ photo by i.macy

Peach Quartz comes from Brazil. The peach colouring is the result of Haematite inclusions within the Quartz. Because of the Haematite in the Peach Quartz it has grounding qualities, though not as strong as pure Haematite. These crystals are wonderful for grids, meditation, and energy work. Best of all, they are very affordable.


Peach Quartz can help one to transcend the mundane aspects of life, to open yourself to the Divine, and to discover your true intent that is for the highest good. Using Peach Quartz also helps to promote an understanding of how to connect one’s dreams to their reality, therefore they are very useful for helping one to set and achieve goals.

In meditation, Peach Quartz is wonderful for releasing energy blockages within the Sacral and Higher Heart Chakras. The clearing of these blockages can help one to recover self-respect, independence, creativity, and sociability. Carrying a piece of Peach Quartz which you have charged/enchanted for the purpose will also help to sustain the period afterwards of which these chakras will remain in better function.

Peach Quartz can support those who work in public service by keeping their focus on the needs of others. I believe they significantly help those in highly stressful public service employment, whether that is as a waitress or a firefighter…you may think one is not as bad as the other but unless you’ve been a waitress, don’t be quick to judge. You are constantly putting out fires – of a different kind! Wearing a Peach Quartz necklace or bracelet can do wonders, gently grounding you whilst encouraging your personal power and keeping your emotions in check.

Working with Peach Quartz can help regulate and balance one’s sex-drive and encourage one to focus on their partner during sexual intimacy. It will raise your self-esteem and that alone can help many people’s sex life. Carry Peach Quartz with you when you find it difficult to express yourself emotionally or when you feel that you are lacking in personal power.

As Peach Quartz has a very high numerical vibration, it is a wonderful stone to do magick with. If you are a Tarot reader, or do any kind of divination, keep a Peach Quartz near you as it heightens your psychic powers.

Numerical Vibration: 55
Chakras: Sacral, Solar Plexus, and Heart
Astrological Sign: Sagittarius
Planet: Sun
Colour: Orange
Powers: Attracts luck, attracts success, raises self-esteem, personal power, meditation, psychic powers, positive energies, cleansing, healing, balancing

Many thanks for reading today’s blog. I hope you have gained some useful knowledge from this writing and if you have enjoyed, please let us know by liking the blog, giving it a 5-star rating, leaving a comment, and sharing via the handy buttons below! Warmest blessings x

The Crystal Bible, by Judy Hall
Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Crystal, Gem, and Metal Magic, by Scott Cunningham

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From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet: Plantain [or Waybroad]

By Isabella @TheWandCarver


Plantain or Waybroad ~ Google Images

Plantain [plantago major] is originally from Asia and Europe. It has had many names attached to it over the years, but one which makes me smile is the Native American name for it – White Man’s Footprint – because the seeds literally immigrated to the Americas on the soles of the European settler’s boots…and probably in or on many of their belongings such as in with grain seeds. It became naturalised in the Americas quite the same way as in every other part of the World. To most in the civilised world it is just a pesky weed. But to us, it is a magickal weed.


People pay to have this “weed” eradicated from their lawns. If I had the back to do it, they could pay me to come pull it from their lawns and I would use it! Just learn what to look for – I’m sure [unless you live where there is nothing but concrete and even there it will probably come through the cracks] you have seen it in your own lawn – and you will never need to buy Plantain for your health purposes or magickal work again. Just take it from the ground bare-handed like our forebears did! Or, you may want to leave it for protection against snakes.

It is said the best time to gather Plantain/Waybroad is to gather it during the last quarter of the Moon’s cycle, during the hour of Mercury. But as you will read further down below, the best time to gather it is just before sunrise… if then, the hour of Mercury happens to fall at that time, the all the better. I’m not sure if the hour of Mercury is when it should be gathered – unless! – it is for a spell that must be performed at the hour and day of Mercury. For this knowledge you would need to check your Seven Keys of Solomon and your planetary days and hours.


My Plantain Leaf

My dried Plantain ~ photo by I.macy

I think it best to mention from the beginning that Plantain enhances any other herbs you might use in your working. If you want to add some extra energy and strength to whatever you’re making – incense, witch bottle, poppet, sachet, or charm, just add a pinch of Plantain to power it up. Plantain is used in spells related to strength, healing and protection, and as a charm against snakebites. It is linked with snakes as it is also said by some to be linked with St. Patrick who was said drove the snakes out of Ireland. Plantain is also used in charms and talismans to prevent nightmares and protect against evil spirits [sprites]. An effective way to use Waybroad for nightmares is to put it into a sachet to place underneath your pillow at night for a good night’s sleep.


Folklore and Fact
I must tell you of a charm from antiquity using Plantain or Waybroad. It is a prescription for headache from the Leech Book. You must “dig up [Waybroad] without iron before sunrise, binding round the head with a red filet [red wool]”. Binding with red wool was a widespread custom in Great Britain and Europe during those times as red was a colour sacred to Thor and abhorred by witches and all evil beings.

Another of my favourites, from the Lacnunga which gives a charm and list of herbs to prevent “flying venoms”, which are, as we would say in these times, to prevent catching a cold or flu. It was written in Wessex dialect and goes back to the 10th century.

The nine sacred herbs/worts: mugwort, waybroad [plantain], stime [watercress], atterlothe [may have been viper’s bugloss?], maythen [chamomile], wergulu [nettle], crab apple, chervil, and fennel.

The charm:
These nine attack
against nine venoms.
He tore asunder a man.
Then took Woden
Nine magic twigs,
Then smote the serpent
That he in nine dispersed.
Now these nine herbs have
Against nine magic outcasts
Against nine venoms
And against nine flying things
And have might against the
Loathed things
That over land rove.
Against the red venoms
Against the runlan venom
Against the white venom
Against the blue venom
Against the yellow venom
Against the green venom
Against the dusky venom
Against the brown venom
Against the purple venom
Against the worm blast
Against the water blast
Against thorn blast
Against thistle blast
Against ice blast
Against venom blast
If any venom come
Flying from east
Or any come from north
Or any from south
Or any from west
Over mankind
I alone know a running river
And the nine serpents behold it
All weeds must
Now to herbs give way
Seas dissolve
And all salt water
When I this venom
From thee blow”

I have seen this widely circulated online, not always in its entirety and almost certainly never correctly. This charm comes from a very antiquated book and I highly doubt many have access to such writings. But, here you have it, all present and correct. If you wish to give this a go instead of your yearly flu jab, why not? Whilst the charm and the ingredients are all here it does not tell one what else to do. There was always a great ceremony of gathering one’s herbs for a charm…certain times of day or night to gather as well as certain times of the year. There were often litanies to be sung and prayers to be said. This information is not included in the Lacnunga but I’m sure the people of the 10th century and upwards knew what was to be done. Although, from most of what I have read, I would almost bet the farm that red wool was always involved 😊

Plantain is rumoured to have an expectorant effect on the lungs and the tea is recommended for people who are trying to quit smoking as well as for people suffering from lung complaints.

People who take blood thinners or who are at risk for blood clots should never take Plantain internally, not as a vegetable or a tea, but can use it externally.

Plantain can be shredded or chewed and applied to insect bites, poison ivy and other skin irritations for quick relief. It can also be added to a poultice.

Plantain may be used in place of Comfrey in all herbal preparations, particularly for those with liver issues. It is a safer alternative and has comparable properties.

Although plantain is used for treating skin irritations, some people get contact dermatitis from it. Use caution.

Gender: Feminine
Planet: Venus
Element: Earth
Powers: Healing, Strength, Protection, Snake Repelling, Power over supernatural
Deity: Orcus, Hades, Pluto, Persephone
Other Names: Waybroad, greater plantain, common plantain, Soldier’s herb, White man’s footprint, Cart track plant, dooryard plant, healing blade, hen plant, lambs foot, roadweed, roundleaf plantain, wayside plantain, white man’s foot, Englishman’s foot

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*The Lacnunga, by Edward Pettit, 2001

**The Leech Book

The Old English Herbals by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde

* The Anglo-Saxon Lacnunga is a miscellaneous collection of almost two hundred mainly herbal remedies, charms, and prayers found only in a mostly 10th-11th century manuscript in the British Library. It was put together Edward Pettit and published in 2001

** Bald’s Leechbook (also known as Medicinale Anglicum) is an Old English medical text probably compiled in the ninth-century, possibly under the influence of Alfred the Great’s educational reforms.

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