One of my most favorite things to do whilst crafting my magick is to go out into my garden and harvest fresh herbs, plants, bark, fruit, flowers, resins and leaves. I love the ceremony of picking and culling the perfect flowers, leaves and stems or pulling out the plant in its entirety. I love speaking to the trees and asking to partake of the gifts they provide through their bark, resins, flowers, leaves, fruit, nuts and seeds. Its something that all my family does as a regular practice as in the “old country” the only way to get access to herbs, plants and trees was to grow them or wild-craft (harvest them from nature).
An aspect of my practice, which I took on-board early, due to it being one of the first things my mother taught me with respects to magick. One of the first memories I have, is of my mother showing me how to gather Greek Basil from our backyard to make into a steeped tea to drink, after having complained of a headache. I also have fond memories of my mother taking me out into nature with nothing more than a kitchen knife to show me which greens and herbs were safe to collect and eat and which herbs and plants to carefully avoid. She taught me about the aspects of nature’s pharmacy which could harm and those which could heal because she believed you couldn’t heal without knowing how to harm and vica versa.
I never realized how this early education with trees, herbs and plants shaped my craft in not only preparing food and drink in healing (and on occasion harming) but also in magickal use. This is why when starting out in one’s practice I would suggest everyone grow at least one herb on their kitchen windowsill or if feeling adventurous create a simple herb garden either in pots or in a garden bed, to be able to have these sacred plants at hand. This is not only for convenience, but it’s a way to deeply connect the energies of the plant – to you, which comes from time spent sowing the seeds, planting the seedlings and tending to them by fertilizing them, watering them and on occasion trimming them back.
I would suggest starting off with these easy yet wonderfully effective and safe perennial herbs to plant in your garden, which can be used for various magickal purposes:
Chives = aphrodisiac, protection and weight loss.
Tie a chive into a knot whilst thinking of the protection needed and then bury it deep into the ground.
Fennel = strength, protection and weight loss.
Chew the seeds for confidence and courage.
Garlic = protection.
Hang a garland of garlic in the home to protect against malevolent energies.
Mint = purification and healing.
Mint placed around the wrist in a chain protects from illness.
Oregano = peace.
Steep some of the dried herb in water and use to wash the doors and windowsills of the house, which prevents negativity entering the home.
Rosemary = protection, love and stimulates the mind.
Tying up a few dried springs and then burn in the home for purification and to clear the mind.
Sage = longevity and increases magick.
By using the dried herb make a divination tea and scry for future events.
Thyme = purification, love and psychic ability.
Carry a spring of thyme in your pocket to boost your psychic abilities.
As a devotee of Hekate I consider myself a practicing Pharmakia. Pharmakia is a Greek word meaning sorcerer who works with baneful herbs. Some translations of Pharmakia also include the word witchcraft and I strongly resonate with this as a magick worker whose Patron is Hekate. I actually wrote a poem about being Hekate’s Herbalist due to working with Hekate’s herbs so frequently. I find my witchcraft being so intriguingly infused with nature within my practice I work with what I call Hekate’s Pharmacy – the herbs, plants and trees used in her name and with her guidance. I do this whilst maintaining a connection to the land I live on as well as respecting the plants and trees I use in my magickal life. Like the Ancient Hekate Priestesses – Medea and Circe, I too, like to have access to Hekate’s herbs, plants and trees for me to use in her offerings, devotionals and crafts. Therefore, I have personally created this list from academic resources with respects to her ancient practice, modern practitioners findings, devotees of Hekate personal musings and my own UPG.
Hekate’s Pharmacy by Setjataset
*Aconite (aka monkshood or wolfsbane)
Alcea ‘O Hara’
Dittany of Crete
(*Please note these can be harmful or toxic if ingested, inhaled or placed on skin.)
As always please research and check all the plants and trees you will be handling before working with them to ensure you do so in a safe manner.
I would also suggest that before collecting any items from Hekate’s Pharmacy for use in your practice, that you evoke Hekate to bestow her blessings and give her thanks.
One I use, is one I wrote for my devotionals when I was first initiated to her practice: Devotional Hymn to Hekate
C) T. Georgitsis 2020