by Conni Phillips
Ah Summer! By now you may be wondering what you are going to do with all of the herbs and flowers you have. Well here are a few ideas.
First of all, if you have any herbs left from last year, you can burn them on the Litha bonfire. Then begin to gather and dry a new supply. Tell the plant why you are taking a piece and leave an offering of some sort, even if it's only water. I dry my herbs in a dehydrator, or you can tie them together in small bundles and them upside down to dry, out of direct sunlight. Herbs can also be dried in a paper bags. They should dry for at least a week. Dry herbs should be stored in glass jars or tins in a cool, dry place.
Okay, now you have all of these herbs, what should you do with them? First of all, if you plan to ingest anything, make absolutely certain that you know exactly what it is. Buy at least one good, all purpose herb book and use it for reference.
Here are some magical ideas for using your herbs:
How about a charm bag? You can make or buy a simple drawstring bag and fill it with magically charged herbs, stones, perhaps a drop or two of oil all corresponding to your magical need.
Or you can make dream pillows, use 6 & 1/2 - inch square pieces of fabric, to sew a small pillow and fill with stuffing, herbs, and a drop or two of oil. Dream pillows can be placed under your pillow to help you sleep, bring psychic dreams, or anything else you wish.
You can also use your herbs to make homemade bath salts. Use 1 Cup of sea salts or Epsom salts, 6-8 drops of essential oil and 1/4 Cup of dried, crushed herbs. Mix them together and allow to cure for several days, stirring once a day. Use 2-3 Tablespoons of the finished salts per bath. These make great gifts!
Here are some books that have herbal correspondences to help you decide which herbs to use in your projects:
"Green Witchcraft" by: Ann Moura
"A Druid's Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year" by: Ellen Evert Hopman
Sources: "Midsummer: Magickal Celebrations of the Summer Solstice" by: Anna Franklin "Garden Witchery" by: Ellen Dugan
"Ancient Ways" by: Pauline Campanelli
"The Sabbats" by: Edain McCoy
"Midsummer: Magical Celebrations of the Summer Solstice" by: Anna Franklin
General Herb books:
"Your Backyard Herb Garden: A Gardeners Guide to Growing Over 50 Herbs Plus How to Use Them in Cooking, Crafts, Companion Planting & More." by: Miranda Smith
"New Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses" by: Deni Brown
"Rodales Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs" by: Claire Kowalchik
© "copyright" 2003 Constance Phillips