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HearthBeats: Notes from a Kitchen Witch

Merry Meet and welcome to this months notes.. I apologize that chaos has ensued and I was unable to get my column in on time last month… and Loki is still hounding me.. but I am working around that.

I want to talk to you all this month about the seasons. Renewal and death.. as that is the season we are in now. It has just passed Ostara in the Northern Hemi and Mabon in the Southern Hemi, Beltane is fast approaching in the Northern hemi with Samhain coming on for the Southern hemi.

While we Northerners are preparing to plant and be fertile, We Southerners are settling in to the death of the year; the time when things get ready to rest for the coming season. But in reality it is just different stages of growth. For there always needs to be a time of rest . when you gather your strength for the great push towards fertility.

At this point many of us are doing the same things, raking the gardens, preparing them for the coming seasons, tending the plants, either new sprouts being hand tended in our homes or the aging almost finished plants of the end of the season. We are also tending our lives as well. Cleaning up our past issues, shaking things out and seeing what needs mending and care. Looking for what we can cut and get rid of as well as what we may need to plan on planting there for later.

Here are some herbs to assist in the “clean up” either to prepare to plant them (fresh herbs are better) or drying and saving for the year.
Agrimony
Protection, banishes negative energy, sleep
Benzoin resin
Prosperity, astral projection, purification.
Blessed Thistle
Purification, hex-breaking, protection from evil- removes unwanted influences, particularly of malevolent intent. Strew to cleanse buildings or rooms, beneficial in healing spell

Burdock

Rinse with a root decoction for ridding oneself of a gloomy feeling about yourself or others.
Cedar
Home purification, good fortune, luck.
Clove
Banishing, love.
Copal resin
Purification, cleansing.
Dandelion Leaf
Divining,Used in Samhain rituals. Sleep, protection, healing. A very nutritious and universally beneficial herb.
Dried Fig
Fertility, love spells- excellent ingredient in spell bags. Divining. Sacred to Dionysus, Juno and many others. Recommended for a Beltane altar. If placed on the doorstep before leaving it will ensure you will arrive home safely.
Hyssop
An excellent purifying herb. Use in purification baths and spells. Associated with serpents and dragons, and can be burned as an incense to call on dragon energy. Aids in physical and spiritual protection.
Rosemary
Cleansing, purification, exorcism

Sage
Purifying, use as incense during sacred rituals-walk the smoke to the four corners of the room to repel and rid negative energies and influences. Especially good when moving into a new home.
Scotch Broom Leaf
A Druid sacred tree. Use in purification and protection spells and scatter to exorcise evil spirits. Burn to calm the wind. The branches are used to make traditional besoms. Its smoke is a sedative. Use in moderation, can be toxic.

St. John’s Wort
Health, protection, strength, love divination, happiness, exorcism. A Druid sacred herb. Use in protection and exorcism spells and incenses of all kinds. Carry to strengthen your courage and conviction. Burn to banish negative thoughts and energies.
Valerian Root
Use for dream magick and sleep protection baths. Keep in the home or grow in the garden to aid in keeping harmony. May be used to purify a ritual space. Useful in consecrating incense burners.
Yarrow Flower
Use to dispell melancholy, negative energy, lingering sorrow, or depression. Carried as a sachet or amulet it repels or rids of negative influences. Aids in divination. Good remedy for colds. Opens the pores and purifies the blood. Said to prevent baldness as a hair wash.
These are just to name a few. I am sure that you all have some wonderful herbs I may have missed or even never thought to use.
I have used some of these in Rituals, ritual baths,sprays to disperse quickly and evenly around the house, mop water and just dotted around the room if I felt it just needed a boost. You can make sachets to place under cushions and pillows, to place in your dresser drawers, even to carry in your purse or pocket.  I will end this for now as I do not want to run on and on and on. As is my way..LOL

Until next time

Blessed Home and Hearth

The Hearthkeeper